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Sun, 29 Mar 2020
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes
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Drought and negligence threaten Turkey's lakes, rivers

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.

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Study: Polar ocean 'soaking up less CO2'

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.

Bizarro Earth

The Climate Engineers

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.

Bizarro Earth

UK enjoys 'warmest April for 142 years'

Britain has basked in the warmest April for more than 140 years, a weather expert has said.

Snowman

That was chilliest April in 32 years

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.

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Permanent ice fields are resisting global warming and not melting

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.

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Journal details how global warming will affect the world's fisheries

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."

Magic Wand

Spain sends out jellyfish patrols

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.

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Global warming hot air? Geologist disputes claims human activity heating the earth

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.

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Mathematician & engineer Dr. David Evans Converts to Skeptic over Man-Made Global Warming

(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.)