Climate

NOAA and international partners plan upgrade of global weather and ocean observing system
June 27, 2017 08:18 AM - NOAA

NOAA met with ocean observations experts from six nations and 13 global organizations in May 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii, to plan for the redesign of the Tropical Pacific Observing System by the year 2020 (TPOS 2020).

TPOS is an ocean-based monitoring network comprised of a variety of observing technologies, operated by NOAA and other foreign partners.  This network provides the essential ocean data needed to understand important environmental phenomenon and develop weather and climate forecasts for the US and countries around the world.

Monitoring changes in wetland extent can help predict the rate of climate change
June 27, 2017 08:18 AM - University of Exeter

Monitoring changes to the amount of wetlands in regions where permafrost is thawing should be at the forefront of efforts to predict future rates of climate change, new research shows.

Permafrost - frozen ground - holds huge amounts of carbon which may be released into the atmosphere as the climate warms and these soils thaw. For this reason it is critically important to know where thaw is taking place and how much carbon is being exposed.

NASA Sees Quick Development of Hurricane Dora
June 26, 2017 11:41 AM - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The fourth tropical cyclone of the Eastern Pacific Ocean season formed on June 25 and by June 26 it was already a hurricane. NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Dora on June 25 when it was a tropical storm and the next day it became the first hurricane of the season.  

Tropical Depression Dora developed around 11 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 24 about 180 miles (290 km) south of Acapulco, Mexico. By 5 a.m. EDT on June 25, the depression had strengthened into a tropical storm and was named Dora.

Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100
June 26, 2017 11:20 AM - Lindsey Hadlock via Cornell University

In the year 2100, 2 billion people – about one-fifth of the world’s population – could become climate change refugees due to rising ocean levels. Those who once lived on coastlines will face displacement and resettlement bottlenecks as they seek habitable places inland, according to Cornell University research.

“We’re going to have more people on less land and sooner that we think,” said lead author Charles Geisler, professor emeritus of development sociology at Cornell. “The future rise in global mean sea level probably won’t be gradual. Yet few policy makers are taking stock of the significant barriers to entry that coastal climate refugees, like other refugees, will encounter when they migrate to higher ground.”

Panda love spreads to benefit the planet
June 26, 2017 10:33 AM - Michigan State University

Loving pandas isn’t just a feel-good activity. Recent Michigan State University (MSU) work shows China’s decades of defending panda turf have been good not just for the beloved bears, but also protects habitat for other valuable plants and animals, boosts biodiversity and fights climate change.

How much carbon can polar seafloor ecosystems store?
June 26, 2017 10:18 AM - British Antarctic Survey

One of the best-known impacts of climate change is the loss of sea ice in the Arctic, but also in parts of the Antarctic: the poles are increasingly turning from white to blue. However, in the shallow seas near continental landmasses, the colour green also enters the picture: with the ocean ice-free for longer periods, the growing period for algal blooms also grows longer. These algae, in turn, provide food for seafloor-dwelling organisms, who use the carbon from their food to grow their bodies and shells.

How much carbon can polar seafloor ecosystems store?
June 26, 2017 10:18 AM - British Antarctic Survey

One of the best-known impacts of climate change is the loss of sea ice in the Arctic, but also in parts of the Antarctic: the poles are increasingly turning from white to blue. However, in the shallow seas near continental landmasses, the colour green also enters the picture: with the ocean ice-free for longer periods, the growing period for algal blooms also grows longer. These algae, in turn, provide food for seafloor-dwelling organisms, who use the carbon from their food to grow their bodies and shells.

Hot Cities Spell Bad News for Bees
June 26, 2017 10:11 AM - North Carolina State University

A new study from North Carolina State University finds that common wild bee species decline as urban temperatures increase.

“We looked at 15 of the most common bee species in southeastern cities and – through fieldwork and labwork – found that increasing temperatures in urban heat islands will have a negative effect on almost all of them,” says Steve Frank, an associate professor of entomology at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the work.

Deforestation in Amazon basin could disrupt the distant rainforest by remote climate connection
June 26, 2017 09:52 AM - Lund University

The ongoing deforestation around the fringes of the Amazon may have serious consequences for the untouched deeper parts of the rainforest. A new research study shows that it is not only the climate that is adversely affected by deforestation. In fact, the very stability of the ecosystem in the entire Amazon region is altered when deforestation takes place in the outermost regions.

It was previously known that, in the long term, the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest has a negative impact on the global climate due to greater carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere. However, researchers from Lund University in Sweden and other institutions have now shown that deforestation could also disrupt the entire rainforest’s resilience, that is, its long-term ability to recover from environmental changes, and the ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Lessons from a Tsunami Could Help Protect Seabirds in the Face of Rising Seas
June 26, 2017 08:34 AM - USGS

In a study published Thursday, researchers evaluated the effects of sudden flooding from the Tohoku tsunami on more than 20 bird species nesting on the distant Pacific islands. The results shed light not only on how those birds weathered the dramatic rise in seas from the extreme event, but also how island wildlife may fare with the threat of rising sea levels and increased storm surges.  

Many seabird species have disappeared from human populated higher islands, and their worldwide distributions are now concentrated on the low-lying islands protected as Wildlife Refuges and Marine National Monuments.

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