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Posts Tagged "global warming"

@ScientificAmerican

Storm Warnings: Climate Change and Extreme Weather–The Latest E-Book from SA

Storm Warnings -- ebook cover

Scientific American launched its e-Book program this summer, starting with The Science of Sports: Winning in the Olympics. Each month, we add new titles selected from the most relevant issues facing science today. For November, we turn our attention to our immediate environment. Hurricanes. Blizzards. Flooding. Drought. If extreme weather events like these seem to be [...]

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Cross-Check

Green Analysts Respond to Cross-Check Concerns about Warming, War and Hawkish U.S. Policies

Photo: Meditate.com, http://www.mediate.com/mobile/article.cfm?id=5042.

For a professional blowhard, there is no worse fate than being ignored. So I’m always—well, almost always—delighted when my posts get pushback, especially from people who are smart, well-informed and thoughtful. In my last post, “Hawkish U.S. Policies Pose Bigger Threat to Peace Than Climate Change,” I complained that discussions of how global warming might [...]

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Cross-Check

Hawkish U.S. Policies Pose Bigger Threat to Peace Than Climate Change

Hawkish U.S. policies are far more of a threat to world peace than global warming, if recent history is any guide.

In a previous post, I poked my nose into the debate over whether climate change will precipitate more conflict. I offered a half dozen objections to predictions that more warming means more war. One objection was that “many people making decisions that lead to large-scale violence—politicians, generals, warlords, drug kingpins and so on—work indoors in [...]

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Cross-Check

Greens Should Stop Claiming More Warming Means More War

War deaths have plummeted since 1950, according to data compiled by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)...

“There’s a surprisingly strong link between climate change and violence.” That’s the headline of a recent article by journalist Chris Mooney in The Washington Post. As fossil-fuel emissions push temperatures higher, we can “expect more wars, civil unrest, and strife, and also more violent crime in general,” Mooney says. But the evidence for this alarming [...]

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Cross-Check

Freeman Dyson, global warming, ESP and the fun of being “bunkrapt”

Should a scientist who believes in extrasensory perception—the ability to read minds, intuit the future and so on—be taken seriously? This question comes to mind when I ponder the iconoclastic physicist Freeman Dyson, whom the journalist Kenneth Brower recently profiled in The Atlantic‘s December issue. "The Danger of Cosmic Genius" explores Dyson’s denial that global [...]

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Cross-Check

“Neuroframing” the global warming issue won’t win converts

Last week the Garrison Institute, a retreat center just a few miles down the Hudson River from my home, hosted an impressive symposium on “Climate, Mind and Behavior.” An organizer made the mistake of inviting me to the meeting’s wrap-up session Friday. As a brochure put it, the symposium brought together 75 “thought leaders and [...]

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Expeditions

Extreme Ice Survey: Farewell to the Antarctic Peninsula

Dan McGrath and Matthew Kennedy attempt to excavate a battery box that became entombed in ice over the winter. Thankfully the cameras still functioned properly. ©2014 Extreme Ice Survey/Stephen Nowland.

Editors Note: Members of the Extreme Ice Survey team are returning to South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsula to maintain time-lapse camera systems. These cameras have been patiently snapping a photo every hour of every day since they were installed and are part of a much larger project that includes 38 time-lapse cameras spread [...]

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Expeditions

Extreme Ice Survey: Installing the Palmer Station Cameras

The jagged edge of the Marr Ice Piedmont towers above the frigid waters of Arthur Harbor. During the installation the familiar sound of calving seracs constantly echoed through the air. (©Extreme Ice Survey/Stephen Nowland)

Editors Note: Members of the Extreme Ice Survey team are returning to South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsula to maintain time-lapse camera systems. These cameras have been patiently snapping a photo every hour of every day since they were installed and are part of a much larger project that includes 38 time-lapse cameras spread [...]

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Expeditions

Extreme Ice Survey: Water and Electronics Don’t Mix

2014_10_30_SG-02

Editors Note: Members of the Extreme Ice Survey team are returning to South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsula to maintain time-lapse camera systems. These cameras have been patiently snapping a photo every hour of every day since they were installed and are part of a much larger project that includes 38 time-lapse cameras spread [...]

