Infographic: Global Sea Level Rise Projections and Risk to the U.S.A.

A 2012 study by the U.S. Geological Survey determined that sea levels along the East Coast will rise three to four times faster than the global average. The study named Norfolk, New York City, and Boston as the three metro areas most vulnerable to the devastating effects of rising sea levels—ranging from the dramatic increase in storm surge, as winds scoop up water from the sea and dump more of it farther from the coast than ever before, to the steady erosion of roads, buildings, and arable soil as seawater creeps inland.

Source: ‘The Scary Truth About How Much Climate Change is Costing You’ (National Journal)

Infographic: Global Sea Level Rise Projections and Risk to the U.S.A.

A 2012 study by the U.S. Geological Survey determined that sea levels along the East Coast will rise three to four times faster than the global average. The study named Norfolk, New York City, and Boston as the three metro areas most vulnerable to the devastating effects of rising sea levels—ranging from the dramatic increase in storm surge, as winds scoop up water from the sea and dump more of it farther from the coast than ever before, to the steady erosion of roads, buildings, and arable soil as seawater creeps inland.

Source: ‘The Scary Truth About How Much Climate Change is Costing You’ (National Journal)

The melt-off from the world’s ice sheets, ice caps and glaciers over eight years of the past decade would have been enough to cover the United States in about 18 inches (46 centimeters) of water.

A quote from the LiveScience article, 'NASA Satellites Show How Our Icy World Is Melting'. It profiles a new study that points out that, "The Earth is losing an incredible amount of ice to the oceans annually, and these new results will help us answer important questions in terms of both sea rise and how the planet’s cold regions are responding to global change." You can check out the full article here

(Photo source: LiveScience)

From Reuters:

Global warming threatens China’s march to prosperity by cutting crops, shrinking rivers and unleashing more droughts and floods, says the government’s latest assessment of climate change, projecting big shifts in how the nation feeds itself.

The warnings are carried in the government’s “Second National Assessment Report on Climate Change,” which sums up advancing scientific knowledge about the consequences and costs of global warming for China — the world’s second biggest economy and the biggest emitter of greenhouse gas pollution.

Global warming fed by greenhouse gases from industry, transport and shifting land-use poses a long-term threat to China’s prosperity, health and food output, says the report. With China’s economy likely to rival the United States’ in size in coming decades, that will trigger wider consequences.

"China faces extremely grim ecological and environmental conditions under the impact of continued global warming and changes to China’s regional environment," says the 710-page report, officially published late last year but released for public sale only recently.

Even so, China’s rising emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from burning fossil fuels, will begin to fall off only after about 2030, with big falls only after mid-century, says the report.

Assuming no measures to counter global warming, grain output in the world’s most populous nation could fall from 5 to 20 percent by 2050, depending on whether a “fertilization effect” from more carbon dioxide in the air offsets losses, says the report.

But that possible fall can be held in check by improved crop choice and farming practices, as well as increased irrigation and fertilizer use.

China is the world’s biggest consumer of cereals and has increasingly turned to foreign suppliers of corn and soy beans.

Check out the rest of the article here.

(Photo credits: Reuters; The Guardian)

From Rolling Stone:

In the past year – one of the hottest on recordextreme weather has battered almost every corner of the planet. There have been devastating droughts in China and India, unprecedented floods and wildfires in the United States, and near-record ice melts in the Arctic. Yet the prosperous nations of the world have failed to take action to reduce the risk of climate change, in part because people in prosperous nations think they’re invulnerable. They’re under the misapprehension that, as Nobel Prize-winning economist Tom Schelling puts it, “Global warming is a problem that is going to primarily affect future generations of poor people.” To see how foolish this reasoning is, one need only look at Australia, a prosperous nation that also happens to be right in the cross hairs of global warming. “Sadly, it’s probably too late to save much of it,” says Joe Romm, a leading climate advocate who served as assistant energy secretary in the Clinton administration.

This is not to say that the entire continent will sink beneath the waves anytime soon. What is likely to vanish – or be transformed beyond recognition – are many of the things we think of when we think of Australia: the barrier reef, the koalas, the sense of the country as a land of almost limitless natural resources. Instead, Australia is likely to become hotter, drier and poorer, fractured by increasing tensions over access to water, food and energy as its major cities are engulfed by the rising seas.

To climate scientists, it’s no surprise that Australia would feel the effects of climate change so strongly, in part because it has one of the world’s most variable climates. “One effect of increasing greenhouse-gas levels in the atmosphere is to amplify existing climate signals,” says Karoly. “Regions that are dry get drier, and regions that are wet get wetter. If you have a place like Australia that is already extreme, those extremes just get more pronounced.” Adding to Australia’s vulnerability is its close connection with the sea. Australia is the only island continent on the planet, which means that changes caused by planet-warming pollution – warmer seas, which can drive stronger storms, and more acidic oceans, which wreak havoc on the food chain – are even more deadly here.

Check out the rest of the article here.

(Photo credit: National Geographic)


Climate Change in Action: Greenland’s Petermann Glacier Before & After the 2010 Ice Break
In addition to the photos, an article in the Huffington Post explains that:

When a 100 square mile chunk — an area four times the size of Manhattan — broke off Greenland’s Petermann Glacier in the summer of 2010, scientists knew that it was a historic event. After all, it was the largest known calving in Greenland’s history, and the largest to occur in the Arctic in nearly 50 years.
…
Jason Box, a scientist with the Byrd Polar Research Center at The Ohio State University and photographer of the 2009 image, told HuffPost that the summer of 2010 was Greenland’s warmest on record, and records have been kept since 1873.
"We’re bearing witness to abrupt climate change,” Box told HuffPost. "This isn’t in the future. It’s very much now."
To see more before and after images and to learn about the Petermann Glacier, visit the Byrd Polar Research Center. For more images of Greenland’s glaciers, click here.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Climate Change in Action: Greenland’s Petermann Glacier Before & After the 2010 Ice Break

In addition to the photos, an article in the Huffington Post explains that:

When a 100 square mile chunk — an area four times the size of Manhattan — broke off Greenland’s Petermann Glacier in the summer of 2010, scientists knew that it was a historic event. After all, it was the largest known calving in Greenland’s history, and the largest to occur in the Arctic in nearly 50 years.

Jason Box, a scientist with the Byrd Polar Research Center at The Ohio State University and photographer of the 2009 image, told HuffPost that the summer of 2010 was Greenland’s warmest on record, and records have been kept since 1873.

"We’re bearing witness to abrupt climate change,” Box told HuffPost. "This isn’t in the future. It’s very much now."

To see more before and after images and to learn about the Petermann Glacier, visit the Byrd Polar Research Center. For more images of Greenland’s glaciers, click here.

Check out the rest of the article here.