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Snowpack in the northern Rocky Mountains drying up

Snowpack in the northern Rocky Mountains has declined over the past 30 years more than at any other time in a least 1,000 years (30-year decline is old news, 1000 year perspective is new). Snowmelt from the Rockies provide water for at least 70 million people. Snow is also melting weeks earlier in the American West. Some consequences of earlier snowmelt (of less snow) are drier forests, more wildfires and less water for people in a West heating up and drying out.
posted by stbalbach on Jun 10, 2011 - 26 comments

 

Romney in hot water for belief that climate change is real; at odds with GOP

Agreeing with the scientific community when it comes to global warming could lose you an election if you are a Republican hopeful.
posted by Tarumba on Jun 9, 2011 - 93 comments

Learn to swim.

Energy-related carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2010 were the highest in history, according to the latest estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA). After a dip in 2009 caused by the global financial crisis, emissions are estimated to have climbed to a record 30.6 Gigatonnes (Gt), a 5% jump from the previous record year in 2008, when levels reached 29.3 Gt. The likelihood of exceeeding 450 ppm CO2 and associated two degrees of warming has now receded greatly.
posted by wilful on May 30, 2011 - 33 comments

More statistical hijinks on climate change

“certain styles of research were suggested to be prone to ‘groupthink, reduced creativity and the possibility of less-rigorous reviewing processes.’ Edward Wegman is a professor at George Mason and a distinguished statistician with a long career, a former winner of the ASA's Founders Award. In 2006 he testified before Congress on climate science, sharply criticizing the statistical methodology of Michael Mann's "hockey stick graph," which showed a sharp increase in global temperature in the last part of the 20th century. One section of Wegman's testimony concerned "social network analysis," and suggested that Mann's tightly-knit network of co-authors might have led to insufficiently aggressive peer review. USA Today reports that Wegman's testimony contained a substantial quantity of plagiarized material, and the peer-reviewed article derived from the testimony has been retracted by the journal that published it. John Mashey has compiled an obsessively thorough catalogue of the plagiarized text. (large .pdf.) [more inside]
posted by escabeche on May 21, 2011 - 26 comments

Anonymous Satire of Koch Industries Prevails

In December 2010, a Koch Industries press release spoof (Scribd; alt: screencap) was posted on a website that mimicked the appearance of the official site for Koch Industries. The press release stated that Koch would no longer support research and advocacy initiatives that denied or questioned the human role in climate change. The press release was quickly identified as a hoax, and both the fake press release and site disappeared quickly, yet the Koch company pursued the identities of those behind the stunt, going as far as to file a lawsuit to expose the anonymous pranksters as part of a larger lawsuit. This past Monday, the lawsuit was thrown out of court in Utah, with the judge citing that parody is not commercial speech, and thus a First Amendment issue. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 11, 2011 - 40 comments

Climate Change by Climate Scientists: the musical

In the media landscape there are climate change deniers and believers, but rarely those speaking about climate change are actual climate scientists... From the Power Episode of The Hungry Beast a weekly, half-hour, TV show on ABC (Australia) television combining journalism, comedy and the reportage of weird. It asks questions others don’t, covers stories others won’t and brings them to your screen in ways that only this unique team of broadcasters can do.
posted by MT on May 11, 2011 - 21 comments

US DoD and alternative energy

Despite continuing inaction and perverse subsidies from the US Federal Government, one of their largest entities, the US Department of Defense, has done the analysis and considers both peak oil and climate change to be a significant threat. In partial response, they're pushing heavily into alternative fuels, with the Air Force aiming to get fully half of its domestic jet fuel from alternative sources by 2016.
posted by wilful on May 3, 2011 - 50 comments

Yale's 2010 Environmental Performance Index (EPI)

Yale's 2010 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks 163 countries on 25 performance indicators tracked across ten policy categories covering both environmental public health and ecosystem vitality. These indicators provide a gauge at a national government scale of how close countries are to established environmental policy goals.
posted by wilful on Apr 22, 2011 - 8 comments

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears....

