Study helps pinpoint Antarctic ice-shelf thinning

Larsen C Ice Shelf has dwindled by 4 meters in 15 years

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Melting ice shelves in Antarctica will speed the rate of sea level rise. @bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

FRISCO — One of Antarctica’s giant ice shelves has thinned by more than 12 feet in the past 15 years and could collapse within the next 100 years — or possibly sooner and without much warning, according to scientists with the British Antarctic Survey.

The new study was focused on trying to determine why the Larsen C Ice Shelf is melting away. The ice shelf is along the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, one of the fastest warming regions on Earth, with a temperature rise of 2.5 degrees Celsius during the last 50 years. Continue reading

Eco groups push for sustainable diet guidelines

A classic Greek salad in Corfu.

Less meat, more vegetables!

Feds eye update to key food guidelines

Staff Report

FRISCO — Conservation activists say that a recent round of comments and petitioning by the public show growing support for a more sustainable federal dietary guidelines, with a shift toward more plant-based food

At issue is a proposal by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to update those guidelines based on the recommendations of a science committee that recommended the changes. Continue reading

Trouble ahead for the Great Barrier Reef?

A NASA satellite photo shows a slice of Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

A NASA satellite photo shows a slice of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Ancient climate clues warn about impacts of modern human activities

Staff Report

FRISCO — Turbulent seas, loaded with sediment and nutrients at the end of the last ice age likely set back growth of the Great Barrier Reef by centuries, according to scientists who recently took a close look at the reef’s biological history.

The findings are important because those environmental conditions are similar to what the Great Barrier Reef is experiencing today as a result of human activities, including the controversial coal port dredging that’s seen as a huge threat to Australia’s cherished ocean landmark. Continue reading

Is there a global warming pause — or not?

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A new study examines the language and psychology of climate science and the idea of a global warming pause.

Are climate scientists psyching themselves out?

Staff Report

FRISCO — Talk of a global warming pause, or hiatus, has been widespread the past few years, as the rate of increasing temperature slowed slightly since the 1990s.

But multiple lines of evidence show that global warming hasn’t paused at all, which means that talk of a pause is misleading. Recent warming has been slower than the long term trend, but this fluctuation differs little from past fluctuations in warming rate, including past periods of more rapid than average warming. Continue reading

April 2015 Arctic sea ice is second-lowest on record

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Arctic sea ice extent tracking low in April 2015.

New satellite data offers better info on ice thickness

Staff Report

FRISCO — After peaking at a record low extent last month, Arctic sea ice is melting away.

The average sea ice extent for the month of April was the second-lowest on record, behind 2007, about 313,000 square miles smaller than the 1981 to 2010 long-term average, according to the latest monthly update from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Read the full update here. Continue reading

Global CO2 level hit 400 ppm milestone in March

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Dubious milestone.

Irrevocable climate change ahead for Planet Earth

Staff Report

FRISCO — For the first time since people started keeping track of such things, the concentration of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was above 400 parts per million for an entire month.

Climate scientists say the readings from March 2015 are another significant milestone along the path to a dangerously overheated world, as carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping pollution continue drive global warming. Continue reading

Climate: April ends up as 17-warmest on record

Heat shifts from Far West to Southeast

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Much of the U.S. was warmer than average in April 2015.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Last month ended up as the 17-warmest April on record, with an average temperature for the 48 contiguous states at 53.1 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the warmest April since 2012, according to the new monthly State of the Climate summary from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. Continue reading

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