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Atmospheric methane concentration plateaued leading up to 2006, but began to rise again in 2007. The source of the increase has been widely debated, but using satellite imagery a recent study has found that the increase can be ascribed to increased fossil fuels and livestock sources in roughly equal measure.
Approximately 800,000 years ago something changed in the Earth’s climate system that led to the climate then following a series of approximately 100,000 year cycles. Small, predictable changes in the Earth’s orbit about the Sun act as triggers for the glacial and interglacial periods, but other factors such as ice sheet volume, CO2 concentration, and biological feedback mechanisms are also involved.
Improved data coverage and analysis has made it possible to reconstruct temperature profiles across most ocean basins and at all depths to 6000 meters (m) from 1960 to 2015. The reconstructions reveal accelerating heating in the upper layers above 2000 m. Ocean warming is stronger since the late 1980s compared to the 1960s to the 1980s.
A recent study, published in Nature, reports on how anonymized data from three quarter of a million global smart phones was used to detect and map physical inactivity around the world. The study is an outstanding example of the type of scientific analyses that is possible using human beings as sensors.