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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Wednesday 30 November 2011


<a href="">Reuters says</a> a report by the UN's World Meteorological Organisation ranks 2011 as one of the warmest years on record.

The WMO says global temperatures in 2011 are at the moment the tenth highest on record--higher than any previous year with a La Nina event, despite the fact that it has a relative cooling influence.

It says that this year the global climate was influenced heavily by the strong La Nina, a natural phenomenon usually linked to extreme weather in Asia-Pacific, South America and Africa, which developed in the tropical Pacific in the second half of 2010 and continued till May 2011. One of the strongest such events in 60 years, it was closely associated with the drought in east Africa, islands in the central equatorial Pacific and the United States, as well as severe flooding in other parts of the world.

The WMO says the warmest 13 years of average global temperatures have occurred in the 15 years since 1997. That has contributed to extreme weather conditions that increase the intensity of droughts and heavy precipitation across the world. The extent of Arctic sea ice in 2011 was the second lowest on record, and its volume was the lowest.

It says the build-up of greenhouse gases puts the world at a tipping-point of irreversible changes in ecosystems.

Tuesday 22 November 2011


<a href="">The BBC reports</a> on growing concerns that ozone-friendly HFCs are not friendly to climate-change, because the average global warming potential of the present mix of HFCs is about 1600--so a kilogram of HFC has about 1600 times the effect on global warming as a kilogram of carbon dioxide.

The HFCs: A Critical Link in Protecting Climate and the Ozone Layer, a report produced by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), projected that the global warming potential of HFCs in 2050 could be comparable with present emissions from the global transport sector.

Monday 21 November 2011


The monthly figures prepared by the American government show that October 2011 was much warmer than normal compared with previous Octobers.

On average, land areas across the Northern Hemisphere—where the majority of the Earth's land mass is located—were the warmest on record for the month, at 1.29°C (2.32°F) above the 20th century average. The warmth was especially pronounced across Alaska, Canada, Mongolia, and most of Russia and Europe.

According to the UK Met Office, the United Kingdom marked its warmest October since 2006 and eighth warmest in the last 100 years, at 2.0°C (3.6°F) above the 1971–2000 average.

Norway also reported its eighth warmest October, at 1.8°C (2.6°F) above normal, with records dating back to 1900

The dot map from page linked to above shows much of central and northern Russia with average temperatures more than 5°C (9°F) above average.

We are told we must keep the global increase within 2°C if life on Earth is not to become rather nasty. Our chances of doing that are zilch.

Tuesday 15 November 2011


ScienceDaily reports research showing that increases in air pollution and other particulate matter in the atmosphere can strongly affect cloud development in ways that reduce precipitation in dry regions or seasons, while increasing rain, snowfall and the intensity of severe storms in wet regions or seasons.

The study by a University of Maryland-led team of researchers provides the first clear evidence of how aerosols--soot, dust and other small particles in the atmosphere--can affect weather and climate; and the findings have important implications for the availability, management and use of water resources in regions across the United States and around the world, say the researchers and other scientists.

The study found that under very dirty conditions, the mean cloud height of deep convective clouds is more than twice the mean height under crystal-clean air.

'The probability of heavy rain is virtually doubled from clean to dirty conditions, while the chance of light rain is reduced by 50 percent,' says Maryland's Li, who is also affiliated with Beijing Normal University.

Monday 14 November 2011


ScienceDaily reports that American energy use went back up in 2010 compared to 2009, when consumption was at a 12-year low. The United States used more fossil fuels in 2010 than in 2009, while renewable electricity remained approximately constant, with an increase in wind power offset by a modest decline in hydroelectricity. There also was a significant increase in biomass consumption, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Though carbon emissions in 2010 were higher than they were in 2009, Americans' carbon footprint has decreased over the past few years. The U.S. emitted 5,632 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2010, up from 5,428 in 2009, but down from the all time high of 6,022 in 2007. The decrease is due primarily to reduced energy consumption, aided by a shift from coal to natural gas in the electric sector and adoption of renewable energy resources

Friday 11 November 2011


NOAA's updated Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI), which measures the direct climate influence of many greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, shows a continued steady upward trend, reports ScienceDaily.

The AGGI reached 1.29 in 2010, which means that the combined heating effect of long-lived greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere by human activities has increased 29 percent since 1990. That is up from 1.27% in 2009.

Tuesday 1 November 2011


A US physicist who has been critical of climate change data says his own research has convinced him that global warming is real in this ABC interview.

Professor Richard Muller says that to his amazement his results correlate with previously published results from other teams that used both inaccurate temperature gauges and faulty weather stations. He says his research shows the earth's surface temperature has risen by 0.9 degrees Celsius since the 1950s.