• How has climate change affected the boreal forest?

    A Lakehead University researcher is receiving more than $440,000 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to investigate the impact of climate change on the boreal forest.

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  • Melt-Rate of West Antarctic Ice Sheet Highly Sensitive to Changes in Ocean Temperatures

    Melting of ice shelves in West Antarctica speeds up and slows down in response to changes in deep ocean temperature, and is far more variable than previously thought, according to new research published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience.

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  • NASA Finds Powerful Storms Over South China from Tropical Storm Bebinca

    Tropical Storm Bebinca formed quickly in the northern part of the South China Sea. Warnings were in effect as NASA's Aqua satellite analyzed the storm located off the coast of southern China near Hainan Island and found powerful storms capable of dropping heavy rainfall.

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  • Europe Needs Coastal Adaptation Measures to Avoid Catastrophic Flooding by the End of the Century

    Without increased investment in coastal adaptation, the expected annual damage caused by coastal floods in Europe could increase from €1.25 billion today to between €93 billion and €961 billion by the end of the century.  

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  • NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP Satellite Finds a Weaker Tropical Storm Leepi

    NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite caught up with Typhoon Leepi in the open waters of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and captured a visible image that showed the bulk of clouds were northeast of the center.

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  • Report on Washington’s sea level rise gets boost from University of Oregon data

    To help project sea level rise along the Washington coastline in a newly released report, two University of Oregon researchers looked to the land.

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  • NOAA forecasters lower Atlantic hurricane season prediction

    Conditions in the ocean and the atmosphere are conspiring to produce a less active Atlantic hurricane season than initially predicted in May, though NOAA and FEMA are raising caution as the season enters its peak months.

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  • Back to the Future of Climate Change

    Researchers at Syracuse University are looking to the geologic past to make future projections about climate change.

    Christopher K. Junium, assistant professor of Earth sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), is the lead author of a study that uses the nitrogen isotopic composition of sediments to understand changes in marine conditions during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)—a brief period of rapid global warming approximately 56 million years ago.

    Junium’s team—which includes Benjamin T. Uveges G’17, a Ph.D. candidate in A&S, and Alexander J. Dickson, a lecturer in geochemistry at Royal Holloway at the University of London—has published an article on the subject in Nature Communications (Springer Nature, 2018).

    Their research focuses on the ancient Tethys Ocean (site of the present-day Mediterranean Sea) and provides a benchmark for present and future climate and ocean models.

    Continue reading at Syracuse University

    Image via Boris Rezvantsev, Shutterstock

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  • Greenhouse Gases Linked to Degrading Plastic

    Several greenhouse gases are emitted as common plastics degrade in the environment, according to researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST).

    Mass production of plastics started nearly 70 years ago, and the production rate is expected to double over the next two decades. While serving many applications because of their durability, stability and low cost, plastics have a negative impact on the environment. Plastic is known to release a variety of chemicals during degradation, some of which negatively affect organisms and ecosystems.

    The study, published in PLOS One, reports the unexpected discovery of the universal production of greenhouse gases methane and ethylene by the most common plastics when exposed to sunlight. The SOEST team tested polycarbonate, acrylic, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polystyrene, high-density polyethylene and low-density polyethylene (LDPE)—materials used to make food storage, textiles, construction materials and various plastic goods. Polyethylene, used in shopping bags, is the most produced and discarded synthetic polymer globally, and was found to be the most prolific emitter of both gases.

    The team found that the emission rate of the gases from virgin pellets of LDPE increased during a 212-day experiment, and that LDPE debris found in the ocean also emitted greenhouse gases when exposed to sunlight. Once exposed to solar radiation, the emission of these gases continued in the dark.

    Continue reading at University of Hawaii Manoa

    Image via University of Hawaii Manoa

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  • Environmental Regulations Drove Steep Declines in U.S. Factory Pollution

    The federal Clean Air Act and associated environmental regulations have driven steep declines in air pollution emissions over the past several decades, even as U.S. manufacturers increased production, a study by two University of California, Berkeley, economists has shown.

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