"The boot-shaped state isn’t shaped like a boot anymore.
That’s why we revised its iconic outline to reflect the truth about a sinking, disappearing place." Previously.
is a 52-minute film by 350.0rg
as a promotion for the upcoming People's Climate March
billed as the largest climate protest march in history, on September 21. Major cities include New York, Paris, Berlin, and Rio de Janeiro though there are over 1000 others
. The march is calling for immediate action on the climate and is directed at the U.N. Climate Summit
in New York City on September 23.(via)
All of California remains in drought
with over 80% in worst categories of 'extreme' or 'exceptional' drought. Reservoir levels
are 50% below average. (previously
) [more inside]
"Novels are no use at all in days like these,
for they deal with people and their relationships, with fathers and mothers and daughters or sons and lovers, etc., with souls, usually unhappy ones, and with society etc., as if the place for all these things were assured, the earth for all time earth, the sea level fixed for all time." [more inside]
One of the more ubiquitous formats for "infographics" these days is the U.S.A. Map Comparing Individual States and promoting interstate rivalries. After all, wherever you live in the U.S. of A., you need bragging rights for something, right?
Recently, Business Insider featured "27 Maps That Explain America"
including ones that compared each state's percentage of residents with passports
, most overrepresented job in every state
, percentage of each state's population with a 4-year degree
, number of billionaires in each state
, number of Starbucks locations in each state
, states' stances on climate change (judged by Think Progress)
, fast food consumption
and exercise frequency
(detail in a weird format here
), and cavities per capita
But Business Insider is certainly not the only site 'mapping the states'... [more inside]
Why the modern bathroom is a wasteful, unhealthy design
"Piped water may be the greatest convenience ever known but our sewage systems and bathrooms are a disaster" [more inside]
With growing fascination for the large land vertebratomorphs that are so startlingly diverse on Tatooine, I secured Imperial funding for an expedition to Tatooine, to survey the exotic megafauna and search for fossils of Tyrannodraconis that might further illuminate their evolution. My ensuing report
summarizes my trilogy of investigations and discoveries from this “holiday in the suns." [more inside]
An Oxford University study of over 50,000 participants, published this month in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change
: Dietary greenhouse gas emissions in meat-eaters are twice as high as those in vegans
Word association time: I say "peat", you say… "Scotland", right? Not necessarily! Peat is found around the world, including in many African countries
. Earlier this year, scientists trekked through a Congo swamp, braving gorillas, elephants, crocodiles, and more. Their reward? Discovery of a peat bog the size of England
. The team estimates
that the bog covers between 100,000 and 200,000 square kilometers (40,000 to 80,000 sq miles), with the peat-layer reaching up to 7m (23ft) beneath the ground.
The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States
); press coverage
) - "The signature effects of human-induced climate change
—rising seas, increased damage from storm surge, more frequent bouts
of extreme heat—all have specific, measurable impacts on our nation's current assets and ongoing economic activity. [The report] uses a standard risk-assessment approach to determine the range of potential consequences
for each region of the U.S.—as well as for selected sectors of the economy—if we continue on our current path..." [more inside]
As fears about global warming become ever more culturally ingrained, “climate fiction” has gone from a once-fringe genre to a standard literary device.
Cli-Fi, as it’s abbreviated, is set in a near or long-term future where the fallout from global warming, be it flooding or mass extinctions, is not only apparent, but an aspect of everyday life. Spanning genres from literary fiction to thrillers, Cli-Fi acts as a barometer of our own ecological anxieties.
This project offers a compelling portrait of climate change fears beyond what scientists and pundits can provide. via
PDF of the full visualization
of the novels
Warm water is eating away at the bases of West Antarctic glaciers in an irreversible runaway process: West Antarctic Glacier Loss Appears Unstoppable [the damn paper (paywalled)
] [more inside]
This morning the U.S. government released
the newest National Climate Assessment, which "concludes that the evidence of human-induced climate change continues to strengthen and that impacts are increasing across the country." You can explore the assessment here. Previously.
Years of Living Dangerously
is a star-studded
9-part investigative documentary on the real impacts of global warming around the world. The first episode will air on April 13, but it is now freely available online (first link, 1-hour). Series backers and producers include James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Globe says
it's "a lavish, gripping production focused on the real effect of climate change in real people’s lives around the world."
Since January there have been signs of a possible El Niño brewing in the pacific, the first major one since 1998. While the US-funded ocean-monitoring system is in a state of partial collapse
, the data has continued to grow stronger, and this may now be the largest ocean temperature anomoly ever seen
. A major El Niño could significantly boost global temperatures, cause severe weather and storms, melt Arctic sea ice and help push the world into a warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, accelerating global warming. (more discussion
Factcheck: The Keystone XL Project.
