Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CLIMATE CHANGE: Small Islands Await Haitian-Type Disaster

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 19, 2010 (IPS) - The devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti last week has brought into sharp focus the threat of another natural disaster waiting to happen: a sea-level rise that could obliterate the world's small island states, triggering fears of mass migration.

But contrary to initial reports, the Indian Ocean island of Maldives says it has no plans to relocate its 300,000 inhabitants or purchase land in neighbouring countries to re-settle Maldivians before the impending devastation.

"Maldives does not have a relocation plan and had at no time ever considered relocation to another country, either in the neighbourhood or any other area," Ambassador Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, the permanent representative of Maldives to the United Nations, told IPS.

Still, the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS), which includes countries such as Fiji, Palau, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Tuvalu, have not ruled out the possibility of relocating before disaster strikes. More >>>

Friday, January 22, 2010

Global warming could lead to rise in powerful hurricane.

London, January 22 (ANI): A new study has determined that the number of major Atlantic hurricanes per year may almost double by the end of the century in response to global warming.

In 2008, a group led by Thomas Knutson of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) in Princeton, New Jersey, projected a marked reduction in the overall number of tropical storms and hurricanes in the western North Atlantic Ocean.

That result, based on a simulation of Atlantic hurricane activity in a warming world, came as a surprise.

Seeking an explanation, the team hypothesized that the western Atlantic Ocean might become less favourable for storms if rising sea surface temperatures further south attract storms from the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent regions. More >>>

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Climate Wizard Makes Large Databases of Climate Information Visual, Accessible

(Dec. 29, 2009) — A Web tool that generates color maps of projected temperature and precipitation changes using 16 of the world's most prominent climate-change models is being used to consider such things as habitat shifts that will affect endangered species, places around the world where crops could be at risk because of drought and temperatures that could cripple fruit and nut production in California's Great Central Valley.

Climate Wizard, a tool meant for scientists and non-scientists alike, is being demonstrated by The Nature Conservancy in Copenhagen, Denmark, in conjunction with the climate summit underway there. It also is the subject of a presentation Tuesday, Dec. 15, at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco and a paper just released online by the Public Library of Science's PLoS ONE with Evan Girvetz as lead presenter and lead author. Girvetz worked on Climate Wizard during postdoctoral work at the University of Washington's School of Forest Resources and just accepted a job with The Nature Conservancy.

"Climate Wizard is meant to make it easier to explore climate data in an interactive way," Girvetz says. "It makes the data accessible in ways that are more intuitive, even for people who are not climate scientists."
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Climate Wizard