Satellites use chlorophyll's green color to detect biological activity in the oceans. The lighter-green swirls are a massive December 2010 plankton bloom following ocean currents off Patagonia, at the southern tip of South America. Credits: NASA's Earth Observatory

Another unknown climate feedback – plankton blooms create brighter clouds

Marine plankton brighten clouds over Southern Ocean From the NASA/GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER New research using NASA satellite data and ocean biology models suggests tiny organisms in vast stretches of the Southern Ocean play a significant role in generating brighter clouds overhead. Brighter clouds reflect more sunlight back into space affecting the amount of solar…

Jet contrails as seen by satellite. Credit NASA Langley Research Center

No surprise here: Jet contrails affect surface temperatures

From Penn State High in the sky where the cirrus ice crystal clouds form, jet contrails draw their crisscross patterns. Now researchers have found that these elevated ice cloud trails can influence temperatures on the ground and affect local climate, according to a team of Penn State geographers. Video follows. “Research done regarding September 2001,…


The Role of Sulfur Dioxide Aerosols in Climate Change

Guest essay by Buel Henry In 2007, the Nobel Prize for Peace was awarded to Albert Gore and the IPCC for their work in promoting the theory that global warming was caused by green-house gasses, and that, based upon computer simulations, increasing amounts of these gasses in the atmosphere would cause runaway warming, with disastrous…

Figure 4 in B.A. Black et al.: This image shows annually averaged temperature anomalies in excess of 3°C for the first year after the Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) eruption compared with spatial distribution of hominin sites with radiocarbon ages close to that of the eruption.

B.A. Black et al. and the journal Geology

Claim: Did volcanic induced climate change wipe out Neanderthals 40,000 years ago?

From the Geological Society of America: Boulder, Colo., USA – The Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) eruption in Italy 40,000 years ago was one of the largest volcanic cataclysms in Europe and injected a significant amount of sulfur-dioxide (SO2) into the stratosphere. Scientists have long debated whether this eruption contributed to the final extinction of the Neanderthals.…


UI researchers link smoke from fires to tornado intensity

Can smoke from fires intensify tornadoes? Study finds smoke from Central America intensified 2011 tornadoes “Yes,” say University of Iowa researchers, who examined the effects of smoke–resulting from spring agricultural land-clearing fires in Central America–transported across the Gulf of Mexico and encountering tornado conditions already in process in the United States. The UI study, published…