Ecology, Climate Change and Related News

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Tag Archive: temperature

  1. Warming temperatures may cause birds to shrink

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    • Clinal variation in avian body size is better explained by summer maximum temperatures during development than by cold winter temperatures

    January 24, 2018 American Ornithological Society Publications Office read full ScienceDaily article here

    Biologists have known for a long time that animals living in colder climates tend to have larger bodies, supposedly as an adaptation to reduce heat loss. However, a new study shows that this trend in birds might actually be due to the effects of high temperatures during development — raising new alarms about how populations might be affected by global warming...

    ….”If variation in body size is linked directly or indirectly to adapting to different climates, then body size could be useful for monitoring the extent to which bird populations are capable of adapting rapidly to changing climates,” says Andrew. “Our work on this common species helps us to understand the adaptive responses of birds to a changing climate and their constraints, and this fundamental knowledge will help future workers and managers focus their work on other species and potentially identify those species most at risk from climate change.“…

    Samuel C. Andrew, Monica Awasthy, Amanda D. Griffith, Shinichi Nakagawa, Simon C. Griffith. Clinal variation in avian body size is better explained by summer maximum temperatures during development than by cold winter temperatures. The Auk, 2018; 135 (2): 206 DOI: 10.1642/AUK-17-129.1

  2. 2017 was the second-warmest year on record per NASA; Trend continued even without El Niño, which helped make 2016 the hottest.

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    January 18 2018 by James Hansen[a], Makiko Sato[a], Reto Ruedy[b,c], Gavin A. Schmidt[c], Ken Lo[b,c], Avi Persin[b,c]  Read full article here

    • Global surface temperature in 2017 was the second highest in the period of instrumental measurements in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis. 
    • Relative to average temperature for 1880-1920, which we take as an appropriate estimate of “pre-industrial” temperature, 2017 was +1.17°C (~2.1°F) warmer than in the 1880-1920 base period.  The high 2017 temperature, unlike the record 2016 temperature, was obtained without any boost from tropical El Niño warming.

    Fig. 1. (a) Global surface temperatures relative to 1880-1920 based on GISTEMP data, which employs GHCN.v3 for meteorological stations, NOAA ERSST.v5 for sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research station data[1].

    Fig. 1. (a) Global surface temperatures relative to 1880-1920 based on GISTEMP data, which employs GHCN.v3 for meteorological stations, NOAA ERSST.v5 for sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research station data[1].

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    From NOAA:

    • The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2017 was the third highest since record keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA scientists. December’s combined global land and ocean average surface temperature departure from average was the fourth warmest December in the 138-year record.
    • In a separate analysis of global temperature data, released today, NASA scientists ranked 2017 to be the second warmest on record, behind the record year 2016. The minor difference in rankings is due to the different methods used by the two agencies to analyze global temperatures, although over the long term the agencies’ records remain in strong agreement. Both analyses show that the five warmest years on record all have taken place since 2010.

    For more information

  3. Climate Change Could Take the Air Out of Wind Farms

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    December 11, 2017 Eric Niler  read full WIRED article here

    Big offshore wind farms power Europe’s drive for a carbon-free society, while rows of spinning turbines across America’s heartland churn enough energy to power 25 million US homes. But a new study predicts that a changing climate will weaken winds that blow across much of the Northern hemisphere, possibly leading to big drops in clean wind energy.

    That’s because the temperature difference between the North Pole and the equator, which drives atmospheric energy in the form of winds and storm systems, is shrinking as the Arctic warms. A warmer Arctic means less of a temperature difference and therefore weaker winds across the central United States, the United Kingdom, the northern Middle East, and parts of Asia. It’s just one of many weather-related effects that scientists forecast are likely to occur as concentrations of heat-trapping carbon dioxide continue to rise in the Earth’s atmosphere—from stronger hurricanes to weaker polar vortexes.

    Our results don’t show the wind power goes to zero, it’s a reduction of 10 percent over broad regions,” says Kristopher Karnauskas, a climate scientist at Colorado University Boulder and lead author of the new study published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience. “But it’s not trivial.”…

    Karnaukas, K et al. Southward shift of the global wind energy resource under high carbon dioxide emissions. Nature Geoscience (2017) doi:10.1038/s41561-017-0029-9

     

     

  4. July 2017 equaled record July 2016 global warmth

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    From NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies

    July 2017 was statistically tied with July 2016 as the warmest July in the 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA‘s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

    Last month was about 0.83 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean July temperature of the 1951-1980 period. Only July 2016 showed a similarly high temperature (0.82 °C), all previous months of July were more than a tenth of a degree cooler.

