Climate

In the News: World temperature records updated
March 21, 2012 09:12 AM - Kathryn Pintus, ARKive.org

New data has been added to global temperature records, which now indicate that the world has warmed even more in the last decade than previously thought.

History of climate change re-written with release of Russian data
March 19, 2012 03:44 PM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen

The history of a changing climate has been officially re-written following the release of new data from Russia and bases within the Arctic Circle. Scientists have now calculated that 2010 has overtaken 1998 to now be the warmest year on record, followed in second place by 2005 as 1998 is pushed into third place. The recalculation of the annual global mean temperature records follows the release of weather data from more than 600 locations around the Arctic Circle.

Pliocene Climate
March 19, 2012 03:17 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

During the Pliocene epoch (5.3 to 2.6 million years ago) climate became cooler and drier, and seasonal, similar to modern climates. The global average temperature in the mid-Pliocene was 2–3 °C higher than today, global sea level 80 feet higher and the northern hemisphere ice sheet was ephemeral before the onset of extensive glaciation over Greenland that occurred in the late Pliocene around 3 million years ago. Scientists are looking at what climate conditions were like 3.3 to 3 million years ago, during a geologic period known as the Pliocene, and they are confident in the accuracy of their data. The Pliocene is the most recent period of sustained global warmth similar to what is projected for the 21st century. Climate during this time period offers one of the closest analogs to estimate future climate conditions.

Two Affiliates to sever ties with paper company linked to endangered forests
March 18, 2012 08:14 AM - Rhett Butler, MONGABAY.COM

Two affiliates of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) have announced they are severing at least some ties with the beleaguered paper giant, according to the Northern Virginia Daily and Greenpeace, an environmental group whose recent undercover investigation found ramin, a protected species, at APP's pulp mill in Sumatra. Oasis Brands, a firm that handles sales, marketing, and contracting for Virginia-based Mercury Paper Inc., said it will "dissolve" ties to APP "in response to company goals and customer demand for sustainability assurance". Mercury Paper had been under fire for sourcing fiber from APP, which environmentalists have shown continues to produce pulp and paper from endangered natural forests in Indonesia. APP has been the only supplier for Mercury Paper and California-based Solaris Paper Inc.

Mild winters may shift spread of mosquito-borne illness
March 16, 2012 04:11 PM - Susan Milius, Science News

Mild winters appear to speed annual menu changes for disease-carrying mosquitoes. And the revised biting patterns might play an overlooked role in worsening the risk of brain infections in people and horses.

Spring Flooding 2012
March 16, 2012 09:36 AM - Editor, ENN

Spring floods are a common situation. This is due to winter snowfall melting from where it had accumulated and adding to the normally higher spring rain storms. Last winter was fairly warm and snowfall did not accumulate, For the first time in four years, no area of the country faces a high risk of major to record spring flooding, largely due to the limited winter snowfall, according to the NOAA’s annual Spring Outlook, which forecasts the potential for flooding from April to June.

Study: Climate Change will Exacerbate Respiratory Diseases
March 15, 2012 01:58 PM - David A Gabel, ENN

A new study highlights the growing danger of respiratory disease as the Earth gets warmer. Higher temperatures, in and of itself, do not make a person more likely to come down with something like asthma, allergies, infections and the like. The danger will come from the increase in ground level ozone in urban areas, higher particulate matter in drought-stricken areas, and the ranges of communicable diseases expanding into the higher latitudes. Incidences of respiratory diseases may likely balloon during climate-change related events such as heat waves, bad air pollution days, and other extreme weather. It is during these moments that vulnerable populations will need the most support.

Brazil's Growth Offers Wealth and Worry in The Northeast
March 13, 2012 09:57 AM - Leon Kaye, Triple Pundit

Two years ago I predicted this would be the Brazilian Decade, and so far Brazil's stunning success has proven me correct. It is not just about the large international events like the World Cup and Olympics that are on the calendar in 2014 and 2016. Brazil has become a creditor nation; once a net food importer, it now feeds much of the world; and recently it surpassed the United Kingdom to become the world's sixth largest economy. For decades much of the growth was centered around São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, then stretched south towards the border with Uruguay. Industries such as aircraft, petrochemicals and automobiles anchored Latin America's largest economy. But now Brazil's economic might has extended to regions of the country that had long underperformed compared to the wealthy south.

Records from Henry David Thoreau Reveal New Evidence of Climate Change
March 13, 2012 09:44 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Henry David Thoreau was a famed naturalist, philosopher, and author who resided in Eastern Massachusetts from 1817 to 1862. He was also a leading abolitionist and advocator of civil disobedience in defiance of an unjust state. He is perhaps best known for his views on simple living uncluttered by overdevelopment embodied in his famous book Walden; or, Life in the Woods. As a naturalist, he made records for the flowering dates of a number of common plant species. Now, 150 years later, a team of biologists from Boston University (BU) have compared those flowering records with those of today. They found that the flowering date for 43 common species had moved up by an average of seven days since the time of Thoreau.

Tar sands emit more carbon than previously estimated
March 13, 2012 07:02 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM

Environmentalists have targeted the oil-producing tar sands in Canada in part because its crude comes with heftier carbon emissions than conventional sources. Now, a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has found an additional source of carbon that has been unaccounted for: peatlands. Mining the oil in the tar sands, dubbed "oil sands" by the industry, will require the wholesale destruction of nearly 30,000 hectares of peatlands, emitting between 11.4 and 47.3 million metric tons of additional carbon.

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