Science Briefs

Since the mid 1990s, GISS scientists have often prepared short articles about their research, sometimes in connection with the publication of journal articles, with the aim of briefly communicating to the public the relevance and even the excitement of our research. These summaries are shorn of most technical language and may be thought of as "popular science" discussions of selected GISS research topics.

Listed below are science briefs which have been written since 2011. Briefs about older research are listed on separate pages for 2006-2010, 2001-2005, and 1995-2000.

News releases about recent GISS research achievements may be found in the Research News pages. Some articles about GISS research prepared by other NASA sites and publications appear amongst the Research Features.

2015

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Study Assesses Fragility of Global Food System

As global food networks become more complex and interdependent, how concerned should we be about the stability of the system being disrupted by geopolitical, economic, and climatic events? (2015-03-19)
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2014

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How Does Atlantic Cold Tongue Affect West African Rains?

Researchers used a regional climate model to study links between a streak of cooler water in the tropical Atlantic during spring to the timing and intensity of West African monsoon rains. (2014-04-14)
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AeroCom Compares Organic Aerosols in 31 Global Models

Phase II of the AeroCom project evaluated how 31 different global models handle organic aerosols in the atmosphere, with half now including formation of secondary aerosols from volatile compounds. (2014-03-26)
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2013

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Coal and Gas are Far More Harmful than Nuclear Power

A study based on historical and projected energy usage finds that replacing nuclear power with coal or natural gas would make it even harder to mitigate human-caused climate change and air pollution. (2013-04-17)
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2012

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Climate Modelers and the Moth

A new study explores the relative control of vegetation life cycles and meteorology in the climate-model context, and its implications for model development and complexity decisions. (2012-12-11)
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The Great Ice Meltdown and Rising Seas

What lessons can we learn from the past history of glacial ice melt and sea-level rise about what will happen in the next century as the climate warms? (2012-06-11)
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Will a Warmer World Be Stormier?

No single extreme event is evidence of climate change. But what is the likelihood of more events such as stronger thunderstorms and hurricanes as surface temperatures rise? (2012-04-24)
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Earth's Energy Budget Remains Out of Balance

A new NASA study underscores the fact that greenhouse gases generated by human activity — not changes in solar activity — are the primary force driving global warming. (2012-01-30)
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2011

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Understanding Ice Formation in Arctic Clouds

Airborne and ground-based measurements from an International Polar Year field project were used to revisit a long-standing problem in cloud physics: what is the primary source of ice crystals in mixed-phase clouds? (2011-11-07)
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Impact of Tropical Atlantic Temperatures on Rainfall

A regional climate model study examines the influence of warm ocean surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Atlantic in summer to see what an increase of a few degrees Celsius does to rainfall. (2011-08-10)
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Earth's Climate History: Implications for Tomorrow

Study of Earth's past climate reveals not only how much Earth's temperature may change due to increased greenhouse gases but also the significant changes in sea level that could result. (2011-07-20)
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Adapting to Sea Level Rise in New York City

As warming climate causes sea level rise, coastal urban areas such as New York City face more frequent and intense episodic flooding following storms and inundation of some low-lying areas (2011-04-26)
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Clouds — An Unwelcome Blanket for Arctic Sea Ice?

A study of Arctic climate finds that cloud cover mostly oscillates between two widely different states, which affects our understanding of and ability to predict sea ice decline. (2011-02-07)
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