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1 October 2018

High CO2 levels thicken plant leaves, which could worsen climate change effects

Plant scientists have observed that when levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rise, most plants do something unusual: They thicken their leaves. And since human activity is raising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, thick-leafed plants appear to be in our future.

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Half-degree of warming could have big impact on water availability

Approximately 117 million more people could face water shortages if global temperatures increase 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels compared to a 1.5-degree Celsius increase in temperatures, a new study suggests. The world’s water cycle, including evaporation and precipitation, is expected to intensify with global warming, according to the study. This could affect the distribution of freshwater and constrain the global water supply, which poses risks to national food security, economic prosperity and societal well-being.

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16 August 2018

Acceleration of mountain glacier melt could impact Pacific Northwest water supplies

Seasonal snow and ice accumulation cause glaciers in the Cascade Range mountains to grow a little every winter and melt a little every summer. This annual melt provides water for much of the Pacific Northwest, which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho and parts of Montana. Inhabitants of the region utilize this water for drinking, crop irrigation, generating hydroelectric power and other uses. Glacier melt provides supplementary water when less snowmelt is available, alleviating drought conditions or other impacts of dry periods.

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7 August 2018

New study predicts warming climate will drive thousands to ER for heat illness

Even under the most charitable climate scenario where emissions are restricted across the globe, ER visits for hyperthermia in the United States could still increase by 21,000 by 2050, costing up to $38 million according to a new study in GeoHealth.

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5 June 2018

Ocean warming, ‘junk-food’ prey cause of massive seabird die-off, study finds

In the fall of 2014, West Coast residents witnessed a strange, unprecedented ecological event. Tens of thousands of small seabird carcasses washed ashore on beaches from California to British Columbia, in what would become one of the largest bird die-offs ever recorded. A recent study provides the first definitive answer to what killed the seabirds: starvation brought on by shifts in ocean conditions linked to a changing climate.

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1 June 2018

Reconstructing America’s longest water level and instrumented flood record in Boston

By Jan Lathrop Using newly-discovered archival measurements to construct an instrumental record of water levels and storm tides in Boston since 1825, researchers report that local averaged relative sea level rose by nearly a foot (0.28 meters) over the past 200 years, with the greatest increase occurring since 1920. The work also highlights tides and their significant effect on flooding in the city. The evaluation of storm events since 1825 …

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30 May 2018

Increasing heat drives off clouds that dampen California wildfires

Increasing summer temperatures brought on by a combination of intensifying urbanization and warming climate are driving off once common low-lying morning clouds that shade many southern coastal areas of California, leading to increased risk of wildfires.

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24 May 2018

Subglacial valleys and mountain ranges discovered near South Pole

Extensive ice-penetrating radar data reveal three vast valleys under glaciers in West Antarctica. These valleys could be important in the future as they help to channel the flow of ice from the center of the continent towards the coast.

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17 May 2018

Explaining the history of Australia’s vegetation

New research explores how plants using the more complex C4 photosynthetic pathway to create sugar from sunlight expanded to dominate the Australian continent, and how climate change is likely to affect these critically important native plants.

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15 May 2018

Antarctic seals can help predict ice sheet melt

Two species of seal found in Antarctic seas are helping scientists collect data about the temperature and salinity of waters around vulnerable ice sheets in West Antarctica.

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