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The vanishing groves

The vanishing groves: A chronicle of climates past and a portent of climates to come – the telling rings of the bristlecone pine.
posted by homunculus on Oct 17, 2012 - 19 comments

"...do you really want a couple million eagles circling overhead?"

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 - 38 comments

"all gone by 2015"

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 - 215 comments

Supercut: Apocalypse

The world has ended many times - a supercut of apocalyptic visions.
posted by Happy Dave on Sep 7, 2012 - 55 comments

Current state of evidence on whether climate change is causing recent extreme weather events

Is climate change causing our recent extreme weather events? (pdf). A panel of eminent climate scientists lays out the current state of what we know, and what we don't know yet, in this forthcoming paper. Jason Samenow (of the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang blog) nicely summarizes the key points. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten on Aug 13, 2012 - 46 comments

It's real and it's our fault

The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic : Richard A. Muller is a physicist, teacher, and author. His popular "Physics for Future Presidents" course is available for free online (previously). Yet Muller has a more controversial side: Climate skeptic. But last year, his Koch-funded Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project confirmed global warming is real and today, an OpEd in the New York Times states that humans are almost entirely the cause. [more inside]
posted by gwint on Jul 30, 2012 - 60 comments

R'uh oh!

In the five day period between July 8th and July 12th, Greenland saw a dramatic and unprecedentedly rapid thawing across 97% of its surface ice cover. Initially, NASA and other experts questioned the satellite data, viewing such a rapid melting as too unlikely to be true, but NASA has since confirmed the results. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Jul 25, 2012 - 86 comments

Global Warming's Terrifying New Math

Global Warming's Terrifying New Math, Bill McKibben [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jul 19, 2012 - 242 comments

The heat goes on

Could global warming become an election issue? After the extreme weather last year and the likelihood that 2012 will reach a record high global temperature (which it almost has), it's possible that hot weather could become politically noticeable. Most Americans say they believe temperatures around the world are going up and that weather patterns have become more unstable in the past few years, according to this poll (and this other poll and this other poll.) Obama has said that climate change and the money being thrown into the denial of science is one of the most important issues in the coming campaign discussion. but Romney doesn't know.
posted by twoleftfeet on Jul 15, 2012 - 59 comments

Unintended air conditioned consequences

As the world gets warmer from global warming more people use air conditioning which increases Co2 emissions which increases the warmth of the world which causes more people to use AC... this positive feedback loop turns out to be non-trivial. Cooling a Warming Planet: A Global Air Conditioning Surge. Some facts about air conditioning and the environment, by Stan Cox. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jul 10, 2012 - 112 comments

One of the biggest disasters in Colorado history

Back in March, Samuel Smith wondered "Will 2012 be the summer when Colorado finally burns to the ground?" A perfect combination of record high heat, record low snow pack, low humidity and high levels of underbrush made Colorado (and elsewhere) a tinderbox ready to blow. Unfortunately, that is now playing out. The Denver post says the fires are "shaping up as one of the biggest disasters in Colorado history." Some of the best sources for following the fires.. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jun 28, 2012 - 86 comments

If we keep doing what we are now doing, we will face unthinkable catastrophe

"Climate change will take on a life of it's own and spiral out of control. Something like half the earth's currently-inhabited land would become too hot to survive on. I don't mean it's difficult to grow beans, or your air-conditioning bills are inconveniently high. I mean, if you go outside you die of hotness. Places that were an average of 80F will now be an average of 170, 180F. Will there still be human civilization under those circumstances?" - a TEDx talk on The Brutal Logic of Climate Change, by David Roberts of grist.org
posted by crayz on Jun 24, 2012 - 203 comments

Mexico passes ambitious climate change law

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 - 25 comments

A “high-end, life-threatening” tornado outbreak is likely on Saturday

The Storm Prediction Center (NOAA) has issued a rare “high risk” outlook for severe weather more than a day in advance. A “high-end, life-threatening” tornado outbreak is likely on Saturday from Texas northeastward to Iowa. Weather briefing. More info. This is only the second time a 2-day forecast of this type has ever been issued, the last time was for an outbreak on April 7, 2006, when more than 70 tornadoes touched down, killing 13 and causing more than $1 billion in damage. Running total of tornadoes to date compared with historical averages.
posted by stbalbach on Apr 13, 2012 - 171 comments

Air-capture startups

Three startup companies led by prominent scientists are working on new technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. These scientists have launched start-up companies and attracted well-to-do investors — most notably Bill Gates — along with venture capital and, most recently, the attention of Wall Street. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Feb 23, 2012 - 53 comments

Sixteen Concerned Scientists

"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 - 270 comments

The Debunking Handbook

"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 - 33 comments

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...and it might be a good idea to get used to it

"From extreme drought, heat waves and floods to unprecedented tornado outbreaks, hurricanes, wildfires and winter storms, a record 12 weather and climate disasters in 2011 each caused $1 billion or more in damages". The US National Weather service has put together a great online exhibit of what was a whirlwind (*ahem*) year for extreme weather events. The exhibit has lots of videos and photographs of these events, such as satellite imagery of the Grounhog Day Blizzard from back in February and a picture of a car damaged by a tornado in Ft. Benning, GA.
posted by MattMangels on Dec 29, 2011 - 20 comments

Boiling like a pot

Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane have been have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Dec 13, 2011 - 189 comments

Tick, Tick, Boom

The National Ignition Facility (and fusion power) has been in the news lately. (pdf) [more inside]
posted by Orange Pamplemousse on Nov 28, 2011 - 38 comments

Climate Change Denialists Take Heed!

