35 Global Warming News Articles
for August of 2016
Click on the links below to get the full story from its source
8-31-16 Our air pollution problem is killing us
Our air pollution problem is killing us
Annual premature deaths from poor air quality are estimated to rise from three million today to 4.5 million by 2040 if steps aren't taken to reform global energy combustion, according to a recent report by the International Energy Agency. Air quality is the fourth-largest threat to human health, after high blood pressure, poor diet, and smoking. As many as 18,000 people die each day from air quality-related health problems, including lung disease, asthma, tuberculosis, and throat cancer. And each year, the number of air pollution-related deaths outnumber deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and road injuries combined. If the global energy sector were to increase clean energy investment by 7 percent — or $4.7 trillion — by 2040, premature deaths caused by outdoor air pollution could fall from 4.5 million to 2.8 million a year, the report states.Investing in better access to clean cooking stoves, tighter emissions controls on the global power sector, renewable energy, urban planning, and public transportation could decrease global energy demand by as much as 13 percent by 2040. Currently, just 8 percent of the world's energy production is entirely combustion-free.
8-31-16 Court rules in favour of Queensland mega-mine
Court rules in favour of Queensland mega-mine
Australia’s federal court has rejected a bid to block a giant coal mine in central Queensland that could harm the Great Barrier Reef. The court dismissed claims by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) that former federal environment minister Greg Hunt’s 2014 approval of the Carmichael mine violated international obligations to protect the reef, a UNESCO world heritage site. Australian law requires ministerial decisions to adhere to the world heritage convention. “It is extraordinary that in 2016 a minister can argue that a coal mine will have no impact on the climate“ Coal from the mine – which will be the largest in Australia – will be shipped to power stations in India. When it is burned, the coal will produce 128 million tonnes of carbon per year, says the ACF. Last week, the federal court also threw out a challenge by one of the mine site’s traditional owners, who claimed that the project undermines the native title rights of the Wangan and Jagalingou people. (Webmaster's comment: And the legal rights of the owners of the land have been completely ignored for the sake of profit! And that's what this is all about!)
8-29-16 Shetland turbines at Bluemull Sound connected to grid
Shetland turbines at Bluemull Sound connected to grid
Turbines installed off the coast of Shetland could herald a "new era" in tidal energy, according to the company running the project. Tidal energy specialist Nova Innovation said they were the first offshore tidal turbines in the world to deliver electricity to the grid. Two 100kW turbines have been installed so far in the Shetland Tidal Array at Bluemull Sound. Edinburgh-based Nova Innovation said tidal energy was a "long-term source" of predictable renewable power, with the turbines generating to full power across all tidal conditions.
8-29-16 Wood fuel plan to cut plane CO2 branded as 'pipe dream'
Wood fuel plan to cut plane CO2 branded as 'pipe dream'
Isobutanol is more powerful than ethanol and has now been approved for use in aircraft fuel blends. Several high octane, waste-based biofuels are being tested by airlines as a way of curbing CO2. UN officials are set to endorse these fuels as a key part of global plans to stabilise aviation emissions by 2020. But critics say the plans are unrealistic and airlines are not taking the issue seriously. The scale and impact of carbon from the booming airline business is heavily contested. The industry points out that in 2015 only 2% of human emissions of CO2 came from aircraft. Environmentalists point out that this doesn't include the warming impact of contrails or other gases and aerosols. They believe the true impact is about 5%.
8-26-16 Louisiana floods: A disaster ignored
Louisiana floods: A disaster ignored
When the media did pay attention to the flood, it focused on “political theater,” said Paul Krugman in The New York Times. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump flew in to affected areas for a “photo op”; President Obama followed suit this week after being criticized for not cutting short his vacation earlier. But the far more important issue is that these floods are “exactly what climate scientists have been warning us about.” No single weather event can be blamed on global warming, but higher temperatures produce more extreme weather—be it catastrophic flooding in Louisiana or drought-driven wildfires in California. Indeed, this was America’s eighth once-in-every-500-years weather event over the past 15 months, said The Washington Post in an editorial. Our infrastructure and disaster response systems simply aren’t equipped to deal with such extremes. The tragedy in Louisiana “should serve as a warning”: This is “what the future will look like.”
