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December 18, 2014
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Tag: Tim Radford


Weather Extremes Rise as Planet Gets Hotter and Colder

Scientists predict that lethal heat waves in Europe, and ice storms and big freezes across the globe, could become regular events if greenhouse gas emissions are not controlled.

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 READ MORE



Climate Change Raises Specter of Space Centre Invasion

Rising sea levels and repeated storm damage to natural coastal defenses pose an increasing threat to the famous Cape Canaveral rocket launch site in Florida.

Posted on Dec 15, 2014 READ MORE



Deep Concern Over Invisible Threat to Antarctic Glaciers

As ocean temperatures rise, warmer currents are attacking the Antarctic ice sheet from below and adding to the threats posed by a melting rate that has trebled in the last two decades.

Posted on Dec 13, 2014 READ MORE



Not Long to Wait Till Released CO2 Turns Up Temperature

Scientists have determined the precise time lag before warming from newly-released greenhouse gases starts to show up on the planet’s thermometer—and it’s much shorter than previously suspected.

Posted on Dec 7, 2014 READ MORE



Tribal Lands Are Vital for Amazon Forest Carbon Sink

As land rights of indigenous peoples are increasingly being violated, new research shows that destruction of the Amazon rainforest is a major threat not only to cultural identity but also to the global climate.

Posted on Dec 6, 2014 READ MORE



Scientists Hammer Out Warning on Climate Change Risks

A group of international experts says time is rapidly running out to take serious steps to avert the impact of global warming by prioritizing a switch to clean energy systems.

Posted on Dec 5, 2014 READ MORE



High-Tech Mirror: Cool New Answer to Air Conditioning Problem?

As extremes of heat increasingly threaten to become the norm, scientists have invented a new way to reflect sunlight and beam heat away from buildings straight back into space.

Posted on Dec 1, 2014 READ MORE



Canada’s Polar Bears Face Food Crisis by 2100

Due to the shrinkage of the sea ice, the survival of polar bears in Canada’s Arctic Archipelago is doubtful in around 80 years’ time.

Posted on Nov 30, 2014 READ MORE



Geoengineering Could Worsen Climate Change

Resorting to geoengineering to tackle climate change would be an admission of failure, UK scientists say.

Posted on Nov 29, 2014 READ MORE



Warming World Spells Trouble for Growing and Aging Populations

As average temperatures rise an increasing global population—with many more elderly people—is going to be more vulnerable to extreme weather, UK scientists say.

Posted on Nov 28, 2014 READ MORE



Iron’s Mixed Blessing for Health of Oceans

New research shows that iron fertilization stimulates growth of the plankton that help transport carbon dioxide to the deep ocean—but swells the number of small creatures who feed on plankton and whose shells put CO2 back into the atmosphere.

Posted on Nov 17, 2014 READ MORE



Science Offers New View of Hopes for Human Survival

Astrophysicists say questions about the sustainability of civilization on our high-tech planet may soon be answered scientifically as a result of new data about the Earth and other planets in its galaxy.

Posted on Nov 16, 2014 READ MORE



Diet’s Effects on Emissions Give Food for Thought

American researchers confirm that a shift to vegetarian, Mediterranean or fish-based diets would cut greenhouse gases, conserve forests and savannah, and have a big impact on obesity-linked health problems.

Posted on Nov 15, 2014 READ MORE



Scientist Acts Out Dramatic Effect of Climate Change

A spellbinding solo performance by veteran climate scientist Chris Rapley puts the climate debate center stage—and earns the admiration of London theater critics.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 READ MORE



Climate Change Will Send Pollen Count Soaring

Bad news for hay fever and asthma sufferers as U.S. researchers demonstrate that man-made rises in CO2 emissions could lead to a 200 percent increase in levels of pollen from grasses.

Posted on Nov 9, 2014 READ MORE



Why Warnings on Climate Spark Aggressive Denials

A new book argues that death threats and abuse illustrate how climate change messengers are being demonized in a way that is without parallel in the history of science.

Posted on Nov 8, 2014 READ MORE



Salt’s Poisonous Effect Is a Growing Threat to Crops

Each week the world loses an area of land the size of Manhattan to salt degradation thanks to poor soil management, bad drainage and other problems.

