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OKIsItJustMe

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An inevitable warm-up for Earth

http://www.colorado.edu/today/2017/07/31/inevitable-warm-earth

An inevitable warm-up for Earth

Published: July 31, 2017

Even if humans could instantly turn off all emissions of greenhouse gases, Earth would continue to heat up about two more degrees Fahrenheit by the turn of the century, according to a sophisticated new analysis published today in the journal Nature Climate Change.

If current emission rates continue for 15 years, the research shows, odds are good that the planet will see nearly three degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 Celsius) of warming by then.

“This ‘committed warming’ is critical to understand because it can tell us and policymakers how long we have, at current emission rates, before the planet will warm to certain thresholds,” said Robert Pincus, a scientist with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), a partnership of the University of Colorado Boulder and NOAA. “The window of opportunity on a 1.5-degree [C] target is closing.”

During United Nations meetings in Paris last year, 195 countries including the United States signed an agreement to keep global temperature rise less than 3.5 degrees F (2 C) above pre-industrial levels, and pursue efforts that would limit it further, to less than 3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 C) by 2100.



http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/NCLIMATE3357
Posted by OKIsItJustMe | Tue Aug 1, 2017, 11:50 AM (4 replies)

Methane-eating microbes found beneath Antarctica's melting ice sheets

http://news.ufl.edu/articles/2017/07/methane-eating-microbes-found-beneath-antarcticas-melting-ice-sheets-.php

Methane-eating microbes found beneath Antarctica's melting ice sheets

July 31, 2017
Rachel Damiani
photographer: Reed Scherer

Lurking in a lake half a mile beneath Antarctica’s icy surface, methane-eating microbes may mitigate the release of this greenhouse gas into the atmosphere as ice sheets retreat.

A new study published today in Nature Geoscience traces methane’s previously unknown path below the ice in a spot that was once thought to be inhospitable to life. Study researchers sampled the water and sediment in Antarctica’s subglacial Whillans Lake by drilling 800 meters through ice for the first time ever. Next they measured methane amounts and used genomic analyses to find that 99 percent of methane released into the lake is gobbled up by microbes.

These tiny microorganisms may have a big impact on a warming world by preventing methane from seeping into the atmosphere when ice sheets melt, said Brent Christner, a University of Florida microbiologist and co-author on the study.

“This is an environment that most people look at and don’t think it could ever really directly impact us,” Christner said. “But this is a process that could have climatic implications.”



http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2992
Posted by OKIsItJustMe | Tue Aug 1, 2017, 11:41 AM (5 replies)
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