Posts

March 26, 2015

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8:26 PM | Supreme Court Reviews EPA’s Power Plant Mercury Rule; Decision Due in June
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in a challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) consideration of cost impacts when developing the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, (MATS) which are set to go into effect next month. At issue in the case is whether the Clean Air Act requires the EPA…
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12:50 PM | Communicate your Science Video Competition finalists: time to get voting!
For the second year in a row we’re running the EGU Communicate Your Science Video Competition – the aim being for young scientists to communicate their research in a short, sweet and public-friendly video. Our judges have now selected 3 fantastic finalists from the excellent entries we received this year and it’s time to find the best geoscience communication clip! The shortlisted videos will be open to a public vote from now until midnight on 16 Apri; – just […]

March 25, 2015

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6:00 PM | Tropics Getting Wetter: Sign of Warming Times?
Large thunderstorms -- a long-predicted result of climate change -- are leading to increased tropical rainfall, finds a new study.

March 23, 2015

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2:01 PM | Preparing for Seven Weeks at Sea
For our spring expedition, NBP1503, to the margin of East Antarctica we will live and work on board the United States icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer. Together we are eight scientists, 10 science support staff and 19 crew members of the ship’s crew. As of today, March 22, all cargo and food for the journey has [...]
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2:00 PM | A Candid Conversation With California’s ‘Water Czar’
The State Water Resources Control Board is California's top arbiter of water supply conflicts. Lately it's been caught in a tug of war between those who would have it tread lightly with local water agencies and those calling for aggressive statewide rationing.

March 20, 2015

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7:30 PM | Warming Climate Could Change How Food Tastes
There might be some very tangible, selfish reasons for foodies to care about climate change. It turns out that warming temperatures could not only impact our food supply,…
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12:25 PM | Tapply on steroids – by (climate trends in Scottish seasons)
A while back I wrote a post on using the R tool tapply, which is my most popular post. Tapply allows you to repeat a function over a vector split into groups, e.g.… Continue reading →

March 19, 2015

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8:00 PM | Hidden Channels Could Cause Big Melt in Antarctica
Two valleys underneath Totten Glacier in East Antarctica may be letting in warm ocean water that is melting the glacier's ice shelf.
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6:01 PM | Creating a ‘Safe Space’ for Iconic Ecosystems
Important global ecosystems like the Amazon rainforest and Great Barrier Reef are in danger of breaking down because of a combination of local pressures and climate change, but better local management could help make these areas more resilient, say the authors of a paper published by Science this week.
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5:24 PM | McCarthy: States Must Comply with Clean Power Plan
On Tuesday, a lawyer hired by the world’s largest coal mining company told the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power that proposed requirements to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants are reckless, and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, in an op-ed, said states should ignore them, but U.S. Environmental…

March 18, 2015

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9:32 AM | Seeker Daily: Svalbard Seed Vault Has the Future in Mind
Norway's Svalbard seed vault is essentially a bunker in the side of a mountain in the Arctic. It houses seeds from all over the world and is kept at a well-below freezing temperature of 0 degree fahrenheit to insure preservation.

March 17, 2015

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9:01 PM | Calif. Water Regulators Tighten the Screws — But Just a Little
As California plods into its fourth year of drought, critics say the latest round of statewide water restrictions are too little -- and possibly too late.
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8:34 PM | UC Berkeley professor designs bricks that could replace...
UC Berkeley professor designs bricks that could replace air-conditioningAssociate professor of architecture Ronald Rael and former professor Virginia San Fratello succeeded in designing 3-D “cool bricks,” a device that could potentially replace air-conditioning systems in hot, arid climates.According to Rael, the brick is designed with a porous, lattice-like structure, which allows air to flow through it. The process is simple: Like a sponge, the bricks absorb water vapor, which […]
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6:42 PM | What’s the Best Path to a Sustainable Future?
From KQED Education Do Now: As we face the consequences of a changing climate, many people wonder how we can most effectively change the consumptive habits of U.S. citizens. Is it more effective to change people’s behavior and attitudes or have the government implement regulations?

