Climate models fail to capture true warming under business-as-usual scenarios

Future global warming may eventually be twice as warm as projected by climate models under business-as-usual scenarios and even if the world meets the 2°C target sea levels may rise six metres or more, according to an international team of researchers from 17 countries. The findings published last week in Nature Geoscience are based on…

Climate change and land restoration

But increasingly, scientists who study ecosystems, as well as land managers who do restoration work, are questioning that model of ecological restoration, which relies on the idea of a stable “climax community,” even though many ecosystems are always changing. The West’s forests, for one, are much more dynamic than many people realize. Notwithstanding individual tree…

Nuclear industry in decline

In a paper, “U.S. nuclear power: The vanishing low-carbon wedge,” just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), the team examined the current U.S. nuclear fleet, which is made up of large light water nuclear reactors (LWRs). While for three decades, approximately 20% of U.S. power generation has come from these…

Forests losing ability to protect against climate change?

“Forest canopies produce microclimates that are less variable and more stable than similar settings without forest cover,” said Kimberley Davis, a UM postdoctoral research associate and the lead author of the study. “Our work shows that the ability of forests to buffer climate extremes is dependent on canopy cover and local moisture availability – both…

The Navy takes climate change seriously

The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act has ordered the Pentagon to identify the top 10 military bases threatened by climate change for the Navy and the other service branches by November. The congressional mandate requires the Defense Department to examine each threatened military installation for the effects of rising sea tides, increased flooding, drought, desertification,…

Protected marine areas: expensive and misplaced

Many marine protected areas are often unnecessarily expensive and located in the wrong places, an international study has shown. The University of Queensland was part of research which found protected areas missed many unique ecosystems, and have a greater impact on fisheries than necessary. A collaboration with the University of Hamburg, Wildlife Conservation Society and…

NOAA’s Acting Chief Ignoring Climate Change

Environmental and science advocates called the shift among the starkest examples to date by the Trump administration to undermine federal work on global warming. President Donald Trump and many of his top advisers deny manmade climate change, which has led to his high-profile decisions such as pulling the United States out of the Paris climate…

Nanomaterials = more algae outbreaks?

The last 10 years have seen a surge in the use of tiny substances called nanomaterials in agrochemicals like pesticides and fungicides. The idea is to provide more disease protection and better yields for crops, while decreasing the amount of toxins sprayed on agricultural fields. But when combined with nutrient runoff from fertilized cropland and…

A rebound promotes ice-sheet stability

The unexpectedly rapid rebound of the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) may help stabilize the West Antarctic Ice Sheet against catastrophic collapse, says a new study offering a rare silver-lining in glacier research. The marine portion of the WAIS accounts for a quarter of the world’s ice contribution to global sea level rise and is currently…

US oil & gas methane emissions 60 percent higher than estimated

The U.S. oil and gas industry emits 13 million metric tons of the potent greenhouse gas methane from its operations each year, 60 percent more than estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new study published today in the journal Science. Significantly, researchers found most of the emissions came from leaks, equipment…