Greenland on thin ice?

The ice sheet covering Greenland is four times bigger than California — and holds enough water to raise global sea-level more than twenty feet if most of it were to melt. Today, sea levels are rising and the melting of Greenland is a major contributor. Understanding how fast this melting might proceed is a pressing question for policymakers and coastal …

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STACY MORFORD – When Permafrost Melts, What Happens to All That Stored Carbon?

The Arctic’s frozen ground contains large stores of organic carbon that have been locked in the permafrost for thousands of years. As global temperatures rise, that permafrost is starting to melt, raising concerns about the impact on the climate as organic carbon becomes exposed. A new study is shedding light on what that could mean for the future by providing …

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Andrew Rice – This is New York in the not-so-distant future

Klaus Jacob, a German professor affiliated with Columbia’s University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, is a geophysicist by profession and a doomsayer by disposition. I’ve gotten to know him over the past few years, as I’ve sought to understand the greatest threat to life in New York as we know it. Jacob has a white beard and a ponderous accent: Imagine if Werner …

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Emma Stone – The Last Time Earth Was This Hot Hippos Lived in Britain (That’s 130,000 Years Ago)

It’s official: 2015 was the warmest year on record. But those global temperature records only date back to 1850 and become increasingly uncertain the further back you go. Beyond then, we’re reliant on signs left behind in tree rings, ice cores or rocks. So when was the Earth last warmer than the present? The Medieval Warm Period is often cited …

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Tim Radford – Drought as the New Normal for the US West

One way or another, humans are to blame for the catastrophic drought in California that scientists say may be emerging as a “new normal”. Either humans have mismanaged the state’s water, or human-triggered global warming has begun to help turn America’s landscape of wine and roses into a dustbowl, according to two new studies. And the arguments have relevance extending …

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Carbon emissions could dramatically increase risk of U.S. megadroughts

Droughts in the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains during the last half of this century could be drier and longer than drought conditions seen in those regions in the last 1,000 years, according to a new NASA study. The study, published Thursday in the journal Science Advances, is based on projections from several climate models, including one sponsored by NASA. …

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New Study Shows California Droughts Driven by Climate Change and Here to Stay

The increasingly frequent and severe droughts that have punished California over the past two decades—including the current record-breaking one—are primarily the result of human-caused climate change and will likely grow even worse, scientists at Stanford University warn. Published in Monday’s issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the new research analyzes historical records, as well as computer simulations of global …

Syrian Conflict Has Underlying Links to Climate Change, Says Study

UNITED NATIONS, Mar 2 2015 (IPS) – Was the four-year-old military conflict in Syria, which has claimed the lives of over 200,000 people, mostly civilians, triggered at least in part by climate change? A new study by Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory says “a record drought that ravaged Syria in 2006-2010 was likely stoked by ongoing man-made climate change, and that the drought …