greenhouse heating

Pinpointing the Cause of Earth’s Recent Record CO2 Spike

A new NASA study provides space-based evidence that Earth’s tropical regions were the cause of the largest annual increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration seen in at least 2,000 years.

What was the cause of this?

Scientists suspect that the 2015-2016 El Niño – one of the largest on record – was responsible. El Niño is a cyclical warming pattern of ocean circulation in the Pacific Ocean that affects weather all over the world. Before OCO-2, we didn’t have enough data to understand exactly how El Nino played a part.

Analyzing the first 28 months of data from our Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) satellite, researchers conclude that impacts of El Niño-related heat and drought occurring in the tropical regions of South America, Africa and Indonesia were responsible for the record spike in global carbon dioxide.

These three tropical regions released 2.5 gigatons more carbon into the atmosphere than they did in 2011. This extra carbon dioxide explains the difference in atmospheric carbon dioxide growth rates between 2011 and the peak years of 2015-16.

In 2015 and 2016, OCO-2 recorded atmospheric carbon dioxide increases that were 50% larger than the average increase seen in recent years preceding these observations.

In eastern and southern tropical South America, including the Amazon rainforest, severe drought spurred by El Niño made 2015 the driest year in the past 30 years. Temperatures were also higher than normal. These drier and hotter conditions stressed vegetation and reduced photosynthesis, meaning trees and plants absorbed less carbon from the atmosphere. The effect was to increase the net amount of carbon released into the atmosphere.

In contrast, rainfall in tropical Africa was at normal levels, but ecosystems endured hotter-than-normal temperatures. Dead trees and plants decomposed more, resulting in more carbon being released into the atmosphere.

Meanwhile, tropical Asia had the second-driest year in the past 30 years. Its increased carbon release, primarily from Indonesia, was mainly due to increased peat and forest fires -  also measured by satellites.

We knew El Niños were one factor in these variations, but until now we didn’t understand, at the scale of these regions, what the most important processes were. OCO-2’s geographic coverage and data density are allowing us to study each region separately.

Why does the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere matter?

The concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere is constantly changing. It changes from season to season as plants grow and die, with higher concentrations in the winter and lower amounts in the summer. Annually averaged atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have generally increased year over year since the 1800s – the start of the widespread Industrial Revolution. Before then, Earth’s atmosphere naturally contained about 595 gigatons of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide. Currently, that number is 850 gigatons.

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, which means that it can trap heat. Since greenhouse gas is the principal human-produced driver of climate change, better understanding how it moves through the Earth system at regional scales and how it changes over time are important aspects to monitor.

Get more information about these data HERE.

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New federal report finds strong link between climate change, human activity
Conclusions are in sharp contrast to views of Trump administration officials.

A climate report based on work conducted by scientists in 13 federal agencies is under active review at the White House, and its conclusions about the far-reaching damage already occurring from global warming are at odds with the Trump administration’s views.  

The report, known as the Climate Science Special Report, finds it is “extremely likely” that more than half of the rise in temperatures over the past four decades has been caused by human activity — in contrast to Trump cabinet members’ views, who consider the magnitude of that contribution to be uncertain.  

The draft report estimates that human impact is responsible for a Fahrenheit increase in global temperatures of 1.1 to 1.3 degrees from 1951 to 2010.

“Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate changes,” the report notes. “There are no alternative explanations, and no natural cycles are found in the observational record that can explain the observed changes in climate.”

That counters what both Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Energy Secretary Rick Perry have recently said.

It remains unclear how the White House — which announced in June it would pull out of the Paris climate accord — will handle the report. Many scientists are looking at it as a test case of the administration’s attitude toward science in general.

The Climate Science Special Report is a key element of the National Climate Assessment, which according to the 1990 Global Change Research Act, is supposed to be issued every four years. However, the assessment has only come out three times. The 2000 assessment, finalized under President Bill Clinton, came under attack once George W. Bush took office. Bush officials declined to cite it in subsequent federal reports, arguing that aspects of the data analysis were flawed.