    Starting with this update, the previously used ocean data set ERSST v4 was replaced by the newer ERSST v5. This contributed to the changes of some of the data in last month’s update. For more information, see the Updates to Analysis and the History Pages.

    GISTEMP LOTI Anomaly July2017 A global map of the June 2017 LOTI (land-ocean temperature index) anomaly, relative to the 1951-1980 June average. View larger image.

    The monthly analysis by the GISS team is assembled from publicly available data acquired by about 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, ship- and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research stations.

    The modern global temperature record begins around 1880 because previous observations didn’t cover enough of the planet. Monthly analyses are sometimes updated when additional data becomes available, and the results are subject to change.

  5. Atlantic/Pacific ocean temperature difference fuels drought and wildfires in CA and Southwest US; multi-year predictions possible

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    • New study shows that the large-scale difference between a warm Atlantic and relatively cold Pacific ocean temperatures plays a fundamental role in causing droughts, and enhancing wildfire risks in California and the southwest.
    • the Atlantic/Pacific temperature difference shows pronounced variations on timescales of more than 5 years. Like swings of a very slow pendulum, this implies that there is predictability in the large-scale atmosphere/ocean system, which we expect will have a substantial societal benefit.
    July 26, 2017 Institute for Basic Science Read full ScienceDaily article here
    A new study shows that difference in water temperature between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans together with global warming impact the risk of drought and wildfire in southwestern North America.
    …”we were able to show that without anthropogenic effects, the droughts in the southwestern United States would have been less severe.”
    ..The new findings show that a warm Atlantic and a relatively cold Pacific enhance the risk for drought and wildfire in the southwestern US. “According to our study, the Atlantic/Pacific temperature difference shows pronounced variations on timescales of more than 5 years. Like swings of a very slow pendulum, this implies that there is predictability in the large-scale atmosphere/ocean system, which we expect will have a substantial societal benefit,”…
    …”we can use our climate computer model to determine whether on average the next year will have drier or wetter soils or more or less wildfires. Our yearly forecasts are far better than chance.”…

    Yoshimitsu Chikamoto, Axel Timmermann, Matthew J. Widlansky, Magdalena A. Balmaseda, Lowell Stott. Multi-year predictability of climate, drought, and wildfire in southwestern North America. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-06869-7

  6. Chillier Winters, Smaller Beaks

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    • researchers found no correlation with summer temperatures but a clear one for winter — the coldest winters were associated with the smallest beaks, whereas warmer winters were associated with larger beaks.

    Posted: 13 Jul 2017 05:20 AM PDT see full ScienceDaily article here

    …in the 1990s, researchers began to explore a new question concerning the relationship between climate and the evolution of beak size…..[before this study]… feeding habits were believed to be the greatest driving force in beak evolution…

    …[comparing] differences between individuals of the same species that are living in wildly different conditions…. the researchers found no correlation with summer temperatures but a clear one for winter — the coldest winters were associated with the smallest beaks, whereas warmer winters were associated with larger beaks.

    …Allen’s Rule, which states that warm-blooded animals living in cold climates will have shorter limbs and appendages than those that live in warmer climates. The biological mechanism behind this rule is thermoregulation — more body surface area helps animals to shed heat better whereas less surface area helps them to conserve it. Since a bird’s beak plays a large role in thermoregulation — it has lots of blood vessels and is not covered in feathers — researchers wondered whether hotter climates beget larger beaks and colder climates beget smaller ones. Indeed, studies revealed that climate has influenced beak size, but not which type of climate had more of an overall impact….

    Nicholas R. Friedman, Lenka Harmáčková, Evan P. Economo, Vladimír Remeš. Smaller beaks for colder winters: Thermoregulation drives beak size evolution in Australasian songbirds. Evolution, 2017; DOI: 10.1111/evo.13274

     

  7. Deadly heatwaves expected to continue to rise

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    • Half of the world’s population will be affected even with aggressive emissions reductions

