Genève, Switzerland
Genève, Switzerland

Time filter

Source Type

News Article | March 22, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

Concerns surrounding global warming or sudden climatic changes have been on the rise, largely due to human activities. Because of this, 2016 was declared as one of the hottest years on Earth. According to a report shared by the World Meteorological Organization, the drastic climatic change noticed in 2016 is looking to make a comeback in 2017 as well. "Even without a strong El Niño in 2017, we are seeing other remarkable changes across the planet that are challenging the limits of our understanding of the climate system," says David Carlson, the director of WMO. The report will be presented to UN member states, as well as several climate experts, at a high-level action conference to be held on March 23 in New York. The report reveals that 2016 was an extremely crucial period in terms of climatic changes. It was one of the warmest years in the history of Earth, recording a rise in temperature by 1.1 degrees Centigrade above the pre-industrial period, breaking the previous record of a 0.06 degree Centigrade rise in temperature in 2015. The occurrence of the very powerful El Nino in turn increased the temperature along with the long-term climate change because of green house gas emissions. One of the most important events of 2016 includes the catastrophic drought, which resulted in food insecurity to millions of people in Southern Africa, Eastern Africa, as well as Central America. Super storms like Hurricane Mathew also caused a massive destruction in regions like Haiti, the United States, and Eastern and Southern Asia. On the other hand, Eastern and Southern Asia were affected with heavy rainfall combined with floods. According to latest studies, which were not included in WMO's report, heat content in oceans may have increased even more than previously noted. The Arctic has also experienced Polar equivalent heat waves at least three times this winter. This leads one to surmise that even during the coldest days of the Arctic winter, there were some times when ice was close to melting point. Apart from the Arctic, Antarctica's sea ice has also shown a decline compared with the trend in recent years. Carlson, the director of World Climate Research Programme, stated that even in the absence of an El Niño in 2017, experts are observing extraordinary climatic changes across the planet. This is challenging the current understanding of the climate system. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | March 22, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

Global warming brought about new temperature records in the year 2016, as it marked the year with exceptionally low sea ice, ocean heat, higher global temperatures, and sea level rise. In a new report on climate change in 2016, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), United Nations' specialized agency for the state and behavior of our planet's atmosphere, summarized the crisis that planet Earth currently faces amid rising temperatures The report confirmed that Earth experienced the warmest temperature in recorded history in 2016 with a remarkable difference of 1.1 degrees Celsius from the pre-industrial period, and 0.06 degrees Celsius difference from the earlier record that was set in 2015. "Globally averaged sea surface temperatures were also the warmest on record, global sea levels continued to rise, and Arctic sea-ice extent was well below average for most of the year," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. Taalas said that with the level of heat-trapping carbon dioxide consistently reaching new records, the contributions of man-made activities on climate become more evident. He said that access to long-term climate data and improved power of computing tools have made it possible to clearly show the link between man-made climate changes and the number of cases of high-impact extreme events. Among the noteworthy extreme events that occurred in 2016 include severe droughts that impacted food security in Central America as well as southern and eastern Africa. Hurricane Matthew had devastating effect in Haiti, being the first category 4 storm that made a landfall after about half a century and caused economic losses in the United States. Floods and heavy rains likewise occurred and caused damages in Asia. The WMO report said that over the long term, global temperatures have been increasing at 0.1 degrees Celsius to 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade. The current climate change is bringing the Earth and the creatures on it into a new era as it brings about changes. "We are now in truly uncharted territory," said World Climate Research Programme Director David Carlson. The warming world is being attributed as a factor to changing sizes of animals and changing landscapes because of rising sea levels. Rising weather conditions alter animal and people's behavior. Scientists have predicted that hot climate may increase the number of shark attacks. Climate change has been attributed to wars happening in some parts of the world. The changing climate also pose health threats to millions of people worldwide. Humans have to deal with more diseases with rising temperatures. The spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and Zika, for instance, has something to do with warmer weather conditions since rising temperatures expand the areas in which the disease-carrying mosquitoes thrive. "Climate change and variability are highly likely to influence current vector-borne disease epidemiology. The effects are likely to be expressed in many ways, from short-term epidemics to long-term gradual changes in disease trends," the World Health Organization said in a report. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | March 14, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

