Climate and Atmosphere
Climate change is making our environment 'bluer'ScienceDaily.com | 06 Apr 2011
The "color" of our environment is becoming "bluer," a change that could have important implications for animals' risk of becoming extinct, ecologists have found. In a major study, researchers examined how quickly or slowly animal populations and their environment change over time, something ecologists describe using "spectral color."
Ozone layer damaged by unusually harsh winterThe Independent | 05 Apr 2011
The stratospheric ozone layer, which shields the Earth from the Sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, has been damaged to its greatest-ever extent over the Arctic this winter.
Obama calls for cut in US oil imports by a thirdGuardian Unlimited | 31 Mar 2011
President announces fuel efficiency goals - but Republicans push to stop administration from acting on climate change. Barack Obama called for cutting US oil imports by a third on Wednesday, in a speech aimed at defending his energy agenda from Republican attacks. President Obama also said the federal government would buy only advanced technology vehicles – such as electric plug-ins and hybrids – by 2015.
The mystery of the 1993 global warming TV ad - The GuardianGuardian Unlimited | 29 Mar 2011
You know how it is. You're searching rather aimlessly online when you get distracted by something else entirely only never to return to the thing you were originally searching for. This is exactly what happened to me a few weeks ago when searching on ...
Haven't we had 'global cooling' lately?Guardian Unlimited | 28 Mar 2011
The planet did cool slightly from the 1940s to the 1970s, mainly in the northern hemisphere and most likely a result of the post-war boom in industrial aerosol pollutants that bounce sunlight away from the Earth. Despite a flurry of 1970s media reports on an imminent ice age, there was never anything approaching a scientific consensus on the likelihood of further cooling, and it appears that greenhouse warming has long since eclipsed the mid-century cool spell.
Untapped crop data from Africa predicts corn peril if temperatures riseScienceDaily.com | 15 Mar 2011
Researchers have found a valuable, untapped resource in historical data from crop yield trials conducted across sub-Saharan Africa. Combined with weather records, they show that yield losses would occur across 65 percent of maize-growing areas from a temperature rise of a single degree Celsius, even with sufficient water. Data from yield tests in other regions of the world could help predict changes in crop yields from climate change.
'Climategate' undermined belief in global warming among many TV meteorologists, study showsScienceDaily.com | 23 Feb 2011
'Climategate' -- the unauthorized release in late 2009 of stolen e-mails between climate scientists in the US and United Kingdom -- undermined belief in global warming and possibly also trust in climate scientists among TV meteorologists in the United States, at least temporarily. Doubts were most pronounced among politically conservative weathercasters and those who either do not believe in global warming or do not yet know.
Plankton key to origin of Earth's first breathable atmosphereScienceDaily.com | 22 Feb 2011
Researchers studying the origin of Earth's first breathable atmosphere have zeroed in on the major role played by some very unassuming creatures: plankton. Scientists have now shown how plankton provided a critical link between the atmosphere and chemical isotopes stored in rocks 500 million years ago.
Ozone layer's future linked strongly to changes in climate, study findsScienceDaily.com | 17 Feb 2011
The ozone layer -- the thin atmospheric band high-up in the stratosphere that protects living things on Earth from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, not to be confused with damaging ozone pollution close to the ground -- faces potential new challenges even as it continues its recovery from earlier damage, according to a recently released international science assessment. The report also presents stronger evidence that links changes in stratospheric ozone and Earth's climate.
Blame human emissions for British floodsNew Scientist | 16 Feb 2011
Al Gore famously had his knuckles rapped for implying that human-induced climate change had caused hurricane Katrina. The scientific party line then was "No single weather event can be attributed to climate change". It's a line that has held strong but is beginning to fray.
The weather in JanuaryGuardian Unlimited | 07 Feb 2011
A period of cold, wintry weather in Scotland up to 11 January was followed by a mild and wet spell across the UK between 12 and 16 January. Anticyclonic conditions early in the month gave way to a prevalence of low pressure, then mild south-westerlies, and between 7 and 17 January there was a lot of rain, some of it heavy. High pressure built again through the second half of the month, leading to a drier, colder last week or so.
Greenland's race for minerals threatens culture on the edge of existenceGuardian Unlimited | 06 Feb 2011
In his third dispatch from Greenland, Stephen Pax Leonard reports on the changes facing the Inughuit people, as mining of the country's vast untapped mineral wealth looks set to overwhelm their traditions. The old Inuktun word for February is hiqinnaaq - the time when the sun reappears. In this part of Greenland, the sun rises above the horizon again on 17 February, finally bringing to an end the kapirdaq (the dark period) which lasts for three and a half months.
"Green" job creation risks backfiring: LomborgReuters | 06 Feb 2011
Investments to create new jobs in clean energies risk backfiring by curbing employment in other parts of the economy, a study commissioned by Danish "Skeptical Environmentalist" Bjorn Lomborg said on Monday.
More frequent drought likely in eastern AfricaScienceDaily.com | 28 Jan 2011
The increased frequency of drought observed in eastern Africa over the last 20 years is likely to continue as long as global temperatures continue to rise, according to new research. This poses increased risk to the estimated 17.5 million people in the Greater Horn of Africa who currently face potential food shortages.
Why Genghis Khan was good for the planetGuardian Unlimited | 26 Jan 2011
Laying waste to land scrubbed 700m tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. His empire lasted a century and a half and eventually covered nearly a quarter of the earth's surface. His murderous Mongol armies were responsible for the massacre of as many as 40 million people. Even today, his name remains a byword for brutality and terror. But boy, was Genghis green.