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
posted by wilful
on May 30, 2011 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
"...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."
set to be the warmest year on record.
posted by p3on
on Jun 20, 2010 -
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 -
, 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 -
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 -
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 -