tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/earth_science1 earth science news from mongabay.com 2014-07-08T15:34:21Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13500 2014-07-07T19:50:00Z 2014-07-08T15:34:21Z Booming populations, rising economies, threatened biodiversity: the tropics will never be the same <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1059.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For those living either north or south of the tropics, images of this green ring around the Earth's equator often include verdant rainforests, exotic animals, and unchanging weather; but they may also be of entrenched poverty, unstable governments, and appalling environmental destruction. A massive new report, The State of the Tropics, however, finds that the truth is far more complicated. Jeremy Hance 1.231376 14.923358 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11430 2013-05-14T17:04:00Z 2013-05-16T00:38:09Z Amazon's flood/drought cycle becoming more extreme, less predictable <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0495.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Amazon River's hydrological cycle has become more extreme over the past two decades with increasing seasonal precipitation across much of the basin despite drier conditions in the southern parts of Earth's largest rainforest, finds a new study published in <i>Geophysical Research Letters</i>. The research analyzed monthly Amazon River discharge at Óbidos, a point that drains 77 percent of the Amazon Basin, and compared it with regional precipitation patterns. Rhett Butler -1.921904 -55.522213 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11426 2013-05-13T22:09:00Z 2013-05-13T22:10:41Z Mount Everest glaciers have shrunk 13% in 50 years Glaciers in the Mount Everest region have shrunk by 13 percent and the snow-line has shifted 180 meters (590 feet) higher during the past 50 years, according to a study that will be presented this week at a conference organized by the American Geophysical Union. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11407 2013-05-12T14:22:00Z 2013-05-12T14:33:24Z Last time CO2 hit 400 ppm, temperature was 8C warmer, seas 40m higher than today The future of a globally warmed world has been revealed in a remote meteorite crater in Siberia, where lake sediments recorded the strikingly balmy climate of the Arctic during the last period when greenhouse gas levels were as high as today. Rhett Butler 67.499373 172.001266 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11094 2013-03-22T11:47:00Z 2013-03-22T11:52:35Z Eruption yields bad news for iron fertilization-based geoengineering schemes Geoengineering schemes that aim to slow global warming by seeding oceans with iron to boost carbon dioxide-absorbing phytoplankton may not lead to long-term sequestration of the important greenhouse gas, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Geophysical Research Letters</i>. Rhett Butler 63.629413 -19.63686 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10983 2013-03-05T23:01:00Z 2013-03-05T23:17:33Z Warnings of global ecological tipping points may be overstated <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2092.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There's little evidence that the Earth is nearing a global ecological tipping point, according to a new Trends in Ecology and Evolution paper that is bound to be controversial. The authors argue that despite numerous warnings that the Earth is headed toward an ecological tipping point due to environmental stressors, such as habitat loss or climate change, it's unlikely this will occur anytime soon&#8212;at least not on land. The paper comes with a number of caveats, including that a global tipping point could occur in marine ecosystems due to ocean acidification from burning fossil fuels. In addition, regional tipping points, such as the Arctic ice melt or the Amazon rainforest drying out, are still of great concern. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10707 2013-01-15T23:19:00Z 2013-01-16T01:39:07Z NASA says 2012 was the 9th warmest year since 1880, blames global warming 2012 was the ninth warmest year since annual record-keeping began in 1880 say NASA scientists who cited rising greenhouse gas emissions as the chief culprit. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10706 2013-01-15T23:02:00Z 2013-01-16T01:25:18Z Soot is second biggest man-made contributor to global warming Soot is the second largest man-made contributor to global warming, according to a comprehensive new study published in the <i>Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10663 2013-01-10T16:23:00Z 2013-02-05T15:02:44Z Paradigm shift needed to avert global environmental collapse, according to author of new book The Blueprint: Averting Global Collapse <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0110.shutterstock_102265663.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Global strategist, trained educator, and international lecturer Daniel Rirdan set out to create a plan addressing the future of our planet. His book The Blueprint: Averting Global Collapse, published this year, does just that. "It has been a sixty hour a week routine," Rirdan told mongabay.com in a recent interview. "Basically, I would wake up with the burden of the world on my shoulders and go to sleep with it. It went on like this for eighteen months." It becomes apparent when reading The Blueprint that it was indeed a monumental undertaking. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10445 2012-11-23T22:00:00Z 2013-02-22T17:47:19Z Forests worldwide near tipping-point from drought <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1898.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Forests worldwide are at 'equally high risk' to die-off from drought conditions, warns a new study published this week in the journal <i>Nature</i>. The study, conducted by an international team of scientists, assessed the specific physiological effects of drought on 226 tree species at 81 sites in different biomes around the world. It found that 70 percent of the species sampled are particularly vulnerable to reduction in water availability. With drought conditions increasing around the globe due to climate change and deforestation, the research suggests large swathes of the world's forests &#8212; and the services they afford &#8212; may be approaching a tipping point. