Climate

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What the World Thinks of Climate Change

We all know that climate change can generate great debate in the United States. But what about the rest of the world?

by |July 27, 2015
Iceberg off Antarctica. Photo: NOAA

A Dire Warning on Rapid Climate Change

Sea level rise from melting ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland threaten catastrophe for coastal cities within decades unless strong measures are taken to reduce CO2 emissions from the use of fossil fuels, argues climate scientist James Hansen. Hansen’s warnings about the dangers of climate change are not new, but a new paper written by… read more

by |July 24, 2015
A cluster of towering cumulus clouds off the coast of El Salvador. The photograph was taken on May 31, 2002, from the International Space Station. Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center, at http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov [Photo ID ISS004-E-12656]

Spontaneous Clumping of Tropical Clouds

If you take a look at nearly any satellite image of clouds in the tropics, you’ll notice that the clouds tend to be organized into clusters. One specific type of cloud organization called “self-aggregation.” Self-aggregation is the tendency of tropical clouds to spontaneously clump together, solely due to interactions between the clouds and the surrounding environment.

by |July 23, 2015
Exhuma, Bahamas, geology

Head for the Hills

While we spent much of our time examining corals and swamps, studying sea level and storms, we became fascinated by a simple question: How did the hills of Exuma form?

by |July 21, 2015
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The Extreme Pacific Climate Now

The climate over the tropical Pacific is in an extreme state at the moment. That explains some of the extreme anomalies affecting the United States right now. It also gives us a window through which we can glimpse how even more dramatic and long-term climates of the distant past might have worked.

by |July 14, 2015

Don’t Worry About Doomsday, Botanists Have a Plan

A new initiative of the Smithsonian Institution is building a frozen library cataloging snippets of plant tissue from every species on the planet.

Photo: Jason Farrar

The Pope’s Challenge on Climate Change

Pope Francis’s broad-ranging encyclical warns that we are destroying our common home and face an immense and urgent challenge to protect it. But it goes far beyond just the subject of climate change, calling for a holistic and sustainable future.

by |June 30, 2015
A Glacier on the Antarctic Peninsula. Photo: Margie Turrin.

Antarctica’s Retreating Ice

While the ice sheets on West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula are usually the ones to make the news in relation to climate change, recent studies have documented transformations that are taking place on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet as well. On the continent as a whole, large areas of ice have already melted and this trend shows no sign of slowing, meaning the implications for global sea level rise in this century could be more dramatic than earlier projections anticipated.

by |June 30, 2015
f.gemenne

Anthropocene and Its Victims: Migration as Failure or Adaptive Strategy?

Gemenne argues that climate change is a form of political persecution, that victims of the anthropocene are also victims of political persecution, thus, we should reinstate the term “climate refugee.”

by |June 17, 2015
Students coring in the Bahamas. Photo: Maayan Yehudai

Sediment Cores from Exuma’s Shores

Because we know little about hurricane behavior during periods when Earth was warmer or colder than at present, it’s challenging to construct models to predict future trends in hurricane activity as Earth’s climate changes. To remedy this problem, researchers have been working to reconstruct records of hurricane strikes in the past.

by |June 16, 2015