• Glacier Retreat in Antarctica Has Unexpected Benefit

    The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has been studying glaciers in Antarctica, looking at their reducing surface area. As the glaciers retreat, more open water is exposed, and lead author of a new study, Professor Lloyd Peck of the BAS found that large blooms of tiny marine plants called phytoplankton are flourishing in areas of open water left exposed by the recent and rapid melting of ice shelves and glaciers around the Antarctic Peninsula. This remarkable colonization is having a beneficial impact on climate change. The phytoplankton blooms are relatively short lived, and as they die back, phytoplankton sinks to the sea-bed where it can store carbon for thousands or millions of years. >> Read the Full Article
  • Heat-Related Nitrogen Loss Endangers Desert Plant Life

    As the climate gets warmer, arid soils lose nitrogen as gas, reports a new Cornell study. This could lead to deserts with even less plant life than they sustain today, say the researchers. Available nitrogen is second only to water as the biggest constraint to biological activity in arid ecosystems, but before now, ecologists struggled to understand how the inputs and outputs of nitrogen in deserts balance. >> Read the Full Article
  • Hurricane Ida Approaches US Gulf Coast

    Hurricane Ida continues to move north towards the US Gulf Coast this morning. At 3am it was in the central part of the Gulf of Mexico, moving north-northeastward at 16 mph. >> Read the Full Article
  • Ida Kills 42 in Salvador, Heads Northward

    Hurricane Ida strengthened off the Mexican resort city of Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday as the storm's heavy rains killed at least 42 people in El Salvador. El Salvador's interior minister said more victims were expected to be found as rescue workers moved into areas cut off by mudslides in the Central American nation. >> Read the Full Article
  • Midwest Weather Looks Good for Harvest

    U.S. Midwest weather is seen mostly dry through the next week, ideal for the corn and soybean harvest, a forecaster said on Friday. "This is outstanding weather. Considering the time of the year, this is about as good as you're going to get," said Mike Palmerino with DTN Meteorlogix. >> Read the Full Article
  • Geoengineering Being Discussed in Washington

    Dr. Ken Caldeira, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington provided a balanced look at the potential benefits and also the costs and possible harm that geoengineering techniques could offer in our quest to find a “Magic Bullet” to counter global warming. Can global warming be mitigated by a technological fix such as injecting light-blocking particles into the atmosphere or chemically “scrubbing” excess greenhouse gases from the atmosphere? Department of Global Ecology scientist Ken Caldeira addressed this question in his testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology in a hearing titled “Geoengineering: Assessing the Implications of Large-Scale Climate Intervention” on November 5, 2009. >> Read the Full Article
  • Giant Jellyfish Sink 10-Ton Fishing Boat

    A 10-ton fishing boat has been sunk by gigantic jellyfish off eastern Japan. The crew of the fishing boat was thrown into the sea when the vessel capsized, but the three men were rescued by another trawler. >> Read the Full Article
  • Degraded Habitats Push More Species to Extinction

    The latest global assessment of biodiversity ruled yesterday that an additional 11 species are either fully extinct or extinct outside of captivity. As climate change, invasive species, and habitat destruction place greater pressure on wildlife, more species are disappearing at rates faster than conservationists can react to ensure the species' survival. >> Read the Full Article
  • Water Evaporates from the Climate Change Negotiating Text

    Negotiators meeting this week in Barcelona for the last round of UN climate talks before a big conference in Copenhagen next month are working on negotiating texts that have no reference to water and its management as tools for climate change adaptation. >> Read the Full Article
  • Ethiopian Rift Shows How Continents Can Split, Create New Ocean

    A new study reported by the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and the University of Rochester sheds light on how the continents move, and oceans are created. In 2005, a gigantic, 35-mile-long rift broke open the desert ground in Ethiopia. At the time, some geologists believed the rift was the beginning of a new ocean as two parts of the African continent pulled apart, but the claim was controversial. Now, scientists from several countries have confirmed that the volcanic processes at work beneath the Ethiopian rift are nearly identical to those at the bottom of the world's oceans, and the rift is indeed likely the beginning of a new sea. >> Read the Full Article