Machines that suck carbon out of the air. Fertilizing the ocean with iron to stimulate phytoplankton. Spraying sulfate particles into the atmosphere to reflect the sun and cool the earth. These scenarios might sound like science fiction, but they are increasingly being considered by scientists as a potentially necessary tool in the fight against climate change.
Warnings about the climate change have gotten increasingly dire over the past decade. In its latest report, released earlier this month, the International Panel on Climate Change says mitigating the effects of global warming will require immediate action. But while a majority of Americans believe climate change is happening, most don’t think it will have an impact during their lifetime, and some think that’s why belief hasn’t necessarily translated into political will. The scientific community continues to push for action.
If you’ve found yourself putting on a sweater or light jacket on cool evenings this summer, you’ve probably wondered what’s going on with the weather. The polar vortex that visited us so harshly last winter made a return visit a few weeks ago, dropping temperatures below normal. It turns out that there’s at least one upside to climate change; one that could help our farm economy.
Most people are aware of the “sexy” greenhouse gas CO-2. Fewer know of its co-culprit nitrous oxide. The third-largest greenhouse gas, after carbon dioxide and methane, nitrous oxide is released in soil during a natural process. However, the increased use of nitrogen fertilizer in agriculture has resulted in a rise of nitrous oxide emissions.
Trying to determine the impacts of climate change is a difficult task. There are hundreds of different factors which could determine how communities are influenced. To more effectively understand the challenges associated with climate change, scientists are using system dynamics models. Current State’s Emanuele Berry spoke with Laura Schmitt-Olabisi, an ecologist and modeler at Michigan State University, about her latest project that explores how higher temperatures could impact Detroit.
Many scientists predict that as climate change becomes more extreme, dry and coastal regions around the globe will be heavily impacted by drought and rising sea levels. Entire communities could disappear.
On June 25, President Obama released a comprehensive plan to fight climate change.
The plan pointed out that last year was the warmest year on record for our country. While the efforts to fight against climate change continues, researchers seem to have found another reason to prevent climate change: violence.