drive cars less

………………………………….

We burn fossil fuels such as gasoline, oil, coal, and natural gas to run our vehicle engines and to heat and light our homes. Burning fossil fuels increases the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

CO2 is a major contributor to climate change, or “global warming.” Here are some easy actions you can take to reduce your use of fossil fuels and to help slow climate change. When you can make the choice, choose for climate.

Drive Less: More than half of our CO2 comes from vehicles, so use public transit, carpool, vanpool, bike, walk, or telework from home if possible. You save 1 pound of carbon dioxide for each mile of driving you eliminate.

Dept of Ecology, State of Washington, 10 Jan 2007

don’t drive cars less

Walking does more than driving to cause global warming, a leading environmentalist has calculated. Food production is now so energy-intensive that more carbon is emitted providing a person with enough calories to walk to the shops than a car would emit over the same distance.

The climate could benefit if people avoided exercise, ate less and became couch potatoes. The sums were done by Chris Goodall, campaigning author of How to Live a Low-Carbon Life, based on the greenhouse gases created by intensive beef production.

“Driving a typical UK car for 3 miles [4.8km] adds about 0.9 kg [2lb] of CO2 to the atmosphere,” he said, a calculation based on the Government’s official fuel emission figures. “If you walked instead, it would use about 180 calories. You’d need about 100g of beef to replace those calories, resulting in 3.6kg of emissions, or four times as much as driving.”

Climate Change Challenge, 3 Aug 2007

………………………………….

monsoons decrease

………………………………….

We have presented evidence from observations that the equitorial Indian Ocean has warmed by about 0.6 to 0.8K during 1950 to 2002, accompanied by a dramatic weakening of the summertime SST gradient in the NIO.

In the model, the weakening of the meridional NIO_SST gradient leads to a large decrease in Indian rainfall during summer months, ranging form 2 to 3 mm per day. Reduction in the NIO_SST gradient basically weakens the model monsoonal circulation and shifts model rainfall from India to sub-Saharan Africa.

Chul Eddy Chung and V. Ramanthan, American Meteorological Society, Journal of Climate, Vol19 Issue 10 (May 2006)

monsoons increase

Despite weakening of the dynamical monsoon circulation, atmospheric buildup due to increased greenhouse gases and consequent temperature increase results in a larger moisture flux and more precipitation for the Indian monsoon. (Douville et al 2000, IPCC 2001, Ashrit et al 2003, Meehl and Arblaster 2003, May 2004, Ashrit et al 2005) IPCC: Climate Change 2007: Working Group 1: The Physical Science Basis 10.3.5.2 Monsoons
………………………………….

wind speed increase

………………………………….

A 240 yr run of the ECHAM4/OPYC3 coupled ocean-atmosphere model with transient greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing according to the IPCC IS92a scenario is examined with respect to simulated changes in boreal winter cyclone activity and 10 m wind speeds over Europe, the North Atlantic and Eastern North America. ..

Increases of mean wind speeds and of wind speed extremes are identified over Northern Europe and parts of the East Atlantic. The wind signal is due to an increase in wind speed variability and an intensification of the westerly mean current connected with an enhanced mean pressure gradient…

There are also strong wind speed increases over Hudson Bay and the Greenland Sea.

They are restricted to the planetary boundary layer and appear to be connected to the reduction in winter mean sea-ice cover, which leads to locally decreased static stability and‹over the Greenland Sea‹also to a reduction in surface roughness.

P.Knippertz and others, Inter-Research Climate Research, published in CR Vol 15, No 2, online publication date July 20 2000.

temperature not rising

As unlikely as this may sound, we have lucked out in recent years when it comes to global warming. The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that.

And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace. The slowdown is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists.

New York Times, 10 Jun 2013
………………………………….

grapes in Margaret River mature early

………………………………….

Predicted rising temperatures in the Margaret River region in the next few years are expected to have a significant impact on the quality of wine grapes, with early maturity an increasing concern.

Curtin University associate professor Mark Gibberd said a new study of WA’s wine regions showed a “demonstrable” change in grape maturation. AHA Viticulture senior consultant Jim Campbell-Clause said rising temperatures for the past eight years had made earlier vintages “pretty well the norm”. The trend is a warming trend, he said.

West Australian Regional, 27 Jan 2015

grapes in Margaret River don’t mature early

Dr Leanne Webb from CSIRO and her team have now analysed decades of records from wine-growing regions across southern Australia. They combined this with temperature data from the Bureau of Meteorology, modelling of soil moisture and records of crop yields from the winegrowers.

They found that early grape maturation had occurred in all the vineyards except Margaret River in Western Australia, which had actually dropped back by about half a day per decade.The researchers say the study will help wineries develop strategies to deal with climate change.

