Arctic Sea Ice Extent in 2016 Ties as Second Lowest in The Satellite Record
September 20, 2016 08:56 AM - Yale Environment 360
Arctic sea ice extent shrank to 1.6 million square miles earlier this month — tying 2016 with 2007 as the second lowest sea ice minimum since satellite records began. The lowest year remains 2012. The new measurements follow a decades-long trend of declining sea ice extent in the Arctic as global temperatures rise.
Heatwaves in the ocean: Risk to ecosystems?
September 19, 2016 04:12 PM - ETH Zurich via ScienceDaily
Marine ecosystems are responsible for about half of global annual primary production and more than one billion people rely on fish as their primary protein source. Latest studies show that enormous warm water bubbles in the ocean are having a noticeable impact on ecosystems. How should we interpret these changes?
World deforestation: we're losing a forest the size of NYC every 2 days!
September 19, 2016 10:26 AM - Karin Kloosterman via Green Prophet
This is an issue of global concern. Climate change, urbanization, and resource depletion (more mouths to feed, burn wood in stoves for, graze more cattle for) is still happening at a fast an alarming clip, influencing our planet’s ability to store CO2 emissions, and protect diversity.
Arctic sea ice heading towards second lowest on record
September 15, 2016 01:07 PM - British Antarctic Survey
This year the extent of summer sea ice in the Arctic is heading towards being the second lowest on record. The Arctic sea ice minimum marks the day – typically in mid-September – when sea ice reaches its smallest extent at the end of the summer melt season. British Antarctic Survey sea-ice scientist, Dr Jeremy Wilkinson, provides a scientific perspective on the trend of rapidly decreasing Arctic sea ice.
Greenhouse gas-monitoring aircraft keep tabs on the Amazon's rising methane levels
September 15, 2016 10:25 AM - University of Leicester via ScienceDaily
Research led by the National Centre of Earth Observation at the University of Leicester is going to new heights in the atmosphere to get a better handle on methane emitted from wetlands in the Amazon.
Using small aircraft flying in an upward spiral and collecting samples of the air, the team has measured the levels of methane in the atmosphere over the Amazon basin in unprecedented detail.
In the process they've shown the value of satellite measurements of methane for the region, paving the way for research that will keep better tabs on the greenhouse gas.
Free-swimming Ocean Gliders Help Scientists Understand Storm Intensity
September 13, 2016 10:52 AM - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
A regional team from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Rutgers University, the University of Maine, the University of Maryland, and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute mobilized Friday in advance of post-Tropical Storm Hermine’s arrival in the Northeast to gather data from new ocean instruments that will help better predict the intensity and evolution of future tropical storms along the US East Coast.
The team, part of the TEMPESTS program organized through the Cooperative Institute for the North Atlantic Region, is funded by the NOAA office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.
Calculating the role of lakes in global warming
September 9, 2016 05:01 PM - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) via ScienceDaily
As global temperatures rise, how will lake ecosystems respond? As they warm, will lakes -- which make up only 3 percent of the landscape, but bury more carbon than the world's oceans combined -- release more of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane? And might that create a feedback loop that leads to further warming?
To predict the effects of rising air temperatures on the carbon cycle of lakes, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers will link computer models of changing weather, water temperature, and emissions of carbon dioxide and methane for 2,000 lakes across the United States, including Lake George, through 2105. The project is supported with a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, and led by Kevin Rose, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Rensselaer and the Frederic R. Kolleck '52 Career Development Chair in Freshwater Ecology.
Increased ocean acidification is due to human activities, say scientists
September 8, 2016 05:24 PM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology via ScienceDaily
Oceanographers from MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution report that the northeast Pacific Ocean has absorbed an increasing amount of anthropogenic carbon dioxide over the last decade, at a rate that mirrors the increase of carbon dioxide emissions pumped into the atmosphere.
The scientists, led by graduate student Sophie Chu, in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, found that most of the anthropogenic carbon (carbon arising from human activity) in the northeast Pacific has lingered in the upper layers, changing the chemistry of the ocean as a result. In the past 10 years, the region's average pH has dropped by 0.002 pH units per year, leading to more acidic waters. The increased uptake in carbon dioxide has also decreased the availability of aragonite -- an essential mineral for many marine species' shells.
Tropics told to ban coral-killing sunscreen
September 8, 2016 06:57 AM - Inga Vesper, SciDevNet
Tropical island nations should team up to ban coral-killing sunscreen products, following the example of Hawaii, a conference has heard. Chemical compounds in sunscreen lotions cause irreparable damage to reefs, which are crucial to the livelihoods of 500 million people in the tropics, scientist and policymakers said at the IUCN World Conservation Congress on 3 September. Hawaii is leading a legistlative effort to ban the use of sunscreen that contains oxybenzone or similar harmful agents at its beaches.
Future fisheries can expect $10 billion revenue loss due to climate change
September 7, 2016 11:20 AM - University of British Columbia via EurekAlert!
Global fisheries stand to lose approximately $10 billion of their annual revenue by 2050 if climate change continues unchecked, and countries that are most dependent on fisheries for food will be the hardest hit, finds new UBC research.
Climate change impacts such as rising temperatures and changes in ocean salinity, acidity and oxygen levels are expected to result in decreased catches, as previous research from UBC's Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries has found. In this study, the authors examined the financial impact of these projected losses for all fishing countries in 2050, compared to 2000.