Weekly Environmental News: April 15 – April 21, 2013

Earthquakes in Japan and Pakistan, extra-solar discoveries from the Kepler spacecraft, and both Poles of planet Earth made headlines this week.

Will airline ticket prices increase along with air turbulence? If the jet stream strengthens due to increased CO2­­ in the atmosphere, as predicted in a new study, flights could get bumpier – or, more likely, longer and more expensive as pilots steer around the turbulence zones.

Two planets orbiting the Kepler-62 star are believed to be at the right temperature (ie. distance from the parent star) to allow for the existence of water – which is believed to be a requirement for life.

Discussions on how to manage the newly open waters of the Arctic Ocean, icebound for the past 100,000 years, find conservationists and diplomats on the same page – protecting a natural resource before it’s exploited.

Creative Commons Image "Antarctic Peninsula - January 2008" courtesy of Mschutt on Flick

Creative Commons Image “Antarctic Peninsula – January 2008” courtesy of Mschutt on Flickr

And at the South Pole, a new study shows that the intensity of summer ice melt in Antarctica is increasing at an unnaturally fast pace.  Most mainstream news reports of the study highlight only the intensification during the mid-twentieth century, which aligns with the theory of manmade climate change; however there has been progressive warming since the late 1400s.

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