Calcareous Algae Proliferating in a More Acidic Ocean?

Ocean acidification may wreak havoc with coral reefs, clams, and oysters, but Coccolithophores – tiny calcareous plankton that make up the all-important lowermost rung of the marine food ladder – are thriving, report researchers in PLoS One and Nature. How do we explain the proliferation of calcareous organisms in a more acidic environment?  Research published this week by Samantha J. Gibbs, et al. uses fossil records of those species of coccolithophores whose shell structure renders them most sensitive to pH, and concludes that around…

Future Heat Stress Effects. Jonathan Buzan, Climate Dynamics Prediction Laboratory, UNH

Jonathan Buzan is a Phd candidate in Matthew Huber’s Climate Dynamics Prediction Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire.  His work on the economic and health consequences of extreme heat, including a recent New York Times op-ed, co-authored with Robert Kopp and Matthew Huber, are featured on his website,

Climate Change as Culprit in Bumblebee Decline

The alarming rate of decline of bumblebees—key pollinators of crops and wildflowers across the world and an essential part of a healthy environment— has been at the forefront of scientific news for the past several years. To date, most of the bee die-off has been attributed to changes in agricultural practices and the use of bee-killing pesticides such as neonicotinoids. Recent study, however, adds another dimension to the decline of bumblebees. Kerr et al. (2015) used over 100 years of observations across European…

How Quickly Does CO2 Influence Temperature?

Extensive research has gone into understanding the response of global temperatures to increased CO2 emissions. However, not enough quantitative studies have investigated the time it takes for this response to manifest itself. Uncertainties in these estimates are due to uncertainties in the understanding of the effects of equilibrium climate sensitivity, carbon cycling and thermal inertia of oceans, which all act to modulate the temperature response to increased greenhouse gases. A recent study published in a current issue of Env. Research Letters by Ricke and Caldeira…

"The Little Ice Age ... How Bad Was It?" Ray Bradley, UMASS Climate System Research Center

The Little Ice Age of recent centuries was a time of extensive glaciation in many mountainous regions of the world.  What were the conditions that led to this change, and what caused the climate to change? What were the impacts on society, and how did people respond?  A UMASS University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geosciences and Director of the Climate System Research Center there, Bradley will summarize recent research on these topics.

Joint YCEI/YIBS Climate & History Series: North American Hydroclimate Variability Over the Last Millennium

Western North America suffers epic droughts that have seriously taxed modern and ancient societies and which have also transformed landscape and ecosystems.   Climate modeling will be used to demonstrate the strong control that tropical ocean variability has over precipitation across western North America while leaving ample room for internal atmosphere variability to also contribute variability on seasonal to decadal timescales.  

Climate Change: It's the Variability, Stupid

Studies evaluating the impact of climate change have mostly focused on the effects of mean changes in climate. This approach may severely underestimate the vulnerability of human society to anthropogenic-driven climate change. This is because the biological and agricultural sectors are also affected by changes in climate variability and extreme events. A recent article by Thornton et al. (2014) reviews our current understanding on the topic and highlights significant gaps in the research. Expected changes due to climate…

Linking the Development of a Novel Paleostorm Indicator with Regional Sea-Level Rise Projections and Urban Ecological Design: An Interdisciplinary Foundation for Implementing Connecticut Coastal Resilience Plans

This project seeks to identify proxy indicators in near shore sediments that will give insight into the history of storms and sea-level rise along the Connecticut coast. Collaborators will simultaneously investigate adaptive models and associated policy changes to facilitate adaptation to future storms whose consequences are anticipated to be more severe as sea level continues to rise.

Chinese Annals and Traditional Proxies Reveal Volcanic Monsoon Influence

Volcanic eruptions are generally considered one of the best-understood (and most dramatic) causes of sudden climate changes, with large explosive eruptions capable of causing severe short-term cooling on hemispheric and global scales. This mainly occurs when eruptions inject large volumes of sulfur dioxide into the high atmosphere, where the gas oxidizes to form an aerosol particle haze that reflects incoming solar radiation to space, cooling the…


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