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Les Bayliss
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Message 45793 - Posted: 3 Apr 2013, 4:27:28 UTC

Some news items on climate change.


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Message 45794 - Posted: 3 Apr 2013, 4:30:18 UTC

Earth on track to be hottest in human history: study

Earth is on track to becoming the hottest it has been at any time in the past 11.3 millennia, a period spanning the history of human civilisation, a new study says.

Based on fossil samples and other data collected from 73 sites around the world, scientists have been able to reconstruct the history of the planet's temperature from the end of the last Ice Age around 11,000 years ago to the present.

They have determined the past 10 years have been hotter than 80 per cent of the past 11,300 years.

But virtually all the climate models evaluated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predict Earth's atmosphere will be hotter in the coming decades than at any time since the end of the Ice Age, no matter what greenhouse gas emission scenario is used, the study found.



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Message 45795 - Posted: 3 Apr 2013, 4:34:08 UTC

Northern blizzards linked to Arctic sea ice decline

Climate scientists say the massive snow storms to hit North America and Europe this year were linked to shrinking sea ice levels in the Arctic.

Satellite pictures reveal the sea ice levels were the sixth lowest since satellite records began over 30 years ago.

National Snow and Ice Data Centre's Walt Meier says the thickness of the sea ice is also a concern.

"More importantly, at this time of year, is the thickness of the ice, and that's still looking quite low," he said.

"It's probably at or near record low levels for this time of year."

The shrinking Arctic sea ice levels reached their seasonal maximum on March 15.

MeteoGroup forecaster Claire Austin says March has been especially chilly so far.

"It's much, much colder and it has been cold for the last few weeks - so it is unusual," Ms Austin said.

"We do get snowfalls, even up as far as April, where we see some quite significant snowfalls at times.

"This is just incredibly cold air [that] doesn't want to go away unfortunately."

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Message 45796 - Posted: 3 Apr 2013, 4:37:43 UTC

Melt may explain Antarctica's sea ice expansion

Climate change is expanding Antarctica's sea ice, according to a scientific study in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The paradoxical phenomenon is thought to be caused by relatively cold plumes of fresh water derived from melting beneath the Antarctic ice shelves.

This melt water has a relatively low density, so it accumulates in the top layer of the ocean.

The cool surface waters then re-freeze more easily during Autumn and Winter.

This explains the observed peak in sea ice during these seasons, a team from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) in De Bilt says in its peer-reviewed paper.

Climate scientists have been intrigued by observations that Antarctic sea ice shows a small but statistically significant expansion of about 1.9% per decade since 1985, while sea ice in the Arctic has been shrinking over past decades.

The researchers from the KNMI suggest the "negative feedback" effect outlined in their study is expected to continue into the future.

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Message 45797 - Posted: 3 Apr 2013, 4:40:32 UTC

Nasa's James Hansen retires to pursue climate fight

One of the leading voices on the science of global warming is to retire from Nasa this week to be more active in the fight against fossil fuels.

Dr James E Hansen has been the head of the Goddard Institute for Space Research since 1981.

He is sometimes called the "father of global warming" for his early warnings about the impacts of rising levels of greenhouse gases.

But some critics say he has hampered the cause by overstating the risk.

In the 1970s, Dr Hansen focused on studies and computer simulations of the Earth's climate for the purpose of understanding the impact of humans.

He quickly became convinced that there was a clear link between increases in concentrations of carbon dioxide and rising temperatures. His work helped identify the ways in which the planet might respond to greater warming.


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Message 45798 - Posted: 3 Apr 2013, 4:45:19 UTC

Top scientists agree climate has changed for good

The nation's top climate scientists and science bodies have for the first time endorsed a major report that says Australia's climate has shifted permanently in some cases.

The peer-reviewed assessment notes that there is "strong consensus" around this central finding, and in some cases the weather has changed for good.

Last summer was by all means a record breaker, with 123 weather records broken in 90 days.

As well as heat waves and unprecedented temperatures, there was heavy rainfall and major flooding.

But according to the Climate Commission, this was not a one-off.

In its most comprehensive assessment analysis, the commission says Australia has a future of records yet to be broken and "in some cases day-to-day weather has shifted for good".

"We see a pattern emerging. The south-west and the south-east of Australia have become drier - the south-west since the mid '70s and the south-east since the mid '90s," report author Professor Will Steffen said.

"That tells us for the future that we would expect to see dry conditions more often, more droughts in the future and very importantly we don't expect to see the previous pre-climate-change weather conditions come back.

"To a certain extent, for a long period of time the best we can hope for, at least in terms of [our] grandchildren, is to stabilise the planet and it will stabilise at a temperature which is probably 2 degrees or more above the pre-industrial.

"That means some changes in patterns will lock in probably for centuries."


