Saturday, November 24, 2007

Marina beach, take a look

Distance view.

Top view

Human jungle

Close view. You make out.

Shrinking lakes of Siberia ...

The Guardian

Lakes in two large swaths of Siberia are shrinking in size and 125 of them have disappeared altogether, a US study revealed yesterday.
Scientists have examined satellite photographs of 190,000 square miles of Siberia, two areas stretching south between the Ural mountains and the Arctic mining town of Norilsk. They claim the disappearance of the lakes is a consequence of global warming.

The warning comes as Tony Blair flies to Moscow this Sunday to secure the support of Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, for G8 action on climate change.
While there were 10,882 lakes larger than 40 hectares (100 acres) in 1971, there were only 9,712, in 1997 - a decline of 11%.
Published in the journal Science, the study concluded: "The ultimate effect of continued climate warming on high-latitude, permafrost-controlled lakes and wetlands may well be their widespread disappearance."
It said: "Our study reveals a widespread decline in lake abundance and area, despite slight precipitation [rain and snowfall] increases". The study also said the total surface areas of lakes in the region had dropped by 6%, while 125 lakes of this size had disappeared completely.

The study said the way the lake disappearances were spaced out "strongly suggests that thawing of permafrost is driving the observed losses".

It said that in northern areas where there was continuous permafrost - a thick layer of frozen soil that rarely melts during seasonal changes - the total surface area of the lakes grew by 12%. But in the southern regions, the patchy permafrost cover meant that water could drain away, leading to a considerable reduction in lake area.

"These declines have outpaced lake gains in the north, leading to an overall loss to the region," it said.

Russian scientists disagreed that the lake disappearances could be attributed to climate change. Galina Malkova, a senior research fellow of the Moscow-based Earth Cryosphere Institute and an expert on permafrost, said: "The data shows that the increase of temperature did not exceed 0.3C. This is not enough to be considered as a factor.

"The water draining is mainly explained by soil erosion processes," she said, adding that lakes often disappeared as they aged. "Many are gradually taken over by vegetation."

Russia ranks quite low among global polluters. Since its industrial complex began to decline with the collapse of the Soviet Union, emission levels have sunk to levels lower than the projections when it signed up in 1992 to the Kyoto treaty to limit climate change. As it now produces less than its allocated quota of emissions under the treaty, Moscow can sell carbon credits to other treaty signatories.

Russia, the world's number two exporter of oil, ratified the treaty last year, bringing it into legal effect and rescuing it from obsolescence after the US, the biggest polluter, refused to sign up in 2001

Latest world wide satellite image

Days becoming cold

The days are becoming cold and humidity is getting low... that means winter is setting in.
Clear skys and mild dry wind from North-North-West. Signs of early winter.
You can see for yourself the latest graphs for "Humidity" and "Temperature".