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The Great Outdoors

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  • Re: The Great Outdoors

    03:38 23.03.2017(updated 04:05 23.03.2017) Get short URL
    0 16910
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has reported record carbon dioxide levels in 2016, over the 400 parts per million (ppm) threshold for the second year in a row.
    The measurements are courtesy ofxNOAA's Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory inxHawaii. It reports the rate ofxCO2 inxEarth's atmosphere atx405.1 ppm inx2016, upxfrom 402 inx2015. This is the second largest single year increase onxrecord – the largest was the increase betweenx2014 and 2015.
    "The rate ofxCO2 growth overxthe last decade is 100 tox200 times faster thanxwhat the Earth experienced duringxthe transition fromxthe last Ice Age," said lead scientist ofxNOAA's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network Pieter Tans inxa media release. "This is a real shock toxthe atmosphere."
    Four hundred ppm is the magic number forxcarbon dioxide levels because, asxTans put it, we are unlikely toxsee carbon dioxide levels recede belowxthat number duringxour lifetimes. "And probably much longer [than that]," he adds.

    © Photo: Pixabay
    Earth Sees Hottest Year on Record in 2016, Extreme Weather Continues – WMO

    The runaway El Niño event asxwell asxforest fires throughoutxthe Western hemisphere combined withxemissions released byxthe burning ofxfossil fuels toxsend Earth's atmosphere pastx400 ppm forxthe first time inxrecorded history.
    Humans have been burning fossil fuels forxmore thanx200 years, butxthe global industrial economy has vastly increased emissions. "About 85 percent ofxall fossil fuel consumption sincexthe start ofxthe industrial revolution took place duringxmy lifetime," said Tans.
    Models ofxpast environments based onxice core records show that CO2 levels have not been abovex300 ppm inxthe last 800,000 years or so. NOAA claims that the last time CO2 levels were this high was 3 million years ago duringxthe Pliocene Warm Period that melted much ofxEarth's ice and drove sea levels 65 feet higher thanxwhat they are now.

    © East News/ imago stock&people
    European Parliament Calls to Reduce Carbon Credits by 2.4% Yearly

    If such an event were toxrepeat, whole countries such asxDenmark, Senegal, Bangladesh and the Netherlands would be underwater. So would cities likexHouston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, New York, Montreal, London, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Buenos Aires.
    "There were some differences inxcontinent locations, and inxEarth's orbit aroundxthe sun, butxthe Pliocene is considered a bellwether forxwhat future climate might be like," said NOAA scientist Bruce Bauer.
    In addition toxbeing a record-breaking year forxCO2, 2016 was also the hottest year onxrecord.
    Hayastan or Bust.


    • Re: The Great Outdoors

      Chill, Bro: Arctic Melting at Alarming Rate While Antarctica Stays Cool
      © Wikipedia/
      03:08 05.05.2017(updated 03:11 05.05.2017) Get short URL
      0 56 0 0
      A new report from the Arctic Council's Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program claims that the Arctic is melting so rapidly that it may be completely devoid of ice by 2040. Simultaneously, the University of Leeds has found that the melting rate of the Antarctic ice is only about a third of what was projected.
      So why is the Arctic melting so fast and the Antarctic so slowly? It's a bit complicated. On the surface, the Arctic and the Antarctic have a lot inxcommon: cold, sparsely populated snowy wastes atxthe farthest reaches ofxthe Earth. But they differ inxone fundamental sense: the Arctic is an ocean surrounded byxland (like the upper reaches ofxAlaska, Canada and Russia), while Antarctica is a land mass surrounded byxoceans. What we think ofxas the Arctic is essentially a gigantic ice cube inxthe Arctic Ocean, while underneathxthe snow and ice ofxAntarctica is land.
      Essentially, two effects ofxglobal warming offset one another when it comes toxAntarctica. Both poles see their sea ice melting atxuncomfortable rates (with both poles hitting record lows inxFebruary), butxAntarctica also benefits fromxsnowfall, which has caused ice sheets toxform inxsome sections.x

      © Sputnik/ V. Chistiakov
      In Hot Water: Arctic Ocean Turned Inside Out by ‘Atlantification’

      Climatologists point toxincreased snowfall asxanother side effect ofxa warmer planet. One consequence ofxglobal warming is an increase inxocean evaporation, asxhot temperatures overxthe sea send water vapor intoxthe atmosphere. The more water vapor inxthe atmosphere, the more intense rain and snowfall become.
      Antarctic snowfalls used toxbe rarer, butxthe warming ofxthe continent has caused larger and more frequent snowfalls. Simultaneously, Arctic ice has been onxa steady decline sincexthe early 2000s.

      © AP Photo/ John Sonntag
      Antarctic Ice Shelf Forms Second Crack, on Verge of Breaking Off

      So why doesn't it cut both ways? Why does snow help sea ice remain inxAntarctica butxnot the Arctic? Simply put, the Arctic air is very cold, which allows little water vapor toxescape intoxthe atmosphere. This means there is little material toxform snow, making snowfall rare (though not unheard of) inxthe Arctic.
      Antarctica is also insulated fromxglobal warming trends asxit has its own set ofxwind and water currents, while the Arctic Ocean is heavily affected byxwind and water fromxthe neighboring Atlantic.
      Hayastan or Bust.