Sydney's Forum Home

Search
   
Members

Calendar

Help

Home
Search by username
Not logged in - Login | Register 


Climate Change News
 Moderated by: sydneyst  

New Topic

Reply

Print
AuthorPost
sydneyst
Administrator


Joined: Mon Mar 10th, 2008
Location: Seattle, USA
Posts: 1082
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Fri Apr 24th, 2015 06:54 pm

Quote

Reply
Updated Finding On Anthropogenic Climate Change From BerkeleyEarth

http://berkeleyearth.org/summary-of-findings

Human Effect

Method uses volcanic activity as proxy.

Many of the changes in land-surface temperature can be explained by a
combination of volcanoes and a proxy for human greenhouse gas emissions. Solar
variation does not seem to impact the temperature trend.



Temperature, CO2, and volcano data | More recent data | High-resolution image
 

Temperature, CO2, and volcano data | More recent data | High-resolution image


The annual and decadal land surface temperature from the BerkeleyEarth average,
compared to a linear combination of volcanic sulfate emissions and the natural
logarithm of CO2. It is observed that the large negative excursions in the early
temperature records are likely to be explained by exceptional volcanic activity at this
time. Similarly, the upward trend is likely to be an indication of anthropogenic
changes. The grey area is the 95% confidence interval.


Click here to see the historic temperature record with named volcanos.

After accounting for volcanic and human effects, the residual variability in land-surface
temperature is observed to closely mirror (and for slower changes slightly lead)
variations in the Gulf Stream.


Last edited on Fri Apr 24th, 2015 07:02 pm by sydneyst

sydneyst
Administrator


Joined: Mon Mar 10th, 2008
Location: Seattle, USA
Posts: 1082
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Fri Apr 24th, 2015 06:44 pm

Quote

Reply
Dr. Richard Muller's Conversion from Skeptic to Believer

 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/the-conversion-of-a-climate-change-skeptic.html?_r=0

excerpts from 2012 statement:

Berkeley, Calif.

CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous
climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global
warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists,
I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of
warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the
cause.

My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective
analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with
my daughter Elizabeth. Our results show that the average temperature of the
earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years,
including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years.

Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human
emission of greenhouse gases.

...The historic temperature pattern we observed has abrupt dips that match the
emissions of known explosive volcanic eruptions; the particulates from such events
reflect sunlight, make for beautiful sunsets and cool the earth’s surface for a few
years. There are small, rapid variations attributable to El Niño and other ocean
currents such as the Gulf Stream; because of such oscillations, the “flattening” of the
recent temperature rise that some people claim is not, in our view, statistically
significant.

What has caused the gradual but systematic rise of two and a half degrees? We tried
fitting the shape to simple math functions (exponentials, polynomials), to solar activity
and even to rising functions like world population. By far the best match was to the
record of atmospheric carbon dioxide, measured from atmospheric samples and air
trapped in polar ice.Just as important, our record is long enough that we could search
for the fingerprint of solar variability, based on the historical record of sunspots. That
fingerprint is absent.

Although the I.P.C.C. allowed for the possibility that variations in sunlight could have
ended the “Little Ice Age,” a period of cooling from the 14th century to about 1850,
our data argues strongly that the temperature rise of the past 250 years cannot be
attributed to solar changes. This conclusion is, in retrospect, not too surprising; we’ve
learned from satellite measurements that solar activity changes the brightness of the
sun very little.

How definite is the attribution to humans? The carbon dioxide curve gives a better
match than anything else we’ve tried. Its magnitude is consistent with the calculated
greenhouse effect — extra warming from trapped heat radiation. These facts don’t
prove causality and they shouldn’t end skepticism, but they raise the bar: to be
considered seriously, an alternative explanation must match the data at least as well
as carbon dioxide does.

The careful analysis by our team is laid out in five scientific papers now online at
BerkeleyEarth.org.

Richard A. Muller, a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and
a former MacArthur Foundation fellow, is the author, most recently, of “Energy for
Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines.”

