Posted on January 26, 2016 by Bob Berwyn
Can the world’s oceans survive the global warming era?
Not much time left to cut greenhouse gas pollution
Building levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans could have a widespread and devastating effect on many fish by 2050, Australian researchers warned in a new study.
“Our results were staggering and have massive implications for global fisheries and marine ecosystems across the planet,” said Dr. Ben McNeil, a researcher at the University of New South Wales Climate Change Research Centre. “High concentrations of carbon dioxide cause fish to become intoxicated … a phenomenon known as hypercapnia. Essentially, the fish become lost at sea. The carbon dioxide affects their brains and they lose their sense of direction and ability to find their way home. They don’t even know where their predators are,” McNeil said. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate change, Environment, greenhouse gases, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: CO2, global warming, greenhouse gas pollution, hypercapnia, ocean acidification, oceans | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 15, 2016 by Bob Berwyn
The Dachstein Glacier in Austria has visibly and dramatically decreased in size in just a couple of decades. bberwyn photo.
Humans have triggered an era of ‘de-glaciation’
The build-up of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could delay onset of Earth’s next ice age by 100,000 years, scientists estimate in a new study published this week in Nature.
The researchers reached their findings after “cracking the code of glacial inception,” according to a statement from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who said the relationship between incoming solar radiation and CO2 levels are the key factors that explain the last eight glacial cycles in Earth history. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: anthropocene, climate change, CO2, global warming, greenhouse gases, ice ages | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
New data shows climate may be more sensitive to CO2 than previously thought.
New chemical analysis sends climate warming signal
A study of ancient carbonate crystals in Colorado suggests that the Earth’s climate is more sensitive to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide than believed.
Based on the chemical analysis of rocks from the Green River formation, scientists think that a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial times could raise the global temperature by a whopping 3 degrees Celsius. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate, CO2, CO2 emissions, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 11, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Lakes in high latitudes are likely to become even more significant sources of CO2 in a warming world. @bberwyn photo.
Land use around lakes seen as critical factor in greenhouse gas equation
The world’s lakes already emit carbon dioxide equivalent to about 25 percent of the CO2 produced by fossil fuel combustion, and that amount could grow significantly in a warming world.
Researchers came to that conclusion after studying a huge amount of data from more than 5,000 lakes in Sweden, and tracking the origins of CO2 releases. The study, published in Nature Geoscience, shows that the amount of CO2 produced in the lakes by micro-organisms, and from the influx of CO2 from surrounding lands, both increase in warmer and nutrient-rich climate zones. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, CO2, Environment, greenhouse gases, lakes, Sweden | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 30, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Research tracks path of carbon dioxide via agriculture to underground storage
FRISCO — Vast aquifers beneath the world’s deserts may be significant carbon sinks, scientists with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research said.
In a new study, the UCAR researchers estimated that those aquifers may store more carbon than all the plants on land.
About 40 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by people stays in the atmosphere and heats the planet. About 30 percent is taken up by oceans, where it is rapidly acidifying the water to the detriment of shellfish and other marine species.
The other 30 percent is partially absorbed by land plants, but when scientists ran CO2 models, it didn’t add up, so they started searching for additional carbon sinks. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Democracy, global warming | Tagged: carbon cycle, carbon dioxide sinks, climate change, CO2, desert aquifers, Environment, UCAR | 2 Comments »
Posted on July 11, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘The ominous aspect to this is that CO2 levels are continuing to rise, so we are entering uncharted territory …’
This graph shows cumulative changes in sea level for the world’s oceans since 1880, based on a combination of tide gauge measurements and satellite measurements. Graph courtesy EPA.
The Florida coastline is being swallowed by rising sea level despite efforts to bolster beaches. @bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — It doesn’t take much global warming to raise sea level by 20 feet or more, climate researchers said in a new review study finding that global sea levels have risen at least six meters, or about 20 feet, above present levels on multiple occasions over the past three million years.
An increase of just 1 to 2 degrees Celsius in global mean temperatures is enough trigger a big meltdown of Greenland and Antarctic ice, which means that the world’s coastal areas are going to be swamped in the global warming era — it’s just a question of whether it will take a few hundred, or a few thousand years.
“Studies have shown that both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets contributed significantly to this sea level rise above modern levels,” said Anders Carlson, an Oregon State University glacial geologist and paleoclimatologist, who co-authored the new study appearing in Science. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, global warming | Tagged: climate change, CO2, global sea level rise, global warming, greenhouse gas pollution, sea level | 2 Comments »
Posted on July 1, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Increasingly corrosive ocean waters pose a serious threat to shell-building species and other marine life.
‘Future generations will look back and wonder why we didn’t do everything we could to save the world’s oceans …’
FRISCO — Citing the growing threat to the world’s oceans, environmental advocates want the federal government to regulate carbon dioxide under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
The regulations have been used to limit emissions of other harmful chemicals, including chlorofluorocarbons, PCBs and asbestos.
“Time’s running out to avoid a mass extinction of wildlife in our oceans,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “It may not look like a toxic chemical, but when there’s too much CO2 in the ocean, it turns seawater corrosive and dissolves the protective shells that marine animals need to survive,” Sakashita said. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases, Marine biology, ocean acidification, ocean conservation | Tagged: carbon dioxide, CO2, Environment, greenhouse gases, ocean acidification, oceans, Toxic Substances Control Act. | 1 Comment »