Forests take years to rebound from drought
July 30, 2015 04:38 PM - University of Utah
In the virtual worlds of climate modeling, forests and other vegetation are assumed to bounce back quickly from extreme drought. But that assumption is far off the mark, according to a new study of drought impacts at forest sites worldwide. Living trees took an average of two to four years to recover and resume normal growth rates after droughts ended, researchers report today in the journal Science.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions from US Corn Belt have been Underestimated
July 29, 2015 08:55 AM - University of Minnesota
Estimates of how much nitrous oxide, a significant greenhouse gas and stratospheric ozone-depleting substance, is being emitted in the central United States have been too low by as much as 40 percent, a new study led by University of Minnesota scientists shows.
How Corn Became King
July 28, 2015 09:12 AM - Kelly April Tyrrell, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ten thousand years ago, a golden grain got naked, brought people together and grew to become one of the top agricultural commodities on the planet.
Now, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have found that just a single letter change in the genetic script of corn's ancestor, teosinte, helped make it all possible.
Publishing in the journal Genetics this month, UW-Madison genetics Professor John Doebley and a team of researchers describe how, during the domestication of corn, a single nucleotide change in the teosinte glume architectural gene (tga1) stripped away the hard, inedible casing of this wild grass, ultimately exposing the edible golden kernel.
California Farmers Switch to Less Thirsty Crops
July 28, 2015 08:56 AM - Lesley McClurg, NPR
Water scarcity is driving California farmers to plant different crops. Growers are switching to more profitable, less-thirsty fruits, vegetables and nuts.
Arctic ice growth doesn't disprove climate change
July 27, 2015 08:52 AM - Steve Williams, Care2
New data shows that in 2013 Arctic ice actually grew rather than retreating as climate change models had predicted. Far from proving climate change is a myth or that ice retreat has ended, as skeptics are now claiming, this reveals something much more interesting about our warming climate.
New MIT study on the historical climate of the American West
July 27, 2015 06:56 AM - MIT News
All around the deserts of Utah, Nevada, southern Oregon, and eastern California, ancient shorelines line the hillsides above dry valley floors, like bathtub rings — remnants of the lakes once found throughout the region. Even as the ice sheets retreated at the end of the last ice age, 12,000 years ago, the region remained much wetter than it is today. The earliest settlers of the region are likely to have encountered a verdant landscape of springs and wetlands.
So just when and why did today’s desert West dry out?
Ocean acidification is impacting phytoplankton now
July 26, 2015 08:37 AM - Steve Williams, Care2
Scientists are warning that ocean acidification is impacting microorganisms in our ocean known as phytoplankton and, as they pay a key role in ocean habitats, any future loss or change in species numbers could impact marine life in a big way.
Ocean acidification isn’t always mentioned in conjunction with phytoplankton blooms, and the U.S. Government has been slow to link the two, but MIT researchers say acidification of our oceans could impact phytoplankton in a big way, and that will be bad news for our marine life.
Mangroves help protect against sea level rise
July 23, 2015 02:28 PM - University of Southampton
Mangrove forests could play a crucial role in protecting coastal areas from sea level rise caused by climate change, according to new research involving the University of Southampton.
Disaster displacement on the rise
July 22, 2015 08:54 AM - ClickGreen Staff
In the last seven years, an estimated one person every second has been forced to flee their home by a natural disaster, with 19.3 million people forced to flee their homes in 2014 alone, according to a new report. The research suggests disaster displacement is on the rise, and as policy leaders worldwide advance towards the adoption of a post-2015 global agenda, the time has never been better to address it.
NASA finds Greenland glaciers melting faster than thought
July 22, 2015 06:49 AM - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Greenland's glaciers flowing into the ocean are grounded deeper below sea level than previously measured, allowing intruding ocean water to badly undercut the glacier faces. That process will raise sea levels around the world much faster than currently estimated, according to a team of researchers led by Eric Rignot of the University of California, Irvine (UCI), and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
The researchers battled rough waters and an onslaught of icebergs for three summers to map the remote channels below Greenland's marine-terminating glaciers for the first time. Their results have been accepted for publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters and are now available online.