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climate change

  1. Anchovy Poop Does Its Part to Keep Climate Change At Bay

    Scientists have a new and unexpected weapon in the fight against climate change: Anchovy feces, and lots of it. Researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Rutgers University have released a study demonstrating how small, foraging fish like anchovies can act as a "biological pump," transporting biological material from the ocean surface, where the carbon it contains can be released into the atmosphere, to the bottom of the ocean, where it's carbon is effectively trapped.

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  2. New Research Suggests Vast Methane Reserves Under Antarctic Ice

    A new study of Antarctic ice suggests that the continent may be harboring enormous stores of methane just beneath surface layers of ice. Okay, has everybody made their fart jokes? Good. Moving on. The main ingredient of natural gas and a common byproduct of digestion in everything from cows to people to microorganisms, methane is the among the big bads of the greenhouse gas world. It's super effective at trapping heat, trapping more than 20 times as much heat in the atmosphere than its more well-known cousin, carbon dioxide. Research published in the journal Nature suggests that there are more than 4 billion metric tons of methane underneath Antarctica's ice sheets. If that ice melts, releasing the methane stored underneath, the resulting gasses could contribute significantly to climate change. It's like the rich getting richer, only with instead of money, you have a greenhouse gas, and instead of investing wisely, everything melts.

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  3. Scientists Calculate How Much Methane Dinosaurs Farted Out Per Year

    Methane is a leading greenhouse gas, and the producers of methane -- including cows and other ruminants -- are often singled out as a possible contributor to global climate change. However, it seems that they may not have been the first to do so. A new study published in Current Biology has pegged the entire output of giant sauropod dinosaurs at around 520 million tons of gas every year.

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  4. Less Sunspot Activity Is Not A Climate Change Fix

    Recent reports presented at the American Astronomical Society meeting suggest that the sun may be heading into a period of less magnetic activity with fewer sunspots. Some proponents of this theory believe that the next solar minimum (a normal period of decreased solar activity) may be particularly long, lasting for several decades.

    Analysis of a missing jet stream in the solar interior, fading sunspots on the sun's visible surface, and changes in magnetic activity of the corona and near the poles suggest that an inactive period may be on the way. But the studies presented are a long way off from receiving scientific consensus. In fact, as Andrew Revkin of Dot Earth points out, there those in the astronomical community who think the evidence presented does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that there will be a long solar minimum. So then media reports of a solar minimum that would solve the climate change crisis, come as a bit of a surprise.

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  5. Tonight is Earth Hour [Video]

    Earth Hour began in 2007 when most of Sydney, Australia shut off its lights for an hour to raise awareness about climate change. In the past four years, the event has spread world wide, as seen in the video above. Now, major landmarks all over the world will go dark tonight as a reminder that the Earth is a resource shared by over six billion human beings. Even YouTube got in on the act today by adding a lightbulb to their logo and clickable light switch that toggled the website between a light and dark mode. For those interested, the Earth Hour website encourages you to shut off all your lights for an hour tonight at 8:30 pm local time.

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  6. NASA’s $420 Million Glory Satellite Crashes

    NASA is reporting that its orbital climate change observatory Glory has failed to achieve orbit after launching early this morning atop a Taurus-XL rocket. A statement from NASA indicates that the fairing, the casing around the satellite atop the rocket, failed to open and release Glory into orbit. As such, the craft was too heavy, and subsequently crashed. Glory is the second climate change satellite to crash, and its crash is the second fairing-related incident on a Taurus rocket. Were it to have survived launch, Glory would have studied the effects of tiny particles called aerosols in the atmosphere, and how they affect the climate on Earth. It also carried the Total Irradiance Monitor, which would have provided a greater understanding of how much radiation the Earth receives from the sun. The failure of the mission means a $420 million loss for cash-strapped NASA, but a far greater loss of knowledge that the craft would have provided. The solar radiation information, for instance, would have added to a 32-year long dataset. Glory's loss is a reminder that when it comes to space exploration, nothing is ever routine. Liftoff video below:

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  7. Climate Change Vs. The Weather: A Reminder

    As the northeast gets buried under its third significant snowfall in as many weeks, it's worthwhile to take some time to remember what most media outlets won't remind us of: Just because we still have seasons, doesn't mean that climate change isn't happening. (via Geeks Are Sexy.)

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  8. Uncommon Signs of Global Warming: Hunting Mammoths

    Hunting mammoths might not appear to be the most direct sign of global warming, but an article in the LA Times this week has convinced us.

    "Russian scientists disagree over whether global warming is responsible. Some say yes, others are skeptical. But nobody argues that the permafrost is dwindling," and as the Siberian permafrost disappears, it exposes the thousand year old remains of frozen mammoths, their bones and tusks ready for collection.

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