Arctic heat waves cause exceptional Greenland melt, according to new study

CBC News reports:

A new study shows that blasts of warm air from southern latitudes have been responsible for rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet in recent years, a new phenomenon which future climate models will have to take into account. Image by Christine Zenino on Wikimedia Commons.

A new study shows that blasts of warm air from southern latitudes have been responsible for rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet in recent years, a new phenomenon which future climate models will have to take into account.
Image by Christine Zenino on Wikimedia Commons.

“A new study by researchers from Denmark and Canada’s York University says Arctic heat waves cause exceptional melts of the Greenland ice sheet, calling into question commonly-used climate models that may underestimate the impact of warm weather episodes.

The study published in Geophysical Research Letters looked at causes of ice melt during two exceptional melt episodes in 2012 from July 8-11 and July 27-28. These six days accounted for 14 per cent of the annual melt in 2012 and the highest daily melt rates ever observed in the Greenland ice sheet to date.

“That was about 28 cm per day of ice melting at the southern tip of the Greenland ice sheet,” said William Colgan, co-author of the study from York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering.

“This is a really remarkable observation of just how fast the Greenland ice sheet is melting.”

Using new technology, the researchers were able to see the daily rate of ice melt, even when the melt rate was very large.

They say it wasn’t energy from radiation such as solar radiation that was causing the most ice melt, as was previously assumed. It was non-radiant fluxes of warm air being pushed up against Greenland or into Baffin Bay from lower latitudes.”

To read more on the changing world and what you can do to prepare, visit: www.newmessage.org

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Extreme Tornado Outbreaks Are Becoming More Common

Discovery News reports:

Extreme tornado outbreaks are becoming more commonplace, according to a recent study by researchers at Columbia University. Image credit: Justin1569 at en.wikipedia width=

Extreme tornado outbreaks are becoming more commonplace, according to a recent study by researchers at Columbia University.
Image credit: Justin1569 at en.wikipedia

“Scientists aren’t sure why, but tornado outbreaks — large-scale weather events that last for one to three days and span across big regions — seem to be getting bigger, with more twisters on average.

Worse yet, we’re also seeing increased changes of having extreme outbreaks — such as the April 25-28, 2011 “Super Outbreak” that generated 305 tornadoes over an area stretching from New York to Texas, and included three massive tornadoes that rated F5, the highest category on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. That catastrophe killed nearly 350 people and caused an estimated $11 billion in property damage.

Those scary findings are in an study published recently in Nature Communications, in which Columbia University researchers looked at data going back to 1954.

The researchers found that the average number of tornadoes in an outbreak has increased by 50 percent, from 10 to 15. If there’s any good news, it’s that the number of tornadoes rated F1 and higher on the Fujita — the ones capable of causing substantial property damage — isn’t rising.”

To read more on the changing world and what you can do to prepare, visit: www.greatwavesofchange.org

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India Just Had Its Most Polluted Year, According To Greenpeace India

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Pollution in India has worsened since 2005, with its citizens now exposed to a higher amount of pollution on average than people living in China. Image taken from Wikimedia Commons, originally by wili hybrid on Flickr.

Pollution in India has worsened since 2005, with its citizens now exposed to a higher amount of pollution on average than people living in China.
Image taken from Wikimedia Commons, originally by wili hybrid on Flickr.

“India just had its most polluted year on record, Greenpeace India says in a new report, for the first time pushing it above China in terms of the average amount of pollution its citizens were exposed to.

The non-governmental organization said it analysed particulate levels measured by satellites belonging to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration using a method it said was the best way to compare pollution exposure.

The use of fossil fuels in India and China has driven a dramatic rise in pollution in the two countries since 2005, the report said.

However, from 2011 to 2015, China’s efforts to reduce pollution paid off, while India’s smog intensified. China had its worst year, pollution-wise in 2011 and since then has improved, Greenpeace India analysts said.

The report said pollution levels are highest in the north of India adding that West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh had the largest increases in pollutants.”

To read more on the changing world and what you can do to prepare, visit: www.greatwavesofchange.org

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Angela Merkel appeals to Turkey to stop fresh wave of Syrian refugees

The Independent reports:

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has appealed to the Turkish government to take measures to prevent the flow of Syrian refugees into Europe in order to avoid a repeat of last year's numbers. Image credit: taesmileland on freedigitalphotos.net

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has appealed to the Turkish government to take measures to prevent the flow of Syrian refugees into Europe in order to avoid a repeat of last year’s numbers.
Image credit: taesmileland on freedigitalphotos.net

“The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that she was “not just appalled, but horrified” by Russian attacks on Syrian civilians that have created a fresh wave of refugees, as she asked Turkey to make sure they cannot reach Europe.

Speaking on a visit to Ankara, Ms Merkel said that recent days had seen “human suffering for tens of thousands of people by bombing – primarily from the Russian side”.

Her visit came as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad made further gains in Syria’s northern Aleppo province in an offensive that strengthened Damascus and made an estimated 35,000 people homeless. It has prompted fears that hundreds of thousands more refugees could head for Europe, exacerbating a crisis that has already strained the very foundations of the European Union.

Even before the recent military push, leaders from London to Athens were deeply alarmed that, despite a €3bn (£2.3bn) deal with Turkey aimed at avoiding a repeat of last year’s huge tide of migration, the number of arrivals has remained stubbornly high even during the harsh winter months. Yesterday alone, at least 38 people drowned in two separate incidents off the Turkish coast as they tried to reach Greek islands.”

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Governor of Virginia Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Winter Storms

Wavy.com reports:

“Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency ahead of major winter weather that is expected across the state through Sunday.”

