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Posts Tagged "climate"

Compound Eye

2013-2014 Winter Honey Bee Losses Are Likely To Be Large

Apis mellifera

Over the next few months we will hear news of this winter’s honey bee losses in North America. The news won’t be good. Although official loss tallies have yet to be released, persistently cold weather across the northern part of the continent has made the 2013-2014 winter an unusually difficult one. Beekeepers relying on standard [...]

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Expeditions

The Return to Nepal: In Search of Soot

Ulyana Horodyskyj drilling on the frozen surface of Spillway Lake, Ngozumpa glacier, Nepal. She is studying the thermal properties of the water, through temperature sensor buoys in the depths of the lake.

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in a new series by Ulyana Horodyskyj, who chronicled an earlier expedition to Nepal in a series called, “Climbing Mount Everest,” which can be found by clicking here. Horodyskyj’s work focuses determining how airborne particles such as dust and soot that settle on massive glaciers alter how snow [...]

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Expeditions

All Aboard: how you can be a part of our research blog

Hi there! I’m Rose, a science journalist and producer. I live in Brooklyn now, where I write, produce and generally try to explain science-y things. But in a few weeks, I’ll be writing to you from somewhere far, far away from Brooklyn: the North Atlantic Ocean. I’m heading out to sea with a research group [...]

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Expeditions

The Catlin Arctic Survey: A melting ocean

There have been many media headlines recently concerning the melting of the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, often focused on the opening of the North West Passage and further commercial opportunities in this region. Current predictions are that there will be no summer time sea ice coverage by 2050. This increased flux of fresh [...]

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Expeditions

The Catlin Arctic Survey: Thermohaline circulation

If you look at a map of the world and draw a line through London, a latitude of about 50 degrees North and follow this line across the world, you’ll see that it passes through southern Siberia and skims the southern shores of Hudson Bay in Canada. The week before I came out to the [...]

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Expeditions

The Catlin Arctic Survey: The science

I do not consider myself to be an explorer and I have never had the desire to walk to the North Pole. I always compete with the cat to be in the warmest spot in the house. I take a hot water bottle to bed in the summer and I do not like to be [...]

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Expeditions

ICESCAPE scientists reach ‘Station 100′ and re-don mustang suits, hard hats and steel-toed boots

white board with plans on it

Editor’s Note: Haley Smith Kingsland is an Earth systems master’s student at Stanford University specializing in science communication. For five weeks she’s in the land of no sunsets participating in ICESCAPE, a NASA-sponsored research cruise to investigate the effects of climate change on the Chukchi and Bering seas. This is her fourth blog post for [...]

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Expeditions

ICESCAPE analyzes chlorophyll in algae: “The most important measurements of the whole cruise”

try of tiny plastic test tubes full of seawater samples

Editor’s Note: Haley Smith Kingsland is an Earth systems master’s student at Stanford University specializing in science communication. For five weeks she’s in the land of no sunsets participating in ICESCAPE, a NASA-sponsored research cruise to investigate the effects of climate change on the Chukchi and Bering seas. This is her third blog post for [...]

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Guest Blog

Can we capture all of the world’s carbon emissions?

In 2011, the world will emit more than 35 billion tons of carbon dioxide. Every day of the year, almost a hundred million tons will be released into the atmosphere. Every second more than a thousand tons – two million pounds – of carbon dioxide is emitted from power plants, cars, trucks, ships, planes, factories, [...]

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Guest Blog

Climate research in the geologic past

"Fire and Ice" Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice. Robert [...]

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Guest Blog

How to stop a hurricane (good luck, by the way)

As another hurricane season passes, I’m disappointed I didn’t hear Bill Gates resound with last year’s grand (yet perhaps logistically impossible) idea to dump tons of cold water in the path of moving twisters like Karl, Danielle, Lisa, and Tomas. Maybe Steve Jobs is plotting a more hip idea for 2011… Despite a tech mogul’s [...]

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Guest Blog

Now in 3-D: The shape of krill and fish schools

Watching videos of fish feeding frenzies is a very emotional experience for me. You know the videos I’m talking about (personal favorites here, 0:55 in, and here). They feature a swirling, glittering mass of fish that seems to dance and flit as a single entity while being torn apart by three or four types of [...]

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Guest Blog

To catch a fallen sea angel: A mighty mollusk detects ocean acidification

  "What’s more," snapped the Lorax. (His dander was up.) "Let me say a few words about Gluppity-Glupp. Your machine chugs on, day and night without stop making Gluppity-Glupp. Also Schloppity-Schlopp. And what do you do with this leftover goo?… I’ll show you. You dirty old Once-ler man, you! "You’re glumping the pond where the [...]

