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Updated: 28 min 45 sec ago

94-million-year-old climate change event holds clues for future

June 22, 2016 - 6:10pm
A major climate event millions of years ago that caused substantial change to the ocean's ecological systems may hold clues as to how the Earth will respond to future climate change, a Florida State University researcher said.In a new study published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Assistant Professor of Geology Jeremy Owens explains that parts of the ocean became inhospitable for some organisms as the Earth's climate warmed 94 million years ago. As the Earth warmed, several natural elements -- what we think of as vitamins -- depleted, causing some organisms to die off or greatly decrease in numbers.

Chicago's urban farming produces fresh veggies all year, 24/7

June 22, 2016 - 11:29am
Hydroponics and new, high-tech urban agricultural techniques are now growing fresh food in the middle of Manhattan and other large metropolitan centers globally. People are catching onto the taste and business opportunities of urban agriculture: find it growing in Middle Eastern cities such as Cairo, Egypt too!Urban farming in midwestern American cities like Chicago has had its limitations due to adverse winter weather conditions at least 9 months a year. New indoor farming techniques use vertical farming, special indoor LED lighting and hydroponic systems that pump soybean and kelp-infused water through a temperature and humidity-controlled system, nearly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Carbon dioxide hits record highs in Southern hemisphere

June 21, 2016 - 2:30pm
Last month, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) as measured at Amsterdam Island, in the southern Indian Ocean, for the first time exceeded the symbolic value of 400 ppm, or 0.04%. The CO2 concentrations recorded at the Amsterdam Island research station are the lowest in the world (excluding seasonal cycles), due to the island's remoteness from anthropogenic sources. The 400 ppm threshold was already crossed in the Northern hemisphere during the 2012/2013 winter. In addition, the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is speeding up, growing by more than 2 ppm annually over the past four years. The data has been collected for the past 35 years at the Amsterdam Island research station by the French national observation service ICOS-France at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE, CNRS / CEA / UVSQ), with the support of the Institut Polaire Français Paul-Emile Victor (IPEV).

Carbon dioxide hits record highs in Southern hemisphere

June 21, 2016 - 2:05pm
Last month, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) as measured at Amsterdam Island, in the southern Indian Ocean, for the first time exceeded the symbolic value of 400 ppm, or 0.04%. The CO2 concentrations recorded at the Amsterdam Island research station are the lowest in the world (excluding seasonal cycles), due to the island's remoteness from anthropogenic sources. The 400 ppm threshold was already crossed in the Northern hemisphere during the 2012/2013 winter. In addition, the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is speeding up, growing by more than 2 ppm annually over the past four years. The data has been collected for the past 35 years at the Amsterdam Island research station by the French national observation service ICOS-France at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE, CNRS / CEA / UVSQ), with the support of the Institut Polaire Français Paul-Emile Victor (IPEV).

How China can ramp up wind power

June 21, 2016 - 12:38pm
China has an opportunity to massively increase its use of wind power -- if it properly integrates wind into its existing power system, according to a new study. The research forecasts that wind power could provide 26 percent of China's projected electricity demand by 2030, up from 3 percent in 2015.The study forecasts that wind power could provide 26 percent of China's projected electricity demand by 2030, up from 3 percent in 2015. Such a change would be a substantial gain in the global transition to renewable energy, since China produces the most total greenhouse gas emissions of any country in the world.

Threats to habitat connectivity as sea waters inundate coastal areas

June 21, 2016 - 8:05am
By the year 2100, sea levels might rise as much as 2.5 meters above their current levels, which would seriously threaten coastal cities and other low-lying areas. In turn, this would force animals to migrate farther inland in search of higher ground. But accelerated urbanization, such as the rapidly expanding Piedmont area that stretches from Atlanta to eastern North Carolina, could cut off their escape routes and create climate-induced extinctions.

First Mammal Goes Extinct From Manmade Climate Change

June 17, 2016 - 8:23am
We’ve reached a sad milestone: Climate change has claimed its first mammal species. Scientists have been warning us that a large percentage of species will face extinction thanks to manmade global warming, and the future is unfortunately here.According to The Guardian, climate change’s first mammal victim was an adorable rodent known as the Bramble Cay melomys. Sometimes called a mosaic-tailed rat, the melomys was named after Bramble Cay, an Australian island close to Papua New Guinea, that was the only known home for the species.

What Would a Global Warming Increase of 1.5 Degrees Be Like?

June 16, 2016 - 11:02am
How ambitious is the world? The Paris climate conference last December astounded many by pledging not just to keep warming “well below two degrees Celsius,” but also to "pursue efforts" to limit warming to 1.5 degrees C. That raised a hugely important question: What's the difference between a two-degree world and a 1.5-degree world?

Fossil record shows seas around Britain were once tropical

June 16, 2016 - 7:51am
Some 210 million years ago, Britain consisted of many islands, surrounded by warm seas. Europe at the time lay farther south, at latitudes equivalent to North Africa today. Much of Europe was hot desert, and at this point was flooded by a great sea – the Rhaetian Transgression.Published in Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, the Bristol team's work is the most extensive study yet, based on more than 26,000 identified fossils, of the Rhaetian shallow sea sharks, bony fishes, marine reptiles, and other creatures. Unusually, five members of the team were undergraduates when they did the work, and this was part of a series of summer internships.The team was led by Ellen Mears, now a postgraduate at the University of Edinburgh, and Valentina Rossi, now a postgraduate at the University of Cork.Ellen Mears said: "I studied the shark and fish teeth, and found remains of at least seven species of sharks and four of bony fishes. The sharks were all predators, but some were quite small. The bony fishes were unusual because many of them were shell crushers." 

