Global temperatures 1881 - 2010. Each bar is ten years. Colors just help visualize the graph mo beddah. Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion, here.
This excellent graph is from the World Meteorological Organization’s new summary report: The Global Climate 2001–2010 a Decade of Climate Extremes.
Most impressive (to me) is how well written it is. Check out how they describe and compare three systems:
El Niño and La Niña episodes, for example, result from rapid changes in the sea-surface temperature in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. They influence weather patterns around the world through the subsequent large-scale interactions and transfers of heat in the coupled ocean-atmosphere system. Other patterns affect the climate by strengthening or weakening high-altitude air currents known as jet streams.
The closely related Arctic Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation often affect the northern hemisphere winter. Since the 1990s, these two oscillations have remained mostly in a positive phase, which is associated with warmer and wetter winters in northern and central Europe and the eastern USA, drier winters in the Mediterranean and cold, dry conditions over northern Canada and Greenland.
Unlike these natural back-and-forth oscillations, human-caused climate change is trending in just one direction. This is because atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases are increasing steadily, due to human activities. According to the WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, global-average atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide rose to 389 ppm in 2010 (an increase of 39 per cent compared to pre-industrial times), methane to 1 808.0 ppb (158 per cent) and nitrous oxide to 323.2 ppb (20 per cent).
This changing composition of the atmosphere is causing the global average temperature to rise, which, in turn, exerts a significant influence on the hydrological cycle and leads to other changes in climate and weather patterns.
Blackfish - Trailer
Beyond the lies, beneath the deception, the truth will surface.
OKAY, WE NEED TO REBLOG THE FUCK OUT OF THIS. EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT AN ANIMAL PERSON, YOUR FOLLOWERS NEED TO SEE THIS. ESPECIALLY DURING THE HEIGHT OF VACATION SEASON. DO NOT SUPPORT SEA PARKS WITH CAPTIVE WHALES. IT’S NOT ENVIRONMENTAL PROPAGANDA (I can’t believe I even used those words) IT’S A REAL ISSUE AND IT’S NOT A MATTER OF PROOF, IT’S A MATTER OF COVERING IT UP AND IGNORING IT!
I love this because Orcas are terrifying and amazing and smart animals that deserve to be respected. I worked in an aquarium with a guy who worked with advocacy groups that protested Sea World. For instance: at Sea World and other animal parks with captive orcas, the animal trainers will tell spectators that the Orcas have bent dorsal fins naturally. Even the little stuffed animals that they sell in gift shops will have bent dorsal fins. THIS IS A LIE. The fins bend like that when the animal is under physical and emotional stress (i.e. FORCED CAPTIVITY AND SEPARATION FROM THEIR PODS). I learned so much from him and I hope this documentary gets the publicity it deserves!
Captive sea animals (let’s not forget about dolphins) make me sick. This is why I refuse to go to Sea World. I’m glad this documentary was made.
Feel infinitely more guilty about my recent aquarium visit now…as if i didn’t already hate on myself the entire time…ugh, I feel so badly now.
today is ecoevolution’s 2nd birthday. thanks guys!
With shark fin ban, a slice of Asian culture ends in California
An ancient Asian dining tradition comes to an end in California on Monday, and grocer Emily Gian is none too happy.
Watch the slow creep of spring as it pushes the cold hand of winter back to the frigid north … only to succumb again next year, of course.
NASA’s MODIS imager senses Earth’s reflection of both visible and longer wavelength near-infrared light. Plants, full of chlorophyll, absorb most visible light (except for green, of course) and reflect near-infrared. By combining this with the reflection of snow, NASA can watch the yearly cycle of vegetation springing back and falling away.
NYC GOV: First-Ever Large-Scale Urban Farm on NYCHA Property
Today the Red Hook Urban Farm was launched which is a 1-acre agriculture installation and the first-ever large-scale community farm on NYCHA property. The farm will serve as a source of fresh produce for the community while providing a center for education, job training and community…
As Beijing air pollution worsens, some American expats clear out
BEIJING — After nearly two decades in Beijing, David Wolf knew it was time for a change when his 11-year-old son, Aaron, somberly asked him, “Dad, when you were growing up, did you ever have PE outdoors?”