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Image of the Week

Drown Your Town

DrownYourTown_mini

From: Drown Your Town: what does your hometown look like with sea level rise? by David Wogan at Plugged In. Source: Andrew David Thaler Amid a couple of harrowing weeks in the science blogging community, a madcap and dastardly plan was hatched by the Southern Fried Scientist, Andrew David Thaler. Using Google Maps and a [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Solstice, Periapsis, and the Hades Orbit

The Sun rising above the Arctic plain (H. D. Nygren, NOAA Corps.)

As our spinning globe of rock and metal tracks its steady path around the Sun, we find ourselves crossing once again through the winter solstice, the point at which Earth’s northern pole is pointed as far from our fierce stellar parent as it can be (this year at a coordinated universal time of 5.30 am [...]

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Observations

Wind Turbines Generate “Upside-Down” Lightning [Video]

image of lightning emanating off of several wind turbine blades

The turning blades can actually help spark lightning strikes, potentially incapacitating wind turbines

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Observations

“Team Climate” Gets Sochi Athletes All Abuzz about Climate Change

Members of Team Climate pose with American Olympian Kyle Tress Credit: Courtesy Taylor Rees / Team Climate

This blog appears in the In-Depth Report Science at the Sochi Olympics Climate change poses a well-documented threat to ecosystems and human populations worldwide. But as the inexorable warming trend continues, it’s also endangering the future of winter sports. In a new report published in January by the University of Waterloo, researchers analyzed the suitability [...]

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Observations

Climate Change Future Suggested by Looking Back 4 Million Years [Video]

The last time the Earth enjoyed greenhouse gas levels like those of today was roughly 4 million years ago, during an era known as the Pliocene. The extra heat of average temperatures as much as 4 degrees Celsius warmer turned the tropical oceans into a nice warm pool of bathwater, as noted by new research [...]

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Observations

Smog Blog: World-Class Pollution Brings Tehran to a Halt

Tehran, smog, Tehran smog

During the first weeks of 2013, Tehran was often blanketed in a stagnant, brown layer of smog so thick and obtrusive that it was difficult to make out the conspicuous mountain ranges that encircle the city. After trying to regulate the number of cars on the streets, a measure that failed to reduce the noxious [...]

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Observations

The Science of Hurricane Sandy–Live Blog

birke

Welcome to Scientific American‘s Science of Sandy live blog where we are posting continuous updates on the storm and its aftermath, and answering your questions. If you have pictures, video, audio or questions about this tropical cyclone (categorized as a hurricane and a tropical storm at various times in its progress)—share them with us at sciamsandy@gmail.com, [...]

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Observations

Carbon Onset: CO2 Debt of Climate Conferences Grows and Grows and Grows

Solar panel at climate talks in Durban, South Africa

DURBAN, South Africa—When roughly 25,000 people descend on a city to talk climate change, you can expect at least two things: mountains of waste and copious emissions of the greenhouse gases that they’ve come to talk about so seriously. To offset the hundreds of thousands of tons of these lightweight gases emitted in the pursuit [...]

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Observations

Damage from Extreme Weather Increasing

line graph of billion dollar weather events

Hurricane Irene is part of a worsening trend. Weather disasters have grown more frequent and more costly over the past 30 years in the U.S., according to data that was released today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). On Thursday afternoon, NOAA posted a map of the 99 weather disasters that caused at [...]

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Observations

What does a blizzard on the U.S. East Coast mean for global warming?

brooklyn-snowstorm-2010

Short answer? Not much. In fact, while no single storm is anything more than weather, stronger winter storms are exactly what climate scientists expect from a warming climate. How can that be? Simple. Warmer air allows for more water vapor, the key constituent of snow (which accords with the folk wisdom from my home state, [...]

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Observations

New research confirms global surface winds are slowing, blames land use changes

Are surface winds around the world really slowing down? That’s the suggestion of a new study in Nature Geoscience. The authors built on previous studies indicating such a trend by analyzing surface wind data from 822 wind stations in Europe, Asia and North America. The study concludes that the widespread "atmospheric stilling" has more to [...]

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Observations

Cloud-talk decoded: Physics and lasers read honeycomb cloud pattern

honeycomb cloud patterns determined by rain

A thin, patchy cloud cover with clusters that seem to continuously form, dissipate and reemerge might not be just flowing at random. When these cloud fields appear over the ocean at least, their cycles and patterns are in fact quite regular, and new research explains how precipitation keeps an accumulation of these clouds knit closely [...]

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Plugged In

Map Monday: Will Global Warming Drown Your Hometown?

Istanbul after GIS modeling of climate change. Image courtesy of #DrownYourTown

You may recently have read about climate change and North Carolina for all the wrong reasons, entailing laws designed to forbid the mentioning of the term “climate change” as well as outright banning measurements of sea-level rise. At the heart of this drama, is elevation mapping technology applied to climate change to better understand future [...]

