Thawing Permafrost Bad News for Global Warming

Permafrost covers almost a quarter of the northern hemisphere, and according to recent calculations contains 1,700 gigatonnes of carbon – that’s an amount twice what is currently in our atmosphere. A new report released by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) entitled ‘Policy Implications of Warming Permafrost’ warns that the release of this permafrost carbon could seriously amplify

Australian Marine Reserves Must Adapt to Climate Change

An Australian scientist told the Australian Academy of Science’s Earth System Outlook Conference in Canberra that Australia could be a world leader in developing marine reserves that are able to keep pace with climate change and absorb the impact of warming oceans, storms, and flood events. “The challenge we face is that a marine reserve or

Summer Climates Are Mostly Warming due to Climate Change

A new analysis of 90 years worth of observational data has shown that summer climates across the globe are changing, in most cases warming, yielding valuable location-by-location insights rather than vague global averages which hold the potential to be more relevant in understanding changes to flora and fauna in any particular region. “It is the

Warming Earth Results in Contrasting Consequences, But Not So Fast

New research by scientists has found that biodiversity on Earth actually increases as the planet warms. However, importantly, this growth is observed in the evolution of new species over millions of years and is most often accompanied by the extinction of other species.

The present trend of accelerated warming is not likely to boost global biodiversity, rather, it is set to destroy it.

New Report Card Shows Climate Change Affecting Australia's Oceans

Launched today by the CSIRO is the 2012 Marine Climate Change in Australia Report Card which demonstrates that climate change is having significant impacts on the marine ecosystems that border Australia. Aspects of the study include changes in sea temperature, sea level, the East Australian Current, the Leeuwin Current, and El Niño-Southern Oscillation, as well as marine

Megapolitan Expansion Wreaks Havoc on Summertime Warming

The United Nations’ 2011 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects report outlined the expected growth of urban population to gain more than 2.5 billion inhabitants by 2050, which will necessarily require a massive expansion of urban landscapes, most likely at the detriment of natural landscapes. In a first of its kind study which attempts to quantify

Ancient Warming Greened Antarctica, Study Finds

  A new University-led study that received NASA participation has discovered that Antarctica was warmer and wetter during the Miocene era than had previously been suspected, to the point where the climate was able to sustain substantial vegetation along the edges of the mostly frozen continent. The team of scientists — led by Sarah J.

Warming Turns Tundra to Forest (Which Increases Warming)

In the last few decades, shrubs in the Arctic tundra have transformed themselves into trees as a result of the warming Arctic climate, at a speed and magnitude that is far greater than scientists had ever anticipated. If this continues and is replicated across the whole of the Arctic tundra, it would significantly accelerate global

Ocean Hotspots and Strengthening Winds Driving Ocean Currents Poleward

Oceanographers from across the world have identified a series of ocean hotspots that have been generated by strengthening wind systems across the planet that are successfully pushing oceanic current polewards, well beyond their known boundaries. The hotspots – locations where the temperature has increased outside of expected norms – have formed alongside ocean currents that

Amphibian 'Blitz' Project Uses Crowd Sourcing to Track Endangered Species

The Global Amphibian Blitz project is an on-line information sharing hub for non-professional naturalists and biologists whose goal is to track and record sightings of amphibians the world over. This information will then help professional researchers to document and determine where protection efforts are most needed. Global amphibian distribution is quite lacking in documentation and data. The term ‘blitz’ is used here in the belief that this crowd-sourcing method of species inventorying will speed up research and conservation efforts for one of the world’s most vulnerable classes of animal life.

Shifting Biomes in Alaska

Scientists have hypothesized that evergreen forests will increase their growth at the margin of present tundra areas, while simultaneously declining at the margins of temperate forests to the south. New research highlights this shift in biomes caused by a warming climate by combining data gathered from satellite imagery and tree rings. The study, which will

American Southwest Heading for Permanent Drought

The American Southwest is a subtropical area of the world, but one that has seen a cycle of droughts – long and short – over the past thousand years. Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory professor Richard Seager has been studying the climate, and believes that human-induced global warming could push the natural variability to a

Loss of Arctic Reflectivity Intensifies Global Warming

A new study published online in the journal Nature Geoscience has uncovered data that shows over the past 30 years the decreases in the amount of snow and ice covering the Earth’s surface has decreased the reflective capacity of the Earth and exacerbated global warming much more than previous climate models had estimated. “The cryosphere

