Friday Headlines: 10-4-13

Friday Headlines, October 4, 2013

THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES

 

Today’s round-up:

IPCC: Same message, more certainty

Lake turns animals into statues

 

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases its latest report (also, see here)

The IPCC is that international agency that has regularly published reports about global warming and climate change. The last time they published a report was back in 2007, when they said that global warming was happening and it was probably our fault as humans.

The IPCC is comprised of over 800 volunteer scientists from 195 different countries who have scoured and reviewed all the recent literature regarding global warming. The IPCC does no new interpretation, not does it conduct experiments or collect data. It relies entirely upon published, peer-reviewed literature for its assessments.

They’ve just released their latest report. It says that global warming is happening and they’re 95% certain that it’s the fault of humanity. This is about the same level of confidence that we have that smoking causes cancer. That seems pretty certain to me.

The report itself is over 2000 pages, which I’m not quite prepared to read. You can download and read a five page summary prepared by the Climate Council here.

Here’s a little infographic highlighting the important points.

 

Deadly lake turns animals into statues

Lake Natron in northern Tanzania is a warm and highly alkaline lake (pH 9-10.5). It is inhospitable to all but the most hearty of organisms. The name ‘natron’ comes from the abundant sodium carbonate dissolved in the lake. This high alkalinity is due to nearby volcanic processes.

Photographer Nick Brandt took some stunning photos of birds that appear to have been turned to stone. He explains in this article, that he collected the dead animals and posed them for his dark photographs.

It turns out that Lake Natron isn’t quite as horrible as it’s made out to be. It happens to be an important breeding ground for flamingos, and is home to a unique species of Talapia fish.

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