Why Do We Yawn? Contagious Yawns Help Cool Down the Brain, Scientists Say
The temperature of the brain can change for a variety of reasons, including stress and sleep patterns.
© hclphotography/iStockphoto/Getty Images File photo of the northernmost reaches of the Mackenzie River Delta, NWT, Canada, full of snow, ice, and permafrost.
LONDON, June 18 (Reuters) - Permafrost at outposts in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, an expedition has discovered, in the latest sign that the global climate crisis is accelerating even faster than scientists had feared.
A team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks said they were astounded by how quickly a succession of unusually hot summers had destabilised the upper layers of giant subterranean ice blocks that had been frozen solid for millennia.
Astronomers Peer Back 13 Billion Years And See Two Galaxies Colliding
Scientists have spotted one of the most distant (and therefore the youngest) example of merging galaxies yet observed, according to new results. The team of researchers in Japan observed a distant source of light called B14-65666 using the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimeter Array of telescopes in Chile. Higher-resolution data from light emitted by oxygen and carbon ions suggested to the researchers that the object might be a single galaxy quickly forming new stars as the result of a collision. require(["inlineoutstreamAd", "c.
"What we saw was amazing," Vladimir E. Romanovsky, a professor of geophysics at the university, told Reuters by telephone. "It’s an indication that the climate is now warmer than at any time in the last 5,000 or more years."
With governments meeting in Bonn this week to try to ratchet up ambitions in United Nations climate negotiations, the team's findings, published on June 10 in Geophysical Research Letters, offered a further sign of a growing climate emergency.
The paper was based on data Romanovsky and his colleagues had been analysing since their last expedition to the area in 2016. The team used a modified propeller plane to visit exceptionally remote sites, including an abandoned Cold War-era radar base more than 300 km from the nearest human settlement.
Scientists are looking to space to get more earthquake data
Scientists are using satellites to compile the most efficient response information.
Diving through a lucky break in the clouds, Romanovsky and his colleagues said they were confronted with a landscape that was unrecognisable from the pristine Arctic terrain they had encountered during initial visits a decade or so earlier.
Related Slideshow: Provided by Photo Services
The Arctic is warming at almost twice the global average with sea ice disappearing from the ecosystem. While this has made the waters more navigable through the Northwest Passage, it is also contributing to a rise in global sea level.
Click through to see other places affected by climate change.
Since 1992, the frozen continent has lost more than 3.3 trillion tons of ice, resulting in rise in global sea levels by a quarter inch (0.63 centimeters), according to a study published in the journal Nature. Researchers estimate that the rate at which ice is lost has soared from 73 billion metric tons per year in 2007 to 219 billion tons in 2017 – a triple increase that could increase sea levels six inches (15.2 centimeters) by 2100.
Hope for Parkinson's as scientists spot signs of the cruel disorder in the brain YEARS before patients show any of the traditional symptoms
Damage to serotonin production was seen on brain imaging. King's College London said it was an 'excellent marker' for the disease which takes hold of the brain years before symptoms show.
The west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming parts of the planet. This has affected the distribution of penguin colonies along the coast as sea ice conditions have changed, reports Discovering Antarctica. Melting snow has seen increased plant coverage. Many glaciers have retreated and ice shelves have collapsed.
Amazon rainforest – South America
The world’s largest tropical rainforest (it covers approximately 40 percent of the continent) has not only experienced rising deforestation but also extreme drought that has left it susceptible to fires, says a report published by the United Nations Environment Program. Entire species of vegetation and animals are on the brink of extinction.
Dead Sea - Bordering Israel, West Bank and Jordan
The saltwater lake has shrunk by a third over the last 40 years since development in the region started. Sinkholes are appearing where the water has receded, while mineral extraction by cosmetic companies has further eroded it. Rainfall in the region has declined and a study conducted by Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory found that thousands of years ago, when temperatures were similarly rising, the entire region suffered a megadrought worse than any ever recorded.
Scientists discover sea of fresh water under the ocean
An undersea aquifer off the US Atlantic coast has vast stores of low-salinity groundwater.
Baobab trees - Southern Africa
One of the oldest living organisms in Africa, these trees can live up to 3,000 years and are often called “the tree of life.” However, over the past 12 years, five of the six largest and nine of the 13 oldest have died, either completely or partially. According to a study published in Nature Plants, this may be due to climate change. “We suspect the demise of monumental baobabs may be associated at least in part with significant modifications of climate conditions that affect southern Africa in particular,” the report says.