8-26-16 Venus once possibly habitable, study suggests
Venus once possibly habitable, study suggests
Critics question assumptions in analysis of harsh planet’s past. Venus might have once been habitable, new simulations suggest. Venus might have once been prime real estate. New computer simulations suggest that the hellish planet next door could have been habitable in the not-too-distant past, with moderate temperatures, plenty of seaside locales and even a few spots for skiing. Modern Venus is harsh: sulfuric acid rain, crushing atmospheric pressure and a surface temperature around 460° Celsius. But if Venus maintained its glacial rotation rate for much of its history — one day lasts roughly 116 Earth days — then the average temperature could have been around 15° C as recently as 715 million years ago. The findings were published online August 11 in Geophysical Research Letters. (Webmaster's comment: Maybe once there were intelligent beings on Venus like us, but they also paid no attention to their scientists who warned about global warming.)
8-25-16 Surface water shifting around the Earth
Surface water shifting around the Earth
Scientists have used satellite images to study how the water on the Earth's surface has changed over 30 years. They found that 115,000 sq km (44,000 sq miles) of land is now covered in water and 173,000 sq km (67,000 sq miles) of water has now become land. The largest increase in water has been on the Tibetan Plateau, while the Aral Sea has been the biggest conversion of water to land. The team said many coastal areas have also changed significantly. The research, carried out by the Deltares Research Institute in the Netherlands, is published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
8-24-16 Global warming amplified death toll during 2003 European heat wave
Global warming amplified death toll during 2003 European heat wave
70 percent of heat-related deaths in Paris were due to climate change. Climate change caused hundreds of heat-related deaths in London and Paris during the 2003 European heat wave, simulations suggest. Red regions experienced hotter July temperatures compared with those measured in 2001. Climate change flaunted its deadly side during the 2003 European heat wave, which killed over 70,000 people across the continent. In London and Paris alone, global warming led to 570 more heat-related deaths than would be expected without human-caused warming, researchers estimate in the July Environmental Research Letters. Daniel Mitchell of the University of Oxford and colleagues ran thousands of climate simulations with and without the influence of greenhouse gases emitted by humans. The simulations showed that 70 percent of heat-related deaths in central Paris during the heat wave and 20 percent in Greater London could be attributed to climate change. The study is the first to quantify climate change’s role in the event and will inform policy makers on the risks climate change poses, the researchers say.
8-24-16 Global warming and the race for the White House
Global warming and the race for the White House
Two starkly different visions of global warming are offered by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in their race for the White House. The Democratic Party contender says she believes in the science of climate change and plans to see America become a "clean energy superpower" - installing half-a-billion solar panels by the end of her first term. By contrast, the Republican candidate talks down the threat of rising temperatures and says his priority is to cut the costs of energy for manufacturers and to revive the coal industry. Hillary Clinton is a strong supporter of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Donald Trump wants to renegotiate it or pull America out of it. Because the US has the world's largest economy, and is the second-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after China, the outcome of this struggle will reverberate internationally. If the US leaves the Paris Agreement, the painfully-negotiated deal could unravel. With such sharply opposing perspectives, this is the first presidential contest in which the candidates are highlighting their stances on global warming and energy, and using them to attack each other. So how is this playing out in a swing state like Ohio, which hosts some of America's oldest coalfields and one of the most innovative solar panel makers?
