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Showing posts from April, 2019

These Maps Illustrate What Might Happen To Coastal Cities When Sea Levels Rise

As sea levels rise due to climate change, coastal cities face a multitude of potential challenges and threats. The world is guaranteed to see two feet of sea level rise by 2100.  The consequences are broad and encompass various aspects of urban life. One significant impact is the increased risk of coastal flooding and inundation , especially during storm surges and extreme weather events. As sea levels elevate, low-lying coastal areas become more susceptible to flooding, posing immediate dangers to infrastructure, property, and human lives. Erosion of coastal landscapes is another critical concern. Rising sea levels contribute to the degradation of shorelines, leading to the loss of beaches, wetlands, and other natural buffers. This erosion not only diminishes the aesthetic and recreational value of coastal areas but also reduces their capacity to absorb the impact of storms, leaving inland areas more vulnerable to flooding. The intrusion of saltwater into freshwater resources is a

Sea Surface Temperatures Departure From 20th Century Average (1900 - 2018)

Sea Surface Temperatures Departure From the 20th Century Average ( SST anomalies ) represent the variation in sea surface temperatures compared to the long-term average recorded during the 20th century. This metric is a crucial component of climate monitoring and is used to assess the warming or cooling trends of oceanic regions. The departure from the 20th-century average serves as an indicator of anomalies, highlighting areas where sea surface temperatures deviate from the historical norm. Positive anomalies, indicating warmer-than-average temperatures, can be indicative of climate phenomena such as El Niño events, which involve the periodic warming of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. Negative anomalies, conversely, signify cooler-than-average temperatures and may be associated with La Niña events. Global sea surface temperatures have increased rapidly in recent decades. The panel plot below shows 119 maps of global sea surface temperature anomalies (1900 to 2018) c

Atmospheric concentrations of CO2, 1975 - 2018

Over the past century, human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, have led to a significant increase in CO2 levels. This rise is a key contributor to global warming and climate change. The graph below created by Reddit user: JustGlowing shows atmospheric concentration of CO2 from 1975 to 2018. Global annual mean carbon dioxide concentration has increased by more than 45 percent since the start of the Industrial Revolution, from 280 ppm during the 10 thousand years up to the mid-18th century to 410 ppm as of mid-2018. The present concentration is the highest in the last 800 thousand and possibly even the last 20 million years. This elevation is concerning because CO2 acts as a heat-trapping gas, contributing to the greenhouse effect. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC ) and other scientific organizations highlight the importance of limiting CO2 concentrations to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Efforts to monitor and control

Track and Intensity of Every Tropical Storm, 1950 - 2018

Tropical storms are powerful atmospheric systems characterized by low-pressure centers and organized thunderstorms that form over warm ocean waters near the equator. With sustained wind speeds ranging from 39 to 73 miles per hour (63 to 118 kilometers per hour), these storms are classified as tropical depressions, storms, or hurricanes, depending on their intensity. They often bring heavy rainfall, strong winds, and storm surges, posing significant threats to coastal areas and causing widespread damage.  The animation below shows the peak wind speeds experienced worldwide due to tropical storms, hurricanes, and typhoons from 1950 to 2018. This animation created by RARohde   shows wind speed using the Saffir-Simpson scale indicating tropical depression, tropical storm, and hurricane-force winds (Categories 1 – 5). The maximum intensity of the wind is shown according to the reporting in IBTrACS . The distribution and extent of the winds are estimated based on the typical distribu

Global physical and economical scarcity

Global water scarcity is a complex challenge encompassing both physical and economic dimensions. On the physical side, many regions around the world face water scarcity due to factors such as population growth, climate change, and inefficient water use practices. This scarcity is manifested in dwindling water sources, such as rivers and aquifers, leading to a strain on the availability of freshwater for various uses. Economic water scarcity, on the other hand, arises when a region lacks the necessary infrastructure or financial resources to access, treat, and distribute available water sources effectively. This economic dimension often exacerbates the impact of physical scarcity, limiting communities' ability to meet their water needs for agriculture, industry, and daily life. The consequences of water scarcity are profound, affecting ecosystems, agriculture, and human health.  783 million people , or 11% of the global population, remain without access to an improved source of

