Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

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NOTE ON POPULAR POSTS

The reason some popular posts are tagged ‘no title’ is not because they have no title—they all do—but because the old Blogger embedded the title at the top of text, and the new software does not see that. You can see the titles in capitals at the start of each snippet. (It would be nice if Blogger introduced an upgrade program that could fix this little problem.)

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Tuesday, 26 October 2010

MORE INTENSE STORMS FROM GLOBAL OVERHEATING

Reported in
ScienceDaily, an analysis of weather systems in the northern and southern hemispheres by an atmospheric scientist at MIT says they will respond differently to global overheating. There will be more intense storms in winter in the northern hemisphere and all year round in the southern hemisphere.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

ARCTIC HEATING CONTINUES

The Arctic Report Card, an annual assessment of Arctic conditions, prepared in 2010 by a team of 69 scientists, shows taht the region is continuuing to heat up, affecting local populations and ecosystems as well as weather patterns in the most populated parts of the Northern Hemisphere.


Highlights this year include: record-setting high temperatures in Greenland, causing loss of glaciers; summer sea-ice continuing to decline; and the duration of snow cover at its lowest since record-keeping began in 1966.

Full report in ScienceDaily.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

HUMAN EFFECT ON NITROGEN RISKS GLOBAL DAMAGE

An authoritative study published in the October 8 issue of Science magazine (the publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science) sounds the alarm over what humans are doing to the Earth's nitrogen cycle.

Micro-organisms have been controlling the cycle since life began on the planet. With life evolving around it, nitrogen became both an essential nutrient and a major regulator of climate.

The study in Science (pages 192-196, Vol 330, Oct 8 2010) reviews the major changes there have been to the nitrogen cycle throughout the Earth's history. Most of the time they coincided with the arrival of new organisms that provided new metabolic pathways.

But the last century has seen humans push the biological nitrogen cycle into a very different stage. Adding large amounts of fixed nitrogen in the form of fertiliser chokes out aquatic life that relies on run-off, and significantly increases the amount of NO2 in the atmosphere ( a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than CO2).

Micro-organisms may one day restore balance in the nitrogen cycle that they helped shape for billions of years, but humans must change their behaviour, or risk causing irreversible changes to life on Earth.
SEVERE DROUGHT MAY BECOME GLOBAL PROBLEM

The United States and many other heavily populated countries face a growing threat of severe and prolonged drought in coming decades, according to a new study by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Aiguo Dai, and reported on ScienceDaily. The detailed analysis concludes that warming temperatures associated with climate change will probably create increasingly dry conditions across much of the globe in the next 30 years, possibly reaching a level in some regions by the end of the century rarely, if ever, observed in modern times.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

HUMAN DEMANDS ON EARTH 50% TOO HIGH

New analysis shows populations of tropical species are plummeting and humanity's demands on natural resources are sky-rocketing to 50 per cent more than the earth can sustain, reveals the 2010 edition of WWF's Living Planet Report (the leading survey of the planet's health)--full report on ScienceDaily.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

CARBON-DIOXIDE DRIVES OF GLOBAL TEMPERATURE

Water vapoUr and clouds are the major contributors to Earth's greenhouse effect, but a new atmosphere-ocean climate modeling study by Andrew Lacis and colleagues at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York shows that the planet's temperature ultimately depends on the atmospheric level of carbon dioxide.

The notable feature of the team's study of the nature of Earth's greenhouse effect was to identify the importance of non-condensing greenhouse gases--such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons. Without them, water vapour and clouds could not provide the feedback mechanisms that amplify the greenhouse effect. The study's results were published on the 15th of October in Science. The consequence is that carbon-dioxide is responsible for 80% of the greenhouse effect.

Full story in ScienceDaily.

Monday, 4 October 2010

CLIMATE-CHANGE TARGET UNSAFE SAY RESEARCHERS

Analysis of geological records by climate-change experts at the University of Exeter, records that preserve details of the last known period of global warming, has revealed 'startling' results that suggest current targets for limiting climate change are unsafe. The study, reported on ScienceDaily, has important implications for international negotiators who are aiming to agree binding targets for future greenhouse gas emission targets.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

HOW WARM WAS THE 2010 NORTHERN SUMMER?

And were the unusually high temperatures caused by global over-heating? The answers are on ScienceDaily.