The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Scientists Say Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue to Wreak Havoc on Climate
In Austria, scientist Ben Marzeion of University of Innsbruck’s Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics was part of a team that tracked changes in glaciers around the world between 1851 and 2010, using 19th-century photos and paintings as a baseline. Computer models allowed them to take into account natural factors like volcanic eruptions and variations on weather patterns. Their research, reported in the journal Science, found that the pace of glacier retreat has picked up dramatically in the last two decades.
“In our data, we find unambiguous evidence of anthropogenic contribution to glacier mass loss,” said Dr Marzeion.
Dr. Marzeion's group figured that around a quarter of the melting between 1851 and 2010 is human-caused, and that between 1991 and 2010, the amount of human-caused melting has increased by two-thirds.
“In the 19th century and first half of the 20th century we observed that glacier mass loss attributable to human activity is barely noticeable, but since then has steadily increased,” said Dr Marzeion.
Meanwhile, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S. just published new research about "Rossby waves," waves in the jet stream that drive heat into cooler areas and cold into warmer areas, discovering that these waves are increasing in size and getting stuck, causing prolonged heat waves. The wave patterns are disrupted as more ice melts in Arctic regions, exposing more open sea which absorbs heat rather than reflecting it back into space.
With the Arctic warming twice as fast as the rest of Earth, its temperatures become more similar to other regions. But it's those variations that regulate the atmospheric circulation patterns that determine weather.
And, says the study's co-author Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, “This melting of ice and snow is actually due to our lifestyle of churning out unprecedented amounts of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels."
YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Extreme weather events supercharged by climate change in 2012 led to nearly 1,000 more deaths, more than 20,000 additional hospitalizations, and cost the U.S. healthcare system $10 billion, a new report finds.
A Bay Area conservation group struck a deal to buy and to protect the world's largest remaining privately owned sequoia forest for $15.6 million. Now it needs to raise the money, according to CNN.
The Rugby World Cup starts Friday in Japan where Pacific Island teams from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga will face off against teams from industrialized nations. However, a new report from a UK-based NGO says that when the teams gather for the opening ceremony on Friday night and listen to the theme song "World In Union," the hypocrisy of climate injustice will take center stage.
By Wudan Yan
In June, New York Times journalist Andy Newman wrote an article titled, "If seeing the world helps ruin it, should we stay home?" In it, he raised the question of whether or not travel by plane, boat, or car—all of which contribute to climate change, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers—might pose a moral challenge to the responsibility that each of us has to not exacerbate the already catastrophic consequences of climate change. The premise of Newman's piece rests on his assertion that traveling "somewhere far away… is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change."
On Monday, Sept. 23, the Climate Group will kick off its 11th annual Climate Week NYC, a chance for governments, non-profits, businesses, communities and individuals to share possible solutions to the climate crisis while world leaders gather in the city for the UN Climate Action Summit.
By Pam Radtke Russell in New Orleans
Local TV weather forecasters have become foot soldiers in the war against climate misinformation. Over the past decade, a growing number of meteorologists and weathercasters have begun addressing the climate crisis either as part of their weather forecasts, or in separate, independent news reports to help their viewers understand what is happening and why it is important.