Here are some of the latest updates:
Ocean Temperatures Have Reached a Record-Breaking High
Our planet’s oceans are warmer than they’ve ever been in recorded human history. And ocean temperatures are not only increasing, they are heating up at an accelerating rate, according to a new analysis. In 2019, the ocean temperature was about 0.135 degrees Fahrenheit (0.075 degrees Celsius) higher than the average between 1981 and 2010, an international group of researchers reported on Jan. 13 in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences. “The amount of heat we have put in the world’s oceans in the past 25 years equals to 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom-bomb explosions,” lead author Lijing Cheng, associate professor with the International Center for Climate and Environmental Sciences at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), said in the statement.
Spy Satellite Images Uncover Staggering Mount Everest Ice Loss
The glaciers surrounding Mount Everest have lost far more ice than once thought, declassified spy satellite photos have revealed. Using these decades-old images — along with recently-collected data — researchers generated digital surface-elevation models of the glaciers, creating a highly detailed record of melt. From 1962 to 2018, the glaciers along Mount Everest’s flanks had shrunk significantly from the top down, according to research presented on Dec. 13, 2019, here at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
Scientists Racing to Figure Out Why Giant Glacier in Antarctica Is Melting So Fast
A robotic submarine is about to descend into a dark, water-filled cavern in Antarctica, to try to find out why one of the continent’s largest glaciers is melting so fast. In the next few days, scientists will lower the torpedo-shaped robot, dubbed Icefin, into a nearly 2,000-foot-long (600 meters) borehole in the ice of Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. Previously, scientists used Icefin robots to study the sea life beneath the ice in the Ross Sea off of Antarctica, but this new project has a different purpose.
Australia’s Fires Test Its Winning Growth Formula
Australia’s remarkable prosperity rests on a balancing act. It mines coal, natural gas and iron ore from a vulnerable landscape. It takes ever more money from China while allied with the American military. With devastating wildfires ripping through its countryside, that balance may become increasingly difficult to maintain. Australia’s leaders face growing pressure to address climate change, as scientists blame the country’s increasingly hot and dry conditions for the disastrous blazes. That would mean reckoning with Australia’s dependence on providing China and other countries with coal.