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First Direct Observation of Carbon Dioxide’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect at the Earth’s Surface February 28, 2015

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, In The News, Science & Technology.
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The scientists measured atmospheric carbon dioxide’s contribution to radiative forcing at two sites, one in Oklahoma and one on the North Slope of Alaska, from 2000 to the end of 2010. Radiative forcing is a measure of how much the planet’s energy balance is perturbed by atmospheric changes. Positive radiative forcing occurs when the Earth absorbs more energy from solar radiation than it emits as thermal radiation back to space. It can be measured at the Earth’s surface or high in the atmosphere. In this research, the scientists focused on the surface.

Both series showed the same trend: atmospheric COemitted an increasing amount of infrared energy, to the tune of 0.2 Watts per square meter per decade. This increase is about ten percent of the trend from all sources of infrared energy such as clouds and water vapor.

Based on an analysis of data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s CarbonTracker system, the scientists linked this upswing in CO2-attributed radiative forcing to fossil fuel emissions and fires.

The measurements also enabled the scientists to detect, for the first time, the influence of photosynthesis on the balance of energy at the surface. They found that CO2-attributed radiative forcing dipped in the spring as flourishing photosynthetic activity pulled more of the greenhouse gas from the air.

via First Direct Observation of Carbon Dioxide’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect at the Earth’s Surface – News Center.

"All palaeotemps" by Glen Fergus - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:All_palaeotemps.png#mediaviewer/File:All_palaeotemps.png

“All palaeotemps” by Glen Fergus – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:All_palaeotemps.png#mediaviewer/File:All_palaeotemps.png CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE

Americans Soft Tush Kills forests February 26, 2009

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luffiness comes at a price: millions of trees harvested in North America and in Latin American countries, including some percentage of trees from rare old-growth forests in Canada. Although toilet tissue can be made at similar cost from recycled material, it is the fiber taken from standing trees that help give it that plush feel, and most large manufacturers rely on them.

via Mr. Whipple Left It Out – Soft Is Rough on Forests – NYTimes.com.

South-Central USA Most Deadly December 18, 2008

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Heat and drought caused 19.6 percent of total deaths from natural hazards, with summer thunderstorms causing 18.8 percent and winter weather causing 18.1 percent, the team at the University of South Carolina found. Earthquakes, wildfires and hurricanes combined were responsible for fewer than 5 percent of all hazard deaths.

The most dangerous places to live are much of the South, because of the heat risk, the hurricane coasts and the Great Plains states with their severe weather, Cutter said.

The south-central United States is also a dangerous area, with floods and tornadoes. California is relatively safe, they found.

via Reuters AlertNet – ‘Death map’ shows heat a big hazard to Americans.

Jellyfish Gone Wild December 12, 2008

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1. 1/3 of the total weight of all life in Monterey Bay is from gelatinous animals.

2. 3 minutes after a person is stung by a deadly box jellyfish, s/he may be dead.

3. 8 years after fast-reproducing comb jellies invaded in the Black Sea, they dominated it.

4. 20 to 40 people are killed annually from box jellyfish stings in the Philippines alone.

5. 100 foot-long tentacles may dangle from the Lion’s Mane Jelly.

6. 400 vast Dead Zones in world oceans are too polluted for almost all life except jellyfish.

7. 1,000+ fist-sized comb jellies filled each cubic meter of water in Black Sea jelly blooms.

8. 45,000 eggs may be released daily by a single jellyfish.

9. 500,000 people are stung by jellyfish in the Chesapeake Bay annually.

10. 500 million refrigerator-sized jellyfish float into the Sea of Japan daily during blooms.

via NSF – Jellyfish Gone Wild. Click on the Flash version for pictures

Spider Eats Bird October 23, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Enviroment.
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Spiderd Bird

Joel Shakespeare, head spider keeper at the Australian Reptile Park, said the spider was a Golden Orb Weaver.

“Normally they prey on large insects… it’s unusual to see one eating a bird,” he told ninemsn.com.

Mr Shakepeare said he had seen Golden Orb Weaver spiders as big as a human hand but the northern species in tropical areas were known to grow larger.

Queensland Museum identified the bird as a native finch called the Chestnut-breasted Mannikin.

Giant spider eating a bird caught on camera – Telegraph

North Pole Still Melting August 28, 2008

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Arctic Sea Ice Drops to 2nd Lowest Level on Record | LiveScience
In spite of a shift to what climatologists call the cold phase of a cycle in the North Pacific Ocean called the “Pacific Decadal Oscillation,” or PDO, giving Alaska an unusually cold and wet summer and a record breaking Winter, Summer sea ice last year shrunk to about 1.65 million square miles, nearly 40 percent less than the long-term average between 1979 and 2000. Most climate modelers predict a continued downward spiral, possibly with an Arctic Ocean that’s ice free during summer months by 2030 or sooner. Most of the Ice loss has been on the pacific side, while the Atlantic had a major build of new ice last winter.

Krenz said the announcement Tuesday showed that last year’s record low sea ice was not an anomaly. As ice covers fewer square miles of ocean, he said, warming will accelerate.”It’s going to accelerate climate change through changes in the reflectance of the Arctic,” he said. “It’s going from bright ice to a much darker ocean.”More square miles of dark ocean will absorb more heat. More warmth will accelerate melting of Arctic permafrost, allowing organic matter now frozen to melt and add to the greenhouse gas problem, he said.”That allows for the breakdown of that by bacteria and other organisms that release CO2 or methane, depending on how the breakdown occurs,” he said.

Other authors claim that this is a normal Decadal Arctic Oscillation.

Wind Power Will Need $60 Billion Upgrade To Our Grid August 28, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Enviroment.
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The Energy Challenge – Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid’s Limits – Series – NYTimes.com
Wind advocates say that just two of the windiest states, North Dakota and South Dakota, could in principle generate half the nation’s electricity from turbines. But the way the national grid is configured, half the country would have to move to the Dakotas in order to use the power.

Video of a more-efficient Vertical Turbine Propeller that claims to be safer for birds.

(more…)

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