Welcome to Sott.net
Sun, 20 Jun 2021
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes
Map

Fish

No Oxygen In Eastern Mediterranean Bottom-water

Research from Utrecht University shows that there is an organic-rich bed of sediment in the floor of the Eastern Mediterranean. This bed formed over a period of about 4000 years under oxygen-free bottom-water conditions.

Image
©Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
A sediment sample used for this research. The dark-green bed is organic-rich sediment from sapropel S1.

A wet climatic period was responsible for the phenomenon. According to climate scenarios, the climate may become wetter in this area, potentially giving rise again to a period of oxygen-free bottom-water.

Alternating organic-rich and organic-poor beds have been deposited on the floor of the Eastern Mediterranean. These deposits coincide with the alternation of wet and dry climatic periods. Researchers believe that the organic-rich beds, called sapropels, can originate in two ways:
More organisms live in the surface water because, for example, rivers introduce more nutrients. As a result, more organisms sink to the bottom when they die.

The organic material is better preserved. If dead organisms sink to an oxygen-free bottom, the organic material breaks down less well.

Crusader

'Chemical equator' protects Antarctica's clean air



Image
©Hamilton et al./AGU
An invisible barrier separates the carbon-monoxide-rich air of South-East Asia from the pristine air of the Southern Ocean

Scientists have discovered a "chemical equator" just north of Australia that divides polluted air from South-East Asia from the largely uncontaminated atmosphere of the Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica.

The discovery will help researchers create accurate simulations of how pollutants move in the atmosphere and assess their impact on climate.

Bizarro Earth

6.0 Magnitude Earthquake Jolts Southern Tibet

An earthquake measuring 6.0 on Richter Scale hit southwestern Tibet Thursday near the Nepal-Tibet border. The earthquake struck at 9:47 a.m. (0147 GMT), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the quake, which hit Zhongba county in Shigatse (Xigaze) prefecture. The epicenter of the quake lied 250 miles (400 kilometers) northwest of Katmandu, Nepal's capital.

Better Earth

Old Growth Forest Must No Longer Be Ignored In Carbon Balances

An international study involving a team from LSCE (CNRS-CEA-UVSQ) has revealed that ancient forests, which accumulate large quantities of carbon over the centuries, should be taken into account in global carbon balance assessments. However, such old growth forests were not included in the Kyoto protocol.

Ancient forests.
©Stockphoto
Ancient forests.

In the carbon cycle, forests help to slow down the build-up of atmospheric carbon dioxide by absorbing this gas, thereby mitigating climate change. Specifically, forests use CO2 to synthesise the organic molecules that are stored in trees, and thereafter in organic soil matter and dead leaves, which decompose slowly.

The ability of forests to fix carbon dioxide depends on the balance between the amounts removed from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and those released as a result of plant respiration.

Info

Impact Of Beetle Kill On Rocky Mountain Weather, Air Quality

Mountain pine beetles appear to be doing more than killing large swaths of forests in the Rocky Mountains. Scientists suspect they are also altering local weather patterns and air quality.

Image
©Carlye Calvin, UCAR
Mountain pine beetles have killed large numbers of trees in the Rockies.

A new international field project, led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), is exploring how trees and other vegetation influence rainfall, temperatures, smog, and other aspects of the atmosphere. Plants take in and emit chemicals that affect the air, and they also absorb varying amounts of incoming heat from the Sun. When portions of a forest die, the local atmosphere can change in subtle ways.

"Forests help control the atmosphere, and there's a big difference between the impacts of a living forest and a dead forest," says NCAR scientist Alex Guenther, a principal investigator on the project. "With a dead forest, we may get different rainfall patterns, for example."

Info

US: Severe Climate Change Costs Forecast For Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, North Dakota, And Other U.S. States

The economic impact of climate change will cost a number of U.S. states billions of dollars, and delaying action will raise the price tag, concludes the latest series of reports produced by the University of Maryland's Center for Integrative Environmental Research (CIER).

