11th September - Today's News

Kenya's elephants dying amid drought

North Colombia heatwave forces government to issue health warning

NOAA sees El Nino strengthening through 2009

And in the capital of India: season's longest rain spell leaves city reeling

Wind could cut China's emissions by 30%

They obviously don't get many contrails over Hawaii (unlike here where after 2 nice clear days the skies are filling again with manmade cirrus): Mysterious clouds; what were they?

Greenland's melt mystery unfolds at glacial pace - is a story worthy of a few quotes:

Alarm bells rang as the pattern was repeated by glaciers across Greenland: Was the island's vast ice sheet, a frozen water reservoir that could raise the sea level 20 feet if disgorged, in danger of collapse?

Half a decade later, there's a little bit of good news — and a lot of uncertainty.

"It does seem that the very rapid speeds were only sustained for a short period of time although none of these glaciers have returned to the 'normal' flow speeds yet," says Gordon Hamilton, a glaciologist from the University of Maine, who's clocked Helheim's rapid advance using GPS receivers on site since 2005.

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The most popular explanation is that the patient — Greenland's ice sheet — contracted its ailment not from warmer air, but a warmer ocean.

Scientists earlier believed that the biggest factor for the faster flow speeds was meltwater seeping down to the base of the glaciers, lubricating the bedrock. They're now shifting attention to ocean currents believed to have sent pulses of warmer water from southern latitudes to Greenland's glacial fjords.

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Coinciding with the shrinking of sea ice on the North Pole and the thawing of the Arctic permafrost, the discovery of Greenland's runaway glaciers earlier this decade raised a sense of urgency among scientists studying the impact of climate change on the frozen north.

It has also been used by advocacy groups like Greenpeace to stress the importance of reaching a deal in Copenhagen to limit global greenhouse emissions.

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Other researchers say some — but not all — of Greenland's glaciers have shown similar slowdowns in recent years, suggesting that a sudden, dramatic increase in flow speeds may not be such a cataclysmic and irregular phenomenon after all.

Surprise in Earth's upper atmosphere: mode of energy transfer from solar wind

Tornado threat increases as gulf hurricanes get larger

And finally, further vindication of the abiotic origin of oil theory promoted by the late Thomas Gold as Swedish researchers apparently prove that fossils from animals and plants are not necessary for crude oil and natural gas.


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