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Updated: 15 hours 43 min ago

Global CO2 Emissions Stalled for the Third Year in a Row

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 14:52
The annual assessment of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the JRC and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) confirms that CO2 emissions have stalled for the third year in a row.

NASA Sees a New Depression Form After Another Fizzled

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 14:45
The Northwestern Pacific Ocean generated another tropical depression hours after a different system quickly faded. NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a look at Tropical Depression 27W after it developed about 300 miles from Chuuk. Earlier in the day, Tropical Depression 26W dissipated in the South China Sea.

Cool Roofs Have Water Saving Benefits Too

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 14:42
The energy and climate benefits of cool roofs have been well established: By reflecting rather than absorbing the sun’s energy, light-colored roofs keep buildings, cities, and even the entire planet cooler. Now a new study by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has found that cool roofs can also save water by reducing how much is needed for urban irrigation.

NOAA, NASA team up again to investigate the atmosphere over Antarctica

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 09:17
Thirty years after NASA and NOAA launched a groundbreaking airborne campaign to study the Antarctic ozone hole, the two federal science agencies have once again joined forces over the world’s highest, driest and coldest continent to sniff out the secrets of the atmosphere.On Oct. 14, NASA’s heavily instrumented DC-8 flew over Antarctica as part of the Atmospheric Tomography Mission or ATom, an unprecedented effort to sample the remote atmosphere to understand the distribution of man-made pollutants and short-lived greenhouse gases.

A New Butterflyfish— A Rare, Surprise Find— Is Described from the Philippine “Twilight Zone” and Academy Exhibit

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 13:04
A newly described species of brown-and-white Philippine butterflyfish—the charismatic Roa rumsfeldi—made a fantastic, 7,000-mile journey before surprising scientists with its unknown status. Live specimens collected from 360 feet beneath the ocean’s surface in the Philippine’s Verde Island Passage escaped special notice until a single black fin spine tipped off aquarium biologists back in San Francisco. Deep-diving researchers from the California Academy of Sciences’ Hope for Reefs team—with genetic sequencing help from a parent–son team—share their discovery of a fifth species of Roa this week in ZooKeys.

Impact of Amazonian Hydropower is 'Significantly Underestimated', Study Finds

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 12:48
The environmental impact of hydropower generation in the Amazon may be greater than predicted, according to new University of Stirling research.

Fossil coral reefs show sea level rose in bursts during last warming

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 12:27
Scientists from Rice University and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies have discovered that Earth’s sea level did not rise steadily but rather in sharp, punctuated bursts when the planet’s glaciers melted during the period of global warming at the close of the last ice age. The researchers found fossil evidence in drowned reefs offshore Texas that showed sea level rose in several bursts ranging in length from a few decades to one century.

Carbon Feedback from Forest Soils will Accelerate Global Warming, 26-Year Study Projects

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 12:13
After 26 years, the world’s longest-running experiment to discover how warming temperatures affect forest soils has revealed a surprising, cyclical response: Soil warming stimulates periods of abundant carbon release from the soil to the atmosphere alternating with periods of no detectable loss in soil carbon stores. Overall, the results indicate that in a warming world, a self-reinforcing and perhaps uncontrollable carbon feedback will occur between forest soils and the climate system, adding to the build-up of atmospheric carbon dioxide caused by burning fossil fuels and accelerating global warming. The study, led by Jerry Melillo, Distinguished Scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory(MBL), appears in the October 6 issue of Science.

Ice stream retreats under a cold climate

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 11:59
Why did the Jakobshavn Isbræ ice stream in West Greenland retreat under a cold climate period called the Younger Dryas?

Forest fires on the rise as JRC study warns of danger to air quality

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 11:48
The JRC’s annual forest fires report confirms a trend towards longer and more intense fire seasons in Europe and neighbouring regions, with wildfires now occurring throughout the year. The report coincides with an international study which finds that global wildfire trends could have significant health implications due to rising harmful emissions.

Regreening the Planet Could Account for One-Third of Climate Mitigation

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 11:31
Planting trees, restoring peatlands, and better land management could provide 37 percent of the greenhouse gas mitigation needed between now and 2030 to keep global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, according to a new study published in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences.

University of Guelph Technology Helping Monitor Health of All-Important Boreal Forest

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 09:15
The boreal forest is essential to Canada and the world, storing carbon, purifying water and air, and regulating climate. But keeping tabs on the health of this vulnerable biome has proven to be a painstaking and time-consuming undertaking – until now.Cutting-edge DNA metabarcoding technology developed by the University of Guelph can help speed up and improve the monitoring process, according to a new study published today in Scientific Reports.

Nice Ice, Maybe? Husker Research Finds Ice Removal Can Be a Breeze

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 11:57
Water-repellent surfaces and coatings could make ice removal a literal breeze by forcing ice to grow up rather than just skate by, says a new study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and several Chinese institutions.

University of Hertfordshire physicists track atmospheric particles producing Monday's red sky

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 11:12
Using a Lidar, a laser ranging instrument, at the University’s Bayfordbury Observatory near Hertford, the team monitored the height of the particles throughout the day. Laser pulses reflected from the particles show their arrival around midday, their growing height in the atmosphere, and their eventual departure in the evening.The atmospheric profile was measured every second, allowing the changes in the particle layering to be observed throughout the day. The particles responsible for the red sky are seen as a diagonal stripe in the profile sequence. The layer of dust arrived over Hertford around 11:00 GMT at 1 km altitude, drifted past over the next 6 hours at progressively higher altitudes, and reached 2-3 km altitude by the time it moved away from Hertford around 18:00 UTC.

Future Temperature and Soil Moisture May Alter Location of Agricultural Regions

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 09:19
Future high temperature extremes and soil moisture conditions may cause some regions to become more suitable for rainfed, or non-irrigated, agriculture, while causing other areas to lose suitable farmland, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.  These future conditions will cause an overall increase in the area suitable to support rainfed agriculture within dryland areas. Increases are projected in North America, western Asia, eastern Asia and South America. In contrast, suitable areas are projected to decline in European dryland areas.

Tropical beetles face extinction threat

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 18:33
Climate change is putting many tropical high altitude beetles at risk of extinction, warn an international team of scientists.

NASA Finds Tropical Storm Lan Strengthening

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 18:10
Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite revealed that Tropical Storm Lan was getting stronger as it moved through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Fighting fires before they spark

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 18:02
With warm, dry summers comes a deadly caveat for the western United States: wildfires. Scientists say the hot, dry climates found west of the Mississippi, along with decades of fire suppression efforts, are creating a devastating and destructive combination – leading to fires like the ones currently burning in California.

Study reshapes understanding of climate change's impact on early societies

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 15:33
A new study linking paleoclimatology — the reconstruction of past global climates — with historical analysis by researchers at Yale and other institutions shows a link between environmental stress and its impact on the economy, political stability, and war-fighting capacity of ancient Egypt.The team of researchers examined the hydroclimatic and societal impacts in Egypt of a sequence of tropical and high-latitude volcanic eruptions spanning the past 2,500 years, as known from modern ice-core records. The team focused on the Ptolemaic dynasty of ancient Egypt (305-30 B.C.E.) — a state formed in the aftermath of the campaigns of Alexander the Great, and famed for rulers such as Cleopatra — as well as material and cultural achievements including the great Library and Lighthouse of Alexandria.

A New Way to Harness Wasted Methane

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 12:54
Methane gas, a vast natural resource, is often disposed of through burning, but new research by scientists at MIT could make it easier to capture this gas for use as fuel or a chemical feedstock.