8-24-16 First US offshore wind farm will power an entire island
First US offshore wind farm will power an entire island
The five-turbine farm off Rhode Island’s coast is expected to be supplying first homes by the end of the year. The turbines at the first offshore wind farm in the US were installed last week, and their blades are set to start generating power by the end of the year. The Block Island Wind Farm, developed by Deepwater Wind in Providence, Rhode Island, will be able to produce enough power for 17,000 homes – up to 30 megawatts. That’s much less than many of the offshore wind farms in the UK and Europe generate, some of which contain more than 100 turbines and together have the capacity for 11,000 megawatts of electricity. The US already gets about 5 per cent of the electrical power it produces from inland wind energy – more than 70,000 megawatts in 2015. Wind tends to be stronger and more stable over the ocean, says Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. The ocean breeze is also generally strongest during the late afternoon and early evening, when electricity demand peaks. This make offshore areas an attractive location for future development, he says. “For large population centres here in the north-east, we need to find a way to generate clean energy locally,” says Grybowski. Wind could be the answer, he notes. “It is clearly the biggest clean energy resource in the north-east.”
8-23-16 Louisiana floods a 'crisis of climate change' say Greens
Louisiana floods a 'crisis of climate change' say Greens
The Green Party presidential candidate has described the flooding in the US state of Louisiana as "a crisis of climate change". Dr Jill Stein spoke as she surveyed the wreckage from the disaster, which has killed at least 13 people and displaced thousands more. A week on, more than 2,800 people remain in shelters unable to return to their wrecked homes. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump also visited this week. President Barack Obama has been criticised for not breaking off his holiday last week but he will come on Tuesday. Dr Stein stood in front of a home gutted by the rains in Denham Springs to deliver her message on global warming. "We see the Louisiana flood as further evidence of the global crisis posed by climate change," the Green Party released in a statement. "Until we humans make global sweeping changes to our economic and social systems, we must expect these types of disasters to continue regularly." (Webmaster's comment: The rich conservatives will allow no changes that might affect their increasing wealth.)
8-23-16 Why childlessness can't stave off climate apocalypse
Why childlessness can't stave off climate apocalypse
Nature is merciless in its indifference to human frailty. In a year where political systems the world over are popping rivets or collapsing outright, the most serious problem humanity has ever faced continues its relentless march. The laws of physics do not care that a deranged racist has gotten within shouting distance of the American presidency, and will not pause climate change to let us clean political house. Sheer desperation has led to a resurgence of a '70s-vintage liberal trope: that maybe the problem is too much dang breeding. Since human life produces carbon dioxide, not having kids can prevent the rise of a key greenhouse gas. Hence people like Travis Rieder, who is traveling around advocating smaller families to help stave off climate apocalypse. As a strategy for dealing with climate change, this is garbage. Let me explain.
8-23-16 Solar power 'key to peace' in Rio favela
Solar power 'key to peace' in Rio favela
Pol Dhuyvetter from Belgium believes solar panels are the key to peace in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. He hopes the Babilonia favela can even turn a profit from their panels by selling excess energy back to the Brazilian power grid. (Webmaster's comment: If only it was so simple.)
8-22-16 Ways to beat heat have hidden costs for birds
Ways to beat heat have hidden costs for birds
Panting, seeking shade affect food foraging. Heat can have hidden costs for birds. Something as simple as panting can chip away at a southern yellow-billed hornbill's ability to snag prey. In the short-term, ways to beat the heat are cool. But for desert birds, even simple panting or flying into the shade have some sneaky long-term costs. When male southern yellow-billed hornbills pant, they’re less able to snap up food, Susan Cunningham reported August 18 at the North American Ornithological Conference. The hornbills are the third bird species that Cunningham, of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and various colleagues have shown face hidden costs of trying not to overheat. Birds certainly have ways to ease the immediate dangers of heat. But determining the full consequences of all those small accommodations becomes more urgent as the climate changes.
