Thawing permafrost may release more CO2 than thought

Over long, geologic time scales, carbonic acid weathering is an important control on atmospheric CO2 levels and climate, but under the right conditions, weathering by sulfuric acid can release substantial CO2. Ph.D. candidate Scott Zolkos and his supervisor, U of A biologist Suzanne Tank, found that these conditions are prevalent in the western Canadian Arctic….

Concern about climate change unites Gens X and Y

Contrary to stereotypes of young generations of Australians being narcissistic or complacent, researchers say both cohorts are united in concerns about the future of our environment. Generation X worries what climate change will mean for their own children, while Generation Y is concerned about the impact on future generations, the study by Dr. Jenny Chesters,…

Clues on ancient climate change

The sudden cold snap in the northern hemisphere between 12,700 and 11,600 years ago has been found in climate records from Greenland ice cores and Central European lake sediments. It was named after the mountain avens (Latin: Dryas octopetala) – an Arctic plant species that predominantly spreads during cold conditions. The discovery of fossil pines…

California satellite will monitor climate change

The L.A. Times reports that the state will be developing the satellite alongside Planet Labs based out of San Francisco. The Earth-imaging company was founded in 2010 by a team of former NASA employees. The objective of the satellite is to monitor the buildup of pollutants. Robbie Schingler, one of the company’s founders, says that…

The loophole in climate policies

Change in 1992, negotiators from over 50 countries successfully shepherded the Kyoto Protocol to fruition in 1997 — thus formally inaugurating the modern era of international climate policy, with its focus on national contributions toward global emissions reduction targets. What the climate negotiators of the 1990s did not know at the time was that a…

Coastal wetlands need to move inland

Geographers examined localised data from around the globe on coastal elevation, tides, sediment availability, coastal population and estimates of sea level rise to assess whether coastal wetlands are likely to have enough sediment to increase their elevation at the rate sea levels will rise, or whether there is enough space to establish themselves further inland….

Millions will be more vulnerable to climate change in new cities

When McGill geography professor Sarah Moser mapped 120 new cities under construction across Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, she was struck by how many of them were in vulnerable coastal areas. “I think this has to do with the fact that a lot of these projects are real estate projects. Everyone wants…

Turning climate change into a game

With average global temperatures predicted to rise 2°C globally by 2100, one team of scientists wanted to figure out what would be the most effective way to spur the public into action. Until now, most large-scale efforts have been directed at public information campaigns, based on the theory that clear, frequent warnings about the dangers…

Better spatial working memory? Greenspace may help

In the study of 4758 11-year-olds living in urban areas in England, lower quantity of neighborhood greenspace was related to poorer spatial working memory, and this relationship held in both deprived and non-deprived neighborhoods. “Our findings suggest a positive role of greenspace in cognitive functioning. Spatial working memory is an important cognitive ability that is…