The French climatology community has just completed a major exercise in the simulation of past and future climate conditions on a global scale. This new body of data confirms the conclusions of the most recent report by the IPCC (2007) on future changes in temperature and rainfall. By 2100, average global temperatures are expected to rise by 3.5 to 5°C according to the most unfavorable scenario, or 2°C according to the most optimistic projections. This study has been made available to the international community, and will be used by the IPCC in its next report, to be released in 2013. It provides information on likely climate conditions and trends at the end of the century and, for the first time, over the next 30 years as well.
What is the impact of climate and environmental change on pollen-related allergic diseases in Europe? For the first time in Europe, an interdisciplinary approach will be used to tackle this question. A scientific project, funded for a three-year period by the European Union, and, in France, involving researchers and engineers from LSCE, LMD and INERIS, will endeavor to quantify the effects of such change on allergies in order to propose recommendations and preventive action at European level.
Emissions of the main greenhouse gases, reactive gaseous and particulate chemical compounds have been inventoried over the period 1850-2300 by an international collaboration involving scientists from the LATMOS and Laboratoire d'Aérologie. This quantification has enabled researchers to propose four new scenarios that will be used in future climatic simulations of the 5th IPCC report, due in 2013. This work, which is published in a special edition of the journal Climatic Change, was supported by CNRS, CNES and ADEME.
Analysis of data collected by ESA's Mars Express spacecraft leaves no room for doubt: the Martian atmosphere of contains water vapor in a supersaturated state. This surprising finding will enable scientists to better understand the water cycle on Mars, as well as the evolution of its atmosphere. The research was led by a team from the LATMOS in collaboration with Russian and French colleagues and received support from CNES. It is published in the 30 September 2011 issue of the journal Science.
From September 8 to 23, LISA is implied in testing the depolluting effect of photocatalytic cement in Leopold II tunnel in Brusells. LISA is especially responsible for the field strategy of this campaign.
An international team of astronomers has today announced the discovery of 50 new extrasolar planets in orbit around nearby stars. This impressive haul, collected by ESO's Chile-based highly-performing exoplanet-searcher HARPS, includes 16 super-Earths, in other words planets whose mass is comprised between one and ten times that of the Earth. One of these super-Earths is located within the habitable zone of its star: it could therefore support life. In addition, researchers have determined that over 40% of stars similar to the Sun host at least one planet whose mass is inferior to that of Saturn.
The causes of melting of tropical glaciers over the past 10 000 years have at last been unveiled by a team of French researchers from CNRS, CEA, IRD and Université Joseph Fourrier, together with a US researcher from the University at Albany (State University of New York). They have shown that the retreat of the Telata glacier in Bolivia over that period is mainly linked to a 3 °C rise in air temperature and to the warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean in response to an increase in insolation.
The planetary system around the red dwarf Gliese 581, one of the closest stars to the Sun in the galaxy, has been the subject of several studies aiming to detect the first potentially habitable exoplanet. Two candidates have already been discarded, but a third planet, Gliese 581d, can be considered the first confirmed exoplanet that could support Earth-like life. This is the conclusion of a team of scientists from the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace in Paris, France, whose study is published today in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Using the MIMOSA model developped within the LATMOS together with modules able to transport aerosols, LATMOS scientists took advantage of the CALIPSO satellite observations and meteorological forecasts to study the evolution of a volcanic plume at a high spatial resolution (a few kilometers) and predict its position and optical properties several days in advance.
A layer of sulfur dioxide (SO2) has been discovered in the upper atmosphere of Venus by an international team including LATMOS scientists. The researchers obtained this result using measurements performed by ESA's Venus Express spacecraft. They propose a new mechanism to explain this unexpected result. SO2 is of particular interest to them since this gas could be used to cool down the Earth via a geo-engineering process put forward by Chemistry Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen.