Thursday, August 21, 2014

Epic Drought in West is Literally Moving Mountains - Bloomberg

Epic Drought in West is Literally Moving Mountains - Bloomberg: "In fact, some parts of California’s mountains have been uplifted as much as 15 millimeters (about 0.6 inches) in the past 18 months because the massive amount of water lost in the drought is no longer weighing down the land, causing it to rise a bit like an uncoiled spring, a new study shows.

For the first time, scientists are now able to measure how much surface and groundwater is lost during droughts by measuring how much the land rises as it dries. Those are the conclusions of the new study published Aug. 21 in the journal Science by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the the University of California-San Diego.

The drought that is devastating California and much of the West has dried the region so much that 240 gigatons worth of surface and groundwater have been lost, roughly the equivalent to a 3.9-inch layer of water over the entire West, or the annual loss of mass from the Greenland Ice Sheet, according to the study.

While some of California’s mountains have risen by about 0.6 inches since early 2013, the West overall has risen by an average of about 0.157 inches.

“Groundwater is a load on the Earth’s crust,” said Klaus Jacob, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., who is unaffiliated with the study. “A load compresses the crust elastically, hence it subsides. When you take that load away (by the drought) the crust decompresses and the surface rises. From the amount of rising, one can estimate the amount of the water deficit.”"

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Global warming slowdown answer lies in depths of Atlantic, study finds | Environment | The Guardian

Global warming slowdown answer lies in depths of Atlantic, study finds | Environment | The Guardian: "The key to behind the slowdown in global warming in recent years could lie in the depths of the Atlantic and Southern oceans where excess heat is being stored – not the Pacific Ocean as has previously been suggested, according to new research.

But the finding suggests that a naturally occurring ocean cycle burying the heat will flip in around 15 years’ time, causing global temperature rises to accelerate again.

The slowdown of average surface temperature rises in the last 15 years after decades of rapid warming has been seized on by climate change sceptics and has puzzled scientists, who have hypothesised that everything from volcanic eruptions and sulphur from Chinese power stations to heat being trapped deep in the oceans could be the cause. Several studies have focused on the Pacific as potentially playing a major role.

The new study, published in the journal Science on Thursday, concludes that the Pacific alone cannot explain the warming “hiatus” and that much of the heat being trapped by greenhouse gases at record levels in the atmosphere is being sunk hundreds of metres down in the Atlantic and Southern oceans."

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Google offers Rs 1.4 crore pay at BITS-Pilani - The Times of India

Google offers Rs 1.4 crore pay at BITS-Pilani - The Times of India: "JAIPUR: Technology and e-commerce players have taken the lead over companies in core industries during the campus placements at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS)-Pilani. And Google has offered an annual package of Rs 1.40 crore to students selected this year, sources said. The institute hopes to break its last year record of Rs 1.44 crore, offered to one of its students by Facebook.

With companies such as Linkedln, Microsoft, Flipkart, Schlumberger, Goldman Sachs and Amazon also visiting the campus, students eye big offers. All these companies have increased their compensation offer by 5-25%, indicating a better job scenario."

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Monday, August 18, 2014

The Year in Heat: World on Track for Third-Hottest on Record - Bloomberg

The Year in Heat: World on Track for Third-Hottest on Record - Bloomberg: "The global heat map of 2014 has been marked by significant variation in temperatures, particularly in the U.S., where the eastern half of the country has been unusually cool while the western states bake. California has had its hottest year on record, by far, and is in its third year of drought. A few highlights from July’s extremes around the world:

Drought conditions worsened across the U.S. West, with 58 percent of California suffering exceptional drought. At the same time, Indiana and Arkansas had their coolest July on record.
Every state and territory in Australia was hotter than normal for the month. It’s also been unusually dry for most of the country; Queensland fell 86 percent short of its average rainfall.
Across the continent of Africa, mean temperatures were much warmer than average. Countries in the West broke historic heat records.
Records were also broken in Scandinavia. Norway had its hottest month ever, exceeding the previous hottest month by a full degree Celsius -- a very large departure for a monthly average.
The world is hot, and getting hotter. Here’s how 2014 looks laid out on a world map."

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