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A flurry of discussion about public misperception of climate scientists’ views misses another science perception gap.
When a doctoral student and her advisor went north not long ago to study how long-term warming in the Arctic affects carbon storage, they had made certain assumptions.
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EVEN in rich countries childbirth is not a tidy affair. On an earthen floor in a dimly lit home in Bangladesh it can be a killer. Bangladesh has nevertheless reduced maternal deaths during childbirth by 40%, from 322 per 100,000 births to 194, during the first decade of this century. It has done so in several ways: by encouraging women to give birth in hospitals and clinics; by giving better training to the women who act as informal midwives for those who give birth at home; and by improving obstetric treatment when things go wrong. When exactly things are going wrong, though, is not always obvious. In particular, the blood of a healthy birth can be hard to distinguish from the blood of a life-threatening haemorrhage.An invention by Mohammad Abdul Quaiyum of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Dhaka should help to change that by providing a simple indication of whether a woman who has just given birth is in danger of bleeding to death. This invention is a standardised birth mat.Bangladeshi women often give birth on improvised mats, such as old saris. That gives them some comfort and hygienic...
A new survey of scientific studies finds that the question of global warming’s causes are not in dispute among scientists, despite public perceptions.
Findings of a study of scientific literature contradict US public perception of deep divisions among academics over causes of climate change
Five things to know about CO2What does 400 parts per million tell us?Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have crossed a major threshold: 400 parts per million. Here are five key points on how carbon dioxide is affecting Earth’s atmosphere and the role we're playing in it. People:
Bob Henson • May 15, 2013 | Even if a milestone is arbitrary, it can strike a note that resonates deeply. Last week’s announcement that carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere had touched 400 parts per million was just such a moment.
A new institute, financed by the insurance industry, not only believes in global warming but also supports a carbon tax to combat it.
As carbon dioxide levels in the Earth's atmosphere top 400 parts per million, options such as storing the greenhouse gas in porous sandstone rock formations found in abundance on the sea floor are of increasing interest. But how do we know if carbon dioxide can be safely injected into spongy sandstone, and that once it is there, that it will stay there?
While some recent studies suggest that the doubling of carbon dioxide levels will not result in as high an increase in temperature as previously thought, they are not the last word.
The amount of the heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere has reached a level not seen for at least three million years, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and sea level.
On May 9, the daily mean concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since measurements began in 1958. Independent measurements made by both NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have been approaching this level during the past week. It marks an important milestone because Mauna Loa, as the oldest continuous carbon dioxide measurement station in the world, is the primary global benchmark site for monitoring the increase of this potent heat-trapping gas.
The large-scale expansion of agriculture in the Amazon through deforestation will be a no-win scenario, according to a new study. The study shows that deforestation will not only reduce the capacity of the Amazon’s natural carbon sink, but will also inflict climate feedbacks that will decrease the productivity of pasture and soybeans.
350 is a popular number among people concerned about climate change. That is because 350 parts per million (ppm) of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere is the level that, in the words of James Hansen, a prominent climate scientist, is needed “to preserve a planet similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted”. Today the ratio is nudging 400ppm, the highest since the Pliocene, 4m years ago, when Canada was a tropical jungle. This prompted some, including the UN, to suggest 450ppm, which should limit warming to 2ºC, as a more realistic goal. All the same, 350 has become a rallying cry, especially for the younger generation which will bear the brunt of global warming but as yet lacks the political clout to do much about it. It is also the name of a network launched in 2008 by Bill McKibben, the aim of which is to shift the fight against climate change out of high politics and onto the streets—or at least to places where youngsters hang out.Rather than lobby for change in dysfunctional, and old, Washington, DC, 350 has spent the past five years spreading the word around college campuses, religious organisations and municipal authorities, for instance pressing them to shed stakes in fossil-fuel firms. The outfit does not just argue that such investments are immoral, but also that they are risky (as we wrote last week, if ...
Putting our spring cold in contextHow unusual is it—and what happened to warming?The last month has seen a trail of smashed records across the central United States, as pulse after pulse of cold air careened down the Great Plains. How does this fit into the bigger picture of a warming U.S. climate?AtmosNews Category:
Bob Henson • May 10, 2013 | Bare trees and brown shrubs, freakish snows and harsh freezes: from Minnesota to Texas, it’s as if someone hit the “pause” button just ahead of springtime. The last month has seen a trail of smashed records across the central United States, as pulse after pulse of cold air careened down the Great Plains. Meanwhile, southern Canada has had record warmth. How does all this fit into the bigger picture of a warming climate?
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Carbon-dioxide concentrations hit their highest level in 4m years
AT NOON on May 4th the carbon-dioxide concentration in the atmosphere around the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii hit 400 parts per million (ppm). The average for the day was 399.73 and researchers at the observatory expect this figure, too, to exceed 400 in the next few days. The last time such values prevailed on Earth was in the Pliocene epoch, 4m years ago, when jungles covered northern Canada.
There have already been a few readings above 400ppm elsewhere—those taken over the Arctic Ocean in May 2012, for example—but they were exceptional. Mauna Loa is the benchmark for CO2 measurement (and has been since 1958, see chart) because Hawaii is so far from large concentrations of humanity. The Arctic, by contrast, gets a lot of polluted air from Europe and North America.
The concentration of CO2 peaks in May, falls until October as plant growth in the northern hemisphere’s summer absorbs the gas, and then ...
"Eternal flames" fueled by hydrocarbon gas could shine a light on the presence of natural gas in underground rock layers and conditions that let it seep to the surface, according to new research.
Should President Obama approve the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline, some foes of the project say he ought to address climate policy at the same time.
Enzymes could break down cell walls faster -- leading to less expensive biofuels for transportation -- if two enzyme systems are brought together in an industrial setting, new research suggests.
America's urban forests store an estimated 708 million tons of carbon, an environmental service with an estimated value of $50 billion, according to a recent study.
Chemical engineering researchers have identified a new mechanism to convert natural gas into energy up to 70 times faster, while effectively capturing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.