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Have You Noticed The Weather Recently?

17 Jun

With the tense situation around climate change today, the topic of environmental cataclysm is ever looming. Earth’s average temperature is getting higher and higher each year. The water is becoming more and more acidic, coral reefs are dying, and the oceans are filled with plastic, and too fished for human financial gains. The oceans are one of the world’s major weather regulators. Climate circulation patterns occurring in the oceans are temperature dependent.

Having said that, we are clearly in trouble. The oceans also act as a sponge, absorbing over 90% of the planet’s increasing atmospheric temperatures, meaning that even if we change our emissions today we will not see the return for another 20 years or so. The shift in circulation patterns will change the kind of weather which occurs in different locations. Many communities, coastal regions and countries people will not be prepared to deal with this, and many lives, homes and valuables will be lost and / or damaged.

Yes, in only 20 years. We are about to go on a wild ride of weather events. Haven’t you noticed it occurring yet? Maybe the summer storms are getting more dramatic, maybe the droughts are becoming more of a norm than an outlier. Maybe you’ve heard of the polar ice caps melting?

Scientists have been warning us for years about the imminent threat that is climate change, and politicians have ignored them. The day will come, and we getting closer and closer to it. We are in a self-inflicted pressure cooker, and the pressure is about to exceed the safe limit, as increasing CO2 levels push average global temperature to 2 Celsius above the norm.

Will we have to brace ourselves for massive catastrophic storms? Evacuate coastlines to avoid the flooding that will inevitably come, or maybe the ancient aliens will come back to Earth and punish us for what we’ve done to the planet. Maybe eco-terrorists will launch a terrorist attack to scare us into finally making the changes we need.

Either way, we are very lucky that someone is trying to take care of these issues. A new hero has arrived and his name is Robert Spire. So, if you like terrorist attack thrillers with a science fiction flavour, then you’ll enjoy TIPPING POINT. Why not download your free copy before the weather gets too bad!

Grab your FREE Spire thriller by clicking on the cover below.

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Asteroid Impact!

8 Jun

Asteroid Threat to Earth – Impact Point

 

With news that an asteroid as big as the Statue of Liberty could hit Earth on or around the 9th of September this year, we are reminded of how fragile our existence on planet Earth and all life upon it is as we travel around the Milky Way Galaxy.

An asteroid called 2006QV89 will come perilously close to our planet and could even smash into us. At 40 metres wide, the object is not big enough to cause too much damage however as It’s only about twice as large as the 20 metres object which exploded in the skies over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in 2013.

Having said that, The ‘airburst’ caused by this detonating meteorite left about 400 people injured, with most wounds caused by shards of flying glass from windows smashed by the shockwave. The energy from  the resulting explosion exceeded 470 kilotons of TNT.

If 2006QV89 exploded over a major city like London or New York, the damage could be much greater, but still only minor in comparison to what an Earth impacting meteorite could do!

Thankfully Nasa calculations reveal it has a 99.988% probability of missing Earth.

The threat from Earth impacting asteroids and comets will unfortunately never recede, you only have to be a dinosaur to know that! In more recent times we can consider the huge air burst that occurred over Siberia in 1908 – the Tunguska Event – levelling trees in the remote forest for miles around.

If that event occurred now over a major city, the effects would be cataclysmic.

Check out the incredible, ‘Daylight fireball’ footage taken in 1972 of an Earth-grazing meteorite that passed just 35 miles above the Earth before skimming the atmosphere and continuing its journey through the solar system – https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vBu-yUzWXqg

Such events can happen without warning, despite NASA and Earth’s scientists trying to track these things. A sobering thought however is that the number of scientists worldwide hunting for these things is about the amount of people who work at a McDonalds restaurant!

For Anyone who enjoys a good science fiction mystery thriller on this very theme and who is interested in learning more about this worrying threat, can jump in to my exciting thriller, Impact Point, available on kindle at Amazon.com and  Amazon.co.uk. Alternatively, please visit the author’s website for further information and similar books.