Last edited on Fri Apr 24th, 2015 07:12 pm by sydneyst

sydneyst
Administrator


Joined: Mon Mar 10th, 2008
Location: Seattle, USA
Posts: 1082
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Apr 1st, 2014 11:22 pm

Quote

Reply
New IPCC Report Reduces Cyclone and Drought Effects

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25326-world-must-adapt-to-unknown-climate-future-says-ipcc.html?full=true#.Uzs7Es43msk

(Image: Holger Leue/Getty)

excerpts:
For example, the 2007 report predicted that the intensity of cyclones over Asia would increase by 10 to 20 per cent. The new report makes no such claim. Similarly, the last report estimated that climate change would force up to a quarter of a billion Africans into water shortage by the end of this decade. The new report avoids using such firm numbers.
The report has even watered down many of the more confident predictions that appeared in the leaked drafts. References to "hundreds of millions" of people being affected by rising sea levels have been removed from the summary, as have statements about the impact of warmer temperatures on crops.

Last edited on Tue Apr 1st, 2014 11:26 pm by sydneyst

sydneyst
Administrator


Joined: Mon Mar 10th, 2008
Location: Seattle, USA
Posts: 1082
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Jun 25th, 2013 07:04 am

Quote

Reply
Global CO2 Reaches 400 PPM at Mauna Loa

By Bill Sweet Posted 13 May 2013 | 20:52 GMT

http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/environment/global-co2-reaches-400-ppm



Last Thursday, global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, as measured atop Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano, reached 400 parts per million. The good news is that most educated people now have a sense of what that means—which would not have been the case 10 years ago. The bad news is that the world is more confused than ever regarding what to do about it.

Since humans started pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in large quantities with the beginning of the industrial revolution in the mid-1700s, CO2 concentrations have increased about 50 percent. To put it another way, today's CO2 concentrations are about 50 percent higher than at their interglacial peaks, going back at least 800 000 years, as estimated from the longest Antarctic ice core. And they are climbing at the highest rates in measured time. Two-thirds of the increase in industrial times has taken place in just the last half century, since Charles Keeling set up instruments on Mauna Loa to measure CO2 in the late 1950s.

“The last time in the Earth’s history when we saw similar levels of CO2 in the atmosphere was probably about 4.5 million years ago when the world was warmer on average by three or four degrees Celsius than it is today,” Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London, told the Financial Times. “There was no permanent ice sheet on Greenland, sea levels were much higher, and the world was a very different place.”

“If you’re looking to stave off climate perturbations that I don’t believe our culture is ready to adapt to, then significant reductions in CO2 emissions have to occur right away,” Mark Pagani, a Yale geochemist and paleoclimatologist, told The New York Times. “I feel like the time to do something was yesterday.”

There's the rub. Metaphorically speaking, the day before yesterday saw the conclusion of the Rio Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992 and the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol 1997, whereupon many of the leading industrial countries did start making serious efforts to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. But the United States opted out of that process, and rapidly industrialized countries like China and India were not required to join in. Then, yesterday, with the global financial meltdown and near-depression, the whole world took a timeout on climate policy.

Traumatic events like the U.S. heat wave last summer and Hurricane Sandy last fall continued to deliver rude reminders of what climate change could mean. But with major economies still struggling to get moving again, much of the public remained unready to get—and certainly unready to act on—the message.

What now? Is it not time for the United States, which seems at last to be getting over the economic hump, to get into the game of climate diplomacy in a serious way?
Photo: Mauna Loa Observatory, by Chris Stewart/AP Photo

Last edited on Tue Jun 25th, 2013 07:05 am by sydneyst

sydneyst
Administrator


Joined: Mon Mar 10th, 2008
Location: Seattle, USA
Posts: 1082
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Oct 9th, 2012 05:57 am

Quote

Reply
Arctic ice shrinks 18% against record, sounding climate change alarm bells

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/sep/19/arctic-ice-shrinks

Scientists and environment groups say the fall is unprecedented and the clearest signal yet of global warming

'Our response [so far] has not been alarm, or panic, or a sense of emergency. It has been: ‘Let’s go up there and drill for oil’. There is no more perfect indictment of our failure to get to grips with the greatest problem we’ve ever faced,' says author and environmental campaigner Bill McKibben.

 Photograph: Paul Souders/Corbis

Sea ice in the Arctic shrank a dramatic 18% this year on the previous record set in 2007 to a record low of 3.41m sq km, according to the official US monitoring organisation the National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Boulder, Colorado.

