Via (top to bottom):
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
|Groundhog Day Blizzard of 2011. Credit: NOAA|
|Billion-dollar-plus natural disasters between 1980 and 2010, |
using a GNP inflation index.
|A picture of the EF3 tornado that struck Tushka, Oklahoma, 14 April 2011. Credit: Gabe Garfield and Marc Austin via NOAA.|
|Wildfires in Texas as of 30 April 2011. At this point more than two million acres/809,371 hectares had already burned. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory, image created by Jesse Allen.|
|This map depicts rainfall for the Midwest from April 19 to 25, when totals ranged from 150 millimeters/5.9 inches to greater than 525 millimeters/20.7 inches, prompting major flooding. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory, image by Jesse Allen.|
- $500 million loss to agriculture in Arkansas
- $320 million in damage to Memphis, Tennessee
- $800 million loss to agriculture in Mississippi
- $317 million loss to agriculture and property in Missouri's Birds Point-New Madrid Spillway
- $80 million loss for the first 30 days of flood-fighting efforts in Louisiana
Although some studies suggest that trends such as population increases, population shifts into higher risk areas, and increasing wealth have been the key factors in weather related disasters (as opposed to historical trends in the frequency or strength of such events), there is evidence that climate change may affect the frequency of certain extreme weather events. An increase in population and development in flood plains, along with an increase in heavy rain events in the U.S. during the past fifty years, have gradually increased the economic losses due to flooding. If the climate continues to warm, the increase in heavy rain events is likely to continue. While trends in extratropical cyclones are not clear, there are projections that the incidence of extreme droughts will increase if the climate warms throughout the 21st century.
|Credit: the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center|
|Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers, India and Bangladesh|
|Amazon River, Brazil|
|Yukon River, Alaska|
|Lena River, Russia|
|Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt Rivers, the Netherlands|
|Irrawaddy River, Burma|
|Mackenzie River, Canada|
|Saskatchewan River, Canada|
|Niger River, Mali|
|Nile River, by night, Egypt|
Population declines and the extinction of marine organisms may be largely underestimated due to the difficulties involved in making scientific observations. However, data sources other than scientific time-series have proven useful in providing relevant information to marine scientists in cases that are normally considered "data-poor." Some studies have used traditional (or local) ecological knowledge to reconstruct temporal population trends and discover near-extinctions of marine fauna, while studies that compare the results from scientific research with evidence based on fishers' experience have shown that both sources of knowledge give similar results and can be used to detect the essential trends.
[S]moothhounds Mustelus mustelus [a kind of shark] are likely to have disappeared in the Catalan Sea before 1979, and angelsharks Squatina squatina before 1959. In western Italy, angelsharks would have disappeared by the early 1980s near the mainland and the mid-1980s in Sardinia. Smoothhounds became functionally extinct in 1990 in Italy and Greece, with only sporadic records thereafter. The sturgeon Acipenser acipenser had become extinct in the North Adriatic by 1966.
If we accept that commercial trawl fishers are independent observers of the marine system, [our] results suggest that the abundance of large marine fauna has decreased considerably during the 20th century in the Mediterranean Sea (in agreement with the results of other studies), and therefore fishers' observations during a lifetime of professional activity can provide a qualitative measure of this decline.
Now if I was a public health official, and I was trying to understand how a warming planet might impact my life, then here is how I would think about it. First, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific are going to be warmer, and hence, there will be more humid air. This will mean, with regard to human health for the central U.S., heat waves will become more dangerous, without necessarily becoming hotter. It is also reasonable to expect heat waves will become more frequent and last longer, because those persistent, stuck high pressure systems are, in part, forced by the higher sea surface temperatures. If I am a public health official here is my algorithm—heat waves are already important to my life, and they are likely to get more dangerous, more frequent, and of longer duration.
The drought in the south central and southeast of the United States reached epic proportions. Carlsbad, New Mexico went 233 days with no measurable precipitation until a meager 0.01" fell on June 2nd and it has not rained again since (as of July 15th). Pecos, Texas just received 0.02" of precipitation on July 14th, its first measurable amount since September 23, 2010 (293 consecutive dry days). Albuquerque, New Mexico has only had 0.19" of precipitation since January 1st (as of July 15th).For the period of January through June this year has so far been the driest on record (117 years) for the states of New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that damages human health by limiting the flow of oxygen through the body. It is also a key ingredient in the production of harmful ground-level ozone and urban haze.