Tag Archives: Climate
Climate scientists agree that temperatures are currently rising faster than they have been for 11,000 years and thet the Earth is continuing to warm rapidly. However, a new analysis taking into account the temperature rise in the most recent decade suggests that the Earth will warm a little more slowly over this century previously thought. Scientists at the University of Oxford, taking the latest data into account in calculating how much fossil fuel emissions have warmed the Earth, have estimated the temperature rise over the coming few decades. The team focused on how much hotter the planet will be in … Continue Reading
Data collected from Antarctic and Greenland ice cores seems to show CO2 levels rising centuries after temperature increases. However, new research suggests that this may be a misinterpretation of the evidence. Scientists have been using bubbles of air trapped in the ice when it was formed to detemine the CO2 level in the air at the time, the isotopes of elements like hydrogen, carbon and oxygen in the ice to calculate the temperature at which it formed and the depth of the ice sample in the core to estimate its age. This work led to the conclusion that CO2 levels … Continue Reading
Just in case you’re still not sure that the climate is behaving a little strangely, in 2011: Greenhouse gases rose to record levels; Temperatures were the 11th highest ever recorded; The Arctic Sea ice melt almost equalled the 2007 record; The world had its 300th consecutive month of above average temperatures; North America experienced massive flooding of the Mississippi and Missouri; Australia experienced floods which covered an area larger than France and Germany combined; Floods in Thailand claimed 730 lives; The United States was hit by 1,600 tornadoes in six months; North China’s worst drought in 60 years continued; Somalia … Continue Reading
In 2007, the IPCC projected a maximum sea level rise of 59 centimetres by 2100. The IPCC acknowledged that this was likely to be an under-estimate because understanding of the processes happening on ice sheets was inadequate to enable reliable estimates to be made. A team of researchers led by Eric Rignot from Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has now reported that ice loss from Antarctica and Greenland has accelerated over the last 20 years and the increase in sea levels will, indeed, be significantly higher than the 2007 estimate.
Until now, it had been thought that melting ice could form a slippy layer at the bottonm of the Greenland ice sheet causing it to slide rapidly into the sea. Now, a study by Professor Andrew Shepherd of the University of Leeds, has shown that this is not happening. Professor Shepherd’s team used satellite imagery to track the progress of the west Greenland ice sheet each summer, over five years. They found that, above a certain threshold, the slipping begins to slow. On-the-ground studies and work done on alpine glaciers suggests that higher volumes of meltwater actually forms channels under … Continue Reading
NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the UK Met Office Hadley Centre and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center have all reported that 2010 was the warmest year (equally with 2005) since global records were begun in 1880. This is NASA‘s updated graph of global temperatures from 1880 to 2010.
Researchers at Bristol University are investigating the possibility that developing crop plants, such as wheat, with broad shiny leaves could reflect a substantial amount of sunlight and help to reduce global warming.
The Old Weather Project is looking for volunteers to extract data and weather observations from digital versions of handwritten historical ship log books, which are difficult for a computer to read. Covering 280 ships between 1905 and 1929, the information will enable scientists to reconstruct wind speed, weather, cloudiness, precipitation and pressure for a better understanding of the current and future climate. On the website, volunteers can track a specific ship, recording weather events or temperatures. "If we can correctly account for what the weather was doing in the past, then we can have more confidence in our predictions of … Continue Reading
Four men from the remote village of Licapa in Peru have decided to combat global warming by painting the Andes white. In the last 35 years, rising temperatures have reduced the size of glaciers in the Peruvian Andes by 22%. The hope is that the whitewash will reflect heat away and stop the glaciers melting. Peruvian Andes (by Martin St-Amant via Wikimedia) As eccentric as it may seem, the whitewashing project was selected as one of the top proposals in the World Bank’s "100 Ideas to Save the Planet" competition held last year. As a result, Eduardo Gold, who proposed … Continue Reading