New Study Warns of Southwest Megadrought

A new study published in Science aims to assess the effect of climate change on the risk of a serious drought hitting the Southwest United States before the year 2100. Megadroughts are defined as decade-long periods of prolonged drought; megadroughts can occur when the delicate balance between soil moisture and evaporation are upset. The most recent megadrought dates back to the late 16th century and … Continue reading New Study Warns of Southwest Megadrought

How one volcano concealed the sea-level acceleration record

Using satellite records and global climate models, scientists have shown that sea level rise is accelerating. Although sea level data from the past 23 years diverged from this long term trend, researchers demonstrate that the abnormal cooling caused by the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo concealed the long-term trend. A high-resolution record of global sea level has been available since the 1992 launch of the … Continue reading How one volcano concealed the sea-level acceleration record

Climate Change 2016: Make America Hot Again

by Katie Dagon figures by Utsarga Adhikary Heat waves and droughts are staples of summer weather in America. This summer has proven to be no different! Much of the central and eastern U.S. endured a strong heat wave in mid-July. While the “heat dome” has subsided, parts of the Northeast are still under a severe drought (see Figure 3). What makes a particular period of … Continue reading Climate Change 2016: Make America Hot Again

Microorganisms team up to recycle carbon dioxide into biofuel

by Michael R. Gerhardt As carbon dioxide levels in the Earth’s atmosphere increase, average global temperatures climb. 2015 was the hottest year on record, with 2014 a close second. These warm temperatures bring with them drastic effects on our climate. (For more information on climate change, check out our special edition on climate change from 2014). These giant, Earth-sized problems could be mitigated by some … Continue reading Microorganisms team up to recycle carbon dioxide into biofuel

Climate Change Makes the Earth Wobble

In the year 2000, the Earth’s spin axis made a sudden turn towards the east. While some shifts in the geographical pole occur regularly and are well understood, this sudden shift required a new explanation. According to teams from UT Austin and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), climate change is the driving force behind the north pole’s wayward path.   In 2013, the team from … Continue reading Climate Change Makes the Earth Wobble

Why is Antarctica’s Ice Sheet Growing in a Warming World?

by Jordan Wilkerson figures by Michael Gerhardt When someone asks you to consider the impacts of climate change, what do you think of? There’s a good chance that melting ice sheets comes to mind pretty quickly. For that reason, a recent finding regarding the trend in Antarctic ice is quite perplexing; the ice sheet is reportedly increasing in size! This is according to a research … Continue reading Why is Antarctica’s Ice Sheet Growing in a Warming World?

The Hottest Year on Record

The warm winter has been hard to miss. January temperatures were higher than average, and a little over a month ago most the Northeast was turning off the heat, opening windows, and wearing shorts in December. The strange weather hasn’t been confined to the past few months. In 2015 the world saw extreme floods along the Mississippi river, a heat wave in India that killed thousands … Continue reading The Hottest Year on Record