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A dot of orange beneath an art-deco masterpiece.

Halfway through my three-week, 417-mile journey down the “most endangered” river in America, the water began flowing backward and the mud started talking. It spoke in baritone gurgles, like Barry White trapped in a bong. You know what this is, John? No, Barry White mud. This is QUICKSAND.
posted by lonefrontranger on Sep 3, 2014 - 10 comments

And no birds sing

Invertebrate numbers nearly halve as human population doubles. The decline of birds might have something to do with this recent news that half the insects (and spiders, crustaceans, slugs, worms) are gone.
posted by sfenders on Aug 30, 2014 - 61 comments

Losing Ground

Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
posted by T.D. Strange on Aug 28, 2014 - 27 comments

Become a citizen scientist!

It's Science Week in Australia and the crowdsourcing call has gone out for Weather Detectives to look through old ships' log books and track weather observations from the 1890s and 1900s. It's a good project for older kids, and aims to improve weather forecasting and track climate change. Do try this at home, kids.
posted by superfish on Aug 20, 2014 - 3 comments

Climate change and contemporary fiction

"Novels are no use at all in days like these, for they deal with people and their relationships, with fathers and mothers and daughters or sons and lovers, etc., with souls, usually unhappy ones, and with society etc., as if the place for all these things were assured, the earth for all time earth, the sea level fixed for all time." [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Aug 9, 2014 - 57 comments

That's a lot of decaying plant matter

Word association time: I say "peat", you say… "Scotland", right? Not necessarily! Peat is found around the world, including in many African countries. Earlier this year, scientists trekked through a Congo swamp, braving gorillas, elephants, crocodiles, and more. Their reward? Discovery of a peat bog the size of England. The team estimates that the bog covers between 100,000 and 200,000 square kilometers (40,000 to 80,000 sq miles), with the peat-layer reaching up to 7m (23ft) beneath the ground.
posted by Lexica on Jul 11, 2014 - 28 comments

A Planet in 12 Photoshop Layers

Building a plausible world: a step-by-step tutorial, from plate tectonics to trade winds. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jun 27, 2014 - 13 comments

Notice From THE ADVANCED CLIMATE RESEARCH & ANALYSIS CENTER

ECO VIRTUAL / / / Advanced Climate Research & Analysis Music [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods on Jun 12, 2014 - 4 comments

National Climate Assessment

This morning the U.S. government released the newest National Climate Assessment, which "concludes that the evidence of human-induced climate change continues to strengthen and that impacts are increasing across the country." You can explore the assessment here. Previously.
posted by brundlefly on May 6, 2014 - 48 comments

A Dangerous Dance of Frost and Flame:

More Than 100 Wildfires Now Raging Along Siberian Melt-Freeze Line [more inside]
posted by eviemath on Apr 24, 2014 - 21 comments

The Moral Question Of Our Time: Can We Share The Planet?

UN Climate Report: We Must Focus On 'Decarbonization', and It Won't Wreck the Economy - "The basic message is simple: We share a planet. Let's start acting like it." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 23, 2014 - 50 comments

"Nature doesn't need people, people need nature."

Harrison Harrison Ford, correspondent for Showtime's Years of Living Dangerously (previously), answered questions on Ask Me Anything (slreddit). You may also recognize Mr. Ford as Dr. Indiana Jones.
posted by Dashy on Apr 14, 2014 - 41 comments

Famine, Cholera, Opium, Romanticism and the Volcano That Binds Them

On 10 April 1815, Tambora produced the largest eruption known on the planet during the past 10,000 years. As described in Gillen D'Arcy Wood's new book, the explosion was only the first dose of Tambora's destructive power. In terms of its enduring presence in folklore, as well as its status in the scientific literature, 1816’s cold summer was the most significant meteorological event of the nineteenth century. After the tsunami and famine came cholera, opium, and failed Arctic expeditions. [more inside]
posted by shoesfullofdust on Apr 13, 2014 - 14 comments

Fished Out

The world's fish are in danger—as is everyone who depends on them (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 23, 2014 - 52 comments

Should we talk about the weather?

Pronbably to no one's surprise, Southern California leads the nation in the number of pleasant days per year (mean temperature between 55° F and 75° F, no precipitation). How does your city stack up?
posted by Horace Rumpole on Feb 15, 2014 - 86 comments

The Year(s) Without A Summer

So, why was there a ten year long winter starting in 536?
posted by The Whelk on Jan 21, 2014 - 25 comments

Monitoring the raindrops that keep falling on your head from space

The successor to the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), the NASA/JAXA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) spacecraft is preparing for launch at the Japanese Tanegashima Space Center. GPM will be the newest international Precipitation Measurement Mission and will be the core observatory of the GPM Constellation. The two sensors on-board GPM are the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) and the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR). The GPM/DPR team has produced a fantastic anime about the DPR instrument. [more inside]
posted by Rob Rockets on Jan 8, 2014 - 6 comments

Why find more? Unburnable carbon as financial assets.

