Legislative & Regulatory Update

How Much Drought Can a Forest Take?

Aerial tree mortality surveys show patterns of tree death during extreme drought.Why do some trees die in a drought and others don’t? And how can we predict where trees are most likely to die in future droughts?

Climate change prompts Alaska fish to change breeding behavior

Climate Change News - ENN - January 19, 2017 - 9:24am
One of Alaska’s most abundant freshwater fish species is altering its breeding patterns in response to climate change. This could impact the ecology of northern lakes, which already acutely feel the effects of a changing climate.That’s the main finding of a recent University of Washington study published in Global Change Biology that analyzed reproductive patterns of three-spine stickleback fish over half a century in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. The data show that stickleback breed earlier and more often each season in response to earlier spring ice breakup and longer ice-free summers.

Heat from Earth's core could be underlying force in plate tectonics

For decades, scientists have theorized that the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates is driven largely by negative buoyancy created as they cool. New research, however, shows plate dynamics are driven significantly by the additional force of heat drawn from the Earth’s core.The new findings also challenge the theory that underwater mountain ranges known as mid-ocean ridges are passive boundaries between moving plates. The findings show the East Pacific Rise, the Earth’s dominant mid-ocean ridge, is dynamic as heat is transferred.David B. Rowley, professor of geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago, and fellow researchers came to the conclusions by combining observations of the East Pacific Rise with insights from modeling of the mantle flow there. The findings were published Dec. 23 in Science Advances.

Research shows driving factors behind changes between local and global carbon cycles

Climate Change News - ENN - January 18, 2017 - 3:24pm
Pioneering new research has provided a fascinating new insight in the quest to determine whether temperature or water availability is the most influential factor in determining the success of global, land-based carbon sinks.The research, carried out by an international team of climate scientists including Professors Pierre Friedlingstein and Stephen Sitch from the University of Exeter, has revealed new clues on how land carbon sinks are regulated on both local and global scales.

Prehistoric mega-lake sediment offers key insight into how inland regions responded to "super-greenhouse" event

Sediment found at the site of one of the largest lakes in Earth’s history could provide a fascinating new insight into how inland regions responded to global climate change millions of years ago.A pioneering new study, carried out by a team of British-based researchers, has analysed sediments from the site of the vast lake which formed in the Sichuan Basin, in China, around 183 million years ago in the Jurassic period.

Green Sahara's Ancient Rainfall Regime Revealed by Scientists

Rainfall patterns in the Sahara during the 6,000-year "Green Sahara" period have been pinpointed by analyzing marine sediments, according to new research led by a UA geoscientist.What is now the Sahara Desert was the home to hunter-gatherers who made their living off the animals and plants that lived in the region's savannahs and wooded grasslands 5,000 to 11,000 years ago.

Green Sahara's Ancient Rainfall Regime Revealed by Scientists

Climate Change News - ENN - January 18, 2017 - 2:43pm
Rainfall patterns in the Sahara during the 6,000-year "Green Sahara" period have been pinpointed by analyzing marine sediments, according to new research led by a UA geoscientist.What is now the Sahara Desert was the home to hunter-gatherers who made their living off the animals and plants that lived in the region's savannahs and wooded grasslands 5,000 to 11,000 years ago.

Extreme Space Weather-Induced Electricity Blackouts Could Cost U.S. More Than $40 Billion Daily

New study finds more than half the loss occurs outside the blackout zone.The daily U.S. economic cost from solar storm-induced electricity blackouts could be in the tens of billions of dollars, with more than half the loss from indirect costs outside the blackout zone, according to a new study.

Biosimilars Create Opportunities for Sustainable Cancer Care

Lugano, Switzerland – Biosimilars create opportunities for sustainable cancer care, says the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in a position paper published in ESMO Open. The document outlines approval standards for biosimilars, how to safely introduce them into the clinic, and the potential benefits for patients and healthcare systems.

How Far Can Technology Go To Stave Off Climate Change?

The U.S. now has two coal-burning power plants that avoid dumping carbon dioxide into the air. Petra Nova in Texas and Kemper in Mississippi use technology to stop CO2 in the smokestack and before combustion, respectively. Unfortunately, that makes two out of more than 400 coal-fired power plants in the U.S., the rest of which collectively pour 1.4 billion metric tons of the colorless, odorless greenhouse gas into the atmosphere each year. Even Kemper and Petra Nova do not capture all of the CO2 from the coal they burn, and the captured CO2 is used to scour more oil out of the ground, which is then burned, adding yet more CO2 to the atmosphere. The carbon conundrum grows more complex — and dangerous — with each passing year. 

