8/9/2023: The Great Lakes are heating up

Like the oceans, water in the Great Lakes is heating up as climate change progresses. Credit: NOAA

Featured research 

The Great Lakes are heating up
The Great Lakes in the U.S. Midwest have complex climate effects, and accurately modeling those effects can be difficult. New and improved models capture more of that complexity and reflect lake surface temperatures more accurately, revealing higher temperatures than previously estimated. [Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems research] 

Today’s high methane emission rates are similar to 20,000 years ago
Atmospheric methane has been increasing rapidly since 2006, and a new study finds that emissions from wetlands — particularly in the tropics — are partially responsible. Current methane rates are on par with the scale of methane release that occurred when the ice sheets melted at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, likely also due to wetland emissions. In both cases, rapid changes in methane emissions are linked to global climate swings. [Global Biogeochemical Cycles research] 

School greenery improves academic performance
Plant life surrounding schools is associated with higher academic performance at public schools in Santiago, Chile. The researchers suggest that vegetation around schools could reduce educational and environmental inequalities in the Global South’s urban areas. [GeoHealth research] 

Ground penetrating radar reveals lunar lava layers
China’s Chang’E-4 rover sent electromagnetic pulses into the Moon’s interior and uncovered layered lava flows and a crater beneath the surface. These layers of hardened lava are evidence of a series of basalt eruptions that took place billions of years ago. The layers become thinner as they near the surface, suggesting a decrease in eruption size over time. [JGR Planets research] 

US Gulf and northwest coasts most susceptible to high-tide floods
Sea level rise co-occurring with other sea-level processes (i.e., seasonal sea level variability, surge and other sea-level components) exacerbates high-tide flooding, a new study finds. These processes are increasing the magnitude and frequency of high-tide floods across the northwestern and Gulf coasts in particular. [JGR Oceans research]  

Spacecraft housekeeping sensors can scan for solar spray
Many spacecraft have devices to monitor the craft’s “health,” including the presence of solar energetic particles (i.e., protons, electrons and heavy ions). A new study reveals the unintended potential to use these “health monitors” as a vast network to detect bursts of solar energetic particles where monitors are otherwise absent. [Space Weather research]