Scientists find killer whales off Cape Horn

In January 2019, an international team of scientists working off the tip of southern Chile got their first live look at what might be a new species of killer whale. Called Type D, the whales were previously known only from a beach stranding more than 60 years ago, fishermen’s stories, and tourist photographs. Genetic samples…

Winter rain melting Greenland ice

Rain is becoming more frequent in Greenland and accelerating the melting of its ice, a new study has found. Scientists say they’re “surprised” to discover rain falling even during the long Arctic winter. The massive Greenland ice-sheet is being watched closely because it holds a huge store of frozen water. And if all of that…

New Studies Predict Polar Ice Melt Consequences

The first study, published in Nature Wednesday, reexamined a shocking study from 2016 that warned that ice cliffs in Antarctica could collapse this century, contributing three feet to global sea level rise by 2100. Researchers led by Dr. Tamsin Edwards at King’s College London looked at the geological record and determined this was unlikely to…

Climate change and unpredictable ecosystem disruption for birds

Using data on 77 North American migratory bird species from the eBird citizen-science program, scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology say that, in as little as four decades, it may be very difficult to predict how climate change will affect migratory bird populations and the ecosystems they inhabit. Their conclusions are presented in a…

Thawing peatlands may add to CO2 burden

Temperatures in the Arctic are rising twice as fast as in the rest of the world, causing permafrost soils to thaw. Permafrost peatlands are biogeochemical hot spots in the Arctic as they store vast amounts of carbon. Permafrost thaw could release part of these long-term immobile carbon stocks as the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2)…

Reduced salinity of seawater and coral chemistry

New research confirms that drastic changes in ocean salinity from, for example, severe freshwater flooding, as recently experienced off the coast of north-east Queensland from abnormal monsoonal conditions, provoke a similar stress response in corals as extreme heating, resulting in “freshwater bleaching” and if unabated, coral death. Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for…

Warm seas scatter fish

Fish provide a vital source of protein for over half the world’s population, with over 56 million people employed by or subsisting on fisheries. But climate change is beginning to disrupt the complex, interconnected systems that underpin this major source of food. A team of scientists led by Christopher Free, a postdoctoral scholar at UC…

Interconnections among climate risks

Socio-economic activities in the present world have become increasingly interdependent because of rapid technological progress, urbanization, and globalization. Because of these interdependencies between human society and natural ecosystems, climate impacts on one sector may influence other sectors, including seemingly remote ones, which we call “interconnections of climate risks”. While a substantial number of climate risks…

Earlier spring migration for European and North American birds

The greatest advances were found among short-distance migrants that winter in Europe or North America: about 1.5-2 days per decade. Long-distance migrants that winter in the tropics have also advanced the start of their migration, but only by approximately 0.6-1.2 days per decade. “Based on changes in median migration dates, birds have on average advanced…

Predicting forest response to climate change

On the mountain slopes of the western United States, climate can play a major role in determining which tree communities will thrive in the harshest conditions, according to new work from Carnegie’s Leander Anderegg and University of Washington’s Janneke Hille Ris Lambers. Their findings, published in Ecology Letters, are an important step in understanding how…