Monday, 4 June 2012

Climate stuff from the week 28/5 - 3/6/12

Ectothermic (cold-blooded) land and sea species differ in their responses to warming temperatures.
Because they rely on solar energy to reach operating temperature, ectothermic animals are limited by the coldest temperatures regions experience. Because all regions are warming, regions closer to the poles are becoming viable for previously-more-equatorial species.
But, terrestrial animals are migrating faster from the equator, because they are more seriously affected by lack of water than their aquatic counterparts.
This is why the two regions of the tropics are most abundantly biodiverse, and so these regions of biological abundance can be expected to be migrate toward the poles.
To compound this problem, herbivorous animals also suffer more from the poisons that plants produce in order to discourage their ingestion.
Warmer temperatures mean lower ability to process the poinsons, meaning they have to eat less of it. Also, the poisons seem to have a greater effect at higher temperatures!

Archaeological evidence has demonstrated that climatic change undermined the Indus' economy, resulting in a collapse of their society. Failure to adapt will result in a similar consequence for us, globally

Melting of Greenland's terrestrial ice currently contributes 0.7 of the 3 mm that sea levels rise by every year, but the rate Greenland contributes is increasing by 0.07 millimetres.
This means Greenland (assuming linearity, so these estimates will be on the low side) will contribute as much as the entire rest of the world by 2050.
And that isn't including the increase in melt from terrestrial Antarctic ice!
And more news of Greenland. This time of its glaciers, which appear to be highly responsive to their environs.
Between the 30s and the 00s, sulphur pollution cooled the Arctic, halting glacier melt. Now that the pollution has cleared, the glaciers are melting again.

CO2eq emissions have reached a record high, as capitalists insist on perpetual economic growth, causing exponentially increasing emissions from fossil-fuelled energy sources.
Want to know how to reverse this trend? Buy less stuff!

The climate in western North America is changing so fast that the glacier lily is blooming earlier and earlier, and the broad-tailed hummingbirds that depend on them are not adapting fast enough. Eventually, the hummingbirds will go foodless, and starve to extinction

Atmospheric CO2eq concentrations have reached 400ppm (parts per million) already, which means there is an immense amount of damage coming our way, due to the lag time of its impact. The time to act was decades ago. We have so much work to do - adaptation is too slow to deal with what's coming

Every year, ~1330 Americans die from heat-related events. That figures expected to rise to 4600 by the end of the century, meaning ~150,000 lives will be attributable to temperature itself.
In case you think this is hypothetical, bear in mind that the European heatwave in 2003 killed 35,000 people!

Australian conservationists fear they'll lose the Great Barrier Reef to pollution and climatic change if plans for fossil gas stations, mining, and tourist exploits are not mediated or halted.

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