Trump administration officials received a copy of the most recent version of this report — which has undergone extensive review — several weeks ago, according to senior administration officials.

The New York Times reported on the latest draft late Monday. The Washington Post subsequently obtained a third draft of the report. The version at the White House is the fifth draft, but people familiar with both versions say there is no substantive difference.

The report also ventures into “attribution science,” drawing links between climate change and specific weather events. For example, it says that rainfall across the United States has decreased by about 4 percent since the beginning of the 20th century.

anonymous asked:

Plant side blog name?

message me off anon and i might consider it. i will show you one of the plants i been growing though:

i bought this jalapeño as a wee babby seedling at my local farmer’s market around mid-july and i really need to get the greenhouse’s heating system working before it starts dipping too far below light jacket weather

luxtempestas  asked:

do you have any iconic greenhouse customer service stories

Mid April in North Dakota. A customer comes up sternly demanding to see our tomato plants. I tell him truthfully that the only tomato plants we have are the one or two baby ones on the cart. He demands to know why. I answer plainly, “because it’s still too early,” to which he answered “no its not!”

Three days before this interaction there was a blizzard bad enough that I was a half hour late for work due to bad roads. When I reminded him of this he insisted we could grow them inside.

Which, yes dear customer, WE can, because we have a large heated greenhouse where even dainty tropicals are immune from killing frost. YOU dear customer, probably dont have one of those, and if I sold you a tomato plant you would probably put it outside, where it would freeze to death as soon as the sun went down, and then you would try and return a dead plant to us when it “unexpectedly” died, because APRIL IS STILL TOO EARLY FOR TOMATO PLANTS IN A ZONE FOUR YOU FUCKING NUMBNUTS, SHOW ME THE FUCKIN SIBERIAN TOMATO PLANT THAT CLINGS TO LIFE IN A FOSSILIZED WOOLY MAMMOTHS PERMAFROZEN ASSHOLE AND THEN YOU CAN BITCH TO ME ABOUT WHEN ITS TOO EARLY

German vocabulary list Environment & Pollution
  • der saure Regen (acid rain)
  • die Atmosphäre (atmosphere)
  • die Biosphäre (biosphere)
  • das Gleichgewicht (balance)
  • die Artenvielfalt (biodiversity)
  • der Kohlenstoff (carbon)
  • das Kohlendioxid (carbon dioxide)
  • die Katastrophe (catastrophe)
  • das Klima (climate)
  • der Klimawandel (climate change)
  • der Schmutz (dirt)
  • der Staub (dust)
  • die Dürre (drought)
  • die Erde (earth)
  • das Erdbeben (earthquake)
  • die Ökologie (ecology)
  • das Ökosystem (ecosystem)
  • die Energiequelle (energy source)
  • die Umwelt (environment)
  • die Evolution (evolution)
  • das Abgas (exhaust gas)
  • die Hungersnot (famine)
  • das Düngemittel (fertilizer)
  • die Erderwärmung (global warming)
  • der Treibhauseffekt (greenhouse effect)
  • das Treibhausgas (greenhouse gas)
  • die Hitzewelle (heat wave)
  • das Erdgas (natural gas)
  • die Atomkatastrophe (nuclear disaster)
  • die Kernenergie (nuclear energy)
  • der Sauerstoff (oxygen)
  • das Ozonloch (ozone hole)
  • die Ozonschicht (ozone layer)
  • das Gift (poison)
  • die Verschmutzung (pollution)
  • das Kraftwerk (power station)
  • der Regenwald (rainforest)
  • der Meeresspiegel (sea level)
  • der Giftmüll (toxic waste)
  • die Windenergie (wind energy)
  • bedrohen (to menace)
  • beschädigen (to harm)
  • durchsickern (to leak)
  • schützen (to protect)
  • verschmutzen (to pollute)
  • verseuchen (to contaminate)
  • verschwinden (to disappear)
  • wiederverwerten (to recycle)
  • zerstören (to destroy)
This is your yearly reminder to not leave dogs in the car

No, not even if the windows are cracked. Yesterday was June 1 and we had our first dog of the year die of heat stroke at work. He was left in the car too long. It was terrible and preventable and nobody should have to go through that. Even five minutes is too long. It is a greenhouse in cars, heat builds fast.

