Found this morning on AOL News; this is not good news.
Summer Ice Melt In Antarctica Is At The Highest Point In 1,000 Years, Researchers Say
Reuters | Posted: 04/15/2013 2:39 am EDT | Updated: 04/15/2013 6:36 pm EDT
CANBERRA (Reuters) – The summer ice melt in parts of Antarctica is at its highest level in 1,000 years, Australian and British researchers reported on Monday, adding new evidence of the impact of global warming on sensitive Antarctic glaciers and ice shelves.
Researchers from the Australian National University and the British Antarctic Survey found data taken from an ice core also shows the summer ice melt has been 10 times more intense over the past 50 years compared with 600 years ago.
“It’s definitely evidence that the climate and the environment is changing in this part of Antarctica,” lead researcher Nerilie Abram said.
Abram and her team drilled a 364-metre (400-yard) deep ice core on James Ross Island, near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, to measure historical temperatures and compare them with summer ice melt levels in the area.
They found that, while the temperatures have gradually increased by 1.6 degrees Celsius (2.9 degrees Fahrenheit) over 600 years, the rate of ice melting has been most intense over the past 50 years.
That shows the ice melt can increase dramatically in climate terms once temperatures hit a tipping point.
“Once your climate is at that level where it is starting to go above zero degrees, the amount of melt that will happen is very sensitive to any further increase in temperature you may have,” Abram said.
Robert Mulvaney, from the British Antarctic Survey, said the stronger ice melts are likely responsible for faster glacier ice loss and some of the dramatic collapses from the Antarctic ice shelf over the past 50 years.
Their research was published in the Nature Geoscience journal.
(Reporting by James Grubel; Editing by Paul Tait)
We’ve had a stormy weekend, temperatures dropped once again and we were able to turn off the air conditioning and open all the windows I love the cool winds. Today is overcast and warmer, sigh, but still not so hot as to have to close the windows and turn on the A/C.
Meanwhile, we are enjoying our yard, including the new Mother’s Day gift – to me, and more widely, to my family. Everyone loves this swing!
I’ve started up some new roses from my ever-flowering old branches, which the Pensacola Rose Society helped me identify as French Lace:
AdventureMan has potted up our mints – we have a large variety – and they are thriving! We also appear to have a good crop of blueberries coming in!
AdventureMan and I were up early yesterday, headed for early church, then he headed home to vacuum (God bless him mightily!) and I headed to the commissary. We expected house guests today, Monday, but they were coming by car and I had hopes they might arrive a little early, which they did.
As we were cleaning, putting away groceries, making sure the guest suite was in top condition, we could hear a symphony of buzzing, humming, clicking, sawing – we had the windows open, and with the temperatures in the 70′s, climbing into the 80′s (F) it was one of those irresistible days for yard work, and all the neighborhood was out mowing, trimming, weed-whacking, etc. We could hear the hmmmmmmmmm of air conditioners turned on, and the clicking of pool cleaners whirring and cleaning.
We treasure these rare days; warm enough to enjoy having the house open, to hear the birds and cicadas. It’s one of those days that energizes.
And then, the wind shifted, and grew cool. From the 80′s, around three in the afternoon, to evening, it dropped 30 degrees. This morning, it is in the high 30′s – a fifty degree shift! I hope the pool is warm at the Y.
Just when we think we know all the restaurants in town, Urban Spoon comes up with a Pensacola restaurant we didn’t even know existed. It’s getting a big buzz, too, listed as one of the most talked about restaurants in Pensacola. Hoping it is too early for the Spring Break crowd, we head for the Native Cafe after early church. OOps!Too late! And it’s not the spring breakers, at least I don’t think so, these look like locals.
We wait for maybe thirty minutes on one of the sweetest Sundays of the year, not too hot, not too cold, a tiny bit breezy – perfect beach day, and we don’t mind at all sitting outside, waiting for a table or booth.
Once we’re in, we can see why people like it. It’s not so original as Andy’s Flour Power in Panama City Beach, but they have original art on the walls, a funky decor, and a LOT of customers.
We see a lot of huge breakfasts being delivered. The Crab Cake Benedict seems to be a big hit, all the platters look huge. People are digging right in and look happy. Service is quick and efficient.
AdventureMan has been dying for some Biscuits and Gravy. His favorite place for biscuits and gravy, Adonna’s, in downtown Pensacola on Palafox, no longer serves biscuits and gravy. He says these are pretty good!
The little Alaska girl who lives inside me wanted crab cakes, but not all the bread and sauce that comes with the Crab Cake Benedict, so I asked, and was able to order the appetizer Crab Cakes, which was perfect. It came with Remoulade Sauce – yummm.
LOL, you can see, as usual, I forgot to take a photo before I started eating. There were three complete crab cakes; just be glad I remembered when I did!
The food was good, but we probably won’t go back until October or so, when the tourist season dies down. The Native Cafe has been FOUND! Too many people, too long a waiting line. We have the luxury of being able to go when no one else is around except those of us who live here. (You can live here thirty or forty years and you are still not a local; local is people who grew up and went to school in Pensacola )
AdventureMan and I had one of the sweetest days of the year – nice cool sunny morning, heading into a warm afternoon as we got up early to head over to the Mobile Botanical Gardens Annual Plant Sale.
