background preloader

Carbon emissions 'postpone ice age'

Carbon emissions 'postpone ice age'
Image copyright Ittiz The next ice age may have been delayed by over 50,000 years because of the greenhouse gases put in the atmosphere by humans, scientists in Germany say. They analysed the trigger conditions for a glaciation, like the one that gripped Earth over 12,000 years ago. The shape of the planet's orbit around the Sun would be conducive now, they find, but the amount of carbon dioxide currently in the air is far too high. Earth is set for a prolonged warm phase, they tell the journal Nature. "In theory, the next ice age could be even further into the future, but there is no real practical importance in discussing whether it starts in 50,000 or 100,000 years from now," Andrey Ganopolski from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said. "The important thing is that it is an illustration that we have a geological power now. Earth has been through a cycle of ice ages and warm periods over the past 2.5 million years, referred to as the Quaternary Period. Planet rock

Related:  Global WarmingPHYSICALClimate change indicators/trendsBackground reading

Soaring ocean temperature is 'greatest hidden challenge of our generation' The soaring temperature of the oceans is the “greatest hidden challenge of our generation” that is altering the make-up of marine species, shrinking fishing areas and starting to spread disease to humans, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of ocean warming. The oceans have already sucked up an enormous amount of heat due to escalating greenhouse gas emissions, affecting marine species from microbes to whales, according to an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) report involving the work of 80 scientists from a dozen countries. The profound changes underway in the oceans are starting to impact people, the report states.

2016 locked into being hottest year on record, Nasa says Nasa has all but declared this year to be the hottest yet recorded, after September narrowly turned out the warmest in modern temperature monitoring. Last month was 0.91C above the average temperature for that time of year from 1951 to 1980, the benchmark used for measuring rises. The new findings follow record-breaking monthly anomalies throughout this year, leading the agency to believe that because of the highs reported so far, 2016 will take the crown as warmest in the 136 years of modern data-keeping. Dr Gavin Schmidt, director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, tweeted: Last month was only just over the previous record, coming in at a razor-thin 0.004C above the previous high for the time of year, reached in September 2014. That tiny margin may be revised in future, as monthly temperature data can be nudged up or down retrospectively as later reports come in.

Smoking rates in England fall to lowest on record Image copyright PA Smoking rates in England have fallen to the lowest on record, Public Health England (PHE) has said. In 2015, 16.9% of adults described themselves as smokers, compared with 19.3% in 2012. Experts say the decrease may be partly thanks to the availability of e-cigarettes. More than a million people said they vaped as they tried to quit and 700,000 used a licensed nicotine replacement product such as patches or gum. Out of the 2.5 million smokers who tried to kick the habit, a fifth were successful.

This Robot Could Make Exploring Oceans Deeper, Faster, and Cheaper Wendy Schmidt couldn't contain her grin as she watched the robot rise from the bottom of the saltwater tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, California. It was the first test run of SuBastian, her custom-built remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The underwater robot belonged to the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), a nonprofit organization that Schmidt co-founded with her husband, Eric, executive chairman of Alphabet, Inc.

Hurricane Matthew was a 1-in-1000-year disaster for North Carolina. In a report out Thursday, the United Nations Environment Programme says pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists make up nearly half of the 1.3 million people killed worldwide in traffic accidents each year. Even more alarming, it says that about “140 people will die in road accidents while you read this report.” The fix? The UNEP calls for countries to use at least 20 percent of their transit budgets for bike lanes and safe sidewalks to encourage walking and biking over driving. Life is especially dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists in countries with weaker economies. Governments in Malawi, Kenya, and South Africa (the most dangerous countries, according to the report) simply have less money to spend on the type of shiny, protected bike lanes you see popping up in Portland, Washington, D.C., and in bike-friendly cities across Europe.

Hungary holds referendum on EU mandatory migrant plan Image copyright AP Polls have closed in Hungary in a referendum on whether to accept mandatory EU quotas for relocating migrants. Early indications show most who voted overwhelmingly rejected the quota system but turnout could be less than 50% which would make the vote invalid. Right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban opposes plans to relocate a total of 160,000 migrants across the bloc. Under the scheme Hungary would receive 1,294 asylum seekers. During last year's migrant crisis, Hungary became a transit state on the Western Balkan route to Germany and other EU destinations.

Apparent polar wander Apparent polar wander (APW) is the perceived movement of the Earth's paleo-magnetic poles relative to a continent while regarding the continent being studied as fixed in position.[1] It is frequently displayed on the present latitude-longitude map as a path connecting the locations of geomagnetic poles, inferred at distinct times using paleomagnetic techniques. In reality, the relative polar movement can either be polar wandering or continental drift (or a combination of both).[2] Data from around the globe are needed in order to isolate or distinguish between the two. Nevertheless, the magnetic poles rarely stray far from the geographic poles of the planet. Therefore, the concept of apparent polar wander is very useful in plate tectonics, since it can retrace the relative motion of continents, as well as the formation and break-up of supercontinents. History[edit] Paleomagnetic poles[edit]

This growing migration crisis is the canary in the mine on climate change The humanitarian emergency caused by the migration crisis has shocked the world. Desperate scenes of refugees risking their lives at sea or sleeping rough in European train stations are inescapable. But we should also be aware of what has brought us to this point.