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Type 1A Supernovas

A supernova is a stellar explosion that is more energetic than a nova. I Supernovae are extremely luminous and cause a burst of radiation that often briefly outshines an entire galaxy, before fading from view over several weeks or months. A Type Ia supernova is a sub-category of supernovae that results from the violent explosion of a white dwarf star. Supernova can be easily picked out and are often used as a way to measure distances. A study using a unique new instrument on the world’s largest optical telescope has revealed the likely origins of especially bright supernovae that astronomers use as easy-to-spot mile markers to measure the expansion and acceleration of the universe. >> Read the Full Article

Doha Climate Summit off to a Rocky Start

The EU will not commit to renew climate funding which runs out in 2013 ahead of talks at the Doha climate summit, which opens today (26 November). But new climate aid may be announced in the conference’s second week. Development NGOs reacted angrily to an EU statement on 23 November which said only that in Doha, the EU would "discuss with its developing country partners how major flows of EU climate finance can continue in 2013-2014". "If the EU and other developed countries are serious about making climate action a reality for the period 2013-2020, they can't afford to come to Doha empty handed," Lies Craeynest, Oxfam’s EU policy adviser told EurActiv. >> Read the Full Article

Climate Change Impacts in New England

In the northern hardwood forest, climate change is poised to reduce the viability of the maple syrup industry, spread wildlife diseases and tree pests, and change timber resources. And, according to a new BioScience paper just released by twenty-one scientists, without long-term studies at the local scale -- we will be ill-prepared to predict and manage these effects. Following an exhaustive review of more than fifty years of long term data on environmental conditions at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the paper's authors arrived at a sobering conclusion: current climate change models don't account for real life surprises that take place in forests. >> Read the Full Article

Forests worldwide near tipping-point from drought

Forests worldwide are at "equally high risk" to die-off from drought conditions, warns a new study published this week in the journal Nature. The study, conducted by an international team of scientists, assessed the specific physiological effects of drought on 226 tree species at 81 sites in different biomes around the world. It found that 70 percent of the species sampled are particularly vulnerable to reduction in water availability. With drought conditions increasing around the globe due to climate change and deforestation, the research suggests large swathes of the world's forests — and the services they afford — may be approaching a tipping point. >> Read the Full Article

Greenland becoming more green, thanks to Global Warming

I don't want to be told that thanks to Global Warming - now accepted by the majority (77%) of Americans and so therefore, in my opinion, a new Tipping Point - strawberry plants can now survive a Greenland winter. I don't want to see neat little rows of budding lettuce plants growing outside a polytunnel. OUTSIDE a polytunnel; over-wintering under the snow but come the Spring, still alive and sprouting new shoots; cabbage and potatoes to follow. And I don't want to hear a Greenlander livestock farmer telling me that (once again, thanks to Global Warming) he now has enough newly ice-free pasture land to double the size of his 20,000-strong flock of sheep. >> Read the Full Article

Last decade was warmest on record in Europe

European temperatures in the last decade were 1.3 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average – the warmest since records began – according to new research by the European Environment Agency (EEA), the EU’s climate advisory body. Their report finds that since 2002, rainfall has decreased in southern Europe, while increasing in the north, and there have been more extreme weather events. Meanwhile, the Greenland ice sheet, Arctic sea ice and many European glaciers are melting. "Climate change is a reality around the world, and the extent and speed of change is becoming ever more evident," said Jacqueline McGlade, the EEA's executive director. >> Read the Full Article

Children cite 'pollution' as greatest environmental concern

A comprehensive survey of youngsters from around the world has discovered the biggest concern they have about the environment they live in is pollution. The global poll of more than 6,000 children in 47 countries found that, although almost one in three 10-to-12-year-olds had personally experienced such catastrophes as drought, flood or fires, their most pressing ecological concern is not natural disasters but the growing threat of pollution.

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Temperatures are Up

Feel warmer? Maybe not everywhere but global temperatures were the fifth highest on record for October. Meanwhile arctic sea ice doubles from last month yet remains second lowest on record for October. The globally-averaged temperature for October 2012 was the fifth warmest October since record keeping began in 1880. October 2012 also marks the 36th consecutive October and 332nd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. >> Read the Full Article

Colossal Galactic Bridge

The Planck (European Space Agency or ESA) space telescope has made the first conclusive detection of a bridge of hot gas connecting a pair of galaxy clusters across 10 million light-years of intergalactic space. In the early Universe, filaments of gaseous matter pervaded the cosmos in a giant web, with clusters eventually forming in the densest nodes. Planck’s discovery of a bridge of hot gas connecting the clusters Abell 399 and Abell 401, each containing hundreds of galaxies is one such discovery. >> Read the Full Article

Climate Change Complexities in the Northern Hardwood Forests

For residents of the northeastern United States, the abundant woodlands of the northern Appalachians provide an excellent getaway from the congested coasts. These woods are composed typically of hardwood trees like Oak, Ash, Maple, and Birch, changing to evergreen varieties at the higher elevations. Climatologists predict that the northeast will experience warmer and wetter conditions as the climate continues to alter. However, until now, there has been no exhaustive study conducted to see how the climate change will affect the biosphere of the northern hardwoods. A recent study found that this region will be susceptible to major disruptions to forest health, its maple syrup industry, the spread of wildlife diseases and tree pests, as well as changing timber resources. >> Read the Full Article