Last edited on Tue Oct 9th, 2012 06:01 am by sydneyst

sydneyst
Administrator


Joined: Mon Mar 10th, 2008
Location: Seattle, USA
Posts: 1082
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Thu Aug 9th, 2012 12:55 pm

Quote

Reply
Flash Melting of Greenland's Ice Sheet

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/25/science/earth/rare-burst-of-melting-seen-in-greenland-ice-sheet.html

July 25, 2012   


The extent of Greenland's ice sheet surface, in white, on July 8, left, and July 12, right, based on measurements from three satellites, which pass over at different times and whose data are combined and analyzed. The deepest pink areas reflect maximal certainty that the ice has melted.


By KELLY SLIVKA Published: July 24, 2012
In a scant four days this month, the surface of Greenland’s ice sheet melted to an extent not witnessed in 30 years of satellite observations, NASA reported on Tuesday.

“I started looking at the satellite imagery and saw something that was really unprecedented” since the advent of satellite imaging of the earth’s frozen surface, or cryosphere, said Thomas L. Mote, a climate scientist at the University of Georgia who for 20 years has been studying ice changes on Greenland detected by satellite.
While scientists described it as an “extreme event” not previously recorded from space, they hastened to add that it was normal in a broader historical context.

Ice core samples taken from the summit of Greenland’s ice sheet that shed light on 10,000 years of its history show that a similar large-scale melting event has happened roughly every 150 years, said Lora Koenig, a glaciologist with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center who has also studied the satellite imagery. Because the previous vast melt occurred in 1889, this year’s is more or less on schedule, she said.
During the event, the surface ice on the sheet’s summit was always within a degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) or so of refreezing, Dr. Koenig added. Around July 14, the ice loss began to reverse, she said.

Nonetheless, the scientists said, the melt was significant because Greenland’s ice sheet is unequivocally shrinking as a result of the warming of the world’s oceans, and the event could help broaden their insights into climate change and earth systems.
“Even though this one event might be part of normal variation, it’s still a fantastic experiment for us so we can try to understand how the ice sheets are going to change,” Thomas P. Wagner, head of NASA’s cryosphere program, said in an interview.

He said he and other scientists would continue to sort through ocean, weather and surface data from the melt to seek a deeper understanding of why it happened and what it means in the context of the global climate system and other events.

Just last week, for example, a chunk of ice about two times as large as Manhattan broke free from the remote Petermann Glacier in northwestern Greenland, Dr. Wagner noted. Two years ago, the glacier lost a chunk of ice four times as big as Manhattan.

Last edited on Thu Aug 9th, 2012 01:03 pm by sydneyst

sydneyst
Administrator


Joined: Mon Mar 10th, 2008
Location: Seattle, USA
Posts: 1082
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Thu Aug 9th, 2012 12:52 pm

Quote

Reply
Hansen Explains Climate Math on PBS News Hour

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/08/james-hansen-extreme-heat-events-connected-to-climate-change.html

sydneyst
Administrator


Joined: Mon Mar 10th, 2008
Location: Seattle, USA
Posts: 1082
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Aug 6th, 2012 07:41 am

Quote

Reply
Climate Cynic, Richard Muller, Recants
Recipient of Support from Koch Brothers Changes Mind


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/the-conversion-of-a-climate-change-skeptic.html?pagewanted=all

sydneyst
Administrator


Joined: Mon Mar 10th, 2008
Location: Seattle, USA
Posts: 1082
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Aug 6th, 2012 05:46 am

Quote

Reply
Review of Math and Evidence on Climate Change
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719?page=2

excerpts:
 
So far, we've raised the average temperature of the planet just under 0.8 degrees Celsius, and that has caused far more damage than most scientists expected. (A third of summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone, the oceans are 30 percent more acidic, and since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere over the oceans is a shocking five percent wetter, loading the dice for devastating floods.)

Given those impacts, in fact, many scientists have come to think that two degrees is far too lenient a target. "Any number much above one degree involves a gamble," writes Kerry Emanuel of MIT, a leading authority on hurricanes, "and the odds become less and less favorable as the temperature goes up."

Second Number: 565 Gigatons
Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees. ("Reasonable," in this case, means four chances in five, or somewhat worse odds than playing Russian roulette with a six-shooter.)

This idea of a global "carbon budget" emerged about a decade ago, as scientists began to calculate how much oil, coal and gas could still safely be burned. Since we've increased the Earth's temperature by 0.8 degrees so far, we're currently less than halfway to the target. But, in fact, computer models calculate that even if we stopped increasing CO2 now, the temperature would likely still rise another 0.8 degrees, as previously released carbon continues to overheat the atmosphere. That means we're already three-quarters of the way to the two-degree target.

