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New Source of Natural Fertilizer Discovered in Oceans

Description: New findings suggest that the deep ocean is teeming with organisms that produce essential natural fertilizers. A National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research team led by Jonathan Zehr, a marine scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has discovered a previously unknown type of photosynthetic bacteria that fixes nitrogen, converting nitrogen from the atmosphere into a form other organisms can use.
Date: August 8, 2001
Creator: National Science Foundation (U.S.). Office of Legislative and Public Affairs.

Climate change

Description: The Earth's climate has not been constant over geological time. This record is contained in ice, which has built up as snowfall accumulated in distinct yearly layers. Pockets of air trapped between the snow crystals contain traces of past atmospheres, which in turn tell us about the climate at the time the snow formed. Glaciologists collect this record by drilling ice cores and then use sensitive chemical techniques to analyse the layers.
Date: 2003
Creator: British Antactic Survey

DIVERSITAS Science Plan

Description: This Science Plan is mainly concerned with the current extinction crisis on Earth, which, unlike its predecessors, is occurring at an unprecedented rate, is the direct result of human activities and is occurring at all levels at which diversity is measured - from the genetic diversity of many natural and domesticated species to the diversity of ecosystems and landscapes, through the tremendous richness of species. Current human-induced rates of species extinction are estimated to be about 1,000 times greater than past background rates. Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth. Scientists commonly measure and describe this variety at the level of genes, species and ecosystems, but scientific interest in biodiversity goes far beyond describing and measuring it. The DIVERSITAS programme was founded to address the scientific questions that need to be answered in order to understand how biodiversity supports life on Earth, what the impacts of the present loss of biodiversity are for human and ecosystem survival and how humans can sustainably use and conserve biodiversity.
Date: September 2002
Creator: DIVERSITAS

Ozone

Description: The term "ozone depletion" means more than just the natural destruction of ozone, it means that ozone loss is exceeding ozone creation.
Date: 2002
Creator: NASA Earth Observatory

Ozone

Description: The amount and distribution of ozone molecules in the stratosphere varies greatly over the globe. Ozone molecules are transported around the stratosphere much as water clouds are transported in the troposphere. Therefore, scientists observing ozone fluctuations over just one spot could not know whether a change in local ozone levels meant an alteration in global ozone levels, or simply a fluctuation in the concentration over that particular spot. Satellites have given scientists the ability to overcome this problem because they provide a picture of what is happening daily over the entire Earth.
Date: 2002
Creator: NASA Earth Observatory

The U.S. Climate Change Science Program Vision for the Program and Highlights of the Scientific Strategic Plan

Description: The vision document provides an overview of the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) long-term strategic plan to enhance scientific understanding of global climate change.This document is a companion to the comprehensive Strategic Plan for the Climate Change Science Program.
Date: July 2003
Creator: Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research

WIREC 2008 Ministerial Bulletin: A summary report of the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference 2008

Description: The Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC 2008) convened from 4-6 March 2008, at the Washington, DC Convention Center in the US. WIREC 2008 consisted of a Ministerial Meeting, a business conference, a trade show exhibition and side events. More than 3000 participants from 118 countries registered for the Ministerial Meeting, including approximately 100 ministerial representatives. This Bulletin reports on the Ministerial Meeting events.
Date: April 11, 2008
Creator: Schulman, Mark

Weather and Highways: Report of a Policy Forum

Description: This report of a policy forum on "Weather and Highways" presents recommendations that, if implemented, could offer considerable benefits to the safety of the nation's traveling public and the national economy by supporting the effective application of weather information services to the operation of our road systems. The AMS Atmospheric Policy Program developed this forum to address the issues connected with effective use of road weather information. The participants included nearly 100 public, private, and academic representatives of weather information providers; transportation managers and users; and policy makers knowledgeable about the nation's highway system.
Date: 2004
Creator: Atmospheric Policy Program American Meteorological Society

Fiscal Year 2005- 2006 Accelerated Research on Global Climate Observations Fact Sheet

Description: Coincident with the release of the Climate Change Science Program strategic plan, the Administration announces plans for the acceleration of select high priority research projects and climate observations. These activities contribute to filling critical knowledge gaps identified in the plan (aerosols, oceans and the natural carbon cycle). The selected investments have been coordinated among the agencies to maximize the overall impact. Funding will be reallocated from lower priority areas to enable these critical investments.
Date: 2003
Creator: Climate Change Science Program

The ozone hole

Description: Discovery of the hole in the ozone layer showed that human activity can have major, and often unexpected impacts on the planet. The destruction of ozone in the stratosphere high above the planet's surface has been brought about as the result of the widespread use of chemicals which under normal conditions are chemically inert and harmless
Date: 2003
Creator: British Antactic Survey

