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Climate change and climate prediction. Read science articles on regional climates and global climate shifts. Updated daily.
Updated: 2 hours 23 min ago

Atomic fingerprint identifies emission sources of uranium

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 19:00
Depending on whether uranium is released by the civil nuclear industry or as fallout from nuclear weapon tests, the ratio of the two anthropogenic, i.e. human-made, uranium isotopes 233U and 236U varies. These results provide a promising new ''fingerprint'' for the identification of radioactive emission sources. As a consequence, it is also an excellent environmental tracer for ocean currents.

How new data can make ecological forecasts as good as weather forecasts

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 19:00
Soon, ecologists thinks we'll be able to pull off the same forecasting feat for bird migrations and wildlife populations as for climate forecasts. That's because just as those recurring changes in climate have predictable consequences for humans, they also have predictable effects on plants and animals.

Fresh groundwater flow important for coastal ecosystems

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 19:00
Groundwater is the largest source of freshwater, one of the world's most precious natural resources and vital for crops and drinking water. Researchers have developed the first global computer model of groundwater flow into the world's oceans. Their analysis shows 20% of the world's coastal ecosystems - such as estuaries, salt marshes and coral reefs - are at risk of pollutants transported by groundwater flow from the land to the sea.

From climate change awareness to action

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 19:00
Awareness of climate change and its impacts is not enough to move people to action. New research on how people's worldviews affect their perceptions and actions could help policymakers and activists reframe the discussion around climate change mitigation.

Rain, more than wind, led to massive toppling of trees in Hurricane Maria, says study

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 15:30
A new study says that hurricanes Irma and Maria combined in 2017 to knock down a quarter of the biomass contained in Puerto Rico's trees -- and that massive rainfall, more than wind, was a previously unsuspected key factor. The surprising finding suggests that future hurricanes stoked by warming climate may be even more destructive to forests than scientists have already projected.

Why organisms shrink in a warming world

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 15:30
Everyone is talking about global warming. A team of paleontologists has recently investigated how prehistoric organisms reacted to climate change, basing their research on belemnites. These shrunk significantly when the water temperature rose as a result of volcanic activity approximately 183 million years ago, during the period known as the Toarcian.

World-first system forecasts warming of lakes globally

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 19:26
Pioneering research has devised the first system that classifies lakes globally, placing each of them in one of nine 'thermal regions.' This will enable scientists to better predict future warming of the world's lakes due to climate change, and the potential threat to cold-water species such as salmon and trout.

Damaging impacts of warming moderated by migration of rainfed crops

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 19:25
Many studies seek to estimate the adverse effects of climate change on crops, but most research assumes that the geographic distribution of crops will remain unchanged in the future. New research using 40 years of global data, has found that exposure to rising high temperatures has been substantially moderated by the migration of rainfed corn, wheat and rice. Scientists said continued migration, however, may result in significant environmental costs.

Satellite data boosts understanding of climate change's effects on kelp

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 03:35
Tapping into 35 years of satellite imagery, researchers have dramatically enlarged the database regarding how climate change is affecting kelps, near-shore seaweeds that provide food and shelter for fish and protect coastlines from wave damage.

Newly uncovered Arctic landscape plays important role in carbon cycle

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 03:35
As the ice sheet covering most of Greenland retreats, researchers are studying the newly revealed landscape to understand its role in the carbon cycle.

More accurate climate change model reveals bleaker outlook on electricity, water use

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 03:35
A new model more accurately captures how climate change will impact electricity and water use. The researchers recommend that city planners use the model now to better evaluate potential risk of power shortages and blackouts.

Air pollution is one of the world's most dangerous health risks

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 20:50
Researchers calculate that the effects of air pollution shorten the lives of people around the world by an average of almost three years.

What we don't know (about lakes) could hurt us

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 20:22
As the power of extreme weather events increase with climate change, a team of scientists warn that lakes around the world may dramatically change, threatening ecosystem health and water quality.

Deep-sea fish community structure strongly affected by oxygen and temperature

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 20:22
In a new study, researchers took advantage of the natural oceanographic gradient in the Gulf of California to study the effects of variable oxygen levels and temperatures on demersal fish communities.

Unexpected discovery: Blue-green algae produce oil

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 20:21
Cyanobacteria -- colloquially also called blue-green algae - can produce oil from water and carbon dioxide with the help of light. This is shown by a recent study. The result is unexpected: Until now, it was believed that this ability was reserved for plants. It is possible that blue-green algae will now also become interesting as suppliers of feed or fuel, especially since they do not require arable land.

Tropical forests' carbon sink is already rapidly weakening

Wed, 03/04/2020 - 21:16
The ability of the world's tropical forests to remove carbon from the atmosphere is decreasing, according to a study tracking 300,000 trees over 30 years.

Sea level rise impacts to Canaveral sea turtle nests will be substantial

Wed, 03/04/2020 - 21:14
The study examined loggerhead and green sea turtle nests to predict beach habitat loss at four national seashores by the year 2100. When comparing nesting density with beach loss at the sites, they found nesting habitat loss would not be equal. By 2100, Canaveral would lose about 1 percent of its loggerhead habitat; the others will lose approximately 2.5 to 6.7% each. Canaveral's loss is smaller, but the impact greater because of nesting density.

Almost alien: Antarctic subglacial lakes are cold, dark and full of secrets

Wed, 03/04/2020 - 21:14
More than half of the planet's fresh water is in Antarctica. While most of it is frozen in the ice sheets, underneath the ice pools and streams of water flow into one another and into the Southern Ocean surrounding the continent. Understanding the movement of this water, and what is dissolved in it as solutes, reveals how carbon and nutrients from the land may support life in the coastal ocean.

Coral Reefs in Turks and Caicos Islands resist global bleaching event

Tue, 03/03/2020 - 21:02
A study that relied on citizen scientists to monitor the health of corals on Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean from 2012 to 2018 found that 35 key coral species remained resilient during a 2014-17 global coral-bleaching event that harmed coral reefs around the world. Even corals that experienced bleaching quickly recovered, the researchers found. Some corals appeared healthier in 2017 than they were in 2014.

Ancient Australian trees face uncertain future under climate change, study finds

Tue, 03/03/2020 - 21:01
Tasmania's ancient rainforest faces a grim future as a warming climate and the way people used the land have brought significant changes to the island state off mainland Australia's southeastern coast, according to a new study.