For the last 12 months, the average global temperature reached 1.52 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial era, according to Europe’s Copernicus Climate Change Service—levels never before endured by humans and above the 1.5 C limit set in the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Whether this 12-month average persists will be determined over decades.
This sclerosponge (Ceratoporella nicholsoni) (in orange) was collected in the Bahamas. | Credit: I. Macintyre/Smithsonian Institution, CC0 1.0
Earth’s weather is affected significantly by ocean currents. In the Atlantic Ocean, water moves along a giant conveyor belt that takes warmer, saltier waters from tropical regions northward toward Greenland, where it cools and can become diluted with fresh water from the melting ice sheet.
How the Atlantic Ocean circulation changes as it slows. | Credit: IPCC 6th Assessment Report
Trees have been promoted as a climate solution for their ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but according to a new study, some trees are struggling to “breathe” as the planet warms. Researchers from Penn State found that trees in warmer, drier climates are essentially coughing instead of breathing—sending more CO2 into the atmosphere than trees growing in cooler, wetter conditions.
With an analysis of a global dataset of tree tissue, a team led by Penn State researchers demonstrated that the rate of photorespiration in trees is up to two times higher in warmer climates, especially when water is limited. They found the threshold for this response in subtropical climates, like this portion of the Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region, begins to be crossed when average daytime temperatures exceed roughly 68 degrees Fahrenheit and worsens as temperatures rise further. | Credit: Warren Reed, Penn State / Creative Commons
They say there’s plenty of fish in the sea, but apparently not enough in streams, rivers, and lakes in Utah to make anglers happy. The field is getting crowded, but luckily the state has a plan: “speed baiting.”
Credit: Utah State University