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Coastal pollution reduces genetic diversity of corals, reef resilience

Science Daily: Climate News - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 15:28
A new study found that human-induced environmental stressors have a large effect on the genetic composition of coral reef populations in Hawai'i. They confirmed that there is an ongoing loss of sensitive genotypes in nearshore coral populations due to stressors resulting from poor land-use practices and coastal pollution. This reduced genetic diversity compromises reef resilience. 

Experiments lead to slip law for better forecasts of glacier speed, sea-level rise

Science Daily: Climate News - Thu, 04/02/2020 - 21:45
Backed by experimental data from a laboratory machine that simulates the huge forces involved in glacier flow, glaciologists have written an equation that accounts for the motion of ice that rests on the soft, deformable ground underneath unusually fast-moving parts of ice sheets. Models using the equation -- a 'slip law' -- could better predict how quickly glaciers are sliding, how much ice they're sending to oceans and how that would affect sea-level rise.

Smaller scale solutions needed for rapid progress towards emissions targets

Science Daily: Climate News - Thu, 04/02/2020 - 21:44
Low-carbon technologies that are smaller scale, more affordable, and can be mass deployed are more likely to enable a faster transition to net-zero emissions, according to a new study. Innovations ranging from solar panels to electric bikes also have lower investment risks, greater potential for improvement in both cost and performance, and more scope for reducing energy demand -- key attributes that will help accelerate progress on decarbonization.

What climate change means for Northwestern US wildfires

Science Daily: Climate News - Thu, 04/02/2020 - 20:46
A synthesis study looks at how climate change will affect the risk of wildfires in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and western Montana. The authors also suggest how managers and individual landowners in different ecosystems can best prepare.

Our oceans are suffering, but we can rebuild marine life

Science Daily: Climate News - Thu, 04/02/2020 - 17:08
It's not too late to rescue global marine life, according to a study outlining the steps needed for marine ecosystems to recover from damage by 2050. The study found many components of marine ecosystems could be rebuilt if we try harder to address the causes of their decline.

Six decades of change in plankton communities

Science Daily: Climate News - Thu, 04/02/2020 - 17:08
New research shows that some species have experienced a 75% population decrease in the past 60 years, while others are more than twice as abundant due to rises in sea surface temperatures.

Climate disasters increase risks of armed conflicts: New evidence

Science Daily: Climate News - Thu, 04/02/2020 - 17:08
The risk for violent clashes increases after weather extremes such as droughts or floods hit people in vulnerable countries, an international team of scientists finds. Vulnerable countries are characterized by a large population, political exclusion of particular ethnic groups, and low development. The study combines global statistical analysis, observation data and regional case study assessments to yield new evidence for policy-makers.

Researchers forecast longer, more extreme wildfire seasons

Science Daily: Climate News - Thu, 04/02/2020 - 16:14
A new study finds that autumn days with extreme fire weather have more than doubled in California since the early 1980s due to climate change. The results could contribute to more effective risk mitigation, land management and resource allocation.

American robins now migrate 12 days earlier than in 1994

Science Daily: Climate News - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 22:08
A new study concludes that robin migration is kicking off earlier by about five days each decade. The study is also the first to reveal the environmental conditions along the migration route that help the birds keep up with the changing seasons.

Almond orchard recycling a climate-smart strategy

Science Daily: Climate News - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 22:08
Recycling orchard trees onsite can sequester carbon, save water and increase crop yields, making it a climate-smart practice for California's irrigated almond orchards, finds a new study.

Traces of ancient rainforest in Antarctica point to a warmer prehistoric world

Science Daily: Climate News - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 20:08
Researchers have found evidence of rainforests near the South Pole 90 million years ago, suggesting the climate was exceptionally warm at the time.

Uncertain climate future could disrupt energy systems

Science Daily: Climate News - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 18:16
Scientists have published a new study proposing an optimization methodology for designing climate-resilient energy systems and to help ensure that communities will be able to meet future energy needs given weather and climate variability.

The candy-cola soda geyser experiment, at different altitudes

Science Daily: Climate News - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 18:16
Dropping Mentos® candies into a bottle of soda causes a foamy jet to erupt. Although science fair exhibitors can tell you that this geyser results from rapid degassing of the beverage induced by the candies, the precise means by which bubbles form hasn't been well characterized. Now, researchers have used experiments in the lab and at various altitudes to probe the mechanism of bubble nucleation.

Climate change may be making migration harder by shortening nightingales' wings

Science Daily: Climate News - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 17:58
The Common Nightingale, known for its beautiful song, breeds in Europe and parts of Asia and migrates to sub-Saharan Africa every winter. A new study suggests that natural selection driven by climate change is causing these iconic birds to evolve shorter wings, which might make them less likely to survive their annual migration.

Most of Earth's carbon was hidden in the core during its formative years

Science Daily: Climate News - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 17:04
Carbon is essential for life as we know it and plays a vital role in many of our planet's geologic processes -- not to mention the impact that carbon released by human activity has on the planet's atmosphere and oceans. Despite this, the total amount of carbon on Earth remains a mystery, because much of it remains inaccessible in the planet's depths.

Smaller than expected phytoplankton may mean less carbon sequestered at sea bottom

Science Daily: Climate News - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 16:26
A study that included the first-ever winter sampling of phytoplankton in the North Atlantic revealed cells smaller than what scientists expected, meaning carbon sequestration models may be too optimistic.

Flooding stunted 2019 cropland growing season, resulting in more atmospheric CO2

Science Daily: Climate News - Tue, 03/31/2020 - 23:22
A new study determines the impact of the severe 2019 floods, and offers scientists a new tool for measuring regional-scale carbon dioxide absorption by plants.

New global groundwater maps

Science Daily: Climate News - Tue, 03/31/2020 - 20:01
Researchers have developed new satellite-based, weekly global maps of soil moisture and groundwater wetness conditions.

On Mars or Earth, biohybrid can turn carbon dioxide into new products

Science Daily: Climate News - Tue, 03/31/2020 - 20:00
Chemists have created a hybrid system of bacteria and nanowires that captures energy from sunlight and transfers it to the bacteria to turn carbon dioxide and water into organic molecules and oxygen. On Earth, such a biohybrid could remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. On Mars, it would provide colonists with raw material to manufacture organic compounds ranging from fuels to drugs. The efficiency is greater than the photosynthetic efficiency of most plants.

How forests are changing in response to global warming

Science Daily: Climate News - Tue, 03/31/2020 - 01:16
As the climate is changing, so too are the world's forests. From the misty redwoods in the west to the Blue Ridge forest of Appalachia, many sylvan ecosystems are adapting to drier conditions.

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