Category: science

Trees That Have Lived for Millennia Are Sudden…

Trees That Have Lived for Millennia Are Suddenly Dying:

Common throughout sub-Saharan Africa, the African baobab is one of the biggest flowering plants in the world, and reputedly one of the longest-lived. It’s also known as the upside-down tree, because its bare branches look like roots, or as the monkey bread tree, because of its nutritious and edible fruit. It’s exceptionally long-lived, but recently, several of the oldest baobabs have been dying. Homasi, for example, was part of a grove of seven baobabs, six of which perished within a two-year period.

This isn’t an isolated event. Of the 13 oldest known baobabs in the world, four have completely died in the last dozen years, and another five are on the way, having lost their oldest stems. “These large and monumental trees, which can live for 2,000 years or more, were dying one after another,” says Adrian Patrut from Babes-Bolyai University in Romania, who has catalogued the deaths. “It’s sad that in our short lives, we are able to live through such an experience.”

Don’t turn to the military to solve the climat…

Don’t turn to the military to solve the climate-change crisis: undefined

It’s 50 years since climate change was first s…

It’s 50 years since climate change was first seen. Now time is running out | Richard Wiles:

The anniversary of SRI’s (Stanford Research Institute) report to the API on climate change represents not just a damning piece of evidence of what the fossil fuel industry knew and when, but a signal of all that we have lost over the decades of policy inaction and interference. It should also serve as a potent motivator in the fight for climate accountability and justice.

At the time, CO2 levels in the atmosphere stood about 323ppm. The planet was warming but was still well within the historical norm. Sea levels had risen by about 4in compared with 1880 levels. The report, however, cautioned that “man is now engaged in a vast geophysical experiment with his environment, the Earth” and that “significant temperature changes are almost certain to occur by the year 2000”.

Those predictions proved to be correct: by the turn of the century, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had risen to 369ppm, causing a temperature increase of nearly half a degree over pre-industrial averages. Today, virtually all climate scientists agree there is little or no chance the world can stay within the goal of 1.5C, the limit of what scientists believe to be safe.

Study: Climate Change Probably Won’t Kill All …

Study: Climate Change Probably Won’t Kill All of Us:

And make no mistake: Even if near-term planetary extinction looks unlikely, humanity still has a moral and practical obligation to cut emissions as quickly as possible. The worst-case scenario may be less likely than we thought. But very, very bad scenarios remain almost certain. Climate change is already devastating and destabilizing whole regions of the Earth and increasing the intensity and frequency of extreme weather.


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Climate change is the story you missed in 2017…

Climate change is the story you missed in 2017. And the media is to blame | Lisa Hymas:

Trump doesn’t just suck the oxygen out of the room; he sucks the carbon dioxide out of the national dialogue. Even in a year when we’ve had string of hurricanes, heat waves, and wildfires worthy of the Book of Revelation – just what climate scientists have told us to expect – the effect of climate change on extreme weather has been dramatically undercovered. Some of Trump’s tweets generate morenational coverage than devastating disasters.

Permafrost thaw altering chemistry of Yukon River, signaling profound changes for entire basin

Permafrost thaw altering chemistry of Yukon River, signaling profound changes for entire basin:

Long-term monitoring reveals that levels of calcium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium and sulfates are increasing in the river’s waters, according to a new study led by the USGS. That is evidence of widespread permafrost loss, which has allowed water to flow freely through thawed, mineral-rich soils and carry some of those minerals into the river.

The results indicate a profound transformation in the Yukon River basin, an area twice the size of California and a major contributor of water into the Arctic marine system, said the lead author of the study, which was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.

“We’re having a big-time change in hydrology over that whole basin,” said Ryan Toohey, an Anchorage-based USGS scientist.