Featured Project 2019

High‐resolution climate projections for the northeastern U.S.

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Earth system models are able to simulate the interactions of the atmosphere, ocean, land, ice, and biosphere to estimate the state of the global climate under a variety of conditions and for past, present, and future time periods. These models, however, are not able to provide detailed analysis of climate change at regional and local…

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Tropical rainforest

Amazonian peatlands could shift from a carbon sink to a carbon source under a changing climate

Thursday, August 1st, 2019

Amazonian peatlands store a large amount of soil organic carbon (SOC). These natural carbon “sinks” keep carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere, and, when left undisturbed, peatlands store more carbon dioxide than all other vegetation types on Earth combined.  But when they are drained and deforested, they can release large amounts of heat-trapping gases…

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Reconstruction of past climate provides clues about future climate change

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Sediment cores drilled from the seafloor by the JOIDES Resolution research vessel helped researchers create a timeline of temperature throughout the Eocene. New research results indicate that greenhouse gases were the main driver of climate change throughout the Eocene, a period of time between 56 million years and 34 million years ago, and a time that…

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The growing risk to the U.S. electricity grid

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

A secure and resilient electric grid is vital to national security, a strong economy, and critical services like those provided by water utilities and hospitals. As the demand for power continues to grow, the aging U.S. grid is being stretched to capacity. Moreover, supply risk can result from climate-induced shifts in electricity use and/or damaged…

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The ecology of peace: preparing Colombia for new political and planetary climates

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Current efforts for achieving peace in Colombia and ongoing changes in global climate will combine to shape the future of Colombia’s tropical forests, one of Earth’s biodiversity hotspots. A new paper led by Alejandro Salazar (PhD 2017, Biological Sciences; currently a postdoc researcher at the University of Iceland) examines the potential impacts of these transformative events,…

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zhagana moutain

Pathways to smallholder adaptation to climate change

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Smallholder farmers across the globe are vulnerable to environmental, climatic, and weather-related stress. Future changes in climatic conditions are expected to both exacerbate existing challenges and create new ones for smallholders.  Adaptation strategies offer opportunities to adjust agriculture and agricultural livelihoods to the impacts of a changing climate, but professor Zhao Ma’s (Forestry and Natural Resources) work shows that the…

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house damaged by hurricane

A rapid assessment of damaged residential buildings in the Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

With maximum winds of 185 miles per hour, Irma was the most powerful hurricane in recorded history to exist in the Atlantic Ocean outside of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Irma sustained those maximum winds speeds for 37 hours and spent three consecutive days as a category 5 hurricane, making it the longest of…

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soil

Understanding changes in soil organic carbon

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Knowledge of how soil organic carbon (SOC) content changes within a landscape and over time will help improve our understanding of both how agricultural practices contribute to climate change and how climate change affects agriculture. Changes to both shallow and deep SOC result from belowground transformations such as microbial decomposition and addition of plant material,…

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ice fishing

Climate change implications for tourism in the U.S. Great Lakes and Midwest

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Because the Great Lakes are so large and deep, they influence local and regional weather and climate, which, in turn, influence things like agricultural practices, shipping, and tourism. Winter tourism, for instance, is highly dependent on temperature, snow cover, snowfall, length of the snow season, and the presence or absence of snow during winter holidays….

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lake michigan

Lake Evaporation in the Atmosphere Project (LEAP)

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

As the climate continues to warm, better understanding of regional climate dynamics is becoming ever more important, both for improved severe weather forecasting and long-term climate projections. A key limitation in the Midwest region, however,  is our ability to model the Great Lakes system. Because the Great Lakes are so expansive, they are a large…

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