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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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But Not Simpler

The Overwhelming Odds Of Climate Change

Stack_of_Copy_Paper

If you listen to global warming deniers, or even much of the public, it seems like there is some stack of scientific studies somewhere that refute anthropogenic—human-caused—climate change. If someone would just let them reach into that pile and pull out a paper, we’d all see that climate change is “a hoax,” or so it [...]

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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 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

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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Observations

12 Graphics That Contain Everything You Need to Know about Climate Change

earth-energy-heat-budget

Climate change is real, it’s here and it will be affecting the planet for a long, long time. That’s the lesson of the latest iteration of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change‘s state of climate science report, released in its entirety on January 30. Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have now touched 400 [...]

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Observations

Obama Vows More Executive Action on High-Tech Manufacturing, Climate Change Mitigation and Renewal of Science

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

After a year buffeted by squeezes to federally funded research from a government shutdown as well as an extremely bumpy rollout of healthcare.gov, President Barack Obama’s fifth State of the Union Tuesday night struck a few hopeful notes for science and technology. Speaking before Congress, he devoted roughly a fifth of his  speech to topics [...]

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Observations

A Better Answer to Climate Change Is Hidden in the Clouds

Clouds

Climate scientists are studying a bewildering array of changes taking place in the air, on land and in the sea. But where should they concentrate their efforts? First and foremost, it seems, are clouds. Better understanding of how clouds affect global warming, and how airborne particles affect cloud formation, is one of three gaps in [...]

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Observations

What Do China’s New Policies Mean for the Environment?

china-high-speed-train

BEIJING—A Chinese high speed train whispers into the station, before finally engaging the brakes and coming to a stop with a sound like the tinkling of breaking glass. Five years ago, such trains hardly existed. In the span of one Communist-style planning period, China has built a high-speed train network that now crosses the entire [...]

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Observations

How to Save Coral Reefs from Climate Change: Genetic Manipulation

palmyra-reef

What’s the best idea for reducing the impacts of ocean acidification on the environment and society? After all, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue to go up and up and up, which suggests that the pH of seawater will continue to fall and fall and fall. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has weighed [...]

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Observations

The New Climate Data: So What?

3 sea level

After much anticipation, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Friday revealed it’s new assessment of climate change, after two years of deliberation. The bottom line: global temperatures and sea levels will rise even faster than everyone thought. At a long press conference held after IPCC released its report, Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science [...]

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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 Curious Wavefunction

East Antarctic glaciers could be much more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought.

Glacier advance and retreat in the East Antarctic from 1974-2010. Red circles indicate advance, blue indicate retreat, n refers to number of glaciers studied (Image from Miles et al. Nature, 2013)

The warming, melting and potential contributions to sea level rise from glaciers in Greenland and West Antarctica in the face of climate change has long since been a serious concern. The behavior of the much larger East Antarctic ice sheet has been much more uncertain and until now has been thought to be relatively insensitive [...]

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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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