2C. Russia and Fires

Aug-13-2010 | Comments Off

Bird’s-Eye: Again, we lead with two stunning compilations of photographs of the fires by Big Picture. Then we look at the implications of the fire on world food supplies, and conclude by looking at possible links between the fires and floods and global warming.

* Big Picture Features on Russian Fires Part One and Part Two

* Russian Fires Forecast Climate Change Threat UPI.com

World wheat supplies have been sharply reduced due to severe drought and wildfires in Russia, a crop report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture concludes….The trend is clear,” said Sherri Goodman, senior vice president at the Center for Naval Analyses and former deputy undersecretary of defense for environmental security. “With increases in temperature and increasing changes in the global climate, we are experiencing more disasters.”

* Pakistan Floods, Russian Fires Are Related dawn.com

The floods in Pakistan and the wildfires in Russia are raging a continent apart but they are connected by the Asian monsoon, reports the National Geographic magazine. The monsoon — a seasonal wind system that brings rains to Pakistan and much of the rest of Asia in summer — also drives the circulation of air as far away as Europe, Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the Boulder, Colorado-based National Centre for Atmospheric Research, told the magazine.  Scientists agree that a large weather pattern links the events, reports another science magazine, New Scientist.

Meteorologists monitoring the atmosphere above the northern hemisphere say that unusual holding patterns in the jet stream are to blame. (Jet streams are fast flowing, narrow air currents found in the earth’s atmosphere.) …Such circulation patterns are normal, but they’re also being enhanced by rising sea temperatures due in part to global warming, Mr Trenberth warned. For instance, the northern Indian Ocean has warmed 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) since the 1970s. Warmer water releases more moisture into the air, which can supercharge monsoon rains.







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