As Earth’s climate continues to warm, some scientists are looking at doing more than simply reducing humanity’s outpouring of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by devising ways to actively cool the planet back to temperatures that our civilization is comfortable with. One of the proposed techniques would be to spray massive amounts of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere to create a cloud layer that would reflect a portion of the Sun’s rays back into space, emulating the cooling effect that the gases from a large volcanic eruption would have.
While the global average temperature continues to rise, it does so disproportionately around the world: the closer to the poles one gets, the more drastic this temperature rise becomes, a phenomenon in climate science called Polar Amplification. This effect has become so drastic that some areas of the Arctic, such as the Barents and Chukchi seas, are up to 4ºC (7.2ºF) warmer than average. And now these temperature extremes are breaking climate data algorithms, such as in the case of climate data being recorded in Utqiagvik, Alaska.
Adding to the list of animals that make use of tools, it turns out that Australian raptors deliberately set fires to flush out prey, picking up burning sticks from an existing fire and dropping them onto dry grass to start a new conflagration. Although this is news to modern science, stories of this behavior are interwoven into Aboriginal culture, from knowledge that spans back through the millennia.
The Beaufort Gyre is a wind-driven circular current in the western half of the Arctic Ocean, that alternates between a clockwise and counter-clockwise motion: when it circulates clockwise, it traps ice and melted freshwater, and when it spins counter-clockwise, it releases that freshwater and ice into the North Atlantic Ocean, southward past the east coast of Greenland. This trap-and-release cycle typically reverses every five to seven years, usually when a cyclonic storm in the North Atlantic moves into the Arctic, reversing the Gyre’s direction.