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See How the Antarctic Signals Major Climate Change

See How the Antarctic Signals Major Climate Change

Lisa Friedman

The vast Southern Ocean, which circles Antarctica, is not visible to most of the world. It’s been mostly out of mind, too: It plays a critical role in Earth’s climate, but because conditions are so wild and dangerous, there’s been far less research there compared with other oceans.

That’s now changing, thanks in large part to autonomous water-measuring floats that drift up, down and around the ocean, bobbing to the surface regularly to send data to satellites. Oceanographers, climate scientists, and others are now able to learn more about the Southern Ocean. What they are discovering is alarming. As the world heats, the ocean is changing.

As This week, I wrote an article — one that is accompanied by fascinating visualizations, created by my colleague Jeremy White, of some of the new float data — the changes have huge implications for the future. The Southern Ocean could eventually release more carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, making it more difficult for the world’s efforts to reduce global warming. The ocean could also accelerate the melting Antarctic ice, which is the largest contributor to sea level rise over the long-term.

These are the key numbersSome estimates suggest that the oceans have absorbed about 25% of the excess carbon dioxide and over 90% of the excess heat that has resulted since the 19th century from the burning fossil fuels.


Scientists have been able to use rapid attribution studies in recent years to study how climate change is affecting hurricanes, heat waves and droughts. But, so far, the same can’t be said of tornadoes like the ones that tore through six states this month.

Scientists are still learning more about tornadoes, their behavior, and it remains to be determined if warming is a factor. Why? One reason is the small size of tornadoes. Because they are small, it makes them difficult to model. Scientists use modeling to determine if extreme weather events are due to climate change. Another reason is that tornadoes form only when the perfect conditions are present.

Quotable: “This is the hardest phenomenon to connect to climate change,” said Michael Tippett, an associate professor of applied physics and mathematics at Columbia University.

Here’s what we know, and don’t knowLearn more about tornadoes.


The Biden administration Announced this monthAll United States government buildings would need to be powered within 10 years by clean energy. Additionally, all new federal cars and trucks would need to be zero-emissions by 2035.

Officials stated that achieving these goals would make the government carbon neutral by 2050, and boost the market for clean energy, and vehicles. “As the single largest landowner, energy consumer and employer in the nation, the federal government can catalyze private sector investment,” the White House said in a statement laying out the new rules.

What’s next:Executive orders are able to put into effect procurement rules without lengthy regulatory processes. But that doesn’t mean the effort will be easy. The plan has been criticized by many Republicans. If their party gains control of either Congress chamber next year, they may withhold funding. The plan could easily be reversed by a future Republican President.

A hawk equipped with a special camera, microphone and microphone, which allows it to fly through bat-swarms. A baby turtle that has a satellite transmitter attached. A tag is attached to a tiny animal like a wasp to track its movements.

Technology offers scientists cutting-edge tools as they race to stop a devastating decline in biodiversity. Technology is crucial in conserving wild species. It helps to understand them. According to a however, Conservation Biology: A new study, researchers aren’t making the most of new technology.

“We’re not really leveraging it as well as we need to be to keep up with these conservation challenges,” said Talia Speaker, one of the authors and research lead at WILDLABS, a group focused on conservation technology. “We need to more effectively work together and share data and be able to ask these big global scale questions.”

Check out these for more information Photos of technology and wildlife.


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