The world's tropical forests are less likely to lose biomass, or plant material, this century due to the effects of global warming than previously thought, scientists said in a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience on Sunday.
This adds to growing evidence that rain forests might be more resilient to the effects of climate change than feared....
...In 2009, a group of British scientists said that 20 to 40 percent of the Amazon could die off within 100 years if global temperatures rose by 2 degrees Celsius, and 85 percent would be lost if temperatures rose by 4 degrees, which is seen as increasingly likely.
But a study last month said the Amazon rain forest was less vulnerable to dying off because carbon dioxide also acts as an airborne fertilizer.
The return of the wintry conditions was continuing today as parts of the country woke up to freezing temperatures and snow.
A band of light sleet and snow has been falling from East Anglia to Lancashire this morning, and it is due to turn heavier tonight in time for the Monday morning rush hour.
Large flurries of snow have also fallen in Newcastle and Scotland, while residents across the country will have to brace themselves for falling temperatures dropping below freezing and even as low as -7C in some areas tonight.
Current alert level: Level 3 - Cold Weather Action
Issued at: 0813 on Sun 10 Mar 2013
There is a 100% probability of severe cold weather/icy conditions/heavy snow between 0800 on Sunday and 0000 on Thursday in parts of England. This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services. Please refer to the national Cold Weather Plan and your Trust's emergency plan for appropriate preventive action.
Becoming increasingly cold as a brisk northeasterly wind develops bringing a marked wind chill. Occasional snow showers to mainly eastern parts of England, although outbreaks of snow also likely across southwestern parts for a time during Monday. Towards the end of the week day time maximum temperatures are expected to gradually increase.
Met Office data show only a tiny change in world temperatures
Readers of this column do not need to be reminded why it is so important for us to know whether the world is truly in the grip of runaway global warming, or whether this belief has all been based on a colossal misreading of the scientific evidence. One reason why it is so vital for us to understand this, of course, has been all those devastating political responses to this fear, which promise to change our way of life out of recognition.
Just in Britain alone, paying for our Climate Change Act is officially due to cost us up to £18 billion a year. It is now driving our entire national energy policy, threatening us with ever more crippling bills, power blackouts, and the sight of our countryside being covered in ever more giant wind factories. In convincing the world that we must make such a dramatic response to man-made climate change, nothing has been more persuasive than those graphs that purport to show global temperature soaring to dangerous levels.
That iconic “hockey stick” graph, showing temperatures recently shooting up into the stratosphere, may now have been discredited. But just as important have been all those graphs showing how temperatures have changed in recent decades. These have the effect of greatly exaggerating those changes, by narrowly focusing just on what are called temperature “anomalies”, showing how they have risen and fallen round their average level in the past 30-odd years.
WINTER is roaring back with a vengeance this weekend as freezing temperatures bring another blast of snow.
Days after Britain enjoyed a glimpse of spring, bitterly cold winds will sweep in from Scandinavia.
The dramatic shift to temperatures as low as -7C (19F) comes less than a week after parts of Wales hit 64F.
Last night forecasters warned parts of the UK could see several inches of snow by Monday with up to eight inches possible on very high ground.
Widespread frosts and icy roads could cause hazardous driving conditions and areas not hit by snow are expected to get heavy rain with the risk of flooding.
The Government has put the UK on a level-2 cold weather health alert until Tuesday, warning of extreme cold and travel disruption. The Met Office issued severe weather warnings for snow over the next three days, with the South-west most at risk.
Scientists have been studying solar influences on the climate for more than 5000 years.Chinese imperial astronomers kept detailed sunspot records, and noticed that more sunspots meant warmer weather. In 1801, celebrated astronomer William Herschel, the first to observe Uranus, noted that when there were fewer spots the price of wheat soared. He surmised that less “light and heat” from the sun resulted in reduced harvests.
It is therefore perhaps surprising that Professor Richard Muller (University of California, Berkeley) recently claimed that “no component that matches solar activity” could be identified in his newly reconstructed BEST global land temperature record. Instead, Professor Muller said, carbon dioxide controls our changing temperature.
Can it really be true that solar radiation, which supplies Earth with the energy that drives our weather and climate – and which, when it varied in the past, is known to have caused major climate shifts – is no longer the principal influence on climate change?
Consider the charts that accompany this article. In locations as widely separated as US, the Arctic and China, they show a strong and direct relationship between temperature and incoming solar radiation -- the data for the US coming directly from Professor Muller’s own BEST data! That such a tight relationship between temperature and solar radiation holds for many disparate geographical areas indicates that the US result cannot be dismissed as just a local aberration.
A strong sun-climate relationship requires mechanisms to exist whereby our sun can both cool and warm the Earth. One such mechanism is fluctuations in the total amount of incoming solar energy, but measurements suggest that this is not a dominant effect. Another cause, and probably a more substantial one, is modulation of the amount of solar radiation that reaches earth’s surface by changes in total cloud cover.
We’ve had some very mild conditions this week with welcome sunshine pushing temperatures into the high teens. However, in a classic spring swing, colder weather is on the way as we head into the weekend.
By Saturday, we will see a return of easterly winds which will bring in much colder air from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Snow is expected across some eastern parts of the country over the weekend. By the start of next week, most of the UK will see daytime highs in low single figures with some frosty and icy nights.