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8978 2012-01-19T17:38:00Z 2012-02-12T21:17:20Z Geology has split the Amazon into two distinct forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0495.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The common view of the Amazon is that it is one massive, unbroken forest. This impression is given by maps which tend to mark the Amazon by a large glob of green or even by its single name which doesn't account for regional changes. Of course, scientists have long recognized different ecosystems in the Amazon, most especially related to climate. But a new study in the Journal of Biogeography has uncovered two distinct forest ecosystems, sharply divided, caused by million of years of geologic forces. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8407 2011-09-19T17:12:00Z 2011-09-23T18:32:48Z The Global Carbon Cycle: a book review The Global Carbon Cycle, by Dr. David Archer, is an excellent primer on the global carbon cycle. An easily readable format, this lightweight book is an excellent companion to those who need a quick on-the-go reference or for those who need a compendium for their office or lab. With chapters on the basic carbon cycle, geologic carbon cycle, unstable ice age carbon cycle, present and future carbon cycle, and methane, The Global Carbon Cycle</a> is an authoritative book with numerous examples explaining scientific phenomena associated the global carbon cycle. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7993 2011-06-08T21:23:00Z 2011-06-08T21:59:42Z Google Earth enhances oceans' layer <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/KaneFracctureZoneMidAtlanticRidge_150.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>How do you celebrate World Oceans Day? Well, if you're Google you make the oceans of the world's most impressive interactive digital globe, Google Earth, come alive. With oceanographers at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Google Earth has fine-tuned its oceans' resolution in selected areas from 1 kilometer to just 100 meters. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7894 2011-05-20T04:23:00Z 2011-05-20T16:23:33Z Climate change and deforestation pose risk to Amazon rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_1047.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation and climate change will likely decimate much of the Amazon rainforest, says a new study by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and the UK's Met Office Hadley Centre. Climate change and widespread deforestation is expected to cause warmer and drier conditions overall, reducing the resistance of the rainforest ecosystem to natural and human-caused stressors while increasing the frequency of extreme rainfall events and droughts by the end of this century. While climate models show that higher temperatures resulting from global climate change will threaten the resilience of the Amazon, current deforestation is an immediate concern to the rainforest ecosystem and is likely driving regional changes in climate. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7610 2011-03-20T11:53:00Z 2011-03-20T23:52:33Z Earthquake shifted peninsula in Japan 17 feet The massive March 11 Tōhoku earthquake shifted Japan's Oshika Peninsula 5.3 meters (17 feet) in a east-southeasterly direction toward the epicenter, reports <i>Kyodo</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7251 2011-01-04T02:38:00Z 2011-01-04T02:40:33Z Did Haiti's deforestation, hurricane trigger deadly earthquake? Erosion caused by hurricanes and large-scale deforestation may have contributed to last year's devastating earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people in Haiti, according to a geologist at the University of Miami. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6322 2010-06-23T15:18:00Z 2010-06-23T15:22:25Z 2010 the second hottest year on record through May The first five months of 2010 have been the second warmest on record, according to data released by the University of Alabama Huntsville. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5732 2010-02-27T16:02:00Z 2011-03-12T15:53:04Z List of the strongest and deadliest earthquakes On February 27, 2010 a magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck Maule, Chile causing widespread damage and casualties. The quake ranks as one of the ten strongest earthquakes ever recorded. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5712 2010-02-23T17:22:00Z 2010-02-23T17:42:45Z Climate change melting southern Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves The US Geological Survey (USGS) has found that every ice front in the southern part of the Antarctic Peninsula—the coldest part—has been retreating overall for the past sixty years with the greatest changes visible since 1990. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5644 2010-02-10T18:36:00Z 2010-02-10T18:50:56Z Desertification threatens 38 percent of the world Over one third of the world's land surface (38 percent) is threatened with desertification, according to a new study published in the<i>International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment</i>. The study found that eight of fifteen eco-regions are threatened by desertification, including coastal areas, the prairies, the Mediterranean region, the savannah, the temperate steppes, the temperate deserts, tropical and subtropical steppes, and the tropical and subtropical deserts. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5413 2010-01-05T01:37:00Z 2010-01-06T14:46:51Z Underwater rocks could be used for massive carbon storage on America's East Coast Considering it is unlikely that global carbon emissions will start dropping anytime soon, researchers are beginning to look at other methods to combat climate change. One of these is to hook polluting power plants up to massive carbon sinks where instead of the carbon going into the atmosphere it would be stored away in rocks. The process is known as carbon capture and storage or CCS. But before one can even debate the pros and cons of setting up CCS, scientists must see if high-quality sites exist. