Rising CO2 Threatens Coral And People Who Use Reefs
November 9, 2016 04:26 PM - Erin Mckenzie via Duke University
As atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels rise, very few coral reef ecosystems will be spared the impacts of ocean acidification or sea surface temperature rise, according to a new analysis. The damage will cause the most immediate and serious threats where human dependence on reefs is highest.
A new analysis in the journal Plos One, led by Duke University and the Université de Bretagne Occidentale, suggests that by 2050, Western Mexico, Micronesia, Indonesia, parts of Australia and Southeast Asia will bear the brunt of rising temperatures. Reef damage will result in lost fish habitats and shoreline protection, jeopardizing the lives and economic prosperity of people who depend on reefs for tourism and food.
A new study concludes warm climate is more sensitive to changes in CO2
November 9, 2016 02:46 PM - Rachel Lentz via University of Hawaii At Manoa
It is well-established in the scientific community that increases in atmospheric CO2 levels result in global warming, but the magnitude of the effect may vary depending on average global temperature. A new study, published this week in Science Advances and led by Tobias Friedrich from the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, concludes that warm climates are more sensitive to changes in CO2 levels than cold climates.
Study: Carbon-Hungry Plants Impede Growth Rate of Atmospheric CO2
November 8, 2016 04:47 PM - Dan Krotz via Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
New findings suggest the rate at which CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere has plateaued in recent years because Earth’s vegetation is grabbing more carbon from the air than in previous decades.
That’s the conclusion of a multi-institutional study led by a scientist from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). It’s based on extensive ground and atmospheric observations of CO2, satellite measurements of vegetation, and computer modeling. The research is published online Nov. 8 in the journal Nature Communications.
Record hot year may be the new normal by 2025
November 7, 2016 09:37 AM - Australian National University
The hottest year on record globally in 2015 could be an average year by 2025 and beyond if carbon emissions continue to rise at the same rate, new research has found.
Lead author Dr Sophie Lewis from the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society said human activities had already locked in this new normal for future temperatures, but immediate climate action could prevent record extreme seasons year after year.
Impact of sea smell overestimated by present climate models
November 4, 2016 04:42 PM - Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research
The formation of sulfur dioxide from the oxidation of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) and, thus, of cooling clouds over the oceans seems to be overvalued in current climate models. This concludes scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) from a model study on the effects of DMS on atmospheric chemistry. Until now, models considering only the oxidation in the gas phase describe merely the oxidation pathway and neglect important pathways in the aqueous phase of the atmosphere, writes the team in the journal PNAS. This publication contains until now the most comprehensive mechanistic study on the multiphase oxidation of this compound. The results have shown that in order to improve the understanding of the atmospheric chemistry and its climate effects over the oceans, a more detailed knowledge about the multiphase oxidation of DMS and its oxidation products is necessary. Furthermore, it is also needed to increase the accuracy of climate prediction.
Biodiversity needs citizen scientists
November 3, 2016 07:49 PM - Linda See, IIASA
Could birdwatching or monitoring tree blossoms in your community make a difference in global environmental research? A new study says yes: citizen scientists have a vital role to play.
Citizen scientists are already providing large amounts of data for monitoring biodiversity, but they could do much more, according to a new study published in the journal Biological Conservation, which suggests that citizen science has the potential to contribute much more to regional and global assessments of biodiversity. Citizen scientists are regular people who provide data or input to science, for example by monitoring species in their community or examining satellite imagery for evidence of deforestation or land use change.
“Citizen scientists are already contributing enormously to environmental science,” says IIASA researcher Linda See. “For example, a huge amount of species occurrence data is provided by members of the interested public. The question we addressed was, where are citizens contributing and where are they not, and how can we draw on this phenomenon to help fill the gaps in science?”
Seeing Fewer Butterflies? Blame Extreme Weather
November 3, 2016 07:42 PM - Kevin Mathews, Care2
Have you noticed fewer butterflies floating this year? Researchers in the UK think they know the culprit for the population decline: extreme weather conditions.
Adapting to climate change — a major challenge for forests
November 2, 2016 09:14 AM - Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL
Climate change means that trees germinating today will be living in a much-altered climate by the time they reach middle age. The expected changes are likely to hit them hard and threaten key forest functions in the decades ahead. However, appropriate management shall enable to increase the forest habitat's adaptability. This is shown by the results of the Forests and Climate Change research programme conducted by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment FOEN and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL since 2009.
Ghost Forests: How Rising Seas Are Killing Southern U.S. Woodlands
November 1, 2016 09:42 AM - Roger Drouin via Yale Environment 360
On a recent afternoon, University of Florida watershed ecologist David Kaplan and Ph.D. candidate Katie Glodzik hiked through the Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve, on the Big Bend coast of northwestern Florida. Not long ago, red cedar, live oaks, and cabbage palms grew in profusion on the raised “hammock island” forests set amid the preserve’s wetlands. But as the researchers walked through thigh-high marsh grass, the barren trunks of dead cedars were silhouetted against passing clouds. Dead snag cabbage palms stood like toothpicks snapped at the top. Other trees and shrubs, such as wax myrtle, had long been replaced by more salt-tolerant black needlerush marsh grass.
In the right place at the right time
November 1, 2016 09:18 AM - Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research
Based on a unique dataset collected during a research cruise to the Irminger Sea in April 2015, a new paper reveals a strong link between atmospheric forcing, deep convection, ocean ventilation and anthropogenic carbon sequestration.
The Irminger Sea, a small ocean basin between Greenland and Iceland, is known for its harsh and extreme weather conditions during winter. Research cruises that take measurements in the subpolar North Atlantic almost exclusively do so in summer, although the area is particularly interesting in the convectively active winter season.