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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Global warming pushes 2014 temperatures to record highs

Scientists from two leading climate research centres publish 'best evidence yet' of rising long-term global temperatures

A Pakistani boy cools off in a park in Multan
A Pakistani boy cools off as temperatures reached 51C in a heatwave last month. Photograph: MK Chaudhry/EPA

Global temperatures in the first half of the year were the hottest since records began more than a century ago, according to two of the world's leading climate research centres.

Scientists have also released what they described as the "best evidence yet" of rising long-term temperatures. The report is the first to collate 11 different indicators – from air and sea temperatures to melting ice – each one based on between three and seven data sets, dating back to between 1850 and the 1970s.

The newly released data follows months of scrutiny of climate science after sceptics claimed leaked emails from the University of East Anglia (UEA) suggested temperature records had been manipulated - a charge rejected by three inquiries.

Publishing the newly collated data in London, Peter Stott, the head of climate modelling at the UK Met Office, said despite variations between individual years, the evidence was unequivocal: "When you follow those decade-to-decade trends then you see clearly and unmistakably signs of a warming world".
"That's a very remarkable result, that all those data sets agree," he added. "It's the clearest evidence in one place from a range of different indices."
Currently 1998 is the hottest year on record. Two combined land and sea surface temperature records from Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and the US National Climatic Data Centre (NCDC) both calculate that the first six months were the hottest on record. According to GISS, four of the six months also individually showed record highs.
A third leading monitoring programme, by the Met Office, shows this period was the second hottest on record, after 1998, with two months this year – January and March – being hotter than their equivalents 12 years ago.
The Met Office said the variations between the figures published by the different organisations are because the Met Office uses only temperature observations, Nasa makes estimates for gaps in recorded data such as the polar regions, and the NCDC uses a mixture of the two approaches. The latest figures will give weight to predictions that this year could become the hottest on record.
Despite annual fluctuations, the figures also highlight the clear trend for the 2000s to be hotter than the 1990s, which in turn were clearly warmer than the previous decade, said Stott.
"These numbers are not theory, but fact, indicating that the Earth's climate is moving into uncharted territory," said Rafe Pomerance, a senior fellow at Clean Air Cool Planet, a US group dedicated to helping find solutions to global warming.
The Met Office published its full list of global warming indicators, compiled by Hadley Centre researcher John Kennedy. It formed part of the State of the Climate 2009 report published as a special bulletin of the American Meteorological Society by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which runs the NCDC temperature series.
Seven of the indicators rose over the last few decades, indicating "clear warming trends", although these all included annual fluctuations up and down. One of these was air temperature over land – including data from the Climatic Research Unit at the UEA, whose figures were under scrutiny after hacked emails were posted online in November 2009, but the graphic also included figures from six other research groups all showing the same overall trends despite annual differences.
The other six rising indicators were sea surface temperatures, collected by six groups; ocean heat to 700m depth from seven groups; air temperatures over oceans (five data sets); the tropospheric temperature in the atmosphere up to 1km up (seven); humidity caused by warmer air absorbing more moisture (three); and sea level rise as hotter oceans expand and ice melts (six).
Another four indicators showed declining figures over time, again consistent with global warming: northern hemisphere snow cover (two data sets), Arctic sea ice extent (three); glacier mass loss (four); and the temperature of the stratosphere. This last cooling effect is caused by a decline in ozone in the stratosphere which prevents it absorbing as much ultraviolet radiation from the sun above.
One key data set omitted was sea ice in the Antarctic, because it was increasing in some areas and decreasing in others, due to reduced ozone causing changes in wind patterns and sea-surface circulation. This data set showed no clear trend, said Stott. These figures were also in the last report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007.
"It's not that the IPCC didn't look at this data, of course they did, but they didn't put it all together in one place," he added.
The cause of the warming was "dominated" by greenhouse gases emitted by human activity, said Stott. "It's possible there's some [other] process which can amplify other effects, such as radiation from the sun, [but] the evidence is so clear the chance there's something we haven't thought of seems to be getting smaller and smaller," he said

Monday, September 8, 2014

Nine Interesting Facts about Global Warming 2014

>The leading cause of global warming is from water vapor, then carbon dioxide emissions, nitrous oxides, and chlorofluorocarbons (used in household appliances like air conditioning).

>Chlorofluorocarbons are expected to be eliminated and put out of use by 2030 to help slow down global warming.

