Global Warming

Ten percent of the world is facing faster global warming trends than the rest

Around the world, the average global warming trends show an increase of just over 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) when compared to the preindustrial area. However, about 10 percent of the surface are of the globe has already experienced an average warming of over 2 degrees Celsius. UN scientists refer to that level of change as enough to trigger dangerous climate impacts. Over 70 counties in the United States have already climbed past that milestone.

The higher average temperatures are bringing in more severe storms. That said, it was also pointed out that lakes in New Jersey that used to freeze solid can no longer be used by skaters. Rhode Island waterfront homeowners are watching the sea consume hundreds of their beachfront. Scientists in Minnesota are working industriously to plant new trees in forests dying off from warmer temperatures than native tree varieties are capable of withstanding.

This is far from isolated to the United States. Siberia, Angola, Uruguay, Qtar and many other locations are all watching drastic changes happen as a result of their faster-than-average rising temperatures.

These global warming trends aren’t occurring as a result of specific events or activities. Instead, chain reactions are taking place and are affecting certain areas before others. For instance, melting Arctic permafrost is redefining landscapes in Siberia and Alaska, making lands uninhabitable when they have been occupied for centuries.

Global Warming

Carbon Comeback

While overall global CO2 emissions have been expected to fall by about 7% this year due to the pandemic, scientists fear that the man-made pollution will rebound as the world’s population returns to work and industrial production surges.

Daily global emissions of the greenhouse gas fell by 17% at the height of the COVID-19 shutdown. But levels of transportation and economic activity are able to return to pre-pandemic levels by mid-June, researchers estimate the annual fall in CO2 emissions this year will be only 4%.

Global Warming

Parts of Antarctica are turning green

Parts of the Antarctic Peninsula are changing colour as “green snow” caused by blooming algae is spreading with increases in global temperatures, researchers reported Wednesday.

Although often considered devoid of plant life, Antarctica is home to several types of algae, which grow on slushy snow and suck carbon dioxide from the air. They also found that the majority of algae blooms were within five kilometres of a penguin colony, as the birds’ excrement is an excellent fertiliser.

The polar regions are warming far faster than other parts of the planet and the team predicted that low-lying coastal areas of Antarctica would soon be free from algae as they experience snow-free summers. But that loss will probably be offset by a preponderance of large algae blooms as temperatures rise and snow at higher altitudes softens.

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Global Warming

Russia’s global warming rate 2.5 times higher than world average

Russia’s global warming rate is 2.5 times higher than the world average, according to Russian scientists. The rate of global warming on the territory of the country is 2.5 times higher than the average increase in temperatures in the world. This is explained by a variety of factors: the global warming rate in Russia is faster than in the rest of the world due to its location: the country is located in temperate and high latitudes and it is a continental territory.

Global Warming

Altered Storm Formation

Researchers say that climate change over the past 40 years has altered where hurricanes and the other tropical cyclones around the world are forming.

NOAA scientists say that while the average number of such storms spinning up each year remains relatively stable, more are forming in the North Atlantic and Central Pacific. At the same time, those in the western Pacific and southern Indian oceans are now less frequent.

Global Warming

80% Drop in Freshwater Insect Populations – Global Warming

According to a long-term study in a nature reserve in the State of Hesse, environmental changes attributable to global warming have resulted in an 80% drop in the sizes of freshwater insect populations over the past 40 years.

The Breitenbach, a headwater stream located in the hills of Eastern Hesse, is one of the most intensively investigated watercourses in the world. For more than 40 years, researchers have been following the fortunes of its insect communities. The stream lies within the boundaries of a nature reserve, and its relative remoteness minimizes the direct impact of humans on its flora and fauna.

The analysis, which appears in the journal Conservation Biology, shows that insect communities in the Breitenbach have diminished in abundance by more than 80% over the past four decades. The authors link this alarming decline to climate change.

Global Warming

The true extent of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet loss

Using the most advanced Earth-observing laser instrument NASA has ever flown in space, scientists have made precise, detailed measurements of how the elevation of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have changed over 16 years.

