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Climate change and climate prediction. Read science articles on regional climates and global climate shifts. Updated daily.
Updated: 1 hour 40 min ago

Recent Atlantic ocean warming unprecedented in nearly 3,000 years

Wed, 10/14/2020 - 21:09
Sediments from a lake in the Canadian High Arctic allow climate scientists to extend the record of Atlantic sea-surface temperature from about 100 to 2,900 years. It shows that the warmest interval over this period has been the past 10 years.

Plastic bags could be 'eco-friendlier' than paper and cotton

Wed, 10/14/2020 - 18:46
Scientists have modeled the cradle-to-grave environmental impact of using different types of shopping bags and report that in cities like Singapore, single-use plastic bags (made from high-density polyethylene plastic) have a lower environmental footprint than single-use paper and multi-use cotton bags.

Modern humans took detours on their way to Europe

Wed, 10/14/2020 - 18:46
Favourable climatic conditions influenced the sequence of settlement movements of Homo sapiens in the Levant on their way from Africa to Europe. In a first step, modern humans settled along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Only then did they spread out into the Sinai desert and the eastern Jordanian Rift Valley.

Biggest carbon dioxide drop: Real-time data show COVID-19's massive impact on global emissions

Wed, 10/14/2020 - 15:28
While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten millions of lives around the world, the first half of 2020 saw an unprecedented decline in carbon dioxide emissions -- larger than during the financial crisis of 2008, the oil crisis of the 1979, or even World War II.

Trees and lawns beat the heat

Wed, 10/14/2020 - 00:50
As climate change pushes many cities towards dangerous temperatures, planners are scrambling to mitigate excessive heat. One strategy is to replace artificial surfaces with vegetation cover. In water-limited regions, municipalities have to balance the benefit of cooler temperatures with using precious water for irrigation. A new study will make those decisions easier for the semi-arid Salt Lake Valley, the largest metropolitan area in Utah located in the northern part of the state.

American Pikas show resiliency in the face of global warming

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 23:44
The American pika is a charismatic, diminutive relative of rabbits that some researchers say is at high risk of extinction due to climate change. A new review finds that the American pika is far more resilient in the face of warm temperatures than previously believed.

Without the North American monsoon, reining in wildfires gets harder

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 20:43
New research shows that while winter rains can temper the beginning of the wildfire season, monsoon rains are what shut them down. This monsoon season was the second-driest on record, leaving Southern Arizona dry and vulnerable.

New global temperature data will inform study of climate impacts on health, agriculture

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 20:43
A new data set provides high-resolution, daily temperatures from around the globe that could prove valuable in studying human health impacts from heat waves, risks to agriculture, droughts, potential crop failures, and food insecurity.

Port engineers need guidance incorporating sea level rise into construction designs

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 20:42
A survey of maritime infrastructure engineers found that the rising sea level is often not factored into designs of ports, breakwaters, fishing piers and other coastal infrastructure.

Atmospheric dust levels are rising in the Great Plains

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 19:41
A study finds that atmospheric dust levels are rising across the Great Plains at a rate of up to 5% per year. The trend of rising dust parallels expansion of cropland and even seasonal crop cycles. And if the Great Plains becomes drier, a possibility under climate change scenarios, then all the pieces are in place for a repeat of the Dust Bowl that devastated the Midwest in the 1930s.

People can do more than use less plastic to help save the Great Barrier Reef

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 19:41
There are many threats to Australia's Great Barrier Reef - cyclones, shipping, crown-of-thorns starfish - but QUT researchers say climate change is its worst enemy. Yet a survey they conducted found most people don't make a connection between climate change and reef health. They say there is more individuals could do on this front, both in the home and to influence government policies

Mental accounting is impacting sustainable behavior

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 19:41
Human beings tend to create separate mental budget compartments where specific acts of consumption and payments are linked. This mechanism can be counter-productive when it comes to energy consumption and can have a negative impact on attempts to reduce carbon emissions. Psychologists have linked theories and research on mental accounting to energy and sustainability behavior, proposing concrete strategies to improve the impact of climate-control measures.

Unique view into the new Arctic

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 17:58
With the return of the Polarstern, the largest Arctic expedition of all times has come to a successful end. For more than a year, the German research icebreaker traveled in 5 cruise legs with more than 400 people from 20 countries to investigate the epicenter of climate change more precisely than ever before.

Darwin's theory about coral reef atolls is fatally flawed

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 17:58
Charles Darwin's 1842 theory about the formation of ring-shaped reefs, called atolls, is incorrect, but 'it's so beautiful, so simple and pleasing' that it still appears in textbooks and university courses, said a marine geologist. The accurate description is more complicated, and biologists are hoping to set the record straight.

Rainforest model offers glimpse into future of the Amazon

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 17:58
Tropical Forests may be more resilient to climate change than previously thought, according to ecologists. The results help solve an ongoing debate about the mechanism responsible for declines in tropical forest productivity that go hand in hand with rising global temperatures.

The deep sea is slowly warming

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 17:57
New research reveals temperatures in the deep sea fluctuate more than scientists previously thought and a warming trend is now detectable at the bottom of the ocean.

The effects of repeated droughts on different kinds of forests

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 17:16
Drought is endemic to the American West along with heatwaves and intense wildfires. But scientists are only beginning to understand how the effects of multiple droughts can compound to affect forests differently than a single drought alone.

Act now on wildfires, global climate change, human health, study says

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 17:16
Immediate actions are needed to limit the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change that helps fuel wildfires, a new study says.

Fuels, not fire weather, control carbon emissions in boreal forest

Mon, 10/12/2020 - 19:00
A team has found that the amount of carbon that burns in wildfires in western boreal forests depends more on available fuels than on fire weather such as drought conditions, temperature, or rain.

Australian valley a 'natural laboratory' to test carbon sequestration theory

Mon, 10/12/2020 - 18:59
An idea to enhance natural carbon capture from olivine weathering has never been tested at scale. Geoscientists have proposed the Tweed Valley as a laboratory and gained some interesting initial results.