Environmental Protection

Global Climate Change


Satellites Measurements of Megacity Emissions Far Exceed Computer Estimates

One of NASA's satellites has provided the most detailed map yet of the pollution generated by some of the world’s biggest cities, and given an indication of the volume of emissions of the nitrogen oxides from direct measurements rather than relying on computer models and a range of assumptions.

Scientists Probe Indian Ocean for Clues to Worldwide Weather Patterns

An international team of researchers will begin gathering in the Indian Ocean next month to study how tropical weather brews there and then moves eastward along the equator with reverberating effects around the entire globe. They will use a vast array of tools ranging from aircraft and ships to moorings, radars, and numerical models.

Model Successfully Forecasts Arctic Sea Ice Season

Relatively accurate predictions for the extent of Arctic sea ice in a given summer can be made by assessing conditions the previous autumn, but conditions more than five years into the future depend on understanding the impact of climate trends on the ice pack, new research shows.

Despite Reductions by Industrialized Countries, Global CO2 Emissions Increase Steeply

Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) increased by 45 percent between 1990 and 2010, and reached an all-time high of 33 billion tons in 2010. Increased energy-efficiency, nuclear energy and the growing contributions of renewable energy are not compensating for the globally increasing demand for power and transport, which is strongest in developing countries.

Deforestation May Be Reducing Rainfall in Africa

Deforestation in the rainforests of West Africa reduces rainfall over the rest of the forest, according to new University of Leeds research published in Geophysical Research Letters. The study shows that changing land use from forest to crop land reduces rainfall over neighboring trees by about 50 percent due to changes in the surface temperature, which affects the formation of rain clouds.

Paper Points Out Weaknesses in Climate-Change Data Observation

Our most reliable models rely on data acquired through a range of complex measurements. Most of the important measurements - such as ice cover, cloud cover, sea levels and temperature, chlorophyll (oceans and land) and the radiation balance (incoming to outgoing energy) – must be taken from space, and for constraining and testing the forecast models, made over long timescales.

Oceans May Mask Effects of Global Warming

The planet’s deep oceans at times may absorb enough heat to flatten the rate of global warming for periods of as long as a decade even in the middle of longer-term warming, according to a new analysis led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Study: Carbon Sequestration Presents No Threat to Human Health

Capturing CO2 from power stations and storing it deep underground carries no significant threat to human health, despite recently voiced fears that it might, a study has shown.



Planting Trees on Farms Can Greatly Improve Food Security

Restoring and preserving dryland forests and planting more trees to provide food, fodder and fertilizer on small farms are critical steps toward preventing the recurrence of the famine now threatening millions of people in the Horn of Africa, according to forestry experts from the CGIAR Consortium.

EPA Funds Pollution Prevention Projects in New Jersey and New York

From funding smart meters on college campuses, to reducing hazardous chemicals in high school laboratories, to promoting alternatives to dry cleaning, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making its pollution prevention grants count across New Jersey and New York. The EPA has awarded more than $600,000 in grants to fund projects that help prevent pollution in these two states.

Scientists Claim Water Evaporated From Trees Cools Global Climate

Scientists have long debated about the impact on global climate of water evaporated from vegetation. New research from Carnegie's Global Ecology department concludes that evaporated water helps cool the earth as a whole, not just the local area of evaporation, demonstrating that evaporation of water from trees and lakes could have a cooling effect on the entire atmosphere.

Research Shows Solar Rays Could Replace Petroleum Fuels

Alternative fuel sources for cars may have a glowing future as a Kansas State University (K-State) graduate student is working to replace petroleum fuels with ones made from sunlight.

Sea Level Rise May Take a Toll on California

California beach towns could face hefty economic losses caused by sea level rise in the next century, according to a new state-commissioned study.

Indigenous Alaskans Discuss Unique Insight into Climate Change’s Effects

They expressed concerns ranging from safety, such as unpredictable weather patterns and dangerous ice conditions, to changes in plants and animals as well as decreased availability of firewood.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center: La Niña is back

La Niña, which contributed to extreme weather around the globe during the first half of 2011, has re-emerged in the tropical Pacific Ocean and is forecast to gradually strengthen and continue into winter.

Researchers Predict Extreme Summer Temps to Become the Norm

Boston University researchers have estimated that even if international efforts to limit temperature increases to 2 degrees Celcius, mean global temperatures will continue to be extreme.

Tree Rings Reveal Forest Fires from Hundreds of Years Ago

Trees can reveal key information about fire events, and some trees have a lot to tell — one tree researchers examined endured 14 separate fires through its lifetime.

Google Carbon Offset

Hog Waste Producing Electricity and Carbon Offsets

A pilot waste-to-energy system recently constructed by Duke University and Duke Energy garnered the endorsement of Google Inc., which invests in high-quality carbon offsets from across the nation to fulfill its own carbon neutrality goals.

Study Suggests Switching from Coal to Natural Gas Would do Little for Global Climate

Although the burning of natural gas emits far less carbon dioxide than coal, a new study concludes that a greater reliance on natural gas would fail to significantly slow down climate change. The study appears this week in the Springer journal Climatic Change Letters.

Exceptional Drought Hits Record Levels in Three More U.S. States

The percent of land area experiencing exceptional drought reached record levels in August in three U.S. states – Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas – amid new concerns about how long the conditions may persist, an official with the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln said.

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