How good are these numbers? No one is insisting that they're exact, but few dispute that they're generally right. The 565-gigaton figure was derived from one of the most sophisticated computer-simulation models that have been built by climate scientists around the world over the past few decades. And the number is being further confirmed by the latest climate-simulation models currently being finalized in advance of the next report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. "Looking at them as they come in, they hardly differ at all," says Tom Wigley, an Australian climatologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. "There's maybe 40 models in the data set now, compared with 20 before. But so far the numbers are pretty much the same. We're just fine-tuning things. I don't think much has changed over the last decade." William Collins, a senior climate scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, agrees. "I think the results of this round of simulations will be quite similar," he says. "We're not getting any free lunch from additional understanding of the climate system."

We're not getting any free lunch from the world's economies, either. With only a single year's lull in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis, we've continued to pour record amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, year after year. In late May, the International Energy Agency published its latest figures – CO2 emissions last year rose to 31.6 gigatons, up 3.2 percent from the year before. America had a warm winter and converted more coal-fired power plants to natural gas, so its emissions fell slightly; China kept booming, so its carbon output (which recently surpassed the U.S.) rose 9.3 percent; the Japanese shut down their fleet of nukes post-Fukushima, so their emissions edged up 2.4 percent. "There have been efforts to use more renewable energy and improve energy efficiency," said Corinne Le Quéré, who runs England's Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. "But what this shows is that so far the effects have been marginal."

In fact, study after study predicts that carbon emissions will keep growing by roughly three percent a year – and at that rate, we'll blow through our 565-gigaton allowance in 16 years, around the time today's preschoolers will be graduating from high school. "The new data provide further evidence that the door to a two-degree trajectory is about to close," said Fatih Birol, the IEA's chief economist. In fact, he continued, "When I look at this data, the trend is perfectly in line with a temperature increase of about six degrees." That's almost 11 degrees Fahrenheit, which would create a planet straight out of science fiction.

So, new data in hand, everyone at the Rio conference renewed their ritual calls for serious international action to move us back to a two-degree trajectory. The charade will continue in November, when the next Conference of the Parties (COP) of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change convenes in Qatar. This will be COP 18 – COP 1 was held in Berlin in 1995, and since then the process has accomplished essentially nothing. Even scientists, who are notoriously reluctant to speak out, are slowly overcoming their natural preference to simply provide data. "The message has been consistent for close to 30 years now," Collins says with a wry laugh, "and we have the instrumentation and the computer power required to present the evidence in detail. If we choose to continue on our present course of action, it should be done with a full evaluation of the evidence the scientific community has presented." He pauses, suddenly conscious of being on the record. "I should say, a fuller evaluation of the evidence."

So far, though, such calls have had little effect. We're in the same position we've been in for a quarter-century: scientific warning followed by political inaction. Among scientists speaking off the record, disgusted candor is the rule. One senior scientist told me, "You know those new cigarette packs, where governments make them put a picture of someone with a hole in their throats? Gas pumps should have something like that."

The Third Number: 2,795 Gigatons
This number is the scariest of all – one that, for the first time, meshes the political and scientific dimensions of our dilemma. It was highlighted last summer by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a team of London financial analysts and environmentalists who published a report in an effort to educate investors about the possible risks that climate change poses to their stock portfolios. The number describes the amount of carbon already contained in the proven coal and oil and gas reserves of the fossil-fuel companies, and the countries (think Venezuela or Kuwait) that act like fossil-fuel companies. In short, it's the fossil fuel we're currently planning to burn. And the key point is that this new number – 2,795 – is higher than 565. Five times higher.

The Carbon Tracker Initiative – led by James Leaton, an environmentalist who served as an adviser at the accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers – combed through proprietary databases to figure out how much oil, gas and coal the world's major energy companies hold in reserve. The numbers aren't perfect – they don't fully reflect the recent surge in unconventional energy sources like shale gas, and they don't accurately reflect coal reserves, which are subject to less stringent reporting requirements than oil and gas. But for the biggest companies, the figures are quite exact: If you burned everything in the inventories of Russia's Lukoil and America's ExxonMobil, for instance, which lead the list of oil and gas companies, each would release more than 40 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Which is exactly why this new number, 2,795 gigatons, is such a big deal. Think of two degrees Celsius as the legal drinking limit – equivalent to the 0.08 blood-alcohol level below which you might get away with driving home. The 565 gigatons is how many drinks you could have and still stay below that limit – the six beers, say, you might consume in an evening. And the 2,795 gigatons? That's the three 12-packs the fossil-fuel industry has on the table, already opened and ready to pour.

