The study, to be published in the Feb. 4-8 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Online Early Edition, outlines the most vulnerable areas of earth at risk for abrupt climate change, according to Elmar Kriegler, a visiting research scholar in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.
Kriegler, a researcher from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, was one of seven scientists who helped to compile the study, drawing on the insights from a climate change workshop sponsored by the British Embassy in Berlin in October 2005, and an opinion survey of 52 experts in the field.
“We found that while most global change is perceived to be a slow, gradual process, there are areas of the planet where this change can be abrupt and potentially irreversible,” said Kriegler.The researchers call the most vulnerable regions in the climate change equation “tipping elements,” referring to the fact that those areas may be pushed over a threshold to a radically different climate state.
The study reports that two “tipping elements” of greatest concern are the Arctic sea ice and the Greenland ice sheet.If the Greenland ice sheet were to melt, it would displace enough water to raise sea levels 23 feet, swallowing up large parts of coastal Florida, most of Bangladesh and many other regions worldwide.
“What this study shows is that the stakes are enormous, bringing into focus the fragility of the climate conditions on earth,” said Kriegler, who is using a European Union Marie Curie Fellowship to spend two years doing research at Carnegie Mellon.
From changing ocean currents to melting glaciers, from eroding permafrost to vanishing rainforests — no part of nature is an island, and the rumble of symptoms may occur in places thousands of miles apart, and grow louder as the planet heats up, the researchers said.
In addition to Carnegie Mellon, other research universities involved in the study included the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, United Kingdom; Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the United Kingdom; The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Potsdam, Germany; and the School of Civil Engineering and Geoscience at Newcastle University and the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University, both in the United Kingdom.
Chriss Swaney | EurekAlert!
A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Value from wastewater
16.08.2017 | Hochschule Landshut
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
23.08.2017 | Automotive Engineering
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences