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Archiv für Umwelt & Klima

Icelandic Volcano Caused Historic Famine In Egypt

An environmental drama played out on the world stage in the late 18th century when a volcano killed 9.000 Icelanders and brought a famine to Egypt that reduced the population of the Nile valley by a sixth. A study by three scientists from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and a collaborator from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, demonstrates a connection between these two widely separated events. The investigators used a computer model developed by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies to trace atmospheric changes that followed the 1783 eruption of Laki in southern Iceland back to their point of origin. The study is the first to conclusively establish the linkage between high-latitude eruptions and the water supply in North Africa. In June 1783, the Laki volcano began a series of eruptions, regarded as the largest at high-latitude in the last 1.000 years. The eruptions produced three cubic miles of lava and more than 100 million tons of sulfur dioxide and toxic gases, killing vegetation, livestock and people. These eruptions were followed by a drought in a swath across northern Africa, producing a very low flow in the Nile. In the northern hemisphere, the summer of 1783 was the coldest in at least 500 years in some locations, according to tree ring data. Sulfate aerosols in the atmosphere kept the warmth of the sun from the Earth’s surface.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061121232204.htm

Polar Expedition To Siberian Lake

An international team of scientists led by Julie Brigham-Grette of the University of Massachusetts Amherst has received $3.2 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund an expedition to the polar lake El’gygytgyn in Siberia, which should yield data that will provide the most detailed record of past Arctic climate to date. The research will occur during the fourth International Polar Year (2007-2008) which aims to provide a better understanding of the world’s polar regions through a flurry of international coordination and cooperation by scientists and governments. Sediment cores that the scientists took in 2003 have already provided the oldest continuous terrestrial record of the Arctic. One core dated to 300.000 years ago.

$3.2 Million Grant Will Fund Polar Expedition To Siberian Lake, Led by UMass Amherst Scientist

The Milky Way Shaped Life On Earth

Frenzied star-making in the Milky Way Galaxy starting about 2.4 billion years ago had extraordinary effects on life on Earth. Harvests of bacteria in the sea soared and crashed in a succession of booms and busts, with an instability not seen before or since. According to new results published by Dr. Henrik Svensmark of the Danish National Space Center, the variability in the productivity of life is closely linked to the cosmic rays, the atomic bullets that rain down on the Earth from exploded stars. Most likely, the variations in cosmic radiation affected biological productivity through their influence on cloud formation. Hence, the stellar baby boom 2.4 billion years ago, which resulted in an extraordinarily large number of supernova explosions, had a chilling effect on Earth probably by increasing the cloud cover.
http://www.space.dtu.dk/English/Research/Research_divisions/Sun_Climate/SC_The_Milky_Way_shaped_life_on_Earth.aspx

NASA Satellite Identifies The World's Most Intense Thunderstorms

A summer thunderstorm often provides much-needed rainfall and heat wave relief, but others bring large hail, destructive winds, and tornadoes. Now with the help of NASA satellite data, scientists are gaining insight into the distribution of such storms around much of the world.
Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission

Lightning and Electricity Research

Europe’s next-generation weather satellite is in orbit !

The European Space Agency’s first polar-orbiting weather satellite, MetOp-A, launched into space today after numerous delays. A Soyuz-Fregat rocket carrying the 4.1-tonne satellite lifted off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, at 16:28 GMT. The satellite is now placed in an 850-kilometer orbit around the poles. Since July, five previous attempts to launch the new-generation satellite had been scrubbed by technical hitches and poor weather. MetOp-A is the most sophisticated Earth-observation satellite ever built, with 12 instruments to record temperature, humidity, wind speed and ozone cover across the globe, monitor the environment in space and listen out for signals from ships and aircraft in distress.
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/The_Living_Planet_Programme/Meteorological_missions/MetOp

Getting closer to the cosmic connection to climate

A team at the Danish National Space Center has discovered how cosmic rays from exploding stars can help to make clouds in the atmosphere. The results support the theory that cosmic rays influence Earth’s climate.
Note: This new work is a severe blow to proponents of the enhanced greenhouse hypothesis and advocates of Anthropogenic Global Warming who worked hard to deny solar influence on global climate.
http://www.space.dtu.dk/English/Research/Research_divisions/Sun_Climate/SC_Getting_closer_to_the_cosmic_connection_to_climate.aspx

Alaskan Storm Cracks Giant Iceberg To Pieces

A severe storm that occurred in the Gulf of Alaska in October 2005 generated an ocean swell that six days later broke apart a giant iceberg floating near the coast of Antarctica, more than 8.300 miles away.

http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/06/061002.iceberg.shtml