Greenland Is Slip Sliding Away; Pollen's Taking Over Europe

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Discovered in Green: Greeland is sliding away, pollen is taking over Europe, Cleaner diesel technologies are working, and there's a global nomadism revolution. 

  • Greenland is slip sliding away. Yup, just like that Simon and Garfunkle song. But instead of love we're talking about an entire icy country. The country's ice sheet is sliding faster into the ocean because of melted water from its surface lakes, which got that way because of general warming. "This is the first evidence that Greenland's 'supraglacial' lakes have responded to recent increases in surface meltwater production by draining more frequently, as opposed to growing in size," explains researcher William Colgan. Look, you can see the puddles of melt from in that photo over there. The puddles create cracks in the ice sheet, which, due to pressure, causes the ice sheet to drain. "Lake drainages are a wild card in terms of whether they enhance or decrease the ice sheet's slide," said Colgan. But in Greenland's case, fhe more it drains, the more it slides. [CU Boulder]  
  • Pollen is taking over Europe. From purely anecdotal watery-eyed experience, we imagine the same climate change fueled phenomenon is happening in America. It feels extra pollin-y out there these days. In Europe, however, science has proven that pollen levels have increased over the years, finding a three percent per year increase in urban areas and one percent per year in rural areas. "Even today, cities are warmer, dryer and more polluted places," explains researcher Annette Menzel, who expects this airborne pollen problem to get worse. [TUM]

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    Diesel's making driving a lot better for the environment. Here's something that's working: New (expensive) technologies for emission control technologies for diesel engines have had a positive impact on keeping the air a wee bit cleaner. "We found that there is a huge reduction in both PM and NOx emissions," explains researcher Dr. Chris Frey. Cars and trucks equipped with newer engines that met these requirements saw a 98 and 95 percent reduction in these unhealthy pollutants, respectively. "While these technologies are a significant investment for truck owners, this study shows that they are achieving a remarkable drop in emissions of contaminants that have meaningful health and environmental consequences," continues Frey. [North Carolina State University]


  • There's a global nomadism phenomenon. One way to decrease CO2 emissions is to just stop buying stuff altogether, which is exactly what these so-called global nomads do. "Global nomads tend to form situational attachments to objects, appreciate objects primarily for their instrumental use-value, and value immaterial or 'light' possessions as well as practices," explains researchers, who found globalization has led to a rise of these types of people. "Globalization theorists argue that global nomadism will become more prevalent in the future, and thus the liquid relationship to possessions that we identify will become an important lens in which to understand the new role of objects in people's lives, as consumers will seek to temporarily access objects rather than own them over long periods of time," they continue. [Journal of Consumer Research]

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