Irrigation helps beat the heat of global warming

Large-scale irrigation can help alleviate and even reverse hot extremes driven by human activity and other drivers of global warming, a new international study has found. The research, led by ETH Zurich in Switzerland, showed that irrigation dampens and in some cases offsets the combined effects of global warming on hot days. The researchers compared … Read more Irrigation helps beat the heat of global warming

Seismic biomarkers in Japan Trench fault zone reveal history of large earthquakes

In the aftermath of the devastating Tohoku-Oki earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan in March 2011, seismologists were stunned by the unprecedented 50 meters of shallow displacement along the fault, which ruptured all the way to the surface of the seafloor. This extreme slip at shallow depths exacerbated the massive tsunami that, together … Read more Seismic biomarkers in Japan Trench fault zone reveal history of large earthquakes

Density-compensated overturning in the Labrador Sea

A recent study finds that the observed weak linkage between the Labrador Sea convection, a process that mixes surface waters to depth, and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a basin-scale circulation critical to the climate system, can be attributed to the density compensation by temperature and salinity. Using observational and reanalysis data, this study … Read more Density-compensated overturning in the Labrador Sea

Future subtropical warming accelerates tropical climate change

In response to future fossil fuel burning, climate computer models simulate a pronounced warming in the tropical oceans. This warming can influence the El Niño phenomenon and shift weather and rainfall patterns across the globe. Despite being robustly simulated in computer models of the climate system, the origin of this accelerated tropical warming has remained … Read more Future subtropical warming accelerates tropical climate change

Sea-ice-free Arctic makes permafrost vulnerable to thawing

Permafrost is ground that remains frozen throughout the year; it covers nearly a quarter of Northern Hemisphere land. The frozen state of permafrost enables it to store large amounts of carbon; about twice as much as in the atmosphere. The rate and extent of future thawing of permafrost, and consequent release of its carbon, is … Read more Sea-ice-free Arctic makes permafrost vulnerable to thawing

Shutdown of coal-fired plants in U.S. saves lives and improves crop yields

The decommissioning of coal-fired power plants in the continental United States has reduced nearby pollution and its negative impacts on human health and crop yields, according to a new University of California San Diego study. The findings published this week in Nature Sustainability use the U.S. transition in recent years from coal towards natural gas for electric … Read more Shutdown of coal-fired plants in U.S. saves lives and improves crop yields

A better estimate of water-level rise in the Ganges delta

For the first time, scientists have provided reliable regional estimates of land subsidence and water-level rise in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta. Depending on the region of the delta, water-level rise could reach 85 to 140 cm by 2100. The work, published in PNAS on 6 January 2020 by researchers from the CNRS, IRD, BRGM, La Rochelle … Read more A better estimate of water-level rise in the Ganges delta

Formation of a huge underwater volcano offshore the Comoros

A new submarine volcano was formed off the island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean in 2018. This was shown by an oceanographic campaign in May 2019. Now an international team led by the scientist Simone Cesca from the German GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ is illuminating the processes deep inside the earth before and during the formation … Read more Formation of a huge underwater volcano offshore the Comoros

Antarctic waters: Warmer with more acidity and less oxygen

The increased freshwater from melting Antarctic ice sheets plus increased wind has reduced the amount of oxygen in the Southern Ocean and made it more acidic and warmer, according to new research led by University of Arizona geoscientists. The researchers found Southern Ocean waters had changed by comparing shipboard measurements taken from 1990 to 2004 … Read more Antarctic waters: Warmer with more acidity and less oxygen

In ancient scottish rings, a cautionary tale on climate, politics and survival

Using old tree rings and archival documents, historians and climate scientists have detailed an extreme cold period in Scotland in the 1690s that caused immense suffering. It decimated agriculture, killed as much as 15 percent of the population and sparked a fatal attempt to establish a Scottish colony in southern Panama. The researchers say the episode—shown in their study … Read more In ancient scottish rings, a cautionary tale on climate, politics and survival