Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα temperatures. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα temperatures. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Παρασκευή, 20 Φεβρουαρίου 2015

Lebanon Storm: Snow Reaches Shores, Temperature Drops

Lebanon has been since Thursday in the grip of storm “windy”, with snow reaching shores and temperature significantly dropping in the third storm to hit the country this year.


Heavy rains fell on the coast as snow blanketed mountains and reached areas only 300 meters above sea level and the shores in some coastal regions.
 
Education Minister Elias Bou Saab ordered a closure of private and public schools on Friday and Saturday. For his part, Health Minister Wael Abou Faour announced that nurseries will close on Friday.

The storm Windy “still dominates over the Mediterranean Eastern basin and it is expected to recede on Saturday,” the National News Agency quoted the Meteorology Department at Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport as saying.

The weather in Lebanon is expected to be partly cloudy and chilly with rains and snow at 600m, especially in the South, according to the Meteorology Department.
 [almanar.com.lb]
20/2/15
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Δευτέρα, 16 Φεβρουαρίου 2015

More snowstorms on the way for eastern US

The winter of 2014-2015 continues to bring further bouts of extreme weather, with southern states set to experience the worst of the next storm system.

People across New England are facing extreme cold as they attempt to dig themselves out of another major snowfall, following Sunday’s storm.
More than 1,800 flights across the northeast, but mainly at Boston and New York, were cancelled as heavy snow and strong winds, gusting to 100kph, swept across the region.

A total of 116cm of snow has fallen on Boston this month, making it the snowiest month on record, beating January 1975’s 110cm. This is also the third snowiest winter on record with 227cm.

The cold is also likely to break some records. Boston’s midday temperature on Sunday was minus 8C but the wind made it feel more like minus 29C. There is unlikely to be any let-up in the cold in the next 10 days.

At 0800GMT (0300EDT) on Monday, the temperature in the city had fallen to minus 18C and similar night-time values are expected in the coming days. The all-time record low for February is -28C, and that could be at risk of being broken.

Further snow is also expected in the coming days. Next Monday and Tuesday the city is expected to be hit by another 20 to 30cm of fresh snow.

In the shorter term, it is the turn of more southern states to experience their first major snow of 2015. An area from Kansas to the mid-Atlantic states will experience a swathe of heavy snow, totaling 20 to 30cm during Sunday night and Monday.

On the southern edge of the snow there is expected to a mix of snow and rain plus the risk of highly disruptive freezing rain. The area affected will extends from Oklahoma through Arkansas, northern Mississippi, northern Missouri, Tennessee to Georgia and the Carolinas.
  Source: Al Jazeera
16/2/15
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Σάββατο, 7 Φεβρουαρίου 2015

Heavy snow batters northern Italy

Friday was a hard day for northern Italy, where many cities woke up covered in snow and had to cope with major traffic disruption and severe inconvenience for the population...

Freezing temperatures, heavy snows and strong winds caused icing highways, blocked rail lines and temporary closure of the Bologna airport. Authorities ordered many schools to remain closed.

"Indeed precipitations were intense in some northern regions, namely Emilia Romagna, Liguria and Piedmont," Colonel Guido Guidi, weather and climate expert of the Italian Air Force, told Xinhua.

Not only many areas were under a thick blanket of snow, but strong wings and coastal storms also added to the scourge of bad weather.

Water city Venice was flooded by tides which reached a height of 124 cm above sea level, according to local reports.

Strong winds toppled trees and made some parts of buildings and infrastructures collapse. Aid squads had to intervene and rescue dozens of people in difficulty across northern Italy.

Civil authorities warned residents in various towns to move to the highest levels of their homes and park vehicles as high as possible, after flooding claimed numerous victims in the past months.

Three elderly people in Lombardy region, of which the capital is Milan, were reported to have died on Friday after suffering heart attacks while removing snow from their homes. Five others were suddenly taken ill.

Guidi underlined, however, that the precipitation was regular.

"We are talking about snow in the winter season. Some Italian media have named this wave of bad weather as 'big snow' but if we look at 1929, when a lot of snow also came down, we can find exactly the same words on the then media reports," he noted.

"Friday's weather was the result of a pipeline of cold air coming from Siberia and the Arctic," a climatologist of the Institute of Biometeorology of the national Research Council (IBIMET-CNR), Marina Baldi, explained to Xinhua.

