Major "cooling" ocean current seen slowing

Far beneath the surface of the ocean, deep currents act as conveyer belts, channeling heat, carbon, oxygen and nutrients around the globe. A new study has found that recent climate change may be acting to slow down one of these conveyer belts, with potentially serious consequences for the future of the planet's climate.  Oceanographers have noticed that Antarctic Bottom Waters, a massive current of cold, salty and dense water that flows 2,000 meters under the ocean's surface from near the Antarctic coast toward the equator has been shrinking in recent decades. This is cause for concern, as the current is believed to "hide" heat and carbon from the atmosphere. The Southern Ocean takes up approximately 60 percent of the anthropogenic heat produced on Earth and 40 to 50 percent of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide.




Arctic sea ice disappearing five days later each decade
The Arctic sea ice season is shortening by five days per decade, with the appearance of sea ice becoming delayed by warmer weather, according to new research.  New satellite data  indicates that the Arctic Ocean is absorbing more of the Sun's energy in the summer, leading to a delayed appearance of autumn sea ice.  In some Arctic regions, the freezing is occurring up to 11 days per decade later than it has in the past.

Watch 29 years of "old" Arctic sea ice disappear in 59 seconds: 

 



Arctic sea ice is disappearing twice as fast as projected

Scientists based at the University of California, San Diego have analyzed Arctic satellite data from 1979 to 2011, and have found that average  Arctic albedo levels have decreased from 52 percent to 48 percent since 1979 — twice as much as previous studies based on models have suggested.




Scientists alarmed by "unprecedented rate" of ocean acidification
The world's oceans are becoming acidic at an "unprecedented rate" and may be souring more rapidly than at any time in the past 300 million years. In their strongest statement yet on this issue, scientists say acidification could increase by 170% by 2100. They say that some 30% of ocean species are unlikely to survive in these conditions. The researchers conclude that human emissions of CO2 are clearly to blame.




Oceans heating faster than any time in last 10,000 years

Our oceans are heating up much faster now than they have in the past 10,000 years. This is one of the conclusions from a recently published paper in Science. The researchers  traveled back in time to explore how ocean temperatures have changed. Comparison of those temperatures to today's helped them quantify the impact that human greenhouse gas emissions are having on the planet.




Report highlights intensifying threats to world's oceans
The world's oceans are under greater threat than previously believed, according to the latest report issued by the International Program on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The findings pointed to acidification, warming and declining oxygen levels as the "deadly trio" that together are affecting the ocean's productivity and efficiency.




Pacific cooling may account for pause in warming
Scientists probing the mystery of the so-called "global warming hiatus" may have made a breakthrough. According to a new study, a persistent area of unusually cool sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean could explain why, despite ever-increasing amounts of manmade greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, global average surface temperatures have increased at a slower rate during the past 15 years.




Ocean acidification will enhance atmospheric warming: study
The slow and inexorable increase in the oceans’ acidity as they soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere could itself have an effect on climate and amplify global warming, according to a new study.  Acidification would lead certain marine organisms to emit less of the sulphur compounds that help to seed the formation of clouds and so keep the planet cool.




Antarctic sea ice melt will change seabed ecosystems
Seaweed could smother polar underwater ecosystems as melting sea ice exposes the seafloor to more sunlight, new research shows. Animals that dwell on the seafloor of the Arctic and Antarctic spend most of their lives in total darkness: Sea ice blocks rays during the spring and early summer, and the sun sets completely in the winter. Late summer and early fall — when the ocean warms up enough to thaw the ice — often marks the only time these critters see light.  But as climate change causes sea ice to begin melting earlier and earlier in the summer, shallow-water ecosystems will soak up increasingly more rays. New research from a team of Australian biologists suggests this could cause a major shift in the seafloor communities along the coast of Antarctica, where invertebrates such as sponges, worms and tunicates — globular organisms that anchor to rocks on the seafloor — currently dominate.




Warming to "lock in" coastal cities to higher sea levels
More than 1,700 American cities and towns – including Boston, New York and Miami  are at greater risk from rising sea levels than previously feared, a new study has found.  By 2100, the future of at least part of these 1,700 locations will be "locked in" by greenhouse gas emissions built up in the atmosphere  A recent study found each 1C rise in atmospheric warming would lead eventually to 2.3 meters of sea level rise. The latest study takes those figures, and factors in the current rate of carbon emissions, as well as the best estimate of global temperature sensitivity to pollution.




Shrinking Great Lakes hits shipping industry hard
It’s the 14th straight year of low water levels for the $34 billion shipping industry that relies on the Great Lakes. In January, Lake Michigan and Huron hit record lows, followed by Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. Now all three lakes remain well below their historical averages.  Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, however, are both right around their long-term average right now.




Melting glaciers add one-third to sea level rise

The world's glaciers lost 260 gigatons of water each year between 2003 and 2009, making these rivers of ice responsible for almost a third of sea-level rise in that time, new research finds. The study, appearing in  the journal Science, used multiple methods to pin down estimates of how much ice is lost from glaciers.

 




Ice loss speeds acidification of Arctic Ocean
The Arctic seas are being made rapidly more acidic by carbon-dioxide emissions, according to a new report. Scientists from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) monitored widespread changes in ocean chemistry in the region. They say even if CO2 emissions stopped now, it would take tens of thousands of years for Arctic Ocean chemistry to revert to pre-industrial levels.




Ocean surface waters may explain temporary pause in warming

Climate change could get worse quickly if huge amounts of extra heat absorbed by the oceans are released back into the air, scientists said after unveiling new research showing that oceans have helped mitigate the effects of warming since 2000. Heat-trapping gases are being emitted into the atmosphere faster than ever, and the 10 hottest years since records began have all taken place since 1998. But the rate at which the earth's surface is heating up has slowed somewhat since 2000, causing  Scientists to search for an explanation for the pause.   Experts in  France and Spain said  the oceans took up more warmth from the air around 2000. That would help explain the slowdown in surface warming but would also suggest that the pause may be only temporary and brief.





Recent increase in warming found in deep oceans

Contrary to the popular contrarian myth, global warming has accelerated, with more overall global warming in the past 15 years than the prior 15 years. This is because about 90% of overall global warming goes into heating the oceans, and the oceans have been warming dramatically.




Two Great Lakes hit lowest levels on record
Two of the Great Lakes have hit their lowest water levels ever recorded, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said, capping more than a decade of below-normal rain and snowfall and higher temperatures that boost evaporation.



Acidification already affecting sea snails
In a small patch of the Southern Ocean, the shells of sea snails are dissolving. The finding is the first evidence that marine life is already suffering as a result of man-made ocean acidification. "This is actually happening now," says an official of the British Antarctic Survey. He and colleagues captured free-swimming sea snails called pteropods from the Southern Ocean in early 2008 and found under an electron microscope that the outer layers of their hard shells bore signs of unusual corrosion.



Current changes are destabilizing sea bed methane deposits

A changing Gulf Stream off the East Coast has destabilized frozen methane deposits trapped under nearly 4,000 square miles of seafloor, scientists reported. And since methane is even more potent than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas, the researchers said, any large-scale release could have significant climate impacts.




Ocean acidification threatens food supplies for many nations
Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines, Iran, and China are among the top 50 nations whose food security may be threatened by the effects that the rise of manmade carbon-dioxide (CO2) gas emissions are already starting to have on fish and shellfish, according to a  new report by Oceana, an international ocean conservation organization.  While global warming is expected to affect the food supply of many nations by increasing drought, heat waves and torrential downpours, this report focuses on countries that depend heavily on the oceans for sustenance.



US East Coast seen as an early casualty of rising seas
Inch by inch along parts of the Atlantic Coast, global climate change is running in what scientists warn is geology's version of fast-forward — swamping and eroding beaches, wetlands and farm fields. Shorelines from  North Carolina to Boston are in a 'hotspot' for sea-level rise and will see water levels rise at double the rate of most places on the planet, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The doubling is largely because of a geologic double whammy.



No Hope Left for Global Coral Reef Ecosystem: Ecologist

Overfishing, ocean acidification and pollution are pushing coral reefs into oblivion. Each of those forces alone is fully capable of causing the global collapse of coral reefs; together, they assure it. The scientific evidence for this is compelling and unequivocal, but there seems to be a collective reluctance to accept the logical conclusion — that there is no hope of saving the global coral reef ecosystem.




Seas Rising 30 percent Faster off US East Coast than Globally
Sea level rise is accelerating three to four times faster along the densely populated east coast of the US than other US coasts, scientists have discovered. The zone, dubbed a "hotspot" by the researchers, means the ocean from Boston to New York to North Carolina is set to experience a rise up a third greater than that seen globally.  Asbury Sallenger, at the US geological survey, who led the new study, said: "We can't view sea level rise as uniform, like filling up a bath tub. Some places will rise quicker than others and the whole urban corridor of north-east US is one of these places."




Intense New England Rains Threaten Marine Food Chain
Increased rainfall in New England over recent years has sent a surge of sediment into the Gulf of Maine, producing a vast, cloudy film across much of the ocean that threatens the microscopic, single-celled plants that form the foundation of the marine food chain, according to a new study.  In a study published this month in the Marine Ecology Progress Series, the scientists documented a five-fold decline in the growth rate of phytoplankton, the single-celled plants that support life throughout the region’s waters, including everything from lobster to cod.




