See GSS Climate Change.
2015-12-22. How Biofuels Can Cool Our Climate and Strengthen Our Ecosystems.
By Evan H. DeLucia and Carl R. Woes, Earth & Space News (AGU).
2015-07-20. NASA Captures "EPIC" Earth Image.
NASA Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite.
2015-07-09. NASA Study Finds Indian, Pacific Oceans Temporarily Hide Global Warming.
NASA Release 15-147.
2010 August 26. NSF Press Release 10-154: Shrinking Atmospheric Layer Linked to Low Levels of Solar Radiation. Excerpt: Large changes in the sun's energy output may drive unexpectedly dramatic fluctuations in Earth's outer atmosphere.
Results of a study published today link a recent, temporary shrinking of
a high atmospheric layer with a sharp drop in the sun's ultraviolet
The research, led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric
Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., and the University of Colorado at
Boulder (CU), indicates that the sun's magnetic cycle, which produces
differing numbers of sunspots over an approximately 11-year cycle, may
vary more than previously thought.
...The findings may have implications for orbiting satellites, as well
as for the International Space Station... The fact that the layer in the
upper atmosphere known as the thermosphere is shrunken and less dense
means that satellites can more easily maintain their orbits.
But it also indicates that space debris and other objects that pose hazards may persist longer in the thermosphere.
..The research indicates that the sun could be going through a period of
relatively low activity, similar to periods in the early 19th and 20th
centuries... This could mean that solar output may remain at a low level
for the near future.
2010 August 14. In Weather Chaos, a Case for Global Warming. By Justin Gillis, The New York Times. Excerpt:…Far-flung disasters are reviving the question of whether global warming is causing more weather extremes.
…Theory suggests that a world warming up because of [greenhouse] gases
will feature heavier rainstorms in summer, bigger snowstorms in winter,
more intense droughts in at least some places and more record-breaking
heat waves. Scientists and government reports say the statistical
evidence shows that much of this is starting to happen.
…But the averages do not necessarily make it easier to link specific
weather events, like a given flood or hurricane or heat wave, to climate
change. Most climate scientists are reluctant to go that far, noting
that weather was characterized by remarkable variability long before
humans began burning fossil fuels and releasing greenhouse gases into
…Climatologists have long theorized that in a warming world, the added
heat would cause more record highs and fewer record lows… The statistics
suggest that is exactly what is happening. In the United States these
days, about two record highs are being set for every record low,
telltale evidence that amid all the random variation of weather, the
trend is toward a warmer climate.
…In general, the research suggests that global warming will worsen
climate extremes across much of the planet. As in the United States, wet
areas will get wetter, the scientists say, while dry areas get drier.
2009 August 9. Global warming could change Earth's tilt. By Rachel Courtland, NewScientist. Excerpt:
Warming oceans could cause Earth's axis to tilt in the coming century, a
new study suggests. The effect was previously thought to be negligible,
but researchers now say the shift will be large enough that it should
be taken into account when interpreting how the Earth wobbles.
The Earth spins on an axis that is tilted some 23.5° from the vertical.
But this position is far from constant – the planet's axis is constantly
shifting in response to changes in the distribution of mass around the
Earth. "The Earth is like a spinning top, and if you put more mass on
one side or other, the axis of rotation is going to shift slightly,"
says Felix Landerer of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena,
...The effect is relatively small. "The pole's not going to drift away
in a crazy manner," Landerer notes, adding that it shouldn't induce any
unfortunate feedback in Earth's climate.
But he says the motion is strong enough that it needs to be taken into
account when interpreting shifts in Earth's axis. Tracking the motion of
the poles could help place limits on the total amount of sea level rise
2008 May 19. Study Says Global Warming Not Worsening Hurricanes. By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. Excerpt:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Global warming isn't to blame for the recent jump in
hurricanes in the Atlantic, concludes a study by a prominent federal
scientist whose position has shifted on the subject. Not only that,
warmer temperatures will actually reduce the number of hurricanes in the
Atlantic and those making landfall, research meteorologist Tom Knutson
reported in a study released Sunday.
... new study, based on a computer model, argues ''against the notion
that we've already seen a really dramatic increase in Atlantic hurricane
activity resulting from greenhouse warming.''
The study, published online Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience,
predicts that by the end of the century the number of hurricanes in the
Atlantic will fall by 18 percent.
The number of hurricanes making landfall in the United States and its
neighbors -- anywhere west of Puerto Rico -- will drop by 30 percent
because of wind factors.