The new reports project specific long-term direct and ripple economic effects on North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. In most cases, the price tag could run into billions of dollars.

million dollar houses in Corolla NC USA
©iStockphoto/Joelle Gould
A row of million dollar houses in Corolla on the outer banks of North Carolina. The most significant impact of climate change to North Carolina is likely to be felt along the coastline, but damage to agriculture, forestry and manufacturing could also occur with total costs running into billions of dollars.

The studies combine existing data with new analysis and have been conducted by CIER in conjunction with the National Conference of State Legislators. Last July they released similar studies on Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey and Ohio. (link to state-by-state reports below.)

"State and local communities would do well to prepare for a cascade of impacts on many of their most basic systems and services," says Matthias Ruth, principal investigator and director of the Center for Integrative Environmental Research at the University of Maryland. "From sewers to aquifers, highways and health systems, climate change will rewrite communities' infrastructure needs. Quick action will be expensive, but delayed action will cost even more."

Better Earth

Ocean Floor Geysers Warm Flowing Sea Water

An international team of earth scientists report movement of warmed sea water through the flat, Pacific Ocean floor off Costa Rica. The movement is greater than that off midocean volcanic ridges. The finding suggests possible marine life in a part of the ocean once considered barren.

With about 71 percent of the Earth's surface being ocean, much remains unknown about what is under the sea, its geology, and the life it supports. A new finding reported by American, Canadian and German earth scientists suggests a rather unremarkable area off the Costa Rican Pacific coast holds clues to better understand sea floor ecosystems.

Carol Stein, professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is a member of the research team that has studied the region, located between 50 and 150 miles offshore and covering an area the size of Connecticut. The sea floor, some two miles below, is marked by a collection of about 10 widely separated outcrops or mounts, rising from sediment covering crust made of extinct volcanic rock some 20-25 million years old.

Bizarro Earth

World's Largest Tsunami Debris Discovered

A line of massive boulders on the western shore of Tonga may be evidence of the most powerful volcano-triggered tsunami found to date. Up to 9 meters (30 feet) high and weighing up to 1.6 million kilograms (3.5 million pounds), the seven coral boulders are located 100 to 400 meters (300 to 1,300 feet) from the coast.

The house-sized boulders were likely flung ashore by a wave rivaling the 1883 Krakatau tsunami, which is estimated to have towered 35 meters (115 feet) high.

Image
©M. Hornbach
Tongatapu boulder.

"These could be the largest boulders displaced by a tsunami, worldwide," says Matthew Hornbach of the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics. "Krakatau's tsunami was probably not a one-off event." Hornbach and his colleagues will discuss these findings at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA), Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (GCAGS), in Houston, Texas, USA.*

Snowman

Old Farmers Almanac: Global cooling may be underway

The Old Farmer's Almanac is going further out on a limb than usual this year, not only forecasting a cooler winter, but looking ahead decades to suggest we are in for global cooling, not warming.

Based on the same time-honored, complex calculations it uses to predict weather, the Almanac hits the newsstands on Tuesday saying a study of solar activity and corresponding records on ocean temperatures and climate point to a cooler, not warmer, climate, for perhaps the next half century.

"We at the Almanac are among those who believe that sunspot cycles and their effects on oceans correlate with climate changes," writes meteorologist and climatologist Joseph D'Aleo. "Studying these and other factor suggests that cold, not warm, climate may be our future."

Cloud Lightning

China Storms Leave 18 People Dead; 20,000 Stranded

A typhoon and torrential rains killed at least 18 people in southern and central China, leaving more than 20,000 stranded in Sichuan province, which was devastated by an earthquake earlier this year.

Heavy rain in Sichuan killed at least eight people and left 38 missing, the official Xinhua News Agency said. As much as 34 centimeters (13.4 inches) of rain fell in the last two days, the China Meteorological Administration said.

Officials are concerned about the safety of residents as roads and telephone lines were cut after the rains caused floods and mudslides, Xinhua said, citing the Jiangyou municipal government. Sichuan is still rebuilding cities devastated by a 7.9-magnitude earthquake in May that killed 69,226 people and left 15 million homeless.