Part of the Amazon rainforest may be more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than first thought, say researchers.
Findings showed that since 1979, the dry season lasted about a week longer in each decade. At the same time, the annual fire seasons have become longer. The most likely explanation for the increasingly longer dry seasons is global warming.
If the damage is severe enough, they say the loss of rainforest could cause the release of large volumes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and could also disrupt plant and animal communities in one of the world’s most biodiversity-rich regions, as outlined in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
The team used ground-based rainfall measurements from the past three decades. Findings showed that since 1979, the dry season in southern Amazonia lasted about a week longer in each decade.
Professor Fu and her colleagues say the water stored in the forest soil at the end of each wet season is all that the trees have to last them through the dry months. The longer that lasts – regardless of how wet the wet season was – the more stressed the trees become and the more susceptible they are to forest fires.
They say the most likely explanation for the lengthening dry season in recent decades is human-caused greenhouse warming, which inhibits rainfall in two ways: It makes it harder for warm, dry air near the surface to rise and freely mix with cool, moist air above; and it blocks incursions by cold weather fronts from outside the tropics which could trigger rainfall.
Rising temperatures might sound nice for people planning a vacation. But for Pacific Island nations, global warming poses a threat to their ability to capture tourist dollars, according to the Asian Development Bank.
Landsat 8 captures a view of the ice separating from the ice shelf.
Between November 9–11, 2013, a large iceberg finally separated from the calving front of Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier. Scientists first detected a rift in the glacier in October 2011 during flights for NASA’s Operation IceBridge. By July 2013, infrared and radar images indicated that the crack had cut completely across the ice shelf to the southwestern edge. New images now show that Iceberg B-31 is finally moving away from the coast, with open water between the iceberg and the edge of Pine Island Glacier.
The Operational Land Imager on the Landsat 8 satellite acquired these natural-color images of the iceberg in Pine Island Bay on November 13 (top) and October 28, 2013. Clouds and fog make the November 13 image a bit hazy, but the open-water gap between the iceberg and the ice shelf is still apparent.
Named B-31 by the U.S. National Ice Center, the new iceberg is estimated to be 35 kilometers by 20 kilometers (21 by 12 miles), roughly the size of Singapore. A team of scientists from Sheffield and Southampton universities will track the 700 square-kilometer chunk of ice and try to predict its path using satellite data.
“It is hard to predict with certainty where and when these things will drift,” said NASA glaciologist Kelly Brunt.“Icebergs move pretty slowly, and watching this iceberg will be a waiting game.”
The shelf of Pine Island Glacier has been moving forward at roughly 4 kilometers per year, so the calving of this iceberg is not necessarily a surprise, noted Tom Wagner, NASA’s cryosphere program manager. Such events happen about every five or six years, though Iceberg B-31 is about 50 percent larger than previous ones in this area.
Scientists have been studying Pine Island Glacier closely because there is evidence that warmer seawater below the shelf will cause the ice grounding line to retreat and the glacier to thin and speed up.
Ostensibly, the world's governments are spending two weeks in Poland working out a way to limit global warming to 2.0C (3.6F) above pre-industrial levels. In reality, according to a new report, we're getting further off track.
Despite claims by advocates for Common Core, there is no universal timeless interpretation of a text. Meaning then and now is something that we debate, not uncover, while supporting our views with evidence from both the text and from the world.
Germany was defeated in World War I, and the Treaty of Versailles placed punitive conditions on the country, including significant financial reparations, the loss of territory (some only temporarily), war guilt, military weakening and limitation, and economic weakening. Germany was humiliated in front of the world and had to pay very large war reparations. Many Germans blamed their country's post-war economic collapse and hyperinflation on the treaty's conditions. These resentments contributed to the political instability which made it possible for Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party to come to power, with Hitler's appointment as Chancellor of Germany in 1933.
