• Loss of Arctic sea ice linked to personal CO2 emissions

    Three square meters of Arctic summer sea ice disappears for every ton of carbon dioxide a person emits, wherever they are on the planet. The rapid retreat of Arctic sea ice is one of the most direct indicators of the ongoing climate change on Earth, and the newly discovered linear relationship helps us understand our personal contribution to global climate change for the first time and highlights the importance of lowering emissions to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

  • World on track for temperature rise of 2.9 to 3.4 degrees this century: UN

    Scientists agree that limiting global warming to under 2℃ this century (compared to pre-industrial levels), will reduce the likelihood of more-intense storms, longer droughts, sea-level rise, and other severe climate impacts. To have any chance of limiting global warming to 2℃ this century, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in 2030 cannot exceed 42 gigatons. A new report finds that 2030 emissions are expected to reach 54 to 56 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent, placing the world on track for a temperature rise of 2.9 to 3.4 degrees this century.

  • view counter
  • Some early 20th century L.A. earthquakes might have been man-made

    Some early twentieth century earthquakes in southern California might have been induced (man-made) by past practices that were used by the oil and gas industry. During the early decades of the oil boom, withdrawal of oil was not balanced by injection of fluids, in some cases leading to dramatic ground subsidence, and potentially perturbing the sub-surface stress field on nearby faults.

  • More than 15,000 near-Earth objects identified – with many more to go

    The international effort to find, confirm, and catalogue the multitude of asteroids that pose a threat to our planet has reached a milestone: 15,000 discovered – with many more to go. The number of catalogued asteroids approaching Earth has grown rapidly since the count reached 10,000 only three years ago. The discovered NEOs are part of a much larger population of more than 700,000 known asteroids in our Solar System.

  • Harnessing science to help in emergency response

    Four years ago, communities across the East Coast faced Superstorm Sandy, a weather system that claimed more than seventy lives in the United States and caused $65 billion in damages. Earlier this month, Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti, killing more than a thousand people before turning north to the United States, where it caused another forty-three deaths. The NSF and NOAA collaborate to provide the necessary tools to ensure people respond appropriately to dangerous weather systems.

  • Calls in Italy for quake-proofing the country’s buildings, infrastructure

    More and more Italians are urging the government to invest more funds to make buildings in the country earthquake resistant. Earlier today (Thursday), Italy was dealing with the cost of two quakes which reduced villages in the Apennines to rubble and left thousands homeless. Geologists have been saying that Italy is such seismically active country that the only option is to strengthen buildings to the extent possible and learn to live with the threat.

  • Wastewater disposal induced 2016 Magnitude 5.1 Oklahoma earthquake

    Distant wastewater disposal wells likely induced the third largest earthquake in recent Oklahoma record, the 13 February 2016, magnitude 5.1 event roughly thirty-two kilometers northwest of Fairview, Oklahoma. at the time, the Fairview earthquake was the largest event in the central and eastern United States since a 2011 magnitude 5.7 struck Prague, Oklahoma.

  • Worrisome milestone: Atmospheric CO2 levels reach 400 parts per million in 2015

    Globally averaged concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the symbolic and significant milestone of 400 parts per million for the first time in 2015 and surged again to new records in 2016 on the back of the very powerful El Niño event. CO2 levels had previously reached the 400 ppm barrier for certain months of the year and in certain locations but never before on a global average basis for the entire year. The longest-established greenhouse gas monitoring station at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, predicts that CO2 concentrations will stay above 400 ppm for the whole of 2016 and not dip below that level for many generations.

  • Bermuda Triangle mystery may have been solved

    It is estimated that over the last 100 years, hundreds of ships, at least 75 planes, and thousands of lives have been lost art the Bermuda Triangle. A group of satellite meteorologists may have solved the mystery of the triangle: Hexagonal clouds, creating “air-bombs” with winds of up to 170mph, capable of plunging planes into the sea and flipping ships, are said to be behind the mysterious disappearances at sea.

  • Risk analysis for common ground on climate loss and damage

    The Paris Agreement included groundbreaking text on the need for a mechanism to help identify risks beyond adaptation and support the victims of climate-related loss and damage — but how exactly it will work remains unclear. The question of how to deal with dangerous climate change as being experienced and perceived by developing countries and communities has been one of the most contentious questions in international climate negotiations.

  • September 2nd warmest on record for globe – but monthly record-warm streak ends

    August’s warmth spread into September, contributing to the warmest year to date for the globe, but not enough to continue the recent 16-month streak of record warmth. Even so, September 2016 ranked as the second warmest September on record.

  • Thousands of people didn’t evacuate before Hurricane Matthew. Why not?

    As Hurricane Matthew approached the Atlantic coast earlier this month, many residents followed orders to evaqcuate, but others stayed in place. Hurricane Matthew illustrates the challenges of managing disaster evacuations effectively. By understanding who is likely to obey or ignore evacuation orders, authorities can use data to reduce the number of false alarms and concentrate limited resources on groups who are most likely to choose to shelter in place. It is critical to grapple with these issues so we can do a better job responding to the next storm, which likely won’t be ten years away.

  • “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”: Worldwide ShakeOut drill to be held 20 October

    USGS scientists recently determined that nearly half of Americans are exposed to potentially damaging earthquakes based on where they work and live. Still others will be at risk when traveling. USGS asks Americans to be prepared to join millions of people from around the world participating in Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills worldwide on 20 October. During the drill, participants practice “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” This is the recommended safety action to take during an earthquake.

  • Severe earthquakes cause coastal uplift, increasing seismic hazards

    A new mechanism may explain how great earthquakes with magnitudes larger than M7 are linked to coastal uplift in many regions worldwide. This has important implications for the seismic hazard and the tsunami risk along the shores of many countries. The idea is that series of severe earthquakes within a geologically short period of time cause the rising of the land where one tectonic plate slips beneath another slab of the Earth’s crust in a process called subduction.

  • Improving seawalls to strengthen coastal defenses

    Britain’s coastal defenses could be designed to better withstand storms triggered by climate change. Improving seawalls could help limit loss of life and damage to property as coastal waters become stormier over coming years. New research will help engineers design coastal defenses that are better able to stop sea water spilling over on to land — known as overtopping.