Global Warming

Consensus: Humans Caused Climate Change

More than 99.9% of peer-reviewed scientific papers agree that climate change is mainly caused by humans, according to a new survey of 88,125 climate-related studies.

The research updates a similar 2013 paper revealing that 97% of studies published between 1991 and 2012 supported the idea that human activities are altering Earth’s climate. The current survey examines the literature published from 2012 to November 2020 to explore whether the consensus has changed.

The results of these studies demonstrate the absolute absurdity of climate change deniers.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 43.9 degrees Celsius at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 64.4 degrees Celsius at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Icy Antarctica

The U.S. Snow and Ice Data Center says that the last six months in Antarctica, most of it spent in the southern winter’s polar darkness, were the coldest on record.

It calculated that the average temperature during the period was minus 77.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station also recorded its second-coldest June-August period on record, behind only 2004 in the station’s 60 years of weather records. The chill was due to two periods of very strong winds encircling the continent, and a strong polar vortex.

Global Warming

Climate Change Famine – Madagascar

Climate change is battering the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar. This is the fourth year that drought has devastated southern Madagascar. Now more than one million people, or two out of five residents, of the region require emergency food aid in what the United Nations is calling a “climate change famine.”

Temperatures in southern Africa are rising at double the global rate, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says. Cyclones, already more frequent in Madagascar than any other African country, are likely getting stronger as the earth warms.

Climate Change Pervasive

Climate change could already be affecting 85 percent of the world’s population, an analysis of tens of thousands of scientific studies found.

The analysis, released on Monday, was carried out by a team of researchers that used machine learning to comb through vast troves of research published between 1951 and 2018 and found some 100,000 papers that potentially documented evidence of climate change’s effects on the Earth’s systems.

The study found 80 percent of the globe – home to 85 percent of the world’s population, had generated impact studies that matched predictions for temperature and precipitation changes due to global warming.

“The burning of fossil fuels is killing us. Climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity,” the WHO said on Monday.

Global Warming

Water Warnings

Much of the world appears unprepared for the hazards that global heating will bring, with increased flooding, hurricanes and drought.

A new report by the World Meteorological Organization says that well over half of the 100 countries surveyed need better weather forecasting systems to cope. The report documents that since 2000, flooding disasters rose by 134% compared with the last two decades of the 20th century. Drought-related disasters rose by 29% during the same period.

Asia suffered most from increased flooding, while African nations recorded the most drought-related deaths. A quarter of all cities around the world already experience water shortages.

Global Warming

Climate Scientists Win 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics for Linking Global Warming and Human Activity

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics recognizes three scientists for their work in weather and climate modeling and the human effects on global warming.

Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann, and Giorgio Parisi received the prestigious award on Tuesday at the annual event in Stockholm. They received the award for demonstrating how increased levels of carbon dioxide produced by human activity warmed the earth’s surface and creating climate models that linked weather and climate.

Global Warming

Cloth Sheets Protect Glacier from Melting

A cloth sheet used to shield part of the Helags glacier in northern Sweden over the summer saved at least 3.5 metres in height from melting, according to organisers of the private initiative, the first of its kind in Scandinavia.

Global warming is causing glaciers to shrink all over the world. For example, the glacier on Sweden’s highest mountain, Kebnekaise, has lost two metres in height over the past year alone.

The cloth experiment was performed on the Helags glacier, on Sweden’s highest mountain south of the Arctic Circle. The sheet actually protected 3.5-4 metres from melting.

A larger experiment will be tried to reproduce the results of a bigger scale.

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Global Warming

Global Warming Kills 14 percent of Corals Worldwide

Global warming helped wipe out 14 percent of the world’s coral reefs between 2009 and 2018, the largest-ever survey of coral health has found, warning that more of the vibrant underwater ecosystems were likely to die if oceans warm further.

Corals in South Asia and the Pacific, around the Arabian Peninsula, and off the coast of Australia, were the hardest hit, according to the report which was released on Tuesday, compiled by more than 300 scientists in the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.

The report spanned data for 40 years, 73 countries and 12,000 sites and found the total area destroyed equal to about 11,700 square kilometres (4,517 square miles).

Besides anchoring marine ecosystems, they also provide food, protection from storms and shoreline erosion and jobs for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. The study looked at 10 coral reef-bearing regions around the world and found that reef loss was mainly the result of coral bleaching, but also overfishing, unsustainable coastal development and declining water quality.

Environment

Oil Spill – Pacific Ocean, Southern California

More than 120,000 gallons of oil that spilled into the Pacific Ocean has reached the Southern California coastline, closing parts of the beach as officials warn residents to stay away from the slick.

Federal, state and local agencies are racing to determine the cause of the spill, which is at least 13 square miles in size, and mitigate its impacts. Initial reports suggest the spill originated from on offshore oil rig.

The oil from the spill has already washed up onto Huntington Beach and the Talbert Marsh wetlands, an area that’s home to vibrant birdlife, including great blue herons, pelicans and endangered California least terns, which migrate up the Pacific Coast. The coast is also the habitat for myriad non-avian marine life, from fish, such as tuna and sea bass, to sea turtles, dolphins and whales. This spill has already left fish dead, birds mired in petroleum and wetlands contaminated.

Environment

Arboreal Confusion

Extreme weather events brought on by climate change have disrupted the annual fall foliage season, especially in parts of North America.

