Legislative & Regulatory Update

Global climate target could net additional six million tons of fish annually

Climate Change News - ENN - December 24, 2016 - 7:50am
If countries abide by the Paris Agreement global warming target of 1.5 degrees Celsius, potential fish catches could increase by six million metric tons per year, according to a new study published in Science.The researchers also found that some oceans are more sensitive to changes in temperature and will have substantially larger gains from achieving the Paris Agreement.

Could Rudolph and friends help to slow down our warming climate?

Climate Change News - ENN - December 22, 2016 - 7:19am
Reindeer may be best known for pulling Santa’s sleigh, but a new study suggests they may have a part to play in slowing down climate change too.A team of researchers, writing in the journal Environmental Research Letters, found that when reindeer reduce the height and abundance of shrubs on the Arctic tundra through grazing, the level of surface albedo – the amount of solar energy (shortwave radiation) reflected by the Earth back into space – is increased. 

Rudolph's antlers inspire next generation of unbreakable materials

The team looked at the antler structure at the 'nano-level', which is incredibly small, almost one thousandth of the thickness of a hair strand, and were able to identify the mechanisms at work, using state-of-the-art computer modelling and x-ray techniques.First author Paolino De Falco from QMUL's School of Engineering and Materials Science said: "The fibrils that make up the antler are staggered rather than in line with each other. This allows them to absorb the energy from the impact of a clash during a fight."

Scientists bear witness to birth of an ice cloud

Climate Change News - ENN - December 20, 2016 - 12:47pm
RICHLAND, Wash. – Scientists have witnessed the birth of atmospheric ice clouds, creating ice cloud crystals in the laboratory and then taking images of the process through a microscope, essentially documenting the very first steps of cloud formation.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Scientists

RICHLAND, Wash. – Scientists have witnessed the birth of atmospheric ice clouds, creating ice cloud crystals in the laboratory and then taking images of the process through a microscope, essentially documenting the very first steps of cloud formation.

Scientists: Strong evidence that human-caused climate change intensified 2015 heat waves

Climate Change News - ENN - December 20, 2016 - 8:22am
Human-caused climate change very likely increased the severity of heat waves that plagued India, Pakistan, Europe, East Africa, East Asia, and Australia in 2015 and helped make it the warmest year on record, according to new research published today in a special edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.  The fifth edition of Explaining Extreme Events from a Climate Perspective presents 25 peer-reviewed research papers that examine episodes of extreme weather of 2015 over five continents and two oceans. It features the research of 116 scientists from 18 countries analyzing both historical observations and changing trends along with model results to determine whether and how climate change may have influenced the event.

Americans believe climate change connected to location and local weather

Climate Change News - ENN - December 20, 2016 - 7:28am
A new study finds local weather may play an important role in Americans’ belief in climate change. The study, published on Monday, found that Americans’ belief that the earth is warming is related to the frequency of weather-related events they experience, suggesting that local changes in their climate influence their acceptance of this worldwide phenomenon. “One of the greatest challenges to communicating scientific findings about climate change is the cognitive disconnect between local and global events,” said Michael Mann, associate professor of geography at George Washington University and co-author of the paper. “It is easy to assume that what you experience at home must be happening elsewhere.”

El Niño fuelled Zika outbreak, new study suggests

Climate Change News - ENN - December 19, 2016 - 3:34pm
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have shown that a change in weather patterns, brought on by the 'Godzilla' El Niño of 2015, fuelled the Zika outbreak in South America. The findings were revealed using a new epidemiological model that looked at how climate affects the spread of Zika virus by both of its major vectors, the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus).The model can also be used to predict the risk of future outbreaks, and help public health officials tailor mosquito control measures and travel advice.

Earliest evidence discovered of plants cooked in ancient pottery

A team of international scientists, led by the University of Bristol, has uncovered the earliest direct evidence of humans processing plants for food found anywhere in the world.Researchers at the Organic Geochemistry Unit in the University of Bristol's School of Chemistry, working with colleagues at Sapienza, University of Rome and the Universities of Modena and Milan, studied unglazed pottery dating from more than 10,000 years ago, from two sites in the Libyan Sahara.

Arctic lakes thawing earlier each year

Climate Change News - ENN - December 19, 2016 - 12:41pm
Scientists from the University of Southampton have found Arctic lakes, covered with ice during the winter months, are melting earlier each spring.The team, who monitored 13,300 lakes using satellite imagery, have shown that on average ice is breaking up one day earlier per year, based on a 14-year period between 2000 and 2013. Their findings are published in the Nature journal 'Scientific Reports'.

Study shows wheat crop yield can be increased by up to 20% using new chemical technology

UK scientists have created a synthetic molecule that, when applied to crops, has been shown to increase the size and starch content of wheat grains in the lab by up to 20%.The new plant application, developed by Rothamsted Research and Oxford University, could help solve the issue of increasing food insecurity across the globe. Some 795 million people are undernourished, and this year's El Nino has shown how vulnerable many countries are to climate-induced drought.