Drop in Ocean Salinity Intensifies Weather Extremes
Scientists have detected a clear change in salinity of the world's oceans and have found that the cycle that drives rainfall and evaporation has intensified more than thought because of global warming. The finding  helps refine estimates of how different parts of the globe will be affected by increased rainfall or more intense droughts as the planet heats up, affecting crops, water supplies and flood defenses.  The global cycle of rainfall and evaporation of water from the land and surface of the ocean comprise the global water cycle, with some areas such as the tropics naturally wetter and others, such as large parts of Australia, the United States or northern Africa, drier.




Warming Risks Extinction of 46 US Coral Species
More than half of 82 species of coral being evaluated for inclusion under the Endangered Species Act "more likely than not" would go extinct by 2100 if climate policies and technologies remain the same, federal scientists concluded. The experts cited "anthropogenic," or manmade, releases of carbon dioxide as a key driver of warming seas and oceans absorbing more CO2, in turn making waters more acidic.




US coastal cities unprepared for sea level rise
About 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and risk being hit by more frequent coastal flooding in coming decades because of the sea level rise caused by  global warming, according to new research. If the pace of the rise accelerates as much as expected, researchers found, coastal flooding at levels that were once exceedingly rare could become an every-few-years occurrence by the middle of this century.  By far the most vulnerable state is Florida, the new analysis found, with roughly half of the nation’s at-risk population living near the coast on the porous, low-lying limestone shelf that constitutes much of that state. But Louisiana, California, New York and New Jersey are also particularly vulnerable, researchers found, and virtually the entire American coastline is at some
degree of risk.



Oceans are acidifying more quickly than at any time in the last 300 million years

The world's oceans are turning acidic at what could be the fastest pace of any time in the past 300 million years, even more rapidly than during a monster emission of planet-warming carbon 56 million years ago, scientists said. Looking back at that bygone warm period in Earth's history could offer help in forecasting the impact of human-spurred climate change, researchers said of a review of hundreds of studies of ancient climate records published in the journal Science. Quickly acidifying seawater eats away at coral reefs, which provide habitat for other animals and plants, and makes it harder for mussels and oysters to form protective shells. It can also interfere with small organisms that feed commercial fish like salmon.




Freshwater Pool in Arctic Ocean Could Chill Europe

A huge pool of fresh water in the Arctic Ocean is expanding and could lower the temperature of Europe by causing an ocean current to slow down, British scientists said. Using satellites to measure sea surface height from 1995 to 2010, scientists from University College London and Britain's National Oceanography Center found that the western Arctic's sea surface has risen by about 15 cms since 2002.The volume of fresh water has increased by at least 8,000 cubic km, or about 10 percent of all the fresh water in the Arctic Ocean. The fresh water comes from melting ice and river run-off.





Huge Plumes of Methane Escaping Arctic Ocean
Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region. The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.




Extreme Downpours Could Trigger Earthquakes

Monsoons, hurricanes and other extreme weather events may trigger earthquakes when faults are ready to rumble. Thomas Ader works in Nepal's Himalaya Mountains, where the monsoon season often brings a meter (3.3 feet) or more of rain each summer. The weight of all that water bends the whole underground system of tectonic plates, Ader said, which scientists can measure through slight seasonal movements in the positioning of GPS stations around the country.





Warmer Oceans Are Breeding More Harmful Bacteria

Warning: The warming of the world's oceans can cause serious illness and may cost millions of euros (dollars) in health care. That is the alarm sounded in a paper released on the eve of a two-day conference in Brussels. The paper says the rising temperature of ocean water is causing a proliferation of the Vibrio genus of bacteria, which can cause food poisoning, serious gastroenteritis, septicemia and cholera.

 





Ocean Warming Is Speeding Glacier Melt
Ice sheets simmering in warmer ocean waters could melt much quicker than realized. New research is suggesting that as oceans heat up they could erode away the ice sheets much faster than warmer air alone, and this interaction needs to be accounted for in climate change models. The researchers studied 19 state-of-the-art climate models and saw that subsurface ocean warming could accelerate ice-sheet melting over the next century, resulting in greater sea level rise that could exceed 3 feet (1 meter). 




Complex Dynamics Underlie Arctic Sea Ice Melt
As multi-year ice declines throughout the Arctic, more of the saltier meltwater from younger ice is mixing into the ocean. That colder, denser water sinks more quickly and forces less dense water from deeper in the ocean up to the surface.  Because fresh meltwater is colder than seawater, that means relatively warm water is being forced upwards. And that may be part of the reason that sea ice is melting so much faster than anyone thought it would.




US Atlantic Sea Levels Rising Faster than Any Times in 2000 Years
A research team funded by the National Science Foundation and several other organizations is reporting that the rate of sea level rise along the U.S. Atlantic coast is greater now than at any time in the past 2,000 years. The study shows a consistent link between changes in global mean surface temperature and sea level.





Carbon Fuel Burning Is Driving Mass Ocean Extinctions

Life in the oceans is at imminent risk of the worst spate of extinctions in millions of years due to threats such as climate change and over-fishing, a study showed.  A build-up of carbon dioxide, blamed by the U.N. panel of climate scientists on human use of fossil fuels, is heating the planet. Absorbed into the oceans, it causes acidification, while run-off of fertilizers and pollution stokes anoxia.





Freshwater Pool Could Trigger Rapid Change in North Atlantic
A swirling pool of icy Arctic meltwater has the potential to flush quickly into the Atlantic Ocean and alter weather in Northern Europe, climate scientists reported. Located just north of Alaska and Canada, the vast pool's percentage of freshwater from rivers has grown by about 20 percent since the 1990s and that change in salinity level could impact ocean circulation and cause temperatures in Northern Europe to cool, the experts said.  That level of increase in Arctic freshwater has never before been observed by scientists, Laura de Steur, an oceanographer with the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, told msnbc.com.



Arctic Sea Ice Shrinkage Ties Record

Even at its biggest, Arctic sea ice extent this winter was among the smallest ever seen, apparently tying with 2006 for the least amount of ice covering the region around the North Pole, U.S. researchers reported.





Melting Ice Sheets Biggest Driver Of Sea Level Rise

The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerating pace, according to a new NASA-funded satellite study. The findings of the study -- the longest to date of changes in polar ice sheet mass -- suggest these ice sheets are overtaking ice loss from Earth's mountain glaciers and ice caps to become the dominant contributor to global sea level rise, much sooner than model forecasts have predicted.





90 Percent of Coral Reefs Will be At Risk by 2030
Globally warmer seas, rising carbon dioxide emissions and local factors like over-fishing have pushed the threat level on the world's coral reefs into the danger zone, environmental advocates said.  More than 75 percent of all reefs -- which harbor fish, attract tourists and shelter marine biodiversity -- are currently threatened. If these threats don't change, more than 90 percent of reefs will be at risk by 2030 and nearly all reefs will be at risk by 2050, according to the report, visible online at www.wri.org/reefs.




Acidification May Disrupt Oceans' Nitrogen Cycle
Ocean acidification, the result of roughly a third of global CO2 emissions dissolving into the seawater and lowering its pH, has complicated and poorly understood consequences for ocean ecosystems. A new study shows that a CO2-induced increase in acidity also appears to disrupt the marine nitrogen cycle. The finding, to be published December 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could have ramifications for the entire ocean food web.




Heated Oceans Endanger World's Coral Reefs
This year’s extreme heat is putting the world’s coral reefs under such severe stress that scientists fear widespread die-offs, endangering not only the richest ecosystems in the ocean but also fisheries that feed millions of people. From Thailand to Texas, corals are reacting to the heat stress by bleaching, or shedding their color and going into survival mode. Many have already died, and more are expected to do so in coming months. Computer forecasts of water temperature suggest that corals in the Caribbean may undergo drastic bleaching in the next few weeks.  What is unfolding this year is only the second known global bleaching of coral reefs. Scientists are holding out hope that this year will not be as bad, over all, as 1998, the hottest year in the historical record, when an estimated 16 percent of the world’s shallow-water reefs died. But in some places, including Thailand, the situation is looking worse than in 1998.




Coral Reef Deaths Soar in Record Ocean Heat
Divers and scientists have described huge areas of previously pristine reef being turned into barren white undersea landscapes off the coast of Thailand and Indonesia. The popular island tourist destination the Maldives have also suffered severe bleaching. Reefs in the Caribbean could also be under threat. High ocean temperatures this year are being blamed for the bleaching, which experts fear could be worse than a similar event in 1998 which saw an estimated 16 per cent of the world's reefs being destroyed.



Oceans Stored More Heat than They Released Since 1993

The upper layer of the world’s ocean has warmed since 1993, indicating a strong climate change signal, according to a new study. The energy stored is enough to power nearly 500 100-watt light bulbs per each of the roughly 6.7 billion people on the planet continuously over the 16-year study period




Climate Change is Causing "Irreversible" Destruction of Ocean Life Systems

The world's oceans are virtually choking on rising greenhouse gases, destroying marine ecosystems and breaking down the food chain -- irreversible changes that have not occurred for several million years, a new study says.  Climate change is  causing major declines in marine ecosystems. Oceans are rapidly warming and acidifying, water circulation is being altered and dead zones within the ocean depths are expanding, said the report. There has also been a decline in major ocean ecosystems like kelp forests and coral reefs and the marine food chain was breaking down, with fewer and smaller fish and more frequent diseases and pests among marine organisms. 




