Climate Science

15/01/14
Author: 
Staff
The tailings pond at the Syncrude mine north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Tar sands could become a 'stranded asset', campaigners say Photograph: Ashley Cooper pics/Alamy

Canada's carbon emissions will soar 38% by 2030 mainly due to expanding tar sands projects, according to the government's own projections.In a new report to the United Nations, the Harper administration says it expects emissions of 815million tonnes of CO2 in 2030, up from 590Mt in 1990.

15/01/14
Author: 
Jeff Toleffson

The biggest mystery in climate science today may have begun, unbeknownst to anybody at the time, with a subtle weakening of the tropical trade winds blowing across the Pacific Ocean in late 1997. These winds normally push sun-baked water towards Indonesia. When they slackened, the warm water sloshed back towards South America, resulting in a spectacular example of a phenomenon known as El Niño. Average global temperatures hit a record high in 1998 — and then the warming stalled.

Category: 
11/01/14
Author: 
Renfrey Clarke

“Today, after two decades of bluff and lies, the remaining 2°C budget demands revolutionary change to the political and economic hegemony.” That was in a blog posting last year by Kevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change at Manchester University. One of Britain’s most eminent climate scientists, Anderson is also Deputy Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Or, we might take this blunt message, from an interview in November: “We need bottom-up and top-down action.

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05/01/14
Author: 
Barry Saxifrage
ExxonMobil report

ExxonMobil's influential global energy report, "The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040", says that new technologies like fracking and tar sands are unlocking a gusher of oil and natural gas. Our ability to extract new sources of fossilized carbon is growing even faster than we can burn them up.

Category: 
07/01/14
Author: 
Andrew Freedman
Scott Olsen/Getty Images

While the ongoing cold snap is breaking records from Minnesota to Florida, it will not go down in history as the most significant Arctic outbreak in U.S. history, not even by a longshot. Scientists said the deep freeze gripping the U.S. does not indicate a halt or reversal in global warming trends, either. In fact, it may be a counterintuitive example of global warming in action. Researchers told Climate Central that the weather pattern driving the extreme cold into the U.S.

Category: 
31/12/13
Author: 
Oliver Milmann
Accounting for cloud formation

The Earth’s climate is far more sensitive to carbon dioxide emissions than previously thought, heightening the likelihood of a 4C temperature rise by 2100, new Australian-led research of cloud systems has found. The study, published in Nature, provides new understanding on the role of cloud formation in climate sensitivity – one of the key uncertainties in predictions of climate change.

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13/12/11
Author: 
Steve Connor
Arctic methane plume

Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane - a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide - have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region. The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.

13/11/13
Author: 
John Abraham & Dana Nuccitelli

A new paper published in The Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society fills in the gaps in the UK Met Office HadCRUT4 surface temperature data set, and finds that the global surface warming since 1997 has happened more than twice as fast as the HadCRUT4 estimate. This short video abstract summarizes the study's approach and results.

Category: 
18/12/13
Author: 
Countercurrents.org
Carbon Cycle

Latest climate and biosphere modelling suggests that the length of time carbon remains in vegetation during the global carbon cycle -- known as 'residence time' -- is the key "uncertainty" in predicting how Earth's terrestrial plant life -- and consequently almost all life -- will respond to higher CO2 levels and global warming, say researchers.[1] Carbon will spend increasingly less time in vegetation as the negative impacts of climate change take their toll through factors such as increased drought levels -- with carbon rapidly rele

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18/12/13
Author: 
Phil Plait
Antarctic ice

One of the key indicators and consequences of global warming is ice loss at the Earth’s poles. As the planet warms, on average and over time, more ice melts every summer. It refreezes in the winter, but again, as temperatures rise, in general we’ll see less ice at any given time as compared to the year before. The situation for the two poles is different. In the north, the Arctic ice floats on the ocean, and in the south, the Antarctic ice is over land and sea. This means that they ways they melt — how quickly, how much, even where specifically in those regions — are different.

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