Legislative & Regulatory Update

Flashy First Images Arrive from NOAA's GOES-16 Lightning Mapper

Detecting and predicting lightning just got a lot easier. The first images from a new instrument onboard NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite are giving NOAA National Weather Service forecasters richer information about lightning that will help them alert the public to dangerous weather.

Stanford study shows U.S. grasslands affected more by atmospheric dryness than precipitation

Climate Change News - ENN - March 6, 2017 - 4:26pm
According to 33 years of remote sensing data, productivity of U.S. grasslands is more sensitive to dryness of the atmosphere than precipitation, important information for understanding how ecosystems will respond to climate change.A new study showing dryness of the atmosphere affects U.S. grassland productivity more than rainfall could have important implications for predicting how plants will respond to warming climate conditions.

Imaging the Inner Workings of a Sodium–Metal Sulfide Battery for First Time

Understanding how the structural and chemical makeup of the material changes during the charge/discharge process could help scientists advance battery design for future energy storage needsSometimes understanding how a problem arises in the first place is key to finding its solution. For a team of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, taking this approach led them to the cause of degraded performance in an operating sodium-ion battery.

The cold exterminated all of them

The Earth has known several mass extinctions over the course of its history. One of the most important happened at the Permian-Triassic boundary 250 million years ago. Over 95% of marine species disappeared and, up until now, scientists have linked this extinction to a significant rise in Earth temperatures. But researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, working alongside the University of Zurich, discovered that this extinction took place during a short ice age which preceded the global climate warming. It’s the first time that the various stages of a mass extinction have been accurately understood and that scientists have been able to assess the major role played by volcanic explosions in these climate processes. This research, which can be read in Scientific Reports, completely calls into question the scientific theories regarding these phenomena, founded on the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, and paves the way for a new vision of the Earth’s climate history.

The cold exterminated all of them

Climate Change News - ENN - March 6, 2017 - 2:06pm
The Earth has known several mass extinctions over the course of its history. One of the most important happened at the Permian-Triassic boundary 250 million years ago. Over 95% of marine species disappeared and, up until now, scientists have linked this extinction to a significant rise in Earth temperatures. But researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, working alongside the University of Zurich, discovered that this extinction took place during a short ice age which preceded the global climate warming. It’s the first time that the various stages of a mass extinction have been accurately understood and that scientists have been able to assess the major role played by volcanic explosions in these climate processes. This research, which can be read in Scientific Reports, completely calls into question the scientific theories regarding these phenomena, founded on the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, and paves the way for a new vision of the Earth’s climate history.

Underwater mountains help ocean water rise from abyss

Climate Change News - ENN - March 6, 2017 - 2:01pm
At high latitudes, such as near Antarctica and the Arctic Circle, the ocean’s surface waters are cooled by frigid temperatures and become so dense that they sink a few thousand meters into the ocean’s abyss.Ocean waters are thought to flow along a sort of conveyor belt that transports them between the surface and the deep in a never-ending loop. However, it remains unclear where the deep waters rise to the surface, as they ultimately must. This information would help researchers estimate how long the ocean may store carbon in its deepest regions before returning it to the surface.

Underwater mountains help ocean water rise from abyss

At high latitudes, such as near Antarctica and the Arctic Circle, the ocean’s surface waters are cooled by frigid temperatures and become so dense that they sink a few thousand meters into the ocean’s abyss.Ocean waters are thought to flow along a sort of conveyor belt that transports them between the surface and the deep in a never-ending loop. However, it remains unclear where the deep waters rise to the surface, as they ultimately must. This information would help researchers estimate how long the ocean may store carbon in its deepest regions before returning it to the surface.

New approach for matching production and consumption of renewable electricity promotes large-scale integration of solar and wind power

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is coordinating the BALANCE project, which brings together leading European research institutes in the field of electrochemical conversion. The project aims to demonstrate a technology that enables flexible storage of large amount of renewable power. Such technologies are needed for the further integration of additional wind and solar power. The European Commission funds the project by 2.5 million euros.

New technology keeps parents connected with their newborn's neonatal care

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Marsha Campbell-Yeo has seen incredible advancements in neonatal care — developments in technology and practice that have improved outcomes for vulnerable newborns across North America and around the world.“However, the focus of these innovations and transformations in care has been almost exclusively directed toward health care providers and technological advancements,” said Dr. Campbell Yeo, associate professor in the School of Nursing at Dal and a clinician scientist at the IWK Health Centre. “Until recently, parents have not only been underutilized in the setting of neonatal intensive care, but often excluded all together.”

Increasing Shrubs Mean Changes for Some but Not All Arctic Birds

Climate Change News - ENN - March 6, 2017 - 8:33am
Scientists can now predict which avian species are most sensitive to the increasingly dominant shrub habitat spreading across Alaska, a capability that will be useful for natural resource agencies in Alaska charged with managing these resources.

