Lewis SmithThe Times
Sat, 19 May 2007 05:53 UTC
The oceans are losing the capacity to soak up rising man-made carbon emissions, which is increasing the rate of global warming by up to 30 per cent, scientists said yesterday.
Researchers have found that the Southern Ocean is absorbing an ever-decreasing proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The excess carbon, which cannot be absorbed by the oceans, will remain in the atmosphere and accelerate global warming, they said.
The reduced ability to absorb carbon is thought to be a result of high winds acting on ocean currents bringing deeper waters that already contain high levels of carbon to the surface.
The higher winds are themselves believed to have been caused by climate change due to a combination of changes in the ozone layer and carbon emissions.
Like a molten thread of white heat, lightning cuts across the grey skies above midtown Manhattan to find the top of the Empire State Building.
The storm yesterday afternoon was part of the latest blast of bad weather to hit New York.
The murky skies and lightning, seen from across the East River in this dramatic picture, were accompaniedby 72mph winds and a deluge which saw an inch of rain fall in nearby Central Park.
Do you think Seattle is the rainiest city in the United States? Well, think again.
Mobile, Alabama, actually topped a new list of soggiest cities, with more than 5 feet of rainfall annually, according to a study conducted by San Francisco-based WeatherBill, Inc.
The Southeast dominated the most rainy list, while the Pacific Northwest never enters the list until Olympia, Washington pops up at number 24.
The 10 rainiest cities in the U.S. by amount of annual rainfall include:
Thu, 17 May 2007 23:01 UTC
An artificial lake in El Salvador brimming with sewage and industrial waste is mystifying scientists by attracting thousands of migratory and sea birds.
Built in 1974 to drive El Salvador's biggest hydroelectric project, the 33,360-acre (13,500- hectare) Cerron Grande reservoir collects some 3,800 metric tons of excrement each year from the sewage pipes, as well as factory run-off and traces of heavy metals like chromium and lead, the government estimates.
Fri, 18 May 2007 17:06 UTC
Heavy rains have been falling in south-eastern Australia, bringing welcome relief for the region's drought-stricken farmers.
Some areas recorded their best rainfall in years, but farmers warned that much more was needed to end the six-year drought - Australia's worst on record.
Fri, 18 May 2007 14:03 UTC
South Florida is in an 18-month drought, and signs of the problem are everywhere - from the links to the nursery and sugar cane industries.
|©AP Photo/Alan Diaz
|A dried up lake is shown at the PGA National golf course in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Thursday, May 17, 2007, due to the most severe water restrictions in South Florida history. The bottom half of Florida is in a year and a half long drought
Massive waves have hit coastlines across Indonesia, sending hundreds of panicky residents rushing from their homes and also destroying fishing boats and beachside shacks, officials and media reports said on Friday.
Television footage showed high waves crashing into the tourist island of Bali, parts of the southern coast of Java island and Sukabumi area in West Java where dozens of residents scrambled inland as flood waters flowed into a little village.
"More than 400 people escaped from their houses since the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said the tidal waves will last for three days," Memo Hermawan, deputy regent of West Java's Garut area near Sukabumi, told Reuters.
Weather officials said the waves which began hitting the Indonesian coast on Thursday and continued on Friday were unusual and not linked with the annual weather pattern.
Waves as high as 4-5 metres (13-16 feet) struck Bali's Jimbaran known for its string of beachfront seafood restaurants, destroying at least 100 fishing boats and sending waiters out to rescue chairs and tables.
Turkey has suffered a dramatic fall in the level of its potable
water supply in recent months, with the water level in dams dropping alarmingly low and major rivers and lakes -- particularly in central Anatolia -- beginning to dry up.
Experts say that unregulated irrigation, together with pollution and global warming, are to blame for the country's looming water shortage, which may pose threats both economic and natural. Officials are urging citizen s to take measures for water conservation in the hope of mitigating the effects of what increasingly appears
to be a drought, perhaps a severe one.This year İstanbul is bracing itself for what looks to be an arid summer. Authorities and city residents alike are both wondering if the painful days of the past water shortage the city endured less than two decades ago once again lie around the corner. The amount of water stored in İstanbul's dams has fallen to less than 50 percent of capacity.
Fri, 18 May 2007 11:51 UTC
One of Earth's most important absorbers of carbon dioxide (CO2) is failing to soak up as much of the greenhouse gas as it was expected to, scientists say.
The decline of Antarctica's Southern Ocean carbon "sink" - or reservoir - means that atmospheric CO2 levels may be higher in future than predicted.
These carbon sinks are vital as they mop up excess CO2 from the atmosphere, slowing down global warming.
The study, by an international team, is published in the journal Science.
This effect had been predicted by climate scientists, and is taken into account - to some extent - by climate models. But it appears to be happening 40 years ahead of schedule.
Beyond the security checkpoint at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Ames Research Center at the southern end of San Francisco Bay, a small group gathered in November for a conference on the innocuous topic of "managing solar radiation." The real subject was much bigger: how to save the planet from the effects of global warming. There was little talk among the two dozen scientists and other specialists about carbon taxes, alternative energy sources, or the other usual remedies. Many of the scientists were impatient with such schemes. Some were simply contemptuous of calls for international cooperation and the policies and lifestyle changes needed to curb greenhouse-gas emissions; others had concluded that the world's politicians and bureaucrats are not up to the job of agreeing on such reforms or that global warming will come more rapidly, and with more catastrophic consequences, than many models predict. Now, they believe, it is time to consider radical measures: a technological quick fix for global warming.