September 20th, 2009Two-thirds of the world's major deltas, home to nearly half a billion people, are caught in the scissors of sinking land and rising seas, according to a study published Sunday. The new findings, based on satellite images, show that 85 percent of the 33 largest delta regions experienced severe flooding over the past decade, affecting 260,000 square kilometres (100,000 square miles). Delta land vulnerable to serious flooding could expand by 50 percent this century if ocean levels increase as expected under moderate climate change scenarios, the study projects.
September 20th, 2009A new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder indicates most of the world's low-lying river deltas are sinking from human activity, making them increasingly vulnerable to flooding from rivers and ocean storms and putting tens of millions of people at risk. While the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report concluded many river deltas are at risk from sea level rise, the new study indicates other human factors are causing deltas to sink significantly. The researchers concluded the sinking of deltas from Asia and India to the Americas is exacerbated by the upstream trapping of sediments by reservoirs and dams, man-made channels and levees that whisk sediment into the oceans beyond coastal floodplains, and the accelerated compacting of floodplain sediment caused by the extraction of groundwater and natural gas.
September 11th, 2009We are saddened at the loss of our friend and colleague Mark Dyurgerov, who has been with us at INSTAAR since 1995.
September 10th, 2009A study by Mark Williams and Brian Lazar spells out the consequences of climate change for Aspen Mountain in Colorado and Park City in Utah.
September 4th, 2009Human-generated greenhouse gas emissions have helped reverse a 2,000-year trend of cooling in the Arctic, prompting warmer average temperatures in the past decade that now rank higher than at any time since 1 B.C., according to a study published Thursday in the online version of the journal Science. The analysis, based on more than a dozen lake sediment cores as well as glacier ice and tree ring records from the Arctic, provides one of the broadest pictures to date of how industrial emissions have shifted the Arctic's long-standing natural climate patterns.