 

 

Has Earth reached its TIPPING POINT

17 Dec

Will the Polish climate change deal change anything? Will global temperatures be prevented from increasing above a cataclysmic 2 degrees Celsius. We all hope so, but let’s face it, the few people in power who can do something about the situation, don’t seem to have the will or the genuine appetite to do so. Perhaps they should think more about their children and children’s children who will inherit one hell of a hot, erratic messed up planet than trying to apply cheap fixes and useless band aids  on the issues…

Anyway enough of a rant – why not settle down to Robert Spire’s first adventure… a climate fiction thriller with some real science and real science fiction… and there’s plenty more Spire adventures to go on after this one…. enjoy and have a happy Christmas people of the good Planet Earth.

Two Dead Climatologists…

An International Conspiracy…

A Looming Global Cataclysm… 

When eminent climatologist Dr Dale Stanton – in the process of studying the Atlantic Ocean’s Thermohaline Circulation – is found dead in his London apartment, environmental lawyer, Robert Spire, is given the task to administer a large legacy left by Dr Stanton to global warming organisations. The job should have been straightforward, until a second climatologist, Dr Jack Bannister drops dead on the other side of the Atlantic…

When the dead scientist’s mother engages Spire to look further into her son’s death, it soon becomes apparent that not all is as it seems. Spire soon finds he is out of his depth, as he is stalked by a sinister female Russian spy intent on tracking his every move, and to seemingly assassinate leading climatologists involved in investigating global warming and the melting Arctic sea ice. Spire is soon thrust into an international conspiracy involving a terrorist plot to push the Arctic to its tipping point, and the world to disaster…

TIPPING POINT is a fast-paced, unputdownable climate-change thriller, with terrorism elements that will keep you turning the pages until the very end. If you like James Rollins, Brett Battles, Clive Cussler, and the action and adventure of a James Bond movie then you will love the entire Robert Spire Action Thriller series.

Pick up your copy and start reading Tipping Point today!

“Simon Rosser’s scientific and psychological thriller “Tipping Point” is one of the best I have read in the past decade. He has a gift for fluent narrative, realistic characterization and for creating settings that come vividly to life for the reader. He blends tension and suspense very successfully against the contemporary background of global warming and its sinister implications.

–Author, TV presenter and Priest Lionel Fanthorpe –

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No More Ice!

12 Sep

News is just out that Arctic ice levels may now be at their lowest ever level, following the 2011 summer melt season, beating the 2007 record. NSIDC will be confirming this sometime in October 2011. 

So, with this in mind, let’s take a look at how global warming is affecting the Earth’s coldest regions and ice sheets, collectively called the cryosphere, derived from a Greek word meaning frost or cold. It is used to describe the areas of the Earth’s surface where water is in a solid form, usually snow or ice. These areas include sea ice, freshwater ice, glaciers, permafrost and snow. 

The Earth’s polar icecaps, found at the North and South poles, contain the largest concentrations of ice on Earth. The North pole is home to the Arctic, and the South pole the Antarctic. Also in the north is the massive Greenland ice sheet. Both the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets sit on top of continents or landmasses, whereas the Arctic is a frozen ocean. Sea ice however is found in both the North and South polar regions, and in total it covers an area about twenty times the size of Canada.

WHAT IS SEA ICE ?

Well, it is simply frozen ocean water. It forms and melts in the ocean. Icebergs, glaciers, ice sheets/shelves, however, all originate on land, and are formed with fresh not saltwater. Sea ice grows in the winter months and melts during the summer. Some ice remains all year round, and about fifteen per cent of the world’s oceans are covered during part of the year.

 WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT ?

 

Ice has a bright reflective surface, so as sunlight strikes it most of it is reflected back into space. As such, areas covered by ice don’t absorb much of the sun’s energy, allowing temperatures in the polar regions to remain cool. If higher temperatures melt the ice over time, as is beginning to happen, then more of the sun’s energy can be absorbed by the ice-free sea or land, allowing temperatures to rise further.

The term ‘albedo’ is used to determine how well a surface reflects solar energy. A surface with an albedo of zero means that it is a perfect absorber of the sun’s energy, such as a black surface. An albedo of one means that the surface is a perfect reflector, such as a white surface. Sea ice will reflect about fifty to seventy per cent of the sun’s energy. Open sea reflects about six per cent, whereas snow-covered ice about ninety per cent, simply because it’s white and therefore has a higher reflective surface.