Scientists Find New Deepwater Antarctic Current

Scientists have discovered a fast-moving deep ocean current with the volume of 40 Amazon Rivers near Antarctica that will help researchers monitor the impacts of climate change on the world's oceans. A team of Australian and Japanese scientists, in a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, found that the current is a key part of a global ocean circulation pattern that helps control the planet's climate.





Oceans Are 30 Percent More Acidic Than 200 Years Ago

With the oceans absorbing more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide an hour, a National Research Council study found that the level of acid in the oceans is increasing at an unprecedented rate and threatening to change marine ecosystems.  The council said the oceans were 30 percent more acidic than they were before the Industrial Revolution started roughly 200 years ago, and the oceans absorb one-third of today's carbon dioxide emissions.




Sea Level Rise Will Vary Widely by Region

As the world warms, sea levels could easily rise three to six feet this century. But increases will vary widely by region, with prevailing winds, powerful ocean currents, and even the gravitational pull of the polar ice sheets determining whether some coastal areas will be inundated while others stay dry.





Gulf Stream Seems Not To Be Slowing Down
The Gulf Stream does not appear to be slowing down, say US scientists who have used satellites to monitor tell-tale changes in the height of the sea. Confirming work by other scientists using different methodologies, they found dramatic short-term variability but no longer-term trend. The Gulf Stream is a key process in the climate of western Europe, bringing heat northwards from the tropics and keeping countries such as the UK 4-6C warmer than they would otherwise be.




Algae Fertilization Found to be Toxic to Marine Life
Fertilising the oceans with iron to absorb carbon dioxide could increase concentrations of a chemical that can kill marine mammals, a study has found. Iron stimulates growth of marine algae that absorb CO2 from the air, and has been touted as a "climate fix". Now researchers have shown that the algae increase production of a nerve poison that can kill mammals and birds.




Rate of Ocean Acidification Unprecedented in 65 Million Years: Study

A new model, capable of assessing the rate at which the oceans are acidifying, suggests that changes in the carbonate chemistry of the deep ocean may exceed anything seen in the past 65 million years. The model also predicts much higher rates of environmental change at the ocean’s surface in the future than have occurred in the past, potentially exceeding the rate at which plankton can adapt.




Increased Leakage of Seabed Methane Startles Scientists
 
Scientists have uncovered what appears to be a further dramatic increase in the leakage of methane gas that is seeping from the Arctic seabed. Methane is about 20 times more potent than CO2 in trapping solar heat. Siberia's shallow shelf areas are increasingly subjected to warming and are now giving up greater amounts of methane to the sea and to the atmosphere than in the past.




Acidifying Oceans Are Absorbing Less CO2

The Earth’s oceans, which have absorbed carbon dioxide from fuel emissions since the dawn of the industrial era, have recently grown less efficient at sopping it up, new research suggests. Emissions from the burning of fossil fuels began soaring in the 1950s, and oceans largely kept up, scientists say. But the growth in the intake rate has slowed since the 1980s, and markedly so since 2000, the authors of a study write in a report in Nature. The research suggests that the seas cannot indefinitely be considered a reliable “carbon sink” as humans generate heat-trapping gases linked to global warming.




Extra Weight from Meltwater May Trigger Earthquakes: Researchers

Evidence of a link between climate and the rumblings of the crust has been around for years, but only now is it becoming clear just how sensitive rock can be to the air, ice and water above.




Methane Found Bubbling Up from Arctic Sea

Scientists have reported the presence of previously unknown sources of methane -- a greenhouse gas some 25 times more powerful than CO2 at trapping heat -- bubbling up from the Arctic Ocean seafloor north of Norway. Gradual warming of a regional current has caused temperature-sensitive methane hydrate below the seabed to break down and discharge the gas, the researchers say.




Alaska Oceans Becoming Acidified
Alaska's marine waters are turning acidic from absorbing greenhouse gases faster than tropical waters, potentially endangering Alaska's $4.6 billion fishing industry.


World Ocean Temperatures Hottest On Record

The temperature of the world's oceans in July, 2009, was the highest in  130 years of record-keeping. The average water temperature worldwide was 62.6 degrees, according to the National Climatic Data Center, the branch of the U.S. government that keeps world weather records.




Scientists Identify Two Types of El Ninos -- Each With Different Impacts

The traditional El Nino involves a periodic warming of the water in the eastern part of the tropical Pacific. In El Nino Modoki, on the other hand, the warming occurs farther to the west, in the central Pacific.




Warming Is Depleting Some of the World's Largest Rivers
Rivers in some of the world's most populated regions are losing water, many because of climate change, researchers reported. Affected rivers include the Yellow River in northern China, the Ganges in India, the Niger in West Africa, and the Colorado in the southwestern United States.


Sea Levels to Swamp Northeastern US Coast
The Northeastern US coast is likely to see the world's biggest sea level rise from man-made global warming, a new study predicts. However much the oceans rise by the end of the century, add an extra 8 inches or so for New York, Boston, and other spots along the coast from the mid-Atlantic to New England,


Scientists See Oceans Rising by More than 3 Meters
Top climate scientists warned that sea levels could rise twice as much as previously projected as they presented the latest research on global warming. A 2007 report by the IPCC  predicted a sea level rise of 7 to 23 inches (18 to 59 centimeters) by the end of the century. But scientists meeting in Copenhagen dismissed those estimates as too conservative, saying new data suggests that sea level rise could exceed 39 inches.


Acidification Is Thinning Shells of Marine Animals
Acidifying oceans caused by rising carbon dioxide levels are cutting the shell weights of tiny marine animals in a process that could accelerate global warming. William Howard of the University of Tasmania in Australia described the findings as an early-warning signal, adding the research was the first direct field evidence of marine life being affected by rising acidity of the oceans.



Ocean pH Changing 100 Times faster than Natural Rate

The world's marine ecosystems risk being severely damaged by ocean acidification unless there are dramatic cuts in CO2 emissions, warn scientists. More than 150 top marine researchers have voiced their concerns through the "Monaco Declaration", which warns that pH levels are changing 100 times faster than natural variability.




Warming Reduces Oceans' Absorption of CO2

Scientists have issued a new warning about climate change after discovering a sudden and dramatic collapse in the amount of carbon emissions absorbed by the Sea of Japan. The shift has alarmed experts, who blame global warming.




Barrier Reef Growth Slowed by Acidification, Warming

Scientists have found that calcification of the Great Barrier Reef off Australia has declined by 13.3% since 1990. Global warming and the increasing acidity of seawater are to blame.  Such a decline is unprecedented in at least the past 400 years.




Warming Drives Changes in Ocean Chemistry
The oceans' chemical makeup is less stable and more greatly affected by climate change than previously believed. During a time of climate change 13 million years ago the chemical makeup of the oceans changed dramatically. The chemical composition of the ocean today could be similarly affected by climate changes now underway -- with potentially far-reaching consequences for marine ecosystems.


One Fifth of World's Coral Reefs Have Been Destroyed
A downward trend tied to warming seas has not reversed and the world has now lost nearly one-fifth of its coral reefs, according to a global survey. Much of the rest could be destroyed within 40 years by increasingly acidic seas if warming continues unchecked.


Speed of Ocean Acidification Underestimated by 30 Years

Australian researchers have discovered that the tipping point for ocean acidification caused by human-induced CO2 emissions is much closer than first thought. Seasonal changes will amplify the effects of human carbon dioxide emissions on ocean acidity, speeding up the process of ocean acidification by 30 years.




Seas Will Rise One Meter This Century -- Study

Global warming calculations have been too optimistic, and the sea level round the globe is likely to rise a full metre this century, two senior German scientists warned Wednesday.Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who heads the Potsdam Institute for Research on Global Warming Effects and Jochem Marotzke, a leading meteorologist, said UN-backed data on climate change, predicting a rise of 18 to 59 centimetres, was out of date.




Warming Intensifies Spread of Ocean "Dead Zones"
The number of polluted "dead zones" in the world's oceans is rising fast and coastal fish stocks are more vulnerable to collapse than previously feared, scientists said. Higher temperatures tied to global warming may aggravate the problem of "dead zones," partly because oxygen dissolves less readily in warmer water, the study said.

 




Researchers See Sea Levels Rising Twice as Much as IPCC Projections

The IPCC's worst projections  to sea level rise top out at 68 centimeters (27 inches) by the year 2100. Such a rise would imperil coastal cities around the world. But researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison say the problem is potentially a lot worse. They say the oceans could rise by as much as 1.3 meters (4.3 feet) by the end of the century, double the IPCC's estimate.

 




Growing Landmass May Reduce Bangladesh Risk of Inundation

New research shows Bangladesh may not be as vulnerable to rising sea levels caused by climate change as previously feared, scientists in Dhaka say. They say satellite images show the country's landmass is actually growing because of sediment dumped by rivers.




World's Oceans Have Warmed 50 Percent Faster Than Estimated

The world's oceans have warmed 50 percent faster over the last 40 years than previously thought due to climate change, Australian and U.S. climate researchers reported Wednesday.




