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Humans May Have Passed the 'Point of No Return' in Climate Crisis, Says Study—But That Doesn't Mean All Hope Is Lost – Common Dreams

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Humanity may have passed the “point of no return” in the climate crisis—even if everyone on the planet stopped emitting all greenhouse gases at this very moment, according to a study published Thursday. 

The study, published in the peer-reviewed British publication Scientific Journals, alarmingly asserts that “the world is already past a point of no return for global warming” and that the only way to halt the catastrophic damage caused by greenhouse emissions is to extract “enormous amounts of carbon dioxide… from the atmosphere.”

“[The crisis] simply will not stop from cutting manmade greenhouse emissions.”
Jørgen Randers, study co-author

The crisis “simply will not stop from cutting manmade greenhouse gases,” Jørgen Randers, one of the study’s two lead authors, told Future Human. Humanity, stressed Randers, “should accelerate its effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions… and start developing the technologies for large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.” 

What exactly does a “point of no return” mean for Earth and its inhabitants? The researchers describe “a threshold which, once surpassed, fundamentally changes the dynamics of the climate system,” including “by triggering irreversible processes like melting of the permafrost, drying of the rainforests, or acidification of surface waters.” 

The researchers used a computer model called ESCIMO to simulate outcomes from various levels of CO2 reductions until the year 2500. They concluded that even an immediate reduction to zero greenhouse emissions would still result in a 3°C rise in global temperatures by 2500. 

Using a more realistic simulation model in which carbon emissions peak in the 2030s and then decline to zero by the turn of the next century, the researchers still found that the planet would warm by the same 3°C, while sea levels would be 10 feet higher than they were in 1850. 

Furthermore, the study found that the accelerated melting of Arctic ice and carbon trapped in melting permafrost may increase the amount of water vapor, methane, and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Recent research predicts that global heating will cause the planet’s average temperature to increase by between 2.6°C and 3.9°C over the next few centuries. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 2017 forecast worldwide sea levels to rise by between one and 8.2 feet—depending on the location—by the end of this century. 

There is hope, said Randers, in carbon sequestraiton—sucking carbon from the atmosphere and returning it underground—but “it is a very big job.”

“[It’s the] equivalent to the work involved in putting all the manmade CO2 into the atmosphere, which has taken us 100 to 200 years of industrial activity,” said Randers. 

“Getting it out again will be the same type of effort,” he said. 

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A 'Beaver Full Moon' With Lunar Eclipse Happened This Morning—And Folks Took Some Stunning Photos – Good News Network

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If you were up in the early hours of this morning, you may have noticed the full moon turning a shade or so darker and redder.

Thomas Lipke

What you were seeing is called a penumbral lunar eclipse. Caused by the moon dipping behind the Earth’s fuzzy penumbra, or outer shadow, this subtle shading effect peaked at 4:32 am ET November 30, when—according to NASA—83% of the moon was in the shadow of our planet.

NASA has also given a list of the names November’s full moon is known by: The Algonquin tribes have long called this the Cold Moon after the long, frozen nights. Others know it as the Frost Moon, while an Old European Name is Oak Moon: perhaps because of ancient Druid traditions that involve harvesting mistletoe from oak trees for the upcoming winter solstice.

In America, the November full moon is perhaps still best known as the Beaver Moon—with Native Americans associating it with a time when the beavers are scrabbling to finish building their dens from mud and sticks and rocks in preparation for winter.

While this was the last penumbral eclipse of the year, don’t worry if you missed the occurrence due to sleep or clouds.

For those who didn’t get to witness the phenomenon in person, from San Francisco to Michigan to the Sydney Opera House, here are some stunning pictures of this year’s last partial lunar eclipse.

RELATED: With Every Planet Visible This Week and Leonid Meteor Shower Shooting Fireballs, It’s Time to Get Out the Telescope

P.S. The next full moon will be the Cold Christmas Moon on December 29, 2020.

