Earth has just had its hottest January in recorded history

Last month was the hottest January recorded, exceeding the previous maximum recorded in 2016, the US climate service said Thursday. UU.

Terrestrial and oceanic surface temperatures exceeded the January 20 century average of 53.6 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius) at 2.05 degrees, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

And they surpassed January 2016, the hottest January since records began in 1880, by a narrow 0.04 degrees.

The news confirms a similar finding made by the European Union’s climate monitoring service last week, which used slightly different data.

In much of Russia and parts of Scandinavia and eastern Canada, temperatures were nine degrees above average or higher.

The coverage of sea ice in the Arctic in January was 5.3 percent lower than the 1981-2010 average, while Antarctic coverage was 9.8 percent lower.

Read more: Australia has its hottest day registered

Scientists overwhelmingly agree that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are an important cause of the global warming we are currently experiencing.

The United Nations said last year that they should drop 7.6 percent annually over the next decade to limit global warming to 1.5 C (2.7 F) above pre-industrial levels, the aspirational goal set in the historic Paris Agreement.

Current promises to reduce emissions put the Earth on a path of several degrees of warming by the end of the century, which will make large areas of the planet inhospitable to humans and many other species.



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Half a million species of insects face extinction: scientists

PARIS: Half of the million species of animals and plants on Earth that face extinction are insects, and their disappearance could be catastrophic for humanity, scientists said in a “warning to humanity.”

“The current insect extinction crisis is deeply worrisome,” said Pedro Cardoso, a biologist at the Museum of Natural History in Finland and lead author of a review study published on Monday.

“However, what we know is just the tip of the iceberg,” he told AFP.

The disappearance of insects that fly, crawl, dig, jump and walk on water is part of a mass extinction event, only the sixth in the last 500 million years.

The last one was 66 million years ago, when a wandering space rock annihilated terrestrial dinosaurs and most other life forms.

This time we are to blame.

“Human activity is responsible for almost all decreases and extinctions of the insect population,” Cardoso told AFP.

The main drivers are habitat decline and degradation, followed by pollutants, especially insecticides, and invasive species.

Excessive exploitation: more than 2,000 species of insects are part of the human diet, and climate change is also wreaking havoc.

The decline in butterflies, beetles, ants, bees, wasps, flies, crickets and dragonflies has consequences far beyond their own disappearance.

“With the extinction of insects, we lose much more than species,” Cardoso said.

“Many species of insects are vital providers of services that are irreplaceable,” including pollination, the nutrient cycle and pest control.

‘Critical points’ of biodiversity

These “ecosystem services” are worth $ 57 billion (52 billion euros) per year in the United States alone, according to previous research.

Globally, crops that require insect pollination have an economic value of at least $ 235-577 billion annually, according to the UN biodiversity scientific panel, known as IPBES.

Many animals depend on abundant insects to survive.

A sharp drop in the number of birds in Europe and the United States, for example, has been linked to the collapse of insect populations decimated by the use of pesticides.

Scientists estimate the number of insect species at approximately 5.5 million. Only a fifth of them have been identified and named.

“The number of threatened and extinct insect species is unfortunately underestimated because many are rare or not described,” Cardoso said.

The Red List of Endangered Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has evaluated only about 8,400 million species of insects that are known to exist.

Between 5 and 10 percent of all insect species have disappeared since the industrial era began about 200 years ago.

Half of the native species of plants and vertebrates are found exclusively in about three dozen “critical points” of biodiversity that cover 2.5 percent of the earth’s surface.

“These critical points probably harbor a similar percentage of endemic insect species,” said the study entitled “Scientists’ warning to mankind about insect extinction,” published in Conservation Biology.

A quarter of a century ago, conservation scientists issued a “Warning to Humanity” about the collapse of Nature. In 2017, they issued a second warning, signed by 15,000 scientists.

The new study, entitled “Scientists warning humanity about insect extinction,” was published in the journal Conservation Biology.




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Oldest stable materials present in meteorite that hit Australia

WASHINGTON: A meteorite that crashed into rural southeastern Australia in a fireball in 1969 contained the oldest materials ever discovered on Earth, stardust that predated the formation of our photo voltaic system by billions of years, scientists stated on Monday.

The oldest of 40 tiny mud grains trapped contained in the meteorite fragments retrieved across the city of Murchison in Victoria state dated from about 7 billion years in the past, about 2.5 billion years earlier than the solar, Earth and remainder of our photo voltaic system fashioned, the researchers stated.