Posted on Nov 1, 2014 READ MORE



Arctic Melting Sends Winter Warning to Europe and Asia

Patterns of winds and pressure systems traced by researchers to the decline in Arctic sea ice can transport cold air further south and create harsher winters in Eurasia.

Posted on Oct 31, 2014 READ MORE



Global Hydropower Boom Threatens Rivers Worldwide

Scientists predict a doubling in production of renewable energy from hydropower over the next 20 years, but building new dams will have a damaging effect on some of the world’s major rivers.

Posted on Oct 30, 2014 READ MORE



Climate Change Linked to Reduced Size of Alpine Chamois

Scientists have found strong evidence that declining body size in herds of the chamois mountain goats that are hunted in the Italian Alps is linked to warmer spring and summer temperatures.

Posted on Oct 27, 2014 READ MORE



Sea Rise May Still Pose Man-Sized Threat

Although new research discounts the likelihood of a two-meter sea rise this century, the predicted impacts of global warming are still bad news for the many millions of people living at or near sea level.

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 READ MORE



Air Pollution Compounds Effects of Climate Change

Reduced monsoon rainfall and increased river flow are two extremes that new research has linked to man-made impacts on climate caused by air pollution.

Posted on Oct 13, 2014 READ MORE



Wind Turbines May Lure Bats Into Fatal Errors

Hi-tech thermal surveillance techniques have enabled U.S. researchers to home in on the likelihood that mistaking wind turbines for trees may be the cause of many bat deaths.

Posted on Oct 12, 2014 READ MORE



World of Clean Energy ‘Feasible’ by Mid-Century

International researchers, in what they believe is the most comprehensive global assessment of clean energy’s potential, report that a low-carbon system could supply the world’s electricity needs by 2050.

Posted on Oct 10, 2014 READ MORE



Human Handprint Marks Australia’s Hottest Year

Despite the Australian prime minister’s climate science skepticism, research funded by taxpayers has unanimously found man-made climate change guilty of causing the country’s record-breaking temperatures last year.

Posted on Oct 4, 2014 READ MORE



Why Greenland Is Likely to Melt More Quickly Than Previously Expected

Scientists who have examined the role of the bedrock beneath the Greenland ice sheet think it shows the huge island is more vulnerable than realized to global warming.

Posted on Oct 2, 2014 READ MORE



Warmer Atlantic Widens Invader’s Hunting Ground

The exotic lionfish, already a long way from the reefs of its Indo-Pacific home, is heading further north up the U.S. coast as global warming causes big changes in ocean habitats.

Posted on Sep 29, 2014 READ MORE



California Burning Points to More Intense Wildfires

As the forest fires season peaks in the Western U.S., a new report predicts that climate-led temperature rise will lead to millions more acres across the world being burned to the ground.

Posted on Sep 28, 2014 READ MORE



Ice Melt Dilutes Arctic Sea’s CO2 Cleanup Role

New scientific research confirms that global warming is melting increasingly larger areas of Arctic sea ice—and reducing its vital function of removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

Posted on Sep 27, 2014 READ MORE



Croplands Changed by Climate’s Ups and Downs

New research shows that the complex balance of gains and losses caused by climate change could mean more land being available for agriculture—but fewer harvests.

Posted on Sep 26, 2014 READ MORE



Record CO2 Levels Fuel Urgent Calls for Emissions Cuts

The alarming message from international scientists to political leaders meeting at Tuesday’s U.N. Climate Summit in New York is that record global CO2 emissions this year mean “delaying action is not an option.”

Posted on Sep 22, 2014 READ MORE



U.N. Population Growth Data Is Bad News for Climate

A sophisticated new analysis indicates an 80 percent probability that the planet’s population will continue to rise this century, with serious implications for food security, political stability—and climate change.

Posted on Sep 20, 2014 READ MORE



Warming Will Leave Drought-Hit California Reeling

Researchers in the U.S. warn that climate change could worsen California droughts by drastically reducing water flow from the Sierra Nevada mountains while simultaneously threatening the extinction of a rare species of fish.

