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Scientists Link Southern Ocean's Rapid Warming to Human Activity
The research, published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience, was authored by scientists from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California.
Using climate models, data from the Argo global network of floating ocean sensors and past records, the researchers determined that Antarctica's warming and freshening waters are directly linked to ozone depletion and greenhouse gas emissions, as opposed to natural variabilities.
This is the first time such a connection has been found specifically for the Southern Ocean, lead author Neil Swart of Environment and Climate Change Canada told Canada's National Observer.
"While the influence of ozone depletion and greenhouse gas increases on the Southern Ocean have been suggested for some time, our research provides the evidence that links the observed changes to these mechanisms, and defines their relative importance," Swart said in a press release for the study.
The 1987 Montreal Protocol, an international effort to ban chlorofluorocarbons, has led to significant recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole. On the other hand, global greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and other industries have risen dramatically since the industrial revolution.
"Moving forward, the ozone layer is recovering while greenhouse gases are continuing to increase, leading to opposing trends," Swart added. "Our work suggests that greenhouse gases are more important than ozone in determining Southern Ocean trends."
As so-called "carbon sinks," our oceans are key to mitigating the effects of climate change. The Southern Ocean is one of the most prolific carbon sinks, taking in nearly half the total amount of anthropogenic CO2 absorbed by the world's oceans.
But as the ocean's ability to absorb CO2 decreases, global temperatures could increase and lead to greater weather extremes such as heat waves and stronger precipitation events, Swart explained to the National Observer.
"It is vital to understand changes in the Southern Ocean because it is a key region of global heat and carbon uptake, and it underlies ice sheets with many meters of sea-level rise potential," Swart said in the press release.
- More losers than winners in a century of future Southern Ocean ... ›
- Climate Change and the Antarctic - Antarctic and Southern Ocean ... ›
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."