In reality, the entire mud specks analyzed within the analysis got here from earlier than the photo voltaic system’s formation – thus often called “presolar grains” – with 60% of them between 4.6 and 4.9 billion years outdated and the oldest 10% courting to greater than 5.6 billion years in the past.

The stardust represented time capsules courting to earlier than the photo voltaic system. The age distribution of the mud – lots of the grains had been concentrated at explicit time intervals – supplied clues concerning the fee of star formation within the Milky Method galaxy, the researchers stated, hinting at bursts of stellar births somewhat than a continuing fee.

“I discover this extraordinarily thrilling,” stated Philipp Heck, an affiliate curator on the Area Museum in Chicago who led the analysis printed within the scientific journal Proceedings of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences.

“Regardless of having labored on the Murchison meteorite and presolar grains for nearly 20 years, I nonetheless am fascinated that we are able to examine the historical past of our galaxy with a rock,” Heck added.

The grains are small, measuring from 2 to 30 micrometers in dimension. A micrometer is a one-thousandth of a millimeter or about 0.000039 of an inch.

Stardust varieties within the materials ejected from stars and carried by stellar winds, getting blown into interstellar house. Throughout the photo voltaic system’s delivery, this mud was included into every little thing that fashioned together with the planets and the solar however survived intact till now solely in asteroids and comets.

The researchers detected the tiny grains contained in the meteorite by crushing fragments of the rock after which segregating the element components in a paste they described as smelling like rotten peanut butter.

Scientists have developed a technique to find out stardust’s age. Mud grains floating by way of house get bombarded by high-energy particles known as cosmic rays. These rays break down atoms within the grain into fragments, similar to carbon into helium.

These fragments accumulate over time and their manufacturing fee is somewhat fixed. The longer the publicity time to cosmic rays, the extra fragments accumulate. The researchers counted these fragments within the laboratory, enabling them to calculate the stardust’s age.

Scientists beforehand had discovered a presolar grain within the Murchison meteorite that was about 5.5 billion years outdated, till now the oldest-known stable materials on Earth. The oldest-known minerals that fashioned on Earth are present in rock from Australia’s Jack Hills that fashioned 4.Four billion years in the past, 100 million years after the planet fashioned.



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Earth sized planet discovered!

NASA mentioned Monday that its planet hunter satellite tv for pc TESS had found an Earth-sized world throughout the liveable vary of its star, which might permit the presence of liquid water.

The planet, named “TOI 700 d”, is comparatively near Earth — solely 100 mild years away, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory introduced through the annual American Astronomical Society assembly in Honolulu, Hawaii.

“TESS was designed and launched particularly to seek out Earth-sized planets orbiting close by stars,” mentioned Paul Hertz, NASA astrophysics division director.

TESS initially misclassified the star, which meant the planets appeared bigger and warmer than they really are. However a number of novice astronomers, together with highschool scholar Alton Spencer — who works with members of the TESS workforce — recognized the error.

“After we corrected the star’s parameters, the sizes of its planets dropped, and we realized the outermost one was concerning the dimension of Earth and within the liveable zone,” mentioned Emily Gilbert, a graduate scholar on the College of Chicago.

The invention was later confirmed by the Spitzer Area Telescope.

A couple of different related planets have been found earlier than, notably by the previous Kepler Area Telescope, however that is the primary found by TESS, which was launched in 2018.

TESS stabilizes on one space of the sky to detect whether or not objects — planets — move in entrance of stars, which causes a short lived drop within the stars’ luminosity. This permits TESS to deduce the presence of a planet, its dimension and orbit.

Star TOI 700 is small, about 40 p.c of our Solar’s dimension and solely about half as scorching.

TESS found three planets in orbit, named TOI 700 b, c and d. Solely “d” is within the so-called liveable zone, not too removed from and never too near the star, the place the temperature might permit the presence of liquid water.

It’s about 20 p.c bigger than Earth and orbits its star in 37 days. “d” receives 86 p.c of the vitality that Earth receives from the Solar.

It stays to be seen what d is product of. Researchers have generated fashions primarily based on the scale and kind of star as a way to predict d’s atmospheric composition and floor temperature.

In a single simulation, NASA defined, the planet is roofed in oceans with a “dense, carbon-dioxide-dominated ambiance much like what scientists suspect surrounded Mars when it was younger.”

The planet is tidally locked to the star, which means that one aspect all the time faces the star, as is the case with the Moon and Earth.

