2012 SkS Bi-Weekly News Roundup #12

This is a twice weekly roundup of selected news articles and blog posts about climate change and its impacts. Readers are encouraged to comment on the posted articles and to provide links to other articles of importance.

2013 Global Temperature Forecast by UK's Met Office

Global temperatures are forecast to be 0.57 degrees above the long-term average next year, making 2013 one of the warmest years on record, Britain's Met Office said on Thursday.

"It is very likely that 2013 will be one of the warmest 10 years in the record which goes back to 1850, and it is likely to be warmer than 2012," the Met Office said in its annual forecast for the coming year.

UK's Met Office sees 2013 likely to be one of warmest on record by Nina Chestney, Reuters, Dec 20, 2012 

African Scientists Address Climate Change

African scientists urgently need to build more evidence on the impact of climate change on the continent, a conference has heard.

A joint statement issued at the eighth Annual Meeting of African Science Academies last month (12-14November) in Nigeria, notes that Africa lacks much home-grown data about the impacts of extreme weather events and sea level rise.

African Scientists Call for More Climate Change Information by Emeka Johnkingsley, All Africa, Dec 29, 2012

Another Record-breaking Year

It's virtually certain that 2012 will be the warmest year on record for the continental United States. When scientists affirm these results, they'll no doubt make headlines. But we should put that record in perspective.

North America covers just 2 percent of the Earth's surface. Globally, we're set to have another very hot year, likely in the top 10, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Looking further back, the last 35 years have all exceeded the 20th century average global temperature.

That's a generational shift. Half the U.S. population is 35 or younger, so half of all Americans have never lived through an "average" year.

Another record-breaking year for climate change by Todd Sanford (Union of Concerned Scientists), Miami Hearald, Dec 27, 2012

Capturing Climate Change

The changing palette of colors in a forest signals more than the arrival of a new season. For those who know how to look, the colors also reveal how much carbon dioxide the trees are absorbing from the atmosphere during photosynthesis, a new study suggests. By analyzing thousands of photographs of a forest canopy less than 40 miles outside London, the researchers were able to estimate carbon uptake over a two-year period based on the leaves’ hues.

Capturing Climate Change Digitally by Josie Garthwaite, Green Blog, New York Times, Dec 27, 2012

Climate Change is Big Business

Although many industries have fought to prevent action on climate change, there's at least one major business that's taking it seriously, according to a recent perspective in Science. Climate change is estimated to cost the world economy $1.2 trillion annually, which is proving to be a stress test for the insurance industry. Lest you think that's a niche concern, insurance accounts for seven percent of the global economy and is the world’s largest industry.

Climate change is big business (for the insurance industry) by Allie Wilkinson, ars technica, Dec 24, 2012

Human Activity Changing Ocean Salt Levels

A team from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif. and, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, using models covering 11,000 years and data from 50 modern years, have concluded that the changes in salinization and temperature must be anthropogenic -- caused by human activity.

Human Activity Changing Ocean Salt Levels: The engine of our climate changes seawater chemistry by Joel N. Shurkin, Inside Science News Service (INS), Dec 27, 2012 

Ireland's Carbon Tax

Over the last three years, with its economy in tatters, Ireland embraced a novel strategy to help reduce its staggering deficit: charging households and businesses for the environmental damage they cause.

Carbon Taxes Make Ireland Even Greener by Elisabeth Rosenthal, New York Times, Dec 27, 2012

Presidential Leadership in the US

Since his re-election, Mr. Obama has agreed to foster a “conversation” on climate change and an “education process” about long-term steps to address it. He needs to do a good deal more than that. Intellectually, Mr. Obama grasps the problem as well as anyone. The question is whether he will bring the powers of the presidency to bear on the problem.

Time to Confront Climate Change, Editorial Board, New York Times, Dec 27, 2012

The Hottest Climate Change Stories of 2012

The Hottest Climate Change Stories of 2012 is an informative slide show by Wynne Perry posted on LiveScience.com on Dec 24, 2012

West Antarctica Warming Fast

West Antarctica is warming almost twice as fast as previously believed, adding to worries of a thaw that would add to sea level rise from San Francisco to Shanghai, a study showed on Sunday. 

Annual average temperatures at the Byrd research station in West had risen 2.4 degrees Celsius (4.3F) since the 1950s, one of the fastest gains on the planet and three times the global average in a changing climate, it said.

West Antarctica warming fast, may quicken sea level rise: study by Alister Doyle, Reuters, Dec 23, 2012 


Posted by John Hartz on Saturday, 29 December, 2012

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