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Showing posts from January, 2019

Countries scaled by total CO2 emissions (1971 - 2014)

The area of the country is total CO2 per country. The color is tonnes per person in that country. Reddit user: neilrkaye The United Kingdom managed to almost halve their emissions from 1971 to 2014, while the United States only reduced theirs by 25 percent.

World maps showing number of years since it was a "record hottest year" and "record coldest year"

In recent years, the phenomenon of record-breaking temperatures has become increasingly prevalent, with both record hottest and coldest years being observed across various regions worldwide. These extremes serve as potent indicators of the profound impact of climate change on our planet's weather patterns. Record hottest years have been occurring with alarming frequency, often accompanied by prolonged heatwaves, droughts, and devastating wildfires. These extreme temperatures exacerbate the stress on ecosystems, agriculture, and human health, leading to significant economic losses and humanitarian crises. Moreover, the trend towards hotter years aligns with scientific projections of global warming resulting from human activities, particularly the emission of greenhouse gases . Conversely, record coldest years also pose significant challenges and complexities in the context of climate change. While it may seem contradictory, the occurrence of exceptionally cold temperatures does n

Global temperature from 1850 to 2018 compared to pre-industrial values

Since the mid-19th century, the trajectory of global temperatures has undergone significant shifts, closely intertwined with the onset of the Industrial Revolution. This increase is largely attributed to human activities, particularly the emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels and deforestation. Notably, many of the hottest years on record have occurred within recent decades, underscoring the acceleration of global warming. The IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report on the Physical Basis of Climate Change indicates that the probable range of total human-induced global surface temperature rise from 1850–1900 to 2010–2019 is between 0.8°C to 1.3°C, with a central estimate of 1.07°C (2.01 ˚F). During this timeframe, it is probable that greenhouse gases contributed a warming effect of 1.0°C to 2.0°C, while other human influences, primarily aerosols, contributed a cooling effect of 0.0°C to 0.8°C. Natural drivers such as solar and volcanic activity led to a

The Bee Nest's Defensive Mechanism

Many football fans, launching a wave in the stadiums, do not know that some insects can do it more effectively without having a developed brain. The 'wave' below is utilized against wasps and is referred to as 'shimmering' behavior or defense waving. Bees ( Apis Dorsata ) in the outer layer thrust their abdomens 90° in an upward direction and shake them in a synchronous way. Stroking of the wings may accompany this action. The signal is transmitted to nearby workers that also adopt the posture, thus creating a visible and audible 'ripple' effect across the face of the comb. These wavelike patterns repel wasps that get too close to the nests of these bees and serve to confuse the wasp. In turn, the wasp cannot fixate on capturing one bee or getting food from the bees’ nest, so the wasp will seek to find easier prey and leave this nest alone.

Wing Shapes

Birds' wing shapes vary greatly depending on their evolutionary adaptations and ecological niche. These shapes play a crucial role in determining a bird's flight capabilities, maneuverability, and overall survival. Wing morphology is a result of millions of years of natural selection, leading to diverse forms optimized for different flight behaviors. One common wing shape is the high aspect ratio wing, characterized by long, narrow wings with a high span-to-area ratio. Birds with high aspect ratio wings, such as albatrosses and falcons , excel in long-distance gliding and soaring. These wings minimize drag and provide efficient lift, allowing birds to cover vast distances with minimal energy expenditure. Conversely, birds with low aspect ratio wings, like woodpeckers and grouse , possess shorter, broader wings. These wings are better suited for maneuverability and quick bursts of powered flight rather than sustained gliding. Low aspect ratio wings generate more lift at slowe

Temperature deviation in Switzerland (1864 - 2018)

The temperature deviation in Switzerland from 1864 to 2018 shows a clear trend of increasing temperatures, consistent with global climate change patterns. This period saw significant variations in temperature, with some years experiencing higher deviations from the long-term average than others. 2018 was the warmest year on record.  The visualization below was created using data from the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss. Overall, the data indicates a warming trend, with temperatures generally deviating more from the average in recent years compared to earlier in the dataset. This trend is in line with global climate change patterns and is consistent with observations in many other parts of the world. The increasing temperature deviations in Switzerland over this period are significant as they have implications for the country's environment, including its glaciers, ecosystems, and water resources. Understanding these changes is crucial for adapting to and

The 100th Meridian has shifted 140 miles east

In the 1870s, scientist and explorer John Wesley Powell observed a dramatic change between the arid Western plains of North America and the wetter eastern region. He noted a remarkable transformation: lush grasslands giving way to bare ground with occasional cacti. This transition line, stretching from Mexico to Manitoba, cuts through the continent's breadbasket, where farmers grow rain-loving corn to the east and drought-resistant wheat to the west. Known as the 100th Meridian, this climatic boundary is named after the longitudinal line it approximately follows. However, recent studies by climate scientist Richard Seager of Columbia University's Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory and his colleagues reveal that this transition is shifting . Various factors contribute to the existence of this line. The Rocky Mountains force Pacific moisture to rain out before reaching the plains, while Atlantic storms and Gulf of Mexico winds bring moisture to the east. Changes are occurring: al

A timeline of Earth's average temperature since the last Ice Age glaciation

Since the last ice age glaciation , which ended around 11,700 years ago, Earth's average temperature has undergone significant fluctuations.  During the early Holocene , temperatures rose rapidly, leading to the establishment of a warmer climate than today's. This period, known as the Holocene Climate Optimum , peaked around 6,000 to 9,000 years ago, with global temperatures possibly 1-2 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels. Following the Holocene Climate Optimum, temperatures gradually declined due to natural factors such as changes in Earth's orbit and solar output. This cooling trend culminated in the Little Ice Age , a period of colder-than-average temperatures that lasted from roughly the 14th to the mid-19th century. During this time, glaciers advanced in many parts of the world, and colder conditions prevailed. Since the end of the Little Ice Age, Earth's average temperature has been increasing, a trend that has accelerated since the late 19th c

Kilograms per Capita of Plastic Waste in Europe

Plastics are inexpensive, lightweight and durable materials, which easily can be shaped into a variety of products that find use in a wide range of applications. Not surprisingly, production and consumption of plastics have increased significantly over the last 60 years (Hopewell et al., 2009). As a result, a waste plastic generation has grown significantly over the last decades. 300 million tonnes of plastics are produced globally every year, with production expected to double in the next 20 years. By 2050, the plastics industry could account for 15 percent of the global carbon budget. Europe’s total demand for plastic has risen to 49 million tonnes per year, of which 40 percent is used for packaging. The majority of this plastic packaging is used only once, with 95 percent of its value lost to the economy after this first use, a loss with an estimated value of EUR 100 billion globally. Approximately 42% of the plastics produced globally since 1950 have been used for packaging,