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.

The future of summer Arctic sea ice

When will the summer Arctic be nearly sea ice free? The answer is “eventually” given anthropogenic warming, but different considerations of the available data yield different answers.  Overland and Wang address this question and attempt to predict 21st century summer Arctic sea ice loss by applying three distinct approaches to the problem…

Robust direct effect of carbon dioxide on tropical circulation and regional precipitation

Global warming simulations suggest that wet regions (where precipitation exceeds evaporation) will become wetter and dry regions drier by the end of the 21st century (e.g., Held and Soden 2006), with larger contrasts expected between dry and wet seasons (Chou et al., 2013). This ‘rich-get-richer’ behavior is consistent with a large increase in the moisture content of atmosphere, leading to enhanced horizontal moisture fluxes across regions.

When Crocodiles Roamed the Poles

(CNN) Most of us can appreciate that the world is an ancient place and that a lot has changed in the almost 4.6 billion years since it took its shape.

It’s not easy to have a feel for the amount of time that has passed, but grappling with deep time helps you understand why an atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration (CO2) of 400 parts per million (ppm) is meaningful.

Deep time is geologic time and the scale needed to fathom the evolution of life, mountains, oceans, and Earth’s climate.

Subpolar gyres at the end of the 21st century

Subpolar ocean gyres (large systems of rotating ocean currents) in the Southern Hemisphere are found poleward of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current near the Weddell and Ross Sea. They play a key role in the global energy and water budgets. These gyres are crucial for the transport of heat around the planet, as well as the distribution of nutrients and marine species. Thus, the subpolar gyres are important in the mixing and transformation of water masses.

400 ppm of CO2: How will sea-level respond?

We are currently on the eve of a world with ~400 parts per million (ppm) of atmospheric carbon dioxide (398.35 ppm as of May 2nd, Mauna Loa Observatory). How global climate, sea-level and ecosystems will respond to this level of CO2 level is a key question for global change research. Recently, Foster and Rohling (2013) looked back into Earth’s geological history to explore the relationship between atmospheric CO2 and global sea-level.


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