Why the Antarctic Ice Sheets are Melting

New research from Victoria University in Australia has revealed new findings pointing to why the Antarctic ice sheets have melted in the past, and how they might be most affected in the future, and how their current-day degradation might affect the ocean levels. In a paper published in the latest edition of the journal Nature

Is Our Hot Past Representative of Our Future

An analysis by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Jeffrey Kiehl published in the most recent edition of the journal Science in the ‘Perspectives’ section has concluded that the sheer scale of climate change during Earth’s ancient history points to temperatures rising far more than expected in Earth’s immediate future. Kiehl brought together several

First Decade for Finland Was Warmer than Average

According to statistics from the Finnish Meteorological Institute the first decade of the 21st century was the warmest decade in recorded history, where records were taken all the way back to the 1840s. The mean temperature for the decade in Finland was approximately 0.3°C higher than that for the next warmest decade, the 1930s and

Southwestern Forests Weakened by Drought and Rising Temperatures

New research into the tree populations of Southwest America have found that these forests will face reduced growth if temperatures continue to rise and rain continues to fall. The researchers looked at tree-ring data and climate models to find that the rising temperatures and falling precipitation have led to a decline in the fitness of

Sixty Year Drought on Southwest American Horizon

Researchers from the University of Arizona have found that the Southwest of America could be in store for a decade’s long drought during this century. The researchers reviewed previous studies that set out to document the regions past temperatures and droughts, and found that any droughts that took place during the 20th century paled in

Global Climate and Warming Affected by Cloud Feedback

“It’s a vicious cycle – warmer temperatures mean clouds trap more heat, which in turn leads to even more warming,” explains Andrew Dessler, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University. Dessler warns that clouds will amplify the warming of anthropogenic climate change in a cloud feedback which will lock the

Gradual Warming Not Entirely Responsible for Greenland Icesheet Flow

A new study to come out of the University of British Columbia has shown that sudden changes in the amount of meltwater contributes more to the acceleration, and thus the eventual loss, of the Greenland ice sheet than the gradual increase of temperature, reversing previously thought views on the matter. “The conventional view has been

Israeli Fire Typical of Climate Change in Mediterranean

Recent fires to sweep through the Carmel Mountains near Haifa in Israel are a typical example of the effects of climate change and a bitter taste of the future according to Dr. Guy Pe’er. Pe’er and other members of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev on behalf of the Israeli Ministry of the Environmental Protection have

NASA Finds Our Lakes are Warming

In a first of its kind survey of the planet’s largest lakes, NASA has found that the temperatures have been steadily warming over the past 25 years in response to climate change. The researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, reported an average warming rate of 0.45 degrees Celsius (0.81 degrees Fahrenheit) per

Bolivia Faces Catastrophic Drought

New research into the history of the Andes in South America has led scientists to believe that a tipping point is close to being reached in the next 50 years which could see irreversible damage done to the seat of Bolivia’s government in La Paz. According to the research, if temperatures rise more than 1.5

Carbon Caused Global Warming in Ancient Past

A new study has shed light on the possible impact of rising carbon dioxide levels on the planets global temperatures. Looking back 40 million years into Earth’s history, scientists from Utrecht University, working with colleagues at the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and the University of Southampton, have theorized that a massive increase

Multiyear Sea Ice Melting and Moving

A NASA analysis has for the first time measured the amount of multiyear ice that is lost from the Arctic each year as a result of melting. Multiyear ice is ice which makes it through more than one summer, making it ever more resistant to melting as the year’s progress. Or that used to be

Availability of Wind Energy Reduced by Global Warming

With mitigating the effects of climate change and global warming, there is always a catch. Wind energy is likely to be one of the great salvations of our planet. Wind is plentiful, everywhere, and with the right tools we can harness it and go a long way to weaning our population off the need to

Storm Threshold and Sea Surface Temperature Linked

It is a long standing belief that hurricanes and tropical ocean thunderstorms occur when sea surface temperatures rise above a certain level. However, what happens when the ocean temperature rises? Does that storm level keep rising, or does it stay the same and allow an increase in the frequency with which storms appear. A new

Whales Great Biological Oceanographers

In a research paper to be published online Saturday in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Oceans, scientists report that Baffin Bay off West Greenland has continued to warm since wintertime ocean temperatures were last able to be measured in the early 2000s. And they used whales to measure the temperatures. Using sensors tagged to narwhals

