New research model predicts rapid melting of Antarctic ice sheet by 2100

From The New York Times
By Justin Gillis
For half a century, climate scientists have seen the West Antarctic ice sheet, a remnant of the last ice age, as a sword of Damocles hanging over human civilization.
The great ice sheet, larger than Mexico, is thought to be potentially vulnerable to disintegration from a relatively small amount of global warming, and capable of raising the sea level by 12 feet or more should it break up. But researchers long assumed the worst effects ...

Protecting tiny, blind, and rare wildlife in the Texas Hill Country

From National Geographic
By Randy Lee Loftis

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS  A ritual of nature is happening in the woody hills around Austin and San Antonio. The first golden-cheeked warblers, with brilliant yellow faces streaked with black, have arrived from Mexico and Central America to raise their young.

The Texas Hill Country is the only place on Earth where this little songbird, an endangered species, makes its nest. The region’s canyons, springs, and caverns also house 16 other ...

NYT’s: Perilous climate shift within decades, not centuries

From The New York TImes
The nations of the world agreed years ago to try to limit global warming to a level they hoped would prove somewhat tolerable. But a group of leading climate scientists warned on Tuesday that permitting a warming of that magnitude would actually be highly dangerous.
The likely consequences would include killer storms stronger than any in modern times, the disintegration of large parts of the polar ice sheets, and a rise of the sea sufficient ...

Water professor Stephen Schoenholtz attends White House Water Summit

From VT News
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Tuesday is World Water Day, and the White House is bringing the issues of water to the public forefront at a special Water Summit. Stephen Schoenholtz, coordinator of Virginia Tech’s new bachelor’s degree in water: resources, policy, and management, will present the university’s commitment to water sustainability and security at the summit.
The event will be live-streamed beginning at 9 a.m. ET on March 22.
The White House Office of Science and Technology selected Virginia Tech as ...

IGC IGEP participates in the Gilbert Linkous Elementary Science Fair

By Heather Govenor
It was a big night for little scientists at the Gilbert Linkous Elementary School Science Fair on March 16, 2016, where there was no shortage of creativity or enthusiasm! The annual science fair features the research of kindergarten through 5th graders, and is fast becoming a favorite IGC Spring outreach opportunity. Fellows Tamara Fetters, Kaan Kerman, and Julie Wiemerslage served as judges, evaluating the scientific thought process and presentation skills of the young participants. Nearby, Matt Aberle, ...

Video: A stunning look at carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

An ultra-high-resolution NASA computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe.
Plumes of carbon dioxide in the simulation swirl and shift as winds disperse the greenhouse gas away from its sources. The simulation also illustrates differences in carbon dioxide levels in the northern and southern hemispheres and distinct swings in global carbon dioxide concentrations as the growth cycle of plants and trees changes with the seasons.
The ...

Warmer world, fewer vegetables

By Maryn McKenna at National Geographic
Concerns about climate change have caused researchers to warn that rising global temperatures will reduce crop yields and create food insecurity, the inability to get enough calories to survive. Now, scholars from the United Kingdom and the United States have revealed another possible result: an increase in deaths not just from hunger, but from chronic diseases that would be made worse as diets change.
Writing in the medical journal The Lancet, the researchers from Oxford University and the International Food Policy Research ...

Join us for an upcoming EEB Seminar featuring Dr. John Little

The Global Change Center at Virginia Tech is co-sponsoring a special EEB Seminar featuring Dr. John Little, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Assessing and Enhancing Environmental Sustainability:
A brief review and proposal for a common interdisciplinary framework
Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 3:30 pm
Fralin Hall Auditorium
Dr. John C. Little is the Charles E. Via Jr. Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. Little is a nationally and internationally recognized faculty member whose research focuses on two areas, indoor air ...