Cape Town - South Africa
Popular with tourists, this coastal city came perilously close to literally running out of water early in 2018. The situation forced officials to restrict the amount of water an individual, home or building could use in a day. At their most extreme, these restrictions capped daily usage at a maximum of 50 liters per person.
As of December 2018, the mayor’s office has raised that limit to 105 liters but other rules, like the flushing of toilets (only with greywater or non-drinking water, and only when absolutely necessary) remain in force.
Venice – Italy
Locals have slowly come to accept the flooding of Piazza San Marco (pictured) and other low-lying areas of the city but, with ocean levels rising, Venice is inundating further. The city of canals is sinking fast enough to become uninhabitable by the end of this century, scientists at the Venice in Peril fund have warned.
Ariana Grande Just Got A Tattoo Of This Canadian Actor And We’re Obsessed
What an iconic friendship!
Great Barrier Reef – Australia
The largest coral reef in the world, covering more than 132,973.5 square miles (344,400 square kilometers), has started showing signs of damage due to rising ocean temperatures. Vast regions have experienced coral bleaching – a condition where the coral turns white and is prone to mass death. A report by the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies found that around 93 percent has experienced bleaching to some degree.
Rhone Valley – France
The winemaking region has sprawling vineyards that are slowly being affected by increasing temperatures. In a profession where even a small degree change can cause differences in the produce, or even completely ruin it, a report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences forecasts an 85 percent decrease in wine production in the combined Bordeaux, Rhone and Tuscany region.
Erratic rainfall and increasing desertification, accompanied by intense droughts, have pushed temperatures so high in the north African country that harvests are being ruined. Warming temperatures have rendered farmlands unsuitable and will continue to affect the country’s food security, according to a report published by the World Food Program and the UK Met Office. Gigantic dust storms called haboob (pictured) have also become more commonplace in recent years.
Lagos – Nigeria
The city is made up of a mainland and a series of islands that are all at risk of flooding with increasing sea levels. To prevent that, efforts are on to build an artificial mega city, named Eko Atlantic, on reclaimed land and then build a seawall. Researchers like environmental writer Martin Lukacs have named this “climate apartheid,” as the wall will push storm surges from more affluent locales to neighboring unprotected areas.
Big birds: Giant, 1,000-pound birds once roamed around Europe
At 1,000 pounds and over 10 feet tall, this bird was one the largest that ever lived in Earth's history, according to new research.
Key West – Florida, US
Floods during the Atlantic hurricane season have caused increasing damage in the archipelago. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates sea levels will rise 15 inches (38 centimeters) over the next 30 years, submerging many parts of the city.
Dar es Salaam – Tanzania
The coastal city is growing so quickly it has been unable to consider the harm it is causing to the ecosystem. With increased rainfall, it is increasingly prone to floods and downpours, causing $47.3 million worth of damages in just the area surrounding the Msimbazi River, according to the World Bank.
Researchers at the University of Exeter have found that elevated surface ocean temperatures during the 2016 El Niño led to a major coral die-off event in the Maldives. Further rise in temperatures due to global warming will only worsen the situation of the coral reefs, scientists warn.
Yamal Peninsula – Russia
In Russia’s far north, permafrost is melting as the weather has become increasingly unpredictable. Giant craters (pictured) are forming as frozen grounds start thawing. The winter season has shortened and unusually warm temperatures caused an outbreak of anthrax in 2016. “Such anomalous heat is rare for Yamal, and that’s probably a manifestation of climate change,” said Alexei Kokorin, head of WWF Russia’s climate and energy program.
Abidjan – Ivory Coast
Situated along the Atlantic Coast, the city’s coastline, and specifically the harbor areas, are experiencing high erosion rates, according to news reports. The Ebrie lagoon has also become increasingly polluted and this has led to the loss of fisheries. Heavy and untimely rains are also threatening cocoa growers in the region.
Friends star Matthew Perry's real-life dad starred in the show
Could we be any more amazed?
Alaska – US
Over the last 150 years, snowfall in south-central Alaska has increased dramatically by 117 percent due to climate change, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports. Another report, by the Alaska Division of Public Health, states that additional diseases, lower air quality from more wildfires, melting permafrost, and disturbances to local food sources are some of the outcomes of climate change affecting the area.
