Climate, Green Living, News

Ocean oscillation patterns explain global warming ‘hiatus’

climate change hiatus

One of the prime arguments climate change skeptics throw about is how surface temperatures have remained more or less constant for the past 15 years, hence there is no man-made global warming – it’s all a sham, a conspiracy to keep scientists busy with gratuitous grants and fill Al Gore’s pockets. I’ve written previously about models and observations that explain

Climate, News, Pollution, World Problems

Short-lived chemicals that burn a hole in the ozone layer are on the rise

Nasa graphic showing the extent of the ozone hole over Antarctica Public domain

After scientists discovered a huge hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic, an emergency UN panel banned the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in 1987. These build up in the atmosphere, react with the triple oxygen molecule and break it down. Since then, ozone has thankfully replenished, thought it might take decades before it reverts to pre-1980 levels. Progress is slow because there are still some plants through out the world who illegally use CFCs (the stuff that used to go into refrigerants or deodorants), but also because there are other ozone-depleting chemicals out there – some recognized, others new and extremely dangerous. One class of chemicals that has been allowed in the industry since the Montreal Protocol, despite the danger it posses to ozone, is made up of so-called ‘very short-lived substances’ (VSLS) which breakup in under six months. A new study, however, found that these have dramatically increased over the past couple of years and despite their short reaction times, these could prove to be extremely dangerous.

Climate, News

Time Lapse Video Shows Glacier Retreat

15_02-Fox-1

Fox Glacier is one of the most spectacular sights in New Zealand, receiving on average over 1,000 visits every day. Sadly, like many other glaciers, Fox Glacier is retreating rapidly due to climate change. A pair of before-and-after images 10 year apart highlightthis perfectly, just like the time-lapse video below does.

Climate, News

US drought will be the worst in 1000 years

Las Vegas drought will reach extreme levels. Image via CBS.

In recent years, a number of independent studies have concluded that the American Southwest and central Great Plains will experience extensive droughts in the second half of this century – and global warming will make things even worse, exacerbating the already worrying conditions. Now, a new study says that things are even worse than previously imagined, and that the drought will

Climate, News, World Problems

Climate change reversal hacks shunned in report. “Wake up and cut emission!”

geological hacks

Mitigating climate change is on the agenda of every world government, but somehow little is done to curb global warming. Echoing a quick-fix approach to life so predominantly engraved in modern culture, some are considering sweeping climate change under the proverbial rug. These so called geo-engineering methods aim to fix climate change by altering the environment, but those ideas that are actually practical today only mask the effects and do nothing to treat the symptoms, a new report signed by 16 top scientists reads. The authors used this opportunity to make an appeal for reducing global emissions, else we might be forced to actually engineer the planet with unforeseeable consequences.

Climate, Feature Post, Great Pics, World Problems

How climate change is turning Mongolia into a museum, Photographer tells the story

mongolia desert

Climate change is a threat to all life and vegetation here on Earth, but some places are worse off than others. Take Mongolia for instance. Over the past 30 years, a quarter of the country’s surface has turned into a desert, while 850 lakes and 2,000 rivers have dried out. This rapid desertification has severely disrupted habitats, making it very difficult for both man and beast to adapt. Even to this day, 25% of Mongolians living in the country are thought to be nomadic, still holding on to ancient traditions from the times when the great Khans swept the world and made it tremble, from Beijing to Rome. In the face of such diversity, the Mongolian people risk losing their heritage and way of life, as they’ve come to know it for thousands of years.

Climate, Environment, News

“only god can change the climate” – US chief of Environment & Public Works Committee

Republican and US senator James Inhofe: ‘Man can’t change climate’. Photograph: Susan Walsh/AP

When the US Senate finally agreed that global warming is real, I thought we’re finally going to get some progress. The leaders of the US were finally starting to acknowledge the environmental damage we’re causing and maybe even start taking measures against it… it was too good to be true. While the senate agreed that climate change is happening (because hey, that’s

Climate, News

Brazil’s Biggest Cities are Running out of Water

The sign reads "Welcome to the Cantareira desert". This car used to be submerged in Sao Paulo's main reservoir system.

The states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais are running out of water. According to a Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira, the three states are experiencing the worst drought in recorded history, and the facts are painting a bleak picture for the future. Authorities have already implemented water saving measures, and rations may be implemented in the near future.

Climate, News, World Problems

New subglacial lakes discovered in Greenland accelerating melting

Meltwater on the Greenland ice sheet carved this canyon. Credit: IAN JOUGHIN

Using satellite imagery, scientists have discovered two new subglacial lakes under Greenland’s ice sheet bringing the total number to four. The discovery is not well met, however. These lakes are already drained, signaling that climate change is making its way beneath the Greenland ice sheet. The discovery suggests subglacial lakes could increase the sensitivity of ice to climatic change, further accelerating ice melt which can lead to catastrophic floods.