ScienceDaily: Top Environment News : Scientists unmask the climate uncertainty monster

Jay Owen Earth Systems Science


ScienceDaily: Top Environment News


Scientists unmask the climate uncertainty monster

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 11:03 AM PDT

Increasing uncertainty in the climate system compels a greater urgency for climate change mitigation, according to new research. Scientists have shown that as uncertainty in the temperature increase expected with a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels rises, so do the economic damages of increased climate change. Greater uncertainty also increases the likelihood of exceeding ‘safe’ temperature limits and the probability of failing to reach mitigation targets. The authors highlight this with the case of future sea level, as larger uncertainty in sea level rise requires greater precautionary action to manage flood risk.

More Earthquakes for Chile? Seismic gap has not been closed

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 11:00 AM PDT

After the strong earthquake that struck chile on April 2 (CEST), numerous aftershocks, some of them of a considerable magnitude, have struck the region around Iquique. Seismologists doubt that the strong earthquake closed the local seismic gap and decreased the risk of a large earthquake. On the contrary, initial studies of the rupture process and the aftershocks show that only about a third of the vulnerable zone broke.

‘Like a giant elevator to the stratosphere:’ Newly discovered atmospheric layer may impact earth’s climate

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 06:29 AM PDT

An international team of researchers has discovered a previously unknown atmospheric phenomenon over the tropical West Pacific. Like in a giant elevator to the stratosphere, many chemical compounds emitted at the ground pass unfiltered through the so-called ‘detergent layer’ of the atmosphere, known as the ‘OH shield.’ The newly discovered phenomenon over the South Seas boosts ozone depletion in the polar regions and could have a significant influence on the future climate of the Earth.

Bacteria get new badge as planet’s detoxifier

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 05:58 AM PDT

Amino acids, the fundamental building blocks of life, come in two forms that, like our left and right hand, have identical parts. But the two forms are not the same from a three dimensional perspective. One is the mirror image of the other. Proteins and enzymes in Earth organisms, without exception, all use L-forms. New evidence has demonstrated that Earth bacteria can do something that is quite unusual. Despite the fact that these bacteria are made of left-handed (L) amino acids, they are able to grow on right-handed (D) amino acids. The study takes a closer look at what these implications mean for studying organisms on Earth and beyond.

Extinctions reduce speciation

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 05:55 AM PDT

The same factors that increase the risk of species extinctions also reduce the chance that new species are formed. We often see alarming reports about the global biodiversity crisis through the extinction of species. The reasons why species become extinct is much discussed, particularly the consequences of human activities. Less often discussed is how environmental changes affect the chances that new species are formed.

Don’t move a mussel (or a clam, or a snail)

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 10:39 AM PDT

Anyone that has spent time at a seaside pier has witnessed the destruction barnacles wreak on boat hulls. But biofouling animals are not limited to marine environments. A new paper estimates that the global management of freshwater mussels, clams, and other clinging animals costs $277 million US dollars annually.