The Northwest Passage, the route through the frigid archipelago from Alaska across northern Canada, has been ice-free from one end to the other only twice in recorded history, in 1998 and 2007. But the ice pack is retreating farther and more frequently during the summers.
An organic compound that smells like cabbage and has been called the "smell of the sea" could be more sensitive to global climate change than commonly believed. In a recent report, a Livermore researcher, along with colleagues from Los Alamos and Oak Ridge national laboratories and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, found through computer modeling that dimethyl sulfide (DMS) will increase significantly in certain parts of the ocean and decrease in others if the world continues with a business-as-usual fossil fuel dependency.
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.
NIST researchers are working to reduce the uncertainty associated with climate-change measurements using a mobile temperature-sensing technology made for tracking delicate or perishable, high-value packages in transit. The device is so accurate and resistant to thermal changes that what’s good for FedEx may also be good for climate research.
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.
Two Univ. of Minnesota Department of Earth Sciences researchers have developed an innovative approach to tapping heat beneath the Earth’s surface. The method is expected to not only produce renewable electricity far more efficiently than conventional geothermal systems, but also help reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2 )—dealing a one-two punch against climate change.
Recent reports of record high greenhouse gas emissions and unprecedented carbon levels in the atmosphere have added a sense of urgency to the efforts of United Nations climate negotiators, who are trying to make industrial countries continue reducing greenhouse gas emissions after their current commitment expires next year.
In response to the growing need for oceanic data in climate models, an Argentine-built spacecraft carrying instruments from the United States and other nations is set to launch Thursday in California. The craft will use a NASA-built instrument, the Aquarius, to map weekly changes in the levels of brine in the sea, and it is so sensitive it can detect changes down to a dash of salt in a gallon of water.
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.
A new study aimed at refining the way scientists measure ice loss in Greenland is providing a "high-definition picture" of climate-caused changes on the island. And the picture isn't pretty. In the last decade, two of the largest three glaciers draining that frozen landscape have lost enough ice that, if melted, could have filled Lake Erie.
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.
A warming planet means rising oceans, but seaports are not prepared for the expensive construction they will need to protect themselves, according a global survey of ports conducted by Stanford researchers. But the researchers have created a computer model that will help ports with their planning.
Radioactive dating is used to determine everything from the age of dinosaur fossils to Native American arrowheads. A new technique recently developed at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory may give researchers another tool for radioactive dating that could be of particular use in studying the history of climate change.
The role of sulfur dioxide, a pollutant of volcanic gasses and many combustion processes, in acid rain is well known, but how sulfur dioxide reacts at the surface of aqueous particulates in the atmosphere to form acid rain is far from understood. New laser-based research suggests this behavior should be added to today’s climate-modeling scenarios.
Technologies for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are unlikely to offer an economically feasible way to slow human-driven climate change for several decades, according to a report issued by the American Physical Society and led by Princeton engineer Robert Socolow.
The American eel has declined in population some 80 to 90% since the 1970s, and fisheries commissions are still not sure why. Much of the data that they hope will help solve the problem has been gathered by citizen scientists. This free labor is a growing trend in research, from classifying galaxies to counting birds, and is now a common citation in many peer-reviewed journal articles.
Two studies published in the journal Science this week look at the big picture of U.S. farming; one offered a warning; the other offered recommendations. Stanford researchers find that the U.S. has dodged some weather bullets recently that have dented global production of wheat. We might not be so lucky in the near future. UC Davis, meanwhile, updates a lengthy 2010 report that says market upheaval is going to be necessary to make needed changes to our agricultural infrastructure.
Berkeley Lab scientists have developed one of the most detailed pictures yet of how climate change could impact millions of tons of methane frozen in sediment beneath the Arctic Ocean. They found that methane could seep into the Arctic Ocean and gradually overwhelm the marine environment’s ability to break down the gas.
A much reduced covering of snow, shorter winter season, and thawing tundra. The effects of climate change in the Arctic are already here. And the changes are taking place significantly faster than previously thought. This is what emerges from a new research report on the Arctic.
Some of the killer tornadoes that ripped across the South may have been among the largest and most powerful ever recorded, experts suggested, leaving a death toll that is approaching that of a tragic "super outbreak" of storms almost 40 years ago.
Two decades after eight people spent two years sealed in a giant desert terrarium, the only creatures inhabiting Biosphere 2 now are cockroaches, nematodes, snails, crazy ants and assorted fish. Scientists are still using the 7.2-million-square-foot facility to figure out how we'll survive on our own warming planet.