Smoke billows from chimneys at a chemical factory in Tianjin Municipality December 23, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer/Files More OSLO (Reuters) - A record surge in temperatures in 2016, linked to global warming and an El Nino weather event in the Pacific, is adding urgency to a deal by 195 governments in December to curb greenhouse gas emissions to slow climate change, scientists said on Monday. Average global temperatures last month were 1.35 degree Celsius (2.4 Fahrenheit) above normal for February, the biggest temperature excess recorded for any month against a baseline of 1951-80, according to NASA data released at the weekend. The previous record was set in January, stoked by factors including a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the strong El Nino event, which releases heat from the Pacific. "I think even the hard-core climate people are looking at this and saying: 'What on Earth'?" David Carlson, director of the World Climate Research Programme at the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, said of the leap in temperatures. "It's startling," he told Reuters. "It's definitely a changed planet ... It makes us nervous about the long-term impact." Scientists say global warming is causing more powerful downpours, droughts and rising sea levels. Jean-Noel Thepaut, head of the Copernicus Climate Change Service at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, said the long-term trend of warming "makes the implementation of the Paris agreement urgent." He noted that 15 of the 16 warmest years since records began were in the 21st century. In December 2015, 195 nations agreed in Paris to a climate deal with a goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to a net zero by 2100, shifting from fossil fuels in favour of greener energies such as solar and wind power. They set a goal of limiting global warming to "well below" 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times, while "pursuing efforts" for a 1.5C (2.7F) limit. Phil Jones, of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, said El Nino seemed less to blame for the current surge than the last big El Nino in 1998. "Based on 1998, March and probably April will also be very warm, before the El Nino influence wanes," he told Reuters. Ice in the Arctic Ocean was at the lowest recorded for February, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said. At Longyearbyen, on a Norwegian Arctic island, temperatures hit a peak of 6.6C (44F) on Jan. 2, against an icy average for a normal January of -15.3C (4.5F), data from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute showed. Reidun Skaland, a climate expert at the Institute, said there were always big swings in Arctic weather, "but it is a warning message when you see such high temperatures. There's an increasing trend."


News Article | March 14, 2016
Site: www.reuters.com

The carcass of a cow lies in a field in Disaneng village outside Mafikeng, South Africa, January 28, 2016. Average global temperatures last month were 1.35 degree Celsius (2.4 Fahrenheit) above normal for February, the biggest temperature excess recorded for any month against a baseline of 1951-80, according to NASA data released at the weekend. The previous record was set in January, stoked by factors including a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the strong El Nino event, which releases heat from the Pacific. "I think even the hard-core climate people are looking at this and saying: 'What on Earth'?" David Carlson, director of the World Climate Research Programme at the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, said of the leap in temperatures. "It's startling," he told Reuters. "It's definitely a changed planet ... It makes us nervous about the long-term impact." Scientists say global warming is causing more powerful downpours, droughts and rising sea levels. Jean-Noel Thepaut, head of the Copernicus Climate Change Service at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, said the long-term trend of warming "makes the implementation of the Paris agreement urgent." He noted that 15 of the 16 warmest years since records began were in the 21st century. In December 2015, 195 nations agreed in Paris to a climate deal with a goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to a net zero by 2100, shifting from fossil fuels in favor of greener energies such as solar and wind power. They set a goal of limiting global warming to "well below" 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times, while "pursuing efforts" for a 1.5C (2.7F) limit. Phil Jones, of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, said El Nino seemed less to blame for the current surge than the last big El Nino in 1998. "Based on 1998, March and probably April will also be very warm, before the El Nino influence wanes," he told Reuters. Ice in the Arctic Ocean was at the lowest recorded for February, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said. At Longyearbyen, on a Norwegian Arctic island, temperatures hit a peak of 6.6C (44F) on Jan. 2, against an icy average for a normal January of -15.3C (4.5F), data from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute showed. Reidun Skaland, a climate expert at the Institute, said there were always big swings in Arctic weather, "but it is a warning message when you see such high temperatures. There's an increasing trend."


