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Tag: climate

Climate scientists now know how cold it got during the last ice age

Climate scientists now know how cold it got during the last ice age

Science
Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Scientists have calculated the average global temperature during the last ice age. According to a new paper, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, the average temperature during the Last Glacial Maximum, LGM, which occurred roughly 20,000 years ago, was 46 degrees Fahrenheit. Advertisement During the 20th century, the average global temperature was a comparatively balmy 57 degrees Fahrenheit, 11 degrees warmer. "In your own personal experience that might not sound like a big difference, but, in fact, it's a huge change," Jessica Tierney, an associate professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona, said in a news release. Tierney and her colleagues analyzed paleoclimate signatures in ocean plankton fossils to map a range of sea-surface temperatures during the ...
Biofuels could better aid climate change fight if grown on converted farmland

Biofuels could better aid climate change fight if grown on converted farmland

Science
Aug. 24 (UPI) -- The promotion of biofuels as an eco-friendly replacement for traditional fossil fuels has been criticized by environmental groups. But research published Monday in the journal PNAS suggests biofuels can help mitigate climate change only as long as biofuel feedstock crops, like switchgrass, are grown on converted agricultural land. Advertisement The problem with biofuels is that their promotion by policy makers can trigger deforestation. If trees are felled to grow crops to make biofuels, the action can hinder the fight to curb greenhouse gas emissions and reverse climate change. To calculate the effects of biofuels on carbon storage potential, researchers used models to simulate the movement of carbon through an ecosystem under a variety of land use scenarios. Scientists...
Climate change: Removing CO2 could spark big rise in food prices

Climate change: Removing CO2 could spark big rise in food prices

Science
Technologies that can remove carbon dioxide from the air could have huge implications for future food prices, according to new research.Scientists say that machines that remove CO2 from the air will be needed to keep the rise in global temperatures in check.But these devices will have major impacts on energy, water and land use.By 2050, according to this new report, food crop prices could rise more than five-fold in some parts of the world. In the wake of the Paris climate agreement signed in 2015, researchers have tried to understand what keeping the world under a 1.5C temperature threshold would mean in practice.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported on this question in 2018, and found that keeping below ...
Climate change: ‘Unprecedented’ ice loss as Greenland breaks record

Climate change: ‘Unprecedented’ ice loss as Greenland breaks record

Science
Scientists say the loss of ice in Greenland lurched forward again last year, breaking the previous record by 15%.A new analysis says that the scale of the melt was "unprecedented" in records dating back to 1948.High pressure systems that became blocked over Greenland last Summer were the immediate cause of the huge losses.But the authors say ongoing emissions of carbon are pushing Greenland into an era of more extreme melting.Over the past 30 years, Greenland's contribution to global sea levels has grown significantly as ice losses have increased. A major international report on Greenland released last December concluded that it was losing ice seven times faster than it was during the 1990s. Today's new study shows that trend is continuing. Using data fro...
Climate change: Warming world will be ‘devastating’ for frozen peatlands

Climate change: Warming world will be ‘devastating’ for frozen peatlands

Science
The world's peatlands will become a large source of greenhouse gases as temperatures rise this century, say scientists.Right now, huge amounts of carbon are stored in boggy, often frozen regions stretching across northern parts of the world.But much of the permanently frozen land will thaw this century, say experts.This will release warming gases at a rate that could be 30-50% greater than previous estimates. Stretching across vast regions of the northern half of the world, peatlands play an important role in the global climate system. Over thousands of years, they have accumulated large amounts of carbon and nitrogen, which has helped keep the Earth cool. Scientists, th...