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 - 38 comments

Massive rare blizzicane strikes Alaska

A massive rare 'superstorm' is currently bearing down on Alaska, with hurricane force winds (100+mph gusts), blizzard, sea-surge flooding. "This is going to be one of the worst storms on record over the Bering Sea". The storm passed through an area of unusually high sea surface temperatures. "This may help explain why the storm is turning from an ordinary Bering Sea disturbance into a ‘superstorm’." [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Nov 9, 2011 - 69 comments

Oops!

Carbon dioxide emissions increased by the largest amount on record in 2010, exceeding the worst case scenario outlined by the IPCC four years ago.
posted by jeffburdges on Nov 8, 2011 - 93 comments

Hedging the Apocalypse

Hedging the Apocalypse: Dornith Doherty’s documentary images of seed-saving facilities.
posted by OmieWise on Oct 12, 2011 - 28 comments

Walking the Ganges

The Age of Dissolution. "Walking the Ganga river, from holy bacterial stews to crystalline glaciers: Shiva, eclipses, and the IPCC." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jul 30, 2011 - 4 comments

CLOUDed judgment

The chief of the world's leading physics lab at CERN in Geneva has prohibited scientists from drawing conclusions from a major experiment. The CLOUD ("Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets") experiment examines the role that energetic particles from deep space play in cloud formation. Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Director General of CERN, said in an interview: "I have asked the colleagues to present the results clearly, but not to interpret them. That would go immediately into the highly political arena of the climate change debate. One has to make clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters." [more inside]
posted by thescientificmethhead on Jul 20, 2011 - 40 comments

Willie Soon, Denier-for-hire

Willie Soon Ph.D. is a member of the Solar, Stellar, and Planetary Sciences (SSP) group at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He is also the go to guy for cloaking climate denial in "science". A regular blogger at conservative web sites, he can be counted on to provide anti-global warming talking points such as here and here. He has also been linked to conservative funding sources and recently spoke at Heartland Institute's "denial fest". His scientific work has been the target of some dispute. Recently, RealClimate was able to access his publically accessible website where he has posted papers, emails, calculations and reviews going back to 2003. There seems to be evidence that Soon has been playing a little loose with the data
posted by Michael_H on Jul 14, 2011 - 19 comments

Asian pollution temporarily slows global warming

Although 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 - 85 comments

Dr Frank Baxter & Bell Labs Films

Dr. Frank C. Baxter has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He played Dr. Research in the Bell Labs Science Series, beginning in 1956 with Our Mr. Sun. [more inside]
posted by warbaby on Jul 3, 2011 - 18 comments

New "Normal" temperatures released by NOAA, increased extreme weather events

When a TV meteorologist says "temperatures will be ten degrees above normal", the word "normal" has a specific meaning. Every 10 years NOAA re-calculates the "normal" temps for the USA based on the prior 30-year averages. The new normals have just been released, based on the 30 year period 1980-2010. Hotter is the new normal. With hotter weather comes more extreme weather. Extreme Weather and Climate Change, 3-part series from Scientific America .. and map of extreme weather events 1995-present.
posted by stbalbach on Jun 30, 2011 - 35 comments

One foot in front of the other, one page after another.

Walking Home From Walden is a 5 part series by Wen Stephenson describing how a middle-aged resident of Wayland, MA got advice from Henry David Thoreau about responding to global warming while living in suburbia, by taking a 12 mile hike.
posted by paulsc on Jun 27, 2011 - 5 comments

Some watch the grass grow, some watch the poles melt

Every summer the arctic melt season plays out as the ice retreats in the summer sun. Are the monthly releases from NSDIC too infrequent for you? Is Cryosphere today lacking context? Neven's blog to the rescue.
posted by humanfont on Jun 27, 2011 - 7 comments

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

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

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

Vanguard of American Journalism

Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 30, 2011 - 24 comments

Climategate

Climategate: What Really Happened? How climate science became the target of "the best-funded, best-organized smear campaign by the wealthiest industry that the Earth has ever known." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Apr 22, 2011 - 73 comments

Indoor cultivation of Marijuana and AGW

PDF: Indoor cultivation of Cannabis is estimated to consume 20 TWh/year, equivalent to that of 2 million average US homes. This is about 1% of national electricity consumption, and results in emission of 17 million metric tons of CO2 to contribute to global warming. [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle on Apr 13, 2011 - 89 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

Koch-funded study confirms global warming

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

The Cultural Cognition Project at Yale

The Cultural Cognition Project at Yale looks at the cause of polarizing debates such as: global warming, gun ownership, school shootings, terrorism, nanotechnology, public health, nuclear power, foreign wars and just about every heated thread in Internet history. In short, the polarizing issue is "risk"- the perception of risk, and the proposed solutions to risk. It turns out people see risk in polarizing ways according to where they stand on a scale of cultural beliefs. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Mar 26, 2011 - 46 comments

Freeman Dyson's Global Warming Heresy

The Danger of Cosmic Genius. Why is Freeman Dyson now considered "perhaps our most prominent global-warming skeptic?" Previously
posted by zarq on Jan 19, 2011 - 50 comments

Total jelly domination - “like cockroaches”

"The world’s oceans have been experiencing enormous blooms of jellyfish, apparently caused by overfishing, declining water quality, and rising sea temperatures. Now, scientists are trying to determine if these outbreaks could represent a “new normal” in which jellyfish increasingly supplant fish.. Total jelly domination would be like turning back the clock to the Precambrian world, more than 550 million years ago."
posted by stbalbach on Jan 13, 2011 - 69 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

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

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

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