Britain has basked in the warmest April for more than 140 years, a weather expert has said.
If it seemed April did not deliver on the promise of spring, you are correct. It was the coldest April in 32 years.
"The warm weather of recent days is in stark contrast to the persistent chill that enveloped the region much of the month," notes Eric Horst of Millersville University's Weather Information Center.
The small ice caps of Mont Blanc and the Dôme du Goûter are not melting, or at least, not yet. This is what CNRS researchers1 have announced in the Journal of Geophysical Research. At very high altitudes (above 4200 meters), the accumulation of snow and ice has varied very little since the beginning of the 20th century. But if summer temperatures increase by a few degrees during the 21st century, the melt could become more marked, and could affect the "permanent" ice fields.
Alpine glaciers, which are mainly at an altitude between 2000 and 4000 meters, shrank considerably during the 20th century and particularly during the past twenty years, losing an average of 1 to 1.5 kilometers in length. However, the situation is different above 4200 meters.
At the altitude of the Dôme du Goûter (4300 m) or the summit of Mont Blanc (4810 m), all precipitation is solid, falling as snow. The ice fields melt very little, and only in extreme conditions such as the 2003 heatwave. Variations in the mass of glaciers only depend on the accumulation of snow and the downward flow of the glacier, as the ice is deformed under its own weight.
Watching the ebb and flow of populations of fisheries around the world can provide some insight into understanding the effects of global warming on our planet, according to a group of researchers writing in the summer 2007 issue of Natural Resource Modeling. The fact that fisheries are closely tied to human health and species health across the globe adds to their significance.
"Fisheries are a globally important economic activity, not the least from the perspective of human nutrition and underdeveloped societies," writes Rognvaldur Hannesson, of the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, in the issue's introduction. "Fisheries, due to their primitive nature, are among the human activities most exposed to climate changes."
The output of fisheries, as well as their costs and benefits, are "directly and strongly affected by variations in natural conditions," Hannesson adds. "Habitat conditions, which are the main determinants of the productivity and location of fish stocks, are strongly affected by ocean and atmospheric temperatures. The current prospect of substantial global warming, therefore, leads to concern about what this is likely to mean for the world's fisheries."
The Spanish environmental ministry is braced for a summer season plagued by jellyfish and plans patrols to scour the seas and remove the offending creatures before they reach the shores.
Josep María Gili, a professor at the Spanish High Council for Scientific Research, told La Vanguardia newspaper that the council planned a survey of the jellyfish population - and its growth potential - from the Costa Brava to Cádiz.
"From an environmental point of view, leaving them in the water isn't a bad solution, because they would be food for other animals, but for the population in general, and bathers in particular, they pose a health problem," Mr Gili said. He advised sifting for toxic tentacles in the sand.
A northern Alberta geologist has embarked on a crusade to stop what he says is the madness of the prevailing wisdom that human activity is heating the Earth.
(Editor's note: I invited David Evans from Science Speak to write the guest post below explaining his viewpoint and why he is betting against me over global warming. David welcomes a substantive debate in the comments. Obviously, we don't agree on all the issues, but I'm sure I don't need to remind anyone the value of civil debate with someone like David, who is genuine enough to put his money where his mouth is.)
With a wealth of data now in, Dr. Claude Allegre, one of France's leading socialists and among her most celebrated scientists, has recanted his views. To his surprise, the many climate models and studies failed dismally in establishing a man-made cause of catastrophic global warming. Meanwhile, increasing evidence indicates that most of the warming comes of natural phenomena. Dr. Allegre now sees global warming as over-hyped and an environmental concern of second rank.
Thu, 17 May 2007 03:03 UTC
The official ceremony to mark the 40 year anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem was canceled, Wednesday afternoon, due to an unexpected storm. City residents told Ynet of torrential downpours and heavy hail - definitely not summer weather in Israel.
Several streets were flooded and subsequently closed to traffic, including the tunnel to Mt. Scopus. Other tunnels in the area, leading to and from Ma'aleh Adumim were also blocked off.
Thu, 17 May 2007 00:08 UTC
The average temperature in April 2007 was 51.7 F. This was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average, the 47th coolest April in 113 years. The temperature trend for the period of record (1895 to present) is 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit per decade.