Posted on February 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Elkhorn coral in the Caribbean Sea. Photo via NOAA.
‘Our data show that climate change has helped drive down staghorn and elkhorn corals …’
FRISCO — Elkhorn and staghorn corals, once widespread across the Caribbean, have all but disappeared from the region, and scientists at the Florida Institute of Technology think they know why — ocean warming has been a big factor in the die-off, making the corals more susceptible to white-band disease.
“Our data show that climate change has helped drive down staghorn and elkhorn corals by boosting white-band disease,” said Florida Tech Ph.D. student Carly Randall. “We still don’t know if the disease is caused by a marine microbe, but now we do know that changes in the environment contributed to the problem.” Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, coral reefs, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Caribbean, coral reefs, elkhorn coral, global warming, staghorn coral, white-band disease | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Coral reefs near Panama stopped growing during an exstended phase of La Niña-like conditions in the Pacific Ocean. Photo courtesy NOAA.
‘It’s possible that anthropogenic climate change may once again be pushing these reefs towards another regional collapse …’
FRISCO — Past climate shifts resulting in La Niña-like conditions off the coast of Panamá resulted in a 2,500-year shutdown in coral reef growth, scientists said this week, warning that human-caused global warming could lead to similar conditions in the coming decades.
“We are in the midst of a major environmental change that will continue to stress corals over the coming decades, so the lesson from this study is that there are these systems such as coral reefs that are sensitive to environmental change and can go through this kind of wholesale collapse in response to these environmental changes,” said Kim Cobb, an associate professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, climate change, coral reefs, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: climate change, coral reef decline, coral reefs, global warming, La Niña, Panama | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Extreme weather could cut global yields by 25 percent
FRISCO — Scientists in the biggest wheat-producing state in the U.S. issued a stark climate change warning last week, saying that 25 percent of the world’s wheat production will be lost to extreme weather if no adaptive measures are taken.
The research by scientists at Kansas State University concluded that global wheat yields are likely to decrease by 6 percent for each 1 degree Celsius of temperature rise. In the next few decades, that could add up to a 25 percent loss in global wheat yields. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, climate and weather, Drought, Environment, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: agriculture, climate change, food, global warming, hunger, wheat yields | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Sardines and other commercially important fish are moving north in response to global warming.
Study tracks temperature-driven shift in Atlantic Ocean fish populations
FRISCO — For centuries, sardines, anchovies and mackerels have been critically important species for coastal communities, but global warming is chasing the fish northward. Some fishing towns may be facing make big economic adjustments in coming decades, according to researchers who carefully crunched the numbers for 40 years worth of fishing records.
The new study warned that the changes in such an important ecological group “will have an effect on the structure and functioning of the whole ecosystem.” Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: anchovies, Atlantic Ocean warming, climate change, fish and global warming, global warming, mackerels, sardines | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
In some gas fields, leak rates appear close to official estimates
Researchers try to quantify methane leakage in natural gas fields.
FRISCO — Boulder-based researchers have used thousands of detailed measurements taken during overflights to take a nuanced look at methane leaks from natural gas fields.
The findings show methane leaking at the rate of tens of thousands of pounds per hour in three major natural gas basins that span Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Pennsylvania. But the overall leak rate from those basins is only about one percent of gas production there — lower than leak rates measured in other gas fields, and in line with federal estimates. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, global warming, oil drilling | Tagged: energy, Environment, fracking, global warming, greenhouse gases, methane, Natural gas, oil and gas | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 19, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
The average northern hemisphere sea surface temperature reached a record high in January.
Planet Earth continues to over heat …
FRISCO — January 2015 picked up where 2014 left off — with widespread warmth across the globe. On average, it ended up as the second-warmest January on record, with almost all parts of the planet recording temperatures well above the 20th century average, according to the monthly state of the climate report from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.
Specifically, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.39 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average. The warmest January occurred in 2007, at 1.55 degrees Fahrenheit above average. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, global warming | Tagged: climate change, global warming, January 2015 global temperatures, record warm oceans | 1 Comment »