Stable Antarctic glaciers are now melting
May 24, 2015 08:21 AM - Bert Wouters, The Ecologist
A dramatic shift has taken place in the glaciers of the southern Antarctic peninsula, writes Bert Wouters. Six years ago these previously stable bodies suddenly stated shedding 60 cubic kilometres of ice per year into the ocean. A stark warning of further surprises to come?
The fact that so many glaciers in such a large region suddenly started to lose ice came as a surprise. It shows a very fast response of the ice sheet: in just a few years everything changed.
Climate change and human rights
May 22, 2015 07:15 AM - Eniko Horvath, Triple Pundit
Last month, a Peruvian farmer called on German energy company RWE to pay its fair share to protect his home from imminent flooding caused by a glacial lake melted by global warming. “For a long time, my father and I have thought that those who cause climate change should help solve the problems it causes,” Saul Luciano Lliuya told the Guardian. He holds that RWE, one of Europe’s largest emitters of carbon, has contributed to the greenhouse effect causing glacial melting that endangers his home, along with many others in the city of Huaraz.
Lliuya’s story illustrates the tangible human impacts of climate change, which can easily be forgotten amidst high-level debates over carbon emissions reductions. This is a key year for climate action by both governments and companies.
Can Ice Loss Affect Gravity?
May 21, 2015 04:14 PM - University of Bristol
A group of scientists, led by a team from the University of Bristol, has observed a sudden increase of ice loss in a previously stable region of Antarctica. The research is published today in Science.
Coal power in Turkey to double if Turkey's plans go forward
May 20, 2015 08:26 AM - EurActiv
Turkey is planning to double its coal power capacity in four years, the third largest investment in the polluting fossil fuel in the world, health campaigners have warned.
The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) today called on the European Union to promote sustainable development in Turkey and end lending for new coal projects.
Future climate of the Midwest hard to predict
May 18, 2015 03:02 PM - Dartmouth College via ScienceDaily.
Will climate change make the U.S. Midwest drier or wetter during the summer growing season? A new Dartmouth-led study finds that the answer remains uncertain.
The findings are important given the Midwest's agricultural output is critical to the U.S. economy and global food security.
The study appears in the journal Water Resources Research. The study included researchers from Dartmouth College, Columbia University, National University of Singapore and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
US Exposure to Extreme Heat is on the Rise
May 18, 2015 02:33 PM - UCAR AtmosNews
U.S. residents' exposure to extreme heat could increase four- to six-fold by mid-century, due to both a warming climate and a population that's growing especially fast in the hottest regions of the country, according to new research. The study, by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the City University of New York (CUNY), highlights the importance of considering societal changes when trying to determine future climate impacts.
The Ozone hole is shrinking
May 18, 2015 07:14 AM - Steve Williams, Care2
New NASA satellite data confirms what other research has shown, namely that the hole in the ozone layer appears to be getting smaller.
The ozone is crucial for us here on Earth because it shields us from some of the Sun’s most damaging radiation. In the 1980s it was confirmed that a host of chemicals like CFCs that we had been using in manufacturing and, in particular in aerosols, had been breaking down that ozone layer, creating several holes including a worryingly large hole over the Arctic. In the long term our CFC use threatened to destroy this vital shield completely if we did not act.
Lower Ozone levels in Houston linked to climate change
May 17, 2015 07:48 AM - Universtiy of Houston via ScienceDaily
Researchers at the University of Houston have determined that climate change -- in the form of a stronger sea breeze, the result of warmer soil temperatures -- contributed to the drop in high-ozone days in the Houston area.
Robert Talbot, professor of atmospheric chemistry, said that also should be true for coastal regions globally.
The researchers describe their findings in a paper published this week in the journal Atmosphere. In addition to Talbot, they include first author Lei Liu, a doctoral student, and post-doctoral fellow Xin Lan.
Bird populations responding to climate change
May 16, 2015 08:53 AM - University of Utah
With puzzling variability, vast numbers of birds from Canada’s boreal forests migrate hundreds or thousands of miles south from their usual winter range. These so-called irruptions were first noticed by birdwatchers decades ago, but the driving factors have never been fully explained. Now scientists have pinpointed the climate pattern that likely sets the stage for irruptions – a discovery that could make it possible to predict the events more than a year in advance.
The researchers found that persistent shifts in rainfall and temperature drive boom-and-bust cycles in forest seed production, which in turn drive the mass migrations of pine siskins, the most widespread and visible of the irruptive migrants. “It’s a chain reaction from climate to seeds to birds,” says atmospheric scientist Court Strong, an assistant professor at the University of Utah and lead author of the study.
How Rivers Regulate Global Carbon Cycle
May 14, 2015 08:57 AM - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Humans concerned about climate change are working to find ways of capturing excess carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and sequestering it in the Earth. But Nature has its own methods for the removal and long-term storage of carbon, including the world’s river systems, which transport decaying organic material and eroded rock from land to the ocean.