Study: predator-prey relationship affects carbon cycle. June 18, 2013.
When most people conceive of the causes – or “forcing” – behind climate change, they think of volcanoes, solar radiation and, increasingly, human industry. Those who are more informed might also imagine forests, or perhaps the noxious emissions of 1.3 billion cows. However, pioneering research has increasingly revealed that biological activity on small scales, replicated in countless interactions across the planet, can yield equally substantial influences. More
Studies: modern glacier retreat unprecedented. May 19, 2013.
Nearly 70% of the world’s freshwater – over 24 million cubic kilometers - is frozen, locked within ice caps, permanent snow, or glaciers. That ice holds less than 2% of Earth’s total reservoir of water, yet sea levels would rise by hundreds of feet if it all melted. A complete thaw is not on the horizon, but even sea level rises of several feet would render many coastal cities uninhabitable. Hence, although glaciers only constitute 1% of the world’s total land ice, we desperately need studies that measure their response to global warming. More
New methods link atmospheric CO2 to climate change. April 27, 2013.
When researchers study past climates to better understand modern warming, they often seek “climate analogues,” times when climatic variables resembled those we face today. According to celebrated climatologist André Berger, problems emerge when we start asking which variables render climates analogous. Is it temperature? Sea level? Patterns of vegetation? Forcing influences? More
Best of the web: June 2013