Something that has not changed over 160 years of oil production is the deliberate burning of gas associated with it, called gas flaring. It is turning out to be a major source of methane emission, a greenhouse gas (GHG) “over 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a warming gas on a 20-year timeframe”.
The World Bank’s latest 2022 Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report underscored that the efforts to curb this global warming causing activity have “stalled” in the last one decade.
For over 6,000 years, humans restricted their settlements to a climate niche or set of temperatures between 11 degrees Celsius and 15 degrees Celsius mean annual temperature. But global warming could trigger the next wave of migration — and at least 3 billion people would be affected by it by 2070. India would be among the worst-hit in Asia.
A study by a group of researchers — called Future of the Human Climate Niche — projected that over 3 billion people, currently living in 0.8 per cent of the Earth’s surface that experiences average annual temperature of more than 29°C, would have to move to migrate to more places with suitable conditions.
Africa experienced its fourth-warmest April since 1910 in 2021, with a temperature anomaly of 1.48 degrees Centigrade, according to latest figures by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
A temperature anomaly is the departure from the average temperature, positive or negative, over a certain period.
Temperatures were much above the average in parts of northern and southern Africa, the NOAA noted on its website.Read More »
A major crack appeared in the Antarctic ice giant, A68a, once the world’s biggest iceberg, as captured in satellite images since January 25, 2021.
The iceberg had detached from the Larcen C ice shelf in 2017 and was travelling up towards the island of South Georgia in the British Overseas Territory, when turbulent sea currents diverted it towards to the South Atlantic Ocean.
The recent satellite footage captured a smaller slab, now called A68g, distinctly separated from the original iceberg but floating along it about 135 km off the south-eastern coast of South Georgia.Read More »
The United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP) emissions gap report – Emissions Gap Report 2020 – released on December 9 warns: Despite a brief dip in carbon dioxide emissions caused by the pandemic, the world is still heading for a temperature rise of 3.2°C this century.
The report published at the end of every year measures national commitments to reduce emissions to limit global warming.Read More »
Biological carbon removal: a forest in Turkey. Photo: Fagus/ wikimedia
Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) systems, touted as techno-fixes for global warming, usually put more greenhouse gases into the air than they take out, a study published last month has confirmed.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS), which grabs carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by coal- or gas-fired power stations, and then uses it for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), emits between 1.4 and 4.7 tonnes of the gas for each tonne removed, the article shows.
Direct air capture (DAC), which sucks CO2 from the atmosphere, emits 1.4-3.5 tonnes for each tonne it recovers, mostly from fossil fuels used to power the handful of existing projects.
Among the windswept glaciers and icebergs of the western Antarctic Peninsula is an oasis of life. Threatened humpback and minke whales patrol the waters. Fish, squid and seals swim alongside noisy colonies of chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins on the shore. It’s a complex web of life. All these species feed on small, shrimp-like crustaceans called Antarctic krill. And many are themselves prey for leopard seals, killer whales and predatory seabirds such as skuas and giant petrels.
This delicate and iconic ecosystem is in peril. The western Antarctic Peninsula (the northernmost part of the continent) is one of the fastest-warming places on Earth. In February, temperatures there reached a record 20.75 °C, with an average daily temperature that was 2 °C higher than the means for the preceding 70 years1. Most of the region’s glaciers are receding. And sea ice is dwindling — spring 2016 saw it retreat to the smallest extent since satellite records began in the 1970s. If carbon emissions keep climbing, in 50 years’ time, the area covered by sea ice will have halved and the volume of ice shelves will have shrunk by one-quarter2.Read More »
The climate across the world is changing in many ways, triggered by different global warming phenomena that have resulted in a change in the monsoon onset time and pattern. The process is affecting the agricultural yield. Any excess or little rainfall is, therefore, detrimental to these crops.
A new study on variability in the Mascarene High (MH) during global warming hiatus (GWH) revealed that the region experienced significantly increased sea surface temperature (SST) during this period (1998-2016).
The Mascarene High (MH) is a semi-permanent subtropical high-pressure zone in the South Indian Ocean. Apart from its large influence on African and Australian weather patterns, it also helps in driving the inter-hemispheric circulation between the Indian Ocean in the south and subcontinental landmass in the north.Read More »
The United Kingdom can see temperatures as high as 40 degrees Celsius (°C) every third or fourth year by the end of the century if emissions are not curbed, the country’s weather department said.
The highest temperature recorded in the UK was 38.7°C at Cambridge in July 2019, something that raised the question of whether exceeding the 40°C threshold was within the possibilities for UK’s climate.
Verkhoyansk, a town in Siberia, has recorded the highest temperature in the Arctic circle in the last 140 years at 38 degree celsius. This is around 18°C higher than the normal temperature for this time of the year for the place.
Even though the town is in the Guinness book of world records for the largest temperature range it experiences — from some -67 °C to some 37°C, this new record has an imprint of global warming and the impact of such warming can be witnessed even here in India.
“The new high shows temperature swings may be increasing,” Raghu Murtugudde, a climate scientist at the University of Maryland, said.Read More »