8-22-16 China’s drive to clean up its coal power, one plant at a time
China’s drive to clean up its coal power, one plant at a time
A visionary engineer, Feng Weizhong, plans to reduce the country’s carbon footprint with cleaner-burning technologies, and he is designing its cleanest coal plant yet. China, the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter, is often chided for its carbon-belching, Dickensian-looking coal plants. But it is working to clean up its coal power. While this will reduce overall emissions, critics say it chiefly serves to prolong the use of coal power. Now, a Chinese engineer has re-engineered a Shanghai coal plant to make it one of the world’s most efficient – and a potential model for the country’s coal-burning future. China has limited oil and gas reserves, so high-efficiency coal is “the only way” for the country to meet its energy needs while also reducing its emissions, says Feng Weizhong, general manager of the state-run Shanghai-Waigaoqiao No. 3 Power Plant . The plant supplies about 8 per cent of the megacity’s power and is in one of the country’s largest power-generating complexes. China has shut many coal plants over the last decade, and pledged to increase the share of renewables in its energy mix from 13 per cent in 2010 to 20 per cent by 2030, when it plans to peak its emissions. (Webmaster's comment: Too bad that United States can't compete with Chinese engineering.)
8-22-16 Canada’s 'dirty oil' climate change dilemma
Canada’s 'dirty oil' climate change dilemma
A debate is raging in Alberta over plans to get more "dirty oil" out of the ground, which some say is in conflict with Canada's environmental commitments. BBC HARDtalk went to investigate. When Hanna Fridhed welcomed us into her home in Fort McMurray last month, there was no door to walk through and no windows to look out of, just the charred remains of a house obliterated by fire. The culprit? The Beast - the name given to the massive wildfire that swept through northern Alberta in Canada in May, destroying parts of Fort McMurray and forcing the evacuation of its roughly 90,000 residents. For many environmentalists, the wildfire was not simply a natural disaster but partly the result of man-made climate change, a point brought uncomfortably close to home by Fort McMurray's proximity to Alberta's vast oil sands deposits. The oil sands, sometimes referred to as "dirty oil", have long been a target of climate change campaigners who insist that the energy-intensive extraction of oil sands and the greenhouse gas emissions it generates, mean most of the remaining deposits must stay in the ground.
8-21-16 America's controversial experiment with offshore wind farms
America's controversial experiment with offshore wind farms
Rhode Island has a new landmark, and not everybody's happy about it. America's very first offshore wind turbine was erected recently off the coast of Rhode Island. Construction on the five-turbine, $250 million project will finish this summer. When the wind farm starts generating power late this year, it will be the first to operate off the coast of the U.S. As offshore wind gets its start here, project developers have leaned heavily on expertise from Europe, where offshore wind has a 25-year head start. The five wind turbines are being assembled by a special Norwegian installation ship about three miles off the coast of Block Island, a popular vacation spot about an hour's ferry ride from mainland Rhode Island. The windfarm is relatively small, 30 megawatts, enough to power about 17,000 homes. It's small by design, meant to prove that offshore wind can work off the coast of the U.S. and pave the way for larger wind farms. Offshore wind has been slow to arrive in the U.S. in part because of regulatory delays and opposition from influential coastal residents. A wind farm proposed more than a decade ago off Cape Cod would have been the first in the nation but was derailed by opposition from residents.
8-18-16 A global audience joins Prof Michael Sandel to discuss the world's response to climate change.
A global audience joins Prof Michael Sandel to discuss the world's response to climate change.
Should the rich world pay for climate change? A global audience joins Prof Michael Sandel to discuss the world's response to climate change.
8-18-16 Blockchain grid to let neighbours trade solar power in Australia
Blockchain grid to let neighbours trade solar power in Australia
Australian cities are set to trial the blockchain as a way to record sales of solar power between neighbours, changing the way we buy and sell energy. The blockchain is coming to Australia’s electricity grid. On 25 August, a group of neighbours will test a system to trade excess energy from solar panels between themselves using a blockchain to record the transactions. Run by local start-up PowerLedger, the trial at a retirement village in the city of Busselton, Western Australia, is another sign of the energy industry’s growing curiosity about the technology. A blockchain is a cryptographically secure ledger of every transaction made in a system, stored across every computer in its network. As every computer has a continually updating copy of the ledger, no central authority is in control. Instead, the computers essentially monitor each other to prevent fraud. It began as the driving force behind the cryptocurrency bitcoin, but is now being explored as a tool for an array of real-world industries. Residents on the west coast of Australia see 300 days of sunshine per year and rooftop solar panels are growing in popularity, says PowerLedger co-founder Jemma Green. Rather than sell excess energy back to the power company, the blockchain will allow residents to trade directly with the people around them, with the ledger keeping track of transactions.
