Category Archives: Global Warming

Sea creatures store carbon in the ocean – could protecting them help slow climate change?

Heidi Pearson, University of Alaska Southeast

As the prospect of catastrophic effects from climate change becomes increasingly likely, a search is on for innovative ways to reduce the risks. One potentially powerful and low-cost strategy is to recognize and protect natural carbon sinks – places and processes that store carbon, keeping it out of Earth’s atmosphere.

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Tragic tale of a ‘man-eating’ tigress tells us so much about the climate crisis

Nayanika Mathur, University of Oxford

The way that we live on Earth is causing an unprecedented acceleration in species extinction. Now, more than half a million species “have insufficient habitat for long-term survival” and are likely to go extinct unless their natural environments are restored. But we are already seeing major problems from this intrusion, not least through an increase in human-animal conflict.

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How Artificial Intelligence Is Helping to Protect Our Environment

Despite the often manic nature of our news cycle, we see two constants in it: immediate action is needed to preserve the environment, and the development of artificial intelligence is progressing at an unfathomable rate. While these may not seem related, their compatibility is undeniable. In fact, artificial intelligence is already doing a hefty share to protect our environment.

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UN report warns one million species at risk of extinction

We, humans, are destroying the Earth’s wilderness, very fast. Actually, we are the main (and probably the only) cause of the sixth major extinction event in the history of our planet. Now, a recent UN report says at least one million species (animals, plants, and insects) are at the risk of extinction. There will be serious consequences for life on Earth, and also for human beings.

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Did European Colonisation precipitate the Little Ice Age?

Many of us think that rapid environmental change is a quintessentially modern crisis. Today, temperatures are soaring, topsoil is washing away, phosphorous is being diluted, forests are retreating, pesticides are sterilising farmland, fertilisers are choking waterways, and biodiversity is plummeting under the onslaught of overpopulated, industrialised societies. Some of these changes are indeed truly new. But many others have deep roots and distant echoes in the early modern period, the years between around 1400 and 1800 when much of the world began to assume its present form. Recently, scientists, geographers, historians, and archaeologists have combined expertise and evidence to reveal just how profound early modern environmental transformations really were.

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We are pumping 10 times more carbon into the atmosphere than when there were palm trees in the Arctic

Around 55.5 million years ago, there was a time period with more than 5°C – 8 °C warmer global average temperature than today, which named “Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum” (PETM). As a result, there were crocodiles and even crocodiles in the Arctic and the region was completely ice-free. Now, a new study suggests that if we keep burning fossil fuels at the current rate, the Earth will be again 8 degrees warmer within the next few hundred years. We’re going to face another PETM-like event soon.

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Watch – NASA Explorers: Permafrost

In this episode of NASA Explorers (Season 1 Episode 7), the scientists go back in time – by going underground. In the Arctic, a frozen layer of soil – permafrost, the “permanently” frozen earth – trapped dead plants and animals for thousands of years. As the climate warms, that soil is beginning to thaw, releasing carbon dioxide and methane – two harmful greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming.

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Polar Vortex is the reason why the winter is so harsh in North America

The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding the Earth’s north and south poles. It is the reason why extreme winter conditions are bringing record-breaking cold temperatures to parts of North America.

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Global Warming: Three bad (very bad!) news

Our planet is getting warmer, with an increasing pace. This month, there were three bad, very bad news about global warming. According to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Antarctica is losing six times more ice mass annually now than 40 years ago. Another study, published in the scientific journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences concluded that 2018 was the hottest year ever recorded for the Earth’s oceans. And, according to research released in the online journal Nature Communication, Permafrost is warming at a global scale – the temperature of the frozen ground in continuous permafrost zones rose by an average of 0.3 degrees Celsius between 2006 and 2017.

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