A growing body of recent research indicates that, in Earth's warming climate, there is no "tipping point," or threshold warm temperature, beyond which polar sea ice cannot recover if temperatures come back down.
According to researchers, fossil-fuel emissions in the form of both methane and ethane, two of the most abundant hydrocarbons in the atmosphere, declined at the end of the 20th century. The finding suggests that a change in human activities may played a leveling role in the shift.
Scattered across the world's largest island, as big as Alaska and California combined and 80% covered by ice, small bands of specialists are searching for signs of how quickly the glaciers the are melting, and what that might mean for the world’s sea level.
A new computer-based study from the Joint Global Change Research Institute, using a model developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, shows that by 2100, if society wants to limit carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to less than 40% higher than it is today, the lowest-cost option is to aggressively adopt nuclear, renewable energy, and electricity solutions.
Scientists in Miami has found that ethanol mixed in vehicle fuel is not completely burned, and its unique chemical signature can be found and tracked in atmospheric plumes. It differs from naturally occurring ethanol from plants, and, at least in the Miami area, accounts for 75% of the ethanol present.
An international team of scientists has amassed the largest data set to date on greenhouse gas emissions from hydroelectric reservoirs. Prior studies cautioned that these reservoirs could be a significant and large source of both carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere, but the new study claims the real output is just a fraction of previous estimates.
A new study on how much heat in Earth's atmosphere is caused by cloud cover has heated up the climate change blogosphere. Several mainstream climate scientists call the study's conclusions off-base and overstated, while climate change skeptics tout the study, saying it blasts gaping holes in global warming theory.
After a 10,000-year absence, wildfires have returned to the Arctic tundra, and a University of Florida study shows that their impact could extend far beyond the areas blackened by flames. With the amount of carbon released in these tundra wildfires, roughly twice the amount of greenhouse gases put out by the city of Miami in a year, the study suggests that these fires could impact the global climate.
Those of us who haven’t found an ice cap to hide under in the United States have likely felt the heat from the now infamous “dome” that’s been moving across the country. NASA’s Aqua spacecraft has recorded a series of movies that track the movement of the heat wave that has sent temperatures up to 10 C warmer than normal.
Researchers at the University of Illinois have become the first to record an airglow signature in the upper atmosphere produced by a tsunami using a camera system based in Maui, Hawaii. It preceded the tsunami by one hour, suggesting that the technology could be used as an early-warning system in the future.
Growing perennial grasses on the least productive farmland now used for corn ethanol production in the U.S. would result in higher overall corn yields, more ethanol output per acre, and better groundwater quality, researchers report in a new study. The switch would also slash emissions of two potent greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.
A smattering of summer rain gave a boost to firefighters battling a huge forest fire near Los Alamos, letting officials lift an evacuation ban and putting the national laboratory on track to open Wednesday. The challenges aren’t over, however, as New Mexico and Arizona will likely be dealing with low-level ozone and poor air quality from the fires.
Scientists have come up with a possible explanation for why the rise in Earth's temperature paused for a bit during the 2000s, one of the hottest decades on record. According to a new study, the culprit was all of the airborne sulfur pollution from China's massive coal-burning. Despite the massive output of sulfur, the effect was temporary.
US and Swiss researchers have, for the first time, modeled a climate system with extremely high carbon emissions in an attempt to test the boundaries of the current computer simulation programs that inform us.
Scientists looking for possible ways to cut down on excessive methane emissions from livestock found a potential answer in an unlikely place: the gut of the Australian Tammar wallaby. This species releases 80% less methane per unit of energy than other animals, and researchers have isolated and grown cultures of the bacteria responsibly.
A new study suggests that airplanes flying through super-cooled clouds around airports can cause condensation that results in more snow and rain nearby. The correct conditions for this weather phenomenon can occur as much as 15% of the time in winter.
Current earth observing satellites have outlasted their planned lifetime, according to a NASA official, but they won't last forever and budget shortfalls for replacements threaten to create a gap in coverage. “What if” studies suggest that the absence of satellite data in forecasting could create major errors in weather prediction.
Natural gas is important in many sectors of the economy: for generating electricity, as a heat source for industry and buildings, and in chemical feedstock. Given the abundance of natural gas available through extensive global resources and the recent emergence of substantial unconventional supplies in the United States, worldwide usage of the fuel is likely to continue to grow considerably and contribute to significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions for decades to come, according to a comprehensive, multidisciplinary study carried out over the last three years by MIT researchers.
New research focusing on the Houston area suggests that widespread urban development alters weather patterns in a way that can make it easier for pollutants to accumulate during warm summer weather instead of being blown out to sea.
The rate of release of carbon into the atmosphere today is nearly 10 times as fast as during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), 55.9 million years ago, the best analog we have for current global warming, according to an international team of geologists. Rate matters and this current rapid change may not allow sufficient time for the biological environment to adjust.
A team of researchers in the western U.S. have built a new type of atomic force microscope that allows them to monitor how carbon dioxide behaves when injected into porous rocks. The microscope can withstand temperatures of approximately 350 K and pressures up to 100 atmospheres.
The tropics and much of the Northern Hemisphere are likely to experience an irreversible rise in summer temperatures within the next 20 to 60 years if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase, according to a new climate study by Stanford Univ. scientists.
Whether 2011 has set a modern record for tornado deaths is still unclear, but the severity of this year’s storms has left little doubt about the inability of current science to provide adequate forecasting. Warnings have improved from the addition of weather radar throughout the country in the 1990s, but even 20 minutes of advance notice hasn’t helped in some cases.
The severely cold Marinoan ice age, also known as "Snowball Earth", came to an abrupt end some 600 million years ago, and the prevailing theory hinged on geologic evidence in carbonate rocks known to have a lot less carbon-13 isotope than typical rock samples. Research led by Caltech finds that these rocks were formed deep in the Earth millions of years after the ice age ended.
Weather experts said it's unusual for deadly tornadoes to develop a few weeks apart in the U.S. But even more rare are tornado systems that take direct aim at populated areas. According to a weather expert, urban sprawl into the countryside has increased the odds that tornadoes will affect more people.