Climate

Recent Tectonic Activity Shaking Things Up
April 19, 2010 11:17 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

There seems to have been a rash of high magnitude earthquakes and volcanic eruptions recently on planet Earth. One begs to know if there is an underlying cause behind it, or if it is all merely coincidental. Are the poles reversing? Is our planet stable or should we start building our doomsday caves and space ships? When it seems like there is something abnormal about all this tectonic activity, one needs to defer to the experts on the matter, and they are saying that it is, in fact, nothing unusual.

Celebrate Earth Day with NASA!
April 18, 2010 09:16 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

One of the benefits we noted when man first was able observe the earth from above our atmosphere, from outer space, is that it enabled us to gain a new perspective on how very special our planet is. Viewed from a distance, it is obvious that we are all living in one global environment. And from a distance, this environment doesn't look as vast as it does from our vantage point on earth. The land looks more precious, the seas less like unlimited places to discharge our wastes, and the atmosphere, less like a place to emit air pollution at night so no one sees it, to the fragile envelope which, more than anything, makes earth the special place it is. Indeed, it is the atmosphere that permits life as we know it to flourish on earth. And we owe most of this new knowledge to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)! Begun in 1970, Earth Day is the annual celebration of the environment and a time to assess work still needed to protect the natural resources of our planet. NASA maintains the world's largest contingent of dedicated Earth scientists and engineers in leading and assisting other agencies in preserving the planet's environment. NASA celebrates the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on the National Mall in Washington beginning Saturday, April 17.

Earth's missing heat a concern
April 16, 2010 07:08 AM - Deborah Zabarenko, Reuters

The rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere means far more energy is coming into Earth's climate system than is going out, but half of that energy is missing and could eventually reappear as another sign of climate change, scientists said on Thursday. In stable climate times, the amount of heat coming into Earth's system is equal to the amount leaving it, but these are not stable times, said John Fasullo of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, a co-author of the report in the journal Science. The gap between what's entering the climate system and what's leaving is about 37 times the heat energy produced by all human activities, from driving cars and running power plants to burning wood. Half of that gap is unaccounted for, Fasullo and his co-author Kevin Trenberth reported. It hasn't left the climate system but it hasn't been detected with satellites, ocean sensors or other technology.

March Global Temperatures
April 15, 2010 04:18 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

How hot is it? It depends, of course, on where you are. From a global perspective there are agencies that check and recheck and average it all out. The world’s combined global land and ocean surface temperature made last month the warmest March on record, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Taken separately, average ocean temperatures were the warmest for any March and the global land surface was the fourth warmest for any March on record. Additionally, the planet has seen the fourth warmest January – March period on record.

EPA Finalizes the 2008 National U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory
April 15, 2010 02:14 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the15th annual U.S. greenhouse gas inventory report, which shows a drop in overall emissions of 2.9 percent from 2007 to 2008. The downward trend is attributed to a decrease in carbon dioxide emissions associated with fuel and electricity consumption. An emissions inventory that identifies and quantifies a country's primary anthropogenic1 sources and sinks of greenhouse gases is essential for addressing climate change. This inventory adheres to both 1) a comprehensive and detailed set of methodologies for estimating sources and sinks of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, and 2) a common and consistent mechanism that enables Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to compare the relative contribution of different emission sources and greenhouse gases to climate change.

The Dams in Montenegro
April 15, 2010 12:28 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The Montenegro government was yesterday handed a 14,764 signature petition asking it to consider alternatives to its four dam plan for the country’s second most important and most scenic River. In Montenegro, Lake Skadar - a key area for biodiversity in the Balkans - is threatened by four dams planned on the Morača River. According to some studies, the dams could strongly affect the water levels in the lake hence putting a strain on its rich fish population and negatively affecting many local families who make a living from fisheries.

Global Warming: Next Chapter
April 14, 2010 12:22 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

For those in the American Northeast last winter was rugged and fairly cold. Yet what is he world picture? The World Meteorological Organization’s latest report demonstrates that 2000-2009 is the warmest decade since modern measurements began recording temperatures around 1850. In its annual report, “WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate,” the WMO also found that 2009 is nominally ranked as the fifth warmest on record.

Ancient Antarctic Air
April 13, 2010 03:51 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

A new core drilled through an ice field on the Antarctic Peninsula should contain ice dating back into the last ice age. If so, that will give new insight into past global climate changes. The expedition in early winter to the Bruce Plateau, an ice field straddling a narrow ridge on the northernmost tongue of the southernmost continent, yielded a core that was 1,462 feet long, the longest yet recovered from that region of Antarctica. Old ice can contain bubbles of trapped air from long ago. That air represents, unchanged, what the air composition was like thousands of years ago. There may be other frozen clues in the water itself

Massive Arctic Ice Cap Is Shrinking, Study Shows; Rate Accelerating Since 1985
April 13, 2010 10:15 AM - Science Daily

A paper published in the March edition of Arctic, the journal of the University of Calgary's Arctic Institute of North America, reports that between 1961 and 1985, the ice cap grew in some years and shrank in others, resulting in an overall loss of mass. But that changed 1985 when scientists began to see a steady decline in ice volume and area each year.

Glacier breaks in Peru, causing tsunami
April 13, 2010 06:01 AM - Marco Aquino, Reuters

A huge glacier broke off and plunged into a lake in Peru, causing a 75-foot (23-meter) tsunami wave that swept away at least three people and destroyed a water processing plant serving 60,000 local residents, government officials said on Monday. The ice block tumbled into a lake in the Andes on Sunday near the town of Carhuaz, some 200 miles north of the capital, Lima. Three people were feared buried in debris. Investigators said the chunk of ice from the Hualcan glacier measured 1,640 feet by 656 feet.

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