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Climate: Heat-trapping CO2 also makes ice more brittle

New MIT research suggests carbon dioxide has direct impact on glaciers and ice caps

Cracks in the ice on Dillon Reservoir, Dec. 25, 2012. Bob Berwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Have you ever poured a can of warm coke into a glass full of ice cubes and listened to the cubes crack?

Something similar might be going on in the atmosphere, as MIT researchers have shown that direct exposure to carbon dioxide makes ice caps and glaciers more susceptible to cracking.

The study is the first to show this kind of a direct impact from increasing atmospheric CO2, which as a heat-trapping greenhouse gas is directly responsible for much of the increase in global temperatures during recent decades. Continue reading

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Global warming: A tale of two hemispheres?

New MIT Study shows varying impacts north and south of the equator

This image identifies the Earth's middle latitudes where extratropical storms form. These regions are located between approximately 30 degrees and 60 degrees north & south latitude.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Global warming will result in more intense storms all year in the southern hemisphere, but in the northern hemisphere, changes in storm patterns will depend in the season, according to MIT researchers who studied a 20-year record of global wind patterns to make their predictions.

Their conclusions are based on computer models showing how much energy is available to fuel extratropical (non-hurricane) storms under various global warming trends forecast for the coming decades.

Even though the atmosphere will get warmer and more humid due to global warming, the responses are different because not all of the increased energy of the atmosphere will be available to power extratropical storms, according to Paul O’Gorman, a professor at MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. Continue reading

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