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Global warming may increase odds of unprecedented 'grey swan' hurricanes. Black swans are catastrophic events that no one sees coming, while “grey swans,” as the are known, are extreme events for which there’s no historical precedent, but that could still potentially be predicted. A new study takes this concept into the realm of weather and climate, finding that global warming might sharply increase the odds of grey swan hurricanes and storm surge over the coming century. While such tempests would still remain relatively rare, they could pose unrecognized but potentially serious threats to coastal areas like Tampa, Fla., and Dubai, with storm surge totals reaching into the double digits when measured in feet. Damage wrought by Typhoon Haiyan's storm surge, which reached between 15 and 20 feet, in the Philippines in November 2013.Click image to enlarge.

Credit: UNICEF, Jeoffrey Maitem 10,000-Year Storms What they were looking for were the storms with long return times (or very low probabilities of happening in any given year) that generated major storm surge. Uk.businessinsider. “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future": so goes a Danish proverb attributed variously to baseball coach Yogi Berra and physicist Niels Bohr. Yet some things are so important — such as projecting the future impacts of climate change on the environment — that we obviously must try. An Australian study published last week predicts that some rainforest plants could see their ranges reduced 95% by 2080. How can we make sense of that given the plethora of climate predictions?

In a 2002 press briefing, Donald Rumsfeld, President George W. Bush’s Secretary of Defence, distinguished among different kinds of uncertainty: things we know, things we know we don’t know, and things we don’t know we don’t know. So here’s my attempt to summarise what we think we know, don’t know, and things that could surprise us about climate change and the environment. Things we think we know We’re virtually certain that some types of species will be more vulnerable to warming than are others. 'Mini ice age' coming in next fifteen years, new model of the Sun's cycle shows - Climate Change - Environment. We are now able to predict solar cycles with far greater accuracy than ever before thanks to a new model which shows irregularities in the sun’s 11-year heartbeat. The model shows that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent between 2030 and 2040 causing a "mini ice age". The conditions predicted have not been experienced since the last "mini ice age" which lasted from 1645 to 1715, called the Maunder Minimum.

Frozen fountain at Trafalgar Square in London in January 1963 The findings are being presented by Professor Valentina Zharkova at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno. In 1843 scientists first discovered that the sun's activity varies over a cycle of 10 to 12 years. Fluctuations within that cycle have been difficult to predict, although many solar physicists knew that the variations were caused by a dynamo of moving fluid deep inside the sun. Read more:Australian 'big chill' on its way as temperatures to plummetDid oil giant ExxonMobil know about climate change in 1981? 1 of 8. A complex landscape has both vulnerabilities and resilience to climate change. Central Appalachian forests have been experiencing the effects of a changing climate for decades, and effects such as more heavy rainfall events, more drought, and more hot days are likely to continue, according to a new vulnerability assessment for the region by the U.S.

Forest Service and many partners. The assessment describes effects of climate change that have already been observed, projected changes in the climate and the landscape, and forest vulnerabilities for nine forest ecosystem types in a 29-million-acre area of Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. The area evaluated in the forest vulnerability assessment has nearly 19 million acres of forest land, 85 percent of which is owned by private individuals and organizations. These forests are important cover spanning from glacial Lake Erie to the Allegheny Plateau and sweeping up into the Appalachian Mountains.

The vulnerability assessment is available online through the U.S. Nearly 50 scientists and forest managers from the U.S. Warming of oceans due to climate change is unstoppable, say US scientists | Environment. The warming of the oceans due to climate change is now unstoppable after record temperatures last year, bringing additional sea-level rise, and raising the risks of severe storms, US government climate scientists said on Thursday. The annual State of the Climate in 2014 report, based on research from 413 scientists from 58 countries, found record warming on the surface and upper levels of the oceans, especially in the North Pacific, in line with earlier findings of 2014 as the hottest year on record.

Global sea-level also reached a record high, with the expansion of those warming waters, keeping pace with the 3.2 ± 0.4 mm per year trend in sea level growth over the past two decades, the report said. Scientists said the consequences of those warmer ocean temperatures would be felt for centuries to come – even if there were immediate efforts to cut the carbon emissions fuelling changes in the oceans. “I think of it more like a fly wheel or a freight train. A complex landscape has both vulnerabilities and resilience to climate change. Central Appalachian forests have been experiencing the effects of a changing climate for decades, and effects such as more heavy rainfall events, more drought, and more hot days are likely to continue, according to a new vulnerability assessment for the region by the U.S.

