Category Archives: Climate Change

Global Warming Paradox: Himalayan Artificial Glaciers

 

People living on the slopes of the Himalayas called him “the man of the glaciers.” With his inventions, Cheawang Norphel, engineer of 77 years, is fighting at the local effects of global warming that threatens dozens of villages.

The glaciers are retreating and is missing the water that is used to irrigate the fields of these people live from agriculture. While scientists and politicians debate climate change, here’s what was invented by Norphel: the artificial glaciers, a series of stone walls on the shady slopes of the mountains that hold the ice and bring the water to the fields through channels.

“We have built seven stone walls in series to contain and control the ice water. Rainfall in the region of Ladakh are so small that agriculture has almost exclusively on the water of the mountains.”

Many of the artificial glaciers that were built swept away flood, and governmental funds seem to dry. But the man of the glaciers go ahead with the experiments. Norphel is well aware that his solutions will not save the glaciers, but, it is valuable for the survival of the Himalayan people for the time being.

Vibrio in Alaska, the Fault of Global Warming

 

Climate change is already having an impact on safety of food production and if nothing is done to time, the trend will only get worse. This is asserted by Todd Ewen, a professor at Michigan State University, who presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a series of disheartening data on the influence of global warming in the world of agriculture and animal husbandry.

The case in point is the vibrio, the agent of cholera. It usually lives in the warm ocean waters and and is prolific. This is caused by the constant increase of temperature in water.

“There was an outbreak in Alaska in 2005, when the temperature reached 15 degrees centigrade,” remembers Ewen. The scenario is not favorable, including drought and heavy rains affecting price increases.

Himalayan Glaciers Grow Despite Global Warming

Studies have found that glaciers in parts of the greater Himalayas are growing, despite the worldwide trend of the melting of ice due to warmer temperatures. In the Karakoram mountain range on the border of Pakistan and China, researchers said that the Himalayan glaciers have defied global warming and became larger over a decade.

Three dimensional maps of the mountain was produced by French scientists, which is separated from the Himalayas but usually considered part of the same chain, between 1999 and 2008.

Their findings suggest that the region is contravening the global pattern of glacier shrinkage, which is taking place elsewhere in the Himalayas and around the planet.

The impact of global warming in the region has been controversial since there was a report that the Himalayan range could disappear by 2035.

The Nature Geoscience journal published that the rate of ice loss in the Himalayas was being overestimated due to monitoring methods that are inadequate.

Japan Will Launch a Satellite to Study Global Warming

Japan announced that they will launch a satellite in 2013, together with the European Space Agency, to study the clouds and try to predict accurately the progress of global warming.

It is expected that the EarthCARE satellite increased its accuracy of predictions of global warming, such as increases in temperature, which would help create measures against climate change. This was according to the Aerospace Exploration Agency of Japan.

The clouds have been the major obstacle for scientists in predicting global warming, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations Organization (UNO). 

Equipped with four radar sensors and a special profile, this is a key component of the vehicle to be developed in Japan. The EarthCARE satellite examines the dust and dirt inside the clouds and atmosphere.

The Japanese space agency said the satellite will improve weather forecasts by examining the vertical profiles of clouds and aerosols, and radiation at the top of the atmosphere.

Coral Reefs Could Dissapear

According to a report from WWF on coral reefs, says that in a worst case scenario, there will be a collapse in coral by 2100 due to increased ocean acidification and temperatures.

The prolonged rises in the sea temperatures is a severe danger for ocean ecosystems, and many other species. Species in the oceans rely on coral reefs for their survival.

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“Despite the oceans’s immensity, 71% of the Earth’s surface with an average depth of almost 4km (2½m)—there are indications that it is approaching its tipping point. For reefs, warming waters and acidification are closing in like a pair of jaws that threaten to make them the first global ecosystem to disappear.”

This was according to the Times Online: 21st-century Noah’s Ark needed to save coral reefs from extinction.

With 1.6 Degrees Celsius, Greenland Could Disappear

Greenland could melt completely and irreversibly if global warming reached the 1.6 degrees Celsius, according to a study by the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and the Potsdam Institute in Germany.

The research, conducted by the Department of Physics of the Earth II of the UCM and scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, confirms that the polar cap is more vulnerable to global warming than it is what we’ve thought. This research used computer simulations of ice in its region and its climate, calculating the evolution of the island during previous glacial cycles and the future of ice.

