Scientists and government representatives are meeting in Stockholm this week to produce the latest high-level review of climate change. It's thousands of pages of material, and if it's done right, it should harbor very few surprises.
That's because it's supposed to compile what scientists know — and what they don't — about climate change. And that's left some scientists to wonder whether these intensive reviews are still the best way to go.
The effects of climate change often happen on a large scale, like drought or a rise in sea level. In the hills outside Missoula, Mont., wildlife biologists are looking at a change to something very small: the snowshoe hare.
Life as snowshoe hare is pretty stressful. For one, almost everything in the forest wants to eat you.
Alex Kumar, a graduate student at the University of Montana, lists the animals that are hungry for hares.
"Lynx, foxes, coyotes, raptors, birds of prey. Interestingly enough, young hares, their main predator is actually red squirrels."
Glaciers in the Alps of Europe pose a scientific mystery. They started melting rapidly back in the 1860s. In a span of about 50 years, some of the biggest glaciers had retreated more than half a mile.
But nobody could explain the glacier's rapid decline. Now, a new study from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory uncovers a possible clue to why the glaciers melted before temperatures started rising: Soot from the Industrial Revolution could have heated up the ice.
A study in the journal Nature could help explain why the Earth's average temperature hasn't increased during the past 15 years — despite a long-term trend of global warming.
The Earth's average temperature has risen by more than 1 degree Fahrenheit since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. But the temperature rise has not been moving in lock step with the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide — mainly from burning fossil fuels — traps heat in the air.
Drought and forest management are big topics in Colorado. More so, following this summer's destructive Black Forest Fire and the 2012 fire season. Penn State Professor Matthew Hurteau explains more on climate's link to fires in this video.
"Well, with prolonged drought, what you're doing is priming the system to make it more flammable. The other side is that we got roughly a century of fire suppression policy. So now, what used to be open forest is pretty closed canopy forest, so there's a lot more trees." - Matthew Hurteau