Baldi expected the weather to improve from Sunday, when the Azores anticyclone, a large-scale circulation of winds typically found south of the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean, whose effects include clearing skies, will move toward east.

She agreed with Guidi that the wave of bad weather was "not exceptional" but in line with the variability and temperatures experienced in the past, while also mentioning a certain influence of climate change on the milder winters and summer heatwaves registered over the last 10-15 years.

"For the next decades, we can expect an increase of extreme weather events and torrential rainfall within short timespans in Italy, with consequent more frequent flooding," Baldi concluded.

  Source: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
7/2/15
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Τετάρτη, 7 Ιανουαρίου 2015

Snowstorm hits west Canada, leaving thousands without power

Thousands of residents in Canada' s western province of British Columbia (B.C.) remained without power on Tuesday, one day after a winter storm swept through the region, BC Hydro spokeswoman said.

The heavy snowstorm has left up to 40 centimeters of snow in some areas and highway and schools closed. Monday was supposed to be the first day back to class after the winter break.


Closed roads and icy conditions made the work to restore power difficult, BC Hydro spokeswoman Simi Heer said.

As of Tuesday morning, more than 2,000 customers in west coast area and more than 1,000 residents in the Interior were left without electricity.

Nearly three dozen warnings remained in effect on Tuesday about winter storms, rainfall, snowfall and extreme cold across the province, except for the South Coast and Metro Vancouver.

Meanwhile, several highways are closed because of the storm, according to the Ministry of Transportation's DriveBC website. The ministry warns that moderate snow and high winds are increasing the avalanche hazard.

 Source:Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
7/1/15
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Δευτέρα, 5 Ιανουαρίου 2015

Gazprom concerned over Ukraine’s possible siphoning off of Russian gas

The possibility of siphoning off of Russian natural gas by Ukraine has increased with the onset of cold weather, CEO of Russia’s natural gas giant Gazprom Aleksei Miller was quoted by Rossiya 1 TV channel as saying on Monday. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has received the Gazprom head.

The Russian premier said that Moscow wants to deal with Ukraine as a reliable partner.

“But what you say makes one think of the developments and the way gas consumption takes place in Ukraine,” Medvedev said. According to him, prompt decisions must be made depending on the situation with gas consumption volume, if necessary, and in accordance with the made decision on the price discount Russia offered to Ukraine for the coming period - until March 31, 2015.

[itar-tass.com]
5/1/15
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Σάββατο, 3 Ιανουαρίου 2015

Thousands Flee Homes As Wildfires Rage Across South Australia (global warming is making the wildfires worse and more frequent)

Thousands have fled their homes, as several major wildfires are raging across Southern Australia in what officials are calling the worst fires since 1983, the Guardian reports.
Up to 2,000 firefighters are battling the blaze, with more than a dozen aircraft dumping water onto the fires. Firefighters are struggling and said it could take “days to get the situation under control”. Dry conditions, temperatures as high as 40C, and ghastly winds fanning the flames are aggravating the already grave situation, the Guardian said.

Residents in Adelaide Hills, South Australia, are experiencing the worst of the fires, where flames have destroyed five homes and put hundreds of others in danger, said Daniel Hamilton, a spokesperson for South Australia Country Fire Service, the Guardian reported.

Residents of 19 other communities are also at risk, as a predicted shift in the winds later on Saturday could further intensify the flames. The state has declared a major emergency and told residents to leave, as their lives were at risk.

“If you have decided to stay the fire could become incredibly scary and it could make you change your mind and leave. It could be a catastrophic decision to leave late.” – said South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill.

Although Australia faces wildfires every year, this year has seen the outbreak of the largest bushfires in the state of South Australia since 1983. Environmentalists say global warming is making the wildfires worse and more frequent, the BBC said........................http://sputniknews.com/asia/20150103/1016488675.html
3/1/15
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Δευτέρα, 15 Δεκεμβρίου 2014

UN chief hails deal on climate change in Lima

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Sunday hailed the outcome of the climate conference in Lima, Peru, praising delegates for setting the groundwork for a more conclusive agreement to be reached in 2015.

"The decisions adopted in Lima, including the Lima Call for Climate Action, pave the way for the adoption of a universal and meaningful agreement in 2015," said a statement issued here by Ban 's spokesperson.

The UN chief urged all parties, at their first meeting in February next year, to enter into substantive negotiations on the draft text of the 2015 agreement coming from the Conference.

