By Cornelia Dean
August 14, 2009
New York Times
Average temperatures of waters at the oceans' surface in July were the highest ever recorded, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. The agency said the average sea surface temperature was 1.06 degrees higher than the 20th-century average of 61.5 degrees. Though July was unusually cool in some areas, like the eastern United States, analysts at the NOAA Climate Data Center said the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was 1.03 degrees higher than the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees, the fifth warmest since worldwide record keeping began in 1880. The agency also said that, on average, Arctic sea ice covered 3.4 million square miles in July, 12.7 percent below the 1979-2000 average and the third lowest on record, after 2007 and 2006. (total report; it's short - ed)
World Will Warm Faster Than Predicted in Next Five Years, Study Warns
New estimate based on the forthcoming upturn in solar activity and El NiZo southern oscillation cycles is expected to silence global warming sceptics
by Duncan Clark
July 27, 2009
The world faces a new period of record-breaking temperatures as the sun's activity increases, leading the planet to heat up significantly faster than scientists had predicted over the next five years, according to a new study.
The hottest year on record was 1998, and the relatively cool years since have led to some global-warming sceptics claiming that temperatures have levelled off or started to decline. However, the new research firmly rejects that argument.
The work is the first to assess the combined impact on global temperature of four factors: human influences such as CO2 and aerosol emissions; heating from the sun; volcanic activity; and the El Niño southern oscillation, the phenomenon by which the Pacific Ocean flips between warmer and cooler states every few years.
It shows that the relative stability in global temperatures observed in the last seven years is explained primarily by the decline in incoming sunlight associated with the downward phase of the 11-year solar cycle, together with a lack of strong El Niño events. These trends have masked the warming caused by CO2 and other greenhouse gases.
As solar activity picks up again in the coming years, the new research suggests, temperatures will shoot up at 150% of the rate predicted by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The research, to be published in a forthcoming edition of Geophysical Research Letters, was carried out by Judith Lean of the US Naval Research Laboratory and David Rind of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
Vast expanses of Arctic ice melt in summer heat
By CHARLES J. HANLEY
August 6, 2009
TUKTOYAKTUK, Northwest Territories The Arctic Ocean has given up tens of thousands more square miles (square kilometers) of ice on Sunday in a relentless summer of melt, with scientists watching through satellite eyes for a possible record low polar ice cap.
From the barren Arctic shore of this village in Canada's far northwest, 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers) north of Seattle, veteran observer Eddie Gruben has seen the summer ice retreating more each decade as the world has warmed. By this weekend the ice edge lay some 80 miles (128 kilometers) at sea.
"Forty years ago, it was 40 miles (64 kilometers) out," said Gruben, 89, patriarch of a local contracting business.
Global average temperatures rose 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.6 degree Celsius) in the past century, but Arctic temperatures rose twice as much or even faster, almost certainly in good part because of man-made greenhouse gases, researchers say.
In late July the mercury soared to almost 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) in this settlement of 900 Inuvialuit, the name for western Arctic Eskimos.
Antarctic glacier 'thinning fas
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