Forest Service and many partners. The assessment describes effects of climate change that have already been observed, projected changes in the climate and the landscape, and forest vulnerabilities for nine forest ecosystem types in a 29-million-acre area of Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. The area evaluated in the forest vulnerability assessment has nearly 19 million acres of forest land, 85 percent of which is owned by private individuals and organizations. These forests are important cover spanning from glacial Lake Erie to the Allegheny Plateau and sweeping up into the Appalachian Mountains. The vulnerability assessment is available online through the U.S. Nearly 50 scientists and forest managers from the U.S. Exploring the human side of climate change adaptation. In public policy, communities often measure their ability to respond to the effects of climate change and natural disasters in terms of traditional emergency resources—the number of sandbags available, or access to ambulances and hospitals.

But Maria Carmen Lemos' research indicates that they need also to look at the human side: behavioral, social and economic factors including income, education, health and understanding of technology to build "adaptive capacity" to respond to these events. Lemos, a professor of natural resources and environment at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, studies the impact of climate change, and efforts by governments to address growing concerns about their vulnerabilities to weather-related disasters.

"This involves thinking about basic relationships between different kinds of capacities, to understand how those things build off each other, or trade off on each other," she said in an interview. "You cannot climate-proof anything," she said. Theconversation. The Earth is on course to lose up to one in six of all its species, if carbon emissions continue as they currently are. This global extinction risk masks very large regional variations. Up to a quarter of South American species may be doomed. These are some of the findings of a comprehensive piece of new research conducted by evolutionary ecologist Mark Urban and published in Science.

You may console yourself that these are the very upper estimates of some of the consequences of uncontrolled carbon emissions. We can’t really be facing such a collapse in biodiversity can we? Assessing how many species have gone extinct due to human impacts is notoriously hard. Urban found that keeping emissions to within rates that would limit climate change to the “safe” amount of 2℃ would lead to a little over 5% increase in total extinction risks. Extinction risks accelerate with global temperature rises: Click to enlarge Another crucial factor will be how fast climate change occurs.

The reality of climate change in peoples' lives. Climate change is no longer a vague, abstract ‘concept’. It is fast becoming a harsh reality in the daily lives of people, especially in poorer environments. What has happened in villages in South Kivu - Democratic Republic of Congo, is forcing people to realise that major changes are happening right now; affecting their immediate physical environment and even the social structure of their communities. It was not long ago that people realised that the agricultural calendar was changing.

Agricultural lands were traditionally cultivated three times a year, in January, April and September, but nowadays crops are produced only twice a year, and even then, often with difficulty. The area has had its share of (natural) disasters over the years but in October 2014 overnight torrential rain resulted inimmeasurable damage to communities in Kalehe Territory in the South Kivu Province. Climate change is affecting people. Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris - Climate Change - Environment - The Independent. The risk of hitting the highest upper estimate for global warming based on current levels of carbon dioxide emissions is now so high that it is equivalent to tolerating the risk of 10,000 fatal aircraft crashes a day, according to the 17 “Earth League” scientists and economists who have signed the joint statement.

The experts have drawn up a three-page summary of the action needed to be agreed on at the UN meeting in Paris this December, which is widely seen as the last chance for the world’s political leaders to agree on a binding treaty to prevent the global climate from slipping into a dangerously precarious state. Scientists calculate that the world has already warmed by an average of about 0.85C over the past 120 years and that a further increase of no more than 2C is the lowest that could be tolerated without running the risk of dangerous climate “tipping points” leading to further, accelerated warming.

Loading gallery In pictures: Changing climate around the world 1 of 15 1. 2. 3. 5. A Birder’s Guide To The Future #birding #nature #climatechange #science | Science | Pinterest. Important study of how climate affects biodiversity. How does climate change affect the occurrence and distribution of species? This is a key question in the climate debate, and one that is hard to answer without information about natural variation in species abundance. Now researchers from Uppsala University can, for the first time, give us a detailed picture of natural variation through a major study published today in the leading scientific journal Current Biology.

The impact of climate change on species occurrence and distribution is a central issue in the climate debate, since human influence on the climate risks posing threats to biodiversity. But until now methods for investigating how natural climate variation in the past has affected the abundance of species have been lacking. Ellegren says: 'The majority of all species exhibit cyclical swings in numbers and these swings often coincide with the periods of ice ages.' Rising and falling species numbers thus seem to result naturally from climate variation. Leading group of climate change deniers accused of creating 'fake controversy' over claims global temperature data may be inaccurate - Science - News - The Independent. The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), established by notable climate-change sceptic Lord Lawson, announced an international team of “eminent climatologists, physicists and statisticians” would investigate the reliability of the current data.