8-16-16 Scorchio! Earth's surface is the hottest it has been in history
Scorchio! Earth's surface is the hottest it has been in history
July 2016 is the hottest month ever recorded, smashing the previous record set in July 2011 as Earth hurtles towards 1.5 °C limit. It’s official: in July, the world’s surface was the hottest it has ever been since we starting measuring its temperature, according to NASA. That means it is likely to be the hottest it has been since the last interglacial period 125,000 years ago. This record for the hottest month ever will not last long: as the planet continues warming, it will get smashed again and again. We are on course to pass the limit we are meant to avoid – 1.5 °C above average pre-industrial temperature – in 2024, give or take a few years. Recent months have set a string of records. Globally, February was a whopping 1.32 °C above the 1951 to 1980 average for this month in NASA’s record. July came in at 0.84 °C above the average for July. So how can the planet be hotter now than in February? The reason is that these monthly figures are relative to previous months, rather than absolute. The absolute temperature of the entire surface of the planet changes over the year, being hottest during the northern hemisphere summer. So a hot July is much hotter than a hot February, as the graph in the article showing the seasonal variation in Earth’s temperature reveals.
8-16-16 Professor Brian Cox clashes with Australian climate sceptic
Professor Brian Cox clashes with Australian climate sceptic
Professor Brian Cox has verbally sparred with a newly elected Australian politician who believes climate change is a global conspiracy. The British physicist behind BBC's Wonders of the Universe was a guest on the adversarial panel show Q&A. Also on the Australian TV show was senator-elect Malcolm Roberts from the anti-immigration One Nation party. The celebrity scientist was dumbfounded by Mr Roberts' claim that climate change data was manipulated by Nasa. The Australian Broadcasting Corp. panel show puts politicians, commentators and experts from different fields in front of a live studio audience to face questions about the issues of the week. Mr Roberts has previously claimed that the United Nations is using climate change to lay the foundations for an unelected global government.
8-16-16 Cox: There is 'absolute consensus' on climate change
Cox: There is 'absolute consensus' on climate change
Professor Brian Cox has verbally sparred with a newly elected Australian politician who believes climate change is a global conspiracy. The British physicist behind BBC's Wonders of the Universe was a guest on ABC's adversarial panel show Q&A. Also on the Australian TV show was senator-elect Malcolm Roberts from the anti-immigration One Nation party.
8-11-16 Climate scientists are now relying on a terrifying assumption
Climate scientists are now relying on a terrifying assumption
How can we solve climate change? One option is obvious, if a bit strange: If dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is the problem, then we could always suck it back out. If you think that sounds tricky, congratulations, you're correct. However, scientists are increasingly relying on just this idea to construct workable future scenarios where global warming does not spin out of control. And the reason is that governments around the world have not been remotely equal to the task of keeping overall warming below 2 degrees Celsius, the level at which climate change becomes unacceptably risky according to the international Paris climate accords. As a result, scientists crunching the numbers on how humanity might achieve this goal are increasingly leaning on outlandish assumptions about pulling billions of tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The math checks out — but the science is not guaranteed to work, and it would be a lot easier to just implement proper climate policy right now. Here's the basic shape of climate change. In order to stay below 2 degrees, humanity can emit a sum total of roughly 1 trillion tonnes of carbon dioxide for all time. Emissions in 2014 were about 32 billion tonnes. We're headed towards that limit at high speed — so to stay below it (without pulling anything out of the air) humanity must cut its emissions very fast, very soon.
