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Wildfire Expert Available to Comment on Earth Hour, Carbon Emissions

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EMBARGOED

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 30-Mar-2015 3:00 PM EDT

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Antarctic Ice Shelves Rapidly Thinning

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A new study led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego researchers has revealed that the thickness of Antarctica’s floating ice shelves has recently decreased by as much as 18 percent in certain areas over nearly two decades, providing new insights on how the Antarctic ice sheet is responding to climate change.

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No Baked Beans: Surprising Discovery of Elite Heat-Tolerant Beans Could Save “Meat of the Poor” from Global Warming

Amidst fears that global warming could zap a vital source of protein that has sustained humans for centuries, bean breeders with the CGIAR global agriculture research partnership announced today the discovery of 30 new types, or lines as plant breeders refer to them, of “heat-beater” beans that could keep production from crashing in large swaths of bean-dependent Latin America and Africa.

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Rise of Marine Diatoms Linked to Vast Increase in Continental Weathering

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A team of researchers, including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor Morgan Schaller, has used mathematical modeling to show that continental erosion over the last 40 million years has contributed to the success of diatoms, a group of tiny marine algae that plays a key role in the global carbon cycle. The research was published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Computer Sims: In Climatic Tug of War, Carbon Released From Thawing Permafrost Wins Handily

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There will be a lot more carbon released from thawing permafrost than the amount taken in by more Arctic vegetation, according to new computer simulations conducted by Berkeley Lab scientists.

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Scientists Find Tropical Cyclone Size Controlled By Relative Sea-Surface Temperatures

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A team of scientists including Minghua Zhang, Dean and Director of Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS), have found that the size of tropical cyclones is controlled by their underlying sea-surface temperatures (SST) relative to the conditions of the mean SST within the surrounding tropical zone of the storms. Their findings, published early online in Nature Communications, imply that under a warmer climate, the size of tropical cyclones (including hurricanes), are not based on the absolute value of SST alone.

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A Better Way of Scrubbing CO2

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Berkeley Lab researchers have discovered a means by which the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-fired power plants might one day be done far more efficiently and at far lower costs than today. By appending a diamine molecule to the sponge-like solid materials known as metal-organic-frameworks (MOFs), the researchers were able to more than triple the CO2-scrubbing capacity of the MOFs, while significantly reducing parasitic energy.

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Climate Change Could Drive Rise in Debilitating Disease

The study, published in Emerging Microbes and Infections, found a strong link between Buruli ulcer outbreaks in French Guiana, in South America, and changes in complex rainfall patterns, including extreme rainfall events driven by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

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Ponds are Disappearing in the Arctic

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Ponds in the Arctic tundra are shrinking and slowly disappearing, according to a new study by University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) researchers. More than 2,800 Arctic tundra ponds in the northern region of Alaska’s Barrow Peninsula were analyzed using historical photos and satellite images taken between 1948 and 2010. Over the 62-year period, the researchers found that the number of ponds in the region had decreased by about 17 percent, while pond size had shrunk by an average of one-third.