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Interesting Geography stuff for InterHigh

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Archive for the ‘Global warming’ Category

Climate change the main cause for cold weather in Europe?

Posted by Lindy on February 9, 2012


The exceptionally cold weather characterized by chilling winds and temperatures well below zero degrees Celsius has been striking Europe for more than a week. According to a scientist Alfred Wegener from the Institute for Polar and Marine Research the main cause for this exceptionally cold weather is climate change, or to be more precise the huge loss of Arctic ice.

The effect is twofold, the Wegener scientists report.

First, less ice means less solar heat is reflected back into the atmosphere. Rather, it is absorbed into the darker ocean waters. Second, once that heat is in the ocean, the reduced ice cap allows the heat to more easily escape into the air just above the ocean’s surface.

Because warmer air tends to rise, the moisture-laden air near the ocean’s surface rises, creating instability in the atmosphere and changing air-pressure patterns, the scientists say.

One pattern, called the Arctic Oscillation, normally pushes warm Atlantic air over Europe and keeps Arctic air over the poles.

But in mid-January this year, the Arctic Oscillation abruptly changed, allowing the jet stream to plunge into Siberia and push cold and snowy weather over much of Europe.

Similar situations have emerged the past two years.

http://www.wcyb.com/weather/30391119/detail.html

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Posted in Climate change, Fragile environments, Global warming, Hazards | Leave a Comment »

Pioneering six-mile walkway to attract ‘eco tourists’ to Amazon rainforest

Posted by Lindy on January 24, 2012


23rd January 2012

A project to build a pioneering science centre with more than six miles of walkways will give tourists spectacular views in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. The £6.4m centre will be built by a British charity and will act as a research base for scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, provide jobs for Brazilian tribes and attract eco-tourists, according to The Sunday Times.

Tourist high-light: The walkway will give visitors a stunning view of the rainforest from high above the jungle floor. The ambitious walkway will be located in Roraima, a remote province of northeast Brazil, and will be designed by the same architects who created  the London Eye and Kew Gardens’ treetop walkway. Researchers will use the walkway to study the rainforest canopy while tourists will be able to enjoy stunning views from high above the jungle floor.

The project is being co-ordinated by the Amazon Charitable Trust and is expected to take two years to construct. Robert Pasley-Tyler, a managing partner of the Amazon Charitable Trust, said of the project: ‘It will employ the local river tribe, giving them a way of making a living without destroying the forest, and also boost awareness around the world. Visitors will also get to see the nearby pink dolphins and the giant otters before spending a relaxing day on a riverside beach.’

Roraima is the northernmost and least populated state of Brazil. It borders Venezuela and Guyana and renowned for its challenging hiking routes.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2090563/Pioneering-mile-walkway-attract-eco-tourists-Amazonian-rainforest.html#ixzz1kQDzUYgl

Posted in Amazon, Appropriate technology, Global warming, management, Solution to problems | Leave a Comment »

What Can Be Done to Slow Climate Change?

Posted by Lindy on January 15, 2012


For the full article go to: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120112193442.htm

This is a very interesting article, but if you are tempted to include in your GSCE exam, make sure you mention Shindell (of NASA) as it is so new, that many exam markers will not have come across it, and may think you have got confused.

The main idea behind what they are saying is that while CO2 has the main long term impact on climate change, it we want to have some effective short term impacts ( i.e. within 40 years) these are the best ways to go, as they don’t just reduce climate change but reduce the impacts on health and agriculture as well.

The 2 key elements are methane and black carbon.

Black carbon are specs that come from burning fossil fuels and wood, and are implicated in respiratory illness and climate change. If these specs are inhaled (e.g. by burning wood for cooking as happens in large parts of the LICs) then many get sick and/or die from it – in particular women and young children. Also black carbon absorb radiation form the sun and so raise the air temperature, darken the ice caps so increasing the heat they absorb and contribute to melting and also to changes in rainfall patterns.

Methane as we know is 20-30 times worse than CO2.

What are the specific actions Shindell thinks we should take?

For black carbon, reduce the emissions from cars by filtering, and even removing the worst offenders from the road, upgrading the cookers using wood, especially in LICs, and banning agricultural stubble burning.

For methane, change methods of production of rice so the paddies do not omit methane, capturing methane from landfill sites,making sure methane do not escape from oil and gas wells and managing animal/human manure more effectively.

Who will benefit?

Russia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan who have a lot of ice will be the prime winners.   Iran, Pakistan and Jordan would experience the most improvement in agricultural production. Southern Asia and the Sahel region of Africa would see the most beneficial changes to precipitation patterns.  The south Asian countries of India, Bangladesh and Nepal would see the biggest reductions in premature deaths as a result of chest infections.

Posted in Bangladesh, Climate change, Energy sources, Fragile environments, Global warming, management, Solution to problems, Weather | Leave a Comment »

Shock as retreat of Arctic sea ice releases deadly greenhouse gas

Posted by Lindy on December 24, 2011


http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/shock-as-retreat-of-arctic-sea-ice-releases-deadly-greenhouse-gas-6276134.html#

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region. The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.

