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.

Future Cold Air Out-Breaks. Less Frequent in a Warmer World?

During winter and spring 2014, waves of unusually cold temperatures hit northeastern regions of North America, noticeably effecting the US economy and hampering growth in the first quarter of 2014 (see CNS news link on a statement by Fed. Chairman Janet Yellen on this topic). A number of research studies proposed mechanisms by which changes in the jet stream strength and location attributed to polar amplification would enhance temperature variability at the surface (Liu et al., 2012; Francis and Vavrus, 2012). Polar amplification…

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…

Predicting the Cascading Effects of Climate Change on Ecosystems: "Staggeringly Complex"

Predicting the effects of climate change on the structure and function of ecosystems is difficult because most ecosystems are staggeringly complex, with many directly and indirectly interacting animal and plant species. A recent study by Christenson and colleagues attempts to track the effects of climate change through a forest ecosystem in the northeastern US to understand how one climatic alteration might affect the plant community through multiple pathways…

Discordance Over Polar Amplification and Extreme Weather Events

During winter and spring 2014, waves of unusually cold temperatures hit northeastern regions of North America, noticeably effecting the US economy and hampering growth in the first quarter of 2014 (see CNS news link on a statement by Fed. Chairman Janet Yellen on this topic, here). A number of research studies proposed mechanisms by which changes in the jet stream strength and location attributed to polar amplification would enhance temperature variability…

Consequences of a Poleward Shift of the Circumpolar Westerlies

The Southern Annular Mode (SAM), the predominant mode of atmospheric variability in the Southern Ocean, has shifted to a positive polarity in recent years, resulting in a poleward displacement and strengthening of the circumpolar westerlies. In some regions of Antarctica, a positive SAM has been linked to warming and reduction in the sea ice duration and extent. This positive trend seems to be…

Rising Mean Temperature vs. Changing Temperature Extremes: What’s at risk?

The average temperature of the planet is rising but increases in the frequency and severity of high and low temperature extremes are also expected. Most climate change research focuses on the possible effects of average rise in temperature, but in some cases changes in temperature extremes may be more important. A new study led by Yale professor David Vasseur explores the dynamics of temperature…

Climate Change Impacts on Coral Reefs Felt in Surrounding Ecosystems

Studies have shown that variation in species responses to changing climate will result in disruption of biotic interactions such as predation, parasitism, competition, and mutualism, ultimately leading to changes in community composition and ecosystem functioning (e.g., Both et al. 2009). Just as different species are linked by a network of interactions, ecosystems are connected by…

Thure Cerling: Early Hominem Environments in the Turkana Basin

Thure Cerling is a pioneer in the use of stable isotopes of Carbon, Nitrogen and Oxygen to study historic changes in CO2 levels in the Earth’s atmosphere. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2001. In recent years he’s used stable isotopes to analyze hair, teeth and bone to better understand the impacts of changing CO2 levels on habitat, animals and man.

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.

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