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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.
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By Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD
You've probably heard the buzz around collagen supplements and your skin by now. But is the hype really that promising? After all, research has pointed to both the benefits and downsides of collagen supplements — and for many beauty-conscious folk, collagen isn't vegan.
By Marlene Cimons
Neil Pederson's introduction to tree rings came from a "sweet and kindly" college instructor, who nevertheless was "one of the most boring professors I'd ever experienced," Pederson said. "I swore tree rings off then and there." But they kept coming back to haunt him.
By Daisy Brickhill
Each morning, men living in fishing communities along Ghana's coastline push off in search of the day's catch. But when the boats come back to shore, it's the women who take over.
By Sam Nickerson
Links between excess sugar in your diet and disease have been well-documented, but new research by Harvard's School of Public Health might make you even more wary of that next soda: it could increase your risk of an early death.
The study, published this week in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, found that drinking one or two sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) each day — like sodas or sports drinks — increases risk of an early death by 14 percent.
Tyson Foods Recalls Nearly 70,000 Pounds of Chicken Strips After Customers Find ‘Fragments of Metal’
Tyson Foods is recalling approximately 69,093 pounds of frozen chicken strips because they may have been contaminated with pieces of metal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday.
The affected products were fully-cooked "Buffalo Style" and "Crispy" chicken strips with a "use by" date of Nov. 30, 2019 and an establishment number of "P-7221" on the back of the package.
"FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers' freezers," the recall notice said. "Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."
Environmental exposure to pesticides, both before birth and during the first year of life, has been linked to an increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorder, according to the largest epidemiological study to date on the connection.
The study, published Wednesday in BMJ, found that pregnant women who lived within 2,000 meters (approximately 1.2 miles) of a highly-sprayed agricultural area in California had children who were 10 to 16 percent more likely to develop autism and 30 percent more likely to develop severe autism that impacted their intellectual ability. If the children were exposed to pesticides during their first year of life, the risk they would develop autism went up to 50 percent.