NASAscientists have created a new software program that can show how cities in coastal regions are endangered by flooding and sea level rise caused by global warming. The simulation shows how 300 coastal cities will be affected in the next century.
The software was developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It calculates which ice sheets and glaciers are melting and how the additional water influences coastal regions. It takes into consideration the rotation of the Earth as well as the influence of gravity. The results are surprising. Sea levels will actually decrease around cities closer to ice masses, while the biggest rises will occur through ice caps that are farther away.
New York, for example, will be most affected by melting ice caps in northeastern Greenland. Sydney, on the other hand, will actually be influenced by parts of Antarctica that are far away from Australia’s city.
The software aims at helping city planners prepare for sea level changes within the next few decades and how to keep ocean water out.
A climate report published this week shows that, since 1900, global sea levels have risen by about 20 cm, with half of the rise occurring in the last 25 years. Projections show that by 2100 ocean levels will rise by an average of 1 metre, however, the rise will not affect all coastal areas in the same way.
actually = in fact
additional = extra
affect = change
aim = here: what it wants to do and who it wants to help
average = here: evenly spread out across all oceans
calculate = here: find out how much something will change by using numbers
century = a hundred years
coastal = where land meets the sea
decade = ten years
decrease = go down
develop = create , make
endangered = to be in danger
flooding = when land becomes covered with water
glacier = very large mass of ice which moves down a valley
global = worldwide
global warming = the increase in the world’s temperatures by higher amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
gravity = force or power that causes something to fall to the ground and stay there
ice cap = large mass of ice
influence = change
NASA = National Aeronautics and Space Administration = American space agency
occur = happen
prepare = get ready for something
projection = calculation about what something will be in the future based on the information we have now
publish = to make information for everyone to see
rise = to go up
rotation = the Earth’s spin around its own axis
sea level = the average height of the sea
scientist = a person who is trained in science and works in a lab
simulation = here: software that shows how something could happen in the future
take into consideration = here: to use certain factors when you run the programme
Deadly smog has returned to Delhi. Air pollution reached several times the level suggested by the World Health Organisation. People were told to stay indoors and not walk on the streets of the world’s most polluted city. Doctors declared a state of emergency and some schools in the city stayed closed.
Smog in northern India is a big problem, especially during the winter months. From November to March cold temperatures forcepollutants and dirt particles closer to the ground, mixing with the foggy air. Low wind speeds and dust from construction siteshave also contributed to high pollution levels in the area.
Environmentalists say that factories and traffic are the biggest causes of smog. In addition, farmers in northern India burn the leftovers of crops after harvest and therefore produce more smoke.
Critics say that Indian government is not doing enough to protect India’s second-largest city. New measurestook effect last October. Traffic became more regulated and several power plants were shut down. Authorities also want to restrict the personal use of cars to every second day, a measure that already worked in the past.
Last November Delhi was hit by the highest air pollution levels in 20 years, forcing over a million children to stay at home. Researchersclaim that 2.5 million Indians die of pollution every year.
air pollution = when the air becomes dirty through factories and cars
authorities = official organisation or a government department that has the power to make decisions
cause = reason
claim = to say that something is true
construction sites = places where new houses are built
contribute = to help make something happen
declare = to say something officially, in public
environmentalist = person who cares about nature and the world around us
especially = above all
dust = dry powder made up of small bits of dirt
fog = cloudy air near the ground which is difficult to see through
force = to make something happen
government = the people who rule a country
harvest = when crops are gathered from the fields
in addition = also
leftovers = here: leaves and stems that are left over when crops are harvested
measure = action
particle = very small piece of something
pollutant = substance that makes air and water dirty
power station = building that produces energy and electricity
regulated = controlled
researcher = person who studies a topic closely in order to find out more about it
restrict = limit; control
several = many
shut down = close
smog = a mixture of smoke and fog
state of emergency = when the government gives itself special powers in order to try to get a dangerous situation under control
take effect = when something starts to work
therefore = that is why
World Health Organisation = international organisation that helps countries improve their people’s health by giving medicine and providing information about diseases