Anthropogenic effects on greenhouse gas (CH4 and N2O) emissions in the Guadalete River Estuary (SW Spain)

by Rebecca Herrera

Burgos et al. (2014) discuss seasonal variations of the greenhouse gases methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in the Guadalete River Estuary ending in the Cadiz Bay of southwestern Spain. They found that greenhouse gas concentrations were higher in the more inland parts of the estuary compared to the mouth of the river. Concentrations of methane and nitrous oxide varied depending largely upon the seasonal precipitation regime. It was also observed that the Guadalete Estuary acted as a source, rather than a sink, of greenhouse gases throughout the entire year, as observed by measuring the fluxes of CH4 and N2O from the Estuary. Continue reading

Climate change and agricultural water resources: A vulnerability assessment of the Black Sea catchment

by Rebecca Herrera

Agriculture in the Black Sea catchment is a large share of the region’s economy and will experience a number of changes thanks to climate change. Bär et al. designed a new climate and agriculture assessment combining two popular techniques in order to better assess the vulnerability of the Black Sea catchment’s agriculture. By combining the DPSIR and the vulnerability concept, Bär et al. were able to see that rising temperatures, decreased precipitation, or both created different outcomes across the catchment. While plant growth conditions mostly improve across the Black Sea catchment with rising temperatures, decreased precipitation and decreased irrigation potential caused deteriorating agricultural conditions. Continue reading

Interdisciplinary Asessment of Sea-Level Rise and Climate Change Impacts on the lower Nile Delta, Egypt

by Rebecca Herrera

The Mediterranean region will continue to experience climate change in much of the same way as other arid regions around the world. Susnik et al. (2014) set our to find our how the Nile River delta in Egypt experiences more intense droughts and water shortages, rising regional temperatures, an increased frequency of flash flood events, and sea level rise. It is critical to understand of how these climactic changes will impact the people residing in the delta. Susnik et al. take an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to studying the effects of sea level rise (SLR) on the lower Nile delta and the greater Alexandria areas by analyzing the results of three complementary projects; which reveal that water overexploitation exacerbates land subsidence and accelerates saline intrusion of soils and groundwater which has radiating effects on employment as well as placing additional pressure on agricultural lands and regional development. Continue reading

Just Released! “Energy, Biology, Climate Change”

FrontCover6x9 white border 72dpi EBCC2015

Our newest book, published on May 6, 2015 and available at for $19.95.

The focus of this book is the interactions between energy, ecology, and climate change, as well as a few of the responses of humanity to these interactions. It is not a textbook, but a series of chapters discussing subtopics in which the authors were interested and wished to write about. The basic material is cutting-edge science; technical journal articles published within the last year, selected for their relevance and interest. Each author selected eight or so technical papers representing his or her view of the most interesting current research in the field, and wrote summaries of them in a journalistic style that is free of scientific jargon and understandable by lay readers. This is the sort of science writing that you might encounter in the New York Times, but concentrated in a way intended to give as broad an overview of the chapter topics as possible. None of this research will appear in textbooks for a few years, so there are not many ways that readers without access to a university library can get access to this information.

This book is intended be browsed—choose a chapter topic you like and read the individual sections in any order; each is intended to be largely stand-alone. Reading all of them will give you considerable insight into what climate scientists concerned with energy, ecology, and human effects are up to, and the challenges they face in understanding one of the most disruptive—if not very rapid—event in human history; anthropogenic climate change. The Table of Contents follows: Continue reading

Modeling the effects of Urbanization on Local Climates in the Pearl River Delta

by Rebecca Herrera

It has become clear that cities and other urban localities experience warmer temperatures than their rural counterparts. The urban heat islands of megatropolises can have more extreme effects on a specific area than global temperature rises have on the same area. This phenomena was studied by Wang et al. in the Pearl River Delta region of Southern China in the coastal zone of the Guangdong Province, an area that has experienced dramatic economic development over the last thirty years. The authors attempt to gain a more thorough and comprehensive understanding of the effects of urbanization on regional and local climactic indicators over an extended period of time. The results showed an overall average temperature increase, an decrease in daytime temperature ranges, a decrease in near surface water vapor quantities, a decrease in the annual number of precipitation days, an increase in annual precipitation, and a decrease in average wind speeds across urbanized zones. Continue reading

Modeling CO2 and CH4 Fluxes in the Arctic using Satellite data

by Rebecca Herrera

The peatlands and tundras of the Arctic perform vital ecosystem services to the earth through their ability to sequester carbon (CO2) and methane (CH4) and function as a carbon sink. The ability of the permafrost in the peatlands and tundra ecosystems of the Arctic to continue to function as a natural reservoir for carbon and methane may be disrupted by rising global temperatures that increase the rate of soil decomposition. Watts et al. (2014) integrate a terrestrial carbon flux (TCF) model to include a newly developed CH4 emissions algorithm. The new TCF model simultaneously assesses CO2 and CH4 fluctuations and the corresponding net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB), which is contingent upon gross primary productivity (GPP) subtracted from ecosystem respiration. The integrated TCF model uses data gathered through satellite remote sensors to assess fluxes in CO2 and CH4. Continue reading