Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet


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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Saturday 27 March 2010


Some good news amongst the climate-change gloom, in this report from an AAAS page.

The global conveyor-belt, the great current circling much of the planet, which keeps Europe warm, is not slowing down, according to careful analysis at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

So The Day After Tomorrow is still just a very good movie.

ScienceDaily reports that the world's capacity to meet projected future oil demand is at a tipping point, according to research by the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University.

It says that the age of cheap oil has ended as demand starts to outstrip supply, that current estimates of oil-reserves should be downgraded from between 1150-1350 billion barrels to between 850-900 billion barrels, and that we must accelerate the development of alternative energy fuel resources to ensure energy security and reduce emissions. But the oil-shortage cannot be mitigates with biofuels; there is not enough land.

Thursday 25 March 2010


The ice-loss off Greeenland is accelerating up its northwest coast, according to satellite measurements. Full report in ScienceDaily.

Wednesday 24 March 2010


Charles H. Greene, Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University, one of the authors of 'A Very Inconvenient Truth,' published in the peer-reviewed journal Oceanography (March 2010), says that he and his co-authors conclude that the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 Fourth Assessment Report underestimates the potential dangerous effects that man-made climate change will have on society.

'Even if all man-made greenhouse gas emissions were stopped tomorrow and carbon-dioxide levels stabilized at today's concentration, by the end of this century the global average temperature would increase by about 2.4 degrees [Celsius] above pre-industrial levels, which is significantly above the level which scientists and policymakers agree is a threshold for dangerous climate change. Of course, greenhouse gas emissions will not stop tomorrow, so the actual temperature increase will likely be significantly larger, resulting in potentially catastrophic impacts to society unless other steps are taken to reduce the Earth's temperature.'

He also says that thermal inertia in the oceans means that the temperature rise this century will last for a thousand years.

Full report in ScienceDaily.

Saturday 6 March 2010


A section of the Arctic Ocean seafloor that holds vast stores of frozen methane is showing signs of instability and widespread venting of the powerful greenhouse gas, according to the findings of an international research team led by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists Natalia Shakhova and Igor Semiletov.

The research results, published in Science on March 5th, show that the permafrost under the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, which has long been considered an impermeable barrier that seals in methane, is perforated, and is leaking large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climatic warming.

'The amount of methane currently coming out of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is comparable to the amount coming out of the entire world's oceans,' said Shakhova, a researcher at UAF's International Arctic Research Center. 'Subsea permafrost is losing its ability to be an impermeable cap.'

Methane is a greenhouse gas more than 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

The full report is on ScienceDaily