Environment Science Debate Science Policy 

The Unfortunate Withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement

By Jacqueline Mattos (@mattosjacq) This article is part of a series about key science policy issues. Please use these articles to become an informed voter, ask political candidates about the issues, and put every candidate on record about science. In December 2015, parties of the UNFCCC (United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change) gathered at the twenty-first Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris to create a new international deal to mitigate climate change, called the Paris Agreement. Its ultimate goal was to keep the rise in average surface temperature below…

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Ecology Environment Science Policy 

Forest Restoration, Not Plantations, Will Curb Warming

By Neha Jain (@lifesciexplore) Forests are our best natural weapon against climate change. By sucking up large amounts of carbon dioxide from the air, forests can store about a quarter of the carbon necessary to restrict global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. So, it is not surprising that boosting forest area through restoration has been one of the main goals of international organizations tackling rising global temperatures. Encouragingly, 43 countries concentrated around the tropics, where trees grow fast, have pledged to restore 292 million hectares of forest…

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Ocean Floor Warming Affects Antarctic Seabed Life Biology Environment Oceanography 

Ocean Floor Warming Affects Antarctic Seabed Life

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore A rise in ocean temperatures by 1°C may not seem like a lot. But researchers were surprised to find nearly doubled growth of some species with just one-degree rise in ocean warming and varied growth responses of assemblages with two degrees of warming, in the most realistic marine warming study conducted in Antarctica to date. These drastic changes in community structure may have huge consequences for the entire ecosystem, as they affect the food chain. “I was not expecting such a visible difference,” said Gail Ashton,…

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Frequent Rainstorms Predicted with Climate Change Environment 

Frequent Rainstorms Predicted with Climate Change

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore If you live in California, you might recall the powerful winter rainstorm of 2014, dubbed the “storm of the decade.” While it offered some respite from the prolonged drought in the region, it dumped several inches of rain—in some Bay Area counties average annual rainfall was doubled—which caused widespread flooding and power outages. Until now such intense rainstorms have been rare. But in the future, Californians may need to clutch their umbrellas and slip on their rain boots more often because such monster rainstorms might become the…

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What Happens When Antarctica Melts? Environment 

What Happens When Antarctica Melts?

By Kate Stone @GotScienceOrg Between December 2001 and February 2002, the Antarctic continent underwent a season of intense melting. Aside from the loss of ice, what really happens when Antarctica melts? New research reveals that the changes range from sped-up microbial food webs to shifting penguin populations. The clash of two climatic cycles, the Southern Annular Mode and the El Niño Southern Oscillation, produced an unusually warm and windy spring season across Antarctica back in 2001–2002. This climate event melted glaciers including the Totten Glacier, thinned lake ice, and caused…

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global warming Environment Videos 

Global Warming: What’s Really Warming the Earth?

Dr. Joe Hanson explores the possible causes of global warming in this episode of It’s Okay To Be Smart.   References and Further Reading July 2016 is hottest on record NOAA’s State of the Climate July 2016 Bloomberg’s climate change data viz project Solar activity and temperature show opposite trend Milankovitch cycles (I left out eccentricity because it operates on scales so long that it doesn’t affect short-term climate change) Connecting climate models with actual temperature changes NASA Goddard’s Gavin Schmidt explains the history of the instrumental temperature record Last time…

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Totten Glacier. Esmee van Wijk/Australian Antarctic Division Environment 

Climate Change Strikes Totten Glacier in Antarctica

By Norman Rusin @normanrusin A warmer climate attacks polar glaciers at both ends of the Earth. In the Arctic, ponds of meltwater speed up the overall melting process, but in Antarctica, currents of warm water erode the ice sheet beneath the surface. Recent observations revealed that ice sheet erosion in two Antarctic regions is deep enough to expose basement rocks. At current rates, the erosion could trigger instability in a major Antarctic glacier, ultimately leading to more than 2 m (6.56 ft) of sea level rise. What Is a Grounding Line?…

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Tracking Climate Change Through Hibernating Toads Animals Environment 

Tracking Climate Change Through Hibernating Toads

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore Have you ever wondered how animals are coping with warming temperatures? Our warming planet affects the migration, reproduction, and hibernation of animals that depend on the seasons to regulate these behaviors.  For example, new research finds that Fowler’s toads in Canada are emerging out of hibernation earlier each spring as the climate warms. Hibernating Toads Even though David Green, a professor at McGill University, Canada, had been studying Fowler’s toads for the past 25 years, the discovery of the toads’ early emergence from hibernation was quite…

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Climate Change, GotScience.org Environment 

Climate Change: Why Don’t We Worry More?

“If we could invent one risk that bypasses all of our psychological alarm systems, global climate change would be it,” a psychologist explains. You’ve seen the projections, read the articles about record annual temperatures, rolled your eyes at climate change deniers. You know the threat of global warming is real. At least intellectually. But are you really worried about it? Probably not as worried as you know you should be. We asked social psychologist Sander van der Linden of Princeton University why it’s so hard for our brains to perceive climate…

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A woman in the village of Karech, in rural India, prepares a meal on a traditional three-stone hearth. Courtesy of H.S. Udaykumar and University of Iowa Environment Health 

Small Metal Stove Grate Makes Big Impact

By Kate Stone The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 2.7 billion people worldwide still rely on wood fires to cook their food, and more than 4 million die each year from illnesses connected to household air pollution caused by that method of cooking. An inexpensive metal insert for primitive cookstoves, created by a University of Iowa research team, may decrease global warming and potentially save many lives. The insert decreases wood consumption by about 60 percent, and further testing  conducted in a national lab in India found that the…

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