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5317 2009-12-17T00:14:00Z 2009-12-17T00:39:25Z Catastrophic sea level rise could occur with only two degrees Celsius warming Allowing the climate to rise by just two degrees Celsius—the target most industrialized nations are currently discussing in Copenhagen—may still lead to a catastrophic sea level rise of six to nine meters, according to a new study in <i>Nature</i>. While this rise in sea levels would take hundreds of years to fully occur, inaction this century could lock the world into this fate. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5074 2009-11-02T19:39:00Z 2009-11-02T22:08:34Z Goodbye, snows of Kilimanjaro <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g94/troufs/17807_web.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The most recent survey among the ice fields atop Mount Kilimanjaro found that the ice atop Africa's most famous mountain could be gone in twenty years—and maybe even sooner. Published in the <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Science</i> the study was conducted by a team of researchers who first measured the glaciers in 2000. They discovered that between 1912 and 2007, 85 percent of the ice that covered Mount Kilimanjaro vanished. When using 2000 as baseline the mountain has lost 26 percent of its ice. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5009 2009-09-23T19:25:00Z 2013-07-07T23:18:49Z Satellite lasers show melting of Greenland, Antarctic worse than expected Researchers examining 43 million satellite measurements of Antarctica's thinning ice sheets and 7 million of Greenland's, show that the ice is melting faster than expected. Published in <i>Nature</i> the research is the most comprehensive picture to date of the melting glaciers, allowing scientists to better predict how sea levels may rise. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4923 2009-09-01T23:59:00Z 2009-09-04T13:19:55Z Photos of 10 strongest storms of the 2000s NASA has released a collection of satellite images showing the strongest storms of each year over the past decade. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4917 2009-08-31T23:47:00Z 2009-09-01T05:32:36Z Air pollution in China reduces rainfall Air pollution in eastern China over the past half century has reduced rainfall and exacerbated the risk of drought and crop failures, reports a study published in the <i>Journal of Geophysical Research</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4871 2009-08-19T03:10:00Z 2009-08-19T03:11:30Z Record global ocean temperature in July The world's ocean surface temperature was the warmest on record for July, breaking the previous record set in 1998, reports NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. At 62.56&deg;F (16.99&deg;C), ocean temperatures were 1.06&deg;F (0.59&deg;C) above the 20th century average. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4807 2009-08-07T22:05:00Z 2009-08-07T22:06:20Z Large Trees Declining in Yosemite A recent study by the U.S Geological Survey (USGS) indicates a substantial decline in the number of large-diameter trees in Yellowstone National Park. Between the 1930s and the 1990s there was a 24% decline in large diameter trees. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4802 2009-08-05T20:05:00Z 2009-08-05T20:12:01Z Imbalance in Earth’s Biogeochemical Cycles Scientists are currently meeting at the 94th annual Ecological Society of America (ESA) symposium in New Mexico to discuss, among other topics, the massive upset of the natural biogeochemical cycles of the Earth System. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4771 2009-07-28T23:45:00Z 2009-07-29T14:41:57Z Is El Niño back? Ocean temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific have shifted into El Niño conditions, increasing the likelihood of anomalously dry conditions in Southeast Asia and other unusual weather patterns, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4752 2009-07-21T15:27:00Z 2009-07-21T15:51:34Z Global ocean temperatures at warmest level since 1880 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/09/0721ot.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Global ocean temperatures rose to the warmest on record, according to data released last week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The combined average global land and ocean surface temperature for June was second-warmest since global recording-keeping began in 1880. NOAA also reported a return of el Ni&ntilde;o, raising the prospect of dryness&#8212;and risk of forest fires&#8212;in Southeast Asia. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4651 2009-06-18T18:11:00Z 2009-06-18T18:29:07Z CO2 currently at highest level in 2.1 million years Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are higher than any point in the last 2.1 million years, report researchers writing in the journal <i>Science</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4479 2009-04-16T23:57:00Z 2009-04-17T04:32:36Z Global warming could turn forests from sink to source of carbon emissions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/us/utah/150/utah_8775a.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Rising temperatures could reverse the role forests play in mitigating climate change, turning them into net sources of greenhouse gases, reports a new assessment by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). The report, titled "Adaptation of Forests and People to Climate Change – A Global Assessment" and authored by 35 forestry scientists, examined the potential impacts of climate change across the world's major forest types as well as the capacity of forest biomes to adapt to climate shifts. Among the conclusions: a 2.5-degree-C rise in temperatures would eliminate the net carbon sequestering function of global forests. Presently forests worldwide capture about a quarter of carbon emissions. