…Global warming of oceans equivalent to an atomic bomb per second***
Seven men have been killed in a shooting attack at a bar in Mexico’s Caribbean coasl city of Playa del Carmen, authorities said Monday.
State and local police said the attack occurred late Sunday at the “Las Virginias” bar in a low-income section relatively far from the beachside tourist resort zone. Six men were found shot to death in the bar, and another died at a local hospital.
One man was wounded but survived the attack. He told police he was drinking beer with friends when gunshots broke out. The attackers have not yet been identified.
Playa del Carmen is located on the coast facing the island of Cozumel, Mexico’s leading cruise ship destination. Once a quiet fishing and ferry town, Playa del Carmen has grown exponentially in the last two decades, with lower-income neighborhoods springing up on the inland side of the coastal highway.
The resort is midway between Cancun, to the north, and Tulum, to the south, in the coastal state of Quintana Roo, which has seen homicides more than double in the last year, with 688 killings in the first 11 months of 2018, compared to 322 in the same period of 2017. At that rate, Quintana Roo could end 2018 with a homicide rate of about 50 per 100,000, on a par with El Salvador.
The Caribbean coast — especially Cancun and the area south known as the “Riviera Maya” — had long been largely spared the drug violence affecting other areas, but that no longer appears to be the case. Local sources report that the feared Jalisco cartel has moved into the region, disputing control with local gangs.
In September, two Mexican marines were found stabbed to death in Cancun. In a single day in August, police found eight bodies strewn on the streets of Cancun.
In January 2017, gunmen attacked the state prosecutors’ office in Cancun, killing four people. A day before that, a shooting at a music festival in Playa del Carmen left three foreigners and two Mexicans dead.
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico issued a brief travel warning for Playa del Carmen in March. A February 2018 blast on a ferry apparently caused by an explosive device injured 26 people, including several American citizens.
That has sparked fears that the Caribbean resorts could come to resemble the faded Pacific coast resort of Acapulco. The bloody violence in Acapulco that flared in 2006 eventually earned it a level-four “do not travel” warning from the U.S. Department of State.
Still, violence in Playa del Carmen is still far from Acapulco levels. In 2017, Acapulco had a homicide rate of 103 per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the highest in Mexico and the world.
In the meantime, global warming has heated the oceans by the equivalent of one atomic bomb explosion per second for the past 150 years, according to analysis of new research.
More than 90% of the heat trapped by humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions has been absorbed by the seas, with just a few per cent heating the air, land and ice caps respectively. The vast amount of energy being added to the oceans drives sea-level rise and enables hurricanes and typhoons to become more intense.
Much of the heat has been stored in the ocean depths but measurements here only began in recent decades and existing estimates of the total heat the oceans have absorbed stretch back only to about 1950. The new work extends that back to 1871. Scientists have said that understanding past changes in ocean heat was critical for predicting the future impact of climate change.
A Guardian calculation found the average heating across that 150-year period was equivalent to about 1.5 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs per second. But the heating has accelerated over that time as carbon emissions have risen, and was now the equivalent of between three and six atomic bombs per second.
“I try not to make this type of calculation, simply because I find it worrisome,” said Prof Laure Zanna, at the University of Oxford, who led the new research. “We usually try to compare the heating to [human] energy use, to make it less scary.”
She added: “But obviously, we are putting a lot of excess energy into the climate system and a lot of that ends up in the ocean,. There is no doubt.” The total heat taken up by the oceans over the past 150 years was about 1,000 times the annual energy use of the entire global population.
The research has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and combined measurements of the surface temperature of the ocean since 1871 with computer models of ocean circulation.
Prof Samar Khatiwala, also at the University of Oxford and part of the team, said: “Our approach is akin to ‘painting’ different bits of the ocean surface with dyes of different colours and monitoring how they spread into the interior over time. If we know what the sea surface temperature anomaly was in 1871 in the North Atlantic Ocean we can figure out how much it contributes to the warming in, say, the deep Indian Ocean in 2018.”
Rising sea level has been among the most dangerous long-term impacts of climate change, threatening billions of people living in coastal cities, and estimating future rises is vital in preparing defences. Some of the rise comes from the melting of land-bound ice in Greenland and elsewhere, but another major factor has been the physical expansion of water as it gets warmer.
However, the seas do not warm uniformly as ocean currents transport heat around the world. Reconstructing the amount of heat absorbed by the oceans over the past 150 years is important as it provides a baseline. In the Atlantic, for example, the team found that half the rise seen since 1971 at low and middle latitudes resulted from heat transported into the region by currents.
The new work would help researchers make better predictions of sea-level rise for different regions in the future. “Future changes in ocean transport could have severe consequences for regional sea-level rise and the risk of coastal flooding,” the researchers said. “Understanding ocean heat change and the role of circulation in shaping the patterns of warming remain key to predicting global and regional climate change and sea-level rise.”
Dana Nuccitelli, an environmental scientist who was not involved in the new research, said: “The ocean heating rate has increased as global warming has accelerated, and the value is somewhere between roughly three to six Hiroshima bombs per second in recent decades, depending on which dataset and which timeframe is used. This new study estimates the ocean heating rate at about three Hiroshima bombs per second for the period of 1990 to 2015, which is on the low end of other estimates.”
ABC with additional report from Guardian NG