How warmer seas are changing our planet |

September 20, 2016
Source:University of Sheffield
Summary:Professor Grant Bigg, from the University’s Department of Geography: “Many people may associate warmer seas with the pleasant weather conditions they’re used to experiencing while on holiday, but the fact of the matter is that an increase in sea temperatures is having a huge impact on the world’s weather.

“Our study has shown that severe hurricanes, storm surges, melting ice in the Arctic region and changes to El Niño are all being caused by sea temperatures rising across the planet. These are all things that can have a devastating impact on the way we live our lives.                           Read More:


Massive wind harvesting project to go up in Iowa |

September 2, 2016

Iowa is currently the state with the second-largest production of wind-powered electricity (generating 15 MWh) behind only Texas, which generates 36 MWh. In Iowa, that accounts for a leading 31.3 percent of all electricity consumed.

Unique to the project is a promise made by Des Moines-based MidAmerican that
the installation costs of the turbines will not affect consumer energy bills,
nor will the state be asked to pay for them—instead, MidAmerican will be footing
the $3.6 billion cost itself. It is a utility company offering electricity and
natural gas to customers in Nebraska, South Dakota, Illinois and of course, Iowa.
The company has set a goal of getting the state off coal completely and expects
this new project to advance that goal—they project that once the project is fully
operational, and other projects go forward as well, fully 85 percent of the electricity used in Iowa will come from wind powered turbines by 2020.


Refocusing the full potential of science & technology for achieving sustainability goals |

Harnessing the full potential of science and technology to promote sustainable development requires that more researchers target a significant portion of their efforts on sustainability problems, and that those efforts become more effective in producing knowledge that is truly useful – and used – for achieving sustainability goals.  Read More:

Water plays a major role for our planet, not only at the surface, but in the atmosphere too |

Water plays a major role for our planet not only in its liquid form at the surface.
In the atmosphere too, it considerably affects our lives as well as weather and
climate. Clouds and rainfall are one example. Water vapor, the gaseous form of water,
also plays a prominent role on Earth. It is the most important greenhouse gas in
the atmosphere, without it the Earth would be a frozen planet.

~This knowledge is also of paramount importance for the general climate research.
The temperature of the tropopause decides on the input of water vapor into the
stratosphere: The higher the water vapor content in the stratosphere; the higher
the surface temperatures increase. Anthropogenic climate change also has an
effect on the temperature of the tropopause, and this effect could become more
evident in the coming decades.
Read More:


An unprecedented study combining projections of future climate |

Predicting long-term trends in forest growth requires accurate characterization of how the relationship between forest productivity and climatic stress varies across climatic regimes. Using a network of over two million tree-ring observations spanning North America and a space-for-time substitution methodology, we forecast climate impacts on future forest growth. We explored differing scenarios of increased water-use efficiency (WUE) due to CO2-fertilisation, which we simulated as increased effective precipitation. In our forecasts: (1) climate change negatively impacted forest growth rates in the interior west and positively impacted forest growth along the western, southeastern and northeastern coasts; (2) shifting climate sensitivities offset positive effects of warming on high-latitude forests, leaving no evidence for continued ‘boreal greening’; and (3) it took a 72% WUE enhancement to compensate for continentally averaged growth declines under RCP 8.5. Our results highlight the importance of locally adapted forest management strategies to handle regional differences in growth responses to climate change.