A new analysis by dozens of scientists – including some from UW – provides a useful update on measured and anticipated impacts of human-driven climate change on ecosystems from western forests to coastal waters. The report, “Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Ecosystem Services,” is one of a suite of studies feeding into what will be the third National Climate Assessment, an overarching analysis of impacts on everything from transportation systems to public health. Read more about their report and findings.
After remaining stable for most of human history, the world’s population has exploded over the last two centuries. The boom is not over: The biggest generation in history is just entering its childbearing years. The coming wave will reshape the planet, and the impact will be greatest in the poorest, most unstable countries. Read more and see videos, maps, and pictures here.
A new understanding of marine geology has led to the discovery of hundreds of unexpected ore bodies in seas worldwide. Known as massive sulfides because of their sulfurous nature, these finds dot the volcanic springs of seabeds, and are fueling a gold rush as nations, companies and entrepreneurs race to stake claims to the ore-rich areas. OCEAN‘s John Delaney is quoted. Read more here!
A new study in Biology Letters has found that at least one insect has found a use for the increasing abundance of plastic in the ocean — as a place to lay eggs. The increase in abundance of this insect, and the potential effects on plankton, crabs, and other community members, is uncertain. OCEAN‘s Giora Proskurowski is quoted. Read more here.
Ian Joughin/Science/AAAS--Massive sections of ice (center front) have broken away from the Jakobshavn glacier into the sea. There's enough water stored in Greenland's glaciers to raise the sea level by 20 feet.
Changes in the speed that ice travels in more than 200 outlet glaciers indicates that Greenland’s contribution to rising sea level in the 21st century might be significantly less than the upper limits some scientists thought possible, a new study shows. Read more about it here, or listen to NPR’s “All Things Considered” story here!
A new study out in Nature finds that human-emitted aerosols may be largely to blame for the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation–and therefore that this apparently cyclical climate phenomenon may be neither multidecadal nor an oscillation. Read a perspective on this article here.
Conservation heavy-hitters Peter Kareiva, Michelle Marvier, and Robert Lalasz recently discussed how conservation is losing the war to protect nature despite winning the battle to create parks and game preserves. In a new debate, a host of passionate 21st Century conservationists, including SAFS’ Ray Hilborn, face off with the authors over the resilience of nature, corporate partners, and the state of conservation today. Read more here.