There is another bubble. Before it's burned, Coal, Oil and Gas sit for years on the balance sheets of private (and national) resource companies, as "known reserve" assets. Assets that, someday, will become revenues. Or will they? And if they won't, what will the balance sheets of ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Petrochina, and Gazprom actually look like? [more inside]
posted by anthill on Dec 19, 2013 - 22 comments

Hot, Hot Climate Science

Climate Models: A calendar of "renowned climate scientists, their research, their favorite datasets, and memorable dates in weather and climate history."
posted by Cash4Lead on Dec 10, 2013 - 6 comments

So letters that have an untrue basis... do not get printed

On October 8, the LA Times' Letter Editor, Paul Thornton published a piece entitled, "On letters from climate-change deniers" following up on a claim in an earlier article that said, " Simply put, this objection to the president's healthcare law is based on a falsehood, and letters that have an untrue basis (for example, ones that say there's no sign humans have caused climate change) do not get printed." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 22, 2013 - 73 comments

Obama takes action on climate change

President of the United States Barack Obama unveils his Climate Action Plan
While no single step can reverse the effects of climate change, we have a moral obligation to future generations to leave them a planet that is not polluted and damaged. Through steady, responsible action to cut carbon pollution, we can protect our children’s health and begin to slow the effects of climate change so that we leave behind a cleaner, more stable environment.
[more inside]
posted by No Robots on Jun 25, 2013 - 108 comments

I'm sure all the CO2 isn't exactly HELPING, but...

Global warming may be caused more by CFCs than CO2. Paper here.
posted by sexyrobot on Jun 3, 2013 - 47 comments

A New Breed of Bushfire

On January 4th, 2013, in the midst of a national heat wave, Tasmania experienced some of the most extreme weather on record, with Hobart recording a record temperature of 41.8°C in the afternoon. Fires blazed around the state, covering almost 50,000 acres, claiming hundreds of properties, and destroying the town of Dunalley. The Tasman peninsula was cut off by the fires, necessitating a sea rescue of over 2,000 people. An image of a family clinging to a jetty in the water to escape from the fire captured the attention of the world. With the launch of their Australian edition, The Guardian have produced a frightening and fascinating multimedia article exploring the human side of the inferno.
posted by Jimbob on May 26, 2013 - 46 comments

I've got to keep breathing.It'll be my worst business mistake if I don't

Time history of atmospheric carbon dioxide from 800,000 years ago until January, 2012.
posted by Brent Parker on May 10, 2013 - 32 comments

CO2 to hit 400 parts per million next month, highest since the Pliocene

Scripps Institute of Oceanography projects that next month its monitoring station will for the first time measure CO2 at 400 parts per million. Atmospheric CO2 has risen from 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution. 400 ppm is an arbitrary milestone that we'll blow right past on our way to 450 ppm within a few decades. This is an unprecedentedly fast rate of increase and it's getting faster. Not all measuring stations are exactly the same: A NOAA station in the Arctic measured CO2 at 400 ppm last year. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Apr 25, 2013 - 127 comments

"More like Statue of Watery, right?"

How Popular Tourist Destinations Will Look Submerged In 25 Feet Of Water [Pics] [more inside]
posted by laconic skeuomorph on Apr 10, 2013 - 53 comments

Sense About Science

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 - 9 comments

The Price of Beans.

Himileia Vastatrix, colloquially known as Roya or coffee rust, outbreaks are occurring at a frightening pace in Central America. Coffee futures and associated prices for specialty coffees, especially from small family-run farms are expected to rise, drastically, on top of a lower estimated harvest. [more inside]
posted by furnace.heart on Feb 12, 2013 - 16 comments

Wild is the Windy City

Chicago has been having some fairly remarkable weather lately, even by their standards. On the 25th of January there was more than an inch of snowfall recorded for the first time in 335 days, a new record. Then a surge of warm air from the south brought a temperature of 63 degrees at O'Hare airport on January 29th, a new record for that date, exactly one week after a temperature of 9 degrees was recorded (which, combined with the 35mph winds on that date, produced a windchill factor of about -20f). The current forecast (at time of posting this) calls for a high of only 14f on Friday (Feb. 1st), another significant temperature swing within a few days.
posted by MattMangels on Jan 30, 2013 - 37 comments

A draft of the National Climate Assessment report has been released

...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 - 195 comments

"I'm not worrying," Pa replied. "But it's going to be a hard winter."

Meteorologist and climatologist Barbara Mayes Boustead has loved the Little House books since she was a little girl. At her blog Wilder Weather, Barbara makes "connections between weather and climate concepts, events during Laura’s time and in her books, and present or future weather and climate concerns." For example, in October of 1880, a storm is brewing. "The initial shot of cold air brought near-freezing temperatures and a little bit of precipitation up north on the 14th. The low pressure system deepened on the 15th as it got spinning in eastern Nebraska, pulling cold air around behind it while it brought moisture up from the south. Then, the low pressure just sat there for a while and deepened. As it got deeper, the winds behind it – in eastern South Dakota – got stronger. The storm stayed in the area of northwest Iowa to southern Minnesota through the 16th, then pulled away into northern Michigan on the 17th, leaving cold air and breezy conditions behind it." And in De Smet, South Dakota, Laura Ingalls and her family settle in for the beginning of the Long Winter. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura on Dec 13, 2012 - 43 comments

The end of the world is nigh. We need to publish papers on it.

