October 12, 2012

Some Climate Scientists, in a Shift, Link Weather to Global Warming. The relationship between weather and climate is complex and most climate scientists have until recently been averse to drawing direct lines between individual extreme weather events and climate change. However, in a break with the mainstream scientific consensus, a few prominent climate scientists now argue that there is enough evidence to establish a statistical pattern of extreme weather due to global warming. James Hansen, a climatologist with NASA argues that certain past extreme weather events are highly likely to be attributable to global warming. Public opinion is also shifting, as nearly 75% of Americans said global warming is affecting the weather in the U.S. according to a recent poll released by a scientist at Yale University.

October 15, 2012

Newly Discovered Super-Advanced Biocarbon Device: Anchovy Poop! A new study has found that excrement from small forage fish like anchovies is a fairly effective natural biocarbon storage pump. Such fish feed on photosynthetic phytoplankton which intake carbon dioxide near the ocean’s surface. They then digest and discharge fecal pellets which are heavy enough to sink relatively quickly to the ocean floor where the carbon is stored long term. The study involved researchers including Grace Saba from Rutgers University and others from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and was conducted off the coast of southern California.

October 18, 2012

Rogue Dumping of Iron into Ocean Stirs Controversy. A controversy is brewing over a project conducted by the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation this past July, as some scientists accuse the company of rogue geoengineering. More than 200,000 pounds of iron sulfate were allegedly dumped into the Pacific Ocean as part of an ocean-fertilization scheme in which iron was used to promote the growth of phytoplankton. This has the affect of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere because the phytoplankton take up carbon dioxide at the surface of the ocean and then sink to the bottom. Although some researchers believe that this approach holds promise, the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation has been widely criticized for the way in which it went about the project. According to the UN convention on biological diversity and the London Convention there is an international moratorium on ocean-fertilization. Rutgers climate scientist and CECI affiliate Alan Robock joined many other scientists in criticizing the project, saying that mitigation is the solution to global warming, not geoengineering.

October 21, 2012

Experts Predict Wet Winter, but Wary of Melting Ice. Forecasters are predicting a wetter and colder winter than normal due to an oncoming El Niño period in the Pacific Ocean, but record low ice cover this summer in the Arctic Ocean is causing a large degree of uncertainty. Although many climate scientists argue there is a link between shrinking Arctic ice and unusual weather patterns, they cannot say where or exactly how it will have the greatest effect. According to research by Rutgers climate scientist and CECI affiliate Jennifer Francis the shrinking Arctic sea ice means weather patterns will move more slowly as a result of a less powerful jet stream. The jet stream draws its strength from the temperature difference between the North Pole and the equator, but with less ice cover the Arctic Ocean absorbs more energy from the sun and its temperature rises, thus decreasing the difference.

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