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Posts Tagged "climate change"

@ScientificAmerican

Earth Day E-Book Examines The Future of Energy: Earth, Wind and Fire

Scientific American E-Book: The Future of Energy: Earth, Wind and Fire

Since the Industrial Revolution our civilization has depended on fossil fuels to generate energy—first it was coal; then petroleum. But there are two problems: the first is that petroleum isn’t an infinite resource; and the second is that burning coal and oil puts billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, trapping heat. Temperatures [...]

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@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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Budding Scientist

Why America’s Kids Need New Standards for Science Education

Earlier today, a group of scientists, educators and policymakers released the newest draft of the Next Generation Science Standards, which lay out ambitious expectations for what elementary, middle and high school students should learn at each grade level. These guidelines affect virtually every child enrolled in public school, and advocates say they will revolutionize STEM [...]

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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

Should Global-Warming Activists Lie to Defend Their Cause?

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When, if ever, is lying justified? I talked about this conundrum this week in a freshmen humanities class, in which we were reading Immanuel Kant on morality. Kant proposed that we judge the rightness or wrongness of an act, such as breaking a promise, by considering what happens if everyone does it. If you don’t [...]

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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

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

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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Expeditions

Climbing Mount Everest: My Search for Dirty Snow

Editor’s note: This April, geologist and Ph.D. candidate Ulyana Horodyskyj will be climbing Mount Everest to determine how much soot is settling on snow at the top of mammoth glaciers, which could slow their growth at the top, even as they melt at much lower elevations. She will post updates to this blog as she [...]

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Expeditions

An Intrepid Look at Winter with Climate Scientist and Adventurer Felicity Aston

Felicity Aston is a British adventurer, climate scientist and STEM advocate, who in 2012 became the first woman to ski solo across Antarctica. At 23, Felicity left the UK to spend three years living and working in the Antarctic as a meteorologist with the British Antarctic Survey at Rothera Research Station. On her return, she was part of [...]

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Expeditions

You wanted to know: what are these phytoplankton?

First, thanks to everyone for asking such fabulous questions. I’m going to try to get to them all, but you’re an inquisitive bunch so I might have to miss a few. I’ve also found that they group into a couple of different general topics – so I’ll try to do them in clusters…like this post! [...]

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Extinction Countdown

A New Tool for Conservation Genetics: Seal Placentas

saimaa seal

It’s a sad fact that as members of a species become rarer they tend to suffer from inbreeding. This lack of genetic diversity can lead to birth defects and other problems, making a species even more endangered as time progresses. Conservationists regularly test the genetic makeup of many endangered species in order to understand the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Hungry Polar Bears Could Soon Start Devastating Bird Populations

polar bear

A hungry polar bear (Ursus maritimus) will eat just about anything. Oh sure, they prefer to dine on nice fatty seals (I mean, what Arctic creature wouldn’t?), but when push comes to shove they’ll eat caribou, walruses, nuts, birds, and even stinky, rotten whale carcasses. Oh yeah, they’ll also eat eggs. Research over the past [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Look Out Lemurs: Climate Change Is Taking Your Land

hubbards sportive lemur

As if rampant deforestation and poaching weren’t bad enough, climate change will have a devastating effect on the majority of Madagascar’s lemur species, most of them already imperiled, according to a paper published this week in Ecology and Evolution. The threat will vary by species but the paper—by researchers Jason Brown and Anne Yoder from [...]

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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

Mysterious Flying Squirrel Could Get Endangered Species Protection

San Bernardino flying squirrel

The squirrels gliding amid the mountains east of Los Angeles have been, for the most part, flying under the scientific radar. There has never been a single scientific paper published specifically about the San Bernardino flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus californicus), even though hundreds of papers about squirrels in general are published every year. Despite this [...]

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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

Climate Change Could Wipe Out the World’s Smallest Kangaroo [Video]

musky rat kangaroo

Scientists in Australia have warned that we’d better get hopping and slow down climate change if we want to prevent the world’s smallest kangaroo from going extinct. The musky rat-kangaroo (Hypsiprymnodon moschatus), which reaches just 35 centimeters in length, lives in a tiny stretch of tropical rainforest on Australia’s northeastern coast. According to researchers from [...]

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Extinction Countdown

14 New Species of Endangered “Dancing” Frogs Discovered in India [Video]

dancing frog

Say “Hello, my baby. Hello, my darling…” to 14 newly described frog species that kick and dance like Michigan J. Frog from the classic Warner Brothers animated cartoon, One Froggy Evening. These “dancing” frogs don’t sing, however—the males of these various species all kick and stretch their legs to their sides as a visual cue [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Blue-Footed Boobies Have Stopped Breeding—But Why?