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Expeditions

Extreme Ice Survey: Success on South Georgia Island

Matthew Kennedy carries Extreme Ice Survey time-lapse camera equipment to the camera installation site above the terminus of Nordenskjöld Glacier. ©2014 Extreme Ice Survey/Stephen Nowland.

Editors Note: Members of the Extreme Ice Survey team are returning to South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsula to maintain time-lapse camera systems. These cameras have been patiently snapping a photo every hour of every day since they were installed and are part of a much larger project that includes 38 time-lapse cameras spread [...]

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Expeditions

Return to Nepal: Snow Sampling

Snow sampling along an unclimbed glacier near to Cho Oyu, the sixth highest peak in the world.

Editor’s Note: This is the third and final installment in a new series by Ulyana Horodyskyj, who chronicled an earlier expedition to Nepal in a series called, “Climbing Mount Everest,” which can be found by clicking here. Horodyskyj’s work focuses determining how airborne particles such as dust and soot that settle on massive glaciers alter [...]

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Expeditions

Extreme Ice Survey: Antarctic Time-Lapses

Neko Harbor, Andvord Bay. 1st installation of Extreme Ice Survey cameras on the 2014 Lindblad Expeditions Trip to Antarctica.  2 cameras installed looking across the glacier at Neko Harbor.  The landing is on a beach and small rock knoll of a Gentoo Penguin Colony.  Across the bay is Bagshawe Glacier, a large tidewater glacier pouring off the interior of the peninsula. (Image courtesy of Extreme Ice Survey)

Editors Note: Members of the Extreme Ice Survey team are returning to South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsula to maintain time-lapse camera systems. These cameras have been patiently snapping a photo every hour of every day since they were installed and are part of a much larger project that includes 38 time-lapse cameras spread [...]

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Expeditions

Return to Nepal: Digging Sensors Out of Ice and Dirt

Final look at this glacial lake on Ngozumpa glacier, which I had been tracking since 2011 with cameras and instruments.

Editor’s Note: This is the second installment in a new series by Ulyana Horodyskyj, who chronicled an earlier expedition to Nepal in a series called, “Climbing Mount Everest,” which can be found by clicking here. Horodyskyj’s work focuses determining how airborne particles such as dust and soot that settle on massive glaciers alter how snow [...]

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Expeditions

The Return to Nepal: In Search of Soot

Ulyana Horodyskyj drilling on the frozen surface of Spillway Lake, Ngozumpa glacier, Nepal. She is studying the thermal properties of the water, through temperature sensor buoys in the depths of the lake.

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in a new series by Ulyana Horodyskyj, who chronicled an earlier expedition to Nepal in a series called, “Climbing Mount Everest,” which can be found by clicking here. Horodyskyj’s work focuses determining how airborne particles such as dust and soot that settle on massive glaciers alter how snow [...]

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Expeditions

Climbing Mount Everest: Black Soot on White Snow

Smog in the air, even at 17,000 feet, near Mount Everest base camp.

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth and final post in a series by geologist Ulyana Horodyskyj. She climbed several peaks in the Himalaya Mountains to try to determine how airborne particles such as dust and soot that settle on massive glaciers alter how snow and ice melt, which could affect climate change as well as [...]

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Expeditions

Climbing Mount Everest: Risking Life and Limb for Science

The author and Jake St. Pierre on the Himlung icefall. Steep slopes and warming snow make climbing slow and dangerous.

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth post in a series by Ulyana Horodyskyj, a geologist who is trying to determine how airborne particles such as soot that settle on massive glaciers affect how fast the ice melts. In mid-April she and her team of scientists, volunteers and Sherpas were nearly at base camp on Mount [...]

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Extinction Countdown

As Sea Ice Disappears, Arctic Ringed Seals Could Get Largest Critical Habitat Ever

arctic ringed seal

Arctic ringed seals (Phoca hispida hispida) could soon get a critical habitat more than twice the size of California within the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Under rules (pdf) proposed this week by the National Marine Fisheries Service, the seals could have more than 900,000 square kilometers of protected waters. The seals were declared threatened [...]

