Climate Change

Sea Level Rise is Accelerating

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Global sea level rise has been accelerating in recent decades, according to a new study based on 25 years of NASA and European satellite data. This acceleration has been driven mainly by increased ice melting in Greenland and Antarctica, and it has the potential to double the total sea level rise projected by 2100, according to lead author Steve Nerem, a scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and the University of Colorado.

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The genome of millet sequenced

Le pilon et le mortier s'utilisent pour égrener les céréales et les moudre. Village aux alentours de Réo, Burkina Faso. © IRD / Daina Rechner

A study coordinated by an international consortium of French (IRD), Indian and Chinese researchers has enabled the genome sequence for millet to be obtained for the first time. This discovery improves our understanding of the organisation and evolution of the genome of this cereal, which provides food security of the poorest people in the world. Secondly, because it provides new prospects for selecting or improving varieties of millet which may be better equipped to cope with climate change for almost 100 millions people. Read more »

Weed cover in olive orchards enhances the ecosystem’s capacity as a CO2 sink

In the experiment, instruments measuring high frequency (10Hz) variables like CO2 concentration in the air, wind velocity and direction.

Scientists at the University of Granada (UGR) studied the effects and benefits of maintaining vegetation, or weed cover, in olive grove soil. In a recently-published article in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, these scientists showed their results after a year of measuring an olive grove in Jaen (SE Spain), which show that weed cover significantly increases carbon uptake, acting as a sink for one of the principal greenhouse effect gases, CO2. Read more »

Ocean warmth predicts US drought and fire risk

Folsom Lake, California, in November 2015: Drought prediction is improving. Image: By Vince Migliore via Wikimedia Commons

By Tim Radford, Climate News Network Read more »

Are estimates of our ‘carbon budget’ wrong?

Smokestacks filling the air with carbon pollution, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada © Owen Byrne, (CC BY-SA 2.0)

While most climate scientists, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, implicitly define “preindustrial” to be in the late 1800’s, new research suggests that a true non-industrially influenced baseline is probably further in the past.

The researchers are concerned because the baseline affects the available carbon budget for meeting the 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warming limit agreed to in the Paris Conference of 2015. Read more »

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/

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.

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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: 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 »

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