Blue-footed-boobie_featured

One of the most delightful bird species of the Galápagos has almost completely stopped breeding there. According to a new study published this week in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology, blue-footed boobies (Sula nebouxii) have seen a population drop of more than 50 percent over the past two decades. A series of surveys from [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Lion Tamarins versus Climate Change

golden lion tamarin

Ecologically speaking, humans maintain a pretty broad niche. We can adapt to live just about anywhere. Most other species aren’t that lucky. Take the four species of lion tamarins, for example. These small, endangered monkeys of the genus Leontopithecus rely on very narrow niches of habitat in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, areas that already face [...]

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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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Food Matters

Cultivating Reform: Planting The Seeds For Healing The Food System

Travis

In late October, the Yale Rudd Center got a visit from Olivier De Schutter, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right To Food. He began his talk, Reforming the Food Systems: Making the Transition Succeed,  by painting a bleak picture. There are three areas in which our food systems are failing us, De Schutter said: ecological limits, social [...]

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Guest Blog

What about Earth’s Microbiome?

Biological soil crust in Arches National Park, Utah. Biological soil crusts are composed of oxygen-producing cyanobacteria, green algae, brown algae, fungi, lichens and/or mosses. (Photo: Neal Herbert/National Park Service/Flickr)

The latest temperature readings from Antarctica are giving the world pause, along with the finding that 70 percent of the western Antarctic ice shelf has melted. As Earth day approaches, discussions around climate change tend to focus on rising temperatures and sea levels, stronger storms and disruption of agriculture. But one key player has been [...]

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Guest Blog

ScienceDebate Revs Up for 2016 Presidential Election

President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton launched the Presidential Leadership Scholars program, a partnership between the presidential centers of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson on September 8, 2014. (Photo by Paul Morse)

This year, I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of the inaugural class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program, which brings together 60 leaders from around the country to work on projects designed to create significant social impact and change. PLS is co-sponsored by the presidential libraries of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, [...]

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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

Fight at the Museum: Confronting Visitor Biases

The Field Museum in Chicago. (Ancheta Wis/Wikimedia Commons)

Midway through the school year, parents and teachers are starting to plan (and fundraise) for winter and spring field trips. Among the most popular destinations is the science museum. The Association of Science-Technology Centers estimates that 12.1 million children in the United States visited science museums as part of a school group in 2013, accounting [...]

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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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Life, Unbounded

The Unstoppable Extinction And Fermi’s Paradox

Really, this is what I evolved into? (Images used: Stephen Ausmus, USDA ARS, Matt Martyniuk)

There has been a lot of discussion recently about the evidence that we are currently within a period of mass extinction, the kind of event that will show up in the fossil record a few million years from now as a clear discontinuity, a radical change in the diversity of life on the planet. This [...]

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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

The “Pause” in Global Warming Is Finally Explained

Pacific_Ocean

Let’s be clear: The planet is still getting hotter. The so-called pause, or hiatus, in global warming means the rate of temperature rise has slowed. The average global temperature is still going up, but in the past 10 to 15 years it hasn’t been going up as quickly as it was in the decades before. [...]

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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

Humans Cross Another Danger Line for the Planet

Disappearing Forests: Green are sustainable for now, yellow and red are past the safe limit.

Five years go an impressive, international group of scientists unveiled nine biological and environmental “boundaries” that humankind should not cross in order to keep the earth a livable place. To its peril, the world had already crossed three of those safe limits: too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, too rapid a rate of species [...]

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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

Climate Preparedness Index Reveals Rich–Poor Gap

Alpaca (Wikimedia)

High in the Peruvian Andes 8,000 alpacas died during a particularly harsh period of cold in the summer of 2004. For the herders who raise and shear these long-haired beasts for a living, it was a huge loss amounting to one fifth of all the alpacas living in that region of the highlands. Since then [...]

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Plugged In

Indian Railways and Military Go Solar

Sunrise in Tamil Nadu, India. Image courtesy: SR Sasikumar.

There’s been no shortage recently of big companies going big on solar, nor of middlemen trying to pave the way for bulk buying of solar power, but when the beast that is national procurement gets involved, the ante is upped. Entering this mix: India. While Indian solar potential has to date been largely untapped, there [...]

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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

Can Chinese Cities Turn Around Pollution in Time?

One of the few transit-oriented development projects in Shanghai. Photo by Tali Trigg.

China became a mostly urban country in 2011, the service sector became the biggest in 2013, and in 2015 Chinese cities will try to reverse negative trends of sprawl and pollution. However, will it work, and by when? The country is striving for its cities to become livable hubs to attract not just Chinese workers, [...]

