Climate Change



22 December 2013

Modern crops' lack of adaptability threatens global food chains


Using the largest dated evolutionary tree of flowering plants ever assembled, new research suggests how plants developed traits to withstand low temperatures, with implications that human-induced climate change may pose a bigger threat than initially thought to global agriculture...

26 November 2013

Unclouding the behavior of clouds


How air pollution creates larger and longer lasting storm clouds has been a topic of intense debate in climatology circles. Now, a new investigation that finally reveals the atmospheric mechanism at work also shows how pollution plays into climate warming...

25 November 2013

Siberian seabed methane more than double previous estimates


Ongoing international research led by scientists from the University of Alaska indicates that the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is releasing 17 millions tons of methane into the atmosphere each year, more than twice the amount previously estimated. The researchers behind the new methane estimates say the subsea permafrost in the area has thawed much more extensively than previously thought...

3 November 2013

Mammals may shrink with warming climate


Mammal body size decreased significantly during two ancient global warming events, say paleontologists from the University of Michigan who believe that similar changes are possible in response to human-caused climate change...

20 October 2013

Ocean currents explain rainfall riddle


Most of the rain on Earth falls in the Northern Hemisphere and scientists have long believed that this was a quirk of the planet's geometry, but a new study shows that the pattern arises from ocean currents originating from the poles...

1 September 2013

Crop pests relentless in their march polewards


A new study has revealed that our warming climate is pushing crop pests such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, insects, and nematodes, towards the North and South Poles at a rate of nearly 3 km a year...

22 August 2013

Oz rains soak up sea level rise


Weather patterns that came together over Australia in 2010 and 2011 caused so much rain downunder that the world's ocean levels dropped measurably...

2 July 2013

Oceanic food-chain undergoing dramatic changes


Increasing levels of carbon dioxide appear to be changing the biodiversity of the oceanic ecosystem, most notably the keystone bacterial organisms that form the foundation of the ocean's food-chain...

1 July 2013

Global warming getting El Niño all hot and bothered


The climate records from thousands of ancient tree-rings indicate that the El Niño Southern Oscillation is becoming increasingly extreme...

31 May 2013

CO2 not to blame for global warming, claims new study that argues global cooling has already begun


Conventional thinking on climate change holds that human emissions of carbon dioxide have been the major contributor to global warming, but an intriguing new study that examined data going back to the Industrial Revolution indicates that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) conspiring with cosmic rays are the real culprit...

21 April 2013

Rising CO2 giving fish super-hearing


Ocean acidification is known to negatively impact a wide variety of marine animals, but new research indicates that a huge increase in hearing sensitivity for fish could also be one of the effects...

31 March 2013

Greening of Arctic will be dramatic, say scientists


New computer models based on observations of plant growth in the Arctic suggest that rising temperatures will lead to a massive increase in plant and tree cover over the next few decades...

3 March 2013

Volcanoes keeping a lid on global warming


Climatologists in the U.S. say that dozens of active volcanoes spewing sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere have been offsetting about a quarter of the greenhouse warming on Earth over the last decade...

6 December 2012

Oops. Greenhouse gas levels appear to be significantly underestimated


Measuring greenhouse gas emissions has traditionally relied on estimating emissions from all the activities and processes that might generate the gases, but scientists who instead took actual atmospheric measurements found that levels of nitrous oxide may be up to 3 times greater than previous estimates...

28 November 2012

Tree plumbing stress approaching tipping point


The hydraulic system of trees is so finely-tuned that predicted increases in drought due to climate change may lead to catastrophic failure in many species. That's according to a new study that found many plants around the globe are already operating at the top of their drought-stress safety threshold...

5 November 2012

Sea-level rise predictions may be missing critical factors


Sea levels are rising faster than IPCC projections and a new paper suggests that previously ignored climate feedbacks, such as groundwater use, are to blame...

31 October 2012

Food security emerging as major climate change issue


A new report looking into how climate change will affect food production and food security warns that nothing less than a "complete recalibration" of where specific crops are grown and livestock are raised will be required if the world is to be fed...

