Category: Earth Sciences


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Watch: Tourists defy death at Manali-Chandigarh highway

Last Updated: Monday, December 7, 2015 – 15:50
Watch: Tourists defy death at Manali-Chandigarh highway

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Several tourists on had a narrow escape when a part of a mountain near Chandigarh-Manali highway collapsed.  The 31-second video, recorded by a mobile phone camera, shows tourists running for their lives.

Initially, it was said that the landslide was caused due to an earthquake today in the region, but later it was clarified that the incident has no connection with the earthquake.

 

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Dec 01, 2015 03:03 PM EST

Tectonic plates in the eastern Mediterranean

A recent study found that the historical occurrence of earthquakes in the eastern Mediterranean Sea has been much more plentiful than previously thought. They have suggestions for precautions to take, considering that. (Photo : Wikimedia Commons)

There is more seismic activity in the eastern Mediterranean than was previously thought, and a study about this was recently accepted for publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Historically in the long stretch of geological time, seismic activity near and around Crete has stirred up bursts of earthquakes, and this may increase the region’s future risk of earthquakes and tsunamis, according to a release.

Several tectonic plates are in the Mediterranean basin, caused by the African and Eurasian Plates crashing together there. While scientists have been aware that the collision between the two plates can make the eastern part of that sea and land area susceptible to earthquakes, they’ve also been confused by the region having gone through only two (known) earthquakes larger than 8 on the Richter scale in 4,000 years.

The African Plate goes under the Aegean microplate just south of Crete. This occurs in an area shaped like an arc, which is called the Hellenic margin. The scientists in the study looked at the history of earthquakes in this subduction zone, to learn what could drive mega-earthquakes in the area.

“We study the Hellenic subduction margin going back to about 50,000 years, which is about 10 times the time window of paleo-earthquake observations in the eastern Mediterranean that we had before,” Vasiliki Mouslopoulou, at the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, and study lead author, in the release. “For the first time ever, we were able to chart the spatial and temporal pattern with which mega-earthquakes rupture the Hellenic margin.”

 

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The New American

 

Friday, 04 December 2015

At UN Summit, Obama Blames America for Global Warming

Written by 

 

Speaking at a United Nations “climate” summit in Paris, Obama blamed America for alleged man-made global warming and claimed that the nation embraces its responsibility to “do something” about the alleged problem. That “something,” of course, at least in the administration’s view, involves redistributing the wealth of embattled U.S. taxpayers to Third World governments and dictatorships for climate reparations, as well as shackling the American economy with draconian controls to reduce emissions of what serious scientists know as the “gas of life.” Sounding like a wannabe messiah, Obama even claimed that “we finally determined we would save our planet.” However, lawmakers in Congress and the American people have made clear that they neither believe in the increasingly discredited anthropogenic global-warming (AGW) theory nor in the alleged solutions to the supposed problem.

Dictators and other heads of state have typically arrived at UN conferences toward the end of the show. This time, however, hoping desperately to secure a global “climate” agreement where past summits have failed, UN organizers decided Obama and other “world leaders” should show up at the start. Obama complied, spewing gargantuan amounts of CO2 and arriving in Paris to deliver various speeches hyping the AGW theory, along with illegal pledges to hand out your money. “I’ve come here personally, as the leader of the world’s largest economy and the second-largest emitter, to say that the United States of America not only recognizes our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it,” Obama claimed at the ongoing conference, which featured some 150 dictators and heads of government and state.

Of course, Obama is not the “leader” of the “world’s largest economy.” His job description is to serve as the chief executive of the federal government, to faithfully execute the laws, and to uphold and defend the Constitution. His other claims were even more ludicrous. For instance, the notion that America recognizes its alleged role in creating the alleged problem could not be more wrong. According to a Pew survey released last year, just 40 percent of Americans even believe the increasingly discredited AGW theory. And without a doubt, far less than that would agree that the nation should shackle its economy and redistribute its wealth to Third World regimes under the guise of dealing with a problem that the overwhelming majority of Americans do not even believe exists.

Obama also apparently sought to deceive his fellow rulers by touting his unconstitutional and illegitimate decrees, without noting that the American people’s elected representatives, state governments, and the courts are currently in the process of dismantling those decrees. “Over the last seven years, we’ve made ambitious investments in clean energy, and ambitious reductions in our carbon emissions,” he told the UN and its member regimes, touting half-baked, taxpayer-funded “renewable energy” schemes imposed by the federal government (such as the now-bankrupt crony solar company Solyndra, which put huge sums of taxpayer funds into the pockets of Obama donors). Obama also touted his rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline and the “the first-ever set of national standards” purporting to regulate what Obama referred to as “carbon pollution.”