Therefore, this new estimate of critical temperature threshold for the survival of the island is more reliable than before. According to the study, the global warming is now 0.8 degrees Celsius above the temperature in pre-industrial levels.

So far, previous studies placed the melting of Greenland in an increase in temperature in the vicinity of 3.1 degrees. A calculation that, as this research says is “optimistic.” The study also warns that although the weather returned to its pre-industrial state, the melting can prevent new growth above the polar cap on the island.

According to studio estimates, the melting of Greenland ice could contribute to rise of sea level of several meters, which can affect millions of people living in coastal regions.

The Decrease in Glacial Dust Storms Accentuates

From Patagonia to Iceland’s shrinking glaciers, exposes soil from rising dust storms affecting marine life and the global climate, according to a recent study. “The growing presence of mineral aerosols at high latitudes is surprising,” said Joseph Prospero, a researcher at the University of Miami, who for decades has investigated the effect of dust on the global environment.

Prospero’s investigations have established that the dust that rises from tropical regions of Africa is transported much of southern and eastern United States each summer (northern hemisphere) and causes 75 to 80 percent of the dust that falls on Florida.

It goes back to glacial periods. This phenomenon is not only contemporary and sediment samples in the ground and deep ice show increases in activity of dust associated with the ice ages. “There is therefore considerable interest in the global distribution of dust sources, factors affecting dust emissions and the properties of the emitted particles,” said Prospero, who over the years has established over two dozen observation stations around the globe.

The research that Prospero has developed over the past six years in Iceland, has determined that “there are large dust storms that originate there and move north Atlantic Ocean.”

According to the researcher, a substantial increase in dust activity in Iceland as glaciers decrease due to global warming. “In a hundred years, there will be no glaciers there,” said Prospero.

The dust itself contributes to increasing the rate of decline of glaciers explained the scientist. “When the glaciers are strong and ‘clean’, color is white, bright, light refractory,” he said. “But when they start to gather dust in their grooves in the top of the glacier, it absorbs more heat from sunlight and melting more quickly.”

Prospero and his colleagues spent six years studying the island of Heimaey, South Iceland and taking measurements of dust particles, or aerosols in the air. The researchers identified frequent episodes of dust production in the region, which in some cases reach 20 micrograms of particles per cubic meter, and found that dust emissions from the island tend to be higher in the spring.

Global warming has caused the current wave of cold in Europe?

It sounds paradoxical, however scientists are capable to explain the harsh winter that now overwhelms Europe by melting of large masses of ice in the Arctic, melting which is a result of global warming.

Complex characteristics of the wind were disturbed by the ice melting Arctic, scientists believe, it considers that it is cold explanation that hit Europe in recent weeks and has killed over 200 people.

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NASA measured the incredible pace that glaciers melt

NASA satellites performed the first measurement to see the exact rate of glaciers melting on Earth. The results show that 150 billion tons of ice disappear annually, rising ocean levels by 4 millimeters.

The study measured glaciers between 2003 and 2010. NASA specialists announced that between the years studied, the Earth has lost 4.3 trillion tons of ice, ocean levels rising by 12 mm. To illustrate the huge amount of ice melted over the years, NASA explained that it would have been sufficient to cover all over the United States of America with a layer of ice 50 centimeters thick.

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Country in the Pacific, Tuvalu remains without drinking water

Tuvalu, a small island country located in the Pacific Ocean, declared a state of emergency following a drinking water crisis. Officials said that in some areas of the country, drinking water stocks have ran out .

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister said that his country has worked with the Red Cross to send aid in Tuvalu. Two military aircraft C-130 type were sent to Tuvalu, carrying them on board two water desalination units and numerous containers containing water.

Secretary General of the Red Cross warned the people of Tuvalu not to drink water from wells. “This water is not good for consumption, we have already received several reports that the animals drank water from wells that have died,” he said.

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Birds Migration Influenced by Climate Change

Climate change affects the behavior of traveling birds: geese, ducks and swans spend their winters in wetlands of northern Europe changes its habits of migration as temperatures rise.

British experts say, because many of the birds no longer migrate north to the south of the continent, the number of specimens of species once common as winter guests is now declining in the UK.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki conducted a study based on data provided by the Observatory of birds in Hanko, Finland. Here, since 1979, several volunteers have followed the birds daily, making a “census migration”.

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