The Hot Zone

Past warming one-tenth rate of modern day climate change

Climate scientists find it useful to use analogs to put modern day change into historical perspective. No analog is more useful than the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum, a period of rapid warming that occurred 56 million years ago when the continents were virtually in the same location as today. During the PETM, temperatures shot up 9 to 16 degrees Fahrenheit over a period of 20,000 years, a result of a massive release of carbon into the ocean and atmosphere. A new study out of Penn State... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on June 6, 2011 No Comments »
Category : Climates of the Past


Western weed offers glimpse into climate change

Invasive species are fending very well under higher temperatures and carbon dioxide conditions. And the yellow starthistle in the American West offers a glimpse of why. A native to the Mediterranean, this thorny yellow-blossomed plant has become a bane to ranchers in the West as it outcompetes native grasses and degrades pasture quality. Cattle don’t want to eat it and it’s toxic to horses. Photo: Patrick Berry A Purdue University study found that yellow star thistle has some of the greatest... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on June 2, 2011 No Comments »
Category : The man made climate


Climate does cause earthquakes, but at speed of geologic time

What does the earthquake in Japan have to do with climate change? Nothing, is the easiest response. Yet I’ve been hearing such leaps of association, tossed off like some conspiracy of nature against the human race. But just when you get comfortable with your own answers to life’s questions, out of nowhere hurls some sticky complication. An article published recently in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters backs up the idea that earthquakes and climate change are interrelated. I’ve... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on April 18, 2011 No Comments »
Category : The Oceans


Russian heat wave in 2010 not caused by climate change

Last summer Russia suffered a debilitating heat wave, its hottest since 1880, making Russian officials for the first time into advocates for stemming climate change (Russia doesn’t have a great reputation on the topic). But alas, as much as it would help the climate change cause to link yet another heat wave to global temperature rise, a new study says that Russia experienced a fluke unrelated to the trend last year that made 2010 the hottest on record. Smoke from wildfires over Moscow during... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on April 15, 2011 No Comments »
Category : Climate Science and Scientists


Study: scientists should stress known facts about climate change to public

Why is it that as the science gets stronger around climate change, public belief gets weaker? It’s not just Americans who are becoming more and more unsure about whether scientists believe climate change is real. In mainland Europe and Britain, people are expressing more uncertainty in polls, according to a paper published in late March in the online journal Nature Climate Change. The public faith in science is still strong, as demonstrated by the way climate skeptics use science-like language... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on April 13, 2011 1 Comment »
Category : Climate Science and Scientists


Stronger winds, bigger waves could be result of warmer ocean

Surfers, kiteboarders, and other ocean joy-riders might be pleased with this latest bit of news. Wind speeds and wave heights have been increasing over the past quarter century, a result possibly linked to warmer waters caused by climate change. A study published last week in the journal Science states that wind speeds over the majority of the world’s oceans have increased by at least 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent per year, a cumulative increase of 5 to 10 percent over the last 20 years. That’s... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on March 29, 2011 No Comments »
Category : The Oceans


Under higher CO2 levels, plants take up more toxic materials

Higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere generally increase plant growth and productivity. Plants take up more nutrients from the soil. But according to a new study, they also take up more toxic materials from the soil. Benjamin Duval from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and colleagues showed in a paper published this month in the journal Environmental Science & Technology that contaminants in the soil become increasingly mobile in vegetation and that these toxins could be... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on March 28, 2011 No Comments »
Category : Climate Science and Scientists


Rapid increases in greenhouse gases part of Earth’s history

Rapid increases in greenhouse gases have happened more frequently in the Earth’s history than previously realized, according to a Scripps Institution of Oceanography-led study published last week in the journal Nature. Scientists have studied extensively the the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), about 56 million years ago, a period of rapid global warming that’s associated with a temperature spike on par with expectations for today’s global warming scenarios. But according... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on March 23, 2011 No Comments »
Category : Climates of the Past


Earlier phytoplankton blooms in Arctic could affect food chain

Tiny phytoplankton are taking to warmer Arctic waters by blooming almost two months earlier in the spring season. A new study published in the April edition of the journal Global Change Biology says that the earlier bloom has consequences for the Arctic food chain and carbon cycling. A phytoplankton bloom larger than the size of Greece in the Barents Sea. Photo: European Space Agency. It may sound like a good thing. Phytoplankton, the nutritive basis for much of ocean life, stimulates the production... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on March 11, 2011 No Comments »
Category : Climate Science and Scientists


Polar ice sheet melt largest source of sea level rise

Melting ice sheets from Greenland and Antarctica has long been tied to rising sea levels. But these two sources are outpacing all others — including mountain glaciers and ice caps — t0 become the dominant feature in raising the seas, according to a new study slated for publication this month in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Part of the reason for the significance of these polar ice sheets is that the rate of melt is accelerating. Researchers at the University of California,... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on March 9, 2011 No Comments »
Category : Earth Systems, The man made climate



About Us
Contact Us
Links
Chief Editor & Executive Producer: Helen Matsos
Copyright 2007-08, Astrobit.net