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Extinction Countdown

This Rare White Possum Could Soon Be a Ghostly Memory

white lemuroid ringtail possum

A ghost lives in the Daintree Rainforest in northeastern Queensland, Australia. There, on a single mountain range located 1,100 meters above sea level, scientists have recently found what may be the last few white lemuroid ringtail possums (Hemibelideus lemuroides), a species that was all but wiped out by a heat wave in 2005. They may [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Massacred Elephants, Found Frogs and Other Links from the Brink

Dzanga Bai elephants

Elephants, turtles, grizzly bears and some of the world’s rarest frogs are among the endangered species in the news this week. Worst News of the Week: Armed gunmen entered the Dzanga Bai World Heritage Site in the violence-plagued Central African Republic this week and slaughtered at least 26 elephants. The site is known as the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Amazing Hawaiian Plant Loved by Tourists but Endangered by Climate Change

silversword

Every year up to two million people visit Haleakalā National Park in Hawaii, the only habitat for the endangered Haleakalā silversword (Argyroxyphium sandwicense macrocephalum), a spectacular and unusual plant that is now threatened by climate change. According to research published January 7 in Global Change Biology, these silverswords have suffered a dramatic population decline in [...]

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Extinction Countdown

World Cup Picks Endangered Armadillo as 2014 Mascot

World Cup 2014 mascot

The Brazilian three-banded armadillo (Tolypeutes tricinctus) can roll itself into a ball so tight that only a puma’s claws can penetrate its protective shell. But this evolutionary advantage hasn’t done much to protect the species from humans, who have turned savannah habitats into inhospitable cattle ranches and soybean plantations. Once found throughout Brazil, the armadillos—one [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Platypus Populations on Small Australian Islands Show Lack of Genetic Diversity, High Risk of Disease

Last year we learned that climate change could soon make Australia too hot for the cold-loving, iconic platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). Now we have word of a new threat to these unique, egg-laying mammals: inbreeding, which has put the platypuses living on two small Australian islands at enhanced risk of disease. According to research published March [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Salamanders slipping away, global warming may be to blame

Biologists report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week that they were unable to find  a pair of previously common Guatemalan salamander species — Pseudoeurycea brunnata and Pseudoeurycea goebeli — and  say they are apparently extinct. Numerous other species in Guatemala and Mexico also failed to turn up during several surveys [...]

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Food Matters

Political Climates: Drought and Conflict in Syria

PoliticalClimate

Beginning in 2007, Syria and the greater Fertile Crescent experienced the worst three year drought ever recorded in the region. Recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests the drought may have contributed to the ongoing conflict in Syria. According to their study, the drought had detrimental effects on agriculture [...]

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Guest Blog

Turning to Bacteria to Fight the Effects of Climate Change

A fluorescent microscope image of the plant root cell with the red fluorescent particles representing beneficial microbes attached to the cell. (Image courtesy of Yoav and Luz Bashan)

Recently the United Nations warned that the world could suffer a 40 percent shortfall in water by 2030 unless countries dramatically cut consumption. Since 70 percent of the world’s fresh water goes to agriculture, this means changing the way people farm.  The need is ubiquitous. In California’s Central Valley, farmers drilling for water are now [...]

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Guest Blog

For Its 40th Birthday, Let’s Retire Newsweek’s Global Cooling Story

The cover of Newsweek's April 28, 1975 issue.

Last month, Senator Ted Cruz matter-of-factly told an interviewer that he just happened to glance at a four-decade-old article from Newsweek that very morning. He took a piece by veteran science reporter Peter Gwynne on the then-topical prospect of a cooling Earth and wove a conspiratorial tale that climate science is a Trojan horse for [...]

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Guest Blog

Cell Phones Monitor Water, Soil on African Farms [Q&A]

Pulsepod, a cellular-enabled system for low-cost environmental sensing. (Photo: Adam Wolf)

When he was in elementary school, Kelly Caylor built a weather station in his parents’ Tallahassee, Florida backyard. Decades later, he’s distributing high-tech environmental sensors, or “pods,” throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Unlike the DIY contraption he built as a student, these pods are smart, high-tech, and talkative. Now an ecohydrologist at Princeton University, Caylor wants to [...]

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Guest Blog

Why Can’t Gravity Believers and Skeptics Get Along?

