Climate

Methane Hydrate is not a Smoking Gun in the Arctic Ocean
August 22, 2017 10:03 AM - CAGE - Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate and Environment

Clathrate (hydrate) gun hypothesis stirred quite the controversy when it was posed in 2003. It stated that methane hydrates – frozen water cages containing methane gas found below the ocean floor – can melt due to increasing ocean temperatures.

Hidden river once flowed beneath Antarctic ice
August 21, 2017 05:46 PM - Rice University

Antarctic researchers from Rice University have discovered one of nature’s supreme ironies: On Earth’s driest, coldest continent, where surface water rarely exists, flowing liquid water below the ice appears to play a pivotal role in determining the fate of Antarctic ice streams.

The finding, which appears online this week in Nature Geoscience, follows a two-year analysis of sediment cores and precise seafloor maps covering 2,700 square miles of the western Ross Sea. As recently as 15,000 years ago, the area was covered by thick ice that later retreated hundreds of miles inland to its current location. The maps, which were created from state-of-the-art sonar data collected by the National Science Foundation research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer, revealed how the ice retreated during a period of global warming after Earth’s last ice age. In several places, the maps show ancient water courses — not just a river system, but also the subglacial lakes that fed it.

Hidden river once flowed beneath Antarctic ice
August 21, 2017 05:46 PM - Rice University

Antarctic researchers from Rice University have discovered one of nature’s supreme ironies: On Earth’s driest, coldest continent, where surface water rarely exists, flowing liquid water below the ice appears to play a pivotal role in determining the fate of Antarctic ice streams.

The finding, which appears online this week in Nature Geoscience, follows a two-year analysis of sediment cores and precise seafloor maps covering 2,700 square miles of the western Ross Sea. As recently as 15,000 years ago, the area was covered by thick ice that later retreated hundreds of miles inland to its current location. The maps, which were created from state-of-the-art sonar data collected by the National Science Foundation research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer, revealed how the ice retreated during a period of global warming after Earth’s last ice age. In several places, the maps show ancient water courses — not just a river system, but also the subglacial lakes that fed it.

NASA Gets a Final Look at Hurricane Gert's Rainfall
August 18, 2017 01:15 PM - NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center

Before Hurricane Gert became a post-tropical cyclone, NASA got a look at the rainfall occurring within the storm. After Gert became post-tropical NOAA’s GOES-East satellite captured an image as Gert was merging with another system.

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite provided rainfall information on Hurricane Gert on August 16, 2017 at 5:37 p.m. EDT (2137 UTC). At that time, Gert was a strong category two hurricane with maximum sustained winds of about 93.5 mph (85 knots).

NASA Gets a Final Look at Hurricane Gert's Rainfall
August 18, 2017 01:15 PM - NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center

Before Hurricane Gert became a post-tropical cyclone, NASA got a look at the rainfall occurring within the storm. After Gert became post-tropical NOAA’s GOES-East satellite captured an image as Gert was merging with another system.

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite provided rainfall information on Hurricane Gert on August 16, 2017 at 5:37 p.m. EDT (2137 UTC). At that time, Gert was a strong category two hurricane with maximum sustained winds of about 93.5 mph (85 knots).

Climate Change and Habitat Conversion Combine to Homogenize Nature
August 18, 2017 01:11 PM - University of California - Davis

Climate change and habitat conversion to agriculture are working together to homogenize nature, indicates a study in the journal Global Change Biology led by the University of California, Davis.

In other words, the more things change, the more they are the same.

While the individual impacts of climate change and habitat conversion on wildlife are well-recognized, little is known about how species respond to both stressors at once.

Right kind of collaboration is key to solving environmental problems
August 18, 2017 11:43 AM - Stockholm University

The coming decade may determine whether humanity will set a course toward a more socially and ecologically sustainable society. A crucial part of this goal is to develop a better understanding of how cooperation can be improved and become more effective, both within and among private stakeholders and public institutions.

“Collaborative governance is often highlighted as a solution to different environmental problems. For example, when small-scale fishermen agree to avoid overfishing or when states agree to reduce greenhouse gases. But we don’t know so much about how cooperation around environmental issues works in a complex world. Different actors want different things, different environmental problems are related to each other, and different groups have differing amounts of influence. Does cooperation actually lead to a better environment?” says Örjan Bodin, lecturer at the Stockholm Resilience Centre who conducts interdisciplinary research on better ways to handle diverse environmental problems.

NOAA scientists get rare chance to study the effects of an eclipse on weather
August 18, 2017 11:03 AM - NOAA

It’s the most fundamental principle of meteorology - energy from the sun drives Earth’s weather.

So what happens when the sun’s rays are blocked by an eclipse? And can modern forecasting tools accurately predict changes in the weather when the sun’s rays are partially or totally blocked?

Mosses used to evaluate atmospheric conditions in urban areas
August 17, 2017 04:51 PM - Hokkaido University

Researchers have developed a method to evaluate atmospheric conditions using mosses (bryophytes) in urban areas, a development that could facilitate broader evaluations of atmospheric environments.

Many urban areas face atmospheric problems such as pollution and the heat island effect. With the need to evaluate atmospheric conditions, bioindicators—organisms whose response to environmental changes indicates the health of an ecosystem—have attracted considerable attention. Their merits include being able to evaluate an environment over a wide area at a low cost; detect environmental changes over an extended period; and assess these changes’ effects on the ecosystem. Bryophytes are one such group of plants known to be sensitive to environmental changes, in particular to atmospheric conditions.

New study validates East Antarctic ice sheet should remain stable even if western ice sheet melts
August 17, 2017 04:37 PM - Indiana University

A new study from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis validates that the central core of the East Antarctic ice sheet should remain stable even if the West Antarctic ice sheet melts.

The study's findings are significant, given that some predict the West Antarctic ice sheet could melt quickly due to global warming.

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