Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Canada warming, for centuries to come

Vancouver Sun: National temperatures exceeded average values by a whopping 3C... Of the 10 warmest years on record, four have occurred within the last decade, and 13 of the last 20 years are listed among the 20 warmest. Average national temperatures have been above normal since 1997.

Canadian study sees global warming for centuries
Reuters: Carbon dioxide already emitted into the atmosphere will keep contributing to global warming for centuries, eventually causing a huge Antarctic ice sheet to collapse and lift sea levels... Even the complete abandonment of fossil fuels and halt to emissions cannot prevent devastating ocean warming in Antarctica as well as increasing desertification in North Africa, the research finds...

Even so, many of the negative consequences in the Northern Hemisphere, such as loss of Arctic sea ice, are reversible... said Shawn Marshall, a University of Calgary geography professor and one of the study's authors...The study, led by Nathan Gillett of the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, is published in the journal Nature Geoscience...

Major differences of the impacts in various regions lie in the centuries it takes for heat to circulate from the North Atlantic through the world's ocean currents and into the deep sea... Wind currents in the southern hemisphere may also play a role.

Vancouver Sun: A fifth of the ice in the world's mountain glaciers and ice caps will disappear by 2100, with some regions losing as much as 75 per cent of their ice... In Western Canada and the United States, 50 per cent of glacier ice could disappear by 2100, which could have substantial impacts on regional power dams and water supplies...

The study, published in Nature Geoscience, excluded the enormous ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica in a bid to focus on the impact of atmospheric warming on the smaller glaciers and ice caps dotting the planet.
Image source here.