8-10-16 How Tesla’s batteries can change the solar power game
How Tesla’s batteries can change the solar power game
Elon Musk's takeover of SolarCity can give solar power the efficiency boost it needs – letting rooftop panels pipe cheap energy onto the grid. THE dream of a solar-powered society has tantalised us for decades. But the costs involved in piping the sun’s energy into the electricity grid remain prohibitively high. Now, solar power could get the efficiency boost it needs – thanks to a corporate takeover. Last week, Tesla, which makes batteries big enough to power your home – and also happens to make the biggest-selling electric car – announced that it is buying SolarCity, one of the leading installers of solar panels in the US. Backed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who co-founded both companies, the combined expertise could provide the breakthrough the fledgling solar industry needs. The price of solar panels has fallen significantly in the last decade, but providing stable power from solar is more complex than just plugging in more panels. Grid operators need a way to store the sun’s energy to smooth out the supply during the night and when it’s cloudy. Several experimental sites are exploring how best to do this for renewables like solar and wind. The Solana solar power plant in Gila Bend, Arizona, pumps excess heat energy into huge vats of salt, which is good at absorbing heat. When the energy is required, piping water through the salt causes it to boil and produce steam that drives a turbine. In Texas, a giant array of batteries backs up the Notrees wind farm, keeping energy flowing when the wind dies.
8-10-16 We have to recycle water on a massive scale – this is how we can
We have to recycle water on a massive scale – this is how we can
The world is running out of drinkable water, and putting a price on the stuff won't work. But we are well on the way to building a circular water economy. ZIKA isn’t the only thing hanging over the Rio Olympics. The city’s water problems are so intractable that swimmers have been told to keep their mouths closed so that they don’t ingest sewage. The situation is an important consequence of the shoddy way we all treat our water. Beyond Rio, evidence of our disregard for the wet stuff is all around, and it is starting to bite. Beijing has sucked so much water out of the ground that the city is sinking by 11 centimetres a year. That’s positively glacial compared with parts of California’s Central Valley, which are dropping by 5 centimetres per month. In Connecticut, nuclear power plants have shut down for lack of water to cool the furious reactions inside, and coal power stations in India have shut due to droughts. Concerns have been raised that California may run out of water to fight its wildfires. And in February, protesters sabotaged a canal supplying Delhi’s water – two were killed by armed forces sent to secure the canal. In the not-too-distant future, we could see entire cities abandoned – ghost town casualties of drought and water mismanagement. It is not overly dramatic to say that the world’s “use once and throw away” attitude has enabled a slow-motion water apocalypse. “We’re going to have to do something or we’re all going to be juddering to a halt,” says Dominic Waughray, head of environment at the World Economic Forum.
8-9-16 Next-generation desalination plants go from rare to routine
Next-generation desalination plants go from rare to routine
Scientists seek cheaper strategies for producing freshwater. Freshwater is becoming a scarce resource in much of the world, including Yemen, where residents get water from a public tap. The world is on the verge of a water crisis. Rainfall shifts caused by climate change plus the escalating water demands of a growing world population threaten society’s ability to meet its mounting needs. By 2025, the United Nations predicts, 2.4 billion people will live in regions of intense water scarcity, which may force as many as 700 million people from their homes in search of water by 2030. Those water woes have people thirstily eyeing the more than one sextillion liters of water in Earth’s oceans and some underground aquifers with high salt content. For drinking or irrigation, the salt must come out of all those liters. And while desalination has been implemented in some areas — such as Israel and drought-stricken California — for much of the world, salt-removal is a prohibitively expensive energy drain. Scientists and engineers, however, aren’t giving up on the quest for desalination solutions. The technology underlying modern desalination has been around for decades, “but we have not driven it in such a way as to be ubiquitous,” says UCLA chemical engineer Yoram Cohen. “That’s what we need to figure out: how to make desalination better, cheaper and more accessible.” Recent innovations could bring costs down and make the technology more accessible. A new wonder material may make desalination plants more efficient. Solar-powered disks could also serve up freshwater with no need for electricity. Once freshwater is on tap, coastal floating farms could supply food to Earth’s most parched places, one scientist proposes.
