13 cities may exceed 2°Celsius temperature rise by 2020s, say scientists

Moscow faces the highest potential increase among more than 100 cities included in a report by the Urban Climate Change Research Network, based at Columbia University. (Reuters)
Updated 09 March 2018
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13 cities may exceed 2°Celsius temperature rise by 2020s, say scientists

EDMONTON, Canada: Thirteen cities worldwide are projected to see temperature hikes that could exceed 2 degrees Celsius (3.6°F) over the next decade or so, according to a new report.
The Russian capital, Moscow, faces the highest potential increase among more than 100 cities included in a report several years in the making by the Urban Climate Change Research Network, based at Columbia University.
“It’s all alarming,” William Solecki, one of the study’s editors, said at a United Nations-backed climate summit.
Cities that could see the steepest temperature increases during the 2020s include Helsinki in Finland (2.5°C), Ottawa in Canada (2.3°C) and Trondheim in Norway (2.3°C), the study showed.
All predictions included a lower limit too. For instance, temperatures in Moscow could increase by as little as 1.1°C.
The new data provides “foundation knowledge” for cities at the forefront of efforts to rein in the effects of global warming, said Cynthia Rosenzweig, an editor of the report and a researcher with NASA.
The new findings come on the heels of a UN draft report already causing alarm with projections that the global temperature rise is on track to exceed a 1.5°C target included in the Paris pact to curb global warming.
In addition, experts say that storms, floods and other extreme weather events that are related to climate change are hitting cities much harder than scientists had predicted.
“How will the cities know how they should develop their resilience plans unless they know what temperature projections, how the climate is supposed to change in their cities?” said Rosenzweig during a press conference.
The findings’ variance — projected increases do not exceed 1°C in a handful of cases — offer a reminder that cities need to develop tailored plans to mitigate the effects of climate change, said Solecki, a professor at Hunter College in New York.
Planning is particularly crucial given growing pressures from urbanization, he said.
About half the world’s population lives in urban areas, and that figure is expected to reach 66 percent by 2050, according to the UN.
The new report was launched in the western Canadian city of Edmonton, on the sidelines of a global summit where scientists and city planners are charting a roadmap for cities to fight the impact of climate change.


First sounds of wind on Mars captured by InSight spacecraft

Updated 09 December 2018
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First sounds of wind on Mars captured by InSight spacecraft

  • 20 second audio clip shows sound of wind on Mars
  • Clip also supports evidence of wind speed and direction on Mars

DUBAI: An audio clip of the first sounds captured on Mars by its latest inhabitant, the InSight probe, was released last week, British broadcaster BBC reported.

The clip, 20 seconds long, has captured the sound of the wind on the desert planet.

InSight carries a British-made seismometer package, which was able to detect the vibrations from Martian air rushing over the solar panels.

Professor Tom Pike, leading the seismometer experiment from Imperial College London, likened the placement of the solar panels to the robot “cupping its ears”. “[They are] the perfect acoustic receivers.” he said.

The wind on Mars moves from the northeast to the southeast at about five to seven meters per second, according to the latest estimates. This falls in line with evidence shown by satellite pictures that display the tracks left by dust devils travelling in the same direction.

 “This is brilliant news because it means we know the sensors have survived the rigors of landing on Mars and are meeting the requirements to achieve their science goals,” Sue Horne, head of space exploration at the UK Space Agency, told the BBC.

“It is just amazing to hear the first ever sounds from Mars,” Horne added.

InSight landed on Mars on November 26th, following a six-month journey from Earth. Its overall aim is to study the world's interior from the mission site, a flat plain just north of Mars's equator.