Climate Change

Some of the world's top climate scientists have concluded that global warming is likely to reach dangerous levels unless new technologies are developed to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says pledges from the world's governments to reduce greenhouse gases, made in Paris in 2015, aren't enough to keep global warming from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees F) above pre-industrial temperatures.

Hurricane Florence is moving relentlessly toward the Southeastern U.S. It's a large, powerful cyclone that will likely bring storm surge and high winds to coastal communities.

But climate scientists say one of the biggest threats posed by Florence is rain.

A huge pack of floating ice along the northern Greenland coastline is breaking up and drifting apart into the Arctic Ocean — another consequence, scientists say, of global warming caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

"We've never seen anything this large in terms of an opening north of Greenland," says polar scientist Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which collaborates with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Extreme Weather and Climate Change

Aug 15, 2018
Daria Devyatkina / Flickr

Extreme weather is sweeping across the country. The wildfires in California are the most recent examples. The state is in the middle of a record-breaking fire season with three-active blazes. 

Along with fires, we are seeing extreme climate in the form of hurricanes and increased temperature. These are symptoms of climate change. 

Today on All Sides, we discuss what extreme weather means for the midwest and the rest of the country. 

Guests:

The American West appears to be moving east. New research shows the line on the map that divides the North American continent into arid Western regions and humid Eastern regions is shifting, with profound implications for American agriculture.

In western Oklahoma, farmers like Benji White and his wife, Lori, have become ranchers.

Each year, Dylan Jennings harvests wild rice from the lakes and rivers near his home in northern Wisconsin. He and a partner use a canoe, nosing carefully through rice beds and knocking rice kernels into the boat's hull using special sticks.

"It's a really long process," he says. "It starts with identifying the area where you are going to go ricing and knowing those areas in a very intimate way."

Each spring, barnacle geese migrate more than 1,800 miles from the Netherlands and northern Germany to their breeding grounds in parts of Russia above the Arctic Circle.

The journey north usually takes about a month, and the geese make multiple stops along the way to eat and fatten up before they lay their eggs, says Bart Nolet of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and the University of Amsterdam.

The rising level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means that crops are becoming less nutritious, and that change could lead to higher rates of malnutrition that predispose people to various diseases.

Climate Change Threatens Maple Trees, And Syrup Too

Mar 23, 2018
Angelica A. Morrison / Great Lakes Today

Scientists say climate change affects everything from weather patterns to animal migrations. A popular breakfast condiment could be at risk as well: maple syrup. That’s bad news for the Great Lakes region, which produces a lot of it.

Seventy percent of the world's king penguin population could face threats to its habitat by the end of this century, according to a new scientific model.

The researchers say the problem is that the animals' primary source of food is moving farther away from places where the penguins can breed. They're very likely going to have to swim farther for their dinner.

Aerial view of The Oval on Ohio State University's campus
Ohio State University

Researchers from The Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center formed a task force to draft an action plan for Central Ohio’s handling of climate change. 

Ohio State University seal on campus
Wikipeida / WOSU

Ohio State University is signing onto a climate change pact with 12 other institutions.

A Marshall University biology professor and his staff have successfully sequenced and analyzed the DNA of Ipuh, a Sumatran rhino who lived at the Cincinnati Zoo for 22 years. Its genome could answer specific questions about health and reproduction problems that has led to the decline of this endangered species.

A short drive north of Fairbanks, Alaska, there's a red shed stuck right up against a hillside. The shed looks unremarkable, except for the door. It looks like a door to a walk-in freezer, with thick insulation and a heavy latch. Whatever is behind that door needs to stay very cold.

"Are you ready to go inside?" asks Dr. Thomas Douglas, a geochemist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

This past year, 2017, was among the warmest years on record, according to new data released by NASA and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

The planet's global surface temperature last year was the second highest since 1880, NASA says. NOAA calls it the third warmest year on record, because of slight variations in the ways that they analyze temperatures.

Both put 2017 behind 2016's record temperatures. And "both analyses show that the five warmest years on record have all taken place since 2010," NASA said in a press release.

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