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.

Study Tests Pacific Salmon Tolerance for Warming Temperatures

Salmon are an iconic Pacific Ocean species upon which millions of people’s livelihoods depend. Their epic migrations link marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems, transporting nutrients from the oceans to hundreds of miles upstream. Salmon enhance the productivity of rivers and terrestrial ecosystems, but populations have been over-fished and cut off from their habitat. A new study by Munoz, et al. suggests that climate change further threatens remaining stocks.

The authors investigated the ability

Sensitivity-based Modeling to Better Estimate Future Extinction

The effects of climate change on biodiversity can be quantified by assessing vulnerability of species to changing climatic conditions. Such assessments usually include three elements: assessment of sensitivity, adaptive capacity, and potential exposure of individual species to climate change (Jarzyna et al. 2013, Foden et al. 2013). While sensitivity and adaptive capacity are generally determined by traits intrinsic to the species—physiological tolerance, behavioral traits, genetic diversity, dispersal abilities, or high reproductive rates—exposure is governed by the degree of climate change…

Geoengineering Impacts on the Hydrological Cycle

Jon Egill Kristjansson reviews his work on aerosols, their influence on cloud formation, and how the level at which those clouds forms determines the radiative effect on earth’s climate system. He reviews four approaches to Radiative Management (RM), ie., that part of geoengineering which relates to atmospheric manipulation of albedo to combat global warming, and shares model projections on how that impacts what matters more to human survival than temperature increase, ie., the availability of water through impacts to the hydrological cycle.

"Dead Zones" in Marine Systems. Another Climate Change Threat?

Coastal areas are some of the most productive and valuable ecosystems on the planet, providing people with large amounts of food and performing other critical services like water filtration, nutrient cycling, and wave buffering. Unfortunately, one of the most alarming signs of compromised coastal health, “dead zones,” have been exponentially increasing in number, size, and severity since the mid-20th century. Dead zones are areas that have become oxygen depleted and can no longer support many kinds of marine life…

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…


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