ABC (Australia) Science, 27 Feb 2012

………………………………….

hurricanese increase in intensity

………………………………….

The number of very intense hurricanes striking the east coast of North America and the Caribbean could increase over the next century if ocean temperatures continue to rise. The total number of storms, however, is set to fall.

That is according to researchers in the US who have applied a popular model for forecasting cyclone activity to a series of climate projections made by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC).

physicsworld.com, 29 Jan 2010

hurricanes decrease in intensity

Global warming could increase a climate phenomenon known as wind shear that inhibits Atlantic hurricanes, a potentially positive result of climate change, according to new research released on Tuesday.

The study, to be published on Wednesday in Geophysical Research Letters, found that climate model simulations show a “robust increase” in wind shear in the tropical Atlantic during the 21st century from global warming.

Wind shear, a difference in wind speed or direction at different altitudes, tends to tear apart tropical cyclones, preventing nascent ones from growing and already-formed hurricanes from becoming the monster storms that cause the most damage.

planetark.com, 18 Apr 2007
………………………………….

bigger waves

………………………………….

Big waves are energetically costly for fish, and there are more big waves than ever. The good news is that fish might be able to adapt.

“There has been a lot of recent work in oceanography documenting the fact that waves are becoming more frequent and more intense due to climate change,” says Mr Dominique Roche, PhD candidate from the Jennions Lab at the Research School of Biology. “The habitats that fish live in are changing.”

Australian National University, Research School of Biology 3 Feb 2014

more insects

………………………………….

A rise in the Earth’s temperature could lead to an increase in the number of insects worldwide, with potentially dire consequences for humans, a new study suggests.

New research shows that insect species living in warmer areas are more likely to undergo rapid population growth because they have higher metabolic rates and reproduce more frequently. The consequences could be more serious than just a few extra bug bites each summer.

“If they’re crop species, we could count on needing to use more pesticides and it could be very costly,” said Melanie Frazier, a doctoral student at the University of Washington and lead author of the study.

Live Science, 4 Nov 2006

less insects

“If you want to know how organisms react to climate change, it is important to find out how insects react to climate change,” said Dr. Jessica Hellmann, conservation biologist at the University of Notre Dame, explaining that most of the multicellular living organisms in our world are insects.

Yet, currently these invertebrates have become the hidden sufferers of global warming. As cold blooded organisms, insects cannot regulate their own body temperatures, making them particularly sensitive to climate change.
The Epoch Times, 20 Sep 2009
………………………………….

Amazon forests greener

………………………………….
Amazon rainforests green-up with sunlight in dry season. We analyzed Amazon vegetation phenology at multiple scales with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectoradometer (MODIS) satellite measurements from 2000 to 2005.

MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index(EVI, an index of canopy photosynthetic capacity) increased by 25% with sunlight during the dry season across Amazon forests… Alfredo R. Huete and others, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol 33, issue 6, March 2006

Amazon forests not greener

Amazon forests did not green up during the 2005 drought. We find no evidence of large scale greening of intact Amazon forests during the 2005 drought – approximately 11-12% of these drought stricken forests display greening while 28-29% show browning or no change, and for the rest the data are not of sufficient quality to characterize any changes. Arindam Samana and others, Geophysical Research Letters Vol 37, issue 5, March 2010
………………………………….

less gray whales

………………………………….
As many as 118,000 gray whales roamed the Pacific before humans decimated the population through hunting, and human-induced climate change may now be depriving those that remain of the food they need, according to a study released yesterday.

There definitely are large-scale ecosystem effects going on, said Stanford doctoral student S. Elizabeth Alter, the lead author, in an interview yesterday.
Washington Post, 11 Sep 2007

more gray whales

The number baby gray whales born along the Pacific Coast has increased over the past five years, leading scientists to believe that for now pregnant females are doing all right feeding in a warming Arctic environment.

“In the short term they appear to be doing well, based on our monitoring of reproduction. But we really don’t know how th elong term warming ttrend is going to affect this population,” saidWayne Perryman, a fisheries biologist with NOAA in La Jolla (San Diego County).
SFGate, 28 Jun 2006
………………………………….

see also – having it both ways

year getting shorter

………………………………….
Ocean bottom pressure changes lead to a decreasing length-of-day in a warming climate. We use a coupled climate model to evaluate ocean bottom pressure changes in the IPCC-A1B climate scenario.

Most prominently, the Arctic Ocean shelves experience an above-average bottom pressure increase. We find a net transfer of mass from the Southern to the Northern Hemisphere, and a net movement of mass closer towards Earth’s axis of rotation.