The results provide insights into how the polar ice sheets are changing, demonstrating definitively that small gains of ice in East Antarctica are dwarfed by massive losses in West Antarctica. The scientists found the net loss of ice from Antarctica, along with Greenland’s shrinking ice sheet, has been responsible for 14mm of sea level rise between 2003 and 2019 – slightly less than a third of the total amount of sea level rise observed in the world’s oceans.

The study found that Greenland’s ice sheet lost an average of 200 gigatons of ice per year, and Antarctica’s ice sheet lost an average of 118 gigatons of ice per year.

The findings come from NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite 2 (ICESat-2), which launched in 2018 to make detailed global elevation measurements, including over Earth’s frozen regions.

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Global Warming

Global warming to push billions outside climate range that has sustained society for 6,000 years

Just like insects, birds and animals, humans have a particular climate niche, scientists have found, with 6,000 years of human history demonstrating how society thrives when we stay within it and the turbulence that ensues when it is pushed out of this zone.

In a stark new finding about the planet’s rapidly warming climate, a study finds that for every 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) of global average warming, 1 billion people will have to adapt or migrate to stay within climate conditions that are best suited for crop production, livestock and a sustainable outdoor work environment.

They found that people, crops and livestock have heavily concentrated in a narrow band of relatively constrained climate conditions. This range, referred to in the study as the human “climate niche,” has remained largely unchanged since 6,000 years ago.

Projecting into the future using a scenario with high emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, the researchers found that the position of the human climate niche is projected to change more in the next 50 years than it has during the past 6,000. Such a shift would leave 1 billion to 3 billion people outside the climate conditions that have nurtured human society to date.

Global warming fuels algal bloom in Arabian Sea

A study published Monday in the journal Scientific Reports reveals that global warming is fuelling a destructive algal bloom that is disrupting fisheries in the Arabian Sea.

Cold winter monsoon winds blowing from the Himalayas usually cool the Arabian Sea’s surface, which results in the cold waters sinking and being replaced by nutrient-rich waters below. This process, called convective mixing, allows marine algae called phytoplankton, which provides food for a wide range of sea creatures, to flourish from the nutrient-rich waters lit by the sun.

However, melting glaciers over the Himalyan-Tibetan Plateau region have made the winds blowing to the oceans surface warmer and moister, decreasing convective mixing. This change hurts the phytoplankton, but not the Noctiluca because unlike the phytoplankton, it doesn’t need sunlight.

The ability of Noctiluca to flourish amid the shrinking snowcaps has been disrupting marine life in the Arabian Sea since the late 1990s, the study found. Only jellyfish and salps find the Noctiluca edible.

Global Warming

Record Ozone Hole Over Arctic In March Now Closed

Ozone depletion over the Arctic hit a “record level” in March, the biggest since 2011, creating the largest recoded ozone hole over the Arctic, but the hole has now closed, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Friday.

The springtime phenomenon in the northern hemisphere was driven by ozone-depleting substances still in the atmosphere and a very cold winter in the stratosphere.

Global Warming

Global Sea Level Rise

Global sea levels have risen 0.55 inches since 2003 due to ice melt in Antarctica and Greenland driven by climate change, according to new data measurements from several NASA satellites.

Scientists found that Greenland’s ice sheet lost an average of 200 gigatons of ice per year and Antarctica’s ice sheet lost an average of 118 gigatons of ice per year. One gigaton of ice can fill 400,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Carbon Emissions Drop

The United Nations weather agency said that while global carbon emissions are likely to see the biggest yearly fall since World War II due to the COVID-19 crisis, governments should still use some of the new stimulus packages to encourage a move to a greener economy.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) cautioned that past economic recoveries have been accompanied by higher emission growth than before the downturns. “We need to show the same determination and unity against climate change as against COVID-19,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

Environment

Storm Fuel

Atmospheric scientists are expressing alarm at the record high temperatures that occurred during March in parts of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. They fear the excess warmth will radiate to the air above and generate chaotic weather worldwide during the months to come.