He applauded delegates for having made "important advances" in clarifying their needs for preparing and presenting their so- called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the new agreement and in "finalizing the institutional architecture for a mechanism on loss and damage."

INDCs are the commitments countries are expected to make in order to keep average global temperature rise below 2o C the internationally-agreed limit aimed at staving off irreversible climate change.

In the statement, the Secretary-General called on all parties, especially the world's major economies, to submit their "ambitious national commitments well in advance of Paris."

"He also looks forward to working with the governments of Peru and France on the new Lima-Paris Action Agenda catalyze action on climate change to further increase ambition before 2020 and to support the 2015 agreement," said the statement.

The annual UN climate talks wrapped up in Lima on Sunday, reaching acceptable but not satisfying result and leaving unresolved issues to climate conference in Paris, in December next year.

In the past two weeks, negotiators from over 190 countries and organizations gathered in the city hosting the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP20) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to negotiate a new agreement addressing climate change, which was planned to be passed at the end of 2015 in Paris and come into force in 2020. 

 Xinhua - china.org.cn
15/12/14
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Τρίτη, 2 Δεκεμβρίου 2014

The annual UN global climate change talks started in the Peruvian capital of Lima

Thousands of representatives from nearly 200 nations gathered at the Peruvian Army Headquarters for the two-week-long negotiations formally known as the COP20, or the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Polish Environment Minister Marcin Korolec, who was COP19/CMP9 President, hailed the 2030 framework agreed by the European Union and the China-U.S. joint announcement for emission cut as some of the major achievements of this year.

Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who was elected at the opening session as COP20/CMP10 president, urged participants to work in a creative way to reach global consensus in the following 12 days and stressed that an inclusive and transparent process was his top priority.

"This conference should lead to a framework on structuring and strengthening financial mechanisms, launch ambitious process to accelerate pre-2020 action, and make progress on intended determined contributions, or INDCS in short," said Pulgar-Vidal, calling for collective action from all parties.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres encouraged all actors to broaden scope of actions, and create political parity of adaptation and mitigation.

"This COP must make history," Figueres said, highlighting increased collective capacity of climate action worldwide and urging stronger global moves for a sustainable future.

Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), promised to bring everyone down "with the reality of science" after the theatrical show organized by the Peruvian presidency.

The IPCC, UN's science panel, recently presented its synthesis report, which is the fourth and final element of the fifth assessment report on the state of climate change.

Pachauri spelled out the influence of human emissions and their unequivocal impact on the planet, which is underway across all countries and affecting all peoples alike. "It is very likely Arctic sea ice will continue to shrink, sea level will continue to rise, and glacier volume will decrease," he said.

Pachauri expressed his hope that this COP will focus attention on the need to keep a global temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius and reach a zero emissions world by the end of the century in order to reduce climate change risks.

The UNFCCC 12-day talks took place amid depressing scientific warnings and rising prospects in advancing a draft universal pact with the aim of adopting it at the COP21 in Paris, France at the end of next year. The recent joint announcement made by China and the United States to limit greenhouse gas emissions provided practical and political momentum towards the new global agreement.

About 10,000 delegates, activists, journalists and support crew have been accredited for the conference, with thousands of police providing security.

Xinhua - china.org.cn - http://english.cntv.cn
1-2/12/14

Τετάρτη, 26 Νοεμβρίου 2014

Question of gas supplies from Russia to be settled soon (Ukrainian energy minister)

The question of natural gas supplies from Russia will be resolved in the near future, Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yury Prodan has told the media.

“I believe that this year there will be gas supplies from Russia. A rather serious drop in air temperatures is due, so more than 100 million cubic meters will be taken out of the underground storages. I believe that the question of supplies will be resolved in the near future,” Prodan said.

Asked about the date when supplies might begin he speculated that supplies of gas from Russia would be quite possible in December.

As it was stated earlier, Ukraine plans to import up to 1.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas by the end of this year.

[en.itar-tass.com]
26/11/14
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Κυριακή, 2 Νοεμβρίου 2014

'Leaders must act', urges Ban, as new UN report warns man's impact on climate may soon be 'irreversible'

UN, 2 November 2014 – Citing “clear and growing” human influence on the climate system, a United Nations report issued today has warned that if left unchecked, climate change will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.

Echoing that dire warning, UN Secretary-General Ban-moon said that if the world maintains its “business as usual” attitude about climate change, the opportunity to keep temperature rise below the internationally agreed target of 2 degrees Celsius, “will slip away within the next decade.”