Changing atmospheric conditions may contribute to stronger ocean wave activity on the Antarctic Peninsula

Climate Change News - ENN - January 18, 2017 - 9:15am
Over the past few years, a large fracture has grown across a large floating ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula. The world is watching the ice shelf, now poised to break off an iceberg the size of Delaware into the ocean.It’s not a new phenomenon; this “thumb” of Antarctica, which juts out into the stormy Southern Ocean, has lost more than 28,000 square kilometers of floating ice — almost as large as Massachusetts — over the past half-century. This has included the complete disintegration of four ice shelves, the floating extensions of glaciers.

Birds of a feather flock together to confuse potential predators

Climate Change News - ENN - January 18, 2017 - 9:03am
Scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Groningen, in The Netherlands, have created a computer game style experiment which sheds new light on the reasons why starlings flock in massive swirling groups over wintering grounds.A mumeration can hold many thousands of starlings but the reasons why they put on these amazing displays are not well understood.

Periods of Greater Atlantic Hurricane Activity Linked to Weaker U.S. Landfalls

Climate Change News - ENN - January 18, 2017 - 8:46am
During periods of greater Atlantic hurricane activity, a protective barrier of vertical wind shear and cooler ocean temperatures forms along the U.S. East Coast, weakening storms as they approach land, according to a new study by NCEI scientist, Jim Kossin. In his paper, “Hurricane Intensification along United States Coast Suppressed during Active Hurricane Periods (link is external),” published in Nature, Kossin identifies this “buffer zone” and describes its relationship with both active and inactive periods of Atlantic hurricane activity.

Climate change to shift global pattern of mild weather

Climate Change News - ENN - January 18, 2017 - 7:01am
As scientists work to predict how climate change may affect hurricanes, droughts, floods, blizzards and other severe weather, there's one area that's been overlooked: mild weather. But no more.NOAA and Princeton University scientists have produced the first global analysis of how climate change may affect the frequency and location of mild weather - days that are perfect for an outdoor wedding, baseball, fishing, boating, hiking or a picnic. Scientists defined "mild" weather as temperatures between 64 and 86 degrees F, with less than a half inch of rain and dew points below 68 degrees F, indicative of low humidity.

Race for a Better Fuel Begins with NREL Researchers

Watching cars zoom around and around an oval track isn't Jesse Hensley's idea of a good time. Making them run on biofuel would be.

It's freezing inside - that tornado?

Climate Change News - ENN - January 17, 2017 - 11:45am
With winter upon us in full force, outdoor temperatures are plummeting. But inside an intense tornado, it’s always chilly — no matter the time of year. A new study from Concordia proves why that’s the case.In an article forthcoming in the Journal of Aircraft of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, mechanical engineering professor Georgios Vatistas looks into the case of a violent tornado that touched down in 1955 in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

Climate policies alone will not save Earth's most diverse tropical forests

Climate Change News - ENN - January 17, 2017 - 9:39am
Afocus on policies to conserve tropical forests for their carbon storage value may imperil some of the world’s most biologically rich tropical forests.

World's biggest tropical carbon sink found in Congo rainforest

Climate Change News - ENN - January 16, 2017 - 2:04pm
A 145,000 sq km area of peatland swamp forest has been discovered in the Congo Basin, writes Tim Radford, and it holds a record 30 Gt of carbon, equivalent to 20 years of US fossil fuel emissions. Now the race is on to protect it from damaging development that would emit that carbon over coming decades.

Study tracks memory of soil moisture

The top 2 inches of topsoil on all of Earth’s landmasses contains an infinitesimal fraction of the planet’s water — less than one-thousandth of a percent. Yet because of its position at the interface between the land and the atmosphere, that tiny amount plays a crucial role in everything from agriculture to weather and climate, and even the spread of disease.The behavior and dynamics of this reservoir of moisture have been very hard to quantify and analyze, however, because measurements have been slow and laborious to make.

Study tracks memory of soil moisture

Climate Change News - ENN - January 16, 2017 - 1:31pm
The top 2 inches of topsoil on all of Earth’s landmasses contains an infinitesimal fraction of the planet’s water — less than one-thousandth of a percent. Yet because of its position at the interface between the land and the atmosphere, that tiny amount plays a crucial role in everything from agriculture to weather and climate, and even the spread of disease.The behavior and dynamics of this reservoir of moisture have been very hard to quantify and analyze, however, because measurements have been slow and laborious to make.

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