Just as the Amazon regulates climate by absorbing and storing huge amounts of CO2, the ice-covered regions of Earth act much in the same way, by regulating temperature and reflecting large amounts of solar energy back into space. If these regions melt, then not only will ocean levels rise but temperatures will also increase.

HOW IS THE ARCTIC RESPONDING TO GLOBAL WARMING ?

 

The North pole sits right in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, which is fenced in by eight different countries. During the winter the ice extends over the entire ocean and onto the fringes of the land. During the summer, the ice retreats back into the ocean. Air temperatures in the region have, on average, increased by about 5°C (9°F) over the last 100 years, which is higher than anywhere else on the planet. This has caused Arctic sea ice to decrease by about fourteen per cent since the 1970s.

The local Inuit population have started to notice the warmer summers, the earlier break-up of the ice in spring, and extensive areas of melting permafrost in places like Alaska and Siberia. This in turn is affecting their hunting season, foundations of properties and other infrastructure in the region. Arctic sea ice has been measured by the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) and NASA, using satellite data, and the findings are that massive reductions in sea ice are occurring at the end of the northern summer.

The sea ice extends to about 15,000,000 square kilometres (5,792,000 square miles) during winter, and down to an average 7,000,000 square kilometres (2,703,000 square miles) during the summer. It therefore loses just over fifty per cent of ice cover after the summer melt season. The annual average extent of Arctic sea ice has decreased by about three per cent per decade since about 1980, which is the equivalent of an area of about 750,000 square kilometres (289,575 square miles). The amount of ice left after the summer melt is also decreasing by about 7.7 per cent each decade.

NSIDC measures Arctic sea-ice extent, or the area of ocean that is covered by at least fifteen per cent ice, which typically reaches its minimum in September, at the end of the summer melt season. 

In 2007, NSIDC data reveals that Arctic sea ice during the 2007 melt season plummeted to the lowest levels since satellite measurements began in 1979. The September sea-ice minimum went down to 4,130,000 square kilometres (1,594,000 square miles), the lowest September on record, shattering the previous record for the month, set in 2005, by twenty-three per cent. Computer models however have predicted the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer months from 2080 if the overall warming trend continues.

In March 2007, a fire onboard the British nuclear submarine HMS Tireless forced it to the surface. Two sailors died in the explosion. The Navy had been conducting tests under the Arctic and the data retrieved indicated that the summer Arctic sea ice may actually be gone by as soon as 2020. This however appears to be a worst-case scenario.

Arctic sea ice is about 2 to 3 metres (6.5 to 9.8 feet) thick on average, so a loss of 7,000,000 square kilometres (2,703,000 square miles) times 2.5 metres (8.2 feet) (thickness) is a considerable amount of water. Melting sea ice however does not necessarily add much to sea-level rise when it melts, much like melting ice cubes in a glass do not cause the glass to overflow. Melting glaciers and ice-covered continents however are a different matter and when they melt, sea levels will rise.

A new NASA-led study found a twenty-three per cent loss in the extent of the Arctic’s thick year-round sea ice cover during the past two winters. The scientists discovered less perennial sea ice in March 2007 than ever before. This drastic reduction is the primary cause of this summer’s fastest-ever sea-ice retreat on record and subsequent smallest-ever extent of total Arctic coverage.

Record summer melting has also meant that the usually frozen Northwest Passage waterway, which connects the Atlantic to the Pacific, has become fully navigable, a fact that may raise tensions between Canada, which maintains that the waterway lies in its territorial waters, and other countries in the region. The race is now on to exploit the Arctic’s natural resources as oil companies drill for oil there. A disaster along the lines of the Deepwater-Horizon spill, would be cataclysmic.

For a recent news article showing stark photographic differences over time between Himalayan glaciers, click here.

For more information, check out THE A-Z OF GLOBAL WARMING, the above article is taken from chapter N – No More Ice!

Alternatively for a fast paced eco-thriller, involving a race to prevent the Arctic from melting, try TIPPING POINT.