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Climate Change Index for week ending 15 Nov. 2009

global- warmingGreenbang’s weekly Climate Change Index tracks research findings and events directly attributable to global warming. Our aim is to provide a numerical, week-to-week indicator of climate change developments.

Items that qualify for listing in each week’s index include new climate data published in peer-reviewed academic journals and extreme weather incidents or other natural events that are likely directly linked to the global warming trend.

The Climate Change Index for this week, ending 15 Nov. 2009 (details below): 7

9 November: Researchers with the British Antarctic Survey have found that phytoplankton, tiny marine plants, are flourishing in areas of open water left exposed by melting ice around the Antarctic Peninsula. As those blooms die back, the phytoplankton will likely sink to the sea-bed, where their absorbed carbon could be stored for thousands or millions of years.

12 November: Daily record high temperatures occurred twice as often as record lows over the last decade across the continental United States, new research from the National Centre for Atmospheric Research shows.

13 November: Tree rings from bristlecone pines in California and Nevada show the trees have experienced faster growth in the second half of the 20th century than at any other time in the past 3,700 years.

13 November: The Greenland ice sheet is losing mass at an accelerating rate, researchers reported this week in a study published in Science. Two factors are contributing equally to the loss: an increase in the number of icebergs released into the ocean as the flow of Greenland’s outlet glaciers speeds up, and an increase in the amount of meltwater flowing off the ice sheet’s surface.

13 November: Dwindling rain and increased solar radiation have caused the water levels in Bolivia’s Lake Titicaca to drop by 2 to 3 centimetres a week.

13 November: Warmer winter temperatures have reduced the amount of lichen available in Norway, threatening one of the important food sources for reindeer.

14 November: Climate change is contributing to the ongoing drought in east Africa that could leave more than 23 million people facing starvation, the AP reports.

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