Former Green Howard's funeral is taking place at Teesside Crematorium in Middlesbrough this afternoon. The funeral of former Green Howard Frederick Leach is taking place in Middlesbrough this afternoon. Hundreds of people pledged to attend the 94-year-old Second World War veteran's service at Teesside Crematorium in Acklam after word spread on social media that few mourners were initially expected. The Gazette's Dave Robson is at today's service and will be meeting some of those gathering before and after Mr Leach is laid to rest. The words from the vicar's eulogy are extracts reproduced from a copy sent to the Gazette in advance of today's funeral service.
Landsat 8 captures a view of the ice separating from the ice shelf. Between November 9–11, 2013, a large iceberg finally separated from the calving front of Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier. Scientists first detected a rift in the glacier in...
The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests.
The companies range from investor-owned firms – household names such as Chevron, Exxon and BP – to state-owned and government-run firms.
The analysis, which was welcomed by the former vice-president Al Gore as a "crucial step forward" found that the vast majority of the firms were in the business of producing oil, gas or coal, found the analysis, whichhas been published in the journal Climatic Change.
"There are thousands of oil, gas and coal producers in the world," climate researcher and author Richard Heede at the Climate Accountability Institute in Colorado said. "But the decision makers, the CEOs, or the ministers of coal and oil if you narrow it down to just one person, they could all fit on a Greyhound bus or two."
Half of the estimated emissions were produced just in the past 25 years – well past the date when governments and corporations became aware that rising greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of coal and oil were causing dangerous climate change.
Many of the same companies are also sitting on substantial reserves of fossil fuel which – if they are burned – puts the world at even greater risk of dangerous climate change.
Climate change experts said the data set was the most ambitious effort so far to hold individual carbon producers, rather than governments, to account.
The United Nations climate change panel, the IPCC, warned in September that at current rates the world stood within 30 years of exhausting its "carbon budget" – the amount of carbon dioxide it could emit without going into the danger zone above 2C warming. The former US vice-president and environmental champion, Al Gore, said the new carbon accounting could re-set the debate about allocating blame for the climate crisis.
Leaders meeting in Warsaw for the UN climate talks this week clashed repeatedly over which countries bore the burden for solving the climate crisis – historic emitters such as America or Europe or the rising economies of India and China.
Gore in his comments said the analysis underlined that it should not fall to governments alone to act on climate change.
"This study is a crucial step forward in our understanding of the evolution of the climate crisis. The public and private sectors alike must do what is necessary to stop global warming," Gore told the Guardian. "Those who are historically responsible for polluting our atmosphere have a clear obligation to be part of the solution."
We watch the ongoing COP19 climate talks in Warsaw with our usual hope that perhaps this year will be the year that the global community wakes up to the crisis of climate change. Historically there is no reason for optimism. The Kyoto agreement excluded the major polluters including the United States and China and we still have the dynamic of those most responsible for the current crisis refusing to be part of the solution to mitigation.
There has only been one global climate treaty which has had a record of success and that was the Montreal Protocol, a treaty enacted in 1987 to protect the Earth’s thinning ozone layer. The treaty has had the unintended benefit of helping to slow the rate of global warming since the mid-1990s, according to a new study. The study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, relies on a statistical analysis of global average temperatures as well as greenhouse gas emission trends, including chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs, which both break down ozone in the upper atmosphere and help warm the climate.
The study provides evidence that the Montreal Protocol was an effective climate treaty, albeit an accidental one, and it is the first to link the treaty to the recent slowdown in warming. At the time the treaty was negotiated, CFCs were known to be greenhouse gases, but the treaty was not initially meant to address global warming, an issue that was just starting to gain public attention.
According to the study, the phase down in the use of CFCs during the 1990s into the early twenty-first century, which was solely intended to reverse the loss of Earth’s protective ozone layer in the upper atmosphere, has shaved nearly 0.2-degrees fahrenheit of global warming since that time. While that may seem small, considering that the world has warmed by an average of about 1.6-degrees fahrenheit between 1901-2012, it is not a trivial amount.
If Facebook had existed during World War 2 Read "Facebook News Feed History of the World: World War I to World War II" and more funny articles ... (Facebook newsfeed #history of World War I to World War II.
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