Unstable Ice Sheets Unleashed Ancient Methane Burst

Melting of methane ice unleashed runaway global warming some 635 million years ago, according to a study released Wednesday that has implications for today's climate-change crisis.





Extent of Ocean Acidification Startles Scientists
Carbon dioxide spewed by human activities has made ocean water so acidic that it is eating away at the shells and skeletons of starfish, coral, clams and other sea creatures, scientists said. Marine researchers knew that ocean acidification was occurring in deep water far from land. What they called "truly astonishing" was the appearance of this damaging phenomenon on the Pacific North American continental shelf, stretching from Mexico to Canada.


Warming Seen Dropping Oxygen Levels in Oceans
The world's coastal oceans are in crisis, with oxygen-starved 'dead zones' increasing by a third in just two years as global temperatures increase with climate change. 


Freshening Antarctic Waters Could Affect Currents

Scientists studying the icy depths of the sea around Antarctica have detected changes in salinity that could have profound effects on the world's climate and ocean currents. Voyage leader Steve Rintoul said his team found that salty, dense water that sinks near the edge of Antarctica to the bottom of the ocean about 5 km (3 miles) down was becoming fresher and more buoyant.




Ocean CO2 Could Have a 1,500 Year Impact
Global oceans are soaking up less carbon dioxide, a development that could speed up the greenhouse effect and have an impact for the next 1,500 years, scientists said.


Seas Projected To Rise More Than Previously Thought

Sea levels could rise by up to one-and-a-half metres by the end of this century, according to a new scientific analysis.  This is substantially more than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecast in last year's landmark assessment of climate science.




Ocean Areas Warming Twice as Much than Reported
Warming trends in a third of the world's large ocean regions are two to four times greater than previously reported averages, increasing the risk to marine life and fisheries, a U.N.-backed environmental study said.


Southern Ocean Rise Due to Warming, not Melting
Rises in the sea level around Antarctica in the past decade are almost entirely due a warming ocean, not ice melting, an Australian scientist leading a major international research programme said.


Ocean Dead Zones Linked to Warming
A review of all available ocean data records concludes that the low-oxygen events which have plagued the Pacific Northwest coast since 2002 are unprecedented in the five decades prior to that, and may well be linked to the stronger, persistent winds that are expected to occur with global warming.


Lloyd's Research Arm Links Sea Surface Temperatures to Hurricane Activity
According to new research by the Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre (BUHRC), sea surface warming contributes significantly to increased Atlantic hurricane activity.



Drinking Water Seen as Casualty of Accelerated Sea Level Rise
As sea levels rise, coastal communities could lose up to 50 percent more of their fresh water supplies than previously thought, according to a new study from Ohio State University.


Oceans Absorbing Less CO2

The amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed by the world's oceans has reduced, scientists say. University of East Anglia researchers gauged CO2 absorption through more than 90,000 measurements. Results of their 10-year study in the North Atlantic show CO2 uptake halved between the mid 1990s and 2000 to 2005.




Sea Level Rise May Double Over Initial Estimates

The world's sea levels could rise twice as high this century as UN climate scientists have predicted, according to researchers who looked at what happened more than 100,000 years ago, the last time Earth got this hot.




Egypt Faces "Catastrophic Consequences" from Sea Level Rise

Millions of Egyptians could be forced permanently from their homes, the country's ability to feed itself devastated. That's what likely awaits this already impoverished and overpopulated nation by the end of the century. The World Bank describes Egypt as particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming, saying it faces potentially "catastrophic" consequences.




Australian Scientists Find "Missing Ocean Current Link"
Australian scientists have discovered a giant underwater current that is one of the last missing links of a system that connects the world's oceans and helps govern global climate. New research shows that a current sweeping past Australia's southern island of Tasmania toward the South Atlantic is a previously undetected part of the world climate system's engine-room, said scientist Ken Ridgway.


Deep Sea Turbulence Found to Influence Climate
More than a mile beneath the Atlantic's surface, roughly halfway between New York and Portugal, seawater rushes through the narrow gullies of an underwater mountain range much like winds gusting between a city's tall buildings. This deep-water turbluence  is generating much of the mixing of warm and cold waters in the Atlantic Ocean.


Warming Speeds Up Giant Ocean Waves

Gigantic ocean waves, spanning hundreds of kilometres from crest to crest, have been speeding up thanks to global warming, a new model suggests.




Researchers Debate Role of Sea Temperatures on Hurricane Intensity

Hurricanes over the past 5,000 years appear to have been controlled more by El Nino and an African monsoon than warm sea surface temperatures, such as those caused by global warming, researchers said. While some researchers say warmer seas appear to have contributed to more intense hurricanes, others disagree. The IPCC said this year it was more likely than not that humans contribute to a trend of increasingly intense hurricanes.




Southern Ocean's Carbon Levels Shock Scientists
The Southern Ocean around Antarctica is so loaded with carbon dioxide that it can barely absorb any more, so more of the gas will stay in the atmosphere to warm up the planet. Researcher Corinne Le Quere said, "We thought we would be able to detect these only the second half of this century, say 2050 or so," she said. But data from 1981 through 2004 show that the sink is already full of carbon dioxide. "I find this really quite alarming."


Gulf Stream Shift Removed From Scientific Forecasts
Mainstream climatologists who have feared that global warming could have the paradoxical effect of cooling northwestern Europe or even plunging it into a small ice age have stopped worrying about that particular disaster, although it retains a vivid hold on the public imagination.


Ocean Acidity Up 30 Percent

Global warming has increased acidity levels of the oceans by 30 percent and in the decades ahead will create new risks for coral, zooplankton and other creatures that help support the North Pacific fisheries, according to researchers at the University of Washington.

 




Panel Spells Out Coming US Water Woes
As the world warms, water is going to be the major problem for the US.  States will clashg over controls of rivers. In the Southwest, regions will need to find new sources of drinking water, the Great Lakes will shrink, fish and other species will be left high and dry, and coastal areas will occasionally be inundated because of sea-level rises and souped-up storms, U.S. scientists said. Internationally, , water shortages and floods will worsen conflicts and terrorism elsewhere in the world.


Rising Sea Swallows Land, Culture of Indian Island

The sinking of Ghoramara can be attributed to a confluence of disasters, natural and human, not least the rising sea. There is little doubt, scientists say, that human-induced climate change has made them particularly vulnerable. A recent study  found that in the last 30 years, nearly 31 square miles of the Sundarbans have vanished entirely.




Marine Life Counteracts Oceans' "Carbon Sink" Activity
A major study has shed new light on the dim layer of the ocean called the "twilight zone" -- where mysterious processes affect the ocean's ability to absorb and store carbon dioxide accumulating in our atmosphere. Carbon dioxide -- taken up by photosynthesizing marine plants in the sunlit ocean surface layer -- does not necessarily sink to the depths, where it is stored and prevented from re-entering the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas. Instead, carbon transported to the depths on sinking marine particles is often consumed by animals and bacteria and recycled in the twilight zone -- 100 to 1,000 meters below the surface -- and never reaches the deep ocean.



IPCC Sounds Warning About Ocean Acidification
Rising carbon dioxide emissions are making the world's oceans more acidic, particularly closer to the poles, heralding disaster for marine life, a major UN report on climate change impacts says.


Greenland Winds Tied to Ocean Circulation Changes
Greenland's  hurricane-force winds that whipped recently around the southern tip of Greenland influence broader weather patterns, global ocean circulation and climate.


Currents Slowing in Southern Ocean
The impact of global warming on the vast Southern Ocean around Antarctica is starting to pose a threat to ocean currents that distribute heat around the world.


Sea Levels Seen Rising More Quickly
Data from satellites is showing that sea-level rises and polar ice-melting might be worse than earlier thought. Sea levels, rising at 1 millimetre a year before the industrial revolution, are now rising by 3 millimetres a year because of a combination of global warming, polar ice-melting and long natural cycles of sea level change.


Fallout is "Strangling" Southern Ocean

The pristine Southern Ocean, which swirls around the Antarctic and absorbs vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, is  becoming more acidic as it absorbs increasing amounts of carbon dioxide produced by nations burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas.




Warming-Driven Wind Shifts Create Marine "Dead Zones"

The delicate interplay between the oceans and atmosphere is changing with catastrophic consequences. Entire marine ecosystems have been wiped out, devastating populations of sea birds and larger marine mammals.




CO2 Found Deeper Than 4,000 Meters Below Ocean Surfaces

Human-generated carbon dioxide has sunk down to a great depth in the North Atlantic Ocean, a new study has shown. The work, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1, suggests that the oceans store CO2 for longer than expected -- good news for reducing the risk of climate change, but bad news for marine life in the deep sea.




Sea Levels Seen Rising Another 1,000 Years

World sea levels will keep rising for more than 1,000 years even if governments manage to slow a projected surge in temperatures this century blamed on greenhouse gases, a draft U.N. climate report says.




Indian Island Vanishes Under Rising Waters

Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.




Giant Waves Increase With Warmer Oceans
Stormy weather all over the planet has caused a surge in the number of giant waves in 2006 -- perhaps a taste of what the surf could be like in a warmer world.



Seas May Rise Nearly 60 Percent Higher Than Anticipated

Current sea level rise projections could be under-estimating the impact of human-induced climate change on the world's oceans, scientists suggest. By plotting surface temperatures against sea level rise, the team found that levels could rise by 59% more than current forecasts.




