Archives for July 2015

Does Global Warming Actually Increase Antarctic Sea Ice?

A strange paradox is actually proof of climate change, argues a new study. Continue reading →
Discovery News

UK Bog ecosystem threatened by climate change impacts

An entire ecosystem is at risk from the effects of climate change on the UK’s blanket bogs, scientists at the University of Leeds have warned. 

These wetland habitats provide important feeding and nesting grounds for bird species including the dunlin, red grouse and golden plover. Blanket bogs are also the source of most of our drinking water and vital carbon stores. 

The scientists warn that the effects of climate change, such as altered rainfall patterns and summer droughts, could drastically affect bog hydrology, which in turn could affect insect and bird populations. 

ENN: Top Stories

New study exposes negative effects of climate change on Antarctic fish

Scientists at University of California Davis and San Francisco State University have discovered that the combination of elevated levels of carbon dioxide and an increase in ocean water temperature has a significant impact on survival and development of the Antarctic dragonfish (Gymnodraco acuticeps). The research article was published today in the journal Conservation Physiology.

ENN: Top Stories

Increasing risk of compound flooding from storm surge and rainfall for major US cities

The co-occurrence of storm surge and heavy precipitation can compound coastal flooding. Research now estimates the probability of such co-occurrences for the US and shows that the number of events has increased significantly over the past century.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate2736

Nature Climate Change – AOP – science feeds

Three ‘Super-Earths’ Spotted Around Nearby Star

Astronomers said Thursday they had found a planetary system with three super-Earths orbiting a bright, dwarf star — one of them likely a volcanic world of molten rock.
Discovery News

GMO propaganda over facts? BBC Panorama and Bt brinjal

A BBC documentary claimed 90% success for a controversial GM crop in Bangladesh, Bt brinjal, writes Claire Robinson. But as journalist Faisal Rahman discovered, there’s no evidence to support the claim, the BBC relied on biased sources, and its journalists failed to investigate reports of widespread crop failure. Was it all an exercise in pro-GMO propaganda?
Environment news & analysis, climate change reports –
The Ecologist

The potential of Indonesian mangrove forests for global climate change mitigation

Indonesian mangrove carbon stocks are estimated to be 1,083 ± 378 MgC ha−1. In the past three decades Indonesia has lost 40% of its 2.9 Mha of mangroves; this is estimated to have resulted in annual CO2-equivalent emissions of 0.07–0.21 Pg.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate2734

Nature Climate Change – AOP – science feeds

Forests take years to rebound from drought

In the virtual worlds of climate modeling, forests and other vegetation are assumed to bounce back quickly from extreme drought. But that assumption is far off the mark, according to a new study of drought impacts at forest sites worldwide. Living trees took an average of two to four years to recover and resume normal growth rates after droughts ended, researchers report today in the journal Science.

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Making Tastier Wines with Fewer Pesticides

Wine-making is steeped in age-old traditions, but to address the threat of pests and concerns over heavy pesticide use, vintners are turning to science. With the goal of designing better grape breeds, scientists are parsing the differences between wild American grapes — which make terrible wine but are pest-resistant — and the less hardy grape species pressed for fine wines worldwide. They report their findings in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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Washington, DC Sinking Fast, Adding To Threat Of Sea-level Rise

The U.S. Capitol. (Credit: Architect of the Capitol)

(Click to enlarge). The U.S. Capitol. (Credit: Architect of the Capitol)

New research confirms that the land under the Chesapeake Bay is sinking rapidly and projects that Washington, D.C., could drop by six or more inches in the next century–adding to the problems of sea-level rise.

(From ScienceDaily) — This falling land will exacerbate the flooding that the nation’s capital faces from rising ocean waters due to a warming climate and melting ice sheets–accelerating the threat to the region’s monuments, roads, wildlife refuges, and military installations.

For sixty years, tide gauges have shown that sea level in the Chesapeake is rising at twice the global average rate and faster than elsewhere on the East Coast. And geologists have hypothesized for several decades that land in this area, pushed up by the weight of a pre-historic ice sheet to the north, has been settling back down since the ice melted.

The new study–based on extensive drilling in the coastal plain of Maryland–confirms this hypothesis, and provides a firm estimate of how quickly this drop is happening. Additionally, the researchers’ detailed field data make clear that the land sinking around Washington is not primarily driven by human influence, such as groundwater withdrawals, but instead is a long-term geological process that will continue unabated for tens of thousands of years, independent from human land use or climate change.

The new research was conducted by a team of geologists from the University of Vermont, the U.S. Geological Survey, and other institutions. The results were presented online July 27 in the journal GSA Today.

Washington’s woes come from what geologists call “forebulge collapse.” During the last ice age, a mile-high North American ice sheet, that stretched as far south as Long Island, N.Y., piled so much weight on the Earth that underlying mantle rock flowed slowly outward, away from the ice. In response, the land surface to the south, under the Chesapeake Bay region, bulged up. Then, about 20,000 years ago, the ice sheet began melting away, allowing the forebulge to sink again.

“It’s a bit like sitting on one side of a water bed filled with very thick honey,” explains Ben DeJong, the lead author on the new study, who conducted the research as a doctoral student at UVM’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources with support from the U.S. Geological Survey, “then the other side goes up. But when you stand, the bulge comes down again.”

The new research provides the first high-resolution data from the same latitude as Washington, D.C., DeJong said, of how this forebulge has subsided–and will continue to. “Until recently, the age of the thing was really poorly constrained,” he said.

Read the full article here:

Consortium for Ocean Leadership