 

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Obama blames America for non-existent global warming

September 24, 2014 6:52 AM MST
Barack Obama speaks at U.N. climate summit.

Barack Obama speaks at U.N. climate summit.
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

 

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FULL Speech HD: Barack Obama at Paris Climate Conference (Cop21)

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Published on Nov 30, 2015

FULL Speech HD: Barack Obama to give final statement on last day in Paris (Cop21) chttps://youtu.be/Nq5oG6kIIPA

 

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US President Barack Obama holds news conference at Paris Climate Summit – COP21

 

NOAA Scientists In Standoff With Congress Over Climate Study – Newsy

 

 

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GLOBAL WARMING? NASA says Antarctic has been COOLING for past SIX years

ANTARCTIC temperatures have cooled over the past six years, according to US space agency NASA.

PUBLISHED: 07:51, Sat, Nov 28, 2015 | UPDATED: 12:58, Sat, Nov 28, 2015

Heimdal Glacier in southern Greenland, in an image captured on Oct. 13, 2015, from NASA Langley Research Center's Falcon 20 aircraft flying 33,000 feeNASA

Heimdal Glacier southern Greenland, from NASA’s Falcon 20 aircraft at 33,000 feet above sea level.

An intensive scientific study of both Earth’s poles has found that from 2009 to 2016 overall temperature has dropped in the southern polar region.NASA’s Operation IceBridge is an airborne survey of polar ice and has finalised two overlapping research campaigns at both the poles.In the last few weeks NASA has revealed the overall amount of ice has increased at the Antarctic and the amount of sea ice has also extended.Coupled with the latest announcement of slight cooling in the area, it has fuelled claims from climate change deniers that human industrialisation is not having the huge impact on global tenperature as often is claimed.

Map showing the extent of ice during the NASA studiesNASA

Map showing the extent of ice during the NASA studies

 

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Examiner.com

New paper claims no pause in warming, but unaltered data says otherwise

November 25, 2015 9:20 AM MST
Authors Naomi Oreskes (L) and Erik Conway attend the 'Merchants of Doubt' premiere during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.
Photo by Aaron Harris

 

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Next: How NOAA rewrote climate data to hide global warming pause

 

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Nasa Earth Observatory

Earth is Cooling…No It’s Warming

 

 

In 1967 Hansen went to work for NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, in New York City, where he continued his research on planetary problems. Around 1970, some scientists suspected Earth was entering a period of global cooling. Decades prior, the brilliant Serbian mathematician Milutin Milankovitch had explained how our world warms and cools on roughly 100,000-year cycles due to its slowly changing position relative to the Sun. Milankovitch’s theory suggested Earth should be just beginning to head into its next ice age cycle. The surface temperature data gathered by Mitchell seemed to agree; the record showed that Earth experienced a period of cooling (by about 0.3°C) from 1940 through 1970. Of course, Mitchell was only collecting data over a fraction of the Northern Hemisphere—from 20 to 90 degrees North latitude. Still, the result drew public attention and a number of speculative articles about Earth’s coming ice age appeared in newspapers and magazines.

 

Graph of Northern Hemisphere temperatures, 1860 through 1970

Initial efforts to observe Earth’s temperature were limited to the Northern Hemisphere, and they showed a cooling trend from 1940 to 1970 (jagged line). Scientists estimated the relative effects of carbon dioxide (warming, top curve) and aerosols (cooling, bottom curve) on climate, but did not have enough data to make precise predictions. (Graph from Mitchell, 1972.)

But other scientists forecasted global warming. Russian climatologist Mikhail Budyko had also observed the three-decade cooling trend. Nevertheless, he published a paper in 1967 in which he predicted the cooling would soon switch to warming due to rising human emissions of carbon dioxide. Budyko’s paper and another paper published in 1975 by Veerabhadran Ramanathan caught Hansen’s attention. Ramanathan pointed out that human-made chlorofluorocarbons (or CFCs) are particularly potent greenhouse gases, with as much as 200 times the heat-retaining capacity of carbon dioxide. Because people were adding CFCs to the lower atmosphere at an increasing rate, Ramanathan expressed concern that these new gases would eventually add to Earth’s greenhouse effect and cause our world to warm. (Because CFCs also erode Earth’s protective ozone layer, their use was mostly abolished in 1989 with the signing of the Montreal Protocol.)

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This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution. (Source: [[LINK||http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/||NOAA]])

This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution. (Credit: Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record.)

