Last year was the hottest since records began being kept in 1880. Sixteen of the hottest years on record have occurred since 1998. (more…)
Tag Archives: changing climate
Over the past two decades, ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet increased four-fold contributing to one-quarter of global sea level rise. However, the chain of events and physical processes that contributed to it has remained elusive. One likely trigger for the speed up and retreat of glaciers that contributed to this ice loss is ocean warming.
A review paper by physical oceanographers Fiamma Straneo at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Patrick Heimbach at MIT published in Nature explains what scientists have learned from their research on and around Greenland over the past 20 years and describes the measurements and technology needed to continue to move the science forward. (more…)
Human activities, a changing climate and natural disasters are rapidly altering the face of our planet. Now, with NASA’s Images of Change iPad application, users can get an interactive before-and-after view of these changes.
The app presents pairs or sets of images of places around the world that have changed dramatically. Some of these locations have suffered a disaster, such as a fire or tsunami, or illustrate the effects of human activities, such as dam building or urban growth. Others document impacts of climate change such as persistent drought and rapidly receding glaciers. (more…)
A changing climate has implications on biodiversity without any doubt. Species in the past have been sensitive to changes in the climate; that has been proved time and again by the fossilized remains and pollen distribution studies. It has been seen or can be concluded safely that climate changes have led to extinction of species in one area and colonization in another.
It is improbable that all species can or will be able to adapt to changing conditions specially the sudden changes. This leads to impact in ecosystem dynamics and also on community composition. (more…)
China’s endangered wild pandas may need new dinner reservations–and quickly, based on models that indicate climate change may kill off swaths of bamboo that pandas need to survive
In this week’s Nature Climate Change, an international journal, scientists from Michigan State University (MSU) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences provide comprehensive forecasts of how changing climate may affect the most common species of bamboo that carpet the forest floors of prime panda habitat in northwestern China. Even the most optimistic scenarios show that bamboo die-offs would effectively cause prime panda habitat to become inhospitable by the end of the 21st century.
The scientists studied possible scenarios of climate change in the Qinling Mountains in Shaanxi Province. At the northern boundary of China’s panda distributional range, the Qinling Mountains are home to about 275 wild pandas, which account for about 17 percent of the remaining wild population. The Qinling pandas, which have been isolated because of thousands of years of human habitation around the mountain range, vary genetically from other giant pandas. The geographic isolation of these pandas makes them particularly valuable for conservation, but vulnerable to climate change. (more…)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Warming temperatures in Ohio are a key driver behind changes in the state’s landscape, and non-native plant species appear to be responding more strongly than native wildflowers to the changing climate, new research suggests.
This adaptive nature demonstrated by introduced species could serve them well as the climate continues to warm. At the same time, the non-natives’ potential ability to become even more invasive could threaten the survival of native species already under pressure from land-use changes, researchers say. (more…)
ANN ARBOR— An international team of scientists, including a University of Michigan graduate student, has demonstrated that a clear difference exists between the marine microbial communities in the Southern and Arctic oceans, contributing to a better understanding of the biodiversity of marine life at the poles.
The most comprehensive comparison of microbial diversity at both of Earth’s polar oceans showed that about 75 percent of the organisms at each pole are different. This insight sheds light on newly recognized biodiversity patterns and reinforces the importance of studying Earth’s polar regions in the face of a changing climate. And it highlights the need for further research on the impacts of sea ice, seasonal shifts and freshwater input in both regions. (more…)
Mesquite trees and woody shrubs are better adapted than grasslands to a Southwestern climate predicted to shift toward higher temperatures and greater variability in rainfall, UA ecologists have discovered.
As the desert Southwest becomes hotter and drier, semi-arid grasslands are slowly being replaced by a landscape dominated by mesquite trees, such as Prosopis velutina, and other woody shrubs, a team of University of Arizona researchers has found.
In a “leaf-to-landscape” approach, the team combined physiological experiments on individual plants and measurements across entire ecosystems to quantify how well grasslands, compared to mesquite trees and woody shrubs, cope with heat and water stress across seasonal precipitation periods. (more…)