News Article | March 14, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

The carcass of a cow lies in a field in Disaneng village outside Mafikeng, South Africa, January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Sydney Seshibedi More OSLO (Reuters) - A record surge in temperatures in 2016, linked to global warming and an El Nino weather event in the Pacific, is adding urgency to a deal by 195 governments in December to curb greenhouse gas emissions to slow climate change, scientists said on Monday. Average global temperatures last month were 1.35 degree Celsius (2.4 Fahrenheit) above normal for February, the biggest temperature excess recorded for any month against a baseline of 1951-80, according to NASA data released at the weekend. The previous record was set in January, stoked by factors including a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the strong El Nino event, which releases heat from the Pacific. "I think even the hard-core climate people are looking at this and saying: 'What on Earth'?" David Carlson, director of the World Climate Research Programme at the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, said of the leap in temperatures. "It's startling," he told Reuters. "It's definitely a changed planet ... It makes us nervous about the long-term impact." Scientists say global warming is causing more powerful downpours, droughts and rising sea levels. Jean-Noel Thepaut, head of the Copernicus Climate Change Service at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, said the long-term trend of warming "makes the implementation of the Paris agreement urgent." He noted that 15 of the 16 warmest years since records began were in the 21st century. In December 2015, 195 nations agreed in Paris to a climate deal with a goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to a net zero by 2100, shifting from fossil fuels in favor of greener energies such as solar and wind power. They set a goal of limiting global warming to "well below" 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times, while "pursuing efforts" for a 1.5C (2.7F) limit. Phil Jones, of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, said El Nino seemed less to blame for the current surge than the last big El Nino in 1998. "Based on 1998, March and probably April will also be very warm, before the El Nino influence wanes," he told Reuters. Ice in the Arctic Ocean was at the lowest recorded for February, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said. At Longyearbyen, on a Norwegian Arctic island, temperatures hit a peak of 6.6C (44F) on Jan. 2, against an icy average for a normal January of -15.3C (4.5F), data from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute showed. Reidun Skaland, a climate expert at the Institute, said there were always big swings in Arctic weather, "but it is a warning message when you see such high temperatures. There's an increasing trend."


News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Scientists have agreed for the first time that recent severe cold winter weather in the UK and US may have been influenced by climate change in the Arctic, according to a new study. The research, carried out by an international team of scientists including the University of Sheffield, has found that warming in the Arctic may be intensifying the effects of the jet stream's position, which in the winter can cause extreme cold weather, such as the winter of 2014/15 which saw record snowfall levels in New York. Scientists previously had two schools of thought. One group believe that natural variability in the jet stream's position has caused the recent severe cold winter weather seen in places such as the Eastern United States and the UK. The other camp includes scientists who are finding possible connections between the warming of the Arctic - such as melting sea ice, warming air temperatures, and rising sea surface temperatures - and the emerging pattern of severe cold winter weather. Now, Professor Edward Hanna and Dr Richard Hall from the University's Department of Geography, together with Professor. James E. Overland from the US Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have brought together a diverse group of researchers from both sides of the debate. The researchers have found that the recent pattern of cold winters is primarily caused by natural changes to the jet stream's position; however, the warming of the Arctic appears to be exerting an influence on cold spells, but the location of these can vary from year to year. Previous studies have shown that when the jet stream is wavy there are more episodes of severe cold weather plunging south from the Arctic into the mid-latitudes, which persist for weeks at a time. But when the jet stream is flowing strongly from west to east and not very wavy, we tend to see more normal winter weather in countries within the mid-latitudes. "We've always had years with wavy and not so wavy jet stream winds, but in the last one to two decades the warming Arctic could well have been amplifying the effects of the wavy patterns," Professor Hanna said. He added: "This may have contributed to some recent extreme cold winter spells along the eastern seaboard of the United States, in eastern Asia, and at times over the UK (e.g. 2009/10 and 2010/11). "Improving our ability to predict how climate change is affecting the jet stream will help to improve our long-term prediction of winter weather in some of the most highly populated regions of the world. "This would be hugely beneficial for communities, businesses, and entire economies in the northern hemisphere. The public could better prepare for severe winter weather and have access to extra crucial information that could help make live-saving and cost-saving decisions." The study, Nonlinear response of mid-latitude weather to the changing Arctic, is published today (26 October 2016) in the journal Nature Climate Change on 26 October 2016. The research was partly sponsored by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) project of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). It further cements the University's position at the forefront of climate change research and gives geography students at Sheffield access to the latest innovations in environmental science.


