Canada warming at twice the global rate, leaked report finds

Canada warming at twice the global rate, leaked report finds

SOURCE: CBC News DATE: April 1, 2019 SNIP: Canada is, on average, experiencing warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, with Northern Canada heating up at almost three times the global average, according to a new government report. The study — Canada’s Changing Climate Report (CCCR) — was commissioned by Environment and Climate Change Canada. It says that since 1948, Canada’s annual average temperature over land has warmed 1.7 C, with higher rates seen in the North, the Prairies and northern British Columbia. In Northern Canada, the annual average temperature has increased by 2.3 C. Along with these temperature increases, the CCCR says Canada is experiencing increases in precipitation (particularly in winter), “extreme fire weather” and water supply shortages in summer, and a heightened risk of coastal...
Drought effects on aging power plants may be larger than expected

Drought effects on aging power plants may be larger than expected

SOURCE: Duke University DATE: March 26, 2019 SNIP: Older power plants with once-through cooling systems generate about a third of all U.S. electricity, but their future generating capacity will be undercut by droughts and rising water temperatures linked to climate change. These impacts would be exacerbated by environmental regulations that limit water use. The new study shows that if surface waters warm 3 degrees Centigrade and river flows drop 20 percent — both of which are probable by the end of the century — drought-related impacts will account for about 20 percent of all capacity reductions at thermoelectric power plants with once-through, or open-loop, cooling systems. These reductions include capacity curtailments or shutdowns that could occur when local surface water levels drop below a plant’s intake structures. Environmental regulations that govern a plant’s water use and the maximum temperature of used cooling water it can discharge back into rivers or lakes will account for much of the remaining 80 percent of future shutdowns and capacity cuts, Pratson said. Thermoelectric power plants use steam-driven turbines to generate their energy. Once the steam has passed through the turbines it must be cooled down. Once-through systems do this by drawing in cold water from nearby rivers or lakes, circulating it through pipes to absorb the steam’s heat, and discharging the heated water back into the river or...
Australia breaks weather records with hottest ever summer

Australia breaks weather records with hottest ever summer

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: February 28, 2019 SNIP: Australia has endured its hottest summer ever, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, breaking the previous record set six years ago. The 2018-19 summer, which produced near 50C days and topped temperature highs across the country, has officially exceeded the previous record set in 2012-13, which was 1.28C above what is considered normal. Climate analysts say it falls into a pattern of human-induced global warming. January alone had already been confirmed as the hottest month ever recorded in Australia, with a mean temperature across the nation of 30.8C, which was 2.9C above the average for January temperatures (calculated between 1961–1990) of 27.9C. On Thursday, the BoM revealed the whole season was officially the hottest ever recorded. While exact figures are not yet confirmed, the bureau said this summer’s mean temperature was at least 2C above the 27.5C benchmark of what is considered normal, based on...
Climate change: World heading for warmest decade, says Met Office

Climate change: World heading for warmest decade, says Met Office

SOURCE: BBC DATE: February 6, 2019 SNIP: The world is in the middle of what is likely to be the warmest 10 years since records began in 1850, say scientists. The Met Office is forecasting that temperatures for each of the next five years are likely to be 1C or more above pre-industrial levels. In the next five years there’s also a chance we’ll see a year in which the average global temperature rise could be greater than 1.5C. That’s seen as a critical threshold for climate change. If the data matches the forecast, then the decade from 2014-2023 will be the warmest in more than 150 years of record keeping. The Met Office says it has a 90% confidence limit in the forecasts for the years ahead. It says that from 2019 to 2023, we will see temperatures ranging from 1.03C to 1.57C above the 1850-1900 level, with enhanced warming over much of the globe, especially over areas like the...
The ‘great dying’: rapid warming caused largest extinction event ever

The ‘great dying’: rapid warming caused largest extinction event ever

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: December 6, 2018 SNIP: Rapid global warming caused the largest extinction event in the Earth’s history, which wiped out the vast majority of marine and terrestrial animals on the planet, scientists have found. The Permian mass extinction, known as the “great dying”, occurred around 252m years ago and marked the end of the Permian geologic period. The study of sediments and fossilized creatures show the event was the single greatest calamity ever to befall life on Earth, eclipsing even the extinction of the dinosaurs 65m years ago. Up to 96% of all marine species perished while more than two-thirds of terrestrial species disappeared. The cataclysm was so severe it wiped out most of the planet’s trees, insects, plants, lizards and even microbes. The great dying event, which occurred over an uncertain timeframe of possibly hundreds of years, saw Earth’s temperatures increase by around 10C (18F). Oceans lost around 80% of their oxygen, with parts of the seafloor becoming completely oxygen-free. Scientists believe this warming was caused by a huge spike in greenhouse gas emissions, potentially caused by volcanic activity. “It does terrify me to think we are on a trajectory similar to the Permian because we really don’t want to be on that trajectory,” Stanford University scientist Jonathan Payne said. “It doesn’t look like we will warm by around 10C and we haven’t lost that amount of biodiversity yet. But even getting halfway there would be something to be very concerned about. The magnitude of change we are currently experiencing is fairly large.” Curtis Deutsch, an oceanography expert at University of Washington said: “We are...