Coasts drown as coral reefs collapse under warming and acidification — ScienceDaily

A new study shows the coastal protection coral reefs currently provide will start eroding by the end of the century, as the world continues to warm and the oceans acidify.

A team of researchers led by Associate Professor Sophie Dove from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at The University of Queensland (Coral CoE at UQ) investigated the ability of coral reef ecosystems to retain deposits of calcium carbonate under current projections of warming and ocean acidification.

Calcium carbonate is what skeletons are made of — and it dissolves under hot, acidic conditions. Marine animals that need calcium carbonate for their skeletons or shells are called ‘calcifiers’. Hard corals have skeletons, which is what gives reefs much of their three-dimensional (3D) structure. It’s this structure that helps protect coasts — and those living on the coasts — from the brunt of waves, floods and storms. Without coral

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Is Arctic warming behind a monster Saharan dust storm?

dust storm
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The Sahara Desert is the world’s biggest source of dust and in 2020, it broke the June record for sending the largest and thickest dust cloud toward the Americas.

Amato Evan, an atmospheric scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, and colleagues have broken down the conditions that led to what some researchers call the “Godzilla” dust storm of 2020.

The June 2020 dust storm set records in terms of its geographic size and its aerosol optical depth—essentially a measure of its thickness determined by the ability of satellites to see through it. It reached an altitude of 6,000 meters (19,600 feet). In certain locations over the Atlantic Ocean, its thickness was double what had ever been recorded during the month of June during the history of the satellite record, which dates back to 1995.

The researchers analyzed what made it happen in

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Why Wall Street Is Warming Up To Apple

In the first couple of days following Black Friday, Apple stock climbed about 7%. The market value gain came as Wall Street turned even more bullish on the Cupertino company.

Sell-side upgrade on the stock

It all started on November 30, a day when the broad market did not fare all that well. Loop Capital’s analyst Ananda Baruah saw enough reasons to upgrade Apple from hold to buy. According to him:

“Apple shares have historically outperformed in scenarios of consistent upside to Wall Street forecasts or as negative trends, principally iPhone shipments, stop worsening.”

The analyst did not seem to forget any major area of the business to justify the upgrade: Mac, iPad, AirPod, Watch and Services. Even optimism towards the speculated iPhone 13 supported bullishness. Ananda’s earnings-per-share estimate is now about 10% above consensus.

Not to be outdone, old-time Apple bull Katy Huberty, from Morgan Stanley, also weighed in.

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Global warming likely to increase disease risk for animals worldwide — ScienceDaily

Changes in climate can increase infectious disease risk in animals, researchers found — with the possibility that these diseases could spread to humans, they warn.

The study, conducted by scientists at the University of Notre Dame, University of South Florida and University of Wisconsin-Madison, supports a phenomenon known as “thermal mismatch hypothesis,” which is the idea that the greatest risk for infectious disease in cold climate-adapted animals — such as polar bears — occurs as temperatures rise, while the risk for animals living in warmer climates occurs as temperatures fall.

The hypothesis proposes that smaller organisms like pathogens function across a wider range of temperatures than larger organisms, such as hosts or animals.

“Understanding how the spread, severity and distribution of animal infectious diseases could change in the future has reached a new level of importance as a result of the global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, a pathogen which appears

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Some glaciers in the Tetons found to have survived the early Holocene warming

Some glaciers in the Tetons found to have survived the early Holocene warming
Summer lake coring involves a different set of challenges, namely staying afloat. Credit: Kory Kirchner

A trio of researchers, two with Occidental College, the other with the University of Colorado, has found evidence that some of the glaciers in the Tetons survived the early Holocene warming. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, Darren Larsen, Sarah Crump and Aria Blumm describe their study of ice core samples taken from two sites in the Tetons.

