Earth Science News  





. Nature Runs Riot In Europe Are Warm Winter

Two women walk past blooming jonquils on the banks of the Rhine river in Duesseldorf last week. Weather in wide parts of Germany reached springlike temperatures up to 16 centigrades. Photo courtesy AFP.

Tokyo gets latest first snow on record
Tokyo (AFP) March 16 - Central Tokyo saw its first snow of the season Friday, after the first snowless winter in the Japanese capital on record, meteorologists said. Sleety rain turned into very light snow early Friday, but only lasted 15 minutes. "The snow system is moving away from Japan and the snow has ended," said an official at the Japan Meteorological Agency. The central area of Tokyo saw no snow during the winter, which the Meteorological Agency defines as finishing at the end of February, although some outlying parts of the metropolis had flurries. It was the first snowless winter since records began in 1876. Tokyo usually sees its first snowfall of the season by early January. Japan's unseasonably mild winter came amid growing concern about global warming. The Meteorological Agency has said a main reason for the warm winter was the El Nino effect in the Pacific.
by Emmanuel Angleys
Paris (AFP) March 16, 2007
Wheat harvested a month early, markets bursting with prematurely ripened produce, animals migrating too soon or not at all -- Europe's warmest winter on record has made nature run amok, experts across the continent have reported. With average temperatures in the three winter months of December through February more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above average in most European countries, the environment's biological clock has been thrown off kilter, they say.

In Italy, emerging from the mildest winter in more than two centuries according to Bologna's Institute for Atmospheric Science and Climate, vegetables not normally seen until later in the season -- green beans, asparagus, peas, artichokes -- are already so abundant that merchants can't sell them.

In The Netherlands, where winter wheat has been harvested a month earlier than normal, scientists worry that unseasonably high temperatures will increase the risk of grain plant viruses caused by aphids.

In neighboring Germany, half of barley crops in some regions have been hit with a weather-related blight of yellow dwarf disease, carried by fleas that do not normally survive the winter.

The Dutch nature observatory Natuurkalender has reported the "chaotic" disruption of normal butterfly lifecycles, with many species emerging from the cocoon far too early.

Woodpeckers and swallows have likewise arrived a month ahead of schedule, they observed.

In Austria, toads in the region of Styria began their spring migration to summer ponds at least 15 days early, catching environmentalists who last year shepherded thousands of the amphibians across motorways to safety off guard and unprepared.

In Sweden -- where temperatures at midweek stood at 10 C (50 F) compared to -10 C (14 F) at the same time last year -- and elsewhere in Scandinavia, melting snows and pollen in January have heralded an untimely spring.

This flurry of alarmed observations from across Europe arrive amid predictions by climatologists and weather forecasters that record warm weather is likely to continue through the spring, and perhaps into the summer as well.

"The average temperature for the three months of Spring (March, April, May) will be above normal," said French climatologist Michel Schneider, though he did not rule out the possibility of a cold snap or two.

Earlier in the year, climate change experts at Britain's Met Office forecast that 2007 would likely be the warmest on record around the world, breaking the record set in 1998. In France, looking further into the future, the state-run weather service predicts that the number of full-fledged summer heat waves -- similar to the one in 2003 that left 15,000 French people dead -- will increase tenfold starting in 2070.

The observations also coincides with a report released Thursday by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stating that this winter was the warmest for the entire Northern Hemisphere of the planet since it began keeping records 128 years ago.

In Spain, high temperatures and strong winds have already fanned a series of fires around Barcelona in the northeast, and in Valencia further south.

And in Greece, agricultural authorities are already forecasting a difficult year due to drought in the bread-basket grain area of Thessaly.

A United Nations study last month said human activity was almost certain to blame for global warming and warned that the Earth's average surface temperature could rise between 1.1 and 6.4 degrees by 2100.

earlier related report
earlier related report
Earth has warmest December-February on record
Washington (AFP) March 16 - The Earth has experienced its warmest December-February since records began 128 years ago, a US agency said in a report which has added fire to global warming concerns.

A record warm January worldwide pushed average temperatures to 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit (0.72 degrees Celsius) above normal for the 20th century, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

It was the highest average temperature for the period since records began in 1880, the NOAA, said in its report released on Thursday.

A UN panel said last month that global warming was almost certainly caused by human activity and several governments and international bodies have sounded the alarm over the need to cut carbon emissions.

Europe has had its hottest winter on record and European experts say the spring and summer are also likely to be the warmest ever.

