Fossil Fuel Emissions could Eliminate the Antarctic Ice sheet entirely, causing about 58 m Sea Level Rise

A new open access study in Science Advances concludes that a warming beyond the 2°C target would potentially lead to rates of sea-level rise dominated by ice loss from Antarctica, and continued CO2 emissions from fossil sources could cause additional tens of meters of sea level rise, over the next millennia and eventually ultimately eliminate the…

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…

Doubling times of 10, 20 or 40 years yield sea level rise of several meters

According to a new study, sea level rise of several meters might happen faster then previously thought. Based on data from past climate changes, when sea level rose to +5–9 m, including the occurrence of extreme storms – during a time when temperatures were less than 1 ◦C warmer than today, experts warn of similar…

NASA experts explain ice melt in Antarctica

NASA hosted a media teleconference to discuss new research results on the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and its potential contribution to future sea level rise. The briefing participants are: — Eric Rignot, professor of Earth system science at the University of California, Irvine, and glaciologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena,…

Sea Level Rise Projections until 2100, a nonlinear response?

Past sea level rise is not captured by models yet, in particular the response from ice sheets in Antarctica due to global warming. Projections therefore can often be regarded to potentially underestimate future sea level rise. For example, Overpeck et al. (2006), and Hansen (2007) suggest possibilities which could eventually lead to a nonlinear response…

NASA, NOAA Find 2014 Warmest Year in Modern Record

The year 2014 ranks as Earth’s warmest since 1880, according to two separate analyses by NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists. The 10 warmest years in the instrumental record, with the exception of 1998, have now occurred since 2000. This trend continues a long-term warming of the planet, according to an analysis…

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…

Abrupt Climate Change explained by Jim White, 12 Minutes excerpt (@AGU 2014)

Climate is changing as humans put more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. With CO2 levels today around 400ppm, we are clearly committed to far more climate change, both in the near term, and well beyond our children’s future. A key question is how that change will occur. Abrupt climate changes are those that…

Siberian Arctic permafrost decay and methane escape

Widespread seafloor gas release from the seabed offshore the West Yamal Peninsula, suggests that permafrost has degraded more significantly than previously thought.  Gas is released in an area of at least 7500 km2 in water depths >20 m.((Offshore permafrost decay and massive seabed methane escape in water depths >20 m at the South Kara Sea shelf | http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50735/abstract | Alexey Portnov,…

NASA | 2014 Warmest Year On Record

The year 2014 now ranks as the warmest on record since 1880, according to an analysis by NASA scientists. Nine of the 10 warmest years since modern records began have now occurred since 2000, according to a global temperature analysis by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. 2014’s record-breaking warmth…

Natural Gas versus Coal Power Plants: Greenhouse gas warming

Ken Caldeira: We had a paper come out comparing effects of natural gas versus coal plants, aimed at understanding how much methane leakage there could be from natural gas before it caused more near-term warming than coal. The answer depends on how efficient the different power plants are, but one thing that is clear is…

Arctic Sea Ice, Summer 2014 (NASA animation)

An animation of daily Arctic sea ice extent in summer 2014, from March 21, 2014 to Sept. 17, 2014 – when the ice appeared to reach it’s minimum extent for the year. It’s the sixth lowest minimum sea ice extent in the satellite era. The data was provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency from…