Taking stock of the world's lakes - New global database

Climate Change News - ENN - December 15, 2016 - 9:12am
The total shoreline of the world’s lakes is more than four times longer than the global ocean coastline. And if all the water in those lakes were spread over the Earth’s landmass, it would form a layer some four feet (1.3 metres) deep. Those are just two of the big-picture findings to emerge from the most complete global database of lakes to date, compiled by geographers at McGill University. Their research, published in Nature Communications, promises to help scientists better understand the important role of lakes in the Earth’s complex environmental systems – from the hydrological cycle and weather patterns, to the transport, distribution or storage of pollutants and nutrients through the landscape.

Warming global temperatures may not affect carbon stored deep in northern peatlands, study says

Climate Change News - ENN - December 13, 2016 - 11:21am
Deep stores of carbon in northern peatlands may be safe from rising temperatures, according to a team of researchers from several U.S.-based institutions.And that is good news for now, the researchers said.Florida State University research scientist Rachel Wilson and University of Oregon graduate student Anya Hopple are the first authors on a new study published today in Nature Communications. The study details experiments suggesting that carbon stored in peat—a highly organic material found in marsh or damp regions—may not succumb to the Earth's warming as easily as scientists thought.

Warming global temperatures may not affect carbon stored deep in northern peatlands, study says

Climate Change News - ENN - December 13, 2016 - 11:21am
Deep stores of carbon in northern peatlands may be safe from rising temperatures, according to a team of researchers from several U.S.-based institutions.And that is good news for now, the researchers said.Florida State University research scientist Rachel Wilson and University of Oregon graduate student Anya Hopple are the first authors on a new study published today in Nature Communications. The study details experiments suggesting that carbon stored in peat—a highly organic material found in marsh or damp regions—may not succumb to the Earth's warming as easily as scientists thought.

How noise pollution impacts marine ecology

Marine ecologists have shown how noise pollution is changing the behaviour of marine animals - and how its elimination will significantly help build their resilience. Laura Briggs reports.Building up a library of sound from marine creatures including cod, whelks and sea slugs is important to helping build resilience in species affected by noise pollution, according to Exeter University's Associate Professor in Marine Biology and Global Change Dr Steve Simpson.Human noise factors including busy shipping lanes, wind farms and water tourism can all impact on the calls of various species - including cod which relies on sound for finding a mate with their "song".

Surge in methane emissions threatens efforts to slow climate change

Climate Change News - ENN - December 13, 2016 - 7:08am
Global concentrations of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas and cause of climate change, are now growing faster in the atmosphere than at any other time in the past two decades.That is the message of a team of international scientists in an editorial published 12 December in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The group reports that methane concentrations in the air began to surge around 2007 and grew precipitously in 2014 and 2015.

First above-normal Atlantic hurricane season since 2012 produced five landfalling U.S. storms

Climate Change News - ENN - December 8, 2016 - 4:26pm
As the Atlantic, eastern Pacific and central Pacific 2016 hurricane seasons end today, NOAA scientists said that all three regions saw above-normal seasons.

NASA Sees Tropical Cyclone 05B Form

Climate Change News - ENN - December 8, 2016 - 10:01am
An area of tropical low pressure designated System 99B has consolidated and developed into Tropical Cyclone 05B. On Dec. 7 the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone 05B over the Anadaman and Nicobar Islands. The VIIRS image showed bands of thunderstorms wrapping around the center from the northern to the eastern quadrants over the Anadaman Islands.

East Greenland ice sheet has responded to climate change for the last 7.5 million years

Climate Change News - ENN - December 8, 2016 - 9:42am
Using marine sediment cores containing isotopes of aluminum and beryllium, a group of international researchers has discovered that East Greenland experienced deep, ongoing glacial erosion over the past 7.5 million years.The research reconstructs ice sheet erosion dynamics in that region during the past 7.5 million years and has potential implications for how much the ice sheet will respond to future interglacial warming.The team, made up of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of Vermont, Boston College and Imperial College London, analyzed sediments eroded from the continent and deposited in the ocean off the coast, which are like a time capsule preserving records of glacial processes. The research appears in the Dec. 8 edition of the journal, Nature.

Sea ice hit record lows in November

Climate Change News - ENN - December 7, 2016 - 11:41am
Unusually high air temperatures and a warm ocean have led to a record low Arctic sea ice extent for November, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder. In the Southern Hemisphere, Antarctic sea ice extent also hit a record low for the month, caused by moderately warm temperatures and a rapid shift in circumpolar winds.“It looks like a triple whammy—a warm ocean, a warm atmosphere, and a wind pattern all working against the ice in the Arctic,” said NSIDC director Mark Serreze.

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