We have five times as much oil and coal and gas on the books as climate scientists think is safe to burn. We'd have to keep 80 percent of those reserves locked away underground to avoid that fate. Before we knew those numbers, our fate had been likely. Now, barring some massive intervention, it seems certain.


Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719#ixzz22jwHiqFR

Last edited on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 07:36 am by sydneyst

sydneyst
Administrator


Joined: Mon Mar 10th, 2008
Location: Seattle, USA
Posts: 1082
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Thu Jul 26th, 2012 01:44 pm

Quote

Reply

Environment: from The Guardian, UK 



Greenland ice sheet melted at unprecedented rate during July



The Greenland ice sheet on July 8, left, and four days later on the right. In the image, the areas classified as 'probable melt' (light pink) correspond to those sites where at least one satellite detected surface melting. The areas classified as 'melt' (dark pink) correspond to sites where two or three satellites detected surface melting. Photograph: Nasa
Read by 9,646 people

Remove from timeline Tuesday 24 July 2012
Scientists at Nasa admitted they thought satellite readings were a mistake after images showed 97% surface melt over four days

The Greenland ice sheet melted at a faster rate this month than at any other time in recorded history, with virtually the entire ice sheet showing signs of thaw.

The rapid melting over just four days was captured by three satellites. It has stunned and alarmed scientists, and deepened fears about the pace and future consequences of climate change.

In a statement posted on Nasa's website on Tuesday, scientists admitted the satellite data was so striking they thought at first there had to be a mistake.

"This was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result: was this real or was it due to a data error?" Son Nghiem of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena said in the release.

He consulted with several colleagues, who confirmed his findings. Dorothy Hall, who studies the surface temperature of Greenland at Nasa's space flight centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, confirmed that the area experienced unusually high temperatures in mid-July, and that there was widespread melting over the surface of the ice sheet.

Climatologists Thomas Mote, at the University of Georgia, and Marco Tedesco, of the City University of New York, also confirmed the melt recorded by the satellites.

However, scientists were still coming to grips with the shocking images on Tuesday. "I think it's fair to say that this is unprecedented," Jay Zwally, a glaciologist at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center, told the Guardian.

The set of images released by Nasa on Tuesday show a rapid thaw between 8 July and 12 July. Within that four-day period, measurements from three satellites showed a swift expansion of the area of melting ice, from about 40% of the ice sheet surface to 97%.

Scientists attributed the sudden melt to a heat dome, or a burst of unusually warm air, which hovered over Greenland from 8 July until 16 July.

Greenland had returned to more typical summer conditions by 21 or 22 July, Mote told the Guardian.

But he said the event, while exceptional, should be viewed alongside other compelling evidence of climate change, including on the ground in Greenland.

"What we are seeing at the highest elevations may be a sort of sign of what is going on across the ice sheet," he said. "At lower elevations on the ice sheet, we are seeing earlier melting, melting later in the season, and more frequent melting over the last 30 years and that is consistent of what you would expect with a warming climate."

Zwally, who has made almost yearly trips to the Greenland ice sheet for more than three decades, said he had never seen such a rapid melt.

About half of Greenland's surface ice sheet melts during a typical summer, but Zwally said he and other scientists had been recording an acceleration of that melting process over the last few decades. This year his team had to rebuild their camp, at Swiss Station, when the snow and ice supports melted.

He said he had never seen such a rapid melt over his three decades of nearly yearly trips to the Greenland ice sheet. He was most surprised to see indications in the images of melting even around the area of Summit Station, which is about two miles above sea level.

It was the second unusual event in Greenland in a matter of days, after an iceberg the size of Manhattan broke off from the Petermann glacier. But the rapid melt was viewed as more serious.

"If you look at the 8 July image that might be the maximum extent of warming you would see in the summer," Zwally noted. "There have been periods when melting might have occurred at higher elevations briefly – maybe for a day or so – but to have it cover the whole of Greenland like this is unknown, certainly in the time of satellite records."

Jason Box, a glaciologist at Ohio State University who returned on Tuesday from a research trip to Greenland, had been predicting a big melt year for 2012, because of earlier melt and a decline in summer snow flurries.