Shallow Hydrates Pose Rapid Warming Risk

Geologists have discovered underwater deposits of hydrates  icy deposits of frozen methane gas  at far shallower depths under the ocean floor than expected. The finding suggests that, in a globally warmed world, the hydrates could melt suddenly and release their gas into the atmosphere, thus warming the planet even more.




Arctic Sea Ice Seen Vanishing in 35 Years

The Arctic may be close to a tipping point that sees all-year-round ice disappear very rapidly in the next few decades, US scientists have warned.




Warming Brings Huge Drop in Phytoplankton

New NASA satellite data find that the vital base of the ocean food web shrinks when the world's seas get hotter. And that discovery has scientists worried about how much food marine life will have as global warming progresses. The data show a significant link between warmer water  and reduced production of phytoplankton in the world's oceans.




Gulf Stream Slowed During "Little Ice Age"

The Gulf Stream carrying warm water to the North Atlantic slowed about 10 percent in the Little Ice Age from 1200 to 1850, said a US study that may give clues to the effects of modern global warming.




Weakening Atlantic Current Stalled for 10 Days in 2004

Scientists have uncovered more evidence for a dramatic weakening in the vast ocean current that gives Britain its relatively balmy climate by dragging warm water northwards from the tropics. The slowdown, which climate modellers have predicted will follow global warming, has been confirmed by the most detailed study yet of ocean flow in the Atlantic.




Alaska Storm Fractures Antarctic Ice Shelf

A bad storm in Alaska last October generated an ocean swell that broke apart a giant iceberg near Antarctica six days later, US researchers reported on Monday. The waves traveled 8,300 miles (13,500 km) to destroy the iceberg, said Douglas MacAyeal of the University of Chicago and Emile Okal at Northwestern University, adding the study shows how weather in one region can affect events far away.




New Model-Based Findings Confirms Human Link to Hurricane Intensity

Global warming caused by humans is largely responsible for heating hurricane-forming regions of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, probably increasing the intensity of the storms, scientists reported yesterday. The scientists used 22 computer models to simulate how the world's climate works and to help answer the question of whether more intense hurricanes are due to human activities.

 




Study Confirms Link Between Warming and Hurricane Strength

Global warming is affecting the intensity of Atlantic hurricanes, according to a new study by a university professor in Florida who says his research provides the first direct link between climate change and storm strength.




Scientists Worry Seabed Methane Hydrates Will Accelerate Warming

If the world continues to get warmer, vast amounts of methane gas trapped in ice under the sea could belch up and worsen climate change. Remarkable and unexpected support for this idea occurred when divers and scientists from UC Santa Barbara observed and videotaped a massive blowout of methane from the ocean floor.




US Coastal Areas Unprepared for Sea Level Rise

Though most of the country's ocean beaches are eroding, few coastal jurisdictions consider sea level rise in their coastal planning, and still fewer incorporate the fact that the rise is accelerating. Instead, they are sticking with policies that geologists say may help them in the short term but will be untenable or even destructive in

the future.




Lovejoy Sounds Alarm on Ocean Acidity

"It is little known outside of scientific circles that a fundamental change has already taken place in the chemistry of the two thirds of the earth's surface occupied by oceans. The change, of 0.1 of a pH unit, sounds trivial. . .but it translates to the upper layers of the oceans already being 30 percent more acid than in pre-industrial times."




Two More Studies Link Warming to Hurricane Strength

Climate researchers at Purdue University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology separately reported new evidence yesterday supporting the idea that global warming is causing stronger hurricanes.




Caribbean Coral Dying at Record Rate

A one-two punch of bleaching from record hot water followed by disease has killed ancient and delicate coral in the biggest loss of reefs scientists have ever seen in Caribbean waters.




Study Confirms Warming Strengthens Hurricanes

A 34-year trend of intensifying hurricanes has now been tied to warmer sea surface waters which, in turn, is being caused by global warming, say scientists. 




Alarm Grows over Ocean Acidification

The world's coral reefs could disappear within a few decades along with hundreds of species of plankton and shellfish. Researchers have found that carbon dioxide, the gas already blamed for causing global warming, is also raising the acid levels in the sea.




Studies Quantify Accelerating Rate of Sea Rise

The world's worst fears about global warming and rapid sea-level rise will be realised or exceeded, according to two new reports.
Australian climate change research published yesterday found the average level of the oceans had risen 19.5cm since 1870 and the rate was increasing. 
The study provides the first evidence of a 20th-century acceleration in sea-level rise and supports predictions the world's oceans will rise 31cm above 1990 levels by 2100.




Critical Plankton At Risk From Warming Oceans

The microscopic plants that underpin all life in the oceans are likely to be destroyed by global warming, a study has found. The vital plankton of the oceans can be starved of nutrients as a result of warming seas -- a development that can have catastrophic implications for the entire marine habitat.




Gulf Stream Found Weakening

The powerful ocean current that bathes Britain and northern Europe in warm waters from the tropics has weakened dramatically in recent years, a consequence of global warming that could trigger more severe winters and cooler summers across the region.




Pacific Ocean Warming Takes Frightening Toll

A catastrophic collapse in sea and bird life numbers along America's Northwest Pacific seaboard is raising fears that global warming is beginning to irreparably damage the health of the oceans. Scientists say a dramatic rise in the ocean temperature led to unprecedented deaths of birds and fish this summer all along the coast from central California to British Columbia in Canada.

 




Acidifying Oceans Threaten Food Chain

Rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is threatening to make oceans too corrosive for marine organisms to grow protective shells. If emissions continue unabated, the entire Southern Ocean, which stretches north from the Antarctic coastline, and subarctic regions of the Pacific Ocean will soon become so acidic that the shells of marine creatures will soften and dissolve.




Warming Shrinks Arctic Sea Ice to Lowest Level On Record

The floating cap of sea ice on the Arctic Ocean shrank this summer to what is probably its smallest size in at least a century of record keeping. That shift is hard to explain without attributing it in part to human-caused global warming, the team's members and other experts on the region said.




Penetration of Human-Induced Warming into the World's Oceans

"Wide-ranging evidence shows that Earth has been warming in recent decades . Observations show that 84% of the total heating of the Earth system ...over the last 40 years has gone into warming the oceans. . . [T]he conclusion that the observed ocean warming is due to human influences is robust to major perturbations of both the observed data set and model error."




Warming Caribbean Waters Accelerate Coral Bleaching

Corals off Florida, Barbados, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Cuba seemed to be undergoing the worst damage, known as bleaching, since 1997-1998. Corals are vital breeding grounds for many species of fish and draw tourists to the Caribbean.




Scientists assess reasons for Katrina's strength

"We examined the number of tropical cyclones and cyclone days as well as tropical cyclone intensity over the past 35 years, in an environment of increasing sea surface temperature. A large increase was seen in the number and proportion of hurricanes reaching categories 4 and 5. The largest increase occurred in the North Pacific, Indian, and Southwest Pacific Oceans, and the smallest percentage increase occurred in the North Atlantic Ocean. These increases have taken place while the number of cyclones and cyclone days has decreased in all basins except the North Atlantic during the past decade."  (Science -- Sept. 16, 2005)




Rate of Sea Level Rise Doubles

Melting ice and warming waters have raised average sea levels worldwide by more than an inch since 1995, new data from space satellites and robotic submarines have revealed. That's twice as fast as the rate the oceans rose during the previous 50 years.




Plankton Disappearing off US Pacific Coast

Oceanic plankton have largely disappeared from the waters off Northern California, Oregon and Washington, mystifying scientists, stressing fisheries and causing widespread seabird mortality.




North Atlantic Ocean Temperatures Highest on Record in 2004

Ocean temperatures in  the North Atlantic hit an all-time high last year, raising concerns about the effects of global warming on one of the most sensitive and productive ecosystems in the world.




British Scientists Affirm Ocean Acidification

Carbon dioxide is turning the oceans acidic, Britain's leading scientific organization warned yesterday. A panel of scientists from  the Royal Society said the growing acidity would be very likely to harm coral reefs and other marine life by the end of the century.




North Atlantic Current Seen Slowing in Ominous Finding

Climate change researchers have detected the first signs of a slowdown in the Gulf Stream -- the mighty ocean current that keeps Britain and Europe from freezing. One of the "engines" driving the Gulf Stream -- the sinking of supercooled water in the Greenland Sea -- has weakened to less than a quarter of its former strength. The weakening, apparently caused by global warming, could herald big changes in the current over the next few years or decades -- leading to a sharp drop in temperatures in Britain and northwestern Europe.




RCCE Would Decimate Marine Food Chain

If the North Atlantic Ocean's circulation system is shut down -- an apocalyptic global-warming scenario -- the impact on the world's food supplies would be disastrous, a study said Thursday. The shutdown would cause global stocks of plankton, a vital early link in the food chain, to decline by a fifth while plankton stocks in the North Atlantic itself would shrink by more than half, it said. A massive decline of plankton stocks could have catastrophic effects on fisheries and human food supply in the affected regions.




Deep Ocean Warming Tied to CO2 Buildup

A leading US team of climate researchers released "the most compelling evidence yet" that human activities are responsible for global warming. They said their analysis should "wipe out" claims by sceptics that recent warming is due to non-human factors such as natural fluctuations in climate or variations in solar or volcanic activity.