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4459 2009-04-13T01:42:00Z 2009-12-16T00:13:30Z How satellites are used in conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/external/2006/satellite/sat_braz_101x.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In October 2008 scientists with the Royal Botanical Garden at Kew discovered a host of previously unknown species in a remote highland forest in Mozambique. The find was no accident: three years earlier, conservationist Julian Bayliss identified the site—Mount Mabu—using Google Earth, a tool that’s rapidly becoming a critical part of conservation efforts around the world. As the discovery in Mozambique suggests, remote sensing is being used for a bewildering array of applications, from monitoring sea ice to detecting deforestation to tracking wildlife. The number of uses grows as the technology matures and becomes more widely available. Google Earth may represent a critical point, bringing the power of remote sensing to the masses and allowing anyone with an Internet connection to attach data to a geographic representation of Earth. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4377 2009-03-16T23:36:00Z 2009-03-16T23:42:46Z Experts forecast probability of global warming tipping points The probability of Earth's climate passing a "tipping point" that could result in large impacts within the next two centuries is greater than 50 percent, according to research published in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i> Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4330 2009-02-24T19:50:00Z 2009-02-24T22:06:48Z Carbon dioxide monitoring satellite crashes immediately after launch The Orbiting Carbon Observatory, a $273 million satellite that would have collected measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth's atmosphere to help better forecast the climate impacts of changes in CO2 levels, crashed about three minutes after launch, reports NASA. Researchers say the accident is a major setback for science. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4299 2009-02-16T00:54:00Z 2009-02-16T01:06:35Z Burning rainforests, melting tundra could accelerate global warming well beyond current projections <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/us/maui/150/maui_130.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) likely underestimate the scale and rapidity of climate change, warned a Stanford University scientist presenting Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4268 2009-02-05T22:17:00Z 2009-02-06T03:26:15Z Gravitational effects may boost sea level rise by 25% along U.S. coast The melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could cause sea level to rise more than previously predicted for some regions, including the U.S. coastline, report researchers writing in the journal <i>Science</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4262 2009-02-05T16:30:00Z 2009-02-05T16:44:30Z Global warming to strengthen Arctic storms Arctic storms could worsen due to climate change, putting fisheries, oil and gas exploration, and sea lanes at risk, warn researchers writing in the journal <i>Climate Dynamics</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4234 2009-01-30T00:18:00Z 2009-01-30T22:57:47Z Glaciers decline in ice mass for 18th straight year Glaciers worldwide lost ice mass for the 18th consecutive year due to warming temperatures and reduce snowfall, reports the University of Zurich’s World Glacier Monitoring Service. Alpine glaciers lost on average 1.3 meters of thickness in 2006 and 0.7 meters in 2007, extending an 11.3-meter (36-foot) retreat since 1980. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4230 2009-01-29T15:51:00Z 2009-01-29T18:49:53Z Iron fertilization of oceans may be ineffective in fighting global warming Schemes to promote increased carbon uptake by plankton via iron fertilization of oceans will be less effective than previously believed, report researchers writing in the journal <i>Nature</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4222 2009-01-28T15:10:00Z 2009-01-28T16:08:53Z Biochar and reforestation may offer better global cooling potential than ocean fertilization The first comprehensive assessment of the climate cooling potential of different geoengineering schemes has been conducted by researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA). The results are published in the journal <i>Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions</i> Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4220 2009-01-27T22:48:00Z 2009-01-27T23:44:32Z Many global warming impacts may be irreversible in next 1000 years Even if greenhouse gas emissions were to cease today, many of the forecast impacts of climate change are already irreversible for at least the next 1000 years, report researchers writing in the journal <I>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</I>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4214 2009-01-27T14:12:00Z 2009-01-27T14:36:42Z New global temperature record expected in the next 1-2 years 2008 was the coolest year since 2000 but still ranks in the top ten warmest years since record-keeping began in 1880, reported NASA last week. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4202 2009-01-22T07:20:00Z 2009-01-22T07:26:36Z Antarctica shows net warming over past 50 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/08/0122ant150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite a cooling trend in the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, Antarctica has experienced net warming over the past 50 years, report researchers writing in the January 22 edition of <i>Nature</i>. Analyzing data from satellites and weather stations authors led by Eric Steig of the University of Washington (UW) found that "warming in West Antarctica exceeded one-tenth of a degree Celsius per decade for the last 50 years and more than offset the cooling in East Antarctica", according to a statement from UW. