Climate warming to boost major hurricanes in active Atlantic seasons

oceans on map of world

New NOAA research that looks at the devastating 2017 Atlantic hurricane season projects that if similar weather conditions occur in the future, it’s likely that the number of major hurricanes (category 3 and higher) would increase by two in a similar active year at the end of century. This increase would be driven by predicted … Continue reading Climate warming to boost major hurricanes in active Atlantic seasons

Half a degree more global warming could flood out 5 million more people

Car in water

By Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications The 2015 Paris climate agreement sought to stabilize global temperatures by limiting warming to well below 2.0 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue limiting warming even further, to 1.5 C. To quantify what that would mean for people living in coastal areas, a group of researchers employed … Continue reading Half a degree more global warming could flood out 5 million more people

New model projects an increase in dust storms in the US

By Pooja Makhijani for the Office of Communications Could the storms that once engulfed the Great Plains in clouds of black dust in the 1930's once again wreak havoc in the U.S.? A new statistical model developed by researchers at Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) … Continue reading New model projects an increase in dust storms in the US

Deep-sea corals reveal why atmospheric carbon was lower during the ice ages

By Robert Perkins, Caltech We know a lot about how carbon dioxide (CO2) levels can drive climate change, but how about the way that climate change can cause fluctuations in CO2 levels? New research from an international team of scientists reveals one of the mechanisms by which a colder climate was accompanied by depleted atmospheric … Continue reading Deep-sea corals reveal why atmospheric carbon was lower during the ice ages

Outlook for subtropical rainfall under climate change not so gloomy (Nature Climate Change)

By Diana Udel, University of Miami Terrestrial rainfall in the subtropics — including the southeastern United States — may not decline in response to increased greenhouse gases as much as it could over oceans, according to a study from Princeton University and the University of Miami (UM). The study challenges previous projections of how dry … Continue reading Outlook for subtropical rainfall under climate change not so gloomy (Nature Climate Change)

Ice cores reveal a slow decline in atmospheric oxygen over the last 800,000 years (Science)

By Morgan Kelly, Office of Communications Princeton University researchers have compiled 30 years of data to construct the first ice core-based record of atmospheric oxygen concentrations spanning the past 800,000 years, according to a paper published today in the journal Science. The record shows that atmospheric oxygen has declined 0.7 percent relative to current atmospheric-oxygen … Continue reading Ice cores reveal a slow decline in atmospheric oxygen over the last 800,000 years (Science)

Warm nights could flood the atmosphere with carbon under climate change (PNAS)

By Morgan Kelly, Office of Communications The warming effects of climate change usually conjure up ideas of parched and barren landscapes broiling under a blazing sun, its heat amplified by greenhouse gases. But a study led by Princeton University researchers suggests that hotter nights may actually wield much greater influence over the planet's atmosphere as … Continue reading Warm nights could flood the atmosphere with carbon under climate change (PNAS)

More rain leads to fewer trees in the African savanna (PNAS)

by Angela Page for the Princeton Environmental Institute In 2011, an influx of remote sensing data from satellites scanning the African savannas revealed a mystery: these rolling grasslands, with their heavy rainfalls and spells of drought, were home to significantly fewer trees than researchers had previously expected given the biome’s high annual precipitation. In fact, … Continue reading More rain leads to fewer trees in the African savanna (PNAS)

Grey Swans: Rare but predictable storms could pose big hazards (Nature Climate Change)

By John Sullivan, School of Engineering and Applied Science Researchers at Princeton and MIT have used computer models to show that severe tropical cyclones could hit a number of coastal cities worldwide that are widely seen as unthreatened by such powerful storms. The researchers call these potentially devastating storms Gray Swans in comparison with the … Continue reading Grey Swans: Rare but predictable storms could pose big hazards (Nature Climate Change)

On warmer Earth, most of Arctic may remove, not add, methane (ISME Journal)

By Morgan Kelly, Office of Communications In addition to melting icecaps and imperiled wildlife, a significant concern among scientists is that higher Arctic temperatures brought about by climate change could result in the release of massive amounts of carbon locked in the region's frozen soil in the form of carbon dioxide and methane. Arctic permafrost … Continue reading On warmer Earth, most of Arctic may remove, not add, methane (ISME Journal)