The amount of water in the open ocean with zero oxygen has gone up by four times in the past 50 years because of global warming and changing climate change. And in coastal waters, sites with low oxygen have gone up tenfold since 1950. In a study that the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) is calling the "broadest view yet of world's low oxygen", researchers have found that "dead zones"—spots in the ocean that have no oxygen—will only continue to expand in volume as the planet gets warmer with each passing year. "Oxygen is fundamental to life in the oceans," said Denise Breitburg, lead author and marine ecologist with the SERC. "The decline in ocean oxygen ranks among the most serious effects of human activities on the Earth's environment." The study was carried out by a team of scientists at the Global Ocean Oxygen Network (GO2NE) which was set up in 2016 by UN's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. It is the first paper that takes a look at the causes … [Read more...] about What are ‘dead zones’? Volume of oxygen-deprived water in oceans has quadrupled in the past 50 years
What greenhouse gases cause global warming
Explore DW's interactive map on the impacts of climate change! To get started in the graphic above, click on one of the categories on the left or on one of the points in the regions. Don't blame it on the weatherman Climate refers to the weather typical for a particular region. So when people talk about "climate change," we are actually referring to changes in normal weather patterns across the globe. The term "climate change" is often used interchangeably with "global warming," which refers to an increase in the average temperature of the planet. But actual climate change goes beyond warming to include weather extremes, including more frequent and heavier storms, longer and more intense drought, or even unusually cold weather. The human touch The climate is always changing, including due to natural forces such as the distance of the earth from the sun or volcanic activity. But in recent decades, scientists have begun to look at how human activity has been affecting the climate. … [Read more...] about What you need to know about climate change
DW: What exactly did the expedition reveal? Martin Melles: First it confirmed what we expected to find - the Arctic reacted to the warm and cold cycles of the last few million years. But the big surprise was that against the background of these cycles, at irregular intervals there were times when the warm spells were extremely hot: four or five degrees hotter than the warm period in which we are living today. That would indicate that the Greenland ice shield either didn't exist at all at those times or must have been much smaller. And the sea ice we have on the Arctic ocean today probably didn't exist in that form either. Sea level must have been far higher. If all the Greenland ice melted, we would be talking about around seven meters (23 feet) of global sea-level rise - and that's the kind of level that must have existed around those times. Around the crater lake where we drilled, we have tundra today, where the highest bushes are around 20 centimeters (8 inches). During those … [Read more...] about Sediment cores reveal arctic warm periods
With the United Nation's 2015 Paris Climate Conference soon to be underway, we wondered what our readers might want to know about it. So we looked up the most-googled search terms to get you prepared for the debates likely to take place around the summit. Starting with the term global climate change, people seemed to be interested in the basics, like "what is climate?" Many were also interested in the causes and effects of climate change, as well as adaptation. So here we go: Climate change causes Climate change is caused by humankind's increased emissions of greenhouse gases. Today, #link:http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/:atmospheric CO2 levels# are higher than ever before in human history. [If you are on the side of climate change deniers and about to say that climate change is not manmade, please spare us that discussion and #link:http://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-whats-warming-the-world/:let our colleagues from Bloomberg convince you].# Greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide … [Read more...] about Global climate change: Data-driven answers to the biggest questions
A temporary hiatus in the pace of global warming, despite rising greenhouse gas emissions has raised questions about the threat presented by climate change. But scientists gathering at the annual Severe Weather Congress (23.- 27.09.2013) in the German city of Hamburg say climate change is an ever-present threat which requires continued attention. The output of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) continues to surge, forcing up global temperatures. Sea levels are also rising, said Mojib Latif of the Geomar Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel. "This reprieve only refers to the ocean's surface temperature. We can't conclude that climate change has come to a halt." Latif is a calm, self-controlled man, but he is easily angered by having to explain again and again why climate change isn't just a scam. Back in 2008, Latif shocked many of his colleagues by saying the rise of temperature could indeed stagnate. Oceans covering two thirds of the earth's surface are able to … [Read more...] about Climate change remains a threat despite slowdown in global warming
The facts are clear: Global temperatures have risen 0.6°C in the last 140 years and most scientists predict that the Earth will warm 1.4 - 5.8°C by 2100. An overwhelming majority of climate experts agree the main reason for this is due to certain gases emitted by fossil fuel burning and other human activities such as intensive agriculture. These greenhouse gases, (the major one being CO2) are causing more of the sun’s energy to be trapped inside the Earth's atmosphere, increasing the global temperature. Member countries to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, came up with the Kyoto Protocol. Ratified by 84 countries, the protocol forces over 30 industrialised countries to reduce their emissions by an average of five percent below what they pumped out in 1990. They have until 2012 to do this. A number of "flexible mechanisms" in the Kyoto Protocol are helping countries to reach their goals: The Emissions Trading scheme allows nations to … [Read more...] about Kyoto – What’s it all About?