Historical range of Brown bear

The brown bear ( Ursus arctos ) is a large mammal belonging to the bear family Ursidae . It is found in various habitats across the Northern Hemisphere, including North America, Europe, and Asia. Brown bears are known for their distinctive hump on their shoulders, which is a muscle mass used for digging. They have a wide range of fur colors, including shades of brown, black, and even white. These bears are omnivorous, with diets varying based on their location and the season. They consume a mix of plant matter, berries, insects, and, in some cases, small mammals or fish. Brown bears are solitary animals, except for mothers with cubs, and they are known for their hibernation during the winter months. The brown bear is a bear that is found across much of northern Eurasia (Europe [Russia, Scandinavia, Caucasus, Romania, Anatolia], Central Asia, China) and North America (United States, Canada). Notable subspecies of brown bears include the  grizzly bear  in North America, the  Kodiak b

Top 10 countries with highest CO2 emissions

While the total emissions of a country like China or the United States may be high due to their large populations, emissions per capita provide insights into the average carbon footprint of individuals within a nation. Gulf nations, particularly those in the Middle East, often rank high in CO2 emissions per capita . Countries like Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates have substantial emissions driven by their oil and gas industries, high energy consumption, and energy-intensive lifestyles. Luxembourg, a small European country with a high standard of living and a well-developed industrial sector, often ranks among the top nations in per capita emissions. The country's small population and high levels of energy consumption contribute to this status. Australia is another country after the United States with notable emissions per capita, primarily due to its reliance on coal for energy production and its expansive, energy-intensive industries. Despite efforts to shift toward

Track and Peak Intensity of US Tornadoes, 1950 - 2017

Tornadoes in the United States are a prevalent and powerful meteorological phenomenon that can cause significant damage and pose serious threats to communities. The U.S. experiences more tornadoes than any other country, with an average of over 1,000 tornadoes reported annually . The central part of the country, often referred to as " Tornado Alley ," is particularly susceptible to tornado activity, encompassing states such as Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Tornadoes in the U.S. vary widely in size and intensity, ranging from relatively weak and short-lived tornadoes to violent and long-track tornadoes with devastating impacts. The Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale is commonly used to categorize tornado strength, ranging from EF0 (weakest) to EF5 (strongest). Tornadoes can form in various weather conditions, but they often develop in severe thunderstorms when warm, moist air collides with cold, dry air, creating an environment conducive to the formation of rot

Coal Phase Out Plan in the EU, 2017 - 2031

The plan to phase out coal power stations across the European Union (EU) reflects a broader commitment to transition towards a more sustainable and low-carbon energy landscape. Recognizing the environmental impact and contribution to greenhouse gas emissions associated with coal-fired power generation, the EU has been actively working on strategies to decarbonize its energy sector. This comprehensive plan involves a gradual and systematic reduction in the use of coal for power generation, aligning with the EU's overarching goals of achieving carbon neutrality and mitigating climate change. It includes the development and implementation of policies that encourage the closure of existing coal power plants, stringent emissions standards, and a transition towards cleaner energy sources such as renewables. The map below created by Climate Analytics , shows a plan to phase out coal power stations across the EU from 2017 to 2031. The top 10 coal power plants in Euorpe: 1. Bełchatów

Deforestation in Mozambique

Deforestation in Mozambique poses a significant environmental challenge, with the country experiencing widespread loss of its forest cover over the years (currently, Mozambique has 28%). The primary drivers of deforestation include agricultural expansion, logging, and the demand for wood fuel. As the population grows and the need for arable land increases, more forests are cleared to make way for agriculture. This expansion often occurs through slash-and-burn techniques, exacerbating the problem by causing large-scale destruction. The logging industry, driven by both domestic and international demand for timber, also plays a crucial role in deforestation. Illicit logging practices contribute to the depletion of Mozambique's valuable forest resources, impacting biodiversity and disrupting delicate ecosystems. Moreover, the reliance on wood fuel for cooking and heating further accelerates deforestation, as many households in Mozambique lack access to alternative energy sources. The

How the United States Economy Could Fare Against Unabated Climate Change

The economic prospects of the United States in the face of unabated climate change are fraught with considerable challenges. The escalating impacts of climate change, such as rising temperatures, extreme weather events, and sea-level rise, pose multifaceted threats to key sectors of the economy. Agriculture, for instance, may grapple with shifts in growing conditions, affecting crop yields and livestock productivity. Coastal regions, integral to commerce and trade, face heightened risks due to sea-level rise, impacting infrastructure, trade routes, and port operations. The energy sector confronts challenges as climate change intensifies, with potential disruptions to the production and distribution of fossil fuels. Simultaneously, there is an increasing imperative to transition towards sustainable and resilient energy sources, necessitating substantial investments and reshaping traditional industries. The insurance and financial sectors face heightened risks as the frequency and seve