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Message 45810 - Posted: 5 Apr 2013, 3:43:57 UTC
Last modified: 5 Apr 2013, 3:45:09 UTC

Profile Byron Leigh Hatch @ team Carl Sagan
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Message 45820 - Posted: 5 Apr 2013, 19:55:57 UTC
Last modified: 5 Apr 2013, 20:36:13 UTC

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Message 45821 - Posted: 5 Apr 2013, 21:08:14 UTC

Quite apart from the effect on the climate, burning coal doesn't do people's lungs much good either.
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Message 45874 - Posted: 10 Apr 2013, 9:06:26 UTC

Transatlantic flights 'to get more turbulent'

Planes are already encountering stronger winds, and could now face more turbulence, according to research led from Reading University, UK.

The study, published in Nature Climate Change, suggests that by mid-century passengers will be bounced around more frequently and more strongly.

The zone in the North Atlantic affected by turbulence could also increase.


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Message 45888 - Posted: 11 Apr 2013, 5:27:56 UTC

Les Bayliss
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Message 46003 - Posted: 21 Apr 2013, 1:08:45 UTC

This looks to be 'putting the cat among the pigeons'.

Report warns of 'unburnable carbon scenario'

British researchers are warning that effective action on climate change could trigger a new global economic crisis by devaluing the price of fossil fuels.

The report, by the London School of Economics and the non-government organisation Carbon Tracker, found 60 to 80 per cent of oil, gas and coal reserves owned by listed companies would become useless if global emission targets are kept.

It is dubbed the "unburnable carbon scenario".



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Message 46009 - Posted: 21 Apr 2013, 16:42:02 UTC

Yes, the other day that was front-page news in The Guardian. How investing in fossil fuels that ought never to be extracted or used puts our pension funds at risk:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/apr/19/pension-6-trillion-climate-gamble

In addition negotiations about the EU carbon emissions scheme collapsed last week. The cost to business of burning carbon was already very low. In today's Observer Will Hutton says 'Burn our planet or face financial meltdown. Not much of a choice.'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/21/carbon-problems-financial-crisis-hutton




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Profile Byron Leigh Hatch @ team Carl Sagan
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Message 46051 - Posted: 25 Apr 2013, 20:11:33 UTC

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Message 46157 - Posted: 5 May 2013, 21:53:03 UTC

Article in The Observer today, is suggesting that malaria and a number of other, "exotic diseases" are likely to be present in the UK soon due to climate change.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/may/05/uk-tropical-disease-malaria-threat

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Message 46184 - Posted: 10 May 2013, 22:09:48 UTC

Carbon dioxide passes symbolic mark

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have broken through a symbolic mark.

Daily measurements of CO2 at a US government agency lab on Hawaii have topped 400 parts per million for the first time.

The station, which sits on the Mauna Loa volcano, feeds its numbers into a continuous record of the concentration of the gas stretching back to 1958.

The last time CO2 was regularly above 400ppm was three to five million years ago - before modern humans existed.

Scientists say the climate back then was also considerably warmer than it is today.



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Message 46202 - Posted: 13 May 2013, 16:28:41 UTC

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2013/may/13/newtok-alaska-climate-change-refugees?CMP=twt_gu

Native Alaskans who have occupied the same land for centuries are having to leave their homes for safer locations.

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Message 46209 - Posted: 13 May 2013, 21:44:51 UTC

Not exactly "News," but interesting. (Caution, the PDF doc. is 133 pages.)



From the Executive Summary:

A better climate for disaster risk management
1
Climate-related disasters are by far the
most frequent natural disasters, exacting a
heavy toll on people and economies. Their
frequency and economic losses have steadily
increased over the past few decades, stretching
the response capacities of governments and
humanitarian organizations. One of the many
ways this challenge can be addressed is by
making more effective use of the increasing
wealth of climate information and tailoring
it to the needs of those who could use it, to
better predict and prepare for such disasters
before they occur.


Correct citation Hellmuth M.E., Mason S.J., Vaughan C., van Aalst M.K. and Choularton R. (eds) 2011. A Better Climate for Disaster Risk Management . International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Columbia University, New York, USA.

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"We have met the enemy and he is us." -- Pogo
Greetings from coastal Washington state, the scenic US Pacific Northwest.

Profile Dave Jackson
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Message 46217 - Posted: 14 May 2013, 6:43:04 UTC

The sad thing is that those having to leave their land are most often those whose lifestyle has contributed least to global warming.

Les Bayliss
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Message 46230 - Posted: 15 May 2013, 23:37:33 UTC

Climate change shifts migrating birds' wintering ground

Three species of migratory duck have shifted their wintering grounds northward in response to increasing temperatures, say scientists.

The birds - the tufted duck, goosander and goldeneye - are common in Britain and Ireland during northern Europe's winter.

But their numbers in these countries have shrunk in the last 30 years.

According to the findings, published in the journal Global Change Biology, many now stop short on their annual journey.



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