Russian River Flows Validate Human Impact

 Increased flows of Russian rivers into the Arctic Ocean are due to man-made greenhouse gases and might indicate changing global rainfall patterns, according to a report by leading British climate scientists. That trend is reflected in climate models on when the effects of human-generated greenhouse gases are added.




Rising Sea Levels Worry Island Nations

It sounds insignificant alongside the Indian Ocean tsunami, yet an almost imperceptible annual rise in the world's oceans may pose a huge threat to ports, coasts and islands by 2100. Rising sea levels, now about 0.08 inch a year, could swamp low-lying countries like Tuvalu in the Pacific or the Maldives in the Indian Ocean if temperatures keep rising.




Most Coral Reefs Succumbing to Warming

About 70 percent of the world's coral reefs have been wrecked or are at risk from human activities but some are showing surprising resilience to global warming, a report said on Monday. "Twenty percent of the world's coral reefs have been effectively destroyed or show no immediate prospects of recovery," said the report, which added that another "24 percent are under imminent risk of collapse through human pressures, and a further 26 percent are under a longer-term threat of collapse."




Arctic Ice Melt Accelerates Sea Level Rise

Global warming is melting the Arctic ice faster than expected, and the world's oceans could rise by about a meter (3 feet) by 2100, swamping homes from Bangladesh to Florida, according to the head of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment.




Antarctic Glaciers Speed Flow Into Oceans

Spurred by warming coastal air and waters, some of Antarctica's glaciers have accelerated their seaward march, fresh observations show, suggesting that ocean levels might be irreversibly on the rise for centuries to come.




Arctic Ocean Temperature Surges

German scientists probing global warming said  they had detected a major temperature rise this year in the Arctic Ocean and linked this to a progressive shrinking of the region's sea ice. Temperatures recorded this year in the upper 500 meters (1,625 feet) of sea in the Fram Strait -- the gap between Greenland and the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen -- were up to 0.6 C (1.08 F) higher than in 2003, they said in a press release. The rise was detectable to a water depth of 2,000 meters (6,500 feet), "representing an exceptionally strong signal by ocean standards," it said.




Acidity of Oceans May Doom Coral by 2065

The increasing acidity of the world's oceans could banish all coral by 2065, a leading marine expert has warned. Professor Katherine Richardson said sea organisms that produced calcareous structures would struggle to function in the coming decades as pH levels fell. The Danish expert told the EuroScience Open Forum 2004 that human-produced carbon dioxide was radically changing the marine environment.




Ocean Absorption of CO2 May Harm Marine Life

Nearly 50% of the carbon dioxide that humans have pumped into the atmosphere over the last 200 years has been absorbed by the sea, scientists say.  Consequently, atmospheric levels of the potent greenhouse gas are not nearly as high as they might have been. But the heavy concentration of carbon dioxide in the oceans has changed their chemistry, making it hard for some marine animals to form shells.




North Sea Collapse Creates Seabird Crisis

A shortage of food has pushed the seabird colonies in the Northern Isles into an unprecedented crisis. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has revealed that this year has been the worst on record for the birds in Orkney and Shetland, which have produced fewer young than in any previous year. Almost all seabirds breeding in Shetlands internationally important colonies feed on sandeels, which have become increasingly scarce.




Warming Seen Altering North Sea Ecology

Strange things are happening in the North Sea. Cod stocks are slumping faster than over-fishing can account for, and Mediterranean species like red mullet are migrating north. Several sea birds are also in trouble. Kittiwake numbers are falling fast and guillemots are struggling to breed. And, earlier this summer, hundreds of fulmar (a relative of the albatross) corpses washed up on the Norfolk coast, having apparently starved to death. Scientists suspect these events are linked and they blame global warming.




Thawing Ocean Methane Hydrates Worries Scientists

A thawing of vast ice-like deposits of gas under oceans and in permafrost could sharply accelerate global warming in the 21st century, British-based scientists said yesterday. Rising temperatures could break down buried mixtures of water, methane and other gases - called gas hydrates - and release them into the atmosphere where they would trap the sun's heat, they said. Gas hydrates could be a "serious geohazard in the near future," the Benfield Hazard Research Center said in a report.




Scientists: Warming Will Not Lead to Northern Deep-Freeze

In light of the paleoclimate record and our understanding of the contemporary climate system, it is safe to say that global warming will not lead to the onset of a new ice age. These same records suggest that it is highly unlikely that global warming will lead to a widespread collapse of the AMO--despite the appealing possibility raised in two recent studies --although it is possible that deep convection in the Labrador Sea will cease. Such an event would have much more minor consequences on the climate downstream over Europe.




Scientists: Pentagon Scenario is "Extreme and Unlikely"

Some climate scientists have been stirred to ridicule claims in an upcoming Hollywood blockbuster that global warming could trigger a new ice age. Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, whose own models say the Gulf Stream could shut down within a century, said: "The DoD scenario is extreme and highly unlikely."




Better El Nino Forecasts Could Reduce Damage

The hugely damaging El Nino weather pattern can be predicted further ahead than previously thought, giving farmers crucial time to prepare for its devastating effects, new research shows.




Warming is "Tearing The Heart Out" of Coral Reefs

The world's coral reefs could be badly damaged by global warming unless drastic intervention measures are introduced. Warming is harming coral reefs in at least three ways. Changes of just 1 or 2 °C can stifle the life-giving algae. Spiralling levels of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, dissolve in sea water, creating an acidic cocktail that stops polyps oozing their skeleton. And warmer water makes the reef more vulnerable to other threats, such as overfishing, diseases and pollutants that drain into coastal waters.




Rising Seas Threaten Millions of Coastal Residents in China

Sea levels around China's coasts are expected to continue rising in the next three to 10 years, creating grave challenges for coastal dwellers.




3,000-Year-Old Arctic Ice Shelf Ruptures

The largest ice shelf in the Arctic -- an 80-foot-thick slab of ice nearly the size of Lake Tahoe -- has broken up, providing more evidence that the Earth's polar regions are responding to ongoing and accelerating rates of climatic change, researchers reported. The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, on the north coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada's Nunavut territory, broke into two main parts, themselves cut through with fissures. A freshwater lake drained into the sea, the researchers reported. Large ice islands also calved off from the shelf and some are large enough to be dangerous to shipping and to drilling platforms in the Beaufort Sea.




Scientists Warn of Imminent New Ice Age

Britain is likely to be plunged into an ice age within our lifetime by global warming, new research suggests. A study, which is being taken seriously by top government scientists, has uncovered a change "of remarkable amplitude" in the circulation of the waters of the North Atlantic.




Southern Ocean Current Critical to Marine Nutrition

Almost all marine life on the planet turns on a single ocean circulation pattern in the Southern Hemisphere which pumps nutrient-rich water from the deep and spreads it across the seas, scientists report.It suggests ocean life may be more sensitive to climate change than previously believed. Three quarters of all biological activity in the oceans relies on this single pattern in the Southern Ocean, reports Prof Jorge Sarmiento, of Princeton University, who led the study published today in Nature.




Changes In Atlantic Salinity Detected

The delicate salt balance of the Atlantic Ocean has altered so dramatically in the last four decades through global warming that it is changing the very heat-conduction mechanism of the ocean and stands to turn Northern Europe into a frigid zone.  The study describes planet-scale changes in the regulatory function of the ocean that affect precipitation, evaporation, fresh-water cycles and climate. "This has the potential to change the circulation of the ocean significantly in our lifetime," said Ruth Curry of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, the study's lead author.




Warming Means More Snow for Great Lakes

Global warming means more snow, not less, for the Great Lakes and the snowbound region along the eastern border between Canada and the United States. Their study of snowfall records in the Great Lakes region and elsewhere suggests there has been a significant increase in snowfall in the Great Lakes region since the 1930s but not anywhere else.




Warming Waters Disintegrating Ice Shelves

The gradual warming of Antarctic waters is indeed causing ice shelves there to melt and collapse at rates that astonish many experts.




North Sea Undergoing "Ecological Meltdown" Due to Warming

The North Sea is undergoing "ecological meltdown" as a result of global warming, according to startling new research. Scientists say that they are witnessing "a collapse in the system", with devastating implications for fisheries and wildlife. Record sea temperatures are killing off the plankton on which all life in the sea depends, because they underpin the entire marine food chain. Fish stocks and sea bird populations have slumped."A regime shift has taken place and the whole ecology of the North Sea has changed quite dramatically", says Dr Chris Reid, the foundation's director. "We are seeing visual evidence of climate change on a large-scale ecosystem. We are likely to see even greater warming, with




NASA Finds Startling Changes in the Arctic

Tthe Arctic region is warming up and its sea ice cover is diminishing, with implications for further climate change throughout the globe.  Compared with the 1980s, surface temperatures across most of the Arctic warmed significantly in the last decade, with the biggest temperature increases occurring over North America with the rate of warming  between 1981 and 2001 was eight times the rate of warming over the last 100 years.




CO2 Threatens to Acidify Oceans

Rising carbon dioxide levels are increasing the acidity of the world's oceans more rapidly than any time since the age of dinosaurs -- adding a worrisome new element to the debate over global environmental change. The change could threaten the health of everything from microscopic plankton to coral reefs and reach from the surface to the ocean depths.