>The biggest business sectors that are contributing to global warming are the following: Industry, Transportation, Residential, Commercial, Agriculture.

>Methane is the second biggest cause of greenhouse warming. Gas from cows is a big contributor to global warming.

>A big enough volcano eruption could cool the earth for one or two years because sulfuric acid from the explosion would combine with water vapor to form a “shield” that would reflect some sunlight away from earth. Such an eruption would be quite catastrophic, though.

>The coloration of aerosols (miniscule particles in the air) generally changes their relationship with the sun. Lightly colored aerosols reflect light back away from earth (as a white t-shirt) while darker aerosols generally absorb heat (as a hot asphalt road when it is sunny).

>Generally, wispy clouds, such as cirrus clouds, trap light and thus warm the atmosphere whilst thick clouds generally reflect sunlight.

>Ice/snow cover cools the earth by reflecting sunlight.

>Without water vapor’s effect on the atmosphere, the earth would be at below freezing temperatures

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Global warming and its impacts on climate of India

Global warming is the sustained increase in the earth's average atmospheric temperature that is significant to cause changes in the world's climate. It can also be described as an increment in greenhouse gases leading to a greater accumulation of solar radiation in the atmosphere causing an overall increase in temperature. 
  • India's climate
 Monsoon season dominates India's climate contributing to the most rainfall annually. The season is considered the most important wet season and it starts from around June and extends to September. Temperatures are quite diverse but many of the regions exhibit considerable tropical climate.

  • Impact Rising Sea Levels

Rising sea levels on the coastline will cause destruction of fish nursery areas in addition to causing flooding and massive coastal erosion.

  • Food Insecurity

The productive Monsoon season will become unpredictable resulting in a fall in the amount of cereal production caused by the little rain on wheat farms. Crop yield will decline considerably causing massive food insecurity not mentioning loss of many livelihoods. There will be need for farmers to explore the options of changing to crops that suit the weather since the land available will not be suitable for the current crops due to the shrinking agricultural land.

Uncontrolled global warming will most likely lead to worsening of the huge drought problem, reducing water availability in many of the plain areas such as Bihar and Pradesh. Expert project acute water scarcity in rivers such as Saurashtra and Kutchh and constant water shortages in river basins such as Mahi and Pennar. If global warming increasingly continues to cause climatic disasters in India, major crops production will fall by 40% translating into the fall of GDP by around 9%.

  • Flooding

Excessive flooding together with huge erosion in the coast will cause displacement of thousands of people. The sea level rising by about 40 cm due to quicker glacier melting in the Hindukush and Himalayan ranges. The anticipated rise in precipitation, melting of the glaciers and widening seas are likely to negatively influence the Indian climate with an increase in hurricanes, floods and storms. The flooding can also add to the salinity levels of ground and surface waters. A two degree increase in India's temperature is projected to cause a great submersion of a number of major cities such as Chennai and Mumbai displacing 7,000,000 people according to The Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research.

  • Economic Growth Rate

A report on Climate Change by the Intergovernmental Panel which came up with these findings, predictions and recommendations added that constraints on the emission of greenhouse gases would directly or indirectly cause a reduction in the economic growth rate. Although India has one of the fastest rising economies, the climatic disasters plaguing it continue to adversely affect it. Consequently, a large proportion of the population continues to languish in poverty, diseases and malnutrition.

Global warming has led to many climate disasters with India's 27 states of the 35 being prone. The process has and will continue to increase the intensity and frequency of the disasters. In light of all these, a comprehensive plan for mitigation and adaptation to global warming needs proper drafting and implementation for better response and preparation to climatic disasters that come with it.

Ruby Andrew’s author bio

Ruby Andrew, an avid reader and blogger and author by profession lives in Bristol, UK. Since her early years she’s had a passion for writing. As a writer, she could pen down on any topic that come across. Her areas of interest are Travelling, Fashion, and Lifestyle. She works as a guest blogger for different sites and currently writes on behalf of Indian visa and you can contact her through G+ profile -https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RubyAndrew/posts

Monday, September 1, 2014

Top Best Global Warming Websites

Care2's Global Warming Site - Promotion of the Al Gore film "An Inconvenient Truth," discussion about the meeting, dozens of how-to tips and more.

HotEarth.Net - Well rounded site featuring informational articles on the causes of global warming, its harmful effects, and solutions that could stop it. Check out their Take Action section to see how you can get involved.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Indoor Air Quality Program provides a resource center on indoor air quality as part of the EPA's Indoor Environment Division. Main categories are asthma, molds, second hand smoke, schools and radon.