It’s Climate Week in NYC!

Using our Environmental Health and Data Portal, we track important data to protect New Yorkers from climate effects.

You can use the portal to see how your neighborhood’s climate indicators compare with other NYC neighborhoods.

Some climate effects we track include:

Air Quality

The New York City Community Air Survey (NYCCAS) evaluates how air quality differs across New York City. This program studies how pollutants from traffic, buildings (boilers and furnaces), and other sources impact air quality in different neighborhoods.

NYCCAS monitors pollutants that cause health problems such as fine particles, nitrogen oxides, elemental carbon, sulfur dioxide and ozone. Air pollution measurements are taken at about 100 locations throughout NYC each season.

The goal of the OneNYC plan is for the city to have the best air quality among all large U.S. cities by 2030. Efforts will be taken to reduce greenhouse emissions to improve air quality and provide public health benefits.

Heat Vulnerability Index

Some NYC neighborhoods have higher risk for heat illness than others. Both environmental and social factors can affect a neighborhood’s heat risk.

Climate change means that heat waves will increase in number, strength and severity in NYC. Led by the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, multiple NYC agencies teamed up to create the Cool Neighborhoods initiative to adapt to a changing climate.

Extreme heat can be dangerous and even deadly. During extreme heat waves, be sure to check in on older neighbors and those who may be more vulnerable to heat illness.

  • jay: u breathe it like *HUUUUUUUEHHH* *AHHHHHHHH*
  • kai: why are u asking me this hard questions;;;;
  • cole: im sorry i don't do memes
  • lloyd: im like 2 i never even learned how to read
  • zane: The atmosphere of Earth is the layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth that is retained by Earth's gravity. The atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention (greenhouse effect), and reducing temperature extremes between day and night (the diurnal temperature variation). The common name air is given to the atmospheric gases used in breathing and photosynthesis. By volume, dry air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen,[1] 0.93% argon, 0.039% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases. Air also contains a variable amount of water vapor, on average around 1% at sea level, and 0.4% over the entire atmosphere. Air content and atmospheric pressure vary at different layers, and air suitable for the survival of terrestrial plants and terrestrial animals is found only in Earth's troposphere and artificial atmospheres.
  • pixal: fucking look it up yourself im not siri


** Synopsis: Using observations from ESA’s Venus Express satellite, scientists have shown for the first time how weather patterns seen in Venus’ thick cloud layers are directly linked to the topography of the surface below. Rather than acting as a barrier to our observations, Venus’ clouds may offer insight into what lies beneath. **

Venus is famously hot, due to an extreme greenhouse effect which heats its surface to temperatures as high as 450 degrees Celsius. The climate at the surface is oppressive; as well as being hot, the surface environment is dimly lit, due to a thick blanket of cloud which completely envelops the planet. Ground-level winds are slow, pushing their way across the planet at painstaking speeds of about 1 metre per second – no faster than a gentle stroll.

However, that is not what we see when we observe our sister planet from above. Instead, we spy a smooth, bright covering of cloud. This cloud forms a 20-km-thick layer that sits between 50 and 70 km above the surface and is thus far colder than below, with typical temperatures of about -70 degrees Celsius – similar to temperatures found at the cloud-tops of Earth. The upper cloud layer also hosts more extreme weather, with winds that blow hundreds of times faster than those on the surface (and faster than Venus itself rotates, a phenomenon dubbed ‘super-rotation’).