24 October 2012

Arctic ice shrinks, Antarctic grows


The dramatic decline in Arctic sea ice cover over the last three decades has been well documented, but at the opposite end of the Earth something more complex is happening...

24 September 2012

Forests set to return to Canada's extreme north


Scientists studying the fossilized remains of an ancient forest inside the Arctic circle think that our warming climate could soon see the return of hickory, oak, spruce and willow to this hostile environment...

18 September 2012

Climatologists estimate extreme rainfall events in tropics


Thunderstorm complexes, flood-inducing monsoons and wide-sweeping cyclones will all become more likely in the tropics; suggest new MIT projections that show 10 percent heavier rainfall extremes for every 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature...

7 September 2012

South American glacial thinning sharply accelerates


Thinning of the largest icefields in the southern hemisphere (excluding Antarctica) has accelerated sharply, with a new study showing the glaciers are losing ice faster than ever before...

13 August 2012

Urbanization wild-card in warming estimates


Scientists studying the impact of urban expansion on climate have found that average summertime temperatures in one US area could increase by as much as 4 degrees Celsius over the next few decades...

28 May 2012

Science literacy of dubious value in climate change assessment


A surprising new study into the public's views on climate changes casts doubt on the notion that the more you understand science and math, the better decisions you'll make in complex and technical situations...

12 April 2012

Climate change treaties wrongheaded, argues radical plan to lock-up fossil fuels


An intriguing analysis of fossil fuel trading and environmental policy shows that rather than attempting to limit consumption via pollution permits, taxation, and climate change treaties; buying coal, oil and other dirty fossil fuel deposits and then leaving them in the ground is a far more effective way to fight climate change...

5 March 2012

Oceanic acidification unprecedented


Carbon dioxide emissions are acidifying the planet's oceans at a rate 10 times faster than occurred in the lead up to past mass extinctions of marine organisms...

28 February 2012

Arctic warming causing increased snowfalls?


New evidence put forward by atmospheric scientists links increasingly heavy winter snowfalls in the Northern Hemisphere to declining summer ice cover in the Arctic...

6 February 2012

Missing tree rings invalidate climate reconstructions


Penn State researchers have called into question the common practice of using tree rings to reconstruct past climate events, showing that tree rings are sometimes completely absent for very cold years...

24 January 2012

Rising CO2 levels creating crazy fish


Rising oceanic carbon dioxide levels are disrupting a key brain receptor in fish, causing dramatic changes in their brain chemistry, behavior and sensory abilities...

12 Decemeber 2011

Freight trains a clear winner over trucks in CO2 emission stakes


A comparison of pollutants generated from shipping freight via truck or by train shows that shipping by train delivers a big reduction in CO2 emissions...

5 December 2011

Warming climate supercharging parasite lifecycle


Schistocephalus solidus, a parasitic worm that infects fish, has been found to grow much more rapidly at higher temperatures, alarming scientists who warn that warming oceans could enable the worm to decimate fish and animal populations...

28 September 2011

Shrinking critters could derail planet's ecosystems


A new study in the journal The American Naturalist explains how a warming climate could dramatically shrink nearly all cold-blooded creatures and cause massive disruption in the planet's food webs...

26 August 2011

El Niño climate cycle triggering wars


Researchers say that El Niño, the periodic climate cycle that boosts temperatures and cuts rainfall, doubles the risk of civil wars across 90 affected tropical countries, and may account for a fifth of worldwide conflicts during the past half-century...

18 July 2011

Climate change studies vexed by Vesta


Paleoclimate studies, where scientists look into the past to try and understand changes in Earth's climate, may be a waste of time if astronomers are correct in their theory that relatively minor bodies like the asteroid Vesta can cause chaotic fluctuations in Earth's orbit...

4 March 2011

"Profound" plant water cycle changes add new wildcard to climate change guesstimates


Botanists have discovered that rising carbon dioxide levels over the last 150 years have reduced the density of the pores that plants use to breathe by 34 percent, dramatically lowering the amount of water vapor the plants release to the atmosphere...

