Anyone reading pundits and politicians pontificating profusely about climate or environmental science will, at some point, have come across the “volcano gambit”. During the discussion they will make a claim that volcanoes (or even a single volcano) produce many times more pollutant emissions than human activities. Often the factor is extremely precise to help give an illusion of science-iness and, remarkably, almost any pollutant can be referenced. This “volcano gambit” is an infallible sign that indicates the author is clueless about climate science.
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]
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]
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).
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]
"Not knowing may kill us." Seed Magazine asks why the DSCOVR climate satelite (constructed for a paltry $100 million) is just sitting in a storage warehouse collecting dust when several nations outside the US are offering to launch the thing on their own dime.
To hear Rupert Murdoch's newspaper The Australian tell it, "Science" is now tempering its claims about the urgency of Global Warming. Arts and Letters Daily goes even further, declaring a "Catastrophe Postponed" on its front page. But a closer look at the meager factual content of The Australian article (as opposed to the specious inferences and dramatic allusions to "leaked IPCC documents") suggests that, in fact, "Science" has just gotten more specific about its Global Warming claims, and the real situation remains as urgent as ever if we continue on our current track. Meanwhile, in tangentially related news, Chevron is reporting a massive new oil find in the Gulf of Mexico. Not to imply any kind of conspiracy here (since, you know, "Science" has proven that actual conspiracies are an urban myth).