20 Jan 2012:
NASA Graphic Depicts
Significant Spike in Temperatures in 2011
A new NASA graphic shows that temperatures in several global regions were appreciably higher in 2011
than at mid-century, with large swaths of Siberia and the Arctic experiencing temperatures as much as 4 degrees C (7 degrees F) above the 1950 to 1981 average. The planet’s average temperature in 2011 was nearly 1 degree F warmer than the mid-20th century baseline
, according to the annual global analysis by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). Nine of the top 10 warmest years on record — including last year — have occurred since 2000. Much of Europe, North America, and Central Africa were up to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) warmer in 2011 than during the 1950-1981 base period. One area that experienced lower temperatures in 2011 was the Pacific Ocean, which was under the influence of a La Niña cycle. GISS director James Hansen noted that global temperatures continued to rise significantly last year despite the influence of the La Niña and low solar activity.
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Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.