Tag Archives: atmospheric

Methane leaks in the US are undercounted, new study shows

ANN ARBOR — About 50 percent more of the greenhouse gas methane has been seeping into the atmosphere than previously thought, according to far-reaching findings that synthesize two decades’ worth of methane studies in North America.

Methane is the main ingredient in natural gas. (more…)

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Liquid calcium carbonate

Geologist Adam Wallace reports in ‘Science’ that calcium carbonate has a dense liquid phase

Computer simulations could help scientists make sense of a recently observed and puzzling wrinkle in one of nature’s most important chemical processes. It turns out that calcium carbonate — the ubiquitous compound that is a major component of seashells, limestone, concrete, antacids and other naturally and industrially produced substances — may momentarily exist in liquid form as it crystallizes from solution.

“Our simulations suggest the existence of a dense liquid form of calcium carbonate,” said co-corresponding author Adam Wallace, an assistant professor of geological sciences in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment who conducted the research while a postdoctoral researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “This is important because it is an as-yet unappreciated component of the carbon cycle.” (more…)

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Interview with Prof. Richard Rood: ‘The Saga of Climate Change’

Richard Rood, is a professor of atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences at the University of Michigan. He loves discussing the intersections of weather and climate, and climate and society. One of his current projects involves studying trends in extreme heat events. Rood is a blogger at Weather Underground and teaches a class on climate change problem solving.

As climate change is a favourite topic of Prof. Rood, so here we go. We have questions for him.

Q: How would you define ‘climate change?’

Richard Rood: As a basic definition, climate change would be an increase or decrease in the mean of the fundamental parameters we use to measure the Earth’s environment. This requires definition of several items: the parameters, what part of the environment, the amount of time used to calculate the mean, the spatial extent over which the parameters span, etc. Important amounts of time for our discussions of climate change are human, for example, the life span of the infrastructure in our cities. A common definition would be changes in the global average, surface air temperature, where the baseline is defined as a 30-year average. This is a weather- and atmosphere- based definition. (more…)

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Small Organisms Could Dramatically Impact World’s Climate

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Warmer oceans in the future could significantly alter populations of phytoplankton, tiny organisms that could have a major impact on climate change.

In the current issue of Science Express, Michigan State University researchers show that by the end of the 21st century, warmer oceans will cause populations of these marine microorganisms to thrive near the poles and may shrink in equatorial waters. Since phytoplankton play a key role in the food chain and the world’s cycles of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and other elements, a drastic drop could have measurable consequences. (more…)

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‘Sea Levels Rising in Parts of Indian Ocean’

*Greenhouse gases are playing a role in changes, say scientists*

Newly detected rising sea levels in parts of the Indian Ocean, including the coastlines of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka, Sumatra and Java, appear to be at least partly a result of human-induced increases of atmospheric greenhouse gases, says a study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

(more…)

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‘Arctic Climate May be More Sensitive to Warming than Thought’

A new study shows the Arctic climate system may be more sensitive to greenhouse warming than previously thought, and that current levels of Earth’s atmospheric carbon dioxide may be high enough to bring about significant, irreversible shifts in Arctic ecosystems.

(more…)

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