Why is Antarctic sea ice expanding?

By Laura Naranjo (NSIDC), first published January 31, 2014. In the following  an edited version, reposted here with permission. Antarctic sea ice is ruled by very different systems than Arctic sea ice. The reasons behind this increase are complex, and several recent studies show that scientists are still trying to understand them. Ice and wind Atmospheric…

Study: 2°C target at risk, without moving subsidies (Updated)

The study, Energy investments under climate policy: A comparison of global models, published in the journal Climate Change Economics (DOI: 10.1142/S2010007813400101 | 2013) explored global energy spending and concluded that low-carbon energy and energy efficiency investments of about 1.1 trillion annually are required, to meet the emissions reduction targets to keep the world below 2°C. In context, additional $0.8…

The Runaway Glaciers in West Antarctica

NASA/JPL press release, May 12, 2014: A new study by researchers at NASA and the University of California, Irvine, finds a rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea. The study presents…

With further Arctic Amplification, How fast will Greenhouse Gas emissions accelerate in the Arctic Circle?

Introduction to Methane Hydrate “Methane Hydrates and Contemporary Climate Change” (2011) IDENTIFICATION This post “A Mechanism for Shallow Methane Hydrate Dissociation”, explores possible mechanism which could release vast quantities of shallow Methane Hydrate into the ocean and atmosphere.       CH4 Release The following studies explore the release of CH4 emissions in the Arctic region. OBSERVATION…

Gavin Schmidt: The emergent patterns of climate change

You can’t understand climate change in pieces, says climate scientist Gavin Schmidt. It’s the whole, or it’s nothing. In this illuminating talk, he explains how he studies the big picture of climate change with mesmerizing models that illustrate the endlessly complex interactions of small-scale environmental events. You can’t understand climate change in pieces, says climate…

IPCC Climate Change Report The Five Key Points

The Guardian recently summarized the five keypoints of the new IPCC AR5 Impact Report. The world faces threat to food supply, conflicts over water rights and growing inequality. The only option to is cut emissions By Suzanne Goldenberg (The Guardian): 1. Food threat Climate change is already taking a sizeable chunk out of global food supply…

10,853 out of 10,855 scientists agree: Global warming is happening, and humans are to blame

Virtually all of the scientific papers published in 2013 accept climate change By Lindsay Abrams (Salon): As geochemist James Lawrence Powell continues to prove, the only people still debating whether or not climate change is “real,” and caused by human activity, are the ones who aren’t doing the actual research. In an update to his ongoing project…

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…

The Rate of Sea-Level Rise

A new study paper out in nature (Nature Climate Change / 2014 / doi:10.1038/nclimate2159), explores why the rise of sea-level has slowed in the last decade. Unsurprisingly the slow-down coincidences with the observed climate hiatus (IPCC AR5, Ocean heat content uptake). Because  heat is distributed differently, depending on the state of ENSO (between El Nino or La Nina). Abstract: Present-day sea-level…

Global Warming Speeds Up Methane Emissions from Freshwater

By Tim Radford (Climate News Network): Scientists think the amount of methane emitted to the atmosphere from freshwater ecosystems will increase as the climate warms, triggering further warming. LONDON, 20 March – British scientists have identified yet another twist to the threat of global warming. Any further rises in temperature are likely to accelerate the release of methane from…

EU could afford to lead international climate action

Late-comers face a clear trade-off between lower short term costs and higher transitional challenges PIK (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) 03/19/2014 (Translation: Artikel in Deutsch) – This week, the heads of the EU member states will meet in Brussels to discuss the adoption of a 40 percent greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030. Despite…

A New Study Shows How Fossil Fuel Pollution Damages The Heart

By JEFF SPROSS (ClimateProgress): A new study has just added to the case that fossil fuel pollution helps drive up cardiovascular disease. Burning fuels like coal and gasoline doesn’t just give off carbon dioxide. It also releases a cocktail of other pollutants — especially sulfur dioxides and various types of nitrous oxides, all key ingredients in the smog that sits…

The Albedo Effect Explained With The DaisyWorld Model (NASA)

NASA: A look at how the historic DaisyWorld model illustrates earth science concepts, such as albedo and feedback loops. This webshort was produced as an educational tie-in with the Science on a Sphere feature LOOP. Related Wikipedia: Albedo Earth-orbiting satellites see Arctic surface darkening faster The retreat of Arctic sea ice is diminishing Earth’s albedo, or reflectivity,…