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Related Scary Tags:
climate impacts  ~ anthropogenic change  ~ carbon emissions  ~ holyshit  ~ arctic meltdown  ~ ecosystem interrelationships  ~ deniers  ~ weather extremes  ~ faster than expected  ~ economic myopia  ~ governmental idiocy  



Fri, Jun 10, 2016
from http://phys.org/news/2014-07-vapor-global-amplifier.html#:
New study confirms water vapor as global warming amplifier
"The study is the first to confirm that human activities have increased water vapor in the upper troposphere," said Brian Soden, professor of atmospheric sciences at the UM Rosenstiel School and co-author of the study.... Using the set of climate model experiments, the researchers showed that rising water vapor in the upper troposphere cannot be explained by natural forces, such as volcanoes and changes in solar activity, but can be explained by increased greenhouse gases, such as CO2.... Climate models predict that as the climate warms from the burning of fossil fuels, the concentrations of water vapor will also increase in response to that warming. This moistening of the atmosphere, in turn, absorbs more heat and further raises the Earth's temperature. ...


Oh, right. Physics!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, May 10, 2016
from Slate.com:
Powerful visualization of global heat over the last 166 years
...


Apocaiku:
Our spiraling path
These last two decades' hunger
Must we eat ourselves?


ApocaDoc
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Tue, Mar 29, 2016
from Cosmos Magazine:
Arctic sea ice hits a record low wintertime maximum
The Arctic Ocean ice cap peaked for the winter on 24 March at 14.52 million square kilometres - a record low and 20,000 square kilometres less than the previous record low maximum extent. The 13 smallest maximum extents on the satellite record have happened in the last 13 years. Record high temperatures were recorded in December, January and February around the world. In the Artic average air temperatures were up to 5.5 degrees C above average at the edges of the ice pack. ...


Talk about opportunities for improvement!!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Mar 16, 2016
from Globe & Mail (Canada):
Winter ice coverage in Arctic sea reaching record low, scientists warn
Scientists warn that the area covered by this winter's Arctic sea ice could turn out to be the lowest ever measured. The news comes on top of a long season of freakishly warm weather at the top of the planet, including above-freezing days at the North Pole and a months-long string of temperature records. "The winter, overall, has been extremely warm in the Arctic," said Ted Scambos, a glaciologist at the National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado. ...


The Arctic had the same sort of Wimpter that we had!

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jan 7, 2016
from Washington Post:
U.S. wildfires just set an amazing and troubling new record
Last year's wildfire season set a record with more than 10 million acres burned. That's more land than Maryland, the District and Delaware combined.... Lawmakers base their funding on the average cost to fight fires over the previous decade. But that doesn't account for wildfire seasons that now run from April through December instead of June to September. ...


We sure know how to put the wild in wildfires!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Jan 5, 2016
from Washington Post:
What scientists just discovered in Greenland could be making sea-level rise even worse
Rising global temperatures may be affecting the Greenland ice sheet -- and its contribution to sea-level rise -- in more serious ways that scientists imagined, a new study finds. Recent changes to the island's snow and ice cover appear to have affected its ability to store excess water, meaning more melting ice may be running off into the ocean than previously thought.... Through on-the-ground observations, the scientists have shown that the recent formation of dense ice layers near the ice sheet's surface are making it more difficult for liquid water to percolate into the firn -- meaning it's forced to run off instead. ...


Greenland is going green.

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Tue, Nov 10, 2015
from CommonDreams:
Overheated Planet Entering 'Uncharted Territory at Frightening Speed'
With new evidence that the concentration of greenhouse gases broke yet another record in 2014, the head of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned on Monday that the warming planet is hurtling "into uncharted territory at a frightening speed." The United Nations weather agency's latest Greenhouse Gas Bulletin (pdf) reports that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached 397.7 parts per million (ppm) in 2014, substantially beyond the 350ppm level deemed "safe" by scientists to avoid global warming.... "Every year we report a new record in greenhouse gas concentrations," Jarraud continued. "Every year we say that time is running out. We have to act NOW to slash greenhouse gas emissions if we are to have a chance to keep the increase in temperatures to manageable levels." ...


That scientist sounds as if he actually knows about this stuff. Can we have a different pundit, please?

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Aug 20, 2015
from NOAA, via CNN:
NOAA: July hottest month on record, and 2015 could be hottest year
July saw the highest average temperatures since record-keeping began -- globally, not just in the United States -- the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday. Globally, the first seven months of the year also had all-time highs. The latest global temperature data make it likely that 2015 will be the hottest year on record, the agency said. NOAA's findings follow reports by NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency, which reached the same conclusion using their own data. ...


It ain't the heat, it's the humanity!

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Jul 10, 2015
from Esquire:
Climatologists' Psyches: When the End of Human Civilization Is Your Day Job
... I wanted to meet Box to find out how this outspoken American is holding up. He has left his country and moved his family to witness and study the melting of Greenland up close. How does being the one to look at the grim facts of climate change most intimately, day in and day out, affect a person? Is Box representative of all of the scientists most directly involved in this defining issue of the new century? How are they being affected by the burden of their chosen work in the face of changes to the earth that could render it a different planet?... Among climate activists, gloom is building. Jim Driscoll of the National Institute for Peer Support just finished a study of a group of longtime activists whose most frequently reported feeling was sadness, followed by fear and anger.... And many scientists now think we're on track to 4 or 5 degrees--even Shell oil said that it anticipates a world 4 degrees hotter because it doesn't see "governments taking the steps now that are consistent with the 2 degrees C scenario." That would mean a world racked by economic and social and environmental collapse. "Oh yeah," Schmidt says, almost casually. "The business-as-usual world that we project is really a totally different planet. There's going to be huge dislocations if that comes about." But things can change much quicker than people think, he says. Look at attitudes on gay marriage. And the glaciers? "The glaciers are going to melt, they're all going to melt," he says.... And the rising oceans? Bangladesh is almost underwater now. Do a hundred million people have to move? "Well, yeah. Under business as usual. But I don't think we're fucked." Resource wars, starvation, mass migrations . . . "Bad things are going to happen. What can you do as a person? You write stories. I do science. You don't run around saying, 'We're fucked! We're fucked! We're fucked!' It doesn't--it doesn't incentivize anybody to do anything." ...


"We're fucked" just isn't scientific.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jun 29, 2015
from Reuters:
Pakistan morgues run out of space as heat wave kills more than 1,000
The worst heat wave to hit Pakistan's southern city of Karachi for nearly 35 years has killed more than 1,000 people, a charity said on Thursday, as morgues ran out of space and residents rushed to supply over-stretched public hospitals. ...


There are always rivers.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jun 29, 2015
from London Independent:
Society will collapse by 2040 due to catastrophic food shortages, says study
A scientific model has suggested that society will collapse in less than three decades due to catastrophic food shortages if policies do not change... "In this scenario, global society essentially collapses as food production falls permanently short of consumption." ...


But will I still be able to have it my way?

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Jun 10, 2015
from InsideClimate News:
Global Warming's Great Hiatus Gets Another Debunking
...A new study by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finds that the world's warming never really stalled during the last 15 years--it was just masked by incomplete data records that have been improved and expanded in recent years.... The "newly corrected and updated global surface temperature data from NOAA's NCEI do not support the notion of a global warming 'hiatus,'" wrote the study authors. The scientists argue the findings even underestimate the world's warming because they don't consider what has happened in the Arctic, where temperatures have increased rapidly in recent decades, but where there is a limited number of weather recording stations. ...


Let's put weather stations on those oil rigs heading into the Arctic!

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Thu, Apr 2, 2015
from Yale360:
How Long Can Oceans Continue To Absorb Earth's Excess Heat?
The ocean has been heating at a rate of around 0.5 to 1 watt of energy per square meter over the past decade, amassing more than 2 X 1023 joules of energy -- the equivalent of roughly five Hiroshima bombs exploding every second -- since 1990. Vast and slow to change temperature, the oceans have a huge capacity to sequester heat, especially the deep ocean, which is playing an increasingly large uptake and storage role. That is a major reason the planet's surface temperatures have risen less than expected in the past dozen or so years, given the large greenhouse gas hike during the same period, said Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research... But scientists say that when the cycle eventually swings back to its positive, warm phase, which history suggests could occur within a decade, the winds will wind down, the pumping will let up, and buried heat will rise back into the atmosphere. "There's a hint this might already be starting to happen," said Matthew England, an ocean sciences professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.... Scientists are also learning that the ocean has gained more heat, and at greater depth, than they had realized. That means the entire climate is even more out-of-whack than is evident today.... The long-term heat gain in the top 700 meters (.43 miles) of the worlds oceans has likely been underestimated by as much as half, according to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories research scientist Paul Durack. ...


Our ocean heat has grown / Vaster than empires / and more slow

ApocaDoc
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Want more context?
Try reading our book FREE online:
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
More fun than a barrel of jellyfish!
Tue, Mar 24, 2015
from ThinkProgress:
Smithsonian Stands By Wildly Misleading Climate Change Exhibit Paid For By Kochs
But what may be most shocking of all is that the Smithsonian hasn't fixed the misleading evolution exhibit at its National Museum of Natural History, which thoroughly whitewashes the dangers of modern-day climate change. This "Hall of Human Origins" was made possible by a $15 million grant from billionaire polluter David Koch. It has now been five years since Climate Progress exposed the myriad flaws in the exhibit, a story the New Yorker and others picked up. Last week I spent some time going through the exhibit again with Dr. Lise Van Susteren, a psychiatrist and climate expert who has been featured by The Smithsonian. We were both stunned by the "Don't worry, be happy" picture it paints of current climate change.... In particular, the most embarrassing and scientifically misleading display the Smithsonian designed -- which directly suggests that humans can simply evolve to deal with global warming -- is still in the exhibit. The final section about the present and future has a nonsensical interactive video that lets visitors create a "future human" who evolves over a long period of time to a variety of changing conditions. ...


Those Koch brothers are such a pair of kidders!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Mar 3, 2015
from Mashable:
Seeds of war
Manmade global warming helped spark the brutal civil war in Syria by doubling to tripling the odds that a crippling drought in the Fertile Crescent would occur shortly before the fighting broke out, according to a groundbreaking new study published on March 2. The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to attribute the drought in Syria in large part to global warming. In doing so, it provides powerful evidence backing up the Pentagon and intelligence community's assessments that climate change is likely to play the role of a "threat multiplier" in coming decades, pushing countries that are already vulnerable to upheaval over the edge and into open conflict. ...


Peace out

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Feb 12, 2015
from Phys.org:
Methane emissions from natural gas industry higher than previously thought
World leaders are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it's unclear just how much we're emitting. In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a new program to track these emissions, but scientists are reporting that it vastly underestimates methane emissions from the growing natural gas industry. Their findings, published in two papers in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, could help the industry clamp down on "superemitter" leaks. ...


Forgive me Father, for I have Emitted.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Feb 2, 2015
from Daily Climate:
A 50th anniversary few remember: LBJ's warning on carbon dioxide
It is a key moment in climate change history that few remember: This week marks the 50th anniversary of the first presidential mention of the environmental risk of carbon dioxide pollution from fossil fuels. President Lyndon Baines Johnson, in a February 8, 1965 special message to Congress warned about build-up of the invisible air pollutant that scientists recognize today as the primary contributor to global warming. ...


Let's celebrate this extraordinary anniversary by procrastinating a little while longer.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Jan 14, 2015
from Reuters:
Experts warn governments to plan for climate change migrants
Governments need to plan better for rising migration driven by climate change, experts said on Thursday, citing evidence that extreme weather and natural disasters force far more people from their homes than wars. Projections by leading climate scientists of rising sea levels, heatwaves, floods and droughts linked to global warming are likely to oblige millions of people to move out of harm's way, with some never able to return. ...


Guess who's coming to dinner.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Dec 31, 2014
from Associated Press:
More Monarchs return to Mexico, but now face cold
More Monarch butterflies appear to have made the long flight from the U.S. and Canada to their winter nesting ground in western Mexico, raising hopes after their number dropped to a record low last year. But experts still fear that unusual cold temperatures will threaten the orange and black insects. While an official census won't be ready until mid-January, observers are seeing healthy populations of butterflies bunched together on fir and pine trees in protected sanctuaries... Mexico's National Meteorological Service predicts 55 cold fronts for the country through May, a 15 percent increase from the average, and with the possibility for repeated cold systems to extend into March and April. ...


We're going to have to knit them little hats, coats and mittens.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Dec 30, 2014
from Reuters:
Monarch butterfly eyed for possible U.S. endangered species protection
Monarch butterflies may warrant U.S. Endangered Species Act protection because of farm-related habitat loss blamed for sharp declines in cross-country migrations of the orange-and-black insects, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said on Monday. Monarch populations are estimated to have fallen by as much as 90 percent during the past two decades because of destruction of milkweed plants they depend on to lay their eggs and nourish hatching larvae, according to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. ...


No crying over spilled milk(weed).

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Dec 15, 2014
from London Guardian:
Earth faces sixth 'great extinction' with 41 percent of amphibians set to go the way of the dodo
A stark depiction of the threat hanging over the world's mammals, reptiles, amphibians and other life forms has been published by the prestigious scientific journal, Nature. A special analysis carried out by the journal indicates that a staggering 41 percent of all amphibians on the planet now face extinction while 26 percent of mammal species and 13 percent of birds are similarly threatened. ...


41 + 26 + 13 doesn't even equal 100!

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Dec 12, 2014
from NBC News:
2014 Boils Toward Warmest Year Ever with Three More Records Broken
Even if it's freezing in your personal universe, Earth as a whole just broke three "warmest" records and is likely to see 2014 go down as the warmest since record keeping began in 1880, scientists reported Thursday. Driven by record warm oceans, combined sea and land temperatures in October were the warmest on record, according to data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. On top of that, January-October was the warmest first 10 calendar months, while November 2013 to October 2014 was the warmest 12-month block. ...


Some days ... you just don't want to get out of bed for fear what you'll find.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Dec 11, 2014
from BBC:
Global group of Catholic bishops call for end to fossil fuels
Catholic bishops from around the world are calling for an end to fossil fuel use and increased efforts to secure a global climate treaty. Catholics, they say, should engage with the process leading to a proposed new deal to be signed in Paris next year. The statement is the first time that senior church figures from every continent have issued such a call. ...


A global mea culpa.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Dec 10, 2014
from Associated Press:
As US cleans up, it's exporting more pollution
Heat-trapping pollution released into the atmosphere from rising exports of U.S. gasoline and diesel dwarfs the cuts made from fuel efficiency standards and other efforts to reduce global warming in the United States, according to a new Associated Press investigation. Under President Barack Obama, the U.S. has reduced more carbon pollution from energy than any other nation, about 475 million tons between 2008 and 2013, according to U.S. Energy Department data. Less than one-fifth of that amount came from burning less gasoline and diesel fuel. Yet the U.S. is sending more fuel than ever to other parts of the world, where efforts to address resulting pollution are just getting underway, if advancing at all. U.S. exports of gasoline and diesel released roughly 1 billion tons of carbon pollution into the atmosphere elsewhere during the same period, according to AP's analysis. This fossil fuel trade has helped President Barack Obama meet political goals to curb carbon dioxide at home, by taking it off America's pollution balance sheet. But that does not necessarily help the planet. ...


This is one of those good news/apocalyptic news type scenarios.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Dec 2, 2014
from CNN:
NOAA: 2014 is shaping up as hottest year on record
The first ten months of 2014 have been the hottest since record keeping began more than 130 years ago, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That may be hard to believe for people in places like Buffalo, New York, which saw a record early snowfall this year. But NOAA says, despite the early bitter cold across parts of the United States in recent weeks, it's been a hot year so far for the Earth. With two months left on the calendar, 2014 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record. ...


Are you saying it's NOT all about the United States?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Dec 1, 2014
from Associated Press:
Climate Funds for Coal Highlight Lack of UN Rules
About $1 billion in loans under a U.N. initiative for poor countries to tackle global warming is going toward the construction of power plants fired by coal, the biggest human source of carbon pollution. Japan gave the money to help its companies build three such plants in Indonesia and listed it with the United Nations as climate finance... Japan's coal projects highlight the lack of rules to steer the flow of climate finance from rich to poor countries -- a critical part of U.N. talks on global warming, which resume Monday in Lima, Peru. There is no watchdog agency that ensures the money is spent in the most effective way, and no definition of what climate finance is. ...


If only irony were a renewable resource.

ApocaDoc
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You're still reading! Good for you!
You really should read our short, funny, frightening book FREE online (or buy a print copy):
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
We've been quipping this stuff for more than 30 months! Every day!
Which might explain why we don't get invited to parties anymore.
Mon, Dec 1, 2014
from New York Times:
Optimism Faces Grave Realities at Climate Talks
... But while scientists and climate-policy experts welcome the new momentum ahead of the Lima talks, they warn that it now may be impossible to prevent the temperature of the planet's atmosphere from rising by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. According to a large body of scientific research, that is the tipping point at which the world will be locked into a near-term future of drought, food and water shortages, melting ice sheets, shrinking glaciers, rising sea levels and widespread flooding -- events that could harm the world's population and economy. Recent reports show that there may be no way to prevent the planet's temperature from rising, given the current level of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere and the projected rate of emissions expected to continue before any new deal is carried out. ...


Anybody got a time machine handy?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Nov 24, 2014
from Public News Service:
Poll Finds Support for Climate Action, Despite Some IN Opposition
Some of Indiana's leaders have voiced outspoken opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants, but a new poll indicates a majority of voters don't share those views. Melissa Williams, national political director for the Sierra Club, says the group's new post-election poll of voters in six key states finds, regardless of who they supported in the 2014 midterm election, most want congressional action to address climate change. ...


If we wanted leaders who listen we would elect listeners NOT leaders.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Nov 19, 2014
from Los Angeles Times:
40 percent decline in polar bears in Alaska, western Canada heightens concern
The number of polar bears in eastern Alaska and western Canada has declined by 40 percent, according to a scientific study that raises more questions about the impact of global warming on the creature that has become the symbol of some of its worst effects. ...


Po' polar bears

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Oct 29, 2014
from Washington Post:
Maybe you can change people's minds about climate change after all
...climate science education may well work to counteract political ideology after all -- at least if you get to kids when they're young enough, before ideological views have become crystalized. ...


And the youth shall inherit the (ravaged) earth.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Oct 21, 2014
from Jen Sorensen, via DailyKos:
The Globola Crisis
...


What if we don't have the right vaccine for Globola?!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Oct 20, 2014
from London Daily Mail:
The hottest six months in history? April to September 2014 were the warmest since records began, Nasa claims
...


Sometimes, all ya need is a headline.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Oct 20, 2014
from InsideClimate News:
September Was Warmest on Record, NASA Data Shows
Like August before it, September 2014 was the warmest September on record, according to newly updated NASA data. The warm month makes it even more likely that 2014 will become the warmest year on record. This September was about 1.4F above the 1951-1980 average temperature for the month, data from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) showed. That makes it the warmest September in GISS records, edging out the previous September record set in 2005. GISS records extend back to 1880. ...


Copy cat.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Oct 14, 2014
from New York Times:
Pentagon Signals Security Risks of Climate Change
The Pentagon on Monday released a report asserting decisively that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages. It also predicted rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises. The report lays out a road map to show how the military will adapt to rising sea levels, more violent storms and widespread droughts. The Defense Department will begin by integrating plans for climate change risks across all of its operations, from war games and strategic military planning situations to a rethinking of the movement of supplies. ...


We will be at constant war with the wild weather we have reared.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Oct 7, 2014
from Huffington Post:
Save the Humans
...Each year, the U.S. grows and kills about 10 billion livestock animals. Globally, we're raising and slaughtering about 56 billion animals animal agriculture each year. If you do the math, that means we're killing 1,776 animals for food every second of every day. That doesn't even include fish and other seafood. But even though I'm a vegan for ethical reasons, I don't want to write about the animal ethics of animal agriculture. I want to write about the ways in which animal agriculture is killing us and ruining our planet.... The U.N. released a conservative report wherein they stated that animal agriculture causes about 18 percent of current greenhouse gas emissions. ...


If we don't eat them they'll eat us!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Sep 22, 2014
from New York Times:
Global Rise Reported in 2013 Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Global emissions of greenhouse gases jumped 2.3 percent in 2013 to record levels, scientists reported Sunday, in the latest indication that the world remains far off track in its efforts to control global warming. The emissions growth last year was a bit slower than the average growth rate of 2.5 percent over the past decade, and much of the dip was caused by an economic slowdown in China, which is the world's single largest source of emissions. It may take an additional year or two to know if China has turned a corner toward slower emissions growth, or if the runaway pace of recent years will resume. In the United States, emissions rose 2.9 percent, after declining in recent years. ...


Way to get back in the game, US! The decline was starting to be embarrassing.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Sep 22, 2014
from Associated Press:
NOAA: Yet more global heat records fall in August
The globe smashed more heat records last month, including Earth's hottest August and summer, federal meteorologists said Thursday. May, June and August all set global heat records this year. Meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the average world temperature in August was 61.36 degrees Fahrenheit (16.35 degrees Celsius), breaking a record set in 1998. Scientists at NASA, who calculate global temperature a tad differently, also found August as the hottest on record. ...


The plan to set the earth on fire is unfolding beautifully!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Sep 17, 2014
from Midwest Energy News:
In fight against pollution, nurses union on the front lines
...a growing mission among nurses nationwide: the pursuit of environmental justice, fueled by a growing awareness of the environmental factors that could be linked to, causing or exacerbating the cancers, respiratory ailments or other conditions that affect their patients. Nurses have individually become increasingly aware of the role of the environment in health, and over the past two years the National Nurses United labor union has launched a concerted campaign to mobilize on environmental justice issues -- including the role of fossil fuels in both local pollution and climate change. ...


We always listen to nurses.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Sep 2, 2014
from Climate News Network:
New Satellite Maps Show World's Major Ice Caps Melting at Unprecedented Rate
German researchers have established the height of the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps with greater precision than ever before. And the new maps they have produced show that the ice is melting at an unprecedented rate... Over a three-year period, the researchers collected 200 million measurements in Antarctica and more than 14 million in Greenland. They were able to study how the ice sheets changed by comparing the data with measurements made by NASA's ICESat mission. ...


I think we need further research.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Aug 26, 2014
from USA Today:
Ken Burns: Glacier National Park in trouble
If you're interested in seeing the namesake glaciers of Glacier National Park, Ken Burns has a piece of advice: hurry. "The great sadness of Glacier National Park is that it's probably going to be true that fairly soon, we're going to call it 'The National Park Formerly Known as Glacier'," Burns says. With current global warming trends, the United States Geological Survey warns that Glacier National Park's glaciers could disappear within the next several decades. ...


At least the Rocky Mountains will always be comprised of rocks.

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Aug 22, 2014
from Climate Central:
Epic Drought in West is Literally Moving Mountains
Climate change is driving the Greenland Ice Sheet to melt, which is contributing to sea level rise. But imagine that the same amount of water melting from Greenland each year is being lost in California and the rest of the West because of the epic drought there. What happens? The land in the West begins to rise. In fact, some parts of California's mountains have been uplifted as much as 15 millimeters (about 0.6 inches) in the past 18 months because the massive amount of water lost in the drought is no longer weighing down the land, causing it to rise a bit like an uncoiled spring, a new study shows. ...


In the post-apocalypse, the mountains will ascend into the sky.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Aug 19, 2014
from Bloomberg:
Many Republicans Privately Support Action On Climate
In stark contrast to their party's public stance on Capitol Hill, many Republicans privately acknowledge the scientific consensus that human activity is at least partially responsible for climate change and recognize the need to address the problem.... Most say the reluctance to publicly support efforts to address climate change has grown discernibly since the 2010 congressional elections, when Tea Party-backed candidates helped the Republican Party win control of the House, in part by targeting vulnerable Democrats for their support of legislation establishing a national emissions cap-and-trade system. However, they see little political benefit to speaking out on the issue, since congressional action is probably years away, according to former congressmen, former congressional aides and other sources. ...


The ApocaTea Party wields the Great Hammer of Denial.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Aug 13, 2014
from Financial Review:
Coal always wins and will stay No. 1, says carbon king Boyce
Peabody Energy chief executive Greg Boyce is calling on coal producers to spend more time and money fighting "symbolic" movements against the industry and is confident China will not adopt a cap on carbon emissions. As the anti-coal collective gathers more mainstream backers, St Louis-based Mr Boyce says the industry needs to do more to counter the attacks, particularly the global fossil fuels divestment campaign. But he is confident that "coal always wins out". ...


In fact, coal will even vanquish us.

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Aug 8, 2014
from The Register-Guard:
Goals for carbon reduction become law in Eugene
The Eugene City Council voted Monday to put some teeth into previously approved goals to reduce the city's fossil fuel use and carbon emissions. The so-called "climate recovery ordinance," which passed on a 6-2 vote, seeks to cut communitywide fossil fuel use by 50 percent by 2030, compared with 2010 usage. It also calls for city government operations to be entirely "carbon neutral" by 2020, either by reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions or by funding local emission reduction projects.... Mayor Kitty Piercy responded that "science" was the motivation for the ordinance. "What's the cost of not doing something?" she asked. ...


The scientific revolution, now hundreds of years in the making, continues.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Aug 6, 2014
from Washington Post:
Scientists may have cracked the giant Siberian crater mystery -- and the news isn't good
...By now, you've heard of the crater on the Yamal Peninsula. It's the one that suddenly appeared, yawning nearly 200 feet in diameter, and made several rounds in the global viral media machine... There's now a substantiated theory about what created the crater. And the news isn't so good. It may be methane gas, released by the thawing of frozen ground. According to a recent Nature article, "air near the bottom of the crater contained unusually high concentrations of methane -- up to 9.6 percent -- ... Some scientists contend the thawing of such terrain, rife with centuries of carbon, would release incredible amounts of methane gas and affect global temperatures. ...


Apocahole!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Aug 4, 2014
from University of New South Wales:
Atlantic warming turbocharges Pacific trade winds
Rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean, likely caused by global warming, has turbocharged Pacific Equatorial trade winds. This has caused eastern tropical Pacific cooling, amplified the Californian drought, accelerated sea level rise three times faster than the global average in the Western Pacific and has slowed the rise of global average surface temperatures since 2001.... While active, the stronger Equatorial trade winds have caused far greater overturning of ocean water in the West Pacific, pushing more atmospheric heat into the ocean... This increased overturning appears to explain much of the recent slowdown in the rise of global average surface temperatures. Importantly, the researchers don't expect the current pressure difference between the two ocean basins to last. When it does end, they expect to see some rapid changes, including a sudden acceleration of global average surface temperatures. ...


A tale of two oceans ... and one world on the precipice of climate chaos.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jul 28, 2014
from Ecowatch:
Last Month Was the Hottest June of All Time
Just like the month that preceded it, June 2014 was the hottest of its kind in our planet's history. According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), global land and ocean surface temperatures combined for an average of 61.2 degrees, making last month the hottest June ever. That figure exceeded the previous record in 1998 by 1.3 degrees. In addition to marking the second consecutive month with a record high global temperature, June was also the fifth month this year to rank among the four hottest of all time for its respective month. February was the only exception. ...


We are on a roll.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jul 28, 2014
from DeSmog Blog:
U.S. Becomes Biggest Oil Producer After Overtaking Saudi Arabia
Is President Obama's "all of the above" energy policy a success? Or a climate failure? A report issued recently by Bank of America declared the U.S. has now surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil producer. The daily output average for the first quarter of 2104 exceeded 11 million barrels, a significant increase from the previous quarters' (Sept-Dec 2013) average of 7 million barrels, according to the International Energy Agency. The expansion of domestic oil production in the U.S. has been significant under President Obama, supported by his "all of the above"--or rather the American Petroleum Institute's "all of the above"--energy strategy which has overseen a four-fold increase in drilling rigs under his administration. ...


President Oilbama.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jul 28, 2014
from National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR):
Climate Change Increases Risk of Crop Slowdown in Next 20 Years
The world faces a small but substantially increased risk over the next two decades of a major slowdown in the growth of global corn and wheat yields because of climate change, according to new research. Such a slowdown would occur as global demand for crops rapidly increases.... the risk is about 20 times more significant than it would be without global warming, and it may require planning by organizations that are affected by international food availability and price. ...


A perfect storm of horror.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Jun 25, 2014
from NOAA, via DesdemonaDespair:
Not only was May the 39th consecutive May, it was also the 351st consecutive month with global temperature above the 20th century average
May marked the 39th consecutive May and 351st consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average temperature for May occurred in 1976 and the last below-average temperature for any month occurred in February 1985. ...


Again?

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jun 19, 2014
from Grist:
Everything you need to know about El Nio -- and more
While European scientists now say there is a 90 percent chance of an El Nio forming this year (if it hasn't indeed formed already), what, exactly, an El Nio will do depends a lot on its particular strength.... But whether the boy is coming this year or not, we haven't seen the last of him. Scientists believe that the so-called "global warming pause" we've seen in the past 16 years is the result of the Pacific Ocean spewing out so much of its heat during the El Nio of 1997-'98. Since then, it has had more of an appetite to suck atmospheric heat back in -- and because the trade winds haven't slackened much since then, the Pacific has held on to all that warmth. So, when a big El Nio does form again, us landlubbers are going to heat up ... really fast. On the positive side, that could help convince more people that this whole climate change thing is real. And a little rain would be welcome in drought-stricken California. But there will be many, many downsides -- and not just especially bad traffic jams. ...


I'll see your El Nino, and raise you a derecho and a deluge.

ApocaDoc
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Sun, Jun 8, 2014
from Huffington Post:
Will New Climate Regulations Destroy the Economy? (Hint: No.)
There is a long history of claims that new rules to protect the environment or human health will seriously harm the United States economy. These claims are political fodder, they are provocative, and they are always wrong. In fact, the evidence shows the opposite: environmental regulations consistently produce enormous net benefits to the economy and to human health. In 2008, for example, the United States' environmental technologies and services industry supported 1.7 million jobs. The industry at that time generated approximately $300 billion in revenues and exported goods and services worth $44 billion... Some polluting industries might suffer, but it is past time to unleash American ingenuity in the name of reducing the devastating threat of climate change. ...


We can have our cake and eat it, too?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jun 2, 2014
from The Hill:
Survey: Majority favor renewable energy over coal, despite costs
... a new survey from an environmentally-friendly business group finds a majority of people would support efforts to overhaul the nation's electric power grid to make room for more renewable forms of energy. The Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) survey found that two-thirds of people said it is a good idea to "modernize" the nation's power system, while three in four respondents said they would like to use electricity more efficiently in order to reduce the need for old power plants. But 58 percent of people believe say they would like to move from old power sources like coal to new renewable forms of energy like wind, solar, and hydropower, even if it costs more to do so. ...


Imagine the numbers when people realize renewable energy is cheaper!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, May 19, 2014
from University of Leeds:
Antarctica's ice losses on the rise
Three years of observations show that the Antarctic ice sheet is now losing 159 billion tons of ice each year -- twice as much as when it was last surveyed. Scientists have now produced the first complete assessment of Antarctic ice sheet elevation change.... On average West Antarctica lost 134 gigatonnes of ice, East Antarctica three gigatonnes, and the Antarctic Peninsula 23 gigatonnes in each year between 2010 and 2013 -- a total loss of 159 gigatonnes each year. ...


What a comfort it is to have such accurate numbers!

ApocaDoc
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Fri, May 16, 2014
from NASA, via ThinkProgress:
NASA: Last month was second-warmest April in history of temperature data recording
We may not have felt it in the United States, but last month was the second-warmest April worldwide since scientists began recording temperature data, according to a preliminary report from NASA. Around the planet, April temperatures averaged 58.5 deg F, which is 1.3 deg F above average temperatures. This is only a tad lower than than the warmest April ever recorded, a milestone hit in 2010 when NASA calculated global temperatures of 1.44 deg F above average, according to the data sheet. The data announcement also marks this April as the 350th month in a row where the globe has experienced above-average temperatures, a phenomenon that scientists agree is largely caused by increases of man-made greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. Incidentally, April 2014 also marked the first month in human history when average carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reached above 400 parts per million. ...


April is the cruelest month. And the most worthy of denial.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, May 14, 2014
from Time Magazine:
Climate Change Poses Growing National-Security Threat, Report Says
A new report published by the Center for Naval Analyses Military Advisory Board this week finds that climate change is a "catalyst for conflict" and a "threat multiplier," proving to be a growing threat not only to the environment but also U.S. national security ...


Hello, sailor, new in town?

ApocaDoc
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Wed, May 14, 2014
from ThinkProgress:
The Impact Of Climate Change On The Midwest: More Heat, More Droughts, More Floods, Fewer Crops
The 2014 National Climate Assessment, the single largest attempt to compile the science and data concerning climate change's impact on the United States, was released on Tuesday. For the American Midwest, the report comes with some stark projections: more extreme heat, along with heavier downpours and flooding, and serious consequences for the ecosystems of the Great Lakes and for large portions of the region's economy. ...


What was the score of the game last night?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, May 5, 2014
from National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research:
Climate change threatens to worsen U.S. ozone pollution
Ozone pollution across the continental United States will become far more difficult to keep in check as temperatures rise, according to new research. The detailed study shows that Americans face the risk of a 70 percent increase in unhealthy summertime ozone levels by 2050. This is because warmer temperatures and other changes in the atmosphere related to a changing climate, including higher atmospheric levels of methane, spur chemical reactions that lead to ozone. ...


Where's the hole when you need it?

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Apr 23, 2014
from VOX:
Two degrees: How the world has failed on climate change
...[J]ust this month, the IPCC put out a new report saying, OK, not great, but we can still stay under 2 deg C. We just need to act more drastically and figure out some way to pull carbon dioxide back out of the atmosphere. (Never mind that we still don't have the technology to do the latter.)... At current rates, the world will exhaust its carbon budget and breach 2C in roughly three decades. (If climate sensitivity turns out to be low, that only buys us an extra decade or so.) If we want to stay within the budget and avoid 2 deg C, then, our annual emissions need to start declining each year. Older, dirtier coal plants would need to get replaced with cleaner wind or solar or nuclear plants, say. Or gas-guzzling SUVs would need to get replaced with new low-carbon electric cars. But the longer we put this off, the harder it gets -- the carbon budget gets smaller, and there are more coal plants and SUVs to replace. ...


Happy Earth Day.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Apr 15, 2014
from Climate Central:
March Was 4th Warmest on Record Globally
March 2014 was the fourth-warmest March on record globally, according to recently released NASA data, making it the 349th month -- more than 29 years -- in which global temperatures were above the historic average. The planet's average March temperature was 57.9F -- 0.7C (or 1.2F) above the average temperature from 1951-1980 -- behind only the March of 2002, 2010 and 1990, in that order... The warm winter period may surprise those in the U.S. who suffered through the effects of a wobbling polar vortex, but the months of December through February were 1.57F above the 20th century average... ...


You mean the rest of the planet has temperatures too?

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Apr 1, 2014
from Huffington Post:
Cable Networks Largely Ignore Major Climate Change Report
The New York Times led Monday's paper with an ominous headline potentially affecting everyone on Earth: "Panel's Warning On Climate Risk: Worst Is To Come."... But such dramatic findings weren't treated with similar urgency Monday morning on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. The three cable news networks largely ignored the IPCC's findings between 6:00 a.m. and noon, according to a search using media monitoring service TVEyes. CNN briefly mentioned the U.N. report during two news roundups, speaking about it for roughly 40 seconds of airtime out of six hours. However, CNN found plenty of time to devote to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The network has been obsessively covering the mystery for several weeks, regardless of whether there's any new information to report. ...


We do love a mystery!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Mar 31, 2014
from New York Times:
Panel's Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come
Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world's oceans, scientists reported on Monday, and they warned that the problem was likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control... "Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change," Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the intergovernmental panel, said at a news conference here on Monday presenting the report. The report was among the most sobering yet issued by the scientific panel. ...


I'll drink to that!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Mar 26, 2014
from Reuters:
World unprepared for climate damage to food security - Oxfam
A key U.N. report on climate change, due out early next week, will show that the impacts of rising temperatures on food security will be more serious and hit earlier than previously thought, a situation the world is "woefully unprepared" to cope with, aid group Oxfam warned on Tuesday... Whether or not measures are taken to help farmers adapt to climate change, median crop yields will decline by up to 2 percent during the rest of the century, while crop demand grows 14 percent each decade until 2050... ...


I am prepared ... to eat my arm!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Mar 24, 2014
from London Guardian:
13 of 14 warmest years on record occurred in 21st century - UN
13 of the 14 warmest years on record occurred this century, according to the UN. Publishing its annual climate report, the UN's World Meteorological Organisation said that last year continued a long-term warming trend, with the hottest year ever in Australia and floods, droughts and extreme weather elsewhere around the world. Michel Jarraud, the WMO's secretary-general, also said there had been no 'pause' in global warming, as has been alleged by climate change sceptics. "There is no standstill in global warming," Jarraud said. ...


The new normal.

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Mar 21, 2014
from Washington Post:
The biggest lease holder in Canada's oil sands isn't Exxon Mobil or Chevron. It's the Koch brothers.
You might expect the biggest lease owner in Canada's oil sands, or tar sands, to be one of the international oil giants, like Exxon Mobil or Royal Dutch Shell. But that isn't the case. The biggest lease holder in the northern Alberta oil sands is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, the privately-owned cornerstone of the fortune of conservative Koch brothers Charles and David. The Koch Industries subsidiary holds leases on 1.1 million acres -- an area nearly the size of Delaware -- in the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada, according to an activist group that studied Alberta provincial records. The Post confirmed the group's findings with Alberta Energy, the provincial government's ministry of energy. Separately, industry sources familiar with oil sands leases said Koch's lease holdings could be closer to two million acres. ...


So there is reason behind their madness.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Mar 19, 2014
from Reuters:
Warmest winter on record worsens California drought
California is coming off of its warmest winter on record, aggravating an enduring drought in the most populous U.S. state, federal weather scientists said Monday. The state had a average temperature of 48 Fahrenheit (9 Celsius) for December, January and February, an increase from 47.2 F in 1980-81, the last hottest winter, and more than 4 degrees hotter than the 20th-century average in California, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in a statement. Warmer winters could make the already parched state even drier by making it less likely for snow to accumulate in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, NOAA spokesman Brady Phillips said. That snow, melting in the spring and summer and running down through the state's rivers, is vital for providing water in the summer, when the state typically experiences little rain. ...


When it rains it pours, and when it droughts it deserts.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Mar 4, 2014
from The Daily Caller:
Warren Buffett: Global warming not causing extreme weather
Business magnate Warren Buffett contradicted a major Obama administration talking point by saying that global warming was not causing extreme weather. The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway told CNBC that he has not changed the way his companies calculate the likelihood of a natural disaster because of global warming. Berkshire Hathaway owns several insurance companies that often have to pay out huge claims when natural disasters strike. Environmentalists and the Obama administration have warned that global warming has caused natural disasters like hurricanes to become fiercer and more common. ...


From Oracle of Omaha to Nimrod of Nebraska.

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Mar 1, 2014
from Climate Central:
NY State Expects All Utilities to Prep for Climate Change
In a major settlement that could have far-reaching implications nationwide, New York's largest utility is now responsible for preparing for a future of extreme weather, including the impacts of climate change. The state now expects all of the utilities it regulates to consider how sea level rise, extreme weather and other possible effects related to climate change will affect their operations and reliability as they make future construction plans and budgets. It's a model that experts say other states could use to address the ravages of climate change... Partly as a result of the damage the New York region and ConEd's infrastructure sustained during Hurricane Sandy, the settlement requires ConEd, one of the nation's largest utilities, to study how climate change will affect its infrastructure and how to adjust its operations to mitigate those effects. ...


To the victors belong the spoils.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Feb 27, 2014
from University of New South Wales:
Climate change: No warming hiatus for extreme hot temperatures
While there are claims that there has been a hiatus in global average temperatures, no such hiatus has occurred at the extreme end of the temperature spectrum. New research shows extremely hot temperatures over land have dramatically and unequivocally increased in number and area despite claims that the rise in global average temperatures has slowed over the past 10 to 20 years...."It quickly became clear, the 'hiatus' in global average temperatures did not stop the rise in the number, intensity and area of extremely hot days," said one of the paper's authors, Dr Lisa Alexander. ...


That's why they call 'em hiatuses.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Feb 20, 2014
from NASA:
NASA satellites see Arctic surface darkening faster
The retreat of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is diminishing Earth's albedo, or reflectivity, by an amount considerably larger than previously estimated, according to a new study that uses data from instruments that fly aboard several NASA satellites.... As the sea ice melts, its white reflective surface is replaced by a relatively dark ocean surface. This diminishes the amount of sunlight being reflected back to space, causing Earth to absorb an increasing amount of solar energy. The Arctic has warmed by 3.6 F (2 C) since the 1970s. The summer minimum Arctic sea ice extent has decreased by 40 percent during the same time period. These factors have decreased the region's albedo, or the fraction of incoming light that Earth reflects back into space -- a change that the CERES instruments are able to measure. ...


albedone for

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Feb 17, 2014
from Agence France-Press:
Jet stream shift could prompt harsher winters: scientists
A warmer Arctic could permanently affect the pattern of the high-altitude polar jet stream, resulting in longer and colder winters over North America and northern Europe, US scientists say. The jet stream, a ribbon of high altitude, high-speed wind in northern latitudes that blows from west to east, is formed when the cold Arctic air clashes with warmer air from further south. The greater the difference in temperature, the faster the jet stream moves. According to Jennifer Francis, a climate expert at Rutgers University, the Arctic air has warmed in recent years as a result of melting polar ice caps, meaning there is now less of a difference in temperatures when it hits air from lower latitudes..."But over the past two decades the jet stream has weakened. This is something we can measure," she said. As a result, instead of circling the earth in the far north, the jet stream has begun to meander, like a river heading off course. This has brought chilly Arctic weather further south than normal, and warmer temperatures up north. Perhaps most disturbingly, it remains in place for longer periods of time. ...


Global chilling!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Feb 10, 2014
from University of New South Wales:
Pacific trade winds stall global surface warming ... for now
Heat stored in the western Pacific Ocean caused by an unprecedented strengthening of the equatorial trade winds appears to be largely responsible for the hiatus in surface warming observed over the past 13 years. The strongest trade winds have driven more of the heat from global warming into the oceans; but when those winds slow, that heat will rapidly return to the atmosphere causing an abrupt rise in global average temperatures, scientists say. ...


Then we still have time to party some more!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Feb 3, 2014
from Washington Post:
Five takeaways from State Department's review of the Keystone XL pipeline
The State Department has finished its massive environmental review of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, down to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would move on to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Bottom line: The report concludes that blocking or approving the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline would not have a "significant" impact on overall greenhouse-gas emissions and future tar-sands expansion. That's because, it argues, most of Alberta's oil will likely find a way to get to the market anyway -- if not by pipeline, then by rail. ...


Human conquest of Mother Earth is now complete.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Jan 14, 2014
from InsideClimate News:
U.S. Carbon Emissions From Fossil Fuels Rose in 2013 as Coal Use Ticked Up
When all the data is in, it looks like carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels will have gone up 2 percent in 2013 from the previous year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) said on Monday. The main reason, it said, is an uptick in the use of coal for electric power. But it's also a sign of growing economic activity in general... The agency said emissions are currently running at about 10 percent less than in 2005, putting the nation almost two-thirds of the way to its goal of cutting them 17 percent by 2020, with much steeper reductions promised even later. ...


Guess I got coal in my stocking after all.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Dec 26, 2013
from InsideClimate News:
Need for More Tar Sands Imports Called Into Question With Latest U.S. Energy Data
The U.S. Energy Department has sharply cut its forecast for crude oil imports in the next several years, saying that domestic oil will replace imports at a much faster rate than it expected just a few months ago. Imports in 2016 will be one million barrels a day lower than it projected in April... So what looks like good news from the standpoint of U.S. energy independence is cold comfort to those environmental advocates and scientists who say that the U.S. and the rest of the world must act swiftly to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide in order to avoid the worst effects of global warming in the coming century. For them, higher production of fossil fuels is progress in the wrong direction. ...


Energy security = certain ecocide.

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Dec 21, 2013
from Rolling Stone:
Obama and Climate Change: The Real Story
If you want to understand how people will remember the Obama climate legacy, a few facts tell the tale: By the time Obama leaves office, the U.S. will pass Saudi Arabia as the planet's biggest oil producer and Russia as the world's biggest producer of oil and gas combined. In the same years, even as we've begun to burn less coal at home, our coal exports have climbed to record highs. We are, despite slight declines in our domestic emissions, a global-warming machine: At the moment when physics tell us we should be jamming on the carbon brakes, America is revving the engine. ...


Bafrack Coalbama

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Dec 11, 2013
from Guardian:
Newly discovered greenhouse gas '7,000 times more powerful than CO2'
A new greenhouse gas that is 7,000 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the Earth has been discovered by researchers in Toronto. The newly discovered gas, perfluorotributylamine (PFTBA), has been in use by the electrical industry since the mid-20th century.... "This is a warning to us that this gas could have a very very large impact on climate change - if there were a lot of it. Since there is not a lot of it now, we don't have to worry about it at present, but we have to make sure it doesn't grow and become a very large contributor to global warming.".... "PFTBA is just one example of an industrial chemical that is produced but there are no policies that control its production, use or emission," Hong said. "It is not being regulated by any type of climate policy." ...


Can we quit discovering shit, and try to fix the shit we know about?

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Dec 4, 2013
from Climate News Network:
James Hansen: 2C Temperature Rise Would Be "Disastrous"
Governments have set the wrong target to limit climate change. The goal at present -- to limit global warming to a maximum of two degree Celsius higher than the average for most of human history -- "would have consequences that can be described as disastrous," say 18 scientists in a review paper in the journal PLOS One. With a two degree Celsius increase, "sea level rise of several meters could be expected," they say. "Increased climate extremes, already apparent at 0.8 degrees Celsuis warming, would be more severe. Coral reefs and associated species, already stressed with current conditions, would be decimated by increased acidification, temperature and sea level rise.... Warming of one degree Celsius relative to 1880 -- 1920 keeps global temperature close to the Holocene range, but warming of two degree Celsius, could cause "major dislocations for civilization." ...


Take two aspirin, go to bed and don't get up!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Nov 11, 2013
from BBC:
Ozone chemicals ban linked to global warming 'pause'
A new study suggests that the ban on ozone depleting chemicals may have also impacted the rise in global temperatures. CFC gases were responsible for a massive hole in the ozone layer but they also had a powerful greenhouse effect. The authors link a ban on their use to a "pause" or slowdown in temperature increases since the mid 1990s. The research is published in the journal Nature Geoscience.... "Our analysis suggests that the reduction in the emissions of ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol, as well as a reduction in methane emissions, contributed to the lower rate of warming since the 1990s," the authors write. ...


Thank you, Gaia, for giving us this big hint!

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Sat, Nov 2, 2013
from New Scientist:
Solar activity heads for lowest low in four centuries
The sun's activity is in free fall, according to a leading space physicist. But don't expect a little ice age. "Solar activity is declining very fast at the moment," Mike Lockwood, professor of space environmental physics at Reading University, UK, told New Scientist. "We estimate faster than at any time in the last 9300 years." Lockwood and his colleagues are reassessing the chances of this decline continuing over decades to become the first "grand solar minimum" for four centuries. During a grand minimum the normal 11-year solar cycle is suppressed and the sun has virtually no sunspots for several decades. This summer should have seen a peak in the number of sunspots, but it didn't happen. Lockwood thinks there is now a 25 per cent chance of a repetition of the last grand minimum, the late 17th century Maunder Minimum, when there were no sunspots for 70 years. ...


Please, O Ra, sun-god of our ancestors, give us that extra time to save the world for our descendents.

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Mon, Oct 14, 2013
from BBC:
Global warming will increase intensity of El Nino, scientists say
Scientists say they are more certain than ever about the impact of global warming on a critical weather pattern. The El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) occurs in the Pacific Ocean but plays an important part in the world's climate system. Researchers have until now been unsure as to how rising temperatures would affect ENSO in the future. But this new study suggests that droughts and floods driven by ENSO will be more intense. ...


El Nino ... El Nono!

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Mon, Oct 14, 2013
from Climate News Network:
Ocean Deteriorating More Rapidly Than Thought
Marine scientists say the state of the world's oceans is deteriorating more rapidly than anyone had realized, and is worse than that described in last month's U.N. climate report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. They say the rate, speed and impacts of ocean change are greater, faster and more imminent than previously thought -- and they expect summertime Arctic sea ice cover will have disappeared in around 25 years. ...


Seas the day.

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Wed, Oct 9, 2013
from University of Hawaii at Manoa:
Urgent New Time Frame for Climate Change Revealed by Massive Analysis
The seesaw variability of global temperatures often engenders debate over how seriously we should take climate change. But within 35 years, even the lowest monthly dips in temperatures will be hotter than we've experienced in the past 150 years, according to a new and massive analysis of all climate models. The tropics will be the first to exceed the limits of historical extremes and experience an unabated heat wave that threatens biodiversity and heavily populated countries with the fewest resources to adapt. ...


The tropics will be toast!

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Mon, Sep 30, 2013
from NewScientist:
Climate report: Lull in warming doesn't mean we're safe
Humanity's role in driving climate change is more certain than ever before, but the most extreme scenarios of future warming are looking less likely than a few years ago. This is the upshot of the latest scientific assessment from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published today.... The new report leaves no doubt that a storm is brewing. It is unequivocal -- temperatures are rising and human activity is to blame. Without drastic action to curb emissions, it says, the world faces a century of strong warming, in which glaciers and ice sheets melt, sea levels rise, the oceans acidify, weather systems shift and rainfall patterns change.... this stark warning will be sidelined by the scientific conundrum over the "missing heat" that should, according to most climate models, have been warming the atmosphere ever faster these past few decades. This may be a short-term blip -- perhaps a result of the oceans temporarily taking up more heat from the atmosphere, says one of the IPCC's lead authors, Myles Allen of the University of Oxford. The report underlines that, whatever is happening to the atmosphere, the oceans continue to warm dramatically. ...


Damn you, ocean, for trying to save us all.

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Mon, Sep 30, 2013
from Associated Press:
Big freighter traverses Northwest Passage for 1st time
A large freighter completed a voyage through the hazardous Arctic Northwest Passage for the first time this week, showing the potential for cutting shipment times and costs as global warming opens new routes. The 75,000 deadweight-ton Nordic Orion, built in 2011 by a Japanese shipyard, left the Canadian Pacific port of Vancouver in early September and is scheduled to arrive in the Finnish port of Pori on October 7, according to AIS shipping data.... As the ice continues to melt, some experts have estimated that shipping via the Arctic could account for a quarter of the cargo traffic between Europe and Asia by 2030. ...


Let the feeding frenzy begin...

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Mon, Sep 30, 2013
from Bloomberg:
Credits to Spur Renewable Energy Sources Seen Set to End: Taxes
Tax credits for the production of wind power and other renewable energy sources face expiration at year's end amid few signs Congress will decide to continue them, tax lobbyists and other analysts say. Failure to extend the 16 tax credits could stymie the development of wind power and the other renewables by undercutting incentives to invest in them, Bloomberg BNA reported... In addition to the 2.3 cent-per-kilowatt-hour tax credit for wind, geothermal and closed-loop biomass, other expiring energy incentives include a $1 per-gallon credit for biodiesel producers, a $1.01 per gallon credit for cellulosic ethanol and multiple credits for energy-efficient homes and appliances. ...


Dear God, please protect the tens of billions gifted to the fossil fuel industry each year...

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Thu, Sep 19, 2013
from Midwest Energy News:
Report: Social costs, if accounted for, make coal uneconomical
New research from a national environmental group finds that the cost of producing electricity from renewable resources like wind and solar is lower than that of conventional coal-fired generation when factoring for the adverse costs of climate change and human health impacts. That conclusion, derived from analysis on the "social cost of carbon," is at the heart of a study published in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences... ...


Clearly these durn tree huggers don't care a whit about keeping the poor healthcare industry alive!

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Thu, Sep 19, 2013
from London Guardian:
Arctic sea ice shrinks to sixth-lowest extent on record
Sea ice cover in the Arctic has shrunk to one of its smallest extents on record, bringing the days of an entirely ice-free Arctic during the summer a step closer. The annual sea ice minimum of 5,099m sq km reached last Friday was not as extreme as last year, when the collapse of ice cover broke all previous records. But it was still the sixth lowest Arctic sea ice minimum on record, and well below the average set over the past 30 years of satellite records. ...


The Awesome Global Meltfest continues!

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Sep 19, 2013
from Alternet:
How Chicken Is Killing the Planet
Earlier this month, while you were busy sneaking out of your empty office, hoping nobody would notice your starting the holiday weekend early, the USDA was also doing something it was hoping nobody would notice. It was green-lighting the sale of Chinese processed American chicken. As Politico explained, "U.S. officials have given the thumbs-up to four Chinese poultry plants, paving the way for the country to send processed chicken to American markets." But while, "eat first, China will only be able to process chicken that has been slaughtered in the U.S. or other certified countries," that should not be a comfort to fans of the McNugget, Campbell's chicken soup, or any other processed chicken product...Meat is already the No. 1 contributor to climate change. Don't expect shipping slaughtered chickens 7,000 miles to China and then bringing them back as processed food to lower that carbon footprint. And, of course, the Chinese poultry industry has its own dirty laundry, including a current bird flu outbreak, believed to have "evolved from migratory birds via waterfowl to poultry and into people," and already responsible for 44 deaths; the sale of 46- year-old chicken feet; and exporting tainted dog treats, sickening nearly a thousand American pets. ...


Let them eat drywall.

