Climate

Climate change impact on mammals and birds greatly 'under-estimated'
February 14, 2017 09:03 AM - University of Queensland

An international study published today involving University of Queensland research has found large numbers of threatened species have already been affected by climate change. 

Associate Professor James Watson of UQ’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Wildlife Conservation Society said the team of international researchers found alarming evidence of responses to recent climate changes in almost 700 birds and mammal species.

“There has been a massive under-reporting of these impacts,” he said.

Marine bacteria produce an environmentally important molecule with links to climate
February 13, 2017 06:00 PM - University of East Anglia

Scientists from the University of East Anglia and Ocean University China have discovered that tiny marine bacteria can synthesise one of the Earth’s most abundant sulfur molecules, which affects atmospheric chemistry and potentially climate.

This molecule, dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) is an important nutrient for marine microorganisms and is the major precursor for the climate-cooling gas, dimethyl sulfide (DMS).

Desert Songbirds May Face Expanding Threat of Lethal Dehydration
February 13, 2017 04:13 PM - Janet Lathrop

AMHERST, Mass – A new study of songbird dehydration and survival risk during heat waves in the United States desert Southwest suggests that some birds are at risk of lethal dehydration and mass die-offs when water is scarce, and the risk is expected to increase as climate change advances.  

January was wetter and warmer than average for the U.S.
February 13, 2017 11:22 AM - NOAA

By many accounts, winter seemed to stay mostly offstage in January. Rain was the star event, with warmer temperatures in the East having played a supporting role. Except for California: Parts of the Golden State saw more than 15 feet of snow, while mountain areas of the interior West, such as Colorado, Nevada and Utah, experienced higher-than-normal snowfall overall.

New Data from NOAA GOES-16's Space Environment In-Situ Suite (SEISS) Instrument
February 10, 2017 04:44 PM - NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center

The new Space Environment In Situ Suite (SEISS) instrument onboard NOAA’s GOES-16 is working and successfully sending data back to Earth.

A plot from SEISS data showed how fluxes of charged particles increased over a few minutes around the satellite on January 19, 2017. These particles are often associated with brilliant displays of aurora borealis at northern latitudes and australis at southern latitudes; however, they can pose a radiation hazard to astronauts and other satellites, and threaten radio communications.

Gas Hydrate Breakdown Unlikely to Cause Massive Greenhouse Gas Release
February 10, 2017 02:03 PM - US Geological Survey

A recent interpretive review of scientific literature performed by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Rochester sheds light on the interactions of gas hydrates and climate.

The breakdown of methane hydrates due to warming climate is unlikely to lead to massive amounts of methane being released to the atmosphere, according to a recent interpretive review of scientific literature performed by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Rochester.

Methane hydrate, which is also referred to as gas hydrate, is a naturally-occurring, ice-like form of methane and water that is stable within a narrow range of pressure and temperature conditions.  These conditions are mostly found in undersea sediments at water depths greater than 1000 to 1650 ft and in and beneath permafrost (permanently frozen ground) at high latitudes. Methane hydrates are distinct from conventional natural gas, shale gas, and coalbed methane reservoirs and are not currently exploited for energy production, either in the United States or the rest of the world. 

Evidence of Sea-level Change in Southeast Asia 6,000 Years Ago Has Implications for Today's Coastal Dwellers, Rutgers Study Finds
February 10, 2017 11:14 AM - Rutgers University

For the 100 million people who live within 3 feet of sea level in East and Southeast Asia, the news that sea level in their region fluctuated wildly more than 6,000 years ago is important, according to research published by a team of ocean scientists and statisticians, including Rutgers professors Benjamin Horton and Robert Kopp and Rutgers Ph.D. student Erica Ashe. That’s because those fluctuations occurred without the assistance of human-influenced climate change.

In a paper published in Nature Communications, Horton, Kopp, Ashe, lead author Aron Meltzner and others report that the relative sea level around Belitung Island in Indonesia rose twice just under 2 feet in the period from 6,850 years ago to 6,500 years ago. That this oscillation took place without any human-assisted climate change suggests to Kopp, Horton and their co-authors that such a change in sea level could happen again now, on top of the rise in sea level that is already projected to result from climate change. This could be catastrophic for people living so close to the sea.

NASA's Spots Tropical Cyclone Carlos' Night-time Stretch
February 10, 2017 10:33 AM - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured a night-time image of Tropical Cyclone Carlos using infrared light that showed the storm was being stretched out. Carlos is being adversely affected by the Westerlies.

NASA's Spots Tropical Cyclone Carlos' Night-time Stretch
February 10, 2017 10:33 AM - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured a night-time image of Tropical Cyclone Carlos using infrared light that showed the storm was being stretched out. Carlos is being adversely affected by the Westerlies.

UCI, NASA reveal new details of Greenland ice loss
February 9, 2017 03:10 PM - UCI

Less than a year after the first research flight kicked off NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland campaign, data from the new program are providing a dramatic increase in knowledge of how Greenland’s ice sheet is melting from below. Two new research papers in the journal Oceanography, including one by UCI Earth system scientist Mathieu Morlighem, use OMG observations to document how meltwater and ocean currents are interacting along Greenland’s west coast and to improve seafloor maps used to predict future melting and sea level rise.

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