• Some Dryland Forests Have Been Hiding in Plain Sight

    A new estimate of the extent of dryland forests suggests that the global forest cover is at least 9% higher than previously thought. The study , published in the May 12 issue of Science, will help reduce uncertainties surrounding how much carbon dioxide plants absorb from the atmosphere globally. As carbon dioxide is a key driver of climate change, the study's results are important for climate modeling.

    Given the vastness of land across the globe, researchers rely on satellite data to estimate the amount of forest cover. Yet dryland biomes — as their name suggests — are arid ecosystems where precipitation is outweighed by evaporation, making them particularly difficult places to spot and measure forests via satellite.

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  • Shelf sediments reveal climate shifts through the eons

    Climate change around Antarctica can severely affect Australia’s rainfall and even influence the distribution of wet and dry zones across southeast Asia, an international study has revealed.

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  • Teleconnection between the tropical Pacific and Antarctica

    In April 2016, a large-scale breakup of land-fast ice was observed in Lutzow-Holm Bay near Syowa Station, a Japanese research facility. It was the first comparably large calving in the region since 1998. Land-fast ice is sea ice that grows along the Antarctic coast and does not move much once formed. Syowa Station is normally surrounded by land-fast ice, which makes it very difficult for even an icebreaker to reach.

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  • Warmer temperatures cause decline in key runoff measure

    Since the mid-1980s, the percentage of precipitation that becomes streamflow in the Upper Rio Grande watershed has fallen more steeply than at any point in at least 445 years, according to a new study led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

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  • Irreversible ocean warming threatens the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf

    By the second half of this century, rising air temperatures above the Weddell Sea could set off a self-amplifying meltwater feedback cycle under the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, ultimately causing the second-largest ice shelf in the Antarctic to shrink dramatically. Climate researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), recently made this prediction in a new study, which can be found in the latest issue of the Journal of Climate, released today. In the study, the researchers use an ice-ocean model created in Bremerhaven to decode the oceanographic and physical processes that could lead to an irreversible inflow of warm water under the ice shelf - a development that has already been observed in the Amundsen Sea.

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  • Glaciers Rapidly Shrinking and Disappearing: 50 Years of Glacier Change in Montana

    The warming climate has dramatically reduced the size of 39 glaciers in Montana since 1966, some by as much as 85 percent, according to data released by the U.S. Geological Survey and Portland State University.

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  • Alaska Tundra Source of Early-Winter Carbon Emissions

    Warmer temperatures and thawing soils may be driving an increase in emissions of carbon dioxide from Alaskan tundra to the atmosphere, particularly during the early winter, according to a new study supported by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). More carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere will accelerate climate warming, which, in turn, could lead to the release of even more carbon dioxide from these soils.

    A new paper led by Roisin Commane, an atmospheric researcher at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, finds the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from northern tundra areas between October and December each year has increased 70 percent since 1975. Commane and colleagues analyzed three years of aircraft observations from NASA's Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) airborne mission to estimate the spatial and seasonal distribution of Alaska's carbon dioxide emissions. They also studied NOAA's 41-year record of carbon dioxide measured from ground towers in Barrow (the name recently changed back to Utqiagvik), Alaska. The aircraft data provided unprecedented spatial information, while the ground data provided long-term measurements not available anywhere else in the Arctic. Results of the study are published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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  • Reaching for The Stormy Cloud with Chameleon

    Some scientists dream about big data. The dream bridges two divided realms. One realm holds lofty peaks of number-crunching scientific computation. Endless waves of big data analysis line the other realm. A deep chasm separates the two. Discoveries await those who cross these estranged lands.

    Unfortunately, data cannot move seamlessly between Hadoop (HDFS) and parallel file systems (PFS). Scientists who want to take advantage of the big data analytics available on Hadoop must copy data from parallel file systems. That can slow workflows to a crawl, especially those with terabytes of data.

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  • NASA Sees Tropical Cyclone Donna Shearing Apart

    NASA's Terra satellite captured an infrared image of Tropical Cyclone Donna as it was being sheared apart by winds southeast of New Caledonia.

    An infrared image taken May 10 at 11:55 UTC (7:55 a.m. EDT), from the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite showed cloud top temperatures of the dying storm. Strongest thunderstorms with cloud tops so high in the troposphere they were as cold as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius) were pushed to the southeast of the center from northwesterly wind shear.

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  • Climate change could increase ER visits for allergy-related asthma

    More children could wind up in hospital emergency rooms suffering from allergy-induced asthma if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and cause longer oak pollen seasons, according to a new study.

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