An evenhanded summary of the controversy around the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
Tiny Tim's stunning prophesy of global warming. You know, for the kiddies
- a time-lapse tribute to the beauty of Joshua trees, native to southwestern U.S. Photographer Sungjin Ahn
embarked on his project after learning that climate change could "eliminate Joshua trees
from 90 percent of their current range in 60 to 90 years." via PetaPixel
"In October 2013, Drs. Tim Perkins and Abby van Den Berg of the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center
, revealed the findings of a study at a maple syrup conference in New Brunswick, Canada that sent waves through the industry. In 2010, they were studying vacuum systems in sap collection operations. Based on the observation that one of the mature trees in the study that was missing most of its top was still yielding high volumes of sap, they hypothesized that the maples were possibly drawing moisture from the soil and not the crown. Previously, they had presumed that the sap dripping from tap holes was coming from the upper portion of the tree. But, if the tree was missing most of its crown then, they surmised, it must be drawing moisture from the roots. ... They realized that their discovery meant sugarmakers could use saplings, densely planted in open fields, to harvest sap. In other words, it is possible that maple syrup could now be produced as a row crop like every other commercial crop in North America.
" [more inside]
If scientists are correct, the ocean will swallow most of Kiribati before the end of the century, and perhaps much sooner than that. … Before the rising Pacific drowns these atolls, though, it will infiltrate, and irreversibly poison, their already inadequate supply of fresh water. The apocalypse could come even sooner for Kiribati if violent storms, of the sort that recently destroyed parts of the Philippines, strike its islands. For all of these reasons, the 103,000 citizens of Kiribati may soon become refugees, perhaps the first mass movement of people fleeing the consequences of global warming rather than war or famine.
This is why [Kiribati's president Anote] Tong visits Fiji so frequently. He is searching for a place to move his people. The government of Kiribati recently bought 6,000 acres of land in Fiji for a reported $9.6 million, to the apparent consternation of Fiji’s military rulers. Fiji has expressed no interest in absorbing the I-Kiribati, as the country’s people are known. A former president of Zambia, in south-central Africa, once offered Kiribati’s people land in his country, but then he died. No one else so far has volunteered to organize a rescue. [more inside]
At the elementary school in Brooklyn where I taught first grade, science was a “special,” along with dance, art, and physical education. That meant that students were delivered by their homeroom teachers to the science teacher between one and three times a week for less than an hour each time.
“I’M NOT A SCIENTIST, man,” Florida senator Marco Rubio told GQ magazine in an interview published in December 2012, following the first presidential debate season in twenty-eight years to fail to mention climate change. Rubio had been asked how old he thinks the earth is; it is unclear whether he was signaling a fashionable disdain for scientific facts or whether he truly did not know.
From the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency...
)(Actual Report PDF
Actual global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached a new record of 34.5 billion tonnes in 2012. Yet, the increase in global CO2 emissions in that year slowed down to 1.1% , which was less than half the average annual increase of 2.9% over the last decade. This is remarkable, as the global economy grew by 3.5%. This development signals a shift towards less fossil-fuel-intensive activities, more use of renewable energy and increased energy saving. Increases in fossil-fuel consumption in 2012 were 2.2% for natural gas, 0.9% for oil products, and 0.6% for coal.
Climate Name Change
"Since 1954, the World Meteorological Organization has been naming extreme storms after people. As scientific evidence shows that climate change is creating increasingly frequent and devastating storms, and with climate scientists declaring these extreme weather events as the new normal, we propose a new naming system. A system that names extreme storms caused by climate change, after the policy makers who deny climate change and obstruct climate policy."
The iconic monarch of the North Woods is dying at an alarming rate.
Is it climate change, a brain-piercing parasite, or is something else to blame?
A new article in Nature
warns that "the costs of a melting Arctic will be huge", thanks in part to the likely release of "a 50-gigatonne (Gt) reservoir of methane, stored in the form of hydrates" beneath the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, "either steadily over 50 years or suddenly". An abrupt release is "highly possible at any time", says Natalia Shakhova
of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, who has observed plumes of methane up to a kilometre wide bubbling to the surface in the area. [more inside]
"University of Minnesota undergrad Daniel Crawford did something very clever:
He took surface air temperature data and converted them into musical notes, one for each year from 1880 to 2012, and played them on his cello." Direct Vimeo link.
The last decade (2001-2010) was the warmest on record.
According to The UN World Metereological Organisation's report
, the average land and ocean-surface temperature for 2001-2010 was estimated to be 14.47°C, or 0.47°C above the 1961-1990 global average and +0.21°C above the 1991-2000 global average (with a factor of uncertainty of ± 0.1°C).
"Portland cement is the source of the “glue” that holds most modern concrete together. But making it releases carbon from burning fuel, needed to heat a mix of limestone and clays to 1,450 degrees Celsius (2,642 degrees Fahrenheit) – and from the heated limestone (calcium carbonate) itself. Monteiro’s team found that the Romans, by contrast, used much less lime and made it from limestone baked at 900˚ C (1,652˚ F) or lower, requiring far less fuel than Portland cement." -- How Berkeley Lab scientists discovered the secret of Roman concrete's durability
and how it could help make modern concrete more environmentally friendly
The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the air jumped dramatically in 2012,
making it very unlikely that global warming can be limited to another 2 degrees as many global leaders have hoped. [more inside]
Scripps Institute of Oceanography projects that next month its monitoring station will for the first time measure CO2 at 400 parts per million.
Atmospheric CO2 has risen from 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution. 400 ppm is an arbitrary milestone that we'll blow right past on our way to 450 ppm within a few decades. This is an unprecedentedly fast rate of increase and it's getting faster. Not all measuring stations are exactly the same: A NOAA station in the Arctic measured CO2 at 400 ppm last year. [more inside]