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Extreme fieldwork, drones, climate modeling yield new insights about Greenland's melting ice sheet

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 17:14
A new UCLA-led study reinforces the importance of collaboration in assessing the effects of climate change.The research, published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers new insights about previously unknown factors affecting Greenland’s melting ice sheet, and it could ultimately help scientists more accurately predict how the phenomenon could cause sea levels to rise.

Transformation to wind and solar could be achieved with low indirect greenhouse gas emissions

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 11:43
Different low carbon technologies from wind or solar energy to fossil carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) differ greatly when it comes to indirect greenhouse gas emissions in their life cycle. This is the result of a comprehensive new study conducted by an international team of scientists that is now published in the journal Nature Energy. Unlike what some critics argue, the researchers not only found that wind and solar energy belong to the more favorable when it comes to life-cycle emissions. They also show that a full decarbonization of the global power sector by scaling up these technologies would induce only modest indirect greenhouse gas emissions – and hence not impede the transformation towards a climate-friendly power system.

Researchers establish long-sought source of ocean methane

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 15:04
An abundant enzyme in marine microbes may be responsible for production of the greenhouse gas.  Industrial and agricultural activities produce large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Many bacteria also produce methane as a byproduct of their metabolism. Some of this naturally released methane comes from the ocean, a phenomenon that has long puzzled scientists because there are no known methane-producing organisms living near the ocean’s surface.

Transportation Replaces Power in U.S. as Top Source of CO2 Emissions

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 09:17
Power plants have been the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States for more than 40 years. But according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, transportation has now claimed the top spot.

New screening technique will allow crop breeders to develop drought resistant varieties faster

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 08:18
Chithra Karunakaran and Karen Tanino’s team developed a simple non-destructive method to screen hundreds of wheat leaf samples in a day, reducing the time and cost associated with traditional breeding programs to select varieties for drought tolerance. Their findings were published in the November issue of Physiologia Plantarum.“Developing these types of tools better enables physiologists to complement breeding programs,” said Tanino, a professor of plant sciences at the University of Saskatchewan.

Quantifying the Greenhouse Gas Footprint of Crop Cultivation

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 16:20
"Climate-smart” crop cultivation, characterized by a low greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint, low synthetic nitrogen consumption, and simultaneously high yields (Figure 1), is an approach in agriculture for implementing the Paris Agreement as part of mitigating climate change. The GHG footprint is an index used to indicate the climate change impact potential exerted by crop production. It is therefore crucial to accurately quantify the GHG footprints of crop cultivation systems. However, severe problems or drawbacks in the quantification of GHG footprints still exist, which has limited the applicability of the GHG footprint in crop cultivation.

Clean Energy: Experts Outline How Governments Can Successfully Invest Before It's Too Late

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 16:16
Governments need to give technical experts more autonomy and hold their nerve to provide more long-term stability when investing in clean energy, argue researchers in climate change and innovation policy in a new paper published today.

Researchers Model Optimal Amount of Rainfall for Plants

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 16:12
Researchers have determined what could be considered a “Goldilocks” climate for rainfall use by plants: not too wet and not too dry. 

Freezing trees, finding answers

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 13:09
Researchers study impact of ice storms, climate change

More-severe climate model predictions could be the most accurate: study

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 12:26
The climate models that project greater amounts of warming this century are the ones that best align with observations of the current climate, according to a new paper from Carnegie’s Patrick Brown and Ken Caldeira published by Nature.  Their findings suggest that the models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on average, may be underestimating future warming.Climate model simulations are used to predict how much warming should be expected for any given increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

NASA Gets a Final Look at Tropical Cyclone Ockhi's Rainfall

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 12:48
Tropical Cyclone Ockhi is quickly weakening in the Arabian Sea and is expected to dissipate on Dec. 6 when it makes landfall in northwestern India. The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed over Ockhi and looked at its rainfall as wind shear was affecting the storm.  

Beyond Wind Speed: A New Measure for Predicting Hurricane Impacts

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 12:24
Six major hurricanes that engulfed the Atlantic Basin in 2017 were a devastating reminder of the vulnerability of coastal communities, where more than half the U.S. population resides.

Despite city tree benefits, Calif. urban canopy cover per capita lowest in U.S.

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 09:42
Trees in California communities are working overtime. From removing carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air, intercepting rainfall and increasing property values, California's 173.2 million city trees provide ecosystem services valued at $8.3 billion a year. However, according to a recent study, more benefits could be realized if the Golden State's urban forests didn't have the lowest canopy cover per capita in the nation.

Rising Waters: Can a Massive Barrier Save Venice from Drowning?

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 08:44
It’s tempting to believe that the devastating sequence of hurricanes in the Atlantic this year has blown in a new awareness of the risks of rising waters and increasingly powerful storms on our rapidly warming planet. In a rational world, the destruction wrought by these storms would inspire us to redouble our efforts to cut carbon pollution as quickly as possible and begin planning for an orderly retreat to higher ground. 

A new NOAA tool is helping to predict US droughts, global famine

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 08:14
Agriculture is the economic engine that powers the Great Plains, the vast stretch of treeless prairie that covers parts of 10 states – and where the next drought can appear with little warning.Now there’s a powerful new tool to help provide farmers and ranchers in the arid western United States critical early indications of oncoming droughts, and its name is EDDI.

NASA Finds Tropical Depression Dahlia's Center Devoid of Rainfall

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 16:18
Tropical Depression Dahlia was weakening into a remnant low pressure area when the Global Precipitation Measurement mission core satellite or GPM analyzed the storm's precipitation. GPM found the center devoid of rainfall and light rainfall to the east of center.  

NASA Sees a Mix of Tropical Cyclone Ockhi and Dust Storms

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 11:37
NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Arabian Sea on Dec. 4 and found Tropical Cyclone Ockhi moving north as desert dust pushed into the region north of the storm.

Understanding the impact of natural atmospheric particles

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 11:30
An international team of scientists, led by the University of Leeds, has quantified the relationship between natural sources of particles in the atmosphere and climate change.Their study, published today in Nature Geoscience, shows that the cooling effect of natural atmospheric particles is greater during warmer years and could therefore slightly reduce the amount that temperatures rise as a result of climate change.  

Flying Laboratory Reveals Crucial Tropical Forest Conservation Targets in Borneo

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 11:20
About 40 percent of northern Malaysian Borneo’s carbon stocks exist in forests that are not designated for maximum protections, according to new remote sensing and satellite mapping from Carnegie’s Greg Asner and his colleagues.

Top Credit Agency to Cities and States: Prepare for Climate Change or Face Lower Credit Rating

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 10:49
Moody’s Investors Service, one of the top credit rating agencies in the world, warned cities and states in the U.S. that unless they prepare for climate change, the agency could lower their credit ratings, making it harder for them to obtain low-interest bonds.