Three Elephants in the Living Room at Copenhagen

This post was contributed by Meg Lowman, ESA Vice President for Education and Human Resources, who just recently returned from the Copenhagen climate summit.  With good intentions, delegates arrived from 192 nations in Copenhagen, Denmark last week for the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework for Climate Change Convention). Their goal was to meet, talk, draft, edit and finalize a document to limit carbon dioxide emissions into our...

Read More

Oceans can’t keep up with human emissions

A study out in Nature today puts some long-term figures on a trend that climate scientists and ecologists have seen coming for some time: Oceans are no longer absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere like they used to. Growing ocean acidity is slowing their ability to keep up as humans pump more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The study, conducted by Samar Khatiwala of the Georgia Institute of Technology and...

Read More

Fish migrate to escape climate change

A study out today in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series shows that global warming could have a major effect on the fishing industry by forcing large fish populations from their original habitats. About half of the fish stocks studied in the Atlantic ocean, many of them commercially valuable species, have shifted northward over the last 40 years. The study finds that the fish are moving to escape continually warming waters that...

Read More

Climate change will further endanger monkeys

A critically endangered northern muriqui in Brazil. Photo by Carla B. Possamai, provided by K.B. Strier A study out today in Biology Letters shows that global warming will likely drive several species of primates closer to extinction by increasing the severity and frequency of El Niño and La Niña events (the El Niño Southern Oscillation, ENSO). Eric Post and graduate student Ruscena Wiederholt of Penn State examined population data on...

Read More

The Senate, climate change, and the public opinion

On Wednesday, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) sent a letter, signed by 18 scientific organizations including ESA, to each member of the Senate. The letter states the consensus views of the scientific community: that climate change is real, that it is mostly anthropogenic in source and that, if unchecked, it will create major threats to our society. The letter is an exceptionally concise and to-the-point...

Read More

Pollutants melting out of glaciers, into lakes

A mountain lake in Glacier National Park, Montana. Organic pollutants have been on the decline in most natural areas in recent years, due to stricter regulations and improvements to products including the contaminants, such as certain pesticides. But a new study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology shows that these pollutants are showing a spike in some natural lakes, regardless of their tighter restrictions in the...

Read More

Biophysical climate feedbacks revealed at NASW 2009

Science writers from around the country gathered in Austin this week for their annual conference, put on by the National Association of Science Writers and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. The meeting attracted some 300 science writers – journalists, editors, communications professionals, etc. – for several days of talking about science and the craft of writing. In the current media environment where...

Read More

Arctic’s big carbon sink could shift to a source

Scientists have known for some time now that the land and seas in the Arctic act as a sink for atmospheric carbon. In a new review paper in the journal Ecological Monographs, ecologists now have a sense of just how much carbon the Arctic has historically handled – up to a whopping 25 percent of the world’s carbon flux. David McGuire of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the USGS is the lead author on the paper, which...

Read More