climate change tagged posts

Trump throws cold water on climate change threat to coral reefs

A Goliath grouper on Aquarius Reef Base, Florida Keys

When pollsters informed President Donald Trump that he faces political exposure in the 2020 election with swing voters on environment policy, he decided to respond with a White House address claiming stewardship of clean water, air and oceans.

But as some Trump aides were drafting that speech, others were casting doubt on the significance of a climate threat to a key battleground state: the degradation of coral reefs in Florida.

Weeks before, a senior intelligence analyst at the State Department had submitted a draft of planned testimony to Congress detailing the national security implications of climate change for White House review.

Among the edits that the analyst, Rod Schoonover, received back from the White House was a novel argument...

Read More

Heat wave over Greenland causing massive ice melt

The heat wave that smashed high temperature records in five European countries a week ago is now over Greenland, accelerating the melting of the island’s ice sheet and causing massive ice loss in the Arctic. Greenland, the world’s largest island, is a semi-autonomous Danish territory between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans that has 82 per cent of its surface covered in ice. 

The area of the Greenland ice sheet that is showing indications of melt has been growing daily, and hit a record 56.5 per cent for this year on Wednesday, said Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist with the Danish Meteorological Institute. She says that’s expected to expand and peak on Thursday before cooler temperatures slow the pace of the melt.

More than 10 billion tonnes of ice was lost to the oceans by surf...

Read More

Five Years To Save Ourselves From Climate Change, Harvard Scientist Says

The level of carbon now in the atmosphere hasn’t been seen in 12 million years, a Harvard scientist said in Chicago Thursday, and this pollution is rapidly pushing the climate back to its state in the Eocene Epoch, more than 33 million years ago, when there was no ice on either pole.

“We have exquisite information about what that state is, because we have a paleo record going back millions of years, when the earth had no ice at either pole. There was almost no temperature difference between the equator and the pole,” said James Anderson, a Harvard University professor of atmospheric chemistry best known for establishing that chlorofluorocarbons were damaging the Ozone Layer.

“The ocean was running almost 10ºC warmer all the way to the bottom than it is today,” Anderson said of thi...

Read More

US is hotbed of climate change denial, major global survey finds

Sunny day in the arctic

The US is a hotbed of climate science denial when compared with other countries, with international polling finding a significant number of Americans do not believe human-driven climate change is occurring.

A total of 13% of Americans polled in a 23-country survey conducted by the YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project agreed with the statement that the climate is changing “but human activity is not responsible at all”. A further 5% said the climate was not changing.

Only Saudi Arabia (16%) and Indonesia (18%) had a higher proportion of people doubtful of manmade climate change.

Americans were also more likely than any other western country polled to say they did not know whether the climate was changing or people were responsible – a total of 13% said this.

But desp...

Read More

Coral reefs ‘moving towards the Poles to escape Climate Change’

coral reef

Reef corals in equatorial regions are going to start moving toward the poles as climate change takes hold, scientists have said. By analyzing the ranges of reefs from the fossil record, researchers are able to build a picture of how these systems respond to climate change—and then project how they might respond under future global warming.

Findings show that, under two climate change scenarios set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), reefs are likely to expand their poleward range—in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres—and decline in the regions they currently occupy. This will mean a fundamental change to the locations of reef corals in the future.

The study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, examines the fossil record for ho...

Read More

The Earth Is Just as Alive as You Are

Every year the nearly 400 billion trees in the Amazon rain forest and all the creatures that depend on them are drenched in seven feet of rain — four times the annual rainfall in London. This deluge is partly due to geographical serendipity. Intense equatorial sunlight speeds the evaporation of water from sea and land to sky, trade winds bring moisture from the ocean, and bordering mountains force incoming air to rise, cool and condense. Rain forests happen where it happens to rain.

But that’s only half the story. Life in the Amazon does not simply receive rain — it summons it. All of that lush vegetation releases 20 billion tons of water vapor into the sky every day. Trees saturate the air with gaseous compounds and salts. Fungi exhale plumes of spores...

Read More

Carbon lurking in deep ocean threw ancient climate switch, say researchers

The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, seen here in simplified form, brings warm water northward

A million years ago, a longtime pattern of alternating glaciations and warm periods dramatically changed, when ice ages suddenly became longer and more intense. Scientists have long suspected that this was connected to the slowdown of a key Atlantic Ocean current system that today once again is slowing. A new study of sediments from the Atlantic bottom directly links this slowdown with a massive buildup of carbon dragged from the air into the abyss. With the system running at full speed, this carbon would have percolated back into the air fairly quickly, but during this period it just stagnated in the depths. This suggests that the carbon drawdown cooled the planet—the opposite of the greenhouse effect we are seeing now, as humans pump carbon into the atmosphere...

Read More

Northern Red Sea coral defiant against climate change

corals and sponges

As announced by the United Nations data on climate change, 30 percent of carbon dioxide produced by humans is absorbed by oceans, which endangers the maritime live. However, some maritime creatures of the northern Red Sea stand defiant against the increasing temperatures of oceans and seas. 

Unlike all kinds of coral reefs all over the world, coral reefs in the northern Red Sea stand defiant against ocean warming even if the sea water temperature increases by 6 °C in the summer, Professor of Marine Environment in the Faculty of Science at Al-Azhar University Eslam Osama told Egypt Today. 

“No coral bleaching was recorded in the northern Red Sea over the past three decades and that indicatesthat coral reefs in this area are less sensitive to high temperature,” said Osama, who conduc...

Read More

Coral reefs threatened by freshwater as much as rising temps

Coral reef threatened by freshwater

Scientists have found that dramatic changes in ocean salinity trigger the same stress response in corals as extreme heat. For example, when severe freshwater flooding greatly reduces the salinity of the seawater, corals can experience potentially fatal “freshwater bleaching.”

The researchers used the sequenced genome of the common reef-building coral Acropora millepora to detect changes in the coral’s biology when exposed to a sudden drop in seawater salinity. The experts observed a biochemical response which was similar to that from marine heatwaves, but potentially more damaging.

“Using the sophisticated labs at the National Sea Simulator, we put both young and adult corals under a salinity stress test to see how they respond to differing salinity concentrations,” said stu...

Read More

Northern Red Sea coral reefs may survive a hot, grim future

Red Sea Corals may survive a hot, grim future

As the outlook for coral reefs across a warming planet grows grimmer, scientists in Israel have discovered a rare glimmer of hope: The corals of the northern Red Sea may survive, and even thrive, into the next century.

There is broad scientific consensus that the effects of climate change have devastated the world’s reefs, recently ravaging large swaths of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, one of the natural wonders of the world.

The carbon dioxide that humans pump into the atmosphere spikes the temperature and acidity of seawater, which both poisons the marine invertebrates and hampers their growth at alarming rates, according to studies published last year in the journal Science. Experts estimate that half of the corals that existed in the early 20th century have died.

But...

Read More