Articles

Observed coupling between surface temperature and atmospheric CO2 extended to 1.5 million years ago

Evidence from Antarctic ice cores have revealed a close correlation between surface temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration for the past 800,000 years (excluding the immediate present.) A recent analysis of Antarctic blue ice has found that the close correlation between temperature CO2 extends to 1.5 million years ago during the time when the glacial/interglacial period was 40,000 years.

Geospatial analysis reveals 20% of northern permafrost region susceptible to abrupt permafrost thawing

Northern permafrost soils represent the largest terrestrial organic carbon pool on Earth. A study the northern circumpolar permafrost zones reveals that landscapes susceptible to abrupt thawing with the release of significant quantities of carbon dioxide and methane cover 20% of the northern permafrost region and store up to half its soil organic carbon.

Link between Milankovitch’s theory of orbital forcing and ice ages remains an open question

A seminal book by Milankovitch in 1941 proposed that the sequence of ice ages that has characterized long term changes in the Earth’s climate over the past hundreds of thousands of years was due to changes in the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth as a result of small variations in the Earth’s orientation and orbit with respect to the sun. Since then research has shown that Milankovitch cycles by themselves do not determine the timing of glacial and interglacial cycles and that we still lack a unified mechanism that links changes in Earth’s orbit to ice ages.

Low cost sensor enables citizen scientists to measure and share urban air pollution data over the web

Based on the latest results from WHO air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk, linked to 12% of all global deaths. Citizen scientists can contribute to measuring air pollution using a low cost sensor measuring atmospheric particulate matter and share the measurements via open source geospatial web mapping software.

Decreasing oxygen in open ocean threatens biological diversity

Oxygen is fundamental to oceanic biological processes and its decline can cause major changes in ocean productivity and biodiversity. Over the past 50 years low oxygen zones in the open oceans have expanded by an area equivalent to half the size of Canada and hundreds of coastal sites now have low oxygen concentrations that limit the distribution and abundance of animal populations.

Greenhouse gas emissions from melting permafrost not yet significant

As the Earth warms, permafrost soils melt and this old carbon is released into the atmosphere as methane and CO2. Using radiocarbon dating of methane bubbles and soil organic carbon from lakes formed by melting thermafrost in Alaska, Canada, Sweden and Siberia combined with remote sensing it is found that methane and carbon dioxide releaed in the Arctic region during the past 60 years is much less than the CO2 contributed annually from anthropogenic and other sources.