How Kelp Naturally Combats Global Climate Change

by Sylvia Hurlimann figures by Hannah Zucker When we think of kelp, we conjure up images of magical underwater forests. Recent research, however, suggests that in addition to creating beautiful habitats, macroalgae such as kelp play a large role reducing the effects of global warming. Kelp has an incredibly fast growth rate (up to two feet per day) and exports a large portion of its … Continue reading How Kelp Naturally Combats Global Climate Change

Can converting methane into CO2 help reduce climate change?

Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane, contribute to global warming by slowing the rate at which heat energy escapes into space. Although methane is less abundant than CO2, it is several times more potent, absorbing up to 36 times more energy than CO2 over a century. Last year marked the first time that global methane concentrations reached levels 2.5 times greater than … Continue reading Can converting methane into CO2 help reduce climate change?

Flurries of “marine snow” could help keep the planet cool

Far below the ocean’s surface, millions of tiny particles fall through the water like a scene from a snow globe. But this isn’t anything like normal snow; this is “marine snow,” debris from tiny dead organisms like plankton and algae that floats down to the deep sea. Because carbon is one of the main chemical elements in living things, the ocean floor becomes coated in … Continue reading Flurries of “marine snow” could help keep the planet cool

Recycling Carbon Dioxide with Copper Catalysts

The Earth is undergoing climate change due to human activity. One facet of this change is the Greenhouse Effect, where molecules in the atmosphere trap heat, resulting in globally increasing temperatures. Carbon dioxide is a molecule produced in dangerous amounts by activities like farming and burning fossil fuels. Thus far, sustainably converting carbon dioxide to useful chemicals has been difficult, but scientists at the Lawrence … Continue reading Recycling Carbon Dioxide with Copper Catalysts

To Flee or Not to Flee: Narwhals puzzle scientists with their escape heartbeat

Take a big inhale and a deep dive. Imagine staying underwater as long as possible. Now imagine a shark approaching, with gleaming teeth, and swimming away as fast as you can. Imagine trying to do both at the same time. You are not alone if you find this confusing. Freeze and flight responses are often mutually exclusive. If you try to do both at once, … Continue reading To Flee or Not to Flee: Narwhals puzzle scientists with their escape heartbeat

The Hot, New Normal: Temperature records broken… again

For the third year in a row, global average temperature records have been broken . Earth experienced the highest temperatures since we began keeping records back in 1880 and, compared to the average temperature of the 20th century (1901-2000), 2016 was nearly a full degree Celsius (0.94 oC) higher. Furthermore, since the beginning of the 21st century, average temperature records have been broken five times … Continue reading The Hot, New Normal: Temperature records broken… again

House Science Committee Retweets A Breitbart Denial of Global Warming

In an affront to the scientific community, the Science Committee of the House of Representatives recently retweeted a questionable Breitbart article which denied global warming. The cited Breitbart article claimed that warm temperatures in 2015 were due to a particularly strong El Niño, not a longer term trend of global warming, and that previous to 2015, there was actually a “global warming hiatus.” The article was … Continue reading House Science Committee Retweets A Breitbart Denial of Global Warming

Reconsidering the Risks of Nuclear Power

by Jordan Wilkerson figures by Shannon McArdel The United States emits an immense amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is extremely likely that the rising global temperature trends since the mid-20th century is dominantly due to human activity. No scientific organization of national or international standing disputes this. Furthermore, the US Department of Defense has … Continue reading Reconsidering the Risks of Nuclear Power