This week, world leaders are converging in Paris to talk about climate policy. Under current guidelines, the planet is on target to warm by 2 degrees Celsius in 2050 and by 4 degrees in 2100, triggering serious large-scale problems by the end of the century. “Drought, heat waves, forest fires — we are already seeing this,” says … Read moreThe Climate Change Facts You Need to Know
Scientists have long known that volcanoes cool the atmosphere because of the sulfur dioxide that is expelled during eruptions. Droplets of sulfuric acid that form when the gas combines with oxygen in the upper atmosphere can persist for many months, reflecting sunlight away from Earth and lowering temperatures at the surface and in the lower … Read moreSmall volcanic eruptions explain warming hiatus
A rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in irreversible decline, with nothing to stop the entire glacial basin from disappearing into the sea, according to researchers at UC Irvine and NASA. The new study presents multiple lines of evidence — incorporating 40 years of observations that six massive glaciers … Read moreWest Antarctic glacier loss appears unstoppable
The cherry blossoms in Washington D.C.’s annual festival now bloom five days earlier than when the festival was celebrated in 1921 (on average). Scientists theorize that with the drastic warming of the globe, future decades could see blossom times not just a few days early but advanced by almost a month. To better understand the … Read moreCould cherry blossoms one day be blooming in winter?
Can a status update from a tulip tell us anything about climate change?
Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratories and elsewhere are investigating other aspects of fire propagation, like how big fires create their own weather — a process that has contributed to some of the most devastating fires in recent years. The setup in the photo above is known as a “fire-whirl generator” and is used to … Read moreInto the Wildfire
A view from above of the rim fire near Yosemite. With it 80 percent contained, scientists who study wild fires say the event is valuable for studying the effects of forest management techniques. (via University of California Instagram)
In 1926, the U.S. National Forest Service began a natural vegetation survey of California. The initial purpose was to provide data in support of statewide land use and fire protection policy development. Part of this was photo documentation of the different regions of California. View more of the photography archive here →
Summer in the city can be especially hot and sticky, because urban heat islands exacerbate the warm weather. Researchers at Berkeley Lab are testing materials that battle that effect, making pavements cooler and safer. Causes The properties of urban roofs and pavements, as well as human activity, contribute to the formation of summer urban heat … Read moreUrban heat islands – why is it warmer in the city?
Lassen Peak erupted on May 22nd, 1915. Its stark volcanic landscape is noticeable to this day. Here’s a glimpse of what it was like for researchers at the park during that time period. Full sized images can be viewed here.