2008 Archived News and Events

Speed matters for ice shelf breaking
Dr. Richard Alley, Dr. Sridhar Anandakrishnan, and their associates have developed a new equation for determining where icebergs will calve off of ice sheets. They found that the rate at which the ice sheet is spreading is the most important factor in determining the location of the calving. This equation should help scientist develop better ice sheet models.

Sea level rise alters bay's salinity
ESSC scientist Dr. Raymond Najjar and his colleagues have been studying the Chesapeake Bay and possible effects of sea level rise on the bay's salinity and marine life. They found that sea level rise has increased salinity in the bay over the past 60 years.

Global Warming's Winners
Dr. Michael Mann discusses possible impacts on tourism from climate change. Some previously inaccessible areas may become tourist destinations, while heat waves may make currently popular destinations unpalatable.

Global warming linked to more powerful hurricanes
Two different recent research articles have shown that the earth is warming and this increased warming could mean an increase in hurricane intensity. This article summarizes the research with quotes from Dr. Michael Mann on his research.

The Singing Climatologist
Andrew Revkin of the New York Times' dotEarth blog profiles Dr. Richard Alley and his online course material mixing climate concepts and music.

The future of Earth's seas changes with the research tides
USAToday's Dan Vergano's Science Snapshot details the latest climate news including snippets about recent articles and books by Dr. Michael Mann.

Global warming greatest in the past decade
Dr. Michael Mann has recently published a new article in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences detailing the latest reconstructions of the temperature record for the past 1300 years. This research shows that the temperatures in the last decade are the warmest over this period.
Article from the Christian Science Monitor >>

College of EMS launches open educational resources initiative
Dr. Richard Alley, together with the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, have created a new web space for the public to access materials used for his popular course "Geology of the National Parks."

Tipping Point?
ESSC scientist Dr. Richard Alley is interviewed by the radio program Living on Earth. He talks about whether there is a "magic" number for carbon dioxide emissions and their implications.
Read the transcript or Listen >>

Saving Lives while Wildfires Burn
Research by ESSC Scientist Dr. Bernd Haupt was recently featured in an article and video by Ivanhoe Broadcast News: "Saving Lives while Wildfires Burn."
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See the article and video on Science Daily>>

Man-made warming altering Nature's clock
Scientific American covers a new study in Nature which looked at 839 geologic phenomena as well as over 30,000 changes in flora and fauna to discover that the changes are in line with scientists' predictions of an altered planet under global climate change. Dr. Michael Mann comments on the study.

Alley elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences
Dr. Richard Alley was recently elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences, a prestigious honor awarded to only a select few scientists.
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Kasting elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Dr. James Kasting was recently honored with election to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, another prestigious award for preeminent scientists.
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Time magazine April 28, 2008Climate Ethics and Real Climate named one of the Top Green web sites by Time magazine
Climate change blogs Climate Ethics (created by Penn State's Rock Ethics Institute) and Real Climate (co-founded by ESSC director Dr. Michael Mann) were among the Top 15 Green web sites recognized by Time magazine in the April 28, 2008 special environmental issue.
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The article in Time >>

Global Warming: the Greenland Factor
Business Week reports on a recent study showing that the ice sheets on Greenland are melting and sliding into the ocean faster than previously expected. Dr. Richard Alley comments on the latest study and its implications.
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Report recognizes Penn State
ESSC scientist Dr. Richard Alley comments on a recent report by the National Wildlife Federation recognizing Penn State's efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions
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Study observes insects to explain climate change
Researchers at Penn State have shown that changes in climate affect plant and insect life, using fossil records from the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Dr. Richard Alley comments on this research and on whether we should expect to see these kinds of effects on biology with future climate changes.
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Climate talk heats up at PSU
This article from the Centre Daily Times summarizes a recent forum sponsored by the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and features the five Penn State scientists who contributed to the latest IPCC report. Dr. Michael Mann, Dr. Richard Alley, and Dr. Klaus Keller were all part of this forum.

Will North Atlantic threshold response to ocean changes be enough?
Dr. Klaus Keller and his colleagues have been studying the threshold response of the meridional overturning circulation (MOC) to increasing greenhouse gases. While the projections show that a potentially catastrophic collapse of the MOC in the 21st century is unlikely, the triggers that would provoke such a collapse may be evident far sooner.