Have the Oceans Had Enough? Largest Carbon Sink May Be Slowing Down

More than half of the CO2 emitted by human activities each year are taken up by natural carbon sinks, on land and in the ocean. However, recent studies suggest that anthropogenic emissions may be outpacing the ocean’s ability to take up CO2.
Le Quéré et al. (2009) constructed a global CO2 budget for 1959 – 2008 [...]

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 [...]

Fishing For Answers: Connecting Ocean and Human Health

Walking home from an early appointment this morning, I considered what to write about for today’s blog post. An article about marine ecosystems and fisheries caught my eye yesterday. While intrigued, I was also reluctant – fisheries management is one subject that both interests and frustrates the hell out of me. I took one class [...]

Project Surya Aims to Clear the Air and Reduce Global Warming

Welcome to Blog Action Day 2009! Starting early this morning in the Far East until late tonight in the Pacific Islands, more than 8,700 bloggers from 148 countries are stimulating a global conversation about many aspects of climate change. For me, the choice was easy – I write about science, so of course I’ll blog [...]

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 [...]

Science-Book Challenge 2009 – Scienticity

I love science. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated with the world around me. Biology was an early passion, followed by marine science, geology and just about everything else. Lucky for me, no one told me that science was hard, boring, confusing, icky or something that girls just didn’t do. Even luckier [...]

Global Warming Warps Marine Food Webs

(I’m working hard on my fiction writing so I’m taking a bit of a break from the blog. Just another few days and then I’ll be back with more original content, promise! For now, here’s an interesting story reposted from ScienceNOW Daily News)
By Erik Stokstad
ScienceNOW Daily News
26 August 2009
Teasing apart the complex ways in which [...]

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 [...]