• Mongol Invasion in 1200 Altered Carbon Dioxide Levels

    The Mongol invasion of Asia in the 1200s took enough carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to offset a year's worth of the world's gasoline demand today, according to a new study. But even Genghis Khan couldn't create more than a blip in atmospheric carbon compared to the overwhelming effect of agriculture. >> Read the Full Article
  • Vatican Science Panel Calls Attention to the Threat of Glacial Melt

    ScienceDaily (May 7, 2011) — A panel of some of the world's leading climate and glacier scientists co-chaired by a Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego researcher issued a report commissioned by the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences citing the moral imperative before society to properly address climate change. >> Read the Full Article
  • El Nino Tree Ring Story

    El Niño and its partner La Niña, the warm and cold phases in the eastern half of the tropical Pacific, play havoc with climate worldwide. Predicting El Niño events more than several months ahead is now routine, but predicting how it will change in a warming world has been hampered by the short historical record. El Niño/La Niña-Southern Oscillation is a quasiperiodic climate pattern that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean roughly every five years. It is characterized by variations in the temperature of the surface of the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean—warming or cooling known as El Niño and La Niña respectively—and air surface pressure in the tropical western Pacific—the Southern Oscillation. record. An international team of climate scientists from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa recently found that annually resolved tree-ring records from North America, particularly from the U.S. Southwest, give a continuous representation of the intensity of El Niño events over the past 1,100 years and can be used to improve El Niño predictions. >> Read the Full Article
  • What makes humans special? The Power of communication. New from BBC Earth

    A human's need to communicate, can be observed from the first moments of life. The intuitive reaction of a newborn to cry, lays the stepping-stone for a process which at its heart, will enable every human to successfully communicate their experience of being alive. It has been said that words are man's greatest achievement. With the first utterances of symbolic language emerging 2.5 million years ago, slowly evolved by the first Homo sapiens – the solid foundations of modern articulation have decidedly been set. Yet many would argue that speech and language was developed not out of want, but out of need. Therefore in what ways do humans communicate…without using words? Music has long been a way of communicating for necessity as well as pleasure. Such as the use of a lullaby to sooth, a folk song to warn and a chant to call to arms! But in what ways do we use rhythm and melody to communicate with nature itself? >> Read the Full Article
  • Climate change has spurred food prices

    Climate change cut global wheat and corn output by more than 3 percent over the past three decades compared to growth projections without a rise in temperatures, a study found on Friday. The impacts translated into up to 20 percent higher average commodity prices, before accounting for other factors, according to the paper published in the journal Science. Crop yields rose over the period for example as a result of improvements in practices and plant breeding, and the isolated, negative impact of climate change was equivalent to about one tenth of those advances. But that varied widely between countries with Russia, Turkey and Mexico more affected for wheat, for example. The isolated impact of climate change on wheat and corn was a warning of the future food supply and price impact from an expected acceleration in warming, the paper said. >> Read the Full Article
  • Study Finds Sea-Level Rise Likely on West Coast

    For the last few decades, sea levels of the eastern North Pacific Ocean along the west coast of North America have remained remarkably steady as other sea levels rise around the world. That is due to the dominance of cold surface waters along the coast. According to a new study from the University of California (UC) San Diego, the cold waters on the coast will give way to warmer waters beginning this decade, which will lead to accelerated sea-level rise. The change in water temperature is related to the climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). >> Read the Full Article
  • Araucarias gauge ancient levels of carbon dioxide

    Knowing the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere today is easy – you just go outside and measure it – but gauging levels of CO2 from millions of years ago is not so simple. Now scientists have found how araucarias can help to solve the problem. >> Read the Full Article
  • Global Climate Change Affects Tropical as well as Polar Regions

    The most often heard victims of climate change are the polar bears in the far north losing their hunting grounds to the melting polar ice. Maps show the greatest area of warming temperatures are at the north and south poles. However, equally important are the effects of climate change in the tropical regions of the world. As temperatures rise here, poorly adaptable species may be lost forever. It may also encourage the spread of diseases and unprecedented heat waves which may lead to forest fires. >> Read the Full Article
  • China carbon emissions could peak by 2025-2030

    China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, could peak in emissions by 2030 or earlier, says a study from U.S. researchers who foresee Chinese demand for appliances, buildings and much industry reaching "saturation" around then. The study by energy and emissions experts at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California adds to a growing body of studies that say China could reach its maximum output of carbon dioxide (CO2) within two decades. That matters for more than China. Its emissions path will be crucial to determining whether the world can restrict total greenhouse gas emissions to levels less likely to trigger dangerous climate change, such as more intense droughts, floods and storms that threaten crops and economic growth. >> Read the Full Article
  • Salt marshes along eastern US shrinking, this may actually be natural

    The salt marshes that rim the shores of Massachusetts's Plum Island estuary, which provide nesting grounds for numerous waterfowl and extremely productive spawning grounds for striped bass and soft-shell clams, have grown by 300 hectares in the last 300 years. That growth, according to a new study, was fueled by post-colonial deforestation and the erosion it caused in areas upstream. The findings suggests that efforts to maintain or restore salt marshes along the Eastern Seaboard, which have begun to disappear in recent years for a variety of reasons, may be preventing the wetlands from returning to their more natural sizes. In the past century, wetlands in many regions have shrunk dramatically. San Francisco Bay lost about 20,000 hectares of wetlands during that period, and the Mississippi River delta lost 20 times that amount. Scientists have long presumed that the ongoing loss of wetlands in many areas of the world stems from influences such as rising sea levels and human development of coastal real estate. In many regions, dams both large and small also contribute to wetland degradation by interrupting the flow of sediment to the sea, thereby depriving the marshes of material that could accumulate and help counteract local erosion. >> Read the Full Article