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Wed, Sep 11, 2013
from Christian Science Monitor:
'50 dirtiest' US power plants emit more greenhouse gases than South Korea
Fifty US power plants emit more greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels than all but six nations, says a new report. The study by Environment America paints a bulls-eye on the nation's biggest coal-fired power plants, suggesting that reining in a relatively small share of America's 6,000 electric generating facilities could have a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions.... The administration's goal is to have power plant emissions regulations in place by 2015, and the new study provides a window into which plants could face steep federal fines unless they slash emissions or close....The "50 dirtiest" power plants generated nearly 33 percent of the US power sector's carbon dioxide emissions in 2011 but only about 16 percent of its electricity. ...


Now that's what I call dirty.

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Mon, Sep 2, 2013
from Grist:
U.S. government paid $17 billion for weather-withered crops last year
Desiccated corn and sun-scorched soybeans have been in high supply lately -- and we're paying through the nose for them. The federal government forked out a record-breaking $17.3 billion last year to compensate farmers for weather-related crop losses -- more than four times the annual average over the last decade. The losses were mostly caused by droughts, high temperatures, and hot winds -- the sizzling harbingers of a climate in rapid flux. ...


The Sizzling Harbingers is the name of my new band, dude!

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Tue, Aug 27, 2013
from Nature:
Rising ocean acidity will exacerbate global warming
The slow and inexorable increase in the oceans' acidity as they soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere could itself have an effect on climate and amplify global warming, according to a new study. Acidification would lead certain marine organisms to emit less of the sulphur compounds that help to seed the formation of clouds and so keep the planet cool.... Adding in the effects of acidification on DMS, which the team calculated using three different estimates of the strength of the link between pH and DMS production, led to additional increases ranging between 0.23 and 0.48 degrees C. Their paper is published in Nature Climate Change today. (Thanks, DesdemonaDespair) ...


Ocean acidification has a bonus feature!

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Wed, Aug 21, 2013
from Climate Central:
July Adds To Globe's String of 341 Warm Months
The year-to-date has been the sixth warmest on record globally, and July was also the sixth warmest such month since global surface temperature records first began in 1880, according to new data released on Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The figures show that July 2013 was the 37th straight July, and the 341st straight month, with warmer-than-average global temperatures -- a more than 28-year timespan that reflects the significant warming observed worldwide since the 1970s. ...


There's no stopping us now!

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Tue, Aug 20, 2013
from Reuters:
Experts surer of manmade global warming but local predictions elusive
... Drafts seen by Reuters of the study by the U.N. panel of experts, due to be published next month, say it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities - chiefly the burning of fossil fuels - are the main cause of warming since the 1950s. That is up from at least 90 percent in the last report in 2007, 66 percent in 2001, and just over 50 in 1995, steadily squeezing out the arguments by a small minority of scientists that natural variations in the climate might be to blame. ...


There's a five percent chance it's fairies.

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Tue, Aug 13, 2013
from American Geophysical Union:
Ozone Hole Might Slightly Warm Planet, Computer Model Suggests
A lot of people mix up the ozone hole and global warming, believing the hole is a major cause of the world's increasing average temperature. Scientists, on the other hand, have long attributed a small cooling effect to the ozone shortage in the hole. Now a new computer-modeling study suggests that the ozone hole might actually have a slight warming influence, but because of its effect on winds, not temperatures. The new research suggests that shifting wind patterns caused by the ozone hole push clouds farther toward the South Pole, reducing the amount of radiation the clouds reflect and possibly causing a bit of warming rather than cooling. ...


Uh-o(zone)...

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Aug 2, 2013
from Blue and Green Tomorrow:
Greenland experiences 'record high' temperatures
Greenland - 80 percent of which is ice - experienced its highest temperature since records began on Wednesday. The new record, 25.9C (78.6F), was measured at Maniitoq Mittarfia near Baffin Bay on the west coast. The previous high was 25.5C (77.9F) at Kangerlussuaq in July 1990, with records dating back to 1958. Scientists have previously calculated that if the annual average temperature in Greenland increases by 3C (5.4F), its ice sheet will begin to melt at an abnormal and potentially catastrophic rate.... NSIDC scientist Walt Meier said, "By itself it's just a number, and occasionally records are going to get set. ...


Isn't "occasional" supposed to mean "not very often"?

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Tue, Jul 30, 2013
from RTCC:
Alaska forest fires 'worst for 10,000 years'
There have always been fires in the cold forests of Alaska. Periods of burning are part of the ecological regime, and fires return to black spruce stands of the Yukon Flats at intervals of tens to hundreds of years. But recent evidence suggests that fire is about to come back with a vengeance - or, in the language of science, "a transition to a unique regime of unprecedented fire activity". ...


It seems that many things are "unprecedented" and part of a "unique regime." Goddamn it.

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Wed, Jul 24, 2013
from LiveScience.com:
North Pole Now a Lake
Instead of snow and ice whirling on the wind, a foot-deep aquamarine lake now sloshes around a webcam stationed at the North Pole. The meltwater lake started forming July 13, following two weeks of warm weather in the high Arctic. In early July, temperatures were 2 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 3 degrees Celsius) higher than average over much of the Arctic Ocean, according to the National Snow & Ice Data Center. Meltwater ponds sprout more easily on young, thin ice, which now accounts for more than half of the Arctic's sea ice. The ponds link up across the smooth surface of the ice, creating a network that traps heat from the sun. Thick and wrinkly multi-year ice, which has survived more than one freeze-thaw season, is less likely sport a polka-dot network of ponds because of its rough, uneven surface. ...


I'm pretty sure I remember when "young and thin" was good thing.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Jul 23, 2013
from PhysOrg:
Sea level rise: New iceberg theory points to areas at risk of rapid disintegration
In events that could exacerbate sea level rise over the coming decades, stretches of ice on the coasts of Antarctica and Greenland are at risk of rapidly cracking apart and falling into the ocean, according to new iceberg calving simulations from the University of Michigan. "If this starts to happen and we're right, we might be closer to the higher end of sea level rise estimates for the next 100 years," said Jeremy Bassis, assistant professor of atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences at the U-M College of Engineering, and first author of a paper on the new model published in the current issue of Nature Geoscience.... "Essentially, everything is driven by gravity," Bassis said. "We identified a critical threshold of one kilometer where it seems like everything should break up. You can think of it in terms of a kid building a tower. The taller the tower is, the more unstable it gets."... ...


Thank goodness it's not my Lego!

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Mon, Jul 15, 2013
from The Independent:
Massive ice sheets melting 'at rate of 300bn tonnes a year', climate satellite shows
"In the course of the mission, it has become apparent that ice sheets are losing substantial amounts of ice - about 300 billion tonnes a year - and that the rate at which these losses occurs is increasing," said Bert Wouters of Bristol University's Glaciology Centre.... In its last report in 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that average sea levels are rising by about 2 millimetres a year. But, other scientists calculated last year that the true rate is about 3.2mm a year - about 60 per cent faster. "Compared to the first few years of the Grace mission, the ice sheets' contribution to sea-level rise has almost doubled in recent years," added Dr Wouters, the lead author of the study published in the Earth sciences journal Nature Geoscience. ...


Seawalls 'R' Us!

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Fri, Jun 28, 2013
from The Verge, via BoingBoing:
Brain-eating amoebas thrive in US lakes as global warming heats waterways
It's a fatal infection without an effective treatment, and one that strikes in a decidedly gruesome manner: An amoebic organism lurking in water is inadvertently inhaled during a swim on a hot summer's day. From there, it travels through the nasal passage and into the brain, where it multiplies, devours one's cerebral fluid and gray matter, and almost invariably causes death. These "brain-eating amoebas" -- known to doctors and scientists as Naegleria fowleri, or N. fowleri -- aren't believed to kill often. In the US, researchers estimate that between three and eight people die from N. fowleri disease, commonly referred to as PAM (primary amebic meningoencephalitis) each year. But that might not be the case for long. In recent years, N. fowleri has popped up in unexpected locations, which some experts suggest is a sign that warmer waters -- caused by brutal summer heat waves and rising temperatures across the country -- are catalyzing their spread. ...


I prefer to have the more grammatically correct "amoebae" eat my brains.

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Tue, Jun 4, 2013
from London Guardian:
Jellyfish surge in Mediterranean threatens environment -- and tourists
Scientists across the Mediterranean say a surge in the number of jellyfish this year threatens not just the biodiversity of one of the world's most overfished seas but also the health of tens of thousands of summer tourists. "I flew along a 300km stretch of coastline on 21 April and saw millions of jellyfish," said Professor Stefano Piraino of Salento University in southern Italy. Piraino is the head of a Mediterranean-wide project to track the rise in the number of jellyfish as global warming and overfishing clear the way for them to prosper. "There are now beaches on the island of Lampedusa, which receives 300,000 tourists a year, where people can only swim for a week in the summer," said Piraino. ...


Offer tourists the opportunity to kill the jellyfish and ... problem solved!

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Mon, Jun 3, 2013
from Bloomberg:
TransCanada CEO says Keystone aids jobs and environment
TransCanada Corp. (TRP)'s proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline would benefit U.S. employment and support efforts to tackle climate change, according to the company's Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling. ...


And smoking is good for you, too!

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Mon, May 27, 2013
from The Daily Climate:
Opinion: Stop the decay of our planet's life-support systems
...A statement released today and signed by more than 500 scientists from 44 countries who study the interactions of people with our planet is unequivocal: "Based on the best scientific information available, human quality of life will suffer substantial degradation by the year 2050 if we continue on our current path."... "By the time today's children reach middle age," the scientists warn, "it is extremely likely that Earth's life-support systems, critical for human prosperity and existence, will be irretrievably damaged by the magnitude, global extent, and combination of these human-caused environmental stressors, unless we take concrete, immediate actions to ensure a sustainable, high-quality future." ...


As if middle age doesn't suck regardless.

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Mon, May 6, 2013
from Reuters:
Low-key U.S. plan for each nation to set climate goals wins ground
A U.S.-led plan to let all countries set their own goals for fighting climate change is gaining grudging support at U.N. talks, even though the current level of pledges is far too low to limit rising temperatures substantially. The approach, being discussed this week at 160-nation talks in Bonn, Germany, would mean abandoning the blueprint of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which set central goals for industrialized countries to cut emissions by 2012 and then let each work out national implementation. ...


That way we can blame everyone for planetary destruction.

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Thu, Apr 25, 2013
from RTCC:
CO2 level nears 400ppm climate milestone
Global atmospheric CO2 concentration is edging towards the 400 parts per million (ppm) mark for the first time in millions of years. That's the expectation of scientists at the Mauna Loa recording station in Hawaii, widely regarded as the most reliable record of atmospheric CO2.... The annual peak is in May just before summer plant growth sucks more CO2 out of the atmosphere. Levels have risen every year since recording began. Scripps estimates that the 400ppm mark could be breached this year and if not, it will definitely be broken in 2014. These levels were last sustained 3.2-5 million years ago when temperatures were 2-3 degrees C warmer. "I wish it weren't true, but it looks like the world is going to blow through the 400ppm level without losing a beat," said Scripps geophysicist Ralph Keeling, whose father Dave established the network of remote CO2 monitoring. "At this pace we'll hit 450ppm within a few decades," said Ralph Keeling. ...


What's a number, anyway, but some arbitrary identification of a measurable amount?

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Tue, Apr 23, 2013
from TckTckTck:
Groundbreaking Study Reaffirms Human Impact on Climate
A groundbreaking new study, published in Nature Geoscience, has found that global temperatures were warmer between 1970 and 2000 than any other 30-year period in the last 1,400 years. The research, compiled by 73 scientists from 28 institutions worldwide, is the most comprehensive reconstruction of global temperatures to date. It used corals, ice cores, tree rings, lake and marine sediments, historical records, cave deposits and climate archives to help establish temperature trends over the last 2,000 years... The timing of the warming period correlates directly with an increase in carbon emissions from human activity over the same period and broadly confirms an ever-growing message from climate scientists: climate change is happening, it is caused by humans and billions of people will fall victim to it without urgent action. ...


1970? Maybe it's disco's fault.

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Tue, Apr 9, 2013
from Planet Ark:
Greens ask U.S. to delay Keystone decision after Arkansas leak
Environmental groups on Monday asked the Obama administration to extend the approval process of the Keystone XL pipeline, using last month's spill of heavy Canadian crude oil in Arkansas as their latest reason to delay the project. The Obama administration is deciding whether to approve the Canada-to-Nebraska leg of TransCanada Corp's proposed pipeline, which would link Canada's oil sands, the world's third richest crude oil deposit, to refineries in Texas. The State Department, which issued a draft environmental assessment of the $5.3 billion project on March 1, indicated then that a final decision could come by July or August. ...


Remember the Mayflower!

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Apr 5, 2013
from Midwest Energy News:
Midwest Generation gets more time to clean up Illinois coal plants
The Illinois Pollution Control Board on Thursday granted Midwest Generation two extra years to meet a state multi-pollutant standard that would require they install emissions controls on their four Illinois plants by 2015 and 2016. ...


What's the hurry?

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Apr 3, 2013
from Mongabay:
Scientists find the 'missing heat' of global warming 700 meters below the sea
Critics of climate change often claim that warming has stopped since the late 1990s. While this is categorically false (the last decade was the warmest on record and 2005 and 2010 are generally considered tied for the warmest year), scientists do admit that warming hasn't occurred over land as rapidly as predicted in the last ten years, especially given continually rising greenhouse gas emissions. But a recent study in Geophysical Research Letters has found this so-called missing heat: 700 meters below the surface of the ocean...."This signals the beginning of the most sustained warming trend in this record of [ocean heat content]," the scientists write in the paper. "Indeed, recent warming rates of the waters below 700 meters appear to be unprecedented." ...


We are nothing if not masters of the unprecedented consequence.

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Tue, Mar 12, 2013
from American Geophysical Union:
Canadian Arctic Glacier Melt Accelerating, Irreversible, Projections Suggest
...In the past few years, the mass of the glaciers in the Canadian Arctic archipelago has begun to plummet. Observations from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites suggest that from 2004 to 2011 the region's glaciers shed approximately 580 gigatons of ice. Aside from glacier calving, which plays only a small role in Canadian glacier mass loss, the drop is due largely to a shift in the surface-mass balance, with warming-induced meltwater runoff outpacing the accumulation of new snowfall. ...


What's a giggleton?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Mar 11, 2013
from Earth Policy Institute:
Where Has All the Ice Gone?
... In September 2012, sea ice in the Arctic Ocean shrank to a record low extent and volume. The region has warmed two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) since the 1960s -- twice as much as lower latitudes. With less snow and ice to reflect the sun's rays and with more exposed ocean to absorb heat, a vicious cycle leads to even warmer temperatures. Thinner ice combined with rising temperatures makes it increasingly difficult for the sea ice to recover. The historically ever-present white cap at the top of the globe could disappear entirely during the summer within two decades...Greenland's ice loss has accelerated from 51 billion tons per year in the 1990s to 263 billion tons per year today... parts of Antarctica's vast ice sheet may be even less stable. The continent is flanked by 54 major ice shelves, which act as brakes slowing the movement of ice in land-based glaciers out to sea. Twenty of them show signs of thinning and weakening, which translates into accelerated ice loss. ...


The air conditioner of the planet is turning into a space heater!

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Fri, Mar 8, 2013
from AP, via Yahoo:
Recent heat spike unlike anything in 11,000 years
A new study looking at 11,000 years of climate temperatures shows the world in the middle of a dramatic U-turn, lurching from near-record cooling to a heat spike. Research released Thursday in the journal Science uses fossils of tiny marine organisms to reconstruct global temperatures back to the end of the last ice age. It shows how the globe for several thousands of years was cooling until an unprecedented reversal in the 20th century. Scientists say it is further evidence that modern-day global warming isn't natural, but the result of rising carbon dioxide emissions that have rapidly grown since the Industrial Revolution began roughly 250 years ago.... "In 100 years, we've gone from the cold end of the spectrum to the warm end of the spectrum," Marcott said. "We've never seen something this rapid. Even in the ice age the global temperature never changed this quickly." ...


Those scientists act as if time was something more than just a theory.

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Wed, Mar 6, 2013
from Associated Press:
US scientists report big jump in heat-trapping CO2
The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the air jumped dramatically in 2012, making it very unlikely that global warming can be limited to another 2 degrees as many global leaders have hoped, new federal figures show. Scientists say the rise in CO2 reflects the world's economy revving up and burning more fossil fuels, especially in China. Carbon dioxide levels jumped by 2.67 parts per million since 2011 to total just under 395 parts per million... ...


But I thought it was good when numbers grew.

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Tue, Mar 5, 2013
from PNAS, via PhysOrg:
Global warming will open unexpected new shipping routes in Arctic, researchers find
"The development is both exciting from an economic development point of view and worrisome in terms of safety, both for the Arctic environment and for the ships themselves," said lead researcher Laurence C. Smith, a professor of geography at UCLA. The findings, which explore accessibility during the Arctic's most navigable month of the year, September, appear in the latest issue of the scholarly journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Plus. The first thorough assessment of trans-Arctic shipping potential as global temperatures continue to rise, the study is based on independent climate forecasts for the years 2040 to 2059. By mid-century, even ordinary shipping vessels will be able to navigate previously inaccessible parts of the Arctic Ocean, and they will not need icebreakers to blaze their path as they do today, the researchers found. "We're talking about a future in which open-water vessels will, at least during some years, be able to navigate unescorted through the Arctic, which at the moment is inconceivable," said co-author Scott R. Stephenson, a Ph.D. candidate in the UCLA Department of Geography. ...


Inconceivable?

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Tue, Mar 5, 2013
from New York Times:
Cabinet Picks Could Take On Climate Policy
President Obama on Monday named two people to his cabinet who will be charged with making good on his threat to use the powers of the executive branch to tackle climate change and energy policy if Congress does not act quickly... The appointments, which require Senate confirmation, send an unmistakable signal that the president intends to mount a multifaceted campaign in his second term to tackle climate change by using all the executive branch tools at his disposal. But even with Ms. McCarthy and Mr. Moniz in place, Mr. Obama would have to confront major hurdles in trying to refashion the American way of producing and consuming energy, the same hurdles that stymied climate and energy policy in his first term. Among the first of those is a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, which the administration appears inclined to approve over the vociferous objections of environmental advocates. ...


Thank goodness he's hired people to bullshit us if he says yes to Keystone.

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Mon, Mar 4, 2013
from University of Colorado at Boulder :
Volcanic Aerosols, Not Pollutants, Tamped Down Recent Earth Warming
A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder looking for clues about why Earth did not warm as much as scientists expected between 2000 and 2010 now thinks the culprits are hiding in plain sight -- dozens of volcanoes spewing sulfur dioxide.... previous observations suggest that increases in stratospheric aerosols since 2000 have counterbalanced as much as 25 percent of the warming scientists blame on human greenhouse gas emissions. "This new study indicates it is emissions from small to moderate volcanoes that have been slowing the warming of the planet"... ...


A little autogeoengineering never hurt anyone!

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Thu, Feb 21, 2013
from Associated Press:
TransCanada: Pipeline would not affect climate
In a shift in strategy, the company that wants to build an oil pipeline from western Canada to Texas said Tuesday that the project will have no measurable effect on global warming. Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada's president for energy and oil pipelines, said opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline have grossly inflated its likely impact on emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. ...


So it was just a nightmare, after all!

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Tue, Feb 19, 2013
from Inside Climate News:
Oil Sands Mining Uses Up Almost as Much Energy as It Produces
The average "energy returned on investment," or EROI, for conventional oil is roughly 25:1. In other words, 25 units of oil-based energy are obtained for every one unit of other energy that is invested to extract it. But tar sands oil is in a category all its own. Tar sands retrieved by surface mining has an EROI of only about 5:1, according to research scheduled to be released Tuesday. Tar sands retrieved from deeper beneath the earth, through steam injection, fares even worse, with a maximum average ratio of just 2.9 to 1. That means one unit of natural gas is needed to create less than three units of oil-based energy. "They have to use a lot of natural gas to upgrade this heavy, sticky, gooky almost tar-like stuff to make it fluid enough to use," said Charles Hall, a professor at the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry. ...


EROI: Every Resource's Obituary, I think.

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Sun, Jan 27, 2013
from Guardian:
Nicholas Stern: 'I got it wrong on climate change - it's far, far worse'
Lord Stern, author of the government-commissioned review on climate change that became the reference work for politicians and green campaigners, now says he underestimated the risks, and should have been more "blunt" about the threat posed to the economy by rising temperatures. In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Stern, who is now a crossbench peer, said: "Looking back, I underestimated the risks. The planet and the atmosphere seem to be absorbing less carbon than we expected, and emissions are rising pretty strongly. Some of the effects are coming through more quickly than we thought then." The Stern review, published in 2006, pointed to a 75 percent chance that global temperatures would rise by between two and three degrees above the long-term average; he now believes we are "on track for something like four ". Had he known the way the situation would evolve, he says, "I think I would have been a bit more blunt. I would have been much more strong about the risks of a four- or five-degree rise." ...


In a few years, we may all have 20-20 hindsight.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Jan 22, 2013
from CNN:
TRENDING: CNN Poll: Do Americans agree with Obama on climate change and immigration?
...According to the poll, which was conducted last week, 49 percent agree with the White House that global warming is a proven fact and is due to emissions from cars, power plants and factories. That's twice as high as the number who say that global warming has not been proven, as well as the 24 percent who say that it is a proven fact but is not due to manmade sources. But the 49 percent figure is down seven points from 2007. There's an expected partisan divide on the question, with two-thirds of Democrats saying global warming is man made. That number drops to 48 percent among independent voters and is at 28 percent among Republicans. ...


The American Dream means you have the right to living in a fantasy world.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jan 21, 2013
from EcoWatch:
How Factory Farming Contributes to Global Warming
... Today, nearly 65 billion animals worldwide, including cows, chickens and pigs, are crammed into CAFOs ... CAFOs contribute directly to global warming by releasing vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere -- more than the entire global transportation industry. The air at some factory farm test sites in the U.S. is dirtier than in America's most polluted cities, according to the Environmental Integrity Project. According to a 2006 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, including 37 percent of methane emissions and 65 percent of nitrous oxide emissions. The methane releases from billions of imprisoned animals on factory farms are 70 times more damaging per ton to the earth's atmosphere than CO2... Nitrous oxide pollution is even worse than methane -- 200 times more damaging per ton than CO2. And just as animal waste leaches antibiotics and hormones into ground and water, pesticides and fertilizers also eventually find their way into our waterways, further damaging the environment. ...


That is, like, almost 10 animals per human!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Jan 15, 2013
from USA Today:
Climate change report: Seas rising, heat waves ahead
Climate change is already affecting how Americans live and work, and evidence is mounting that the burning of fossil fuels has roughly doubled the probability of extreme heat waves, the Obama administration said Friday ... The 400-page report, required by a 1990 U.S. law, comes as 2012 set a century-plus record for hottest year in the United States. As Americans grapple with such extreme weather, President Obama has called for a national conversation on climate change. ...


Obama: from mum on the subject to all talky talky.

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Mon, Jan 14, 2013
from Reuters:
Emissions limits could cut climate damage by two-thirds: study
The world could avoid much of the damaging effects of climate change this century if greenhouse gas emissions are curbed more sharply, research showed on Sunday. The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, is the first comprehensive assessment of the benefits of cutting emissions to keep the global temperature rise to within 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, a level which scientists say would avoid the worst effects of climate change. It found 20 to 65 percent of the adverse impacts by the end of this century could be avoided. ...


Soon as I finish with this phone call I'll drive my SUV to the mall to purchase a more energy-efficient blow dryer.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Jan 9, 2013
from AP, via Yahoo:
US seared during hottest year on record by far
A brutal combination of a widespread drought and a mostly absent winter pushed the average annual U.S. temperature last year up to 55.32 degrees Fahrenheit, the government announced Tuesday. That's a full degree warmer than the old record set in 1998. Breaking temperature records by an entire degree is unprecedented, scientists say. Normally, records are broken by a tenth of a degree or so. "It was off the chart," said Deke Arndt, head of climate monitoring at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., which calculated the temperature records. Last year, he said, will go down as "a huge exclamation point at the end of a couple decades of warming." ...


!!!!!!!!!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Jan 9, 2013
from New York Times:
Australian Forecasters Add New Colors to Temperature Charts to Capture Record Heat
It's so hot that the government weather agency added two new colors -- deep purple and pink -- to temperature charts to convey the new record highs being measured in the worst heat wave ever recorded down under, as The Age newspaper reported today. For the moment, while extreme and widespread heat is predicted to persist, the country looks to be avoiding the new purple zone. Here's an animation of the national heat forecast through the weekend... ...


Smooooke... on the water... a fire in the sky. They burned down the gamblin' house. And Swiss time was runnin' out.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Jan 1, 2013
from New York Times:
Light Absorption Speeding Arctic Ice Melt
The record-setting disappearance of Arctic sea ice this fall was an indication to many climate scientists and ice experts that the pace of climate change was outstripping predictions. Now a new study published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters provides a look at a dynamic that may further accelerate the process: the rate at which the ocean underneath the ice absorbs sunlight ... the more the ice melts in late summer, the more first-year ice replaces multiyear ice, and the warmer the ocean beneath the ice becomes, accelerating the melting process. ...


This feedback loop is insatiable.

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Tue, Jan 1, 2013
from London Guardian:
2012: the year we did our best to abandon the natural world
It was the year of living dangerously. In 2012 governments turned their backs on the living planet, demonstrating that no chronic problem, however grave, will take priority over an immediate concern, however trivial. I believe there has been no worse year for the natural world in the past half-century. Three weeks before the minimum occurred, the melting of the Arctic's sea ice broke the previous record. Remnants of the global megafauna -- such as rhinos and bluefin tuna -- were shoved violently towards extinction. Novel tree diseases raged across continents. Bird and insect numbers continued to plummet, coral reefs retreated, marine life dwindled. And those charged with protecting us and the world in which we live pretended that none of it was happening. ...


Who'd want to be in charge of this ecotastrophe?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Dec 31, 2012
from The Morning Call:
EPA successor faces fracking fight
Lisa Jackson's exit as head of the Environmental Protection Agency leaves her successor to combat global warming and set rules for hydraulic fracturing over the objections of businesses and Republican lawmakers... Jackson used a combination of technical expertise and political charm to try to ease complaints from Republicans, such as Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe. "Lisa Jackson and I disagreed on many issues and regulations while she headed the EPA; however, I have always appreciated her receptivity to my concerns, her accessibility and her honesty," Inhofe said in a statement Thursday. "She was one of the few at the EPA that was honest with me." ...


So she's the one who told Inhofe global warming is a hoax!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Dec 26, 2012
from The ApocaDocs:
The ApocaDocs 2012 Year in Review
No better way to wrap up 2012, than looking to our top 100 stories of horror. 2012 will end up one of the warmest years on record, and so our extreme weather events are no coincidence. ...


No need to thank us. This is our sweat equity in Mother Earth.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Dec 26, 2012
from Live Science:
2012: A Memorable Year for Weather
...Record-breaking warmth: The data for the last of the year isn't in yet, but this year looks "virtually certain" to take the title of warmest year on record for the lower 48 states, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)... Until this year, July 1936, during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, held the record for hottest month on record in the lower 48 states going back to 1895, but this July's heat surpassed even that record... ...


It's as if the weather is in competition with itself!

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Dec 20, 2012
from New York Times:
An Odometer Moment on a Warming Planet
For those who might be keeping score, we just passed the 333rd consecutive month of global temperatures above the 20th-century average. November 2012 was the fifth-warmest November since records began in 1880, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in its monthly climate report. The agency calculated that the 10 warmest Novembers on record have all occurred within the past 12 years. The last time global temperatures came in below the 20th-century average for the month of November was in 1976, and the last time any month came in below the average was February 1985. ...


This is fr333king me out.

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Thu, Dec 20, 2012
from Reuters:
Pinpoint climate studies flag trouble for Mexico, Central American farmers
A growing body of scientific evidence ranks Mexico and its southern neighbors near the top of the list of countries most vulnerable to global warming, and advances in micro-forecasting foresee a grim future in alarming detail. According to two new studies, a deadly combination of warmer weather and less rainfall in the years ahead will devastate yields of traditional crops like corn and beans, as well as the region's market-critical coffee harvest. ...


And the macro-forecasting looks macro-grim.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Dec 3, 2012
from London Metro:
Climate change leaves us sweating through 333rd warm month in a row
...According to US government agency the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), our planet is warming at a remarkable consistency. It measures the worldwide temperature on a monthly basis, comparing it to the average across the 20th century. A few weeks ago, it reported that October 2012 had been the 332nd consecutive month with an above-average temperature. When the figures for November come in on December 17, it is expected to make it 333 in a row. That means you have to go all the way back to February 1985 for the last month with a below average temperature. ...


Wait til we get to 666.

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Tue, Nov 20, 2012
from London Guardian:
More than 1,000 new coal plants planned worldwide, figures show
More than 1,000 coal-fired power plants are being planned worldwide, new research has revealed. The huge planned expansion comes despite warnings from politicians, scientists and campaigners that the planet's fast-rising carbon emissions must peak within a few years if runaway climate change is to be avoided and that fossil fuel assets risk becoming worthless if international action on global warming moves forward. ...


Happy Thanksgiving!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Nov 20, 2012
from Climate Central:
CO2 Hits New High; World Could Warm 7 degrees F by 2060
The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached a record 390.9 parts per million (ppm) in 2011, according to a report released Tuesday by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). That's a 40 percent increase over levels in 1750, before humans began burning fossil fuels in earnest. Although CO2 is still the most significant long-lived greenhouse gas, levels of other heat-trapping gases have also climbed to record levels, according to the report. Methane, for example hit 1813 parts per billion (ppb) in 2011, and nitrous oxide rose to 324.2 ppb. All told, the amount of excess heat prevented from escaping into outer space was 30 percent higher in 2011 than it was as recently as 1990. ...


Humans: born to outdo ourselves even if it kills us!

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Mon, Nov 19, 2012
from The Hill:
World Bank report warns of "devastating" global warming
A major World Bank report warns that Earth is heading for a 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature rise by 2100 that would bring unprecedented heatwaves, droughts and floods -- effects that put some of the poorest nations at highest risk. "No nation will be immune to the impacts of climate change," states the new report titled "Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4 [degrees] C Warmer World Must be Avoided." ...


I'm now banking on the Apocalypse.

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Tue, Nov 13, 2012
from Omaha World-Herald:
Global warming views hinge on gender
Aside from people's political leanings, there's a dominant trait that helps define Nebraskans' views on global warming: their gender... While 63 percent of women believe that reports on the seriousness of global warming are correct or underestimated, just 45 percent of men feel the same way. By contrast, 51 percent of male survey respondents think those reports are exaggerated, compared with 31 percent of females. ...


Men can be soooo dim.

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Sat, Nov 10, 2012
from Foreign Policy:
The Arctic is the Mediterranean of the 21st century.
If climate scientists' prophesies of an ice-free Arctic Ocean pan out, the world will witness the most sweeping transformation of geopolitics since the Panama Canal opened. Seafaring nations and industries will react assertively -- as they did when merchantmen and ships of war sailing from Atlantic seaports no longer had to circumnavigate South America to reach the Pacific Ocean. There are commercial, constabulary, and military components to this enterprise. The United States must position itself at the forefront of polar sea power along all three axes.... Former U.S. Navy chief oceanographer David Titley estimates that "sometime between 2035 and 2040 there is a pretty good chance that the Arctic Ocean will be essentially ice-free for about a month" each year. If so, polar shipping lanes will cut transit distances by up to 40 percent, saving ship owners big bucks on fuel and maintenance. They could pass those savings on to producers and consumers of the cargo their vessels carry. Global warming, it appears, could bestow significant advantages on mariners, fostering economic growth in the bargain. New sources of wealth concentrate minds. ...


Makin' lemonade from a foetid lemon!

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Tue, Nov 6, 2012
from CTV:
Three men in a sailboat: Adventurers complete historic trip through Northwest Passage
A Canadian-led group of eco-adventurers has returned home after achieving a historic first, successfully completing the most northern crossing of the Arctic Circle ever accomplished by a sailboat.... Peissel and two other crewmen successfully navigated a 31-foot fiberglass sailboat through the McClure Strait, travelling from Greenland to Alaska over a three-month period. The route has only been completed once before, in 1991, by a Russian icebreaker -- and never by a purely wind-powered vessel with no reinforcements for dealing with the ever-present ice. ...


The sailboat's name? "Natural Variation."

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Wed, Oct 24, 2012
from The Telegraph:
Australia's Antarctic airstrip melts
Researchers said global warming has caused the glacial ice on the runway to turn to mush just four years after it was built for about 30 million pounds. It was due to receive about 20 flights each summer but only six have been able to land in the past two years. The runway was supposed to service Australia's three stations on the continent, Casey, Davis and Mawson. The stations can also be supplied via an American runway or by ships, which take about a fortnight to arrive from Tasmania. The flights take less than five hours. The Australian Antarctic Division said global warming was causing the ice to melt faster than had been expected. Six flights are due to land on the runway in the coming months but none will be permitted in January. ...


Hold the de-icing! Stat!

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Tue, Oct 16, 2012
from Climate Central:
Globe Ties the Record for Warmest September
According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the globe recorded its warmest September on record, tying with 2005 for the title. Global surface temperature records stretch all the way back to 1880. September marked the 331st straight month with above-average temperatures, and the 36th straight September with a global temperature above the 20th-century average. ...


Make it stop!!

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Sep 29, 2012
from Huffington Post:
2012 Will Be Hottest Year On Record Unless Winter Is Abnormally Cold
The U.S. has experienced its warmest year-to-date (January-August) on record, and unless the next four months are about as cold as the first eight months were hot, 2012 will go down as the hottest year on record.... Additionally, according to The Weather Channel, taking only the years since World War II, the odds of not surpassing the warmest year are just 7 percent. So while it's certainly possible that 2012 won't be a record-breaker, it would take a heck of a cold snap to pull that off. ...


I understand the likelihood of a record-breaking wingspan on a pig is less than that.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Sep 26, 2012
from Live Science:
Fox News Climate Coverage 93 percent Wrong, Report Finds
Primetime coverage of global warming at Fox News is overwhelmingly misleading, according to a new report that finds the same is true of climate change information in the Wall Street Journal op-ed pages. Both outlets are owned by Rupert Murdoch's media company News Corporation. The analysis by the science-policy nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) finds that 93 percent of primetime program discussions of global warming on Fox News are inaccurate, as are 81 percent of Wall Street Journal editorials on the subject. "It's like they were writing and talking about some sort of bizarre world where climate change isn't happening," study author Aaron Huertas, a press secretary at UCS, told LiveScience. ...


Murdoch. Nothing but a hack.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Sep 6, 2012
from Deep Rogue Ram:
Weathergirl goes rogue

Arctic ice cover just reached its lowest point in recorded history. Pippa goes off script and drops some science.... The ApocaDocs approve this message. ...


Pippa must have actually read the statement from the American Meteorological Association!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Sep 4, 2012
from LA Times:
Three-man sailboat makes record voyage, traverses Northwest Passage
In an account of their voyage posted Monday, the crew of the 31-foot Belzebub II -- a fiberglass sailboat with a living space the size of a bathroom -- described how they crossed through the McClure Strait in northern Canada, a decreasingly ice-packed route through the famed Northwest Passage. The international three-man crew -- an American, Canadian and Swede -- claim to have piloted the first sailboat to do so.... "With sails up in a light breeze we sailed swiftly toward the Northwest point of Banks Island and to becoming the first sailboat in history to complete this route," the crew wrote in their post.... "Our approach to sail across a historical stretch of water that has traditionally been frozen is meant to be a clear visual example of the extent of declining polar ice," the group said in a statement. ...


And records are made to be broken.

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Sun, Sep 2, 2012
from AMS, via DesdemonaDespair:
American Meteorological Society issues updated statement on climate change: 'Warming of the climate system now is unequivocal'
The AMS has released its updated statement on climate change, and as expected, it is considerably more direct than the previous one issued in 2007. This is no surprise since the last 5 years have seen a remarkable increase in understanding, along with 5 more years of observations and measurements. Full disclosure here: I've been a proud member of the American Meteorological Society for around 35 years. I also serve on the AMS Committee for Station Science. ...


You don't need a meteorologist to know which way the wind blows.

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Fri, Aug 24, 2012
from IPAC-CO2, via EurekAlert:
Only 2 percent of Canadians deny climate change
Only two per cent of Canadians believe climate change is not occurring, a new important survey released today by IPAC-CO2 Research Inc. concluded. The survey comes on the heels of Alberta Premier Alison Redford's recent push for a National Energy Strategy, which would address the future of Canada's oil and gas industries, and its approach to carbon management. "Our survey indicates that Canadians from coast to coast overwhelmingly believe climate change is real and is occurring, at least in part due to human activity" explained Dr. Carmen Dybwad, CEO of the environmental non-government organization. "These findings have been consistent from 2011 and 2012. Canadians care about issues like extreme weather, drought and climate change." ...


Well, duh! They even know where the Northwest Passage is!

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Thu, Aug 23, 2012
from Guardian:
Arctic sea ice levels to reach record low within days
Arctic sea ice is set to reach its lowest ever recorded extent as early as this weekend, in "dramatic changes" signalling that man-made global warming is having a major impact on the polar region. With the melt happening at an unprecedented rate of more than 100,000 sq km a day, and at least a week of further melt expected before it begins to reform ahead of the northern winter, satellites are expected to confirm the record - currently set in 2007 - within days.... "In the last few days it has been losing 100,000 sq km a day, a record in itself for August. A storm has spread the ice pack out, opening up water, bringing up warmer water. Things are definitely changing quickly." Because ice thickness, volume, extent and area are all measured differently, it may be a week before there is unanimous agreement among the world's cryologists (ice experts) that 2012 is a record year. Four out of the nine daily sea ice extent and area graphs kept by scientists in the US, Europe and Asia suggest that records have already been broken. ...


It's as bad as the state of Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson's relationship!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Aug 21, 2012
from CBS News, via kbzk:
West Nile virus outbreak: How to protect yourself
Dallas planes took to the skies Friday to spray insecticides to combat the worst West Nile virus outbreak the United States has seen this year. Thus far, 10 people have been killed and at least 230 others have been sickened in the Dallas County area. Nearly half of all West Nile cases in the U.S. so far this year are in Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If the trend continues, 2012 will be the worst West Nile year in state history.... The good news is about 80 percent of people who are infected with the virus won't show any symptoms at all. Up to 20 percent, however, may develop a fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, swollen lymph glands or a skin rash.... But about one in 150 people will develop a severe illness, in which they may have a high fever, neck stiffness, convulsions, vision loss, paralysis, coma or other neurological effects that may be permanent. ...


I simply surround myself with a constant cloud of DEET.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Aug 14, 2012
from Guardian:
Rate of Arctic summer sea ice loss is 50 percent higher than predicted
Sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a far greater rate than previously expected, according to data from the first purpose-built satellite launched to study the thickness of the Earth's polar caps. Preliminary results from the European Space Agency's CryoSat-2 probe indicate that 900 cubic kilometres of summer sea ice has disappeared from the Arctic ocean over the past year. This rate of loss is 50 percent higher than most scenarios outlined by polar scientists and suggests that global warming, triggered by rising greenhouse gas emissions, is beginning to have a major impact on the region. In a few years the Arctic ocean could be free of ice in summer, triggering a rush to exploit its fish stocks, oil, minerals and sea routes. ...


If that were 900 cubic miles, well, we'd be talking real meltdown.

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Aug 10, 2012
from NOAA:
YTD Anomalies: 2012 stands alone

...


No doubt the warmists will insist that there's a pattern.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Aug 9, 2012
from University of Alberta :
Hibernation Altered by Climate Change Takes a Toll On Rocky Mountain Animal Species
... A University of Alberta-led international research team examined data on a population of Columbian ground squirrels and found a trend of late spring snow falls has delayed the animals' emergence from hibernation by 10 days over the last 20 years. "Losing just 10 days during their short active period reduces their opportunity to eat enough food so they can survive through the next hibernation period of eight to nine months," said [U of A Evolutionary Ecologist Jeff Lane]... The period of plant growth, their food supply, is only three to four months long on their home turf, skirting the Rocky Mountains. ...


Sounds like they better binge.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Aug 9, 2012
from University of Colorado at Boulder :
New Atmospheric Compound Tied to Climate Change, Human Health
An international research team led by the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Helsinki has discovered a surprising new chemical compound in Earth's atmosphere that reacts with sulfur dioxide to form sulfuric acid, which is known to have significant impacts on climate and health. The new compound, a type of carbonyl oxide, is formed from the reaction of ozone with alkenes, which are a family of hydrocarbons with both natural and human-made sources, said Roy "Lee" Mauldin III, a research associate in CU-Boulder's atmospheric and oceanic sciences department and lead study author. The study charts a previously unknown chemical pathway for the formation of sulfuric acid, which can result both in increased acid rain and cloud formation as well as negative respiratory effects on humans. ...


Send in the clouds.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Aug 9, 2012
from Live Science:
Could Space Mirrors Stop Global Warming?
The record-breaking temperatures of the past few years are getting more people thinking about bigger solutions to climate change. Ideas once thought of as wacky are now receiving careful consideration, including an idea that sounds straight out of science fiction: cooling the earth by launching reflective mirrors into space. Lowell Wood of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory proposed a giant space mirror in the early 2000s, though he cautioned that the mirror should be considered only as a measure of last resort. Why? Because the mirror would have to have an area of 600,000 square miles - a slightly smaller area than Greenland - and launching something that big would be prohibitively expensive. Another option: billions of smaller mirrors. Roger Angel, researcher and optics expert at the University of Arizona, proposed that idea in 2006. ...


In space, no one can see you see yourself.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Aug 8, 2012
from CNN:
NOAA: July hottest month on record for continental US
The July heat wave that wilted crops, shriveled rivers and fueled wildfires officially went into the books Wednesday as the hottest single month on record for the continental United States. The average temperature across the Lower 48 was 77.6 degrees Fahrenheit, 3.3 degrees above the 20th-century average, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration reported. That edged out the previous high mark, set in 1936, by two-tenths of a degree, NOAA said. U.S. forecasters started keeping records in 1895. The seven months of 2012 to date are the warmest of any year on record and were drier than average as well, NOAA said. ...


The warmists are in collusion with the weather?

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Aug 7, 2012
from Live Science:
Rules Lacking for Geoengineering Projects for Global Warming
What if someone wanted to deploy a massive project to try to reverse climate change today? Perhaps some researchers wanted to spray sulfur particles into the stratosphere to reflect away some of the sun's energy, cooling the Earth in an attempt to compensate for global warming. Or perhaps a group wanted to unload some fertilizer into the ocean, so more algae will grow and absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Their actions may have global consequences, but would such projects have to answer to a global governing body? ...


Just ask The Anti-Christ!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Aug 1, 2012
from Live Science:
Nature Still Sucking Up Considerable Carbon Dioxide
While humans are emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere, the planet sucks some of it back up. A new study indicates that natural, carbon-removing processes, have not yet reached capacity, in spite of humans' increasing emissions over recent decades. The oceans can absorb carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, as can trees and other vegetation. "Globally, these carbon dioxide 'sinks' have roughly kept pace with emissions from human activities, continuing to draw about half of the emitted [carbon dioxide] back out of the atmosphere," said study researcher and climate scientist Pieter Tans, with the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Laboratory, in a statement. "However, we do not expect this to continue indefinitely." ...


Let it continue long enough that I might maximize my profits.

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Tue, Jul 31, 2012
from ClimateWire:
1988 vs 2012: How heat waves and droughts fuel climate perception
Coming on the heels of decades of research, the 1988 North American drought bridged the gap between scientific and popular understanding, pulling climate change down out of the atmosphere and planting it firmly in the minds of the U.S. public. From that union came the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the modern climate movement and its counterpart, the climate skeptic movement. More than two decades later, the drought of 2012 has reignited national interest in global warming. National news coverage is up, and a recent poll found that recognition of climate change rose 5 percent on the back of the July heat wave. Yet the debate today is framed within fundamentally different parameters, polarized by party lines and upstaged at every turn by the woes of a flagging global economy. For a significant portion of Americans' belief in climate change seems inextricably linked to the weather, rising with the temperature only to fade again as the seasons turn. ...


Americans are fair weather fans.

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Sun, Jul 29, 2012
from HuffingtonPost:
Koch-funded scientist Richard Muller: 'Humans Are Almost Entirely The Cause' Of Climate Change
"Humans are almost entirely the cause" of climate change, according to a scientist who once doubted that global warming even existed.... Muller wrote in an NYT op-ed that after exhaustive research, he believes that an increase of greenhouse gases can be closely linked to the rise in the earth's temperature.... Muller, a UCBerkeley professor, founded the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which receives substantial funding from GOP powerhouse donor Charles Koch. According to Greenpeace, the Koch brothers have given over $61 million to groups that deny the existence of climate change. ...


You'd think that $61,000,000 would buy a little more loyalty.

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Sat, Jul 21, 2012
from Bill McKibben, in Rolling Stone:
Global Warming's Terrifying New Math
June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere - the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.... The First Number: 2 Degrees Celsius... The Second Number: 565 Gigatons... Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees.... The Third Number: 2,795 Gigatons... The number describes the amount of carbon already contained in the proven coal and oil and gas reserves of the fossil-fuel companies, and the countries (think Venezuela or Kuwait) that act like fossil-fuel companies. In short, it's the fossil fuel we're currently planning to burn. And the key point is that this new number - 2,795 - is higher than 565. Five times higher. ...


Is that scale algorithmic, exponential, or apocalyptic?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jul 16, 2012
from Texas A&M University:
Antarctica at Risk from Human Activities
The continent of Antarctica is at risk from human activities and other forces, and environmental management is needed to protect the planet's last great wilderness area, says an international team of researchers, including a Texas A&M University oceanographer, in a paper published in the current issue of Science magazine.... Antarctica faces growing threats from global warming, loss of sea ice and landed ice, increased tourism, over-fishing in the region, pollution and invasive species creeping into the area. One of the longer-term concerns that may present the greatest threat overall is the potential for oil, gas and mineral exploitation on the continent and in the surrounding ocean... ...


Why should anywhere on the planet be immune from this virus called humanity?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jul 16, 2012
from NOAA via ScienceDaily:
Back-To-Back La Ninas Cooled Globe and Influenced Extreme Weather in 2011
Worldwide, 2011 was the coolest year on record since 2008, yet temperatures remained above the 30 year average, according to the 2011 State of the Climate report released online today (July 10, 2012) by NOAA ... Two back-to-back La Ninas, each characterized by cooler-than-average water temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific, affected regional climates and influenced many of the world's significant weather events throughout the year. ...


Cormac McCarthy: You never know what worse luck your bad luck is saving you from.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Jul 10, 2012
from Reuters:
Continental U.S. breaks heat record in first half of 2012
Scorching temperatures in June's second half helped the continental United States break its record for the hottest first six months in a calendar year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Monday. The last 12 months also have been the warmest since modern record-keeping began in 1895, narrowly beating the previous 12-month period that ended in May 2012. Every state except Washington in the contiguous United States had warmer-than-average temperatures for the June 2011-June 2012 period. The recent blistering heat wave broke records across much of the United States, threatening the Midwest's corn crop and helping to fan destructive wildfires. ...


I am too damn hot to come up with a quip.

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Fri, Jul 6, 2012
from NSIDC, via Guardian:
Arctic sea-ice levels at record low for June
Sea ice in the Arctic has melted faster this year than ever recorded before, according to the US government's National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC). Satellite observations show the extent of the floating ice that melts and refreezes every year was 318,000 square miles less last week than the same day period in 2007, the year of record low extent, and the lowest observed at this time of year since records began in 1979. Separate observations by University of Washington researchers suggest that the volume of Arctic sea ice is also the smallest ever calculated for this time of year.... The increased melting is believed to be a result of climate change. Arctic temperatures have risen more than twice as fast as the global average over the past half century. ...


Apocaiku:
Unfreezing our ice/ faster than all history/ yet onward we burn.

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Tue, Jul 3, 2012
from Washington Post:
Global warming no longer Americans' top environmental concern, poll finds
Climate change no longer ranks first on the list of what Americans see as the world's biggest environmental problem, according to a new Washington Post-Stanford University poll. Just 18 percent of those polled name it as their top environmental concern. That compares with 33 percent who said so in 2007, amid publicity about a major U.N. climate report and Al Gore's Oscar-winning documentary about global warming. Today, 29 percent identify water and air pollution as the world's most pressing environmental issue. ...


My top environmental concern is the EPA wants to shut down NASCAR!

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Mon, Jul 2, 2012
from Drexel University:
Rising Heat at the Beach Threatens Largest Sea Turtles, Climate Change Models Show
For eastern Pacific populations of leatherback turtles, the 21st century could be the last. New research suggests that climate change could exacerbate existing threats and nearly wipe out the population. Deaths of turtle eggs and hatchlings in nests buried at hotter, drier beaches are the leading projected cause of the potential climate-related decline, according to a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change by a research team from Drexel University, Princeton University, other institutions and government agencies. Leatherbacks, the largest sea turtle species, are among the most critically endangered due to a combination of historical and ongoing threats including egg poaching at nesting beaches and juvenile and adult turtles being caught in fishing operations. ...


Leatherbacks need to grow a spine!

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Sat, Jun 16, 2012
from RL Miller, via DailyKos:
2.7 10 to the -98th power
This May was, in fact, warmer than the 20th century average May. It was the second warmest on record, calculates the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And - this is the scary part - it was the 327th month in a row (over 27 years) that a month has been warmer than the same month in the 20th century average. The odds of that happening are 2 to the -327th power, or 2.73046341 x 10 to the -98th power. For a bit of context, there are roughly 5 x 10 to the 20th power stars in the universe. Or, for those of us mathematically-challenged folk, the odds of that happening are REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LOW. But, hey, it's just a coincidence, right? It's not like fate, or human activity, or weather on steroids, has a hand in any of this, right? ...


Doesn't this prove that there's a statistically measurable likelihood that it's not our fault?

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Tue, Jun 12, 2012
from New York Times:
Warming Will Unlock Carbon in Forests, Study Warns
...scientists have identified another feedback loop that may be accelerating the loss of carbon dioxide from the topsoil of forests in the United States, contributing to climate change. In a study published online on Monday, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that as temperatures rise, activity increases among the microbes that eat the topsoil and exhale carbon dioxide afterward. While that finding is not surprising, said the lead author, Francesca Hopkins, a doctoral researcher in the Department of Earth System Science at Irvine, she and her collaborators also found that in warmer temperatures the microbes were better able to digest decades-old carbon stored in the soils. ...


Microbes... they'll eat anything.

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Mon, Jun 11, 2012
from Anchorage Alaska Dispatch:
Arctic tundra transforming into forest much quicker than expected
Rising summer temperatures have triggered an arboreal facelift across a vast swath of Eurasian tundra, transforming patches of Arctic prairie into forest much faster than scientists ever thought possible. Instead of trees slowly invading from the south over the course of centuries, stands of existing dwarf willows and alders have responded to the changing climate on their own -- growing up and branching out into groves of small trees during mere decades, according to a new detailed analysis published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change... The speed and scale of the change reported in the latest study -- as much as 15 percent of the willow and alder in the area had bloomed into six-foot-high groves over 30 to 40 years -- suggests that Arctic warming has the potential to dramatically accelerate, while creating new woodsy ecosystems in the process. Since forested areas absorb more solar energy than grassy tundra, the spread of trees will also help jumpstart warming -- some climate models predict an extra two to four degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature rise, in turn, will promote even more forest growth. ...


What a beautiful, cruel, spiral.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jun 11, 2012
from Reuters, via Guardian:
Climate change rate could be faster than thought, study suggests
China's carbon emissions could be nearly 20 percent higher than previously thought, a new analysis of official Chinese data showed on Sunday, suggesting the pace of global climate change could be even faster than currently predicted. China has already overtaken the US as the world's top greenhouse gas polluter, producing about a quarter of mankind's carbon pollution that scientists say is heating the planet and triggering more extreme weather.... Scientists say the world is already racing towards a warming of 2 degrees Celsius or more in coming decades because of the rapid growth in emissions from burning fossil fuels and deforestation. Adding another billion tonnes into computer models would accelerate the pace of expected warming. ...


Faster than the extremely cautious scientific community predicted? How surprising.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jun 7, 2012
from Agence France-Press:
Environmental collapse now a serious threat: scientists
Climate change, population growth and environmental destruction could cause a collapse of the ecosystem just a few generations from now, scientists warned on Wednesday in the journal Nature. The paper by 22 top researchers said a "tipping point" by which the biosphere goes into swift and irreversible change, with potentially cataclysmic impacts for humans, could occur as early as this century. The warning contrasts with a mainstream view among scientists that environmental collapse would be gradual and take centuries. ...


These must be mainscream scientists.

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Tue, Jun 5, 2012
from E&E Publishing:
Exotic diseases from warmer climates gain foothold in the U.S.
Diseases once thought to be rare or exotic in the United States are gaining a presence and getting new attention from medical researchers who are probing how immigration, limited access to care and the impacts of climate change are influencing their spread. Illnesses like schistosomiasis, Chagas disease and dengue are endemic in warmer, wetter and poorer areas of the world, often closer to the equator. According to the World Health Organization, almost 1 billion people are afflicted with more than one tropical disease. ...


Weird. My cats' names are Schistosomiasis, Chagas and Dengue!

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Mon, Jun 4, 2012
from Climate Central:
Geoengineered Sky: Bye-Bye Blue, Hello White
...an otherwise harmless side effect of one new geoengineering study might turn out to be deeply troubling. Geoengineering itself is a sort of Plan B, a way to fix global warming after the fact if we fail to limit greenhouse-gas emissions. One such scheme involves spewing particles of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to cut down on incoming sunlight -- and according to new paper in Geophysical Research Letters, that could make that canopy of deep blue a thing of the past. Instead, Ben Kravitz, of the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford and his colleagues say, the sky will become a washed-out white. ...


Can't we just paint the white sky blue?

