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Aerial photos from the 1980s and 1990s show that Greenland has lost large quantities of ice before, but also that the ice-mass loss ceased later on. New research questions the precision of existing climate models. (Photo: Niels Korsgaard, Natural History Museum of Denmark)
Scientists blame higher levels of carbon dioxide in Pacific Ocean waters caused by global warming for the failure of oyster seeds to thrive in hatcheries. Eric Risberg / AP Austin Docter has worked at a shellfish plant in Shelton, Wash., for 18 years and has a lot of words to describe what he calls the flavor profiles of oysters: Minerally. Metallic-y. Sweet.
Unprecedented melting of Greenland's ice sheet this month has stunned NASA scientists and has highlighted broader concerns that the region is losing a remarkable amount of ice overall. According to a NASA press release , about half of Greenland's surface ice sheet naturally melts during an average summer. But the data from three independent satellites this July, analyzed by NASA and university scientists, showed that in less than a week, the amount of thawed ice sheet surface skyrocketed from 40 percent to 97 percent. In over 30 years of observations, satellites have never measured this amount of melting, which reaches nearly all of Greenland's surface ice cover. When Son Nghiem of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory observed the recent melting phenomenon, he said in the NASA press release, "This was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result: Was this real or was it due to a data error?"
Mussels and other species of sea animals died in large numbers at the end of the Triassic geological period. Scientists are trying to understand why. (Photo: Colourbox) About the time, 201 million years ago, that the super-continent Pangaea – the single land mass made up of all the present continents – started to break up, life on Earth was hit by a severe crisis that killed off numerous animal species. On land, the devastation was not so bad, although many plants did wither and die.
By Nina Chestney LONDON | Sun Jul 1, 2012 10:32pm IST LONDON (Reuters) - Rising sea levels cannot be stopped over the next several hundred years, even if deep emissions cuts lower global average temperatures, but they can be slowed down, climate scientists said in a study on Sunday.
With the warmest March, third warmest April and second warmest May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed on Thursday that the 2012 Spring in the contiguous United States since has been the hottest ever on record . (Source: NOAA) The spring season's (March-May) nationally-averaged temperature was 57.1°F, 5.2°F above the 1901-2000 long-term average , surpassing the previous warmest spring (1910) by 2.0°F. The nation has experienced since recordkeeping began in 1895, NOAA reported. Reuters reports : Record warmth and near-record warmth blanketed the eastern two-thirds of the country from this spring, with 31 states reporting record warmth for the season and 11 more with spring temperatures among their 10 warmest. "The Midwest and the upper Midwest were the epicenters for this vast warmth," Deke Arndt of NOAA's Climatic Data Center said in an online video.
Global warming doesn’t only have negative effects. A new study shows that the increase in ocean temperatures has caused a sharp increase in the size of North Sea cod. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons) The recent explosive increase in size of the North Sea cod is baffling marine scientists.
Over time, nearly every one of their arguments has been knocked down by accumulating evidence, and polls say 97 percent of working climate scientists now see global warming as a serious risk. Yet in recent years, the climate change skeptics have seized on one last argument that cannot be so readily dismissed. Their theory is that clouds will save us. They acknowledge that the human release of greenhouse gases will cause the planet to warm.
Source of climate-warming gas remains uncertain, but might be microbes By Janet Raloff
Computers’ powers of calculation have developed considerably in recent years – a situation that researchers have used to create complex simulation models of nature. The new Danish model is a sort of virtual experiment that is based on reality. Therefore the models offer new possibilities of understanding and predicting changes in the future. (Photo: Colourbox) How will nature be affected if we change agricultural subsidies, use other pesticides or build a motorway?
It's going to take some time for science to catch up with what happened this past winter. For instance, a lot has been made of the "Meteorological March Madness" we just experienced, in which over 15,000 local, all-time warm-weather temperature records were broken across the U.S. What is particularly significant, and alarming, is the broad context of this weather pattern, which is visualized in this animated video below, courtesy of NOAA’s Environmental Visualization Lab . You can see how over the course of the month, the record warm temperatures were not at all geographically isolated, but actually formed a weather pattern that spanned the entire continental U.S.
Of course, no one running for president mentions that specific things actually need to be done to fix this ongoing crisis , but if we all stay as quiet as church mice, maybe it will all go away! (Maybe we could stop selling massive quantities of coal to China? Nah, not gonna happen!)
(Photo: NASA) Climate change can be confusing, especially because a number of researchers have criticised the UN Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). "The effect of solar activity on climate change is one of the issues on which there remains some uncertainty in the IPCC's work," says Kristoffer Rypdal, a physics professor at the University of Tromsø.
As a surreal heat wave was peaking across much of the nation last week, pools and beaches drew crowds, some farmers planted their crops six weeks early, and trees burst into bloom. “The trees said: ‘Aha! Let’s get going!’ ” said Peter Purinton, a maple syrup producer in Vermont. “ ‘Spring is here!’ ” Now, of course, a cold snap in Northern states has brought some of the lowest temperatures of the season, with damage to tree crops alone likely to be in the millions of dollars.
We may have already passed the tipping points on global warming, say scientists at the Planet Under Pressure conference . At the London conference, scientists are giving a bleak view of the future of the planet due to catastrophic damage and growth by humans, saying we are close to the irreversible point of global warming. Will Steffen, executive director of the Australian National University's climate change institute, gave an urgent warning that humanity needs to act radically on climate change. "We can ... cap temperature rise at two degrees, or cross the threshold beyond which the system shifts to a much hotter state," he said.