Daily Archives: January 11, 2019

“If there’s a concrete wall in front of you…”

Snow brings parts of Europe to standstill – BBC News

 

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Heavy snowfalls brought chaos to parts of Germany and Sweden on Friday, leaving roads blocked, trains halted and schools shut.

The Red Cross helped drivers stuck on a motorway in the southern German state of Bavaria and a nine-year-old boy was killed by a falling tree.

The front of a Swiss hotel was hit by an avalanche and a winter storm made roads impassable in Sweden and Norway.

Austrian rescuers had to battle through chest-deep snow to reach a snowboarder.

The 41-year-old Pole had lost his way after going off piste at the resort of Schlossalmbahn.

…(read more).

Pacific Ocean Heat Content During the Past 10,000 Years | Science

Global warming is popularly viewed only as an atmospheric process, when, as shown by marine temperature records covering the last several decades, most heat uptake occurs in the ocean. How did subsurface ocean temperatures vary during past warm and cold intervals? Rosenthal et al. (p. 617) present a temperature record of western equatorial Pacific subsurface and intermediate water masses over the past 10,000 years that shows that heat content varied in step with both northern and southern high-latitude oceans. The findings support the view that the Holocene Thermal Maximum, the Medieval Warm Period, and the Little Ice Age were global events, and they provide a long-term perspective for evaluating the role of ocean heat content in various warming scenarios for the future.

Abstract

Observed increases in ocean heat content (OHC) and temperature are robust indicators of global warming during the past several decades. We used high-resolution proxy records from sediment cores to extend these observations in the Pacific 10,000 years beyond the instrumental record. We show that water masses linked to North Pacific and Antarctic intermediate waters were warmer by 2.1 ± 0.4°C and 1.5 ± 0.4°C, respectively, during the middle Holocene Thermal Maximum than over the past century. Both water masses were ~0.9°C warmer during the Medieval Warm period than during the Little Ice Age and ~0.65° warmer than in recent decades. Although documented changes in global surface temperatures during the Holocene and Common era are relatively small, the concomitant changes in OHC are large.

…(read more).

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Brazil to Withdraw from U.N. Agreement Protecting Migrants

Jan 11, 2019

In Brazil, newly inaugurated far-right President Jair Bolsonaro said Wednesday he’ll pull out of a United Nations agreement protecting the rights of migrants. Brazil joins just a handful of countries—led by the United States—that refused to ratify the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration last month. More than 160 other nations have signed on.

Study Finds Oceans Are Absorbing Far More Heat Than Previously Known

Jan 11, 2019

In climate news, a major new study published in the journal Science finds the world’s oceans are absorbing heat at a far faster rate than previously predicted—a finding with troubling implications for the future of life on Earth. The study found greenhouse gas emissions are warming the oceans 40 percent faster than even the dire predictions made by the U.N.’s top climate scientists five years ago. The authors write, “This warming has contributed to increases in rainfall intensity, rising sea levels, the destruction of coral reefs, declining ocean oxygen levels, and declines in ice sheets; glaciers; and ice caps in the polar regions.”

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The ocean has absorbed more than 90% of the heat gained by the planet – Climate Action

A new study has found that the ocean has absorbed more than 90 per cent of the heat gained by the planet between 1971 and 2010.

The process of the ocean absorbing this heat leads to increase in ocean temperatures and associated sea level rise.

The study, undertaken by the University of Oxford, involved the reconstruction of ocean temperature change between 1871 and 2017.

Professor Laure Zanna, who led the international team of researchers, said: “Our reconstruction is in line with other direct estimates and provides evidence for ocean warming before the 1950s.”

They found that the substantial amounts of heat accumulated in the ocean and associated sea-level rise can be influenced by ocean circulation changes.

Samar Khatiwala, Professor at the University of Oxford and co-author of the research, said: “Our approach is akin to “painting” different bits of the ocean surface with dyes of different colors and monitoring how they spread into the interior over time. We can then apply that information to anything else – for example manmade carbon or heat anomalies – that is transported by ocean circulation. If we know what the sea surface temperature anomaly was in 1870 in the North Atlantic Ocean we can figure out how much it contributes to the warming in, say, the deep Indian Ocean in 2018. The idea goes back nearly 200 years to the English mathematician George Green.”

The research is an important first step to understand the cause of the ocean circulation changes to help predict future patterns of warming and sea level rise.

…(read more).

So why HAS the US government shut down? – BBC News