Minor variations in ice sheet size can trigger abrupt climate change

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Small fluctuations in the sizes of ice sheets during the last ice age were enough to trigger abrupt climate change, scientists have found. The team compared simulated model data with that retrieved from ice cores and marine sediments in a bid to find out why temperature jumps of up to ten degrees took place in far northern latitudes within just a few decades during the last ice age....

NOAA Opens a Window (Screen) on the World of Toxic Algae

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Using little more than a common window screen, scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science have developed a simple, low-cost tool to monitor harmful bottom-dwelling algae in diverse marine habitats around the world.

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Ocean warming could drive heavy rain bands toward poles

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In a world warmed by rising atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, precipitation patterns are going to change because of two factors: one, warmer air can hold more water; and two, changing atmospheric circulation patterns will shift where rain falls. According to previous model research, mid- to high-latitude precipitation is expected to increase by as much as 50 percent. Yet the reasons why models predict this are hard to tease out....

Sun’s activity influences natural climate change, ice age study shows

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A new study has, for the first time, reconstructed solar activity during the last ice age. The study shows that the regional climate is influenced by the sun and offers opportunities to better predict future climate conditions in certain regions....

Antarctica’s ice discharge could raise sea level faster than previously thought

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Ice discharge from Antarctica could contribute up to 37 centimeters to the global sea level rise within this century, a new study shows. For the first time, an international team of scientists provide a comprehensive estimate on the full range of Antarctica's potential contribution to global sea level rise based on physical computer simulations. The study combines a whole set of state-of-the-art climate models and observational data with various ice models....

Snow has thinned on Arctic sea ice, study finds

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Modern measurements and historic observations provide a decades-long record showing that the snowpack on Arctic sea ice is thinning. What thinner snow will mean for the ice is not certain. Deeper snow actually shields ice from cold air, so a thinner blanket may allow the ice to grow thicker during the winter. On the other hand, thinner snow cover may allow the ice to melt earlier in the springtime....

Survey of marine scientists: Ocean productivity, ocean acidification, ocean-life stressors are serious issues

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Declines in ocean productivity, increases in ocean acidification, and the cumulative effects of multiple stressors on ocean health are among the most pressing issues facing coastal and maritime countries, according to a survey of scientists. All three issues were ranked in the top five ocean research priorities by oceanographers and marine ecologists from around the globe....

NOAA Forecasts Support Response to Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom

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NOAA scientists continue to issue timely forecasts to aid in the response to a bloom of cyanobacteria that contaminated drinking water in Lake Erie on Aug. 2, which left nearly 400,000 people in Ohio without drinking water for two days.

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Climate change, predators, and trickle down effects on ecosystems

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Because predator species are animals that survive by preying on other organisms, they send ripples throughout the food web, regulating the effects other animals have on that ecosystem. Ecologists are just beginning to understand how the impacts of climate change are affecting predatory keystone species and their ecosystems....

Reconstructions show how some of the earliest animals lived — and died

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A bizarre group of uniquely shaped organisms known as rangeomorphs may have been some of the earliest animals to appear on Earth, uniquely suited to ocean conditions 575 million years ago. A new model has resolved many of the mysteries around the structure, evolution and extinction of these 'proto animals.'...