They do a GREAT job. Starting with publicity, ads in the Pensacola News Journal and information sent out to all the regional gardening clubs and extension centers raising the level of awareness and creating a buzz. Everyone wants to go.
You get there, and parking is well organized and handy to the sales area. Signage is great – ENTER HERE! EXIT ONLY! PERRENIALS! ROSES! SHADE PLANTS! TREES! And great signs telling you how each plant is color coded and you know immediately what the price is:
Lots and lots of healthy looking plants. We knew what we wanted and found it quickly, except for the ones that were already sold out. Check-out was friendly – and fast. There was an exit strategy; people with large purchases could leave plants, drive into a pick up zone and have them loaded up. It was an amazingly efficient and well-run operation. Perfect weather, great selection of healthy plants, well-organized and efficient – it doesn’t get much better.
Well done, Mobile.
As I opened my Lectionary this morning, the first Psalm is Psalm 57 which begins:
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
until the destroying storms pass by.
I just had to laugh.
The lightning and thundering started last night around 10:00. Electrical storms are nothing new to the Pensacola area, but this one went on ALL NIGHT. It was like a front rolled in and got stuck over Pensacola. I woke up later this morning, having been awake around four for a couple hours, just listening. These were close, “BOOM – boom – booom – BOOM!” and loud. Even with the window coverings, you could see flashes of light in the bedroom.
As I lay awake, I thought about how the voice of God must have that deep, resonant, authoritative BOOM of thunder and I wondered what that voice might be trying to say to Pensacola or – oops! – to me.
This morning, that voice is still rumbling off in the distance, with no guarantee it won’t be back to scold us thunderously.
“I am so thankful we had such good weather when our house guests were here,” I said to AdventureMan. Not only was it raining steadily as we headed home from the commissary, but we had thunder and lightning early in the morning, and it meant no water-aerobics class – pools are not a safe place to be when there is a thunderstorm outside.
“And I am thankful to have a garage.” he added, and I totally agree. When you have a big load of groceries is not a great time for a rain storm if you are toting them inside, pelted by a pouring rain.
We thought of all the places we have lived. I thought of all the groceries we have toted. Probably, for me, the worst was in Kuwait, where we had underground parking (very nice protection from the heat and merciless sun) and you had to take groceries and other shopping up in an elevator. We’ve lived in many countries, however, with no garage at all, and carried groceries inside through all kinds of weather.
And the rain keeps coming down . . . .
I found this article in the Weather Underground News this morning:
DOHA, Qatar — An amount of freshwater almost the size of the Dead Sea has been lost in parts of the Middle East due to poor management, increased demands for groundwater and the effects of a 2007 drought, according to a NASA study.
The study, to be published Friday in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, examined data over seven years from 2003 from a pair of gravity-measuring satellites which is part of NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment or GRACE. Researchers found freshwater reserves in parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran along the Tigris and Euphrates river basins had lost 117 million acre feet (144 cubic kilometers) of its total stored freshwater, the second fastest loss of groundwater storage loss after India.
About 60 percent of the loss resulted from pumping underground reservoirs for ground water, including 1,000 wells in Iraq, and another fifth was due to impacts of the drought including declining snow packs and soil drying up. Loss of surface water from lakes and reservoirs accounted for about another fifth of the decline, the study found.
“This rate of water loss is among the largest liquid freshwater losses on the continents,” the authors wrote in the study, noting the declines were most obvious after a drought.
The study is the latest evidence of a worsening water crisis in the Middle East, where demands from growing populations, war and the worsening effects of climate change are raising the prospect that some countries could face sever water shortages in the decades to come. Some like impoverished Yemen blame their water woes on the semi-arid conditions and the grinding poverty while the oil-rich Gulf faces water shortages mostly due to the economic boom that has created glistening cities out of the desert.
In a report released during the U.N. climate talks in Qatar, the World Bank concluded among the most critical problems in the Middle East and North Africa will be worsening water shortages. The region already has the lowest amount of freshwater in the world. With climate change, droughts in the region are expected to turn more extreme, water runoff is expected to decline 10 percent by 2050 while demand for water is expected to increase 60 percent by 2045.
One of the biggest challenges to improving water conservation is often competing demands which has worsened the problem in the Tigris and Euphrates river basins.
Turkey controls the Tigris and Euphrates headwaters, as well as the reservoirs and infrastructure of Turkey’s Greater Anatolia Project, which dictates how much water flows downstream into Syria and Iraq, the researchers said. With no coordinated water management between the three countries, tensions have intensified since the 2007 drought because Turkey continues to divert water to irrigate farmland.
“That decline in stream flow put a lot of pressure on northern Iraq,” Kate Voss, lead author of the study and a water policy fellow with the University of California’s Center for Hydrological Modeling in Irvine, said. “Both the UN and anecdotal reports from area residents note that once stream flow declined, this northern region of Iraq had to switch to groundwater. In an already fragile social, economic and political environment, this did not help the situation.”
Jay Famiglietti, principle investigator of the new study and a hydrologist and UC Irvine professor of Earth System Science, plans to visit the region later this month, along with Voss and two other UC Irvine colleagues, to discuss their findings and raise awareness of the problem and the need for a regional approach to solve the problem.
“They just do not have that much water to begin with, and they’re in a part of the world that will be experiencing less rainfall with climate change,” Famiglietti said. “Those dry areas are getting dryer. They and everyone else in the world’s arid regions need to manage their available water resources as best they can.”