As global warming continues, scientists around the world are studying prior warming periods to learn more about what might happen to the planet in the coming years. One area of great interest is the likely impact of warming on mountain glaciers—they serve as a water source for millions of people around the world. If mountain glaciers melt completely, that source could disappear. In this new effort, the researchers focused their efforts on glaciers

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Global warming triggered the evolution of giant dinosaurs

Global warming triggered the evolution of giant dinosaurs
Reconstruction of the early sauropod Bagualia alba. Credit: Jorge Gonzales

The word “dinosaur” tends to evoke giant animals with massive bodies, long necks and tails, and tiny heads. These “quintessential dinosaurs” actually represent one prominent subgroup of he Dinosauria, the so called Sauropoda (“long-necked dinosaurs” in popular culture). Sauropods were truly amazing animals, and included the largest land-living animals known, with body lengths of up to 40 meters and weights of 70 tons or more.

However, these giant animals did not appear directly at the beginning of the era of dinosaurs. For the first 50 million years of their evolutionary history, the Sauropodomorpha—the lineage that the sauropods belong to—were represented by several groups of bipedal to quadrupedal animals. Although some of them reached large body sizes of about 10 meters in length and a few tons in weight, these groups also included smaller, more lightly built animals, some of which

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Newest climate models shouldn’t raise future warming projections

Newest climate models shouldn’t raise future warming projections

One notable storyline in the climate system over the past year or two has been the effort to make sense of the latest generation of climate models. In service of the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the world’s climate models have submitted their simulations to the latest database, known as CMIP6. These submissions showed that updates to a number of models had made them more sensitive to greenhouse gases, which means they project greater amounts of future warming.

Apart from diagnosing the behavior responsible for that change, climate scientists have also wrestled with the implications. Should we be alarmed by the results, or are they outliers? Climate models are only one tool among many for estimating Earth’s true “climate sensitivity,” so their behavior has to be considered in the full context of all the other evidence.

For a number of reasons, research is converging on the idea

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Simulations suggest geoengineering would not stop global warming if greenhouse gasses continue to increase

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

A trio of researchers, two with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the other the California Institute of Technology, developed computer simulations suggesting that using geoengineering to cool the planet would not be enough to overcome greenhouse effects if emissions continue at the current rate. Tapio Schneider, Colleen Kaul and Kyle Pressel have published their results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

As scientists have become frustrated with the lack of progress toward greenhouse gas emission reductions, some are championing other ways to save the planet. One approach involves geoengineering—altering the Earth to solve a problem. Geoengineering to reduce global warming would involve emitting particulate material into the stratosphere to reflect heat from the sun back into space. Ideas for such an effort involve releasing reflective particles into the stratosphere where they would surround much of the Earth, reflecting back heat and cooling

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Warming May Make Hurricanes Weaken More Slowly After Landfall

In studying the effects of climate change on hurricanes, scientists have focused on what occurs over water, when storms are forming and strengthening, picking up heat and moisture as they churn over the ocean.

But a new study looks at what happens after hurricanes make landfall and work their way inland. The research suggests that climate change is affecting storms during this phase of their life as well, causing them to weaken more slowly and remain destructive for longer.

The findings could have implications for how emergency-management agencies prepare for storms post-landfall.

In the study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, Lin Li and Pinaki Chakraborty of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University in Japan analyzed data from North Atlantic hurricanes that made landfall from 1967 to 2018, looking at the decay in intensity, or wind speed, of the storms in the first day after hitting land.

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Researchers link Florida summertime rainfall with a warming Atlantic Ocean — ScienceDaily

A new study by researchers at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science projects an increase in Florida’s late summertime rainfall with rising Atlantic Ocean temperatures.

Scientists have known for years that Florida receives more rainfall in decades when North Atlantic waters are warmer than average, but the UM research team wanted to learn more about this interaction to help communities prepare for a wetter future. This study showed that ocean temperatures are most influential on Florida precipitation in late summer, during the region’s highest high tide events.

The researchers used a suite of climate models to show that the link between ocean temperatures and rainfall only develops as a result of human influences on the climate system, such as greenhouse gas emissions and industrial pollution.

“We know that humans are continuing to make North Atlantic waters warmer, so we expect an increase in late

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