December 27, 2005
Scientific Breakthrough of the Year 2005: Climate change is a runner-up
As Science said:
The new science was much like that of the past decade, just more insistent and more ominous. In January, climate modelers announced even higher confidence in earlier assertions that the oceans--down to great depths--have warmed in recent decades just as models said they would. Each of two tropical cyclone studies found that over recent decades more and more storms around the world have grown to the most intense levels as rising greenhouse gases have warmed tropical waters. At higher latitudes, scientists announced, Arctic Ocean ice cover had hit another record low, this time with the added warning that the feedbacks expected to accelerate high-latitude warming--and presumably ice loss--seem to be taking hold. And all this climate change is having an effect. It's altering everything from bird migration patterns in Australia to microbial compositions in sea-floor muck.
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