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Saturday, January 16, 2021
Wildfires, heat waves and hurricanes broke all kinds of records in 2020

Wildfires, heat waves and hurricanes broke all kinds of records in...

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2020 was a year of unremitting extreme climate events, from heat waves to wildfires to hurricanes, many of which scientists have directly linked to human-caused climate change (SN: 8/27/20). Each event has taken a huge toll in lives lost and damages incurred. As of early October, the United States alone had weathered at least 16…
Once hurricanes make landfall, they’re lingering longer and staying stronger

Once hurricanes make landfall, they’re lingering longer and staying stronger

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Atlantic hurricanes are taking longer to weaken after making landfall than they did 50 years ago, thanks to climate change. Over the past 50 years, increasingly warm ocean waters have juiced up the storms, giving them more staying power after they roar ashore, scientists report in the Nov. 12 Nature. That could potentially extend storms’…
By 2100, Greenland will be losing ice at its fastest rate in 12,000 years

By 2100, Greenland will be losing ice at its fastest rate...

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By 2100, Greenland will be shedding ice faster than at any time in the past 12,000 years, scientists report October 1 in Nature. Since the 1990s, Greenland has shed its ice at an increasing rate (SN: 8/2/19). Meltwater from the island’s ice sheet now contributes about 0.7 millimeters per year to global sea level rise…
Global warming may lead to practically irreversible Antarctic melting

Global warming may lead to practically irreversible Antarctic melting

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How is melting a continent-sized ice sheet like stirring milk into coffee? Both are, for all practical purposes, irreversible. In a new study published in the Sept. 24 Nature, researchers outline a series of temperature-related tipping points for the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Once each tipping point is reached, changes to the ice sheet and subsequent melting can’t…
New maps show how warm water may reach Thwaites Glacier’s icy underbelly

New maps show how warm water may reach Thwaites Glacier’s icy...

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New seafloor maps reveal the first clear view of a system of channels that may be helping to hasten the demise of West Antarctica’s vulnerable Thwaites Glacier. The channels are deeper and more complex than previously thought, and may be funneling warm ocean water all the way to the underside of the glacier, melting it…
Bering Sea winter ice shrank to its lowest level in 5,500 years in 2018

Bering Sea winter ice shrank to its lowest level in 5,500...

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Sea ice in the Bering Sea, on the southern margin of the Arctic Ocean, dwindled to its smallest wintertime expanse in 5,500 years in 2018, new data show.   Summertime sea ice loss due to climate change has captured headlines, but winter ice in the region has also shown recent signs of decline. In both…
Hurricanes have names. Some climate experts say heat waves should, too

Hurricanes have names. Some climate experts say heat waves should, too

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Hurricane Maria and Heat Wave Henrietta? For decades, meteorologists have named hurricanes and ranked them according to severity. Naming and categorizing heat waves too could increase public awareness of the extreme weather events and their dangers, contends a newly formed group that includes public health and climate experts. Developing such a system is one of…
Emissions dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic. The climate impact won’t last

Emissions dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic. The climate impact won’t last

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To curb the spread of COVID-19, much of the globe hunkered down. That inactivity helped slow the spread of the virus and, as a side effect, kept some climate-warming gases out of the air. New estimates based on people’s movements suggest that global greenhouse gas emissions fell roughly 10 to 30 percent, on average, during…
Climate change made Siberia’s heat wave at least 600 times more likely

Climate change made Siberia’s heat wave at least 600 times more...

The intense heat wave that gripped Siberia during the first half of 2020 would have been impossible without human-caused climate change, a new study finds. Researchers with the World Weather Attribution Network report that climate change made the prolonged heat in the region at least 600 times more likely — and possibly as much as…
Climate change leading to Arctic spider baby boom

Climate change leading to Arctic spider baby boom

An Arctic wolf spider mother with spiderlings riding on her back.  Amanda Koltz/Washington University Scientists have already studied how extreme weather makes spiders more aggressive, and now they're also noticing that it can increase arachnids' numbers.  A new study published in Royal Society Open Science reveals Arctic wolf spiders (pardosa glacialis) are experiencing a baby population boom…

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