As the climate is changing, so too are the world’s forests. From the misty redwoods in the west to the Blue Ridge forest of Appalachia, many sylvan ecosystems are adapting to drier conditions.
Tropical forests are heavily fragmented as they are cleared for agricultural expansion and logging. Forest fragmentation leads to declines in carbon storage beyond just those trees that are cleared—the remaining forest at the edge of each clearing experiences environmental alterations such as increased sunlight and decreased soil moisture that can impact growing conditions for trees. These “edge effects” describe habitat disturbances that can lead to decreased tree growth and increased mortality, which change forest structure over time.
Carbonyl sulfide is a naturally occurring gas that can help scientists understand how much carbon dioxide plants take out of the atmosphere for photosynthesis.
A team of scientists at Cardiff University has, for the first time, developed a way of predicting the size of plastics different animals are likely to ingest.
Incentivizing both sequestration and avoidance of emissions— using a carbon rental or carbon tax and subsidy approach—versus only a carbon tax encourages protection of natural forests by valuing the standing stock, according to a new study led by Georgia Institute of Technology.
Growing consumption of energy and fossil fuels over four decades did not play a significant role in increasing life expectancy across 70 countries.
There is no longer a need to guess what ocean temperatures were like in the remote tropical Pacific hundreds of years ago. The ancient coral that lived there know all.
Ending global environmental crises such as climate change and slowing the growing number of extinctions of plant and animal species will require radical solutions that could take centuries to implement. Meanwhile, the crises are damaging the planet and human well-being in ways that cannot wait for perfect solutions.
Beads that contain bacteria and a slow-release food supply to sustain them can clean up contaminated groundwater for months on end, maintenance free, research by Oregon State University shows.
If circulation of deep waters in the Atlantic stops or slows due to climate change, it could cause cooling in northern North America and Europe—a scenario that has occurred during past cold glacial periods.
A study from the University of Surrey has provided a comprehensive guide on which tree species are best for combatting air pollution that originates from our roads—along with suggestions for how to plant these green barriers to get the best results.
Contaminants that occur together naturally in groundwater under certain geological conditions may heighten health risks for millions of North Carolinians whose drinking water comes from private wells, and current safety regulations don’t address the problem, a new Duke University study finds.
Scientists have devised a simple new model that explains how the undesirable effects of urban heat islands vary across seasons. Their results could help cities in different climatic regions design heat mitigation strategies.
A collaborative research project between the Universities of Manchester, Utrecht, and Durham, and the National Oceanography Centre has revealed for the first time how submarine sediment avalanches can transport microplastics from land into the deep ocean.
In recent years, the attention of scientists and environmentalists has turned toward how population growth and urban expansion are driving habitat loss and an associated decline in ecosystem productivity and biodiversity. But the space people directly occupy is only one part of the land-use puzzle, according to new research.
NASA’s new 3-dimensional portrait of methane concentrations shows the world’s second largest contributor to greenhouse warming, the diversity of sources on the ground, and the behavior of the gas as it moves through the atmosphere. Combining multiple data sets from emissions inventories, including fossil fuel, agricultural, biomass burning and biofuels, and simulations of wetland sources into a high-resolution computer model, researchers now have an additional tool for understanding this complex gas and its role in Earth’s carbon cycle, atmospheric composition, and climate system.
A container ship leaves a trail of white clouds in its wake that can linger in the air for hours. This puffy line is not just exhaust from the engine, but a change in the clouds that’s caused by small airborne particles of pollution.
Sometimes, fixing one problem can create another.
Coal combustion is not only the single most important source of CO2, accounting for more than a third of global emissions, but also a major contributor to detrimental effects on public health and biodiversity. Yet, globally phasing out coal remains one of the hardest political nuts to crack. New computer simulations by an international team of researchers are now providing robust economic arguments for why it is worth the effort: For once, their simulations show that the world cannot stay below the 2 degrees limit if we continue to burn coal. Second, the benefits of phasing out coal clearly outweigh the costs. Third, those benefits occur mostly locally and short-term, which make them useful for policy makers.
A range of information is collated through a simple framework that will help marine scientists to design more accurate experiments that will better help them understand the projected impact of global warming on marine life.
Plants may stabilize slopes, yet rainfall often intensifies soil erosion. Until now, just how these two things interact to form mountain topography was only clear for a few small regions on Earth. In a new study, Professor Todd Ehlers, Dr. Jessica Starke and Dr. Mirjam Schaller of the Geosciences department at the University of Tübingen, Germany, investigated how plants and climate shape topography. They did this in a large study of the 3,500 kilometer long western edge of the Andes Mountains in Peru and Chile. They found that the question of how plants influence the landscape and erosion can have different answers, depending on what area is investigated. Key factors identified are the climate zone and plant cover. In the dry Atacama Desert, for example, sparse vegetation is sufficient to hold the soil in place; while higher erosion rates can be seen in the wetter and more temperate regions where plant cover is denser. The study has been published in the latest edition of the journal Science.
Imagine a massive mug of cold, dense cream with hot coffee poured on top. Now place it on a rotating table. Over time, the fluids will slowly mix into each other, and heat from the coffee will eventually reach the bottom of the mug. But as most of us impatient coffee drinkers know, stirring the layers together is a more efficient way to distribute the heat and enjoy a beverage that’s not scalding hot or ice cold. The key is the swirls, or vortices, that formed in the turbulent liquid.
Stratospheric aerosol geoengineering is the idea that adding a layer of aerosol particles to the upper atmosphere can reduce climate changes caused by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
A previously unknown significant source of carbon just discovered in the Arctic has scientists marveling at a once overlooked contributor to local coastal ecosystems—and concerned about what it may mean in an era of climate change.
The American Dust Bowl of the 1930s—captured by the novels of John Steinbeck—was an environmental and socio-economic disaster that worsened the Great Depression.