Nuisance Flooding May Cost More Than Extreme Storms Environment Science Policy 

Nuisance Flooding May Cost More Than Extreme Storms

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore Climate change affects us in many ways, particularly those of us living near the coasts, who have to bear the brunt of rising sea levels. We usually focus on preparing for that rare superstorm that everyone is talking out. But researchers find that the seemingly harmless episodes of nuisance flooding that we often overlook are becoming more frequent, thanks to rising sea levels, and can turn out to be more costly in the long term. “These diffuse floods happen multiple times a month or year,” says…

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Science Policy Challenges, Part One: A Rising Sea Science Policy 

Science Policy Challenges, Part One: A Rising Sea

By Jonathan Trinastic @jptrinastic This is the first in a series of four articles by Dr. Jonathan Trinastic in our new Science Policy section. Why science policy? Five minutes and 27 seconds. That’s the length of time that climate change was discussed across the three presidential debates of 2016, amounting to 2 percent of the total debate time. Although outrage over this scant time has quickly spread, it may be more surprising how little time is spent discussing science as a whole in presidential campaigns. Scientific progress is closely tied…

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Frequent Rainstorms Predicted with Climate Change Environment 

Frequent Rainstorms Predicted with Climate Change

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore If you live in California, you might recall the powerful winter rainstorm of 2014, dubbed the “storm of the decade.” While it offered some respite from the prolonged drought in the region, it dumped several inches of rain—in some Bay Area counties average annual rainfall was doubled—which caused widespread flooding and power outages. Until now such intense rainstorms have been rare. But in the future, Californians may need to clutch their umbrellas and slip on their rain boots more often because such monster rainstorms might become the…

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What Happens When Antarctica Melts? Environment 

What Happens When Antarctica Melts?

By Kate Stone @GotScienceOrg Between December 2001 and February 2002, the Antarctic continent underwent a season of intense melting. Aside from the loss of ice, what really happens when Antarctica melts? New research reveals that the changes range from sped-up microbial food webs to shifting penguin populations. The clash of two climatic cycles, the Southern Annular Mode and the El Niño Southern Oscillation, produced an unusually warm and windy spring season across Antarctica back in 2001–2002. This climate event melted glaciers including the Totten Glacier, thinned lake ice, and caused…

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global warming Environment Videos 

Global Warming: What’s Really Warming the Earth?

Dr. Joe Hanson explores the possible causes of global warming in this episode of It’s Okay To Be Smart.   References and Further Reading July 2016 is hottest on record NOAA’s State of the Climate July 2016 Bloomberg’s climate change data viz project Solar activity and temperature show opposite trend Milankovitch cycles (I left out eccentricity because it operates on scales so long that it doesn’t affect short-term climate change) Connecting climate models with actual temperature changes NASA Goddard’s Gavin Schmidt explains the history of the instrumental temperature record Last time…

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Totten Glacier. Esmee van Wijk/Australian Antarctic Division Environment 

Climate Change Strikes Totten Glacier in Antarctica

By Norman Rusin @normanrusin A warmer climate attacks polar glaciers at both ends of the Earth. In the Arctic, ponds of meltwater speed up the overall melting process, but in Antarctica, currents of warm water erode the ice sheet beneath the surface. Recent observations revealed that ice sheet erosion in two Antarctic regions is deep enough to expose basement rocks. At current rates, the erosion could trigger instability in a major Antarctic glacier, ultimately leading to more than 2 m (6.56 ft) of sea level rise. What Is a Grounding Line?…

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Ebbs and Floes: Watching Melting Ice in the Arctic Environment 

Ebbs and Floes: Watching the Arctic Ice Melt

By Norman Rusin @normanrusin Last July, a team of NASA scientists succeeded in collecting data about summer melting ice in the Arctic during a first-of-its-kind operation. The team surveyed the Arctic Ocean off the Alaskan coast, in Barrow, to measure the aquamarine pools of meltwater on floes—huge chunks of floating ice—that may be accelerating the overall sea ice retreat. They chose the northernmost US city because of its proximity to the ocean. However, they knew they would face unstable weather conditions there, so they would have to pursue targets of…

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Tracking Climate Change Through Hibernating Toads Animals Environment 

Tracking Climate Change Through Hibernating Toads

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore Have you ever wondered how animals are coping with warming temperatures? Our warming planet affects the migration, reproduction, and hibernation of animals that depend on the seasons to regulate these behaviors.  For example, new research finds that Fowler’s toads in Canada are emerging out of hibernation earlier each spring as the climate warms. Hibernating Toads Even though David Green, a professor at McGill University, Canada, had been studying Fowler’s toads for the past 25 years, the discovery of the toads’ early emergence from hibernation was quite…

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Carbon Capture: Photo of Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station courtesy of Gretar Ivarsson via Wikipedia Environment 

Carbon Capture: Transforming Greenhouse Gas into Rock

By Jonathan Trinastic @jptrinastic A few months ago, after drilling a well 400 meters deep, scientists in Iceland were repeatedly frustrated that the well kept breaking down. Retrieving the pump from the depths of the earth, they found its base covered in a scaly green and white material that clogged the end of the machine. Instead of feeling dismay over the equipment failure, the scientists celebrated. The crusty residue was calcite, a hopeful sign that the researchers had developed a new method to chemically trap carbon dioxide (CO2) underground and mitigate…

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Curbing the Chainsaws: Recycled Smartphones Hunt Down Illegal Loggers Environment Technology 

Recycled Smartphones Hunt Down Illegal Loggers

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore In the summer of 2011 Topher White, founder of Rainforest Connection, a nongovernmental organization (NGO), visited the rain forests of Borneo as a tourist. He was shocked to learn that among the buzzing of insects, chirping of birds, and howling of gibbons, illegal loggers were sawing down a tree, just a few hundred meters away from a ranger station. The guards could not hear the noise of the chainsaw amid the cacophony of sounds. Deforestation accounts for the second-highest emission of greenhouse gases—even higher than that…

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