Sunday, January 16, 2011

NOAA: 2010 ties for warmest year on record

NOAA: 2010 ties for warmest year on record
Just-concluded 2010 tied with 2005 for the warmest year ever recorded on the Earth's surface, the 34th straight year of global temperatures higher than the 20th Century average, reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"In the contiguous United States, 2010 was the 14th consecutive year with an annual temperature above the long term average," NOAA said in a report released Tuesday.
David Easterling, scientific services chief at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, indicated the record may not stand. "These results show that the climate is continuing to show the influence of greenhouse gases. It's showing the evidence of warming," he told during a teleconference with reporters.
According to figures compiled by Accuweather, above-normal temperatures predominated in most major American cities, despite a year that began with extremely cold temperatures and record snowfalls in the East.
Atlanta recorded 216 days of above-normal temperatures, compared to 142 days below normal.
Boston was above normal 217 days of the year, and below normal 140 days during 2010. Houston was above normal 215 days, below normal just 144 days. Phoenix was hotter still, 219 days above normal and only 132 days below.
Despite its big snowfall early last year, Washington, D.C., was above normal 225 days and below normal only 130 days.
Seattle was more even-up: The Emerald City was above normal 179 days, and below normal 172 days.
At a press briefing Tuesday, NOAA officials noted extremes of weather across the globe, marked by such events as multiple 100-degree plus days in Moscow -- with huge forest fires - and the massive flooding of the Indus River in Pakistan.

The new NOAA figures track with similar findings north of the border.
The past year was the hottest ever recorded in Canada, according to an Environment Canada climate report.
The new climate data comes just as global warming skeptics have become chairmen of key committees in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun a process of rule-making to curb emissions of greenhouse gases. But legislation to delay EPA's regulatory authority is expected to pass the House, and faces a close vote in the Senate.
"How many times do we have to be smacked in the face with factual evidence before we address global climate change?" Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., a leading advocate of curbs on greenhouse gases, said in a statement Thursday.
"Report after report keep confirming it's getting worse every year. Will we find common ground and adult leadership or keep piling the science on a shelf to collect dust."

All About Tsunamis

All About Tsunamis

Have you ever wondered why tsunamis happen? In this article we’ll give you the facts about these huge waves, so you can better understand what causes a tsunami.
The name tsunami, pronounced soo-nahm-ee comes from two Japanese words; tsu means harbor and nami meaning wave, so tsunami means harbor-wave.
A tsunami is caused when there is a disturbance deep under the ocean such as an earthquake, volcano or a landslide. An underwater earthquake is the most common cause for a tsunami, but not just any underwater earthquake causes a tsunami. The earthquake needs to be a large enough earthquake of around 7.0 magnitude or bigger.
Underwater earthquakes happen because oceanic and continental plates, which are huge areas of the earth’s crust, push into each other and build up pressure. The pressure builds and builds until eventually the oceanic plate slips under the continental plate releasing all that pressure and energy in the form of an earthquake. If you would like to read other tribune articles about earthquakes click here.
If an underwater earthquake is large enough, the ocean floor will make significant movements, therefore the water above the sea floor must move too.
The ocean water is pushed upward causing a large ripple that begins to travel through the ocean. This large ripple, which will become the tsunami, travels at a very fast speed of up to 600 miles per hour.
Because the ocean is so deep, the wave has plenty of room to move, but when it gets near the shore the wave starts to build in height because the water has nowhere else to travel. Eventually the wave will hit the shore and travel far inland.
Eventually the ocean will settle down again, and all the water that came onto land from the tsunami will retreat back into the ocean. Unfortunately such large amounts of water can cause harm to people and property if they have not been warned. The United States is fortunate to have a tsunami warning system that can warn us before a tsunami wave approaches our shores.

Effects of tobacco

Health effects of tobacco

Tobacco use leads most commonly to diseases affecting the heart and lungs, with smoking being a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and cancer (particularly lung cancer, cancers of the larynx and mouth, and pancreatic cancer). Cigarette smoking increases the risk of Crohn’s disease as well as the severity of the course of the disease. It is also the number one cause of bladder cancer.
The World Health Organization estimate that tobacco caused 5.4 million deaths in 2004 and 100 million deaths over the course of the 20th century. Similarly, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes tobacco use as “the single most important preventable risk to human health in developed countries and an important cause of premature death worldwide.”
Rates of smoking have leveled off or declined in the developed world. Smoking rates in the United States have dropped by half from 1965 to 2006 falling from 42% to 20.8% in adults. In the developing world, tobacco consumption is rising by 3.4% per year.
Passive smoking presents a very real health risk. 603 000 deaths were attributable to second-hand smoke in 2004

head and torso of a male with internal organs shown and labels referring to the effects of tobacco smoking
Common adverse effects of tobacco smoking. The more common effects are in bold face.