Professor Terence Kealey, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, has been appointed chair of the international temperature data review project. Professor Kealey studied medicine at Oxford University before lecturing on clinical biochemistry, which is primarily concerned with the analysis of bodily fluids, at Cambridge University. It is unclear what experience he has in the field of climate change. The other five commissioners of the data review project: Petr Chylek, Richard McNider, Roman Mureika, Roger A Pielke Sr and William van Winjngaarden are all associated with North American universities. Loading gallery In pictures: Changing climate around the world 1 of 15 Former chancellor, Lord Lawson, set up the GWPF in 2009. Global warming more moderate than worst-case models, empirical data suggest -- ScienceDaily. A new study based on 1,000 years of temperature records suggests global warming is not progressing as fast as it would under the most severe emissions scenarios outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

"Based on our analysis, a middle-of-the-road warming scenario is more likely, at least for now," said Patrick T. Brown, a doctoral student in climatology at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment. "But this could change. " The Duke-led study shows that natural variability in surface temperatures -- caused by interactions between the ocean and atmosphere, and other natural factors -- can account for observed changes in the recent rates of warming from decade to decade. The researchers say these "climate wiggles" can slow or speed the rate of warming from decade to decade, and accentuate or offset the effects of increases in greenhouse gas concentrations. Further comparative analysis of the models revealed another intriguing insight.

Eugene C. Have We Passed the Point of No Return on Climate Change? Dear EarthTalk: What is the best way to measure how close we are to the dreaded "point of no return" with climate change? In other words, when do we think we will have gone too far? — David Johnston, via EarthTalk.org While we may not yet have reached the “point of no return”—when no amount of cutbacks on greenhouse gas emissions will save us from potentially catastrophic global warming—climate scientists warn we may be getting awfully close. Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution a century ago, the average global temperature has risen some 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Currently the atmospheric concentration of CO2 (the leading greenhouse gas) is approximately 398.55 parts per million (ppm).

Environmental leaders point out that this doesn’t give us much time to turn the tide. CONTACTS: NOAA, www.noaa.gov; World Bank, www.worldbank.org; Greenpeace, www.greenpeace.org; IPCC, www.ipcc.ch. Study Forecasts 70% Loss of West Canada’s Glaciers. You can hear the coral reefs dying, experts say -- ScienceDaily. You can hear the sound of former bustling coral reefs dying due to the impact of human activity, according to new research from the Universities of Essex and Exeter. Coral reefs are amongst the noisiest environments on our planet and healthy reefs can be heard using underwater microphones from kilometres away. However, scientists have found that coral reefs impacted by human activity, such as overfishing, are much quieter than protected reefs, which can have a big impact on the fish and invertebrates which rely on the reefs for survival.

Led by Dr Julius Piercy, from the University of Essex, the study, which also involved the University of Derby, involved taking acoustic recordings of coral reefs with different levels of protection around islands in the Philippines. The research found that the noise produced by the few remaining resident fish and crustaceans on unprotected reefs was only one third of the sound produced at bustling, healthy reef communities. Alexander Verbeek sur Twitter : "Will #climate change make your city uninhabitable? #cities...

What do Miami, Phoenix and Las Vegas have in common? Climate change may make them uninhabitable. WWF sur Twitter : "The #IPCC Synthesis Report on #climatechange should be a must read for all world leaders! Twitter. No more debates on climate science, over to leaders. Assaad Razzouk sur Twitter : "Five Reasons #Solar Will Power the Future #cities #climate... Five Reasons Solar Will Power the Future. NASA | The Arctic and the Antarctic Respond in Opposite Ways. Alexander Verbeek sur Twitter : "Bad news: September was the hottest month ever recorded #climate... NASA Reports Hottest Recorded September. Alexander Verbeek sur Twitter : "Droughts Extend Across Americas #climatechange #drought #economy...

Not Just California: Droughts Extend Across Americas. The failure of reality to match up with computer models. Mystery of Ocean Heat Deepens as Climate Changes. Los gases de efecto invernadero registran la mayor alza en 30 años. We are the walrus - Thin Ice Blog. Lluís Ahicart sur Twitter : "Chapter XIII Global Warming Deniers Myth: The Deniers #climate says: "Models are unreliable"... Pacific Northwest Warming May Have Natural Roots. Environment. The oceans are acidifying at the fastest rate in 300 million years. How bad could it get? Witter / ? 99.999% certainty humans are driving global warming: new study. El calentamiento global incrementará la actividad microbiana de los suelos. "Nuclear Power has its Place in the Transition Towards 100% Renewables" Global warming slowdown 'could last another decade' Overview | National Snow and Ice Data Center :: Satellite Observations of Arctic Change. Global warming slowdown 'could last another decade'

Is Bike Sharing Really Climate Friendly? Scientists Think They May Have Solved The Siberian Crater Mystery. Scientists Think They May Have Solved The Siberian Crater Mystery. Climatologist Says Arctic Carbon Release Could Mean “We're Fucked” Climatologist Says Arctic Carbon Release Could Mean “We're Fucked” Climate change not so global. Could ants change the course of climate change? Uncorking a Mystery: Is Climate Change Ruining Wine Corks? Is Antarctica Really Getting Icier? New Study Sparks Debate.