March 16, 2015

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11:42 PM | Los Angeles is Willing to Pay Highest Price Ever for Water
Flooded rice fields at the Cosumnes River Preserve in the Central Valley. Growing an acre of rice requires three acre-feet of water or more. An acre-foot is roughly enough water for two Los Angeles-area households for a year. (Photo: Nancy Crowley/The Nature Conservancy) Los Angeles is offering rice farmers in the Sacramento Valley more money […]
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8:52 PM | Antarctic Snow Linked to Global Warming
A new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change has confirmed a long-standing prediction that snowfall in Antarctica will increase significantly as our planet warms. Researchers have long suspected that snowfall in Antarctica increases during planetary warming and the impact of so much snow tied up on land would have a negative effect on [...]
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3:26 PM | New Scientist’s “Icy Oases” Article: The full interviews!
New scientist recently published an article introducing cryoconite holes as oases for microbial life on ice surfaces. As ‘new scientists’ working on cryoconite, colleagues Arwyn Edwards (Aberystwyth University), Karen Cameron […]
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11:54 AM | Imaggeo on Mondays: Retreating Glacier
The Svalbard archipelago is considered to be one of the best places to study the geological history of the Earth because its rocks represent every geological period. This image shows a view from the peak of Fugleberget (569 m a. s. l.; 77º 00’ N, 15º 30’ E) on the south-western coast of the island of Spitsbergen. Glaciation of this geologically diverse area gave rise to a variety of geomorphic features. The most prominent of them, depicted in the picture, is the Hornsund […]

March 13, 2015

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4:09 PM | See how global warming is increasing the chances of lightning...
See how global warming is increasing the chances of lightning strikes Climate models show increase in electrifying hits. More information on this story at http://www.insidescience.org/content/global-warming-experts-predict-50-more-lightning/2646 By: Inside Science.
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3:00 PM | Abyssal Rhythm
Since the dawn of mankind, I imagine we’ve gazed In wonder and awe at the sky’s starry crown; More recently, we have been deeply amazed By the long-obscured, staggering view looking down To the depths of the sea, through crust, and below...
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2:43 PM | The Brief Winter of 2014-2015
For most of western Washington lowlands this has been a snow free winter. At this late stage the odds of a snow storm are getting very low. Other than a few flakes during the November cold spell - the only winter-like weather all winter, this has been a rather remarkable winter for warmth. That brief period of cold brought 12 degree temperatures to my home with hard winds out of the Fraser Canyon. The outflow of cold air rapidly dried the air and just a few flakes fell. At the time winter […]
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2:12 AM | South American Peaks Contain 2000-Year Record of Lead in the Air
New data from the ancient ice of a tropical glacier shows that lead in gasoline tainted the Earth with the toxic metal far more than any other source, past or present, human or natural.

March 12, 2015

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7:58 PM | Climate Pledges May Not Be Enough
The European Union (EU) is now the second body to submit an official climate target to the United Nations ahead of talks to reach a global climate agreement in Paris later this year. One of the world’s top emitters, the EU intends to reduce its emissions 40 percent (relative to 1990 levels) by 2030. This…

March 10, 2015

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8:54 PM | Same forces as today caused climate changes 1.4 billion years ago
Natural forces have always caused the climate on Earth to fluctuate. Now researchers have found geological evidence that some of the same forces as today were at play 1.4 billion […]
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3:24 PM | Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork, 2015 and Beyond
On every continent and ocean, Earth Institute field researchers study the dynamics of climate, geology, ecology, human history and more. Many projects have practical applications, from agriculture and water supplies to climate adaptation and natural hazards. Here is a list of expeditions going on this year, and beyond.

March 09, 2015

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4:09 PM | climateadaptation:Red line shows overall warming trend since...
climateadaptation:Red line shows overall warming trend since 1880. Via Climate.NASA.gov.Trends come and trends go… except for this one, unfortunately.Learn what you need to know about the science of climate change in 24 easy steps:

March 07, 2015

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3:03 PM | How radiation from space affects the Earth’s climate
Cosmic rays are a form of radiation from space consisting of particles such as protons and atomic nuclei that are very high in energy. These particles have the ability to electrically-charge (ionise) water molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere. These water ions can act as the starting points (nucleation points) of clouds in the lower atmosphere,…

Tsonis, A., Deyle, E., May, R., Sugihara, G., Swanson, K., Verbeten, J. & Wang, G. (2015). Dynamical evidence for causality between galactic cosmic rays and interannual variation in global temperature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201420291. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1420291112

Citation

March 06, 2015

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7:00 PM | How Did Your City Fare This Winter?
The hot West, cold East divide continued for a second winter, but heat was the bigger story this year.

March 05, 2015

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8:47 PM | First-Ever Direct Observation of Greenhouse Gas Increase
A new study in the journal Nature offers that for the first time scientists have directly observed an increase in one major greenhouse gas at Earth’s surface. “We see, for the first time in the field, the amplification of the greenhouse effect because there’s more CO2 [carbon dioxide] in the atmosphere to absorb what the…
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8:34 PM | More urban heat; less summer fog, on California coast
The summer fog that shrouds coastal southern California – what locals call the June Gloom – is being driven up into the sky by urban sprawl, according to scientists who have studied 67 years of cloud heights and urban growth in the region. Less fog may, at first, seem like a good thing. But less fog is bad news for native plants in the coastal hills and mountains, which depend on the cool fog as their only source of water during the rainless summer months. So less fog means warmer, […]
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