(Break)

“McAuliffe is urging citizens to prepare for the weather, which could result in up to two feet of snow in central and northern regions of the state.

“Keeping Virginians safe in the event of severe weather is our top concern – that is why Virginia began preparing for severe winter weather yesterday by ordering more than 500 vehicles out to pretreat roads in Northern Virginia,” McAuliffe said.”

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Chinese City Clusters Are Struggling to Curb Environmental Degradation

Finchannel.com reports:

Some Chinese city clusters have ranked poorly in a new report measuring the sustainable development capabilities of 100 Chinese cities. Image credit: thepathtraveller on freedigitalphotos.net

Some Chinese city clusters have ranked poorly in a new report measuring the sustainable development capabilities of 100 Chinese cities.
Image credit: thepathtraveller on freedigitalphotos.net

“China’s city clusters are struggling to prevent the spread of resource depletion and environmental degradation from mega cities to smaller urban centers, according to a new research report by Accenture and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The study also shows how digital technologies can support sustainable urban development.”

(Break)

“The report focuses on the sustainable performance of city clusters, a priority of regional economic development policy. It finds that although economic development has flowed from mega cities to smaller urban centers within clusters, so too has environmental degradation, contrary to policymakers’ expectations. The report notes that this is especially the case when mega cities have not yet completed their transition to New Resource Economy growth models and have insufficient capabilities that limit their environmental sustainability improvement to their own boundaries.

Of the five major city clusters, the Pearl River Delta area and Yangtze River Delta enjoy satisfactory overall performance but have the greatest gap between the economic growth and their resource and environmental sustainability; the Chengdu-Chongqing area and the middle reaches of the Yangtze River need to further develop high value-added industries while attaching importance to environmental protection; and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area face the most pressing resource and environmental challenges.”

To read more on the changing world and what you can do to prepare, visit: www.greatwavesofchange.org

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Westerners in Beijing warned of Christmas terrorism threat

The LA Times reports:

Parts of Beijing have been put on lock down this Christmas due to the threat of terrorist violence against Westerners. Image by Tuomas Lehtinen on freedigitalphotos.net

Parts of Beijing have been put on lock down this Christmas due to the threat of terrorist violence against Westerners.
Image by Tuomas Lehtinen on freedigitalphotos.net

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing on Thursday morning warned citizens of a Christmastime terrorism threat against Westerners in one of the city’s most popular expatriate districts.

Beijing authorities put swaths of the city under lockdown, stationing armed guards on street corners and in pedestrian plazas.

“The U.S. Embassy has received information of possible threats against Westerners in the Sanlitun area of Beijing, on or around Christmas Day,” the embassy said in an email to American citizens living in Beijing. “U.S. citizens are urged to exercise heightened vigilance. The U.S. Embassy has issued the same guidance to U.S. government personnel.”

To read more on the changing world and what you can do to prepare, visit: www.newmessage.org

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Namibia hit by drought

The BBC reports:

“On a farm so parched that it looks like a desert, Monica Amaraki reaches for an old brass tap only to find that no water flows from it.

Here in Namibia in southern Africa, a drought is intensifying, the soil has been turned into dust and animals are scouring the baked land for something to eat.

Monica’s village, Omagongati, is in the far north of the country, a region notorious for extremes of weather, but she says that the dry spell hitting her now has been longer and more severe than normal.

(Break)

Over the past two years, the weak or absent rains have left Monica among at least 500,000 people needing emergency food aid – and many here are wondering whether climate change will bring an even hotter and drier future.

(Break)

A report by the government of Namibia, published in 2011, says the country has seen higher temperatures over the past 40 years with more days recorded over 35C.

And it also highlights with a “high degree of certainty” that warming will continue, so that by mid-century it will be up to 3.5C hotter in the summer and up to 4C in the winter.”

To read more on the great change coming to the world and what you can do to prepare, visit: www.newmessage.org

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Brussels on alert amid fears of Paris-style attacks

The Belfast Telegraph reports:

Brussels is on high alert due to the threat of a terrorist attack like the one in Paris. Image by Sira Anamwong on freedigitalphotos.net

Brussels is on high alert due to the threat of a terrorist attack like the one in Paris.
Image by Sira Anamwong on freedigitalphotos.net

Armed police and soldiers are patrolling the streets, subways are closed and many shops have shut their doors in the Belgian capital Brussels as the government issued a warning over possible Paris-style terror attacks.

At least one suspect from the deadly Paris attacks just over a week ago is at large and was last seen crossing into Belgium.

Belgian prime minister Charles Michel said the decision to raise the threat alert to its highest setting was taken “based on quite precise information about the risk of an attack like the one that happened in Paris … where several individuals with arms and explosives launch actions, perhaps even in several places at the same time”.

To read more about the changing world and what you can do to prepare, visit: www.greatwavesofchange.org

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South Africa counts losses from drought

Iol.co.za reports:

South Africa’s economy and businesses are beginning to count their losses from the devastating drought that has wreaked havoc throughout the country.

Economists have warned that the drought will push food inflation higher as farmers scale down production to avoid taking risks on the uncertain weather conditions. This, they said, could ultimately feed into consumer inflation and higher interest rates.

(Break)

This week reports emerged that crop farming in the North West and Free State provinces had all but come to a halt, with farmers planting less than 10 percent, while in Mpumalanga, planting was at less than 40 percent.

Agri SA executive director Omri van Zyl said the situation was being made worse by the fact that the planting season was already six weeks behind because of the drought.

To read more on the changing world and what you can do to prepare, visit: www.greatwavesofchange.org

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