The latest Open House Night in Astronomy at Penn State Behrend, “Earth’s Changing Climate: Today and in Ages Past,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 in Room 180 of the campus' Jack Burke Research and Economic Development Center. It is free and open to the public.
Around 55 million years ago, an abrupt global warming event triggered a highly corrosive deep-water current through the North Atlantic Ocean. The current's origin puzzled scientists for a decade, but an international team of researchers has now discovered how it formed and the findings may have implications for the carbon dioxide emission sensitivity of today's climate.
The recent slowdown in climate warming is due, at least in part, to natural oscillations in the climate, according to a team of climate scientists, who add that these oscillations represent variability internal to the climate system. They do not signal any slowdown in human-caused global warming.
Richard B. Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences has been named the recipient of the 2015 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the category of Climate Change.
From 9 a.m. to noon Friday, April 11, over 70 Penn State staff, students, and faculty members will attend a conference on Penn State’s greenhouse gas emissions. According to conference organizer Jonathan Brockopp, the goal is “to begin imagining a workable plan to achieve zero effective emissions by 2050.”
The recent slowdown in the warming rate of the Northern Hemisphere may be a result of internal variability of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation -- a natural phenomenon related to sea surface temperatures, according to Penn State researchers.
Whether existing ecological communities can persist intact as temperatures rise may depend as much on biological interactions that shape communities themselves as on the effects of climate change, according to a Penn State biology researcher.
By June 2012, Arctic sea ice had already melted to its lowest extent for the month since satellite record keeping began in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. How does this affect our weather in the short term and climate in the long term? In several ways, says Andrew Carleton, a Penn State professor of physical geography who specializes in studying sea ice and climate change.
Research Unplugged continues its fall season of lively community discussions with Penn State researchers with a program this Thursday, Oct. 18, by Jenni Evans on "Stormy Weather: Hurricanes, Monsoons and Global Climate Change."
While many are focusing on atmospheric solutions to reduce greenhouse gases, some researchers are setting their sights on the ground -- deep underground. Li Li, an assistant professor of energy and mineral engineering at Penn State, is investigating geologic carbon sequestration (storing carbon dioxide deep beneath the surface of the Earth) as a way to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Engineering our way out of global climate warming may not be as easy as simply reducing the incoming solar energy, according to a team of University of Bristol and Penn State climate scientists. Designing the approach to control both sea level rise and rates of surface air temperature changes requires a balancing act to accommodate the diverging needs of different locations. "Basic physics and past observations suggest that reducing the net influx of solar energy will cool the Earth," said Peter J. Irvine, graduate student, University of Bristol, UK, and participant in the Worldwide Universities Network Research Mobility Programme to Penn State. "However, surface air temperatures would respond much more quickly and sea levels will respond much more slowly."
Why has the U.S. government failed to join in climate change agreements adopted by much of the rest of the world? In honor of Earth Day, the School of International Affairs will present an event focused on this question featuring a film screening and discussion moderated by renowned Penn State researcher Professor Donald A. Brown at 7 p.m. on April 20, in 118 Lewis Katz Building, University Park campus.
When people think about the sources of greenhouse gas emissions, they think of oil refineries, smokestacks, and trucks spewing out thick black smoke. They don't usually think of cows.
But recently, the idea that cattle could be a source of greenhouse gas has been attracting attention. It turns out that the belches of cows, sheep, and other livestock animals contain substantial amounts of methane, a particularly potent greenhouse gas that has about 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
Are cows emitting greenhouse gases?
Recent discoveries about tropical coral reefs are expected to be invaluable in efforts to restore the corals, which are succumbing to bleaching and other diseases at an unprecedented rate as ocean temperatures rise worldwide. The research gives new insights into how the scientists can help to preserve or restore the coral reefs that protect coastlines, foster tourism and nurture many species of fish. Published on June 23 in the journal PLoS One, the research was accomplished by an international team whose leaders include Iliana Baums, assistant professor of biology at Penn State.
Iliana Baums, an assistant professor of biology at Penn State, dons scuba gear for work. She studies coral reef ecosystems, the "forests of the oceans," diverse habitats that are vital to many species of ocean life. Warming ocean temperatures disrupt that ecosystem and cause episodes of coral bleaching, which, over time, can kill coral and the life supported by it. Watch a video as Baums explains her research conducted under the sea.