Rising Temperatures Kill 90 percent of Indian Ocean Coral

A rise in sea temperatures killed off 90 per cent of the coral reefs near the surface of the Indian Ocean in only one year, while the remaining 10 per cent could die in the next 20 years, devastating fish stocks and tourism vital to coastal economies, new research  says.




Overfishing Depletes 90 percent of Large Fish Worldwide

A new global study concludes that 90 percent of all large fishes have disappeared from the world's oceans in the past half century, the devastating result of industrial fishing.  Whether off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, or in the Gulf of Thailand, the findings were dire: "[T]here is nowhere left in the ocean not overfished," said Ransom Myers, a fisheries biologist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and lead author of the study.




Rapid Antarctic Warming Threatens Accelerated Sea Level Rise

New evidence from a rapidly warming part of Antarctica suggests that ice can flow into the sea much more readily than had been predicted, perhaps leading to an accelerated rise in sea levels from global warming. Many polar and ice experts said the new study, to be published today in the journal Science, suggested that seas might rise as much as several yards over the next several centuries. They called that prospect a slow-motion disaster, the cost of which -- in lost shorelines, salt in water supplies, and damaged ecosystems -- would be borne by many future generations.




Link Seen Between Ocean Temperatures And Continental Drought
Unusual temperatures in the Indian and Pacific oceans set up the perfect conditions for drought stretching nearly around the world in 1998-2002, climate researchers report. The four-year drought affected much of the United States as well as southern Europe and southwest Asia. And while they can't be certain, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate scientists Martin Hoerling and Arun Kumar say it may be a harbinger of droughts to come.




East Coast Cold Snap Tied to Warming

Why is it so frigid when the globe is warming? As several scientists have warned, global warming will be full of surprises. Part of the explanation comes from changes to our north. Warming causes ice to melt, forming cold fresh water. And increased input of cold fresh water to the ocean can affect weather patterns as well as global ocean circulation. Recent warming in the Northern Hemisphere has melted a lot of North Polar ice. Since the 1970s the floating North Polar ice cap has thinned by almost half.A second source of cold fresh water comes from Greenland, where continental ice is now melting at higher elevations each year, accelerating ice ''rivers.'' A third source of cold fresh water is rain at high latitudes.




Arctic Fresh Water Flow Troubles Scientists
The average annual discharge of fresh water into the Arctic Ocean from the six largest Eurasian rivers has increased seven percent since 1936, an international research team has found. The team correlated this increase in freshwater flow to historic patterns of climate change.




Scientists Refocus on Conveyor Belt Shutdown

In what would be a surprising byproduct of global warming, average temperatures in North America and Europe could drop by 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit in the coming decades as melting polar ice and increased water evaporation profoundly alter the ocean currents that keep both regions warm, say researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.




Antarctic Marine Species Threatened by Warming
Global warming is changing the life patterns of marine species in Antarctica as fast, if not faster than anyplace on Earth, say scientists from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Thousands of Antarctic marine species, adapted to constant temperatures for millions of years, now appear to be uniquely vulnerable in the face of predicted temperature change.




El Nino Pushes Extremes in Summer 2002 Weather Patterns

The weather phenomenon El Nino, which is intensified by atmospheric warming, is being blamed by scientists for the freak weather conditions which have caused chaos and many deaths around the world. More than 140 people have died in storms across Europe and Asia in the past few days. But the US and parts of south-east Asia are seeing their worst droughts in many years.




Great Barrier Reef Suffers Largest Bleaching Ever

Coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park may be the worst on record, scientists said after the most comprehensive aerial survey ever conducted. The survey is aimed at helping unravel the implications of global warming for reef management. "Until now, the coral bleaching episode in 1998 was the worst on record, but the 2002 event was probably worse because more reef area was affected," said Dr. Ray Berkelmans.




Antarctic Disintegrations Alarm Scientists

The Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves are cracking up and, on the face of things, it is the most serious thaw since the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago. The break-up of the ice shelves in itself is a natural process of renewal, but the size and rate of production of icebergs -- some the size of major cities -- is alarming scientists, some of whom blame global warming.




Fractured Ice Shelf Endangers Antarctic Wildlife

A Connecticut-sized iceberg is clogging part of the Ross Sea in Antarctica, threatening not only human endeavors there, but disrupting native wildlife. That means there is less near-shore open water for the sun to penetrate and stimulate blooms of microscopic plant life, called phytoplankton. That drop in life at the base of the food chain is leading to less food for fish, seals, whales and penguins.




New Antarctic Ice Shelf Fractures

An Antarctic ice shelf that was 200 metres thick and with a surface area of 3,250 square kilometers has broken apart in less than a month. UK scientists say the Larsen B shelf on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula has fragmented into small icebergs.




GHGs linked to Fiercer El Ninos

Rising concentrations of greenhouse gases may have tipped the world into a changed climate pattern, research by two Australian government climate scientists indicates. The surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean, off the United States and Central America, have been warmer since the mid-1970s than at any time in the past.




Tuvalu President:

It's too late for Tuvalu, a small island nation in the Pacific. Ten thousand people, Tuvalu's entire population, are packing their bags as their homes among nine low-level atolls are being swallowed by the rising sea. These are the facts of life: the earth is warming, the sea levels are rising, and Tuvalu is quietly being erased from the surface of the earth.




Coral Reefs Shrinking At Alarming Rate

The most comprehensive mapping yet of the "rainforests of the oceans", prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme, showed the world's reefs covered between a half and one-tenth of the area of previous studies. The study showed coral reefs covered just 284,300 square km (110,000 square miles), or less than one-tenth of a percent of the world's seabed. UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said the world's coral reefs "are damaged by irresponsible tourism and are being severely stressed by the warming of the world's oceans. Each of these pressures is bad enough in itself, but together, the cocktail is proving lethal."




Two Studies Link Ocean Warming to Atmospheric Warming

Scientists have produced the strongest evidence yet that man-made global warming is responsible for a significant increase in the temperature of the world's oceans in the last 50 years.The average temperature of the major oceans has risen 0.06 degrees C since 1955.Two separate studies - both carried out using computer modelling techniques - have now linked that rise directly with global warming caused by human activity.




North Atlantic Conveyor Belt Weakening

Scientists have detected a substantial drop in the last 50 years in the flow of cold deep sea water leaving the Arctic and pouring into the Atlantic between Iceland and Scotland. Because the outflow of cold deep water has diminished, the influx of warm surface water that usually replaces it also has to have declined. That decrease could explain a recent cooling of some coastal regions near the Norwegian Sea.




Current Changes Jeopardizing Sea of Japan

Scientists see a disturbing change in underwater currents in the Sea of Japan -- triggered by global warming -- appear to be jeopardizing marine life and changing ocean chemistry.




ENSO Intensity Linked To Warming

El Niño and La Niña have almost never before reached the sustained intensity seen in the past century. The swings in Pacific temperatures tend to increase in warmer times — like now — but weakened by as much as 50 percent during the protracted cold of the last ice age. The findings suggest additional global warming could further intensify the the El Niño cycles and thus bring more bouts of destructive weather.




Warming Drives Disintegration of Ice Shelves

Warmer surface temperatures during summers can cause more ice on Antarctica ice shelves to melt into standing water ponds, then leak into cracks and increase the odds of collapse, according to a new study published by an American team of scientists. The team focused on the Larsen Ice Sheet on the Antarctic Peninsula. The Larsen Ice Sheet experienced major retreats in 1995 and 1998, including more than 775 square miles (2007 square kilometers) that disintegrated during a January 1995 storm.




Higher Ocean Waves From Warming

German scientists reported yesterday that the seas are getting rougher, perhaps because of global warming.In the journal Nature, H.H. Essen and two colleagues announced there has been a gradual increase in wave heights in the northeast Atlantic in the past few decades.




Iceberg 10 times the Size of Manhattan Breaks off Antarctica

An iceberg 10 times the size of Manhattan Island has broken free from Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf, The National Ice Center In October, 2000. Iceberg B-20, as it is identified by the ice center, was discovered Wednesday by satellite monitoring. The exact date the 345-square-mile berg broke off the ice shelf could not be determined because of cloudiness in the area but it is thought to have been between Sept. 20 and 26.




Researchers Find 40 years of Deep Ocean Heating

Scientists have found that the world's oceans have soaked up much of the warming of the last four decades, delaying its full effect on the atmosphere and thus on climate. The deep ocean warming could trigger very large climate changes in the near future.




EnhancedCO2 Starves Coral Reefs

Scientists have found that if humans stay addicted to carbon dioxide-spewing fossil fuels, the world's complex coral reef ecosystems will be reduced by as much as 40 percent by the middle of this century.




Mass Coral Die-Off Due to Record Surface Temperatures

The highest sea temperatures ever recorded in the Caribbean have caused the first mass die-off of coral in Belize in 3,000 years, and scientists suspect that global warming and the El Nino weather phenomenon are to blame. The high temperatures in 1998 lasted for several months and caused much of the Belizean coral reef to bleach and die.




1800-year Ocean Cycle Augments Warming

Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, report evidence of pronounced changes in the earth's climate that can be tracked in cycles of ocean conditions over thousands of years. These cycles reveal that Earth is currently in a period in which a natural rise in global temperatures - combined with warming from the greenhouse effect - will push the planet through an era of rapid global warming.