8-9-16 How climate change could lead to more armed conflict
How climate change could lead to more armed conflict
Rising sea levels, food shortages, and more tropical storms aren't the only risks to human existence that could result from climate change — the incidence of armed conflicts also increases under these conditions, according to a study recently published in the journal PNAS. Researchers already have a pretty good idea of the conditions that make armed conflicts more likely to occur. High temperatures have consistently been associated with social factors such as high poverty and income inequality, weak governments, and a history of related conflicts, also increase the likelihood of violent clashes. But experts in the field have hotly debated the question of whether or not climatic events can influence these clashes, the study authors write. It makes sense that these catastrophic events might play a role — as drought or floods limit the resources available to fulfill people's basic needs, they're more likely to fight for them. Unlike past studies, the researchers behind this study took these political and social factors into account.
8-8-16 Warming seas linked to rise in cholera bacteria in Europe and US
Warming seas linked to rise in cholera bacteria in Europe and US
An increase in cholera infections has been linked to rising sea temperatures, and the disease is spreading into cooler regions it was previously absent from. There’s nothing like swimming in cold water. Warming oceans caused by climate change may be leading to an increase in cholera and other infections caused by Vibrio bacteria, according to more than 50 years of data on climate and populations of ocean microbes. Vibrio bacteria are part of the natural flora of seawater, and are abundant in coastal waters. Several species can cause dangerous infections in humans, including cholera and food poisoning. These bacteria tend to do better in warmer waters, but until now no one had shown whether global warming was having an influence on the life of the bacteria.
8-8-16 Decline of fishing in Lake Tanganyika 'due to warming'
Decline of fishing in Lake Tanganyika 'due to warming'
New research blames rising temperatures over the last century as the key cause of decline in one of the world's most important fisheries. Lake Tanganyika is Africa's oldest lake and its fish are a critical part of the diet of neighbouring countries. But catches have declined markedly in recent decades as commercial fleets have expanded. However this new study says that climate warming and not overfishing is the real cause of the problem.
8-8-16 World’s longest lake is being depleted of life as waters warm
World’s longest lake is being depleted of life as waters warm
Rising temperatures are damaging biodiversity in Lake Tanganyika, Africa’s oldest and deepest lake, core sediments show. Loss of biodiversity in Lake Tanganyika, Africa’s oldest and deepest lake, has been driven by 500 years of sustained climate warming, a study of core sediments has found. This has led to a decline in the abundance of the lake’s fish that pre-dates commercial fisheries. We have known that the warming climate is transforming lakes worldwide, but a lack of consistent climate and fishery data from the tropics has meant that little was known about how lakes in the region were affected.
8-9-16 India’s monsoon winds trace back nearly 13 million years
India’s monsoon winds trace back nearly 13 million years
Global cooling, rise of Himalayas helped stir up South Asian monsoon. The strong winds that carry water-laden clouds over India every year began blowing around 12.9 million years ago, new research suggests. Monsoon rainfall often leads to heavy flooding in the country. The mighty monsoon winds that periodically bring rains that drench India first billowed around 12.9 million years ago, new research shows. The work provides the best look yet at the conditions that fostered the modern monsoon. By examining sediments piled up around Indian Ocean islands, researchers uncovered a geologic history of the South Asian monsoon stretching back tens of millions of years. The monsoon winds began abruptly, researchers report online July 20 in Scientific Reports. That speedy start-up suggests that factors such as global cooling were at play in addition to the rise of the Himalayan mountain range, which scientists typically blame for the monsoon’s inception.c
8-8-16 More than 60 per cent of coral reef in Maldives hit by bleaching
More than 60 per cent of coral reef in Maldives hit by bleaching
High sea temperatures have caused a mass bleaching of coral reefs in Maldives in the Indian Ocean, affecting 60 per of its reefs – and more in places. More than 60 per cent of coral in reefs in the Maldives has been hit by bleaching as the world is gripped by record temperatures in 2016, a scientific survey suggests. Bleaching happens when algae that lives in the coral is expelled due to stress caused by extreme and sustained changes in temperatures, turning the coral white and putting it at risk of dying if conditions do not return to normal. Unusually warm ocean temperatures due to climate change and a strong El Niño phenomenon that pushes up temperatures further have led to coral reefs worldwide being affected in a global bleaching event over the past two years. Preliminary results of a survey in May this year found all the reefs looked at in the Maldives, in the Indian Ocean, were affected by high sea surface temperatures. Around 60 per cent of all assessed coral colonies, and up to 90 per cent in some areas, were bleached.