10 January 2011

CO2 "inertia" makes significant climatic disruption inevitable


The first full climate simulation to make predictions out to the year 3000 indicates that even if zero CO2 emissions were achieved immediately, the inertia of past carbon dioxide emissions would continue affecting the planet for the next 1000 years...

24 November 2010

Cloud confusion vexes global warming predictions


Estimates of global warming vary widely in large part due to the difficulty of modeling clouds and their effects. Now, as climatologists race to compile better cloud atlases, new research shows that current predictions of global temperature rise may be dramatically under-estimated...

26 October 2010

New Arctic shipping routes will accelerate warming


As the Arctic Ocean warms and ice-packs retreat, shipping traffic will increase as new routes open up, but these new trade routes will come at a price as maritime engine exhaust particles will dramatically increase Arctic warming...

5 October 2010

Study finds alarming changes in rainfall patterns


Researchers say the precipitation cycle is "accelerating dangerously" because of greenhouse gas-fueled higher temperatures and "rain is falling in all the wrong places, for all the wrong reasons"...

9 September 2010

Is irrigation masking our warming climate?


Irrigation has made it possible to feed the world's population, and it may also be temporarily counteracting the effects of climate change in some regions, say scientists in a new study...

16 April 2010

Climatologists ponder Earth's missing heat


Astonishingly, climatologists can't account for roughly half of the heat that is believed to have built up on the Earth in recent years. "The heat will come back to haunt us sooner or later," lament the scientists, who hypothesize that this "missing" heat may be building up in the deepest parts of the oceans...

23 March 2010

Meat and dairy link to global warming questioned


Public awareness campaigns such as "Meatless Mondays" and Europe's "Less Meat = Less Heat" are scientifically inaccurate, says a researcher who contends there is no evidence for repeated claims that diets rich in animal products lead to an increased production of greenhouse gases...

24 February 2010

Grizzlies moving in on polar bears' turf


Biologists have found that grizzly bears are roaming into areas that were traditionally thought of as polar bear habitats...

2 February 2010

White paint touted as climate remedy


Painting the roofs of buildings white has the potential to significantly cool cities, say researchers who have calculated that New York City would cool by almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit in summer...

29 January 2010

Ozone hole closure not so cool


Using a new global aerosol model, climatologists have discovered a feedback effect related to the hole's closure that could actually increase warming in the southern hemisphere...

15 December 2009

No end in sight for Alaskan coastal erosion


The northern coastline of Alaska is disappearing at 30 to 45 feet a year thanks to a triple whammy of declining sea ice, warming seawater and increased wave activity...

11 December 2009

Carbon impacts get major revision


The climate may be up to 50 percent more sensitive to atmospheric carbon dioxide in the long term than previously thought and climate projections over the next hundreds of years will likely need to be adjusted to reflect this higher sensitivity...

30 November 2009

Ancient wildfire prevention technique reaps carbon credits


An Australian project that dramatically reduces the extent and severity of natural blazes by using traditional indigenous fire management techniques is being hailed as a model with enormous potential in the fights against climate change and biodiversity loss...

24 November 2009

Global warming unstoppable?


Emissions trading schemes, zero-emission vehicles and carbon sequestration projects aren't worth bothering with, says a physicist who has crunched the numbers and claims the only way the warming trend will stop is for the world economy to collapse or to build a new nuclear power station every day...

7 October 2009

Honey, I shrunk the earthworm


The ancient relatives of modern dung beetles and earthworms were reduced in size by as much as 50 percent during the Earth's last warming period, creating new concerns for scientists already worried about the effects of climbing temperatures and dwindling rainfall on global agriculture...

14 September 2009

New study shows intimate relationship between ice caps and CO2 levels


Climate scientists say the link between declining CO2 levels in the Earth's atmosphere and the formation of the Antarctic ice caps some 34 million years ago has been confirmed for the first time...

15 July 2009

Global warming estimates "fundamentally wrong," contends new study


No one knows exactly how much Earth's climate will warm due to carbon emissions, but a new study suggests scientists' best predictions about global warming might be incorrect...

