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…

Research closes gap between Warming and CO2 Rise

Feedbacks in the climate system – in which warming is linked to natural CO2 increase, driving further warming – may operate faster than previously thought. ACE CRC: Researchers use Antarctic and Greenland ice cores to examine temperature and CO2 changes during the largest natural climate change in Earth’s recent climate history: the warming out of…

Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment

Landmark Report of an Ad Hoc Study Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate – Woods Hole, Massachusetts to the Climate Research Board, Assembly of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, National Research Council, NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES | Washington, D.C. 1979 We have examined the principal attempts to simulate the effects of increased atmospheric CO2 on climate.…

Lesson: Arctic Sea Ice Decline

Jennifer Francis, Rutgers University – assesses the broad topic of the Arctic Sea Ice Decline and explains seasonal impacts. Observations, especially since the 1950’s, explain how the “Arctic Amplification” leads to rapid sea ice changes during the summer month. Much more ridging in North America during the winter. And this affects weather patterns, because a…

Catastrophic sea levels ‘distinct possibility’ this century

A breakthrough study of fluctuations in sea levels the last time Earth was between ice ages, as it is now, shows that oceans rose some three meters in only decades due to collapsing ice sheets. The findings suggest that such an scenario — which would redraw coastlines worldwide and unleash colossal human misery — is…

Potential methane reservoirs beneath Antarctica

We calculate that the sub-Antarctic hydrate inventory could be of the same order of magnitude as that of recent estimates made for Arctic permafrost. Once thought to be devoid of life, the ice-covered parts of Antarctica are now known to be a reservoir of metabolically active microbial cells and organic carbon. The potential for methanogenic…

West Antarctic rapid glacier retreat may be exceptional during the Holocene

Ice loss from the marine-based, potentially unstable West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) contributes to current sea-level rise and may raise sea level by ≤3.3 m or even ≤5 m in the future. Over the past few decades, glaciers draining the WAIS into the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) have shown accelerated ice flow, rapid thinning, and…

Weird weather might just wake feeble politicians up to climate change

The Guardian: Meteorologists are debating our role in bizarre weather events. We have the technology for change, but not the political will On Monday, Amory Lovins, physicist, environmentalist, and unassuming colossus of the green movement, appeared in London to talk about energy use. I mention this in the context of the Guardian’s story that meteorologists…

The state of the climate and national security

The release of huge quantities of previously stored “multiyear/deep layer” carbon deposite and equivalent greenhouse gases (CO2/CH4/N2O, from soil and water) can act like a trigger to boot the earth systems. This boot begins initially with a transition phase depending on the rate of emissions and in further development creates several large scale carbon excursions…

Hidden rift valley discovered beneath West Antarctica reveals new insight into ice loss

EurekAlert British Antarctic Survey Jul 25 2012: Scientists have discovered a one mile deep rift valley hidden beneath the ice in West Antarctica, which they believe is contributing to ice loss from this part of the continent. Experts from the University of Aberdeen and British Antarctic Survey (BAS) made the discovery below Ferrigno Ice Stream,…