News Article | March 15, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

February 2016 was the hottest February by far ever recorded in the history of the Earth. Climatologists blame global warming and an El Niño weather event in the Pacific for the increase in temperature in February this year. According to data released by NASA, the average global temperature in February was 1.35 degrees Celsius, or 2.4 degrees Fahrenheit, above normal for February. This margin is the biggest recorded for any month against a baseline of 1951 to 1980. "I think even the hard-core climate people are looking at this and saying: 'What on Earth?'" says David Carlson, the director of the World Climate Research Programme at the UN's World Meteorological Organization. "It's startling. It's definitely a changed planet ... It makes us nervous about the long-term impact." Many scientists have expressed their astonishment over the data released by NASA. "This result is a true shocker, and yet another reminder of the incessant long-term rise in global temperature resulting from human-produced greenhouse gases," say Jeff Masters and Bob Henson, meteorologists at Weather Underground. Professor Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, also posted on Twitter regarding the temperature measurements for February 2016. The year 2014 was the hottest year for Earth and the record was shattered by 2015, which is now the hottest year recorded by scientists. Experts also believe that 2016 could break 2015's record and become the hottest year for the planet. In December 2015, 195 countries around the world agreed upon a climate deal in Paris to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a net zero by 2100. These nations have agreed to shift from fossil fuels to greener energies like wind and solar power. The climate deal in Paris also agreed to keep global temperature increase to less than 2 degrees Celsius per year. Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics, says that the data released by NASA is very worrying for the entire planet. The data suggests that soon the planet may breach the 2 degrees Celsius target. Ward says that government organizations should take the NASA data very seriously and roll up their sleeves for cutting greenhouse emission at a faster pace. The UK Met office also confirmed that Arctic ice has hit record low, which also contributes to the increase in temperature. The previous record was January 2016 with the average temperature being 1.14 degrees Celsius above the normal January average.


Trenberth K.E.,U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research | Asrar G.R.,World Climate Research Programme
Surveys in Geophysics | Year: 2014

The state of knowledge and outstanding challenges and opportunities in global water cycle observations, research and modeling are briefly reviewed to set the stage for the reasons behind the new thrusts promoted by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) as Grand Challenges to be addressed on a 5- to 10-year time frame. Those focused on water are led by the GEWEX (Global Energy and Water Exchanges) project. A number of GEWEX science questions are being brought forward within GEWEX and the WCRP under guidance of the Joint Scientific Committee. Here, we describe what are some imperatives and opportunities for major advancements in observations, understanding, modeling and product development for water resources and climate that will enable a wide range of climate services and inform decisions on water resources management and practices. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