Of particular concern are the future of the Atlantic hurricane season, increased wildfire potentials from Australia and North America to the Amazon and possible severe thunderstorms with accompanying tornadoes. “And there is a global warming component to that. It is really amazing when you look at all the tropical oceans and see how warm they are,” Michelle L’Heureux of the U.S. Climate Prediction Center told Bloomberg News.

Global Warming

Climate Change Has Helped Fuel a Megadrought in the Southwest USA

A “megadrought” gripping the western United States is the worst one in 500 years, scientists say. And it’s the first to be influenced by human-caused climate change.

According to the tree ring data, which extend back to A.D. 800, there have been a handful of extreme megadroughts over the last 1,200 years. The most recent one is happening right now. It’s gripping a wide swath of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, and it’s been ongoing since around 2000.

The severity of the current megadrought is second only to the last event, which occurred in the late 1500s, the research say. It also seems to be happening for different reasons.

Past megadroughts were triggered by natural fluctuations in the Earth’s climate. Temporary shifts in the temperature of the Pacific Ocean, for instance, can have a strong influence on climate in the southwestern United States.

The researchers used a suite of climate models to investigate the influence of anthropogenic warming on the present-day situation. The models suggest that the warmer and drier conditions brought by climate change account for nearly half the severity of the current drought.

Global Warming

Arctic stratospheric ozone depletion hits record low

Ozone levels above the Arctic reached a record low for March, NASA researchers report. An analysis of satellite observations show that ozone levels reached their lowest point on 12 March, at 205 Dobson units.

While such low levels are rare, they are not unprecedented. Similar low ozone levels occurred in the upper atmosphere, or stratosphere, in 1997 and 2011. In comparison, the lowest March ozone value observed in the Arctic is usually around 240 Dobson units.

March 12, 2019, shows in reds and yellows the higher concentration of stratospheric ozone over the Arctic which are much more typical from year to year. Usually, from December through March, waves in the upper atmosphere disrupt the circumpolar winds and cause the mixing of ozone brought from the mid-latitudes as well as warming that leads to less ozone depletion.

“This year’s low Arctic ozone happens about once per decade,” says Paul Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “For the overall health of the ozone layer, this is concerning since Arctic ozone levels are typically high during March and April.”

The March Arctic ozone depletion was caused by a combination of factors that arose due to unusually weak upper atmospheric “wave” events from December through March. These waves drive movements of air through the upper atmosphere akin to weather systems that we experience in the lower atmosphere, but much bigger in scale.

In a typical year, these waves travel upward from the mid-latitude lower atmosphere to disrupt the circumpolar winds that swirl around the Arctic. When they disrupt the polar winds, they do two things. First, they bring with them ozone from other parts of the stratosphere, replenishing the reservoir over the Arctic.

Global Warming

Vanishing Ocean Buffer

The heating of the surface waters of the western North Atlantic under climate change has caused that important layer to shrink, which an international team of researchers says has crippled the water’s ability to absorb the atmosphere’s excess carbon dioxide and heat.

The North Atlantic Subtropical Mode Water has historically been about 800 feet thick. But more than 90% of that layer has been lost due to the warming of the past decade, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

The loss is said to also threaten the region’s phytoplankton, the base of the marine food chain near the ocean’s surface.

Wildlife

Great Barrier Reef suffers worst-ever coral bleaching

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has suffered its most widespread coral bleaching on record, scientists said in a dire warning about the threat posed by climate change to the world’s largest living organism.

James Cook University professor Terry Hughes said a comprehensive survey last month found record sea temperatures had caused the third mass bleaching of the 2,300-kilometre (1,400-mile) reef system in just five years.

Bleaching occurs when healthy corals become stressed by changes in ocean temperatures, causing them to expel algae living in their tissues which drains them of their vibrant colours.

“We surveyed 1,036 reefs from the air during the last two weeks in March to measure the extent and severity of coral bleaching throughout the Barrier Reef region,” Hughes said.

“For the first time, severe bleaching has struck all three regions of the Great Barrier Reef –- the northern, central and now large parts of the southern sectors.”

The damage came as February brought the highest monthly sea temperatures on the Great Barrier Reef since Australia began keeping records in 1900.