Climate: CO2 hits dubious 400 ppm mark two months earlier than last year

sdfg

Atmospheric CO2  concentrations are spiking higher and earlier each year, according to NOAA.

Up, up and away …

Staff Report

FRISCO — Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are spiking earlier each year, scientists said last week, announcing that concentrations reached the 400 parts per million “milestone” two months earlier than last year.

CO2 levels peak each year in the spring as the Earth breathes in a great seasonal cycle. This year’s early 400 ppm reading is another clear sign that the heat-trapping gas is building up at an ever-increasing rate, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.

Continue reading

Climate: Methane emissions from freshwater ecosystem set to soar as Earth warms

New study assesses freshwater methane on a global scale

sadf

Microorganisms in freshwater ecosystems generate significant amounts of methane.

Staff Report

FRISCO — After recalculating Earth’s greenhouse gas budget, Princeton scientists say that methane emissions will start increasing at a faster pace than carbon dioxide, primarily due to the release of methane from microscopic freshwater organisms.

Methane is about 30 times more effective than CO2 at trapping the sun’s heat, and for every degree of warming, methane emissions will increase several times over, according to the research published in Nature.

Continue reading

Climate report links global warming and extreme weather

‘There is no standstill in global warming … The laws of physics are non-negotiable’

Fig.A2

Will this year bring the next spike in global temperatures?

By Summit Voice

 

FRISCO — Some of the weather extremes in 2013 were consistent with the effects of human-caused global warming, according to the annual climate statement from the World Meteorological Organization.

The report confirmed that 2013 tied with 2007 as the sixth warmest on record, continuing the long-term global warming trend. Thirteen of the fourteen warmest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century, and each of the last three decades has been warmer than the previous one, culminating with 2001-2010 as the warmest decade on record.

Continue reading

Global warming: What we know

A potential for abrupt, unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts

h

February 2014 marked the 29th consecutive year with global temperatures running above the 20th century average. Map courtesy NASA.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Making informed choices about climate change and greenhouse gas emissions will help reduce risks for present and future generations and help communities adapt to climate change, scientists said last week, announcing a new initiative to inform the public about climate change. Continue reading

Climate: Permafrost thaw doubles carbon losses

Study says greening tundra won’t offset permafrost meltdown

h

Study says new plant growth won’t compensate for carbon emissions from melting tundra in the Arctic. bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Permafrost could dwindle by 30 to 70 percent by the end of the century, and more vegetation in the Arctic won’t be enough to offset the carbon emissions from thawing organic soils.

Scientists with the Woods Hole Research Center reached their conclusions after a series of field tests designed to measure net gains or losses in carbon emissions. The study is published in the journal Ecology.

“Our results show that while permafrost degradation increased carbon uptake during the growing season, in line with decadal trends of ‘greening’ tundra, warming and permafrost thaw also enhanced winter respiration, which doubled annual carbon losses,” said WHRC assistant scientist Sue Natali. Continue reading

Climate: February 2014 average global temperature hovers well above the 20th century average

Both hot and cold extremes in northern hemisphere; southern hemisphere land areas record warm for summer season

g

Planet Earth was hot and cold in February 2013. Map via NOAA/NCDC.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Southern hemisphere mid-latitude land areas experienced a record-warm summer, with temperatures running well above average for December through February, according to the latest monthly state of the climate report from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

For the globe as a whole, the average February temperature was 0.74 degrees above the 20th century average, making it the 21st-warmest February on record. For the December to February period, the average global temperature was the eighth-warmest on record. Continue reading

Moss springs back to life after 1,500 years in deep freeze

New study offers snapshot of changing world

It may look like grass, but it's not — it's moss.

It may look like grass, but it’s not — it’s moss. bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Some hardy species of moss may be able to regenerate after surviving for thousands of years buried deep beneath polar ice. Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and Reading University said their study for the first time shows that some plants have the ability to survive century to millennial scale ice ages.

The research may help scientists better project how polar regions will change in coming decades as ice sheets retreat. The study is the first to show that mosses can survive century to millennial scale ice ages. Continue reading

Global warming stretches Rocky Mountain wildflower season

dfg

In response to global warming, pasque flowers are blooming earlier in the spring in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. bberwyn photo.

Colorado ecosystems will see profound changes

Staff Report

FRISCO — The Rocky Mountain wildflower season is about one month longer than it was just a few decades ago.

That  may be pleasant for hikers and photographers, but the rapid shift in the timing of seasonal blooming will have profound consequences for birds and bugs that depend on the blooms for food.

The 39-year study shows  more than two-thirds of alpine flowers have changed their blooming pattern in response to climate change. Half the flowers start to bloom weeks earlier, more than a third are reaching their peak bloom earlier, and others are producing their last blooms later in the year. Continue reading

Climate: Ready for more intense rainstorms?

Western Colorado expected to see increase in heavy rainfall events

The map at right shows predicted changes in the annual number of days of extreme rainfall (defined as rainfall totals in excess of the historic 98th percentile) across the United States by 2041-2070 as compared to 1971-2000 if greenhouse gases continue to increase at a high rate (A2 scenario).

This map shows predicted changes in the annual number of days of extreme rainfall (defined as rainfall totals in excess of the historic 98th percentile) across the United States by 2041-2070 as compared to 1971-2000 if greenhouse gases continue to increase at a high rate.

Staff Report

FRISCO — There may not be an observed trend of more frequent, intense rainstorms in Colorado yet, but that could change in coming decades, according to a national climate assessment.

The 2009 federal climate study shows that heavy downpours have increased in frequency and intensity during the last 50 years and models predict that downpours will intensify even more as greenhouse gas emissions and the planet’s temperature continue to rise. By mid-century, some places could experience two or more additional days per year on which the rainfall totals exceed the heaviest rains historically experienced in the area. Continue reading

Report: Ecosystem disruptions expected in Ross Sea

‘Portions of the food web that depend on ice in their life cycles will be negatively impacted, leading to severe ecological disruptions’

sfag

How will changes in the Antarctic food chain affect aquatic mammals? bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Climate change will fundamentally change The Ross Sea, one of Antarctica’s productive biological regions, but exactly how those changes will play out is hard to predict, scientists said after running computer models combining sea-ice, ocean, atmosphere and ice-shelf interactions.

The region is likely to experience ‘severe ecological disruptions,” a group of scientists wrote in their new study, explaining that rising temperatures and changing wind patterns will create longer periods of ice-free open water, affecting the life cycles of both predators and prey. Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,964 other followers