At Cambridge University, the Project for Existential Risk is considering threats to humankind caused by developing technologies. It will be developing a prospectus for the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, to be launched by the Astronomer Royal, a co-founder of Skype and the Bertrand Russell professor of philosophy. More detail from the university, while the news excites some journalists. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Nov 25, 2012 - 25 comments

Our 4°C future

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 - 84 comments

Out of the frying pan

The tragedy of climate change: the UK Pig Association is warning that due to droughts causing high pig food prices, a global bacon shortage is now unavoidable.
posted by unSane on Sep 25, 2012 - 108 comments

The rising sea

Vanua Levu, population 130,000, is the second largest island of Fiji. It is also the home of the village of Vunidogoloa, one of the fist villages in the world forced to relocate due to climate change. The entire nation of Kiribati could be next. Recently, a Kiribati man was denied immigration status in New Zealand as a "climate change refugee".
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 22, 2012 - 10 comments

Strange New Worlds

Let's take another look at Chris Wayan's PLANETOCOPIA (previously): A series of detailed conceptions and paintings of vastly different Earths based on differing climates and land mass position. A planet designed to speed up East-West cvilization development! A life-bearing super hot world! An Earth with most of the seas missing! Forever Ice Age Earth! [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Sep 9, 2012 - 11 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

Getting Warmer...

Was climate science the real reason the strategic dynamos on the UVA board wanted president Teresa Sullivan gone? The fund manager behind the coup is "very, very angry" that I would even ask… In a three-part series (1, 2, 3) of muckraking blog posts, journalist Moe Tkacik investigates the possibility that the failed ouster of President Teresa Sullivan from the University of Virginia (previously) might have been motivated not by vague conflicts over Internet-based distance learning, as had been speculated — but instead by global-warming-denial politics, with the coup plotters on the Board opposing Sullivan over the hire of climate scientist Michael Mann (previously).
posted by RogerB on Jul 24, 2012 - 16 comments

Sea. No Evil.

"If your science gives you a result you don't like, pass a law saying the result is illegal. Problem solved." [more inside]
posted by jhandey on Jun 14, 2012 - 75 comments

David versus Goliath... again...

Big oil companies make more than $300 million every day. "Why should Americans prop up these companies with tax dollars and have to pay ridiculous fuel prices?" Self-described 'Democratic socialist' Bernie Sanders (Vermont) introduces a bill to cut $113B of fossil fuel subsidies. [more inside]
posted by nickrussell on May 11, 2012 - 146 comments

Long Live Ligers

"It fits with what we would expect as a result of the rapid change in Arctic habitat." The stuff of science fiction is becoming increasingly the stuff of science fact. And now, it seems, you can crack open a white Coke (if you can stomach the campaign) and watch it all from the comfort of your couch. [more inside]
posted by huckhound on Apr 9, 2012 - 40 comments

"This is not the atmosphere I grew up with."

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 - 120 comments

No Mortgage, Underwater Anyway

Live in America? Find out if your house will be underwater in 2100 and plan your sandbag purchasing well in advance.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Mar 19, 2012 - 46 comments

"There's no way to argue with that, except with explosives"

END:CIV [full 75 minute movie] "If your homeland was invaded by aliens who cut down the forests, poisoned the water and air, and contaminated the food supply, would you resist?" [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Mar 9, 2012 - 37 comments

Did the Little Ice Age start with a big bang?

Did the Little Ice Age start with a big bang? According to the new study, the Little Ice Age, a period of cooling temperatures that began after the Middle Ages and lasted into the late 19th century was triggered by repeated, explosive volcanism and sustained by a self- perpetuating sea ice-ocean feedback system in the North Atlantic Ocean
posted by 2manyusernames on Mar 6, 2012 - 12 comments

Yale Economist William Nordhaus disses global warming deniers

In January, 16 scientists and/or engineers wrote an opinion piece in the WSJ. This is the response of one of the academics cited in their piece: William Nordhaus. According to the 16 scientists/engineers, Nordhaus recommended no action on climate change for 50 years. But he didn't. The opinion piece has generated controversy among climate scientists as well.
posted by blueberry sushi on Feb 29, 2012 - 19 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

debt without growth?

So when the Heartlanders react to evidence of human-induced climate change as if capitalism itself were coming under threat, it’s not because they are paranoid. It’s because they are paying attention. [via the excellent Do the Math]
posted by fantabulous timewaster on Jan 2, 2012 - 133 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

Oh, Canada. :(

Canada is planning to withdraw from the Kyoto treaty. CBC, BBC, AFP. The Herald Sun claims that this is to allow shale sands oil extraction.
posted by jaduncan on Dec 12, 2011 - 121 comments

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