Posted on Sep 19, 2014 READ MORE



Weather Patterns Show Climate Is Changing U.S.

Fiercer tornadoes, more prolonged periods of drought and loss of native fish species are some of the damaging impacts predicted for the U.S. as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.

Posted on Sep 12, 2014 READ MORE



Fresh Water Causes Antarctic Seas to Rise Faster

Researchers in the U.K. have established that billions of tonnes of fresh water from melting glaciers are causing Antarctic sea levels to rise much higher and faster than the global average.

Posted on Sep 8, 2014 READ MORE



Less Snow Won’t End Blizzard Hazard

New research predicts that while there will be less snow in a warming world, the sort of severe snowstorms that caused chaos in the U.S. this year will remain a serious hazard.

Posted on Sep 7, 2014 READ MORE



Sun Sheds Light on Arctic Carbon Puzzle

Scientists discover that, as the Arctic continues to warm, sunlight will be the major cause of CO2 escaping into the atmosphere from vegetation preserved in frozen soil.

Posted on Sep 5, 2014 READ MORE



Satellite Mapping Shows Ice Caps’ Faster Melt Rate

Scientists have been able to measure more accurately than ever the thickness of the world’s major ice caps—revealing that melting is causing the loss of 500 cubic kilometers of ice annually.

Posted on Sep 1, 2014 READ MORE



Food Security Faces Growing Pest Advance

Warmer temperatures and globalization are helping many pests that attack some of the world’s staple foods to extend their range with possibly devastating impacts, scientists say.

Posted on Aug 31, 2014 READ MORE



Europe’s Warming Raises Tropical Disease Risk

As greenhouse gases raise temperatures in Europe, British researchers warn that the risk of the arrival of mosquito-borne diseases that kill many thousands of people every year in tropical regions is increasing.

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 READ MORE



Pre-History Proof of Climate’s Seesaw Sensitivity

Computer simulations reaching back deep into the last Ice Age have enabled scientists to put a historic perspective on how even small variations in the climate system can lead to dramatic temperature change.

Posted on Aug 25, 2014 READ MORE



Atlantic Depths May Hold Key to Heat Hiatus

Researchers analyzing millions of oceanographic measurements believe they may finally have gotten to the bottom of the conundrum about why there is a slowdown in global warming despite greenhouse gas emissions rising.

Posted on Aug 23, 2014 READ MORE



Climate and Economy Fan Flames in Spain

The combined forces of climate, economic and social change are leaving Spain increasingly exposed to the damaging and costly effects of wildfires.

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 READ MORE



Human Factor Speeds Up Glacial Melting

Scientists simulating changes in mountain glaciers over the last century and half have established that rates of melting have increased greatly in recent years—and that humans are the main culprits.

Posted on Aug 18, 2014 READ MORE



High-Tech Quest for Arctic Sea Ice Answers

A sophisticated array of automatic sensors will allow scientists to conduct the longest ever monitoring program to determine the precise physics of summer sea ice melt in the Arctic.

Posted on Jul 20, 2014 READ MORE



New Clue to Antarctic Food-Web Puzzle

Researchers in the U.S. say a landmark census that shows one species of penguin is thriving while other populations are in rapid decline offers new insight into how climate change is affecting Antarctica.

Posted on Jul 18, 2014 READ MORE



Desert Dust Feeds Deep Ocean Life

Most of the iron found in the Atlantic Ocean is provided by dust from the Sahara Desert, two U.S. scientists have discovered.

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 READ MORE



Gene Machinery Helps Plants Handle CO2 Rise

The discovery by U.S. biologists of how plants respond to increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere could provide agricultural scientists with new tools to engineer crops that can deal with droughts and high temperatures.

Posted on Jul 10, 2014 READ MORE



Quick Fixes Won’t Solve CO2 Danger

New U.S. research supports evidence that cutting carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels is the only way to limit global warming in the long term.

Posted on Jul 6, 2014 READ MORE



Whalers’ Tales Shed New Light on Arctic Ice

A new study analyzing the log books of British whaling ships’ journeys more than 200 years ago has gathered vital data on the Arctic ice sheet before extensive fossil fuel use began to affect climate.

Posted on Jul 5, 2014 READ MORE


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