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  • News

    Climate change might not slow ocean circulation as much as thought

    New findings from an international ocean observing network are calling into question the long-standing idea that global warming might slow down a big chunk of the ocean’s “conveyor belt.” The first 21 months of data from sensors moored across much of the North Atlantic are giving new insight into what controls the strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, a system of...

    01/31/2019 - 16:47 Climate, Oceans
  • News

    A drill built for Mars is being used to bore into Antarctic bedrock

    Once destined for Mars, a prototype drill has a new mission: To bore into rocks buried deep beneath the ice in Antarctica.

    In early January, researchers from the University of Glasgow in Scotland took a modified version of their Martian drill to Antarctica. They’re poised to send it down to the bottom of a 651-meter deep ice borehole completed January 10 by researchers with the British...

    01/11/2019 - 14:47 Climate, Technology
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers ask about electrons’ roundness, a science board game and more

    Beer today, gone tomorrow

    Rising temperatures and more frequent droughts could cut barley crop yields worldwide by the end of the century, leading to beer shortages and high prices, Jennifer Leman reported in “Add beer to the list of foods threatened by climate change” (SN: 11/10/18, p. 5).

    Online reader Jean Beaulieu was hopeful that scientists will figure out an easy way to grow...

    01/08/2019 - 07:00 Particle Physics, Climate, Robotics
  • News

    Satellites make mapping hot spots of ammonia pollution easier

    Satellites may be a more accurate way to track smog-producing ammonia.

    It’s notoriously tricky to pinpoint accurate numbers for ammonia gas emissions from sources such as animal feedlots and fertilizer plants. But new maps, generated from infrared radiation measurements gathered by satellites, reveal global ammonia hot spots in greater detail than before. The new data suggest that...

    01/04/2019 - 07:00 Pollution, Climate
  • Year in Review

    Half a degree stole the climate spotlight in 2018

    The grim reality of climate change grabbed center stage in 2018.

    This is the year we learned that the 2015 Paris Agreement on global warming won’t be enough to forestall significant impacts of climate change. And a new field of research explicitly attributed some extreme weather events to human-caused climate change. This one-two punch made it clear that climate change isn’t just...

    12/17/2018 - 08:36 Climate, Science & Society
  • Year in Review

    Greenland crater renewed the debate over an ancient climate mystery

    For three years, a team of scientists kept a big secret: They had discovered a giant crater-shaped depression buried beneath about a kilometer of ice in northwestern Greenland. In November, the researchers revealed their find to the world.

    They hadn’t set out to find a crater. But in 2015, glaciologists studying ice-penetrating radar images of Greenland’s ice sheet, part of an...

    12/17/2018 - 08:27 Earth, Climate, Paleontology
  • News

    New research may upend what we know about how tornadoes form

    WASHINGTON — Tornadoes may form from the ground up, rather than the top down. 

    That could sound counterintuitive. Many people may picture a funnel cloud emerging from the bottom of a dark mass of thunderstorms and then extending to the ground, atmospheric scientist Jana Houser said December 13 in a news conference at the American Geophysical Union meeting.

    Scientists have long...

    12/14/2018 - 14:06 Climate
  • Rethink

    Nearly 200 Great Barrier Reef coral species also live in the deep sea

    Nearly 200 species of Great Barrier Reef corals have found a second home in the deep ocean. That’s six times as many species as previously thought to be living in the dark, cold waters off northeastern Australia, researchers report December 12 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

    Perhaps more important than the number of species cataloged at those depths is the fact that every...

    12/11/2018 - 19:05 Animals, Oceans, Climate
  • News

    The list of extreme weather caused by human-driven climate change grows

    WASHINGTON – A months-long heat wave that scorched the Tasman Sea beginning in November of 2017 is the latest example of an extreme event that would not have happened without human-caused climate change.

    Climate change also increased the likelihood of 15 other extreme weather events in 2017, from droughts in East Africa and the U.S. northern Plains states to floods in Bangladesh, China...

    12/11/2018 - 10:41 Climate
  • News in Brief

    Global carbon dioxide emissions will hit a record high in 2018

    Global carbon dioxide emissions are expected to hit a record high in 2018, despite urgent calls from climate scientists and international groups such as the United Nations to cut back.

    Worldwide, fossil fuel use is projected to pump 2.7 percent more CO2 into the atmosphere in 2018 compared with 2017. Last year, such emissions contributed 9.9 gigatons of carbon. The data are presented in...

    12/06/2018 - 18:09 Climate, Sustainability, Science & Society