Shipping Through Warming Arctic Will Hasten Global Warming

The ice that has bound the Arctic together is diminishing each passing summer, and open water is becoming available for the first time in recorded history. Shipping companies are already planning and executing passes through the ice to minimize their costs, but at what cost to the environment? A new study from US and Canadian

Temperature on Earth Controlled by Carbon Dioxide

We know that water vapour and clouds are major contributors to Earth’s greenhouse effect, providing the feedback mechanisms to power the warming that keeps us from another ice age. A new study, however, has shown that it is carbon dioxide –- which only accounts for 20 percent of the greenhouse effect, compared to water vapour

Climate Projections Are Not Safe

Targets for limiting the global temperature to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels shouldn’t be considered ‘safe’ according to new research from climate change experts at the University of Exeter. Professor Chris Turney and Dr Richard Jones, both from the University’s Department of Geography, have reported in the latest issue of the Journal of Quaternary

Japanese Waters Hit Record High

Having just endured its warmest summer on record, the Japanese Meteorological Agency has said it has also recorded the warmest sea temperatures since it started gathering data 25 years ago. According to the JMA, ocean surface temperatures surrounding Japan reached more than 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) in August. The average temperature was the

Northern Countries to Grow and Thrive

A University of California LA geographer notes in book that northern countries such as Canada, Scandinavia and Russia are likely to thrive and become formidable economic powers. Laurence C. Smith writes in “The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilizations Northern Future” that northern countries and some northern states of the US will become large

'Devastating Climate Shock' Needed to Spur Climate Change Policy

In his alarm-ringing NY Times op-ed on Climate Change, professor Homer-Dixon* draws a comparison with the 2008 financial “meltdown” which finally led to new financial regulations, even though warnings of a housing bubble (and an emerging recession) were being made prior to the crisis. He advocates societies designing a contingency plan (‘Plan Z’ ) to deal with the immediate after-effects of one or more climate change disasters.

Cut Soot and Save the Arctic

A new study says that cutting soot emissions is the best way to save the rapidly melting Arctic. Soot emissions are a result of burning fossil fuel, wood, and dung, amongst other things, and according to a new study by Stanford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson, if we were to cut soot emissions we could drastically

Sea Levels Rising in Indian Ocean

A new study has detected rising sea levels in parts of the Indian Ocean, including the coastlines of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka, Sumatra and Java. The study looked at data going back to the 1960s, combined with satellite observations, and found that the conclusions pointed towards anthropogenic climate warming as

Dry Times for Western North America, Climate Trends Forecast

Researchers Overpeck and Udall cite a litany of troubling trends to support their prediction: “soaring temperatures, declining late-season snow pack, northward-shifted winter storm tracks, increasing precipitation intensity (note: not total rainfall), the worst drought since measurements began, steep declines in Colorado River reservoir storage, widespread vegetation mortality, and sharp increases in the frequency of large wildfires.”

Lake Tanganyika Experiencing Unprecedented Warming

Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second oldest and second deepest lake, is in the midst of unprecedented warming. [social_buttons]Geologists led by Brown University have determined that the massive freshwater lake has warmed significantly during the last century, leading to its warmest surface temperatures on record. Such a change to the lake’s makeup will likely affect fish

Copenhagen Accord Dooming us to Three degrees Warming

The pledges to curb carbon emissions made during 2009’s Copenhagen Accord are more likely to see Earth suffer a three degree warming rather than the deal’s target of two degrees. [social_buttons]Such a warming could have dire affects for Earth’s climate system, possibly increasing the frequency of droughts, floods, storms and rising seas, all of which

Rubber Ducks Help Track Melting Glaciers… Rubber Duck Duck

>> Welcome Readers! Did you know that Green Options has 15 sites? If you like this post, please subscribe for our main RSS feed or the Green Options Newsletter! Ever since I first saw Ernie and almost the entire felt-cast of Sesame Street do “The Rubber Duck, Duck” dance on Sesame Street, I have had

Arctic Cold Holding Carbon Explosion Intact… For Now

A new study has shed light on the possible dangers being kept intact by the Arctic cold. According to the study, published in the British journal Nature Geoscience, climate change’s warming of the Arctic ice could end up releasing massive stores of carbon dioxide from the Arctic soil. In fact, the carbon stores have been

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