Atmospheric Warming and the Changes in El Nino Patterns

Tampering with the global thermostat – by injecting more greenhouse gases into the air – will likely interfere with the traditional El Nino process. Some possible explanations for the changed behavior of El Niños in the past twenty years are that the Warm Pool in the tropical western Pacific is expanding; and/or the recharge phase of El Niño has speeded up; and/or the heat loss phase is less efficient. Any of these could follow from warming and result in more frequent El Niño events. With global greenhouse warming we should expect higher temperatures in the upper layers of the ocean, and a steeper drop in temperature beneath the surface, which would increase the magnitude of swings between La Niña and El Niño. (From the journal CONSEQUENCES, by Dr. Kevin Trenberth.)




Pacific Current Cycle Masks Warming

Changes in the Pacific Ocean are making it more likely that winter weather in much of the United States will exhibit unusual warmth alternating with sharp cold. Researchers said the pattern, prevalent this winter and last, might predominate for 20 or 30 years. That pattern predominated from the mid-1940's to the mid-1970's.




Ancient Methane Eruption May Hold Clues to Sudden Warming

The biggest global warming in the last 100 million years may have been touched off by a sudden blowout of greenhouse gases from the ocean floor. Scientists worry about a new eruption of seabed methane.




New Studies Focus on Rapid Climate Change Event
A series of new studies highlight intensified concerns among scientists that the thawing of the Arctic, and the infusion of fresh water in the North Atlantic, could presage a calamitous "climate snap."




Arctic Sea Ice Thins at Startling Rate

The great ice cover that stretches across the top of the globe has become about 40 percent thinner than it was two to four decades ago, scientists have found after analyzing data collected by nuclear submarines plying the Arctic Ocean.




Ocean Current Shutdown Could Occur in Two Decades

Within the next two decades, global warming could cause a complete shutdown of one of the two main pumps driving the formation of the North Atlantic Deep Water - causing a shutdown in Labrador Sea convection and the Labrador Current, which could, in turn trigger a large-scale Rapid Climate Change Event, according to a commentary and a new report in the journal Nature. The findings, according to a commentary, should be interpreted as a warning that a regional shut-down of convection could occur, and occur soon.




Rising Seas Are Submerging Louisiana Coast

Coastal Louisiana is literally sinking into the sea, giving the rest of North America an alarming glimpse of what may lie in store in the 21st century. Since 1930, an area 50 percent bigger than Rhode Island has returned to the sea in Louisiana and another Rhode Island-sized patch could go in the next 50 years.




Ocean Warming Impacts Sea Life Faster Than Expected

Rising global temperatures are impacting ocean ecosystems to a far greater extent than previously acknowledged. From the tropics to the poles, wide-spread changes in marine life are occurring in step with rising water temperatures. New evidence shows dramatic impacts arriving sooner than predicted.




Ocean Warming Escalates Marine Diseases

Marine diseases are escalating dramatically, according to surveys of coral, starfish, sea grasses, seals, sponges and other organisms, and in many cases the increase is being driven by warming.




Greenland ice sheet melting faster than expected

The southern half of the Greenland ice sheet, the second largest expanse of land-bound ice earth after Antarctica, has shrunk substantially in the last five years. Experts have said for some time that a warming atmosphere has caused many mountain glaciers around the world to shrink. But until now, they have not known what was happening to the Greenland ice cap.The new findings, reported in the March 5, 1999 issue of the journal Science, provide the first precise evidence that it, too, is diminishing.




Florida Palms Dying from Sea Level Rise

Rising global sea levels are killing cabbage palms and other coastal trees in Florida due to saltwater exposure as sea water pushes up through water tables.




Researchers Find Deep Ocean Warming
Rising temperatures in the ocean depths off Antarctica provide new evidence that pollution and gas emissions from the Industrial Age are causing global warming.Most measurements of global warming have been made at or near the Earth's surface.But new data from deep ocean probes in the Southern Ocean, Indian Ocean, and South Pacific show the same warming trend.



Antarctic Ice Shelf Break-Up Accelerates

Two ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula known as the Larsen B and Wilkins are in "full retreat" and have lost nearly 3,000 square kilometers of their total area in the last year. Researchers attribute the retreats to a regional warming trend which has caused the annual melt season to increase by two to three weeks over the last 20 years. Satellite photos monitored by NSIDC show that the Larsen B ice shelf has continued to crumble after an initial small retreat in spring 1998. In a series of events that began in November 1998, an additional 1,714 square kilometers of shelf area caved away.




Researchers Document Arctic Sea Ice Shrinkage

Since the early 1970s scientists have observed a steady decline in the extent of the Arctic sea-ice cover, which is disappearing at a rate of approximately 3% each decade. Furthermore, other, less complete records of Arctic sea-ice suggest that the decline in extent has been continuous since mid-century. Even with this trend, the 1990s have seen four summers in which the aerial extent of Arctic sea-ice was the smallest ever observed. While the reduction in ice extent is unequivocal, changes in thickness are also apparent, but more ambiguous. During a year-long experiment in the Arctic in 1998, the thickest ice floe found for the purposes of setting up an ice station was only 60% of the average (not even maximum) sea-ice thickness anticipated.




Do disappearing icebergs signal global warming?

For reasons no one understands -- although global warming is a top suspect -- the Grand Banks shipping lanes, which are located southeast of Newfoundland, were an ice-free zone.For the first time in 85 years, the International Ice Patrol (IIP) issued not a single bulletin reporting lurking bergs.




Ocean Warming Could Impair CO2 Absorption
Global warming could disrupt the ability of a large portion of the world's oceans to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, setting off a vicious cycle in which the earth gets even hotter


Warming Waters Trigger Massive Iceshelf Rupture
An iceberg larger than the state of Delaware has broken off the Ronne Ice Shelf in Antarctica in what scientists believe may be a sign of global warming. The iceberg, named A-38, measures 92 miles long (147 km) and 30 miles (50 km) wide and covers an area of about 2,751 square miles.


Ocean Warming Creates Pacific Wasteland
The population of tiny marine organisms called zooplankton off the coast of southern California had declined by a stunning 70 percent over the last twenty years due to warming surface waters.


Scientists Discover Further Disintegration of Antarctic Ice Shelves
In 1995, a Rhode-Island sized section of the Larsen Ice Shelf broke off from Antarctica due to ocean warming. In the following year, scientists discovered that five of the nine ice shelves attached to the Antarctic Peninsula have disintegrated over the last half century, as temperatures have risen. In the spring of 1998, a second huge section of the same ice shelf collapsed into the ocean.




Pacific Warming

The surface waters of the eastern Pacific have warmed by 2 degrees in the last 20 years -- independent of El Nino events. That has led to a 70 percent decline in the population of zooplankton, a five percent decline in fish populations, the wholesale death of seals and sea lions, and a 90 percent decline in the population of a species of sea bird




Recent El Nino a 1-in-2000 year event
while most El Nino events last only a year or two, scientists noted at the beginning of 1996 that the recent El Nino -- which had lasted for five years and eight months -- was a one-in-2000 year occurrence.


El Nino's growing ferocity: Ocean in the greenhouse?
Statistical climate models reveal the recent sequence of El Niños is highly unusual, while computer simulations of future climate show El Niño-like seas becoming more the norm as greenhouse gases increase. Computer models also suggest El Niño is the primary planetary "heat machine" pumping growing greenhouse warming around the planet.


El Nino Impacted by Atmospheric Warming
Global warming appears to be making the impact of El Niño more severe,federal officials said yesterday, and that may help explain why the first half of 1998 has set temperature records worldwide.


Warming Threatens Permanent El Nino

El Nino conditions might settle in almost permanently if global warming gets bad enough, making climate disruptions such as droughts or excessive winter rain the norm, a computer study suggests.




Warming Stirs Fears of Ice Sheet Collapse
If the earth's temperature heats up as mainstream scientists predict it will over the next century, the average level of the world's oceans could rise by about a foot and a half by 2100, and somewhat more after that, as glaciers partly melt and the heating makes sea water expand, inundating many low-lying coastal areas. But it would be trivial compared with the melting or collapse of the huge West Antarctic ice sheet, the Godzilla of the game of rising seas. This would loose so much water into the oceans that they would rise by a truly catastrophic 13 to 20 feet.


Ocean Changes could Trigger Climate Snap
Warming could melt more snow and ice, flooding the North Atlantic with fresh water and upsetting the workings of large ocean currents. Just such an event may have been responsible for plunging the world back into glacial conditions for several centuries, starting about 12,000 years ago, after it had temporarily warmed near the end of the last ice age. (Four stories)


Rapid Climate Change: A Primer
Much to the surprise of investigators, evidence is mounting that major changes in the earth’s climate can take place in a very short time. Data from ice cores and ocean sediments suggest, for example, that 11,650 years ago the climate in Greenland switched from ice-age conditions to the current relatively warm conditions (a warming of 5 to 10 degrees Celsius on average) in only 40 years. The author describes the oceanic currents that influence climate and establish its stability, as well as "triggers" that may perturb changes -- including the possibility that "greenhouse" warming could invoke a rapid switch.




Sea Level Rise Threatens Massachusetts Coast
Rising sea levels threaten the Massachusetts coast. Parts of Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Cape Cod could be underwater in the next century.