Protracted groundwater depletion in California after drought – could 2016-17 be worse?
Many people were counting on the strong El Niño this winter to produce surplus water to recharge the groundwater and make up for what’s been pumped out due to the severe drought. However, a new study found that the groundwater level in California’s Central Valley has continued to decline even when drought has recovered.
Small island nations face drier conditions by mid-century
Future changes in freshwater availability are a major concern in the context of climate change. New research finds that overall changes to island freshwater balance will shift towards greater aridity for over 73% of 80 globally distributed island groups identified, impacting 16 million people by mid-century.
The warmest January and February in the Arctic
Right from the beginning of 2016 new records were set in the Arctic: warmest air temperature on record in both January and February, and the lowest sea ice cover in February. This year’s record high temperature and low sea ice cover increases concerns about what will happen next in the Arctic and globally under a changing climate.
Detection of anthropogenic ocean carbon sink emerges by mid-century
The ocean carbon sink is a cumulative net sink of anthropogenic carbon from the atmosphere, having absorbed 41% of all emissions due to fossil fuel and cement manufacturing. New research by McKinley et al. uses a climate model to estimate when growth of the carbon sink could be detected from the noise of the natural variability.
Role of Oceanic Heat in Sea Ice Loss in the New Arctic
The fate of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean in the coming years and decades is dependant upon our understanding of the complex ocean–ice–air interactions and feedbacks to the system. A new paper by Carmack et al. identifies the critical processes, key questions, and required elements for a research agenda to study this new Arctic environment.
The AMOC: its role in climate and its mechanisms of variability
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a large-scale circulation pattern in the Atlantic, plays a central role in climate through its heat and freshwater transports. New research proposes monitoring a specific region that may enable scientists to better predict AMOC variability and future climate.