California Air Quality Program - The Department of California Health Services has an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Program to conduct and promote the coordination of research, investigations, experiments, demonstrations, surveys, and studies relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, and control of indoor pollution in California.

California Air Resources Board provides information regarding California's air quality, including strategic plans, news releases, upcoming events, and related links.

Canada's National Climate Change Process - website created to inform Canadians about how the government is responding to the challenge of climate change.

Climate Ark is dedicated to promoting public policy that addresses Global Climate Change through reductions in carbon and other emissions, energy conservation, alternative energy sources and ending deforestation.

Climate Solutions offers practical solutions to global warming. Climate Solutions is an Earth Island Institute project. Their mission is to stop global warming at the earliest point possible by helping the Northwestern area of the United States become a world leader in practical and profitable solutions.

Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution was drafted after scientists demonstrated the link between sulfur emissions in continental Europe and the acidification of Scandinavian lakes and later studies confirmed that air pollutants could travel several thousand kilometres before deposition and damage occurred.

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Program on Global and Regional Air (GRAP) - This is an extensive global and regional air site with articles, links and information on issues related to transboundary air pollution.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Indoor Air Quality Program provides a resource center on indoor air quality as part of the EPA's Indoor Environment Division. Main categories are asthma, molds, second hand smoke, schools and radon.

The European Environment Agency posts their collection of reports on this page. Topics include air quality, ozone depletion, and climate change.

Global Atmosphere Watch monitors the long-term evolution of the atmospheric composition on global and regional scales in order to assess this contribution to climate change and environmental issues.

Global Warming: Focus on the Future grabs your attention with startling statistics and excellent photography. Look here for a sobering overview of global warming.

HotEarth.Net - Well rounded site featuring informational articles on the causes of global warming, its harmful effects, and solutions that could stop it. Check out their Take Action section to see how you can get involved.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - Recognizing the problem of potential global climate change the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the IPCC in 1988. The role of the IPCC is to assess the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change.

International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN) is a global network of public interest non-governmental organizations united in support of a common POPs Elimination Platform. The mission of IPEN, achieved through its participating organizations, is to work for the global elimination of persistent organic pollutants, on an expedited yet socially equitable basis.

Next Generation launched the California Global Warming web site to serve as a resource for news and information on how global warming is impacting California.

Ozone Action - The Environmental Protection Agency's resource for information and action on global warming.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency focuses on improving the air quality specifically in the Northwest. Read about the latest headlines concerning air quality and discover new ways to prevent air pollution in every season of the year. What clean air we would have if everyone contributed to clearing the air!

Union of Concerned Scientists offers quality resource sections on global warming and ozone depletion. It includes briefings, updates, FAQs, recommendations, fact sheets, analysis, links, guides, statements and what you can do.

World Wildlife Foundation Climate Change Campaign - Much of the information here is what various countries are doing, and not doing, as follow up to the Kyoto summit.

101 ways to prevent global warming.

Nowadays, you can’t help but encounter the occasional story on CNN regarding the unusually hot summers, mild winters, and melting glaciers in the Antarctic. Global warming is becoming an increasingly scary problem, as all living creatures and the environment are feeling the effects of overall higher temperatures on a worldwide scale. As scientists rush to come up with solutions to this very real and threatening issue, many promote a wide-range of prevention methods that could make the difference in either doubling global warming pollution by 2050 or cutting it in half.

How to Prevent Global Warming
To put a serious dent in the global warming problem, there are endless preventive measures to consider that involves individual, group, community, family, state, and country wide efforts. Some global warming prevention tips are as simple as changing a few habits within the household to more permanent measures, such as passing laws that directly decreases the issue. Below you will find 101 ways to become an active part of reversing the threatening trend of global warming:

1) Drive Less:

When you decrease the times you take the car out for a spin, you not only reduce the consumption of gas, but also reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that reaches the air.

2) Tree Planting:

Planting just one tree has the power to absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its life span.

Global Warming hits 10 countries worst

Bangladesh has been the most affected country by extreme weather conditions between 1990 and 2008. And globally, in the last 18 years, extreme weather conditions have killed 600,000 people and cost a loss of $1.7 trillion, according to Germanwatch's Global Climate Risk Index 2010.

India is ranked 7th worst-hit country in the Climate Risk Index. None of the developed countries figure in the ten most affected countries' list. Among the first 20, there are only four developed countries: Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United States.

