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Climate Change Current Events


Predicting Sea Level Rise for Miami
April 17, 2014 | National Science Foundation

A National Science Foundation press release gives a quick look at efforts to predict long-term sea level rise in Miami

A Record of Acid Rain in Greenland Ice
April 15, 2014 | University of Washington

“By analyzing samples from the Greenland ice sheet, University of Washington atmospheric scientists found clear evidence of the U.S. Clean Air Act. They also discovered a link between air acidity and how nitrogen is preserved in layers of snow.” Quoted from the University of Washington press release.

Carbon Absorption in Deserts
April 15, 2014 | Washington State University

“Researchers led by a Washington State University biologist have found that arid areas, among the biggest ecosystems on the planet, take up an unexpectedly large amount of carbon as levels of carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere.” Quoted from the Washington State University press release.

NASA image.
Monitoring Sacramento River Levees with Radar?
April 10, 2014 | NASA

“In the Sacramento River delta north of San Francisco Bay, islands, agricultural lands and communities below sea level are protected from surrounding water channels by more than 1,100 miles of dirt levees, many of which date back to the California Gold Rush.” NASA now has a method to monitor them using radar. Quote from the NASA press release.

UN Climate Assessment Published
April 1, 2014 | United Nations

The United Nations Climate Panel has published an assessment of the impacts of climate change.

White House Targets Methane
March 31, 2014 | The White House

As a greenhouse gas, methane can trap about 20 times more heat than carbon dioxide. The White House announced a climate action plan to reduce methane emissions by targeting emissions from the oil and gas, waste disposal, coal mining, farming and other methane producing industries.

Related: Night Time Maps of Natural Gas Flaring

Permafrost Studies
March 27, 2014 | USGS

“In the next 50 years, as arctic systems warm, the release of carbon and nitrogen in permafrost could greatly exacerbate the warming phenomenon. Thawing is impacting ecosystems on land and offshore.” Quoted from the USGS feature.

More Natural Gas Being Flared in North Dakota
March 25, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

The amount of natural gas being flared in North Dakota is still increasing, in part because oil production is increasing.

Related: A collection of NASA images that show natural gas flaring at locations all over the world.

Carbon Balance of the Amazon?
March 23, 2014 | NASA

“A new NASA-led study seven years in the making has confirmed that natural forests in the Amazon remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they emit, therefore reducing global warming. This finding resolves a long-standing debate about a key component of the overall carbon balance of the Amazon basin.” Quoted from the NASA press release.

Carbon Dioxide Sequestration – Cedar Mesa Sandstone – Arizona
March 23, 2014 | Arizona Geological Survey Repository

“The potential role of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions from coal fired power plants and other industrial plants in global climate change is driving studies of sedimentary basins in Arizona for their carbon sequestration potential.” Quote from the Arizona Geological Survey Repository.

Private Funding for Science?
March 23, 2014 | New York Times

An article in the New York Times explores how billionaire supporters are funding many types of science.

Volcanoes Helped Species Survive Ice Ages
March 18, 2014 | The Australian National University

“The steam and heat from volcanoes and heated rocks allowed many species of plants and animals to survive past ice ages.” Quoted from The Australian National University press release.

Climate Change and Ice Climbing
March 16, 2014 | Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Oregon Public Broadcasting website has a short article titled: “What Does Climate Change Mean for Ice Climbing?“.

Rivers Play Role in Arctic Sea Ice Melt
March 13, 2014 | NASA

“The heat from warm river waters draining into the Arctic Ocean is contributing to the melting of Arctic sea ice each summer. [...] NASA used satellite data to measure the surface temperature of the waters discharging from a Canadian river into the icy Beaufort Sea during the summer of 2012. They observed a sudden influx of warm river waters into the sea that rapidly warmed the surface layers of the ocean, enhancing the melting of sea ice.”

Ice-Free Shipping Through the Arctic
March 6, 2014 | Nature.com

A post on the Nature News Blog reports that by 2030 the Norther Sea Route through the Arctic Ocean above Eurasia is expected to be navigable for nine weeks per year. The Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is expected to be navigable for five weeks per year.

Natural Gas Leaks in Washington DC
March 2, 2014 | NPR

A recent study found thousands of leaking natural gas lines beneath the streets of Washington DC – about four leaks for every mile of pipe.

Sources of Atmospheric Methane?
February 25, 2014 | Stanford University News

A review of more than 200 earlier studies confirms that U.S. emissions of methane are considerably higher than official estimates. Leaks from the nation’s natural gas system are an important part of the problem.

