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Ocean Winds Put the Heat on Australia

Ocean Winds Put the Heat on Australia

The answer to one of the enduring puzzles of global warming — the apparently sluggish response of the Antarctic continent to rising greenhouse gas levels — may have been settled by Australian scientists. And, in the course of doing so, they may also have solved another problem: the parching of Australia itself. Nerilie Abram, of the Australian … Read More

Melt of Key Antarctic Glaciers ‘Unstoppable,’ Studies Find

Melt of Key Antarctic Glaciers ‘Unstoppable,’ Studies Find

Sea level rise estimates are going to need to be revised upward: A portion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet that is home to some of the fastest-flowing glaciers on the continent appears to have entered a state of retreat and melt that is “unstoppable,” two new studies have found. “It has passed the point of no return,” said Eric Rignot, lead… Read More

Stability of East Antarctic Ice Basin May Be Overestimated

Stability of East Antarctic Ice Basin May Be Overestimated

Part of the East Antarctic ice sheet may be less stable than anyone had realized, researchers based in Germany have found. Writing in Nature Climate Change, two scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) say the melting of quite a small volume of ice on the East Antarctic shore could ultimately trigger a discharge of i… Read More

‘Oldest Living Things in the World’ Tell a Tale of Climate

‘Oldest Living Things in the World’ Tell a Tale of Climate

The spindly trunk of a Norway spruce reaches above the lichen-covered rocks. Nothing about the tree is remarkable aside from it being the only thing to reach more than a foot feet off the ground on a windswept plateau. Yet Rachel Sussman traveled the roughly 3,500 miles from her Brooklyn studio to western Sweden to photograph it. Its age is what d… Read More

New Ozone-Destroying Gases Found in the Atmosphere

New Ozone-Destroying Gases Found in the Atmosphere

Dozens of mysterious ozone-destroying chemicals may be undermining the recovery of the giant ozone hole over Antarctica, researchers have revealed. The chemicals, which are also extremely potent greenhouse gases, may be leaking from industrial plants or being used illegally, contravening the Montreal protocol which began banning the ozone destroye… Read More

China’s Toxic Air Pollution Resembles Nuclear Winter

China’s Toxic Air Pollution Resembles Nuclear Winter

Chinese scientists have warned that the country's toxic air pollution is now so bad that it resembles a nuclear winter, slowing photosynthesis in plants – and potentially wreaking havoc on the country's food supply. Beijing and broad swaths of six northern provinces have spent the past week blanketed in a dense pea-soup smog that is not expected t… Read More

Short on Ocean Data, Scientists Turn to Seals for Help

Short on Ocean Data, Scientists Turn to Seals for Help

Despite being a crucial driver of the world’s ocean circulation patterns, the Southern Ocean is the ocean that researchers know the least about. The vast body of water begins off the southern tip of South America and Africa and rings the frozen expanse of Antarctica, and has some of the most tumultuous weather of any spot on Earth.… Read More

Scientists Warn Planet Likely to Warm at Least 4ºC by 2100

Scientists Warn Planet Likely to Warm at Least 4ºC by 2100

Temperature rises resulting from unchecked climate change will be at the severe end of those projected, according to a new scientific study. The scientist leading the research said that unless emissions of greenhouse gases were cut, the planet would heat up by a minimum of 4ºC (39.2ºF) by 2100, twice the level the world's governments deem dangerou… Read More