• California Deserts In 'Super Bloom' Thanks To A Wet Winter

    In some parts of the country, cold weather is threatening crops. Meanwhile, California has been so unseasonably wet that its deserts are experiencing what's called a "super bloom." After years of drought, the normally arid desert is lush.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Stanford scientists reveal how grass developed a better way to breathe

    Grasses are better able to withstand drought or high temperatures than many other plants in large part due to changes in their pores, called stomata. Stanford scientists have discovered how grasses produce these altered pores, which could someday lead to crops that can better survive climate change.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • NASA Satellite Identifies Global Ammonia "Hotspots"

    The first global, long-term satellite study of airborne ammonia gas has revealed “hotspots” of the pollutant over four of the world’s most productive agricultural regions. The results of the study, conducted using data from NASA’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite, could inform the development of strategies to control pollution from ammonia and ammonia byproducts in Earth’s agricultural areas.

    A University of Maryland-led team discovered steadily increasing ammonia concentrations from 2002 to 2016 over agricultural centers in the United States, Europe, China and India. Increased concentrations of atmospheric ammonia are linked to poor air and water quality.  

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Is Spring Getting Longer? UNH Research Points to a Lengthening "Vernal Window"

    With the first day of spring around the corner, temperatures are beginning to rise, ice is melting, and the world around us is starting to blossom. Scientists sometimes refer to this transition from winter to the growing season as the “vernal window,” and a new study led by the University of New Hampshire shows this window may be opening earlier and possibly for longer.  

    “Historically, the transition into spring is comparatively shorter than other seasons,” said Alexandra Contosta, a research assistant professor at the University of New Hampshire’s Earth Systems Research Center. “You have snow melting and lots of water moving through aquatic systems, nutrients flushing through that water, soils warming up, and buds breaking on trees. Something striking happens after a very cold winter or when there’s been a lot of snow. Things seem to wake up all together, which is why spring seems to happen so quickly and can feel so dramatic.”

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Natural measures to prevent floods are not a 'silver bullet'

    Measures such as river restoration and tree planting aim to restore processes that have been affected by human activities like farming, land management and house-building. Natural flood management is an area of increasing interest for policy makers, but its implementation can present a complex balancing act between the needs of different groups, including the public, farmers and land owners. Mixed messages about their effectiveness and the scale needed to implement natural flood management measures successfully add to the uncertainty surrounding their benefits. Now a team of experts, led by Dr Simon Dadson of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, has compiled evidence on natural flood management to inform policy decision-making and show where there are still crucial gaps in knowledge. The article shines a light on the scientific evidence available from a variety of sources, ranging from field data to model projections and expert opinion.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Outwitting climate change with a plant 'dimmer'?

    Plants possess molecular mechanisms that prevent them from blooming in winter. Once the cold of win-ter has passed, they are deactivated. However, if it is still too cold in spring, plants adapt their blooming behavior accordingly. Scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have discovered genetic changes for this adaptive behavior. In light of the temperature changes resulting from climate change, this may come in useful for securing the production of food in the future.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • NSF awards $5.6 million to establish new arctic Long-Term Ecological Research site

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) has made a $5.6 million, five-year grant to establish a Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site along the northern Alaskan coast that will focus on the interactions between land and ocean that shape coastal ecosystems in the Arctic over different time scales.

    Researchers at the Beaufort Sea Lagoons LTER site will study food webs, which support large-scale coastal fisheries and more than 150 species of migratory birds and waterfowl. Long-term changes along the northern Alaska coast have already affected the types of fish and other creatures that live in the lagoons, and are expected to continue to do so. The LTER research team will collaborate with members of local communities, including the Iñupiat, and with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

     

     

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Eating healthier food could reduce greenhouse gas emissions

    You are what you eat, as the saying goes, and while good dietary choices boost your own health, they also could improve the health care system and even benefit the planet. Healthier people mean not only less disease but also reduced greenhouse gas emissions from health care. As it turns out, some relatively small diet tweaks could add up to significant inroads in addressing climate change.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Study: Cold Climates and Ocean Carbon Sequestration

    We know a lot about how carbon dioxide (CO2) levels can drive climate change, but how about the way that climate change can cause fluctuations in CO2 levels? New research from an international team of scientists reveals one of the mechanisms by which a colder climate was accompanied by depleted atmospheric CO2 during past ice ages.

    The overall goal of the work is to better understand how and why the earth goes through periodic climate change, which could shed light on how man-made factors could affect the global climate.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • NASA Spots Sub-Tropical Storm 11S Still Swirling

    Once a tropical storm, now a sub-tropical storm, the remnants of the tropical low pressure area formerly known as 11S was spotted by NASA's Aqua satellite, still spinning in the Southern Indian Ocean.

    On March 14 at 2230 UTC (6:30 p.m. EST) the remnants of Tropical Cyclone 11S were located near 29.8 degrees south latitude and 52.4 degrees east longitude, about 530 nautical miles south-southwest of La Reunion Island.

    >> Read the Full Article