Tagged: droughts

2018: time to step up the climate game

2017: Devastating fires in Portugal, Hurricane Maria kicking Puerto Rico KO, record temperatures in Sydney, an iceberg as big as Delaware braking of the Antarctic Larsen-C ice-shelf, a wildfire season spanning 6 months in California, accelerated melting of Greenland’s glaciers, streets turned into rivers in… I could go on and on. As bloggers and journalists on climate change we used to write in the future tense to describe a warmer world. That has changed.

I have the feeling the last year gave us a look into the future. As you might know, it is difficult to prove the relationship between one particular extreme weather event and the rise of average global temperatures. Yet, we do know as a fact that the intensity and frequency of weather events like those  scourging the planet the previous 12 months will increase. What do I say, are increasing. You see, I haven’t got used to the change of tenses myself yet.

Wildfires caused billions in losses and claimed several lives in Portugal, Spain, California, and Australia



Photo of the week: NASA’s SMAP satellite launched succesfully

NASA succesfully launched it SMAP satellite last Saturday

Last Saturday January the 31th, NASA successfully launched its first of five Earth satellites.  SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) will give new insights about what is happening in the top layer of Earth’s soil. For the next three years it will be scanning the top 5cm of the ground below our feet to produce global maps of soil moisture with an unseen detail. This will give scientists new insights in how the Earth’s water, energy and carbon cycles are connected. This enables scientist to forecast droughts, floods and crop yields better. It will also improve weather forecasts. “SMAP will improve the daily lives of people around the world,” said Simon Yueh, SMAP project scientist at JPL.
Find out more on NASA’s website.

A model of the SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) satellite which will scan the Earth's top soil (photo: NASA)

A model of the SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) satellite which will scan the Earth’s top soil (photo: NASA)