While these clouds have traditionally blocked our view of Venus’ surface, meaning we can only peer beneath using radar or infrared light, they may actually hold the key to exploring some of Venus’ secrets. Scientists suspected the weather patterns rippling across the cloud-tops to be influenced by the topography of the terrain below. They have found hints of this in the past, but did not have a complete picture of how this may work – until now.

Scientists using observations from ESA’s Venus Express satellite have now greatly improved our climate map of Venus by exploring three aspects of the planet’s cloudy weather: how quickly winds on Venus circulate, how much water is locked up within the clouds, and how bright these clouds are across the spectrum (specifically in ultraviolet light).

“Our results showed that all of these aspects – the winds, the water content, and the cloud composition – are somehow connected to the properties of Venus’ surface itself,” says Jean-Loup Bertaux of LATMOS (Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales) near Versailles, France, and lead author of the new Venus Express study. “We used observations from Venus Express spanning a period of six years, from 2006 to 2012, which allowed us to study the planet’s longer-term weather patterns.”

Although Venus is very dry by Earth standards, its atmosphere does contain some water in the form of vapour, particularly beneath its cloud layer. Bertaux and colleagues studied Venus’ cloud-tops in the infrared part of the spectrum, allowing them to pick up on the absorption of sunlight by water vapour and detect how much was present in each location at cloud-top level (70 km altitude).

They found one particular area of cloud, near Venus’ equator, to be hoarding more water vapour than its surroundings. This ‘damp’ region was located just above a 4,500-metre-altitude mountain range named Aphrodite Terra. This phenomenon appears to be caused by water-rich air from the lower atmosphere being forced upwards above the Aphrodite Terra mountains, leading researchers to nickname this feature the ‘fountain of Aphrodite.’

“This ‘fountain’ was locked up within a swirl of clouds that were flowing downstream, moving from east to west across Venus,” says co-author Wojciech Markiewicz of the Max-Planck Institute for solar system Research in Göttingen, Germany. “Our first question was, ‘Why?’ Why is all this water locked up in this one spot?”

In parallel, the scientists used Venus Express to observe the clouds in ultraviolet light, and to track their speeds. They found the clouds downstream of the ‘fountain’ to reflect less ultraviolet light than elsewhere, and the winds above the mountainous Aphrodite Terra region to be some 18 percent slower than in surrounding regions.

All three of these factors can be explained by one single mechanism caused by Venus’ thick atmosphere, propose Bertaux and colleagues.

“When winds push their way slowly across the mountainous slopes on the surface they generate something known as gravity waves,” adds Bertaux. “Despite the name, these have nothing to do with gravitational waves, which are ripples in space-time – instead, gravity waves are an atmospheric phenomenon we often see in mountainous parts of Earth’s surface. Crudely speaking, they form when air ripples over bumpy surfaces. The waves then propagate vertically upwards, growing larger and larger in amplitude until they break just below the cloud-top, like sea waves on a shoreline.”

As the waves break, they push back against the fast-moving high-altitude winds and slow them down, meaning that winds above Venus’ Aphrodite highlands are persistently slower than elsewhere.

However, these winds re-accelerate to their usual speeds downstream of Aphrodite Terra – and this motion acts as an air pump. The wind circulation creates an upwards motion in Venus’ atmosphere that carries water-rich air and ultraviolet-dark material up from below the cloud-tops, bringing it to the surface of the cloud layer and creating both the observed ‘fountain’ and an extended downwind plume of vapour.

“We’ve known for decades that Venus’ atmosphere contains a mysterious ultraviolet absorber, but we still don’t know its identity,” says Bertaux. “This finding helps us understand a bit more about it and its behaviour – for example, that it’s produced beneath the cloud-tops, and that ultraviolet-dark material is forced upwards through Venus’ cloud-tops by wind circulation.”