 
 “With this latest report, science has spoken yet again and with much more clarity. Time is not on our side…leaders must act,” declared the UN chief, in Copenhagen, Denmark on an official visit that included a press conference to launch the final installment of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

According to a press release from the panel, the so-called “Synthesis Report” confirms that climate change is being registered around the world and warming of the climate system is unequivocal. Since the 1950s many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia.

“Our assessment finds that the atmosphere and oceans have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has diminished, sea level has risen and the concentration of carbon dioxide has increased to a level unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years,” said Thomas Stocker, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I, which participated in the compilation of the final report along with two other expert working groups.

Calling the report the “most comprehensive assessment of climate change” ever carried out, the Secretary-General urged worldwide action in light of its stark findings, saying that “even if emissions stopped tomorrow, we will be living with climate change for some time to come.”

Yet, the “good news is that if we act now, we have the means to build a more sustainable world,” he said, explaining that quick and decisive action that draws on many readily available tools and technologies can put the world on the right track. It was a myth that climate action would be costly, he said, stressing that in fact, inaction “will cost much, much more.”

R. K. Pachauri, Chair of the IPCC, underscored that the means to limit climate change are at had. “The solutions are many and allow for continued economic and human development. All we need is the will to change, which we trust will be motivated by knowledge and an understanding of the science of climate change.” 

[un.org]
2/11/14
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Σάββατο, 1 Νοεμβρίου 2014

China's unmanned lunar orbiter returns home, first in nearly four decades

BEIJING, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- China succeeded Saturday in the world's first mission to the Moon and back in some 40 years, becoming the third nation to do so after the former Soviet Union and the United States.

The test lunar orbiter, nicknamed "Xiaofei" on Chinese social networks, landed in Siziwang Banner of China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region early Saturday morning.

Search teams have already recovered the orbiter at the designated landing area, about 500 kilometers away from Beijing.


The last documented mission of this kind was by the Soviet Union in the 1970s.

Launched Friday last week, the orbiter traversed 840,000 kilometers on its eight-day mission that saw it round the far side of the Moon and take some incredible pictures of Earth and Moon together.

The re-entry process began at around 6:13 a.m. Saturday morning, with the orbiter approaching Earth at a velocity of about 11.2 kilometers per second.

The high speed led to hefty friction between the orbiter and air and high temperatures on the craft's exterior, generating an ion sheath that cut off contact between ground command and the orbiter.

To help it slow down, the craft is designed to "bounce" off the edge of the atmosphere, before re-entering again. The process has been compared to a stone skipping across water, and can shorten the "braking distance" for the orbiter, according to Zhou Jianliang, chief engineer with the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center.

"Really, this is like braking a car," said Zhou, "The faster you drive, the longer the distance you need to bring the car to a complete stop."

  • The "bounce" was one of the biggest challenges of the mission, because the craft must enter the atmosphere at a very precise angle. An error of 0.2 degrees would have rendered the mission a failure.

Wu Yanhua, vice director of China's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, said the successful test mission has gathered a lot of experimental data and laid a solid foundation for future missions.`.......................http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-11/01/c_133757831.htm

1/11/14

Πέμπτη, 30 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Earth to face unprecedented heatwave in 2015


NASA experts believe that in 2015, planet Earth will have to deal with an unprecedented heatwave. The forecast is based on temperature trends of recent years.

Since the start of permanent climate observations in 1880, the frequency of temperature anomalies has been growing. Occurrences of high average temperatures follow each other: in 1995, 1997, 1998, 2005 and 2010.

This September, average global temperature was 15.7 degrees Celsius, which is a new record for the past 135 years. During the first nine months of this year, average global temperature made up 14.7 degrees Celsius.

NASA experts say that the current year can be regarded the hottest since 1998. However, in the summer of 2015, different regions of the world will experience an unprecedented heatwave and drought, Rosbalt reports. 

Source: Pravda.Ru
30/10/14
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Τετάρτη, 8 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Scientists Discover World’s Oceans Warming Faster Than Predicted

The oceans are warming faster than previously thought, according to a pair of new studies released this weekend and published in the scientific journal Natural Climate Change. This conclusion is largely due to enhanced information gathering in the southern oceans, which was limited in the past. The research teams compared previous ocean warming figures, based on the less complete data, with projections based on information they were able to obtain from more detailed studies. They found that from 1970 through 2004, increases in ocean temperatures exceeded those earlier figures.


