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Climate change and climate prediction. Read science articles on regional climates and global climate shifts. Updated daily.
Updated: 2 hours 14 min ago

Cutting emissions gradually will avert sudden jump in warming

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 23:16
Steadily reducing fossil fuel emissions over coming years will prevent millions of premature deaths and help avoid the worst of climate change without causing a large spike in short-term warming that some studies predict, new analysis from finds. The finding dispels the misconception that the air-quality and climate benefits of transitioning to clean energy play out at different timescales -- a sticking point in recent climate negotiations.

Study of ancient climate suggests future warming could accelerate

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 21:20
The rate at which the planet warms in response to the ongoing buildup of heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas could increase in the future, according to new simulations of a comparable warm period more than 50 million years ago.

Dust from a giant asteroid crash caused an ancient ice age

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 21:20
About 466 million years ago, long before the age of the dinosaurs, the Earth froze. The seas began to ice over at the Earth's poles, and new species evolved with the new temperatures. The cause of this ice age was a mystery, until now: a new study argues that the ice age was caused by global cooling, triggered by extra dust in the atmosphere from a giant asteroid collision in outer space.

Rethinking scenario logic for climate policy

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 20:15
Current scenarios used to inform climate policy have a weakness in that they typically focus on reaching specific climate goals in 2100 - an approach which may encourage risky pathways that could have long-term negative effects. A new study presents a novel scenario framework that focuses on capping global warming at a maximum level with either temperature stabilization or reversal thereafter.

Actions to save coral reefs could benefit all ecosystems

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 20:15
Scientists say bolder actions to protect the world's coral reefs will benefit all ecosystems, human livelihoods and improve food security.

Greenland's growing 'ice slabs' intensify meltwater runoff into ocean

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 20:15
Thick, impenetrable ice slabs are expanding rapidly on the interior of Greenland's ice sheet, where the ice is normally porous and able to reabsorb meltwater. These slabs are instead sending meltwater spilling into the ocean, according to a new assessment, threatening to increase the country's contribution to sea level rise by as much as 2.9 inches by 2100.

Undervalued wilderness areas can cut extinction risk in half

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 20:14
Wilderness areas, long known for intrinsic conservation value, are far more valuable for biodiversity than previously believed, and if conserved, will cut the world's extinction risk in half, according to a new study.

Coastal birds can weather the storm, but not the sea

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 19:25
Coastal birds survive because their populations can absorb impacts and recover quickly from hurricanes -- even storms many times larger than anything previously observed.

Scientists forecasted late May tornado outbreak nearly 4 weeks in advance

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 19:25
Scientists report that they accurately predicted the nation's extensive tornado outbreak of late May 2019 nearly 4 weeks before it began.

Mechanism modeling for better forecasts, climate predictions

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 19:12
Modeling currents together with wind and waves provides more accurate predictions for weather forecasts and climate scientists.

Role of Tambora eruption in the 1816 'year without a summer'

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 02:36
A new study has estimated for the first time how the eruption of Mount Tambora changed the probability of the cold and wet European 'year without a summer' of 1816. It found that the observed cold conditions were almost impossible without the eruption, and the wet conditions would have been less likely.

March of the multiple penguin genomes

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 02:36
A new article presents 19 high-coverage penguin genome sequences. Adding this to the two previously published penguin genomes, there are now genome sequences available for all living penguin species. Here, the Penguin Genome Consortium, made up of researchers from 10 countries, has produced an unparalleled amount of information that covers an entire biological order. Research from evolution, the impact of human activities impact, and environmental changes, will benefit from this work.

Peatlands trap CO2, even during droughts

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 20:30
Scientists studied the two species of moss that make up the peatland. They discovered that in hot weather and drought conditions, one species resists, whereas the other is negatively impacted. In wet weather conditions the opposite takes place. Peatland however survives in the end. Although peatlands make up only 3% of the Earth's surface, they store one third of CO2 present in soil. Preserving peatlands would therefore limit the impact of future climate change.

Machine learning used to help tell which wildfires will burn out of control

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 20:30
Scientists have developed a new technique for predicting the final size of a wildfire from the moment of ignition.

Elusive compounds of greenhouse gas isolated

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 18:54
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent atmospheric pollutant. Although naturally occurring, anthropogenic N2O emissions from intensive agricultural fertilization, industrial processes, and combustion of fossil fuels and biomass are a major cause for concern. Researchers have isolated elusive transition metal compounds of N2O that provide clues into how it could be used in sustainable chemical technologies.

How much of corals' nutrition comes from hunting?

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 18:54
When it comes to feeding, corals have a few tricks up their sleeve. Most of their nutrients come from microscopic algae living inside of them, but if those algae aren't creating enough sustenance, corals can use their tentacles to grab and eat tiny prey swimming nearby.

Researchers see need for action on forest fire risk

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 17:45
How do humans affect forest fires? An international team of researchers has now shown for a region in north-eastern Poland that forest fires increasingly occurred there after the end of the 18th century with the change to organized forestry. The increased number of fires subsequently made it necessary to manage and maintain the forests differently. In the wake of climate change, the researchers suggest new strategies for the fight against forest fires.

Large transnational corporations play critical role in global natural resource management

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 17:04
Researchers have identified six corporate actions that, combined with effective public policy and improved governmental regulations, could help large transnational corporations steer environmental stewardship efforts around the world.

To address hunger, many countries may have to increase carbon footprint

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 04:25
Achieving an adequate, healthy diet in most low- and middle-income countries will require a substantial increase in greenhouse gas emissions and water use due to food production, according to new research.

Harnessing tomato jumping genes could help speed-breed drought-resistant crops

Mon, 09/16/2019 - 21:39
Once dismissed as 'junk DNA' that served no purpose, a family of 'jumping genes' found in tomatoes has the potential to accelerate crop breeding for traits such as improved drought resistance.