Altering the Abyss: Deep-Sea Ecosystems Affected By Climate Change

The abyssal plains, regions of the ocean below 2000 meters, cover 60% of the Earth’s surface. Scientists have long believed that the ecosystems located at these depths are relatively isolated and stable, immune to the dramatic changes rocking shallower ocean regions due to global warming. However, a recent paper* by Ken Smith, a marine ecologist [...]

India is Vulnerable and Acting to Address Climate Change

“India is vulnerable,” said Jairem Ramesh, India’s Minister for Environment and Forests at a breakfast meeting in Washington, DC last week. “We are responding to climate change because it is in our own self-interest.” While the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sheds members over its reactionary position on climate change, the US-India Business Council (USIBC), headquartered [...]

Up in Smoke: Black Carbon’s Role in Climate Change

[Update: I am moving to a once-a-week blog post.  Check here each Tuesday for a brand new entry of Brave Blue Words!]
The most significant anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) is carbon dioxide, CO2. Comprehensive reductions in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 (expressed as “parts per million or ppm) are the only way to bring down global [...]

Himalayan Nations Meet to Confront Climate Change

Last month, South Asia nations met to discuss how to prevent and respond to climate change in the Himalaya. The conference, called “Kathmandu to Copenhagen: A Vision For Addressing Climate Change Risks and Vulnerabilities in the Himalayas,” brought together representatives from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kyrgyz Republic, Maldives, Nepal and Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Representatives from China [...]

The Other Climate Changers: Why Black Carbon and Ozone Also Matter

The Other Climate Changers | Foreign Affairs
By Jessica Seddon Wallack and Veerabhadran Ramanathan

Summary — Most initiatives to slow global warming involve reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Little attention has been given to reducing emissions of the light-absorbing particles known as “black carbon” or the gases that form ozone–even though doing so would be easier and cheaper [...]

Still Rising After All These Years: CO2 Levels Increase for 51st Straight Year

Atmospheric CO2 reached 387.81 parts per million (ppm) in July 2009 up from 386.38ppm this time last year according to data released by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) earlier this month. Atmospheric CO2 has been rising since Charles Keeling started taking measurements with high precision instruments at the remote Mauna Loa Observatory in 1958. [...]

Global Warming Bubbles up from the Deep

European scientists have discovered more than 250 plumes of methane (CH4) gas bubbles rising from the seabed of the West Spitsbergen continental margin in the Arctic, at a depth of 150 to 400 meters. The warming of Arctic currents by 1° over the last 30 years has triggered the release of methane, a potent [...]

Ocean acidification: the “other carbon problem” – now at a theater near you!

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the oceans have acted as a big sink, absorbing 30% of the CO2 that has been pumped into the atmosphere at a rate of 22 million tons a day. That would seem like good news; less atmospheric CO2 means less warming. But there’s a catch: the CO2 doesn’t [...]

A Talk About Black Carbon by Dr. V. Ramanathan

Today, I attended an excellent talk by Dr. V. Ramanathan at the World Bank in Washington, DC.  Dr. Ramanathan, of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, is the leading expert on the effects of non-CO2 greenhouse gases on climate change.  In the past decade, Dr. Ramanathan has turned his [...]