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Mon, Jun 4, 2012
from Washington Post:
Canadian government overhauling environmental rules to aid oil extraction
For years, Canada has been seen as an environmental leader on the world stage, pushing other nations to tackle acid rain, save the ozone layer and sign global treaties to protect biodiversity. Those were the old days. The government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is rewriting the nation's environmental laws to speed the extraction and export of oil, minerals and other materials to a global market clamoring for Canada's natural resources. ...


Come on, let's hurry up and make some money!

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Mon, May 28, 2012
from InsideClimate News:
Why Tar Sands Oil Is More Polluting and Why It Matters
The debate over the Keystone XL oil pipeline heated up again last week after the Congressional Research Service issued a report saying the project could raise U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 21 million metric tons a year -- the equivalent of adding 4 million cars to the road. The Congressional Research Service is a branch of the Library of Congress that conducts policy analysis for lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Released last Tuesday -- less than two weeks after TransCanada re-applied for a permit to build the Keystone XL -- the report found that crude oil produced from Canadian oil sands (also known as tar sands) emits 14 to 20 percent more planet-warming gases than the conventional oil that is typically found in U.S. refineries. ...


Whoever created this report should be tar sandsed and feathered.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, May 28, 2012
from USA Today:
Culture splits climate views, not science smarts
Support for climate science doesn't increase with science literacy, a survey suggests. Rather, people with technical backgrounds just dig in harder on their views about global warming, finds the study in the Nature Climate Change journal. Overall, technically astute people are more "culturally polarized" than other folks and tend to side with the views of people in their social setting about global warming, concludes the survey of 1,540 people nationwide.... Fitting in with your friends matters a lot more to people than getting climate science right... ...


With friends like these... who needs facts?

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Mon, May 28, 2012
from University of Bristol:
It Took Earth Ten Million Years to Recover from Greatest Mass Extinction
It took some 10 million years for Earth to recover from the greatest mass extinction of all time, latest research has revealed. Life was nearly wiped out 250 million years ago, with only 10 per cent of plants and animals surviving. It is currently much debated how life recovered from this cataclysm, whether quickly or slowly.... The end-Permian crisis, by far the most dramatic biological crisis to affect life on Earth, was triggered by a number of physical environmental shocks -- global warming, acid rain, ocean acidification and ocean anoxia. These were enough to kill off 90 per cent of living things on land and in the sea...Professor Benton added: "We often see mass extinctions as entirely negative but in this most devastating case, life did recover, after many millions of years, and new groups emerged. ...


So there is hope.

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Wed, May 16, 2012
from Associated Press:
April 2012 heats up as 5th warmest month globally
Unseasonable weather pushed last month to the fifth warmest April on record worldwide, federal weather statistics show. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center calculated that April's average temperature of 57.9 degrees (14.4 degrees Celsius) was nearly 1.2 degrees (0.7 degrees Celsius) above the 20th Century normal. Two years ago was the hottest April since recordkeeping started in 1880. Last month was the third hottest April in the United States and unusually warm in Russia, but cooler than normal in parts of western Europe. This is despite a now ended La Nina which generally lowers global temperatures. ...


Records are made to be broken.

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Wed, May 16, 2012
from University of California - Riverside:
Humanmade Pollutants May Be Driving Earth's Tropical Belt Expansion: May Impact Large-Scale Atmospheric Circulation
Black carbon aerosols and tropospheric ozone, both humanmade pollutants emitted predominantly in the Northern Hemisphere's low- to mid-latitudes, are most likely pushing the boundary of the tropics further poleward in that hemisphere, new research by a team of scientists shows... the researchers are the first to report that black carbon and tropospheric ozone are the most likely primary drivers of the tropical expansion observed in the Northern Hemisphere... "The question to ask is how far must the tropics expand before we start to implement policies to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, tropospheric ozone and black carbon that are driving the tropical expansion?" said Allen, who joined UCR in 2011. ...


Tropical belt growing bigger -- just like my own midsection.

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Wed, May 9, 2012
from The Atlantic:
An Inconvenient Lawsuit: Teenagers Take Global Warming to the Courts
Alec Loorz turns 18 at the end of this month. While finishing high school and playing Ultimate Frisbee on weekends, he's also suing the federal government in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The Ventura, California, teen and four other juvenile plaintiffs want government officials to do more to prevent the risks of climate change -- the dangerous storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, and food-supply disruptions that scientists warn will threaten their generation absent a major turnabout in global energy policy. Specifically, the students are demanding that the U.S. government start reducing national emissions of carbon dioxide by at least six percent per year beginning in 2013. "I think a lot of young people realize that this is an urgent time, and that we're not going to solve this problem just by riding our bikes more," Loorz said in an interview. ...


Generation Apocalypse

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Wed, May 9, 2012
from Washington Post:
U.S. completes warmest 12-month period in 117 years
As far back as records go (1895), never has the U.S. strung together 12 straight months warmer than May 2011 to April 2012 according to new data released today by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The record-setting 12-month period edged out November 1999-October 2000, the 2nd warmest 12-month period, by 0.1 degrees F. The average temperature was 2.8 degrees F above the 20th century average. ...


Yippeeee! Oh wait.

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Mon, Apr 30, 2012
from Waterville Morning Sentinel:
Mild winter could lead to huge honeybee die-off come fall
Beekeepers need to be especially careful this year. A mild winter and unseasonably warm early spring have created conditions reminiscent of 2010, when beekeepers were caught off guard from an explosion of mite populations that killed off many honeybee colonies, according to a state expert. ...


Bees just can't catch a break these days.

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Mon, Apr 30, 2012
from Reuters:
Wind farms may have warming effect: research
Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels contribute to global warming, which could lead to the melting of glaciers, sea level rise, ocean acidification, crop failure and other devastating effects, scientists say. In a move to cut such emissions, many nations are moving towards cleaner energy sources such as wind power.... Researchers at the State University of New York at Albany analysed the satellite data of areas around large wind farms in Texas, where four of the world's largest farms are located, over the period 2003 to 2011. The results, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, showed a warming trend of up to 0.72 degrees Celsius per decade in areas over the farms, compared with nearby regions without the farms. ...


Poor us. We can't do anything right!

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Tue, Apr 17, 2012
from London Guardian:
Karakoram glaciers have grown over last decade, new research shows
The glaciers flowing between the towering peaks of the Karakoram range on the Pakistan-China border have grown in size in the last decade, according to new research. The impact of climate change on the ice in the greater Himalaya range has been controversial because of an unfounded claim by the United Nations' climate science panel over the rate of melting in the region. However the melting of vast volumes of ice into the sea in most other parts of the world has been clearly demonstrated. In March, scientists showed that far less ice was being lost across the Himalayas than had been estimated from sparse ground surveys on the remote slopes....Global warming is causing the loss of more than 500bn tonnes a year of ice from the world's ice caps and glaciers, but it is not yet understood why the Karakoram bucks that trend. ...


Karakoram means rebel.

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Fri, Apr 13, 2012
from IoP, via EurekAlert:
Drastic changes needed to curb most potent greenhouse gas
Meat consumption in the developed world needs to be cut by 50 per cent per person by 2050 if we are to meet the most aggressive strategy, set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to reduce one of the most important greenhouse gases, nitrous oxide (N2O).... The findings have been made by Dr Eric A Davidson of The Woods Hole Research Center, Massachusetts, and demonstrate the magnitude of changes needed to stabilise atmospheric N2O concentrations as well as improve the diets of the growing human population. N2O is the third highest contributor to climate change behind carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4); however, it poses a greater challenge to mitigate as nitrogen is an essential element for food production. ...


Didn't you get the memo? The American Way of Meat is Non-Negotiable. Next?

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Tue, Apr 10, 2012
from Michael Tobis, Planet 3.0:
Disequilibrium is not Your Friend
If a place is ten degrees above normal at a time of one degree of global warming, it does not make sense to say that one degree is due to climate change, and nine degrees "would have happened anyway", even in a statistical sense. It implies that the dynamics of the system are the same under perturbation. Is that a realistic presumption in the absence of other evidence? I think it shows a weak understanding of general systems principles to make that case.... Sure enough, the distribution of regional anomalies isn't just shifting to the warm side. It's also getting broader. It seems to me surprising that anyone expected anything different. The presumption that global warming should be expected to be a benign and gradual process has no basis in anything but tradition. Any basis in general systems theory indicates the opposite.... And this is why "global warming" is an inadequate name for what is happening. Climate is changing very quickly. Some of the slower parts of the system are just starting to wake up. We are entering a period of increasing disequilibrium, and what we are seeing is unequivocally worse than we expected. ...


I don't think "Stop Global Disequilibration" will fit on a bumper sticker.

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Thu, Apr 5, 2012
from Insurance Journal:
Climate Contrarian Case Wilts, as More Studies Confirm Warming Trends
A clutch of recent studies reinforces evidence that people are causing climate change and suggests debate should now move on to a more precise understanding of its impact on humans. The reports, published in various journals in recent weeks, add new detail to the theory of climate change and by implication cast contrarians in a more desperate light. To be clear: there's nothing wrong with doubting climate change; but doubts based on ignorance, a political bias or fossil fuel lobbying don't help.... Like any theory, climate change is based on probabilities and observations couched in error margins and difficult to prove conclusively. It's complicated by the poor understanding of runaway effects which could make the planet all but unrecognizable -- in warming, desertification and sea level rise -- over the next few centuries, distracting from a cool view.... the basics of climate change are now understood and serious doubt is left only in the minds of those who cultivate it. Climate science can now pin down the big uncertainties, about regional impacts, sea level rise and runaway effects, and help to put to work a response. ...


You mean the warmists have infiltrated the insurance industry too?!

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Apr 5, 2012
from RealClimate:
Thirty-year-old global temperature predictions close to spot-on -- even a bit optimistic
Sometimes it helps to take a step back from the everyday pressures of research (falling ill helps). It was in this way we stumbled across [James] Hansen et al (1981) (pdf).... They got 10 pages in Science, which is a lot, but in it they cover radiation balance, 1D and 3D modelling, climate sensitivity, the main feedbacks (water vapour, lapse rate, clouds, ice- and vegetation albedo); solar and volcanic forcing; the uncertainties of aerosol forcings; and ocean heat uptake. Obviously climate science was a mature field even then: the concepts and conclusions have not changed all that much. Hansen et al clearly indicate what was well known (all of which still stands today) and what was uncertain.... To conclude, a projection from 1981 for rising temperatures in a major science journal, at a time that the temperature rise was not yet obvious in the observations, has been found to agree well with the observations since then, underestimating the observed trend by about 30 percent, and easily beating naive predictions of no-change or a linear continuation of trends. ...


It's hard to believe that the warmist conspiracy was underway that long ago!

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Mon, Apr 2, 2012
from Living on Earth:
Africa's Great Green Wall of Trees
Africa is turning to desert. Studies show that as much as two thirds of the continent's arable land could become desert by 2025 if current trends continue. But a bold initiative to plant a wall of trees 4,300 miles long across the African continent could keep back the sands of the Sahara, improve degraded lands, and help alleviate poverty... It's known as the Great Green Wall. ...


And we should all be green with envy!

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Mon, Apr 2, 2012
from The Daily Climate:
Military sees threats, worry in climate change
...Making the SEALs into a leaner, greener tactical force is one of many such steps being taken by all branches as the U.S. military reduces its environmental footprint. The Army is targeting net-zero energy use at several bases, and the Navy and Air Force are experimenting with running jets on biofuels that use wood waste and algae and less petroleum. In Afghanistan, patrols now carry eco-friendly solar blankets and LED lamps. Connecting the military's fossil-fuel and overall energy use with risks to our national security hasn't been easy in this political environment, especially with the presidential election looming. Congressional Republicans have repeatedly questioned and criticized the Armed Forces' new-energy strategies, portraying initiatives as political favors to clean-energy businesses. But current and retired military leaders insist the policies are essential. The efforts protect soldiers and help them carry out missions. They also help curb climate change and its potential to intensify military conflicts. ...


I have an idea. Let's stop fighting other countries and start fighting Republicans.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Apr 2, 2012
from Bloomberg BusinessWeek:
'Mind Boggling' Warmth Set or Tied 7,577 Highs
Chicago had its all-time warmest March, while New York's Central Park had its second-hottest as thousands of new weather records were set or tied across the U.S., according to the National Weather Service. The average temperature for the month in Chicago was 53.5 degrees Fahrenheit (11.9 Celsius). That topped the previous mark of 48.6 degrees, set in 1910 and matched in 1945, the weather service said, citing data compiled since 1873. In New York, the average temperature was 50.9 degrees, which was 8.9 degrees above normal, while below the record 51.1 degrees in 1945, according to the weather service. "To put it in perspective, if it was April, it would still be in the top 10, as far as warmest. It is mind-boggling," said Tom Kines, a meteorologist for AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. "There are many areas across the upper Midwest that have had their warmest March ever. That seems to be where the core of the warmth was." ...


Once again, reality is implying that warmists have a point.

ApocaDoc
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Sun, Apr 1, 2012
from AFP, via Yahoo:
2 degrees C warming target now 'out of reach' -- ex UN climate chief
The UN's former climate chief on Tuesday said the global warming pledge he helped set at the Copenhagen Summit little more than two years ago was already unattainable. "I think two degrees is out of reach," Yvo de Boer, former executive secretary of the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said on the sidelines of a conference here on June's Rio+20 summit.... "The two degrees is lost but that doesn't mean for me we should forget about it," de Boer said in the interview with AFP. "It is a very significant target, it's not just a target that was plucked out of the air, it refers to trying to limit a number of impacts."... On Sunday, 20 winners of the Blue Planet Prize, one of the world's most prestigious green awards, said there was only a "50-50" chance of limiting warming to 3 C (5.4 F). There were "serious risks" of a 5 C (9.0 F) rise, a temperature last seen on the planet 30 million years ago. ...


Those scientists -- they're always such extremists.

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Fri, Mar 30, 2012
from Los Angeles Times:
Conservatives' trust in science has declined sharply
A study released Thursday in the American Sociological Review concludes that trust in science among conservatives and frequent churchgoers has declined precipitously since 1974, when a national survey first asked people how much confidence they had in the scientific community. At that time, conservatives had the highest level of trust in scientists. Confidence in scientists has declined the most among the most educated conservatives, the peer-reviewed research paper found, concluding: "These results are quite profound because they imply that conservative discontent with science was not attributable to the uneducated but to rising distrust among educated conservatives." ...


PhDumbasses

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Wed, Mar 28, 2012
from Reuters:
Global warming close to becoming irreversible-scientists
The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned on Monday.... Despite this sense of urgency, a new global climate treaty forcing the world's biggest polluters, such as the United States and China, to curb emissions will only be agreed on by 2015 - to enter into force in 2020 ...


Newsflash: Earthlings cross deathwish threshold.

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Sat, Mar 24, 2012
from Agence France-Press:
2001-2010 warmest decade on record: WMO
Climate change has accelerated in the past decade, the UN weather agency said Friday, releasing data showing that 2001 to 2010 was the warmest decade on record. The 10-year period was also marked by extreme levels of rain or snowfall, leading to significant flooding on all continents, while droughts affected parts of East Africa and North America.... Nine of the 10 years also counted among the 10 warmest on record, it added, noting that "climate change accelerated" during the first decade of the 21st century. ...


Proof of global climate strange.

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Mon, Mar 19, 2012
from McClatchy Newspapers:
As natural gas production grows, questions arise about methane leaks
As natural gas production in the United States hits an all-time high, a major unanswered question looms: What does growing hydraulic fracturing mean for climate change? The Obama administration lists natural gas as one of the "clean energy sources" it wants to expand. When burned, natural gas emits about half the heat-trapping carbon dioxide as coal. Yet natural gas production can result in releases of methane into the atmosphere. Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Methane can enter the atmosphere when gas is stored or transported, but it's particularly a concern with shale gas production during flowback -- when fracking fluids, water and gases flow out of a well after drilling but before the gas is put into pipelines. ...


This leak is the Mother of all farts!

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Wed, Mar 14, 2012
from Postmedia News:
Feds discreet about foreign funding of climate skeptics
While it has aggressively slammed environmental groups for using foreign dollars to finance a small portion of their budgets, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government is being tight-lipped about revelations that climate change skeptics in Canada are getting money from an American think-tank with corporate funding. Newly released documents have revealed three Canadians were part of a network of academics receiving monthly payments from the Chicago-based Heartland Institute as part of its advocacy work to cast doubt on scientific evidence linking human activity to global warming observed in recent decades. Two of the three Canadians mentioned in the internal records have confirmed they were getting paid by the Heartland Institute. ...


Heartland Institute... the Mephistopheles of think-tanks.

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Tue, Mar 13, 2012
from Traverse City Record-Eagle:
Great Lakes ice down 71 percent since 1973
A published report says the amount of ice covering the Great Lakes has declined about 71 percent over the past 40 years, a drop that the lead author partly attributes to climate change. The report published last month by the American Meteorological Society said only about 5 percent of the Great Lakes surface froze over this year. "There was a significant downward trend in ice coverage from 1973 to the present for all of the lakes," according to the study, which appeared in the society's Journal of Climate. ...


I sure hope it's not ice that makes the Great Lakes great.

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Mon, Mar 12, 2012
from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Warm weather puts chill on business for ski resorts
It's been a challenging winter for Wisconsin ski resorts, to say the least. First, there was no snow, and it wasn't cold enough for ski resorts to make their own. Then potential visitors assumed ski resorts weren't open because there was no snow anywhere else. On Sunday, temperatures peaked at 66 degrees in Milwaukee, tying a record high from 1973 that's 25 degrees above normal. Meteorologists forecast a high in the 70s Wednesday. But if that didn't persuade resort managers it might be time to put away the mittens and give up on winter, all they had to do was look around. "There's a gentleman sitting at the bar in shorts," Meg Sedgwick, assistant general manager with the Sunburst Ski Area in Kewaskum said Sunday. "We won't be making snow at this stage of the game anymore. It's not cost-effective. People start thinking of golf rather than skiing." ...


It's a comfort to know that in the post-Apocalypse there will be plenty of golf!

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Wed, Mar 7, 2012
from Colorado Independent:
Forestry budgets sapped by scourges of warming climate
The warming climate is breeding more beetle-ravaged forest and prolonged fire seasons, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell testified before a Senate committee on Tuesday, as he fielded questions about the White House's proposed agency budget for fiscal year 2013.... The wildfire risk is heightened as beetles make their way through the forests, sucking the life from trees and leaving dead, dried wood in their wake. The expansion of bark beetles "has started to slow a little bit," [Tidwell] said, but "we're still seeing about an additional 600,000 acres infested each year, so we're going to have to continue to maintain this focus for the next few years." ...


Bark beetles sound sooooo vampiric!

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Mon, Mar 5, 2012
from San Antonio Express-News:
Climate change made the drought worse, scientists say
Several scientists at NASA and the state climatologist say the record-setting heat and drought of last summer in Texas was made worse by climate change... "We conclude that extreme heat waves, such as that in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010, were 'caused' by global warming, because their likelihood was negligible prior to the recent rapid global warming," [James Hansen] wrote in the paper that is still undergoing peer review. "We can say with a high degree of confidence that these extreme anomalies were a consequence of global warming." ...


In Texas, global warming doesn't exist.

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Mon, Mar 5, 2012
from Washington Post:
In climate wars, radicalization of researchers brings risks
...Some researchers are taking on a greater public-advocacy role to confront what many of them consider an existential crisis. But this strategy carries inherent risks, since scientists' influence stems from the public perception that their credibility is beyond reproach. That's why many in the scientific community recoiled when Peter Gleick, a respected hydrologist, admitted he had tricked the Heartland Institute , a free-market think tank that questions whether human activity contributes to global warming. ...


Given that public belief in climate change has decreased over the last decade, how's this working out?

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Mon, Mar 5, 2012
from The Tyee:
Spill from Hell: Diluted Bitumen
On a July morning in 2010 in rural Michigan, a 30-inch pipeline owned by Calgary-based Enbridge Energy Partners burst and disgorged an estimated 843,000 gallons of thick crude into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River. This was no ordinary crude -- it was the first ever major spill into water of diluted bitumen from the Alberta oil sands. The cleanup challenges and health impacts around Kalamazoo were unlike anything the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had ever dealt with, and raise serious questions about the preparedness in British Columbia to respond to such a disaster on the B.C. coast -- or the Vancouver harbour. ...


I am bitter, man, about this spill.

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Mon, Mar 5, 2012
from Los Angeles Times:
Shell oil rig set for landmark Alaska journey
Amid the tangle of towering steel, heavy cranes and overcast skies of Seattle's busy commercial shipyards, Shell Oil's massive Kulluk drilling rig is preparing to push off for the Arctic Ocean. When it does, America's balance between energy needs and environmental fears will enter a new era. Barring unexpected court or regulatory action, by July the Kulluk will begin drilling exploratory oil wells in the frigid waters off Alaska's northern coast. ...


Apo-Kullukse!

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Wed, Feb 29, 2012
from Los Angeles Times:
Global warming feeds bark beetles: Are they unstoppable?
Hear the sound of chewing out in our vast forests of lodgepole pine, spruce and fir, the chewing that's already destroyed half the commercial timber in important regions like British Columbia? That's the sound of climate change, says biologist Reese Halter. Global warming in the form of a bark beetle... As winters grow warmer and summers drier, the West's evergreen forests are being eaten alive. And the infestation is not showing any signs of slowing. The most disturbing part? Halter puts the blame squarely on climate change, of which the infestations are not only a symptom but a cause -- a feedback loop. ...


"Feedback loop" has multiple meanings here.

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Wed, Feb 22, 2012
from InsideClimate News:
GOP Not Listening to Its Own Scientists on Climate Change
A number of prominent U.S. climate scientists who identify themselves as Republican say their attempts in recent years to educate the GOP leadership on the scientific evidence of man-made climate change have been futile. Now, many have given up trying and the few who continue notice very little change after speaking with politicians and their aides. ...


Dear Supreme Being: Is there nothing you can do?

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Mon, Feb 20, 2012
from Los Angeles Times:
Climate denial in the classroom
...if we're about to enter a battle over classroom instruction on climate change, it won't go on for decades, because the impacts of global warming are already patently obvious. Seven of the 10 warmest years since global record-keeping began in 1880 have occurred in the 21st century. Despite an intense campaign to discredit his work, Pennsylvania State University professor Michael Mann's "hockey stick" graph, which shows that temperatures in the latter half of the 20th century soared to their highest level in 1,000 years, has been validated repeatedly. Last year set a record for the most climate-related disasters in the United States costing more than $1 billion in damage each... ...


Take that, puckheads!

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Wed, Feb 15, 2012
from Mongabay:
Arctic warms to highest level yet as researchers fear tipping points
Last year the Arctic, which is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth due to global climate change, experienced its warmest twelve months yet. According to recent data by NASA, average Arctic temperatures in 2011 were 2.28 degrees Celsius (4.1 degrees Fahrenheit) above those recorded from 1951-1980. As the Arctic warms, imperiling its biodiversity and indigenous people, researchers are increasingly concerned that the region will hit climatic tipping points that could severely impact the rest of the world. ...


I so wish this was a sci-fi film instead of reality.

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Wed, Feb 15, 2012
from Japan Times:
Deep-sea temperature up 0.02 degree every decade
Seawater to a depth of up to 700 meters is warming at a pace of 0.02 degree every 10 years worldwide, according to an analysis by the Meteorological Agency. In its first analysis into deep-water temperatures, the agency says that rises in seawater temperatures could lead to higher sea levels because heat expands, and to an accelerated pace of global warming because the warmer water may absorb less carbon dioxide. ...


Geoengineering idea: Drop Titanic-sized ice cubes into ocean.

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Mon, Feb 13, 2012
from ABC Environment:
Fake steak may feed the world
It looks more like squid than steak and because it lacks the fat and protein found in real cattle, does not taste like traditional beef. So why would anyone eat meat grown in a lab? Cultured or in-vitro meat may still be years away from our supermarkets, but scientists in The Netherlands say they will be able to grow a hamburger by the end of this year. Professor Mark Post, who is refining the meat-making process at Maastricht University, says once perfected, the technology could slash the environmental footprint of growing food... Livestock for human consumption takes up 70 per cent of the world's arable land. They use eight per cent of global freshwater and produce 18 per cent of all global greenhouse gas emissions - some 3,000 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year (that's more than the entire world's transport sector). Deforestation to create farmland accounts for a third of those emissions. ...


We can always pretend it's tasty.

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Sun, Feb 12, 2012
from AFP:
2C warming goal now 'optimistic' - French scientists
French scientists unveiling new estimates for global warming said on Thursday the 2 C (3.6 F) goal enshrined by the United Nations was "the most optimistic" scenario left for greenhouse-gas emissions. The estimates, compiled by five scientific institutes, will be handed to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for consideration in its next big overview on global warming and its impacts. The report -- the fifth in the series -- will be published in three volumes, in September 2013, March 2014 and April 2014. The French team said that by 2100, warming over pre-industrial times would range from two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) to 5.0 C (9.0 F). The most pessimistic scenarios foresee warming of 3.5-5.0 C (6.3-9.0 F), the scientists said in a press release. Achieving 2C, "the most optimistic scenario," is possible but "only by applying climate policies to reduce greenhouse gases," they said. ...


D'ya feel optimistic, punk?

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Wed, Feb 8, 2012
from MSNBC:
NASA satellites show how our icy world is melting
The melt-off from the world's ice sheets, ice caps and glaciers over eight years of the past decade would have been enough to cover the United States in about 18 inches (46 centimeters) of water, according to new research based on the most-comprehensive analysis of satellite data yet. Data, collected for the years 2003 through 2010, indicates that melting ice raised sea levels worldwide by an average of 1.48 millimeters (0.06 inches) each year. The loss of ice from Greenland and Antarctica has already been measured using satellite data, but the new analysis revealed that melting ice elsewhere accounted for about 0.41 mm (0.016 inches) of the annual rise.... The new data confirmed that most of the melting happened on ice-covered Greenland and Antarctica, where enough ice melted to raise sea levels by 1.06 millimeters (0.042 inches) per year between January 2003 and December 2010, the study period.... ...


And they say we have a fresh-water problem. I'm up to my knees in it!

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Wed, Feb 8, 2012
from Bill McKibben, on TomDispatch:
The Great Carbon Bubble
Still, [the energy companies] could theoretically invest all that cash in new clean technology or research and development for the same. As it happens, though, they've got a deeper problem, one that's become clear only in the last few years. Put briefly: their value is largely based on fossil-fuel reserves that won't be burned if we ever take global warming seriously. When I talked about a carbon bubble at the beginning of this essay, this is what I meant. Here are some of the relevant numbers, courtesy of the Capital Institute: we're already seeing widespread climate disruption, but if we want to avoid utter, civilization-shaking disaster, many scientists have pointed to a two-degree rise in global temperatures as the most we could possibly deal with. If we spew 565 gigatons more carbon into the atmosphere, we'll quite possibly go right past that reddest of red lines. But the oil companies, private and state-owned, have current reserves on the books equivalent to 2,795 gigatons -- five times more than we can ever safely burn. It has to stay in the ground. Put another way, in ecological terms it would be extremely prudent to write off $20 trillion worth of those reserves. In economic terms, of course, it would be a disaster, first and foremost for shareholders and executives of companies like ExxonMobil (and people in places like Venezuela). If you run an oil company, this sort of write-off is the disastrous future staring you in the face as soon as climate change is taken as seriously as it should be, and that's far scarier than drought and flood. It's why you'll do anything -- including fund an endless campaigns of lies -- to avoid coming to terms with its reality. ...


That's twenty trillion dollars of economic development!

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Tue, Feb 7, 2012
from Colorado Independent:
Santorum and Gingrich dismiss climate change, vow to dismantle the EPA
A day before Colorado Republicans voice presidential preferences at the caucuses, Rick Santorum dismissed climate change as "a hoax" and advocated an energy plan heavy on fossil fuels. "We were put on this Earth as creatures of God to have dominion over the Earth, to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit not for the Earth's benefit," Santorum told an audience at the Colorado School of Mines where he was a guest speaker Monday at the Colorado Energy Summit. "We are the intelligent beings that know how to manage things and through the course of science and discovery if we can be better stewards of this environment, then we should not let the vagaries of nature destroy what we have helped create," Santorum said to applause from the conservative crowd. ...


What a frothy mix of nonsense coming out of Santorum!

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Thu, Jan 26, 2012
from Guardian:
New map for what to plant reflects global warming
Global warming is hitting not just home, but garden. The color-coded map of planting zones often seen on the back of seed packets is being updated by the government, illustrating a hotter 21st century. It's the first time since 1990 that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has revised the official guide for the nation's 80 million gardeners, and much has changed. Nearly entire states, such as Ohio, Nebraska and Texas, are in warmer zones. The new guide, unveiled Wednesday at the National Arboretum, arrives just as many home gardeners are receiving their seed catalogs and dreaming of lush flower beds in the spring. It reflects a new reality: The coldest day of the year isn't as cold as it used to be, so some plants and trees can now survive farther north. ...


I miss the good ol' days when the government pretended global warming didn't exist.

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Tue, Jan 24, 2012
from London Daily Mail:
Livestock identified as having biggest impact on global warming - even more than usual suspect, carbon monoxide
Forget the toxic fume-spouting industries. Livestock - mainly cows and buffaloes - has been identified as one of the primary contributors of greenhouse gases in India by Brighter Green, a US-based public policy action tank. The animals play a major role in the emission of methane - a gas with a much more lethal impact on global warming than the usual suspect carbon dioxide. Livestock is known to release a huge amount of methane through belching and flatulence, though the latter accounts for a smaller quantity. ...


My old Ford SUV burps and farts: that must be really bad!

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Tue, Jan 24, 2012
from Washington Post:
Global warming would harm the Earth, but some areas might find it beneficial
"Global warming" and "climate change" succinctly describe a complicated phenomenon, and in just a few decades they have become common descriptors. But while global warming would be bad for the Earth as a whole, the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would affect different areas in different ways, and local climate change is what matters to many people. So let's look at the relative winners and losers. Two factors will likely determine whether a particular region will prosper or suffer as climate change progresses: starting temperature and adaptability. You don't hear much talk about it, but countries that are cold right now could see very real benefits from a few extra degrees. ...


Gee, this apocalyptic cloud has a silver lining after all.

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Mon, Jan 23, 2012
from BBC:
Race to save Ecuador's 'lungs of the world' park
The Yasuni National Park, known as "the lungs of the world" and one of the most bio-diverse places on earth, is under threat from oil drilling. The race is on to find the funds required to develop new sustainable energy programmes that would leave the oil - and the forest - untouched. ...


I breathe. Can I contribute somehow?

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Fri, Jan 20, 2012
from Associated Press:
World not quite as hot in 2011; ranks 11th warmest
The world last year wasn't quite as warm as it has been for most of the past decade, government scientists said Thursday, but it continues a general trend of rising temperatures. The average global temperature was 57.9 degrees Fahrenheit, making 2011 the 11th hottest on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. That's 0.9 degrees warmer than the 20th century average, officials said. In fact, it was hotter than every year last century except 1998... This marks the 35th straight year that global temperatures were warmer than normal. NOAA's records for world average temperatures date back to 1880. ...


Does 35 straight years constitute a trend?

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Wed, Jan 18, 2012
from National Geographic News:
Shale Gas: A Boon That Could Stunt Alternatives, Study Says
A team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology used economic modeling to show that new abundant natural gas is likely to have a far more complex impact on the energy scene than is generally assumed. If climate policy continues to play out in the United States with a relatively weak set of measures to control emissions, the new gas source will lead to lower gas and electricity prices, and total energy use will be higher in 2050. Absent the shale supply, the United States could have expected to see GHG emissions 2 percent below 2005 levels by 2050 under this relatively weak policy. But the lower gas prices under the current shale gas outlook will stimulate economic growth, leading GHG emissions to increase by 13 percent over 2005. And the shale gas will retard the growth of renewable energy's share of electricity, and push off the development of carbon capture and storage technology, needed to meet more ambitious policy targets, by as long as two decades. ...


GHG me with a spoon.

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Tue, Jan 17, 2012
from Inter Press Service:
Melting Ice Makes Arctic Access a Hot Commodity
China, Brazil and India want seats on the Arctic Council as global warming creates new opportunities for shipping and resource extraction in the vast Arctic region. There are concerns this is the beginning of a 21st century "scramble for the Arctic", but rather than staking territorial claims, non- Arctic countries want to exert economic and political influence in the region. China already has a research station in Norway's high Arctic and is building an 8,000-tonne icebreaker. ...


"Hot commodity"? Sounds like a hot mess to me!

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Mon, Jan 16, 2012
from Mother Jones:
A Pro Snowboarder's Guide to Climate Change
A few years ago, Jeremy Jones was cutting up one of his favorite runs down a glacier in Chamonix, the legendary French ski area high in the Aiguilles Rouges mountains. Jones has been a regular at this spot for the last 15 years, coming for a few weeks every winter to hone the skills that have made him one of the world's leading big mountain snowboarders. But on this occasion, he did something he doesn't often do: stop short. The glacier, he said, had receded a few hundred yards up the valley, effectively chopping off the end of his run. "That's kind of a drastic deal," he told me, and not because he was bummed about losing the powder: "Glaciers aren't supposed to move that fast." ...


Yo, that glacier is sick.

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Thu, Jan 12, 2012
from Agence France-Press:
'Doomsday' ticks closer on nuclear, climate fears
Global uncertainty on how to deal with the threats of nuclear weapons and climate change have forced the "Doomsday clock" one minute closer to midnight, leading international scientists said Tuesday. "It is now five minutes to midnight," said Allison Macfarlan, chair of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which created the Doomsday clock in 1947 as a barometer of how close the world is to an apocalyptic end. ...


Doomsnight!

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Thu, Jan 12, 2012
from London Guardian:
Oil lobby's financial pressure on Obama over Keystone XL pipeline revealed
New analysis of oil industry contributions to members of Congress has revealed the level of the oil lobby's financial firepower that Barack Obama can expect to face in the November elections if he refuses to approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Obama has until 21 February to make a decision on whether to approve the pipeline, under a compromise tax measure approved late last year. America's top oil lobbyist warned last week that the president would face "huge political consequences" if he did not sign off on the project to pump tar sands crude across the American heartland to refineries on the Texas coast. ...


If he approves Keystone we'll have to call him Oilbama.

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Tue, Jan 10, 2012
from Toronto Star:
Titanic clash looms over proposed Northern Gateway pipeline
A biologist, an energy lawyer and an aboriginal geologist will sit down Tuesday in a recreation centre in the wilderness of northern British Columbia to initiate what could be the fiercest environmental standoff ever seen in Canada. Before the hearings in B.C. and Alberta are completed next year, more than 4,000 people are expected to appear before the three-member panel vetting the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta through the Rockies to the B.C. coast. Like the now-stalled Keystone XL project in the United States, the planned pipeline to carry tarsands-derived crude oil across the mountains to a new supertanker port in northern B.C. is shaping up as a titanic clash of economic and environmental imperatives. ...


The other pipeline.

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Mon, Dec 26, 2011
from New York Times:
Retreat of Glaciers Makes Some Climbs Tougher
Three decades ago, when Mick Fowler climbed the north face of the Eiger in the Swiss Alps, he used crampons and ice axes to haul himself up sheer walls of snow and ice. Nowadays, during a hot summer, "you'll find virtually no snow and ice on its face -- none,” he said. "It's a huge change over the last 20 to 30 years.” Like Mr. Fowler, mountaineers around the world find themselves forced to adjust to a warming world. Routes that were icy or glaciated in the middle part of the past century, when the world's highest peaks were being conquered for the first time, are turning into unstable and unappetizing rock. ...


Eat my (anthropogenically created) dust.

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Tue, Dec 20, 2011
from Greenwire:
With federal green light, Shell hits the gas on Arctic plans
In a sign that the Obama administration is willing to clear the regulatory decks for oil drilling in Alaska's remote Arctic waters, the Interior Department on Friday gave a conditional green light allowing Royal Dutch Shell PLC to explore for oil this summer in Alaska's Chukchi Sea. More than 20 years after sinking its first exploratory well in the Chukchi, only to later abandon the project, Shell is seeking to reopen drilling in the nation's northern-most federal waters. The campaign has already had a colossal price tag. So far, Shell officials say they have sunk $4 billion in the project, including $350 million to build two of their own ice-breaking ships. If exploration is successful, it will take 10-12 years before Shell can begin producing oil. During that time, the company would have to build a new ice-resistant drilling facility, install 100 miles of subsea pipeline from the pumping rig to the tiny community of Wainwright and construct a 500-mile pipeline from the shoreline to the beginning of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in Prudhoe Bay. ...


It will be worth all the work, if we can indeed destroy the planet!

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Mon, Dec 19, 2011
from Associated Press:
Russia slams Kyoto Protocol
MOSCOW (AP) Russia supports Canada's decision to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol, says its foreign ministry, reaffirming Friday that Moscow will not take on new commitments. Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told Friday's briefing that the treaty does not cover all major polluters, and thus cannot help solve the climate crisis. Canada on Monday pulled out of the agreement -- initially adopted in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, to cut carbon emissions contributing to global warming. Its move dealt a blow to the treaty, which has not been formally renounced by any other country. ...


Sayonara, Kyoto.

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Wed, Dec 14, 2011
from ClimateWire:
Scrubbing Carbon Dioxide from Air May Prove Too Costly
One of the seemingly ideal and direct solutions to climate change is to efficiently vacuum up greenhouse gases straight from the atmosphere. But a new study finds that such a proposal is very far-fetched and tremendously expensive... in a paper published earlier this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that trying to scrub the air is much more expensive than keeping it from getting dirty in the first place. ...


So what am I going to do with my zeppelin-sized scrub brush?

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Tue, Dec 13, 2011
from Los Angeles Times:
Vermont Law School's Top 10 Environmental Watch List for 2012
Vermont Law School, which has one of the top-ranked environmental law programs in the country, just released its second annual Top 10 Environmental Watch List of issues and developments that should be closely followed in 2012. Top of the list? Republican attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency. According to an innovative online database set up by L.A.'s own Rep. Henry Waxman, there have been 170 anti-environmental votes under the Republican majority in the 112th Congress, and 91 of them attacked the EPA. Other hot topics on the watch list include that same EPA and the White House clashing over ozone standards, the activist effort to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, and landmark settlements under the Endangered Species Act. ...


Actually, top of the list: Republicans' farts; they're way worse than Democrats' farts.

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Tue, Dec 13, 2011
from London Independent:
Shock as retreat of Arctic sea ice releases deadly greenhouse gas
Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane -- a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide -- have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region. The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years. In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Igor Semiletov, of the Far Eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that he has never before witnessed the scale and force of the methane being released from beneath the Arctic seabed.... "Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of metres in diameter. This is the first time that we've found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures, more than 1,000 metres in diameter. It's amazing," Dr Semiletov said. "I was most impressed by the sheer scale and high density of the plumes. Over a relatively small area we found more than 100, but over a wider area there should be thousands of them." ...


You know you're trouble when scientists freak out!

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Tue, Dec 13, 2011
from Associated Press:
Canada pulls out of Kyoto Protocol
Canada pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change Monday, saying the accord won't help solve the climate crisis. It dealt a blow to the anti-global warming treaty, which has not been formally renounced by any other country. Environment Minister Peter Kent said that Canada is invoking its legal right to withdraw and said Kyoto doesn't represent the way forward for Canada or the world... "The Kyoto Protocol does not cover the world's largest two emitters, United States and China, and therefore cannot work," Kent said. "It's now clear that Kyoto is not the path forward to a global solution to climate change. If anything it's an impediment." ...


More like CANTada!

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Fri, Dec 9, 2011
from NASA, via ScienceDaily:
Paleoclimate Record Points Toward Potential Rapid Climate Changes
In studying cores drilled from both ice sheets and deep ocean sediments, Hansen found that global mean temperatures during the Eemian period, which began about 130,000 years ago and lasted about 15,000 years, were less than 1 degree Celsius warmer than today. If temperatures were to rise 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times, global mean temperature would far exceed that of the Eemian, when sea level was four to six meters higher than today, Hansen said. "The paleoclimate record reveals a more sensitive climate than thought, even as of a few years ago. Limiting human-caused warming to 2 degrees is not sufficient," Hansen said. "It would be a prescription for disaster." Hansen focused much of his new work on how the polar regions and in particular the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland will react to a warming world.... "We don't have a substantial cushion between today's climate and dangerous warming," Hansen said. "Earth is poised to experience strong amplifying feedbacks in response to moderate additional global warming." ...


Killjoy.

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Thu, Dec 1, 2011
from Reuters:
WMO: 2011 one of hottest years on record
The world is getting hotter, with 2011 one of the warmest years on record, and humans are to blame, a report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Tuesday. It warned increasing global average temperatures were expected to amplify floods, droughts and other extreme weather patterns. "Our science is solid and it proves unequivocally that the world is warming and that this warming is due to human activities," WMO Deputy Secretary-General Jerry Lengoasa told reporters in Durban, where almost 200 nations are gathered for U.N. climate talks. ...


Deja vu screwed.

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Tue, Nov 29, 2011
from Associated Press:
World on track for nearly 11-degree temperature rise, energy expert says
The chief economist for the International Energy Agency said Monday that current global energy consumption levels put the Earth on a trajectory to warm by 6 degrees Celsius (10.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by 2100, an outcome he called "a catastrophe for all of us. Fatih Birol spoke as as delegates from nearly 200 countries convened the opening day of annual U.N. climate talks in Durban, South Africa. ...


Or, put another way, 6 degrees of separation between us -- and our continued existence.

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Tue, Nov 22, 2011
from Associated Press:
Greenhouse gases soar; scientists see little chance of arresting global warming this century
Heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are building up so high, so fast, that some scientists now think the world can no longer limit global warming to the level world leaders have agreed upon as safe. New figures from the U.N. weather agency Monday showed that the three biggest greenhouse gases not only reached record levels last year but were increasing at an ever-faster rate, despite efforts by many countries to reduce emissions. ...


This story brought to you by the Duh-partment of Duh.

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Tue, Nov 15, 2011
from The New Yorker:
Two Degrees of Disaster
According to the I.E.A., "The door to 2 degrees C is closing." The group warned that unless dramatic action is taken by 2017, so many additional billions of tons of emissions will effectively be "locked in" that a temperature increase exceeding two degrees will become inevitable.... In fact, many scientists have warned that holding the average global temperature increase to "only" two degrees Celsius is a bit like limiting yourself to "only" a few rounds of Russian roulette: unless you're uncommonly lucky, the result is not likely to be happy.... Meanwhile, even if it's only self-interest in the narrowest possible sense that moves people, global warming still ought to be high on almost everybody's list of concerns. Between here and 4 degrees C, or now and the 2070s, there are all sorts of potential calamities of which the punishing drought in Texas, the flooding in Thailand, and the famine that has recently killed tens of thousands of Somalis are just a foretaste. ...


Heck, we're almost reaching Kevin Bacon territory!

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Tue, Nov 8, 2011
from The Independent:
Hard-up UK puts climate change on back burner
Britain's carbon emissions grew faster than the economy last year for the first time since 1996, as a cash-strapped population relegated the environment down its league of concerns and spent more money keeping warm, according to a new report.... The rise in Britain's so-called carbon intensity increases the danger that the country will miss legally binding targets on reducing emissions, warns PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the consultancy behind the report. Furthermore, it found that Britain's rising carbon intensity is part of a worldwide trend which threatens to push global warming above a two-degree Celsius increase on pre-industrial levels. This is the temperature that the G8 group of leading economies has pledged not to breach in the hope of avoiding the worst consequences of climate change.... Jonathan Grant, director of sustainability and climate change at PwC, said: "When money is tight people's attention goes elsewhere and it becomes harder to implement high-cost, low-carbon technologies. "Many people have higher priorities than climate change right now, it is probably fair to say. Maybe people are taking their eye off the ball a bit." ...


Your money or your future. D'you feel lucky, punk?

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Sat, Nov 5, 2011
from AP, via LA Times:
Biggest-ever jump seen in global warming gases
The global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide jumped last year by the biggest amount on record, the U.S. Department of Energy calculated, a sign of how feeble the world's efforts are at slowing man-made global warming. The new figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst-case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago. "The more we talk about the need to control emissions, the more they are growing," said John Reilly, co-director of MIT's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. The world pumped about 564 million more tons of carbon into the air in 2010 than it did in 2009. That's an increase of 6 percent. That amount of extra pollution eclipses the individual emissions of all but three countries -- China, the United States and India, the world's top producers of greenhouse gases. It is a "monster" increase that is unheard of, said Gregg Marland, a professor of geology at Appalachian State University, who has helped calculate Department of Energy figures in the past. ...


Is that a cliff we're speeding toward, or is it just a wall?

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Mon, Oct 31, 2011
from Associated Press:
Skeptic finds he now agrees global warming is real
A prominent physicist and skeptic of global warming spent two years trying to find out if mainstream climate scientists were wrong. In the end, he determined they were right: Temperatures really are rising rapidly. The study of the world's surface temperatures by Richard Muller was partially bankrolled by a foundation connected to global warming deniers. He pursued long-held skeptic theories in analyzing the data. He was spurred to action because of "Climategate," a British scandal involving hacked emails of scientists...One-quarter of the $600,000 to do the research came from the Charles Koch Foundation, whose founder is a major funder of skeptic groups and the tea party. ...


Better late than never... I guess.

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Thu, Oct 27, 2011
from Oregon State University via ScienceDaily:
Production of Biofuel from Forests Will Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Study Finds
The largest and most comprehensive study yet done on the effect of biofuel production from West Coast forests has concluded that an emphasis on bioenergy would increase carbon dioxide emissions from these forests at least 14 percent, if the efficiency of such operations is optimal. The findings are contrary to assumptions and some previous studies that suggest biofuels from this source would be carbon-neutral or even reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In this research, that wasn't true in any scenario. ...


Fueled again!

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Wed, Oct 26, 2011
from Reuters:
Crop scientists now fret about heat not just water
Crop scientists in the United States, the world's largest food exporter, are pondering an odd question: could the danger of global warming really be the heat?... scientists now wonder if a more immediate issue is an unusual rise in day-time and, especially, night-time summer temperatures being seen in crop belts around the world. Interviews with crop researchers at American universities paint the same picture: high temperatures have already shrunken output of many crops and vegetables. ...


Holy crop!

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Wed, Oct 26, 2011
from Agence France-Press:
Iceland to help France save trees from global warming
Iceland and France are looking into the possibility of taking French trees endangered by global warming and planting them in Iceland to safeguard them for the future, officials said. "The main emphasis (in the collaboration) is on research and finding ways to ensure the protection and preservation of the DNA... of the trees in Iceland," Adalsteinn Sigurgeirsson of the Icelandic Forestry Service told AFP. The service is working with France's Office National des Forets, and their collaboration is focusing on trees from the French Alps and Pyrenees, such as beech. ...


It takes a planet to save a village!

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Thu, Oct 20, 2011
from BBC:
Global warming 'confirmed' by independent study
The Earth's surface really is getting warmer, a new analysis by a US scientific group set up in the wake of the "ClimateGate" affair has confirmed. The Berkeley Earth Project has used new methods and some new data, but finds the same warming trend seen by groups such as the UK Met Office and Nasa. The project received funds from sources that back organisations lobbying against action on climate change.... The Berkeley group found about 40,000 weather stations around the world whose output has been recorded and stored in digital form. It developed a new way of analysing the data to plot the global temperature trend over land since 1800. What came out was a graph remarkably similar to those produced by the world's three most important and established groups, whose work had been decried as unreliable and shoddy in climate sceptic circles. ...


This just proves that the warmists have corrupted everyone!

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Tue, Oct 18, 2011
from The Daily Climate:
Evidence builds that scientists underplay climate impacts
The warnings were dire: 188 predictions showing that climate-induced changes to the environment would put 7 percent of all plant and animal species on the globe - one out of every 14 critters - at risk of extinction. Predictions like these have earned climate scientists the obloquy from critics for being "alarmist" - dismissed for using inflated descriptions of doom and destruction to push for action, more grant money or a global government. But as the impacts of climate change become apparent, many predictions are proving to underplay the actual impacts. Reality, in many instances, is proving to be far worse than most scientists expected. ...


Scientists... nothin' but a bunch of scaredy-cats.

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Tue, Oct 18, 2011
from Agence France-Press:
Climate change downsizing fauna, flora: study
Climate change is reducing the body size of many animal and plant species, including some which supply vital nutrition for more than a billion people already living near hunger's threshold, according to a study released Sunday. From micro-organisms to top predators, nearly 45 percent of species for which data was reviewed grew smaller over multiple generations due to climate change, researchers found. The impact of rapidly climbing temperatures and shifts in rainfall patterns on body size could have unpredictable and possible severe consequences, they warned. ...


It's a small world after all.

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Tue, Oct 18, 2011
from via ScienceDaily:
Sea Levels to Continue to Rise for 500 Years? Long-Term Climate Calculations Suggest So
Rising sea levels in the coming centuries is perhaps one of the most catastrophic consequences of rising temperatures. Massive economic costs, social consequences and forced migrations could result from global warming. But how frightening of times are we facing? Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute are part of a team that has calculated the long-term outlook for rising sea levels in relation to the emission of greenhouse gases and pollution of the atmosphere using climate models.... Even in the most optimistic scenario, which requires extremely dramatic climate change goals, major technological advances and strong international cooperation to stop emitting greenhouse gases and polluting the atmosphere, the sea would continue to rise. ...


So much for trying to look on the bright side.

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Tue, Oct 11, 2011
from Los Angeles Times:
A GOP assault on environmental regulations
Republicans in the House are best known for their inflexible opposition to tax hikes and government spending, but that's nothing new for the GOP; what marks this group as different is that it is perhaps the most anti-environment Congress in history. So far, that hasn't had much impact because Republicans control only one house, and Democrats in the Senate have blocked their most extreme attempts to gut the Clean Air and Clean Water acts. But recent legislative moves in the House provide a preview of what's to come in 2013 if the balance of power shifts further in favor of a GOP that is more united than ever in opposition to environmental regulation. ...


Does Mother Earth get a vote?

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Wed, Oct 5, 2011
from Rolling Stone:
Climate Change and the End of Australia
Want to know what global warming has in store for us? Just go to Australia, where rivers are drying up, reefs are dying, and fires and floods are ravaging the continent...In the past year -- one of the hottest on record -- extreme weather has battered almost every corner of the planet. There have been devastating droughts in China and India, unprecedented floods and wildfires in the United States, and near-record ice melts in the Arctic. Yet the prosperous nations of the world have failed to take action to reduce the risk of climate change, in part because people in prosperous nations think they're invulnerable. They're under the misapprehension that, as Nobel Prize-winning economist Tom Schelling puts it, "Global warming is a problem that is going to primarily affect future generations of poor people." To see how foolish this reasoning is, one need only look at Australia, a prosperous nation that also happens to be right in the cross hairs of global warming. "Sadly, it's probably too late to save much of it," says Joe Romm, a leading climate advocate who served as assistant energy secretary in the Clinton administration. ...


This continent, apparently, is not too big to fail.

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Tue, Oct 4, 2011
from New York Times:
TransCanada Pipeline Foes See U.S. Bias in E-Mails
With the Obama administration about to decide whether to green-light a controversial pipeline to take crude oil from Canada's oil sands to the Gulf Coast, e-mails released Monday paint a picture of a sometimes warm and collaborative relationship between lobbyists for the company building the billion-dollar pipeline and officials in the State Department, the agency that has final say over the pipeline... The e-mails, the second batch to be released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the environmental group Friends of the Earth, show a senior State Department official at the United States Embassy in Ottawa procuring invitations to Fourth of July parties for TransCanada officials, sharing information with the company about Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's meetings and cheering on TransCanada in its quest to gain approval of the giant pipeline, which could carry 700,000 barrels a day. ...


We're all just one big happy family burning down our house!

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Sat, Oct 1, 2011
from ThinkProgress:
Too Hot for Chocolate? Climate Change Could Decimate the $9 Billion Cocoa Industry, Study Finds
Half of the world's cocoa supply comes from the West African countries of Ghana and Cte d'Ivoire. But in the coming decades, climate change could severely limit production in the region -- disrupting local farmers and squeezing global chocolate supply. A new report out from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture finds that between 2030 and 2050, land area suitable for cocoa production will fall dramatically. While rising temperatures and changing rainfall pattern may shift cocoa production to land currently not suitable, the net impact to this $9 billion-per-year industry could be severe.... "Already we're seeing the effects of rising temperatures on cocoa crops currently produced in marginal areas, and with climate change these areas are certain to spread. At a time when global demand for chocolate is rising fast, particularly in China, there is already upward pressure on prices. It's not inconceivable that this, combined with the impact of climate change, could cause chocolate prices to increase sharply."b ...


The food of the Gods, in peril? What hath God wrought?

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Thu, Sep 29, 2011
from The Independent:
World's leading climate sceptic sees his funding melt away fast
Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and bete noire of climate change activists around the world, has been told that the incoming Danish government will cut off his 1m a year funding. Mr Lomborg, whose 2001 book suggested the planet should adapt to global warming rather than wasting resources trying to prevent it, has made his name by accusing scientists and others of exaggerating the extent and effects of climate change.... "The reason he received funding in the first place was ideological," said Ms Auken, environment spokesman for SF, the junior partner in the incoming coalition. "We believe that it is wrong to give funding to specific ideological researchers."... The centre has received funding from private sources in the past, including the Carlsberg Group and the EU. However, the lion's share of its income comes from the Danish state. ...


Cue the conspiracy-theorist outrage.

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Wed, Sep 28, 2011
from Salon:
One Republican candidate's hellfire
George Bush Park burst into flames on Sept. 13, one month to the day after Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his candidacy for president of the United States. In a summer of fierce wildfires across Texas, the George Bush Park blaze was the first big fire to erupt inside the city limits of a major metropolis -- in this case, Houston, the nation's fourth largest city and the headquarters of the oil and gas industry, a major contributor to the man-made global warming that Gov. Perry famously insists does not exist... Sizable though it was, the George Bush Park fire was a minor fire in the context of Texas 2011. Some 3.7 million acres of Texas have burned in the last 12 months, an area roughly equal to the state of Connecticut. Fires are still burning today, as the Texas Forest Service reports, yet Gov. Perry has offered little in the way of relief but the power of prayer and positive thinking. ...


