Global species loss could be halved

Extinction risk could decrease by more than 50% if at least 30% of land were to be conserved across the tropics, a new study reveals.

Seeds in Tibet face impacts from climate change

Seeds offer a level of resilience to the harmful effects of climate change in ecosystems across the globe. When seeds are dropped into the soil, often becoming dormant for many years until they are ready to grow into plants, ...

How climate change reduced the flow of the Colorado River

The massive Colorado River, which provides water for seven US states, has seen its flow reduced by 20 percent over the course of a century—and more than half of that loss is due to climate change, according to new research ...

Veggie-loving fish could be the new white meat

A secret to survival amid rising global temperatures could be dwelling in the tidepools of the U.S. West Coast. Findings by University of California, Irvine biologists studying the genome of an unusual fish residing in those ...

Predicting 50,000 years of bird migrations

Neither wind, nor rain—nor massive sheets of ice—have kept Earth's birds from their appointed rounds of migrating to better climes, according to a new study.

How did dinosaur parents know when their kids had a fever?

From the time that dinosaur fossils were first discovered, these creatures have fascinated scientists and laypeople alike. In the academic world, their remains provide important clues into the prehistoric world; in popular ...

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Climate

Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and numerous other meteorological elements in a given region over long periods of time. Climate can be contrasted to weather, which is the present condition of these same elements over periods up to two weeks.

The climate of a location is affected by its latitude, terrain, altitude, ice or snow cover, as well as nearby water bodies and their currents. Climates can be classified according to the average and typical ranges of different variables, most commonly temperature and rainfall. The most commonly used classification scheme is the one originally developed by Wladimir Köppen. The Thornthwaite system, in use since 1948, incorporates evapotranspiration in addition to temperature and precipitation information and is used in studying animal species diversity and potential impacts of climate changes. The Bergeron and Spatial Synoptic Classification systems focus on the origin of air masses defining the climate for certain areas.

Paleoclimatology is the study and description of ancient climates. Since direct observations of climate are not available before the 19th century, paleoclimates are inferred from proxy variables that include non-biotic evidence such as sediments found in lake beds and ice cores, and biotic evidence such as tree rings and coral. Climate models are mathematical models of past, present and future climates.

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