This synchronous rotation meant that, in one other mannequin, one aspect of the planet was consistently coated in clouds.

A 3rd simulation predicted an all-land world, the place winds move from the planet’s darkish aspect to its mild one.

A number of astronomers will observe the planet with different devices, as a way to get hold of new information which will match considered one of NASA’s fashions.



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November 2019 was second hottest on file

Final month was the second hottest November within the 140-year world local weather file, a US authorities company stated Monday, including that polar sea ice additionally shrank to near-record lows.

The typical world land and ocean floor temperature for November 2019 was 1.66 levels Fahrenheit (0.92 diploma Celsius) above the 20th-century common and the second-highest November temperature on file, simply shy of November 2015, in line with the US Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The world’s 5 hottest Novembers have all occurred since 2013.

Sea-ice protection in the meantime shrank in each the Arctic and Antarctic to their second-lowest sizes, behind November 2016.

Arctic sea ice protection was 12.eight p.c under the 1981–2010 common, whereas Antarctic protection was 6.four p.c under common.

Hotter than common temperatures have been noticed in most components of the world apart from North America and components of western and central Asia.

The US information comes days after the European Union’s Copernicus Local weather Change Service, utilizing totally different methodology, decided that November 2019 was the joint hottest November in historical past, together with the identical months in 2015 and 2016.

A marathon UN local weather summit wrapped up on Sunday with little to indicate, squeezing hard-earned compromises from international locations over a world warming battle plan that also fell nicely in need of what science says is required to avert long run catastrophe.

The United Nations has stated that 2019 is on target to be one of many three hottest years on file, whereas the World Meteorological Group stated it was just about sure that the 2010s had been the most popular decade in historical past.



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scientists map Saturn’s unique moon Titan

WASHINGTON: Scientists on Monday unveiled the primary world geological map of Saturn’s moon Titan together with huge plains and dunes of frozen natural materials and lakes of liquid methane, illuminating an unique world thought-about a powerful candidate within the seek for life past Earth.

The map was based mostly on radar, infrared and different information collected by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which studied Saturn and its moons from 2004 to 2017. Titan, with a diameter of three,200 miles (5,150 km), is the photo voltaic system’s second-biggest moon behind Jupiter’s Ganymede. It’s bigger than the planet Mercury.

Natural supplies – carbon-based compounds vital for fostering residing organisms – play a number one position on Titan.

“Organics are crucial for the opportunity of life on Titan, which many people suppose possible would have developed within the liquid water ocean underneath Titan’s icy crust,” stated planetary geologist Rosaly Lopes of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

“Natural supplies can, we predict, penetrate right down to the liquid water ocean and this could present vitamins essential for all times, if it developed there,” added Lopes, who led the analysis printed within the journal Nature Astronomy.

On Earth, water rains down from clouds and fills rivers, lakes and oceans. On Titan, clouds spew hydrocarbons like methane and ethane – that are gases on Earth – in liquid kind because of the moon’s frigid local weather.

Rainfall happens in all places on Titan, however the equatorial areas are drier than the poles, stated research co-author Anezina Solomonidou, a European House Company analysis fellow.

Plains (overlaying 65% of the floor) and dunes (overlaying 17% of the floor) made up of frozen bits of methane and different hydrocarbons dominate Titan’s mid-latitudes and equatorial areas, respectively.

Titan is the one photo voltaic system object apart from Earth boasting steady liquids on the floor, with lakes and seas of stuffed with methane being main options at its polar areas. Hilly and mountainous areas, thought to characterize uncovered parts of Titan’s crust of water ice, characterize 14% of the floor.

“What is admittedly enjoyable to consider is that if there are any ways in which these extra complicated organics can go down and blend with water within the deep icy crust or deep subsurface ocean,” JPL scientist and research co-author Michael Malaska stated.

Noting that on Earth there’s a bacterium that may survive simply on a hydrocarbon referred to as acetylene and water, Malaska requested, “May it or one thing prefer it dwell in Titan deep within the crust or ocean the place temperatures are a bit hotter?”

The map was created seven years earlier than the U.S. house company is ready to launch its Dragonfly mission to dispatch a multi-rotor drone to review Titan’s chemistry and suitability for all times. Dragonfly is scheduled to achieve Titan in 2034.

“It isn’t solely scientifically necessary but in addition actually cool – a drone flying round on Titan,” Lopes stated. “It is going to be actually thrilling.”



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