Tag Archives | Climate change


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. NASA’s Dawn space-probe flew by Vesta last Saturday. The journal Astronomy […]

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Win-win for sugarcane biofuel crops

Agricultural cropping typically has a significant warming effect on local climates, but a report in Nature Climate Change indicates that Brazilian sugarcane biofuel crops cool the local climate at around the same levels as natural vegetation. Scientists from the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology said the double ecological benefit came about from sugarcane’s ability […]

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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 in computer simulations. Now, as climatologists race to compile better cloud atlases, new research shows that previous worst case predictions of global temperature rise may be dramatically off-target. Clouds are the least-understood variable in the sky, […]

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New Arctic shipping routes will accelerate warming

As the Arctic Ocean warms and ice-packs retreat, new routes will open up which will likely prove irresistible to shipping companies. A Northwest Passage and Northeast Passage through the Arctic Ocean would provide a distance savings of about 25 percent and 50 percent, respectively, with coincident time and fuel savings. But these new trade routes […]

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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 the Journal of Geophysical Research. “Irrigation can have a significant cooling effect on regional temperatures, where people live,” said the study’s lead author, Michael Puma, a hydrologist […]

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White paint touted as climate remedy

Painting the roofs of buildings white has the potential to significantly cool cities, say researchers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), who have calculated that New York City would cool by almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit in summer. “Our research demonstrates that white roofs, at least in theory, can be an effective method for […]

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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 action the problem will be twice as severe as previously estimated – and may be even worse. The study uses the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Integrated Global Systems Model, a computer simulation of global […]

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Fires account for 20% of CO2 emissions

Fires are a significant – up to one-fifth – contributor to climate change, according to a report published in the journal Science. The authors behind the research are calling on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to fully integrate fire into their assessments of global climate change, and to consider fire-climate feedbacks, which, until […]

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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 relatively ice-free. Scientists have long puzzled over what triggered the formation of Antarctica’s massive ice-sheets, as no evidence of global cooling during the period had been found. “Previous evidence points paradoxically to a stable […]

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