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March 2018

A “New Ocean” Is Emerging at the Top of the World

Danielle Venton

As the planet warms, the Arctic is warming more than twice as fast. As ice cover is disappearing, average summer sea ice has declined by more than a third since 1979. That’s roughly equal to the entire area of the Western U.S.

KQED

How can cities detect, and avoid, peaks in particulate-matter air pollution?

They are proven to be harmful to human health because they enter our respiratory system, and the smallest can even enter our blood flow. According to the European Environment Agency, air pollution is the cause of 467,000 premature deaths annually in Europe.

City Metric

Hotter, Drier, Hungrier: How Global Warming Punishes the World’s Poorest

These barren plains of sand and stone have always known lean times: times when the rivers run dry and the cows wither day by day, until their bones are scattered under the acacia trees. But the lean times have always been followed by normal times, when it rains enough to rebuild herds, repay debts, give milk to the children and eat meat a few times each week.

NYTimes

Attack of the extreme floods

As the oceans rise, researchers aim to forecast where severe storms will trigger the worst flooding.

Nature

Environmental exposures more determinant of respiratory health than inherited genetics

Researchers have found strong evidence that environmental exposures, including air pollution, affect gene expressions associated with respiratory diseases much more than genetic ancestry. The study analyzed more than 1.6 million data points from biological specimens, health questionnaires and environmental datasets, making this study one of the largest ever to examine the relationship between gene expression and environmental stimuli.

Science Daily

Planners told to consider air quality in new developments

The government’s new planning framework, launched this week, instructs council planners to ensure that the air quality impact of new developments is considered when considering planning policy

Air Quality

Long-term urban carbon dioxide observations reveal spatial and temporal dynamics related to urban characteristics and growth

Recent efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have focused on cities due to intensive emissions, viable policy levers, and interested stakeholders. Atmospheric observations can be used to independently evaluate emissions, but suitable networks are sparse. We present a unique decadal record of atmospheric CO2 from five sites with contrasting urban characteristics that show divergent trends in CO2 emissions across a city. Comparison with population growth reveals a nonlinear relationship that may reflect how urban form affects CO2 emissions. 

PNAS

World Energy Outlook 2017

Four large-scale shifts in the global energy system set the scene for the World Energy Outlook 2017: the rapid deployment and falling costs of clean energy technologies, the growing electrification of energy, the shift to a more services-oriented economy and a cleaner energy mix in China, and the resilience of shale gas and tight oil in the United States.

International Energy Angency

Linking climate policies to advance global mitigation

The November 2017 negotiations in Bonn, Germany, under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) validated that the Paris Agreement has met one of two necessary conditions for success. Drawing on our research and our experiences in Bonn, we explore options and challenges for facilitating such linkages in light of the considerable heterogeneity that is likely to characterize regional, national, and subnational policy efforts.

Science

Meridional overturning circulation conveys fast acidification to the deep Atlantic Ocean

Since the Industrial Revolution, the North Atlantic Ocean has been accumulating anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) and experiencing ocean acidification1, that is, an increase in the concentration of hydrogen ions (a reduction in pH) and a reduction in the concentration of carbonate ions. The latter causes the ‘aragonite saturation horizon’—below which waters are undersaturated with respect to a particular calcium carbonate, aragonite—to move to shallower depths (to shoal), exposing corals to corrosive waters.

Nature

 



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