Scientists already suspected that there were ascending motions in Venus’ atmosphere all along the equator, caused by the higher levels of solar heating. This finding reveals that the amount of water and ultraviolet-dark material found in Venus’ clouds is also strongly enhanced at particular places around the planet’s equator. “This is caused by the mountains way down on Venus’ surface, which trigger rising waves and circulating winds that dredge up material from below,” says Markiewicz.

As well as helping us understand more about Venus, the finding that surface topography can significantly affect atmospheric circulation has consequences for our understanding of planetary super-rotation, and of climate in general.

“This certainly challenges our current general circulation models,” says Håkan Svedhem, ESA Project Scientist for Venus Express. “While our models do acknowledge a connection between topography and climate, they don’t usually produce persistent weather patterns connected to topographical surface features. This is the first time that this connection has been shown clearly on Venus – it’s a major result.”

Venus Express was in operation at Venus from 2006 until 2014, when its mission concluded and the spacecraft began its descent through Venus’ atmosphere.

The study by Bertaux and colleagues made use of several years of Venus Express observations gathered by the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) – to explore the wind speeds and ultraviolet brightness of the clouds – and by the SPICAV (Spectroscopy for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus) spectrometer – to study the amount of water vapour contained within the clouds.

“This research wouldn’t have been possible without Venus Express’ reliable and long-term monitoring of the planet across multiple parts of the spectrum. The data used in this study were collected over many years,” adds Svedhem. “Crucially, knowing more about Venus’ circulation patterns may help us to constrain the identity of the planet’s mysterious ultraviolet absorber, so we can understand more about the planet’s atmosphere and climate as a whole.”


Took some photos from my daily visit to the university greenhouses, they are definitely my happy place on campus, sans the woods. They are full of some of the most wonderful plants, from our very own giant cluster of banana, and 10’ tall euphorbia, to tiny little corpse flowers and microscopic orchids. 

Seeing El Niño…From Space

First, What is El Niño?

This irregularly occurring weather phenomenon is created through an abnormality in wind and ocean circulation. When it originates in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. El Niño has wide-reaching effects. In a global context, it affects rainfall, ocean productivity, atmospheric gases and winds across continents. At a local level, it influences water supplies, fishing industries and food sources.

What About This Year’s El Niño

This winter, weather patterns may be fairly different than what is typical — all because of unusually warm ocean water in the east equatorial Pacific, aka El Niño. California is expected to get more rain while Australia is expected to get less. Since this El Niño began last summer, the Pacific Ocean has already experienced an increase in tropical storms and a decrease in phytoplankton.

How Do We See El Niño?

Here are some of El Niño’s key impacts and how we study them from space:


El Niño often spurs a change in rainfall patterns that can lead to major flooding, landslides and droughts across the globe.

How We Study It: Our Global Precipitation Measurement mission (GPM), tracks precipitation worldwide and creates global precipitation maps updated every half-hour using data from a host of satellites. Scientists can then use the data to study changes in rain and snow patterns. This gives us a better understanding of Earth’s climate and weather systems.


El Niño also influences the formation of tropical storms. El Niño events are associated with fewer hurricanes in the Atlantic, but more hurricanes and typhoons in the Pacific.

How We Study It: We have a suite of instruments in space that can study various aspects of storms, such as rainfall activity, cloud heights, surface wind speed and ocean heat.

Ocean Ecology:

While El Niño affects land, it also impacts the marine food web, which can be seen in the color of the ocean. The hue of the water is influenced by the presence of tiny plants, sediments and colored dissolved organic material. During El Niño conditions, upwelling is suppressed and the deep, nutrient-rich waters aren’t able to reach the surface, causing less phytoplankton productivity. With less food, the fish population declines, severely affecting fishing industries.

How We Study It: Our satellites measure the color of the ocean to derive surface chlorophyll, a pigment in phytoplankton, and observe lower total chlorophyll amounts during El Niño events in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.


El Niño also influences ozone — a compound that plays an important role in the Earth system and human health. When El Niño occurs, there is a substantial change in the major east-west tropical circulation, causing a significant redistribution of atmospheric gases like ozone.

