Weather News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Weather News Headlines - Yahoo! News

12/02/2016 05:00 PM
Domino’s Nixes Reindeer Delivery, Confirms Santa Doesn’t Exist

Domino’s Nixes Reindeer Delivery, Confirms Santa Doesn’t ExistNo matter how good you’ve been this year, reindeer aren’t coming to deliver your pizza. After brightening everyone’s spirits by announcing a Santa-esque reindeer-delivery program in Japan, Domino’s has abandoned the experiment. Domino’s Japan had been looking at reindeer delivery not as a novelty, but as a necessity with particularly harsh winter weather in the forecast.

12/02/2016 04:16 PM
A dreaded carbon time bomb lurks beneath your feet

A dreaded carbon time bomb lurks beneath your feetThere are many uncertainties when it comes to global warming, from how quickly the planet's ice sheets will melt to how global leaders will enact rapid emissions cuts. One nagging scientific uncertainty concerns a rather unsexy topic: the soil. As in, the ground beneath your feet.  There is growing concern that terrestrial soils, which are the Earth's largest reservoir of carbon outside of the oceans, will switch from being a net absorber of greenhouse gases to a net source.  This can happen as microbes in the soil break down organic matter more quickly, thereby releasing carbon dioxide. As Arctic soils warm, these microbes will go to work there for the first time, emitting what had been carbon frozen in the ground into the atmosphere. SEE ALSO: Bernie burns House Science Committee after devastating Breitbart tweet Now, a new study that examined 49 soil warming studies performed in North America, Europe and Asia, has determined that not only will soil carbon feedback be a major player in causing the world to warm faster and more extensively, but that the warming of the Arctic will play a particularly crucial role in determining how much carbon is released. This research is especially significant since gaining a better understanding of how much carbon will be released from the soils in future decades is critical for accurately predicting global warming in the first place.  The majority of the planet's terrestrial carbon is stored in the soil, where plants deposit it through photosynthesis. These soils release that carbon back to the atmosphere as carbon, methane and other greenhouse gases when organic matter decomposes.  Global warming will affect both the deposition and release of carbon, making the net result an important parameter for predicting future climate change.  For example, in the Arctic, a region warming at about twice the rate of the rest of the world, abundant amounts of soil carbon is currently locked away in frozen ground known as permafrost.  However, recent warming is thawing that permafrost, which is exposing more soils to microbial decay, and therefore increasing terrestrial emissions.  The study, published on Thursday in the journal Nature , found that so much carbon dioxide may be released from the globe's soils by the year 2050 that it would equal the emissions from the United States.  In other words, we not only have to worry about our own emissions from power plants, cars and other sources, but after a certain point in climate change, the planet itself will be a source of carbon. The new research, published by an international team of nearly 50 scientists, found that soil carbon losses from Arctic soils, where carbon amounts are especially high, are likely to tip the scale toward more carbon being lost from the planet's soils than plants can deposit through photosynthesis.  Smoke and steam are discharged from a chimney and cooling towers at a coal-fired power plant in Tongren city, China on March 8, 2016. Image: Jin yunguo - Imaginechina The study estimates a net release of 55 petagrams, or about 55 billion tons of carbon, if global warming is limited to 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to preindustrial levels. This means about a 17 percent boost on top of the amount that humans are likely to emit through 2050, the study found. Uncertainties in the estimates could mean that carbon emissions actually turn out to be much greater, or somewhat less, than projected in the paper. The key point, though — and it's an unsettling one — is that soils will go from a net sink of carbon dioxide to a net source, and a big one at that.  "Scientists have been concerned for many years that warming may initiate a reinforcing feedback whereby warmer soils emit more carbon," study author Thomas Crowther told Mashable via email.  "We provide the first study to confirm the existence of this feedback at a global scale, showing that will contribute to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over the next century," he added. As the study indicates, this soil feedback has not been incorporated into computer models used to project future climate change, raising the possibility that such models are underestimating the amount of warming that is likely to occur.  "There will be huge amounts of carbon emitted into the atmosphere over the next few decades, and this will undoubtedly contribute to on-going climate change," Crowther, who is a researcher at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, said.  He said, although uncertainties exist regarding the size of the soil feedback, these questions should not hinder us from acting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the meantime.  "If you walked out in front of a bus moving at 50 miles per hour, no doctor could tell you exactly how many bones you will break," he added. "But this medical uncertainty shouldn't discourage you from avoiding moving busses in the future. In the same way, know that climate change is going to be devastating. So we should do our best to avoid it." Some studies have shown that plant growth will accelerate in a world with more greenhouse gases and increased temperatures, but this may not be enough to offset the freeing up of carbon from soils.  However, scientists have been working to improve agricultural techniques in ways that enhance the absorption of carbon, which could help avoid a worst case scenario at least. BONUS: Google Earth Timelapse shows how man has altered the planet in 32 years