The Science of Why We Don't Believe In Science. Or How To Win An Argument: Try Not To Rely on Facts. MotherJones investigates what recent research can tell us about how we reason (or don't).
posted by Diablevert on Apr 18, 2011 - 45 comments

A nation of fickle fools

We care about climate change, but we hate the idea of having to do anything about it. Professor of Public Ethics at CAPPE, Clive Hamilton (also author of Requiem for a Species and Affluenza), tells it like it is on climate change policy in Australia.
posted by bystander on Apr 12, 2011 - 125 comments

Baez/Yudkowsky

John Baez (mathematical physicist and master popularizer, former operator of This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics, current promoter of the idea that physicists should start pitching in on saving the world) interviews Eliezer Yudkowsky (singularitarian, author of "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality," promoter of the idea that human life faces a near-term existential threat from unfriendly artificial intelligence, and that people can live better lives by evading their cognitive biases) about the future, academia, rationality, altruism, expected utility, self-improvement by humans and machines, and the relative merit of battling climate change and developing friendly AIs that will forstall our otherwise inevitable doom. Part I. Part II. Part III. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Apr 2, 2011 - 47 comments

Koch-funded study confirms global warming

Koch-funded study confirms global warming. [more inside]
posted by russilwvong on Apr 1, 2011 - 63 comments

Bidder 70, your bid for fame has been accepted.

Tim DeChristopher goes on trial in a Salt Lake City District Court today [Case No. 2:09-CR-183], facing a ten year sentence and/or $750 000 fines. His crime? Intentionally making false bids on fossil fuel leases. His supporters include Dr James Hansen and Bill McKibben. (previously)
posted by wilful on Feb 27, 2011 - 26 comments

Welcome to the 21st century, Australian economy.

The Australian Government has committed to a price on carbon from 1 July 2012, prior to a likely full emissions trading scheme within three to five years. The Opposition are outraged, predicting a people's revolt. This should clearly define the next election.
posted by wilful on Feb 24, 2011 - 102 comments

Yasi is coming

Australia is copping another pounding from natural disasters. After the floods across Brisbane (previously) in South-east Queensland, North Queensland is in the firing line for a Category 5 cyclone called Yasi. The official warning: THIS IMPACT IS LIKELY TO BE MORE LIFE THREATENING THAN ANY EXPERIENCED DURING RECENT GENERATIONS. [more inside]
posted by bystander on Feb 1, 2011 - 183 comments

Trusting Nature as the Climate Referee

NYT article discussing a hypothetical proposal for a temperature based tax on carbon by Canadian economist Ross McKitrick.
posted by Philosopher's Beard on Jan 31, 2011 - 44 comments

The God delusion

“Nature doesn't remind us that we are small, but rather provides chilling, awesome evidence of our size and strength. We glance up to the snows of Mount Kilimanjaro and think of how quickly our coal generators have heated the earth. We fly over the denuded stretches of the Amazon and see how easily we have gashed the planet.” Alain de Botton considers how climate change is reshaping our relationship with the environment.
posted by londonmark on Jan 24, 2011 - 19 comments

No civilisation by 2100?

The world is well on track to achieve 4 degrees of warming by 2100. In September 2009, a conference organised by the Tyndall Centre looked at this scenario, with the papers recently published in a special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Pr. Anderson of the Tyndall Centre suggests that only 10 percent of humanity may survive this conflagration.
posted by wilful on Jan 18, 2011 - 114 comments

Don't Peak, it's a Surprise

The Nation recently interviewed public intellectuals including Noam Chomsky, Bill McKibben (previously), and Dmity Orlov (previously) to produce a series of videos centered around Peak Oil and a Changing Climate. The first video, online now, combines all of the people interviewed while the videos yet to be released will be longer sections featuring them one at a time. [more inside]
posted by Glibpaxman on Jan 13, 2011 - 91 comments

