Trees play a vital role in cleaning air and absorbing carbon dioxide.
The desert sultanate of Oman is home to some of the weirdest—and possibly most useful—rocks on earth. The stark Hajar mountains, near the border with Saudi Arabia, contain a chunk of earth’s mantle—a zone that makes up most of earth’s mass, but normally lies inaccessible to humans, far below the surface. Here, though, a sliver of mantle has made its way up to where we can see and touch it. The outcrop has drawn scientists looking for clues to the dynamics of the deep earth; the origins of life; and, most recently, ways to fight climate change.
The Obama administration will propose new rules to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. But is “clean coal” technology up to the job?
In the nine-hour drive on the great Dalton Highway to Toolik Field Station one starts out in the boreal forest, which is also called the “taiga,” but the forest eventually disappears. More accurately, trees disappear. Leaving Fairbanks, one drives through beautiful stands of spruce, birch, and aspen trees, but as one gets closer and closer to the Brooks Range, a beautiful mountain range one has to cross to get to the tundra, the climate gets colder, the permafrost builds, and the forest begins to disappear.
What motivates artists may be different than what motivates scientists, but they can investigate similar ideas. Artists interested in sustainability issues might team up with scientists to make sure their work is accurate. Scientists benefit from art projects that communicate their research to a broader audience than would normally read a journal article. However, the most interesting type of collaboration is an enriching experience for both parties, which both the artist and scientist learn from.
In a rapidly warming world, conflicts inevitably arise between those affected by dwindling resources and changing climate conditions. Josh Fisher’s work centers on trying to avert conflict and provide opportunities for cooperation through understanding the relationships between conflict, environment and development.
When you travel northbound on Alaska’s famous Dalton Highway heading toward the Arctic Sea, the northern edge of the world, you carry a radio to communicate with the enormous rigs that roar along the road, the giant trucks made famous by the History Channel’s Ice Road Truckers. Radio messages between truckers and non-truckers are simple and polite. They let each other know when it’s safe to pass, if a wide load is coming your way, or if the conditions ahead are dangerous or treacherous – snow drifts, slush flows, avalanches, washouts and the like.
The impact of climate change on New York City could be even more severe than previously thought, putting more people at risk from increasingly frequent floods and heat waves, according to a report by the New York City Panel on Climate Change that was released Monday.
Every indication is that thermal expansion will not dominate rates of sea-level rise in the future. As Earth’s climate marches toward equilibration with present-day CO2 levels, the climate will continue to warm. And this warming threatens the stability of a potentially much, much larger source for sea-level rise — the world’s remaining ice sheets.
Why should society care that CO2 is now as high as 400 ppm? The reasons are multiple, but all trace back to the relationship between CO2 and temperature.