He said the heat dome was not necessarily a one-off. "This is now the seventh summer in a row with this pattern of warm air being lifted up onto the ice sheet on the summer months," he said. "What is surprising is just how persistent this circulation anomaly is. Here it is back again for the seventh year in a row in the summer bringing hot, warm air onto the ice sheet."

He also said surfaces at higher elevation, now re-frozen, could be more prone to future melting, because of changes in the structure of the snow crystals. Box expected melting to continue at lower elevations.

About half of Greenland's surface ice sheet melts during a typical summer, but Zwally said he and other scientists had been recording an acceleration of that melting process over the past few decades. This year his team had to rebuild their camp, at Swiss Station, when thesnow and ice supports melted.

Lora Koenig, another Goddard glaciologist, told Nasa similar rapid melting occurs about every 150 years. But she warned there were wide-ranging potential implications from this year's thaw.

"If we continue to observe melting events like this in upcoming years, it will be worrisome." she told Nasa.

The most immediate consequences are sea level rise and a further warming of the Arctic. In the centre of Greenland, the ice remains up to 3,000 metres deep. On the edges, however, the ice is much, much thinner and has been melting into the sea.

The melting ice sheet is a significant factor in sea level rise. Scientists attribute about one-fifth of the annual sea level rise, which is about 3mm every year, to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet.

In this instance of this month's extreme melting, Mote said there was evidence of a heat dome over Greenland: or an unusually strong ridge of warm air.

The dome is believed to have moved over Greenland on 8 July, lingering until 16 July.


Last edited on Thu Jul 26th, 2012 01:49 pm by sydneyst

sydneyst
Administrator


Joined: Mon Mar 10th, 2008
Location: Seattle, USA
Posts: 1082
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Thu Jun 7th, 2012 07:21 am

Quote

Reply
 Durban climate change conference:

Big three of US, China and India agree to cut carbon emissions

A new deal to "save the planet" will force the world's three biggest emitters the US, China and India to cut carbon emissions for the first time, although scientists fear it will come too late to stop global warming

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/8949317/Durban-climate-change-conference-Big-three-of-US-China-and-India-agree-to-cut-carbon-emissions.html


More than 190 countries managed to finally agree a new climate change deal amid chaotic scenes in the early hours of Sunday morning in Durban, South Africa.


As the United Nations conference overran into its second day it looked like the talks were on the brink of collapse as the EU and India argued over just two words in the text.


In the end the wording was decided in an extraordinary 10 minute 'huddle' between the exhausted ministers to decide the fate of future generations.


The 'Durban Platform' will commit all countries to a global deal on cutting carbon emissions by 2015 although it will not come into force until 2020.


The UN marked it as an "historic breakthrough to save the planet", that makes up for the collapse of the last high profile attempt for a global deal in Copenhagen in 2009.

But the most vulnerable countries to climate change said waiting until 2020 to enforce the deal will not be enough to save small island states from sea level rise or stop droughts and floods.

UN scientists have stated that emissions need to peak and start coming down before 2020 to stand a chance of keeping temperature rise within the 'safe zone' of 2C.

Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, insisted the deal will address this problem by encouraging countries to cut carbon before 2020, even though it will not be legally binding at this stage.

Even as the Eurozone collapses at home, he said the agreement was a huge success for Europe.

He pointed out that it was the first time that the 'Big 3', the US, India and China, that make up almost half of the world's emissions, have agreed to cut emissions as part of a legal treaty.

"What we have done today is a great success for European diplomacy. We have managed to put this on the map and take the major emitters – the US, India and China – to a road map that will secure an overarching deal," he said.

The EU has also agreed to a second commitment of the Kyoto Protocol from 2013 as part of the deal so that the world has a legal treaty to cut emissions in place before 2020.

This will mean Britain will be one of the few countries in the world committed to legally binding targets to cut emissions over the next few years while the US, India and China only have voluntary targets until 2020..

But Mr Huhne insisted Britain will not be at a competitive disadvantage as we already have an ambitious domestic target to cut carbon by 34 per cent by 2020.

"We are already a pioneer in this area and for us this just means that other countries are doing as much as we are," he said.

Ruth Davis Greenpeace UK chief policy adviser, said the deal would make it even more important to enforce green policies in Britain like supporting wind power and solar.

But it was not enough internationally to stop global warming.