Dear God: Please don't vote for Rick Perry.

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Wed, Sep 28, 2011
from New York Times:
Climate Change and the Exodus of Species
To most humans, so far, climate change is still more of an idea than an experience. For other species, it is an immediate reality. Many will be left behind as the climate alters, unable to move quickly enough or with nowhere to move to. Others are already adapting. An iconic example of these swift changes is the recent discovery that Atlantic and Pacific populations of bowhead whales -- long kept apart by the frozen Arctic -- are now overlapping in the open waters of the Northwest Passage. A team of scientists from the University of York examined the movement of 2,000 animal and plant species over the past decade. According to their study, published in Science last month, in their exodus from increasing heat, species have moved, on average, 13.3 yards higher in altitude -- twice the predicted rate -- and 11 miles higher in latitude -- three times faster than expected. These changes have happened most rapidly where the climate has warmed the most. Chris Thomas, an author of the study, says, these changes "are equivalent to animals and plants shifting away from the equator at around 20 centimeters per hour" for the past 40 years. ...


Eat. my. dust.

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Sun, Sep 25, 2011
from AP, via PhysOrg:
The American 'allergy' to global warming: Why?
Tucked between treatises on algae and prehistoric turquoise beads, the study on page 460 of a long-ago issue of the U.S. journal Science drew little attention. "I don't think there were any newspaper articles about it or anything like that," the author recalls. But the headline on the 1975 report was bold: "Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?" And this article that coined the term may have marked the last time a mention of "global warming" didn't set off an instant outcry of angry denial. In the paper, Columbia University geoscientist Wally Broecker calculated how much carbon dioxide would accumulate in the atmosphere in the coming 35 years, and how temperatures consequently would rise. His numbers have proven almost dead-on correct. Meanwhile, other powerful evidence poured in over those decades, showing the "greenhouse effect" is real and is happening. And yet resistance to the idea among many in the U.S. appears to have hardened.... These changes will feed on themselves: Released methane leads to warmer skies, which will release more methane. Ice-free Arctic waters absorb more of the sun's heat than do reflective ice and snow, and so melt will beget melt. The frozen Arctic is a controller of Northern Hemisphere climate; an unfrozen one could upend age-old weather patterns across continents. ...


That was more than 35 years ago. Thank goodness we've evolved since then!

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Thu, Sep 22, 2011
from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Arctic sea ice reaches minimum 2011 extent, the second lowest in the satellite record
The blanket of sea ice that floats on the Arctic Ocean appears to have reached its lowest extent for 2011, the second lowest recorded since satellites began measuring it in 1979, according to the University of Colorado Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center.... While this year's September minimum extent was greater than the all-time low in 2007, it remains significantly below the long-term average and well outside the range of natural climate variability, according to scientists involved in the analysis. Most scientists believe the shrinking Arctic sea ice is tied to warming temperatures caused by an increase in human-produced greenhouse gases pumped into Earth's atmosphere. ...


All the news stories last week were about a record. See how those warmists exaggerate?

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Wed, Sep 21, 2011
from CBS News:
EPA grants air permit to Shell for Arctic drilling
Shell Oil Co. on Monday took a step closer to tapping vast petroleum reserves off Alaska's Arctic coasts when the federal Environmental Protection Agency approved an air quality permit for one of the company's drilling vessels. The EPA approved the air permit for the drilling vessel Noble Discover, which Shell hopes to use for exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast, and its support fleet of oil spill response and supply vessels. Shell Alaska spokesman Curtis Smith said the permit was a hopeful step. "The delivery of final air permits for our exploration program is another in a series of recent, positive developments and adds to our confidence that we will be drilling our offshore Alaska leases by July of next year," Smith said in an email. ...


Way to go, EPA! That'll get the GOP on your side.

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Tue, Sep 20, 2011
from Reuters:
"Missing" global heat may hide in deep oceans
The mystery of Earth's missing heat may have been solved: it could lurk deep in oceans, temporarily masking the climate-warming effects of greenhouse gas emissions, researchers reported on Sunday. Climate scientists have long wondered where this so-called missing heat was going, especially over the last decade, when greenhouse emissions kept increasing but world air temperatures did not rise correspondingly. The build-up of energy and heat in Earth's system is important to track because of its bearing on current weather and future climate... Computer simulations suggest most of it was trapped in layers of oceans deeper than 1,000 feet (305 metres) during periods like the last decade when air temperatures failed to warm as much as they might have. ...


That's where I'd hide the heat.

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Thu, Sep 15, 2011
from Agence France-Press:
Nobel physicist quits US group over climate stance
Norwegian physicist and Nobel laureate Ivar Giaever has quit a major US physics society due to its stance on global warming, a spokeswoman for the group told AFP Thursday. "I can confirm he has resigned," American Physical Society spokeswoman Tawanda Johnson said, noting that Giaever, 82, sent a letter to that effect to the group's executive director Kate Kirby on Tuesday. "His reason is that he takes issue with APS's stance on climate change." The APS, which is a member organization of 48,000, adopted a national policy statement in 2007 which states: "The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring." ...


Old farts produce the most methane.

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Wed, Sep 14, 2011
from Wall Street Journal:
Coal Industry Backs Boehner
U.S. coal companies have pumped $1.5 million into House Speaker John Boehner's political operation this year, a sign of the industry's beefed-up efforts to fight new and proposed regulations from the Obama administration. The coal industry now ranks as one of the top sources of cash for the Ohio Republican, rivaling such perennial GOP donors as Wall Street and the real-estate industry. A large part of the coal industry's donations came in a single week at the end of June. ...


all that coal money / must be giving Congressman / Boehner a woody

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Wed, Sep 14, 2011
from The Daily Climate:
Al Gore is back
He has shared the Nobel Prize, won an Emmy, was the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, served as vice president and took the popular vote for the presidency. Few can point to so many achievements as Al Gore, yet few have fallen so flatly with the public they strive to inspire. Five years after An Inconvenient Truth hit the big screen, Gore is back trying to whip up public awareness on climate change with a revised version of his now-famous slide show... some media observers say, is that Al Gore has become the brand: No one else with anything approaching his stature has taken up the climate cause, yet his personality is wooden and his style didactic. ...


Still, he'll be more than a mere tasty morsel in the post-Apocalypse.

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Fri, Sep 9, 2011
from Associated Press:
UN chief calls for urgent action on climate change
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday that urgent action was needed on climate change, pointing to the famine in the Horn of Africa and devastating floods in northern Australia as examples of the suffering caused by global warming. Ban lashed out at climate change skeptics during a speech at the University of Sydney, arguing that science has proven climate change is real..."Watching this high tide standing on the shore of Kiribati, I said, 'High tide shows it's high time to act,'" Ban said. "We are running out of time." ...


"High" this... "high" that... I just want to get high.

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Fri, Sep 9, 2011
from NOAA:
U.S. experiences second warmest summer on record
The blistering heat experienced by the nation during August, as well as the June through August months, marks the second warmest summer on record according to scientists at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, N.C. The persistent heat, combined with below-average precipitation across the southern U.S. during August and the three summer months, continued a record-breaking drought across the region. ...


Gee, thanks, NOAA; next you'll be telling us there's no need to build an ark.

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Tue, Sep 6, 2011
from Climate Central:
Insurance Companies Unprepared for Climate Change, Report Says
Across much of Vermont, New York, and New Jersey this week, home and business owners have been coping with devastating flood damage unleashed by Hurricane Irene. The immense storm is already listed as one of the costliest natural disasters in American history, and total damage expenses will probably surpass $10 billion. Unfortunately, for most people affected by the storm, standard insurance doesn't cover flooding, which means individuals will be footing repair bills on their own. But insurance companies aren't off the hook in the wake of Irene. In a year with a record number of billion-dollar weather disasters, Hurricane Irene has added to an already expensive year for insurers.... According to the Ceres report, most insurance companies are unprepared for how to cope with the risks that a warmer climate poses. ...


Sounds like the insurance companies need insurance companies with insurance...

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Mon, Sep 5, 2011
from New York Times:
A Debate Arises on Job Creation and Environment
Do environmental regulations kill jobs? Republicans and business groups say yes, arguing that environmental protection is simply too expensive for a battered economy. They were quick to claim victory Friday after the Obama administration abandoned stricter ozone pollution standards. Many economists agree that regulation comes with undeniable costs that can affect workers. Factories may close because of the high cost of cleanup, or owners may relocate to countries with weaker regulations. ...


My job is to die prematurely due to toxic pollution.

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Thu, Sep 1, 2011
from UC-Davis, via EurekAlert:
Warming streams could be the end for salmon
Warming streams could spell the end of spring-run Chinook salmon in California by the end of the century, according to a study by scientists at UC Davis, the Stockholm Environment Institute and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. There are options for managing water resources to protect the salmon runs, although they would impact hydroelectric power generation, said Lisa Thompson, director of the Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture at UC Davis.... They fed in scenarios for climate change out to 2099 from models developed by David Yates at NCAR in Boulder, Colo. In almost all scenarios, the fish died out because streams became too warm for adults to survive the summer to spawn in the fall. The only option that preserved salmon populations, at least for a few decades, was to reduce diversions for hydropower generation at the warmest time of the year. "If we leave the water in the stream at key times of the year, the stream stays cooler and fish can make it through to the fall," Thompson said.... Salmon are already under stress from multiple causes, including pollution, and introduced predators and competitors, Thompson said. Even if those problems were solved, temperature alone would finish off the salmon -- but that problem can be fixed, she said. ...


My money is on the nano-powered CoolingSalmonSuits.

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Thu, Sep 1, 2011
from Associated Press:
Federal agency lifts Alaska scientist's suspension
An Alaska scientist whose observations of drowned polar bears spurred national publicity on climate warming returned to work Friday at the federal agency that oversees offshore petroleum drilling. Dr. Charles Monnett was suspended from his job at the Anchorage office of the Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management, Regulation and Enforcement after federal inspectors said he helped a polar bear researcher prepare a proposal even though he was the government official responsible for determining whether the proposal met minimum qualifications. He was away from his job for the last six weeks. But advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility has claimed Monnett was targeted for his 2006 paper in a scientific journal on the drowned polar bears. ...


It would seem scientists are a threatened species as well.

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Thu, Aug 25, 2011
from Reuters:
Polar bear death at BP oil field under investigation
Federal authorities are investigating the fatal shooting of a polar bear at an Alaska oil field operated by BP, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the oil company said on Thursday. The female bear was shot in early August by a security guard working for a BP contractor and died of its wounds about 11 days later, the agency and BP officials said. BP said the guard had been trying to ward off the bear rather than kill it and believed he was firing nonlethal ammunition....Polar bears, considered to be at risk because the Arctic sea ice they depend upon is dwindling, are listed as threatened with extinction under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. They are also managed under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which generally forbids hunting of the animals. ...


BP can either wait for global warming to kill them or take matters into their own hands.

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Tue, Aug 23, 2011
from ABC News:
Jon Huntsman Comes Out Swinging Against GOP Rivals
Former Utah Governor and U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman came out swinging against his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, taking aim at Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann for statements made on the campaign trail about global warming, gas prices, and the Federal Reserve. Huntsman warned that his opponents' stances on the "extreme end" may make them "unelectable" in the general election.... "The minute that the Republican Party becomes the party -- the anti-science party, we have a huge problem," Huntsman told ABC News Senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper. "We lose a whole lot of people who would otherwise allow us to win the election in 2012." "When we take a position that isn't willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said -- about what is causing climate change and man's contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science, and, therefore, in a losing position," Huntsman added. ...


A pro-science Republican? What's the world coming to?

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Thu, Aug 18, 2011
from Associated Press:
Perry says he doesn't believe in global warming
GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry told New Hampshire voters Wednesday that he does not believe in manmade global warming, calling it a scientific theory that has not been proven. "I think we're seeing almost weekly, or even daily, scientists that are coming forward and questioning the original idea that manmade global warming is what is causing the climate to change," the Texas governor said on the first stop of a two-day trip to the first-in-the-nation primary state. He said some want billions or trillions of taxpayer dollars spent to address the issue, but he added: "I don't think from my perspective that I want to be engaged in spending that much money on still a scientific theory that has not been proven and from my perspective is more and more being put into question." ...


How do we know for sure that Rick Perry exists?

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Tue, Aug 9, 2011
from ThinkProgress:
Arctic Death Spiral: Sea Ice Passes De Facto Tipping Point Thanks to Deniers, Media Blow The Story, Again
The Arctic is all but certain to be virtually ice free within two decades (barring extreme volcanic activity). I'm happy to make bets with any bloggers, like Andy Revkin, who apparently believe otherwise. The recent scientific literature makes clear that while that death spiral could theoretically be reversed, it would require policies that climate science deniers have successfully demonized, policies many in the traditional media regularly pooh pooh or undercut. So we have passed a de facto tipping point, "the critical point in an evolving situation that leads to a new and irreversible development." If that wasn't obvious from observations, then it should have been clear from a December study in Nature widely misunderstood by the media. That study showed sea ice extent crashing by two thirds by the 2030s and then collapsing to near-zero shortly thereafter -- unless we cut GHG emissions about 60 percent to 70 percent almost immediately and have further cuts after that, an implausible assumption the authors never spelled out clearly.... The best recent models show staggeringly high Arctic warming this century if we stay on our current emissions path (see "M.I.T. doubles its 2095 warming projection to 10 deg F -- with 866 ppm and Arctic warming of 20 deg F"). Cooling ain't in the cards. Quite the reverse. ...


But with three or four percent of the experts thinking differently, there's reason for hope!

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Sat, Aug 6, 2011
from Agence France-Press:
US opens ways for Shell drilling in Arctic Ocean
US officials have granted Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell conditional approval to begin drilling exploration wells in the Arctic Ocean from next year, in a move swiftly slammed by conservationists as "inexcusable." The US Interior Department has opened the doors to Shell's proposal for four shallow water exploration wells in Alaska's Beaufort Sea to start in July 2012, said the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) in a statement Thursday. ...


The Apocalypse has now officially commenced.

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Fri, Aug 5, 2011
from Agence France-Press:
Arctic ice cap near 2007 record minimum: Russia
The polar ice cap in the Arctic has melted to near its 2007 record minimum level and in some areas is 50 percent smaller than average, Russia's environmental monitoring agency said Thursday. "According to the results of observations, the Arctic ice sheet is currently near the minimum that was observed in 2007 in the polar region," the Roshydromet agency said in a statement. It said the ice sheet covered an area of 6.8 billion square kilometres (2.6 billion square miles) and was much smaller than normal in Russia's Arctic seas.... "In September we can expect very easy navigation conditions in the Northern sea route," it said. ...


Whew! For some reason, I thought this was going to be bad news!

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Thu, Aug 4, 2011
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Record breaking UK spring due to warm weather
The Woodland Trust survey of 40,000 volunteers found that the traditional signs of spring were on average 17 days earlier because of the hot weather in April. The orange-tipped butterfly was spotted almost a month early on 13th April, the earliest sighting since records began in 1891. The horse chestnut, dog rose and purple lilac also broke records for coming into leaf early.... Professor Tim Sparks, nature advisor to the Woodland Trust, said it was the earliest spring since 'bulk recording' began. People were also mowing lawns early and spotting rooks nesting and frog spawn in ponds early. "We had a cold winter but this was followed by a particularly warm and dry spring, which included the warmest April on record. This warmth is undoubtedly the main factor which led to many events occurring earlier than usual. ...


Some records were not made to be broken.

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Wed, Aug 3, 2011
from Reuters:
Himalaya glaciers shrinking on global warming, some may disappear
Three Himalaya glaciers have been shrinking over the last 40 years due to global warming and two of them, located in humid regions and on lower altitudes in central and east Nepal, may disappear in time to come, researchers in Japan said on Tuesday. Using global positioning system and simulation models, they found that the shrinkage of two of the glaciers -- Yala in central and AX010 in eastern Nepal -- had accelerated in the past 10 years compared with the 1970s and 1980s... "For Yala and AX, these regions showed significant warming ... that's why the rate of shrinking was accelerated," Fujita told Reuters by telephone. "Yala and AX will disappear but we are not sure when..." ...


In time to come? Researchers are now plying poetry to persuade.

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Wed, Aug 3, 2011
from Greenwire:
House Democrats Take Aim at GOP Environmental Voting Record
The Republican-led House has voted to "stop," "block" or "undermine" efforts to protect the environment 110 times since taking over the majority in January, two senior Democrats said last week. Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.), who sponsored a bill that passed the House in 2009 that would have established a cap-and-trade scheme for greenhouse gas emissions, said the current House has done more to scuttle environmental protections than any in history. "The new Republican majority seems intent on restoring the robber-baron era where there were no controls on pollution from power plants, oil refineries and factories," said Waxman, who serves as top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee. Natural Resources ranking member Markey, meanwhile, said the Republican agenda was a rifle "pointed right at the heart of America's clean energy future." ...


Republicans are good people who just tend to prefer a crappy, deadly environment.

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Tue, Jul 26, 2011
from Solve Climate News:
Climate Change Forcing Buried Toxics Back Into Atmosphere, Scientists Say
During the industrial boom of the mid-twentieth century thousands of man-made chemicals were created to make chemical processes and products stronger and more durable. The substances became useful in pest control and crop production, but it wasn't long before they also proved deadly, causing cancers, birth defects and other health problems. Known as persistent organic pollutants (or POPs), this group of the world's most toxic compounds takes decades to degrade as they circulate through Earth's oceans and the atmosphere, gradually accumulating in the fatty tissues of humans and wildlife.... Climatologists at Environment Canada, the Canadian environmental agency, found that as climate change heats up oceans and melts sea ice and snow, the buried pollutants, known as legacy POPs, are being re-released back into the atmosphere. ...


What goes around comes around... and kills us.

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Thu, Jul 21, 2011
from National Geographic News:
Longest Polar Bear Swim Recorded--426 Miles Straight
A female polar bear swam for a record-breaking nine days straight, traversing 426 miles (687 kilometers) of water -- equivalent to the distance between Washington, D.C., and Boston, a new study says. The predator made her epic journey in the Beaufort Sea..., where sea ice is shrinking due to global warming, forcing mother bears to swim greater and greater distances to reach land -- to the peril of their cubs. The cub of the record-setting bear, for instance, died at some point between starting the swim and when the researchers next observed the mother on land. She also lost 22 percent of her body weight. ...


You go, girl!

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Wed, Jul 20, 2011
from Agence France-Press:
Act now on climate, no need to wait: top UN scientist
The key facts on global warming are already known and leaders should not wait for the next edition of the UN climate panel's report to step up action, the body's top scientist told AFP. The 4th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released in 2007, "is very clear," Rajendra Pachauri said Monday in Paris, ahead of a five-day meeting of the body in Brest, France. The fifth multi-volume assessment, which summarizes peer-reviewed science to help policy makers make decisions, is due out in 2013-2014. "We have enough evidence, enough scientific findings which should convince people that action has to be taken," he said after a round-table discussion with France's environment minister, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet. ...


I don't know how you can have "a round-table discussion" with just two people!

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Tue, Jul 19, 2011
from Los Angeles Times:
Meat Eater's Guide ranks foods by environmental, health effects
Lamb, beef and cheese generate the most greenhouse gases of 20 popular meat, fish, dairy and vegetable proteins, according to a new study from the Environmental Working Group. The Meat Eater's Guide, released by the Washington-based environmental research firm, used a cradle-to-grave life-cycle assessment to determine each food's rank, including the amount of fertilizer used to grow animal feed, as well as data on each food's processing, transportation and disposal... The guide considers the effects of meat, fish, dairy and vegetable consumption on the environment and the climate, as well as human health and animal welfare. Ruminant livestock, such as sheep and cows, "release substantial amounts of methane," a greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, according to the guide. In the U.S., 149 million acres of cropland, 167 million pounds of pesticides and 17 billion pounds of nitrogen fertilizer are used just to grow livestock feed; U.S. livestock generate around 500 million tons of manure annually, which contributes to groundwater and air pollution, the guide said. ...


This heartburn is breaking my heart.

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Sat, Jul 16, 2011
from New York Times:
House Republicans Accuse EPA, Enviros of Collusion
Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) believes that U.S. EPA has worked out a nifty way to make an end run around both Congress and the federal regulatory process when it wants to implement a new rule that may be politically sensitive. All the agency has to do is get some green group to sue over some aspect of the desired rule, he said. Then EPA can roll over in the ensuing legal battle and head right to settlement proceedings, claiming it was "forced" by the court system and consent decrees to initiate the new rulemaking. It is a path devoid of both messy public comment periods and political accusations over whether EPA is moving unilaterally. And if that wasn't enough, the group that sues EPA can even get its legal expenses covered for its trouble, Whitfield said. ...


Those evildoers... Sounds like they're trying save the planet, dammit!

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Thu, Jul 14, 2011
from Huffington Post:
Global Warming: Nature Can't Save Us From Ourselves
The notion that nature itself will act as a check on the atmospheric excesses of humanity has long held a fair amount of appeal, not least because it draws on a nugget of high-school science that most people can quickly comprehend. Plants inhale carbon dioxide, after all -- they need it to grow. Add more CO2 to the air, as human civilization has been doing in copious amounts since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, and the result will surely be thicker, more expansive biomass.... It's a conviction readily embraced by climate skeptics.... But scientists generally agree that the influence of increased biomass will be modest, essentially acting like a brake on a runaway freight train. It might be able to slow steadily rising temperatures, but it will hardly be enough to stop global warming in its tracks.... "To solve the carbon-climate problem, we need to transform our energy system into one that does not dump its waste into the sky," Caldeira said. "Land plants help. It looks like they won't help quite as much as we thought they would. Clearly, we can't expect nature to solve our problems for us." ...


Aren't we lucky that just around the corner, there's technology to save us from ourselves!

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Thu, Jul 14, 2011
from The Daily Climate:
Economists find flaws in federal estimate of climate damage
Uncle Sam's estimate of the damage caused by each ton of carbon dioxide is fundamentally flawed and "grossly understates" the potential impacts of climate change, according to an analysis released Tuesday by a group of economists. The study found the true cost of those emissions to be far beyond the $21 per ton derived by the federal government. The figure, commonly known as the "social cost of carbon," is used by federal agencies when weighing the costs and benefits of emissions-cutting regulations, such as air conditioner efficiency standards and greenhouse gas emissions limits for light trucks. A truer value, according to the Economics for Equity and the Environment Network, an organization of economists who advocate for environmental protection, could be as high as $900 per ton - equivalent to adding $9 to each gallon of gas. Viewed another way, with the United States emitting the equivalent of close to 6 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, the higher figure suggests that avoiding those emissions could save the nation $5.3 trillion annually, one-third of the nation's economic output. ...


Uncle Sam is sure a funny uncle.

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Tue, Jul 12, 2011
from Deutsche Press-Agentur:
Mixed mating creates hybrid bears
Polar bears and brown bears are coming together again to survive the next major climate change, which is expected to have dire effects on their endangered populations, a study published Thursday said. Melting arctic ice, the result of global warming blamed on massive carbon emissions, could force polar bears into the natural home of the brown bear, setting the two species up for more genetic mixing, according to the study in the twice-monthly scientific journal Current Biology. "When they come into contact, there seems to be little barrier to them mating," said Beth Shapiro, researcher at The Pennsylvania State University. ...


Apparently, bears have no moral code.

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Mon, Jul 11, 2011
from PlanetForward:
Evolution and Climate: Thoreau's Woods Reveal Patterns
Primack combined his data with that of Henry David Thoreau, a 19th century naturalist, to illustrate that the effect of climate change on different plant species is biased against certain lineages. Groups of closely related plants that have not shifted the timing of traits (such as when they flower) to match changes in temperature have decreased in abundance due to climate change. Primack wanted to know how evolutionary relationships influence plant species' susceptibility to climate change. He and his students surveyed Thoreau's woods for flowering-time responses and abundance of the same plants Thoreau and other botanists counted a century and a half earlier. Thoreau's woods, located in the town of Concord, Massachusetts, are ideal for such studies because up to 60 percent of Concord land is protected or undeveloped.... More specifically, there was a correlation between flowering-time tracking of seasonal temperatures and changes in abundance, indicating that plant species that did not track temperatures have experienced greater declines than species that do track temperature. This pattern was found in plant families such as dogwood, mint, orchids and roses. The study is notable because it shows that climate change-induced species loss is happening and does not occur randomly. Entire lineages, encompassing many closely related species, are being lost completely. ...


Those lineages lead lives of quiet desperation.

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Fri, Jul 8, 2011
from New York Times:
E.P.A. Issues Tougher Rules for Power Plants
The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday issued new standards for power plants in 28 states that would sharply cut emissions of chemicals that have polluted forests, farms, lakes and streams across the Eastern United States for decades. The agency said the regulations, which will take effect in 2012, would reduce emissions of compounds that cause soot, smog and acid rain from hundreds of power plants by millions of tons at an additional cost to utilities of less than $1 billion a year. The E.P.A. said the cleaner air would prevent as many as 34,000 premature deaths, 15,000 nonfatal heart attacks and hundreds of thousands of cases of asthma and other respiratory ailments every year. ...


But... the healthier people are, the longer they live and the more electricity they'll need.

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Thu, Jul 7, 2011
from NOAA, via MotherJones:
Scary Maps of the New Climate Normal
NOAA just updated its Climate Normals for the United States. Per agreement of the World Meteorological Organization, "normals" are calculated per decade, rather than per year. NOAA's latest update is crunched from three-decades-worth of weather data between 1981 to 2010. The new annual normal temperatures for the US strongly reflect a warming world.... Parts of the Great Plains, the Mississippi Valley, and the Northeast experienced slightly cooler July maximums from 1981-2010 compared to 1971-2000 (top map). Far more striking are the January minimums (bottom map). Nighttime January temps were higher everywhere except the Southeast. Warmer nights were most pronounced in the northern plains and northern Rocky Mountains. In some places the new normal were several degrees warmer than the old normal. As you can see in the maps above, based on average year-round temperatures, every state experienced warmer temperatures in 1981-2010 compared to 1971-2000. ...


Yes, but what is the mean? or the mode? or the pangaiatic min-max hypotenuse that proves natural variation?

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Tue, Jul 5, 2011
from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Going beyond the IPCC 'worst case'
In order to see how climate models react over a wide range of greenhouse gas concentrations, researchers in the US have modelled emissions scenarios that are significantly higher than the IPCC's "worst case" scenarios. They found - perhaps unsurprisingly - that the extent of climate change will be significantly worse than for the IPCC's A1FI scenario. "Relative to the A1FI scenario, our highest scenario results in an additional 2 deg C (3.6F) of global mean warming above A1FI levels by 2100, a complete loss of Arctic summer sea ice by 2070 and an additional 43 percent sea level rise due to thermal expansion above A1FI levels by 2100," said Ben Sanderson from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the US.... The team also assumed that the shares of primary energy derived from different fuel sources remain fixed over time at 2000 levels; that is, the carbon intensity of energy supply is assumed to remain constant. In the second scenario (AllCoal), the researchers make more extreme assumptions. They maintain the A1FI per capita energy projection, but assume population follows the UN high scenario as implemented in the IPCC A2 scenario, reaching 15 billion by 2100. They also make the bounding assumption that all new demand for primary energy is satisfied by coal. "This assumption is not intended to represent a plausible future, but a useful thought experiment that could help inform the exploration of upper bounds on emissions," said Sanderson. "It is astounding, for example, that this combination of assumptions leads to emissions in 2100 that are about four times those in the A1FI scenario, or about 105 gigatonnes of carbon per year." ...


"Astounding" only if you believe in common sense directing the actions of societies.

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Fri, Jul 1, 2011
from MSNBC:
Report: Twenty-five years since global temperatures were below average
It's been more than 300 months since the average global average temperature was below average, scientists and the U.S. government said in the annual State of the Climate report released Tuesday. The experts tracked 41 climate indicators, four more than in the previous year, and "they all show a continued tendency," said Tom Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center. "The indicators show unequivocally that the world continues to warm." "There is a clear and unmistakable signal from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans," added Peter Thorne of the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites at North Carolina State University.... At the NOAA briefing, Karl added that the Greenland ice sheet lost more mass last year than any year in the last decade. Melting of the land-based ice sheets in places like Greenland, Antarctica and other regions has raised concerns about rising sea levels worldwide. "The arctic is changing faster that most of the rest of the world," added Walt Meier, a research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado. "This has long been expected." In addition, he said, the September Arctic sea ice extent was the third smallest in 30 years, older, thicker sea ice is disappearing, there is a shorter duration of snow cover, and the permafrost is melting. ...


Is that a new average reality hitting our head or are you just mad to see us?

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Thu, Jun 30, 2011
from NOAA:
State of the Climate for 2010 (PDF of slideshow)
Global average surface temperature among the two warmest of the instrumental record ~~ Greenland's ice sheet lost more mass in 2010 than at any time in the past ten years ~~ Consistent and unmistakable signal from the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the oceans ~~ Many extreme events at regional and local levels ~~ Trends in snow cover duration, permafrost, and vegetation continued or accelerated ~~ Record-setting temperatures along entire western Greenland, both near the ground and higher in the atmosphere ~~ 2010 report tracks 41 climate indicators. Long-term trends continue to show the world is warming. ...


All that, in twelve slides?!?

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Tue, Jun 28, 2011
from Reuters:
American climate skeptic Soon funded by oil, coal firms
Willie Soon, a U.S. climate change skeptic who has also discounted the health risks of mercury emissions from coal, has received more than $1 million in funding in recent years from large energy companies and an oil industry group, according to Greenpeace. Soon, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has also gotten funding from scientific sources including NASA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But starting early in the last decade, Soon began receiving more funding from the energy companies, Greenpeace reported. Last year, the foundation of Charles Koch, chairman and CEO of privately held Koch Industries, gave Soon $65,000 to study how variations in the Sun are related to climate change. Koch is co-owned by David Koch, founder of Americans for Prosperity, a group aligned with the Tea Party movement, which opposes new air pollution regulations.... Southern gave Soon $120,000 starting in 2008 to study the Sun's relation to climate change, according to the FOIA documents. Spokeswoman Stephanie Kirijan said Southern has spent about $500 million on environmental research and development and funding and did not fund Soon last year.... Soon also got $131,000 from oil major Exxon Mobil Corp in 2007 and 2008 received grants to study the Sun's role in climate change and global warming in the Arctic, Greenpeace said. ...


There's probably a joke about prostitutes and Koch, but it's eluding me....

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Wed, Jun 22, 2011
from Al Gore, in Rolling Stone:
Climate of Denial: Can science and the truth withstand the merchants of poison?
Maybe it's just easier, psychologically, to swallow the lie that these scientists who devote their lives to their work are actually greedy deceivers and left-wing extremists -- and that we should instead put our faith in the pseudoscientists financed by large carbon polluters whose business plans depend on their continued use of the atmospheric commons as a place to dump their gaseous, heat-trapping waste without limit or constraint, free of charge. The truth is this: What we are doing is functionally insane. If we do not change this pattern, we will condemn our children and all future generations to struggle with ecological curses for several millennia to come. Twenty percent of the global-warming pollution we spew into the sky each day will still be there 20,000 years from now! ... Continuing on our current course would be suicidal for global civilization. But the key question is: How do we drive home that fact in a democratic society when questions of truth have been converted into questions of power? When the distinction between what is true and what is false is being attacked relentlessly, and when the referee in the contest between truth and falsehood has become an entertainer...? The best available evidence demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that the reckless spewing of global-warming pollution in obscene quantities into the atmospheric commons is having exactly the consequences long predicted by scientists who have analyzed the known facts according to the laws of physics. ...


That guy is so inconvenient.

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Tue, Jun 21, 2011
from NSF, via EurekAlert:
Fastest sea-level rise in 2 millennia linked to increasing global temperatures
he rate of sea level rise along the U.S. Atlantic coast is greater now than at any time in the past 2,000 years--and has shown a consistent link between changes in global mean surface temperature and sea level. The findings are published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).... The team found that sea level was relatively stable from 200 BC to 1,000 AD. Then in the 11th century, sea level rose by about half a millimeter each year for 400 years, linked with a warm climate period known as the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Then there was a second period of stable sea level during a cooler period called the Little Ice Age. It persisted until the late 19th century. Since the late 19th century, sea level has risen by more than 2 millimeters per year on average, the steepest rate for more than 2,100 years. "Sea-level rise is a potentially disastrous outcome of climate change," says Horton, "as rising temperatures melt land-based ice, and warm ocean waters." ...


It can be beautiful when the laws of physics work together.

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Mon, Jun 20, 2011
from RealClimate:
What if the Sun went into a new Grand Minimum?
An analysis of historic sunspot observations shows that the 11-year solar activity cycle was interrupted during the late 17th century. This period of time, during which the Sun appeared without sunspots most of the time, was called the Maunder Minimum by Jack Eddy in his famous Science paper.... The Maunder Minimum falls within the climatically cooler period of the "Little Ice Age", during which temperatures were particularly low over continents in the Northern hemisphere (especially in winter). It has long been suspected that the low solar activity during the Maunder Minimum was one of the causes of the Little Ice Age, although other factors like a small drop in greenhouse gas concentrations around 1600 and strong volcanic eruptions during that time likely played a role as well.... According to these results, a 21st-century Maunder Minimum would only slightly diminish future warming. Moreover, it would be only a temporary effect since all known grand solar minima have only lasted for a few decades.... However, our model reproduces the historic Maunder minimum with these estimates of solar irradiance. Furthermore, even if one multiplied the solar effects by a huge factor of 5 (which is unrealistic), no absolute cooling would take place (the temperatures would be temporarily cooler than the base scenario, but the trends would still be warming). It is clear that if a grand minimum were to happen it would be a tremendously exciting opportunity for solar physicists, however it is unlikely to be very exciting for anyone else. ...


I was so counting on a solus ex machina.

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Sun, Jun 19, 2011
from Anchorage Daily News:
Arctic warming even faster than predicted, scientists say
Surface temperatures in the Arctic since 2005 have been higher than for any five-year period since record keeping began in 1880, according to a new report from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, an international group within the Arctic Council that monitors the Arctic environment and provides advice on Arctic environmental protection. The rate of sea-ice decline has accelerated and the decline rate in the past 10 years has been higher than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted in 2007, the report says.... Temperatures in the Arctic permafrost have risen by up to 3.5 degrees in the past two to three decades, and the southern limit of the permafrost has been moving north, with the limit having retreated by 80 miles in the past 50 years in the Canadian province of Quebec, for example, the report says.... And, in terms of mitigation, deep and immediate cuts are required in the emission of the greenhouse gases that most scientists blame for the high, observed rate of global warming, the report says. ...


Like I've been saying for years, we've got Nature on the run!

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Wed, Jun 15, 2011
from London Daily Telegraph:
Cows are having fewer calves because of climate change
Warmer springs are encouraging cows to breed earlier in the year so their calves are born in the middle of winter, when they have less chance of survival The changes have been observed in a herd of cattle in Chillingham, Northumberland, which were first studied by Charles Darwin, the biologist. Dr Sarah Burthe, of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, studied the change in breeding patterns over the last 60 years. She said: "Winter-born calves don't do very well and are more likely to die before they reach the age of one. This suggests that the cattle are responding to climate change but this is having a negative impact on them." ...


No worries; we can always clone 'em!

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Wed, Jun 15, 2011
from Reuters:
U.S. EPA delays rollout of CO2 rule on power plants
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under pressure from Republicans and big utilities, said on Monday it had extended a deadline by two months on draft rules that would for the first time limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The EPA said it had moved the date for proposing the rule from July 26 to Sept. 30 after listening to businesses and states that will have to implement the regulation. The rule, known as a performance standard, would limit the amount of carbon dioxide that U.S. power plants may emit. ...


Sounds like the EPA is having performance anxiety.

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Tue, Jun 14, 2011
from London Guardian:
Climate change should be excluded from curriculum, says adviser
Climate change should not be included in the national curriculum, the government adviser in charge of overhauling the school syllabus in England has said. Tim Oates, whose wide-ranging review of the curriculum for five- to 16-year-olds will be published later this year, said it should be up to schools to decide whether - and how - to teach climate change, and other topics about the effect scientific processes have on our lives.... ...


It seems the tea party has made its way to England.

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Fri, Jun 10, 2011
from BBC:
Global warming since 1995 'now significant'
By widespread convention, scientists use a minimum threshold of 95 percent to assess whether a trend is likely to be down to an underlying cause, rather than emerging by chance. If a trend meets the 95 percent threshold, it basically means that the odds of it being down to chance are less than one in 20. Last year's analysis, which went to 2009, did not reach this threshold; but adding data for 2010 takes it over the line. "The trend over the period 1995-2009 was significant at the 90 percent level, but wasn't significant at the standard 95 percent level that people use," Professor Jones told BBC News. "Basically what's changed is one more year [of data]. That period 1995-2009 was just 15 years - and because of the uncertainty in estimating trends over short periods, an extra year has made that trend significant at the 95 percent level which is the traditional threshold that statisticians have used for many years. "It just shows the difficulty of achieving significance with a short time series, and that's why longer series - 20 or 30 years - would be a much better way of estimating trends and getting significance on a consistent basis." ...


Now they tell us.

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Thu, Jun 9, 2011
from Los Angeles Times:
Former Interior secretary calls out Obama on the environment
President Obama has failed to answer Republican attacks on environmental safeguards "forcefully and persuasively" and to articulate his own vision for conserving American wilderness and water, former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt charged Tuesday. Babbitt, who served under President Clinton, said in an interview that he would lay out his concerns about the Republican environmental agenda and the Obama administration's response in a speech in Washington on Wednesday. ...


Babbitt, Run

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Wed, Jun 8, 2011
from London Guardian:
Australian climate scientists receive death threats
A number of Australia's leading climate scientists have been moved into safer accommodation after receiving death threats, in a further escalation of the country's increasingly febrile carbon price debate. The revelation of the death threats follows a week of bitter exchanges between the government and the opposition in the wake of a pro-carbon price TV advert featuring actor Cate Blanchett. The Australia National University (ANU) in Canberra said that it has moved a number of its climate scientists to a secure facility after they received a large number of threatening emails and phone calls. ...


The planet has been receiving death threats from us all for some time.

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Tue, Jun 7, 2011
from Sydney Australian:
Warming sceptic has frosty reception
PARLIAMENTARIANS from Julia Gillard down appear ready to give the cold shoulder to Czech President Vaclav Klaus, an outspoken climate change sceptic, when he visits Australia next month. Mr Klaus, a critic of the theory of human-caused global warming, will attend a series of seminars organised by the Institute of Public Affairs think tank. ...


They ought to thumb their noses at him, too!

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Tue, Jun 7, 2011
from Stanford University via ScienceDaily:
Climate Scientists Forecast Permanently Hotter Summers
The tropics and much of the Northern Hemisphere are likely to experience an irreversible rise in summer temperatures within the next 20 to 60 years if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase, according to a new climate study by Stanford University scientists... "According to our projections, large areas of the globe are likely to warm up so quickly that, by the middle of this century, even the coolest summers will be hotter than the hottest summers of the past 50 years," said the study's lead author, Noah Diffenbaugh... ...


Just so the winters are bone-chillin' frigid!

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Tue, Jun 7, 2011
from Associated Press:
Greenhouse gas emissions hitting record highs
Despite 20 years of effort, greenhouse gas emissions are going up instead of down, hitting record highs as climate negotiators gather to debate a new global warming accord. The new report by the International Energy Agency showing high emissions from fossil fuels is one of several pieces of bad news facing delegates from about 180 countries heading to Bonn, Germany, for two weeks of talks beginning Monday...The figures are "a serious setback" to hopes of limiting the rise in the Earth's average temperature to 2 degrees Celsius (3.8 F) above preindustrial levels, he said. Any rise beyond that, scientists believe, could lead to catastrophic climate shifts affecting water supplies and global agriculture, setting off more frequent and fierce storms and causing a rise in sea levels that would endanger coastlines. ...


Sounds eerily like what's happening now.

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Sat, Jun 4, 2011
from University of Bristol via ScienceDaily:
Ocean Acidification Leaves Clownfish Deaf to Predators
Baby clownfish use hearing to detect and avoid predator-rich coral reefs during the daytime, but new research from the University of Bristol demonstrates that ocean acidification could threaten this crucial behavior within the next few decades. Since the Industrial Revolution, over half of all the CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels has been absorbed by the ocean, making pH drop faster than any time in the last 650,000 years and resulting in ocean acidification. Recent studies have shown that this causes fish to lose their sense of smell, but a new study published in Biology Letters shows that fish hearing is also compromised. ...


Maybe their eyesight will become enhanced.

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Thu, Jun 2, 2011
from Newsweek:
Are You Ready for More?
...Even those who deny the existence of global climate change are having trouble dismissing the evidence of the last year. In the U.S. alone, nearly 1,000 tornadoes have ripped across the heartland, killing more than 500 people and inflicting $9 billion in damage. The Midwest suffered the wettest April in 116 years, forcing the Mississippi to flood thousands of square miles, even as drought-plagued Texas suffered the driest month in a century. Worldwide, the litany of weather's extremes has reached biblical proportions. The 2010 heat wave in Russia killed an estimated 15,000 people. Floods in Australia and Pakistan killed 2,000 and left large swaths of each country under water. A months-long drought in China has devastated millions of acres of farmland. And the temperature keeps rising: 2010 was the hottest year on earth since weather records began. From these and other extreme-weather events, one lesson is sinking in with terrifying certainty. The stable climate of the last 12,000 years is gone. Which means you haven't seen anything yet. And we are not prepared. ...


Whither weather withers our wherewithal.

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Wed, Jun 1, 2011
from Purdue University via Science Daily:
Climate Change Allows Invasive Weed to Outcompete Local Species
Yellow starthistle already causes millions of dollars in damage to pastures in western states each year, and as climate changes, land managers can expect the problem with that weed and others to escalate. When exposed to increased carbon dioxide, precipitation, nitrogen and temperature -- all expected results of climate change -- yellow starthistle in some cases grew to six times its normal size while the other grassland species remained relatively unchanged... ...


And the yellow starthistle shall inherit the earth.

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Wed, Jun 1, 2011
from BBC:
Rising food prices increase squeeze on poor - Oxfam
Rising food prices are tightening the squeeze on populations already struggling to buy adequate food, demanding radical reform of the global food system, Oxfam has warned. By 2030, the average cost of key crops could increase by between 120 percent and 180 percent, the charity forecasts. It is the acceleration of a trend which has already seen food prices double in the last 20 years. Half of the rise to come will be caused by climate change, Oxfam predicts. ...


I'll just eat half as much.

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Mon, May 30, 2011
from Guardian, from DesdemonaDespair:
Worst ever CO2 emissions last year: less than 2 degrees C nearly impossible
Greenhouse gas emissions increased by a record amount last year, to the highest carbon output in history, putting hopes of holding global warming to safe levels all but out of reach, according to unpublished estimates from the International Energy Agency. The shock rise means the goal of preventing a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius - which scientists say is the threshold for potentially "dangerous climate change" - is likely to be just "a nice Utopia", according to Fatih Birol, chief economist of the IEA. It also shows the most serious global recession for 80 years has had only a minimal effect on emissions, contrary to some predictions. Last year, a record 30.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide poured into the atmosphere, mainly from burning fossil fuel - a rise of 1.6Gt on 2009, according to estimates from the IEA regarded as the gold standard for emissions data. "I am very worried. This is the worst news on emissions," Birol told the Guardian. "It is becoming extremely challenging to remain below 2 degrees. The prospect is getting bleaker. That is what the numbers say." ...


What does the cacophony of lost possible futures sound like?

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Thu, May 26, 2011
from Bill McKibben, 350.org:
Stay calm, it's just natural variation
Caution: It is vitally important not to make connections. When you see pictures of rubble like this week's shots from Joplin, Mo., you should not wonder: Is this somehow related to the tornado outbreak three weeks ago in Tuscaloosa, Ala., or the enormous outbreak a couple of weeks before that (which, together, comprised the most active April for tornadoes in U.S. history). No, that doesn't mean a thing. It is far better to think of these as isolated, unpredictable, discrete events. It is not advisable to try to connect them in your mind with, say, the fires burning across Texas -- fires that have burned more of America at this point this year than any wildfires have in previous years. Texas, and adjoining parts of Oklahoma and New Mexico, are drier than they've ever been -- the drought is worse than that of the Dust Bowl. But do not wonder if they're somehow connected.... It's far smarter to repeat to yourself the comforting mantra that no single weather event can ever be directly tied to climate change.... It's very important to stay calm. If you got upset about any of this, you might forget how important it is not to disrupt the record profits of our fossil fuel companies. ...


Just keep repeating: It's only a theory. It's only a theory.

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Wed, May 25, 2011
from Politico:
Cold shoulder for climate change
Climate scientists are in a tough spot. They have never been more certain about what they know. Powerful new satellites can hone in on mountainous regions to measure ice melt. Stronger computers model changes in disruptive weather patterns. Scientists are even more comfortable attributing climate change to visible effects around the globe, from retreating Himalayan glaciers to southwestern U.S. droughts and acidifying oceans. Yet scientists are still stuck in the mud trying to get that message out in Washington, where House Republicans made one of their first orders of business passing legislation to zero out research budgets for domestic and international climate efforts and unraveling a key EPA declaration that humans have played a critical role in changing the planet. ...


Oh you Republicans what a fantastical world you inhabit!

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Wed, May 25, 2011
from Yale Environment 300:
By Barcoding Trees, Liberia Looks to Save its Rainforests
Nearly two-thirds of West Africa's remaining rainforests are in the small but troubled nation of Liberia. That is a small miracle. A decade ago, Liberia's forests were being stripped bare by warlords to fund a vicious 14-year civil war that left 150,000 dead. In 2003, the United Nations belatedly imposed an embargo on Liberian "logs of war." Revenues crashed and, coincidentally or not, the war swiftly came to an end. Now the elected government of Harvard-trained President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has signed a deal with the European Union to place timber sales on a permanently legal footing. The deal, agreed to this month, makes use of a unique national timber-tracking system that requires every legally harvestable tree and every cut log to carry a barcode that will enable it to be tracked from its origin to its final destination. ...


It's gonna take someone named Sirleaf to save the trees.

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Wed, May 25, 2011
from Ohio State University via ScienceDaily:
Two Greenland Glaciers Lose Enough Ice to Fill Lake Erie
A new study aimed at refining the way scientists measure ice loss in Greenland is providing a "high-definition picture" of climate-caused changes on the island. And the picture isn't pretty. In the last decade, two of the largest three glaciers draining that frozen landscape have lost enough ice that, if melted, could have filled Lake Erie. The three glaciers -- Helheim, Kangerdlugssuaq and Jakobshavn Isbrae -- are responsible for as much as one-fifth of the ice flowing out from Greenland into the ocean. ...


This study makes me feel Kangerdlugssuaq all over!

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Mon, May 23, 2011
from RealClimate:
Seventeen Nobel Laureates Speak Out
On Wednesday, 17 Nobel laureates who gathered in Stockholm have published a remarkable memorandum, asking for "fundamental transformation and innovation in all spheres and at all scales in order to stop and reverse global environmental change". The Stockholm Memorandum concludes that we have entered a new geological era: the Anthropocene, where humanity has become the main driver of global change. The document states: Science makes clear that we are transgressing planetary boundaries that have kept civilization safe for the past 10,000 years. [...] We can no longer exclude the possibility that our collective actions will trigger tipping points, risking abrupt and irreversible consequences for human communities and ecological systems. We cannot continue on our current path. The time for procrastination is over. We cannot afford the luxury of denial. ...


But I like luxury.

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Fri, May 20, 2011
from NSF:
Big Clue to Future Climate Change in Small Plants
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and University of Minnesota-Twin Cities conducted an 11-year experiment with 13 plant species common in U.S. Midwestern states. The scientists added extra carbon dioxide (CO2) to the plants' environment to discover how--in the higher carbon dioxide world of global warming--the plants would respond. The results suggest that plants' capacity to absorb extra carbon from the atmosphere as CO2 levels rise may be less than expected.... "They have major implications for models of future climate," says Peter Reich, a forest ecologist at the University of Minnesota and co-author of the paper. "Current state-of-the-art climate models assume that vegetation will soak up much of the extra CO2 we put into the air from fossil fuel burning." But the new results, says biologist Tali Lee of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and first author of the paper, "show that the capacity of some terrestrial ecosystems to absorb the extra CO2 may be less than the models assume." That means that today's carbon cycle models likely underpredict the pace of increase of future CO2 levels, and therefore the pace of climate change, say Lee, Reich and Susan Barrott of the University of Minnesota, also a co-author of the paper. "What this all boils down to," says Reich, "is that the world could warm even faster than we thought." ...


I don't think "boil down" is the kindest choice of words.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, May 17, 2011
from St. Petersburg Times:
Once a major issue in Florida, climate change concerns few in Tallahassee
...In low-lying Florida, where 95 percent of the population lives within 35 miles of its 1,200 miles of coastline, a swelling of the tides could cause serious problems. So what is Florida's Department of Environmental Protection doing about dealing with climate change? "DEP is not pursuing any programs or projects regarding climate change," an agency spokeswoman said in an e-mail to the St. Petersburg Times last week. "That's a crying shame," said former Gov. Charlie Crist...Crist's successor, Gov. Rick Scott, doesn't think climate change is real, even though it's accepted as fact by everyone from NASA to the Army to the Vatican. "I've not been convinced that there's any man-made climate change," Scott said last week. "Nothing's convinced me that there is." ...


Floriduh!

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Tue, May 17, 2011
from Agence France-Press:
Extreme makeover: are humans reshaping Earth?
If alien geologists were to visit our planet 10 million years from now, would they discern a distinct human fingerprint in Earth's accumulating layers of rock and sediment? Will homo sapiens, in other words, define a geological period in the way dinosaurs -- and their vanishing act -- helped mark the Jurassic and the Cretaceous? A growing number of scientists, some gathered at a one-day symposium this week at the British Geological Society in London, say "yes"... For the first time in Earth's 4.7 billion year history, a single species has not only radically changed Earth's morphology, chemistry and biology, it is now aware of having done so. ...


Pimp my planet!

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Fri, May 13, 2011
from Post Carbon Institute, via Huffington Post:
Natural Gas Revolution Is Overblown, Study Says
A veritable explosion in the number of natural gas wells in the United States in the late 2000's resulted in only modest gains in production, a new study finds, suggesting that the promise of natural gas as a bountiful and economical domestic fuel source has been wildly oversold. The findings, part of a broader analysis of natural gas published Thursday by the Post Carbon Institute, an energy and climate research organization in California, is one of a growing number of studies to undermine a natural gas catechism that has united industry, environmental groups and even the Obama White House in recent years.... But the actual productivity profile of new, unconventional wells -- often tapped at tremendous expense -- is far less clear than is normally portrayed, Hughes said. Studies at existing fields, or plays, suggest that many shale wells tend to be highly productive in their first year, and then decline steeply -- sometimes by as much as 80 percent or more -- after that, requiring new wells to be plumbed.... If that's the case, Hughes said, then those hoping that the shale gas boom might one day provide enough natural gas to replace coal for electricity generation, or oil as a transportation fuel, will be sadly disappointed. Indeed, he said, the number of new wells that would be needed to meet these goals would create a dystopian landscape of well pads and gas pipelines that few people would want to inhabit. ...


If energy was too cheap to meter, who knows what I'd put up with.

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Tue, May 10, 2011
from Cardiff Western Mail:
Hi-tech teen lifestyle fuels climate change
TODAY'S teenagers are consuming more energy than any previous generation - despite receiving unprecedented education on climate change and other green issues, an academic has warned. Mobile phones, gaming devices, televisions, computers and hair straighteners are just some of the gadgets commonly found in the bedrooms of modern teenagers. Professor Ian Williams, who has studied the Facebook generation's lifestyles and environmentalism, says a typical teenager may have amassed more electrical items than an entire household would have owned a generation earlier. ...


They were so, like, primitive back then.

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Tue, May 10, 2011
from Reno Gazette-Journal:
Fact checker: Don't see consensus on global warming? Look past Fox News
The claim: There is no scientific consensus that global temperatures are rising and humans are significantly to blame. The background: This week's claim started because of a study done by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes. The study's aim was to determine whether the Citizens United case before the Supreme Court, which allowed unlimited campaign contributions from corporations and unions, affected people's perception of the truthfulness of the information being fed in the midterm elections. The study wasn't intended to be concerned with where people got their information, just how accurate it seemed. But the researchers noticed a peculiar thing: Although some Americans were misinformed, they generally became more informed if they consumed more news -- with one major exception. The study found that the more people watched Fox News, the less informed they became. ...


Unfair and unbalanced.

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Fri, May 6, 2011
from Guardian:
Monbiot: Let's face it: none of our environmental fixes break the planet-wrecking project
But even if we can accept an expansion of infrastructure, the technocentric, carbon-counting vision I've favoured runs into trouble. The problem is that it seeks to accommodate a system that cannot be accommodated: a system that demands perpetual economic growth.... Accommodation makes sense only if the economy is reaching a steady state. But the clearer the vision becomes, the further away it seems. A steady state economy will be politically possible only if we can be persuaded to stop grabbing. This in turn will be feasible only if we feel more secure. But the global race to the bottom and its destruction of pensions, welfare, public services and stable employment make people less secure, encouraging us to grasp as much for ourselves as we can.... The problem we face is not that we have too little fossil fuel, but too much. As oil declines, economies will switch to tar sands, shale gas and coal; as accessible coal declines, they'll switch to ultra-deep reserves (using underground gasification to exploit them) and methane clathrates. The same probably applies to almost all minerals: we will find them, but exploiting them will mean trashing an ever greater proportion of the world's surface. We have enough non-renewable resources of all kinds to complete our wreckage of renewable resources: forests, soil, fish, freshwater, benign weather. Collapse will come one day, but not before we have pulled everything down with us. ...


