Posted on October 30, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
‘The natural carbon cycle can change a lot faster than we thought’
How will Earth’s climate respond to the current rise in CO2?
FRISCO — One of the most detailed ice cores samples ever taken from Antarctica shows three sharp spikes of atmospheric carbon dioxide ushering in the end of the ice age about 10,000 years ago.
Based on the findings, the researchers said that the increase in atmospheric CO2 from the peak of the last ice age to complete deglaciation was about 80 parts per million, taking place over 10,000 years, with about half that increase occurring in just a few centuries.
They’re not sure what caused the sudden surges, but suspect it was a combination of factors, including ocean circulation, changing wind patterns, and terrestrial processes. But understanding the mechanisms that caused the changes would help determine what take the Earth in and out of ice age regimes. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Antarctica, carbon dioxide, climate change, global warming, greenhouse gases, ice age, Ice core | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 29, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Snow guns silent in late October as temps run 15 degrees above average
2014 on track to become warmest year ever.
How will the ski industry weather global warming?
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO —Last year’s winter Olympics helped cast a spotlight on global warming and the ski industry. As the snow at Sochi’s alpine venues visibly melted during the live television coverage of the games, winter sports athletes advocated for action on climate change.
Now, just a few months later, some of those same ski racers who had planned early season training sessions at Copper Mountain, Colorado will have to wait. A run of extraordinarily warm temperatures in October all but silenced industrial snowmaking operations at several resorts, as both Copper and Keystone delayed scheduled openings because of the balmy conditions. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming, recreation, skiing and riding, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: climate change, Colorado, Copper Mountain, global warming, Keystone Ski Area, ski industry, skiing | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 27, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Australian scientists say a government plan for the Great Barrier Reef doesn’t do enough to mitigate threats.
Global warming, coal port dredging seen as key threats
FRISCO — Leading Australian scientists said this week that the government’s business-as-usual plan for the Great Barrier Reef won’t prevent its decline.
While acknowledging a few positive steps in the plan, the Australian Academy of Scientists said the proposal “fails to effectively address any of the key pressures on the reef including climate change, poor water quality, coastal development and fishing.”
And, as is often the case with planning efforts in the U.S., the Australian government’s vision for the reef also doesn’t acknowledge the cumulative impacts that intensify pressure on one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems.
Filed under: biodiversity, coral reefs, Environment | Tagged: Australia, Australian Academy of Sciences, climate change, coal port dredging, Environment, Great Barrier Reef | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 23, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Body mass no joke for alpine critters that live on the edge of survival
FRISCO — A 30-year study of mountain goats in the European Alps suggests that global warming may be causing the mammals to shrink dramatically, posing a potential risk to the species’s survival.
It’s not the first time that scientists have documented changes in body size as a response to climate change, but the chamois researcher with Durham University (UK) said they were surprised by the speed and magnitude of the changes in chamois.
“Body size declines attributed to climate change are widespread in the animal kingdom, with many fish, bird and mammal species getting smaller,” said Dr. Tom Mason, with School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, at Durham University. “However the decreases we observe here are astonishing. The impacts on Chamois weight could pose real problems for the survival of these populations.” Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: chamois, climate change, global warming, shrinking animals, zoology | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 21, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A new study finds that human disturbance drives forest changes in eastern U.S. bberwyn photo
Fire suppression, land-clearing outweigh climate factors, study says
FRISCO — Climate change may only be a secondary factor in the changing composition of Eastern forests. Changes in disturbance regimes have had a much bigger impact in the past century or so, according to Marc Abrams, a researcher in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
Abrams says eastern forests are still in a state of disequilibrium resulting from massive clear-cutting and burning during the late 1800s and early 1900s, and aggressive forest fire suppression has also had a far greater influence on shifts in dominant tree species than minor differences in temperature. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, Forest health, forests, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Forest health, forests, global warming | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 20, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Year to-date tied as warmest on record
Warm, warmer, warmest.
FRISCO — This year is on pace to become the warmest on record, as the National Climatic Data Center reported today that September’s average global temperature hit a new all-time high. Three of the last four months have been record-warm. Visit the NCDC site for the full report.
Once again, warm ocean temperatures prevailed during the month, reaching 1.19 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, the warmest reading for any month of any year on record, dating back to 1880. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, global temperature records, global warming, September 2014 warmest ever | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 20, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
September 2014 may be Earth’s warmest September on record.
FRISCO — The meltdown of Kilimanjaro’s ice cap is probably being caused by shifts in regional weather patterns and not by general atmospheric warming from heat-trapping greenhouses.
Using the east African mountain as a poster child for climate change is inaccurate, according to a pair of scientists, one with the University of Washington and the other with the University of Innsbruck.
“There are dozens, if not hundreds, of photos of mid-latitude glaciers you could show where there is absolutely no question that they are declining in response to the warming atmosphere,” said climatologist Philip Mote, a University of Washington research scientist. But climate processes in the tropics are far different from the changes happening in the Arctic and mid-latitudes, he said. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, global warming, Indian Ocean, Kilimanjaro, sublimation | Leave a comment »