A mild 2007 winter in the region allowed Asian tiger mosquitoes to breed and when a tourist returned from India with chikungunya, the mosquitoes became the carriers of the new disease. According to the WHO, this was the first European outbreak of a tropical disease. The localized epidemic was repeated in 2017. In a study that year, researchers at the University of Bayreuth reported the spread of the virus was facilitated by climate change and that the "risk of infection will continue to increase in many regions of the world through the end of the 21st century. If climate change continues unchecked, the virus could even spread to southern Europe and the U.S."
Mumbai – India
The changing monsoon season that has caused intense flooding in the economic capital over the past decades has been attributed to climate change in a report published by global development research resource Eldis. The World Bank found that changing rainfall patterns in India was one of many impacts of climate change. "An extremely wet monsoon that currently has a chance of occurring only once in 100 years is projected to occur every 10 years by the end of the century," according to the report.
Osaka – Japan
The 2.69 million people of the city have been battered by unseasonable typhoons and torrential rains that cause extensive floods. If temperatures continue to rise, the entire commercial region of Osaka could go under water by the 2070s, predict the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The Alps – Europe
One of the most famous skiing regions in the world, the Alps stretch across eight countries. Due to their low altitude, they have seen significant snow melt during shorter winter periods over the years. Around three percent of Alpine glacial ice is lost per year and experts from the University of Innsbruck in Austria believe the glaciers could disappear by 2050 if the melting continues.
Patagonia ice fields – Chile and Argentina
One of the largest ice fields in the world is receding at shockingly fast speeds. A Nature Geoscience paper found that accelerated melting ice fields account for nearly 10 percent of the global sea-level change from mountain glaciers. Over the last few years, dozens of glacier lakes have virtually disappeared.
Tuvalu, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tokelau and Tuvalu
These Pacific island nations are slowly being submerged and, by 2100, many of the lower islands could be uninhabitable, news agencies have reported. The Pacific Climate Change Science Program study found Tuvalu (pictured) would not only see a rise in sea level but also more extreme rainfall and intense cyclones. Five reef islands in the Solomon Islands have already been lost, while another six are eroding quickly.
Glacier National Park – Montana, US
Once home to over 150 glaciers, Montana’s majestic park now has just about 26 left. Scientists, including those from the U.S. Geological Survey, believe rapid climate change could see that number shrink to zero between 2030 and 2080, which would not only leave the park without a glacier but also severely disrupt its ecosystem.
San Blas Islands – Panama
Flooding every rainy season is becoming a common event on the Caribbean island. The reefs around the area have been mined to build up the islands to prevent sinking, reported Reuters. A scientist from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute quoted in the report said, “It’s another example that climate change is here, and it’s here to stay.” The report also cites natives are prepared to relocate if the rise in sea level continues.
The vista had dissolved into an undulating sea of hummocks - waist-high depressions and ponds known as thermokarst. Vegetation, once sparse, had begun to flourish in the shelter provided from the constant wind.
Torn between professional excitement and foreboding, Romanovsky said the scene had reminded him of the aftermath of a bombardment.
"It's a canary in the coalmine," said Louise Farquharson, a post-doctoral researcher and co-author of the study. "It's very likely that this phenomenon is affecting a much more extensive region and that's what we're going to look at next."
Scientists are concerned about the stability of permafrost because of the risk that rapid thawing could release vast quantities of heat-trapping gases, unleashing a feedback loop that would in turn fuel even faster temperature rises.
Even if current commitments to cut emissions under the 2015 Paris Agreement are implemented, the world is still far from averting the risk that these kinds of feedback loops will trigger runaway warming, according to models used by the U.N.-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
With scientists warning that sharply higher temperatures would devastate the global south and threaten the viability of industrial civilisation in the northern hemisphere, campaigners said the new paper reinforced the imperative to cut emissions.
"Thawing permafrost is one of the tipping points for climate breakdown and it's happening before our very eyes," said Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director of Greenpeace International. "This premature thawing is another clear signal that we must decarbonise our economies, and immediately." (Reporting by Matthew Green Editing by Mark Heinrich)
Friends star Matthew Perry's real-life dad starred in the show.
Could we be any more amazed?