12/02/2016 03:27 PM
Obama expresses confidence in incoming U.N. chief Guterres

Obama delivers remarks to reporters as he welcomes Guterres in the Oval Office at the White House in WashingtonU.S. President Barack Obama on Friday said he was confident that United Nations secretary general-elect Antonio Guterres would be an effective leader of the international organization. "He has an extraordinary reputation," Obama told reporters ahead of his meeting at the White House with Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal. Noting that Guterres had led multilateral delegations at the highest levels, Obama said he had "great confidence" that Guterres would be able to ensure that the U.N. would be able to operate efficiently and effectively when taking on issues such as climate change and the international refugee crisis.

12/02/2016 02:32 PM
Here's the climate change podcast you didn't know you were looking for

Here's the climate change podcast you didn't know you were looking forAnyway, fast-forward almost 20 years and my obsession with human-made climate change has just gotten worse, as has climate change itself. Keep talking to people who don’t believe climate change is the biggest threat facing our future. It’s a great way to keep up with the latest climate change news and meet the people who are working in the field, doing research and making stuff happen.

12/02/2016 02:17 PM
As winter nears, Dakota Access faces frigid weather and costly delays

A couple stands lit by police lights near Backwater Bridge just outside of the Oceti Sakowin camp during ongoing demonstrations against the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North DakotaBy Liz Hampton and Ernest Scheyder HOUSTON (Reuters) - Delays to the Dakota Access Pipeline have added millions of dollars to Energy Transfer Partners' construction tab - but even if the line is approved, the freezing temperatures will bring their own challenges to finishing the drilling process. While the majority of the construction on the 1,100-mile (1,770 km) line is complete, work on a one-mile segment in North Dakota was halted in September following protests from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and others, who said it could desecrate sacred lands and contaminate drinking water. Construction equipment used to bore under rivers can break through any layer of frost, said Eric Hansen, the director of environmental services at Westwood Professional Services, a surveying and engineering firm in the U.S. upper Midwest.

12/02/2016 12:33 PM
Give children a say in the planet's future: prize winner
By Megan Rowling BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Children must be given a direct role in making decisions on how to protect the planet because they will suffer most from the impacts of climate change, said the winner of the 2016 International Children's Peace Prize. Kehkashan Basu, 16, from the United Arab Emirates, received the annual child rights award in the Hague on Friday, the first time it has been given to a young environmental activist. In 2013, the prize was won by Pakistani education campaigner Malala Yousafzai, who went on to become the youngest Nobel Peace laureate.
12/02/2016 11:31 AM
Teen eco activist spurs hope at children's peace prize award

Indian teenage environmental activist Kehkashan Basu receives the International Children's Peace Prize from Nobel Peace Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus in The Hague on December 2, 2016Award-winning teen environmental activist Kehkashan Basu said Friday ecologists should "not lose hope" in their battle to fight climate change, despite scepticism from world leaders including US President-elect Donald Trump. "These are uncertain times, but I want to tell people to continue their work and not bother about it," Basu, born in Dubai to Indian parents, told AFP in The Hague, where she was awarded the prestigious International Children's Peace Prize. World leaders, CEOs, negotiators and activists attending a UN conference earlier this month in Marrakesh voiced concern following the election of Trump, who has vowed to withdraw the US from a hard-won global agreement on climate change.

12/02/2016 11:05 AM
Ivanka the environmentalist? Maybe, maybe not
Ivanka Trump might be warming up to climate change. A source close to Ms. Trump recently told Politico that the president-elect's eldest daughter plans to address climate change, despite her father’s opposition to the issue. "Ivanka wants to make climate change – which her father has called a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese – one of her signature issues," writes Politico.
12/02/2016 11:02 AM
Freezing weather blamed for deaths, road delays in Poland

A lioness walks in her enclosure in the zoo in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, after a first snowfall this season. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Technicians worked across Poland to restore power to some 180,000 households on Friday as the freezing weather that has gripped the country for a month claimed two more lives.

12/02/2016 09:55 AM
House Science Committee's Breitbart tweet sets off double alarms for liberals
A US House Science Committee tweet promoting a climate-change denying article has raised questions about the future of climate science under the next administration. On Thursday, the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology shared an article from so-called alt-right news and opinion site Breitbart News. According to the article, climate change is driven entirely by weather events like El Niño and La Niña.

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