When optimists collapse, the future trembles.

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Thu, May 5, 2011
from Associated Press:
Climate scientists told to 'stop speaking in code'
Scientists at a major conference on Arctic warming were told Wednesday to use plain language to explain the dramatic melt in the region to a world reluctant to take action against climate change. An authoritative report released at the meeting of nearly 400 scientists in Copenhagen showed melting ice in the Arctic could help raise global sea levels by as much as 5 feet this century, much higher than earlier projectionsProminent U.S. climate scientist Robert Corell said researchers must try to reach out to all parts of society to spread awareness of the global implications of the Arctic melt. "Stop speaking in code. Rather than 'anthropogenic,' you could say 'human caused,'" Corell said. ...


Or you could just say: We're fucked.

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Sat, Apr 30, 2011
from Mother Jones:
The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science
... an array of new discoveries in psychology and neuroscience has further demonstrated how our preexisting beliefs, far more than any new facts, can skew our thoughts and even color what we consider our most dispassionate and logical conclusions. This tendency toward so-called "motivated reasoning" helps explain why we find groups so polarized over matters where the evidence is so unequivocal: climate change, vaccines, "death panels," the birthplace and religion of the president (PDF), and much else. It would seem that expecting people to be convinced by the facts flies in the face of, you know, the facts...We're not driven only by emotions, of course -- we also reason, deliberate. But reasoning comes later, works slower -- and even then, it doesn't take place in an emotional vacuum. Rather, our quick-fire emotions can set us on a course of thinking that's highly biased, especially on topics we care a great deal about. ...


I refuse to believe I'm in denial.

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Sat, Apr 30, 2011
from USA Today:
Climate change could spawn more tornadoes
As with any major weather disaster these days -- from floods and hurricanes to wildfires and this week's tornado outbreak in the South -- people ask questions about its relation to the huge elephant that's lurking in the corner, global climate change. Two separate studies in 2007 reported that global warming could bring a dramatic increase in the frequency of weather conditions that feed severe thunderstorms and tornadoes by the end of the 21st century. One study, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that locations could see as much as a 100 percent increase in the number of days that favor severe thunderstorms. ...


And by "elephant," are we referring to those blood-sucking, climate-denying Republicans??

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Wed, Apr 27, 2011
from Alaska Dispatch:
Playing politics with climate change
What Americans believe about climate change depends almost entirely on their political affiliation and not their scientific understanding, according to a new national study that found the same dynamic in two regions of Southeast Alaska. Democrats who claim knowledge of the issue appear to be in firm agreement with the nation's leading scientific organizations -- that human activity and greenhouse gas emissions have become the main drivers behind an accelerating global climate shift. But Republicans don't buy it. While most do agree that the climate has begun to change, they mostly blame the phenomenon on natural forces that lie beyond human control. ...


Are you a Smartocrat or a Stupidlican?

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Mon, Apr 25, 2011
from University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute via ScienceDaily:
Brown Recluse Spider: Range Could Expand in N. America With Changing Climate
One of the most feared spiders in North America is the subject a new study that aims to predict its distribution and how that distribution may be affected by climate changes...The researchers concluded that the range may expand northward, potentially invading previously unaffected regions. Newly influenced areas may include parts of Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, South Dakota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. ...


Now I am truly terrified by climate change!

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Mon, Apr 25, 2011
from London Observer:
Spring may lose song of cuckoos, nightingales and turtle doves
Some of Britain's most cherished spring visitors are disappearing in their thousands. Ornithologists say species such as the cuckoo, nightingale and turtle dove are undergoing catastrophic drops in numbers, although experts are puzzled about the exact reasons for these declines. The warning, from the RSPB, comes as the songs of the cuckoo, nightingale and wood warbler herald the return of spring...There is almost certainly a significant problem caused by climate change. Migrant birds arrive and breed and then have chicks at times which are no longer synchronised with the best periods when food, such as insects, is available. ...


That sound you hear is the rejoicing of worms.

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Sun, Apr 24, 2011
from Associated Press:
Costly gasoline clouds Obama re-election prospects
With gas prices climbing and little relief in sight, President Barack Obama is scrambling to get ahead of the latest potential obstacle to his re-election bid, even as Republicans are making plans to exploit the issue....As Obama well knows, Americans love their cars and remain heavily dependent on them, and they don't hesitate to punish politicians when the cost of filling their tanks goes through the roof. ...


This Easter, give your car a big bunny hug because it's the most important thing on the planet.

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Apr 23, 2011
from Science News:
Salt clouds relieve some Arctic warming
Earth's warming in recent years has had an exaggerated impact in the Arctic. There, temperatures have soared relative to temperate areas, resulting in an increased summer melting of sea ice. But new research indicates that the local warming would be even more dramatic if it weren't for salt sprays kicked up by whitecaps from the Arctic's increasingly open waters. Snow and sea ice reflect much of the sun's warming rays back into space. As an increasing share of the Arctic Ocean's year-round cover of sea ice has disappeared, the sea surface has darkened -- or reduced its albedo -- and become an increasingly better absorber of solar energy. The open water starts to develop in spring and doesn't ice over again until fall. Year-round ice is ice that survives the summer...As expected, the salt clouds can exert a subtle cooling of the Arctic, the team reports online April 13 in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. ...


Hey, this gives me a geoengineering idea: zeppelin saltshakers!

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Fri, Apr 22, 2011
from Alaska Dispatch:
Arctic glacier meltdown accelerates
Glaciers in the Canadian High Arctic -- home to about one third of the world's ice outside of the continental sheets of Antarctica and Greenland -- are melting away much faster than anybody realized. Between 2004 and 2009, the frigid runoff from the ice tongues of Ellesmere, Baffin and hundreds of other islands in the Canadian Far North would have filled Lake Erie three quarters full, according to a new study published this week in the journal of Nature. Toward the end of that period, the accumulated meltdown had surpassed the runoff from the glaciers rimming the Gulf of Alaska and became the greatest single contributor to global sea-level rise outside the continental sheets... ...


Happy Earth Day

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Wed, Apr 20, 2011
from Discovery News:
As Gold Prices Go Up, Forests Are Coming Down
A worldwide growth in the price of gold has accelerated the pace of deforestation in some of the most pristine parts of the Peruvian Amazon, where miners are cutting down trees in order to extract the valuable natural resource. From 2003 to 2009, found a new study, the rate of deforestation in two gold-mining areas increased six-fold alongside record-setting leaps in the international price of gold. During one two-year period, as gold prices climbed steadily, forests disappeared at a rate of 4.5 American football fields a day from one of the two sites. Alongside the accelerating paces of both mining and deforestation, the study found, there has also been an exponential rise in the use of mercury, which helps miners extract gold from the Earth. ...


Someday soon we'll realize these trees were worth their weight in gold.

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Wed, Apr 13, 2011
from Greenwire:
Shale Gas Isn't Cleaner Than Coal, Cornell Researchers Say
Cornell University researchers say that natural gas pried from shale formations is dirtier than coal in the short term, rather than cleaner, and "comparable" in the long term. That finding -- fiercely disputed by the gas industry -- undermines the widely stated belief that gas is twice as "clean" as coal in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. The gas industry has promoted that concept as a way for electric utilities to prepare for climate change regulations by switching from coal-fired plants to gas.... "Compared to coal, the footprint of shale gas is at least 20 percent greater and perhaps more than twice as great on the 20-year horizon and is comparable when compared over 100 years," states a pre-publication copy (pdf) of the study... ...


Sounds like just another shale game to me.

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Wed, Apr 13, 2011
from Australia ABC News:
Ice melt a weighty problem: expert
Melting ice sheets could cause a redistribution of the world's gravitational field causing higher than expected rises in sea level for some parts of the world, according to a senior Australian scientist. Dr John Church, chief research scientist with CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, says the full effect of this shift in gravity hasn't been factored into sea level rise predictions....the gravitational effect is lost and sea levels will be slightly lower than expected around the icy regions, but higher than expected in far away places such as New York or the Pacific islands. ...


Does this massive global shift make my butt look big?

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Apr 12, 2011
from New York Times:
Study: Pot Growers Inhale 1 percent of U.S. Electricity, Exhale GHGs of 3M Cars
Indoor marijuana cultivation consumes enough electricity to power 2 million average-sized U.S. homes, which corresponds to about 1 percent of national power consumption, according to a study by a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.... Researcher Evan Mills' study notes that cannabis production has largely shifted indoors, especially in California, where medical marijuana growers use high-intensity lights usually reserved for operating rooms that are 500 times more powerful that a standard reading lamp.... Narrowing the implications even further reveals some staggering numbers. Mills said a single marijuana cigarette represents 2 pounds of CO2 emissions, an amount equal to running a 100-watt light bulb for 17 hours. Mills, a member of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, drew his data from open literature and interviews with horticultural equipment retailers. ...


Dude, you are totally killing my buzz.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Apr 12, 2011
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Rare fish carried up a mountain on backs of llamas to escape global warming
The endangered vendace, that has been in Britain since the Ice Age, is in danger of dying out as lakes and rivers warm up because of man made global warming. To ensure the species survival, the UK's environmental watchdog took eggs from Derwentwater in Cumbria, thought to be the only remaining site where the fish are found in England and Wales. They then took 25,000 young fish from the hatchery to a cooler lake higher up the mountains of the Lake District, Sprinkler Tarn, to establish a new 'refuge' population that is more likely to survive warming temperatures. Because the route to the lake is so rocky and uneven, it was impossible to use conventional transport like a 4x4 motorbike or landrover. So, the fish were given a ride during part of the two-hour trek by sure-footed llamas from a local charity. The journey was finished by fisheries officers on foot to ensure none of the smarts were spilt. ...


That'll work. For awhile.

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Apr 9, 2011
from Washington Post:
Plants' earlier bloom times hurting some creatures
Cristol Fleming has gone out hunting for the first wildflower blooms of spring for close to four decades. She knows where every tiny bluish clump of rare phacelia can be found, where every fragile yellow trout lily grows....So it was with some consternation that the local field botanist found two of her favorite early flowers -- sprigs of white and purple "harbinger of spring” no higher than an inch and graceful white twinleaf -- in full bloom in the chill of late March....Bloom hunters like Fleming, who for 40 years have been tramping through the woods, roaming along riverbanks and scrambling over rocky outcrops to document the first blooms of spring in the Washington area, worry that what they have been seeing is nothing less than the slow, inexorable shift of global warming. ...


Enough with the bloom-and-doom!

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Sat, Apr 9, 2011
from Associated Press:
World stumbles toward climate summit
Nineteen years after the world started to take climate change seriously, delegates from around the globe spent five days talking about what they will talk about at a year-end conference in South Africa. They agreed to talk about their opposing viewpoints. Delegates from 173 nations did agree that delays in averting global warming merely fast-forward the risk of plunging the world into "catastrophe." ...the U.N. meeting in Bangkok, which concluded late Friday after delegates cobbled together a broad agenda for the December summit, failed to narrow the deep divisions between the developing world and the camp of industrialized nations led by the United States. These may come to plague the summit in Durban. ...


Participants in this summit were given commemorative bronze fiddles.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Apr 4, 2011
from Edmonton Journal:
Mountain pine beetles could infect forests across Canada
Mountain pine beetles have successfully made the species jump from lodgepole pine to jack pine, increasing concerns that the pest could infect forests from British Columbia to the East coast, according to a University of Alberta-led research team. The group of U of A tree biologists and geneticists discovered that, as the mountain pine beetle spread eastward from central B.C., it successfully jumped species from its main host, the lodgepole pine, to the jack pine. Jack pine is the dominant pine species in Canada's boreal forest, which stretches east from Alberta all the way to the Maritime provinces.... "Mountain pine beetle is not (native) to the boreal forest and therefore should be considered an invasive species and managed as such. Forest ecosystems in North America have already been challenged with numerous pest invasions that represent a considerable threat. When we factor in climate change, the vulnerability of ecosystems such as the boreal forest to disturbance is further increased putting an extremely important ecosystem in jeopardy." ...


Some days I feel like I'm being borealed alive.

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Fri, Apr 1, 2011
from Reuters:
Aircraft contrails stoke warming, cloud formation
Aircraft condensation trails criss-crossing the sky may be warming the planet on a normal day more than the carbon dioxide emitted by all planes since the Wright Brothers' first flight in 1903, a study said on Tuesday. It indicated that contrails -- white lines of Vapor left by jet engines -- also have big knock-on effects by adding to the formation of high-altitude, heat-trapping cirrus clouds as the lines break up. The findings may help governments fix penalties on planes' greenhouse gas emissions in a U.N.-led assault on climate change. Or new engines might be designed to limit Vapor and instead spit out water drops or ice that fall from the sky.... The main climate effect of white lines and related cirrus clouds is to trap heat radiating back from the Earth's surface. They also have a smaller, counter-effect by slightly dimming sunlight and so slowing warming. Contrails are especially dense over parts of Europe and eastern United States. ...


The writing's on the sky.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Mar 29, 2011
from Associated Press:
S. Carolina lawmakers take dim view of new light bulbs
South Carolina lawmakers are taking a stand in favor of states' lights. With incandescent bulbs being phased out under federal law in favor of energy-efficient compact fluorescents, legislators want to exempt South Carolina from the measure, saying Washington has no business telling the state how to light its closets and countertops. The proposed state law, called the Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act, "allows South Carolina to say to the federal government we are going to exercise our rights," said Republican state Rep. Bill Sandifer, a co-sponsor. ...


The Freedom to Ruin the Earth Edict (FREE)

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Mar 29, 2011
from The Daily Climate:
Shift in boreal forest has wide impact
Vegetation change underway in northern forests as a result of climate change creates feedback loop that prompts more warming, scientists say. Boreal forests across the Northern hemisphere are undergoing rapid, transformative shifts as a result of a warming climate that, in some cases, is triggering feedback loops producing even more regional warming, according to several new studies. Russia's boreal forest - the largest continuous expanse of forest in the world - has seen a transformation in recent years from larch to conifer trees, according to new research by University of Virginia researchers.... "The climate has shifted. It's done, it's clear, and the climate has become unsuitable for the growth of the boreal forest across most of the area that it currently occupies," said Glenn Juday, a forestry professor at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. ...


I wish that durn scientist wouldn't beat around bush.

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Sat, Mar 26, 2011
from National Science Foundation via ScienceDaily:
Kudzu Vines Spreading North from US Southeast With Warming Climate
Kudzu, the plant scourge of the U.S. Southeast. The long tendrils of this woody vine, or liana, are on the move north with a warming climate. But kudzu may be no match for the lianas of the tropics, scientists have found. Data from sites in eight studies show that lianas are overgrowing trees in every instance. If the trend continues, these "stranglers-of-the-tropics" may suffocate equatorial forest ecosystems. ...


Sounds like someday we will all live in the Land of Kudzuliana.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Mar 24, 2011
from London Daily Mail:
The European invader that's after your blood: Ticks from continent discovered in UK
A breed of blood-sucking tick normally found on the continent has been discovered in Britain for the first time. Scientists say that climate change has brought the parasite to the UK - and warned that it may have brought with it new strains of disease from Europe. The researchers, from the University of Bristol, also found that the number of pet dogs infested with ticks was far higher than previously thought. This increases the risk thatdiseases carried by the foreign tick - Dermacentor reticulatus - will spread quickly to people and animals in this country, they cautioned. ...


Foreign ticks... work harder than domestic ones!

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Mar 19, 2011
from Nature:
'Wilful ignorance': Nature opinion
At a subcommittee hearing on 14 March, anger and distrust were directed at scientists and respected scientific societies. Misinformation was presented as fact, truth was twisted and nobody showed any inclination to listen to scientists, let alone learn from them. It has been an embarrassing display, not just for the Republican Party but also for Congress and the US citizens it represents.... [T]he legislation is fundamentally anti-science, just as the rhetoric that supports it is grounded in wilful ignorance. One lawmaker last week described scientists as "elitist" and "arrogant" creatures who hide behind "discredited" institutions.... [T]o deny that there is reason to be concerned, given the decades of work by countless scientists, is irresponsible. ...


Why should we listen to egghead smarty-pantses? What do they know?

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Mar 17, 2011
from Scientific American:
House Repubs Vote That Earth Is Not Warming
Congress has finally acted on global warming--by denying it exists. It's in the grand lawmaking tradition of the Indiana state legislature's 1897 attempt to redefine the value of pi. The Republican-led House of Representatives is currently working on the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, which would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide emissions to mitigate climate change. In the House Energy and Commerce Committee, California Democrat Henry Waxman had proposed an amendment calling on Congress to at least acknowledge that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal," just as abundant scientific evidence confirms. But on Tuesday, March 15, all the committee's Republicans voted down that amendment, as well as two others acknowledging the threat of climate change to public well-being. ...


Rep. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Heat.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Mar 16, 2011
from Montreal Gazette:
Could global warming be causing recent earthquakes?
Severe earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and now Japan have experts around the world asking whether the world's tectonic plates are becoming more active -- and what could be causing it. Some scientists theorize that the sudden melting of glaciers due to man-made climate change is lightening the load on the Earth's surface, allowing its mantle to rebound upwards and causing plates to become unstuck....The surface of the Earth is elastic. A heavy load such as a glacier will cause it to sink, pushing aside the liquid rock underneath. ...


Regardless, these earthquakes are good practice for the Apocalypse.

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Tue, Mar 15, 2011
from AFP, via Yahoo News:
Fewer Americans worry about climate change: poll
The number of Americans who are worried about global warming has fallen to nearly the historic low reached in 1998, a poll released Monday showed. Just 51 percent of Americans -- or one percentage point more than in 1998 -- said they worry a great deal or fair amount about climate change, Gallup's annual environment poll says. In 2008, a year after former US vice president Al Gore and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the Nobel Peace Prize, two-thirds of Americans were concerned about climate change. The rate of concern among Americans has fallen steadily since then to 60 percent in 2009 and 52 percent last year.... "The reasons for the decline in concern are not obvious, though the economic downturn could be a factor," Gallup analysts say, citing a poll from two years ago that shows that in the minds of Americans, economy takes precedence over environment.... Just over a quarter of Americans believe reports in the press about climate change are generally correct, while nearly three in 10 believe the US media understates the effects of global warming. ...


Looks like our messaging is working!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Mar 14, 2011
from Wall Street Journal:
EPA Tangles With New Critic: Labor
The Obama administration's environmental agenda, long a target of American business, is beginning to take fire from some of the Democratic Party's most reliable supporters: Labor unions. Several unions with strong influence in key states are demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency soften new regulations aimed at pollution associated with coal-fired power plants. Their contention: Roughly half a dozen rules expected to roll out within the next two years could put thousands of jobs in jeopardy and damage the party's 2012 election prospects. "If the EPA issues regulations that cost jobs in Pennsylvania and Ohio, the Republicans will blast the President with it over and over," says Stewart Acuff, chief of staff to the president of the Utility Workers Union of America. "Not just the President. Every Democratic [lawmaker] from those states." ...


Those of you hoping the US will get its shit together... are dreaming!

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Mar 12, 2011
from New York Times:
Polar Ice Loss Is Accelerating, Scientists Say
...On Wednesday, a research team led by a NASA scientist unveiled a new study that is sure to stir debate on the topic. The paper concludes that ice loss from both Greenland and Antarctica is accelerating, and that the ice sheets' impact on the rise in sea levels in the first half of the 21st century will be substantially higher than previous studies had projected. The increasing ice loss means that, for the first time, Greenland and Antarctica appear to be adding more to sea-level rise than the world's other reserves of ice -- primarily mountain glaciers, which are also melting because of rising temperatures. In 2006 alone, the study estimated that the two ice sheets lost roughly 475 billion metric tons of ice.... If the rates of melting observed in the study were to continue, the ice sheets could add nearly six inches to the rise in global sea levels in the next forty years -- a far larger contribution than the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the international scientific body, has projected. ...


Six inches in 40 years? I can crawl away from that!

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Mar 12, 2011
from Living on Earth:
Can a Hollywood Producer inspire Americans on Climate?
...Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and the organization's climate chief Christiana Figueres... urged film and TV industry bigwigs to pitch in and put their talents to use to raise awareness about global warming. Among the 400 Hollywood celebs in the audience was Marshall Herskovitz - the producer of the TV series "thirtysomething" and "My So Called Life." He also produced a dozen films, including "Blood Diamond" and "I am Sam." Now, Marshall Herskovitz has two new projects underway dealing with climate change in which he says he's going to put many of the Hollywood tricks-of-the-trade to use....GELLERMAN: Well, isn't that the idea: that you don't hit people over the head with the message, but you weave the message into the motion picture. HERSKOVITZ: Well, yes, it's the idea, except for the fact that we are either in a planetary emergency or we're not. (Laughs). And it's fine to say, 'don't hit people over the head,' but in fact, we need to hit people over the head. We need people to act right now, and we need people to act in a huge manner. It's very hard to get across to people the scale at which we have to act. ...


That's funny. I've been saying this for years!

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Mar 12, 2011
from Greenwire:
Democrats Cry Foul Over GOP's Attempts to Tie Fuel Prices to EPA
House Republicans' move to join the two most politically volatile threads in the Washington, D.C., energy debate -- gas prices and U.S. EPA rules -- sparked Democratic charges of deception yesterday and silence so far from the Obama administration. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) amplified the GOP gambit as he laid out a new project, dubbed the American Energy Initiative, calling for more domestic fossil-fuel production, new nuclear power plants and an end to EPA's authority over greenhouse gases. While the Republican message had percolated all week, Boehner's decision to spotlight the anti-EPA bill now sailing through the House Energy and Commerce Committee gave the gas-price charge a far broader platform. The administration's offshore oil-production policies and regulation of greenhouse gases, Boehner said yesterday, represent a systematic hit to economic growth. "If the White House has its way -- and the EPA imposes a backdoor national energy tax -- gas prices will only go higher," the Ohioan told reporters. ...


I decree... that all politicians... abandon their limos and airplanes in lieu of riding bicycles.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Mar 9, 2011
from NUVO Newsweekly:
Greening the faith
... Last Saturday, leaders from 16 Christian denominations, along with Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Unitarian leaders, gathered at First Baptist Church of Indianapolis to celebrate the inauguration of Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light. The organization is an affiliate of the national Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) organization, founded in 1998, which considers itself the "religious response to global warming." Its goal is to educate religious congregations on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and conservation. "The first goal of Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light is to reduce our carbon use, our energy use, within our places of worship," explained Luke Gascho, board chair of the new organization and director of the Merry Lea Environmental Center at Goshen College, to the gathering of about 200 Indiana church leaders.... "Every mainstream religion that I know of has a mandate to care for the earth," said Interfaith Power & Light's founder Rev. Bingham. "For Christians who are commanded to love God and love our neighbors, it could not be clearer... If you love your neighbor, love one another, you don't pollute your neighbor's air and water." ...


I don't believe in God, but I believe in Reverend Bingham.

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Wed, Mar 9, 2011
from Climatewire:
Snubbing Skeptics Threatens to Intensify Climate War, Study Says
Listening to climate change doubters, and not dismissing them, might avert a "logic schism" similar to the political stalemate on abortion, according to a new paper involving research on skeptics. The paper (pdf) portrays doubters as being at a disadvantage. The majority of climate research comes from the fields of physical science, engineering and economics -- largely depicting rational outcomes in a world dominated by the view that the Earth is warming, and that something needs to be done about it.... Hair-raising warnings about climate catastrophes tend not to resonate with the skeptical crowd, the research says. And expensive government solutions to it definitely do not. Another way of talking about the issue is needed, the paper says. ...


How about we talk about it backwards? .raen si dne ehT

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Wed, Mar 9, 2011
from Science News:
Soot hastens snowmelt on Tibetan Plateau
In high-elevation snowy regions, the warming effects of greenhouse gases pale in comparison to those triggered by soot, new computer calculations show. The finding could help explain the accelerating pace of melting on the Tibetan Plateau, which holds the world's largest reservoir of ice outside of the polar regions. Located north of the Himalayan range, the plateau's spring meltwater feeds rivers that ultimately slake much of Asia's thirst. In recent years, spring melting has been starting earlier, triggering downstream floods and shortening the time that irrigation water is available to farmers... new simulations indicate that the estimated amounts of black carbon on the Plateau can reduce snow's reflectivity in spring by 4 to 6 percent. That's enough to warm the average surface air temperature across the Tibetan Plateau by around 1 degree Celsius... ...


Chim chiminey Chim chiminey Chim chim we're screwed!

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Tue, Mar 8, 2011
from Guardian:
China's coal reserves 'will make it new Middle East', says energy chief
Vast reserves of coal in the far west of China mean it is set to become the "new Middle East", a leading figure in the global coal industry has claimed. Fred Palmer, the chairman of the London-based World Coal Association and a key executive at Peabody Energy, the world's largest privately owned coal company, also said that China is leading the US in efforts to develop technology to "clean" coal of its carbon emissions by burying them underground.... "I think Xinjiang province in the west of China, where they say there's a trillion tonnes of resources, will be the new Middle East. Anyone who has the notion that we're going to move away from fossil fuels just isn't paying attention." China is "ahead of the US" when it comes to developing low-carbon coal technology, said Palmer, and "we should be doing what they are doing". This weekend, the Chinese government announced a new five-year plan, which included a pledge to reduce emissions growth relative to GDP by 17 per cent. Palmer added that the world should "applaud" China for consuming so much coal "because it makes the world better for everyone for no other reason that it takes huge price pressures off of oil". China processes a significant amount of its coal to produce liquid fuels which can be used as an oil replacement. ...


A warmer climate will do us all good. Who wouldn't like the lazy hazy days of summer, all year 'round?

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Sat, Mar 5, 2011
from Associated Press:
NASA research satellite plunges into the sea
For the second time in two years, a rocket glitch sent a NASA global warming satellite to the bottom of the sea Friday, a $424 million debacle that couldn't have come at a worse time for the space agency and its efforts to understand climate change. Years of belt-tightening have left NASA's Earth-watching system in sorry shape, according to many scientists. And any money for new environmental satellites will have to survive budget-cutting, global warming politics and, now, doubts on Capitol Hill about the space agency's competence... Thirteen NASA Earth-observing satellites remain up there, and nearly all of them are in their sunset years. ...


I wonder why I'm getting the feeling that we're in for some bad luck...

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Thu, Mar 3, 2011
from Associated Press:
New report exonerates climate researchers
A Commerce Department investigation has found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of federal climate researchers whose e-mails were leaked in the debate over global climate change. The report Thursday from the department's inspector general is the latest to exonerate climate scientists whose communications with the Climate Research Unit at England's University of East Anglia were stolen and made public in 2009. The department reviewed all 1,073 leaked e-mails, but focused on 289 that involved National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists. ...


Can we please now let scientists proceed with the business of telling us how doomed we are.

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Tue, Mar 1, 2011
from Greenwire:
Regulators Face Deep Cuts as Governors Close Budget Gaps
As they battle record deficits, governors nationwide are digging into state environmental regulatory bodies in budget proposals, many in the name of increasing efficiency and creating states that are "open for business." In some states, environmental groups say budget proposals unfairly target those departments over other state agencies and would set back conservation efforts by years. They also argue that cutting environmental spending will end up costing more jobs than are created by bolstering other state programs.... Industry supporters and budget hawks say environmental agencies have to face the ax like everyone else. ...


I know. Let's let the US have this planet to kill, and the rest of us can go find a new one.

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Tue, Mar 1, 2011
from Center for Public Integrity:
Issa Oversight Committee Staffs Up with Industry Insiders
First as ranking minority member and now as chairman of one of the most powerful committees in Congress, San Diego Republican Darrell Issa has built a team that includes staff members with close connections to industries that could benefit from his investigations. Issa took control of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform last month, and asked companies, nonprofits and industry associations for guidance on federal regulations. The committee, which includes 23 Republicans and 17 Democrats, has broad powers to investigate government and industry, and to issue subpoenas. Issa's staff already has released findings sympathetic to industries bent on softening or eliminating certain government regulations. ...


This is what happens when power shifts to the GOP: the environment goes to shit!

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Mon, Feb 28, 2011
from London Guardian:
Can a group of scientists in California end the war on climate change?
The Berkeley Earth project say they are about to reveal the definitive truth about global warming... The aim is so simple that the complexity and magnitude of the undertaking is easy to miss. Starting from scratch, with new computer tools and more data than has ever been used, they will arrive at an independent assessment of global warming. The team will also make every piece of data it uses -- 1.6bn data points -- freely available on a website. It will post its workings alongside, including full information on how more than 100 years of data from thousands of instruments around the world are stitched together to give a historic record of the planet's temperature. Muller is fed up with the politicised row that all too often engulfs climate science. By laying all its data and workings out in the open, where they can be checked and challenged by anyone, the Berkeley team hopes to achieve something remarkable: a broader consensus on global warming. ...


This hope pre-supposes climate skeptics are willing to change their minds.

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Sun, Feb 27, 2011
from Topeka Capital-Journal:
House seeks to choke EPA regs
Nearly every member of the Kansas House is convinced air-quality regulators at the federal Environmental Protection Agency are spewing toxic rules. Rep. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona, took the lead on pushing through a resolution declaring convergence of EPA carbon-limiting edicts, tied to anxiety about greenhouse gases and global warming, should be likened to a runaway railroad engine screaming down the tracks toward certain disaster... 116 members of the House voted for a resolution urging Congress to prohibit EPA by any means necessary -- such as stripping funding from the federal agency -- to block regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. ...


Kansans have a proud history of undermining their own existence.

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Thu, Feb 24, 2011
from Washington Post:
UN: Global warming rate could be halved by controlling ground-level ozone and methane, black carbon
The projected rise in global temperatures could be cut in half in coming years if world governments focused on reducing emissions of two harmful pollutants - black carbon and ground-level ozone, including methane - rather than carbon dioxide alone, according to a U.N. study released Wednesday. The study, "Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone," by the U.N. Environment Programme, shows the impact that the two short-lived pollutants have on the environment, compared with carbon dioxide, which can stay in the atmosphere for decades.... The impact from reducing short-lived pollutants such as black carbon and ground-level ozone such as methane is more immediately felt. Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for years, so the effects of reducing the emissions take longer to register. To reduce black carbon emissions, the study recommends placing a ban on open-field burning of agricultural waste, replacing industrial coke ovens with modern recovery ovens, introducing clean-burning biomass cook stoves for cooking and heating in developing countries and eliminating high-emitting vehicles. ...


Am I allowed to light a candle of hope?

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Tue, Feb 22, 2011
from Albany Times Union:
An assault on the environment
The new House Republican majority likes to say that the American people spoke last year. If the GOP's spending bill is any indication, it seems the American people are clamoring for more mercury in their fish, oil on their coasts and pollution in their drinking water. Those would be just some of the environmental highlights of a House spending bill to keep the government running through Sept. 30. Or perhaps anti-environmental highlights would be more apt. Anti-health, too. ...


It's simply ... anti-life.

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Tue, Feb 22, 2011
from The Daily Climate:
Sniffle, snort, achoo! Allergy season is extending, scientists find.
Bad news for - achoo! - those who sniffle, er suffer their way through ragweed - sniff, snort, itch - season: A team of researchers has found that increased warming, particularly in the northern half of North America, has added weeks to the fall pollen season. It's enough to make you grab a tissue: Minneapolis has tacked 16 days to the ragweed pollen season since 1995; LaCrosse, Wisc. has added 13 days, Winnipeg and Saskatoon in Canada have added 25 and 27 days, respectively. The new research, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds the longer pollen seasons correlate with the disproportionate warming happening around the planet and attributed to greenhouse gas emissions. ...


I think I'm allergic to climate change...

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Sat, Feb 19, 2011
from Climatewire:
House Republicans Fire White House Climate Advisers as Frenzied Budget Debate Continues
House Republicans and 13 Democrats passed a measure last night eliminating the salaries of President Obama's international climate change envoy and other top officials, a defiant GOP challenge that will further complicate tough budget negotiations looming with Senate Democrats. The amendment to "sack the czars" ignited protests from Democrats who called it a political attack masquerading as a principled spending cut. It is among hundreds of amendments in the Republican budget package being assembled to fund the government for the next seven months while slashing $60 billion. One of amendment's top targets is U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern, Obama's chief treaty negotiator at the U.N. global warming talks. It also defunds Obama's climate adviser, a post formerly held by Carol Browner, and several other "czar" positions that Republicans decry as unaccountable to Congress. ...


If they sack the czars we can pretty much bag our chances of recovery.

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Thu, Feb 17, 2011
from Associated Press:
Scientists connect global warming to extreme rain
Extreme rainstorms and snowfalls have grown substantially stronger, two studies suggest, with scientists for the first time finding the telltale fingerprints of man-made global warming on downpours that often cause deadly flooding. Two studies in Wednesday's issue of the journal Nature link heavy rains to increases in greenhouse gases more than ever before... For years scientists, relying on basic physics and climate knowledge, have said global warming would likely cause extremes in temperatures and rainfall. But this is the first time researchers have been able to point to a demonstrable cause-and-effect by using the rigorous and scientifically accepted method of looking for the "fingerprints" of human-caused climate change. ...


Let the revolution begin!

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Sun, Feb 13, 2011
from Reuters:
Climate change keenly felt in Alaska's national parks
Thawing permafrost is triggering mudslides onto a key road traveled by busloads of sightseers. Tall bushes newly sprouted on the tundra are blocking panoramic views. And glaciers are receding from convenient viewing areas, while their rapid summer melt poses new flood risks. These are just a few of the ways that a rapidly warming climate is reshaping Denali, Kenai Fjords and other national parks comprising the crown jewels of Alaska's heritage as America's last frontier. These and some better-known impacts -- proliferation of invasive plants and fish, greater frequency and intensity of wildfires, and declines in wildlife populations that depend on sea ice and glaciers -- are outlined in a recent National Park Service report. ...


These kinds of new excitements should increase tourism!

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Thu, Feb 10, 2011
from Associated Press:
New drilling method opens vast oil fields in US
new drilling technique is opening up vast fields of previously out-of-reach oil in the western United States, helping reverse a two-decade decline in domestic production of crude. Companies are investing billions of dollars to get at oil deposits scattered across North Dakota, Colorado, Texas and California. By 2015, oil executives and analysts say, the new fields could yield as much as 2 million barrels of oil a day -- more than the entire Gulf of Mexico produces now.... Environmentalists fear that fluids or wastewater from the process, called hydraulic fracturing, could pollute drinking water supplies. ...


Whew! We can remain addicted to oil after all!

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Wed, Feb 9, 2011
from Associated Press:
Global warming heats up Republican attacks on EPA
Vowing to curb the authority and the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency, congressional Republicans are attacking the agency to a degree not seen since President Richard Nixon created it 40 years ago. The EPA's effort to tackle the latest and perhaps most challenging environmental problem -- global warming -- has made it a central target of the new Republican leadership's anti-regulatory agenda. Having failed last year to enact new legislation to curb global warming, the administration is left to use existing law -- the Clean Air Act -- to start reducing the pollution causing the planet's temperature to rise. During a hearing on Wednesday, GOP members of a House subcommittee contended that such actions will only raise electricity prices and penalize industries that otherwise could be creating jobs. ...


...ack...

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Tue, Feb 8, 2011
from New York Times:
Climate Scientist Sues Skeptic for Libel
A prominent Canadian climate scientist is suing a leading climate skeptic for libel, arguing that an article published online in January contained false and malicious claims. Andrew Weaver, a climate modeler at the University of Victoria, filed the suit against Tim Ball, a former professor of climatology at the University of Winnepeg and a vocal critic of the science linking man-made emissions to global warming, over an article published by the Canada Free Press, a conservative Web site. The article described Dr. Weaver, who served as a lead author of the 2007 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as lacking a basic understanding of climate science and incorrectly stated that he would not take part in the next I.P.C.C. panel because of concerns about its credibility. Dr. Weaver is already involved in the preparation of the next report from the panel and has never said that he was ending his involvement with it. Dr. Ball's article has been removed from the Canada Free Press site, which published a long retraction and apology to Dr. Weaver after being contacted by the scientist's attorney.... "I stand by the story," said Dr. Ball, who was prominently featured as a climate change expert in the 2007 film "The Great Global Warming Swindle." ...


He "stands by the story" even in the face of overwhelming evidence. Funny, that.

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Tue, Feb 8, 2011
from Wall Street Journal:
Business Groups' Target: EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency, which enforces rules that affect the U.S. economy from factories to farms, is the No. 1 target of complaints from business groups collected by House Republican leaders. EPA rules were cited more than those from any other agency in more than 100 letters sent by trade associations, businesses and some conservative groups to House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) in response to his call for businesses to identify regulations they deemed burdensome, according to documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. The letters are scheduled for release today. ...


I have this sneaking suspicion Issa is gonna pissa me off!

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Sat, Feb 5, 2011
from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Wolverines threatened by climate change
The wolverine - a member of the weasel family that resembles a small bear - could disappear from the US as a direct result of man-made climate change, according to predictions by researchers at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The wolverine is unique among mammals in that it is heavily dependent on spring snow pack. Deep snow is required for successful wolverine reproduction because female wolverines dig elaborate dens in the snow for their offspring. These dens are not only insulating for the newborn kits, but also protect them from predators. "While other species such as the Arctic fox or caribou are adapted to snow, their relationship with snow is not as critical as that of the wolverine," NCAR's Synte Peacock told environmentalresearchweb. "Other species may be able to adapt if there is no spring snow, but without dens, the wolverine cannot reproduce."... "The impact of their disappearance would probably be relatively low and it is possible that the wolverine may continue to thrive in parts of Canada and Scandinavia where conditions are cold year-round and snow cover persists throughout spring." ...


Wolverine is in danger! Call in the other X-Men!

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Fri, Feb 4, 2011
from ScienceDaily:
Still Hope for Arctic Sea Ice
The substantial decline of Arctic sea ice in recent years has triggered some fears that the ice cover might be approaching a "tipping point" beyond which the loss of the remaining sea ice would become unstoppable. However, new research carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg/Germany now indicates that such tipping point is unlikely to exist for the loss of Arctic summer sea ice. The sea-ice cover reacts instead relatively directly to the climatic conditions at any given time. Hence, the ongoing loss of Arctic sea ice could be slowed down and eventually stopped if global warming were to be slowed down and eventually stopped.... The researchers underline that their results do not question the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice or its relation to anthropogenic climate change. "If we don't slow down global warming extensively, we will lose the summer sea-ice cover in the Arctic within a few decades," says Tietsche. "Our research shows that the speed of sea-ice loss is closely coupled to the speed of global warming. We think that it's important to know that we can still do something about slowing down or possibly even stopping the loss of the sea-ice cover." ...


I'm delighted there are no other tipping points involved.

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Fri, Feb 4, 2011
from London Guardian:
Communities not getting a say in how forests are managed
Governments have been accused by grassroots groups and scientific researchers of reneging on commitments to give communities a say in how forests are managed, and doing little to address the causes of worldwide deforestation. The charges came as the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, declared 2011 to be the international year of forests, and politicians from around the world meet in New York for the high level segment of the UN's ninth forestry forum (UNFF). Non-government groups released a report showing that indigenous peoples and forest communities have done a much better job at conservation than governments. ...


When are going to go ahead and declare an international year of panic!!!

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Wed, Feb 2, 2011
from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Planet is 'more sensitive to carbon dioxide than we thought'
... Kiehl describes how he examined the relationship between global temperatures and high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere tens of millions of years ago. Global temperatures then averaged about 16 deg C above pre-industrial levels. The article pulls together several recent studies that look at various aspects of the climate system, while adding a mathematical approach by Kiehl to estimate average global temperatures in the distant past. The study found that carbon dioxide may have two times or more the effect on global temperatures than currently projected by computer models of global climate. The world's leading computer models generally project that a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would have a climate feedback factor (ratio of change in surface temperature to radiative forcing) in the range of 0.5 to 1.0 deg C per watts per square metre. However, the published data show that the comparable climate feedback factor of carbon dioxide 35 million years ago amounted to about 2 deg C per watt per square metre.... Because carbon dioxide is being pumped into the atmosphere at a rate that has never been experienced, Kiehl could not estimate how long it would take for the planet to fully heat up. However, a rapid warm-up would make it especially difficult for societies and ecosystems to adapt, he says. He estimates that global temperatures may take centuries or millennia to fully adjust in response to the higher carbon dioxide levels. ...


Planet, if you want our respect, you'll need to toughen up.

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Mon, Jan 31, 2011
from New York Times:
Once Popular, Car Pools Go the Way of Hitchhiking
Remember the 1970s? Watergate, disco, oil embargoes and, of course, car-pooling. Many big companies organized group rides for their employees, and roughly one in four Americans who drove to work shared a ride with others. But now far more people are driving alone, as companies have spread out, Americans are wealthier and cars have become cheaper to own. The percentage of workers who car-pool has dropped by almost half since 1980, the first time the Census Bureau started systematically tracking the numbers, according to new data from the bureau. ...


And thus we shall drive / one person per vehicle / unto our ruin

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Mon, Jan 31, 2011
from London Guardian:
Greenpeace protests at Koch brothers' rally
Prominent figures on both the right and left of the US political spectrum gathered in the luxury enclave of Rancho Mirage in the Californian desert today amid increasingly heated debate about the influence of the secrecy-loving billionaires Charles and David Koch on the political process. About 200 key figures in business, energy, the media and law were expected to assemble at a five-star hotel at the invitation of the Koch brothers for the latest of their twice-yearly discussion groups on how to forward their libertarian causes... As the attendees arrived in their private jets, they were greeted by an airship that circled over the hotel's golf courses and tennis courts bearing the logo: "Koch brothers dirty money." It was sent up by Greenpeace, the environmental campaign group, which has joined forces with several other left-leaning organisations to hold a counter-rally to the Koch meeting. ...


In an air battle, I fear the jets would win.

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Sun, Jan 30, 2011
from Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:
Alaska seeing impact of climate change in its infrastructure, villages
Climate change has already begun to make life difficult for state transportation managers. And they expect it to become a bigger and more expensive challenge if warming trends continue as predicted. "With over 6,600 miles of coastline and 80 percent of the state underlaid by ice-rich permafrost, you can certainly imagine we are at the forefront of climate change impacts," said Mike Coffey, maintenance and operations chief for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. Coffey discussed the impact of climate change on transportation in a webinar last week, hosted by the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. New challenges include warming permafrost, coastal erosion and the potential for more dramatic storms and flooding, he said. These could lead to more highways and facilities cracking, icing up or even washing away. The hardest-hit areas are northern, western and Interior Alaska, where roads and structures are built over permafrost and near the coast. ...


Benefits of climate change include seeing Russia more easily from Alaskan windows.

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Sat, Jan 29, 2011
from The Economist:
Burning ambitions
IN RICH countries, where people worry about air quality and debate ways of pricing carbon emissions, coal is deeply unfashionable. Elsewhere demand for the dirty rocks has never been stronger. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reckons world consumption will increase by a fifth over the next 25 years, assuming governments stick to their current climate-change policies. A new age of coal is upon us.... the coal boom blows yet another hole in the effort to restrain greenhouse-gas emissions. The Kyoto protocol makes countries responsible only for their own direct emissions. As environmentalists point out, rich countries that spurn coal-fired power while exporting the rocks to countries with less ambitious emissions targets are merely shifting the problem around the globe. ...


Does this coal plant make my butt look big???

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Sat, Jan 29, 2011
from University of Colorado at Boulder via ScienceDaily:
Warming North Atlantic Water Tied to Heating Arctic
The temperatures of North Atlantic Ocean water flowing north into the Arctic Ocean adjacent to Greenland -- the warmest water in at least 2,000 years -- are likely related to the amplification of global warming in the Arctic, says a new international study involving the University of Colorado Boulder...The team believes that the rapid warming of the Arctic and recent decrease in Arctic sea ice extent are tied to the enhanced heat transfer from the North Atlantic Ocean..."Cold seawater is critical for the formation of sea ice, which helps to cool the planet by reflecting sunlight back to space..." ...


Call it... the "albedone effect."

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Fri, Jan 28, 2011
from London Guardian:
Climate change: Barack Obama less interested than Bush, analysis reveals
Barack Obama has paid less attention to climate change in his State of the Union addresses than any other president in the past 20 years, an analysis by a British researcher has found. Obama made no mention of the words climate change, global warming or environment in his hour-long speech on Tuesday night -- when presidents typically employ the pomp and ceremony of the annual occasion to put forward their priorities before an American television audience in the tens of millions. ...


Finicky Brits.

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Thu, Jan 27, 2011
from Reuters:
Arctic short-cut shipping to leap in 2011 -Russia
Russia predicted on Tuesday a surge in voyages on an Arctic short-cut sea route in 2011 as a thaw linked to climate change opens the region even more to shipping and oil and mining companies. High metals and oil prices, linked to rising demand from China and other emerging economies, is helping to spur interest in the Arctic and the route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as an alternative to travelling via the Suez canal. ...


The Apocalypse is nigh -- LET'S PARTY!!!

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Thu, Jan 27, 2011
from Associated Press:
Gingrich calls for replacing EPA
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called Tuesday for the elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency, which he wants to replace with a new organization that would work more closely with businesses and be more aggressive in using science and technology... Gingrich, who has made several visits to Iowa recently, said the EPA was founded on sound ideas but has become a traditional Washington bureaucracy. Gingrich had previously mentioned his desire to change the EPA, but Tuesday's explanation was the first time he made a specific proposal for replacing the agency...Gingrich denied his proposal would result in environmental damage, saying he would replace the EPA with what he called the Environmental Solution Agency. ...


An agency formerly known as the Business Aggrandizement and Earth Ruination Agency.

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Wed, Jan 26, 2011
from Rolling Stone:
12 Politicians and Execs Blocking Progress on Global Warming
No one does more to spread dangerous disinformation about global warming than [Rupert] Murdoch. In a year of rec­ord heat waves in Africa, freak snowstorms in America and epic flooding in Pakistan, the Fox network continued to dismiss climate change as nothing but a conspiracy by liberal scientists and Big Government. Glenn Beck told viewers the Earth experienced no warming in the past decade -- the hottest on record. Sean Hannity declared that "global warming doesn't exist" and speculated about "the true agenda of global-warming hysterics." Even Brian Kilmeade, co-host of the chatty Fox & Friends, laughed off the threat of climate change, joking that the real problem was "too many polar bears." ...


This is the dirtiest dozen of all.

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Wed, Jan 26, 2011
from ProPublica:
Climate Benefits of Natural Gas May Be Overstated
The United States is poised to bet its energy future on natural gas as a clean, plentiful fuel that can supplant coal and oil. But new research by the Environmental Protection Agency -- and a growing understanding of the pollution associated with the full "life cycle" of gas production -- is casting doubt on the assumption that gas offers a quick and easy solution to climate change. Advocates for natural gas routinely assert that it produces 50 percent less greenhouse gases than coal and is a significant step toward a greener energy future. But those assumptions are based on emissions from the tailpipe or smokestack and don't account for the methane and other pollution emitted when gas is extracted and piped to power plants and other customers. The EPA's new analysis doubles its previous estimates for the amount of methane gas that leaks from loose pipe fittings and is vented from gas wells, drastically changing the picture of the nation's emissions that the agency painted as recently as April. ...


Can we at least still call it natural?

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Tue, Jan 25, 2011
from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne via ScienceDaily:
Humans Have Been Provoking Climate Change for Thousands of Years, Carbon History Shows
The Roman Conquest, the Black Death and the discovery of America -- by modifying the nature of the forests -- have had a significant impact on the environment. These are the findings of EPFL scientists who have researched our long history of emitting carbon into the environment. Humans didn't wait for the industrial revolution to provoke environment and climate change. They have been having an influence for at least 8000 years." ...


No wonder this habit is so hard to break.

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Tue, Jan 25, 2011
from Inter Press Service:
Driving Straight Into Catastrophe
Despite repeated warnings by environmental and climate experts that reduction of fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions is fundamental to forestalling global warming, disaster appears imminent. According to the latest statistics, unprecedented climate change has Earth hurtling down a path of catastrophic proportions. The Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that the global consumption of primary energy in 2010 reached some 500 exajoules (EJ), a number just under the worst-case scenario formulated ten years ago by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC's Special Report on Emissions Scenarios, published in 2000, calculated the worst-case scenario as 525 EJ consumed in one calendar year. The IEA found that coal was one of the largest sources of energy consumed in 2010, comprising approximately 27 percent of the total energy consumption. Coal, one of the cheapest sources of energy, is considered the filthiest of all, as far as greenhouse gases emissions (GHGE) are concerned. ...


If you're heading for a cliff might as well accelerate!

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Mon, Jan 24, 2011
from McClatchy:
With health care 'repealed,' GOP turns to climate change
Now that the House of Representatives has voted to repeal the health care law, Republicans say they're likely to move soon to another target -- a rewrite of the Clean Air Act so that it can't be used to fight climate change.... "Standing up for American workers and addressing EPA's rampant regulations is a top priority, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., said Thursday. "We will be active and aggressive using every tool in the toolbox to protect American jobs and our economy by rolling back the job-destroying (greenhouse gas) regulations." Like the health-care repeal, though, it's largely a symbolic effort since the Senate retains its Democratic majority and President Barack Obama wields his veto pen. ...


Repealing climate chaos is our only option.

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Sun, Jan 23, 2011
from London Independent:
Fish threatened by global warming to be moved north
Fish from the Lake District will be moved to cooler waters in Scotland under radical plans -- which will be unveiled this week -- aimed at coping with climate change. The first seven of more than 100 reports by government agencies and utility companies will set out how Britain needs to change to cope with hotter summers and wetter winters. They will highlight the risks -- and potential costs -- of more landslides, buckled railway lines, crumbling water pipes and rising sea levels threatening lighthouses around the coast. Officials say the studies are needed because levels of carbon emissions mean climate change over the next four decades is unavoidable. The dangers to wildlife have triggered the most extreme solutions: the Environment Agency is poised to catch and transfer thousands of vendace and schelly, both freshwater white fish, from the lakes of Cumbria to Scottish lochs. ...


Ideally, there is so much Prozac in the water the fish won't even care they're being abducted!

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Sun, Jan 23, 2011
from Agence France-Press:
Climate change: Dogs of law are off the leash
From being a marginal and even mocked issue, climate-change litigation is fast emerging as a new frontier of law where some believe hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake. Compensation for losses inflicted by man-made global warming would be jaw-dropping, a payout that would make tobacco and asbestos damages look like pocket money. Imagine: a country or an individual could get redress for a drought that destroyed farmland, for floods and storms that created an army of refugees, for rising seas that wiped a small island state off the map. In the past three years, the number of climate-related lawsuits has ballooned, filling the void of political efforts in tackling greenhouse-gas emissions. ...


That won't be a problem here in the United States where climate change is an ideological issue.

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Jan 22, 2011
from Climatewire:
Greenland's Ice Feels the Heat in Record-Setting 2010
Greenland's massive ice sheet experienced record surface melting and runoff last year, according to research released today. Unusually warm conditions in much of the country helped extend the annual melting season by up to 50 days longer in 2010 than the average observed between 1979 and 2009, researchers found... Last year was the warmest in Greenland's capital, Nuuk, since record keeping began there in 1873. Nuuk, on the country's southwest coast, also set records in 2010 for warmest winter, spring and summer seasons. ...


We're Nuuked!

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Jan 22, 2011
from London Independent:
2.4 billion extra people, no more land: how will we feed the world in 2050?
The finite resources of the Earth will be be stretched as never before in the coming 40 years because of the unprecedented challenge of feeding the world in 2050, leading scientists have concluded in a report to be published next week. Food production will have to increase by between 70 and 100 per cent, while the area of land given over to agriculture will remain static, or even decrease as a result of land degradation and climate change. Meanwhile the global population is expected to rise from 6.8 billion at present to about 9.2 billion by mid-century. ...


Too many people, too little food... solution seems rather obvious to me!

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Wed, Jan 19, 2011
from BusinessGreen:
'Normal' weather set to change in US this year
The definition of 'normal weather' across the US is about to change, according to new figures from the agency that publishes climate data that also show it is getting steadily hotter. Each decade, the National Climate Data Centre, which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, updates a set of weather data known as the 'normals'. This data averages temperature and precipitation over a thirty-year period to help businesses predict weather trends. For example, utilities use it to predict electricity sales, and it is also useful for the agricultural industry and other commercial sectors.... According to staff responsible for the project, losing the 1970s data will increase the average temperature. ...


The average of the mean of the median of the mode indicates a statistical probability of shifting baselines.

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Tue, Jan 18, 2011
from Medill National Security Journalism Initiative:
Losing the Andes glaciers
Glacier melt hasn't caused a national crisis in Peru, yet. But high in the Andes, rising temperatures and changes in water supply have decimated crops, killed fish stocks and forced entire villages to question how they will survive for another generation. U.S. officials are watching closely because without quick intervention, they say, the South American nation could become an unfortunate case study in how climate change can destabilize a strategically important region and, in turn, create conditions that pose a national security threat to Americans thousands of miles away. "Think what it would be like if the Andes glaciers were gone and we had millions and millions of hungry and thirsty Southern neighbors," said former CIA Director R. James Woolsey. "It would not be an easy thing to deal with." ...


Kind of a bummer for those Southern neighbors as well.

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Mon, Jan 17, 2011
from University of Cambridge via ScienceDaily:
Warming Climate Means Red Deer Rutting Season Arrives Early
Wild red deer on the Isle of Rum are rutting earlier in the year, a study shows. Scientists believe the annual rutting season on the Isle of Rum could be changing because of warming spring and summer temperatures. The study shows that the rutting and calving seasons are now up to two weeks earlier on average compared with 30 years ago... Scientists at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh, who maintained the long-term research, say this provides rare evidence that warming temperatures are affecting the behaviour of British mammals. ...


Some enchanted evening!