Poorer developing countries are often hit much harder. These results underscore the vulnerability of poor countries to climatic risks, despite the fact that the absolute monetary damages are much higher in richer countries. Myanmar, Yemen and Vietnam were most severely affected in the year 2008.

The Climate Risk Index ranks nations that have been worst affected by climate change and are most vulnerable to global warming on the basis of a CRI score. The lower the score on the index, the higher the risk to that country.

Here is a lit of top 10 countries worst hit by climate risks from 1990 to 2008.

1. Bangladesh

In all, 654 events were registered worldwide in 2008, which caused around 93,700 deaths and economic losses of more than $123 billion. Only around a third had been insured, primarily in developed countries.

The fact that no further peak catastrophe has happened in Bangladesh, like in 1991 when 140,000 people died, is partial proof that it is possible to better prepare for climate risks and prevent larger-scale disasters.

Climate Risk Index (CRI) score: 8.0
Annual death toll due to extreme climate: 8,241
Total losses: $2,198 million (purchasing power parity)
Losses per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP): 1.81%

2. Myanmar

In Myanmar, more than 95 per cent of the damages and fatalities occurred in 2008 because of cyclone Nargis. Cyclone Nargis killed as many as 100,000 people. One million people were rendered homeless. Many towns and villages were been washed away.

Climate Risk Index (CRI) score: 8.25
Annual death toll due to extreme climate: 4,522
Total losses: $707 million
Losses per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP): 2.55%

3. Honduras
Honduras has been hit by severe tropical storms and hurricanes over the years. Hurricane Mitch, which hit the country in 1998 changed the landscape of Honduras. In 2008, abut 200,000 people were affected by severe flooding caused by heavy rains, and 20,000 people have been forced to flee their homes.

Climate Risk Index (CRI) score: 12.00
Annual death toll due to extreme climate: 340
Total losses: $660 million
Losses per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP): 3.37%

4. Vietnam
Over the last decade, the frequency and severity of droughts and floods have intensified, increasing their impact on living conditions. Many people have been affected by cyclones and hailstorms.

Climate Risk Index (CRI) score: 18.83
Annual death toll due to extreme climate: 466
Total losses: $1,525 million
Losses per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP): 1.31%

5. Nicaragua

Nicaragua has been often hit by earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and volcano eruptions.

Climate Risk Index (CRI) score: 21
Annual death toll due to extreme climate: 164
Total losses: $211million
Losses per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP): 2.03%

6. Haiti

Four storms -- Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike -- devastated this poverty-struck nation. About 800,000 people were affected in 2008. Haiti's poverty, weak infrastructure, vulnerable environment and fiscal problems worsen the impact of a natural disaster.

Climate Risk Index (CRI) score: 22.83
Annual death toll due to extreme climate: 335
Total losses: $95 million
Losses per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP): 1.08%

7. India
Natural disasters have caused extensive damage to India over the years. Droughts, flash floods, cyclones, avalanches, landslides brought on by torrential rains, and snowstorms pose the greatest threats.

Floods are the most common natural disaster in India.China, India, Bangladesh and the Philippines belong to those countries that are most often hit by extremes which, of course, is partially due to their large size and/or specific exposure to extreme weather events, the study states.

8. Dominican Republic

The hurricane season in the Caribbeans frequently coincides with heavy rains, which leads to flash floods and landslides. Earthquakes are a potential threat and tremors are felt occasionally.

Climate Risk Index (CRI) score: 27.58
Annual death toll due to extreme climate: 222
Total losses: $191 million
Losses per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP): 0.45

9. The Philippines
A disaster-prone country, the Philippines is recurrently hit by natural disasters: typhoons, earthquakes. The Philippines faces on average 20 typhoons each year.

Climate Risk Index (CRI) score: 27.67
Annual death toll due to extreme climate: 799
Total losses: $544 million
Losses per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP): 0.30%

10. China
China is one of the countries most affected by natural disasters. It had 6 of the world's top 10 deadliest natural disasters, which include floods, droughts, ecological disasters, forest and grassland fires.

China had been hit badly hit by Typhoon Hagupit in 2008. About 70,000 people were killed and 18,000 people were reported missing after a 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Sichuan, China in 2008.
Climate Risk Index (CRI) score: 28.58
Annual death toll due to extreme climate: 2,023
Total losses: $25,961 million
Losses per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP): 0.78%