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Plugged In

If Climate Change Was Not Real…

A Scarlet Ibis Water Bird in the once-receding Amazon rainforest. Courtesy: Brandon Hoover.

… there would be a lot of other environmental issues to deal with. This is no big revelation, but it’s a question I’ve been pondering recently: What is the state of the world, not counting climate change? Or rather, what if we managed to reduce CO2 emissions to necessary levels, what would our focus be on [...]

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Plugged In

Are Parents More Focused On Earth’s Future?

800px-Crowded_swing

In my article over at The Atlantic, I describe an interesting trend in the University of Texas at Austin Energy Poll data. Parents appear to be more likely to express concern about critical environmental issues like climate change and more interested in changing their behavior to be smarter consumers when it comes to purchasing energy [...]

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Plugged In

God Controls the Climate, So You Can Relax

Detail of God creating the sun, moon and planets from the Sistine Chapel / Michelangelo Buonarroti

I know, he’s just a Tea Party candidate with almost no chance of election, but Greg Brannon, primary candidate for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Kay Hagen, said in a debate the other night that God controls the climate. And here all this time you’ve thought it was physics. [...]

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Plugged In

Full Frontal Nerdity

Tali_EV_London-200x200

I was once caught staring at energy efficiency guru Amory Lovins’ pocket protector, and without blinking he said, “Yes, it’s full frontal nerdity.” There was something refreshing about that sentiment, so let me similarly make my intentions clear: in joining SciAm Blogs, I hope to bring you some unnoticed news and engage you on a [...]

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Plugged In

Liberals May be More Morally Invested on Climate, but Conservatives Are More Likely to be Energy Efficient at Home

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 12.10.57 PM

Over at Mother Jones, Chris has a piece about the moral motivations of liberals and conservatives. He points to a new political psychology study led by Linda Skitka of the University of Illinois-Chicago considering the differing moral investments of individuals at both ends of the political spectrum. Skitka and her team report that conservatives feel [...]

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Plugged In

Do Americans Understand Energy? Not Really.

131014_Energy_Poll_Final1-04

The latest wave of the UT Energy Poll just came out (full disclosure: I am the director) and results highlight the large disconnect between energy and the American public. The poll is a nonpartisan, objective, and comprehensive nationwide survey covering topics from efficiency and voting behavior to climate change and hydraulic fracturing*. This time we [...]

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Plugged In

When David always beats Goliath

Image from http://rummuser.com/?p=2733

Perhaps I’m just out of touch or a just new school environmentalist, but I don’t agree with beating up on fossil fuels just because it’s the convenient thing to do. I see it all over the web and my Twitter feed, like today in this article from ThinkProgress about how the IPCC report has increased [...]

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Plugged In

Market forces have been hurting coal long before the EPA’s CO2 rules

taichi_385

War on coal? Not really. More like climate policy tai chi by the EPA.

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Plugged In

Don’t just blame the EPA – coal exports are down, too

coalbarge_seine_385

It’s important to understand that not all of the bad news for the coal industry is coming by way of the EPA. While the CO2 limits for new coal and gas plants complicates domestic power generation, the global market for U.S. coal is softening. Up until several months ago, many people (myself included) were expecting [...]

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Roots of Unity

The Most Breathtaking Video of the Weather You’ll Watch This Week

Last Monday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a video of the past 10 years of weather in the Americas. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite GOES-12, which had monitored the weather in North and South America since April 2003, was retired on August 16. This video shows one photo a day from the [...]

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SA Visual

On Climate Surveys, the People Agree—Mostly [Interactive]

climate_detail

It’s interesting to see how different points can pique the interest of different people looking at the same data set. My colleague Mark Fischetti (senior editor and partner-in-crime for many of the Graphic Science items in the magazine) was intrigued by bipartisan agreement on questions related to global warming in the survey results shown in [...]

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Symbiartic

Science on a Sphere & Falling in Love Again

14-024FEATURE

This week, the only dedicated science illustration conference in the country is taking place in Boulder, CO. The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators’ annual gathering is in full swing and there are fascinating developments to convey. First off, on Monday the keynote speakers addressed two sides of the same question: how can we engage more [...]

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Symbiartic

Dress So Chic You Can See It From Space

SlowFactory_mini

Since Bora Zivkovic first asked me to moderate a session back at ScienceOnline 2009, I’ve been hoping to instill the importance of imagery into the wider science communication conversation. And it’s been working, in fits and starts. One of the most enthusiastic advocates for bringing sciart into scicomm is thankfully also the Executive Director of ScienceOnline, [...]

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Symbiartic

Turns Out There IS Something New Under the Sun

13-039FEATURE

If there is anything new under the sun it has to be this – and delightfully, it’s the domain of the moon. This spectacular table by Adrien Segal captures tidal data collected from San Francisco Bay for the duration of a full lunar cycle, 29 days in April and May of 2006. I’m rarely rendered [...]

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