Tag Archives: climate scientists

Yale study: Forest emissions, wildfires explain why ancient Earth was so hot

The release of volatile organic compounds from Earth’s forests and smoke from wildfires 3 million years ago had a far greater impact on global warming than ancient atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, a new Yale study finds.

The research provides evidence that dynamic atmospheric chemistry played an important role in past warm climates, underscoring the complexity of climate change and the relevance of natural components, according to the authors. They do not address or dispute the significant role in climate change of human-generated CO2 emissions. (more…)

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Berkeley Lab Climate Scientists See Better Climate Models, Warmer Future

Berkeley Lab experts contribute to IPCC 5th Assessment Report.

Over the next century, most of the continents are on track to become considerably warmer, with more hot extremes and fewer cold extremes. Precipitation will increase in some parts of the world but will decrease in other parts. These are some of the conclusions reached by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientist Michael Wehner and his co-authors on the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Wehner, a climate scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division, and William Collins, head of the Lab’s Climate Sciences Department, were lead authors on the IPCC report’s chapters on long-term climate change projections and climate models, respectively. They are among more than 200 lead authors from more than 30 countries in IPCC’s Working Group I. Their report released today provides a comprehensive assessment of the physical science basis of climate change. (more…)

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Keeping beverages cool in summer: It’s not just the heat, it’s the humidity

In spring a person’s thoughts turn to important matters, like how best to keep your drink cold on a hot day. Though this quest is probably as old as civilization, University of Washington climate scientists have provided new insight.

It turns out that in sultry weather condensation on the outside of a canned beverage doesn’t just make it slippery: those drops can provide more heat than the surrounding air, meaning your drink would warm more than twice as much in humid weather compared to in dry heat. In typical summer weather in New Orleans, heat released by condensation warms the drink by 6 degrees Fahrenheit in five minutes. (more…)

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International Study Provides More Solid Measure of Shrinking in Polar Ice Sheets

The planet’s two largest ice sheets have been losing ice faster during the past decade, causing widespread confusion and concern. A new international study provides a firmer read on the state of continental ice sheets and how much they are contributing to sea-level rise.

Dozens of climate scientists have reconciled their measurements of ice sheet changes in Antarctica and Greenland during the past two decades. The results, published Nov. 29 in the journal Science, roughly halve the uncertainty and discard some conflicting observations.

“We are just beginning an observational record for ice,” said co-author Ian Joughin, a glaciologist in the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory who is lead author on an accompanying review article. “This creates a new long-term data set that will increase in importance as new measurements are made.” (more…)

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Can Scientists Look at Next Year’s Climate?

Is it possible to make valid climate predictions that go beyond weeks, months, even a year? UCLA atmospheric scientists report they have now made long-term climate forecasts that are among the best ever — predicting climate up to 16 months in advance, nearly twice the length of time previously achieved by climate scientists.

Forecasts of climate are much more general than short-term weather forecasts; they do not predict precise temperatures in specific cities, but they still may have major implications for agriculture, industry and the economy, said Michael Ghil, a distinguished professor of climate dynamics in the UCLA Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and senior author of the research. (more…)

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Measurements of Winter Arctic Sea Ice Show continuing Ice Loss, says CU-Boulder Study

The 2011 Arctic sea ice extent maximum that marks the beginning of the melt season appears to be tied for the lowest ever measured by satellites, say scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder’s National Snow and Ice Data Center.

The CU-Boulder research team believes the lowest annual maximum ice extent of 5,650,000 square miles occurred on March 7. The maximum ice extent was 463,000 square miles below the 1979-2000 average, an area slightly larger than the states of Texas and California combined. The 2011 measurements were tied with those from 2006 as the lowest maximum sea ice extents measured since satellite record keeping began in 1979. (more…)

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High-Tech Software and Unmanned Planes Allow Scientists to Keep Tabs on Arctic Seals

A novel project using cameras mounted on unmanned aircraft flying over the Arctic is serving double duty by assessing the characteristics of declining sea ice and using the same aerial photos to pinpoint seals that have hauled up on ice floes.

The project is the first to use aircraft to monitor ice and seals in remote areas without putting pilots and observers at risk, said Elizabeth Weatherhead of the University of Colorado at Boulder, who is leading the study team. Weatherhead is a senior scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, a joint venture of CU-Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (more…)

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