Press Release

Due to warming climate, some aircraft may soon have a hard time getting off the ground in the heat of the day. Here, a jet takes off from the Canary Islands. (Bruno Gelger, via flickr)

Surging Heat May Limit Aircraft Takeoffs Globally

Rising temperatures due to global warming will make it harder for many aircraft around the world to take off in coming decades, says a new study. During the hottest parts of the day, 10 to 30 percent of fully loaded planes may have to remove some fuel, cargo or passengers, or else wait for cooler hours to fly.

by |July 13, 2017
Satellite photo of meltwater from Greenland ice sheet. (NASA)

Fueled by Melting Glaciers, Algae Bloom Off Greenland

Iron particles catching a ride on glacial meltwater washed out to sea are likely fueling a recently discovered summer algal bloom off the southern coast of Greenland, according to a new study. Microalgae, also known as phytoplankton, are plant-like marine microorganisms that form the base of the food web in many parts of the ocean…. read more

by |July 5, 2017
Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 10.19.12 AM

As Climate Stirs Arctic Sea Ice Faster, Pollution Tags Along

A warming climate is not just melting the Arctic’s sea ice; it is stirring the remaining ice faster, increasing the odds that ice-rafted pollution will foul a neighboring country’s waters, says a new study.

by |June 27, 2017
Highlands in Ethiopia. Photo from Flickr.

Malaria Risk Increases in Ethiopian Highlands as Temperatures Climb

The highlands of Ethiopia are home to the majority of the country’s population, the cooler climate serving as a natural buffer against malaria transmission. New data now show that increasing temperatures over the past 35 years are eroding this buffer, allowing conditions more favorable for malaria to begin climbing into highland areas.

by |June 15, 2017
The Amazon River basin as seen by a NASA satellite, showing the impact of surface moisture and rivers on shallow clouds. (NASA)

Vegetation Can Strongly Alter Climate and Weather, Study Finds

A new analysis of global satellite observations shows that vegetation can powerfully alter atmospheric patterns that influence climate and weather.

by |May 30, 2017
climate change cases map

Climate Change Litigation Growing Rapidly, Says Global Study

A new global study has found that the number of lawsuits involving climate change has tripled since 2014, with the United States leading the way.

by |May 24, 2017
Falling sulfur dioxide emissions in the United States are expected to substantially increase rainfall in Africa’s semi-arid Sahel, while bringing slightly more rain to much of the U.S., according to a new study. (Francesco Fiondella/International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Reduced U.S. Air Pollution Will Boost Rainfall in Africa’s Sahel, Says Study

If U.S. sulfur dioxide emissions are cut to zero by 2100, as some researchers have projected they will be, rainfall over Africa’s Sahel region could increase up to 10 percent from 2000 levels, computer simulations suggest.

by |May 22, 2017
Scientists have discovered that seasonally flowing streams fringe much of Antarctica’s ice. Each red ‘X’ represents a separate drainage. Up to now, such features were thought to exist mainly on the far northerly Antarctic Peninsula (upper left). Their widespread presence signals that the ice may be more vulnerable to melting than previously thought. (Adapted from Kingslake et al., Nature 2017)

Water Is Streaming Across Antarctica

In the first such continent-wide survey, scientists have found extensive drainages of meltwater flowing over parts of Antarctica’s ice during the brief summer. Many of the newly mapped drainages are not new, but the fact they exist at all is significant; they appear to proliferate with small upswings in temperature, so warming projected for this century could quickly magnify their influence on sea level.

by |April 19, 2017
Horses near Lake Dali, in Inner Monglia. Photo: Yonaton Goldsmith

Shifting Monsoon Altered Early Cultures in China, Study Says

The annual summer monsoon that drops rain onto East Asia has shifted dramatically, at times moving northward by as much as 400 km and doubling rainfall in that northern reach. The monsoon’s changes over the past 10,000 years likely altered the course of early human cultures in China, say the authors of a new study.

by |February 6, 2017
Coauthor Pierre Dutrieux with an instrument that detects fluctuations in ocean water, Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica, Jan. 31, 2017. A similar instrument was used to show why fresh water from melting ice shelves settles far below the surface instead of rising. (Courtesy Pierre Dutrieux/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Scientists Say They Now Know Why Antarctic Meltwater Stays Below Ocean Surface

Up to now, it has been a mystery why much of the fresh water resulting from the melting of Antarctic ice shelves ends up in the depths instead of floating above saltier, denser ocean waters. Scientists working along one major ice shelf believe they have found the answer.

by |February 2, 2017