Monday, 2 July 2012

Climate stuff from the week 25/6 - 1/7/12

A federal appeals court, on Tuesday, upheld the ruling that greenhouse gases count as air pollution.
"Carol Browner, Obama's former energy and climate adviser, said the decision "should put an end, once and for all, to any questions about the EPA's legal authority to protect us from dangerous industrial carbon pollution," adding that it was a "devastating blow" to those who challenge the scientific evidence of climate change."

'Significant sea-level rise in a 2-degree warming world'
"As an example, for New York City it has been shown that one metre of sea level rise could raise the frequency of severe flooding from once per century to once every three years"
"Also, low lying deltaic countries like Bangladesh and many small island states are likely to be severely affected."
Both coasts of the USA should expect to see levels rise by more than the global average, due to continental subsidence.
(Water goes up, land goes down, water seems to go up even farther)

Because plant growth is contingent on water as well as CO2 abundance, it has been predicted that, in regions of Africa where water abundance remains or increases, trees will replace savannah, but where water abundance decreases, savannah will be forced to turn to desert, despite increasing abundance of CO2.

Identification of anomalous data from Greenland ice, relating to the Younger Dryas, ~12000 years ago, has enabled a honing of climate models.
Ice core data suggests that temperatures during the Younger Dryas period dropped 15 degrees, in Greenland. But this is contradicted by other analytical techniques.
The reason for the discrepancy is that, during this period, the Laurentide ice sheet was shrinking. As it did so, it allowed Pacific moisture to wander over and mix with Greenland's Arctic/Atlantic moisture, causing the ice left to indicate much lower temperatures than were really going on.

Updated techniques mean El Nino events can be predicted up to 18 months before they occur, giving people an extra 9 months to prepare for the climatic fluctuations that go with it.

So it isn't only the UK that has pollution-laden beaches, then...
'US beaches laden with sewage, bacteria'

The UK's rivers, however, have flourished, in the last 20 years, thanks to State regulation of industrial pollution.
Worryingly, the only downturns have been caused by droughts, which are due to increase in frequency and intensity as the climate changes, and water consumption rises due to population increase.

This backs up my comment in last week's "Climate stuff..." news.
Plants are not carbon absorbers all year around -- in winter, deciduous plants emit carbon (losing their leaves means a fall in plant biomass, so carbon will have left to the atmosphere)
The team found that grass stores less in the summer, when the heat scorches it; deciduous trees absorb most during summer, when their foliage grows out the most.
Because there was not a maintained increase in biomass, over the course of the year, the net absorption of CO2, by the plants, was nowhere near what would be necessary to cancel out the fossil fuel pollution of urban districts.

Drought weakened the pinyon pines and juniper trees along the Colorado river, and mountain pine beetles have come in and finished them off.
This could have a dramatic effect on the area's ecosystem - it's the little pine and juniper trees that are holding the soil together.
Without the trees, soil erosion will reduce the nutrient content in the area, and undermine the rest of the ecosystem.

Urgent need for climate change adaptation in the Lake Eyre region of South Australia
Patterns predict that local temperatures will increase by 4 degrees in the next century, and that this will probably happen in jumps, leading to big problems for animals and plants, when it comes to adaptation.

No comments:

Post a Comment