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4199 2009-01-22T07:13:00Z 2009-01-24T04:31:53Z 97% of climatologists say global warming is occurring and caused by humans A new poll among 3,146 earth scientists found that 90 percent believe global warming is real, while 82 percent agree that human activity been a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3557 2008-12-17T01:26:00Z 2008-12-17T02:35:43Z Observed sea level rise, ice melt far outpaces projections <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/us/alaska/150/margerie_glacier_053.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sea levels will rise faster than previously estimated due to rapid melting of glaciers and ice sheets, according to a U.S government report released at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. The report, titled Abrupt Climate Change, incorporates research published since last year's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which drew largely from studies dating up to 2006. Most significantly, Abrupt Climate Change suggests that IPCC estimates for future sea level rise (18-58 cm) are conservative, noting that recent observations on sea level rise and loss of sea ice are far outpacing previous projections. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12 2008-12-11T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:06:02Z Climate change will transform the chemical-makeup of the ocean By studying the ocean&rsquo;s past, scientists have discovered that climate change has a much larger affect on ocean chemistry than expected. The study, published in Science, reveals that 13 million years ago climate change significantly altered the chemical composition of the oceans. Such changes in the ocean&rsquo;s chemical makeup today could have a great impact on marine life, already stressed by overfishing and pollution. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3500 2008-11-17T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:54Z Water vapor will amplify global warming The heat-amplifying effect of water vapor in the atmosphere could more than double the climate warming caused by increased carbon dioxide levels, report researchers using NASA data. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3389 2008-10-23T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:34Z Solar cells, flat-panel screens are source of potent greenhouse gas Atmospheric concentrations of nitrogen trifluoride &#8212; a gas used in the manufacture of liquid crystal flat-panel displays, thin-film photovoltaic cells and microcircuits &#8212; are at least four times higher than previously estimated, reports a new study published in the journal <I>Geophysical Research Letters</I>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3309 2008-09-16T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:16Z Arctic sea ice falls to second lowest on record Arctic sea ice retreated to the second lowest level on record but remains about 9 percent above the low set last September, reports the NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3314 2008-09-15T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:17Z Earth already committed to 2.4-degree C rise from climate change As of 2005 the Earth was already committed to rise of global mean temperatures by 2.4&deg;C (4.3&deg;F), concludes a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The conclusion is significant because the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that a rise in global temperature by 1 to 3&deg;C will lead to catastrophic consequences, including &ldquo;widespread loss of biodiversity, widespread deglaciation of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and a major reduction of area and volume of Hindu-Kush-Himalaya-Tibetan glaciers, which provide the head-waters for most major river systems of Asia.&rdquo; These glaciers, predicted to shrink considerably in the next few decades, provide food and water to over two billion people. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3327 2008-09-11T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:22Z Study confirms strong link between CO2 and climate over 70,000 years Analysis of ice core samples from Greenland show a strong correlation between atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and abrupt changes in climate, reports a paper published in <i>Science</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3334 2008-09-09T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:23Z NASA: Sea ice melt opens the Northwest and Northeast Passage An image released by NASA shows that Arctic sea ice has retreated to the point where both the Northwest Passage around North America and the Northern Sea Route around Russia are open simultaneously. The occurrence marks the first time on record that both passages have been open. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3346 2008-09-04T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:25Z Sea level rise likely limited to 2-6 feet by 2100 Global sea level rise is unlikely to exceed 2 meters (6 1/2 feet) by the end of century argues a new study published in the journal <i>Science</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3351 2008-09-03T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:26Z Canada's ice shelves lost 23% of their area this summer A 19-square-mile (50 sq km) chuck of ice shelf broke off from Canada's Ellesmere Island in the northern Arctic, reports the Associated Press. The Manhattan-sized ice shelf is now adrift in the Arctic Ocean. It is the largest of more than 83 sq mi (214 sq km) of ice shelf that has broken up in the Canadian Arctic this year. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3352 2008-09-03T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:26Z Powerful hurricanes may be getting stronger due to warmer seas Warming climate is causing the strongest hurricanes to strengthen and more moderate storms to stay the same, claims a new study published in <i>Nature</i>. However the data on which research is based is already facing fierce criticism. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3354 2008-09-02T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:26Z Scientist forecast 4 Atlantic hurricanes in September Prominent hurricane researchers are forecasting five tropical storms in the Atlantic for September, including four hurricanes. Two of these are expected to be "major" &#8212; category 3 or greater. Retired Colorado State University climatologist William Gray and Philip J. Klotzbach, who has taken over Gray's role as lead hurricane forecaster, estimate that Atlantic storms in September will be twice as active as normal. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3359 2008-09-01T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:27Z Past decade is warmest in at least 1300 years A reconstruction of surface temperatures over the past two thousand years provides further evidence that the northern hemisphere is now warmer than at any time in at least 1300 years. The research, published in the online edition of the <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>, in the Northern Hemisphere are higher than those of the Medieval warm period. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3361 2008-09-01T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:27Z Melting permafrost will be major driver of global warming The thawing of permafrost in northern latitudes will become a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study that more than doubles previous estimates of the amount of carbon stored in the frozen soils of Alaska and Siberia. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3184 2008-08-31T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:48Z Could hurricane Gustav be stopped or diverted? With Gustav threatening to become the second major hurricane to hit New Orleans in three years, the question emerges, is there something that could be done to redirect or at least diminish storms from major population areas? In short, the answer is no, although someday there may be ways to reduce the intensity of these tropical storms. In the meantime, the best option is to avoid new construction in hurricane-prone regions. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3189 2008-08-27T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:50Z Sea ice extent falls to second lowest on record Arctic sea ice extent presently stands at it second-lowest level on record and could set a new low in coming weeks, reports the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3227 2008-08-14T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:56Z Smoke from Amazon fires reduces local rainfall Smoke released by fires set to clear the Amazon rainforest inhibit the formation of clouds, thereby reducing rainfall, report researchers writing in the journal <i>Science</i>. The study provides clues on how aerosols from human activity influence cloud cover and ultimately affect climate. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3251 2008-08-07T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:02Z Global warming increases "extreme" rain storms Global warming is increasing the incidence of heavy rainfall at a rate greater than predicted by current climate models have predicted, reports a new study published in the journal <i>Science</i>. The findings suggest that storm damage from precipitation could worsen as greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3259 2008-08-06T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:05Z NASA study shows global warming will diminish rainfall in East Africa, worsening hunger A new NASA-backed study has found a link between a warming Indian Ocean and reduced rainfall in eastern and southern Africa. The results suggest that rising sea temperatures could exacerbate food problems in some of the continent's most famine-prone regions. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3100 2008-07-29T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:32Z Deepest-ever lake dive searches for new energy sources Russian scientists have reached the bottom of Lake Baikal, the world's deepest lake, to take samples of gas hydrate deposits. Russia hopes the methane-rich deposits could someday be exploited as an energy source. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3124 2008-07-21T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:36Z Shell Oil funds "open source" geoengineering project to fight global warming Shell Oil is funding a project that seeks to test the potential of adding lime to seawater as a cost-effective way to fight global warming by sequestering large amounts of carbon dioxide in the world's oceans, reports <i>Chemistry & Industry</i> magazine. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3171 2008-07-03T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:46Z U.S. should merge NOAA, USGS to form national Environmental Agency The United States should establish a new agency "to meet the unprecedented environmental and economic challenges facing the nation" argue a group of former senior federal officials in an editorial published in the journal <i>Science</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3041 2008-06-14T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:20Z Geology, climate links make Guiana Shield region particularly sensitive to change Soil and climate patterns in the Guiana Shield make the region particularly sensitive to environmental change, said a scientist speaking at a biology conference in Paramaribo, Suriname. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3050 2008-06-12T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:21Z Unlocking the potential of forests to limit climate change Understanding the complex interactions between forests and climate may "unlock the potential of forests to limit global climate change," argues a researcher writing in the journal <i>Science</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2939 2008-05-28T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:02Z Carbon dioxide levels at highest level in 800,000 years Greenhouse gases are at the highest levels in the past 800,000 years according to a study published in the journal <i>Nature</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2975 2008-05-18T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:08Z Global warming will produce fewer hurricanes Global warming will produce fewer Atlantic hurricanes, according to a study published today in the journal <i>Nature Geoscience</i> by a U.S. government meteorologist. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2985 2008-05-14T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:09Z NASA study links changes in Earth's systems to global warming Human-induced climate change has impacted a wide range of Earth's natural systems, including permafrost, lakes, and oceans, reports a new study led by scientists from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Science (GISS). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3005 2008-05-01T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:15Z Global warming to worsen ocean dead zones, hurt fisheries Warming oceans will worsen oxygen-deficient or hypoxic dead zones, affecting ecosystems and fisheries, warn researchers writing in the journal Science. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3004 2008-05-01T14:30:00Z 2013-07-06T19:00:14Z No longer a fan of Earth Day After April 22nd of this year, I am no longer a fan of Earth Day. It has become a strange pseudo-holiday that allows individuals, governments, corporations, and the media to focus a miniscule spotlight on our environmental crises, and then breathe a sigh of relief over the following days and weeks as they to go back to their old ineffectual ways. It is a day to stem the guilt of the sorry state of our natural&#8212;and 'civilized'&#8212;world. It is not a day where environmental education actually reaches the masses, or when people wake to the need&#8212;not the luxury&#8212;to change our ways. It is the opposite: a chance to feel good about our time's greatest crisis. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2880 2008-04-28T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:48:41Z Earth's minerals kept CO2 levels in balance prior to humans The natural feedback system that has kept Earth's atmospheric carbon dioxide levels finely-balanced for millions of years has been overwhelmed by fossil fuel combustion, reports a new study published in Nature Geoscience. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2885 2008-04-24T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:52Z Geoengineering solution to global warming could destroy the ozone layer A proposed plan to fight global warming by injecting sulfate particles into Earth's upper atmosphere could damage the ozone layer over the Arctic and Antarctic, report researchers writing in the journal Science. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2887 2008-04-24T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:52Z Ozone-hole recovery may spur Antarctic warming A full recovery of the stratospheric ozone hole could strongly modify climate change in the Southern Hemisphere and possibly amplify warming of the Antarctic continent, a new study finds. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2897 2008-04-21T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:55Z Sunshine worsens Arctic sea ice melt Arctic sea ice is increasingly vulnerable to sunny days, concludes new research published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2799 2008-03-24T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:35Z Black carbon pollution has big impact on climate Black carbon, a form of particulate air pollution most often produced from biomass burning, cooking with solid fuels and diesel exhaust, has a warming effect in the atmosphere three to four times greater than prevailing estimates, according to scientists in an upcoming review article in the journal Nature Geoscience. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2841 2008-03-06T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:48:31Z Cretaceous sea levels were 550 feet higher than today Sea levels were 550 feet (170 m) higher in the late Cretaceous period, about 80 million years ago, than today, shows a new reconstruction of historic ocean basins published in the journal Science. The authors say the work may help model current global warming-driven sea level change. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2846 2008-03-06T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:48:32Z How Old Is the Grand Canyon? The Grand Canyon began to open at least 17 million years ago, report researchers writing in the journal Science. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2694 2008-02-25T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:18Z Tsunami alert lifted after strong earthquake in Indonesia The tsunami warning following a 7.3 earthquake off the island in Sumatra, Indonesia has been lifted according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2696 2008-02-25T14:30:00Z 2009-11-14T15:41:34Z Amazon rainfall linked to Atlantic Ocean temperature Climate models increasingly forecast a dire future for the Amazon rainforest. These projections are partly based on recent research that has linked drought in the Amazon to sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic. As the tropical Atlantic warms, the southern Amazon -- the agricultural heartland of Brazil -- may see higher temperatures and less rainfall. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2711 2008-02-21T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:20Z Large-scale Amazon deforestation or drying would have dire global consequences A new study shows that large-scale degradation of the Amazon, either through drying or continued deforestation, would have global consequence, including worsening climate change, causing regional vegetation shifts, and increasing dust in the atmosphere. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2723 2008-02-19T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:23Z Planktos kills iron fertilization project due to environmental opposition Planktos, a California-based firm that planned a controversial iron-fertilization scheme in an attempt to qualify carbon offsets, announced that it failed to find sufficient funding for its efforts and would postpone its project indefinitely. