Monday, 11 June 2012

Climate stuff from the week 4-10/6/12

Siberian tundra is slowly converting into forest. Good for the trees; bad for everyone else. Forests have a much lower albedo than shiny white snow, so increasing forest ground-cover will accelerate absorption of solar energy, and thereby climatic change also.
A previous study has demonstrated that, overall, boreal forests actually have a negative climatological effect

As temperatures increase, and river temperatures likewise, many power plants, whether nuclear or fossil-powered, will face difficulties.
Higher water temperatures mean lower cooling efficiency, maybe even forcing some plants off-line.

Why was the Earth's climate disconnected from atmospheric CO2 concentrations 5-12 million years ago, in contrast to today, when the connection is clear and strong?
Back in the Miocene (23-5 mya) - the era which preceded the Pliocene, Pleistocene, and today's Holocene - the world's climate was warmer than would be expected from observed atmospheric CO2 concentration correlations.
But why? Researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz have identified a series of factors involving the Pacific - a region of the Earth's surface well known to have a large influence on climate.
The Pacific Southern Oscillation is responsible for periodic climatic fluctuations (El Nino, that causes global spikes in temperature; and La Nina, the 'recovery' period).
{Climate change deniers have a habit of abusing the SO to cherry-pick periods of global temperature that begin with an El Nino, but don't follow onto the next, thereby causing the illusion of decreasing temperatures. Cross-decadal measurements do not permit for this deceit, which is why they bang on with "the 90s have been cooling", "the 00s have been cooling" etc.}
During the Miocene, the Pacific was open to the Indian Ocean, and to the Caribbean and Atlantic, but the Bering Straits closed it off to the cold Arctic waters. This caused an increasing thickness of warmer pelagic-zone water (a sinking thermocline), and would thereby have warmed the atmosphere and the rest of the world.

Public health experts from Sweden, Germany, and South Africa, have come together to point out that there already-documented health deficits associated with ensuing climatic changes. I have mentioned some of these on my still-very-young blog, already.

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