The surface of the planet Mars tilted by 20 to 25 degrees, 3 to 3.5 billion years ago. And the cause was a vast volcanic structure, the largest in the solar system. Because of its extraordinary mass, the Tharsis volcanic dome caused a rotation of the crust and mantle of Mars with respect to its core. The far-reaching implications of this great tilt exposed in the article profoundly strengthens the links between internal dynamics, magnetic field, volcanic activity, tectonism and climate evolution. A new face for the planet Mars during the first billion years of its history, at a time when life could have appeared, stems from this study.
The CFCC15 Conference's Scientific Committee *, chaired by Chris Field, the Chairs of the Organising and High-Level Committees, Hervé Le Treut and Jean Jouzel, and the International organisers (UNESCO, Future Earth, and ICSU) issued an outcome statement : "Science offers robust foundations for ambitious outcomes at COP21 and beyond"
The equatorial regions of Titan (the largest moon of Saturn) are covered by a large field of linear dunes propagating eastward. This direction is opposite to mean winds predicted by climatic models, constituting one of Titan's great mysteries. By combining results from a regional model applied to methane clouds with a Titan global climate model , a French-American team showed that the formation of Titan's dunes should be controlled by rare tropical methane storms producing strong eastward gusts dominating the sand transport. These results explain the shape, orientation and direction of propagation of Titan's dunes, and provide clues on the origin of Titan's sand.
The development of wind farms in Europe only has an extremely limited impact on the climate at the continental scale, and this will remain true until at least 2020. These results were established using climate simulations that included the effect on the atmosphere of wind farms located in Europe, on the basis of a realistic scenario forecasting a two-fold increase in wind energy production by 2020, in accordance with European countries' commitments. The work highlights the importance of carrying out fresh studies to assess the impact of wind energy development by 2050.
During its path above Ile de la Réunion on January 2, 2014, the SAPHIR instrument, embarked on Megha-Tropiques satellite, captured 21 brightness temperature images showing the evolution of the storm structure from its early stage as a tropical depression, to the full cyclone, and then to the dissipating stage.
Plumes of several anthropogenic pollutants (especially particulate matter and carbon monoxide) located near ground level over China have for the first time been detected from space. The work was carried out by a team at LATMOS in collaboration with Belgian researchers and with support from CNES, using measurements by the IASI infrared sounder launched on board the MetOp satellite. Their groundbreaking results are published online on the website of the journal Geophysical Research Letters dated 17 January 2014. They represent a crucial step towards improved monitoring of regional pollution and forecasting of local pollution episodes, especially in China.
The natural increase in solar luminosity—a very slow process unrelated to current climate warming—will cause the Earth's temperatures to rise over the next few hundred million years. This will result in the complete evaporation of the oceans. Devised by a team from the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, the first three-dimensional climate model able to simulate the phenomenon predicts that liquid water will disappear on Earth in approximately one billion years, extending previous estimates by several hundred million years. Published on December 12, 2013 in the journal Nature, the work not only improves our understanding of the evolution of our planet but also makes it possible to determine the necessary conditions for the presence of liquid water on other Earth-like planets.
An international team has carried out and analyzed an ensemble of climate projections for the whole of Europe at an unprecedented resolution of 12 km, by downscaling the global simulations performed for the 5th IPCC report. These simulations for the 21st century now provide a much more detailed representation of local phenomena and extreme events. Initial analyses confirm that there will be a significant increase in the frequency of extreme events, such as heavy rainfall, heatwaves and droughts. Data from the EURO-CORDEX project have just been published and made available to scientists. This should lead to more detailed studies of the impact of climate change in Europe on air quality, hydrology and extreme events, all of which affect key sectors such as energy, health and agriculture.
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.