800,000 Evacuated as 140mph Cyclone Hits India’s East Coast

Improved disaster preparedness and early warning systems in the region greatly reduced the number of casualties caused by “Super Cyclone” Phailin – no less than 800.000 people were evacuated to shelters set up in temples, schools and government buildings to avoid the path of the 140mph cyclone. Phailin resulted in 23 casualties; a comparable cyclone, Orissa, claimed 10.000 lives in

Almost unanimous: climate change 95% caused by man, according to U.N.

The state of climate change was recently released by the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change. Among important insights covering global warming, the U.N. panel of scientists have reached an unprecedented consensus stating there’s a 95% probability that all climate change is caused by human activities. The IPCC was established by the United Nations in 1988 to comb through the most recent

America’s first climate change refugees: Hundreds forced to flee their Alaska village before it goes underwater

It’s hard to find Kivalina on the map as it is, but soon it will be impossible – the place is quickly disappearing. Kivalina is a small Alaskan village whose inhabitants have relied on the sea for many generations. But due to a huge retreat of Arctic ice which left it very vulnerable to erosion and rising sea levels, Kivalin

Whales suffer from sun burns too

Just like we get a tan and our skin gets darker in response to sunlight exposure, whales increase the pigment in their skin as well, but not only do they do this, they also accumulate damage to the cells in the skin as they get older, just like humans. “Whales can be thought of as the UV barometers of the

Earth’s oceans will boil away, leaving the planet as barren as Venus – in about 1 billion years or so

A interesting, yet controversial discussion, among climate scientists is set around the runaway greenhouse effect. Basically, past a certain threshold when the incoming solar energy is greater than the energy a planet can emit back into space, equilibrium is broken and the planet’s atmosphere enters a positive feedback loop. In the case of Earth, when this happens, it will cause

Sponges boom thanks to Antarctic ice shelf bust

When global temperatures rise, ice starts to thin down, and sometimes, it breaks down. When a big ice shelf collapses in Antarctica, it opened up prime ocean real estate, and delicate but ambitious creatures called glass sponges showed up, pretty much seizing the opportunity. Hexactinellid sponges are sponges with a skeleton made of four- and/or six-pointed siliceous spicules, often referred

52.000 year old forest discovered underwater [stunning pictures and video]

Scuba divers have discovered a primeval underwater forest off the coast of Alabama – a cypress forest which was incredibly well preserved for over 50.000 years. The bald cypress forest was buried under ocean sediments (almost certainly sand), isolated from oxygen (which is the main enemy of preservation), thus preventing them from rotting; however, the underwater forest was uncovered by hurricane

Past decade saw unprecedented warming in the deep ocean

From the 1950s, and especially from 1975, the global surface ocean has shown a significant and steady warming trend. However, since 2004, that warming seemed to stall. Researchers measuring the Earth’s total energy budget (the energy coming in from the Sun and the radiated heat) and they noticed that more heat was coming in then going out; but if the

Extracting our planet’s climate record from cave stalagmites

If you’ve ever visited a cave, you probably know the golden rules: Watch you’re head, stay on the track, and keep your grase paws off the formations! Why the last one? Well, because the hands and dirt you have on your hands can impede their growth. But when you go inside a cave as a researchers… things get a little

NASA Satellite Reveals Tropical Storm Andrea’s Towering Thnderstorms – Tropical Storm Warning in effect

Towering thunderstorms are a bad sign, often announcing a strong tropical cyclone – and NASA’s satellites observed just that. The TRMM satellite spotted thunderstorms reaching heights of almost 9 miles high within Tropical Storm Andrea, while the Aqua satellite provided an infrared view that revealed very cold cloud top temperatures that coincided with the towering thunderstorms that TRMM saw. Subtropical

Pliocene data suggests current climate models are too conservative

A paleoclimate study has shown that a huge mass of warm water stretched out from Indonesia over to Africa and South America four million years ago had a huge impact on tropical changes, suggesting that current climate models are a too conservative. The Pliocene era started 5.332 million years ago and lasted until 2.588 million years. The climate was warmer

Record Arctic ice loss – or why Spring isn’t coming

It’s important to understand that our planet’s climate consists of so much interconnected elements, that what happens someplace affects virtually the entire Earth. Thing is, few people realize the huge impact the warming in the Arctic has on global climate. At a news conference held on Tuesday, several researchers said that the melting ice may be weakening the jet stream

Study suggests global warming has in fact accelerated in the past 15 years

You’ve probably heard it a few times: the climate is indeed warming up, but it’s all good, because the rate at which it is warming up is slowing down. But a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters analyzing ocean warming (which represents 90% of global warming) claims otherwise. Accelerating global warming Contrary to the rather popular belief, global warming

Icelandic volcanic eruption yields bad news for iron fertilization geoengineering

In one of the first articles I’ve ever written on ZME Science, all the way back in 2007 (has it really been 6 years? Wow!), I was telling you about an interesting plan of cooling global temperatures by fertilizing the world’s oceans with iron. This would in cause turn a phytoplankton explosion, which would suck up a lot of CO2

The dangerous myth that climate change is reversible

A NOAA paper published 4 years ago showed, almost beyond the shadow of a doubt, that climate change is irreversible for approximately for approximately 1000 years. Despite this and several other papers that had pretty much the same conclusions, people still believe that climate change is reversible in the near future; it’s not. We’ve reached the point where the question

The Inevitable 2014 Headline: ‘Global CO2 Level Reaches 400 PPM For First Time In Human Existence.’

The inevitable 2012 title was ‘Human population reaches 7 billion‘, surpassing anything anyone could have imagined 100 years ago. Now, we’re approaching a very worrying milestone – CO2 levels in the air will reach 400 ppm (parts per million), for the first time in human existence. CO2 levels have risen at a quick, steady pace for several decades, as the

Long term climate study suggests record warming is ahead of us

By observing several indicators, a team of researchers from Oregon State University’s College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences concluded that in as few as 87 years from now, temperatures are expected to be bigger than anytime in the existence of the human species. Paleoclimatic research is providing a more detailed look on how the planet’s average surface temperature fluctuated

Lizards facing mass extinction due to global warming

Within the next 50 years, numerous lizard species could become extinct due to global warming, a research by Daniel Pincheira-Donoso, from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Lincoln (UK) concludes. Not all lizards lay eggs – some are viviparous, and develop their embryos inside the mother’s body as opposed to an egg. Viviparous lizards are most threatened

Hotter climate slashes labour capacity by 10%, study shows

Here’s another consequence of global warming: our planet’s increasingly hot, wet climate has cut the amount of work people can do by 10% in the past 6 decades. Basically, hotter air tends to retain more humidity, and as anyone who’s worked in high humidity conditions can tell you – that’s not pleasant. When it’s not pleasant, we don’t work as

Melting permafrost releases dangerous levels of CO2

Everything is connected on our planet; things you do on one side have completely unexpected but related effects on the other, and there is nothing truly isolated. Here’s a good example of just that: For most of the year, the Arctic is frozen. Hard ice and tundra is all you’re going to see there most times. As a matter of