the past 12 years have seen the warmest 10 years on record, temperatures have remained fairly steady, even while CO2 emissions grew by nearly a third. Temperatures should have been increasing during this period, rather 1998 was tied with 2010 for hottest on record. Now a study suggests why
(pdf): sulfur emissions from Asian coal plants (China mostly) are so high they mimic the effects of a volcano which can cause short term cooling by reflecting light back into space. Insidiously, the long-term warming caused by CO2 (coal) has been masked by short-term cooling of sulfur (coal).
posted by stbalbach
on Jul 5, 2011 -
, first observed by Galileo, normally follow an 11-year cycle. We are into a few years into (recorded) cycle number 24 but according to NASA it's looking rather underpowered
. Nobody is certain exactly what the consequences will be, but one distinct possibility is a cold period
; a previous low in solar activity, the Maunder minimum
, is correlated with a brief Little Ice Age
. Nobody really knows how this unusual solar weather pattern might interact with human-caused climate change. Previously
, albeit somewhat controversially.
posted by anigbrowl
on Jun 14, 2011 -
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 -