Monday, May 17, 2010

Europe, Africa Heat Up

Europe's Mediterranean region is headed for a real scorching according to the Zurich-based Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science. From Reuters:

People in cities around the Mediterranean including Athens, Rome and Marseilles are likely to suffer most in Europe from ever more scorching heatwaves this century caused by climate change, scientists said on Sunday.

The number of heatwaves was likely to surge to almost 3 each summer from 2071-2100 in the Mediterranean region from just one every third year from 1961-1990, it said. Most other parts of Europe would suffer far less.

"Some of the most densely populated European regions, such as the urban areas of Athens, Bucharest, Marseilles, Milan, Rome and Naples, would experience the severest changes in health indicators," they wrote.

..the study was the first to pinpoint areas of Europe where rising temperatures would coincide with rising humidity, high night-time temperatures and long-lasting heatwaves -- all factors that can aggravate health problems.

Global warming will mean more moisture in the air from the Mediterranean, for instance, making it harder for people to sweat away excess heat. High night-time temperatures can make sleep harder.

Another recent study has found a dangerous warming of Lake Tanganyika, the world's second largest lake, that is being linked to global warming. The heating is a threat to the lake's rich fishery. Heating intensifies stratification forming a barrier to prevent nutrients from the lake bed from reaching surface algae that form the beginning of the lake's food chain.

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