How Profoundly Cities Affect Temperatures Both Near and Far

It has been known for a long time that cities create warmer temperatures due to heat stored in buildings, roads, and other man-made structures. They also add heat from air conditioners, boilers, and other combustion sources. This is known as the urban "heat island". What has not been known until now, is that cities also raise temperatures in the areas surrounding them, out thousands of miles. A new study shows the extent to which human activities are influencing the atmosphere, both locally, and at distant locations. Scientists have concluded that the heat generated by everyday activities in metropolitan areas alters the character of the jet stream and other major atmospheric systems. This affects temperatures across thousands of miles, significantly warming some areas and cooling others, according to the study this week in Nature Climate Change.

Cargill Cattle Plant Closes, Global Warming contributing factor?

It sounds a bit like justice served, doesn't it? When Cargill announced the closing of its Plainview, Texas, cattle operation, they cited a record low cattle supply as the result of the region's severe drought. Though scientific models don't yet have the precision to directly tie a particular weather event, be it a storm or a drought, to global warming trends, there is plenty of evidence indicating that drought is clearly increasing as the result of the changing climate.

The Braided Sun

The Sun is the center of our Solar System. Scientists have long puzzled over why the surface of the sun is cooler than its corona, the outer hazy atmosphere visible during a solar eclipse. Now thanks to a five-minute observation by a ultraviolet telescope they have some magnetic answers. A rocket-borne camera has provided some of the sharpest images yet of the Sun's corona, the hot layer of gas that extends more than a million kilometers above the solar surface.

European Carbon Market in trouble

EU carbon prices briefly slid 40% to a record low after politicians opposed plans to support the market, raising concerns prices could hit zero and sending a warning to European governments to pull together in lowering carbon emissions. Prices in the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS) on Thursday (24 January) dropped to €2.81 a metric tonne after a vote in the European Parliament's energy and industry committee opposing a scheme known as "backloading" - or supporting prices by extracting allowances from the market and reinjecting them later. In volatile trade, they later climbed back above €4.

Greenland Ice May Foretell Future Global Warming Results

When global warming is discussed, many will try to predict how much the ice cap will melt and how much the seas will rise. There are many variables in this calculation. A new study by an international team of scientists analyzing ice cores from the Greenland ice sheet going back in time more than 100,000 years indicates the last interglacial period may be a good analog for where the planet is headed in terms of increasing greenhouse gases and rising temperatures.

Dogs vs. Wolves: Critical Period of Socialization Explains Behavioral Differences

Dogs and wolves are actually from the same species: Canis lupis. Physically and genetically, these two canines are similar, but behaviorally, it has been difficult for biologists to understand why wolves remain fiercely wild, while dogs are content on being man's companion. While domestication of the dog plays a huge role in the differences between the two, according to new research, evolutionary biologist Kathryn Lord at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggests the different behaviors are related to the animals' earliest sensory experiences and the critical period of socialization.

Asian Monsoon Predictions Take Great Leap Forward

There are few other weather phenomenon which effect a country's agriculture, economy, and people greater than the Monsoon. The monsoon is defined as a seasonal reversing of wind accompanied by a significant change in precipitation. For many parts of the world, and particularly south Asia, the monsoon provides much needed rainfall. However, the amount of rainfall and number of tropical storms brought about by each year's monsoon has been extremely difficult to predict. Scientists from the International Pacific Research Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa have made a breakthrough for predicting the summer monsoon rainfall over East Asia as early as the spring of that year.

Naples Plans to Tap Mt. Vesuvius as Core of Sustainable Energy Strategy

Dominating vistas around Italy’s Bay of Naples, Mount Vesuvius erupted on August 24 in the year 79 AD, a cataclysm that brought an end to the Roman cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae and its denizens, preserving their remains in volcanic ash. The looming presence of Vesuvius is a stark reminder of the destructive power of volcanoes for residents of Naples, as well as the vulnerability of populations around the world who reside in their presence. Today, however, the city of Naples is looking to tap into and harness Vesuvius’ energy to improve lives, the environment and living conditions.

‘Climate change in Pakistan turning extreme’

Data presented at a seminar on climate change in Pakistan highlighted trends where this South Asian country, which stretches from high, snow-capped mountains to a deltaic coast, could be in for a sharp rise in average temperatures and extremely erratic weather.

Roadmap for Fusion

ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering project, which is currently building the world's largest experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor at the Cadarache facility in the south of France. The European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA) has published a roadmap which outlines how to supply fusion electricity to the grid by 2050 with ITER as one of its units. The roadmap to the realization of fusion energy breaks the quest for fusion energy down into eight missions. For each mission, it reviews the current status of research, identifies open issues, proposes a research and development program and estimates the required resources. It points out the needs to intensify industrial involvement and to seek all opportunities for collaboration outside Europe.