It’s still a mystery – Pollution cuts the earth in half and so does global warming. NASA satellites are tracking just where, on the earth, the most greenhouse gases are being emitted?so countries can no longer plead ignorance about what’s going on within (or rising up from) their borders.
The northern (Arctic) half of the globe is getting warmer, while the southern (Antarctic) half is cooling down. The area of fastest warming is clustered around the Northern Atlantic and Arctic oceans, stretching from Arctic Canada across Greenland to Scandinavia. The greatest warming has been on opposite ends of Greenland, where temperatures have jumped as much as 4.6 degrees F in 30 years. During the same time, however, much of the Antarctic has cooled, with parts of the continent cooling as much as Greenland has warmed. But despite the fact that some of the earth is cooling, more than 80% of the globe warmed by some amount.
Researchers watching the loss of ice flowing out from the giant island of Greenland say that the amount of ice lost this summer is nearly three times what was lost one year ago?it was an area twice the size of Manhattan.
With regard to NASA mapping greenhouse gas emissions, in BBC News, Jonathan Amos quotes NASA researcher David Crisp as saying, “This is NASA?s first spacecraft specifically dedicated to mapping carbon dioxide. The objective of the OCO mission is to make measurements that are so precise that they can be used to look for surface ‘sources’ and ‘sinks’ of CO2.
“We know where most of the fossil fuel emissions are coming from; we also know where things like cement manufacturing are producing large CO2 emissions. But there are other things such as biomass (forest) burning and clearing; and we don’t have a good quantification of the CO2 released by those processes,” meaning that the locations of some of the greenhouse gas emissions are still a mystery.
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
Life (and death) are still a mystery, but they?re mysteries that we?re helping to solve! As we think about the new year, remember: change is possible?for us AS WELL as for the weather!
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