Ozone

Description: Although it represents only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, ozone is crucial for life on Earth. Depending on where ozone resides, it can protect or harm life on Earth.
Date: 2002
Creator: NASA Earth Observatory

Ozone

Description: In the stratosphere, ozone is created primarily by ultraviolet radiation. When high-energy ultraviolet rays strike ordinary oxygen molecules (O2), they split the molecule into two single oxygen atoms, known as atomic oxygen. A freed oxygen atom then combines with another oxygen molecule to form a molecule of ozone. There is so much oxygen in our atmosphere, that these high-energy ultraviolet rays are completely absorbed in the stratosphere.
Date: 2002
Creator: NASA Earth Observatory

Energy Policy Act

Description: The Energy Policy Act (EPA) addresses energy production in the United States, including: (1) energy efficiency; (2) renewable energy; (3) oil and gas; (4) coal; (5) Tribal energy; (6) nuclear matters and security; (7) vehicles and motor fuels, including ethanol; (8) hydrogen; (9) electricity; (10) energy tax incentives; (11) hydropower and geothermal energy; and (12) climate change technology. For example, the Act provides loan guarantees for entities that develop or use innovative technologies that avoid the by-production of greenhouse gases. Another provision of the Act increases the amount of biofuel that must be mixed with gasoline sold in the United States.
Date: January 4, 2005
Creator: United States. Congress.

Endangered Species Act of 1973

Description: The Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides a program for the conservation of threatened and endangered plants and animals and the habitats in which they are found. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) of the Department of the Interior maintains a worldwide list which, as of Feb. 20, 2008, included 1574 endangered species (599 are plants) and 351 threatened species (148 are plants). Species include birds, insects, fish, reptiles, mammals, crustaceans, flowers, grasses, and trees. Anyone can petition FWS to include a species on this list. The law requires federal agencies, in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service, to ensure that actions they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat of such species. The law also prohibits any action that causes a "taking" of any listed species of endangered fish or wildlife. Likewise, import, export, interstate, and foreign commerce of listed species are all generally prohibited.
Date: January 24, 2002
Creator: United States. Congress. House.

Antarctic fact-file

Description: Antarctica is a continent for science. All countries working in Antarctica carry out scientific research, in a surprising range of physical and biological sciences, from the vastness of space to the minute scale of micro-organisms. Activities are regulated by the Antarctic Treaty, which has been in force since 1959 and is signed by all countries operating there. The Treaty reserves the continent for peaceful purposes, and all military and industrial activities are banned.
Date: 2003
Creator: British Antactic Survey

More El Niños May Mean More Rainfall Extremes

Description: Researchers at NASA and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), studying changes in tropical precipitation patterns, have noted a higher frequency of El Niños and La Niñas over the last 21 years. In addition, when either of those events occur, the world can expect more months with unusually high or low precipitation with droughts more common than floods over land areas.
Date: January 16, 2001
Creator: Earth Observatory

Effects of Climate Change on Energy Production and Use in the United States

Description: This document, part of the Synthesis and Assessment Products described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan. Climate affects the design, construction, safety, operations, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure and systems. The prospect of a changing climate raises critical questions regarding how alterations in temperature, precipitation, storm events, and other aspects of the climate could affect the nation's roads, airports, rail, transit systems, pipelines, ports, and waterways. Phase I of this regional assessment of climate change and its potential impacts on transportation systems addresses these questions for the region of the U.S. central Gulf Coast between Galveston, Texas and Mobile, Alabama. This region contains multimodal transportation infrastructure that is critical to regional and national transportation services. Historical trends and future climate scenarios were used to establish a context for examining the potential effects of climate change on all major transportation modes within the region. Climate changes anticipated during the next 50 to 100 years for the central Gulf Coast include warming temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns, and increased storm intensity. The warming of the oceans and decline of polar ice sheets is expected to accelerate the rate of sea level rise globally. The effects of sea level rise in most central Gulf Coast counties will be exacerbated by the sinking of the land surface, which is accounted for in this assessment. The significance of these climate factors for transportation systems was assessed.
Date: February 2008
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research

Impacts of Climate Change and Variability on Transportation Systems and Infrastructure: Gulf Coast Study, Phase I

Description: This document, part of the Synthesis and Assessment Products described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan. Climate affects the design, construction, safety, operations, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure and systems. The prospect of a changing climate raises critical questions regarding how alterations in temperature, precipitation, storm events, and other aspects of the climate could affect the nation's roads, airports, rail, transit systems, pipelines, ports, and waterways. Phase I of this regional assessment of climate change and its potential impacts on transportation systems addresses these questions for the region of the U.S. central Gulf Coast between Galveston, Texas and Mobile, Alabama. This region contains multimodal transportation infrastructure that is critical to regional and national transportation services. The significance of various climate factors for transportation systems was assessed.
Date: March 2008
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research

