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Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

Global Warming Scientist Warns Florida Will Be Under Water

December 23, 2013 Comments off

guardianlv.com

Global WarmingA senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, Jane Long, has warned Florida residents that global warming will lead to them being under water. The remarks were made at a recent three-day conference targeting journalists and addressing the issue of global warming and worldwide climate change at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Though there was discussion of global climate change, Florida was a hot topic as presenters discussed the consequences of rising sea levels. Leonard Berry, a professor at Florida Atlantic University and also a presenter at the conference told his audience “(c)limate change for us in Florida is not a future problem….it’s a current problem.” Berry used photos from 2012 flooding to demonstrate his point.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted a rise in sea level of one to two feet by the middle of this century and a rise in sea level of four to six feet by the end of this century. According to Berry, cities like Tampa Bay have “major problems at three feet.” He attributes Florida’s particular vulnerabiliy to both sea level rise from global warming and the presence of Full Article Here

The Big Sur Fire Is Just the Latest Sign of Longer Fire Seasons

December 20, 2013 Comments off

motherjones.com

A park ranger directs traffic along Highway 1 as the Big Sur fire burns nearby.A park ranger directs traffic along Highway 1 as fire burns nearby. Aric Crabb/ZUMA

The fire currently burning in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California, isn’t particularly large: As of the latest Forest Service report, it has burned 769 acres and is 20 percent contained.

Nor is it particularly damaging: So far, 22 buildings or structures have been destroyed by the fire. (One was the fire chief’s home.) Compare that with the 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego county, which destroyed 2,820 structures.

However, it is markedly unseasonal: The California wildfire season was pronounced over on October 31, 2013. But of course, it isn’t over.

In general, western wildfire seasons are getting longer. Thomas Tidwell, chief of the US Forest Service, said so directly in recent congressional testimony, noting that “the length of the fire season has increased by over two months since the 1970s.”

And of course, it doesn’t help that the Big Sur area is currently experiencing drought conditions.

It is also worth pointing out that for the state of California, seven of its 10 largest fires have occurred since the year 2000, including this year’s Rim Fire, the third largest in state history.

Here’s a helpful infographic from the Union of Concerned Scientists, showing just how much fire seasons are lengthening: Read more…

How the Climate Is Breeding More Black Swans

November 8, 2013 Comments off

fool.com

Here’s a definition that should send chills down the spines of investors: “An unpredictable or unforeseen event, typically one with extreme consequences.” This sums up a black swan event. Nassim Nicholas Taleb mainstreamed the concept through his writings. His points became particularly topical through his book, The Black Swan, around the time of the financial crisis — a major, destructive event that many people found unexpected and, beforehand, maybe even impossible.

There’s a similar risk brewing on the horizon. Climate change could be the next black swan event that causes an ugly ripple effect through our lives and economies. The majority of current investment strategy comes up short on modeling, even considering that this as a legitimate concern, at least for our lifetimes.

History’s lessons
Here’s a lesson in extreme irony: The term originated when people didn’t believe black swans existed at all. Because no one had ever seen one, it certainly looked as if Read more…

Severe Heat Waves Are Expected to Double by 2020

August 15, 2013 Comments off

usnews.com

By 2100, extreme heat waves could cover 80 percent of the globe

Heat distorts the appearance of a car as a heat wave spreads across the American West on June 30, 2013 in Death Valley National Park, California.Heat distorts the appearance of a car as a heat wave spreads across the American West on June 30, 2013 in Death Valley National Park, California.

Hundreds of thousands of East Coasters suffered through hot and sticky climates for much of July, as temperatures reached record highs in some places. Although these types of extreme heat waves are unusual, they will become more frequent and severe across the globe in the next 30 years, and there’s nothing that can be done about it, according to a new study from a team of international researchers.

Most environmental and climate researchers believe that extreme heat waves are the result of global warming and high levels of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. But no matter what actions are taken to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, intense summer heat waves are expected to Read more…

What is the Arctic Ice ‘Death Spiral’?

August 14, 2013 1 comment

tcktcktck.org

Sea Ice Spiral

Arctic sea ice in the summer. Creative Commons: Guido Appenzeller, 2011

“The record or near-records being reported from year to year in the Arctic are no longer anomalies or exceptions. Really they have become the rule for us, or the norm that we see in the Arctic and that we expect to see for the forseeable future” – Jackie Richter-Menge, US Army Corps of Engineers

Last week’s ‘State of the Climate’ report confirmed it: ice is melting in the Arctic at one of the fastest rates in human history. Researchers and climate scientists monitoring ice melt in the Arctic have started using the ominous term ‘death spiral’ to describe what’s happening at the top of the world. But what does it mean? And is Read more…

Is Siberia the Newest Hot Spot?

