Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

El Niño has not been this strong in centuries

Drought and forest fires, or on the contrary, massive storms and floods. The natural disasters caused by El Niño keep growing ever larger. The problem is already massive in Australia, Southeast Asia and America, but experts warn that the situation will get even worse in the future.

It is no novelty for scientists that El Niño, a natural phenomenon associated with the flow of the ocean, is exhibiting a trend of increasing intensity, but so far we had no suitable data to determine the changes of the occurrence exactly. A new study, however, for which samples were taken from deep in the cores of coral reefs, has provided more data about the last four hundred years of El Niño than we have ever had before.

Mandy Freund, a post doctoral fellow at the Center of Excellence for Climate Extremes, determined changes in climate patterns using coral samples which – similarly to the growth-rings of trees, hold information about the climate of recent centuries.

According to Freund, over the last
thirty years, the intensity of El Niño
has grown to unprecedented levels
for instance in the central Pacific,
and this has resulted in the increased frequency of extreme
weather anomalies.

The study, which the researchers published in the journal Nature Geoscience, is expected to facilitate preparation for future El Niño events and the modelling of their destructive impact.

El Niño’s activity often causes extremely dry weather Photo: Shutterstock
Further information: The Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes

Corals back from the dead discovered in the Mediterranean Sea

For the first time ever, living polyps were discovered in Mediterranean coral colonies that were previously thought to be completely dead by researchers who published their finding in the periodical Science Advances.

Oceans absorb massive quantities of carbon dioxide

The oceans play a very important role in controlling Earth’s climate. New research has shown that the planet’s five oceans absorb much more carbon dioxide, one of the gases responsible for the greenhouse effect, than previously thought.

Temperatures in Israel increase by 0.25 degrees Celsius per decade

According to a study published in the International Journal of Climatology, Israel’s average temperature has been rising continuously since the proclamation of the Middle Eastern state in 1948, but over the last thirty years the rate of warming has also increased.

Temperatures increase much faster than global average in the Mediterranean region

Temperatures are rising much faster than the global average in the region of the Mediterranean Sea, and this represents a threat to the food and water resources of the region, researchers have warned in a new study.

Fates, faces, contrasts

The news about climate refugees are alternating sequences of frightening numbers and apocalyptic landscapes that obscure the real face of the problem: the disfigured human fates.

Climate change causing great damage to UK wildlife

More than a quarter of all mammals are threatened with extinction.

Several hundred temperature records broken in 2019

Between 1 May and 30 August, higher than ever temperatures have been measured in 29 countries, on almost 400 occasions in the Northern Hemisphere.

The perishing glaciers of the Alps – shown from a special perspective

The French falconer Jacques-Olivier Travers has surveyed the glaciers of the Alps using a camera attached to a white-tailed eagle.

The Polarstern sets off on a unique expedition frozen to an ice floe

The ice floe that the German research boat will be attached to as it drifts around the Arctic for almost a year on the most important Arctic expedition ever has been selected.

September 2019 the warmest so far

Data from European climate researchers indicates that this year’s was the warmest September since the Copernicus Climate Change Service began keeping regular records of meteorological data in 1981.