Climate Change

Global stocktake shows the 43 greenhouse gases driving global warming

A wide range of industrial processes have released greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Paulo Resende/Shutterstock.com

The most comprehensive collection of atmospheric greenhouse gas measurements, published today, confirms the relentless rise in some of the most important greenhouse gases.

The data show that today’s aggregate warming effect of carbon dioxide (CO₂), methane (CH₄) and nitrous oxide (N₂O) is higher than at any time over the past 800,000 years, according to ice core records. Read more »

We need to get rid of carbon in the atmosphere, not just reduce emissions


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Humans have burned 420 billion tonnes of carbon since the start of the industrial revolution. Half of it is still in the atmosphere.
Reuters/Stringer

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Molecular signature shows plants are adapting to increasing atmospheric CO2

Plantago lanceolate, the plantain found in the high carbon dioxide springs in Bossoleto, Italy.

Plants are adapting to increasing atmospheric CO2 according to a new study from the University of Southampton. The research, published in the journal Global Change Biology, provides insight into the long-term impacts of rising CO2 and the implications for global food security and nature conservation. Read more »

How two degrees of warming may turn into four

Warming in the Mediterranean region will exceed two degrees. This region – the picture shows the Pantà de Sau Reservoir in Catalonia – is already suffering from heat waves and drought. (Photograph: flickr.com/Josep Enric)

At the recent COP21 climate conference in Paris, delegates reached an agreement that plans to limit global warming to “well below” two degrees Celsius. This stems from the fact that scientists and politicians now agree: the global average temperature must rise by no more than two degrees if we are to prevent serious, irreversible damage to humans and the environment. Read more »

Mountain climbing more dangerous due to climate change

Climate change increases the danger of falling rocks in the Alps and other mountain regions, adding to existing risks for mountain climbers. This is the conclusion of a study by Arnaud Temme of Wageningen University using climbing guides written by mountaineers in the past. Read more »

Overcoming hurdles to climate change adaptation in the Arctic

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Arctic communities are able to overcome hurdles and adapt to climate change say McGill researchers, credit: Joanna Petrasek Macdonald

Outdated land management practices, a dearth of local decision-making bodies with real powers, a lack of long-term planning, along with long-standing educational and financial disempowerment and marginalization are among the hurdles the prevent Arctic communities from adapting to climate change, says a McGill-led research team. But Arctic communities inherently have the capacity to adapt to significant climate change. That's partly because they are used to accepting a changeable and uncertain climate. Read more »

Study reveals disturbing hunger trends in world's highland areas

While global hunger figures are decreasing, the number of food insecure people in mountain areas rose 30 percent between 2000 and 2012, according to a new study, released today by FAO and the Mountain Partnership on International Mountain Day. Read more »

Ancient fossil forest unearthed in Arctic Norway

Reconstructed drawing of fossil forest in Svalbard

UK researchers have unearthed ancient fossil forests, thought to be partly responsible for one of the most dramatic shifts in the Earth’s climate in the past 400 million years. The fossil forests, with tree stumps preserved in place, were found in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago situated in the Arctic Ocean. They were identified and described by Dr Chris Berry of Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Science. Read more »

Scientists solve deep ocean carbon riddle

Vent chimney at the Von Damm vent site in the Caribbean.

New research involving scientists from University of Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS) has identified a crucial process behind the reason why dissolved organic carbon (DOC) levels in the deep oceans are constant despite a continuous supply from the surface ocean.

The pool of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the oceans is as large as all of the carbon in the atmosphere. Phytoplankton, which remove CO2 from the atmosphere and convert into more complex carbon compounds, are the primary source of DOC in the ocean. Read more »

Melting Arctic sea ice accelerates methane emissions

Svalbard. © Frans-Jan Parmentier

Methane emissions from Arctic tundra increase when sea ice melts, according to a new study from Lund University in Sweden. This connection has been suspected before, but has lacked strong evidence until now. “Changes in the Arctic Ocean can affect ecosystems located far away on land, ” says Dr. Frans-Jan Parmentier, the study’s lead author and researcher at the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University. Read more »

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