8-6-16 India climate: What do drowning rhinos and drought tell us?
India climate: What do drowning rhinos and drought tell us?
India, indeed the whole South Asia region, has been riding a rollercoaster of extreme weather. The summer monsoon is the most productive rain system in the world, and this year the region is experiencing a strong one. The floods it caused have affected more than 8.5 million people; more than a million are living in temporary shelters; some 300 people have been killed. But the important point is that the region is awash with water. Just a few months ago, it was a very different story. The previous two monsoons were unusually weak. The result was a terrible drought in northern India, and parts of Pakistan and Bangladesh. And it was exacerbated by another extreme weather event - record heat. India experienced its highest temperature ever this summer, a blistering 124F. Rivers ran dry; water holes evaporated; reservoirs became dusty plains. And, once again, the statistics were staggering. More than 300 million people were affected by water shortages - the equivalent of the entire population of the US. A city of half a million people was left completely dry. It had to rely on supplies brought in by train. (Webmaster's comment: People die at 140F. Stand by.)
8-5-16 Siberia has been experiencing a heat wave, with temperatures in the 90s that is melting the permafrost, which is releasing large amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
8-5-16 Venus could have been habitable while life evolved on Earth
Venus could have been habitable while life evolved on Earth
Turning back the clock on Venus with computer simulations suggests it might have once looked like early Earth and even been hospitable to life. Nicknamed Earth’s evil twin, Venus seems like everything our planet is not: scorching hot, dried out and covered in toxic clouds. But a mere one or two billion years ago, these two wayward siblings might have been more alike. New computer simulations suggest that early Venus might have looked a lot like our home planet – and it might even have been habitable. “It’s one of the big mysteries about Venus. How did it get so different from Earth when it seems likely to have started so similarly?” says David Grinspoon at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona. “The question becomes richer when you consider astrobiology, the possibility that Venus and Earth were very similar during the time of the origin of life on Earth.” Grinspoon and his colleagues aren’t the first to imagine that Venus was once hospitable. It’s similar to Earth in size and density, and the fact that the two planets formed so close together suggests that they’re made of the same bulk materials. Venus also has an unusually high ratio of deuterium to hydrogen atoms, a sign that it once housed a substantial amount of water, mysteriously lost over time.(Webmaster's comment: Maybe there were "intelligent" creatures on Venus whose industrial revolution's Global Warming fried them and their planet just like it will ours. Based on what's left after Venus's runaway greenhouse event we'll never know.)
8-3-16 Record-breaking year shows Earth’s climate is in real trouble
Record-breaking year shows Earth’s climate is in real trouble
Our planet's “annual physical” check-up finds it severely ill, with dozens of various climate records broken last year. Dozens of climate records were broken last year, according to a report nicknamed the annual physical for the planet. Soon after 2015 ended, it was proclaimed the hottest on record – and the new report shows the broad extent of other records and near-records set last year. Those include record heat energy absorbed by the oceans and the lowest groundwater storage levels globally, according to the research from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US. “I think the time to call the doctor was years ago,” said NOAA climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt, co-editor of the report. “We are awash in multiple symptoms.” The 2015 State Of The Climate report examined 50 different aspects of climate, including dramatic melting of Arctic sea ice and glaciers worldwide. A dozen different nations set hottest year records, including Russia and China. South Africa had the hottest temperature ever recorded in the month of October, at 119 °F. “There is really only one word for this parade of shattered climate records: GRIM,” said Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb. Scientists also said the turbo-charged climate affected walrus and penguin populations and played a role in dangerous algal blooms, such as one off the Pacific Northwest coast. They added that there were brutal heat waves all over the world, with ones in India and Pakistan killing thousands of people. (Webmaster's comment: Again like I've said, we've past the tipping point on Global Warming. People are starting to die!)
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