The leaves of deciduous trees from eastern Canada and New England to the Rockies typically transform into hues of yellow and red at this time of year. But heat waves, drought and leaf-stripping hurricanes have shocked some trees into a state of arboreal confusion.

“Instead of trees doing this gradual change, they get thrown these wacky weather events. They change all of a sudden, or they drop leaves early,” Colorado arborist Michael Sundberg told The Associated Press.

Arctic Minimum

The sea ice surrounding the North Pole reached its lowest coverage of the year on Sept. 17. While not a record low this year, sea ice cover has dropped by about 50% since the 1980s, which scientists say has been a direct result of greenhouse gas emissions. This summer’s more stubborn ice forced Russia to use icebreakers to clear a path through its summertime Northern Sea Route after it remained blocked for the first time since 2008.

Global Warming

Earth is Dimming due to Climate Change

Warming ocean waters have caused a drop in the brightness of the Earth, according to a new study.

Researchers used decades of measurements of earthshine—the light reflected from Earth that illuminates the surface of the Moon—as well as satellite measurements to find that there has been a significant drop in Earth’s reflectance, or albedo, over the past two decades.

The Earth is now reflecting about half a watt less light per square meter than it was 20 years ago, with most of the drop occurring in the last three years of earthshine data.

Specifically, there has been a reduction of bright, reflective low-lying clouds over the eastern Pacific Ocean in the most recent years. That’s the same area, off the west coasts of North and South America, where increases in sea surface temperatures have been recorded because of the reversal of a climatic condition called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

The dimming of the Earth can also be seen in terms of how much more solar energy is being captured by Earth’s climate system. Once this significant additional solar energy is in Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, it may contribute to global warming, as the extra sunlight is of the same magnitude as the total anthropogenic climate forcing over the last two decades.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 45.5 degrees Celsius at Adrar, Algeria.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 76.1 degrees Celsius at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Environment

Drought in the US Southwest is worst in recorded history

The ongoing drought in the U.S. Southwest is the worst drought the region has experienced since record keeping began in 1895, according to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Drought Task Force.

The 20 months from January 2020 through August 2021 saw the lowest total precipitation and the third-highest daily average temperatures ever recorded in the Southwest (which encompasses Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah), resulting in an “unyielding, unprecedented and costly” crisis, the report said.

While the drought punctuates a two-decades-long period of declining precipitation in the Southwest that is “presumably natural,” human-induced climate change exacerbated the current drought significantly by driving up average temperatures to scorching highs, the report found. Together, the low precipitation and searing temperatures reduced the area’s mountain snowpack and increased water evaporation in Southwestern soil, leading to the severe and persistent drought.

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Global Warming

Melting Polar Ice Warps Earth’s Crust

As the polar ice sheets melt, the process is not just raising sea levels – it’s also warping the underlying surface of Earth, a new study reveals, and some of the effects can be seen across thousands of miles.

What’s happening is that Earth’s crust is rising and spreading as the weight of the ice across Greenland, Antarctica, and the Arctic Islands gets lifted. The movement isn’t huge, averaging less than a millimeter a year, but it’s there and it covers a lot of ground.

The changes in the Earth’s crust may lead to altered tectonic movements over time, further affecting how the ice continues to melt.

Ozone Hole

The annual hole in the layer of stratospheric ozone over Antarctica has surged in size to now cover an area larger than the continent itself. Stratospheric ozone helps protect the Earth’s surface from dangerous ultraviolet radiation.

While a worldwide ban on the chemicals responsible for ozone depletion is showing signs of helping the hole to heal, scientists say it will still take decades because those chemicals are slow to break down. The European Space Agency says this year’s hole is now larger than 75% of those since the late 1970s. The ozone holes typically reach their largest size between mid-September and mid-October.

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Climate Change Fuels Migration – Guatemala

The agricultural economy of Guatemala has been hit by intense droughts alternating with devastating floods – two extremes made worse by climate change.

In Guatemala, years of severe drought interspersed with tropical storms, Hurricanes Eta and Iota last year and other heavy precipitation events have not only destroyed crops but also battered the land. Plants no longer grow and the soil remains infertile. This situation has caused severe food insecurity where almost half of children under five years old suffer malnutrition.

In the result, people are migrating away from rural areas to cities and other countries where prospects to earn a living are more favourable. While there is no clear definition, legal or otherwise, on who is a climate migrant, climate change is rarely the main reason why someone decides to leave their home, but it’s almost certainly a compounding factor in many cases.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 45.0 degrees Celsius at Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 71.6 degrees Celsius at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Global Warming

Record-Breaking Carbon Emissions

The amount of carbon emitted from severe wildfires that tore across many parts of the Northern Hemisphere this summer broke records, according to data from the European Union’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service published Tuesday.

Intense blazes, including fires in hotspots in the Mediterranean, North America and Siberia, let off more than 2.7 billion metric tons of carbon over the summer, with July and August both breaking monthly records for emissions from fires. More than half of July’s emissions could be put down to fires in North America and Siberia.

Europe experienced its hottest summer on record this year and the Mediterranean also broke temperature records by large margins, as did parts of the Arctic and Canada.

Meanwhile, wildfires in the Arctic — a region that has warmed more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet since 2000 — released 66 million tons of CO2 between June and August, Copernicus said.