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Posts tagged Climate Change

Climate Change and Water Temperature of Lake Baikal, Russia

53.1N 107.6E

June 11th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Lakes VIIRSSuomi-NPP

Russia – June 10th, 2013

Lake Baikal, the world’s largest, oldest, and most biotically diverse lake, is responding strongly to climate change, according to recent analyses of water temperature and ice cover. By the end of this century, the climate of the Baikal region will be warmer and wetter, particularly in winter. As the climate changes, ice cover and transparency, water temperature, wind dynamics and mixing, and nutrient levels are the key abiotic variables that will shift, thus eliciting many biotic responses.

Among the abiotic variables, changes in ice cover will quite likely alter food-web structure and function most because of the diverse ways in which ice affects the lake’s dominant primary producers (endemic diatoms), the top predator (the world’s only freshwater seal), and other abiotic variables. Melting permafrost will probably exacerbate the effects of additional anthropogenic stressors (industrial pollution and cultural eutrophication) and could greatly affect ecosystem functioning (click here for more information).

Climate Change’s Mixed Effects in Northern Europe

66.7N 29.7E

June 4th, 2013 Category: Climate Change AVHRRMetOp

Northern Europe – June 1st, 2013

This image focuses on northern Europe, including parts of Finland, Norway, Sweden, northwestern Russia and Estonia. In northern Europe, climate change is initially projected to bring mixed effects, including some benefits such as reduced demand for heating, increased crop yields, and increased forest growth. However, as climate change continues, negative impacts are likely to outweigh benefits. These include more frequent winter floods, endangered ecosystems, and increasing ground instability (click here for more information).

Climate Change in Northern Europe

67.2N 27.6E

June 2nd, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Vegetation Index

Northern Europe – June 1st, 2013

Higher than average temperatures have been observed across Europe as well as decreasing precipitation in southern regions and increasing precipitation in northern Europe. Extreme weather events such as heat waves, floods and droughts have caused rising damage costs across Europe in recent years.

While precipitation is decreasing in southern regions, it is increasing in northern Europe, and these trends are projected to continue. Climate change is projected to increase river flooding, particularly in northern Europe, as higher temperatures intensify the water cycle.

Many studies have measured widespread changes in plant and animal characteristics. For example, plants are flowering earlier in the year. Here, the vegetation index is stronger (dark green) to the south, and weaker (yellow) near the northern coastline, although it is mostly good throughout the image.

In freshwater, phytoplankton and zooplankton blooms are also appearing earlier. Other animals and plants are moving northward or uphill as their habitats warm. Since the migration rate of many species is insufficient to keep pace with the speed of climate change, they could be pushed towards extinction in the future.

Climate Change and the Etosha Pan, Namibia

18.7S 16.4E

May 30th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Salt Flats

Namibia – May 30th, 2013

Etosha National Park in northern Namibia, one of Africa’s major wildlife sanctuaries, is home to the critically endangered black rhinoceros. Climate change threatens biodiversity in the park and elsewhere in Africa, and a warmer, drier climate in Namibia could put tourism at risk.

Temperatures in Namibia have been rising at three times the global average rate for the twentieth century, and scientists expect the climate to continue to become hotter and drier—which could reduce the range and number of wildlife supported by Etosha. If we do nothing to reduce our heat-trapping emissions, Etosha faces a net loss of around eight species of mammals by 2050.

Climate Change and Alaska’s Bodies of Water, USA – May 29th, 2013

64.2N 149.4W

May 29th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day

USA – May 28th, 2013

Several bodies of water along the coast of Alaska, USA, can be viewed here: Cook Strait, brownish grey with sediments (right), Bristol Bay (below, center) and Norton Sound, partially ice covered (upper left).

Global warming is currently impacting Alaska and will continue to impact it a number of ways. These impacts include melting polar ice, the retreat of glaciers, increasing storm intensity, wildfires, coastal flooding, droughts, crop failures, loss of habitat and threatened plant and animal species.

According to scientists, Arctic sea ice extent in 2012 was the lowest since satellite records began in 1979; it was 16 percent lower than the previous low in 2007 and more than half of what it was in 1979. Less ice means more open water – which means greater absorption of solar energy – which leads to increased warming in the ocean, and in turn accelerates more ice loss.

This has led to a wide range of impacts in Alaska, including: melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and flooding of coastal communities; thawing permafrost, increased storm severity, and related infrastructure damage to roads, utility infrastructure, pipelines and buildings; loss of the subsistence way of life as animal habitat and migration patterns shift and as hunting and fishing become more dangerous with changing sea and river ice; forest fires and insect infestations increasing in frequency and intensity (click here for more information).

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