An Effort to Curb Flaring in the Bakken?
February 9, 2014 | New York Times

An effort to curb natural gas flaring at Bakken Shale oil wells could result in a 40% increase in North Dakota natural gas output by the end of 2015.

Related: A collection of NASA satellite images that show natural gas being flaring at locations all over the world.

A Glacial Speed Record
February 9, 2014 | National Geographic

The Jakobshavn Glacier, which is thought to have produced the iceberg that sank the Titanic is moving about 4x as fast as it was in the 1990s.

Natural Hazards of 2013
February 2, 2014 | USGS

USGS has a short review of how a variety of natural hazards influenced the United States during calendar year 2013.

Global Temperature Trends
January 26, 2014 | NASA Earth Observatory

NASA’s Earth Observatory has published a pair of maps that show global temperature trends. The map below shows the average change in temperature in degrees Celsius per decade between 1950 and 2013.

Intentionally Weathering Olivine to Fight Climate Change?
January 23, 2014 | Nature

A Nature article reports how some researchers believe that climate change can be mitigated by crushing olivine-rich rocks and exposing them to weathering – to take advantage of olivine’s ability to sequester carbon.

Sea Level Rise on the California Coast
January 14, 2014 | University of Southern California

“Los Angeles, a metropolis perched on the edge of a coast, can expect to experience sea level rise of as much as two feet due by 2050 due to climate change, according to current projections.” Quoted from the USC press release.

Heat Waves in the Southern Hemisphere
January 9, 2014 | NASA

NASA’s Earth Observatory has published maps showing how Australia and Argentina/Chile have suffered from heat waves during 2013.

IRD Image
Global Chimney in the Pacific
January 9, 2014 | National Science Foundation

“Although few people live in the Western tropical Pacific Ocean region, the remote waters there affect billions of people by shaping climate and air chemistry worldwide.

Next week, scientists will head to the region to better understand its influence on the atmosphere–including how that influence may change in coming decades if storms over the Pacific become more powerful with rising global temperatures.” Quoted from the NSF press release.

The Greenland Ice Sheet Holds an Unusual Aquifer
January 1, 2014 | The University of Utah

“Researchers have discovered a new aquifer in the Greenland Ice Sheet that holds liquid water all year long in the otherwise perpetually frozen winter landscape. [...] The reservoir is known as a “perennial firn aquifer” because water persists within the firn – layers of snow and ice that don’t melt for at least one season.” Quoted from The University of Utah press release.

Message in a Bottle in the Canadian Arctic
December 29, 2013 | The Chronicle Herald

Messages in a bottle are usually found at beaches, however, one was recently found in a rock cairn on Ward Hunt Island, the closest land point in Canada to the North Pole. The message was dated 1959 and asked the finder to help document evidence of climate change.

USFWS Photo
Over 80000 Acres of Wetlands Lost Per Year
December 22, 2013 | U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

“The United States is losing wetlands in coastal watersheds at a significant rate, according to a new report released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [...] It concludes that more than 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands are being lost on average each year, up from 60,000 acres lost per year during the previous study.” Quoted from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service press release.

Climate Change and Echolocation in Bats
December 17, 2013 | National Geographic

Researchers suspect that climate change might cause problems for bats that navigate in the dark of night using echolocation.

Sea Level Rise and Sinking Land
December 12, 2013 | USGS

“Communities and coastal habitats in the southern Chesapeake Bay region face increased flooding because, as seawater levels are rising in the bay, the land surface is also sinking. A USGS report concludes that intensive groundwater withdrawals are a major cause of the sinking land, or ‘land subsidence’, that contributes to flooding risks in the region.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

Related: Maps of Sea Level Rise

How Wetlands Respond to Sea Level Rise
December 6, 2013 | National Science Foundation

“Thanks to an intricate system of feedbacks, wetlands are remarkably good at building up soils to outpace sea level rise.” Quoted from the National Science Foundation press release.

Related: Interactive Sea Level Rise Maps

The Arctic Ocean as a Carbon Sink and Carbon Dioxide Source
December 4, 2013 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“While the Arctic Ocean is largely a carbon sink, researchers find parts are also a source of atmospheric carbon dioxide.” Quoted from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology article.

Climate Change at Point Barrow Alaska
December 4, 2013 | PBS NewsHour

This PBS Newshour video explores the impact of climate change on the landscape, people and wildlife of Point Barrow Alaska.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden explores
NASA's new Images of Change iPad application.
Image credit: NASA/JPL
NASA Launches Changing Earth iPad App
December 3, 2013 | NASA

“Human activities, a changing climate and natural disasters are rapidly altering the face of our planet. Now, with NASA’s Images of Change iPad application, users can get an interactive before-and-after view of these changes.” Quoted from the NASA press release.

