With a database of over 5,000 scientists, from Nobel prize winners to postdocs and PhD students, Sense About Science
works in partnership with scientific bodies, research publishers, policy makers, the public and the media, to change public discussions about science and evidence. They make these scientists available for questions from civic organizations and the public looking for scientific advice from experts
, campaign for the promotion of scientific principles in public policy
, and publish neat guides to understanding science intended for laypeople. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Feb 28, 2013 -
"A theory quickly emerged: that believers in climate science had been the main people taking Dr. Lewandowsky’s survey, but instead of answering honestly, had decided en masse to impersonate climate contrarians, giving the craziest possible answers so as to make the contrarians look like whack jobs.
So, a paper about a tendency among this group to believe in conspiracy theories was met by … a conspiracy theory." - Unlocking the Conspiracy Mind-Set [more inside]
posted by brundlefly
on Feb 21, 2013 -
How can we get CO2 out of the atmosphere? Get it out of the sea first.
Making jet fuel from seawater
is a pretty cool -- albeit energy intensive -- trick. But applying the same science to scrub CO2 out of seawater, where it is more densely concentrated than in the atmosphere -- and, by doing so, to reduce atmospheric levels of CO2 back to acceptable levels -- that's a game saver.
"what would it take to draw atmospheric carbon down to 350 ppm with just this technology? . . . we would require the power of about 700 AP-1000 nuclear reactors. At the Chinese cost of $1.3b apiece and an 80 year lifetime this would cost a bit over $1 trillion dollars. That sounds like a lot of money. But its only about the cost of America’s 2003 Iraq War spread over the century, so I guess it’s a question of priorities."
posted by markkraft
on Jan 19, 2013 -
...and the news ain't good: "Evidence for climate change abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans. This evidence has been compiled by scientists and engineers from around the world, using satellites, weather balloons, thermometers, buoys, and other observing systems. The sum total of this evidence tells an unambiguous story: the planet is warming."
Overview letter is here
, Executive Summary is here
, and the full download is here
. [WARNING: Full download runs to 147MB).
posted by BillW
on Jan 13, 2013 -
It's so hot in Australia they've added a new color to the weather map,
a Tasmania-sized deep purple blob 50 degrees or more (123 F). In the USA 2012 was the hottest year ever recorded
, smashing through previous records by a healthy margin. 2012 was also the second-worst on a measure called the Climate Extremes Index
, surpassed only by 1998. Globally, 2012 is expected to be ranked as the eighth-warmest year on record, with that announcement coming later in the month. "Climate change has had a role in this,” said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at NOAA.
posted by stbalbach
on Jan 8, 2013 -
In a report released [Tuesday], the World Bank analyzed the consequences of allowing temperatures to reach 4°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. ... the report's authors admit that predications are a challenge. Still, they do their best to try to paint a picture, and boy, is it grim.
posted by Egg Shen
on Nov 20, 2012 -
October 2012 is the 332nd consecutive month with an above-average temperature. If you were born in or after April 1985, if you are right now 27 years old or younger, you have never lived through a month that was colder than average. State of the Climate: Global Analysis October 2012
(NOAA). While $50 billion Sandy has had the spotlight, the biggest natural disaster of 2012 (in the US) has been the Great Drought
still ongoing which is expected to cut America's GDP by 0.5 to 1% for the year. The death toll from the heat waves that accompanied this year's drought will exceed that of Sandy. This Sunday and Monday, Ken Burns premiers his new documentary "The Dust Bowl"
, on PBS. (via
posted by stbalbach
on Nov 16, 2012 -
In 2003, the BBC reported that a population explosion of Great Gerbils
had destroyed more than 4 million hectares of grasslands in China's north-western Xinjiang region
-- an area about the size of Switzerland. By 2005 the damage covered 5
million hectares, and the Xinjuang Regional Headquarters for Controlling Locusts and Rodents were reported to be breeding and attracting pairs of golden eagles to curb the gerbil population. So McSweeney's Joshuah Bearman was assigned to the story. His report: An Investigation Into Xinjiang's Growing Swarm of Great Gerbils, Which May or May Not be Locked in a Death-Struggle With the Golden Eagle, With Important Parallels and/or Implications Regarding Koala Bears, The Pied Piper, Spongmonkeys, Cane Toads, Black Death, [and] Text-Messaging.