August 13, 2013 Comments off

thinkprogress.org

SiberiaCREDIT: NASA Earth Observatory

It hasn’t been a typical summer in Siberia. High temperatures for this time of year are usually in the mid-to-low 60s Fahrenheit, but this July they hit 90 degrees, and didn’t drop much below a high of 80 until just this week. Meanwhile, potentially record-breaking wildfires continue to rage, with over 22,200 acres of active burning.

The Siberian Times emphasized the lighter side of the heat wave, with photos of young people playing beach volleyball in swimsuits, a rare sight in Novosibirsk.

But high temperatures are becoming more frequent, and they are an important factor in Siberia’s historic fires. And although the whole planet is warming, Russia has seen it happen particularly quickly, “about .51°C per decade compared to Read more…

National Heat Records Update. China Heat Intensifies

August 10, 2013 Comments off

wunderground.com

As of Friday August 9th, the heat wave in eastern Asia continues but in central Europe it has subsided. Some of the highlights below.

Eastern China

This map illustrates quite well where the core of the heat wave in China has taken place. It is dated August 1st, so you can now add 9 more days to number of days of “continuous high temperatures” which means days of 35°C+ (95°F+). Map from the Chinese newspaper ‘Global Times’.

On Wednesday August 7th Shanghai once again broke its all-time heat record with a 40.8°C (105.4°F) temperature, besting the record set just the day before (40.6°C/105.1°F), and also on July 26th. Prior to this summer, the record for Shanghai was 40.2°C (104.4°F) during the summer of 1934. Records in Shanghai date back to 1872. On August 8th the Read more…

NOAA: 2012 shows climate change with record sea-level rise, Arctic melting, heated-up oceans

August 7, 2013 Comments off
washingtonpost.com

2012 arctic ice meltWASHINGTON — A new massive federal study says the world in 2012 sweltered with continued signs of climate change. Rising sea levels, snow melt, heat buildup in the oceans, and melting Arctic sea ice and Greenland ice sheets, all broke or nearly broke records, but temperatures only sneaked into the top 10.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Tuesday issued a peer-reviewed 260-page report, which agency chief Kathryn Sullivan calls its annual “checking on the pulse of the planet.” The report, written by 384 scientists around the world, compiles data already released, but it puts them in context of what’s been happening to Earth over decades.

“It’s critically important to compile a big picture,” National Climatic Data Center director Tom Karl says. “The signs that we see are of a warming world.”

Sullivan says what is noticeable “are remarkable changes in key climate indicators,” mentioning dramatic spikes in ocean heat content, a record melt of Arctic sea ice in the summer, and Read more…

Colorado climber now documenting retreat of Himalayan glaciers

August 6, 2013 Comments off

denverpost.com

By John Meyer

The Main Rongbuk Glacier, shot in Tibet by David Breashears in 2007. When compared with the 1921 photo shot by George Mallory, below, it clearly shows how much the glacier receded in 86 years. Breashears is a former Denver climber who has summited Everest five times. (David Breashears, 2007, Special to The Denver Post)

This year marks two major anniversaries in the history of Mount Everest. It has been 60 years since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first to reach its summit, and 50 years since the first five Americans did it, including the epic first ascent of the West Ridge by Tom Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld.

David Breashears, who was deeply inspired by Hornbein and Unsoeld as a teenager in Denver, became an iconic rock climber in Eldorado Canyon in the 1970s and went on to make history of his own on Everest. Now he’s more concerned about a different kind of history being made there.

The glaciers around Everest and throughout the Himalayas are receding rapidly.

“They are the ultimate canary in the mine,” said Breashears, who Read more…

The Climate Is Set to Change ‘Orders of Magnitude’ Faster Than at Any Other Time in the Past 65 Million Years

August 3, 2013 Comments off

theatlantic.com

Some of the earliest clues scientists had that Earth’s climate has changed over time were mismatches between the fossil record and a current ecosystem. How could this palm tree have grown in Wyoming? Why have fossils of the tropical breadfruit tree been found as far north as Greenland? These cold places must have once been warm and wet. The world is not as it has always been.

And somehow, despite the tumult, species adapted, moving thousands of miles to habitats where they could survive. Won’t species today just do the same as temperatures rise in the years ahead?

It seems they may not have the chance. A new paper in the journal Science finds that Read more…

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