Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Climate change

Climate change reduces nutritional value of algae
10 February 2009

Micro-algae are growing faster under the influence of climate change. However, the composition of the algae is changing, as a result of which their nutritional value for other aquatic life is decreasing. And because algae are at the bottom of the food chain, climate change is exerting an effect on underwater life. This is the conclusion of researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) and the Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Joe Winters
Institute of Physics
Climate change means bigger medical, council and property bills

Climate change concerns like melting icecaps, increased desertification, loss of coral reefs and the extinction of species like polar bears can seem a distant concern in our everyday lives. Little attention, however, has been paid to the likelihood of increased bills, through tax and insurance charges, that will be incurred as the UK climate changes.

Alistair Hunt, a researcher at the University of Bath, will be addressing scientists this week at the international Climate Change Congress being held in Copenhagen to present research which shows that the cost of climate change is going to be felt much closer to home than many expect. Alistair's talk is one of many described in the complete online abstract book of the congress, published in the IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science.

Working with the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP), Alistair has calculated the projected cost increases that would be incurred with an increased burden on National Health Service resources during hotter summers; the effect that hotter and drier summers will have on the rate of property subsidence; the maintenance costs of public lawns and the cost of maintaining climate damage-induced highways.

As Alistair says, "Through isolating particular consequences of extreme weather fluctuations, projected to become more frequent such as the hotter summers of both 1995 and 2003, and assessing the effect that these weather fluctuations had on local resources, we are helping businesses, councils and individuals to prepare for the future."

The hot summers of 1995 and 2003 are used to inform a number of the case studies of likely trends associated with climate change, as experts predict that the once-a-century temperatures, reached in 2003's summer, become regular English summer temperatures. Changes in temperature and rainfall averages also result in climate change costs.

The case studies look ahead 90 years and predict that the cost of treating people with heat-related illnesses will increase anything between five and nine-fold for primary care trusts; the increased insurance costs associated with property subsidence during arid summers will increase anything between four and 13-fold; and that both public lawn and road maintenance will see expensive hikes too.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Termite Killer Lingers as a Potent Greenhouse Gas

Fumigant pumped into tented houses to kill pests remains in atmosphere six to 10 times longer than previously thought, Scripps-led study shows

Scripps Institution of Oceanography / University of California, San Diego
Sulfuryl fluoride (SO2F2), a gas commonly used to rid buildings of termites and other pests, is a greenhouse gas that remains in the atmosphere about 36 years, six to 10 times longer than previously thought, according to a research team led by Jens Mühle, an atmospheric chemist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

The team found that the concentration of the gas rose at a rate of 4 to 6 percent per year between 1978 and 2007, to a global atmospheric abundance by the end of 2007 of about 1.5 parts per trillion. Its actual emissions into the atmosphere over this period were about one third less than estimated from industrial production data.

University of Copenhagen
10 March 2009

Research presented today at the International Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen shows that the upper range of sea level rise by 2100 could be in the range of about one meter [1.094 yards], or possibly more. In the lower end of the spectrum it looks increasingly unlikely that sea level rise will be much less than 50 [19.7 inches] cm by 2100. This means that if emissions of greenhouse gases is not reduced quickly and substantially, even the best case scenario will hit low lying coastal areas housing one in ten humans on the planet hard.

No comments:

Post a Comment