More funding for long-term studies necessary for best science, environmental policy

Environmental scientists and policymakers value long-term research to an extent that far outstrips the amount of funding awarded for it, according to a study published today.Graduate students and faculty members in the Oregon State University College of Science were part of a collaboration that evaluated the perceived benefits of long-term ecological and environmental studies – known as LTEES – to both researchers and those who determine environmental policy. 

NASA Examines Deadly Spring-Like Weather With GPM Satellite

Climate Change News - ENN - March 3, 2017 - 2:16pm
Rainfall from spring-like downpours in the U.S. from February 25 to March 1 were analyzed at NASA using data from the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM satellite.Record breaking warm temperatures this winter have caused plants to bloom early in the eastern United States. Unfortunately this has also resulted in the formation of spring-like severe thunderstorms and deadly tornadoes. Multiple tornado sightings were made in three of the last seven days. On Saturday February 25, 2017 destructive tornadoes were reported in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

Iron dissolved by air pollution may increase ocean potential to trap carbon

Climate Change News - ENN - March 3, 2017 - 10:52am
Iron particles generated by cities and industry are being dissolved by man-made air pollution and washed into the sea – potentially increasing the amount of greenhouse gases that the world’s oceans can absorb, a new study suggests.Scientists have long believed that acids formed from human-generated pollution and natural emissions dissolve iron in airborne particles - increasing the amount of iron to the ocean – but have lacked direct evidence to prove this theory.

What Global Climate Change May Mean for Leaf Litter in Streams and Rivers

Climate Change News - ENN - March 3, 2017 - 10:43am
Rate of leaf litter decay — and release of carbon to the atmosphere — may not accelerate as much as previously predicted as temperatures riseCarbon emissions to the atmosphere from streams and rivers are expected to increase as warmer water temperatures stimulate faster rates of organic matter breakdown.

Late winter 'heatwave' hits the U.S. in February

Climate Change News - ENN - March 3, 2017 - 8:44am
It has been warm this winter for much of the country. But even with that said, temperatures recorded during a four-day period in late February 2017 across the central and eastern United States were extraordinary for the end of meteorological winter—December through February.

Taking Earth's Inner Temperature

The temperature of Earth’s interior affects everything from the movement of tectonic plates to the formation of the planet.A new study led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) suggests the mantle—the mostly solid, rocky part of Earth’s interior that lies between its super-heated core and its outer crustal layer – may be hotter than previously believed. The new finding, published March 3 in the journal Science, could change how scientists think about many issues in Earth science including how ocean basins form.

NASA Study Improves Forecasts of Summer Arctic Sea Ice

Climate Change News - ENN - March 2, 2017 - 3:52pm
The Arctic has been losing sea ice over the past several decades as Earth warms. However, each year, as the sea ice starts to melt in the spring following its maximum wintertime extent, scientists still struggle to estimate exactly how much ice they expect will disappear through the melt season. Now, a new NASA forecasting model based on satellite measurements is allowing researchers to make better estimates.Forecasts of how much Arctic sea ice will shrink from spring into fall is valuable information for such communities as shipping companies and native people that depend on sea ice for hunting. Many animal and plant species are impacted directly by changes in the coverage of sea ice across the Arctic. Uncertain weather conditions through spring and summer make the forecasting of Arctic sea ice for a given year extremely challenging.

Climate research needs greater focus on human populations

Climate Change News - ENN - March 2, 2017 - 2:54pm
Climate change research needs a greater focus on changing population structures when assessing future human vulnerability, argue IIASA researchers in a new perspective article in the journal Nature Climate Change.Climate research has provided a range of scenarios of showing how climate change will affect global temperatures, water resources, agriculture, and many other areas. Yet it remains unclear how all these potential changes could affect future human wellbeing. In particular, the population of the future – in its composition, distribution, and characteristics – will not be the same as the population observed today. That means that assessing likely impacts by relating the climate change projected for the future to today’s societal capabilities can be misleading. In order to understand the impacts of climate change on human beings, says IIASA World Population Program Director Wolfgang Lutz, climate change research needs to explicitly consider forecasting human populations’ capacities to adapt to a changing climate.

Ocean Acidification

Climate Change News - ENN - March 2, 2017 - 12:09pm
International research team reports ocean acidification spreading rapidly in Arctic Ocean in area and depthOcean acidification (OA) is spreading rapidly in the western Arctic Ocean in both area and depth, according to new interdisciplinary research reported in Nature Climate Change by a team of international collaborators, including University of Delaware professor Wei-Jun Cai.The research shows that, between the 1990s and 2010, acidified waters expanded northward approximately 300 nautical miles from the Chukchi slope off the coast of northwestern Alaska to just below the North Pole. Also, the depth of acidified waters was found to have increased, from approximately 325 feet to over 800 feet (or from 100 to 250 meters).

Research reveals air pollution can alter the effectiveness of antibiotics and increases the potential of disease

Leicester research reveals the impact of black carbon on bacteria in the respiratory tract

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