posted by zarq
on Sep 18, 2012 -
While the 2007 IPCC report
showed Arctic sea-ice still present in 2100, it is now an unfolding "global disaster"
according to Cambridge Professor Peter Wadhams
. Climate Code Red summarizes the science, saying the sea-ice is "in a 'death spiral' and likely to be gone in summer within a few years" ... "The sea-ice volume is now down to just one-fifth of what it was in 1979", and paints a newly emerging, rapidly worsening climate picture
, urging climate scientists to sound the alarm on new data showing a world on the brink of dramatic tipping points, far sooner than anyone anticipated
posted by crayz
on Sep 18, 2012 -
Mexico passes ambitious climate change law
to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent below 2000 levels by 2020, and 50 percent below 2000 levels by 2050. The law also stipulates that 35 percent of Mexico's electricity should come from renewable sources by the year 2024. It joins the United Kingdom in having legally binding emissions goals aimed at stemming the effects of climate change.
posted by stbalbach
on Apr 26, 2012 -
A Message from a Republican on Climate Change:
I'm going to tell you something that my Republican friends are loath to admit out loud: climate change is real. I'm a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. I'm a Penn State meteorologist, and the weather maps I'm staring at are making me very uncomfortable.
posted by spacewaitress
on Apr 5, 2012 -
"Speaking for many scientists and engineers who have looked carefully and independently at the science of climate, we have a message to any candidate for public office: There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to "decarbonize" the world's economy. Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically." Link
. [more inside]
posted by BobbyVan
on Jan 27, 2012 -
is a movement that takes a different view of economic expansion. Mostly it focuses on how value is created and what happens to the excess value. Proponents can be very aggressive
or very mellow
but a key part of their philosophy is that we must recognize the value we've inherited from the past. In other words, we don't start our lives with an empty ledger but have inherited many physical and intellectual gifts from previous generations. Recently I began wondering whether we shouldn't look at the other side of the ledger, particularly when it comes to ecological impacts - i.e., the messes we inherit. It turns out that in the early 90s, some social credit economists
were writing about this and were even talking about climate change as something that needed to be added to the equation. Is this an idea whose time has finally come?
posted by BillW
on Jan 7, 2012 -
"Although there is a great deal of psychological research on misinformation, there's no summary of the literature that offers practical guidelines on the most effective ways of reducing the influence of myths. The Debunking Handbook
boils the research down into a short, simple summary, intended as a guide for communicators in all areas (not just climate) who encounter misinformation." Direct PDF link.
posted by brundlefly
on Jan 3, 2012 -
Now the future is a kind of attenuating peninsula; as we move out on it, one side drops off to catastrophe; the other side, nowhere near as steep, moves down into various kinds of utopian futures. In other words, we have come to a moment of utopia or catastrophe; there is no middle ground, mediocrity will no longer succeed. So utopia is no longer a nice idea, but a survival necessity. "Remarks on Utopia in the Age of Climate Change,"
from Kim Stanley Robinson. Previously.
posted by gerryblog
on Dec 22, 2011 -
Climate Variability and Climate Change: The New Climate Dice
An excerpt from what should be a very incendiary academic paper by Hansen, J
, et al: Thus there is no need to equivocate about the summer heat waves in Texas in 2011 and Moscow
in 2010, which exceeded 3σ – it is nearly certain that they would not have occurred in the
absence of global warming. If global warming is not slowed from its current pace, by midcentury 3σ events will be the new norm and 5σ events will be common.
posted by Renoroc
on Nov 11, 2011 -