Philippines may lose 167,000 hectares to global warming

June 14, 2016 - 4:22pm
More than 167,000 hectares of coastland -- about 0.6% of the country's total area -- are projected to go underwater in the Philippines, especially in low-lying island communities, according to research by the University of the Philippines.Low-lying countries with an abundance of coastlines are at significant risk from rising sea levels resulting from global warming. According to data by the World Meteorological Organisation, the water levels around the Philippines are rising at a rate almost three times the global average due partly to the influence of the trade winds pushing ocean currents.On average, sea levels around the world rise 3.1 centimetres every ten years. Water levels in the Philippines are projected to rise between 7.6 and 10.2 centimetres each decade. 

California Condor Population Reaches New Heights

June 14, 2016 - 8:17am
After years of intense — and often controversial — restoration efforts, biologists are finally reporting some good news for the beleaguered California condor: More chicks are surviving in the wild, and the birds are becoming increasingly independent and expanding their range.Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced what it called a milestone for the California condor: More chicks had hatched and fledged in the wild during 2015 than the number of condors that had died. In late March, Steve Kirkland, the agency’s condor field coordinator, reported that two more chicks had fledged in 2015 in Baja California, but had only just been discovered, bringing the total in the wild to 270.It was perhaps the most promising news about the condor in decades.

CDC publishes new map showing US locations of potential Zika-carrying mosquitoes

June 14, 2016 - 8:10am
A few months ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a startling map that showed the parts of the U.S. that could harbor mosquitoes capable of carrying Zika. The map made it look like a vast swath of the country was at risk for Zika, including New England and the Upper Midwest. Well, not quite. On Thursday, CDC scientists published another mosquito map for the U.S. And it paints a very different picture.

US-India Pact on Renewables Will Help Keep Coal in the Ground

June 13, 2016 - 12:47pm
President Barack Obama and Indian President Narendra Modi signed a pact last week, extending a commitment originally established in 2014, to join forces to combat climate change with a huge commitment to renewable energy.The pledge acknowledges commitments made in Paris last year at the COP21 climate talks and defines a path for both countries to achieve their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). In particular, the U.S. has pledged to support India, the world’s third largest carbon emitting country and second fastest growing economy, in its ambitious goal of deploying 175 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2022. That would bring it up to a level of renewable capacity comparable to the U.S. today.

Low ice, low snow, both poles

June 10, 2016 - 10:12am
Daily Arctic sea ice extents for May 2016 tracked two to four weeks ahead of levels seen in 2012, which had the lowest September extent in the satellite record. Current sea ice extent numbers are tentative due to the preliminary nature of the DMSP F-18 satellite data, but are supported by other data sources. An unusually early retreat of sea ice in the Beaufort Sea and pulses of warm air entering the Arctic from eastern Siberia and northernmost Europe are in part driving below-average ice conditions. Snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere was the lowest in fifty years for April and the fourth lowest for May. Antarctic sea ice extent grew slowly during the austral autumn and was below average for most of May.

Is sunscreen bad for coral reefs?

June 10, 2016 - 8:01am
You only use a little bit of sunscreen — a squeeze of the bottle or two or three sprays. Sure, it has some chemical ingredients, but it won’t kill anyone, right? Wrong. Sunscreen is actually one of the culprits of putting over 60 percent of the planet’s coral reefs in critical danger — and bringing a whole lot of other wildlife down with them.

Climate change mitigation: Turning CO2 into rock

June 9, 2016 - 5:24pm
An international team of scientists have found a potentially viable way to remove anthropogenic (caused or influenced by humans) carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere - turn it into rock.The study, published today in Science, has shown for the first time that the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) can be permanently and rapidly locked away from the atmosphere, by injecting it into volcanic bedrock. The CO2 reacts with the surrounding rock, forming environmentally benign minerals.

The role of dam removal in river management in New England

June 9, 2016 - 2:48pm
Dam removal in New England is not only an important aspect of river restoration but it also provides an opportunity to enhance the magnitude and rate of river re-connection, and improve watershed resilience in response to human impact on the environment, if a broader strategic removal approach is implemented throughout the region, according to a new Dartmouth-led study published in Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene.The study is the first interdisciplinary, region-wide assessment of the social and biophysical impacts of dam removal and was conducted by researchers at Dartmouth, American Rivers and the USDA Forest Service. 

Greenland's 2015 melt records consistent with 'Arctic amplification'

June 9, 2016 - 12:40pm
Following record-high temperatures and melting records that affected northwest Greenland in summer 2015, a new study provides the first evidence linking melting in Greenland to the anticipated effects of a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification.

Renewable Energy Hit Record Levels in 2015

June 8, 2016 - 5:19pm
A new report confirms that 2015 was a record-breaking year for renewable energy in which 147 Gigawatts of renewable electricity came online.That figure represents the largest annual increase ever recorded, and is due in part to the $286 billion invested in renewables. In fact, in 2015 almost twice as much money was spent on renewable energy, like solar and wind power, than fossil fuels like gas-fired power stations — only $130 billion.This information comes as part of the Renewables Global Status Report authored by the global renewable energy policy network known as REN21.  

Tropical Depression 1E dissipates

June 8, 2016 - 5:10pm
Tropical Depression 1E or TD1E didn't get far from the time it was born to the time it weakened to a remnant low pressure area along the southwestern coast of Mexico. NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an image of it remnant clouds.

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