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Recent heavy rain in Queensland has bought destructive flooding to many towns and cities. Yesterday the mountain city of Toowoomba was hit with heavy rain and experienced flash flooding. With (so far) eight confirmed dead and 70 missing, the disaster is set to worsen as more rainfall is predicted.
posted by the noob on Jan 10, 2011 - 264 comments

Google Trees + Amazon Drought

We've discussed the "once in a century" Amazon Drought of 2005-06. Five years later and we are seeing another once in a century drought in the Amazon. How serious are the effects of these droughts for global climate? The science appears to be mixed. Helping monitor is the newly released Google Earth 6.0, which can track individual trees within a section of the Amazonian forest, and 80 million other trees in 7 cities around the world (video).
posted by stbalbach on Nov 30, 2010 - 10 comments

Stoichiometry is a harsh taskmistress

Sustainable Growth is an Oxymoron Text of an outstanding talk that explains clearly why the idea of "sustainable growth" is impossible in the finite system that is the earth; how the compact energy-delivery system of fossil fuel is equivalent to mind-blowing amounts of free human labor, which cannot be sustained indefinitely; and why it's imperative for scientists to help humanity find ways to go back to "liv[ing] on the sun in real time." [more inside]
posted by Sublimity on Nov 25, 2010 - 95 comments

whither US action on climate change?

With half of the new GOP Congressmen affirmed climate science deniers,and facing opposition even within his own party, President Obama has acknowledged that "cap and trade" legislation on US carbon emissions is dead. Regulation of emissions by the EPA appears to be the only way forward. Republicans are seeking to nobble that option, while Karl Rove thinks that "climate is gone" from the political landscape. Thankfully, according to John Shimkus, God has promised no more climate change, so we're all right then.
posted by wilful on Nov 9, 2010 - 155 comments

Go north

What I've always wanted- an atlas of the world's vulnerability to climate change (downloadable pdf on page).
posted by leibniz on Oct 20, 2010 - 12 comments

Geoengineering

The current American Scholar has a good article on geoengineering, latest greatest solution to the climate crisis (or not). (And see geoengineering and the new climate denialism previously).
posted by JL Sadstone on Oct 10, 2010 - 31 comments

Ten Ten Ten

The Coalition of the Willing is a broad movement that began with an animated short about open source culture and the role it could play against global warming. Today, on 10th October 2010, people at 7347 events in 188 countries are getting to work on the climate crisis at the 10/10/10 Work Party. [via Appropedia] Previously
posted by The Lady is a designer on Oct 10, 2010 - 50 comments

Meet the Denialists

A handful of US scientists have made names for themselves by casting doubt on global warming research. In the past, the same people have also downplayed the dangers of passive smoking, acid rain and the ozone hole. In all cases, the tactics are the same: Spread doubt and claim it's too soon to take action.
posted by gerryblog on Oct 8, 2010 - 31 comments

No Pressure

Sorry. Today we put up a mini-movie about 10:10 and climate change called 'No Pressure’. Many people found the resulting film extremely funny, but unfortunately some didn't and we sincerely apologise to anybody we have offended. As a result of these concerns we've taken it off our website. We won't be making any attempt to censor or remove other versions currently in circulation on the internet.
posted by thescientificmethhead on Oct 1, 2010 - 65 comments

What Terrifies the Terrorists?

Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda are apparently very concerned about climate change.
posted by clarknova on Oct 1, 2010 - 40 comments

Indonesian Glacier Drops 12 Inches in Two Weeks

"Rain is probably the most effective way to ... cause the ice to melt. So this was the first time you could see the surface actually lowering around you." A rare tropical glacier in Indonesia has dropped by a foot in the space of two weeks, as observed by a team sent to collect ice cores to study the effects of global warming. (Glaciers, previously.) [more inside]
posted by spitefulcrow on Sep 4, 2010 - 17 comments

Bjørn Lomborg on global warming

Global warming skeptic Bjørn Lomborg changes position, saying global warming is "undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today" and "a challenge humanity must confront." He says in a new book forthcoming this year that governments should levy a tax on carbon and spend billions annually on research for new technologies. I suppose it's hard to ignore when 10 of 10 key indicators show the world is warming, and Lomberg is not the first prominent skeptic to change position. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Sep 1, 2010 - 37 comments

Whack-a-mole climate denialism

Investigative reporting continues to attack the credibility of the IPCC reports on climate change, as well as vicious personal attacks. These stories gain wide coverage in the denialist echo chamber, yet several months down the track, after thorough independent investigation, they are found to be false. Weak retractions are published in newspapers, but the damage is done.
posted by wilful on Aug 26, 2010 - 36 comments

One Big Interdependant System

How are heatwaves in Russia and flooding in Pakistan related? Both result from a kink in the jet stream that has frozen in place. (Previous coverage of the disasters in Russia and Pakistan on the blue.)
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Aug 15, 2010 - 19 comments

Dangerous Ideas

Every day in August 2010, the chin-scratching blog Bigthink will post a "Dangerous Idea" supplied by one of its expert contributors. So far it has been suggested that we spike the water supply with lithium, darken the atmosphere to blot out the Sun, and leave lots of children behind.
posted by escabeche on Aug 8, 2010 - 37 comments

Executive Decarbonization

With the climate bill dead and blame portioned, Ezra Klein asks what happens when congress fails? He concludes that "regulations to reduce carbon emissions are alive and well. The Environmental Protection Agency can attack carbon as a pollutant, and the Obama administration's announcement that efforts to hamstring the EPA will be vetoed suggests that they mean to do exactly that." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 30, 2010 - 18 comments

Well, I guess that proves Robert Frost's famous poetic conjecture

Phytoplankton Population Drops 40 Percent Since 1950. Estimates are that the population of these little critters that form the base of the global food chain and that "also gobble up carbon dioxide to produce half the world's oxygen output" is declining by roughly one percent annually. One possible causal factor cited for the decline is global warming. The latest findings on that issue are out, too, and in case you were still wondering: Ten key indicators show global warming "undeniable". [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Jul 29, 2010 - 60 comments

Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya

Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya is an exhibition currently on in New York City, showcasing the work of photographer and mountaineer David Brashears. The Glacier Research Imaging Project is re-imaging historic photos of shrinking glaciers in the Himalaya. [more inside]
posted by wilful on Jul 18, 2010 - 13 comments

After the revolution, life goes on... and so do the bugs.

The Exterminator’s Want-Ad, a short story by Bruce Sterling, is a twisted first-person missive by a former K-Street lobbyist making his way in a post-collapse socialist regime of sharing. It's part of the Shareable Futures series of short stories and speculative essays at Shareable.net. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 24, 2010 - 41 comments

If global warming is real, why is it cold outside?

"...Arctic sea ice – frozen seawater that floats on the ocean surface – is now at its lowest physical extent ever recorded for the time of year, suggesting that it is on course to break the previous record low set in 2007.
...
Earth has been 0.65C warmer over the past 12 months than during the 1951 to 1980 mean, and that the global temperature for 2010 will exceed the 2005 record."

2010 set to be the warmest year on record.
posted by p3on on Jun 20, 2010 - 306 comments

It’s uncool to stay cool?

