Climate Change

formerly “Climate Science” this has been updated in recognition of the fact that ALL of our articles, events, etc. involve climate sciience.  ”Climate change” is intended to suggest changing elements of the climate: e.g., shifts in global oceanic and atmospheric circulation and ensuing changes to temperature, precipitation, groundwater levels, saltwater intrusion.

New research suggests higher transient climate sensitivity

A new paper in Nature Geoscience finds that “transient climate sensitivity,” the fast temperature rise that accompanies increases in atmospheric CO2, may be much higher than previously thought. The reason is widespread sulfate pollution from man-made and natural sources, which has tempered the warming that the world would otherwise be seeing at current levels of atmospheric CO2. This conclusion is based on research funded by YCEI and led by Yale atmospheric scientist Trude Storelvmo. Prior studies that did not fully account for the cooling influence of airborne particles …

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…

Global Change Biology: The influence of global warming

­­­­­Paleontologists report that our planet has experienced five mass extinctions. By most accounts we are living through one more (the subject of last year’s Pulitzer-prize winning The Sixth Extinction, by Elizabeth Kolbert).  With species estimated to be disappearing perhaps 1000 times faster than prior to the arrival of man, the Yale Climate and Energy Institute sponsors talks next week by scientists seeking to understand how global forces like habitat fragmentation and climate change interact to remake life on Earth.

New study finds more trees than suspected on Earth, but disappearing at a frightening rate.

A team of scientists has determined that there are trillions of trees on planet Earth – not billions, as was previously thought. The new estimate of 3,040,000,000,000 trees, which is nearly eight times higher than earlier estimates, was made in a multidisciplinary study combining analysis of satellite imagery with counts made by thousands of volunteers working in forests around the world. The team was led by YCEI post-doctoral fellow Thomas Crowther while working during the last two years at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

CO2 and Plant Productivity: Mostly a single-edged sword

A new metric called “suitable plant growing days” helps address an argument often made by climate skeptics: since carbon dioxide promotes plant growth – especially at middle and high latitudes – anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions will increase agricultural yields and carbon sequestration across the world’s forests.  The relationship is not so simple, however. Other factors influenced by climate change (e.g., temperature, water availability, solar radiation) strongly affect plant growth and survival as well. The interactions…

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