Climate

By Lauren Ghelardini and Hayley Martinez

The U.S. corn belt and many other regions around the world may be at greater risk of drought by 2100 as warmer temperatures wring more moisture from the soil. (Cathy Haglund, Flickr)

Increasing heat is expected to extend dry conditions to far more farmland and cities by the end of the century than changes in rainfall alone, says a new study.

by Michael Shirber, for Astrobiology Magazine Wind and dust conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa can help predict a meningitis epidemic. Determining the role of climate in the spread of certain diseases can assist health officials in “forecasting” epidemics.

In something as tiny as a speck of dust lies the potential to change earth’s climate. When winds blow iron-rich dust off the continents, they give the plant-like algae floating on the surface of the oceans added nutrients to grow faster.

The R/V Polarstern during cruise ANTXXVI/2. Photo: Jürgen Gossler, Alfred-Wegener-Institut

In spring 2010, the research icebreaker Polarstern returned from the South Pacific with a scientific treasure—ocean sediments from a largely unexplored part of the vast, remote ocean that surrounds Antarctica—the Southern Ocean.

Sonya Dyhrman’s interest in marine biology began when she was a child, exploring tidal pools with her grandfather on the coast near her Tacoma.

As a scientist, Sean Solomon has studied Mercury, Venus and Mars. Now he heads Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, whose researchers study planet Earth, from its deepest ocean to its highest peak.

The year since Hurricane Sandy blew ashore in the New York area has been one of rebuilding and searching for how best to prevent the level of destruction and death it brought with it.

A recent slowdown in global warming has led some skeptics to renew their claims that industrial carbon emissions are not causing a century-long rise in Earth’s surface temperatures.

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