sábado, 15 de enero de 2011

On Our Radar: India’s Warmest Year on Record

Cattle soaking in the Yamuna River during a heat wave in May in Allahabad, India.he past year was India’s warmest since record-keeping began in 1901, the authorities say, with average temperatures reaching nearly 77 degrees Fahrenheit. “This is a definite impact of global warming,” says the director of the Indian Meteorological Department. “Warming started around 1970 but the real impact has been felt only in the last 10 years.” [Times of India]

If current emissions continue unchecked, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations by the end of the century could reach levels not seen in at least 30 million years, when Earth’s temperature was more than 25 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than today, a study published in the journal Science suggests. “If we don’t start seriously working toward a reduction of carbon emissions, we are putting our planet on a trajectory that the human species has never experienced,” the researcher behind the study says. [University Corporation for Atmospheric Research]

Laden with agricultural chemicals and sediment, record Australian floodwaters could harm the corals of the Great Barrier Reef as they reach the ocean, scientists say. Corals close to shore are already stressed by pollution, overfishing, shipping and climate change. [BBC]

Natural disasters, including extreme weather, floods, landslides, fires, droughts and earthquakes, affected 430 million people in China last year and caused nearly 8,000 deaths, Chinese authorities say. The damage was the worst recorded in at least 20 years. [People's Daily]