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.

Prolonged Extreme Researchers in 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.

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…

Global Warming Slows, But Only On the Surface

Global surface temperatures, which rose steadily during the end of the 20th century, have by some measures ceased to climb during the early 21st century. Since carbon dioxide emissions have certainly not decreased during this period, climate science detractors have held this as evidence that global warming is neither caused by human activities nor worth worrying about. A new study by Chen and…

Climate Changing the West Antarctic Food Web

The western Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing rapid climate change evidenced by warmer air temperatures, increased westerlies, glacial and ice shelf retreat, reduced sea ice cover and delayed time of sea ice formation.  The west Antarctic Peninsula food web shows influences of this rapid climate change: reduction in phytoplankton biomass, abundance of Antarctic krill and Adélie penguins have all been associated with changed environmental

Mapping Fungal Biogeography

Understanding fungal biogeography, the distribution of fungi, bacteria, and viruses, is key to understanding how ecosystems function. A thorough understanding of the ecological linkages between communities, their environment, and ecosystem function requires analysis across multiple spatial or temporal scales. In a recent study, Talbot et al. (2014) explored the taxonomic and functional distributions of fungi at the continental scale, with findings that…

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