Posted on July 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
In late June, smoke from wildfires in Canada streamed down over North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. Photo courtesy NASA Earth Observatory.
New study tracks regional nuances, global trends
FRISCO — U.S. Forest Service scientists and other researchers say there has been a significant increase in the length of wildfire seasons on nearly every continent, with the exception of Australia. Fire weather seasons around the globe have increased by nearly 20 percent and the global burnable area doubled over the past 35 years.
Most vegetation types, except boreal forests, showed significant increases in the fire weather season length, the new study found. Some areas, such as the Western and Southeastern United States, Alaska, tropical and sub-tropical South America and Eastern Africa and large parts of Eurasia show a steady lengthening of the fire season from 1979-2013. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Environment, forest fires, forests, global warming, wildfires | Tagged: climate change, Environment, forest fires, global warming, greenhouse gases, Wildfires | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Scientists ‘shocked’ by scope of changes
Scientists say there will dramatic changes in ocean plankton communities by the end of the 21st century. Photo courtesy NOAA.
FRISCO — Global warming is likely to have a big effect on the abundance and diversity of ocean phytoplankton, with some species dying out and other flourishing, researchers said after completing a study that tries to anticipate the impacts of ocean acidification.
Since pre-industrial times, the pH of the oceans has dropped from an average of 8.2 to 8.1 today, and by end of the century, could drop to 7.8 — much lower than any levels seen in open ocean marine communities today. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: climate change, Environment, ocean acidification, phytoplankton | 2 Comments »
Posted on July 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Year to date also the warmest ever, new NOAA report says
Most of the world’s land and ocean areas were much warmer than average in June.
FRISCO — Global temperatures soared to another record high in June, reaching 1.58 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average and breaking the mark set just last year by 0.22 degrees Fahrenheit — which may not sound like much, but it’s a pretty big increment in the world of temperature records.
The first six months of 2015 were also record warm, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center said in its monthly State of the Climate report released today. For the first six months of the year, the global land and ocean surface average temperaure was 1.53 degrees above the 20th century average, beating the 2010 record by 0.16 degrees Fahrenheit. Read the full report here.Both land and sea surface temperatures were record warm in June, with the globally-averaged land surface temperature running 2.27 degrees Fahrenheit above average, and global sea surface temps at 1.33 degrees above the 20th century average.
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment | Tagged: 2015 global temperatures, climate change, ecocide, Environment, global warming, June 2015 global temperatures, NOAA | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
After more than 30 years of careful management, the Hawaiian stilt is thriving at Pearl Harbor and James Campbell National Wildlife Refuges on Oahu. Credit: Mike Silbernagle/USFWS.
Mosquito-free havens will start to disappear by mid-century, study warns
FRISCO — Island birds, including endangered species in the Hawai‘i archipelago, are facing a serious threat, as diseases carried by mosquitoes are due to expand into higher elevation safe zones.
With warming temperatures, mosquitoes will move farther upslope and increase in number, and mosquito-friendly temperatures are expected by mid-century, according to a new study by researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Future increases in rainfall will likely benefit the mosquitoes as well.
“We knew that temperature had significant effects on mosquitoes and malaria, but we were surprised that rainfall also played an important role,” said USGS Wisconsin scientist Michael Samuel. “Additional rainfall will favor mosquitoes as much as the temperature change.” Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, climate change, endangered species, Environment, global warming | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered birds, endangered species, Hawaii | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 19, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Polar bear photo courtesy Eric Regehr, USFWS.
New study shows food shortages will catch up to the Arctic predators
FRISCO — When it comes to finding food as Arctic sea ice melts, polar bears don’t exactly have a lot of options.
That’s one of the main reasons the Arctic predators are under the global warming gun, and a new study of how the bears respond metabolically during lean times underscores the existing science. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, global warming | Tagged: biodiversity, climate change, endangered species, global warming, polar bears | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 18, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Southern Ocean research shows how plankton emissions brighten clouds
FRISCO — Swarms of tiny plankton may play a bigger role in cloud formation than previously realized, scientists said after studying the Southern Ocean.
The new research shows that plankton produce airborne gases and organic matter to seed cloud droplets, which lead to brighter clouds that reflect more sunlight. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, climate and weather, Environment | Tagged: aerosols, climate change, cloud formation, Plankton, Southern Ocean | 8 Comments »
Posted on July 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Global temperatures could surge in the next few years as the Pacific Ocean shifts to a warm phase.
‘In the long term, there is robust evidence of unabated global warming ..’
FRISCO — A shift in a decadal-scale cycle of Pacific Ocean temperatures could lead to a spike in global warming the next few years, climate researchers said after tracking a subsurface layer of unusually warm water in the Pacific and Indian oceans.
The layer, between 300 and 1,000 feet below the surface, has been accumulating more heat than previously recognized, according to climate researchers from UCLA and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who published their finding in the journal Science.
“Given the fact the Pacific Decadal Oscillation seems to be shifting to a warm phase, ocean heating in the Pacific will definitely drive a major surge in global surface warming,” said Veronica Nieves, lead author of the study and a UCLA researcher with the UCLA Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Environment, global warming, Pacific Decadal Oscillation | 7 Comments »