“The global ocean stores more than 90 percent of the heat associated with observed greenhouse-gas-attributed global warming,” opens the summary of the study “Quantifying underestimates of long-term upper-ocean warming,” produced by scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology.
They conclude that studies of global ocean warming since 1970 are low. “This underestimation is attributed to poor sampling of the Southern Hemisphere, and limitations of the analysis methods that conservatively estimate temperature changes in data-sparse regions,” they say. “Making adjustments to their model, based on recent access to additional information, they say “yields large increases to current global upper-ocean heat content change estimates, and have important implications for sea level, the planetary energy budget and climate sensitivity assessments.”

The other study, “Deep-ocean contribution to sea level and energy budget not detectable over the past decade,” also by CalTech scientists, attempted to measure the amount of sea level rise attributable to upper ocean vs deep ocean warming and when that warming occurred. Sea level rise occurs as warmer water expands.
“As the dominant reservoir of heat uptake in the climate system, the world’s oceans provide a critical measure of global climate change,” says the study’s summary.

They found that the deep ocean may not have gotten warmer in the last decade, but significant warming has occurred in the upper level of the ocean. They acknowledge “large uncertainty” in their calculations about the deep ocean since they were extrapolated from information based primary on upper ocean measurements.

“It’s likely that due to the poor observational coverage, we just haven’t been able to say definitively what the long-term rate of Southern Hemisphere ocean warming has been,” lead author  of the first study Dr. Paul Durack told the BBC. “It’s a really pressing problem—we’re trying as hard as we can, as scientists, to provide the best information from the limited observations we have.”
Anastasia Pantsios | October 6, 2014 10:10 am
http://ecowatch.com
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Σάββατο, 4 Οκτωβρίου 2014

NASA Satellite Images Reveal Shocking Groundwater Loss in Drought-Stricken California

NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) program has released a series of satellite images, taken in June 2002, June 2008 and June of this year, showing the  stunning groundwater loss in California which is in its third year of record drought.... 

“This trio of images depicts satellite observations of declining water storage in California as seen by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites,” says NASA. “Colors progressing from green to orange to red represent greater accumulated water loss between April 2002 and June 2014.”

The prolonged drought has impacted everything from agriculture to fisheries to residential use, worsened and prolonged the wildfire season and created conflicts over the use of water resources.
That has included calls for banning water-intensive fracking and disputes over the diversion of river water for the state’s even more water-intensive agriculture sector, primarily in its fertile Central Valley.

“California’s Sacramento and San Joaquin River basins, including the Central Valley, have suffered the greatest losses, in part due to increased groundwater pumping to support agricultural production,” said NASA. “Between 2011 and 2014, the combined river basins have lost 4 trillion gallons of water each year, an amount far greater than California’s 38 million residents use in cities and homes annually.”

Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency in January after the state had its lowest recorded rainfall in its history.

*** GRACE is a collaborative endeavor involving the Center for Space Research at the University of Texas, Austin; NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; the German Space Agency and Germany’s National Research Center for Geosciences, Potsdam.


Anastasia Pantsios | October 3, 2014
ecowatch.com
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Τετάρτη, 17 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Weather forecasts predict colder winter in Europe this year

The upcoming winter in European is expected to be colder than the 2012-2013 winter, Russian federal hydrometeorology and environmental monitoring service (Rosgidromet) said on Tuesday.

“Frequent invasions of cold air with short warm spells are expected,” said Rosgidromet head, Roman Vilfand.

He said that last year’s stable cyclonic weather in the Arctic had ensured the influx of warm air from the Atlantic Ocean. Forecasts for the coming winter say that cyclones in the Arctic will be followed by anticyclones that will “pump” icy wind from the Barents and Kara Seas to Western Europe. The coldest weather is expected in February when air temperatures may drop much below average.
Winter will be also cold in European Russia, in Belarus and Ukraine.

According to Rosgidromet forecasts, the weather in western Ukraine will be colder than usual in November. Colder weather is also forecasted in the Caucasian republics. February will be the coldest winter month.
http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/749856
16/9/14
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Δευτέρα, 15 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Glaciers in northern Antarctic Peninsula melting faster than ever despite increased snowfall

An international team of researchers, led by Dr Bethan Davies, from Royal Holloway, University of London, has discovered that small glaciers that end on land around the Antarctic Peninsula are highly vulnerable to slight changes in air temperature and may be at risk of disappearing within 200 years.