As summer arrives, a scientist writes (mostly negatively) about air conditioning
posted by LeLiLo on Jun 2, 2010 - 125 comments

5 Percent Too High

Odds of Cooking the Grandkids: "There is a horrible paper in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which looks at how the limits of human physiology interact with upper-range global warming scenarios. The bottom line conclusion is that there is a small - of order 5% - risk of global warming creating a situation in which a large fraction of the planet was uninhabitable (in the sense that if you were outside for an extended period during the hottest days of the year, even in the shade with wet clothing, you would die)." [more inside]
posted by symbollocks on May 7, 2010 - 47 comments

Lovelock: we're too stupid to prevent climate change

James Lovelock, 90, says we're too stupid to prevent climate change. "I don't think we're yet evolved to the point where we're clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change." One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is "modern democracy", he added in an extended interview. "I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while." He thinks only a catastrophic event would now persuade humanity to take the threat of climate change seriously enough, such as the collapse of a giant glacier in Antarctica.
posted by stbalbach on Mar 30, 2010 - 78 comments

No More Island

An island in the Bay of Bengal, South Talpatti/New Moore Island, disappears under rising seas. The inundation settles a long dispute between India and Bangladesh over the island.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer on Mar 26, 2010 - 17 comments

The Idea of Anthropogenic Global Climate Change

In 1896, Swedish physical chemist and Nobel laureate Svante Arrhenius calculated that doubling CO2 in the atmosphere would raise Earth's temperature 5-6°C. The idea didn't get traction at the time, in part because many believed it impossible for humanity to affect the climate (sound familiar?), but Arrhenius might have been on to something. Historian and physicist Spencer Weart's history of the century-long scientific investigation and popular debate will re-frame your perspective on today's crisis and arm you to educate the uninformed. If you don't know the history, you are probably repeating it. [After I-don't-know-how-many years, my first FPP]
posted by guanxi on Mar 6, 2010 - 34 comments

Everyone Loves Whales, One Way or Another

Whales are the largest animals on the planet, and when it comes to storing carbon, they act like trees in a forest. A new study suggests that industrial whaling, over the past 100 years or so has released as much carbon into the atmosphere as "burning most of Oregon's forests, or driving 128,000 Hummers for 100 years." [more inside]
posted by Danf on Mar 3, 2010 - 43 comments

Friel vs Lomborg

Bjørn Lomborg is well known as the author of Cool It and The Skeptical Environmentalist, books which challenge the scientific consensus on climate change and global warming. Howard Friel, previously known for his book The Record of the Paper, a critical look at the New York Times' coverage of American foreign policy, has a book coming out in March which asserts that Lomborg's Cool It lies constantly, citing sources which contradict or are irrelevant to his points. Lomborg, in response, has posted a rebuttal to Friel (PDF).
posted by Pope Guilty on Feb 23, 2010 - 52 comments

Innovating to zero

Talking About Energy at TED "Bill Gates unveils his vision for the world's energy future, describing the need for 'miracles' to avoid planetary catastrophe and explaining why he's backing a dramatically different type of nuclear reactor. The necessary goal? Zero carbon emissions globally by 2050." Others, however, reckon no breakthroughs are needed.
posted by kliuless on Feb 18, 2010 - 31 comments

Sometimes a snowflake isn't just a snowflake

An igloo has been built near Capitol Hill. Someone having a bit of fun in the snow? No, it's a symbol of climate change skepticism, built by the family of a Republican Senator. Sen. Jim DeMint also recently twittered that "It's going to keep snowing in DC until Al Gore cries 'uncle'". These are all examples of the politicization of Washington's lousy weather.
posted by hiteleven on Feb 11, 2010 - 168 comments

Bin Laden Criticizes U.S. for Inaction on Global Warming (SLNYT)

Al Jazeera releases a new (as of yet unauthenticated) tape in which the terrorist leader accuses the US and other large nations of inaction. Osama suggests boycotting the American dollar and quotes Noam Chomsky. [more inside]
posted by ®@ on Jan 29, 2010 - 74 comments

Open source climate data and algorithms

Do you want to personally verify climate science? You can, with open source data and algorithms. OpenTemp.org: An Open Analysis of the Historical Temperature Record. Clear Climate Code: Python reimplementation of GISTEMP, the NASA GISS surface temperature analysis. EDGCM: a research-grade Global Climate Model (GCM) with a user-friendly interface that can be run on a desktop computer.
posted by stbalbach on Jan 15, 2010 - 42 comments

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