ScienceCasts: The “Sleeping Giant” in Arctic Permafrost

Visit science.nasa.gov/ for breaking science news. Arctic permafrost soils contain more accumulated carbon than all the human fossil-fuel emissions since 1850 combined. Warming Arctic permafrost, poised to release its own gases into the atmosphere, could be the “sleeping giant” of climate change. NASA Finds ‘Amazing’ Levels Of Arctic Methane And CO2, Asks ‘Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring…

May 2013 Earth’s 3rd Warmest May; Central European Floods Cost $22 Billion

By Jeff Masters / Wunderground: May 2013 was the globe’s 3rd warmest May since records began in 1880, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA rated it the 10th warmest May on record. The year-to-date period of January – May has been the 8th warmest such period on record. May 2013 global land…

New diseases threatening Britain’s livestock and crops because of global warming

The Independent – June 19, 2013: Bleak assessment of climate change means world was facing ‘a lot more unanticipated events’ Britain faces a wave of deadly new animal and plant diseases that threaten to wipe out crops and livestock as a direct result of global warming, the World Bank’s top agricultural expert has warned. The…

Vast methane ‘plumes’ seen in Arctic ocean as sea ice retreats

The Independent, December 13, 2011: Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region. The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head…

Ups-and-downs of Indian monsoon rainfall likely to increase under warming

PIK June 20, 2013: Day-to-day rainfall in India might become much more variable due to climate change – potentially putting millions of poor farmers and the country’s agricultural productivity at risk. The Indian monsoon is a complex system which is likely to change under future global warming. While it is in the very nature of…

Secrets of Abrupt Climate Shifts revisited

The understanding of the puzzle about what is going on with our climate system and possible implications improved recently. Let’s begin with going back to 2006, here i quote an excerpt from the blog post “Revealed: Secrets of Abrupt Climate Shifts” via RealClimate, describing more robust understanding of the bipolar / see-saw mechanism of the…

Exceptional 2012 Greenland Ice Melt Caused By Jet Stream Changes That May Be Driven By Global Warming

By Joe Romm / Climate Progress: New research finds that “unusual changes in atmospheric jet stream circulation caused the exceptional surface melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) in summer 2012.” Prof. Jennifer Francis tells me these changes are consistent with those caused by warming-driven “Arctic Amplification.” And that means GrIS may melt faster than…

Heatwaves blamed on Global Warming

Unusually high frequency points to human influence | NASA climatologist James Hansen made headlines during the US heatwave of 1988, declaring in testimony to Congress and during interviews on prime-time television that a build-up of greenhouse gases was increasing the probability of weather extremes. Now, as much of the United States sizzles through another torrid…

Fresh water from rivers and rain makes hurricanes, typhoons, tropical cyclones 50 percent more intense

An analysis of a decade’s worth of tropical cyclones shows that when hurricanes blow over ocean regions swamped by fresh water, the conditions can unexpectedly intensify the storm. Although the probability that hurricanes will hit such conditions is small, ranging from 10 to 23 percent, the effect is potentially large: Hurricanes can become 50 percent…

Cyclone Activity Has Been Intensified in the Arctic

Cyclones are key weather elements that make a major contribution to climate trends and variability, and that also bring intense high-frequency changes in wind, temperature and precipitation. Given the recent dramatic change of the Arctic climate, Arctic cyclone activity has attracted an increasing amount of attention. We investigated the Arctic cyclone activity in the context…

Estimating the permafrost-carbon feedback on global warming

A key uncertainty is the fraction of carbon that might be decomposed under anaerobic conditions – resulting potentially in methane emissions to the atmosphere. Given the high warming potential of methane, the overall magnitude of the permafrost-carbon feedback will depend strongly on this fraction. Thawing of permafrost and the associated release of carbon constitutes a…

Soil carbon and climate change: from the Jenkinson effect to the compost-bomb instability

Study: Long-term warming equivalent to 10°C per century could be sufficient to trigger compost-bomb instability in drying organic soils Wiley: First generation climate–carbon cycle models suggest that climate change will suppress carbon accumulation in soils, and could even lead to a net loss of global soil carbon over the next century. These model results are qualitatively…

Last Time Carbon Dioxide Levels Were This High: 15 Million Years Ago

By analyzing the chemistry of bubbles of ancient air trapped in Antarctic ice, scientists have been able to determine the composition of Earth’s atmosphere going back as far as 800,000 years, and they have developed a good understanding of how carbon dioxide levels have varied in the atmosphere since that time. But there has been…

Bacteria outbreak due to ocean warming

Warming in Baltic Sea linked to Vibrio infection cases +++ Number of cases may rise as oceans warm, become less saline By Nina Chestney Reuters On July 22, 2012: Manmade climate change is the main driver behind the unexpected emergence of a group of bacteria in northern Europe which can cause gastroenteritis, new research by…