Temperatures are currently rising rapidly in the Antarctic Peninsula. Because warmer air holds more moisture, the amount of snowfall has also increased. Some researchers have suggested that this may offset the melting of the glaciers, however this study found that just a small rise in air temperature increased melting so much that even large amounts of extra snowfall could not prevent glacier recession.


"These small glaciers around the edge of the Antarctic Peninsula are likely to contribute most to rising sea levels over the coming decades, because they can respond quickly to climate change," said Dr Davies, from the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway. "This study is the first to show how glaciers in this vulnerable region are likely to respond to climate change in future. Our findings demonstrate that the melting will increase greatly even with a slight rise in temperature, offsetting any benefits from increased snowfall."

The researchers carried out extensive fieldwork on James Ross Island, northern Antarctic Peninsula, to map and analyse the changes to a glacier, which is currently 4km long, over the past 10,000 years. They used a combination of glacier and climate modelling, glacial geology and ice-core data.

Dr Davies added: "Geological evidence from previous studies suggests that the glacier grew by 10km within the last 5,000 years, before shrinking back to its current position. It was argued that this occurred during a warmer but wetter period, suggesting that increased precipitation in the future would offset the melting of the glaciers. However, our study shows that this growth occurred during the colder 'Little Ice Age', reaching its largest size just 300 years ago."

Researcher Dr Nicholas Golledge, from Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand, said: "This glacier, though small, is typical of many of the small glaciers that end on land around the Antarctic Peninsula. This research is important, because it helps reduce some of the uncertainties about how these glaciers will react to changing temperature and precipitation over the next two centuries."

Professor Neil Glasser, from Aberystwyth University, added: "We found that this glacier remained roughly the same size for thousands of years until it started to grow again 1,500 years ago. However, it is now melting faster than anything seen before, and over the next 200 years will become far smaller than at any point over the last 10,000 years. This unprecedented glacier recession, in response to climate change, will result in significant contributions to sea level rise from this and similar Antarctic Peninsula mountain glaciers and ice caps."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140914211024.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28Latest+Science+News+--+ScienceDaily%29
14/9/14
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Σάββατο, 6 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Le Groenland a commencé à se réchauffer il y a 19 000 ans

Une nouvelle étude publiée par la revue américaine Science pourrait répondre aux interrogations de nombreux scientifiques. Utilisant des procédés de mesures plus précis que ceux appliqués lors des analyses précédentes, elle affirme que le Groenland a commencé à se réchauffer il y a 19 000 ans.

L'évolution des températures sur cette immense île du nord de l'océan Atlantique provoquait la perplexité des climatologues : plusieurs études dataient le début de son réchauffement à il y a 12 000 ans, mais les diverses données recueillies contredisaient cette estimation.


ÉNERGIE SOLAIRE

Il y a 20 000 ans, durant la période la plus froide du dernier âge glaciaire, de vastes et épaisses couches de glace recouvraient l'Amérique du Nord et le nord de l'Europe. Les températures moyennes étaient environ quatre degrés inférieures à celles de l'ère pré-industriel.

Des changements dans l'orbite de la Terre autour du soleil, il y a 19 000 ans, ont augmenté la quantité d’énergie solaire reçue par le Groenland, entraînant la libération de fortes doses de dioxyde de carbone (CO2) dans l'atmosphère et provoquant un réchauffement global des températures sur la planète.

PÉRIODE HOLOCÈNE

Pour savoir quelle température il faisait sur la Terre à cette époque, les scientifiques peuvent se servir de la calotte glaciaire du Groenland comme d'un véritable livre, grâce aux couches de neige successives tombées chaque hiver.

Dans le cadre de cette recherche trois carottes de glace ont été prélevées et analysées avec un procédé plus précis que par le passé, a noté Christo Buizert de l'Université d'Etat d'Oregon (nord-ouest), le principal auteur de l'étude. Ces analyses ont permis de détecter un net réchauffement en réaction à l'augmentation du CO2 dans l'atmosphère.


Ainsi, selon cette dernière analyse sur la période allant de - 19 000 à - 12 000 ans, le Groenland a « gagné » environ cinq degrés, une variation très proche de celle indiquée par les modèles climatiques.

Cette montée des températures a marqué le commencement de la période holocène, avec un climat plus chaud et plus stable qui a permis l'essor de la civilisation humaine.