News Article | March 2, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

It’s getting quite balmy in Antarctica, dubbed the “last place on Earth,” these days. An Argentine research base located near the tip of the Antarctic peninsula has logged record-high heat in the area at 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The U.N. weather bureau announced Wednesday that the Experanza base set the record high last March 24, 2015, after it reviewed data around Antarctica in order to set benchmarks for future warming, naturally occurring climate variability, as well as human-induced climate change. In the cold, windy, dry Antarctic, the average annual temperature is from 14 degrees Fahrenheit to -76 degrees Fahrenheit. Polar expert Michael Sparrow, working with the agency-sponsored World Climate Research Programme, said in a Reuters report that verifying temperature highs and lows enable them to “build up a picture of the weather and climate in one of Earth’s final frontiers.” The record warm temperature for the larger Antarctic region, anywhere south of 60 degrees latitude, was 67.6 degrees Fahrenheit on South Atlantic’s Signy Island on Jan. 30, 1982. The warmest ever on the Antarctic plateau (at or above 8,200 feet), on the other hand, was 19.4 degrees Fahrenheit on Dec. 28, 1980. On July 21, 1983, the lowest temperature ever observed on the planet was recorded at a Russian research station in central Antarctica, where the thermometer registered a whopping -128.6 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it’s not just the lowest lows that keep Antarctic scientists busy and on their toes, especially in the face of climate change. A massive 90 percent of Earth’s freshwater, in the form of ice sheet that’s about 3 miles thick, is found in the continent. If all of it would melt, sea levels around the world will rise by around 200 feet. And as the record temperatures the WMO just announced are “the absolute limit” to what has been measured in Antarctica, the findings prove highly important. "Comparing them to other places around the world and seeing how other places have changed in relation to Antarctica gives us a much better understanding of how climate interacts, and how changes in one part of the world can impact other places,” said Arizona State University professor Randy Cerveny, also the Rapporteur of Climate and Weather Extremes for WMO, in a statement. The polar regions of Earth, Cerveny explained, are called the “canary” in the global environment, and given their sensitivity to climate change it’s often the north and south poles experiencing the first taste of global environmental changes. The temperature extremes were achieved through different ways, including so-called foehn winds or very warm downslope winds that can quickly heat up a specific location. Even the United States have these winds, he added. Antarctica recently made headlines as an iceberg the size of Delaware is set to break off from it, prompting fears of rising global sea levels. For years, scientists have been tracking a massive crack along the northernmost Antarctic ice shelf, which gradually grows bigger and bigger and has been discovered to have grown by almost 11 miles toward a dramatic break. In 2002, the Larsen B ice shelf disintegrated after a similar event. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | March 2, 2017
Site: cleantechnica.com

A new record high temperature for Antarctica was set on March 24, 2015, and just recently confirmed by the World Meteorological Organization. The new record high was set at an Argentine research base (Experanza) near the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula, where temperatures climbed as high as 63.5° Fahrenheit (17.5° Celsius) on the day in question. Notably, this figure doesn’t represent a record high for the Antarctic region, just a record high at the location in question and the Antarctic continent. The highest temperature ever recorded in the Antarctic region was 67.6° Fahrenheit (19.8° Celsius), as observed on January 30, 1982, on Signy Island (in the South Atlantic). While the new record doesn’t mean much on its own, it’s yet another sign that big changes are likely to occur in Antarctica over the coming century (and afterwards as well). The record was confirmed as part of a data review that’s intended to establish benchmarks that can be used to monitor changes in the region. “Verification of maximum and minimum temperatures help us to build up a picture of the weather and climate in one of Earth’s final frontiers,” commented Michael Sparrow, a researcher with the World Meteorological Organization co-sponsored World Climate Research Programme. Reuters provides a bit more: “Antarctica locks up 90% of the world’s fresh water as ice and would raise sea levels by about 60 meters (200 ft) if it were all to melt, meaning scientists are concerned to know even about extremes around the fringes. … And the warmest temperature recorded on the Antarctic plateau, above 2,500 meters (8,202 feet), was -7.0°C (19.4°F) on December 28, 1980, it said. Wednesday’s WMO report only examined the highs. The lowest temperature set anywhere on the planet was a numbing -89.2°C (-128.6°F) at the Soviet Union’s Vostok station in central Antarctica on July 21, 1983.” Given the location, temperature records for Antarctica are of course much more limited in scope than those from highly populated areas. The work by the World Meteorological Organization referenced above should help to provide a means of interpreting new temperature data in the region though. Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store!   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter. James Ayre 's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

Loading World Climate Research Programme collaborators
Loading World Climate Research Programme collaborators