• Calculating recharge of groundwater more precisely

    A team of international researchers led by University of Freiburg hydrologist Dr. Andreas Hartmann suggests that inclusion of currently missing key hydrological processes in large-scale climate change impact models can significantly improve our estimates of water availability. The study shows that groundwater recharge estimates for 560 million people in karst regions in Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa, are much higher than previously estimated from current large-scale models. The scientists have shown that model estimates based on entire continents up to now have greatly underestimated in places the amount of groundwater that is recharged from fractions of surface runoff. This finding suggests that more work is needed to ensure sufficient realism in large-scale hydrologic models before they can be reliably used for local water management. The team has published their research findings in the scientific journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).”

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  • Archeologists at the vanguard of environmental and climate research

    We tend to think of the overuse of natural resources, climatic instability, and large-scale human land use as quintessentially modern day problems. Yet a group of researchers led by archaeologists and calling themselves historical ecologists have recently come together to determine what we need to know about past human-environmental relationships to build a more sustainable future. These historical ecologists crowd-sourced hundreds of research questions from scholars around the world that, when answered, will reveal key information about how people have hade impact on and responded to changing environments over the course of thousands of years. Workshops were held at Uppsala University (Sweden) and Simon Fraser University (Canada) to discuss submissions from scholars and identify the 50 questions that are most in need of answering. The list of 50 priority issues for historical ecology will be published Friday in the open access journal PLOS ONE.

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  • What's The Leading Cause Of Wildfires In The U.S.? Humans

    Wildfires can start when lightning strikes or when someone fails to put out a campfire. New research shows that people start a lot more fires than lightning does — so much so that people are drastically altering wildfire in America.

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  • Forests to play major role in meeting Paris climate targets

    Forests are set to play a major role in meeting the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement - however, accurately monitoring progress toward the 'below 2°C' target requires a consistent approach to measuring the impact of forests on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

    In a paper published in the journal, Nature Climate Change: Key role of forests in meeting climate targets but science needed for credible mitigation, scientists are calling for robust, transparent and credible data to track the real mitigation potential of forests.

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  • Last year's El Nino waves battered California shore to unprecedented degree

    Last winter’s El Niño may have felt weak to residents of Southern California, but it was one of the most powerful weather events of the last 145 years, scientists say.

    If severe El Niño events become more common in the future, as some studies suggest, the California coast -- home to more than 25 million people -- may become increasingly vulnerable to coastal hazards, independently of projected sea level rise.

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  • NASA Eyes Pineapple Express Soaking California

    NASA has estimated rainfall from the Pineapple Express over the coastal regions southwestern Oregon and northern California from the series of storms in February, 2017.

    The West Coast is once again feeling the effects of the "Pineapple Express." Back in early January one of these "atmospheric river" events, which taps into tropical moisture from as far away as the Hawaiian Islands, brought heavy rains from Washington state and Oregon all the way down to southern California. This second time around, many of those same areas were hit again. The current rains are a result of three separate surges of moisture impacting the West Coast. The first such surge in this current event began impacting the Pacific coastal regions of Washington, Oregon, and northern California on February 15. 

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  • Melting Sea Ice May Be Speeding Nature's Clock in the Arctic

    Spring is coming sooner to some plant species in the low Arctic of Greenland, while other species are delaying their emergence amid warming winters. The changes are associated with diminishing sea ice cover, according to a study published in the journalBiology Letters and led by the University of California, Davis.

    The timing of seasonal events, such as first spring growth, flower bud formation and blooming, make up a plant’s phenology — the window of time it has to grow, produce offspring and express its life history. Think of it as “nature’s clock.”

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  • Manhattan-Sized Iceberg Breaks Off Antarctica

    Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier lost another large chunk of ice at the end of January. The section of ice that broke off the glacier on the western coast of Antarctica was roughly the size of Manhattan. It was 10 times smaller than the piece the same glacier sloughed in July 2015.

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  • Scientists: Warming temperatures could trigger starvation, extinctions in deep oceans by 2100

    Researchers from 20 of the world’s leading oceanographic research centers today warned that the world’s largest habitat – the deep ocean floor – may face starvation and sweeping ecological change by the year 2100.

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  • Melting polar ice, rising sea levels not only climate change dangers

    Climate change from political and ecological standpoints is a constant in the media and with good reason, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist, but proof of its impact is sometimes found in unlikely places.

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