May 03, 2016

"A reduction in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans due to climate change is already discernible in some parts of the world and should be evident across large regions of the oceans between 2030 and 2040, according to a new study led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)."

AtmosNews: The study is published in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles, a publication of the American Geophysical Union. by Laura Snider

'Scientists know that a warming climate can be expected to gradually sap the ocean of oxygen, leaving fish, crabs, squid, sea stars, and other marine life struggling to breathe. But it's been difficult to determine whether this anticipated oxygen drain is already having a noticeable impact.

'"Loss of oxygen in the ocean is one of the serious side effects of a warming atmosphere, and a major threat to marine life," said NCAR scientist Matthew Long, lead author of the study. “Since oxygen concentrations in the ocean naturally vary depending on variations in winds and temperature at the surface, it's been challenging to attribute any deoxygenation to climate change. This new study tells us when we can expect the impact from climate change to overwhelm the natural variability."

'The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, NCAR's sponsor.'

"Finding forced trends in oceanic oxygen" by Matthew C. Long, Curtis Deutsch, and Taka Ito here

Mercury transit will occur between about 7:12 a.m. and 2:42 p.m. EDT on May 9, 2016...

"Researchers just uncovered an incredible fact about liquid water on Mars."

gizmodo: It’s not just flowing; it’s also boiling. And that discovery also solves one of the major mysteries about the surface of the red planet. by Ria Misra

'The results of a new experiment published today in Nature Geoscience detail how scientists made the finding and what it means. Researchers built a chamber simulating the conditions and atmosphere of Mars, then put ice in there to melt. The ice did melt and the water from it flowed—but there was also a surprise. The surface of the water boiled as it flowed, and that boiling was strong enough to move not just the water but also dirt and debris surrounding the streams. Importantly, temperature was not the major factor in this boiling water, it was due to the pressure of the atmosphere.

'“The atmospheric pressure on Mars is very low compared to that on the Earth, which means that water boils at a much lower temperature than it does on Earth,” co-author of the paper, Susan Conway, told Gizmodo. “On the Martian surface the pressure is five to 10 millibars meaning that liquid water boils no matter what the temperature is.”

'But, surely if the surface of Mars had boiling water etching out its plains, we would have seen it in more than just experimental conditions, right? That’s where the most exciting part of the research comes in. It turns out, we’ve already seen it happen. We just didn’t know what we were looking at.'

"In a groundbreaking achievement, China has developed the world's first graphene electronic paper that can possibly revolutionize the screen displays on electronic gadgets such as wearable devices and e-readers."

tech times: The material, touted as the world's first graphene electronic paper, is also the world's lightest and strongest material in prevalence today. By Deepthi B

'It has been developed by Guangzhou OED Technologies in partnership with another company in the Chongqing Province.

'The hype is real! At just 0.335 nanometers thick, the new material can be used to create hard or flexible graphene displays. Graphene e-paper comes with the capability to conduct both heat and electricity, and it can supposedly enhance optical displays to a brighter level, owing to its high-light transmittance properties.

'Graphene-based e-papers can be easily produced cost-effectively given that it is derived from carbon. Traditional e-papers, on the other hand, use indium metal for their display, which is very expensive and rare to source.

'Discovered in 2004, graphene can be described as an extremely thin layer of pure carbon - a single, tightly packed layer of carbon atoms bonded together in a hexagonal honeycomb lattice.'

"The number of climate refugees could increase dramatically in future." Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia have calculated that the Middle East and North Africa could become so hot that human habitability is compromised. via Max Planck Society

'The goal of limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius, agreed at the recent UN climate summit in Paris, will not be sufficient to prevent this scenario. The temperature during summer in the already very hot Middle East and North Africa will increase more than two times faster compared to the average global warming. This means that during hot days temperatures south of the Mediterranean will reach around 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit) by mid-century. Such extremely hot days will occur five times more often than was the case at the turn of the millennium. In combination with increasing air pollution by windblown desert dust, the environmental conditions could become intolerable and may force people to migrate.

'More than 500 million people live in the Middle East and North Africa - a region which is very hot in summer and where climate change is already evident. The number of extremely hot days has doubled since 1970. "In future, the climate in large parts of the Middle East and North Africa could change in such a manner that the very existence of its inhabitants is in jeopardy," says Jos Lelieveld, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and Professor at the Cyprus Institute.

'Lelieveld and his colleagues have investigated how temperatures will develop in the Middle East and North Africa over the course of the 21st century. The result is deeply alarming: Even if Earth's temperature were to increase on average only by two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times, the temperature in summer in these regions will increase more than twofold. By mid-century, during the warmest periods, temperatures will not fall below 30 degrees at night, and during daytime they could rise to 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit). By the end of the century, midday temperatures on hot days could even climb to 50 degrees Celsius (approximately 122 degrees Fahrenheit). Another finding: Heat waves could occur ten times more often than they do now.'

"Strongly increasing heat extremes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the 21st century" by J. Lelieveld, Y. Proestos, P. Hadjinicolaou, M. Tanarhte, E. Tyrlis, and G. Zittis here