How We Study It: Our Aura satellite is used to measure ozone concentrations in the upper layer of the atmosphere. With more than a decade of Aura data, researchers are able to separate the response of ozone concentrations to an El Niño from its response to change sin human activity, such as manmade fires.


El Niño conditions shift patters of rainfall and fire across the tropics. During El Niño years, the number and intensity of fires increases, especially under drought conditions in regions accustomed to wet weather. These fires not only damage lands, but also emit greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.

How We Study It: Our MODIS instruments on Aqua and Terra satellites provide a global picture of fire activity. MODIS was specifically designed to observe fires, allowing scientists to discern flaming from smoldering burns.

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“Extreme electric storm”, taken in Johannesburg, South Africa by Alexius van der Westhuizen, is one of the winning photos of the World Meteorological Organization’s photo contest.

The theme of the contest – ““Hotter, drier, wetter. Face the Future” – was chosen to illustrate the reality of climate change. As a result of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, land and sea surface temperatures are rising. The frequency and intensity of extreme events like heatwaves and heavy rainfall is increasing. Without urgent action to cut carbon dioxide emissions, this trend will accelerate.


A Short History of the Icelandic Banana Industry,

While Iceland is certainly not known for being a producer of the delicious tropical fruit, at one time the island south of the Arctic circle had a thriving banana industry.  Being an island in the North Atlantic, Iceland is very dependent on foreign imports.  However, during World War II shipments of fresh fruit and vegetables came to a halt due to wartime food shortages and the risk of U-Boat attacks.

Like most people living during World War II, the Icelanders had to learn to either do without or improvise with what they had.  The invention and discovery of cheap geothermal power helped provide a solution to the shortages.  In 1940 a number of facilities consisting of geothermal heated greenhouses were constructed in order to grow fresh fruit and vegetables.  Among the first crop was a pod of bananas, the first of which was harvested in 1941.  Production of Icelandic bananas was slow at first, due to lack of sunlight Icelandic bananas take two years to grow and mature.  Near the equator they only take of few months.  However by 1945 Iceland had developed a banana industry that was large enough to meet the demand of the island.

After World War II the Icelandic banana industry continued to thrive due to high import costs of fruit.  In 1960 the Icelandic government removed import tariffs for fruit.  The Icelandic banana industry quickly collapsed as cheap and abundant foreign bananas flooded the market.  Today, bananas are still grown in Iceland, although only by a few greenhouse owners. The Agricultural University of Iceland also operates a greenhouse with 600-700 banana plants.

Louis Vuitton Men's RTW Spring 2015

Globetrotter extraordinaire Kim Jones finally made it to India in February, and said it surpassed all expectations — even though the show venue, a former greenhouse, matched the heat of the Indian desert in August. Yet apart from using the obligatory bright pink, the navy blue of that populous nation, Louis Vuitton’s men’s style director etched the theme lightly, winking to the hunting, military and sporting styles of maharajas mixed with “that modern Indian cool.”

The collection had a tangy, youthful allure, the straight-leg pants high and tight on the hips transmitting that same Seventies vibe favored by Nicolas Ghesquière, Vuitton’s new artistic director of women’s collections, who sat front-row.

The caramel trench that opened the show, in leather etched to resemble twill, exemplified Jones’ dialed-down, hyperluxurious approach. Ditto the gauzy polo shirts, their mottled patterns reminiscent of intricate Indian tie-dyes. “The richer the person, the closer together the lines are,” Jones explained during a preview. He added a Karakoram chevron, named after the spiky namesake mountain range, a motif used by Vuitton since the Twenties.

The collection exhaled luxury, from the shrunken aviator bombers and crocodile sneakers to the shearling-lined guitar case, an allusion to The Beatles’ 1968 visit to an ashram.

It was his Central Saint Martins professor, the late Louise Wilson, who had urged Jones to visit India, and he dedicated the show to her.