Science Briefs

Articles in this news and features section are short to medium-length descriptions prepared by GISS scientists about their own research, often in connection with the publication of related journal articles. 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. Science briefs about older research are listed on separate pages for 2011-2015, 2006-2010, 2001-2005, and 1995-2000.

NASA news and features about GISS research achievements may be found in the NASA Releases pages. Some articles about GISS research prepared by other NASA sites and publications as well as affiliated institutions appear amongst the Research Features.

2021

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Improving the Quantification of Food System Emission

A new joint initiative by NASA/GISS and research partners has developed analyses of greenhouse gas emissions from the food system for use by climate modelers in projecting future changes in Earth's climate (2021-06-08)
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COVID-19 Lockdown Effects on Climate Appear Limited, Short-Lived

Initial results from a climate model intercomparison project suggest that the economic and social changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic won't provide any real climate benefits. (2021-03-26)
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U.N. Report Spotlights Need to Strengthen Climate Change Adaptation

A report by the U.N. Environment Programme documents how most countries have adopted climate adaptation into their policy and planning, but how well they are doing so is a mixed picture. (2021-02-25)
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Improving Assessments of Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture

Impact assessments help identify and quantify risks to the world's food supply as well as evaluate sustainable adaptation and mitigation strategies. (2021-01-11)
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2020

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A Focus on Food Can Help Solve Climate Change

Taking a global food system approach to climate change research — production, supply chains, and consumption — is a key step in both adapting to and mitigating climate change. (2020-02-18)
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2019

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Rising Sea Levels, Frequent Floods: Effects on NYC Neighborhoods

Neighborhoods on NYC's Queens and Brooklyn shorelines will see more frequent "nuisance flooding" as sea levels rise due to climate change. (2019-09-27)
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Sediment Starvation Destroys New York City Marshes' Resistance to Sea Level Rise

The steady loss of marshes in NYC's Jamaica Bay is typical of many urban estuaries, where the threat of rising sea level is enhanced by urban encroachment, pollution, and upriver dams. (2019-06-05)
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2017

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Atmospheric Circulation Shifts Alter Clouds, Affect Climate Sensitivity

Shifts in atmospheric circulation and consequent changes in cloud cover lead to differing temperature effects in the north and south hemispheres. How well climate models simulate this influences their climate sensitivity. (2017-06-26)
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Smoldering Shifts to Flame as Climate Forces Forest Change

A study of lake sediment records from Connecticut reveals interactions between past climate, forest ecology, and fire indicators. (2017-01-13)
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Can Climate Change be Noticed Locally?

After almost 20 years, GISS has re-visited the Common Sense Climate Index, a value whose persistent change should be perceptible to the general public. (2017-01-10)
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2016

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Investigating Climate Effect on Vegetation and Carbon in Coastal Alaska

Peatlands store up to one-third of Earth's soil carbon and are sensitive to changes in climate. Studying peatland sediments offers understanding of past and future response to climate change. (2016-06-07)
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Improving Global Model Precipitation Patterns by Downscaling

The inability of global climate models to match the timing or placement of short-term or regional precipitation patterns such as the West African monsoon may be alleviated by "downscaling" to use smaller scale climate models with increased area resolution. (2016-02-17)
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