Climate

MIT Researchers Claim UN Arctic Predictions are Inaccurate
August 11, 2011 01:04 PM - David A Gabel, ENN

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had released its most recent report in 2007. It forecasts that the Arctic Ocean will have an ice-free summer by the year 2100. However, that finding has been contradicted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They say the Arctic summer will be ice-free several decades earlier, within the lifetimes of many of us.

NOAA Releases July Climate Assessment
August 9, 2011 02:37 PM - David A Gabel, ENN

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has compiled and analyzed climate data for the United States in the month of July. The results will come as no surprise for many in the country, but now there is solid data to back up what we all know. In brief, it was hot, unbearably and persistently hot. Only now, a week into the month of August, has the heat begun to dissipate for the northern half of the country. The scorching July has shattered records in many places, making it the fourth warmest July on record in the US.

Did Past Climate Change Encourage Tree-Killing Fungi?
August 8, 2011 08:30 AM - Editor, Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Aug. 7, 2011) — The demise of the world's forests some 250 million years ago likely was accelerated by aggressive tree-killing fungi triggered by global climate change, according to a new study by a University of California, Berkeley, scientist and her Dutch and British colleagues.

US South deep in heat, unrelenting drought
August 7, 2011 08:06 AM - Karen Brooks, Reuters, HOUSTON

The southern United States stood mired on Saturday in an unrelenting heat wave that promised more of the triple-digit temperatures that have roasted the region for weeks. Forecasters predicted the heat and dryness will continue in the area at least through next week, though they looked for remnants of former tropical storm Emily to bring some rain to coastal Florida on Saturday night. Heat advisories across much of the South and Central Plains were common Saturday and cut into the Midwest. Temperatures across the Missouri Ozarks and parts of Kansas reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Weather Service. In the Northeast, extreme heat was easing with temperatures expected to dip into the low 70s in Trenton, New Jersey to give residents an escape from what AccuWeather.com forecasters called a "heat bubble" that had blistered the area in July.

Himalayan nations develop energy, water roadmap in lead up to climate summit
August 5, 2011 09:05 AM - Editor, World Wildlife Fund

Kathmandu, Nepal: Experts from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal gathered in Kathmandu in late July for discussions on long-term energy security in the Himalayas, concluding a series of planning sessions that aim to put an ambitious 10-year regional climate change adaptation plan in motion.

Green House Gases Other than CO2
August 4, 2011 11:40 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

Carbon dioxide remains the largest by mass of potential green house gases affecting climate change, but other greenhouse gases measurably contribute to the problem. A new study, conducted by NOAA scientists and published online today in Nature, shows that cutting emissions of those other gases could slow changes in climate that are expected in the future. Discussions with colleagues around the time of the 2009 United Nations’ climate conference in Copenhagen inspired three NOAA scientists – Stephen Montzka, Ed Dlugokencky and James Butler of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo. – to review the sources of non-carbon dioxide (CO2) greenhouse gases and explore the potential climate benefits of cutting their emissions.

Rising Carbon Dioxide Could Reverse Drying Effects of Higher Temperatures On Rangelands
August 4, 2011 07:25 AM - ScienceDaily

Rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels can reverse the drying effects of predicted higher temperatures on semi-arid rangelands, according to a study published in the journal Nature by a team of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and university scientists. Warmer temperatures increase water loss to the atmosphere, leading to drier soils. In contrast, higher CO2 levels cause leaf stomatal pores to partly close, lessening the amount of water vapor that escapes and the amount of water plants draw from soil. This new study finds that CO2 does more to counterbalance warming-induced water loss than previously expected. In fact, simulations of levels of warming and CO2 predicted for later this century demonstrated no net change in soil water, and actually increased levels of plant growth for warm-season grasses.

Study: Antarctica, not Greenland, Will Contribute More to Sea Level Rise
August 3, 2011 09:00 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

As the planet has gotten warmer, sea levels have been slowly rising at an average rate of 1.8 mm per year since 1961. The higher levels are caused by thermal expansion as well as from melting land-based ice. Most eyes have been on Greenland, the large arctic island covered with an immense ice sheet, as the critical source of melting ice. However, a new study has recently been published which suggests that Greenland is not as big a concern as the continent of Antarctica, and in particular, the West Antarctic ice sheet.

Himalaya glaciers shrinking, some may disappear
August 2, 2011 07:00 AM - Tan Ee Lyn, Reuters, HONG KONG

Three Himalaya glaciers have been shrinking over the last 40 years due to global warming and two of them, located in humid regions and on lower altitudes in central and east Nepal, may disappear in time to come, researchers in Japan said on Tuesday. Using global positioning system and simulation models, they found that the shrinkage of two of the glaciers -- Yala in central and AX010 in eastern Nepal -- had accelerated in the past 10 years compared with the 1970s and 1980s. Yala's mass shrank by 0.8 (2.6 feet) and AX010 by 0.81 meters respectively per year in the 2000s, up from 0.68 and 0.72 meters per year between 1970 and 1990, said Koji Fujita at the Graduate School of Environmental Studies in Nagoya University in Japan.

Still baking in the Midwest and South
August 1, 2011 06:31 AM - Jim Forsyth, Reuters, SAN ANTONIO

Sticky heat was expected to smother much of the country's midsection in the coming days as hotter-than-usual temperatures continued to roast parts of the Midwest and South, forecasters said on Sunday. Areas of Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma were under excessive heat warnings with heat advisories issued for a large swath of the central United States, according to the National Weather Service. The unrelenting heat in central and eastern states has led to a slew of "Heat Superlatives" in 2011, according to weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce. More than a dozen U.S. cities from Tallahassee to Minneapolis have seen all-time highs exceeding any temperature on record for any month, Dolce reported Sunday. High heat put Reading, Pennsylvania, on the map for 106 degrees Fahrenheit -- its hottest day since at least 1869 -- and Childress in thirsty Texas hit the highest mark at 117, a temperature not seen since 1893.

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