As the Middle East Bakes, Humans Show Earth’s Orbit Who’s Boss

Sea levels are rising and this time it’s because of human activity and not chiefly because of changes in the Earth’s orbit as has been the case in the planet's history, scientists at Rutgers University reaffirm in Science Advances, with a nice picture showing the Statue of Liberty all but drowning. In an ice-free world, sea levels will be 66 meters (217 feet) higher than now, they project. 

While about it, the researchers show that the history of ice ages is more complicated than we thought, and pre-humankind, the overriding impetus was usually variation in the Earth’s orbit rather than changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Not this time, the Rutgers scientists say. It’s us. We showed that solar system a thing or two.

Hot? Just wait for it

Think it’s hot today in Israel and Egypt? Certainly for this time of year? It is and we ain’t seen nothing yet. Heat waves aren’t anomalous for May but this one, which began at the end of last week, is more intense and longer than usual in both countries; the Israel Meterological Service says this is “probably” because of climate change.

In Israel the heat should peak on Tuesday and Wednesday at above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), about 15 degrees above the monthly average, though the average temperature depends on where you are in Israel. For such a small country it has quite a range of conditions. In Cairo the heat is only expected to subside at the end of the week. Briefly. As for further down the line, forecasting the weather has become ever less reliable as climate change wreaks havoc with the parameters.

April was second-hottest ever

March was the planet’s second-warmest March since record-keeping began in 1880. Then April was the second-hottest April. The hottest yet was in 2016, a year featuring warming from El Niño. January-April ranks as the second warmest first four months on record, Scientific American says. Again, we can take credit for all this.