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Headlines added December 2, 2008

Foretelling a major meltdown
By discovering the meaning of a rare mineral that can be used to track ancient climates, Binghamton University geologist Tim Lowenstein is helping climatologists and others better understand what we're probably in for over the next century or two as global warming begins to crank up the heat and, ultimately, to change life as we know it.  12/2/08
Read whole story


Headlines added earlier

Did Climate Change Trigger Human Evolution?
James Owen | National Geographic News
t may be a threat to humans' long-term future on the planet, but climate change may have helped bring us into being in the first place, some scientists say. 2/5/2006
Read whole storyHurricanes Shape New Natural Order (AP)
Cain Burdeau | Yahoo! News
AP - Last year's record hurricane season didn't just change life for humans. It changed nature, too.   
Read whole story

NASA post-hurricane Katrina images available on Google Earth
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center - EOS Project Science Office | EurekAlert!
NASA and the US Geological Survey (USGS) have published detailed aerial imagery of the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Internet viewable on Google Earth. The images show changes that Katrina made to the Gulf coast from Panama City, Fla. to New Orleans, La. The general public can now go online and see before and after images of Katrina's wrath. 
Read whole story

UC Riverside researchers identify clay as major contributor to oxygen that enabled early animal life
University of California - Riverside | EurekAlert!
Clay made animal life possible on Earth, a study led by Martin Kennedy, an associate professor of sedimentary geology and geochemistry at UC Riverside, finds. A sudden increase in oxygen in the Earth's recent geological history, widely considered necessary for the expansion of animal life, occurred just as the rate of clay formation on the Earth's surface also increased, the researcher team reports. 
Read whole story

Even a mile of forest can make a difference in water quality
Southern Research Station - USDA Forest Service | EurekAlert!
Results from a small-scale experiment in western North Carolina illustrate the importance of National Forest lands in ensuring high water quality in the Southern Appalachian region. Conducted by scientists from the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS), the study, published in the January 2006 issue of the journal Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, shows that the quality of water from an area heavily affected by urbanization can be significantly improved by passing through undeveloped forested areas. 
Read whole story

NASA assesses strategies to 'turn off the heat' in New York City
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center -- EOS Project Science Office | EurekAlert!
The "heat is on" in New York City, whether it's summer or winter. This is due to a phenomenon called the urban heat island effect that causes air temperatures in New York City and other major cities to be warmer than in neighboring suburbs and rural areas. And, in a big city, warmer air temperatures can impact air quality, public health and the demand for energy. 
Read whole story

2005 was the warmest year in a century
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center | EurekAlert!
The year 2005 may have been the warmest year in a century, according to NASA scientists studying temperature data from around the world. 

Climatologists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City noted that the highest global annual average surface temperature in more than a century was recorded in their analysis for the 2005 calendar year.
Some other research groups that study climate change rank 2005 as the second warmest year, based on comparisons through November. The primary difference among the analyses, according to the NASA scientists, is the inclusion of the Arctic in the NASA analysis. Although there are few weather stations in the Arctic, the available data indicate that 2005 was unusually warm in the Arctic.   
Read whole story

Satellites show Amazon parks, indigenous reserves stop forest clearing
Woods Hole Research Center | EurekAlert!
Though conservation scientists generally agree that many types of protected areas are needed to protect tropical forests, little is known about the comparative performance of inhabited and uninhabited reserves. In a paper published in the current issue of Conservation Biology, an international team of scientists, led by Daniel Nepstad of the Woods Hole Research Center, use satellite data to demonstrate, for the first time, that rainforest parks and indigenous territories halt deforestation and forest fires. 
According to Nepstad, "Protecting indigenous and traditional peoples' lands and natural areas in the Amazon works to stop deforestation. The idea that many parks in the tropics only exist 'on paper' must be re-examined as must the notion that indigenous reserves are less effective than parks in protecting nature."  
Read whole story

Cities Make Own Weather Due to Trapped Heat, Expert Says
John Roach | National Geographic News
During winter storms many city folk may praise warmer downtown temperatures for keeping the streets snow and ice free.
But urbanites ought to take steps to curb this phenomenon before localized temperature differences become a global weather problem, a meteorology expert says.
Tightly packed streets, parking lots, concrete buildings, and dark roofs absorb sunlight all day, explained Dale Quattrochi, a geographer with the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.      
Read whole story

