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RE: Climate change
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Almost every tree in Britain is likely to be home to a Barkfly, and now a new family member has come to stay - all the way from the Atlantic Islands.
The Barkfly, Atlantopsocus adustus, which has no English name, has been found colonising stretches of Cornish coast.
The tiny fly may have reached Britain on southerly winds from the Atlantic.

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Tree stumps at the feet of Western Canadian glaciers are providing new insights into the accelerated rates at which the rivers of ice have been shrinking due to human-aided global warming.
Geologist Johannes Koch of The College of Wooster found the deceptively fresh and intact tree stumps beside the retreating glaciers of Garibaldi Provincial Park, about 60 km north of Vancouver, British Columbia. What he wanted to know was how long ago the glaciers made their first forays into a long-lost forest to kill the trees and bury them under ice.
To find out, Koch radiocarbon-dated wood from the stumps to see how long they have been in cold storage. The result was a surprising 7000 years.

"The stumps were in very good condition sometimes with bark preserved" - Johannes Koch , who conducted the work as part of his doctoral thesis at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. Koch will present his results on Wednesday, 31 October 2007, at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Denver.

The pristine condition of the wood, he said, can best be explained by the stumps having spent all of the last seven millennia under tens to hundreds of meters of ice. All stumps were still rooted to their original soil and location.

"Thus they really indicate when the glaciers overrode them, and their kill date gives the age of the glacier advance" - Johannes Koch.

They also give us a span of time during which the glaciers have always been larger than they were 7000 years ago until the recently warming climate released the stumps from their icy tombs.
Koch compared the kill dates of the trees in the southern and northern Coast Mountains of British Columbia and those in the mid- and southern Rocky Mountains in Canada to similar records from the Yukon Territory, the European Alps, New Zealand and South America. He also looked at the age of Oetzi, the prehistoric mummified alpine "Iceman" found at Niederjoch Glacier, and similarly well-preserved wood from glaciers and snowfields in Scandinavia.
The radiocarbon dates seem to be the same around the world, according to Koch. It's important to note that there have been many advances and retreats of these glaciers over the past 7000 years, but no retreats that have pushed them back so far upstream as to expose these trees.
The age of the tree stumps gives new emphasis to the well-documented "before" and "after" photographs of retreating glaciers during the 20th century.

"It seems like an unprecedented change in a short amount of time. From this work and many other studies looking at forcings of the climate system, one has to turn away from natural ones alone to explain this dramatic change of the past 150 years" - Johannes Koch.

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Bluetongue disease has killed livestock across Europe and has now been found in the UK for the first time - in a cow.
 Bluetongue disease is transmitted by the Culicoides imicola midge. It is passed from animal to midge, and from midge to animal, but is not transmitted from animal to animal.
The virus has long blighted Africa, but in recent years has begun to spread northwards into Europe.
Some scientists believe that climate change could be behind its spread, as warmer temperatures have seen the biting insects gradually move north.

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Ancient Records Help Test Climate Change
A librarian at this 10th century monastery leads a visitor beneath the vaulted ceilings of the archive past the skulls of two former abbots. He pushes aside medieval ledgers of indulgences and absolutions, pulls out one of 13 bound diaries inscribed from 1671 to 1704 and starts to read about the weather.

"Jan. 11 was so frightfully cold that all of the communion wine froze.  Since I've been an ordained priest, the sacrament has never frozen in the chalice" - entry from 1684 by Brother Josef Dietrich, governor and "weatherman" of the once-powerful Einsiedeln Monastery.

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Water restrictions in Sydney will become permanent because of climate change, NSW Premier Morris Iemma says.
Daytime use of sprinklers, watering systems and the hosing down of driveways will be banned forever.

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Future ice ages may be delayed by up to half a million years by our burning of fossil fuels. That is the implication of recent work by Dr Toby Tyrrell of the University of Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Science at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.
According to New Scientist magazine, which features Dr Tyrrell's research this week, this work demonstrates the most far-reaching disruption of long-term planetary processes yet suggested for human activity.
Dr Tyrrell's team used a mathematical model to study what would happen to marine chemistry in a world with ever-increasing supplies of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide.
The world's oceans are absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere but in doing so they are becoming more acidic. This in turn is dissolving the calcium carbonate in the shells produced by surface-dwelling marine organisms, adding even more carbon to the oceans. The outcome is elevated carbon dioxide for far longer than previously assumed.

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Climate camp grows on Heathrow perimeter
A so-called "climate camp" set up outside the world's busiest airport is getting bigger, with organisers promising numbers will rise to 2,000 by the weekend. Protesters want to block British government plans to expand London Heathrow by adding a new runway. They strongly deny claims they are a threat to public safety.

[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=GjMPycA8aQM]

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About twice as many Atlantic hurricanes form each year on average than a century ago, according to a new statistical analysis of hurricanes and tropical storms in the north Atlantic. The study concludes that warmer sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and altered wind patterns associated with global climate change are fueling much of the increase.

Hurricane Data
A new climate study indicates that hurricanes and tropical storms became more frequent in the Atlantic Ocean during three distinct periods over the last century, as shown in this graphic. The first part of the 20th century (in white) was relatively quiet, with an annual average of 6 observed hurricanes and tropical storms. The annual average increased to 10 after 1930, and then reached 15 from 1995 to 2005 (in darkest shading). This graphic shows both the total number each year (blue line) and the nine-year running average, calculated from four years back through four years ahead of a given year. Called a running mean, this method smoothes out year-to-year variability to reveal the long-term trend. The new research associates the increasing storms with rising sea-surface temperatures. [ENLARGE] (Illustration by Steve Deyo, ŠUCAR.)


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Atlantic tropical storms more than doubled in a century in 2 sharp steps
The number of tropical storms developing annually in the Atlantic Ocean more than doubled over the past century, with the increase taking place in two jumps, researchers say.
The increases coincided with rising sea surface temperature, largely the byproduct of human-induced climate warming, researchers Greg J. Holland and Peter J. Webster concluded. Their findings were being published online Sunday by Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London.
An official at the National Hurricane Centre called the research "sloppy science" and said technological improvements in observing storms accounted for the increase.
From 1905 to 1930, the Atlantic-Gulf Coast area averaged six tropical cyclones per year, with four of those storms growing into become hurricanes.
The annual average jumped to 10 tropical storms and five hurricanes from 1931 to 1994. From 1995 to 2005, the average was 15 tropical storms and eight hurricanes annually.
Even in 2006, widely reported as a mild year, there were 10 tropical storms.

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Tibet is warming up faster than anywhere else in the world.
The average annual temperature in Tibet, was rising at a speed of 0.3 degrees Celsius every 10 years.
Chinese scientists have long warned that rising temperatures on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau will melt glaciers, dry up major Chinese rivers and trigger more droughts, sandstorms and desertification.
The Tibet Meteorological Bureau said the temperature rise was most obvious in the west of the region. Tibet, with its glaciers and high altitude, has been regarded as sensitive to the effects of global warming.
Currently, China's average temperature is rising at 0.4 degree Celsius every 100 years, while a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed the average surface temperature of the globe had risen 0.74 degree Celsius in the past 100 years.

Source Reuters

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