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Climate Change

Environment

Looking to the past to learn more about a warming planet's possible future

Expectations of what a warmer planet might mean range from the inconsequential to the much more dire, but researchers are working to bring more scientific data to the debate. For geologists at Florida State University (FSU), one way to learn more about the future is by visiting the past, 94 million years ago to be exact. By studying a major warming event at that point in the Earth's history, the researchers have found that it caused changes in ocean chemistry that were incompatible with vital nutrients needed to support life.Read More

Environment

CO2 hits record highs over South Pole in hottest May on record

It's not something we should be shooting for, but we're on a bit of a hot streak when it comes to global temperatures. Newly released data on the Earth's climate has revealed that 2016 saw the hottest May on record, marking the 13th successive time a monthly global temperature record has been broken as the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, the main reason for this warming trend, hits new levels over the South Pole.Read More

Environment

Scientists attribute mammal extinction to climate change for the first time

Climate change is by definition a global phenomenon, but there are few locations feeling its immediate impacts like Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Just a month after local scientists were left reeling as warming seas triggered the worst coral bleaching event in its history, researchers are now reporting the reef's only endemic mammal species has become extinct as a result of rising sea levels, describing its demise as the first mammal species to be killed off by human-induced global warming.Read More

Environment

NASA satellite snaps the first methane leak detected from space

Methane's concentration in the atmosphere might be outweighed and outlasted by the more bountiful CO2, but this greenhouse gas is perfectly capable of doing some damage while it's up there. Due to its superior radiation-trapping abilities, methane presents a much more potent threat to the climate than CO2 does pound-for-pound, so monitoring the source of methane emissions is therefore pretty important. And it looks like we might have a new tool at our disposal, with NASA announcing the first observation of a single methane leak on our planet's surface from an Earth-orbiting spacecraft. Read More

Environment

Shaken, not stirred: How climate change can upset the chemistry of freshwater lakes

Much like James Bond's favorite cocktails, freshwater lakes need to be shaken up in order to make sure vital ingredients are evenly distributed within. Without a giant cocktail shaker at its disposal, nature carries out this task by way of big storms in the colder months that turn over the bodies of water and preserve the health of the ecosystem. But scientists are now warning that rising surface temperatures may bring an end to this, which would give algae new rein over these lakes and seriously threaten fish populations and vital freshwater resources.Read More

Environment

Quickfire carbon capture method turns CO2 into solid rock within two years

Carbon capture and storage, or carbon sequestration, is one approach proposed to offset mounting C02 emissions, but the possibility of gas seeping out and escaping into the atmosphere is one of the factors holding the technology back. Researchers have now come up with a technique that promises to overcome this problem, finding that injecting CO2 into volcanic rocks can turn the gas solid within two years, which is a drastically shorter timeframe than the centuries or millennia the current scientific consensus suggests.Read More

Environment

Seismic vibrations provide a new, accurate way to monitor ice sheet decline

We currently measure changes in ice sheets via data gathered by missions such as NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite, or by flying planes over a region and using lasers to map topography. But there could be a better way, with a team of researchers, led by scientists at MIT, getting positive results from a new method that tracks seismic vibrations caused by ocean waves to measure changes in ice volume.Read More

Environment

Increased CO2 levels are greening the Earth

Researchers studying NASA satellite data on the Earth's vegetation coverage have discovered that plants have significantly increased their leaf cover over the last 35 years to the point that new growth across the planet is equivalent to an area twice as large as the continental United States. According to the study, the largest contributor to this greening is the growing level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.Read More

Environment

Off color: 93% of Great Barrier Reef struck by mass coral bleaching event

Last month, an aerial survey of the northern section of Australia's Great Barrier Reef returned some pretty grim results, finding that the World Heritage Site had been hit with the worst coral bleaching event in its history. The researchers have now continued their work along this magnificent stretch of coastline and the news isn't getting any better. The results of their end-to-end study now reveal that 93 percent of the reef has been affected by bleaching as a result of warmer sea temperatures in the area.Read More

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