Atmospheric

Statistical analysis of average global temperatures between 1998 and 2013 shows that the slowdown in global warming during this period is consistent with natural variations in temperature, according to research by McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy.

In a new paper, Lovejoy concludes that a natural cooling fluctuation during this period largely masked the warming effects of a continued increase in man-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.  


A new climate model says that southwestern Australia's long-term decline in fall and winter rainfall is caused by increases in man-made greenhouse gas emissions and ozone depletion.


250 miles above Earth, in the  International Space Station, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst has recently shared some incredible views - some is the usual stuff, Hurricane Arthur on the US East coast, beautiful auroras.

And then there was Super Typohoon Neoguri. This was not Superstorm Sandy, a hyped up tropical storm that benefited from dumping rain on media companies in midtown Manhattan, this was a true super typhoon, with winds of 150 miles per hour and an eye, the center of the typhoon, that was 40 miles wide. One third of Okinawa was evacuated. Nago, Okinawa had over 17 inches of rain in the last 24 hours. 

It's the strongest storm of the season so far and it hasn't even hit mainland Japan yet.

Researchers have measured the highest level of ultraviolet radiation ever recorded on the Earth's surface.

These extraordinary UV fluxes, observed in the Bolivian Andes only 1,500 miles from the equator, are far above those normally considered to be harmful to both terrestrial and aquatic life, though that has to be calibrated. A beach in Brazil also has radiation levels far above safe levels, yet people visit it for that reason. And plane flights provide even more radiation than that. 


Soot and methane were little-considered factors in climate change models a decade ago but with the drop of CO2 in Western nations, activists have begun to worry about those. 

It would have been smart to factor them in all along. Every year, wildfires clear millions of hectares of land and emit around 34 percent of global soot mass into the atmosphere. In remote parts of Southeast Asia and Russia, these fires can contribute as much as 63 percent of regional soot mass. 


The dose makes the poison, it is often said, and it is true. Lots of medicines and chemicals are harmless or beneficial in reasonable quantities but dangerous in high quantities. What about CO2 in plants? Plants need it for food but they also recognize too much is a bad thing. 

Biologists have been studying a long-standing mystery concerning the way plants reduce the numbers of their breathing pores in response to rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

The authors report the discovery of a new genetic pathway in plants, made up of four genes from three different gene families that control the density of breathing pores—or "stomata"—in plant leaves in response to elevated CO2 levels.


When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Arthur on July 2 at 2:50 PM EDT on July 2nd, it saw a cloud-covered eye as the storm was on the way to becoming a hurricane.  

This visible image of Tropical Storm Arthur was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite. Arthur's center was over the Atlantic Ocean and east of Florida's northeast coast.

By 5 AM EDT on July 3, Arthur's eye had formed but remained cloud covered even as the storm hit hurricane-strength with maximum sustained winds near 75 MPH.  


Invasion by exotic plant species affects the ability of soil to store greenhouse gases, which could have far-reaching implications for how we manage agricultural land and native ecosystems, according to a paper in New Phytologist, which found that invasive plants can accelerate the greenhouse effect by releasing carbon stored in soil into the atmosphere.

Since soil stores more carbon than both the atmosphere and terrestrial vegetation combined, the repercussions for how we manage agricultural land and ecosystems to facilitate the storage of carbon could be dramatic.


We all know how fire works, the same way we know how gravity works. But, like gravity, there is a lot we don't know about combustion. 

There are many reasons to delve into its secrets. For modern culture, combustion insight could lead to more efficient fuel use and that means less pollution. Today, gasoline has amazing energy density and that makes it difficult to replace so while we research something better, more efficient combustion would mean less waste.

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) and the University of Hawaii have uncovered the first step in the process that transforms gas-phase molecules into solid particles like soot and other carbon-based compounds.


As carbon dioxide (CO2) in America has declined, environmentalists and the federal government have begun to focus on the energy that got us CO2 emissions back at early 1990s levels - natural gas.

What was once the preferred solution of environmentally conscious people became worse than coal and methane, they began to claim, would make CO2 irrelevant if natural gas were not banned. That was a claim so crazy even the National Resources Defense Council disavowed it, though it got a prominent place, bolstered by lots of anonymous sources, in the New York Times.