Le Monde.fr avec AFP
lemonde.fr
6/9/14 
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Τετάρτη, 20 Αυγούστου 2014

Double threat for Tibet (Climate change and human development are jeopardizing the plateau’s fragile environment.)

The plateau and its surrounding mountains cover 5 million square kilo­metres and hold the largest stock of ice outside the Arctic and Antarctic; the region is thus often referred to as the Third Pole. And like the actual poles, it is increasingly feeling the effects of climate change, but rapid development is putting it doubly at risk, the report says.

Released in Lhasa on 9 August by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the government of Tibet, the assessment aimed to address gaps in knowledge about the extent of the problems the 4,500-metre-high plateau faces. It finds that precipitation has risen by 12% since 1960, and temperatures have soared by 0.4 °C per decade — twice the global average.
In addition, glaciers are shrinking rapidly and one-tenth of the permafrost has thawed in the past decade alone. This means that the number of lakes has grown by 14% since 1970, and more than 80% of them have expanded since, devastating surrounding pastures and communities.
The plateau feeds Asia’s biggest rivers (see ‘Running wild’), so these problems are likely to affect billions of people, the report says. Pollution from human and industrial waste as a result of rapid development is also a serious risk.
But the assessment also suggests ways to combat the problems, calling on the Chinese and Tibetan governments to make conservation and environmental protection top priorities. It will help in the design of “policies for mitigating climate change and striking a balance between development and conservation”, says Meng Deli, Tibet’s vice-chairman.
tibet-map
“The Tibetan plateau is getting warmer and wetter,” says Yao Tandong, director of the CAS Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research in Beijing, who led the assessment. This means that vegetation is expanding to higher elevations and farther north, and growing seasons are getting longer. But some areas, such as the headwater region of Asia’s biggest rivers, have become warmer and drier and are being severely affected by desertification and grassland and wetland degradation.
Human activity, too, is on the rise. The population of the plateau reached 8.8 million in 2012, about three times higher than in 1951. And the number of livestock has more than doubled, putting more strain on grasslands.

Multiple menaces

Growing urbanization is creating more waste than the region can handle. Tibet has the capacity to treat 256,000 tonnes of domestic solid waste a year, less than the amount generated by its two largest cities, Lhasa and Shigatse. “You see a lot of rubbish lying around the plateau, including headwater regions,” says Kang Shichang, a glaciologist at the CAS Institute of Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute in Lanzhou. “It’s an environmental menace.”

A bigger threat comes from mining. According to the assessment, Tibetan mines produced 100 million tonnes of wastewater in 2007 and 18.8 million tonnes of solid waste in 2009. Because most of the mines are open pits and have limited environmental oversight, “air, water and soil pollution is particularly serious”, says the report. Officials release few details about actual pollution levels.

Pollution is coming not just from local sources. Dust, black carbon, heavy metals and other toxic compounds are being blown in from Africa, Europe and southern Asia. The dust and carbon residues are darkening glaciers, making them more susceptible to melting, and the toxic chemicals are poisoning crops, livestock and wildlife.

But the threats from mining and pollution are dwarfed by the potential repercussions of changes in ice and vegetation cover, the assessment says. Different surfaces — snow, grassland, desert — reflect and absorb different amounts of solar radiation, affecting how the air above them is heated. This means that changes in coverage are likely to affect the onset and strength of Asian monsoons. It also has important ramifications for the livelihood of downstream river communities because the glaciers, permafrost and ecosystems act as a giant sponge, helping to control the release of water and prevent floods. “The significance of the assessment goes beyond national borders,” says David Molden, head of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu.

Temperatures in the plateau are projected to rise by between 1.7 °C and 4.6 °C by the end of 2100 compared with the 1996–2005 average, based on the best- and worst-case global-emissions scenarios. So as urbanization and climate change tighten their grip, researchers worry that unbridled development will devastate the plateau’s environment. To protect it, the report says, the central government must evaluate local officials on the basis of their environmental, not just economic, achievements. It must also invest more in ecological compensation, for example by paying herders more to cut their livestock numbers. Moreover, it must be much more open about pollution incidents.

