Cleaner Air, The Ocean, and Global Warming

Reductions in sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions in recent years, for cleaner air, mainly in South East Asia due to a severe manufacturing sector slowdown and pollution policy changes (1,2) may attribute to current warming, since the phenomena called global dimming is involved. The first policies to address air pollution in the 20th century, originated after…

The spread of viruses like Zika and climate change

Climate change is expected to alter the geographic and seasonal distributions of existing vectors and vector-borne diseases [Likely, High Confidence]. Rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and a higher frequency of some extreme weather events associated with climate change will influence the distribution, abundance, and prevalence of infection in the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus…

Ice sheet deglaciation and methane emissions, with the scope on Greenland’s melt season

On June 9 2016, Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, reached the warmest temperature ever recorded for the month of June anywhere on the island, 24 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit). An article from NSDIC, published June 22 elaborated on the broader situation: Surface melting on Greenland’s Ice Sheet proceeded at a brisk pace, with three…

NASA: Earth potential to absorb Emissions is out of Balance

A Breathing Planet, Off Balance NASA:  Earth’s land and ocean currently absorb about half of all carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, but it’s uncertain whether the planet can keep this up in the future. NASA’s Earth science program works to improve our understanding of how carbon absorption and emission processes work…

Elevated carbon dioxide conditions pose threat for the Monarch butterfly

Milkweed plants from the chambers were fed to hundreds of monarch caterpillars this summer. Milkweed is a monarch caterpillar’s only food, satisfying its nutritional needs while providing an invaluable medicinal boost. The plant’s leaves contain a bitter toxin that helps the insects ward off predators and parasites. But previous work at U-M’s northern Michigan biological…

Climate scientist Piers Sellers on NASA’s satellite observations

The view of Earth from orbit was the focus of this What’s New in Aerospace? presentation televised on NASA Television from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington. The program featured Piers Sellers, a climate scientist and former NASA astronaut, taking viewers on a tour of our home planet as never seen before.…

The Discovery of Abiotic Methane – A New Methane Hydrate Source (News Roundup)

A reservoir of abiotic methane has been discovered in the Arctic Ocean. This means that there is more of the greenhouse gas trapped under the seabed than previously thought. News: A reservoir of abiotic methane has been discovered in the Arctic Ocean https://cage.uit.no/news/new-source-methane-discovered-arctic-ocean/ Study: Abiotic methane from ultraslow-spreading ridges can charge Arctic gas hydrates http://geology.geoscienceworld.org/content/early/2015/03/27/G36440.1.full.pdf+html?ijkey=tNRcKxKHNcG5s&keytype=ref&siteid=gsgeology…

Cyanobacteria blooms (harmful algae blooms) and climate change

A  contamination with the hepatotoxic microcystin, of the water supply in Toledo, Ohio, resulted in warnings for approx. 500,000 residents not to drink or use tap water. NBC: Sewage from treatment plants and fertilizer from farms streamed into the lake, triggering an algae bloom near an intake valve that sends water to Toledo and more than a dozen surrounding communities. The…

Novel climate proxy reveals CO2 content of Earth’s atmosphere, of the past 400 million years

The study New constraints on atmospheric CO2 concentration for the Phanerozoic (DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060457), by Peter J. Franks, Dana L. Royer, David J. Beerling , Peter K. Van de Water, David J. Cantrill, Margaret M. Barbour, and Joseph A. Berry, estimates CO2 in Earth history based on a new climate proxy. Estimates are in particular based…

Rapid sea-ice loss may increase the rate of Arctic land warming by 3.5 times – affecting permafrost

Recently a mysterious Siberian crater has been discovered, which subsequently raised questions about the circumstances surrounding the crater formation.  Theories include Pingo formation and connections to the thawing of permafrost (ClimateState reported). Robert Scribbler, summed it up: One theory on the feature is that it might be a pingo — a melting of a permafrost water pocket…

Earth from Space, the Pale Blue Dot

Wikipedia: The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken in 1990 by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles, 40 AU) from Earth, as part of the solar system Family Portrait series of images. In the photograph, Earth is shown as a fraction of a pixel (0.12 pixel in size) against the vastness of space. The Voyager 1 spacecraft,…

The cost of living in the Anthropocene

What are the true cost of living in the Anthropocene? Wikipedia: The Anthropocene is an informal geologic chronological term that serves to mark the evidence and extent of human activities that have had a significant global impact on the Earth‘s ecosystems. The term was coined recently by ecologist Eugene F. Stoermer and has been widely popularized by the Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist, Paul Crutzen, who regards the…