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Posts Tagged "global warming"

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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

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

Will the algae still bloom?

Editor’s Note: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution oceanographer and photographer Chris Linder and science writer Helen Fields are taking part in a six-week cruise of the Bering Sea, a scientific expedition to study the effects of climate change on this polar ecosystem. This is the fourth blog post. To see all their posts, see "60 Seconds [...]

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Expeditions

Onto the Arctic sea ice?

Editor’s Note: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution oceanographer and photographer Chris Linder and science writer Helen Fields are taking part in a six-week cruise of the Bering Sea, a scientific expedition to study the effects of climate change on this polar ecosystem. This is the first blog post. To see all their posts, see "60 Seconds [...]

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Expeditions

Suspended animation

Editor’s note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the eighteenth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com’s In-Depth Report on the "Future of the Poles." AGAP SOUTH CAMP, ANTARCTICA—For much of the past two months, our [...]

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Expeditions

Line by line

Editor’s note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the seventeenth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com’s in-depth report on the "Future of the Poles." AGAP SOUTH CAMP, ANTARCTICA—Weather pinned us down most of the time [...]

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Expeditions

Kicking rocks

Editor’s note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the thirteenth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com‘s in-depth report on the "Future of the Poles." McMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA — Last Saturday, we had a flurry of [...]

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Expeditions

Running into an invisible wall

Editor’s note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the twelfth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com‘s In-Depth Report on the "Future of the Poles."   McMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA–The British group had been acclimatizing at South [...]

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Expeditions

Almost calibrated

Editor’s note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the eleventh of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com‘s in-depth report on the "Future of the Poles." McMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA (December 10) — Flying over any town is [...]

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Expeditions

Crackling pretzels

Editor’s note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the tenth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com‘s In-Depth Report on the "Future of the Poles." McMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA—I expected to find a piece of machinery snapping [...]

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Expeditions

At last, people moving!

Editor’s note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the tenth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com‘s in-depth report on the "Future of the Poles." McMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA– Just 24 hours ago, all the teams were [...]

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Expeditions

Audacious Plans, Nasty Weather

Editor’s note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the ninth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com‘s in-depth report on the "Future of the Poles."   McMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA–Sometimes I wonder why we were so audacious [...]

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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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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

Google’s Cars Sniff Out Natural Gas Leaks to Deliver Cleaner Air

google-street-view-car

Of all the things to be leaking methane on Staten Island in New York City—corroded gas pipes, sewers, the Fresh Kills dump—who would have suspected the mail truck? But as I circled a Staten Island neighborhood in a specially equipped Google car, it was a parked mail truck that proved to be sending the biggest [...]

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Observations

Hard Road Ahead for Solar Freakin’ Roadways

solar-road-panels

Take a solar panel. Surround it with light-emitting diodes attached to a microprocessor and, in northern climes at least, some kind of heater. Sheath all of that with the 100-year-old technology known as tempered glass. Voila: the basic building block of what has been dubbed by its creators, electrical engineer Scott Brusaw and his wife [...]

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Observations

Americans Who Mistrust Climate Scientists Take Cues from Global Temperatures

Percent of Americans who believe in global warming based on their trust in climate scientists. Americans who mistrust climate scientists (green line) seem to base their views on climate change on the previous year’s average world temperature record. Graphic was updated June 8, 2014 to fix an error. Image Credit: Jen Christiansen and Annie Sneed. Source: The Stanford National Global Warming Poll

The White House obviously accepts the science behind human-caused climate change, as was made clear again this week by its announcement of plans to cut carbon emissions from U.S. power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2030. Some Americans remain skeptical—but they’re in the minority. As The New York Times reports, most [...]

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Observations

Obama’s Clean Power Plan Means More Gas to Fight Global Warming [Video]

mountaineer-co2-capture-unit

400 PPM: What’s Next for a Warming Planet Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached this level for the first time in millions of years. What does this portend? » If the power plant goes away, so do the jobs, and then the town. That’s the fear in New Haven, West Virginia, home [...]

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Observations

World’s Deadliest Fuel Made Safe and Clean?

bituminous-coal

Coal kills. When it’s not horrific mining accidents like the one in Soma, Turkey, on May 13 that killed more than 300 miners, it’s the 13,000 Americans who die early each year because of air pollution from burning the dirtiest fossil fuel. Coal is a way of life, providing jobs and inexpensive energy wherever it [...]

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Observations

Fight over Solar Power Returns to White House Roof [Video]

obama-white-house-solar-panels-installed

The sunshine that warms Washington, D.C. is once again generating electricity for the White House. After an absence of nearly 30 years, the Obama administration has announced that a 6.3 kilowatt photovoltaic installation of the “typical size for an American house,” is back on the White House roof and generating power. The Obama administration had [...]

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Observations

Happy, Hot Earth Day! [Interactive]

earthday-agenda

Almost no one had heard of global warming when the U.S. commemorated its first Earth Day 44 years ago. Now most Americans know about anthropogenic climate change—whether or not they accept the science is another story. But the temperature records for our 50 states say it all: we’ve observed a gradually warmer Earth Day on [...]

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Observations

Global Warming: Democrats and Republicans Agree

elephant donkey

Wait, what? Contrary to the polarized positions that politicians and commentators often take in the media, Americans do not disagree about global warming or what to do about it. The vast majority of citizens in every U.S. state believe global warming has been happening and that human actions are part of the cause—including residents of [...]

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Observations

How Many More Coal Ash Spills?

dan-river-coal-ash-ponds

What is the largest type of trash produced in the U.S.? It’s not whatever you’re thinking, most likely. It’s coal ash. Burning coal produces more than 100 million metric tons of coal ash per year—the gray or black sooty aftermath of our fossil fuel habit. Even though a good chunk of it is turned into [...]

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Observations

Keystone Pipeline Will Impact Climate Change, State Department Reports

oil-sands-refinery

How much can one oil pipeline affect global climate change? That’s one of the fundamental questions probed by a new, final environmental impact assessment released January 31 by the U.S. State Department. At issue is the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry 730,000 barrels a day of oil from western Canada, mostly from Alberta’s tar [...]

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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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The Thoughtful Animal

Whale Poop

ResearchBlogging.org

Earlier this week we talked about how to use whale snot for science. I especially enjoyed blog bff Scicurious‘s take on the study: Budgetary requirement: $5000 for series of expensive remote control helicopters. Source: Toys R Us. Justification: Need something that can fly close to a whale and collect snot for measurement. Also, this is [...]

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