Geology & Geophysics News

This Week: Climate Fixes, Hidden Currents, and Land Grabs

What Earth and space science stories are we recommending this week?

By

Even If We Start to Fix Climate Change, the Proof May Not Show Up for 30 Years. The positive effects of actions to mitigate climate change, namely, reducing humanity’s carbon emissions, likely won’t become apparent for a long time after they’re initiated. We’ve already put so much carbon into the skies that even large-scale emissions cutbacks now will take a while to dent high atmospheric concentrations and slow rising temperatures. Further, as researchers noted recently in Eos, there are natural feedbacks that may partially offset decreasing emissions. This article, which highlights a new study suggesting it could be decades before the effects of climate action become apparent, deftly conveys the science as well as the underlying concern of scientists and planners that a long lag between action and results could give the appearance that mitigation measures aren’t working—even when they are—thus undercutting public momentum and support for sustaining the measures. The message from the new study is daunting, but it’s one that bears repeating frequently to remind ourselves that we’re playing the long game in countering climate change.

Timothy Oleson, Science Editor

 

How a Hidden Ocean Circulates Beneath the Antarctic Ice. The words “hidden” and “ocean” are not two you’d think to put together, but apparently, scientists have found water circulating under Antarctica’s massive ice shelves. The discovery could help researchers understand how the icy continent will melt in a warming world. A great read.

Jenessa Duncombe, Staff Writer

 

The Threatened Tribe. I am checking out this story from Reuters on illegal gold mining operations on Yanomami lands in the Brazilian Amazon. It turns out that the story was based in part on some citizen science—ninth-grade students in Massachusetts looked through NASA satellite data for the illegal mining sites.
Naomi Lubick, International Editor

 

Land-Grab Universities.

Land-grant universities were built not just on Indigenous land, but with Indigenous land.…In fact, the grants were as big or bigger than major cities, and were often located hundreds or even thousands of miles away from their beneficiaries.” This is a dazzling piece of investigative reporting and should be unsettling to anyone affiliated with a land grant university or a resident of land looted to fund one. So, most Americans.

Caryl-Sue, Managing Editor

Citation: AGU (2020), This week: Climate fixes, hidden currents, and land grabs, Eos, 101, https://doi.org/10.1029/2020EO146950. Published on 10 July 2020.
Text © 2020. AGU. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
Except where otherwise noted, images are subject to copyright. Any reuse without express permission from the copyright owner is prohibited.