The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.

Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.
– Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.1

Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate.

 

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The evidence for rapid climate change is compelling:


  • Republic of Maldives: Vulnerable to sea level rise

    Photograph by Shahee Ilyas  

    Malé, capital of Maldives  Wikipedia.org

    Sea level rise

    Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century.4

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  • Global temperature rise

    All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880.5 Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years.6 Even though the 2000s witnessed a solar output decline resulting in an unusually deep solar minimum in 2007-2009, surface temperatures continue to increase.7

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  • Warming oceans

    The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.8

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  • Flowing meltwater from the Greenland ice sheet

    Shrinking ice sheets

    The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005.

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Eyewitness News

Major increase in weather disasters over last 2 decades

Since 1995, weather disasters have killed millions of people & left billions injured & homeless.

A flood-affected resident swims through floodwaters in Kalay, upper Myanmar’s Sagaing region on August 3, 2015. Relentless monsoon rains have triggered flash floods and landslides, destroying thousands of houses, farmland, bridges and roads with fast-flowing waters hampering relief efforts. Picture: AFP.

 

GENEVA – Weather-related disasters such as floods and heatwaves have occurred almost daily in the past decade, almost twice as often as two decades ago, with Asia being the hardest hit region, a UN report said on Monday.

While the report authors could not pin the increase wholly on climate change, they did say that the upward trend was likely to continue as extreme weather events increased.

Since 1995, weather disasters have killed millions of people, left billions injured, homeless or in need of aid, and accounted for 90 percent of all disasters, it said.

A recent peak year was 2002, when drought in India hit 200 million and a sandstorm in China affected 100 million.

But the standout mega-disaster was Cyclone Nargis, which killed 138,000 in Myanmar in 2008.

 

 

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Chronicle

North East braced for cold snap as Met Office warns of snow

 

Snow falls on the Millennium Bridge. Photo Dave Charlton February 2009
Snow falls on the Millennium Bridge in 2009

A cold snap will grip much of the North East throughout this weekend, with forecasters warning of gale-force winds, snow and hazardous driving conditions.

The Met Office has said a band of rain, sleet and snow will move south across Northern and Eastern Scotland on Friday afternoon, reaching North East England at night.

The snow will mainly affect higher ground at first, but by Friday night up to four centimetres could fall at lower levels.

Forecasters warned: “Wintry showers will spread to many Northern areas in particular and night frosts will become much more widespread.”

Chris Hogan, from MeteoGroup, said Friday will deliver blustery showers, but the conditions will deteriorate into Saturday morning.

 

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Mongabay Environmental News

There have been more than 11,000 fires in just one region of the Brazilian Amazon this year

5th November 2015 / Mike Gaworecki

While climate change can certainly exacerbate drought conditions, leading to more frequent wildfires, this year’s ferocious fire season might also have been heavily influenced by the El Niño event developing in the Pacific Ocean.

  • Satellite images revealed that on October 4, 2015 there were over 900 fires burning in the Brazilian Amazon at once.
  • The region most affected by the fires was the northern state of Amazonas, where some 11,114 forest fires were recorded this year.
  • If the Pacific El Niño continues to strengthen, researchers expect fire risk in the Amazon to increase, as well.
On October 4, 2015, satellite images revealed that there were over 900 fires burning in the Brazilian Amazon.That figure was reported by Brazil’s Institute for Space Research, known as INPE, which said that the region most affected by the fires was the northern state of Amazonas. Some 11,114 forest fires have already been observed in Amazonas this year, a 47 percent increase over the same period last year, according to INPE.

Amazonas is not alone in dealing with increased incidence of forest fires. More than a quarter of the fires so far this year have occurred in the Cerrado agricultural region, which encompasses parts of the central states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Tocantins and Minas Gerais, for instance.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s southeastern states have been suffering from extreme drought, and a study by researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University determined that the area of the Amazon affected by mild to severe drought is likely to double in the eastern part of Amazonia and triple in the west by 2100, due largely to the impacts of deforestation.

The Carnegie Institution researchers did not factor rising global temperatures into their calculations, however, meaning drought conditions are likely to be even worse than they projected. That does not bode well for future fire seasons being tamer than 2015.