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2728 2008-02-17T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:48:06Z How will global warming affect marine food chains? Rising temperatures and acidity of the world's oceans due to human emissions of carbon dioxide is putting marine food webs at risk warned a researcher speaking at a press briefing at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2729 2008-02-17T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:48:06Z Why are oceans at risk from global warming? Climate change is putting the world's oceans at risk by increasing the temperature and acidity of seawater, and altering atmospheric and oceanic circulation, warned a panel of scientists this week at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Boston. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2754 2008-02-12T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:48:12Z Lake Mead could be dry up by 2021 There is a 50 percent chance Lake Mead, a key source of water for millions of people in the southwestern U.S., will be dry by 2021 if climate changes as expected and future water usage is not curtailed, a new study finds. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2770 2008-02-07T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:48:15Z Natural ocean thermostat may protect some coral reefs Natural processes may prevent oceans from warming beyond a certain point, helping protect some coral reefs from the impacts of climate change, new research finds. The study provides evidence that an ocean "thermostat" may be helping regulate sea-surface temperatures in a biologically diverse region of the western Pacific. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2778 2008-02-04T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:31Z Climate system approaching 9 critical tipping points Earth is approaching and may pass nine important climate tipping points this century, according to research published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2780 2008-02-04T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:31Z NASA: Rain falls more often during the week than weekends Storms in the southeastern United States generate more rainfall during the work week than on weekends, report NASA scientists. The pattern can be attributed to lower atmospheric pollution from humans on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Atmospheric particulates have been linked to rainfall. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2605 2008-01-24T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:47:40Z Largest body of geologists issues warning on global warming A statement newly released by the world's largest scientific society of Earth and space scientists--the American Geophysical Union, or AGU--updates the organization's position on climate change: the evidence for it, potential consequences from it, and how to respond to it. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2539 2007-12-11T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:12:49Z Greenland ice sheet melting hits record in 2007 The 2007 melt extent on the Greenland ice sheet broke the 2005 summer melt record by 10 percent, making it the largest ever recorded there since satellite measurements began in 1979, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder climate scientist. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2543 2007-12-11T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:12:49Z Climate change already affecting water supplies in the Western U.S. Climate change is already impacting water supplies in the western United States and is likely to reducer carbon sequestration by regional ecosystems, reports research presented at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2563 2007-12-06T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:12:52Z Melting of Greenland ice sheet could alter warming trend A massive release from freshwater from the glacial Lake Agassiz 8,200 years ago triggered dramatic cooling in the North Atlantic region, report researchers writing in Science. The sudden and intense cooling, which ended the stable climate that had characterized the Holocene warm period, could have future implications for the melting of Greenland's ice sheet. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2585 2007-12-03T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:47:36Z Global warming to boost severe thunderstorms in NYC, Atlanta Global warming could lead to weather conditions that spawn severe thunderstorms in the United States, according to research appearing in the early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2587 2007-12-03T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:47:36Z Tropics are expanding Climate change has caused a widening of Earth's tropical belt, according to a new study published in a new scientific journal, Nature Geoscience. "Remarkably, the tropics appear to have already expanded -- during only the last few decades of the 20th century -- by at least the same margin as models predict for this century," said the scientists who conducted the research. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2589 2007-12-03T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:47:37Z Photo: Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano erupts Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano erupted several times on Saturday, December 1, ejecting steam and ash, according to Mexico's National Disaster Prevention Center (CENAPRED). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2472 2007-11-15T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:47:13Z Hurricane Katrina released large amounts of carbon by destroying 320m trees The destruction of 320 million large trees by Hurricane Katrina reduced the capacity of forests in the Southern United States to soak up carbon, reports a new study published in the journal Science. The research shows that hurricanes and other natural disturbances "can affect a landscape's potential as a 'carbon sink' because the dead vegetation then decays, returning carbon to the atmosphere, and because the old vegetation is replaced by smaller, younger plants." Rhett Butler