Climate

Canadian Archaeologists Challenge the Credibility of GIS Methods to Assess the Impact of Weather on Shoreline Erosion
May 19, 2017 01:44 PM - De Gruyter

Although computer models of archaeological sites are commonly used to yield insights which contribute to the protection of heritage materials, scientists often question their credibility, calling for these long-term trends be 'ground truthed' in order to ensure that calculated rates of change reflect observed phenomena ‘in the field’.  This is particularly true in areas which tend to experience more pronounced and cumulative impacts of modern climate change.

A recent study by Michael J. E. O’Rourke from the University of Toronto, published in Open Archaeology, provides a new perspective on the severe impacts of escalating climate change on the heritage resources of Canadian Arctic.  Referring to the application of Geographic Information System (GIS) analytical methods in assessing the threat of shoreline erosion to archaeological sites in the Canadian Arctic, it details steps taken to review the quality of the GIS model in light of a discrepancy with rates observed during annual survey visits.

Canadian Archaeologists Challenge the Credibility of GIS Methods to Assess the Impact of Weather on Shoreline Erosion
May 19, 2017 01:44 PM - De Gruyter

Although computer models of archaeological sites are commonly used to yield insights which contribute to the protection of heritage materials, scientists often question their credibility, calling for these long-term trends be 'ground truthed' in order to ensure that calculated rates of change reflect observed phenomena ‘in the field’.  This is particularly true in areas which tend to experience more pronounced and cumulative impacts of modern climate change.

A recent study by Michael J. E. O’Rourke from the University of Toronto, published in Open Archaeology, provides a new perspective on the severe impacts of escalating climate change on the heritage resources of Canadian Arctic.  Referring to the application of Geographic Information System (GIS) analytical methods in assessing the threat of shoreline erosion to archaeological sites in the Canadian Arctic, it details steps taken to review the quality of the GIS model in light of a discrepancy with rates observed during annual survey visits.

In Next Decades, Frequency of Coastal Flooding Will Double Globally
May 19, 2017 08:21 AM - USGS

The frequency and severity of coastal flooding throughout the world will increase rapidly and eventually double in frequency over the coming decades even with only moderate amounts of sea level rise, according to a new study released today in “Nature Scientific Reports.”

This increase in flooding will be greatest and most damaging in tropical regions, impairing the economies of coastal cities and the habitability of low-lying Pacific island nations. Many of the world's largest populated low-lying deltas (such as the Ganges, Indus, Yangtze, Mekong and Irrawaddy Rivers), also fall in or near this affected tropical region.

Significant groundwater loss in California's Central Valley during recent droughts
May 19, 2017 08:21 AM - NOAA

A new study from researchers at UCLA and the University of Houston reveals estimates of significant groundwater loss in California’s Central Valley during the recent drought and sparks questions of sustainability for the important agricultural area.

Climate stabilization: Planting trees cannot replace cutting CO2 emissions
May 18, 2017 01:36 PM - Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Growing plants and then storing the CO2 they have taken up from the atmosphere is no viable option to counteract unmitigated emissions from fossil fuel burning, a new study shows. The plantations would need to be so large, they would eliminate most natural ecosystems or reduce food production if implemented as a late-regret option in the case of substantial failure to reduce emissions. However, growing biomass soon in well-selected places with increased irrigation or fertilization could support climate policies of rapid and strong emission cuts to achieve climate stabilization below 2 degrees Celsius.

Flat Antarctica — Land height could help explain why Antarctica is warming slower than the Arctic
May 18, 2017 01:27 PM - European Geosciences Union

Temperatures in the Arctic are increasing twice as fast as in the rest of the globe, while the Antarctic is warming at a much slower rate. A new study published in Earth System Dynamics, a journal of the European Geosciences Union, shows that land height could be a “game changer” when it comes to explaining why temperatures are rising at such different rates in the two regions.

Flat Antarctica — Land height could help explain why Antarctica is warming slower than the Arctic
May 18, 2017 01:27 PM - European Geosciences Union

Temperatures in the Arctic are increasing twice as fast as in the rest of the globe, while the Antarctic is warming at a much slower rate. A new study published in Earth System Dynamics, a journal of the European Geosciences Union, shows that land height could be a “game changer” when it comes to explaining why temperatures are rising at such different rates in the two regions.

Water Efficiency in Rural Areas is Getting Worse, Even as it Improves in Urban Centers
May 18, 2017 01:06 PM - North Carolina State University

A nationwide analysis of water use over the past 30 years finds that there is a disconnect between rural and urban areas, with most urban areas becoming more water efficient and most rural areas becoming less and less efficient over time.

UCLA-led researchers track groundwater loss during drought in California's Central Valley
May 18, 2017 12:49 PM - Jessica Wolf via University of California - Los Angeles

A new study by researchers from UCLA and the University of Houston reveals significant groundwater loss in California’s Central Valley during the recent drought and sparks questions of sustainability for the important agricultural area.

Researchers tracked net groundwater consumption in the Central Valley from 2002 to 2016, which included two droughts, one from 2007 to 2009 and the more severe drought from 2012 to 2016. California’s Central Valley is more than 18,000 square miles from the coast to the Sierra Nevada Mountains and is one of the largest agricultural hubs in the United States, providing more than half of the U.S. fruit, vegetable and nut crops.

UCLA-led researchers track groundwater loss during drought in California's Central Valley
May 18, 2017 12:49 PM - Jessica Wolf via University of California - Los Angeles

A new study by researchers from UCLA and the University of Houston reveals significant groundwater loss in California’s Central Valley during the recent drought and sparks questions of sustainability for the important agricultural area.

Researchers tracked net groundwater consumption in the Central Valley from 2002 to 2016, which included two droughts, one from 2007 to 2009 and the more severe drought from 2012 to 2016. California’s Central Valley is more than 18,000 square miles from the coast to the Sierra Nevada Mountains and is one of the largest agricultural hubs in the United States, providing more than half of the U.S. fruit, vegetable and nut crops.

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