Climate Change and Water: Technical Paper VI

Description: The Technical Paper addresses the issue of freshwater. Sea level rise is dealt with only insofar as it can lead to impacts on freshwater in coastal areas and beyond. Climate, freshwater, biophysical and socio-economic systems are interconnected in complex ways. Hence, a change in any one of these can induce a change in any other. Freshwater-related issues are critical in determining key regional and sectoral vulnerabilities. Therefore, the relationship between climate change and freshwater resources is of primary concern to human society and also has implications for all living species.
Date: 2008
Creator: Bates, Bryson; Kundzewicz, Zbigniew W.; Wu, Shaohong & Palutikof, Jean

The Global Carbon Cycle

Description: A brochure explaining the likely dynamics of the carbon-climate-human system with projections for the future, and recommendations for points of intervention and windows of opportunity for human societies to manage this system.
Date: October 2006
Creator: Global Carbon Project

The United States National Report on Systematic Observations for Climate for 2008: National Activities with Respect to the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Implementation Plan

Description: Long-term, high-accuracy, stable environmental observations are essential to define the state of the global integrated Earth system, its history and its future variability and change. Observations for climate include: (1) operational weather observations, when appropriate care has been exercised to establish high accuracy; (2) limited-duration observations collected as part of research investigations to elucidate chemical, dynamical, biological, or radiative processes that contribute to maintaining climate patterns or to their variability; (3) high accuracy, high precision observations to document decadal-to-centennial changes; and (4) observations of climate proxies, collected to extend the instrumental climate record to remote regions and back in time to provide information on climate change at millennial and longer time scales. This report was requested by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in order to serve as input to see how progress has been made with respect to the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Implementation Plan developed in 2004 In accordance with the UNFCCC guidelines, the sections of the report delineate specific U.S. climate monitoring activities in several distinct yet integrated areas as follows: (1) common issues; (2) non-satellite atmospheric observations; (3) non-satellite oceanic observations; (4) non-satellite terrestrial observations; (5) satellite global atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial observations; and (6) data and information management related to systematic observations. The various federal agencies involved in observing the environment provide the required long-term observations. Space-based systems provide unique global measurements of solar output, the Earth's radiation budget; vegetation type and primary production; land surface conditions; ocean and terrestrial biomass primary productivity; tropospheric and stratospheric ozone; tropospheric and stratospheric water vapor; tropospheric aerosols; greenhouse gas distributions; sea level; ocean surface conditions and winds; weather; and tropical precipitation, among others.
Date: September 2008
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program's (CCSP) Observations Working Group

NOAA Updates What Defines Normal Temperature

Description: Normal temperatures and precipitation levels for your area may have changed as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center recently released new 'normal' data for about 8,000 weather stations. The data defines the normal temperature at locations across the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and U.S. Pacific Islands. These data are used as a benchmark for weather forecasters to calculate day-to-day temperature and rainfall departures from typical levels and are also used by business, government and industry for planning, design and operations.
Date: September 6, 2001
Creator: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Report on the TCO/GCP Terrestrial Carbon Observations and Model-Data Fusion Workshop

Description: The global carbon cycle is of intense interest to policy-makers, the scientific community, and public organizations. As a result, numerous new programmes and projects have been developed over the last few years. TCO and GCP are two such complementary initiatives which share a common goal of advancing the availability of more accurate and mutually consistent estimates of terrestrial carbon sources, sinks and processes, regionally and globally, through syntheses of observations and models. The workshop was intended to advance the availability of more accurate and mutually consistent estimates of the distribution of carbon sources and sinks at a regional and global level. This goal can be achieved by convergence of in situ and satellite observations, experiments and modelling strategies; improvements in data acquisition and sharing; and product generation, distribution and use. The workshop focused on the following questions and associated issues: 1. What carbon cycle data products could be routinely produced from a carbon observation system based on model-data and model-data fusion? 2. What are the main conceptual approaches to assimilating atmospheric carbon content, terrestrial carbon flux and remotely sensed data into coupled atmospheric circulation-carbon cycle models? 3. What is the present and eventual uncertainty regarding the main carbon fluxes at global and regional scale, and how will it be reduced by projects currently underway and about to begin? 4. In what regions, and on what topics, will new data inputs make the largest contribution to reducing the residual uncertainties? What actions should be taken to overcome the gaps and limitations identified?
Date: June 2003
Creator: Quegan, Shaun