Science News Tidbits: Climate and Ecology

La Nina may cool Earth a little; The impact of biofuels; North Atlantic Warming is Complex

World to cool slightly in 2008: British experts from
World temperatures will cool slightly in 2008, but it will remain among the top 10 hottest years on record, British weather experts predicted Thursday.[]

Smithsonian scientists highlight environmental impacts of biofuels from
Biofuels reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in comparison to fossil fuels. In the Jan. 4 issue of the journal Science, Smithsonian researchers highlight a new study that factors in environmental costs of biofuel production. Corn, soy and sugarcane come up short. The authors urge governments to be far more selective about which biofuels they support, as not all are more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels.[]

From Science Express, a paper by Lozier et al examine patterns and mechanisms of heat change in the North Atlantic. They note that the pattern of warming in the Atlantic north of the Equator is very non uniform, and that this variability is explained by wind currents (and other factors). More importantly, they suggest that variations in ocean temperature in this region are better explained by natural patterns of heat redistribution than by global warming models.This could be “global warming denial” in action, but I believe it is actually an attempt to better understand the nuances of the system. The North Atlantic is a very complex system, owing to its geography, and you can expect this body of water to be central in understanding large and moderate scale climate change.[source: The Spatial Pattern and Mechanisms of Heat Content Change in the North AtlanticM. Susan Lozier 1, Susan Leadbetter 2, Richard G. Williams 2, Vassil Roussenov 2, Mark S. C. Reed 1, Nathan J. Moore Science Express December 17, 2007]

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2 thoughts on “Science News Tidbits: Climate and Ecology

  1. The Arctic story is the subject of the latest post at RealClimate. The upshot is that models do in fact predict this behaviour, prompting Gavin Schmidt to suggest a:”New rule: When declaring that climate models are misleading in a high profile paper, maybe looking at some model output first would be a good idea.”

  2. Wow! How flippant! Which is it? Is it GW denial or true research. We have hardly skimmed the top of this incredibly complex system – and the talk always assumes “guilty (denier) until proven innocent (AGW believer)”.

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