“Tibet will be a test case of how seriously China takes ecological protection,” says Yao. “Safeguarding the plateau environment is crucial not only for sustainable development of the region, but also to social stability and international relations.”
tibet.net
19/8/14
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Σάββατο, 2 Αυγούστου 2014

California Experiencing Most Severe Drought Ever Recorded

One of the worst North American droughts in history could be getting a whole lot worse. According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor Map released on Tuesday, more than 58 percent of California is in an “exceptional drought” stage. That’s up a staggering 22 percent from last week’s report. And, in its latest drought report released earlier today, the National Drought Mitigation Center warned that “bone-dry” conditions are overtaking much of the Golden State, and noted that, overall, California is “short more than one year’s worth of reservoir water, or 11.6 million acre-feet, for this time of year.”

All across California, streams are drying up, crops are dying off and local communities are struggling to maintain access to water, thanks to 3 years of persistent drought conditions. 
The situation is so dire that on Tuesday, California implemented state-wide emergency water-conservation measures, in an effort preserved what remaining water there is. Under the new measures, Californians can face fines of up to $500 per day for using hoses to clean sidewalks, run decorative fountains, and other water-guzzling activities.
Unfortunately, while the situation in California is already pretty bleak, it looks like things are only going to get worse. In fact, it’s possible that all of the American southwest could soon be seeing the devastating drought conditions that Californians are facing. That’s because the largest surge of heat ever recorded moving west to east in the Pacific Ocean, often referred to as a Kelvin Wave, which was supposed to start an El Nino and bring tropical-like rains to the West Coast and southwest, just dissipated, after it was absorbed by abnormally warm ocean waters.

An El Nino is marked by the prolonged warming of Pacific Ocean surface temperatures, when compared to the average temperature. El Ninos usually happen every two to seven years, and can last anywhere between nine months and two years. As warm water spreads from the western Pacific and the Indian Ocean to the eastern Pacific, it brings rain and moisture with it, bringing rain to California and the American Southwest. 
So, during an El Nino period, winters are often a lot wetter than usual in the southwest U.S., including in central and southern California, where drought conditions are currently the worst. That’s why Californians were hoping for a strong El Nino period, to bring the rains and moisture that’s needed to help ease the drought.

Unfortunately, while some weather models are still predicting that an El Nino is possible, the chances of an El Nino strong enough to break the devastating drought that California is seeing are now very, very slim. As a result, there’s probably no end in sight to the current drought conditions in California. And, since warm ocean waters that bring rain are moving farther north up the Pacific, while Oregon and Washington and Alaska will get rain, the jet stream is set to extend drought-like conditions to much of the southwest.......................................ecowatch.com
1/8/14

Δευτέρα, 2 Ιουνίου 2014

Australia experiences its hottest two years on record

AUSTRALIA — May 2012 to April 2014 was the hottest 24-month period ever recorded in Australia, but that is likely to be eclipsed by the two years between June 2012 and May 2014, according to the Climate Commission’s latest report, Abnormal Autumn.
“We have just had an abnormally warm autumn, off the back of another very hot ‘angry summer’,” Professor Will Steffen of the Climate Council said.
“The past two-year period has delivered the hottest average temperature we have ever recorded in Australia.

“Climate change is here, it’s happening, and Australians are already feeling its impact.”
The average temperature across Australia in April was 1.11°C above the long-term average, the report says, citing Bureau of Meteorology figures.

The average minimum temperature was 1.31°C above normal.
Unseasonable temperatures in the autumn “warm wave” set records, with Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne setting benchmarks for the consecutive number of May days when the mercury reached 20°C or higher.

In its report, the Climate Council says the abnormally warm weather in April and May “are part of a longer-term trend towards hotter conditions in the summer months and more warm spells in autumn and winter”.
It says each of the 12-month periods ending in January, February, March and April this year have been record warm periods for Australia, with May figures on track to also be a new high.
“Such records are consistent with the ongoing global and Australia-wide, multi-decadal trends towards a hotter climate,” the report says.
Meteorologists predict a high likelihood that Australia will experience an El Niño event — characterised by below-average rainfall in the east and south — in coming months.
The Climate Council says an El Niño could worsen the impact of climate change, leading to hotter, drier weather.
The Climate Council is a crowd-funded, independent organisation created by the members of the former Climate Commission, which was axed by the Coalition government when it came to power in 2013. GUARDIAN
[todayonline.com]
2/6/14
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Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

«Παριστάνετε τα "καλά παιδιά" ελπίζοντας στη στήριξη του διεθνή παράγοντα για να παραμείνετε στην εξουσία», ήταν η κατηγορία πο...