Extreme heat waves, rising sea levels and droughts in developing countries in tropical zones are on the way if the international community fails to take action, claim scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change in a recently published report for the World Bank. "Without further commitment and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the world will warm by more than 3 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures," they write in the report. Greenhouse gases are thought to cause global warming. They absorb outgoing heat radiation from Earth that would otherwise escape into space. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide. Doha and the two-degree target Countries participating in the 2010 climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, agreed to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius. That is just consistent with the target to which representatives at the United Nations' Framework on Climate Change committed themselves, which was to avoid … [Read more...] about What is at stake at the Doha climate talks?
Steps to control global warming would require less than 0.1 percent of world's annual gross domestic product, according to the 24-page report released by the IPCC on Friday in Bangkok. "If we continue to do what we are doing now, we are in deep trouble," said Ogunlade Davidson, co-chair of the IPCC. "This report is all about solutions to climate change." The report presented a best-case scenario of limiting global warming to 2.0-2.4 degrees Celsius (3.6-4.3 degrees Fahrenheit), which is generally recognized as the threshold to avoiding the most extreme consequences of climate change. CO2 reduction still possible Protestors in Bangkok demanded governments take action on climate change There is "substantial" potential for the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below current levels without crippling the global economy since many of the tools already exist and could be quickly implemented, the report said. Harnessing more solar, wind, and hydro-power could have a large … [Read more...] about Report: Reducing Global Warming Won’t Derail World Economy
Increasing global air traffic is commonly regarded as a climate catastrophe, with the aviation industry alone comprising 5 percent of greenhouse gases produced annually. With the German Aerospace Center (DLR) expecting jet fuel demand to increase 50 percent by 2030, environmental prospects for the industry are dire. But what if flying could be carbon-neutral; indeed, climate-friendly? It's a little-known fact that this is possible. Flying high increases warming To reach the goals of the Paris climate agreement to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, every person on Earth would be limited to producing an average of only 2 tons of CO2 annually over the next 30 years. However, a roundtrip between Berlin and New York in a relatively efficient Airbus 380 generates greenhouse gases equaling some three tons of CO2 in the environment. That's because, in addition to the direct CO2 emissions (one ton CO2 equivalent), the flight results in increased formation of ozone … [Read more...] about Climate-friendly air travel – say what?
"The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old," reads the first line of a controversial obituary published last week by Outside Magazine, an American publication focused on outdoor recreation. The obituary has since been shared more than a million times - and has sparked a lively discussion on social media. Many social media users mourned the Great Barrier Reef and expressed their sadness. Others, however, were confused and unsure about the legitimacy of the obituary, which was likely intended as tongue-in-cheek. Angry counter-articles quickly followed, pointing out that the reef is, in fact, still quite alive. The Huffington Post wrote: "Dead and dying are two very different things," and warned that "overstatements about the state of our planet (…) can cause people to lose hope." So, is the Great Barrier really dead? No, says Professor Terry Hughes, Director of the Australian Research … [Read more...] about Great Barrier Reef: ‘Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated’