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Tropical Dams an Underestimated Methane Source

Tropical Dams an Underestimated Methane Source

Big dams built in the tropics to produce hydroelectricity have long been highly controversial — data gathered in Laos by a French team studying methane emissions confirms that dams can add to global warming, not reduce it. In many rocky regions low on vegetation and population, such as in Iceland and other northern mountainous regions, the prod… Read More

Climate Change Threatens Half of North America’s Birds

Climate Change Threatens Half of North America’s Birds

Half of North America’s bird species, from common backyard visitors like the Baltimore oriole and the rufous hummingbird to wilderness dwellers like the common loon and bald eagle, are under threat from climate change and many could go extinct, an exhaustive new study has found. Seven years of research found climate change the biggest threat to Nor… Read More

Picture This: Summer Snow and Gnarly Lightning

Picture This: Summer Snow and Gnarly Lightning

It was a weird week for weather, that's for sure. Snows fell from Calgary to Rapid City -- in the middle of September. That's early even for Canada! Meanwhile monsoon rains, helped along my moisture from the remnants of tropical storms, soaked parts of the Southwest, not used to such deluges. We've got photos of those two events, as well as look ba… Read More

Warming Air Was Trigger for Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse

Warming Air Was Trigger for Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse

It was clear to anyone who went to Antarctica in the summer of 2001-02 that it was an unusually warm one — record-setting, in fact — and just one in a series of warm austral summers. In December 2001, geologic oceanographer Eugene Domack, now at the University of South Florida, was part of an expedition sampling the Southern Ocean seafloor around… Read More

The Good and Bad Climate News from Permafrost Melt

The Good and Bad Climate News from Permafrost Melt

Earth’s subterranean carbon blisters are starting to pop. Carbon inside now-melting permafrost is oozing out, leaving scientists scrambling to figure out just how much of it is ending up in the atmosphere. Whether recent findings from research that attempted to help answer this question are good or bad climate news might depend on whether you see … Read More

Calif. Plans Nation’s Most Detailed Sea Level Database

Calif. Plans Nation’s Most Detailed Sea Level Database

To help adapt to the increased flood-risks affecting people and property in these landscapes, California is about to compile the nation’s most elaborate sea level rise planning database. The task won’t be easy. California’s bureaucracy can be as bewildering as its hydrology. Which is one of the reasons its lawmakers are directing a single agency t… Read More

Struggling El Niño Still Shaping Hurricane Activity

Struggling El Niño Still Shaping Hurricane Activity

September 10 generally marks the peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean basin, but this year there are no tropical cyclones to be seen. Currently, there are only two stormy areas that have only small chances of developing into tropical storms over the next few days. For that dearth of activity, you can thank El Niño, or at least the… Read More

Time for Trees to Pack Their Trunks?

Time for Trees to Pack Their Trunks?

During the last two springs, contract planters for The Nature Conservancy have spread out through the pine, spruce and aspen forest of northeastern Minnesota. Wielding steel hoedads, they have planted almost 110,000 tree seedlings on public land. What’s noteworthy about planting trees in a forest? Usually foresters plant seedlings grown from seeds … Read More