The El Nino phenomenon, a periodic warming of surface ocean waters in the eastern Pacific, contributed to the chart-busting combined global land and ocean surface temperature, the NOAA said.

But in February ocean temperatures in the central equatorial Pacific cooled more than 0.5 degrees F/0.3 degrees C and were near average for the month.

Nevertheless, the ocean-surface temperature in the period tied for second warmest on record, the agency said, just 0.1 degree Fahrenheit (0.06 degrees Celsius) cooler than the record established during the very strong El Nino episode of 1997-1998.

The NOAA scientists pointed to a steady rise in temperatures in recent decades.

During the past century, global surface temperatures have increased at a rate near 0.11 degrees F (0.06 degrees C) per decade.

"But the rate of increase has been three times larger since 1976, or 0.32 degrees F (0.18 degrees C) per decade, with some of the largest temperature increases occurring in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere," they said.

For the United States alone, the December 2006-February 2007 winter season had an overall temperature that was close to average, while December was the 11th warmest on record.

The UN's Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change said last month that human activity was almost certain to blame for global warming and warned that the Earth's average surface temperature could rise between 1.1 and 6.4 degrees C by 2100.

Fossil fuel pollution will raise temperatures this century, worsen floods, droughts and hurricanes, melt polar ice and damage the climate system for a thousand years to come, the UN's top panel on climate change said.

Experts say that if global warming trends continue, up to a third of the world's highest glaciers could melt away by 2050 and half will disappear by 2090.

The new sense of urgency comes with the Kyoto treaty, the world's first serious attempt to combat the problem, set to expire in 2012.

US President George W. Bush refused to adopt Kyoto, which excluded China, India and other big emerging economies.

The NOAA, an agency of the US Commerce Department, said it was working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network "that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects."

Climatologists and weather forecasters across Europe have warned that record warm weather is likely to continue through the spring.

"The average temperature for the three months of spring (March, April, May) will be above normal," said French climatologist Michel Schneider, though he did not rule out the possibility of a cold snap or two.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Email This Article

Related Links
Learn about Climate Science at TerraDaily.com

Statistical Analysis Debunks Climate Change Naysayers
Kamloops, Canada (SPX) Mar 19, 2007
Despite the fact that the hundreds of scientists and reviewers on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced February 2nd in Paris that global warming is "very likely" caused by human activity, governments and other policy-makers may still justify inaction because of naysayers like Danish weather scientist Henrik Svensmark, who maintains that global climate change can be attributed to the proportion of cosmic rays in our atmosphere.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Birth And Rebirth In New Orleans
  • Airmen Upgrading Giant Voice Systems In England
  • Indonesia Allots One Billion Dollars To Prevent Floods
  • Relief Flows Into Indonesia Quake Area As Death Toll Revised Down

  • Nature Runs Riot In Europe Are Warm Winter
  • Statistical Analysis Debunks Climate Change Naysayers
  • Global Temperature Politics Or Science
  • Climate Change Will Heat Switzerland Swiftly

  • Global Sunscreen Has Likely Thinned
  • Airborne Science In The Classroom The Next-Best Thing To Being There
  • A Cold-Water Monster Current Off Sydney
  • CryoSat-2 On The Road To Recovery

  • United Solar Ovonic Awarded To Develop New Solarcells For Space And Airship Applications
  • New Lithium-Ion Battery Technology Created
  • Unlocking The Secrets Of High-Temperature Superconductors
  • China Bans New Small Coal-Based Power Generators

  • Genome Sequence Shows What Makes Bacteria Dangerous For Troops In Iraq
  • A Year Of Added Life More Valuable For The Young
  • Researchers Reconstruct Spread Of Bird Flu From China
  • Troubling Trends In AIDS Cases

  • Belief That Species Evolve Faster In Tropics Debunked
  • Remote Sheep Population Resists Genetic Drift
  • Social Tolerance Allows Bonobos To Outperform Chimpanzees On A Cooperative Task
  • Why Do Birds Migrate

  • Bacterium Could Treat PCBs Without The Need For Dredging
  • Asian Pollution Linked To Stronger Pacific Storm System
  • Canada's Oil Sands To Keep Polluting
  • As An Economy Blossoms An Ancient Capital Suffocates

  • Long Legs Are More Efficient
  • Eat Cocoa And Live Longer
  • The Global Aging Problem
  • Getting On Your Nerves And Repairing Them

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement