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NASA - Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt

      

nasa.gov - July 2012

Extent of surface melt over Greenland’s ice sheet on July 8 (left) and July 12 (right). Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. In just a few days, the melting had dramatically accelerated and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12. In the image, the areas classified as “probable melt” (light pink) correspond to those sites where at least one satellite detected surface melting. The areas classified as “melt” (dark pink) correspond to sites where two or three satellites detected surface melting. The satellites are measuring different physical properties at different scales and are passing over Greenland at different times. As a whole, they provide a picture of an extreme melt event about which scientists are very confident. Credit: Nicolo E. DiGirolamo, SSAI/NASA GSFC, and Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory
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How Climate Change is Increasing Cholera Outbreaks in Northern Europe

Rising temperatures: The Baltic Sea represents the 'fastest warming marine eco-system examined so far anywhere on earth'

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  • Vibrio bacteria, which is normally found growing in warm and tropical waters, now thrives in the Baltic Sea
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  • Bacteria strains will multiply as seas warm, predict researchers
  • The bacteria causes illnesses from cholera to gastroenteritis

    dailymail.co.uk - by Claire Bates - July 23, 2012

    Climate change could be driving an increase in illnesses such as cholera and gastroenteritis in northern Europe, scientists have warned.

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    A rise in temperatures in the Baltic Sea has triggered the growth of the water-borne bacteria Vibrio.

    An international team examined sea surface temperature records and satellite data in the Baltic, as well as statistics on Vibrio cases in the region.

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    NOAA Report - State of the Climate in 2011

    noaa.gov - July 10, 2012

    Back-to-back La Niñas cooled globe and influenced extreme weather in 2011

    New NOAA-led report examines climate conditions experienced around the world

    Worldwide, 2011 was the coolest year on record since 2008, yet temperatures remained above the 30 year average, according to the 2011 State of the Climate report released online today by NOAA. The peer-reviewed report, issued in coordination with the American Meteorological Society (AMS), was compiled by 378 scientists from 48 countries around the world. It provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments on land, sea, ice and sky.

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    Report: Global Warming Raises Chance of Events Like Texas Heat Wave and Warm British Novembers

          

    Texas State Park Police Officer Thomas Bigham walks across the cracked lake bed of O.C. Fisher Lake, Aug. 3, 2011, in San Angelo, Texas. A combination of the long periods of 100-plus degree days and the lack of rain in the drought-stricken region has dried up the lake that once spanned over 5,400 acres. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    washingtonpost.com - by Associated Press - July 10, 2012

    NEW YORK — Last year brought a record heat wave to Texas, massive floods in Bangkok and an unusually warm November in England. How much has global warming boosted the chances of events like that?

    Quite a lot in Texas and England, but apparently not at all in Bangkok, say new analyses released Tuesday.

    Scientists can’t blame any single weather event on global warming, but they can assess how climate change has altered the odds of such events happening, Tom Peterson of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told reporters in a briefing. He’s an editor of a report that includes the analyses published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

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    Nuclear, coal-fired electrical plants vulnerable to climate change

    Submitted by Luis Kun

    homelandsecuritynewswire.com - June 5, 2012

    Thermoelectric plants, which use nuclear or fossil fuels to heat water into steam that turns a turbine, supply more than 90 percent of U.S. electricity and account for 40 percent of the U.S. freshwater usage; in Europe, these plants supply three-quarters of the electricity and account for about half of the freshwater use; warmer water and reduced river flows in the United States and Europe in recent years have led to reduced production, or temporary shutdown, of several thermoelectric power plants; a new study says this problem will only grow.

    Warmer water and reduced river flows in the United States and Europe in recent years have led to reduced production, or temporary shutdown, of several thermoelectric power plants. For instance, the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Alabama had to shut down more than once last summer because the Tennessee River’s water was too warm to use it for cooling.

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    Book it, we’re toast: The Fate of the Species

    by Michael D. Lemonick

    reneweconomy.com.au - Climate Central - May 22, 2012

    If you grew up in the 1950’s and early 60’s, you probably remember the faint air of existential angst that lingered constantly in the background. With the creation of atomic weapons, and the booming stockpiles of missile-mounted bombs in the arsenals of the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., it seemed perfectly plausible that an all-out nuclear war could wipe out a significant fraction of the world’s population — the first time in history that humanity was capable of such destruction.

    But as Fred Guterl says in a sobering, important and highly readable new book, those were really the good old days. The nuclear threat has receded, he acknowledges in The Fate of the Species: Why the human race may cause its own extinction and how we can stop it (Bloomsbury: $25), but warns that “the success of Homo sapiens has created new and terrifying risks that didn’t exist a few decades ago.”

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    Arctic Melt Releasing Ancient Methane

    Many of the sites were bubbling methane that has been stored for millennia

    BBC News - by Richard Black - May 20, 2012

    Scientists have identified thousands of sites in the Arctic where methane that has been stored for many millennia is bubbling into the atmosphere.

    The methane has been trapped by ice, but is able to escape as the ice melts.

    Writing in the journal Nature Geoscience, the researchers say this ancient gas could have a significant impact on climate change.

    Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas after CO2 and levels are rising after a few years of stability.

    (READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

    Nature Geoscience - Geologic methane seeps along boundaries of Arctic permafrost thaw and melting glaciers

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    Climate Change, Disaster Risk, and the Urban Poor - Cities Building Resilience for a Changing World

    scribd.com/WorldBankPublications - April 2012

    Poor people living in slums are at particularly high risk from the impacts of climate change and natural hazards. They live on the most vulnerable lands within cities, typically areas that are deemed undesirable by others and are thus affordable. Residents are exposed to the impacts of landslides, sea-level rise, flooding, and other hazards.

    Exposure to risk is exacerbated by overcrowded living conditions, lack of adequate infrastructure and services, unsafe housing, inadequate nutrition, and poor health. These conditions can turn a natural hazard or change in climate into a disaster, and result in the loss of basic services, damage or destruction to homes, loss of livelihoods, malnutrition, disease, disability, and loss of life.

    This study analyzes the key challenges facing the urban poor given the risks associated with climate change and disasters, particularly with regard to the delivery of basic services, and identifies strategies and financing opportunities for addressing these risks.

    Several key findings emerge from the study and provide guidance for addressing risk:

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    Australians Told Sweeping Economic, Societal Changes Needed to Cope with Severe Weather

    submitted by Samuel Bendett

    Homeland Security News Wire - April 27, 2012

    The Australian government’s Productivity Commission has just released its much-anticipated report, titled Barriers to Effective Climate Change Adaptation (a 305 page .PDF report). The report calls for sweeping changes across the Australian economy, including ditching property taxes which discourage people from moving out of areas prone to extreme weather events.

    The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the commission, accepting that some degree of climate change is now inevitable, says that Australia will need to adapt. This means removing obstacles in the areas of taxation, local government, disaster relief, planning and building rules, and emergency management.

    (READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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