"This deal is a lot better than no deal, not least because it scuppers George Osborne's push to gut domestic environmental action on the altar of international inertia," she said. "That said, we can't keep coming back to these annual talks to agree deals that fall so far short of what the science, rather than the politics, requires."

Celine Charveriat, Director of Campaigns and Advocacy for Oxfam, said the world is "sleep walking" towards a 4C rise in temperature by failing to get tougher targets in before 2020.

"The failure to seal an ambitious deal will have painful consequences for poor people around the world," she said. "A 4C temperature rise could be one of utter devastation for poor farmers who will face increasing hunger and poverty."



Last edited on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 07:26 am by sydneyst

sydneyst
Administrator


Joined: Mon Mar 10th, 2008
Location: Seattle, USA
Posts: 1082
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Sat May 12th, 2012 03:01 pm

Quote

Reply
James Hansen's Dire Warning on Canada's Tar Sands

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/opinion/game-over-for-the-climate.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

Game Over for the Climate
 By JAMES HANSEN Published: May 9, 2012
excerpts:

GLOBAL warming isn’t a prediction. It is happening. That is why I was so troubled to read a recent interview with President Obama in Rolling Stone in which he said that Canada would exploit the oil in its vast tar sands reserves “regardless of what we do.”

Coal supplies, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually would reach levels higher than in the Pliocene era, more than 2.5 million years ago, when sea level was at least 50 feet higher than it is now. That level of heat-trapping gases would assure that the disintegration of the ice sheets would accelerate out of control. Sea levels would rise and destroy coastal cities. Global temperatures would become intolerable. Twenty to 50 percent of the planet’s species would be driven to extinction. Civilization would be at risk.

That is the long-term outlook. But near-term, things will be bad enough. Over the next several decades, the Western United States and the semi-arid region from North Dakota to Texas will develop semi-permanent drought, with rain, when it does come, occurring in extreme events with heavy flooding. Economic losses would be incalculable. More and more of the Midwest would be a dust bowl. California’s Central Valley could no longer be irrigated. Food prices would rise to unprecedented levels.

Last edited on Sat May 12th, 2012 03:05 pm by sydneyst

sydneyst
Administrator


Joined: Mon Mar 10th, 2008
Location: Seattle, USA
Posts: 1082
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Feb 13th, 2012 01:10 pm

Quote

Reply
Satellites Show Shringking Glaciers on Everest

http://www.rtcc.org/nature/satellite-photo-shrinking-glaciers-on-mount-everest/

13 February 2012


Cnes 2004 - 2010 - Distribution Astrium Services / Spot Image

Mount Everest, Nepal

The Sagarmatha National Park is an exceptional area with dramatic mountains, glaciers and deep valleys where Mount Everest (or Sagarmatha in Nepali), the highest peak in the world (8,848 m), is located.

Several rare species, such as the snow leopard and the lesser panda, are found in the park.

The air temperatures in this area have risen by 1°C since 1970, leading to a 30% decrease in snow and ice cover over the last 40 years.

A high glacier on Mount Everest, located at an altitude of 4,000 m, is now a lake.

Glacier lake outburst floods are now much more frequent, creating serious risks for human populations with grave implications for the water supply in South Asia and the flow of major rivers such as the Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra.

This image was first produced and shown at the UNESCO Outdoor Exhibition ‘Satellites and World Heritage Sites, Partners to Understand Climate Change,’ shown at COP16 in Cancun, Mexico.

Developed in close partnership with Planet Action, the German Aerospace Center, the European Space Agency and the Belgian Federal Office for Science Policy and supported by the Flemish government the exhibition traveled through Mexico, to China and to the UNESCO headquarters in Paris as well as being shown at COP17 in Durban.

 

Last edited on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 01:11 pm by sydneyst

sydneyst
Administrator


Joined: Mon Mar 10th, 2008
Location: Seattle, USA
Posts: 1082
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Dec 20th, 2011 01:00 pm

Quote

Reply
Acid Test Points to Coming Fish Troubles
 

Young fish can suffer severe damage from the ocean acidification expected within this century
 
(thanks to Jeff Gerken for this reference)
 
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/336901/title/Acid_test_points_to_coming_fish_troubles


By Janet Raloff
Web edition : Tuesday, December 13th, 2011


The increasing acidification of ocean water may seriously jeopardize survival in young fish, two new studies find. Until now, studies of acidification’s effects on fish focused on adults — and found little evidence of life-threatening harm.