Thus, ocean warming and the ensuing mass redistribution change the length-of-day by −0.12 ms within 200 years, demonstrating that the oceans are capable of exciting nontidal length-of-day changes on decadal and longer timescales.
Felix W. Landerer and others, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol 34, Issue 6, March 2007.

year getting longer

The anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations in the Earth atmosphere will probably induce important modifications of the global circulation in the atmosphere and ocean. Due to the angular momentum conservation of the Earth-atmosphere-ocean system, variation of length-of-day(LOD) can be expected.

By using the outputs of models participating to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP-2) we reach the following conclusions: (1) the models globally agree to an increase of the LOD of the order of 1 microsecond/year (2) the effect is mostly associated with an increase of the mean zonal wind, of which about one third is compensated by a change in mass repartition.
Olivier de Viron and others, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol 29, Issue 7, pages 50-1-50-4 April 2002

………………………………….

Lohachara island lost

………………………………….
Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India’s part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.
The Independent, 24 Dec 2006

Lohachara island found

A little more than two years later, Lohachara island is emerging again. This was first noticed by Jadavpur University scientists in satellite images. This island in the western part of the Sunderbans it was claimed was the first inhabited one in the world to be inundated because of global warming. Along with this to go under water was the nearby island of Suparibhanga or Bedford, a land mass which was uninhabited, officially.

According to Tuhin Ghosh, senior lecturer, School of Oceanographic studies, JU, “Lohachara and Bedford were there in 1975 satellite data. In 1990 pictures, a small portion of Lohachara is visible. There’s no sign of Bedford. In a 1995 satellite picture, Lohachara had vanished. But in satellite pictures of 2007, you can see Lohachara coming back… It’s a revelation.”
The Times of India, 3 Apr 2009
………………………………….

less tigers

………………………………….
The Sundarban tigers, with a fearsome reputation for human attacks, protect the world’s largest mangrove forest from deforestation. The 4,000 square miles of mangrove, which spans India and Bangladesh, acts as a vital carbon sink and natural buffer against increasingly intense cyclones and storm surges. But the Sundarbans are also home to poor landless communities who struggle to make a living in this unforgiving environment.

This means they are encroaching on tiger territory. Their impact on the forest is limited, however, by the presence of the man eaters. Without the tigers, say local conservationists, the mangroves would soon disappear at the hands of humans, leaving Kolkata and South Bengal exposed to major floods from cyclone-related storm surges.
Christian Aid, 22 Apr 2015

more tigers – maybe

The Indian government had trumpeted the rise in tigers from 1,706 in 2011 to 2,226 in 2014 as a sign that state-led conservation programmes were working. “This is a proof of India’s biodiversity and how we care for mitigating climate change. This is India’s steps in the right direction, which the world will applaud,” environment minister, Prakash Javadekar, said at the time.

But the new University of Oxford paper concluded that the statistical model used by India is a poor way to accurately predict tiger numbers.

Dr Ullas Karanth, co-author and a member of India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority, said: “This study exposes fundamental statistical weaknesses in the sampling, calibration and extrapolations that are at the core of methodology used by the government to estimate India’s numbers, thus undermining their reliability.”
The Guardian, 25 Feb 2015
………………………………….

more snow

………………………………….
Looking back at 65 years’ worth of statistics, Environment Canada’s senior climatologist David Phillips noted that since 1948, winter temperatures in the prairie regions have increased by an average of four degrees Celsius. Ironically, warmer weather can mean greater snowfall.

“As we warm up, we may see more moisture, we may see more moist air masses, and therefore we could very well see more snow rather than less snow, because the air masses are going to be more moist and so therefore you’re going to be able to wring out more snow than you would be if it was dry air,” Phillips said.
Prince Albert Daily Herald, 29 Jan 2013

less snow

Under climate change scenarios and current snowmaking technology, the average ski season at the case study ski area in Canada (Lakelands tourism region) was projected to reduce by 0-16% in the 2020s, 7-32% in the 2050s and 11-50% in the 2080s. Without snowmaking the season would decline substantially by 37 – 57% in the 2050s.
5th World Conference on Sport and Environment, Turin 2-3 December 2003 (IOC/UNEP) Rolf Bürki, Hans Elsasser, Bruno Abegg
………………………………….

birds getting bigger

………………………………….
Birds are getting bigger in central California, and that was a big surprise for Rae Goodman and her colleagues. What’s making the birds bigger? The researchers think that the trend is due to climate change…Climate change may affect body size in a variety of ways, they note in their paper.

