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Wed, 20 Nov 2019
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Bizarro Earth

No doubt for THAT they do have funds: "Crazy" Global Warming Solutions Getting Attention

Global warming solutions that would earn a laugh from many of us are getting some serious attention by scientists.

With the impacts of global warming being felt around the globe, an insurance policy of sorts may be needed in case the effects are faster and more dramatic that what can be fought with more traditional methods like efficiency, renewable power, etc. Here's a sample of the more interesting scenarios that are being considered and studied:

Attention

Eco group warns of freshwater crisis

Some of the world's largest and best-known rivers are at risk of drying up as a result of climate change, pollution and bad planning, a report warned today.

The study by the environment group, WWF, focuses on the ten rivers most danger of drying up or dying, and warns that, without action, the world faces "a freshwater emergency".


Cloud Lightning

Storm-force winds exert less pull on ocean than expected: study

A snapshot of ocean conditions taken during Hurricane Ivan in 2004 has yielded new clues about the dynamics of storm surges that could help meteorologists make more accurate predictions, a study released Thursday said.

Weather forecasters typically rely on data about surface winds and turbulence to try and figure out just how much a storm has churned up the ocean and what the resulting storm surge will look like -- the kind of surge that walloped New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Attention

The next great earthquake

Geophysicist urges public, policy makers to consider all tectonic boundaries as lethal

The 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and resulting tsunami are now infamous for the damage they caused, but at the time many scientists believed this area was unlikely to create a quake of such magnitude. In the March 23 issue of the journal Science, a geophysicist from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute urges the public and policy makers to consider all subduction-type tectonic boundaries to be "locked, loaded, and dangerous."

"Seismologists have long tried to determine which subduction boundaries are more likely than others to break," says Robert McCaffrey, professor of earth and environmental sciences at Rensselaer. "Yet, the great earthquake of 2004 ruptured a segment that was thought to be among the least likely to go."

On Dec. 26, 2004, the earth beneath the Indian Ocean buckled and ruptured, unleashing one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history. Shockwaves from the magnitude 9.2 (M9) quake created a wall of rushing water that devastated communities up to 1,000 miles away.

Cloud Lightning

Southern Ocean current faces slowdown threat

The impact of global warming on the vast Southern Ocean around Antarctica is starting to pose a threat to ocean currents that distribute heat around the world, Australian scientists say, citing new deep-water data.

Comment: Replace the words 'global warming' with 'climate change' and you might be closer to the mark.


Better Earth

Canada: Is mayfly's demise a clue for the wise?

The Green Drake is a little mayfly that's only about 4.5 centimetres long, but favoured by trout, which love to gorge on it.

The flies spend several years in a riverbed, in a nymph stage.

When they emerge in late May or early June for action-filled lives lasting about a week, they do so in a gossamer blizzard, numbering in the tens of thousands.

Cloud Lightning

'Cyclone science' shows rainforest impacts and recovery

A year on from Cyclone Larry research into the environmental impacts of the category 4/5 storm is starting to deliver interesting results. This suite of projects involving 25 scientists from 5 institutions was set up shortly after the cyclone hit to investigate its effects on the rainforests of the Wet Tropics.

"This is probably the most comprehensive study of the environmental impacts of a tropical cyclone ever done anywhere in the world," said the Director of the CSIRO/JCU Tropical Landscapes Joint Venture, Professor Steve Turton.

Cloud Lightning

Scientists uncover prehistoric hurricane activity

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita focused the international spotlight on the vulnerability of the U.S. coastline. Fears that a "super-hurricane" could make a direct hit on a major city and cause even more staggering losses of life, land and economy triggered an outpouring of studies directed at every facet of this ferocious weather phenomenon. Now, an LSU professor takes us one step closer to predicting the future by drilling holes into the past.

Kam-biu Liu, George William Barineau III Professor in LSU's Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, is the pioneer of a relatively new field of study called paleotempestology, or the study of prehistoric hurricanes. Liu, a long-time resident of Louisiana, became even more interested in the subject during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when a national debate was sparked concerning hurricane intensity patterns and cycles.

"People were discussing the probability of a Category 5 hurricane making direct impact on New Orleans," said Liu. "That's tricky, because it's never actually happened in history. Even Katrina, though still extremely powerful, was only a Category 3 storm at landfall."

Bulb

Cycle of sunspots is linked to weather patterns: Start of wetter cycle underway

The worst drought in a century could end this year, according to a scientist who has linked the cycle of sunspots and the "looping" of the sun's magnetic field to Australia's weather patterns.

Associate Professor Robert Baker, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, says the rhythmic pattern in the sun's energy output strongly influences weather patterns.

The rhythms apply especially in the southern Hemisphere and in eastern Australia under the influence of the huge size of the Pacific Ocean.

The two key, related sun rhythms are:

- The sun's poles which switch every 11 years

- The sun's magnetic emissions which peak, every 11 years also, in periods of increased sunspot activity.

Bizarro Earth

Bird species showing up farther north

More bird species in the USA are ranging farther north and even staying there for the winter in a possible sign of adaptation to global warming, ornithologists and conservation groups say.