17 years of data and study of coral off the coast of South America which suffered badly in the 1997-98 El Nino has been analysed by revealing that the system took a long 13 years to recover. This news is startling but at the same time relieving as the recovery time although long on our terms, is very short on the terms of ecological systems around the world. This means that they will likely be able to adapt quite well to the changing climate as the years progress.
This is an important finding as coral reefs are thought to be home to 25% of the known marine species and thus are the foundation for marine life. If the reefs were slow to adapt then the entire marine ecosystem would suffer terribly with the predicted rises in temperatures across the world; and the knock on effect to the rest of the ecosystem would be devastating. The comparatively short temperature change registered around the time of the El Nino disturbance had a very large effect and thus suggests that the reefs are very susceptible to local changes, and while they can recover, we have to take great care to not push them so far that they cannot recover. This research and analysis has very important effects on how we consider our effect on the marine environment as we work towards fixing and mitigating the damage of climate change in the years to come.
Obama administration plans to end gray wolf protections across most of Lower 48
The Obama administration on Friday will propose lifting most of the remaining federal protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, a move that would end four decades of recovery efforts but has been criticized by some scientists as premature.Under the administration’s plan, federal protections would remain only for a fledgling population of Mexican gray wolves in the desert Southwest. The proposal will be subject to a public comment period and a final decision made within a year.
Note this is in addition to previous efforts by Obama that allowed hunting of wolves for the first time in decades. Over 1,600 have been killed. See my wolf tag for additional background.
So long, San Onofre nuclear plant
One of the two nuclear power plants in California, the San Onofre plant near San Clemente will be shut down for financial reasons, with an intimidating series of hearings looming ahead should owner Edison International have decided to re-open the plant.
So what happened to cause the plant’s closure for good?
The coastal plant near San Clemente once supplied power to about 1.4 million homes in Southern California but has been shuttered since January 2012 when a tube in its newly replaced steam generators leaked a small amount of radioactive steam, leading to the discovery that the tubes were wearing down at an unusual rate.
The plant has been in limbo since that discovery. And while environmental advocates are cheering the closure, more than 1,100 will still be losing their jobs as a result of the permanent shut-down.
Read more over at L.A. Now
Photos: Mike Nelson / EPA, Gregory Bull / Associated Press
At last, Los Angeles River opens to public recreation after 80 years
Anthea Raymond no longer has to break the law to kayak on the Los Angeles River.
The California Floristic Province (byflora-file)
Being a California native myself I have a fascination with California’s native flora. There are about 6300 native taxa of plants found in California, and a third are found nowhere else but the limited area that comprises the California floristic province. It has the highest diversity of plant species in North America, north of tropical Mexico.
The plants of California are specially adapted for the Mediterranean climate here. Mediterranean climates have long, dry summers and cool, moist winters. In Mediterranean climates the majority of the precipitation occurs during the moist winter months, and summer months receive almost no rainfall, which often means 6-8 months of no rains. For this reason many plants here have switched around the normal seasonal growing patterns. Spring is triggered by the autumn rains, and during the dry summer months plants enter their dormancy.
Mediterranean climate zones comprise only 3% of the Earth’s landmass, but account for 10% of the known plant species. In addition to California, Mediterranean climates are found in only four other areas of the world: the Mediterranean Basin, the Cape region of South Africa, central Chile, and southwestern Australia. Many of the plants used in ornamental gardens and propagated by the nursery industry have ancestral orgins in the Mediterranean climes of the world. This climate has truly created an amazing diversity of flora.
(California Floristic Province Map and statistics from California Native Plants for the Garden, Bornstein, Fross, & O’Brien, Cochuma Press, 2005.)
(Mediterranean Climate Map via wikipedia.)