Credit: The Mad LOLscientist/Flickr (Original photo by Richard Peters)

Multiple media outlets around the world covered a study published last week in the journal Nature Climate Change.* This study sought to explain why “believers” in climate change cannot get along with “skeptics” and how “believers” can argue the matter better to convince “skeptics.” Seems like a fascinating dive into the sociology of science, until [...]

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Guest Blog

Why We Need More Scientists in Davos

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM/swiss-image.ch/Photo Jolanda Flubacher

Science at the World Economic Forum is about inspiration, solutions and collaboration. First and foremost, leaders come together in Davos to address global challenges such as antibiotic resistance, climate change and understanding the human mind. Science has a critical role to play helping leaders understand why we have these problems, and increasingly leaders are looking [...]

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Guest Blog

Whistleblower Who Exposed White House Tampering with Climate Science Dies

Rick Piltz passed away last Saturday. He spent decades working in the federal government and state government in Texas, and was a prominent whistleblower during the Bush administration. He later founded Climate Science Watch. I first met Rick Piltz after reading a 2005 New York Times story exposing a concerted effort by the Bush White [...]

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Guest Blog

Scientists Team Up to Talk about Climate Change

People's Climate March, New York City. (South Bend Voice via Flickr)

As many as 400,000 people voiced their concern about climate change during the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21. Held just before the United Nations Climate Summit, the march was one of many events held around the world. It was the largest climate march in history and gave the impression that [...]

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Guest Blog

In Indonesia, a Worrying Silence on Climate Change

Resilient coral. A colony of table coral that broke down, recovered and is now growing into other direction.

Dive into the limpid waters off Indonesia’s resort island of Bali and you’ll spot the beginnings of an environmental success story. Older reefs are recovering from the devastating coral bleaching of 1998 and 2009. New corals are now taking hold. On shore, local fishermen also see improvement. There are, at long last, more and bigger [...]

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Guest Blog

In Africa, Climate Change Wages War on Bodies, Not Just Lands

Dr. Kassahun Desalegn and patient

While the African Union concentrates on strategies to mitigate the devastating financial effects climate change is having on Africans, I worry instead about its impact on our bodies. As a doctor working in my native Ethiopia, I see the results of our warming planet, not just in the dry earth or the torrential skies, but [...]

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Guest Blog

Now in 3-D: The shape of krill and fish schools

Watching videos of fish feeding frenzies is a very emotional experience for me. You know the videos I’m talking about (personal favorites here, 0:55 in, and here). They feature a swirling, glittering mass of fish that seems to dance and flit as a single entity while being torn apart by three or four types of [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Humans Bring On Many Changes, Most Are Far From Painless

What happens in Vegas apparently spreads from Vegas....

From atmospheric changes, to timelapse imagery from Google Earth…our planetary presence is hard to miss. This past week has seen the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth’s atmosphere reach a level of 400 parts-per-million, a value the planet hasn’t seen since several million years ago. To put this into some kind of context let’s [...]

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Observations

Tar Sands Pipeline Vetoed, Climate Threat Marches On

canadian-liquids-pipelines

Pres. Barack Obama vetoed a bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline on February 24—not because of climate change, not because of low oil prices and not because of the risks from leaking diluted bitumen from the tar sands. Obama vetoed the pipeline bill “because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive [...]

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Observations

NYC’s East River Ice Floes Are a Throwback to the 1800s [Video]

Courtesy of Larry Greenemeier

More than a century ago, New York City’s East River would freeze over every few decades, creating major issues for commuters who relied on ferries for access to Manhattan from the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. The problems were serious enough that they helped prompt the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, which opened in 1883, [...]

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Observations

Senators Vote in Circles about Global Warming and the Keystone XL Pipeline

US-capitol-building

The U.S. Senate voted 62 to 36 yesterday to build the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline that would bring oil from tar sands in Canada down through the U.S. Tar sands are one of the dirtiest forms of oil and expansion of their use would ensure too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, helping climate change wreak [...]

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Observations

Science Far from Center Stage in Obama’s State of the Union

Pres. Obama delivers his State of the Union

President Barack Obama’s sixth State of the Union address, his first before a Republican-led legislature, was studded this evening with references to science and technology amidst talk of middle class tax cuts, thawing U.S. relations with Cuba, economic empowerment and closing the pay gap between men and women. The speech included mentions of climate change, [...]

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Observations

The Real Outcome of Global Warming Talks in Lima: A Future for Coal

US-climate-change-negotiator-todd-stern

“There will be coal burning.” Negotiators from around the world produced a four-page climate-change accord (pdf) after some sleep-deprived haggling over the weekend in Lima, Peru, but the agreement could be summed up in those five words. For the first time, all nations agreed that all nations must have a plan to curb greenhouse gases. [...]

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Observations

How the World Can Fight Global Warming, No Matter What Happens in Lima

obama-arrives-beijing

Imagine if the world’s two largest polluters unilaterally decide to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, the ubiquitous gas responsible for the bulk of global warming. At the same time, a major developing country admits that future growth will have to be balanced with CO2 pollution limits. Meanwhile, an industrialized nation country takes responsibility for the [...]

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Observations

Can China Cut Coal?

china-coal-power

On a visit to China a few years back, I asked a local official about pollution controls after enjoying my first sour, gritty taste of the country’s air. China’s new coal-fired power plants and other industrial boilers often came equipped with expensive scrubbers to clean acid rain and smog-forming sulfur dioxide out of the hot [...]

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Observations

Acid Maps Reveal Worst of Climate Change

global-ocean-ph-map-february-2005

Much of the change in climate change is happening to the ocean. It’s not just the extra heat hiding within the waves. The seven seas also absorb a big share of the carbon dioxide released by burning the fossilized sunshine known as coal, natural gas and oil. All those billions and billions of CO2 molecules [...]

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Observations

29 Bullets Tell All about Climate Challenge

melting ice cream

The results are in. Yesterday the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released it final report crystallizing 13 months of work by more than 800 scientists. The “synthesis report” gives a no-nonsense assessment of how the climate is changing, what is causing the change, the impacts the changes will have on us and the [...]

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Observations

Clean Coal Era Begins

boundary-dam-power-plant

On October 2, the Boundary Dam power plant in Saskatchewan became the first full-sized coal-fired boiler to capture the copious carbon dioxide that had previously billowed from its smokestack, preventing the greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere. On the resulting invisible stream of hot smoke ride the hopes of combating climate change while still burning [...]

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Plugged In

Clinton Makes Climate Change A Central Issue for 2016

Hillary Clinton

It’s official. Hillary Clinton is running for President of the United States. That wasn’t a surprise, but something about her campaign really stood out yesterday – and most people missed it. This tweet by John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman: As reported at ThinkProgress, Hillary’s campaign is the first major presidential campaign to make combating climate [...]

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Plugged In

“Climate Change” Or “Global Warming?” Two New Polls Suggest Language Matters.

Hurricane_Isabel_from_ISS

On Friday, a new Yale-Associated Press-NORC poll on environmental attitudes reported that just 56 percent of Americans believe global warming is happening. This seems a bit low to me given our UT Energy Poll data on climate change over the past three years looks like this: [Click for larger] But then I thought about language. [...]

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Plugged In

Did Climate Change Intensify Supertyphoon Haiyan?

At the UN climate talks in Poland, Yeb Sano, the head of the Philippines delegation has announced he will refrain from eating until participants make “meaningful” progress. In his address, Sano linked the terrible devastation in the Philippines after Supertyphoon Haiyan to climate change. “What my country is going through as a result of this [...]

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Plugged In

These Stairs Aren’t Climbing — They’re Flat!

There’s been quite a bit of reaction to the article published by the Economist, dated March 30, suggesting that there may be evidence that climate change has been overestimated. The data that concern those cheering the Economist writers is an apparent lack of warming since 1998 or so. Here’s a video package the Economist put [...]

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Plugged In

Still Bringing the Science Crazy in NC

So you thought the nuttiest thing we did in North Carolina this week was appoint a director of child development and early education who was against … um, early education. What’s wrong with you: have you never heard of North Carolina before? This is the NEW North Carolina, with a new governor and bulletproof majorities [...]

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SA Visual

On Climate Surveys, the People Agree—Mostly [Interactive]

climate_detail

It’s interesting to see how different points can pique the interest of different people looking at the same data set. My colleague Mark Fischetti (senior editor and partner-in-crime for many of the Graphic Science items in the magazine) was intrigued by bipartisan agreement on questions related to global warming in the survey results shown in [...]

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