To better understand global weather patterns and increase scientific collaboration between the U.S. and India, researchers supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) have completed a month-long cruise studying summer monsoon conditions in the Bay of Bengal.

Summer, or southwest, monsoons are moisture-soaked seasonal winds that bring critical rainfall to the Indian subcontinent during the June-September wet season. An abundant season provides sustaining rainfall that replenishes water reservoirs and reaps bountiful crop harvests. By contrast, a weak season could lead to drought, soaring food prices and a battered economy.

Emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels like coal, petroleum and natural gas tend to collect within Earth's atmosphere as "greenhouse gases" that are blamed for escalating global warming.

So researchers around the globe are on a quest for materials capable of capturing and storing greenhouse gases. This shared goal led researchers at Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur to team up to explore the feasibility of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VACNTs) to trap and store two greenhouse gases in particular: carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2).

A recalculation of the dates at which boulders were uncovered by melting glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age has conclusively shown that the glacial retreat was due to rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, as opposed to other types of forces.

Carbon dioxide levels are now significantly higher than they were at that time, as a result of the Industrial Revolution and other human activities since then. Because of that, the study confirms predictions of future glacial retreat, and that most of the world's glaciers may disappear in the next few centuries.

Researchers have completed a large-scale research project conducted over a five-year period on the African continent to compile the first greenhouse gas budget of African rivers.

Covering 12 rivers spread across the entire continent of Africa, the study shows that greenhouse gas emissions from the rivers are very significant. The researchers trawled the African continent in order to analyze the streams of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), the three main GHG.

The arrival of intense cold similar to what some call the "Little Ice Age" of the late 17th century and early 18th century, is expected in the years 2030 to 2040, according to a presentation during the National Astronomy Meeting in Wales.

It is well established that volcanic eruptions contribute to climate variability but quantifying those impacts has proven challenging due to inconsistencies in historic atmospheric data observed in ice cores and corresponding temperature variations seen in climate proxies such as tree rings.

A new study in Nature resolves those inconsistencies with a new reconstruction of the timing and associated radiative forcing of nearly 300 individual volcanic eruptions extending as far back as the early Roman period.

We can use lightning rods to increase the probability of it striking at a specific location but its exact path remains unpredictable.

Perhaps not for long. At a smaller scale, discharges between two electrodes behave in the same manner, streaking through space to create electric arcs where only the start and end points are fixed. Knowing that, it may be possible to control the current so that it follows a predetermined path, say Professor Roberto Morandotti and colleagues from
INRS Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications research centre
who have discovered a way to guide electric discharges - and even steer them around obstacles - using lasers at the Advanced Laser Light Source (ALLS) facility. 

High in the sky where the cirrus ice crystal clouds form, jet contrails draw their crisscross patterns. Now researchers have found that these elevated ice cloud trails can influence temperatures on the ground and affect local climate.  

For contrails to form, the atmosphere at the level the jet is flying must be cold enough that the moisture from the jet exhaust freezes into ice crystals. There also must be enough moisture in the air that the clouds that form remain in the sky for at least a few hours as persisting contrails.

With warming summer temperatures across Alaska, white spruce tree growth in Interior Alaska has declined to record low levels, while the same species in Western Alaska is growing better than ever measured before.

The findings are the result of a study led by University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Natural Resources and Extension researcher Glenn Juday, Claire Alix of the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, and Tom Grant, formerly an adjunct faculty member at UAF. Their findings were recently published online by the journal Forest Ecology and Management.

 If you want to blame something for an overcast day, it's safe to go with the tropics. Water vapor originating from the Earth's tropics is transported to mid-latitudes on long filaments of flowing air that intermittently travel across the world's oceans.

When these airy tendrils make landfall, they can cause severe floods and other extreme weather events. Yet despite the importance of these "atmospheric rivers" for the global water and heat cycles, the mechanism behind their formation is still a mystery.