Carbon Dioxide Storage Potential in Sedimentary Basins
December 2, 2013 | USGS

“The U.S. Geological Survey recently completed an evaluation of the technically accessible storage resource for carbon dioxide for 36 sedimentary basins in the onshore areas and State waters of the United States.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

United Nations to the Coal Industry
November 21, 2013 | United Nations News Center

Christina Figueres, Executive Director of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said… “It is abundantly clear that further capital expenditures on coal can only go ahead if they are compatible with the 2 degree Celsius limit.” Quoted from the United Nations News Center.

Mapping Global Forest Losses and Gains
November 20, 2013 | NASA

“The ravages of deforestation, wildfires, windstorms and insects on global forests during this century are revealed in unprecedented detail in a new study based on data from the NASA-U.S. Geological Survey Landsat 7 satellite.” Quoted from the NASA press release.

Climate Change and the Behavior of Mercury in the Environment
November 6, 2013 | USGS

“Rising global temperatures and changing human actions will significantly affect the behavior and distribution of mercury worldwide, according to a recent article by the U.S. Geological Survey and Harvard University.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

Studying Diatoms in the Lakes of Southwestern Greenland
November 6, 2013 | National Science Foundation

Diatom populations in the lakes of southwestern Greenland are different from those in other parts of the Arctic in that they were rich in ‘warmer’ water diatoms throughout the Holocene.

Coal Plants Co-Firing with Wood?
November 5, 2013 | New York Times

A number of coal-fired power plants are experimenting with adding wood to their fuel stream. It is viewed by some as a way to boost the use of renewable fuels, improve emissions and lower the carbon footprint of the coal plants. The problem: The supply of wood is not reliable!

Natural Gas Flaring from Space
October 30, 2013 | Geology.com

We have posted views of Earth from NASA’s Suomi satellite that show night illumination and natural gas flaring for oil industry sites in the Bakken Formation, Eagle Ford Shale, Alaska North Slope, United States Gulf, Mexican Gulf, Venezuela Orinoco Field, Brazil offshore basins, North Sea, North Africa onshore, west Africa offshore, and Persian Gulf.

Potential 21st Century Temperature, Precipitation Changes
October 19, 2013 | NASA

“Models used by the IPCC estimate global temperature and precipitation patterns will change throughout the 21st century given current rising greenhouse gas levels. This video depicts a scenario in which carbon dioxide concentrations reach 670 parts per million by 2100, up from around 400 ppm today.” Quoted from the NASA video release.

Melting the Antarctic Ice Shelf from Below
October 19, 2013 | NASA.gov

Drought in Texas
October 17, 2013 | National Public Radio

National Public Radio has an article with interesting graphics that describe the drought problems in Texas.

The Government Shutdown and Geology
October 15, 2013 | American Geophysical Union

The American Geophysical Union has a short article that explains why the “Government Shutdown Affects More Than Jobs“.

The Time Frame of Climate Change
October 13, 2013 | University of Hawaii at Manoa

“Within 35 years, even the lowest monthly dips in temperatures will be hotter than we’ve experienced in the past 150 years.”

Sea Level Rise and Maldivian Atols
October 11, 2013 | Exeter

“The continued accumulation of sand within the iconic ring-shaped reefs inside Maldivian atolls could provide a foundation for future island development new research suggests. Islands like the Maldives are considered likely to be the first to feel the effects of climate change induced sea level rise, with future island growth essential to counter the threat of rising sea levels.” Quoted from the press release by the University of Exeter.

Beijing Switching to Natural Gas?
October 8, 2013 | UPI

Four coal-fired power plants in Beijing will be replaced with natural gas units by the end of 2014. The $7.8 billion project will cut 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide emissions. At the present time, natural gas has a much higher price in China than it does in the United States.

United Nations Blames Humans for Climate Change
September 29, 2013 | United Nations

“United Nations officials called for a global response to combat climate change, following new findings by a scientific panel stating it is “extremely likely” that humans have been the dominant cause of unprecedented global warming since 1950.” Quoted from the United Nations press release.

Climate Change and the Spread of Malaria
September 25, 2013 | MIT News

“As public-health officials continue to fight malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, researchers are trying to predict how climate change will impact the disease, which infected an estimated 219 million people in 2010 and is the fifth leading cause of death worldwide among children under age 5.” Quoted from the MIT press release.

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