What Would A Four Degree Global Temperature Increase Mean For Earth?

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If Earth heats by four degrees Celsius the planet we call home would become a very unwelcoming place.  Even as some world leaders tamp down expectations for the 7-18 December UN climate conference, experts say the threat of a 4°C warming over pre-industrial times is all too plausible.

 

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Climategate – The New Politics of Science

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Climategate put to song

A respected British scientist has admitted that emails taken from his inbox, calling into question many of the accepted truths of global warming, were genuine. Here is a very funny parody of “Draggin the Line” by Tommy James and the Shondells about Climategate.

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Voting Opens For Angry Mermaid Award For Most Detrimental Climate Lobbying

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That’s one pissed fish!

The damaging impacts of corporate lobbying on international efforts to fight climate change are exposed today with the announcement of the eight candidates for the Angry Mermaid Award 2009.

The Angry Mermaid Award is named after the iconic Copenhagen mermaid who is angry about the destruction being caused by climate change

Thousands of members of the public are expected to vote at www.angrymermaid.org between today and Sunday 13 December for the candidate which they believe has done the most to sabotage effective action to tackle climate change.

Lobby groups representing oil, coal, aviation, the chemicals industry and emissions trading are all on the shortlist for the Angry Mermaid Award 2009, alongside biotech company Monsanto, oil giant Shell and energy company Sasol. The winner of the angry mermaid award will be announced at the Copenhagen climate talks on Tuesday 15 December 2009.

The eight nominees for the Angry Mermaid Award are:

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NOAA: Summer Temperature Below Average for U.S.

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Global warming came to an abrupt end this summer

The average June-August 2009 summer temperature for the contiguous United States was below average – the 34th coolest on record, according to a preliminary analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. August was also below the long-term average. The analysis is based on records dating back to 1895.
U.S. Temperature Highlights – Summer
High resolution (Credit: NOAA)
For the 2009 summer, the average temperature of 71.7 degrees F was 0.4 degree F below the 20th Century average. The 2008 average summer temperature was 72.7 degrees F.
A recurring upper level trough held the June-August temperatures down in the central states, where Michigan experienced its fifth, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota their seventh, Nebraska its eighth, and Iowa its ninth coolest summer. By contrast, Florida had its fourth warmest summer, while Washington and Texas experienced their eighth and ninth warmest, respectively.
The Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota region experienced its sixth coolest summer on record. Only the Northwest averaged above normal temperatures.
U.S. Temperature Highlights – August
High resolution (Credit: NOAA)
The average 2009 August temperature of 72.2 degrees F was 0.6 degree F below the 20th Century average. Last year’s August temperature was 73.2 degrees F.
Temperatures were below normal in the Midwest, Plains, and parts of the south. Above-normal temperatures dominated the eastern seaboard, areas in the southwest, and in the extreme northwest.
Several northeastern states were much above normal for August, including Delaware and New Jersey (eighth warmest), Maine (ninth), and Rhode Island and Connecticut (10th). In contrast, below-normal temperatures were recorded for Missouri and Kansas.
U.S. Precipitation Highlights – Summer
High resolution (Credit: NOAA)
The Northeast region had its eighth wettest June-August summer on record. By contrast, the South, Southeast and Southwest regions, were drier than average. Arizona had its third driest summer, while both South Carolina and Georgia had their sixth driest.
U.S. Precipitation Highlights – August
In August, precipitation across the contiguous United States averaged 2.34 inches, which is 0.26 inch below the 1901-2000 average.
Above-normal averages were generally recorded across the northern U.S., west of the Great Lakes. The South and Southeast regions experienced below-normal precipitation.
Precipitation across the Southwest region averaged 0.85 inches, which is 1.10 inches below normal and ranks as the 4th driest August on record. Arizona had its fourth driest, New Mexico its fifth, and it was the eighth driest August on record for Colorado, Utah and Texas.
High resolution (Credit: NOAA)
By the end of August, moderate-to-exceptional drought covered 14 percent of the contiguous United States, based on the U.S. Drought Monitor. Drought intensified in parts of the Pacific Northwest and new drought areas emerged in Arizona and the Carolinas. Montana, Wisconsin and Oklahoma saw minor improvements in their drought conditions.
About 27 percent of the contiguous United States had moderately-to-extremely wet conditions at the end of August, according to the Palmer Index (a well-known index that measures both drought intensity and wet spell intensity).
Other Highlights
There were more than 300 low temperature records (counting daily highs and lows) set across states in the Midwest during the last two days of August.
A total of 7,975 fires burned 1,646,363 acres in August, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center. August 2009 ranked fifth for the number of fires and sixth for acres burned in August this decade. From January through August, 64,682 fires have burned 5.2 million acres across the nation.
NCDC’s preliminary reports, which assess the current state of the climate, are released soon after the end of each month. These analyses are based on preliminary data, which are subject to revision. Additional quality control is applied to the data when late reports are received several weeks after the end of the month and as increased scientific methods improve NCDC’s processing algorithms.
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.

The average 2009 August temperature of 72.2 degrees F was 0.6 degree F below the 20th Century average. Last year’s August temperature was 73.2 degrees F.

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New Species Discovered In The Greater Mekong At Risk Of Extinction

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Leopard gecko. A bird eating fanged frog, a gecko that looks like it’s from another planet and a bird which would rather walk than fly, are among the 163 new species discovered in the Greater Mekong region last year that are now at risk of extinction

A bird-eating fanged frog, a gecko that looks like it’s from another planet, and a bird which would rather walk than fly — these are among the 163 new species discovered in the Greater Mekong region last year that are now at risk of extinction, says a new report launched by WWF.

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Man-Made Crises Outpacing Our Ability To Deal With Them

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The world faces a compounding series of crises driven by human activity, which existing governments and institutions are increasingly powerless to cope with, a group of eminent environmental scientists and economists has warned.  In today’s issue of the leading international journal Science, the researchers say that nations alone are unable to resolve the sorts of planet-wide challenges now arising.

 

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Robot Moves Across Sea Floor Monitoring Impact Of Climate Change On The Deep Sea

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The Benthic Rover

Like the robotic rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which wheeled tirelessly across the dusty surface of Mars, a new robot spent most of July traveling across the muddy ocean bottom, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) off the California coast. This robot, the Benthic Rover, has been providing scientists with an entirely new view of life on the deep seafloor. It will also give scientists a way to document the effects of climate change on the deep sea. The Rover is the result of four years of hard work by a team of engineers and scientists led by MBARI project engineer Alana Sherman and marine biologist Ken Smith.

 

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Tornado Threat Increases As Gulf Hurricanes Get Larger

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Large tornadoes occurring near gulf coast.

Tornadoes that occur from hurricanes moving inland from the Gulf Coast are increasing in frequency, according to researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology. This increase seems to reflect the increase in size and frequency among large hurricanes that make landfall from the Gulf of Mexico.

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Ancient Oceans Offer New Insight Into Origins Of Animal Life

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In prehistoric times, Earth experienced two periods of large increases and fluctuations in the oxygen level of the atmosphere and oceans.

Analysis of a rock type found only in the world’s oldest oceans has shed new light on how large animals first got a foothold on Earth.

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Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Could Be ‘Functionally Extinct’ Within Decades

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Great Barrier Reef

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living organism, is under grave threat from climate warming and coastal development, and its prospects of survival are “poor,” a major new report found.   While the World Heritage-protected site, which sprawls for more than 345,000 square km (133,000 sq miles) off Australia’s east coast, is in a better position than most other reefs globally, the risk of its destruction was mounting.

 

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