The biggest storms -- those with winds of more than 110 mph -- would
only decrease in frequency by 8 percent. Tropical storms, those with
winds between 39 and 73 mph, would decrease by 27 percent.
It's not all good news from Knutson's study, however. His computer model
also forecasts that hurricanes and tropical storms will be wetter and
fiercer. Rainfall within 30 miles of a hurricane should jump by 37
percent and wind strength should increase by about 2 percent, Knutson's
study says. ...On the Net: Nature Geoscience:
http://www.nature.com/naturegeoscience National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration: http://www.noaa.gov/ ....
2008 January. High Peaks, Dirty Snow. By Allen Best, Forest Magazine, Winter 2008
winter dust storms in Colorado's San Juan Mountains have their own,
somewhat predictable schedule. ...Since they began documenting the
storms several years ago, scientists have recorded up to eight dust
storms per year among the mining towns of Telluride, Silverton and
Ouray.... digging pits into the snowpack in the San Juan Mountains
reveals something that is rather like an angel-food cake layered with
chocolate. The "chocolate," of course, is the dust, and it's more than a
mere oddity. Research conducted during the past several years has
traced much of the dust to nearby deserts of the American Southwest.
Some evidence already collected suggests that the relocation of the dust
is not natural, but rather the result of disturbances of fragile desert
soils in Arizona and New Mexico. Scientists studying sediments in high
mountain lakes seek to determine whether such dust storms existed
centuries ago, before livestock herding, four-wheeling and massive road
building began in the Southwest. The working hypothesis is that today's
dust is something new.
What is clear is that the changing climate-warmer, with earlier
springs-is causing the mountain snow to melt more rapidly across the
West. Peak runoff in springtime occurs three to four weeks earlier than
it has in the recent past. New research in the San Juans points to the
dust storms as causing additional acceleration of the melting, by about a
month....Every child who has used black buttons to make the eyes of a
snowman would know the principle, if not its name. Albedo is the extent
to which a surface will reflect heat, i.e., solar energy. A darker
surface will absorb the solar radiation, causing snow to melt faster and
the button eyes to disappear. In this case, the albedo of the clean
snow left it standing two to three inches above the darker, dirtier
snow....the budding snow scientist, ...Tom Painter ...did ... fully
realize the potentially significant role of this vagrant dust in the
hydrology of the mountain snowpack-and the further role it may play in
causing the planet's warming to accelerate....
Aug 2, 2004. RETREATING GLACIERS SPUR ALASKAN EARTHQUAKES In a new study, NASA and United States
Geological Survey (USGS) scientists found that retreating glaciers in southern Alaska may be opening the way for
future earthquakes. Goddard Space Flight Center
February 10, 2004 NASA
PREDICTS MORE TROPICAL RAIN IN A WARMER WORLD (RELEASE:
04-058) As the tropical oceans continue to heat up, following
a 20-year trend, warm rains in the tropics are likely to become
more frequent, according to NASA scientists. ... patterns
of evaporation and precipitation, known as the water cycle,
may accelerate in some areas due to warming temperatures.
11, 2003. ICESAT
LAUNCH PLANNED -- ICESat
(Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite) is NASA's Earth
Observing System benchmark mission for measuring ice sheet
mass balance, cloud and aerosol heights, as well as land topography
and vegetation characteristics. It is planned to launch on
January 11, 2003. The ICESat mission will provide multi-year
elevation data needed to determine ice sheet mass balance
as well as cloud property information, especially for stratospheric
clouds common over polar areas. It will also provide topography
and vegetation data around the globe, in addition to the polar-specific
coverage over the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.
26, 2002 - BLACK
CARBON CONTRIBUTES TO DROUGHTS AND FLOODS IN CHINA
21, 2001 NASA'S
TERRA SATELLITE CAPTURES A WORLD OF SUNLIGHT
AND HEAT (NASA
Feb 2000. African
Dust Leads to Large Toxic Algal Bloom [1.2MB PDF NASA Lithograph]
Each year, several hundred million tons of African
dust are transported westward over the Atlantic
to the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Central America,
and South America. Thunderstorms and accompanying
warm air can lift dust as high as 4575 meters
(15,000 feet) above the African deserts, and
then out across the Atlantic.
Articles from 2000–present
See also: GSS Climate Change
Circulation - 18 multimedia resources from Teachers'
Domain Earth and Space Science multimedia resources
(movies and interactives).