BBC News – ‘Nothing can stop retreat’ of West Antarctic glaciers

Key glaciers in West Antarctica are in an irreversible retreat, a study team led by the US space agency (Nasa) says.

It analysed 40 years of observations of six big ice streams draining into the Amundsen Bay and concluded that nothing now can stop them melting away.

Although these are abrupt changes, the timescales involved are likely measured in centuries, the researchers add.

If the glaciers really do disappear, they would add roughly 1.2m to global sea level rise.

The new study has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, but Nasa held a teleconference on Monday to brief reporters on the findings.

via BBC News – ‘Nothing can stop retreat’ of West Antarctic glaciers.

Smaller Australian apple crop to firm prices for growers – ABC Rural (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Apple growers in central west New South Wales are reporting lower yields this year after the hot growing season, and rain through harvest.

But NSW Farmers Association horticulture committee chair Peter Darley says this is good for prices and reflects a smaller crop nationwide.

“The crops are down this year, but I think the quality has been very good. The previous year was a very tough year because Australia-wide there was a huge volume crop.

“I think this year the crop volume is down Australia-wide, so that’ll certainly equate better to a firmer wholesale price for growers,” he said.

via Smaller Australian apple crop to firm prices for growers – ABC Rural (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Australia’s climate extremes increasing as carbon dioxide levels continue to rise, report reveals – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Australia is getting wetter despite drought across much of the country, a climate report has revealed.

The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology’s latest State of the Climate report is a snapshot of how Australia’s weather has changed over the last two years.

Average rainfall has increased in Australia since 1900, with above-average falls in Australia’s north offsetting a drop in annual rainfall in the south.

The report shows south-east Australia experienced a 15 per cent decline in late autumn and early winter rainfall since the mid-1990s.

via Australia’s climate extremes increasing as carbon dioxide levels continue to rise, report reveals – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Thank you global warming: Giant hornets are killing dozens in China and eating bees across Europe. – Quartz

A plague of hornets, each the size of a human thumb, have descended on Shaanxi province this summer—at least 28 have been stung to death (link in Chinese), while another 419 have been injured, according to a local news report from China Radio Network (CRN), via the New York Times’ Chris Buckley. The death toll from hornet attacks in Ankang city is more than twice the annual average between 2002 and 2005, say the Ankang police, as the Guardian reports. A local doctor said hospitalizations due to hornet attacks have risen steadily over the years (link in Chinese)

via Thank you global warming: Giant hornets are killing dozens in China and eating bees across Europe. – Quartz.

How Two Reservoirs Have Become Billboards For What Climate Change Is Doing To The American West | ThinkProgress

worthy, Guest Blogger on August 12, 2013 at 8:11 am

Lake Mead’s “bathtub ring” at the top of the white band shows how high the water used to be.

Lake Mead’s “bathtub ring” at the top of the white band shows how high the water used to be.

CREDIT: (Credit: AP)

This week, to see how climate change will pull a nasty water surprise on the desert Southwest, you only need to look at one river.

Lake Powell is the giant reservoir on the Utah-Arizona border that backs up behind Glen Canyon Dam and is the linchpin for managing the Colorado River. The Colorado basically makes modern life possible in seven western states by providing water for some 40 million people and irrigating 4 million acres of crops. It is also depended upon by 22 native American tribes, 7 national wildlife refuges and 11 national parks.

via How Two Reservoirs Have Become Billboards For What Climate Change Is Doing To The American West | ThinkProgress.

World continues to broil, NOAAs 2012 report on warming finds – NBCNews.com

WASHINGTON — A new massive federal study says the world in 2012 sweltered with continued signs of climate change. Rising sea levels, snow melt, heat buildup in the oceans, and melting Arctic sea ice and Greenland ice sheets, all broke or nearly broke records, but temperatures only sneaked into the top 10.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Tuesday issued a peer-reviewed 260-page report, which agency chief Kathryn Sullivan calls its annual “checking on the pulse of the planet.” The report, written by 384 scientists around the world, compiles data already released, but it puts them in context of whats been happening to Earth over decades.”Its critically important to compile a big picture,” National Climatic Data Center director Tom Karl says. “The signs that we see are of a warming world.”

via World continues to broil, NOAAs 2012 report on warming finds – NBCNews.com.

Greenland: A Global Warming Laboratory – In Focus – The Atlantic

As the sea levels around the globe rise, researchers affiliated with the National Science Foundation and other organizations are studying the phenomena of melting glaciers and the long-term ramifications. Rapid warming at the summit of the Greenland ice sheet has caused year after year of record melting at the surface, raising concern, even as recent research indicates the ice sheet has endured warmer periods. The warmer temperatures that have had an effect on the glaciers in Greenland also have altered the ways in which the local populace farm, fish, hunt and even travel across land. Getty Images photojournalist Joe Raedle traveled north recently, spending two weeks documenting the scientists tracking Greenland’s transformation, as well as some of the spectacular scenery and residents engaged in their daily lives

via Greenland: A Global Warming Laboratory – In Focus – The Atlantic.

More angry, more often: March heatwave signals a new normal

Daylight hours are dwindling and our first month of autumn is ending. But in many places, March felt a lot like summer. Get used to it: looking ahead, all indications are that future summers could be just like this one, or more extreme.Southeast Australia welcomed autumn with a persistent heat wave. For the first 12 days of autumn, temperatures were 6.9 degrees above normal across Tasmania and 6.8 degrees above normal in Victoria.Melbourne’s March record-breaking weather included nine days of temperatures of 32 degrees or above and its hottest overnight March temperature in 110 years of record keeping. Adelaide experienced ten such hot days.

via More angry, more often: March heatwave signals a new normal.

Explained in 90 Seconds: What the @#% Is Climate Change Doing to El Niño? : Climate Desk

Imagine this is your office: a tropical island skirted by coral-packed azure waters, somewhere near the equator between Hawaii and Tahiti. Your job involves a lot of swimming. Tough, huh? “My field research is the best part of my job,” says Kim Cobb, Associate Professor of Climate Change at Georgia Institute of Technology. “It’s probably the reason I have stuck with corals for the last 15 years.”Stuck with, and collected and sampled. For the past seven years, Cobb and her lab team have been recontructing the history of El Niño events across several millenia by taking core samples from corals in the Pacific. That process has uncovered reams of fresh climate data. And it’s within this new, longer baseline of temperatures from the tropical Pacific that Cobb spotted something surprising: “The 20th century is significantly, statistically stronger in its El Niño Southern Oscillation activity than this long, baseline average,” Cobb says. El Niño events have gotten worse.

via Explained in 90 Seconds: What the @#% Is Climate Change Doing to El Niño? : Climate Desk.

Could we acclimatise to the hotter summers to come?

Acclimatising to heat is a tough gig. Since 1970, central Australian regions have warmed 1.2ᵒC and as the world continues to get warmer, increasingly common and increasingly intense heat waves will make acclimatising even tougher.Our physiology is fantastically clever. Humans have managed to successfully inhabit most of the earth’s land surface, from sub-zero zones to the scorching hot. But regardless of environmental temperatures, we homeotherms, or warm-blooded animals, successfully maintain our core temperature within a very narrow range around 36.2ᵒC. When a fever raises our temperature above 38ᵒC, we start to feel unwell and death is likely if core temperature passes 40ᵒC.

via Could we acclimatise to the hotter summers to come?.