Climate is believed to be the driving force behind most of humanity’s evolutionary processes, including geographical range change. According to a new paper, new concepts such as “refugia”, or movements forced by harsh Ice Age climates, may explain the emergence of new species, or subspecies.
A new study from scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has quantitatively demonstrated that black carbon—also known as soot, a pollutant emitted from power plants, diesel engines, and residential cooking and heating, as well as forest fires—reduces the reflectance of snow and ice, an effect that increases the rate of global climate change.
According to researchers with Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, there are few parallels in the geologic record for today's rapid ocean changes. In a review of hundreds of paleoceanographic studies, the researchers found evidence for only one period in the last 300 million years when the oceans changed as fast as today: the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.
Using the most robust and longest duration satellite dataset of Arctic sea ice available, researchers at NASA have built one of the most complete pictures of how the Arctic’s supply is changing over time. The study reveals the rate of disappearance of the old and thickest sea ice, which typical survives the cyclical summer melt season.
The frigid McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica are famously dry, yet the sandy soils there are frequently dotted with moist patches in the spring despite a lack of snowmelt and no possibility of rain. A new study has found that that the salty soils in the region actually suck moisture out of the atmosphere, raising the possibility that such a process could take place on Mars or on other planets.
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are sharing computational resources and expertise to improve the detail and performance of the Community Earth System Model, a scientific application code that is the product of one of the world's largest collaborations of climate researchers.
The size of Sifrhippus , the earliest known horse, correlates surprisingly well with average global temperatures, according to a recent study. The discoveries about its changes in stature, fluctuating from 12 to 8.5 to 15 lbs, offer new evidence of the cause and effect relationship between temperature and body size. The findings also offer clues to what might happen to animals in the near future.
Extreme summer temperatures are already occurring more frequently in the United States, and will become normal by mid-century if the world continues on a business-as-usual schedule of emitting greenhouse gases, according to a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory study.
Last summer’s heat wave in the U.S. Midwest decimated plant growth, impacting everything from peanuts to prairie grass. But would it matter if the heat arrived at a slightly different time? Researchers are beginning to realize, based on 25 years of data, as little as a month’s difference in timing can drastically affect the outcome of challenging weather.
New research reveals how the arrival of the first plants 470 million years ago triggered a series of ice ages. A team, led by the universities of Exeter and Oxford, set out to identify the effects that the first land plants had on the climate during the Ordovician Period, which ended 444 million years ago.
A prolonged solar minimum left the sun's surface nearly free of sunspots from 2005 to 2010. Total solar irradiance declined slightly as a result, but according to a recent NASA study, the Earth continued to absorb more energy than it emitted throughout the minimum.
The color-coded map of planting zones often seen on the back of seed packets is being updated by the government, and it illustrates a hotter 21st century. It's the first time since 1990 since the official guide for the nation's 80 million gardeners has been updated, and nearly entire states are in warmer zones.
New research has found that solar output is likely to reduce over the next 90 years but that will not substantially delay expected increases in global temperatures caused by greenhouse gases. Carried out by the University of Reading and the Met Office, the study establishes the most likely changes in the sun's activity and looks at how this could affect near-surface temperatures on Earth.
Engineering our way out of global climate warming may not be as easy as simply reducing the incoming solar energy, according to a team of University of Bristol and Penn State University climate scientists. Designing the approach to control both sea level rise and rates of surface air temperature changes requires a balancing act to accommodate the diverging needs of different locations.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University have found that coastal regions of North America and the Caribbean, as well as East Asia, are most at risk for hurricane damage—a finding that may not surprise residents of such hurricane-prone communities. However, the researchers say by the year 2100, two factors could more than quadruple the economic damages caused by tropical storms in such regions and around the world: Growing income and global warming.
Researchers are beginning their analysis of what are probably the first successful ice cores drilled to bedrock from a glacier in the eastern European Alps. With luck, that analysis will yield a record of past climate and environmental changes in the region for several centuries, and perhaps even covering the last 1,000 years.
An international team of scientists says it's figured out how to slow global warming in the short run and prevent millions of deaths from dirty air: Stop focusing so much on carbon dioxide.
Predictions of the loss of animal and plant diversity around the world are common under models of future climate change. But a new study shows that because these climate models don't account for species competition and movement, they could grossly underestimate future extinctions.
While it is possible to chemically scrub carbon dioxide from Earth's atmosphere in order to lessen the severity of global warming, the process is prohibitively expensive for now. Best to focus on controls for coal-burning power plants, say researchers from Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
A U.N. climate conference reached a hard-fought agreement Sunday on a complex and far-reaching program meant to set a new course for the global fight against climate change for the coming decades. The United States was a reluctant supporter, concerned about agreeing to join an international climate system that likely would find much opposition in the U.S. Congress.
As the Greenland Ice Sheet melts, the rockbound coast rises, as much at 15 mm or more per year. According to results from GPS stations around the island, the temperature spike in 2010 lifted the bedrock a detectably higher amount in a short five-month period.
With an almost biblical onslaught of twisters, floods, snow, drought, heat, and wildfire, the U.S. in 2011 has seen more weather catastrophes that caused at least $1 billion in damage than it did in all of the 1980s, even after the dollar figures from back then are adjusted for inflation.
Two University of Colorado Boulder researchers who have adapted a 3D, general circulation model of Earth's climate to a time some 2.8 billion years ago when the sun was significantly fainter than present think the planet may have been more prone to catastrophic glaciation than previously believed.
After a obtaining a series of cores deep in the wilds of Russia, researchers have concluded that the appearance of oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere probably did not occur as a single event, but as a long series of starts and stops. The finding refutes previous theories on the appearance of this gas in our atmosphere.
A report released late Thursday in London and discussed Friday at the U.N. climate conference in South Africa said that—in theory—reflecting a small amount of sunlight back into space before it strikes the Earth's surface would have an immediate and dramatic effect. But no one knows what the side effects would be.