 

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the guardian

El Niño: food shortages, floods, disease and droughts set to put millions at risk

Agencies warn of unchartered territory as strongest-ever El Niño threatens to batter vulnerable countries with extreme weather for months

Indonesian workers load rice on a truck at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 14 November. Indonesia will import about 1.5m tonnes of rice from Vietnam due to the impact of El Niño.
Indonesian workers load rice on a truck at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 14 November. Indonesia will import about 1.5m tonnes of rice from Vietnam due to the impact of El Niño. Photograph: Bagus Indahono/EPA

The UN has warned of months of extreme weather in many of the world’s most vulnerable countries with intense storms, droughts and floods triggered by one of the strongest El Niño weather events recorded in 50 years, which is expected to continue until spring 2016.

El Niño is a natural climatic phenomenon that sees equatorial waters in the eastern Pacific ocean warm every few years. This disrupts regular weather patterns such as monsoons and trade winds, and increases the risk of food shortages, floods, disease and forest fires.

This year, a strong El Niño has been building since March and its effects are already being seen in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Malawi, Indonesia and across Central America, according to the World Meteorological Organisation. The phenomenon is also being held responsible for uncontrolled fires in forests in Indonesia and in the Amazon rainforest.

The UN’s World Meteorological Organization warned in a report on Monday that the current strong El Niño is expected to strengthen further and peak around the end of the 2015. “Severe droughts and devastating flooding being experienced throughout the tropics and sub-tropical zones bear the hallmarks of this El Niño, which is the strongest in more than 15 years,” said WMO secretary-general Michel Jarraud.

Jarraud said the impact of the naturally occurring El Niño event was being exacerbated by global warming, which had already led to record temperatures this year. “This event is playing out in uncharted territory. Our planet has altered dramatically because of climate change,” he said. “So this El Niño event and human-induced climate change may interact and modify each other in ways which we have never before experienced. El Niño is turning up the heat even further.”

 

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Business Insider

This year’s El Niño is shaping up to be one of the most powerful on record

el ninoNOAA

If you’ve been paying attention to the weather news at all lately, you’ll know that it’s a big year for a weather event called El Niño.

The complex phenomenon could bring warmer, wetter weather to the Northeast this winter and much-needed rain to California, but worsen cold and drought conditions elsewhere in the US.

And this year’s El Niño could be one of the most powerful on record, experts say.

“One of the strongest El Niño events in the past 65 years is likely to bring significant winter weather to the United States,” James Aman, senior meteorologist at Earth Networks, said in a statement.

What the heck is El Niño, anyway?

El Niño is a weather event characterized by warmer-than-normal temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, with important consequences for global weather and climate, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. By contrast, La Niña refers to colder-than-normal Pacific temperatures.

The effects of El Niño can be seen across the globe, from increased rainfall in the Southern US and Peru to drought in the Western Pacific and brush fires in Australia.

 

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New Scientist

Daily news

4 November 2015

Most of Earth's mass extinctions caused by… mineral deficiencies

Image credit: Sheila Terry/SPL

Are you getting enough minerals? A new theory suggests most of Earth’s mass extinction events could have been caused by a lack of essential trace elements in the world’s oceans, causing fatal deficiencies in marine animals, from plankton to reptiles.

Earth has been hit with five mass extinction events. The two most dramatic ones had pretty clear causes. The dinosaurs were probably wiped out 66 million years ago thanks to a massive meteor falling on modern-day Mexico, while the end-Permian extinction, which wiped out 90 per cent of species 252 million years ago, was probably the result of massive volcanoes in Siberia.

But that leaves three other mass extinctions, with no agreed cause.

“It’s a complex scenario,” says John Long from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. He says there are probably a lot of causes conspiring to drive these mass extinctions. But his latest work suggests fluctuations in essential minerals in the ocean could be an important, and so-far completely unexplored, cause.

Essential selenium

Earlier this year, researchers discovered that periods when the ocean had high levels of trace elements – like zinc, copper, manganese and selenium – seemed to overlap with periods of high productivity, including the Cambrian explosion, when most groups of living animals first appeared.

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Accuweather

NASA: North Atlantic ‘Cold Blob’ May be Culprit Behind Ocean Current Slowdown

By Mark Leberfinger, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
November 17, 2015; 12:34 AM ET

A major player in the transportation of heat in the Atlantic Ocean is slowing down and may affect higher latitude climates in the Northern Hemisphere, according to a NASA analysis of satellite data.

The “cold blob” that developed off Greenland may be the drag on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) by producing very chilly to record cold water, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said earlier this year.

Global warming may be responsible for AMOC’s slowdown but natural forces may also be at work, NASA said. AMOC is part of the complex circulation of currents that help take the warmer Gulf Stream water and move it through the basin.

Data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites correspond with similar findings that were not satellite-based. The GRACE findings were published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

An AMOC slowdown would impact other currents throughout the Atlantic.

 

 

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