For instance, birds might get bigger as they store more fat to ride out severe weather events, which are expected to be more common under global climate change. Climate change could also alter a region’s plant growth, which may eventually lead to changes in a bird’s diet that affect its size.
San Franciso State University News, 31 Oct 2011

birds getting smaller

Australian bird species are getting smaller due to global warming suggest researchers. “Our results demonstrate a generalised response by eight avian species to some major environmental change over the last 100 years or so, probably global warming.” write Dr Janet Gardner and colleagues from the Autralian National University. “It’s the broad-scale, consistent pattern that we’re seeing that makes us conclude that global warming is likely to be causing the changes,” Dr. Gardner told The Associated Press.
ABC (Australia) News 12 Aug 2009

………………………………….

trust the numbers

………………………………….
A long investigation into the effects of greenhouse gases has strived to be objective, responsible, cautious and realistic. There are many opinions, floating around the blogosphere and newspaper opinion pieces, that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change lacks integrity and accountability. If this was true to any significant degree, it would be very serious for public policy. The Age, 9 Jan 2014, Author: Mary Voice, a climatologist and lecturer and was formerly head of the National Climate Centre at the Bureau of Meteorology

don’t trust the numbers

Scientists working on the most authoritative study on climate change were urged to cover up the fact that the world’s temperature hasn’t risen for the last 15 years, it is claimed. A leaked copy of a United Nations report, compiled by hundreds of scientists, shows politicians in Belgium, Germany, Hungary and the United States raised concerns about the final draft.

Published next week, it is expected to address the fact that 1998 was the hottest year on record and world temperatures have not yet exceeded it, which scientists have so far struggled to explain. The report is the result of six years’ work by UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is seen as the world authority on the extent of climate change and what is causing it – on which governments including Britain’s base their green policies.
Daily Mail, 20 Sep 2013

………………………………….

trees growing faster

………………………………….
Climate change’s impact on forests being measured via expanding tree trunks. Jess Parker a forest ecologist at the Smithsonian Institution has led a group of volunteers on a 22-year tree-hugging mission that found many of the trees were growing two to four times faster than expected.

This month, when Parker and his team published a paper on their work, it was received as a key piece of evidence about the ways that climate change could be having subtle but important effects on forests. Others have found similar growth in different parts of the world, as warmer weather and more carbon dioxide fuel tree growth.
Washington Post, 20 Feb 2010

trees growing slower

To study the impact of climate change on trees in tropical forests, a team from CIRAD developed a water balance model that estimates the water available in the soil for trees, based on microclimate data, and set up weather stations throughout northern French Guiana to gather the climate data required for the model.

The scientists then showed that of all the climate variables measured, the soil water reserve, as predicted by the model, was the one that best accounted for tree growth variations from one year to the next. And they also realized that the species that best resisted water stress, which were thus best able to cope with climate change, were slow-growing ones.

Fast-growing plants are much more sensitive to water stress: in the event of drought, they show their growth so much that they considerably increase their risk of dying.
CIRAD (French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development), June 2013
………………………………….

avalanche hazard increases

………………………………….
Climate and environmental changes associated with anthropogenic global warming are being increasingly identified in the European Alps, as seen by changes in long-term high-alpine temperature, precipitation, glacier cover and permafrost.

In turn, these changes impact on land-surface stability, and lead to increased frequency and magnitude of natural mountain hazards, including rock falls, debris flows, landslides, avalanches and floods. These hazards also impact on infrastructure, and socio-economic and cultural activities in mountain regions.
Margreth Keiler and others, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Vol 368, issue 1919, May 2010.

avalanche hazard decreases

The SAFRAN/Crocus/MÉPRA software is used to assess the climatology of the avalanche hazard and its sensitivity to climate change. A natural avalanche-hazard index based on MÉPRA analysis is defined and validated against natural avalanche observations (triggered avalanches are not taken into account).

A 15 year climatology then allows a comparison of avalanche hazard in the different French massifs. Finally, a simple climate scenario (with a general increase of precipitation and temperature) shows that avalanche hazard may decrease slightly in winter (mainly February) and more significantly in May/June. The relative proportion of wet-snow avalanches increases.
Eric Martin and others, Annals of Glaciology, Vol32, number 1, Jan 2001, p163 – 167.
………………………………….

Grasslands drier

………………………………….
Grasslands in the Great Plains of the United States and southern Canada are predicted to get warmer with climate change.

Southwestern grasslands are expected to become drier because of declining precipitation and higher temperatures, especially the Chihuahuan Desert grasslands of the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico, which are critical wintering areas for many grassland birds.
The State of the Birds; 2010 report on climate change

Grasslands wetter

Grassland ecosystems could become wetter as a result of global warming, according to a new study by researchers from Stanford University and the Carnegie Institution of Washington. This surprising result, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), contradicts numerous climate models predicting that higher temperatures could dry out natural landscapes, including grasslands.

“We found that, once the plants shut down, the moisture is effectively trapped in the soil,” noted co-author Christopher B. Field, a professor by courtesy of biological sciences at Stanford and director of the Carnegie Institution’s Stanford-based Department of Global Ecology.
Stanford Report, August 20, 2003
………………………………….