    June 19, 2017  University of Hawaii at Manoa Science Daily full article

    Seventy-four percent of the world’s population will be exposed to deadly heatwaves by 2100 if carbon gas emissions continue to rise at current rates, according to a new study. Even if emissions are aggressively reduced, the percent of the world’s human population affected is expected to reach 48 percent.
    “We are running out of choices for the future,” said Camilo Mora, associate professor of Geography in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and lead author of the study. “For heatwaves, our options are now between bad or terrible. ….. The human body can only function within a narrow range of core body temperatures around 37oC. Heatwaves pose a considerable risk to human life because hot weather, aggravated with high humidity, can raise body temperature, leading to life threatening conditions.”
    …For example, by 2100 New York is projected to have around 50 days with temperatures and humidities exceeding the threshold in which people have previously died. That same year, the number of deadly days for Sydney will be 20, 30 for Los Angeles, and the entire summer for Orlando and Houston….
    Camilo Mora, Bénédicte Dousset, Iain R. Caldwell, Farrah E. Powell, Rollan C. Geronimo, Coral R. Bielecki, Chelsie W. W. Counsell, Bonnie S. Dietrich, Emily T. Johnston, Leo V. Louis, Matthew P. Lucas, Marie M. McKenzie, Alessandra G. Shea, Han Tseng, Thomas W. Giambelluca, Lisa R. Leon, Ed Hawkins, Clay Trauernicht. Global risk of deadly heat. Nature Climate Change, 2017; DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE3322
  8. Small climb in mean temperatures linked to far higher chance of deadly heat waves

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    An increase in mean temperature of 0.5 degrees Celsius over half a century… more than doubled the probability of a heat wave killing 100+ people in India, according to researchers

    June 7, 2017 University of California – Irvine See full story here

    …They found that when mean summer temperatures in the South Asia nation went from 27 to 27.5 degrees Celsius, the probability of a heat wave killing more than 100 people grew from 13 percent to 32 percent — an increase of 146 percent….

    Omid Mazdiyasni et al. Increasing probability of mortality during Indian heat waves. Science Advances, June 2017 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700066

  9. Breeding pairs of plovers cooperate to resist climate change

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    June 5, 2017 FECYT – Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology with Point Blue contribution   See full ScienceDaily article here

    Most bird chicks need parental care to survive. In biparental species the chicks have greater chances of success if both parents participate in this task, especially under hostile situations. An international team of scientists has revealed that when temperatures rise, males and females in pairs of plovers shift incubation more frequently….The paper…analysed the behaviour of 36 populations of 12 plover species. Its results reveal that male plovers assist the females during daytime incubation. “Males’ participation in daytime incubation increases both with ambient temperature and with as the variability of maximum temperatures during the incubation period,” the expert stresses. The research demonstrates that a rise in temperature changes these bird pairs’ behaviour and their daily routine in terms of nest attendance….The conclusion of this new paper is that climate variations strongly influence parental cooperation.

    Orsolya Vincze, András Kosztolányi, Zoltán Barta, Clemens Küpper, Monif Alrashidi, Juan A. Amat, Araceli Argüelles Ticó, Fiona Burns, John Cavitt, Warren C. Conway, Medardo Cruz-López, Atahualpa Eduardo Desucre-Medrano, Natalie dos Remedios, Jordi Figuerola, Daniel Galindo-Espinosa, Gabriel E. García-Peña, Salvador Gómez Del Angel, Cheri Gratto-Trevor, Paul Jönsson, Penn Lloyd, Tomás Montalvo, Jorge Enrique Parra, Raya Pruner, Pinjia Que, Yang Liu, Sarah T. Saalfeld, Rainer Schulz, Lorenzo Serra, James J. H. St Clair, Lynne E. Stenzel, Michael A. Weston, Maï Yasué, Sama Zefania, Tamás Székely. Parental cooperation in a changing climate: fluctuating environments predict shifts in care division. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 2017; 26 (3): 347 DOI: 10.1111/geb.12540

  10. Adapting Forests to Climate Change- new UC guide

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    UC helps forest owners adapt to climate change

    By Jeannette E. Warnert April 5, 2017 University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Blog

    The new publication, Adapting Forests to Climate Change, can be downloaded free from the UC ANR Catalog. It is the 25th in the Forest Stewardship series, developed to help forest landowners in California learn how to manage their land. It was written by Adrienne Marshall, a doctoral student at the University of Idaho; Susie Kocher, UC Cooperative Extension forestry and natural resources advisor; Amber Kerr, postdoctoral scholar with the UC John Muir Institute of the Environment; and Peter Stine, U.S. Forest Service.

    The document provides specific recommendations for care of three common types of forest in California: mixed conifer, oak woodland and coastal redwood forests… see page 12 for specific management recommendations.