The full moon captured with the San Francisco skyline view at Alameda

A peaceful scene from Mackinac Island in Michigan

Surreal views from Joshua Tree

The Columbia River Gorge became a moonrise kingdom

Cool blue views were taken by this photographer in Northumberland, England

This photographer in Russia caught an image straight from a folk tale

Clouds added interest and atmosphere to these photos taken in Preston, England

A calming moment was captured on Rhode Island

The moon united photographers everywhere last night. Here’s a view from Sydney.

SHARE These Far-Out Views With Friends on Social Media…

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How to see a mysterious object that might be space junk fly near Earth today – CNET

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This photo from 1964 shows a Centaur upper-stage rocket. Space object 2020 SO might be one of these.


NASA

The moon shouldn’t feel too jealous. Earth has another satellite right now, but it’s only a temporary fling. The exact identity of the object, named 2020 SO, is still a lingering question, but you can watch it on Monday, Nov. 30, when it gets close to Earth. The Virtual Telescope Project will livestream the flyby.  

The Earth’s gravitational pull captured the object into our planet’s orbit earlier this month, which makes 2020 SO a sort of mini-moon. 

Usually, we’d expect an object like this to be an asteroid, and there are plenty of those flying around in space. But 2020 SO may have a more Earthly identity. The orbit of 2020 SO around the sun — which is very similar to Earth’s — has convinced researchers it’s probably not a rock, but is actually a piece of space junk from a NASA mission.      

The object’s closest approach to our planet will be on Dec. 1. The Virtual Telescope Project will offer a livestream starting at 2 p.m. PT on Nov. 30

Virtual Telescope Project founder Gianluca Masi already managed to capture a view of the tiny object on Nov. 22. It appears as a dot against a backdrop of stars.

The Virtual Telescope Project caught sight of 2020 SO on Nov. 22. The arrow points out the object.


Gianluca Masi/Virtual Telescope Project

Scientists with NASA JPL’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) analyzed 2020 SO’s path and tracked it back in time.  

“One of the possible paths for 2020 SO brought the object very close to Earth and the Moon in late September 1966,” CNEOS Director Paul Chodas said in a NASA statement earlier in November. “It was like a eureka moment when a quick check of launch dates for lunar missions showed a match with the Surveyor 2 mission.”

NASA’s ill-fated Surveyor 2 lander ended up crashing on the moon’s surface, but the Centaur rocket booster escaped into space.   

NASA expects 2020 SO to stick around in an Earth orbit until March 2021 when it will wander off into a new orbit around the sun. The agency’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office shared a visual of the object’s journey around Earth.

The upcoming close approach should give astronomers a chance to dial in 2020 SO’s composition and tell us if it is indeed a relic from the 1960s.

Even with a telescope view, 2020 SO should look like a bright spot of light traveling against the dark of space. The cool thing is getting the chance to witness a piece of space history returning to its old stomping grounds.  

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Climate change has autumn leaves falling sooner, researchers say – CTV News

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TORONTO —
A new study based on European forest trees indicates that climate change is leading to longer growing seasons and causing leaves to fall earlier in the year.

Using a combination of experiments and long-term observational research dating back to 1948, scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and University of Munich found that leaves are likely to fall three to six days sooner by the end of the 21st century, rather than lengthening by one to three weeks as current models have predicted.

Researchers say this predicted pattern will limit the capacity of temperate forests to mitigate climate change through carbon uptake.

In conducting their research, scientists obtained more than 430,000 phenological observations from 3,855 sites across Central Europe from 1948 to 2015.

According to the study, elevated carbon dioxide, temperature and light levels are causing an increase in spring and summer photosynthetic productivity. Leaves are emerging earlier and they’re also falling sooner than expected.

The new findings reveal the critical constraints on future length of growing-seasons and carbon uptake of trees.

Natural Resources Canada says forests can act as either carbon sources or carbon sinks, which means that a forest can either release more carbon than it absorbs or it can absorb more carbon than it releases.

“For decades we’ve assumed that growing seasons are increasing and that the autumn leaf-off is getting later,” co-researcher and professor at ETH Zurich Thomas Crowther told The Guardian. “However, this research suggests that as tree productivity gets higher, the leaves actually fall earlier.”​

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