Climate Change ☀️
Oil and natural gas production emit more methane than previously thought
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is underestimating methane emissions from oil and gas production in its annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, according to new research from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). The research team found 90 percent higher emissions from oil production and 50 percent higher emissions for natural gas production than EPA estimated in its latest inventory.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210326174705.htm

Carbon labeling reduces our CO2 footprint -- even for those who try to remain uninformed
Climate labels informing us of a meat product's carbon footprint cause many people to opt for climate-friendlier alternatives. This applies to people who are curious about a product's carbon footprint, as well as to those who actively avoid wanting to know more. The finding is published in a new study from, among others, the University of Copenhagen. As such, climate labeling food products can be a good way of reducing our climate footprint. But according to the researcher behind the study, labels must be obligatory for them to be effective.

Certain situations exist where we humans strategically avoid greater knowledge and more information -- a phenomenon known as "active information avoidance." It could be that we don't want to know how many calories are in the bag of chips that we've just opened. Or, that we avoid going to the doctor because we fear a certain diagnosis.

But it can also have to do with us not wanting to know about how what we shop for at the supermarket impacts the climate.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210329122841.htm

Coastal lupine faces specific extinction threat from climate change
Climate change is altering the world we share with all living things. But it's surprisingly difficult to single out climate change as an extinction threat for any one particular species protected under the Endangered Species Act. A new analysis of population data shows that climate change represents a specific extinction threat for an endangered coastal lupine plant. If average temperatures increase by one degree Celsius (1° C, or about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) -- a conservative assumption -- the scientists project that 90% of individual lupine plants could be lost in the next 30 years.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210329122918.htm

How coastal forests are managed can impact water cycle
Using meteorological sensors perched on towers above the forest canopy, researchers are able to track water flow to and from wetland forests on the North Carolina coast. They have gathered data on forest carbon and water cycling spanning 14 years.

Younger trees take up and release less water than mature trees 10 years or older, researchers from North Carolina State University found in a new study that tracked how water moves through wetland pine forests near the North Carolina coast.

Their findings, published in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, suggest managers should time timber harvests to leave older trees alongside new growth to mitigate runoff.

"The water balance, especially in coastal sites, is very important," said the study's lead author Maricar Aguilos, postdoctoral research associate in forestry and environmental resources at NC State. "We have so much water there. We wanted to understand how land-use changes impact water use and drainage in the forests, as well as how they affect the growth of the trees."

The findings come from a long-term research project designed to understand how wetland forests in eastern North Carolina -- including pine forests managed for timber and a natural hardwood forest at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in Dare County -- are responding to changing climate conditions.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210329140751.htm

Probing wet fire smoke in clouds: Can water intensify Earth's warming?
A first-of-its-kind instrument that samples smoke from megafires and scans humidity will help researchers better understand the scale and long-term impact of fires -- specifically how far and high the smoke will travel; when and where it will rain; and whether the wet smoke will warm the climate by absorbing sunlight.

"Smoke containing soot and other toxic particles from megafires can travel thousands of kilometers at high altitudes where winds are fast and air is dry," said Manvendra Dubey, a Los Alamos National Laboratory atmospheric scientist and co-author on a paper published last week in Aerosol Science and Technology. "These smoke-filled clouds can absorb much more sunlight than dry soot -- but this effect on light absorption has been difficult to measure because laser-based techniques heat the particles and evaporate the water, which corrupts observations."

The new instrument circumvents this problem by developing a gentler technique that uses a low-power, light-emitting diode to measure water's effect on scattering and absorbtion by wildfire smoke and hence its growth. By sampling the smoke and scanning the humidity from dry to very humid conditions while measuring its optical properties, the instrument mimicks what happens during cloud and rain formation, and the effects of water are measured immediately. Laboratory experiments show for the first time that water coating the black soot-like material can enhance the light absorption by up to 20 percent.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210329160002.htm

Climate change, periodic modification of Earth’s climate brought about as a result of changes in the atmosphere as well as interactions between the atmosphere and various other geologic, chemical, biological, and geographic factors within the Earth system.

Source: Climate change - Evidence for climate change | Britannica
Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.

Source: Climate Change | United Nations