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Plugged In

Renewable Energy Shines in 2014

Offshore wind farm outside Copenhagen. Image credit: http://www.freeimages.com/profile/berent

Looking back at 2014 through the prism of renewable energy, it’s hard not to get bombastic. So many records were broken, corners turned, and with costs declining, it’s hard not to wonder if 2015 will see renewable energy become nothing more than a fully competitive energy source, capturing more and more market share. But first, [...]

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Plugged In

What is the World’s Busiest Airport?

Global map of flight patterns, showing a heavy concentration in the U.S., Europe, China, and Japan. Image credit: Jpatokal

Is it Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, or Dubai International? Both apparently. But it depends on the metric. If you go by number of flights, then O’Hare is the world’s busiest airport (881,933 flights in 2014), dethroning Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (868,359) after 10 years at the top – by this way of measuring. However, if [...]

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Plugged In

Energy in the 2015 State of the Union

sotu_slide_audience

Tonight President Obama will address a joint session of Congress for the 2015 State of the Union. In 2009, his speech described that renewable energy would “transform our economy, protect our security and save our planet from the ravages of climate change.” By 2014, he highlighted natural gas as as “the bridge fuel that can [...]

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Plugged In

The Road to Paris and COP-21

Wind and others form of renewable power generation need to be ramped up in order to meet climate targets. Image credit: Shutterstock.

As 2015 begins, the road to the crucial COP-21 summit here in Paris (where I am based) is being outlined by the French government, the UN, and a huge number of other actors and NGOs. But the first big question might be, is it crucial at all? The 2009 UN summit in Copenhagen was famously [...]

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Plugged In

Rocky Mountain Institute and Carbon War Room Join Forces

Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Carbon War Room (right). Image courtesy of RMI.

Today Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), brain-child of famed energy thinker Amory Lovins, and Carbon War Room (CWR), the five-year old climate change outfit of Sir Richard Branson, merged to create a new alliance dedicated to the acceleration of a low carbon energy future. RMI was founded in 1982 and has established itself as a preeminent [...]

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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

The impacts of a changing climate on future Thanksgivings

4125543027_b2938f83d0

Agriculture is highly dependent on the climate. Global food supplies are already feeling the impacts of changing global rainfall and temperature patterns resulting from climate change. As Americans move from the Thanksgiving table to Black Friday sales, one wonders – how will these changes impact future Thanksgiving feasts? Will the country be full of tastier [...]

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Roots of Unity

Joint Math Meetings Wrap-Up

I wrote a few blog posts while I was at the Joint Mathematics Meetings back in January, but now you can read some more comprehensive coverage of the meetings at the American Mathematical Society website. In addition to AMS staff members, there were three of us former AAAS-AMS Mass Media Fellows in the press room, [...]

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Symbiartic

Science Merit Badges

ScienceMeritBadges-01

I was only in the Girl Scouts for a few years, but I really like the idea of merit badges: you do a task, master a skill, learn something new, and you get a physical token of your achievement to display on a sash. I wish I was still earning badges for things like getting [...]

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Symbiartic

Start 2014 in Style With These ScienceArt Exhibits

13-055FEATURE

All in all, 2013 was a bang-up year for science art. It seems the genre is gaining ground as more and more exhibits tackle the fascinating possibilities that exist at the intersection of science and art. 2014 seems to be continuing the trend with a wide array of notably longer exhibits. Enjoy! EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION [...]

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Symbiartic

SciArt on the Scene in Nov/Dec. 2013

13-049FEATURE

Ahhh, fall. Time to look for more indoor activities. And aren’t you lucky? Here’s a list of sciart exhibits that will warm your heart while you warm your toes. EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION CLIMATE CHANGE IN OUR WORLD: Photographs by Gary Braasch October 16, 2013 – July 6, 2014 Museum of Science 1 Science Park Boston, [...]

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Symbiartic

I Heart Copepods. You should, too.

11-020JellyfishFEATURE

It’s hard to believe a tiny animal like krill could exist in large enough numbers to feed an animal as massive as a whale, let alone the world’s population of whales (even if we did do our best to hunt whales to extinction in the 1800s). Likewise, it’s hard to fathom that a modest little [...]

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Talking back

Science Lesson During Sandy: Scary Pimples

Throughout Sandy, I was cooped up in my apartment in northern Manhattan with my son Benjamin, who was studying for a medical school exam on the cranial nerves. I drilled him through endless lists, ocularmotor nerve (cranial III),  hypoglossal (cranial XII), and so on. Then he volunteered a medical factoid that I had never heard [...]

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