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Mon, Jan 17, 2011
from McClatchy Newspapers:
Northwest's unusually foggy summer mystifies experts
The summer of 2010 was the foggiest on record in the Pacific Northwest, according to a researcher dubbed "Dr. Fog" by his colleagues. Record levels of fog were reported in Seattle, Portland, Ore., Olympia, Wash., and from North Bend, Ore., to Quillayute, Wash., along the coast, said James Johnstone, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Washington's Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Oceans who's focused on West Coast fog. Though the increase in fog is consistent with global warming computer models for the West Coast, Johnstone said there were other factors in play, with California actually becoming less foggy as the Northwest grew foggier. ...


Fog, by its very nature, is supposed to be mysterious!

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Thu, Jan 13, 2011
from Associated Press:
2010 ties 2005 as warmest year on record worldwide
It's a tie: Last year equaled 2005 as the warmest year on record, government climate experts reported Wednesday. The average worldwide temperature was 1.12 degrees Fahrenheit (0.62 degree Celsius) above normal last year. That's the same as six years ago, the National Climatic Data Center announced. Climate experts have become increasingly concerned about rising global temperatures over the last century. Most atmospheric scientists attribute the change to gases released into the air by industrial processes and gasoline-burning engines. In addition, the Global Historical Climatology Network said Wednesday that last year was the wettest on record. Rain and snowfall patterns varied greatly around the world. ...


It's as if... the years are competing with each other!

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Tue, Jan 11, 2011
from Washington Post:
As Arctic melts, U.S. ill equipped to tap resources
...Like the rest of the 2.5-million-square-foot area at the top of the world, this chunk of the U.S. Arctic is melting quickly because of accelerated climate change. The prospect of newly thawed sea lanes and a freshly accessible, resource-rich seabed has nations jockeying for position. And government and military officials are concerned the United States is not moving quickly enough to protect American interests in this vulnerable and fast-changing region. ...


The Empire is sooo melting.

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Sat, Jan 8, 2011
from ScienceDaily:
What Carbon Cycle? College Students Lack Scientific Literacy, Study Finds
Most college students in the United States do not grasp the scientific basis of the carbon cycle -- an essential skill in understanding the causes and consequences of climate change, according to research published in the January issue of BioScience.... "Improving students' understanding of these biological principles could make them better prepared to deal with important environmental issues such as global climate change," said Charles "Andy" Anderson, MSU professor of teacher education and co-investigator on the project.... Students trying to explain weight loss, for example, could not trace matter once it leaves the body; instead they used informal reasoning based on their personal experiences (such as the fat "melted away" or was "burned off"). In reality, the atoms in fat molecules leave the body (mostly through breathing) and enter the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and water. Most students also incorrectly believe plants obtain their mass from the soil rather than primarily from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. "When you see a tree growing," Anderson said, "it's a lot easier to believe that tree is somehow coming out of the soil rather than the scientific reality that it's coming out of the air." ...


When you've learned your science from TV ads, you've really learned a lot!!

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Fri, Jan 7, 2011
from Aquatic Research, via DesdemonaDespair:
Ocean currents changing drastically due to global warming
Examination of deep sea corals reveals that there have been drastic changes to oceanic currents in the western North Atlantic since the 1970s. The influence of the cold water Labrador Current, which is in periodic interchange with the warm Gulf Stream, has been decreasing continually since the 1970s. Occurring at the same time as Global Warming this phenomenon is unique in the past 2000 years. These results are reported by researchers from the University of Basel and Eawag in the current edition of the scientific journal PNAS.... Using new geochemical methods, an international team of researchers including the biogeochemists Prof. Moritz Lehmann (University of Basel) and Dr. Carsten Schubert (Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) were able to prove that a drastic change to a warm water mode occurred in the western North Atlantic in the early 1970s. This change, the timing of which coincides with and may be directly related to global warming, is unique in the last 2000 years.... The researchers were able to show a clear reduction in the 15N/14N ratio since 1970 which indicates that the role of the cold Labrador Current, with a higher 15N/14N ratio, is becoming less important. ...


Churning and churning in the shifting gyre / ocean warming will not heed the falconer / shores fall apart; the currents will not hold...

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Wed, Jan 5, 2011
from Associated Press:
Reinsurer says costs from natural disasters jumped in 2010, shows evidence of climate change
A leading reinsurer said Monday that extreme natural catastrophes in 2010, including severe earthquakes, floods and heat waves, led to the sixth-highest total of insurers' losses since 1980 and showed evidence of climate change. Munich Re AG said in its annual review that insured losses came in at $37 billion (euro27.69 billion) this year, up from $22 billion in 2009. It said total economic losses, including losses not covered by insurance, rose to $130 billion from last year's $50 billion. "The high number of weather-related natural catastrophes and record temperatures both globally and in different regions of the world provide further indications of advancing climate change," the company said in a statement. ...


Good God, man, even the insurance dudes get it!

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Wed, Jan 5, 2011
from London Independent:
Tax on carbon: The only way to save our planet?
Professor James Hansen's last formal engagement was delivering a keynote paper to the American Geophysical Union Autumn meeting. After that, he spent the holidays not enjoying wintry walks or taking advantage of the sales, but doing something altogether more industrious. "I'm writing a paper to provide the scientific basis for [law] suits against the government - just to make them do their job," he says..."I realised that if we [scientists] don't help to connect the dots from what the science says to what the implications are for policy, then those dots get connected by people who have special interests," says Hansen, explaining his decision. "I think scientists are able to be objective. Governments just don't face the facts clearly. And it's scary because as scientists we can see what the implications are for our own children and grandchildren." ...


You know what's really scary? That we have to find this story about a courageous American scientist ... in a London newspaper.

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Mon, Jan 3, 2011
from Minneapolis Star Tribume:
Our new Minnesota normal: Warmer and wetter
The year 2011 will bring a change in the weather -- or at least what we think of as normal weather. New "normal" settings for temperatures, rainfall and snow for Minnesota -- indeed, for 10,000 U.S. locations -- will be published later this year by the National Climate Data Center, which calculates them once a decade, much like the census. For the Twin Cities and much of Minnesota, normal will probably mean warmer and wetter. The normal overall temperature for January for the Twin Cities could be 2.7 degrees warmer than the normal that's been in use for the past 10 years, based on previous calculations. That's a sizable jump in climate terms, but once people adjust to the new average, it's possible they might not be alarmed. ...


Especially if they are in denial.

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Sat, Jan 1, 2011
from DesdemonaDespair:
50 Doomiest Graphs of 2010
The Graph of the Day feature comprises Desdemona's assault on the left hemisphere of the brain, in the quixotic quest against delusional hope. This post complements the media barrage on the right hemisphere, 50 Doomiest Photos of 2010. 2010 yielded a torrent of new scientific data that documents the accelerating destruction of the biosphere, and Desdemona managed to capture a few graphs from the flood. Here are the most doom-laden graphs of 2010, chosen by scope, length of observational period, and sleekness of presentation. Open up your left hemisphere and drink in the data. ...


Now put both hemispheres together, and get busy! 2011 must be a year of change.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Dec 28, 2010
from Time:
The Northeast Blizzard: One More Sign of Global Warming
It's become as much a winter tradition as eggnog at Christmas and champagne on New Year's Eve -- the first major snowstorm of the year bringing out the climate-change skeptics. And the bona fide blizzard that has frozen much of the Northeast just a few days after winter officially began definitely qualifies as major. But while piles of snow blocking your driveway hardly conjure images of a dangerously warming world, it doesn't mean that climate change is a myth. The World Meteorological Organization recently reported that 2010 is almost certainly going to be one of the three warmest years on record, while 2001 to 2010 is already the hottest decade in recorded history. Indeed, according to some scientists, all of these events may actually be connected... The loss of Arctic sea ice helps accelerate the warming of the atmosphere in the far north, thanks to what's known as the albedo effect. White ice reflects sunlight into space, cooling the air, but when ice melts and is replaced with dark ocean water, the effect is reversed and more of the sun's heat is absorbed. As the Arctic air warms, it raises the altitude of discrete areas of high pressure, which can then alter wind patterns. This, in turn, can weaken the jet stream, allowing more cold air to seep out of the Arctic and into Europe and the eastern U.S. ...


Just like snowmen, climate skeptics will melt.

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Sun, Dec 26, 2010
from Associated Press:
The problem with wheat
In these volcanic valleys of central Mexico, on the Canadian prairies, across India's northern plain, they sow and they reap the golden grain that has fed us since the distant dawn of farming. But along with the wheat these days comes a harvest of worry. Yields aren't keeping up with a world growing hungrier. Crops are stunted in a world grown warmer. A devastating fungus, a wheat "rust," is spreading out of Africa, a grave threat to the food plant that covers more of the planet's surface than any other. ...


Let them eat rust.

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Thu, Dec 23, 2010
from Los Angeles Times:
Polar bear status pits environmentalists vs. administration
A dispute about how much the government should protect polar bears has turned into a battleground for environmentalists and some of the country's most powerful business organizations over the larger question of global warming. On Wednesday, the Interior Department filed arguments in federal court defending its decision to classify polar bears as "threatened" rather than "endangered" despite widespread shrinkage of the sea ice that forms the bears' natural habitat. What makes the issue so sensitive is that, if polar bears received the stricter endangered classification, the Obama administration would be pressured to attack the problem at its source: the petroleum, coal and manufacturing companies that emit the greenhouse gases scientists say are a major factor in climate change. ...


I propose a third category for polar bears: screwed.

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Tue, Dec 21, 2010
from London Guardian:
That snow outside is what global warming looks like
... There is now strong evidence to suggest that the unusually cold winters of the last two years in the UK are the result of heating elsewhere.... Here's what seems to be happening. The global temperature maps published by Nasa present a striking picture. Last month's shows a deep blue splodge over Iceland, Spitsbergen, Scandanavia and the UK, and another over the western US and eastern Pacific. Temperatures in these regions were between 0.5C and 4C colder than the November average from 1951 and 1980. But on either side of these cool blue pools are raging fires of orange, red and maroon: the temperatures in western Greenland, northern Canada and Siberia were between 2C and 10C higher than usual. Nasa's Arctic oscillations map for 3-10 December shows that parts of Baffin Island and central Greenland were 15C warmer than the average for 2002-9. There was a similar pattern last winter. These anomalies appear to be connected. ...


In the future all our anomalies will be connected.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Dec 20, 2010
from CNN:
Going green to save the white of the Alps
In the Alps, the term "going green" is not necessarily a good thing. While efforts to be more environmentally friendly are welcome, the region is under threat from climate change that could mean in the future the snowy, white slopes in the winter are more a grassy, green color... According to figures from an OECD report from 2007, a two degree Celsius rise in temperature would reduce the number of skiable areas in the Alps from nearly 700 to around 400. Those lying below 1,500 meters are most vulnerable.... ...


On the flip side, with sea level rise, we'll have more water skiing!

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Mon, Dec 20, 2010
from Associated Press:
2010's world gone wild: Quakes, floods, blizzards
This was the year the Earth struck back. Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts killed at least a quarter million people in 2010 -- the deadliest year in more than a generation. More people were killed worldwide by natural disasters this year than have been killed in terrorism attacks in the past 40 years combined. "It just seemed like it was back-to-back and it came in waves," said Craig Fugate, who heads the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency. It handled a record number of disasters in 2010. "The term `100-year event' really lost its meaning this year." And we have ourselves to blame most of the time, scientists and disaster experts say. Even though many catastrophes have the ring of random chance, the hand of man made this a particularly deadly, costly, extreme and weird year for everything from wild weather to earthquakes. ...


The hand of man is a mighty instrument of ineptitude.

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Sun, Dec 19, 2010
from London Daily Mail:
Sandal-wearers won't save us from global warming - but greed and the U.S. Navy will
...I was in Cancun for the talks. But as the days passed, I spent less and less time chronicling the blather of the diplomats. It was moonshine at the Moon Palace. Instead, I cruised the numerous side meetings, where experts were discussing deeds rather than words. And what I heard was staggering. People you would never suspect of being wedded to fighting climate change - rear admirals and farmers, shipping magnates and loggers - were all discussing their plans to cut their pollution and create a new low-carbon world, without the UN or any other global agreement. Because they wanted to, and because it will make them money. Many environmentalists hate them for it. They want burden-sharing and hair shirts. They insist we must all suffer to fight climate change. But the truth is we are at a tipping point where green burden-sharing gives way to green profit-seeking. ...


Whatever works, dude, whatever works.

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Sun, Dec 19, 2010
from Toronto Globe and Mail:
On the move in a warming world: The rise of climate refugees
... Across the Sahel, a band of semi-arid land south of the Sahara stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, an estimated 10 million people suffered food shortages this year, including 850,000 children who are acutely malnourished and could die without urgent care. In the Sahel region of Chad, more than 20 per cent of children are acutely malnourished, on top of a chronic malnutrition rate of about 50 per cent. In some regions, mothers are desperately digging into anthills in search of tiny grains and seeds for their children. And this is just one of many places around the world where the changing climate has left the people dependent on foreign aid. When the 190-nation climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, staggered to an end last weekend, there was no binding agreement on curbing carbon emissions and no sign of a treaty to replace the soon-expiring Kyoto Protocol. The negotiators will try again next December. But regardless of those negotiations, the facts on the ground will not change: The climate is growing more precarious, and millions of people are on the move. The question now is whether to encourage them to migrate - or to salvage their ravaged land with long-term investment, instead of simply handing out emergency aid. ...


Is there no other option, such as colonizing Mars? C'mon, people, where's the can-do vision?

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Wed, Dec 15, 2010
from PhysOrg:
Ancient forest emerges mummified from the Arctic
The northernmost mummified forest ever found in Canada is revealing how plants struggled to endure a long-ago global cooling. Researchers believe the trees -- buried by a landslide and exquisitely preserved 2 to 8 million years ago -- will help them predict how today's Arctic will respond to global warming. They also suspect that many more mummified forests could emerge across North America as Arctic ice continues to melt. As the wood is exposed and begins to rot, it could release significant amounts of methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere -- and actually boost global warming.... "Mummified forests aren't so uncommon, but what makes this one unique is that it's so far north. When the climate began to cool 11 million years ago, these plants would have been the first to feel the effects," Barker said. ...


Mummified forests releasing gases that then reveal more mummified forests -- are we sure this isn't another zombie-movie promo?

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Wed, Dec 15, 2010
from Associated Press:
Environmentalists sue ExxonMobil over air laws
The largest oil refinery in the United States released more than 8 million pounds of illegal pollution in the past five years, violating the federal Clean Air Act thousands of times, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by environmental groups in Texas. The lawsuit against ExxonMobil is the latest by Sierra Club and Environment Texas as part of their campaign to rein in what they call "illegal emissions" by dozens of refineries and chemical plants that operate in the Texas Gulf Coast. In recent months, the groups have reached multimillion-dollar, out-of-court settlements with Shell and Chevron Phillips after filing similar suits. ExxonMobil denied the allegations and said it would fight the lawsuit... Texas has more oil refineries, chemical plants and coal-fired power plants that any other state and is the nation's leader in greenhouse gases. The state produces more than 20 percent of the nation's oil and one-third of the country's gas is refined along the Texas Gulf Coast. ...


Oil is the lifeblood of Uhmerica and it's the heart of Texas that pumps it.

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Mon, Dec 13, 2010
from Reuters:
Analysis: Next climate test: how to adapt
...Because nations are unlikely to make deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to prevent climate change, world leaders must work out how developing nations will adapt to more severe weather predicted in coming years that will hit food and water supplies...Until now, most efforts have been on curbing greenhouse gases from factories, power plants and vehicles -- not on adapting to a changing climate of droughts, floods and a creeping rise in sea levels. The Cancun deal asks countries to submit ideas by February 21 about steps to set up an "Adaptation Committee." ...


I can get used to anything but committees.

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Sat, Dec 4, 2010
from Associated Press:
As climate talks drag on, more ponder techno-fixes
Like the warming atmosphere above, a once-taboo idea hangs over the slow, frustrating U.N. talks to curb climate change: the idea to tinker with the atmosphere or the planet itself, pollute the skies to ward off the sun, fill the oceans with gas-eating plankton, do whatever it takes. As climate negotiators grew more discouraged in recent months, U.S. and British government bodies urged stepped-up studies of such "geoengineering."... Schemes were floated for using aircraft, balloons or big guns to spread sulfate particles in the lower stratosphere to reflect sunlight, easing the warming scientists say is being caused by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted by industry, vehicles and agriculture. Others suggested assembling gargantuan mirrors in orbit to fend off the solar radiation. Still others propose -- and a German experiment tried -- seeding the ocean with iron, a nutrient that would spur the spread of plankton, which absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide. ...


Hey, if we can't get real work done, we might as well fire up the bong!

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Dec 3, 2010
from CBC:
2010 set to be Canada's warmest year
The year 2010 is expected to be one of the three warmest years worldwide since the collection of reliable climate data began -- and Canada's on track to record its hottest year yet. The data released Thursday by the UN's weather agency, the World Meteorological Organization, provides further evidence of a warming trend that has been seen for many years. Scientists blame a steady rise in man-made greenhouse gases, which have been building up in the atmosphere, trapping heat in. During the first 10 months of 2010, the global combined sea surface and land surface air temperature was 0.55 degrees C above the 1961-1990 annual average of 14 degrees C.... The final ranking of 2010 won't be known until data from November and December are examined early next year. But measurements from the first 25 days of November suggest global temperatures continue to track record levels. "Canada had its warmest winter on record, with national temperatures 4 degrees C above the long-term average," said the WMO. "Winter temperatures were 6 degrees C or more above normal in parts of [Canada's] North." ...


Why, that's practically winter in Cancun!

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Fri, Dec 3, 2010
from TalkingPointsMemo:
US House Republicans kill climate change committee
US President Barack Obama's Republican foes in the House of Representatives said Wednesday they were disbanding the chamber's committee on battling global warming, calling it a waste of money. Democrats immediately assailed what they branded the "very disappointing" decision to dismantle the Select Committee on Global Warming, which did not have the power to approve legislation. "We have pledged to save taxpayers' money by reducing waste and duplication in Congress," said a spokesman for Republican House speaker-designate John Boehner, Michael Steel. The committee "was a clear example, and it will not continue in the 112th Congress," he told AFP by email. A spokesman for outgoing Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, set to hand Boehner her gavel when a new US Congress convenes in January, said the panel had played an important role in the debate on climate change and energy. ...


Is it true we elect the politicians we deserve?

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Mon, Nov 29, 2010
from Boston Globe:
Sudden-drought scenario
But according to recent research on the historical ecology of the Andes Mountains, conducted in part by an assistant professor at Westfield State University, those steady changes could reach a tipping point that would, in some cases, flip local ecosystems on their heads. The scientists examined fossilized pollen in Lake Titicaca on the border of Peru and Bolivia, the world's highest-elevation great lake. That, they said, allowed them to look about 370,000 years back in time. They found that in two periods of past warming, the lake shrank by as much as 85 percent, and the surrounding grassland ecosystem was turned into a desert. Based on their work, the group then projected that if temperatures were to rise between 3 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit, parts of high-elevation Bolivia and Peru would become desert-like as early as 2040. Such a change could be disastrous for the water supply for Bolivia's capital city, La Paz, and for farming.... Scientists have assumed such tipping points would take place, but the study allowed researchers to do something new: project the future.... "The implications would be profound for some 2 million people," said Paul Filmer, a foundation program director. ...


I'll see your two million and raise you six billion.

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Tue, Nov 23, 2010
from University of Hawaii, via EurekAlert:
Study could mean greater anticipated global warming
Current state-of-the-art global climate models predict substantial warming in response to increases in greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. The models, though, disagree widely in the magnitude of the warming we can expect. The disagreement among models is mainly due to the different representation of clouds. Some models predict that global mean cloud cover will increase in a warmer climate and the increased reflection of solar radiation will limit the predicted global warming. Other models predict reduced cloudiness and magnified warming.... Having evaluated the model's simulation of present-day conditions, the researchers examined the response of simulated clouds in a warmer climate such as it might be in 100 years from now. The tendency for clouds to thin and cloud cover to reduce was more pronounced in this model than in any of the current global models. Co-author Kevin Hamilton concludes, "If our model results prove to be representative of the real global climate, then climate is actually more sensitive to perturbations by greenhouse gases than current global models predict, and even the highest warming predictions would underestimate the real change we could see." ...


Is that a cumulonimbus in your pocket, or are you just sad to see me?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Nov 22, 2010
from USA Today:
Experts claim 2006 climate report plagiarized
An influential 2006 congressional report that raised questions about the validity of global warming research was partly based on material copied from textbooks, Wikipedia and the writings of one of the scientists criticized in the report, plagiarism experts say. Review of the 91-page report by three experts contacted by USA TODAY found repeated instances of passages lifted word for word and what appear to be thinly disguised paraphrases. The report was requested in 2005 by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, then the head of the House energy committee. Barton cited the report in an October letter to The Washington Post when he wrote that Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann's work was "rooted in fundamental errors of methodology that had been cemented in place as 'consensus' by a closed network of friends." ...


At least scientists are good for cherry-pickin' and plagiarizin.'

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Mon, Nov 22, 2010
from Scientific American:
Fear-Based Messaging May Drive Skepticism of Global Warming
Earlier this year a Gallup poll found that 48 percent of Americans believe that global warming concerns are exaggerated. Back in 1997 31 percent of Americans thought the concerns were overrated. Why the increase? Well it might have to do with the framing of the issue.... Those who received more positive messaging trusted the science. On the other hand those subjects who read the "doomsday" messaging were skeptical of global warming, and for those who think the world is generally a fair place had even stronger doubts about global warming after reading the negative messaging. The study is published in the January issue of Psychological Science. So the authors note that while many tend to use fear-based messaging, in the case of global warming our reaction to a negative consequence may indeed overpower any logic. ...


Don't worry. Be happy.

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Sun, Nov 21, 2010
from AP, via PhysOrg:
That 'other' climate problem
Gas locked inside Siberia's frozen soil and under its lakes has been seeping out since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago. But in the past few decades, as the Earth has warmed, the icy ground has begun thawing more rapidly, accelerating the release of methane - a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide - at a perilous rate. Some scientists believe the thawing of permafrost could become the epicenter of climate change. They say 1.5 trillion tons of carbon, locked inside icebound earth since the age of mammoths, is a climate time bomb waiting to explode if released into the atmosphere.... Yet awareness of methane leaks from permafrost is so new that it was not even mentioned in the seminal 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which warned of rising sea levels inundating coastal cities, dramatic shifts in rainfall disrupting agriculture and drinking water, the spread of diseases and the extinction of species.... As the Earth warms, the summer thaw bites a bit deeper, awakening ice-age microbes that attack organic matter - vegetation and animal remains - buried where oxygen cannot reach, producing methane that gurgles to the surface and into the air. The newly released methane adds to the greenhouse effect, trapping yet more heat which deepens the next thaw, in a spiraling cycle of increasing warmth. ...


Apocaiku: The ice-age microbes / reawaken. Can we wake / all the sleepwalkers?

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Sun, Nov 21, 2010
from Guardian:
Global emissions of carbon dioxide drop 1.3 percent, say international scientists
Global emissions of carbon dioxide dropped by 1.3 percent in 2009 compared with the previous year, largely due to the effects of the economic crisis and an overall fall in GDP, according to an international team of scientists. The drop is smaller than the 2.8 percent fall predicted by many experts for 2009, however, because the reductions in carbon emissions per unit of GDP - a measure of efficiency called the carbon intensity - was smaller than expected in many emerging economies.... Despite the 1.3 percent overall drop, the 2009 global fossil fuel emissions - 30.8bn tons of CO2 - were the second highest in human history, just below the all-time high of 2008. The small overall decrease in global emissions masks some big regional shifts, according to the report published today in Nature Geoscience. Because the global financial crisis has mainly affected developed nations, this is where emissions dropped by the largest amounts: in the US by 6.9 percent, the UK by 8.6 percent, Germany by 7 percent, Japan by 11.8 percent, Russia by 8.4 percent and Australia by 0.4 percent. In the emerging markets, however, there were big increases: China rose by 8 percent, India by 6.2 percent and South Korea by 1.4 percent. ...


Big sale! 1.3 percent off $30 billion dollars!

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Sat, Nov 20, 2010
from TheEnergyCollective:
Oil industry insider exposé: what it took to wake some of them up on climate.
I've just read Challenged by Carbon: The Oil Industry and Climate Change, which was written by Dr. Bryan Lovell, a former senior executive at British Petroleum.... Lovell writes about how it came to be that the senior European oil executives backed Kyoto while Exxon-Mobil continued on with its denial campaign. In the process, he also shows us what he and his European counterparts believe about how dangerous climate change is. I was astonished.... The oil execs understand and believe that the amount of carbon that is being moved into the atmosphere as civilization accelerates its use of fossil fuels is going in at such a rate that the only comparable event in Earth's history is the PETM (Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum). They believe a recurrence of this event is not only possible but likely. They can't face being held responsible by history. The European senior oil execs, unlike their American counterparts, and perhaps only briefly, lost their nerve about the denial policy, backed Kyoto, and confronted the Americans. The science described by Lovell is why BP started its "Beyond Petroleum" campaign. The science hasn't changed. Obviously, BP has. ...


Hey, you think there'll even be any historians left? Ha! I'm safe.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Nov 17, 2010
from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via ScienceDaily:
Earth's Lower Atmosphere Is Warming, Review of Four Decades of Scientific Literature Concludes
The troposphere, the lower part of the atmosphere closest to the Earth, is warming and this warming is broadly consistent with both theoretical expectations and climate models, according to a new scientific study that reviews the history of understanding of temperature changes and their causes in this key atmospheric layer.... The paper documents how, since the development of the very first climate models in the early 1960s, the troposphere has been projected to warm along with the Earth's surface because of the increasing amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere....This new paper extensively reviews the relevant scientific analyses -- 195 cited papers, model results and atmospheric data sets -- and finds that there is no longer evidence for a fundamental discrepancy and that the troposphere is warming. ...


We now return you to your regularly-scheduled Apocalypse.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Nov 16, 2010
from UC Berkeley News:
Dire messages about global warming can backfire, new study shows
Dire or emotionally charged warnings about the consequences of global warming can backfire if presented too negatively, making people less amenable to reducing their carbon footprint, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley. "Our study indicates that the potentially devastating consequences of global warming threaten people's fundamental tendency to see the world as safe, stable and fair. As a result, people may respond by discounting evidence for global warming," said Robb Willer, UC Berkeley social psychologist and coauthor of a study to be published in the January issue of the journal Psychological Science. "The scarier the message, the more people who are committed to viewing the world as fundamentally stable and fair are motivated to deny it," agreed Matthew Feinberg, a doctoral student in psychology and coauthor of the study. But if scientists and advocates can communicate their findings in less apocalyptic ways, and present solutions to global warming, Willer said, most people can get past their skepticism. ...


Dog-gone it! The world needs a humor site for global warming!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Nov 10, 2010
from The Onion:
Report: Global Warming Issue From 2 Or 3 Years Ago May Still Be Problem
According to a report released this week by the Center for Global Development, climate change, the popular mid-2000s issue that raised awareness of the fact that the earth's continuous rise in temperature will have catastrophic ecological effects, has apparently not been resolved, and may still be a problem.... "Global warming, if you remember correctly, was the single greatest problem of our lifetime back in 2007 and the early part of 2008," CGD president Nancy Birdsall said. "But then the debates over Social Security reform and the World Trade Center mosque came up, and the government had to shift its focus away from the dramatic rise in sea levels, the rapid spread of deadly infectious diseases, and the imminent destruction of our entire planet." Continued Birdsall, "Because the problem of global warming and massive environmental devastation appears to be lingering, however, the time may be right for the federal government to consider dealing with it again in some way." ...


Leave it to The Onion to remind us. Damn you, satirists!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Nov 8, 2010
from LA Times:
Climate scientists plan campaign against global warming skeptics
Faced with rising political attacks, hundreds of climate scientists are joining a broad campaign to push back against congressional conservatives who have threatened prominent researchers with investigations and vowed to kill regulations to rein in man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The still-evolving efforts reveal a shift among climate scientists, many of whom have traditionally stayed out of politics and avoided the news media. Many now say they are willing to go toe-to-toe with their critics, some of whom gained new power after the Republicans won control of the House in Tuesday's election. On Monday, the American Geophysical Union, the country's largest association of climate scientists, plans to announce that 700 climate scientists have agreed to speak out as experts on questions about global warming and the role of man-made air pollution.... "The notion that truth will prevail is not working. The truth has been out there for the past two decades, and nothing has changed." ...


Oh, right -- that "data" thing scientists rattle on about.

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Thu, Nov 4, 2010
from Telegraph.co.uk, from DesdemonaDespair:
Earth would take 100,000 years to recover from global warming say geologists
Professor Jim Zachos, of the University of California, said that 55 million years ago volcanic activity caused around 4,500 gigatons of greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere over thousands of years. This caused the planet to warm by 6C (10.8F), forcing whole ecosystems, including early mammals, to adapt, migrate or die out in certain areas. Prof Zachos said that if the world continues to pump out greenhouse gases at the current rate, around 5,000 gigatons of greenhouse gases will be released into the atmosphere over a few hundred years. He said this will cause a more rapid temperature rise that at any other time in history and could cause "mass extinction of species". "The impacts will be pretty severe compared to 55 million years ago in terms of evolution of this planet," he said. The Geological Society warned that it could take the Earth 100,000 years to recover.... "The geological evidence from the 55 million year event and from earlier warming episodes suggests that such an addition [a massive increase in greenhouse gases caused by the activities of mankind] is likely to raise average global temperatures by at least 5 to 6C, and possibly more, and that recovery of the Earth's climate in the absence of mitigation measures could take 100,000 years or more. Numerical models of the climate system support such an interpretation. In the light of the evidence presented here it is reasonable to conclude that emitting further large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over time is likely to be unwise, uncomfortable though that fact may be." ...


Pfft. Geologists. What do they know?

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Oct 26, 2010
from Popular Science:
Detailed Simulation of Space Tourism Finds It Could Accelerate Climate Change
Last week we celebrated the dedication of Spaceport America, New Mexico's dedicated private spaceflight hub that hopes to begin launching regular flights to the edge of space sometime next year. This week we hear the other side of the story: space tourism's emissions of black carbon in the upper atmosphere could have dire consequences for climate change, increasing polar temperatures by 1.8 degrees and reducing polar sea ice by 5-15 percent. A paper publishing in Geophysical Research Letters suggests that emissions from 1,000 private rocket launches each year would dump detrimental amounts of black carbon - the really bad kind - into the stratosphere where it could remain for up to a decade, altering global atmospheric conditions and the distribution of ozone. And because there's no weather up there to scrub the carbon away as it does commercial airline emissions, that black carbon could hang around for a while.... The models showed that all those firing rockets - 1,000 over the course of a year - would leave behind some 660 tons of black carbon annually, comparable to the emissions of the entire global aviation industry. ...


I know! We'll just have every rocket drop off a floating solar-powered black-carbon vacuum!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Oct 26, 2010
from Politico:
Climate skeptics wanted for GOP primary
It's going to be hard winning the Republican presidential nomination if you're not a climate skeptic. Recent comments from top White House and congressional contenders suggest an awkward mix of outright hostility or, at best, ambivalence toward the widespread scientific consensus that humans are responsible for the warming planet. Fueled by tea party rage, anti-government sentiment and hostility to anything attached to President Barack Obama, the 2012 GOP primary field is expected to run to the right... A New York Times/CBS News poll this month found that 53 percent of tea party supporters think global warming will not have serious impacts at any time in the future, while just 22 percent of the rest of the public felt the same way. ...


What do you suppose those people put in their tea?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Oct 25, 2010
from Thanh Nien Daily:
HCMC set to bear brunt of climate change impacts
Ho Chi Minh City and other Asia's coastal megacities will suffer more frequent and severe flooding affecting millions of people, if current climate change trends continue, a new report says. Major flooding could cost billions of dollars in infrastructure damage, hurting the economy. The hardest hit are likely to be urban poor populations, says the report titled Climate Risks and Adaptation in Asian Coastal Megacities...The cities have populations close to or over 10 million and are economic centers of their countries and the region. Yet they are facing increased risks of climate change such as rising sea levels and an increased frequency in extreme weather conditions. ...


Here in the US we call that the trickle down effect.

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Oct 22, 2010
from The Washington Post:
Sea ice melting as Arctic temperature rises
The temperature is rising again in the Arctic, with the sea ice extent dropping to one of the lowest levels on record, climate scientists reported Thursday.... Atmospheric scientists concerned about global warming focus on the Arctic because that is a region where the effects are expected to be felt first, and that has been the case in recent years. There was a slowdown in Arctic warming in 2009, but in the first half of 2010 warming has been near a record pace, with monthly readings over 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 Fahrenheit) above normal in northern Canada, according to the report card released Thursday. ...


Earth's canary -- the Arctic -- is flying on a wing and a prayer.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Oct 19, 2010
from National Geographic:
Winds Slowing Around the World, Study Suggests
Around the world, surface winds are slowing down, a new study says. Strangely enough, the alleged culprits aren't new buildings but new trees. The easing breezes--if also detected higher up--could affect movements of air pollution but may not necessarily give the wind power industry a case of the doldrums, experts say. For the new study, published Sunday by the journal Nature Geoscience, scientists analyzed nearly 30 years' worth of wind speed data collected from more than 800 land-based weather stations, mostly in the Northern Hemisphere, where long-term wind-data collection has been most reliable. The average annual surface wind speed in countries in mid-northern latitudes--including the United States, China, and Russia--had dropped by as much as 15 percent, from about 10.3 miles (17 kilometers) an hour to about 9 miles (14 kilometers) an hour, the study found.... But reforestation can explain only about 60 percent of the wind speed reductions, the study says. Changes in air circulation due to global warming may be responsible for the rest, but more studies are needed to be sure, according to Vautard. ...


That's not what the hurricanes are sayin'.

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Oct 16, 2010
from Yale Project on Climate Change Communication:
Majority of Americans have 'limited understanding' about climate change
Overall, we found that 63 percent of Americans believe that global warming is happening, but many do not understand why. In this assessment, only 8 percent of Americans have knowledge equivalent to an A or B, 40 percent would receive a C or D, and 52 percent would get an F. The study also found important gaps in knowledge and common misconceptions about climate change and the earth system. These misconceptions lead some people to doubt that global warming is happening or that human activities are a major contributor, to misunderstand the causes and therefore the solutions, and to be unaware of the risks. Thus many Americans lack some of the knowledge needed for informed decision-making in a democratic society.... [L]arge majorities incorrectly think that the hole in the ozone layer and aerosol spray cans contribute to global warming, leading many to incorrectly conclude that banning aerosol spray cans or stopping rockets from punching holes in the ozone layer are viable solutions.... [T]his study finds that Americans trust scientists and scientific organizations far more than any other source of information about global warming. ...


Those environmentalists are such know-it-alls.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Oct 13, 2010
from Greenwire:
It's Red States vs. Blue in Legal War Over EPA Greenhouse Gas Rules
With climate legislation stalled in Congress and U.S. EPA just months away from regulating greenhouse gases for the first time, 37 states have taken sides in a court battle that could end up steering U.S. climate policy for years... The states' positions hew closely to a broader split in sentiments on climate change, said Matthew Kahn, an economist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who studies the geography of climate politics. After looking over a map of the breakdown in the court battle, Kahn said the data seem to reflect what he called the "Prius factor" -- the divide between wealthier, more educated states that are sympathetic to green causes and blue-collar, more carbon-intensive states that would stand to lose the most if greenhouse gas regulations ended up imposing heavy costs on the economy. ...


Red... blue... green... what color will the Apocalypse be?

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Oct 12, 2010
from Reuters:
SCENARIOS-Republican election impact on climate control
Republicans are poised to make big gains in the Nov. 2 congressional elections, putting them in position to reverse Democrats' drive for comprehensive climate control legislation. President Barack Obama's Democrats currently hold majorities in both chambers of the U.S. Congress. A Republican takeover of either chamber, or even large gains by Republicans, will make it harder, or impossible, for Obama to win legislation imposing mandatory reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from smokestacks and tailpipes. ...


Mommy, why do Repubwicans hate pwanet earth?

ApocaDoc
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Sun, Oct 10, 2010
from Associated Press:
US, China blame each other for slow climate talks
Modest progress at U.N. climate talks Saturday was overshadowed by a continuing deadlock between China and the United States, clouding prospects for a major climate conference in Mexico in less than two months' time. Marred by an atmosphere of mistrust, negotiations have made limited headway as the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases blamed each other for holding up talks. Chief U.S. negotiator Jonathan Pershing said he was disappointed by the resistance of China and other developing nations to a major issue: allowing the monitoring and verification of their efforts to curb the greenhouse gas emissions that are blamed for global warming.... Meanwhile his Chinese counterpart, Su Wei, hit back, charging developed countries with failing to commit to substantial reductions in carbon emissions while making unfair demands of developing nations. ...


Why don't we at least find common ground by monitoring and verifying our failures to commit.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Oct 7, 2010
from NUVO Newsweekly:
A ringside seat at the end of the world: Call 'em economentalists
The presiding predicament of our time is that many of us know we need to confront climate change, but there is concern that doing so will "hurt the economy."... The semantic problem, as I see it, is that in articles you read, the position is always "environmentalists say" versus what "politicians or business people or common folks say." So it's always environmentalists under one giant umbrella; and the naysayers nay-saying under their own niche auspices. I say let's even the score. Let's give the people who believe the economy is more important than the environment a name, a label. Let's call them economentalists. ...


Healing the planet through neologisms!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Oct 5, 2010
from Climatewire:
Developing Countries Could Sue for Climate Action -- Study
A new study out says vulnerable countries could sue the United States and other industrialized nations for action on climate change. The report, published by the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD), based in the United Kingdom, says small island nations and other threatened countries have the right and likely the procedural means to pursue an inter-state case before the United Nations' International Court of Justice. "Some of these countries are getting increasingly desperate," Christoph Schwarte, the paper's lead author, said. With little movement toward a new global climate change treaty, he said, many leaders are looking for ways to make the United States and others understand the threats they face from rising sea levels, droughts and storm surges. ...


Other than the fact this judicial process would probably take decades this is an outstanding idea!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Oct 5, 2010
from Washington Post:
Threat of global warming sparks U.S. interest in geoengineering
It's come to this: Climate-conscious policymakers are beginning to contemplate the possibility of playing God with the weather in the hope of slowing global warming. For years it was considered downright wacky in official Washington to discuss geoengineering: altering the climate by reflecting sunlight back into the sky, sucking carbon dioxide from the air - or a host of other gee-whiz schemes. But in the past year the wacky has won a following, spurred in part by the recent collapse of climate legislation as well as by growing interest among private entrepreneurs and foreign officials. ...


That whole "playing God" thing has worked out great so far!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Oct 4, 2010
from London Guardian:
Malaria threatens 2 million in Pakistan as floodwaters turn stagnant
More than 2m cases of malaria are expected in Pakistan in the coming months in the wake of the country's devastating floods, aid workers have warned. Two months into the crisis, large areas remain submerged in southern Sindh province, creating stagnant pools of standing water that, combined with the heat, are powerful incubators of a disease spread by mosquitoes that breed and hatch in the pools. More than 250,000 cases of suspected malaria, including some of the fatal falciparum strain, have been reported, according to the World Health Organisation. ...


Noah should have known to leave mosquitoes behind.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Oct 4, 2010
from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Greenhouse amplification: gases may have hidden kick
Emissions of methane and nitrous oxide (N2O) will cause temperature rises one-fifth higher than previously believed, because of the effects of carbon-climate feedbacks. So say researchers from Canada who have carried out a modelling study. "The mechanism is that emission of other greenhouse gases leads to warming, which in turn leads to emissions of carbon dioxide from soil and from the ocean," Nathan Gillett of Environment Canada told environmentalresearchweb. "This additional carbon dioxide leads to additional warming, thereby amplifying the effect of the non-carbon-dioxide greenhouse gases over and above the warming that would have occurred without this carbon-cycle feedback."... Greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide are estimated to have caused about 37 percent of the total greenhouse-gas forcing. And mitigation strategies that include a range of gases are likely to be 30-40 percent cheaper than those focusing on carbon dioxide alone. ...


I'm sure that's a lot of hot air.

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Oct 1, 2010
from Reuters:
Analysis: Soaring Chinese Economy At Odds With Climate Goals
Just last year experts at the International Energy Agency proposed a target for China's carbon emissions to peak in 2020 before declining if the world were to be saved from devastating climate change. Too late now. Figures from energy firm BP showed earlier this year that Chinese emissions will steamroll through the Paris-based IEA's 2020 peak target next year, nearly a decade early, with no sign of slowing down. China, which hosts U.N. climate talks next week for the first time, is promoting what it calls ambitious plans to boost energy efficiency and curb emissions. But its supercharged growth means even with rapid efficiency gains it cancels out other global efforts to combat climate change. China already emits a quarter of the world's CO2, the main gas contributing to global warming, making it the world's top emitter ahead of the United States. Its emissions have more than doubled since 2000. ...


There is no stopping this bull in the china shop called earth.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Sep 30, 2010
from Climatewire:
Obama Promises to Push Climate Policies 'in Chunks' Next Year
President Obama's newest pledge to resume an "urgent priority" on climate change next year could mark a new direction by Democrats that veers away from the politically hazardous effort to cut the bulk of national carbon emissions in one sprawling measure... "We may end up having to do it in chunks, as opposed to some sort of comprehensive omnibus legislation," he added. "But we're going to stay on this because it is good for our economy, it's good for our national security, and, ultimately, it's good for our environment." ...


This approach makes me want to contribute my own chunks.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Sep 30, 2010
from NUVO Newsweekly:
A ringside seat at the end of the world: Get your hands dirty
For those of you have seen a couple of my columns, you might get the impression I'm just sitting around in my ringside seat, passively consuming news stories and grousing about the end of the world (as we know it). Nay, no. This year, I volunteered as head of the Trash Committee for my annual neighborhood festival that benefits our community association. It's a big deal for my sweet little neighborhood: hundreds of people show up, thousands of bucks are generated. Though we have our political and cultural disagreements, we come together for the larger benefit of the community, which is the way life should be. So. First thing I did as head of the Trash Committee was to change the name to the Waste Committee. It's a slight but significant shift in nomenclature. Trash is one thing. Waste is another. ...


This is my new column... and you can save the planet by reading it!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Sep 29, 2010
from Associated Press:
Could 'Goldilocks' planet be just right for life?
Astronomers say they have for the first time spotted a planet beyond our own in what is sometimes called the Goldilocks zone for life: Not too hot, not too cold. Juuuust right. Not too far from its star, not too close. So it could contain liquid water. The planet itself is neither too big nor too small for the proper surface, gravity and atmosphere. It's just right. Just like Earth. "This really is the first Goldilocks planet," said co-discoverer R. Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. The new planet sits smack in the middle of what astronomers refer to as the habitable zone, unlike any of the nearly 500 other planets astronomers have found outside our solar system. And it is in our galactic neighborhood, suggesting that plenty of Earth-like planets circle other stars. ...


When we're done with this planet we can go mess up another!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Sep 29, 2010
from SPX:
Wildfires: A Symptom Of Climate Change
This summer, wildfires swept across some 22 regions of Russia, blanketing the country with dense smoke and in some cases destroying entire villages. In the foothills of Boulder, Colo., this month, wildfires exacted a similar toll on a smaller scale. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Thousands of wildfires large and small are underway at any given time across the globe. Beyond the obvious immediate health effects, this "biomass" burning is part of the equation for global warming. In northern latitudes, wildfires actually are a symptom of the Earth's warming. ...


"Global burning" is so much more dramatic a term than "global warming."

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Sep 27, 2010
from Newcastle Herald:
Activists shut down Newcastle coal exports
Climate activists brought Newcastle's billion-dollar coal-loaders to a grinding halt yesterday, suspending themselves midair to effectively shut down the world's largest coal export operation. Police arrested 41 members of the Rising Tide group, which launched a simultaneous protest at three coal-loader sites at dawn yesterday. The group said it was staging an "emergency intervention" into the main cause of global warming in Australia. Nine protesters dressed in high-visibility work clothing, similar to employees at the loaders, breached security at the Carrington and Kooragang Island sites about 5am. Five of the group used climbing equipment to scale coal-loaders and suspend themselves in midair, unveiling banners and forcing the immediate shutdown of machinery. ...


They sound like angels!

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Sep 23, 2010
from New York Times:
The 'Hockey Stick' Lives
Yet while the attacks continue, the "hockey stick" graph's basic premise -- that the planet's recent warming is unprecedented over at least the last millennium -- continues to draw support from a growing number of independent studies. Two new studies bolstering the "hockey stick" hypothesis were published just recently. One that appeared this month in the journal Geophysical Research Letters analyzed seashell deposits on the North Atlantic seafloor and determined that 20th-century warming in the region "had no equivalent during the last thousand years." Another study, in The Journal of Geophysical Research, analyzed ice cores from glaciers in the eastern Bolivian Andes dating back to 400 A.D. "The last decades of the past millennium are characterized again by warm temperatures that seem to be unprecedented in the context of the last 1,600 years," the researchers concluded. A study published in September 2009 in the journal Science, meanwhile, found that temperatures in the Arctic in the last decade were likely warmer than any time since the birth of Christ. ...


I think we need to consider the penalty box.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Sep 23, 2010
from NOAA:
Scientists Find 20 Years of Deep Water Warming Leading to Sea Level Rise
Scientists analyzing measurements taken in the deep ocean around the globe over the past two decades find a warming trend that contributes to sea level rise, especially around Antarctica. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, cause heating of the Earth. Over the past few decades, at least 80 percent of this heat energy has gone into the ocean, warming it in the process. "Previous studies have shown that the upper ocean is warming, but our analysis determines how much additional heat the deep ocean is storing from warming observed all the way to the ocean floor," said Sarah Purkey, an oceanographer at the University of Washington and lead author of the study. This study shows that the deep ocean - below about 3,300 feet - is taking up about 16 percent of what the upper ocean is absorbing.... "A warming Earth causes sea level rise in two ways," said Gregory Johnson, a NOAA oceanographer at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, and the study's co-author. "The warming heats the ocean, causing it to expand, and melts continental ice, adding water to the ocean. The expansion and added water both cause the sea to encroach on the land." ...


That's just the ocean giving the stressed earth a warm hug.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Sep 23, 2010
from Reuters:
Big economies don't see climate pact this year-U.S.
World powers are not aiming for a legally binding pact to fight global warming at a U.N. meeting in Mexico this year and are trying to stop backsliding from a 2009 agreement, the United States said on Tuesday. U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern, speaking after a meeting of the Major Economies Forum in New York, reiterated the U.S. pledge to cut its emissions some 17 percent by 2020 compared to 2005 levels but declined to outline how that would be done in the absence of U.S. climate legislation... Stern said some countries from the roughly 190-nation U.N. grouping had moved away from commitments made under the non-binding "Copenhagen Accord" last year to curb greenhouse gas emissions and acknowledged what has become largely accepted among climate watchers: no treaty would come out of Cancun. ...


This sounds suspiciously like pre-surrender.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Sep 22, 2010
from Miller-McCune:
Climate Change Could Spell Disaster for National Parks
Glacier National Park in Montana, one of the 10 oldest parks in the United States, is celebrating its centennial this year, but its glaciers won't be around for another 100 years: They will melt away by 2030, if not sooner, because of global warming. In California, Joshua Tree National Park is preparing to celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2011, but the trees themselves, iconic symbols and "life centers" of the Mojave Desert, are projected to die out this century. Joshua trees need winter freezes to flower and produce seed, and the Mojave is heating up...In a strategic plan released this month, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis calls climate change "the greatest threat to the integrity of our national parks that we have ever experienced." ...


Even more of a threat... than snowmobiles?

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Sep 22, 2010
from New York Times:
Extreme Heat Bleaches Coral, and Threat Is Seen
This year's extreme heat is putting the world's coral reefs under such severe stress that scientists fear widespread die-offs, endangering not only the richest ecosystems in the ocean but also fisheries that feed millions of people. From Thailand to Texas, corals are reacting to the heat stress by bleaching, or shedding their color and going into survival mode. Many have already died, and more are expected to do so in coming months. Computer forecasts of water temperature suggest that corals in the Caribbean may undergo drastic bleaching in the next few weeks. ...


Life's a bleach.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Sep 21, 2010
from Melbourne Age:
Call for mandatory 'green' study
University students would be required to undertake "environmental literacy" subjects covering basic climate science and how their chosen field of study contributes to climate change under a proposal from the National Tertiary Education Union. The union, which represents academics and other university staff, says students are not being prepared well enough for the challenges posed by climate change under current curriculums, particularly those destined to work in high emissions industries. "The understanding of climate science is going to be essential for everyone in the future," the union's NSW secretary, Genevieve Kelly, said. "It shouldn't just be limited to people studying environmental science or choosing to focus on the environmental aspects of their discipline. It's a vital educational outcome." ...


Great idea. But let's start with kindergarten. Now.

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Fri, Sep 17, 2010
from IRIN:
Nepal: Global warming swells glacial lakes, endangering thousands
As global warming shrinks glaciers along the world's highest peaks, glacial lakes in Nepal are increasingly at risk of bursting the natural dams containing them - endangering the lives of tens of thousands in communities below, experts say. Nepalese authorities have identified about 20 "priority" lakes at risk of leading to glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), and are using various methods to reduce the volume of water in some of them.... "GLOFs come very fast, carry great big boulders; they can push down rock walls and destroy river banks. The destructive impact is very, very high," Mool told IRIN by phone from Kathmandu. ...


Didn't the Himalayan glaciers get the message about the IPCC being wrong about them?

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Sep 14, 2010
from Washington Post:
Miniature nuclear reactors might be a safe, efficient source of power
Take a mental stroll through the streets of Anytown, U.S.A. City hall is on your left, the movie theater on your right. Smell the delights from the bakery. And in the distance, there's the gentle steam plume billowing from the cooling tower of the miniature nuclear reactor that powers the quaint little burg. Not your idea of Americana? Wait a decade or two. The government and its private partners are developing reactors that one day might power your home town. Not long ago, siting a nuclear reactor anywhere near a population center would have been unthinkable. While the 1979 Three Mile Island reactor meltdown didn't cause any deaths or injuries, it soured Americans on nuclear energy. Construction of new reactors came to an abrupt halt. The dramatic Chernobyl meltdown in 1986, meanwhile, created widespread fear that another accident could be even more disastrous. ...


Is that nuclear reactor in your pocket ... or are you happy to see me!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Sep 13, 2010
from The Vancouver Sun:
Ottawa's media rules muzzling federal scientists, say observers
The Harper government has tightened the muzzle on federal scientists, going so far as to control when and what they can say about floods at the end of the last ice age. Natural Resources Canada scientists were told this spring they need "pre-approval" from Minister Christian Paradis' office to speak with national and international journalists. Their "media lines" also need ministerial approval, say documents obtained by Postmedia News through access-to-information legislation. The documents say the "new" rules went into force in March and reveal how they apply to not only to contentious issues including the oilsands, but benign subjects such as floods that occurred 13,000 years ago. They also give a glimpse of how Canadians are being cut off from scientists whose work is financed by taxpayers, critics say, and is often of significant public interest -- be it about fish stocks, genetically modified crops or mercury pollution in the Athabasca River. "It's Orwellian," says Andrew Weaver, a climatologist at University of Victoria. The public, he says, has a right to know what federal scientists are discovering and learning. ...


We wouldn't want to unnecessarily alarm the public about the pre-Apocalypse, would we?

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Sun, Sep 12, 2010
from London Independent:
Britain must adapt to 'inevitable' climate change, warns minister
Britons must radically change the way they live and work to adapt to being "stuck with unavoidable climate change" the Government will caution this week, as it unveils a dramatic vision of how society will be altered by floods, droughts and rising temperatures. The coalition will signal a major switch towards adapting to the impact of existing climate change, away from Labour's heavy emphasis on cutting carbon emissions to reverse global temperature rises. Caroline Spelman, the Tory Secretary of State for the Environment, will use her first major speech on climate change since taking office to admit that the inevitable severe weather conditions will present a "survival-of-the-fittest scenario," with only those who have planned ahead able to thrive. Adapting to climate change will be "at the heart of our agenda," she is expected to say. ...


What is the carbon footprint... of surrender?

ApocaDoc
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Sun, Sep 5, 2010
from Post-Tribune:
Area universities urged to study climate change
Adapting to climate change and mitigating its impacts are about to become bigger priorities in Northwest Indiana. A committee of the region's largest planning agency, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, has taken an official stand on the issue and is calling on local universities to study the impact of climate change on health, the economy and the environment in the region. At least one university is ready to help. The committee wants NIRPC to expand its public education program and spread the word that municipalities need to adapt to, and mitigate the effects of, climate change. The committee also wants the commission to promote green infrastructure as a way to mitigate climate change. Green infrastructure is a way of using nature to filter precipitation into the ground rather than sending it to sewers. ...


They need the universities because they sure as hell won't get any help from the governor!

ApocaDoc
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Sun, Sep 5, 2010
from The Asian Age:
Indian Ocean rising faster than others
Newly detected rising sea levels in parts of the Indian Ocean have led Indian scientists to conclude that the Indian Ocean is rising faster than other oceans. Dr Satheesh C. Shenoi, director, Indian National Centre for Ocean Infor-mation Services, speaking at a workshop on "Coasts, Coastal Populations and their Concerns" organised by the Centre for Science and Environment, warned that sea surface measurements and satellite observations confirm that an anthropogenic climate warming is amplifying regional sea rise changes in the Indian Ocean. This would have far-reaching impacts on the climate of vulnerable nations, including the coastlines on the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka and parts of Indonesia as a result of human-induced increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases. ...


