Posted on November 26, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Can polar bears survive the century?
Ongoing loss of sea ice threatens huge areas of habitat in Canada’s Arctic
FRISCO — Global warming is reshaping the Arctic so fast that a quarter of the world’s polar bear population is likely to be in serious trouble by the end of the century.
Vanishing sea ice and longer ice-free periods will put many of the predators at risk of starvation and reproductive failure, according to a new study led by the University of Alberta’s Stephen Hamilton.
The findings, published this week in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, used sea ice projections for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago from 2006-2100 and metrics developed from polar bear energetics modeling to gain insight into the conservation challenges for polar bears facing habitat loss. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, biodiversity, climate and weather, endangered species, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Arctic sea ice loss, endangered species, global warming, polar bears | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 25, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
New research suggests that honeybee parasites spread faster as the Earth heats up. bberwyn photo.
Study tracks spread of invasive parasite
FRISCO —Global warming is very likely speeding up the spread of an invasive parasite that threatens honeybees in the UK, according to scientists with Queen’s University Belfast.
After studying the gut parasite Nosema ceranae, the scientists said its numbers could increase with climate change because its better able to adapt to warmer temperatures.
The parasite is native to Asia but has spread worldwide and is likely to cause increasing damage to bees as the Earth heats up. The findings were published this week in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
“This emerging parasite is more susceptible to cold than its original close relative, possibly reflecting its presumed origin in east Asia,” said Queen’s School of Biological Sciences Professor Robert Paxton. “In the face of rising global temperatures, our findings suggest that it will increase in prevalence and potentially lead to increased honey bee colony losses in Britain.” Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment, global warming, invasive species | Tagged: climate change, Environment, global warming, honeybee decline, honeybee parasites, honeybees, pollinators | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 24, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Extreme weather events don’t seem to affect people’s beliefs on global warming, new research shows.
Ideology trumps science
FRISCO — A string of extreme global weather events between 2010 and 2012 didn’t do much to change public opinion about global warming, according to a new study by Michigan State University researchers.
They started their research with polling data collected in March 2012, after by far the warmest U.S. winter in recent memory. But most people surveyed didn’t link the unusually warm weather with global warming. In fact, only 35 percent of U.S. citizens thought that global warming caused the warm winter, according to the paper published this week in Nature Climate Change. Continue reading
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Posted on November 22, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Massive permafrost meltdown could lead to runaway warming.
Carbon cycle subject to major changes as permafrost melts
FRISCO — There’s yet more evidence that melting Arctic permafrost will amplify global warming by releasing huge amounts of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.
In the latest study, Scientists with the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research tracked a pulse of CO2 and other greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere about 14,600 years ago. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: carbon cycle, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases, permafrost | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 22, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Warm spells affect permafrost and wildlife
Caption: Arctic foxes in Svalbard will have more than enough food during rainy and icy winters because there will be many reindeer carcasses for them to eat. The next winter, however, the fox population size will be reduced because a robust and small reindeer population will mean many few deaths and hence, very little carrion.
Credit: Brage B. Hansen, NTNU Centre for Conservation Biology.
FRISCO — A closely studied 2012 rain-on-snow event in Svalbard, Norway gave researchers a chance to take a close look at how global warming may play out on the fringes of the Arctic, where humans eke out a delicate existence in balance with the elements.
The extreme weather event in January brought record warmth to the cluster of islands inside the Arctic Circle, with high temperatures climbing well above freezing at a time of year when average readings are well below freezing. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: Arctic, climate change, extreme weather, global warming, Svalbard | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 21, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A natural gas drilling rig in Texas. IMAGE COURTESY THE CREATIVE COMMONS.
Climate activists pushing EPA to adopt strict methane standards
FRISCO — Existing, low-cost technology, along with better maintenance and best management practices could easily cut U.S. methane emissions from fossil fuel operations in half, climate activists said this week, advocating for the adoption of methane standards.
The path toward those reductions is outlined by climate advocates in a new report that also shows that such standards would help improve air quality in other ways. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: fracking, global warming, methane emissions, oil and gas | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 20, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
2014 on track to be warmest year ever
Widespread warmth prevailed globally in October 2014.
FRISCO — October 2014 will go into the record books as the warmest on record for Earth, and it’s very likely that the year as a whole will end up record warm, according to climate experts with the National Climatic Data Center releasing their monthly state of the climate analysis.
For October, the average global temperature (land and sea surface combined) was 1.33 degrees Fahrenheit above average, and for the year to-date, the average global temperature is 1.22 degrees Fahrenheit above average, also a record for the 10-month January to October span. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, global warming, October 2014 temperature statistics, October warmest on record | 1 Comment »