Climate change is driving plant die-offs in Southern California, UCI study finds

Irvine, Calif., June 21, 2021 – A shift is happening in Southern California, and this time it has nothing to do with earthquakes. According to a new study by scientists at the University of California, Irvine, climate change is altering the number of plants populating the region’s deserts and mountains. Using data from the Landsat satellite mission and focusing on an area of nearly 5,000 square miles surrounding Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the research team found that between 1984 and 2017, vegetation cover in desert ecosystems decreased overall by about 35 percent, with mountains seeing a 13 percent vegetation decline.

Catastrophic Sea-Level Rise from Antarctic Melting is Possible with Severe Global Warming

The Antarctic ice sheet is much less likely to become unstable and cause dramatic sea-level rise in upcoming centuries if the world follows policies that keep global warming below a key 2015 Paris climate agreement target, according to a Rutgers coauthored study. But if global warming exceeds the target – 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) – the risk of ice shelves around the ice sheet’s perimeter melting would increase significantly, and their collapse would trigger rapid Antarctic melting. That would result in at least 0.07 inches of global average sea-level rise a year in 2060 and beyond, according to the study in the journal Nature.

Paying for emissions we’ve already released

The planet is committed to global warming in excess of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6°F) just from greenhouse gases that have already been added to the atmosphere. This is the conclusion of new research by scientists from Nanjing University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Texas A&M University, which appears in the latest edition of Nature Climate Change.

5G Wireless May Lead to Inaccurate Weather Forecasts

Upcoming 5G wireless networks that will provide faster cell phone service may lead to inaccurate weather forecasts, according to a Rutgers study on a controversial issue that has created anxiety among meteorologists.

How to Get a Handle on Carbon Dioxide Uptake by Plants

How much carbon dioxide, a pivotal greenhouse gas behind global warming, is absorbed by plants on land? It’s a deceptively complicated question, so a Rutgers-led group of scientists recommends combining two cutting-edge tools to help answer the crucial climate change-related question.

China’s ecological restoration projects deplete terrestrial water stores

Irvine, Calif., Sept. 10, 2020 – Through concerted, policy-driven efforts, China has converted large swaths of desert into grassland over the past few decades, but this success has come at a cost. In a study published recently in Nature Sustainability, scientists at the University of California, Irvine report that the Asian nation’s environmental reclamation programs have substantially diminished terrestrially stored water.

Scientists look to space to track plant pathogens coasting through atmosphere

To better understand how plant pathogens that travel the globe with dust particles might put crops at risk, a Cornell University-led team of scientists will use data from NASA’s Earth Observing Satellites to identify areas of potential disease and track plumes of dust that traverse the globe.

Rutgers Climatologist Can Discuss Role of Snow in Climate System

New Brunswick, N.J. (June 15, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor David A. Robinson is available for interviews on the role of snow in the climate system, snow variability and the extent of snow cover during the satellite era. “The extent of snow on…

Greenland shed ice at unprecedented rate in 2019; Antarctica continues to lose mass

Irvine, Calif., March 18, 2020 – During the exceptionally warm Arctic summer of 2019, Greenland lost 600 billion tons of ice, enough to raise global sea levels by 2.2 millimeters in two months. On the opposite pole, Antarctica continued to lose mass in the Amundsen Sea Embayment and Antarctic Peninsula but saw some relief in the form of increased snowfall in Queen Maud Land, in the eastern part of the continent.

3D-Printed Plastics With High Performance Electrical Circuits

Rutgers engineers have embedded high performance electrical circuits inside 3D-printed plastics, which could lead to smaller and versatile drones and better-performing small satellites, biomedical implants and smart structures. They used pulses of high-energy light to fuse tiny silver wires, resulting in circuits that conduct 10 times more electricity than the state of the art, according to a study in the journal Additive Manufacturing. By increasing conductivity 10-fold, the engineers can reduce energy use, extend the life of devices and increase their performance.