Being ahead of everyone else ain't always a good thing.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Sep 1, 2010
from Upshot:
Noted anti-global-warming scientist reverses course
With scientific data piling up showing that the world has reached its hottest-ever point in recorded history, global-warming skeptics are facing a high-profile defection from their ranks. Bjorn Lomborg, author of the influential tract "The Skeptical Environmentalist," has reversed course on the urgency of global warming, and is now calling for action on "a challenge humanity must confront." Lomborg, a Danish academic, had previously downplayed the risk of acute climate change. A former member of Greenpeace, he was a vocal critic of the Kyoto Protocol -- a global U.N. treaty to cut carbon emissions that the United States refused to ratify -- as well as numerous other environmental causes. ...


He's a bjorn-again believer!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Aug 31, 2010
from Washington Post:
Judge rejects Ken Cuccinelli's probe of U-Va. global warming records
A Virginia judge on Monday dismissed a civil subpoena issued by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II to the University of Virginia that had sought documents related to the work of a global warming scientist and former university professor.... Cuccinelli, a vocal global warming skeptic who has contended that climate scientists have colluded to skew data, said he thinks that the documents are key to deciding whether to launch a fraud investigation into Mann's work. He said he plans to reissue the demand, crafting it with the judge's ruling in mind. He indicated that he might appeal portions of the ruling. ...


I don't think global warming skeptics should be in positions of decision-making power.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Aug 30, 2010
from PhysOrg:
Climate change implicated in decline of horseshoe crabs
While the current decline in horseshoe crabs is attributed in great part to overharvest for fishing bait and for the pharmaceutical industry, the new research indicates that climate change also appears to have historically played a role in altering the numbers of successfully reproducing horseshoe crabs. More importantly, said King, predicted future climate change, with its accompanying sea-level rise and water temperature fluctuations, may well limit horseshoe crab distribution and interbreeding, resulting in distributional changes and localized and regional population declines, such as happened after the last Ice Age.... "Population size decreases of these ancient mariners have implications beyond the obvious," King said. "Genetic diversity is the most fundamental level of biodiversity, providing the raw material for evolutionary processes to act upon and affording populations the opportunity to adapt to their surroundings. For this reason, the low effective population sizes indicated in the new study give one pause." ...


Those horseshoes are just unlucky.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Aug 30, 2010
from Bloomberg News:
Low prices stoke coal sales, despite pollution concerns
Coal trading is poised to rise to a record high this year as prices at less than half their 2008 peak stoke demand, defying governments' efforts to phase out the most-polluting fossil fuel. The volume of coal derivatives bought and sold around the world may jump as much as 46 percent this year to 2.3 billion metric tons, based on data from exchanges and brokers, according to Guillaume Perret, founder of Perret Associates Ltd. and a former trader at RWE AG, Germany's second-biggest utility. That would exceed the record 2.2 billion tons traded in 2007. "It's looking pretty good for coal," Kris Voorspools, director of 70Watt Capital Management, a Luxembourg hedge fund that specializes in trading spreads in energy and carbon markets, said last week. "It's the fuel for the developing world. China and India are using it to grow." ...


That sucking sound you hear is humanity's last gasp of growth.

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Aug 28, 2010
from New York Times:
Pacific Hot Spells Shifting as Predicted in Human-Heated World
Federal researchers have published work concluding that a particular variant of the periodic El Nio warmups of the tropical Pacific Ocean is becoming more frequent and stronger. The pattern appears to fit what is expected from human-driven warming of the global climate, said the researchers, Tong Lee of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Michael McPhaden of the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.... "The two threads of evidence together-from data and from computer models--suggest that climate change is affecting El Nino, rather than a natural variation in El Nino causing trends that may appear as if they are the result of man-made climate change. We can't be 100 percent certain that this interpretation is correct because the data are limited and the models are imperfect. But it provides us a plausible working hypothesis for further investigation into the nature and impacts of a changing face to El Nino."... "To add to that, some folks have suggested the possibility of natural variability in causing the warming (for example, we just happen to capture the rising part of a 60-year natural cycle). While that is possible, the so-called Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) index that is used to characterize decadal and multi-decadal variability of the Pacific Ocean has not shown a significant increasing or decreasing three-decade trend from the 1980's to the 2000's (it's dominated by quasi-decadal fluctuation since 1980). So it's difficult to blame the El Nio change to PDO." ...


Can't blame El Nino, can't blame PDO. Why isn't science doing its job?

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Aug 26, 2010
from Sydney Morning Herald:
Declining trees spell gloom for planet
LESS rainfall and rising global temperatures are damaging one of the world's best guardians against climate change: trees. A global study, published in the journal Science, shows that the amount of carbon dioxide being soaked up by the world's forests in the past decade has declined, reversing a 20-year trend. It diminishes hopes that global warming can be seriously slowed down by the mass planting of trees in carbon sinks. Although plants generally grow bigger as a result of absorbing carbon-enriched air, they need more water and nutrients to do so, and they have been getting less. ...


There's always kudzu.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Aug 26, 2010
from Inter Press Service:
Climate Change Policy Ignores Women Farmers
...Research has shown that women are more likely to feel the effects of climate change because they have less access to resources. Changing weather patterns increase poor women's work burden on gathering water and firewood. Girls may be forced to forgo school in order to contribute to the increased household work. Where traditional land tenure is practiced, women may lose land normally reserved for growing crops for household consumption to give way for commercial crops. The South African government, through its Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), is in the process of developing a national climate change policy. Consultations with a few environmental experts and civil society organisations took place in May.... ...


Does this mean my foot rub is going to be delayed again?

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Aug 25, 2010
from Climatewire:
If a Country Sinks Beneath the Sea, Is It Still a Country?
Rising ocean levels brought about by climate change have created a flood of unprecedented legal questions for small island nations and their neighbors. Among them: If a country disappears, is it still a country? Does it keep its seat at the United Nations? Who controls its offshore mineral rights? Its shipping lanes? Its fish? And if entire populations are forced to relocate -- as could be the case with citizens of the Maldives, Tuvalu, Kiribati and other small island states facing extinction -- what citizenship, if any, can those displaced people claim? ...


If a tree on a submerged island falls and there's no one there to hear it, will it drown?

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Aug 19, 2010
from Guardian:
Rising temperatures reducing ability of plants to absorb carbon, study warns
Rising temperatures in the past decade have reduced the ability of the world's plants to soak up carbon from the atmosphere, scientists said today. Large-scale droughts have wiped out plants that would have otherwise absorbed an amount of carbon equivalent to Britain's annual man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists measure the amount of atmospheric CO2 absorbed by plants and turned into biomass as a quantity known as the net primary production. NPP increased from 1982 to 1999 as temperatures rose and there was more solar radiation. But the period from 2000 to 2009 reverses that trend - surprising some scientists.... Reduced plant matter not only reduces the world's natural ability to manage CO2 in the atmosphere but could also lead to problems with growing more crops to feed rising populations or make sustainable biofuels. "Under a changing climate, severe regional droughts have become more frequent, a trend expected to continue for the foreseeable future," said the researchers. ...


I thought you liked CO2 and heat.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Aug 19, 2010
from London Independent:
On the frontline of climate change
Irrigated by one of the world's mightiest river systems, the Murray-Darling Basin yields nearly half of Australia's fresh produce. But the basin is ailing, and scientists fear that as climate change grips the driest inhabited continent, its main foodbowl could become a global warming ground zero. The signs are already ominous: in the Riverland, one of the nation's major horticulture areas, dying vines and parched lemon trees attest to critical water shortages. Farmers have had their water allocations slashed during the recent crippling drought; 200 sold up, and many of those who hung on are struggling... At one school, children have reportedly been stealing packed lunches from classmates. ...


Just so they don't build a freakin' mosque there.

ApocaDoc
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Sun, Aug 15, 2010
from New York Times:
In Weather Chaos, a Case for Global Warming
The floods battered New England, then Nashville, then Arkansas, then Oklahoma -- and were followed by a deluge in Pakistan that has upended the lives of 20 million people. The summer's heat waves baked the eastern United States, parts of Africa and eastern Asia, and above all Russia, which lost millions of acres of wheat and thousands of lives in a drought worse than any other in the historical record. Seemingly disconnected, these far-flung disasters are reviving the question of whether global warming is causing more weather extremes. The collective answer of the scientific community can be boiled down to a single word: probably. ...


And thus we are probably screwed.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Aug 12, 2010
from Associated Press:
Long hot summer of fire and floods fit predictions
Floods, fires, melting ice and feverish heat: From smoke-choked Moscow to water-soaked Pakistan and the High Arctic, the planet seems to be having a midsummer breakdown. It's not just a portent of things to come, scientists say, but a sign of troubling climate change already under way. The weather-related cataclysms of July and August fit patterns predicted by climate scientists, the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization says -- although those scientists always shy from tying individual disasters directly to global warming. The experts now see an urgent need for better ways to forecast extreme events like Russia's heat wave and wildfires and the record deluge devastating Pakistan. They'll discuss such tools in meetings this month and next in Europe and America, under United Nations, U.S. and British government sponsorship. "There is no time to waste," because societies must be equipped to deal with global warming, says British government climatologist Peter Stott. ...


Can't I waste ... just one more day, please?

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Aug 7, 2010
from AolNews:
Giant Ice Island Breaks Off From Greenland
A giant chunk of ice four times the size of Manhattan has broken off from one of Greenland's two biggest glaciers, creating the largest Arctic iceberg since 1962. The new ice island has a surface area of about 100 square miles and a thickness of about half the height of the Empire State Building. It broke off from the Petermann Glacier on Thursday, and was spotted by a NASA satellite sensor... Icebergs often break off from glaciers in summer, when the ice begins to melt and gets thinner in some areas, triggering cracks. The process has been exacerbated by global warming, and the melting of arctic glaciers could lead to a rise in global sea levels. ...


It better be a nice iceberg.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Aug 4, 2010
from Bill McKibben, in TomDispatch:
We're Hot as Hell and We're Not Going to Take It Any More
I'm a mild-mannered guy, a Methodist Sunday School teacher. Not quick to anger. So what I want to say is: this is fucked up. The time has come to get mad, and then to get busy.... The task at hand is keeping the planet from melting. We need everyone -- beginning with the president -- to start explaining that basic fact at every turn.... Step two, we have to ask for what we actually need, not what we calculate we might possibly be able to get. If we're going to slow global warming in the very short time available to us, then we don't actually need an incredibly complicated legislative scheme that gives door prizes to every interested industry and turns the whole operation over to Goldman Sachs to run. We need a stiff price on carbon, set by the scientific understanding that we can't still be burning black rocks a couple of decades hence.... That undoubtedly means upending the future business plans of Exxon and BP, Peabody Coal and Duke Energy, not to speak of everyone else who's made a fortune by treating the atmosphere as an open sewer for the byproducts of their main business. Instead they should pay through the nose for that sewer, and here's the crucial thing: most of the money raised in the process should be returned directly to American pockets.... Which leads to the third step in this process. If we're going to get any of this done, we're going to need a movement, the one thing we haven't had. ...


I'll give you your movement from the back end of my Hummer.

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Jul 31, 2010
from USA Today:
July could be hottest month on record
Relentlessly scorching temperatures have July flirting with the record books to become the hottest month since weather data were first collected more than a century ago. Cities such as New York, Washington and Las Vegas are on track to set record average temperatures for any month. Philadelphia, Phoenix and Raleigh, N.C., are on pace for their second-warmest month, the National Weather Service says.... Cool weather in the Northwest may keep July from setting a national heat record, says Deke Arndt of the climatic data center. Much of the Midwest and Deep South have been significantly warmer than average in July, but no records should be set in those areas. ...


I'm just relieved that it's weather, and not climate. Whew!

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Jul 31, 2010
from Wisconsin State Journal:
Glacier Park's future uncertain
The gorgeous million-acre park in northwestern Montana celebrates its 100th birthday this year. But many of its glaciers have melted, and scientists predict the rest may not last even another decade. The forests are drier and disease-ridden, leading to bigger wildfires. Climate change is forcing animals that feed off plants to adapt.... The change is visible to the naked eye, with vast moraines left behind as the giant glaciers melt away. Climate change is blamed for the increasing size and frequency of wildfires and for lower stream flows as summer progresses. What this all means for the bears, wolves and other big predators in the park is unclear, Fagre said.... Fagre said that based on geologic evidence, the park had about 150 glaciers in 1850, the end of the so-called Little Ice Age. Most would have still been around when the park was established in 1910. Only about 25 named glaciers are left, and they could be gone by 2020, Fagre said. Many experts consider Glacier Park a harbinger of Earth's future, a laboratory where changes in the environment will likely show up first.... ...


What a naming opportunity! Oilco National Park? Coalco Energy Park?

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jul 29, 2010
from Christopher Booker, in the Telegraph:
Desperate days for the warmists
Ever more risibly desperate become the efforts of the believers in global warming to hold the line for their religion, after the battering it was given last winter by all those scandals surrounding the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. One familiar technique they use is to attribute to global warming almost any unusual weather event anywhere in the world. Last week, for instance, it was reported that Russia has recently been experiencing its hottest temperatures and longest drought for 130 years. The head of the Russian branch of WWF, the environmental pressure group, was inevitably quick to cite this as evidence of climate change, claiming that in future "such climate abnormalities will only become more frequent". He didn't explain what might have caused the similar hot weather 130 years ago. Meanwhile, notably little attention has been paid to the disastrous chill which has been sweeping South America thanks to an inrush of air from the Antarctic, killing hundreds in the continent's coldest winter for years. ...


Warmist? I'm a Chaosist!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Jul 27, 2010
from The Daily Climate:
Spread of disease linked to warming climate
A deadly infectious disease once thought to be exclusively tropical has gained a toehold in the Pacific Northwest, and health experts suspect climate change is partially to blame. Last week the CDC issued a report warning U.S. doctors to be alert for patients showing signs of a cryptoccocal infection. The infection is spread by a fungus, Cryptococcus gattii, that attacks the nasal cavity and spreads to other body sites, causing pneumonia, meningitis and other lung, brain or muscle ailments. The disease also affects animals. Until 1999 most human cases were limited to Australia and other tropical and sub-tropical regions, including Asia and Africa, along with parts of southern California. ...


Cryptococcus sounds cryptically creepy!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jul 26, 2010
from Christian Science Monitor:
Activists frustrated at Obama's environmental record
...recently, Obama and his administration have been taking flak from the left on the environment. This past week, the Center for Biological Diversity sued the US Forest Service for failing to monitor and protect endangered species and habitat in Arizona and New Mexico national forests....But it is the inability to get comprehensive energy and climate legislation that environmental advocates see as Obama's biggest failure. "Obama is the first president in history to articulate in stark terms both the why and how of the sustainable clean energy vision," writes physicist and author Joseph Romm. "But the question now is whether he really believed what he said." ...


Give it a rest, activists. With all your complaining... you'd think the world was at stake!

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Jul 24, 2010
from Reuters:
Moscow heatwave breaks 29-year record
Moscow sweltered through its hottest day in almost 30 years on Thursday, a leading forecaster said, as a heatwave that has destroyed Russian crops over an area the size of Portugal showed no sign of abating. Temperatures in the capital hit 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time since 1981, said the Fobos weather forecasting centre, which provides weather data for the country's top media outlets. Environmental groups including Greenpeace say Russia's heatwave is evidence of global warming, but forecasters with the national weather centre have said it is too early to draw a direct link. ...


Friction between environmentalists and meteorologists just increases the heat.

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Jul 23, 2010
from Reuters:
Senate climate bill in peril as Democrats delay action
The U.S. Senate on Thursday dealt a potentially fatal blow to President Barack Obama's push to curb greenhouse gas emissions, postponing its bid to pass broad legislation to combat climate change. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he plans to bring up a narrower energy bill next week that would revamp offshore oil drilling rules in the wake of the BP oil spill. But he will put off consideration of broader legislation sought by Obama until September at the earliest. The delay means that Obama's fellow Democrats, who control Congress, have little time to advance the complex legislation amid intense political pressure in the weeks before November congressional elections. It also could derail global climate change initiatives, as the world's major economies and greenhouse gas emitters insist the United States play a leading role. ...


Sometimes I think the US should just secede from the planet.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jul 22, 2010
from New Scientist:
Record-breaking heat does not 'prove' global warming
After very cold winter weather in many parts of the northern hemisphere, the notion of global warming was ripe for mockery. The family of senator Jim Inhofe - who called global warming "a hoax", built an igloo in Washington DC, with a sign saying "Al Gore's new home". And now? The winter weather has given way to a series of extraordinary heatwaves.... According to meteorologist Jeff Masters, nine countries have recorded their hottest ever temperatures this year, from the 53.5 degrees C recorded on 26 May in Pakistan to the 44 degrees C recorded in Russia on 11 July. If these records are officially confirmed, it will mean more national heat records been set in one year than ever before. So should "global warmists" be crowing about how this record-breaking heat proves they were right all along? No: the record-breaking heat does not "prove" global warming.... According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for instance, June was the fourth consecutive warmest month on record. According to NASA, the average temperature over the past 12 months has been the hottest ever.... But the latest El Nio was not as especially strong. What's more, we are currently getting less heat from the sun than we have for decades. This means that it's the combination of a strong underlying global warming trend due to rising carbon dioxide, together with a moderate El Nino, that explains why the planet is so hot at the moment. ...


What's good enough for the gander is good enough for the cooked goose.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jul 22, 2010
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Malaysia closes diving reefs to try to save dying coral
Twelve reefs that attract half a million tourists from around the world annually are now closed to divers and snorkellers until the end of October to allow the corals to recover from bleaching caused by warmer seas. Abdul Jamal Mydin, director general of the Department of Marine Parks, said that the temperature of the seas has risen to 88 degrees F (31C) in recent months, up 4 degrees F (2 degrees C) from the normal level. Up to 90 per cent of the coral has started to turn white meaning it is dying off, threatening the delicate ecosystem. ...


88 degrees? That's making me sweat!

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jul 22, 2010
from GMA News:
Adaptation critical in fight vs climate change - CCC
As the country braces for the possible arrival of stronger typhoons this year, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) said adaptation is the "critical aspect" in the fight against climate change. CCC, the government arm tasked to promote climate change mitigation and adaptation, said it will forge an agreement with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to ensure that aggressive adaptation measures will be advocated in all levels of governance. CCC vice-chairman Secretary Heherson Alvarez said the CCC will sign this month a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the DILG and the Centre for Initiatives and Research in Climate Change Adaptation (CIRCA) of Albay province. ...


I propose we RLH (Run Like Hell)!

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Jul 17, 2010
from Reuters:
World simmers in hottest year so far
The world is enduring the hottest year on record, according to a U.S. national weather analysis, causing droughts worldwide and a concern for U.S. farmers counting on another bumper year. For the first six months of the year, 2010 has been warmer than the first half of 1998, the previous record holder, by 0.03 degree Fahrenheit, said Jay Lawrimore, chief of climate analysis at the federal National Climatic Data Center. Period of a El Nino weather pattern is being blamed for the hot temperatures globally. "We had an El Nino episode in the early part of the year that's now faded but that has contributed to the warmth not only in equatorial Pacific but also contributed to anomalously warm global temperatures as well," Lawrimore said. ...


Not that El CO2o has anything to do with this.

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Jul 16, 2010
from The Daily Climate:
Locking in our future
Welcome to the Anthropocene. Decisions made today about planet-warming emissions will influence climate impacts not just for decades but for centuries and perhaps even millennia, a panel from the National Academy of Sciences warned Friday. Given the longevity of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, these scientists said, these decisions effectively lock humanity in for a range of impacts, some of which can be "very severe." "Emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth's climate," the scientists wrote. ...


More like the Anthro-po'folks-cene!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jul 12, 2010
from Reuters:
Rising sea drives Panama islanders to mainland
Rising seas from global warming, coming after years of coral reef destruction, are forcing thousands of indigenous Panamanians to leave their ancestral homes on low-lying Caribbean islands. Seasonal winds, storms and high tides combine to submerge the tiny islands, crowded with huts of yellow cane and faded palm fronds, leaving them ankle-deep in emerald water for days on end.... World leaders have failed so far to reach a global accord to curb the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change. A U.N. climate change conference later this year in Mexico aims to make progress toward a binding agreement. If the islanders abandon their homes as planned, the exodus will be one of the first blamed on rising sea levels and global warming. ...


A tslow tsunami of tscary tshit!

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Jul 10, 2010
from Minneapolis Star Tribume:
Great lake warms up
C'mon in -- the water's fine (relatively speaking). Long notorious for its bone-chilling frigidity, Lake Superior is far warmer than normal for this time of year, and could be headed for record-setting high temperatures later this summer. Thanks to less ice last winter and an early spring, the top layer of the big lake will be "exceptionally warm by August," according to researchers at the Large Lakes Observatory at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Temperatures in the top 30 to 50 feet of water usually peak at 59 degrees in mid-August, but they hit that mark this week. The record of 68 degrees, reached in 1998, could well be matched or broken. ...


From the Great Lakes... to the Hot Lakes!

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Jul 9, 2010
from Associated Press:
Scientists say we'd better get used to sweating out heat waves
Folks sweating out the heat wave battering parts of the country may just have to get used to it. As global warming continues such heat waves will be increasingly common in the future, a Stanford University study concludes. 13 0 5Share "In the next 30 years, we could see an increase in heat waves like the one now occurring in the eastern United States or the kind that swept across Europe in 2003 that caused tens of thousands of fatalities," Noah Diffenbaugh, an assistant professor of environmental Earth system science at Stanford, said in a statement. ...


I'm going to become a climate skeptic so I don't have to feel this heat.

ApocaDoc
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Sun, Jul 4, 2010
from New York Times:
As Oil Industry Fights a Tax, It Reaps Billions From Subsidies
an examination of the American tax code indicates that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process. According to the most recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, released in 2005, capital investments like oil field leases and drilling equipment are taxed at an effective rate of 9 percent, significantly lower than the overall rate of 25 percent for businesses in general and lower than virtually any other industry. And for many small and midsize oil companies, the tax on capital investments is so low that it is more than eliminated by various credits. These companies' returns on those investments are often higher after taxes than before. ...


Seems we are both addicts AND enablers.

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Jul 2, 2010
from AP, via DesdemonaDespair:
Indonesia's last glacier will melt within years -- 'These glaciers are dying'
Lonnie Thompson spent years preparing for his expedition to the remote, mist-shrouded mountains of eastern Indonesia, hoping to chronicle the affect of global warming on the last remaining glacier in the Pacific. He's worried he got there too late. Even as he pitched his tent on top of Puncak Jaya, the ice was melting beneath him.... By the time they were ready to head home, ice around their sheltered campsite had melted a staggering 12 inches (30 centimeters). "These glaciers are dying," said Thompson, one of the world's most accomplished glaciologists. "Before I was thinking they had a few decades, but now I'd say we're looking at years." ...


The last anything makes a great tourist destination!

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jul 1, 2010
from YouTube, Frank Capra:
Unchained Goddess: 1958 film on global warming
For FIFTY YEARS scientists have known about global warming. This excerpt is from the well known educational documentary "Unchained Goddess" produced by Frank Capra for Bell Labs for their television program "The Bell Telephone Hour." It was so well made, that it went on to live a continued life in middle school science classrooms across the nation for decades. Nearly half a century before Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth," this film was made. But what does it reveal? That our scientists have known for over two generations about this danger, but our politicians and citizenry have chosen to ignore the dangerous implications of this fact until it really is too late to avoid the preventable consequences. ...


And those were two generations of unparalleled economic growth!

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Jun 25, 2010
from Science:
Hydrogen Isotopes Preclude Marine Hydrate CH4 Emissions at the Onset of Dansgaard-Oeschger Events
The causes of past changes in the global methane cycle and especially the role of marine methane hydrate (clathrate) destabilization events are a matter of debate. Here we present evidence from the North Greenland Ice Core Project ice core based on the hydrogen isotopic composition of methane [{delta}D(CH4)] that clathrates did not cause atmospheric methane concentration to rise at the onset of Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) events 7 and 8. Box modeling supports boreal wetland emissions as the most likely explanation for the interstadial increase. Moreover, our data show that {delta}D(CH4) dropped 500 years before the onset of DO 8, with CH4 concentration rising only slightly. This can be explained by an early climate response of boreal wetlands, which carry the strongly depleted isotopic signature of high-latitude precipitation at that time. [Translation provided in Science's TOC: "Catastrophic destabilization of marine methane clathrates did not trigger rapid warming episodes 39,000 and 35,000 years ago."] ...


If these guys are so smart, why can't they write?

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Jun 19, 2010
from University of Tennessee, via EurekAlert:
Scientist links increase in greenhouse gases to changes in ocean currents
By examining 800,000-year-old polar ice, scientists increasingly are learning how the climate has changed since the last ice melt and that carbon dioxide has become more abundant in the Earth's atmosphere. For two decades, French scientist Jrme Chappellaz has been examining ice cores collected from deep inside the polar ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica. His studies on the interconnecting air spaces of old snow -- or firn air -- in the ice cores show that the roughly 40 percent increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since the Earth's last deglaciation can be attributed in large part to changes in the circulation and biological activity of the oceanic waters surrounding Antarctica.... ...


Sweet! That means it's in large part not our fault, right?

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Jun 18, 2010
from Utrecht University via ScienceDaily:
Climate Change Threatens Food Supply of 60 Million People in Asia
According to an article by three Utrecht University researchers published in the journal Science on 11 June, climate change will drastically reduce the discharge of snow and ice meltwater in a region of the Himalayas, threatening the food security of more than 60 million people in Asia in the coming decades. The Indus and Brahmaputra basins are expected to be the most adversely affected, while in the Yellow River basin the availability of irrigation water will actually increase. ...


Doesn't McDonald's sooo feed that many folks in, like, ten minutes?

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Jun 18, 2010
from CanWest News Service:
Carbon emissions having harmful, lasting impact on oceans: Reports
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a disaster, but it may pale compared to what scientists say is brewing in the world's oceans due to everyday consumption of fossil fuels. The billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide sent wafting into the atmosphere each year through the burning of oil, gas and coal are profoundly affecting the oceans, says a series of reports published Friday in the journal Science... Marine scientists Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, at the University of Queensland in Australia, and John Bruno, at University of North Carolina, describe how the oceans act as a "heat sink" and are slowly heating up along with the atmosphere as greenhouse gas emissions climb. The warming, they say, is "likely to have profound influences on the strength, direction and behaviour" of major ocean currents and far-reaching impacts on sea life. ...


The surf is up a creek with a dissolving paddle.

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Thu, Jun 17, 2010
from London Guardian:
Cutting greenhouse gases will be no quick fix for our weather, scientists say
Global warming will continue to bring havoc to the world's weather systems for decades after reductions are made in greenhouse gas emissions, a new study shows. Scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre in Exeter say climate change could bring greater disruption to the planet's water cycle than previously thought. The research suggests that increased floods and droughts could continue long after future efforts to stabilise temperature may succeed. ...


Creedence asks: "Who'll stop the rain?" ...looks like nobody!

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Tue, Jun 15, 2010
from Cape Cod Times, from DesdemonaDespair:
Cape lobster industry faces crisis
In what could be the first major economic blow to local fisheries pinned on global warming, regulators are contemplating shutting down the lobster industry from Buzzards Bay to Long Island Sound for five years due to a drastic population drop brought on by temperature changes of just a few degrees in inshore waters. Lobstermen south of Cape Cod have seen their catches nosedive for the past decade, from more than 20 million pounds in 1997 to less than 5 million last year. In the past, overfishing, water pollution, pesticides and an outbreak of shell disease were blamed for the failure of the fishery. But tough fishing regulations have done nothing to reverse the trend, and some scientists now believe water temperature may be the primary obstacle to recovery.... It's called trophic shift -- when the environment changes so dramatically that the least tolerant resident species move out, and ones more adapted to live under those new conditions move in. ...


It's not just the lobsters that are in hot water!

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Mon, Jun 14, 2010
from Science News:
Operation Icewatch 2010 gears up
...June is the time when polar scientists start to scrutinize in earnest how much ice will be left atop the Arctic Ocean after this year's summer melt season. The National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., reported this week that ice extent -- a measure of total ice-covered area, including some gaps in the ice -- was, at the end of May, close to the lowest ever recorded for that time of year...there's no denying the remarkable overall decline of Arctic ice cover since satellite observations began in 1979. ...


It may be melting because we're paying attention to it!.

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Sat, Jun 12, 2010
from AFP:
World still heading for 3 degree Celsius by 2100: study
The world is careering towards three degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming by 2100 despite headline-making promises to curb carbon emissions, a study released at UN talks here said on Thursday. "The current pledges and loopholes give us a virtual certainty of exceeding 1.5 C (2.7 F), with global warming very likely exceeding 2 C (3.6 F) and a more than 50-percent chance of exceeding 3 C (5.4 F) by 2100," said Bill Hare of Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Around 120 countries have signed up to voluntary action on greenhouse gases under last December's Copenhagen Accord, which aims to limit warming since pre-industrial times to 2.0 C.... Scientists caution there is no consensus on what is a safe level for warming, and some say a rise of even 2.0 C could still have far-reaching risks for ice and snow cover and rainfall patterns.... Temperatures have already risen by around 0.8 C (1.4 F) since the start of the Industrial Revolution, causing worrying glacier melt, snow loss and retreating permafrost and an accelerating rise in ocean levels, according to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). ...


Something tells me more than twice as much change as we've seen in less time may have some untoward consequences.

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Sat, Jun 5, 2010
from Guardian:
2010 on track to become warmest year ever
New data from some of the world's leading climate researchers and institutions suggest that 2010 is shaping up to be one of the warmest years ever recorded. Scientists at the US National Snow and Ice Centre Data Centre (NSIDC) report today that Arctic sea ice - frozen seawater that floats on the ocean surface - is now at its lowest physical extent ever recorded for the time of year, suggesting that it is on course to break the previous record low set in 2007. Satellite monitoring by the NSIDC in Boulder, Colorado, shows that the melting of sea ice has been unusually fast this year, with as much as 40,000 sq km now disappearing daily. The melt season started almost a month later than normal at the end of March and is not expected to end until September.... The Nasa research backs up findings by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), the US national climate monitoring service that measures global temperatures by satellite. This has recorded the hottest ever first four months of a year. ...


Stop it now, Eaarth, or I'm going to kill you!

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Mon, May 31, 2010
from London Guardian:
Hundreds die in Indian heatwave
Record temperatures in northern India have claimed hundreds of lives in what is believed to be the hottest summer in the country since records began in the late 1800s. The death toll is expected to rise with experts forecasting temperatures approaching 50C (122F) in coming weeks. More than 100 people are reported to have died in the state of Gujarat where the mercury topped at 48.5C last week. At least 90 died in Maharashtra, 35 in Rajasthan and 34 in Bihar. Hospitals in Gujarat have been receiving around 300 people a day suffering from food poisoning and heat stroke, ministers said. Officials admit the figures are only a fraction of the total as most of the casualties are found in remote rural villages. Wildlife and livestock has also suffered with voluntary organisations in Gujarat reporting the deaths of bats and crows and dozens of peacocks reported dead at a forest reserve in Uttar Pradesh. ...


This is an instance where being "hot" is not so desirable!

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Sat, May 29, 2010
from New York Times:
Not Dead, Only Resting? The Climate Bill
A popular parlor game in Washington is trying to figure out whether the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has helped or hurt chances for passage of comprehensive energy and climate change legislation. President Obama tried to bolster its prospects in his news conference on Thursday, saying the crisis highlights the need to find alternatives to the deadly and dirty fossil fuels oil and coal. ...


Games are over, dude.

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Wed, May 26, 2010
from Reuters:
Global CO2 Emissions To Rise 43 Percent By 2035: EIA
The world's emissions of carbon dioxide from burning coal, oil, and natural gas should rise 43 percent by 2035 barring global agreements to reduce output of the gases blamed for warming the planet, the top U.S. energy forecaster said on Tuesday. Global emissions of carbon dioxide from the fossil fuel sources should rise from 29.7 billion tonnes in 2007 to 42.4 billion tonnes in 2035, the Energy Information Administration said in its annual long-term energy outlook. ...


Actually... it shouldn't.

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Tue, May 25, 2010
from Sydney Morning Herald:
Mammoth gas emissions helped keep planet warm, scientists say
Gassy mammoths helped fill the atmosphere with methane and keep the Earth warm more than 13,000 years ago, scientists say. Together with other large plant-eating mammals that are now extinct, they released about 9.6 million tonnes of the gas each year, experts estimated. When the megafauna disappeared there was a dramatic fall in atmospheric methane, which may have altered the climate. Analysis of gases trapped in ice cores suggests the loss of animal emissions accounted for a large amount of the decline. ...


And now we have mammoth humans doing the same.

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Thu, May 20, 2010
from National Academy of Sciences:
National Academy of Sciences: We Have Met the Enemy, and He is Us
A strong, credible body of scientific evidence shows that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems, concludes this panel report from the America's Climate Choices suite of studies. As decision makers respond to these risks, the nation's scientific enterprise can contribute both by continuing to improve understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change, and by improving and expanding the options available to limit the magnitude of climate change and adapt to its impacts. To make this possible, the nation needs a comprehensive, integrated, and flexible climate change research enterprise that is closely linked with action-oriented programs at all levels. The report recommends that a single federal entity or program be given the authority and resources to coordinate a national research effort integrated across many disciplines and aimed at improving both understanding and responses to climate change. The U.S. Global Change Research Program, established in 1990, could fulfill this role, but it would need to form partnerships with action-oriented programs and address weaknesses in its current program. A comprehensive climate observing system, improved climate models and other analytical tools, investment in human capital, and better linkages between research and decision making are also essential to a complete understanding of climate change. ...


What a weird idea: to acknowledge a problem and try to understand it through scientific inquiry. I thought it was just about attitude.

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Mon, May 17, 2010
from NASA, via ClimateProgress:
NASA: Easily the hottest April -- and hottest Jan-April -- in temperature record
It was the hottest April on record in the NASA dataset. More significantly, following fast on the heels of the hottest March and hottest Jan-Feb-March on record, it's also the hottest Jan-Feb-March-April on record. The record temperatures we're seeing now are especially impressive because we've been in "the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century." It now appears to be over. It's just hard to stop the march of manmade global warming, well, other than by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, that is. Most significantly, NASA's March prediction has come true: "It is nearly certain that a new record 12-month global temperature will be set in 2010.″... After the endless disinformation-based global cooling stories of the past few years, it's time for the media to start do some serious fact-based global warming stories (unlike this piece of he-said, she-said journalistic crap from the Boston Globe I'll blog on Monday). ...


Those datas were manimulated by scintists to get reaserch money!

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Mon, May 17, 2010
from Brown University, via EurekAlert:
Geologists show unprecedented warming in Lake Tanganyika
Lake Tanganyika, the second oldest and the second-deepest lake in the world, could be in for some rough waters. Geologists led by Brown University have determined the east African rift lake has experienced unprecedented warming during the last century, and its surface waters are the warmest on record. That finding is important, the scientists write in the journal Nature Geoscience, because the warm surface waters likely will affect fish stocks upon which millions of people in the region depend.... Lake Tanganyika, one of the richest freshwater ecosystems in the world, is divided into two general levels. Most of the animal species live in the upper 100 meters, including the valuable sardines. Below that, the lake holds less and less oxygen, and at certain depths, it is anoxic, meaning it has no oxygen at all. What this all means is the lake is highly stratified and depends on wind to churn the waters and send nutrients from the depths toward the surface as food for algae, which supports the entire food web of the lake. But as Lake Tanganyika warms, the mixing of waters is lessened, the scientists find, meaning less nutrients are funneled from the depths toward the surface. Worse, more warming at the surface magnifies the difference in density between the two levels; even more wind is needed to churn the waters enough to ferry the nutrients toward the fish-dwelling upper layer. ...


Isn't it time these darned scientists started reporting the good news?

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Tue, May 11, 2010
from DesdemonaDespair:
South pole has warmest year on record: 2009
The South Pole experienced its warmest year on record in 2009, according to newly released data from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. The average temperature at the South Pole last year was still a bone-chilling minus 54.2 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 47.9 degrees Celsius) in 2009, making it the warmest year on record since 1957, when temperature records began at the South Pole. The previous record high was minus 54.4 F (minus 48 C), recorded in 2002, according to Tim Markle, senior meteorologist at the South Pole Station in Antarctica. Last year was also the second warmest year on record for the planet, according to NASA measurements of global surface temperatures released earlier this year. The global record warm year, in the period of near-global instrumental measurements since the late 1800s, was 2005. ...


What good is that? We don't even need a Southwest Passage.

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Mon, May 10, 2010
from ScienceDaily:
Rare 114-Year Record, Kept by Generations, Logs Changing Climate
Every day since Jan. 1, 1896, an observer has hiked to a spot at The Mohonk Preserve, a resort and nature area some 90 miles north of New York City, to record daily temperature and other conditions there. It is the rarest of the rare: a weather station that has never missed a day of temperature recording; never been moved; never seen its surroundings change; and never been tended by anyone but a short, continuous line of family and friends, using the same methods, for 114 years.... Prior to 1980, it was rare for the thermometer to surpass about 89 degrees more than 10 days a year; since then, such events have come to Mohonk on at least 10 days a year -- and often, on more than 20 days. At the same time, the number of freezing days has been decreasing--about a day less every five years over the long term, but since the 1970s, at the accelerated rate of a day every two years. This also matches wide-scale observations in North America and elsewhere.... "The advantage to Mohonk is that we can revisit the record in detail, with minimal corrections. This helps confirm the large-scale trends, and it helps us identify stations with errors that need to be corrected." ...


Um.... Uh... Yeah, but they weren't scientists!

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Sun, May 9, 2010
from The Gillette News-Record:
Barrasso: Finding cleaner ways to use coal is best way to cut greenhouse gases
U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., says his efforts to pass carbon capture legislation are all part of a plan to make energy as clean as possible, as fast as possible and as cheap as possible. Barrasso believes that finding cleaner ways to use coal is one of the most viable methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while still meeting the energy demands that continue to grow around the world. "We need the renewables," Barrasso told The News-Record on Saturday. "But (renewable energy development) is not keeping up with the overall demand for energy." ...


The quest for the Great Albino Coal continues...

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Fri, May 7, 2010
from Agence France-Press:
World needs 'bailout plan' to protect endangered species
Facing what many scientists say is the sixth mass extinction in half-a-billion years, our planet urgently needs a "bailout plan" to protect its biodiversity, a top conservation group said Thursday. Failure to stem the loss of animal and plant species will have dire consequences on human well-being, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) warned... A fifth of mammals, 30 per cent of amphibians, 12 per cent of known birds, and more than a quarter of reef-building corals -- the livelihood cornerstone for 500 million people in coastal areas -- face extinction, according to the IUCN's benchmark Red List of Threatened Species. ...


Perhaps... on some level ... we're just trying to winnow life down -- back to that original organism.

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Fri, May 7, 2010
from TIME Magazine:
Still Under Attack, Climate Scientists Fight Back
...Thanks in part to the events of Climategate last November -- when someone hacked into and released thousands of e-mails and documents from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at Britain's East Anglia University -- climate scientists now find themselves under fire... In the face of that dwindling in public confidence -- and a renewed surge in attacks from global-warming skeptics -- climate scientists are finally fighting back. In the May 7 edition of Science, 255 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, including 11 Nobel laureates, signed a letter decrying what they call the "political assaults on scientists and climate scientists in particular." ...


That'll fix 'em because we know climate deniers always read 'Science.'

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Wed, May 5, 2010
from BBC:
Uganda's highest ice cap splits on Mt Margherita
The ice cap on Uganda's highest peak has split because of global warming, Uganda's Wildlife Authority (UWA) says. The glacier is located at an altitude of 5,109m (16,763ft) in the Rwenzori mountain range, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The authorities say a crevasse has blocked access to the Margherita summit - the third-highest peak in Africa, and a popular destination with climbers. Scientists say glaciers in the Rwenzori range could disappear within 20 years.... According to researchers, the ice cap covered 6 sq km (2 sq miles) 50 years ago. It is now less than 1 sq km. The mountain range, which is one of the few places near the equator to have glaciers, was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1994. ...


What's the problem? Now we have two glaciers!

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Tue, May 4, 2010
from Purdue, via EurekAlert:
NASA, Purdue study offers recipe for global warming-free industrial materials
Let a bunch of fluorine atoms get together in the molecules of a chemical compound, and they're like a heavy metal band at a chamber music festival. They tend to dominate the proceedings and not always for the better. That's particularly true where the global warming potential of the chemicals is concerned, says a new study by NASA and Purdue University researchers. The study offers at least a partial recipe that industrial chemists could use in developing alternatives with less global warming potential than materials commonly used today.... "What we're hoping is that these additional requirements for minimizing global warming will be used by industry as design constraints for making materials that have, perhaps, the most green chemistry," says Joseph Francisco, a Purdue chemistry and earth and atmospheric sciences professor. The classes of chemicals examined in the study are widely used in air conditioning and the manufacturing of electronics, appliances and carpets. Other uses range from applications as a blood substitute to tracking leaks in natural gas lines.... ...


Hope may be the triumph of imagination over reality!

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Fri, Apr 30, 2010
from American Chemical Society, via EurekAlert:
A roadmap for 'the only practical way to preserve the planet'
The United States could completely stop emissions of carbon dioxide from coal-fired electric power plants -- a crucial step for controlling global warming -- within 20 years by using technology that already exists or could be commercially available within a decade.... Pushker Kharecha and colleagues say that the global climate change problem becomes manageable only if society deals quickly with emissions of carbon dioxide from burning coal in electric power plants. "The only practical way to preserve a planet resembling that of the Holocene (today's world) with reasonably stable shorelines and preservation of species, is to rapidly phase out coal emissions and prohibit emissions from unconventional fossil fuels such as oil shale and tar sands," they state.... They include elimination of subsidies for fossil fuels; putting rising prices on carbon emissions; major improvements in electricity transmission and the energy efficiency of homes, commercial buildings, and appliances; replacing coal power with biomass, geothermal, wind, solar, and third-generation nuclear power; and after successful demonstration at commercial scales, deployment of advanced (fourth-generation) nuclear power plants; and carbon capture and storage at remaining coal plants. ...


That's too hard. Can't we just put up a big space umbrella over 10 percent of the globe?

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Mon, Apr 26, 2010
from GSA:
Geological Society of America revises position statement re climate change
Decades of scientific research have shown that climate can change from both natural and anthropogenic causes. The Geological Society of America (GSA) concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005), the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s. If current trends continue, the projected increase in global temperature by the end of the twentyfirst century will result in large impacts on humans and other species. Addressing the challenges posed by climate change will require a combination of adaptation to the changes that are likely to occur and global reductions of CO2 emissions from anthropogenic sources.... Scientific advances in the first decade of the 21st century have greatly reduced previous uncertainties about the amplitude and causes of recent global warming. ...


Looks like the TriLateral Commission got to the GSA too!

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Tue, Apr 20, 2010
from Folio:
The Atlantic, Mother Jones, Others Collaborate on Environmental Editorial Project
A major partnership that has been in the works since last year has come to fruition. The Atlantic, Mother Jones and Wired, along with Slate, Grist, the Center for Investigative Reporting and PBS current-affairs program "Need to Know," have teamed up to launch Climate Desk, a project dedicated to exploring the impact of climate change. Hoping to tap into a combined online audience of more than 25 million monthly unique visitors, 1.5 million print readers and an anticipated TV audience of 1.5 million, the group will begin by publishing a series of articles exploring how American businesses are adapting to the liabilities, risks and opportunities surrounding climate change. During the final two weeks of April, two dozen stories on the topic will be posted to partner Web sites as well as to theclimatedesk.org. ...


It takes a village ... of media outlets.

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Mon, Apr 19, 2010
from Environmental Research Web:
Where has all the heat gone?
In a commentary in today's issue of Science, Kevin Trenberth and John Fasullo of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, US, identify a large and growing amount of solar energy that appears to have been absorbed by the Earth - but has yet to turn up in terrestrial measurements.... Trenberth told physicsworld.com that the discrepancy probably lies in the environment's largest heat reservoir. "I would say that the missing heat is mainly in the ocean," he argues.... Scientists already know the Southern Oscillation involves the absorption of solar energy by the Pacific Ocean during "La Nina" years and its release into the atmosphere during "El Nino" years - leading to significant changes in weather patterns in the Americas. An El Nino began in 2009 and looks set to continue in 2010. Trenberth believes that it might result in much of the missing energy resurfacing - but adds that current data gathering and analysis techniques mean that it could be a year or two before we know. "One can argue that we should develop a system to do this in closer to real time as part of the new climate services," he said. ...


There go those scientists -- theorizing again!

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Fri, Apr 16, 2010
from National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research:
'Missing' Heat May Affect Future Climate Change
Current observational tools cannot account for roughly half of the heat that is believed to have built up on Earth in recent years, according to a "Perspectives" article in this week's issue of Science. Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) warn in the new study that satellite sensors, ocean floats, and other instruments are inadequate to track this "missing" heat, which may be building up in the deep oceans or elsewhere in the climate system. "The heat will come back to haunt us sooner or later," says NCAR scientist Kevin Trenberth, the lead author...Whereas satellite instruments indicate that greenhouse gases are continuing to trap more solar energy, or heat, scientists since 2003 have been unable to determine where much of that heat is going. Either the satellite observations are incorrect, says Trenberth, or, more likely, large amounts of heat are penetrating to regions that are not adequately measured, such as the deepest parts of the oceans. Compounding the problem, Earth's surface temperatures have largely leveled off in recent years. Yet melting glaciers and Arctic sea ice, along with rising sea levels, indicate that heat is continuing to have profound effects on the planet. ...


Perhaps that heat we can't account for is being sequestered in skeptics.

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Thu, Apr 15, 2010
from London Independent:
Climate row: backing for scientists
A distinguished panel of independent scientists has given a resounding vote of confidence in the credibility and integrity of the key studies into climate change that have emerged over the past 20 years from the embattled Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. The panel, chaired by Lord Oxburgh, a geologist and former rector of Imperial College London, was asked to review the scientific papers and methodology of the CRU following the theft of university emails, the leaking of which suggested a possible conspiracy to subvert data in order to support the case for man-made climate change. Lord Oxburgh's investigation found no evidence to suggest that the CRU scientists had acted improperly or dishonestly. It found the unit's overall conclusions were sound but it criticised the CRU for not using the best statistical tools to analyse the data -- although this misjudgement did not alter the overall results and conclusions. ...


Whew! Now can get get back to the business of watching our habitat collapse?

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Tue, Apr 13, 2010
from Guardian, from Wit's End:
Peruvian glacier split triggers deadly tsunami
A massive ice block broke from a glacier and crashed into a lake in the Peruvian Andes, unleashing a 23-metre tsunami and sending muddy torrents through nearby towns, killing at least one person. The chunk of ice, estimated at the size of four football pitches, detached from the Hualcan glacier near Carhuaz, about 200 miles north of the capital, Lima, on Sunday. It plunged into a lagoon known as lake 513, triggering a tsunami that breached 23 metre (75ft) high levees and damaged Carhuaz and other villages, according to authorities. The Indeci civil defence institute said 50 homes and a water processing plant serving 60,000 residents were wrecked. Trout fishermen initially presumed dead survived, leaving one confirmed death. Authorities evacuated mountain valley settlements fearing that the ice block, measuring 500 metres by 200 metres, could be followed by more ruptures as the glacier melts.... It was the latest evidence that glaciers are vanishing from Peru, which has 70 percent of the world's tropical icefields. They have retreated by 22 percent since 1975, according to a World Bank report, and warmer temperatures are expected to erase them entirely within 20 years. ...


Dang! Those theories can pack a whallop!

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Tue, Apr 13, 2010
from Guardian:
Confidential document reveals Obama's hardline US climate talk strategy
A document accidentally left on a European hotel computer and passed to the Guardian reveals the US government's increasingly controversial strategy in the global UN climate talks.... Top of the list of objectives is to: "Reinforce the perception that the US is constructively engaged in UN negotiations in an effort to produce a global regime to combat climate change." It also talks of "managing expectations" of the outcome of the Cancun meeting and bypassing traditional media outlets by using podcasts and "intimate meetings" with the chief US negotiator to disarm the US's harsher critics. But the key phrase is in paragraph three where the author writes: "Create a clear understanding of the CA's [Copenhagen accord's] standing and the importance of operationalising ALL elements." This is the clearest signal that the US will refuse to negotiate on separate elements of the controversial accord, but intends to push it through the UN process as a single "take it or leave it" text. The accord is the last-minute agreement reached at the chaotic Copenhagen summit in December. Over 110 countries are now "associated" with the accord but it has not been adopted by the 192-nation UN climate convention. The US has denied aid to some countries that do not support the accord.... It lacks any specific cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and sets a temperature rise limit of 2C, which critics say is too high to prevent serious harm to Africa and other parts of the world. ...


This hard line is thin, and vanishing.

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Sun, Apr 11, 2010
from Lancaster Intelligencer Journal/New Era:
Climate warming leaves 'em cold
Harrisburg weatherman Rob Dixon is cool toward dire global warming scenarios. He simply doesn't believe people have the ability to predict what's going to happen to the climate years in the future. After all, reasons the ABC-TV 27 veteran, it's hard enough to nail the five-day. Many of his peers in the area side with him. They don't deny that the planet is running a fever. "There's tons of anecdotal evidence," such as retreating glaciers in Montana and dwindling sea ice, Millersville University meteorologist Eric Horst said. He and other weathermen think humans play at least a minor role. ...


Doppler dopes.

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Sun, Apr 11, 2010
from CanWest News Service:
Scientists turn to Inuit traditions to collect data on Arctic weather
Using traditional Inuit weather knowledge passed down through generations, environmental scientists have uncovered new data on Arctic climate change. In a study appearing this month in the journal Global Environmental Change, researchers working closely with Inuit elders were able to "zero in on what we'd been hearing from the Inuit people for a number of years," said Elizabeth Weatherhead, chief author of the study and environmental scientist at the University of Colorado at Boulder... the study found Inuit consider a number of environmental factors when predicting the weather, such as interactions between wind, ocean currents, cloud formations and animal behaviour. The researchers were able to use that traditional knowledge to find evidence of the changes Inuit were describing. ...


Sounds to me like nothing more than a bunch of nanookery.

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Sat, Apr 10, 2010
from London Guardian:
US denies climate aid to countries opposing Copenhagen accord
The US State Department is denying climate change assistance to countries opposing the Copenhagen accord, it emerged today. The new policy, first reported by The Washington Post, suggests the Obama administration is ready to play hardball, using aid as well as diplomacy, to bring developing countries into conformity with its efforts to reach an international deal to tackle global warming. The Post reported today that Bolivia and Ecuador would now be denied aid after both countries opposed the accord.... However, Alden Meyer, the climate change director for the Union of Concerned Scientists, warned that such a policy risked further inflaming the tensions between the industrialised world and developing countries that have been a major obstacle to getting a deal. ...


Perhaps we should send them to bed without their suppers as well!

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Fri, Apr 9, 2010
from BBC:
UN climate talks to resume amid fear of more divisions
The first round of UN climate talks since December's bitter Copenhagen summit opens in Bonn on Friday with the future of the process uncertain. Developing countries are adamant that the UN climate convention is the right forum for negotiating a global deal and want it done by the year's end. But others, notably the US, appear to think this is not politically feasible. Some delegates are concerned that the whole process could collapse, given the divisions and lack of trust. ...


Bonn appetite!

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Fri, Apr 9, 2010
from USA Today:
On Plains, concern about another Dust Bowl
...Seventy-five years have passed since the worst of the Dust Bowl, a relentless series of dust storms that ravaged farms and livelihoods in the southern Great Plains that carried a layer of silt as far east as New York City. Today, the lessons learned during that era are more relevant than ever as impending water shortages and more severe droughts threaten broad swaths of the nation...Gary McManus, a climatologist for Oklahoma's state-run climate organization, says global warming could have a "catastrophic" impact across the parts of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma that suffered most in the "Dirty Thirties." He says the region's climate is so dry, even in the best of times, that just a small increase in average temperatures could quickly cause critical amounts of moisture in the soil to evaporate. ...


My concern is more that we won't have John Steinbeck around this time.

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Thu, Apr 8, 2010
from DailyKos:
...and then there were 25. Numbers and ice.
Number of glaciers in Glacier National Park, Montana, in 1850: 150 (estimated). Number of glaciers remaining in 2003: 27. Number of glaciers remaining as of April 7, 2010: 25. Date at which all remaining glaciers would disappear, 2005 estimate: 2030. Date at which all remaining glaciers would disappear, 2010 estimate: 2020. ...


New Naming Opportunity! The Exxon Glacierless National Park!

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Wed, Apr 7, 2010
from Scientific American:
Climate Scientist Hansen Wins $100,000 Prize
U.S. climate scientist James Hansen won a $100,000 environmental prize Wednesday for decades of work trying to alert politicians to what he called an unsolved emergency of global warming. Hansen, born in 1941, will visit Oslo in June to collect the Sophie Prize, set up in 1997 by Norwegian Jostein Gaarder, the author of the 1991 best-selling novel and teenagers' guide to philosophy "Sophie's World." "Hansen has played a key role for the development of our understanding of human-induced climate change," the prize citation said.... "We really have an emergency," Hansen said in a video link with the prize panel in Oslo about feared climate changes such as a thaw of ice sheets on Greenland or Antarctica or a loss of species of animals and plants in a warming world. ...


When asked what he'd do with the money, Hansen said "I've been hankering for a Ford Escalade for awhile now."

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Tue, Apr 6, 2010
from AP, via PhysOrg.com:
Study: Northeast seeing more, fiercer rainstorms
The Northeast is seeing more frequent "extreme precipitation events" in line with global warming predictions, a study shows, including storms like the recent fierce rains whose floodwaters swallowed neighborhoods and businesses across New England. The study does not link last week's devastating floods to its research but examined 60 years' worth of National Weather Service rainfall records in nine Northeastern states and found that storms that produce an inch or more of rain in a day - a threshold the recent storm far surpassed - are coming more frequently. "It's almost like 1 inch of rainfall has become pretty common these days," said Bill Burtis, spokesman for Clean Air-Cool Planet, a global warming education group that released the study Monday along with the University of New Hampshire's Carbon Solutions New England group. The study's results are consistent with what could be expected in a world warmed by greenhouse gases, said UNH associate professor Cameron Wake. He acknowledged it would take more sophisticated studies to cement a warming link, though. "I can't point to these recent storms and say, that is global warming," he said. ...