Earlier they had found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of metres in diameter. This was  the first time that they had found continuous, powerful structures, more than 1,000 metres in diameter. Over a relatively small area they found more than 100. Scientists estimate that there are hundreds of millions of tonnes of methane gas locked away beneath the Arctic permafrost, which extends from the mainland into the seabed of the relatively shallow sea of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. One of the greatest fears is that with the disappearance of the Arctic sea-ice in summer, and rapidly rising temperatures across the entire region, which are already melting the Siberian permafrost, the trapped methane could be suddenly released into the atmosphere leading to rapid and severe climate change.

Posted in Climate change, Fragile environments, Global warming | Leave a Comment »

A really neat way to look at things

Posted by Lindy on November 19, 2011


Posted in Appropriate technology, Climate change, Development, Energy sources, Global warming, Recycling, Renewable, Solution to problems | Leave a Comment »

Mexico To Earn Royalty On Light Bulb Carbon Credits

Posted by Lindy on November 18, 2011


http://planetark.org/wen/63813

08-Nov-11 – from an article by  Sonali Paul

Mexico will earn a royalty on carbon credits generated from energy-saving light bulbs through a world-first deal that could pave the way for other developing countries to fund emissions cuts. Under the project, an Australian company, Cool nrg International will distribute 45 million energy efficient light bulbs to 6.5 million low-income households in Mexico City. The aim is to generate energy savings of 33,000 gigawatt hours, cutting annual emissions by the equivalent of about one-third of car emissions in a city renowned for its smog. In total, the project aims to reduce 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas, over 10 years.

Every tonne of CO2 saved will generate a credit, or certified emission reduction (CER), which will be sold to companies in rich nations, which will incur huge fines if they overstep their limits and do not buy in carbon credits to cover any shortfall.

The project is seen as a possible model for other developing countries looking for ways to fund the promotion of energy saving and less-polluting technologies.

While complex to carry out and monitor, the Mexican project could result in significant emissions cuts, help low-income households save money on energy and generate funds for the government too as they receive commission from light bulb company.

A light-bulb project by Cool nrg and its partners in 2009 was the first of its type to be approved under an expanded form of the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism. The CDM allows clean energy project developers to earn CERs from projects in poorer countries.

Posted in Climate change, Energy sources, Global warming, Solution to problems | Leave a Comment »

Climate smart agriculture – a new way to use old solutions

Posted by Lindy on November 17, 2011


This is a short summary of a very long article, the full text of which can be found here:

http://www.new-ag.info/en/pov/views.php?a=2297

What is the aim of CSA? Climate smart agriculture (CSA) increases crop yields, whilst storing more soil carbon and providing greater climate resilience

The present: As a major user of freshwater and fossil fuels, a significant producer of greenhouse gases and a frequent trigger to deforestation, agriculture has tended to be seen as part of the climate change problem rather than an agent of mitigation. The concept of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) seeks to reverse that pattern.

Developed countries currently focus on reducing energy inputs and emissions, and look for suitable opportunities for biofuel production. They look at opportunities for carbon trading from agricultural production, while the least developed countries are likely to be predominantly focussed on adapting their agricultural systems to meet the challenges posed by a changing climate.

What is Climate Smart Agriculture? Climate resilient agriculture has as its focus the effort to maximise farm output in a changing climate. But Climate Smart Agriculture is this, plus a drive to move agriculture out of the box where it is part of the problem, and into the box where it is part of the solution – George Jacob, Communications, Self Help Africa

By promoting agricultural best practices, such as Integrated Crop Management, conservation agriculture, intercropping, improved seeds and fertilizer management practices, CSA encourages the use of all available and applicable climate change solutions This is done to not only adapt but also mitigate and increase productivity sustainably – Farming First coalition

CSA is agriculture that is resilient and adapted to climate change; helps reduce emissions and sequester carbon; reduces pressure on forests; maintains ecosystem services and biodiversity; and produces food, fibre and fuel crops that the world needs – David Howlett, Africa College, Leeds University

Posted in Appropriate technology, Climate change, Fragile environments, Global warming, Solution to problems | 1 Comment »

Providing an Agricultural Answer to Nature’s Call

Posted by Lindy on October 18, 2011


 

Posted in Appropriate technology, Development, Fragile environments, Global warming, Human geography, IGCSE, Kibera, Solution to problems | Leave a Comment »

Researchers Produce Cheap Sugars for Sustainable Biofuel Production

Posted by Lindy on October 2, 2011


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110929122902.htm

ScienceDaily (Sep. 30, 2011)

A liquid looking like treacle is produced by the fast pyrolysis of biomass such as corn stalks or wood chips. Fast pyrolysis involves quickly heating the biomass without oxygen to produce liquid or gas products.

This is a new way to make inexpensive sugars from biomass. That’s a big deal because those sugars can be further processed into biofuels.  It has the potential to be the cheapest way to produce biofuels or biorenewable chemicals.

Posted in Appropriate technology, Bio-enenrgy, Climate change, Fragile environments, Global warming, IGCSE, Renewable, Solution to problems | Leave a Comment »

How is this for a neat idea?

Posted by Lindy on September 29, 2011


Posted in Fragile environments, Global warming, Solution to problems, Sustainability, Urban environments | Leave a Comment »