An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. It is believed that there are over 100,000 islands in the world. It’s difficult to put a figure to the exact number as there are different kinds of them in various water bodies including oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers. There is even an island within a lake that is situated on an island located in a lake on an island. Only 322 of them are larger than 1000 km2 (386 sq mi). Here are the top 18 largest islands on Earth. Why 18? Because this is the number of islands that have a land area of greater than 100,000 square kilometers (38,610 square miles).
Continue reading Top 18 Largest Islands on Earth
Around 66 million years ago, an asteroid or comet at least 10 kilometers (6 miles) in diameter impacted a few miles from the present-day town of Chicxulub in Mexico (hence it is dubbed as the “Chicxulub impactor”), at around 64,000 kilometers per hour (40,000 mph). The impact has created a crater (Chicxulub crater) more than 180 km (110 miles) in diameter. But, what’s more, the energy of the impact (which is equivalent of about ten billion Hiroshima atom bombs) vaporized the rock which was rich in sulfur compounds, filling the air with a thick cloud of dust, similar to that created by a catastrophic volcanic eruption.
This cloud blocked out the sun at least for a decade and caused a global, dark winter: even in the tropics the temperatures were barely above freezing, and the average global temperature was below 0°C (32°F). Before the impact, the average global temperature was around 26°C (47°F), so this means a huge drop. And the recovery time was more than 30 years! The dinosaurs which had dominated the Earth for more than 150 million years were used to living in a lush climate and were already in decline, so non-avian dinosaurs couldn’t survive after the last deadly blow.
Continue reading Dinosaur-killer Asteroid Triggered a Global Warming which lasted 100,000 Years
If we limit global warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C above the pre-industrial levels by the year 2100, the impacts of climate change would be much less dramatic, a new study says. According to the researchers, for vertebrates and plants, the number of species losing more than half their geographic range by 2100 will be halved when warming is limited to 1.5°C, compared with projected losses at 2°C. It would be even better for insects, the most diverse group of animals on Earth: the number is reduced by two-thirds.
Continue reading Most species hold their geographic range if we limit global warming to 1.5°C, study says
According to measurements from Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, with 410.31 ppm (parts per million), the level of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere hit a new high in April 2018. This is the highest point for the last 800,000 years.
Last year’s (April 2017) value, 409.00 ppm, was also a record high. As you can see in the graph below, which shows recent monthly mean carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii, it’s a continuing trend.
Continue reading Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Reached the Highest Levels in 800,000 years
The future of our carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions will decide how many degrees will planet Earth be warmer by 2100 (relative to pre-industrial temperatures). Using the data from Climate Action Tracker, the online publication that shows how living conditions are changing, Our World In Data has published a chart showing future greenhouse gas emission scenarios and how each scenario would result in an estimated global warming by 2100.
Continue reading Global Warming: Future greenhouse gas emission scenarios
The sea ice cover blanketing the Arctic Ocean and nearby seas thickens and expands during the fall and winter each year. It reaches its maximum yearly extent in February or March. This year (2018), on March 17, the Arctic sea ice cover peaked at only 5.59 million square miles (14,478,033.54 km2), the 2nd lowest max on record. It is only about 23,200 square miles (60,000 square kilometers) larger than the record low maximum reached in last year, on March 7, 2017.
This continues a trend of shrinking sea ice, with the four lowest Arctic sea ice maximum extents on record in the last four years. In the video published by the NASA Goddard Channel, Climatologist, and NASA Aqua Project scientist Dr. Claire Parkinson explains how and why NASA studies Arctic sea ice. Dr. Parkinson has been studying sea ice from space for the past four decades.
Continue reading 2018 Arctic Wintertime Sea Ice Extent is the Second Lowest On Record
As a result of the global warming, the seas warm and ice melts. Naturally, Earth’s oceans have risen steadily – or at least, it was thought so. According to a new study based on 25 years of NASA and European satellite data, rather than increasing steadily, global sea level rise has been accelerating in recent decades. If this trend continues, by the year 2100, sea level rise will be around 65 cm (25.6 in), twice as big as previously thought. This is more than enough to cause significant problems for coastal cities.
Satellite altimetry Notes 1 has shown that since 1993, global mean sea level has been rising at a rate of ∼3 ± 0.4 millimeters per year. Researchers show that this rate is accelerating at 0.084 ± 0.025 mm/y2, which agrees well with climate model projections. This acceleration is driven mainly by increased melting in Greenland and Antarctica because of global warming. If sea level continues to change at this rate and acceleration, sea-level rise by 2100 (∼65 cm ± 12 cm, compared with 2005) will be more than double the amount if the rate was constant at 3 mm/y, researchers conclude.
Continue reading Global Sea Level Rise Accelerating, New Study Finds
According to the analyses of NASA and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) data, long-term global warming trend continued in 2017. According to NASA, Earth’s global surface temperatures in 2017 ranked as the second warmest since 1880. NOAA scientists concluded that 2017 was the third-warmest year in their record, in a separate, independent analysis. Both agencies’ records remain in strong agreement: our planet is still getting warmer rapidly. The minor difference in rankings is due to the different methods used by the two agencies to analyze global temperatures. Both analyses also show that the five warmest years on record all have taken place since 2010.
According to NASA data, globally averaged temperatures in 2017 were 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.90 degrees Celsius) warmer than 1951 to 1980 mean That is second only to global temperatures in 2016. However, 2017 was the warmest year without an El Niño. Earth’s surface temperatures in 2017 were the second warmest since 1880, when global estimates first become feasible, NASA scientists found.
Continue reading NASA and NOAA Analyses Suggest That Long-term Global Warming Trend Continued in 2017
Our civilization emits so much CO2 into the Earth’s atmosphere, that only planting trees is not enough, according to a new study.
Limiting global warming to below 2°C above compared to preindustrial times requires not only massive near-term greenhouse gas emissions reductions but also the application of “negative emission” techniques that extract already emitted carbon dioxide from the atmosphere called tCDR (terrestrial carbon dioxide removal). One method to remove already emitted carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere is the establishment of extensive plantations of fast-growing tree and grass species (biomass plantations).
Continue reading We emit so much CO2 into the Earth’s atmosphere that only planting trees is not enough
Have you ever wondered what would Antarctica look like if all its ice melted? This may seem extraordinary and unlikely, but, this has actually happened in the past. In fact, there have been no major ice sheets over the South Pole for most of the Earth’s history.
In the video below, NASA Goddard strip away Antarctic ice to reveal a new, and much more detailed map of the bedrock below. This map, called Bedmap2, was compiled by the British Antarctic Survey and incorporates millions of new measurements, including substantial data sets from NASA’s ICESat satellite and an airborne mission called Operation IceBridge.
Continue reading What would Antarctica look like if all its ice melted