Fewer deaths than 2004, but earthquakes still kill nearly 90,000 in 2005
United States Geological Survey | EurekAlert!
Although there were fewer deaths worldwide in 2005 due to earthquakes, more than 89,353 casualties were reported, according to the US Geological Survey and confirmed by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Nearly all of the fatalities for the year, more than 87,000, occurred when a magnitude 7.6 hit Pakistan on Oct. 8.
In 2004, the third deadliest earthquake year on record, over 283,000 perished in the Dec. 26 magnitude 9.0 Sumatra quake and related tsunami. This event was likely the trigger for a magnitude 8.7 quake, which struck the adjacent zone of Sumatra on March 28, 2005. This earthquake left 1313 people dead and was the largest temblor for 2005.
The deadliest quake of 2005 was the 7.6 in northern Pakistan, killing 87,351 and injuring more than 69,000. Extensive damage occurred in the Muzaffarabad area, Kashmir, where entire villages were destroyed, and at Uri where 80 percent of the town was devastated.     1/12/2006
Read whole story

Deep-rooted plants have much greater impact on climate than experts thought
University of California - Berkeley | EurekAlert!
Trees, particularly those with deep roots, contribute to the Earth's climate much more than scientists thought, according to a new study by biologists and climatologists from the University of California, Berkeley.
While scientists studying global climate change recognize the importance of vegetation in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and in local cooling through transpiration, they have assumed a simple model of plants sucking water out of the soil and spewing water vapor into the atmosphere.
The new study in the Amazonian forest shows that trees use water in a much more complex way: The tap roots transfer rainwater from the surface to reservoirs deep underground and redistribute water upwards after the rains to keep the top layers moist, thereby accentuating both carbon uptake and localized atmospheric cooling during dry periods.   1/10/2006
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Electric Hurricanes
Three of the most powerful hurricanes of 2005 were filled with mysterious lightning. 

The boom of thunder and crackle of lightning generally mean one thing: a storm is coming. Curiously, though, the biggest storms of all, hurricanes, are notoriously lacking in lightning. Hurricanes blow, they rain, they flood, but seldom do they crackle.
Surprise: During the record-setting hurricane season of 2005 three of the most powerful storms--Rita, Katrina, and Emily--did have lightning, lots of it. And researchers would like to know why.
Richard Blakeslee of the Global Hydrology and Climate Center (GHCC) in Huntsville, Alabama, was one of a team of scientists who explored Hurricane Emily using NASA's ER-2 aircraft, a research version of the famous U-2 spy plane. Flying high above the storm, they noted frequent lightning in the cylindrical wall of clouds surrounding the hurricane's eye. Both cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning were present, "a few flashes per minute," says Blakeslee.  
Read whole story

Debate Swirls As Wind Power Grows Rapidly
John Christoffersen | RedOrbit News
STAMFORD, Conn. - Giant windmills - on scenic mountain ridges, prairie grass and even an Indian reservation - are spinning an unusual debate that is dividing leading environmentalists.
Wind power grew rapidly in 2005, becoming more competitive as natural gas prices jumped and crude oil prices reached record highs. Improved technology, a federal tax credit and pressure on utilities to use clean energy sources helped fuel the growth from coast to coast.
But wind energy is posing a dilemma for environmentalists who support its pollution-free electricity but have grown increasingly alarmed at its death toll on birds and bats.     1/8/2006
Read whole story

Tiny marine organisms reflect ocean warming       1/4/2006   Read whole story

Past gives clue to climate impact      1/5/2006   Read whole story

The Green Pages: It's Easy Being Green ; ... If You Follow Our New Year's Resolutions. Toni Court Invites You to Take 20 Simple Steps Towards an Eco-Friendly Future     1/2/2006   Read whole story

East Dublin Plant Makes Fuel From Chicken Fat      12/31/2005   Read whole story

Mount St. Helens' Lava Baffles Scientists (AP)     12/30/2005   Read whole story

Beyond Gasoline: His Car Smelling Like French Fries, Willie Nelson Sells Biodiesel     12/29/2005    Read whole story

"Category Five": How a Hurricane Yardstick Came to Be      12/21/2005   Read whole story




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