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Climate

Photosynthesis measured on a global scale
May 1, 2015 10:12 AM - Brown University

A research team led by geoscientists from Brown University and the Marine Biological Laboratory has provided some crucial ground-truth for a method of measuring plant photosynthesis on a global scale from low-Earth orbit. The researchers have shown that chlorophyll fluorescence, a faint glow produced by plant leaves as a byproduct of photosynthesis, is a strong proxy for photosynthetic activity in the canopy of a deciduous forest. That glow can be detected by orbiting satellites and could be used to monitor global photosynthetic activity in real time.

Can organic farming reverse agriculture from a carbon source to a carbon sink?
April 29, 2015 04:01 PM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

More than a third of global greenhouse gases (GHGs) come from agriculture and a new theory suggest human can reverse global warming by sequestering several hundred billion tons of excess CO2 through regenerative, organic farming, ranching and land use. 

Oregon State University study links climate changes in Northern and Southern Hemispheres - with 200 year lag
April 29, 2015 03:52 PM - Oregon State University

A new study using evidence from a highly detailed ice core from West Antarctica shows a consistent link between abrupt temperature changes on Greenland and Antarctica during the last ice age, giving scientists a clearer picture of the link between climate in the northern and southern hemispheres.

Greenland climate during the last ice age was very unstable, the researchers say, characterized by a number of large, abrupt changes in mean annual temperature that each occurred within several decades. These so-called “Dansgaard-Oeschger events” took place every few thousand years during the last ice age. Temperature changes in Antarctica showed an opposite pattern, with Antarctica cooling when Greenland was warm, and vice versa.

Selective logging may underestimate carbon stock
April 29, 2015 08:20 AM - Rhett A. Butler, MONGABAY.COM

Up to 64 percent of above-ground biomass in selectively logged forests may consist of dead wood left over from logging damage, argues a paper published this week in Environmental Research Letters

New approach to energy savings for supermarkets
April 29, 2015 08:11 AM - Andrew Burger, Triple Pundit

The capacity to deliver continuous electricity for refrigeration is one of the central planks of the modern-day food distribution system.

Using fossil fuel-generated energy to refrigerate and freeze foods around the clock produces a lot of pollution – carbon and greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the global climate, as well as emissions of a range of potentially toxic chemicals that deplete the ozone layer and wind up in our waterways and soil.

Climate warming leads to earlier tick season
April 28, 2015 08:46 AM - Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

The month of May brings many things, among them Mother’s Day, tulips, and Lyme Disease Awareness campaigns. But according to Dr. Richard S. Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY, if we want to get a leg up on tick-borne illness we need to become vigilant earlier in the season.

Mountains warming faster than expected
April 24, 2015 03:28 PM - Janet Lathrop, UMassAmherst

High elevation environments around the world may be warming much faster than previously thought, according to members of an international research team including Raymond Bradley, director of the Climate System Research Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. They call for more aggressive monitoring of temperature changes in mountain regions and more attention to the potential consequences of warming.

What's worse for polar bears- Global Warming or Pollution?
April 24, 2015 02:44 PM - Tim Radford, The Ecologist

As if melting ice in Polar bears' Arctic habitat was not enough, Norwegian scientists have found that organic pollutants such as pesticide residues are disrupting their thyroid and endocrine systems, adding a further threat to the species' survival.

Microbes have major effect on climate change
April 24, 2015 07:21 AM - Kathleen Haughney, Florida State University

Carbon, held in frozen permafrost soils for tens of thousands of years, is being released as Arctic regions of the Earth warm and is further fueling global climate change, according to a Florida State University researcher.

Putting a value on our Oceans
April 23, 2015 06:56 AM - World Wildlife Fund, Justmeans

The ocean’s wealth rivals those of the world’s leading economies, but its resources are rapidly eroding, according to a new World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report. The analysis, Reviving the Ocean Economy: The Case for Action, conservatively estimates the value of key ocean assets to be at least $24 trillion. If compared to the world’s top 10 economies, the ocean would rank as the seventh largest, with an annual value of goods and services of $2.5 trillion.

The report, produced in association with The Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), combines scientific evidence of environmental degradation with an economic case for urgent conservation action. Using an innovative economic analysis, the ocean’s value is quantified based on assessments of goods and services ranging from fisheries to coastal storm protection, resulting in an overall asset value and an annual dividend output (comparable to a GDP).

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