12 June 2009

Change in monsoon patterns likely


Climate change seems likely to shift seasonal monsoons to the south, causing more rain to fall over the oceans than in the Earth's tropical regions, leading to a dramatic drop in global vegetation growth...

27 May 2009

Dire outlook for shellfish in a high CO2 world


Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide contributing to the acidification of the planet's oceans may push some shellfish populations to extinction...

20 May 2009

Earth to get hotter sooner


New modeling on the likelihood of how much hotter the Earth's climate will get this century shows that without rapid policy change the problem will be twice as severe as previously estimated - and could be even worse...

15 May 2009

Melting threat from ice sheet overstated?


The total or partial collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet would not raise global sea levels as high as predicted contends a new study, but the effects would be most strongly felt in coastal areas of the United States...

24 April 2009

Fires responsible for 20% of CO2 emissions


Fires are a significant contributor to climate change, according to a report published in the journal Science, creating up to one-fifth of the human-caused increase in emissions of carbon dioxide...

27 February 2009

CO2 behind prehistoric global cooling


Ice in Antarctica appeared suddenly (in geologic terms) about 35 million years ago, after more than 100 million years of being ice-free. Scientists have long puzzled over what triggered the formation of Antarctica's massive ice-sheets, and they now believe they know the answer...

16 February 2009

Dire new warning on climate from IPCC scientist


Previously unconsidered positive feedbacks in the climate system (such as the release of arctic permafrost) have led a Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientist to warn that "as a society we are facing a climate crisis that is larger and harder to deal with than any of us thought..."

6 February 2009

Future sea level rise underestimated


If the West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapses, as many experts believe it will because of global warming, the resulting sea level rise will be significantly higher than is currently projected, a new study has found...

18 December 2008

Did human-induced climate change begin thousands of years ago?


The Earth would currently be experiencing an ice-age if it weren't for the fact that humans began planting crops and clearing forests thousands of years ago, contend the researchers behind a controversial new climate simulation...

25 November 2008

Ocean acidification speeding up


Scientists have established that ocean acidification is increasing 10 times faster than the rate predicted by earlier climate change models...

19 September 2008

New DOE program aims to predict abrupt climate change


The Department of Energy has brought together six national laboratories to ponder the possibility of abrupt climate change events. The new program intends to focus on four key areas; the West Antarctic ice sheet, subarctic and arctic methane deposits, the destabilization of methane hydrates in the Arctic Ocean, and the possibility of megadroughts in North America...

10 September 2008

Climatologists get to grips with aerosols


The role that aerosols (airborne particles of soot and dust) play in rainmaking has to date been very much a matter of dispute and a source of great uncertainty in climate predictions, but new research has now removed much of this confusion...

30 July 2008

Warming Britain Attracting New Bird Species


Birds such as the Cirl Bunting and Dartford Warbler are becoming more common across a wide range of habitats in Britain as temperatures rise, while numbers of some northern species, such as the Fieldfare and Redwing, are falling...

17 June 2008

Climatologists Mull Side-Effects Of Ozone Hole Closure


Climatologists modeling possible weather patterns that may occur when the ozone hole closes - projected to be sometime in the second half of this century - say that its closure may significantly affect the climate in the Southern Hemisphere, with flow-on effects that will be felt all over the planet...

19 March 2008

CO2 Emissions In China Rocketing


The growth in China's carbon dioxide emissions is far outpacing previous estimates, making the goal of stabilizing global atmospheric greenhouse gases even more difficult...

12 February 2008

Insects The Likely Winners From Warming Climate


Insects are likely to benefit from our warming climate, with new data linking past spikes in temperature with increased voraciousness in plant-eating insects...

5 February 2008

Climate "Tipping Points" Identified


An international team of researchers have described a number of small climatic changes that could have large long-term consequences for the planet...

16 January 2008

Glacial Acceleration Linked To "Plumbing" Issues


Meltwater sometimes overwhelms the interior "drainpipes" of glaciers and causes them to lurch forward, possibly explaining the widespread acceleration of glaciers observed worldwide...

11 January 2008

Glacier Woes Overstated?


New research indicates glacial ice existed on Earth during an intense period of global warming during the Cretaceous period...

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