Seawater absorbs carbon dioxide from the air; the more CO2 absorbed, the more the pH drops, tipping the oceans’ waters toward the acidic end of the scale (SN: 3/15/2008, p. 170). So, forecasted increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration will hasten ocean acidification.

In both new studies, survival of young fish diminished as seawater’s CO2 concentration rose to levels scientists expect to see between 2050 and 2100. Already, however, fish in certain regions periodically encounter such acidification.

Both studies appear online December 11 in Nature Climate Change.

The studies looked at Atlantic cod and a small estuarine fish known as silversides. If acidification affects other species similarly to these, “it would be certainly important,” concludes Atsushi Ishimatsu of Nagasaki University in Japan, who was not involved in either study. Moreover, he notes, these data represent only part of the threat because “ocean acidification will not occur in isolation but together with other environmental changes — in particular, warming.”

In just-fertilized silverside eggs, hatchling survival fell steadily from about 50 percent at around current pH values, or 410 parts per million CO2, to about 10 percent at 1,000 ppm, a concentration scientists predict may occur around 2100. Hatchling length also fell — and rates of severe body malformations rose — with elevated CO2, reports Hannes Baumann from Stony Brook University in New York, who led one of the studies.

Lower concentrations had an effect, too: Eggs incubated in moderately acidified water — 600 ppm CO2 — were far less likely to survive than were eggs in water at current pH levels. But 10 days in water with 600 ppm CO2 posed little survival risk to hatchlings that as eggs had incubated in normal pH water. “This indicates that most of the risk to survival occurs during the egg stage,” Baumann says.

CO2 values around 600 ppm could occur within 40 years, he notes — and even if CO2 emissions stabilized tomorrow, ocean acidification would climb for another 50 years.

Last edited on Tue Dec 20th, 2011 01:13 pm by sydneyst

sydneyst
Administrator


Joined: Mon Mar 10th, 2008
Location: Seattle, USA
Posts: 1082
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Dec 20th, 2011 12:58 pm

Quote

Reply
From Jeff Gerken:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10773020


Rapid Rise in Arctic Methane Shocks Scientists

By Steve Connor

5:30 AM Wednesday Dec 14, 2011



Expand

 
Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane - a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide - have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.
The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.

In an exclusive interview with the Independent, Dr Igor Semiletov, of the Far Eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that he had never before witnessed the scale and force of the methane being released from beneath the Arctic seabed.

"Earlier, we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of metres in diameter. This is the first time that we've found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures, more than 1000m in diameter. It's amazing," Semiletov said. "I was most impressed by the sheer scale and high density of the plumes. Over a relatively small area, we found more than 100 but, over a wider area, there should be thousands."

Scientists estimate that there are hundreds of millions of tonnes of methane gas locked away beneath the Arctic permafrost, which extends from the mainland into the seabed of the relatively shallow sea of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf.

One of the greatest fears is that with the disappearance of the Arctic sea-ice in summer, and rapidly rising temperatures across the entire region, which are already melting the Siberian permafrost, the trapped methane could be suddenly released into the atmosphere, leading to rapid and severe climate change.

Semiletov's team published a study last year estimating that the methane emissions from this region were about 8 million tonnes a year, but the latest expedition suggests this is a significant underestimate of the phenomenon.

In late northern summer, the Russian research vessel Academician Lavrentiev conducted an extensive survey of about 25,900sq km of sea off the East Siberian coast. Scientists deployed four highly sensitive instruments, seismic and acoustic, to monitor the "fountains" - or plumes - of methane bubbles rising to the sea surface from beneath the seabed.

"In a very small area, less than [25,900sq km], we have counted more than 100 fountains, or torch-like structures, bubbling through the water column and injected directly into the atmosphere from the seabed," Semiletov said.

"We carried out checks at about 115 stationary points and discovered methane fields of a fantastic scale - I think on a scale not seen before. Some plumes were 1km or more wide and the emissions went directly into the atmosphere - the concentration was 100 times higher than normal."

Semiletov released his findings for the first time last week at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.
By Steve Connor

Last edited on Tue Dec 20th, 2011 01:14 pm by sydneyst


 Current time is 05:21 am
Page:    1  2  3  4  5  6  Next Page Last Page  




Powered by WowBB 1.7 - Copyright © 2003-2006 Aycan Gulez