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Paris Agreement Closer to Being Ratified

Thirty-one new countries formally agreed to join the Paris Agreement to reduce global emissions—bringing the total committed countries to 60. The Paris Agreement takes effect when it is formally adopted by at least 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, so far, these 60 country commitments only account for 48…

Recent Books Recount Horror of 1928 Lake Okeechobee Hurricane (Part 2)

Eighty-eight years ago, a savage hurricane tore across the Caribbean, killing thousands. Its winds probably reached 160 mph at times. The storm turned and crossed the Bahamas before smashing ashore at West Palm Beach, Florida on September 16-17, 1928. It tore across the Everglades to giant, shallow Lake Okeechobee, where uncounted thousands of migrant workers…

Recent Books Recount Horror of 1928 Lake Okeechobee Hurricane

Eighty-eight years ago, a savage hurricane tore across the Caribbean, killing thousands. Its winds probably reached 160 mph at times. The storm turned and crossed the Bahamas before smashing ashore at West Palm Beach, Florida on September 16-17, 1928. It tore across the Everglades to giant, shallow Lake Okeechobee, where uncounted thousands of migrant workers…

California Increases Climate Ambitions with Landmark Legislation

Two laws signed by Gov. Jerry Brown will ratchet up California’s fight against climate change by launching efforts to reduce emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. SB-32 calls for increased renewable energy use, more electric cars, improved energy efficiency, and emissions cuts from key industries. AB-197 provides aid to low-income or minority communities…

G20 Summit: Commitment to Climate Change Action Reaffirmed but Details Lacking

As G20 leaders concluded their meeting in Hangzhou on Monday, they reaffirmed their commitment to addressing climate change, but they did not agree on deadlines to ratify the Paris Agreement limiting Earth’s temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit that increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius (subscription).…

These Giant Manta Rays Just Want to Hang Out

How would you like to hop in the water with a giant sea creature that can grow almost 25 feet across and weigh up to two tons? For marine biologist and National Geographic grantee Joshua Stewart, it’s all in a day’s work. He has a soft spot for giant oceanic manta rays and is fighting to protect these gentle giants.

Release of Carbon from Melting Permafrost Could Trigger Rapid Warming

A study published last week in Nature Geoscience provides the first measurements of greenhouse gases from permafrost under Arctic lakes in Alaska, Siberia, and Canada. Although the research reveals that only a small amount of old carbon has been released in the past 60 years, it also suggests that much more could be released as…

Large Wildlife and the Global Carbon Cycle: Studies at the Mpala Research Center

At first glance, the relationship between large, charismatic wildlife species and comparatively invisible carbon compounds is not abundantly clear.  In terms of an ecosystem’s carbon dynamics, it’s more intuitive that soil microorganisms do a lot of the work by breaking down carbon compounds and respiring carbon dioxide; also intuitive is that plants draw carbon back…

Study: Glacial Lakes Appearing in Antarctica

Antarctica is home to Earth’s largest ice mass, which unlike the Arctic remains frozen year round. But a new satellite-based study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters shows that atop the coastal Langhovde Glacier in East Antarctica’s Dronning Maud Land, large numbers of meltwater lakes have been forming. The study suggests that the lakes—nearly 8,000…

Americans View of Climate Change Polarized; U.N. Targets May Be Tough to Achieve

Surveys conducted by Yale University and George Mason University suggest that 17 percent of Americans view climate change as an alarming threat and that another 28 percent are concerned about climate change but view it as a distant threat. The subject has become highly contentious since 1997, when then Vice President Gore helped broker an…

Volcanic Eruption Affects Sea Level Rise

A new study in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that the evidence to pinpoint expected acceleration of sea-level rise due to climate change was hiding behind the effects of a 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo. This eruption sent tens of millions of tons of sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere and may have masked the effects of industrial…

How do humpback whales locate food? Scientists need your help to find out

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Interested in supporting scientists who study how whales use their ears to find food in the noisy New York Harbor? If so, read on. When sharks want something to snack on, they rely on their excellent sense of smell. When swordfish want a meal, they use their eyes. When dolphins need…

New York Joins Handful of Other States with Ambitious Clean Energy Targets

By 2030, half of the energy produced in the state of New York will come from renewables, according to a new policy adopted Monday by the state’s public service commission. The move is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels (80 percent by 2050) and to attract billions in clean…

Urgent Global Action Needed to Stop Extinction of Earth’s Last Megafauna

A swift and global conservation response is needed to prevent the world’s gorillas, lions, tigers, rhinos, and other iconic terrestrial megafauna from being lost forever, an influential group of international scientists reported today in the journal BioScience.

Their analysis, entitled Saving the World’s Terrestrial Megafauna, covers the precipitous loss of large animal populations around the globe. The report included a 13-point declaration by 43 scientists and conservationists calling for acknowledgement that a “business as usual” mentality will result in massive species extinction. Read the declaration and study the maps showing the global decline of big land animals.

An update from Woods Hole Science Aquarium: I’m halfway through my internship, and it’s been awesome!

By Jessica Perelman It has been five weeks since I began working as a NOAA intern at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium (WHSA), and what an amazing experience it has been! As I expected, this summer is presenting me with every opportunity to learn about animal husbandry, interact with aquarium visitors, and discover all that…