Don't know why / there's more clouds up in the sky...

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Tue, Apr 6, 2010
from University of Maryland, via EurekAlert:
New study shows rising water temperatures in US streams and rivers
New research by a team of ecologists and hydrologists shows that water temperatures are increasing in many streams and rivers throughout the United States. The research, published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, documents that 20 major U.S. streams and rivers - including such prominent rivers as the Colorado, Potomac, Delaware, and Hudson - have shown statistically significant long-term warming.... "It's both surprising and remarkable that so many diverse river systems in North America behaved in concert with respect to warming," said Dr. David Secor of the UMCES Chesapeake Biological Laboratory whose work focused on Maryland's Patuxent River, where he has noted a 3F increase since 1939. The analysis indicates that 20 of the 40 streams studied showed statistically significant long term warming trends, while an additional 13 showed temperature increases that were not statistically significant. Two rivers showed significant temperature decreases. The longest record of increase was observed for the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie, New York. The most rapid rate of increase was recorded for the Delaware River near Chester, Pennsylvania. ...


Maybe the endocrine-disrupted fish will look hotter to each other.

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Thu, Apr 1, 2010
from London Guardian:
Britain brandishes olive branch to restart global climate change talks
Britain brandished a diplomatic olive branch today as it tried to restart global climate change negotiations with an initiative to heal the rift between rich and poor countries following the failure of the Copenhagen summit. Climate secretary Ed Miliband conceded considerable ground, offering to sign a new Kyoto treaty as developing countries' demand, but while also requiring that those nations enshrine their commitments to tackling global warming in international law. Britain's unilateral move addresses the key issue that doomed Copenhagen -- that the rich accept the legally binding commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions enshrined in Kyoto. ...


Note this story ran on April Fool's Day!

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Mon, Mar 29, 2010
from EnergyBoom.com:
Research Showing Carbon Emissions at All Time High -- And Accelerating
Data taken at at Norway's Zeppelin station on the Arctic Svalbard archipelago indicates an increase in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere -- in spite of 2009's economic downturn, and efforts to improve global emissions. Researchers from the Norwegian Polar Institute and Stockholm University -- where the aforementioned data was examined -- found carbon dioxide levels rose to a median 393.71 parts per million of the atmosphere in the first two weeks of March from 393.17 in the same period of 2009, extending years of gains. But perhaps what is most disconcerting about the information is how carbon emissions appear to be accelerating, which is surprising many.... The data "seem to show that we continue to emit as if there was no tomorrow," Kim Holmen, director of research at the Norwegian Polar Institute, said of the carbon readings. ...


Prove to me that "tomorrow" is more than a theory.

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Sun, Mar 28, 2010
from via ScienceDaily:
Dawn of the Anthropocene Epoch? Earth Has Entered New Age of Geological Time, Experts Say
Geologists from the University of Leicester are among four scientists- including a Nobel prize-winner -- who suggest that Earth has entered a new age of geological time. The Age of Aquarius? Not quite -- It's the Anthropocene Epoch, say the scientists writing in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. And they add that the dawning of this new epoch may include the sixth largest mass extinction in Earth's history... The scientists propose that, in just two centuries, humans have wrought such vast and unprecedented changes to our world that we actually might be ushering in a new geological time interval, and alter the planet for millions of years. ...


Let's call it the Age of Anthroposcrewup.

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Sun, Mar 28, 2010
from Science:
Scientists Call for 'Climate Intervention' Research With 'Humility'
An international group of scientists, ethicists, and governance experts meeting here this week has agreed that research into large-scale modification of the planet is "indispensable" given the "threats" posed by climate change... a 5-day meeting on geoengineering, the idea of deliberate tinkering with the climate to reduce global warming. More than 175 scientists from 15 countries spanning the geosciences, ethics, business, and political science, convened on the leafy grounds of the Asilomar Conference Center along the Pacific Ocean in Northern California. Molecular biologist met here 35 years ago to hash out initial ethical and safety rules on recombinant DNA. So researchers dubbed this meeting "Asilomar 2." Scientists emphasized that they are not saying whether large-scale geoengineering to combat climate change is needed--or if it is morally acceptable. Indeed, the statement urged that any discussion of the topic should be undertaken with "humility." ...


We won't need geoengineering if we adopt "humility" as a lifestyle. Now.

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Fri, Mar 26, 2010
from Associated Press:
Death of Coral Reefs Could Devastate Nations
Coral reefs are dying, and scientists and governments around the world are contemplating what will happen if they disappear altogether. The idea positively scares them. Coral reefs are part of the foundation of the ocean food chain. Nearly half the fish the world eats make their homes around them. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide -- by some estimates, 1 billion across Asia alone -- depend on them for their food and their livelihoods. If the reefs vanished, experts say, hunger, poverty and political instability could ensue. ...


I feel such reef grief!

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Mon, Mar 22, 2010
from London Guardian:
Wind contributing to Arctic sea ice loss, study finds
Much of the record breaking loss of ice in the Arctic ocean in recent years is down to the region's swirling winds and is not a direct result of global warming, a new study reveals. Ice blown out of the region by Arctic winds can explain around one-third of the steep downward trend in sea ice extent in the region since 1979, the scientists say. The study does not question that global warming is also melting ice in the Arctic, but it could raise doubts about high-profile claims that the region has passed a climate "tipping point" that could see ice loss sharply accelerate in coming years. The new findings also help to explain the massive loss of Arctic ice seen in the summers of 2007-08, which prompted suggestions that the summertime Arctic Ocean could be ice-free withing a decade. About half of the variation in maximum ice loss each September is down to changes in wind patterns, the study says. ...


Shoo-eeee!! Maybe we can bio-engineer ourselves out of this mess after all!

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Sun, Mar 21, 2010
from The Daily Climate:
Global cooling is bunk, draft NASA study finds
Global warming has neither stopped nor slowed in the past decade, according to a draft analysis of temperature data by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The analysis, led by senior scientist Jim Hansen, attempts to debunk popular belief that the planet is cooling. It finds that global temperatures over the past decade have "continued to rise rapidly," despite large year-to-year fluctuations associated with the tropical El Nino-La Nina cycles. The analysis also predicts, assuming current El Nino conditions hold, that 2010 will go down in history as the hottest year on record despite an unusually snowy winter in the Northern Hemisphere. ...


What a relief! -- oh wait

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Sat, Mar 20, 2010
from Digital Journal:
Expert Says Policy Makers Underestimate Climate Change Problems
In a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Oceanography, March 2010, Greene, Cornell professor of Earth and Atmospheric Science, has published a paper called "A Very Inconvenient Truth" along with colleagues D. James Baker, professor of the William J. Clinton Foundation and Daniel H. Miller of the Roda Group, Berkeley, California. They conclude that the United Nations Panel on Climate Change of 2007 underestimated the specific dangers that man-made climate change has created. The social problems now and in the future are considerable, according to these scientists.... "Of course, greenhouse gas emissions will not stop tomorrow, so the actual temperature increase will likely be significantly larger, resulting in potentially catastrophic impacts to society unless other steps are taken to reduce the Earth's temperature." ...


Don't worry -- we'll get back to preindustrial levels eventually!

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Thu, Mar 18, 2010
from NOAA, via DesdemonaDespair:
February 2010 had 2nd-hottest oceans on record, following hottest January
# For the year to date, the combined global land and ocean surface temperature of 12.7C (54.9F) was the fifth warmest January-February period on record. This value is 0.60C (1.08F) above the 20th century average. # The worldwide ocean surface temperature for February 2010 was the second warmest on record for February, 0.54C (0.97F) above the 20th century average of 15.9C (60.6F). # The seasonal (December 2009 - February 2010) worldwide ocean surface temperature was also the second warmest on record, 0.54C (0.97F) above the 20th century average of 15.8C (60.5F). # In the Southern Hemisphere, both the February 2010 average temperature for land areas and the Hemisphere as a whole (land and ocean surface combined), represented the warmest February on record. The Southern Hemisphere ocean temperature tied with 1998 as the warmest February on record. ...


Thank God that statistics are the Devil's plaything.

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Wed, Mar 17, 2010
from USA Today:
Poll: Worries about environment hit low
Americans' worries about environmental issues have hit a 20-year low, largely because of economic concerns, according to a Gallup Poll released Tuesday. Fewer adults worry "a great deal" about each of eight issues surveyed, including global warming, than a year ago, according to the poll of 1,014 Americans taken March 4-7. Their concerns about six of the issues hit record lows. At the same time, in findings Gallup will release later this week, a record number -- 53 percent -- say economic growth takes precedence, even if it hurts the environment, says Frank Newport, Gallup's editor in chief. ...


Do Americans hate the environment or just love money?

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Sun, Mar 14, 2010
from University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science via ScienceDaily:
Aquatic 'Dead Zones' Contributing to Climate Change
The increased frequency and intensity of oxygen-deprived "dead zones" along the world's coasts can negatively impact environmental conditions in far more than just local waters. In the March 12 edition of the journal Science, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science oceanographer Dr. Lou Codispoti explains that the increased amount of nitrous oxide (N2O) produced in low-oxygen (hypoxic) waters can elevate concentrations in the atmosphere, further exacerbating the impacts of global warming and contributing to ozone "holes" that cause an increase in our exposure to harmful UV radiation. ...


Maybe we should call these dead zones zombie zones.

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Sat, Mar 13, 2010
from New York Times:
New U.N. Climate Change Group is All Male
Women at some environmentally conscious nonprofits are indignant that a new group overseeing financing for a United Nations climate change effort has 19 members -- none of them women. The group's task is to allocate funds to developing countries to help mitigate the impact of climate change. "It includes equal representation between industrialized countries and developing countries," Elizabeth Becker, a member of Oxfam America, and Suzanne Ehlers, president of Population Action International, wrote in a joint blog post on Grist. "But what it does not include at all is women." ...


The group should have some trees, fish and birds involved, too.

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Sat, Mar 13, 2010
from Associated Press:
Meeting on deforestation boosts morale, budget
A conference bringing together more than 60 nations Thursday added $1 billion to the fight against deforestation and boosted the morale of those hoping to save the world's forests -- a key defense against global warming. Three months after a morose ending to climate change talks in Copenhagen, the one-day ministerial meeting in Paris attended by heavily forested countries such as Indonesia and those in the Amazon and Congo basins amounted to a confidence-builder for nations wondering what comes next in the battle against deforestation, many delegates said. ...


I hope there weren't too many handouts.

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Wed, Mar 10, 2010
from Climatewire:
Health and Life Insurers Grapple With Climate Effects
Biting bugs are buzzing northward and asthma has spread like a dust cloud, but there are deep divisions about how concerned health and life insurers should be about disease and death caused by climate change. So far, this corner of the massive industry has remained in the background of its climate debate, letting its counterparts who specialize in property losses worry in public forums about potential risks from rising sea levels and more powerful storms. But there can be storms inside the human body, as well, scientists say, pointing to increases in malaria, heat waves, lung illnesses and other diseases spread by insects that are expanding into new territory as temperate climates experience warmer winters ...


I'd just as soon hide in the background, too.

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Wed, Mar 10, 2010
from Inter Press Service:
"Famine Marriages" Just One Byproduct of Climate Change
The negative fallout from climate change is having a devastatingly lopsided impact on women compared to men, from higher death rates during natural disasters to heavier household and care burdens. In the 1991 cyclone disasters that killed 140,000 in Bangladesh, 90 percent of victims were reportedly women; in the 2004 Asian Tsunami, an estimated 70 to 80 percent of overall deaths were women. And following the 2005 Hurricane Katrina in the United States, African-American women, who were the poorest population in some of the affected States in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, faced the greatest obstacles to survival, according to the New York-based Women's Environment and Development Organisation (WEDO)...women are particularly affected by climate change because they are the largest percentage -- accounting for about 70 percent -- of the poor population. ...


Next you'll be telling me menfolk emit more methane!

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Tue, Mar 9, 2010
from Christian Science Monitor:
Global warming doubts could hamper climate legislation
A recent poll suggests that high-profile controversies regarding climate science are weakening public confidence in the validity of global warming, And that could endanger congressional efforts to pass climate legislation. In 2008, 71 percent of respondents said they thought global warming was happening, while 10 percent thought it wasn't. This year, only 57 percent thought global warming was a reality, and the number of doubters increased to 20 percent, according to a poll conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change and the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. "We've seen some pretty significant changes over the past year," says Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change. "We found a very significant drop in the percentage of Americans who think global warming is happening, and a significant drop in those who think humans are responsible. Generally speaking, we've seen a drop in public concern about the issue." ...


United Skeptics of America!

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Tue, Mar 9, 2010
from Yale environment 360:
World's Pall of Black Carbon Can Be Eased With New Stoves
With a single, concerted initiative, says Lakshman Guruswami, the world could save millions of people in poor nations from respiratory ailments and early death, while dealing a big blow to global warming -- and all at a surprisingly small cost. "If we could supply cheap, clean-burning cook stoves to the large portion of the world that burns biomass," says Guruswami, a Sri Lankan-born professor of international law at the University of Colorado, "we could address a significant international public health problem, and at the same stroke cut a major source of warming."...Some scientists now estimate that small, solid particles of black carbon are responsible for about one-fifth of warming globally and, as such, are the second-largest contributor to climate change, after carbon dioxide gas. ...


This dude's a guru and a swami ... all rolled into one.

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Tue, Mar 9, 2010
from CBC:
Pack ice scarce off Eastern Canada
A Canadian Coast Guard official said Monday that many parts of the ocean near Newfoundland and Labrador are devoid of pack ice -- a condition that hasn't been seen in at least 40 years. "It's been an unusual year this year, to the point that there is no ice. There have been high temperatures, high winds, and as a result we have very little ice," said Dan Frampton, the Coast Guard's supervisor of ice operations. "By this time of year, pack ice is usually down to the St. John's area." Frampton said icebreakers have been idle because there's no pack ice in the Strait of Belle Isle between Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula and southern Labrador, as well as in the Gulf of St. Lawrence or further north off central Labrador. It could be a problem for harp seals that give birth to pups on the ice. In the Gulf of St. Lawrence their population can swell to a million but with next to no ice this year only 500 seals have been counted so far. "Yes, there's only water around the island. There's no ice at all around the island. There's no ice at all," said veteran mariner Jean-Claude Lapierre. "I'm 69 years old and I never saw that before. I talked to the older people and it's the first time they saw that." ...


Is this Canada's way of getting around that whole seal-clubbing thing?

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Fri, Mar 5, 2010
from NUVO Newsweekly:
Atmospheric scientist speaks at Butler
On Thursday night, March 4, atmospheric scientist Katharine Heyhoe spoke to more than a hundred students, faculty and community members on the campus of Butler University... After her excellent presentation, the first question asked from the audience was about climategate. Heyhoe handled the questioner deftly, referring him to investigating the hacked emails himself, along with looking at the actual science of global warming, yet the man nattered on, until, having stolen too much speakspace, was asked to stop. He quickly left the room. Unfortunately, so did a number of students...a survey by the Yale Project on Climate Change and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change concluded that younger people, 18-34, are relatively "apathetic about the threat" of climate change. In fact, the survey found, nearly two thirds of younger Americans are "unsure whether global warming is real." ...


Maybe the young people, like, mean it's soooooooo UNreal it doesn't seem real.

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Fri, Mar 5, 2010
from London Financial Times:
Review says global warming is man-made
The case for man-made global warming is even stronger than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change maintained in its official assessments, according to the first scientific review published since December's Copenhagen conference and subsequent attacks on the IPCC's credibility. An international research team led by the UK Met Office spent the past year analysing more than 100 recent scientific papers to update the last IPCC assessment, released in 2007. Although the review itself preceded the sceptics' assault on climate science over the past three months, its launch in London on Thursday marks a resumption of the campaign by mainstream scientists to show that man-made releases of greenhouse gases are causing potentially dangerous global warming. ...


More carbons burned to prove the obvious!

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Thu, Mar 4, 2010
from Yale 360:
Younger Americans Disengaged On Global Warming, Survey Finds
Although they have grown up during an era when global warming has emerged as a major issue, Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 are relatively apathetic about the threat, according to a new survey. And even when they do think about it, young Americans are just as divided as older Americans about whether global warming is real, according to results of the survey conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. Adults under 35 are significantly less likely than older Americans to say they have thought about global warming, with 22 percent saying they have never thought about the issue. Only 38 percent of younger Americans say they had previously thought about global warming either "a lot" or "some," compared to 51 percent of those aged 35 to 59. And 54 percent of Americans aged 18 to 34 said they were not at all worried or not very worried about global warming. Sixty-one percent of younger Americans said that most of their friends were generally not taking actions to reduce global warming. And nearly two-thirds of younger Americans are unsure whether global warming is real, with 20 percent saying they didn't know enough to make a judgment and 40 percent saying that there is a lot of disagreement among scientists on the issue. ...


Ah youth. Wasted on the stupid.

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Wed, Mar 3, 2010
from LA Times:
Woolly mammoths resurfacing in Siberia
The beasts had long lain extinct and forgotten, embedded deep in the frozen turf, bodies swaddled in Earth's layers for thousands of years before Christ. Now, the Russian permafrost is offering up the bones and tusks of the woolly mammoths that once lumbered over the tundra. They are shaped into picture frames, chess sets, pendants. They are gathered and piled, carved and whittled, bought and sold on the Internet.... The mammoth finds have been growing steadily over the last three decades as Russia's vast sea of permafrost slowly thaws. Russian scientists disagree over whether global warming is responsible. Some say yes, others are skeptical. But nobody argues that the permafrost is dwindling -- and they're glad to have the bones and tusks, especially when the increased yields coincide with bans on elephant ivory. ...


Every methane cloud holds an ivory lining.

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Sun, Feb 28, 2010
from The Economist:
The bleakest outlook in the world: the future of the Arctic
The Arctic is changing faster and more dramatically than any other environment on the planet. The ice that defines it is melting with alarming speed, taking with it life that can survive nowhere else. Oil, gas, shipping and fishing interests have been heading into the newly open water, with diplomats, lawyers, and now authors, in their wake.... Mr Anderson looks in on the extraordinary, tiny world of the tributary system within the Arctic ice, formed by trickles of briny water which gets squeezed as it freezes. But from the bear above to the microscopic wonders within, all are doomed once the summer ice goes, which is expected to happen at some point between 2013 and 2050. ...


The Arctic will only melt if we accept the theory of the greenhouse effect. Clap with me three times, and then we can fly.

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Sun, Feb 28, 2010
from Living on Earth:
Here Comes the Sound
...Across the American West, millions of acres of forests are dead because of beetles about the size of a grain of rice -- the pine bark beetles. The beetles' range is expanding due, in part, to climate change. Warmer winters mean the beetles survive farther north and higher up. And drought weakens a tree's resistance. Forestry experts call it the largest insect infestation in North American history and warn some 20 million acres could be lost in the next decade or so. Now an unusual trio of researchers -- a sound artist, a scientist, and a student -- might have a powerful new way to control the beetles... why not use military control technology where they use acoustics to control crowds or Somali pirates to push them off. ...


Barry Manilow vs. the beetles.

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Sun, Feb 28, 2010
from Associated Press:
Warming Panel, Under Attack, Seeks Outside Review
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says it's seeking some kind of independent review because of recent criticism about its four 2007 reports. Critics have found a few unsettling errors, including projections of retreats in Himalayan glaciers, in the thousands of pages of the reports. Scientists say the problems are minor and have nothing to do with the major conclusions about man-made global warming and how it will harm people and ecosystems...But one of the troubles is that the IPCC is written by most of the world's top experts in climate science. And the experts who don't write it, often review it, so it's hard to find someone both independent and knowledgeable. ...


Then let's get skeptics and deniers to review it!

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Thu, Feb 25, 2010
from Scientific American:
Waiting to Inhale: Deep-Ocean Low-Oxygen Zones Spreading to Shallower Coastal Waters
A plague of oxygen-deprived waters from the deep ocean is creeping up over the continental shelves off the Pacific Northwest and forcing marine species there to relocate or die. Since 2002 tongues of hypoxic, or low-oxygen, waters from deeper areas offshore have slipped into shallower near-shore environments off the Oregon coast, although not close enough to be oxygenated by the waves. The problem stems from oxygen reduction in deep water, a phenomenon that some scientists are observing in oceans worldwide, and that may be related to climate change. The hypoxic seawater is distinct from the well-known "dead zones" that form at the mouths of the Mississippi and other rivers around the world. Those areas result from agricultural runoff, which lead to algae blooms that consume oxygen. Rather, the Pacific Northwest problem is broader and more mysterious. ...


I LOVE a mystery... um, except this kind.

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Wed, Feb 24, 2010
from NUVO Newsweekly:
State sidesteps climate change survey
When the National Association of Insurance Commissioners decided it would require large insurance companies to publicly disclose the risks they face from climate change -- and the steps they are taking to combat them -- insurers across the country had every reason to believe they would make their first disclosures on May 1 this year, as agreed upon by state insurance commissioners. Not so for Indiana's insurers. Or for insurers in several other states that seem to be following Indiana's lead... At least two more states have abandoned the survey altogether. NUVO confirmed with state insurance commissions that Mississippi and North Carolina have joined Indiana. Meanwhile, Alabama, Connecticut and Utah told NUVO they were reconsidering it. ...


The domiNO effect of states who say NO.

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Tue, Feb 23, 2010
from Bloomberg News:
Climate-Change Fervor Cools Amid Disputed Science (Update1)
... Three years after former Vice President Gore won a Nobel Prize for sounding the alarm on climate change and GE, whose equipment generates about one-third of the world' s electricity, joined a coalition of companies pushing for a cap on greenhouse gases, public concern is flagging, along with U.S. and global efforts to mount government responses. Polls find more Americans questioning whether human activity is leading to climate change, or whether the trend is so dire as to justify reshaping U.S. energy use during an economic slump, as President Barack Obama has proposed. Record snowfalls in the U.S. also are fueling doubts. ...


Americans lead the world in believing in their own opinions.

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Tue, Feb 23, 2010
from New York Times:
EPA's Gradual Phase In of GHG Regs Garners Qualified Praise From Senators
Facing mounting pressure from congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, the Obama administration yesterday vowed to gradually phase in climate regulations for industrial sources. U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that no stationary sources will face greenhouse gas regulations this year and that small sources will not be subject to permitting requirements any sooner than 2016. EPA is also considering "substantially" raising the thresholds in its proposed "tailoring" rule to exempt more facilities from requirements that they minimize their greenhouse gas emissions. ...


Whew!! We are off the hook again!

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Mon, Feb 22, 2010
from Penn State via ScienceDaily:
Diversity of Corals, Algae in Warm Indian Ocean Suggests Resilience to Future Global Warming
Penn State researchers and their international collaborators have discovered a diversity of corals harboring unusual species of symbiotic algae in the warm waters of the Andaman Sea in the northeastern Indian Ocean. "The existence of so many novel coral symbioses thriving in a place that is too warm for most corals gives us hope that coral reefs and the ecosystems they support may persist -- at least in some places -- in the face of global warming," said the team's leader, Penn State Assistant Professor of Biology Todd LaJeunesse. According to LaJeunesse, the comprehensiveness of the team's survey, which also included analysis of the corals and symbiotic algae living in the cooler western Indian Ocean and Great Barrier Reef area of Australia, is unparalleled by any other study. ...


Sh... Don't tell anyone!

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Sun, Feb 21, 2010
from Reuters:
Senate weighs final push to move climate bill
A last-ditch attempt at passing a climate change bill begins in the Senate this week with senators mindful that time is running short and that approaches to the legislation still vary widely, according to sources. "We will present senators with a number of options when they get back from recess," said one Senate aide knowledgeable of the compromise legislation that is being developed. The goal is to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that scientists say threaten Earth. ...


Can Sisyphus help with that?

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Fri, Feb 19, 2010
from PNAS, via PhysOrg:
Cars Emerge as Key Atmospheric Warming Force: Study
For decades, climatologists have studied the gases and particles that have potential to alter Earth's climate. They have discovered and described certain airborne chemicals that can trap incoming sunlight and warm the climate, while others cool the planet by blocking the Sun's rays.... Rather than analyzing impacts by chemical species, scientists have analyzed the climate impacts by different economic sectors.... The on-road transportation sector releases significant amounts of carbon dioxide, black carbon, and ozoneall substances that cause warming. In contrast, the industrial sector releases many of the same gases, but it also tends to emit sulfates and other aerosols that cause cooling by reflecting light and altering clouds.... In their analysis, motor vehicles emerged as the greatest contributor to atmospheric warming now and in the near term. Cars, buses, and trucks release pollutants and greenhouse gases that promote warming, while emitting few aerosols that counteract it. ...


Oh, sure. Next you'll be telling me that bovine flatulence is a problem.

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Fri, Feb 19, 2010
from Nature:
Asian pollution delays inevitable warming
The grey, sulphur-laden skies overlying parts of Asia have a bright side -- they reflect sunlight back into space, moderating temperatures on the ground. Scientists are now exploring how and where pollution from power plants could offset, for a time, the greenhouse warming of the carbon dioxide they emit. A new modelling study doubles as a thought experiment in how pollution controls and global warming could interact in China and India, which are projected to account for 80 percent of new coal-fired power in the coming years. If new power plants were to operate without controlling pollution such as sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX), the study finds, the resulting haze would reflect enough sunlight to overpower the warming effect of CO2 and exert local cooling. ...


I think I'd rather die of pollution than be killed by global warming.

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Fri, Feb 19, 2010
from Associated Press:
UN climate chief quits, leaves talks hanging
The sharp-tongued U.N. official who shepherded troubled climate talks for nearly four years announced his resignation Thursday, leaving an uncertain path to a new treaty on global warming. Exhausted and frustrated by unrelenting bickering between rich and poor countries, Yvo de Boer said he will step down July 1 to work in business and academia. With no obvious successor in sight, fears were voiced that whoever follows will be far less forceful than the skilled former civil servant from the Netherlands. His departure takes effect five months before 193 nations reconvene in Cancun, Mexico, for another attempt to reach a worldwide legal agreement on controlling greenhouse gas emissions... ...


I nominate Brangelina!

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Wed, Feb 17, 2010
from Science Daily:
Permafrost Line Recedes 130 Km in 50 Years, Canadian Study Finds
In a recent issue of the scientific journal Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, Serge Payette and Simon Thibault suggest that, if the trend continues, permafrost in the region will completely disappear in the near future.... While climate change is the most probable explanation for this phenomenon, the lack of long term climatic data for the area makes it impossible for the researchers to officially confirm this. Professor Payette notes, however, that the average annual temperature of the northern sites he has studied for over 20 years has increased by 2 degrees Celsius. ...


It doesn't sound quite so bad when you say "80 miles." Um, or does it?

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Sun, Feb 14, 2010
from Kansas City Star:
Many meteorologists break with science of global warming
We now take you live to a storm within the ranks of America's weathercasters. It is a quiet controversy about global warming. At least one local broadcaster had been hoping to keep it quiet. But after considerable persuasion last week, the Fox affiliate WDAF reluctantly allowed its chief meteorologist, Mike Thompson, to explain in an e-mail to The Kansas City Star why he breaks from the scholarly worldview of the causes of climate change. "It has become completely political -- it's not about science at all," he wrote in an e-mail. "If science were the objective, then we would be seeing an entirely different debate. But there are agendas at play, and it has undermined the credibility of climate science."... It is important to know that meteorologists are not climatologists. ...


I'd venture that instead of reading the science, he's been reading stories on the controversy about the science.

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Sun, Feb 14, 2010
from TIME Magazine:
How Global Warming will Change Ecosystems
...It's reasonable to expect, for example, that ecosystems will change as plants and animals respond to a rising thermometer -- but how do you measure the change of an ecosystem that may consist of hundreds or even thousands of species?... A team of scientists led by Stephen Thackeray, an expert on lake ecology at the United Kingdom's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, has combed through observations of more than 700 species of fish, birds, mammals, insects, amphibians, plankton and a wide variety of plants across the U.K. taken between 1976 and 2005, and found a consistent trend: more than 80 percent of "biological events" -- including flowering of plants, ovulation among mammals and migration of birds -- are coming earlier today than they were in the 1970s. On average, these events are occurring about 11 days earlier, and the pace of change has been accelerating with every decade. ...


If everything comes earlier and earlier how will I ever catch up?

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Feb 12, 2010
from London Times:
Tofu can harm environment more than meat, finds WWF study
Becoming a vegetarian can do more harm to the environment than continuing to eat red meat, according to a study of the impacts of meat substitutes such as tofu. The findings undermine claims by vegetarians that giving up meat automatically results in lower emissions and that less land is needed to produce food. The study by Cranfield University, commissioned by the environmental group WWF, found that many meat substitutes were produced from soy, chickpeas and lentils that were grown overseas and imported into Britain. It found that switching from beef and lamb reared in Britain to meat substitutes would result in more foreign land being cultivated and raise the risk of forests being destroyed to create farmland. Meat substitutes also tended to be highly processed and involved energy-intensive production methods. ...


We've been tofuled!

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Feb 12, 2010
from TIME Magazine:
Glaciers: Changing at a Less Than Glacial Pace
...a new study published in the Feb. 12 issue of Science indicates that the balance of the world's ice may be shifting faster than scientists thought, which may have consequences in a warming world. A team of scientists traveled to the Spanish island of Mallorca, where they visited a coastal cave that has been submerged off and on by the Mediterranean Sea for hundreds of thousand of years, as glacial periods have waxed and waned. They dated the layers of the mineral calcite, which were deposited by the seawater in rings on the cave walls, as on a bathtub.... "It's fair to say that this means glaciers may change somewhat faster than we once inferred," says Jeffrey Dorale, a geoscientist at the University of Iowa and the lead author of the Science paper. ...


Maybe we need a different word for "glaciers." How about raciers?

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Feb 12, 2010
from ScienceDaily:
Chemists Create Synthetic 'Gene-Like' Crystals for Carbon Dioxide Capture
UCLA chemists report creating a synthetic "gene" that could capture heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to global warming, rising sea levels and the increased acidity of oceans.... "We have taken organic and inorganic units and combined them into a synthetic crystal which codes information in a DNA-like manner. It is by no means as sophisticated as DNA, but it is certainly new in chemistry and materials science." The discovery could lead to cleaner energy, including technology that factories and cars can use to capture carbon dioxide before it reaches the atmosphere. "What we think this will be important for is potentially getting to a viable carbon dioxide-capture material with ultra-high selectivity," said Yaghi, who holds UCLA's Irving and Jean Stone Chair in Physical Sciences and is director of UCLA's Center for Reticular Chemistry. "I am optimistic that is within our reach. Potentially, we could create a material that can convert carbon dioxide into a fuel, or a material that can separate carbon dioxide with greater efficiency." ...


My potential excitement is just around the corner!

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Feb 11, 2010
from Guardian, via DesdemonaDespair:
Climate changes desynchronizing biological cycles in Britain
The analysis confirms that spring and summer are occurring earlier, but also shows that this trend appears to be accelerating. The shift could pose problems for animals, birds and fish that rely on springtime flowering of plants to supply food for their young.... The new study compiled 25,000 records of springtime trends for 726 species of plants, animals, plankton, insects, amphibians, birds and fish across land, sea and freshwater habitats. It analysed them for changes in the timing of lifecycle events, such as egg laying, first flights and flowering, a science known as phenology. The results showed that more than 80 percent of trends between 1976 and 2005 indicated earlier seasonal events. On average, the study showed the seasonal timing of reproduction and population growth shifted forward by eleven days over the period, and that the change has accelerated recently. ...


If springtime comes early, won't Punxatawny Phil always see his shadow?

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Feb 9, 2010
from BBC:
Climate change will make world more 'fragrant'
As CO2 levels increase and the world warms, land use, precipitation and the availability of water will also change. In response to all these disruptions, plants will emit greater levels of fragrant chemicals called biogenic volatile organic compounds. That will then alter how plants interact with one another and defend themselves against pests, according to a major scientific review. According to the scientists leading the review, the world may already be becoming more fragrant, as plants have already begun emitting more smelly chemicals. ...


Plus, there'll be the additional smell of us crapping our pants!

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Tue, Feb 9, 2010
from London Financial Times:
Melting ice alters way of life in Iqaluit
...The polar ice helps keep the earth cool, as snow and ice reflect sunlight while the permafrost traps methane, a potent greenhouse gas. But a new report published by the Pew Environment Group says that global warming is altering the Arctic ecosystem in a way never seen before by humans. It predicts that the Arctic, which has had sea ice for more than 800,000 years, might lose summer sea ice as soon as 2030 and estimates that the melting Arctic will lead to a 3-to-6 deg C increase in the earth's temperature over the next century. During the Ice Age, the earth's temperature changed by 4.5 deg C... "The Arctic is the planet's air conditioner, and it's starting to break down," says Eban Goodstein, a resource economist at Bard College in New York and one of the authors of the study. "Half measures to stop global warming are unlikely to succeed, and delaying action will mean future environmental costs could be overwhelmed by the massive pulse of heating from a broken air conditioner," he says. ...


Maybe we can find a giant fan instead.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Feb 9, 2010
from Washington Post:
U.S. proposes new climate service
The Obama administration proposed a new climate service on Monday that would provide Americans with predictions on how global warming will affect everything from drought to sea levels. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Service, modeled loosely on the 140-year-old National Weather Service, would provide forecasts to farmers, regional water managers and businesses affected by changing climate conditions... A Web portal launched Monday at www.climate.gov provides a single entry point to NOAA's climate information, data, products and services. ...


The Apocalypse will be monitored.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Feb 8, 2010
from Asahi Shimbun:
Seaweed beds, the 'cradle of the sea,' vanishing
... Seaweed beds are called the "cradle of the sea" because they provide fish with oxygen, as well as places to hide and lay eggs. The symbol of marine biodiversity, however, is fast disappearing from Japan's coastal regions in a phenomenon called isoyake, or denudation of rocky shores. In 1991, an Environment Agency survey found 200,000 hectares of rich seaweed beds around the nation. The Marine Ecology Research Institute in Tokyo estimates about 20 percent had been lost by 2008. The underwater deforestation is attributed to overgrazing by herbivorous fish, pollution and other factors, but the exact causes have not been determined. ...


Whose hand is rocking this cradle?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Feb 8, 2010
from Reuters:
Blue jeans: 15000 litres/ pair
The main impact of climate change will be on water supplies and the world needs to learn from past co-operation such as over the Indus or Mekong Rivers to help avert future conflicts, experts said on Sunday. Desertification, flash floods, melting glaciers, heatwaves, cyclones or water-borne diseases such as cholera are among the impacts of global warming inextricably tied to water. And competition for supplies might cause conflicts.... "Water is a very good medium [for co-operation]. It's typically an apolitical issue that can be dealt with," said Adeel, who is also director of the UN University's Canada-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health. ...


How touching that we can all die of thirst together!

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Sun, Feb 7, 2010
from London Independent:
Think-tanks take oil money and use it to fund climate deniers
An orchestrated campaign is being waged against climate change science to undermine public acceptance of man-made global warming, environment experts claimed last night. The attack against scientists supportive of the idea of man-made climate change has grown in ferocity since the leak of thousands of documents on the subject from the University of East Anglia (UEA) on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit last December. Free-market, anti-climate change think-tanks such as the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in the US and the International Policy Network in the UK have received grants totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds from the multinational energy company ExxonMobil. Both organisations have funded international seminars pulling together climate change deniers from across the globe. ...


It requires a lot to money to lie this big.

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Feb 6, 2010
from Sydney Morning Herald:
Arctic ice melt worst than 'most pessimistic' models: study
Climate change is transforming the Arctic environment faster than expected and accelerating the disappearance of sea ice, scientists said on Friday in giving their early findings from the biggest-ever study of Canada's changing north. The research project involved more than 370 scientists from 27 countries who collectively spent 15 months, starting in June 2007, aboard a research vessel above the Arctic Circle. It marked the first time a ship has stayed mobile in Canada's high Arctic for an entire winter... Models predicted only a few years ago that the Arctic would be ice-free in summer by the year 2100, but the increasing pace of climate change now suggests it could happen between 2013 and 2030... ...


So our pessimistic models were actually optimistic?

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Feb 6, 2010
from BBC:
Climate scepticism 'on the rise', BBC poll shows
The Populus poll of 1,001 adults found 25 percent did not think global warming was happening, a rise of 8 percent since a similar poll was conducted in November. The percentage of respondents who said climate change was a reality had fallen from 83 percent in November to 75 percent this month. And only 26 percent of those asked believed climate change was happening and "now established as largely man-made". ...


My problems always go away when I ignore them.

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Feb 6, 2010
from Los Angeles Times:
Movement to suspend California's global-warming law gathers steam
Republican politicians and conservative activists are launching a ballot campaign to suspend California's landmark global-warming law, in what they hope will serve as a showcase for a national backlash against climate regulations. Supporters say they have "solid commitments" of nearly $600,000 to pay signature gatherers for a November initiative aimed at delaying curbs on the greenhouse gas emissions of power plants and factories until the state's unemployment rate drops.... "We are on fire," said GOP Assemblyman Dan Logue, a sponsor of the proposed initiative. "People are calling from all over the country. This will be the most intense campaign the state has seen in 50 years." ...


A rather unfortunate metaphor, dude.

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Feb 6, 2010
from Canwest News Service:
Arctic melting to cost $2.4 trillion U.S. by 2050: Study
IQALUIT — The global cost of Arctic melting could reach $2.4 trillion U.S. by 2050 if current warming trends continue, according to a study released Friday. "The cumulative cost of the melting Arctic in the next 40 years is equivalent to the annual gross domestic products of Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom combined," according to the authors of the study prepared for the Pew Environment Group... The study notes that the Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet. According to the findings, Arctic melting this year alone will be "equal to 40 per cent of all U.S. industrial emission this year or (similar to) bringing on line more than 500 large coal-burning power plants"... ...


You mean we can spend our way out of this?

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Feb 4, 2010
from BBC:
Climate change causes wolverine decline across Canada
The wolverine, a predator renowned for its strength and tenacious character, may be slowly melting away along with the snowpack upon which it lives. Research shows wolverine numbers are falling across North America. Their decline has been linked to less snow settling as a result of climate change. The study is the first to show a decline in the abundance of any land species due to vanishing snowpack.... In all bar the Yukon, he found that snowpack depth declined significantly between 1968 and 2004.... "It occurred to me that a good first place to look for ecological impacts of that snowpack decline would be with a snow-adapted species like the wolverine," Dr Brodie told the BBC. They found a striking correlation between declining snowpack and falling numbers of the predator. "In provinces where winter snowpack levels are declining fastest, wolverine populations tend to be declining most rapidly," the researchers wrote in the journal article. ...


Call the X-Men -- they'll want to solve that problem!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Feb 3, 2010
from New York Times:
California Sets Up Statewide Network to Monitor Global-Warming Gases
California is preparing to introduce the first statewide system of monitoring devices to detect global-warming emissions, installing them on towers throughout the state. The monitoring network, which is expected to grow, will initially focus on pinpointing the sources and concentrations of methane, a potent contributor to climate change. The California plan is an early example of the kind of system that may be needed in many places as countries develop plans to limit their emissions of greenhouse gases. ...


Unless we'd rather NOT know.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Feb 3, 2010
from Associated Press:
UN says nations' greenhouse gas pledges too little
The reduction goals announced by the nations responsible for the bulk of the world's greenhouse gas emissions are likely to fall short of what many scientists say is needed to limit the disastrous effects of climate change, a U.N. official said Monday... "It is likely, according to a number of analysts, that if we add up all those figures that were being discussed around Copenhagen, if they're all implemented, it will still be quite difficult to reach the 2 degrees," Pasztor told The Associated Press. "That is the bottom line, but you can look at it negatively and positively. The negative part is that it's not good enough," he said. "The positive side is that for the first time, we have a goal, a clear goal that we're all working toward, and we know what the commitments are. ... Before we would just talk." ...


Now that's what I call p-p-progressssh.

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Tue, Feb 2, 2010
from Climate Wire:
Insurance Regulators in Ind. Reject Climate Regulation; Some Others Appear 'Lukewarm'
Indiana officials will not impose climate regulations on insurance companies, making it the first state to abandon the landmark measure before it goes into effect nationwide this spring.... "If I thought some cataclysmic climate change was gonna happen in the next five or 10 years, I'd be more serious about this," said Scott Richardson, the insurance regulator in South Carolina. "I think this is a long, long haul, is what I'm saying. I just don't think it's imminent." Mirroring a handful of other commissioners, Richardson hasn't decided whether to make BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina -- the only company in the state that would be required to respond to the "climate risk survey" -- answer the questions. He's "lukewarm" to the idea. ...


Things are going to get a lot hotter than "lukewarm."

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Feb 1, 2010
from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via ScienceDaily:
Emissions of Potent Greenhouse Gas Increase Despite Reduction Efforts
Despite a decade of efforts worldwide to curb its release into the atmosphere, NOAA and university scientists have measured increased emissions of a greenhouse gas that is thousands of times more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide and persists in the atmosphere for nearly 300 years. The substance HFC-23, or trifluoromethane, is a byproduct of chlorodifluoromethane, or HCFC-22, a refrigerant in air conditioners and refrigerators and a starting material for producing heat and chemical-resistant products, cables and coatings. ...


Maybe we should stop trying so hard.

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Mon, Feb 1, 2010
from London Guardian:
Global deal on climate change in 2010 'all but impossible'
A global deal to tackle climate change is all but impossible in 2010, leaving the scale and pace of action to slow global warming in coming decades uncertain, according to senior figures across the world involved in the negotiations. "The forces trying to tackle climate change are in disarray, wandering in small groups around the battlefield like a beaten army," said a senior British diplomat. An important factor cited is an impasse within the UN organisation charged with delivering a global deal, which today will start assessing the pledges made by individual countries by a deadline that passed last night. ...


What's the hurry?

ApocaDoc
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Sun, Jan 31, 2010
from Rolling Stone:
As the World Burns
How Big Oil and Big Coal mounted one of the most aggressive lobbying campaigns in history to block progress on global warming... This was supposed to be the transformative moment on global warming, the tipping point when America proved to the world that capitalism has a conscience, that we take the fate of the planet seriously.... Over the past year, the corporations and special interests most responsible for climate change waged an all-out war to prevent Congress from cracking down on carbon pollution in time for Copenhagen...."In the long term, the fossil-fuel industry is going to lose this war," says Kevin Knobloch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "But in the short term, they are doing everything they can to delay the revolution. For them, what this fight is really about is buying precious time to maximize profits from carbon sources. It's really no more complicated than that." ...


Our guiding light should be all our children but sadly ... these are the last days of our lives.

ApocaDoc
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Sun, Jan 31, 2010
from Fort Myers News-Press:
Much of Collier, Lee counties put at risk by rising sea
For the first time, three big government agencies in South Florida are issuing a red alert on global warming. They all acknowledge that global warming is happening and may be accelerating, that the climate is changing and the sea is rising because of it. Now they want to do something about it, with each issuing new climate change directives in the last six months.... This means that any remaining debate, complacency or indecision government agencies once had about the threat of global warming has given way to urgency. ...


Now I think I prefer blissful ignorance.

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Fri, Jan 29, 2010
from Louisville Courier-Journal:
Kentucky greenhouse-emission growth is worst in nation, panel told
Kentucky's greenhouse gas emissions are increasing at twice the rate of the rest of the nation, according to a draft inventory prepared for state environment officials. The Center for Climate Strategies found greenhouse gases -- mainly carbon dioxide -- rose 33 percent from 1990 to 2005, compared to 16 percent for the nation. Left unchecked, emissions are projected to increase to 62 percent above 1990 levels by 2030... "it's an important issue, said Len Peters, secretary of the state's Energy and Environment Cabinet, because many thousands of jobs are at stake in the state's coal, automotive, aluminum and steel industries if electricity rates go too high. "As we go forward, we have to link energy, the economy and the environment together," he said. ...


Good luck with that.

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Wed, Jan 27, 2010
from Johann Hari, in Slate:
NASA's Prophet Will Give You Nightmares
Ice sheets can go fast, and when they do, sea levels rise remorselessly and do not settle for centuries. He reasons: "If ice sheets begin to disintegrate, there will not be a new stable sea level on any foreseeable time scale. We will have created a situation with continual change, with intermittent calamities at thousands of cities around the world. It will continue for as many generations as we care to think about.... Global chaos will be difficult to avoid." So it is sobering to hear Hansen say -- based on large numbers of scientific studies -- that "a disintegration of the ice sheets has begun." Now we need to concentrate on forestalling a tipping point at which they would begin to internally collapse. Once that has happened, we will be powerless to stop a disaster. It will be too late to cut our emissions: They would still fall. ...


Evidence? I don't see evidence.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Jan 27, 2010
from New York Times:
Iceland Leads Environmental Index as U.S. Falls
A new ranking of the world's nations by environmental performance puts some of the globe's largest economies far down the list, with the United States sinking to 61st and China to 121st. In the previous version of the Environmental Performance Index, compiled every two years by Yale and Columbia University researchers, the United States ranked 39th, and China 105th. The top performer this year is Iceland, which gets virtually all of its power from renewable sources -- hydropower and geothermal energy. It was joined in the top tier by a cluster of European countries known for their green efforts, including Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Finland. ...


We are so good at getting worse and worse!

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Wed, Jan 27, 2010
from Environmental Defense Action Fund:
Today: National Climate Action Day
Tonight, President Obama will announce his legislative priorities for 2010 in his State of the Union speech. We need your help to make sure fighting global warming is at the top of the agenda. That's why we've declared today National Climate Action Day in support of a strong climate and energy bill in the Senate. Here are 5 things you can do today to help make our National Climate Action Day a big success: 1) Write Letters: Watch the State of the Union speech tonight with your family and use the opportunity to write letters to your Senators. Our goal is to collect 100,000 letters from around the country. We've already received about 55,000 and we will start delivering them to Senate offices tomorrow, so please get your letters in now. Go to our 100,000 Letters for Climate Action page for instructions. 2) Call Your Senators... ...


Here in America we have to REMIND people global warming matters.

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Tue, Jan 26, 2010
from BBC:
Using religious language to fight global warming
If the case for tackling climate change is backed by science, why do so many green campaigners rely on the language of religion? I am looking at a clock that is counting down the months, days, hours and minutes until planet Earth reaches "the point of no return". As I type, we have 83 months to go. The end of the world, if not exactly nigh, certainly seems to be on its way. But this doomsday countdown has not been devised by a religious cult or millenarian seer. It is on the website of the New Economics Foundation (Nef), designed to raise awareness about climate change. ...


How would we know, we're just the ApocaDocs!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Jan 26, 2010
from NPR:
Methane Causes Vicious Cycle In Global Warming
Carbon dioxide is the gas we most associate with global warming, but methane gas also plays an important role. For reasons that are not well understood, methane gas stopped increasing in the atmosphere in the 1990s. But now it appears to be once again on the rise. Scientists are trying to understand why — and what to do about it. Methane gas comes from all sorts of sources including wetlands, rice paddies, cow tummies, coal mines, garbage dumps and even termites. Drew Shindell, at NASA's Goddard Institute in New York, says, "It's gone up by 150 percent since the pre-industrial period. So that's an enormous increase. CO2, by contrast, has gone up by something like 30 percent." ...


I think I hear the Mars-bound space shuttles warming up their engines...

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jan 25, 2010
from London Independent:
Campaign to save tropical forests failed by food giants
Western food manufacturers are buying so little sustainable palm oil that the system set up to limit damage to tropical forests caused by the world's cheapest vegetable oil is in danger of collapse. Palm-oil producers say the industry may quit the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) because so few firms are financially backing the scheme. Houshold products giant Unilever and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) founded the RSPO seven years ago, to encourage producers of the oil, used in products such as biscuits and margarine, to minimise forest destruction, greenhouse gas emissions and loss of endangered wildlife, such as tigers and orangutans. Palm oil is in hundreds of branded foods such as Kit Kat and Hovis and household products such as Dove soap and Persil washing powder. The first certified RSPO supplies arrived in Europe in November 2008, yet only 27 per cent of present supply has so been sold, leading to claims of hypocrisy among Western buyers. ...


That roundtable is starting to look pretty square.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jan 25, 2010
from NPR:
New Anti-Smog Restrictions Could Warm Planet
The Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to tighten the ozone standard for smog will have an unfortunate side effect: Because of a quirk of atmospheric chemistry, those measures will hasten global warming. There's no question that smog is a hazard that deserves attention. Lydia Wegman of the EPA says the new ozone limits would have significant health benefits. Less smog means fewer asthma attacks, fewer kids in the hospital, fewer days of lost school, "and we also believe that we can reduce the risk of early death in people with heart and lung disease," she says. Here's the tough part: The way many states and localities will reduce smog is by cracking down on the chemicals that produce ozone. And those include nitrogen oxides, or NOx. ...


Stories like this are the very definition of being between a rock and a hard place.

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Jan 22, 2010
from NASA:
NASA: Last decade was warmest on record, 2009 one of warmest years
A new analysis of global surface temperatures by NASA scientists finds the past year was tied for the second warmest since 1880. In the Southern Hemisphere, 2009 was the warmest year on record. Although 2008 was the coolest year of the decade because of a strong La Nina that cooled the tropical Pacific Ocean, 2009 saw a return to a near-record global temperatures as the La Nina diminished, according to the new analysis by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. The past year was a small fraction of a degree cooler than 2005, the warmest on record, putting 2009 in a virtual tie with a cluster of other years --1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2007 -- for the second warmest on record. "There's always interest in the annual temperature numbers and a given year's ranking, but the ranking often misses the point," said James Hansen, GISS director. "There's substantial year-to-year variability of global temperature caused by the tropical El Nino-La Nina cycle. When we average temperature over five or ten years to minimize that variability, we find global warming is continuing unabated."... In total, average global temperatures have increased by about 1.5 degrees F (0.8 degrees C) since 1880. "That's the important number to keep in mind," said GISS climatologist Gavin Schmidt. "The difference between the second and sixth warmest years is trivial because the known uncertainty in the temperature measurement is larger than some of the differences between the warmest years." ...


Can't I insist on its being trivial?

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jan 21, 2010
from Chicago Tribune:
Asian carp DNA found in Lake Michigan
The DNA of Asian carp has been found in Lake Michigan for the first time, researchers said Tuesday, igniting a new round of calls for urgent action and renewed criticism of Illinois and the federal government for allowing the voracious carp to migrate up the state's waterways. The alarming find came just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to address the carp issue, rejecting Michigan's request for an injunction to force Illinois to stop its waterways from flowing into Lake Michigan. That left the issue in the hands of federal and state officials in Illinois....the discovery may bring the region a step closer to a scenario in which the carp devastate the Great Lakes' fragile ecology and commercial fishing interests. ...


Don't they get these carp are also a metaphor?!?

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jan 21, 2010
from Reuters:
Massachusetts vote hurts US climate bill
Republican Scott Brown's upset victory on Tuesday in the special U.S. Senate race has dealt a further blow to Democrats' drive to pass a climate control bill in 2010. Last June, the House of Representatives narrowly passed a cap and trade bill that would require reductions in industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases over the next four decades. It also would allow pollution permits to be traded in a new regulated market. But the global warming bill has languished in the Senate, where some members have been trying to find a compromise. Once Brown takes office, Democrats will hold 59 of the 100 votes in the Senate and the Republicans 41. The bill needs 60 votes to overcome procedural hurdles that could block passage. ...


What the hell... we have all the time in the world.

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Tue, Jan 19, 2010
from Toronto National Post:
Climate change and its toll on mental health
...Climate change could have "significant negative effects on global mental health," according to a new scientific report in the journal Psychological Medicine. It predicts that many of these negative effects will be felt not by those who are already mentally ill (although they will likely bear the brunt), but also by otherwise healthy people... who will suffer "psychological distress, anxiety and traumatic stress." The author, U.K. psychiatrist Lisa Page, cites "altered patterns of infectious disease, injuries from severe weather events, food and water scarcity, and population displacement" as mechanisms by which global warming could cause "an increase in the overall burden of mental disorder worldwide." Dr. Page cites "preliminary evidence" of more extreme possibilities: that suicide increases above a certain temperature threshold; that schizophrenia increases as populations become more urban; and that "impulsivity and aggression could be triggered during periods of hot weather." ...


This place is going to be a madhouse!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Jan 19, 2010
from New York Times:
Therapists Report Increase in Green Disputes
As awareness of environmental concerns has grown, therapists say they are seeing a rise in bickering between couples and family members over the extent to which they should change their lives to save the planet. In households across the country, green lines are being drawn between those who insist on wild salmon and those who buy farmed, those who calculate their carbon footprint and those who remain indifferent to greenhouse gases. "As the focus on climate increases in the publics mind, it can't help but be a part of peoples planning about the future," said Thomas Joseph Doherty, a clinical psychologist in Portland, Ore., who has a practice that focuses on environmental issues. "It touches every part of how they live: what they eat, whether they want to fly, what kind of vacation they want." ...


You say eco... I say echo...

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Jan 19, 2010
from via ScienceDaily:
Tipping Point? West Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Become Unstable as World Warms
A new study examines how ice sheets, such as the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, could become unstable as the world warms. The team from Oxford University and Cambridge University developed a model to explore how changes in the 'grounding line' -- where an ice sheet floats free from its base of rock or sediment -- could lead to the disintegration of ice sheets and result in a significant rise in global sea level... At the moment the model -- that uniquely takes into account the three dimensional shape of ice sheets -- is still fairly simple, but the researchers hope to eventually include more detail on how ice sheets interact with their base slopes and show the behaviour of individual ice streams. ...


Once the ice sheets go, at least we'll have this fun model to play with!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jan 18, 2010
from The Herald Scotland:
Tofu is bad for the environment, finds food study
Vegetarians have claimed for years that their meat-shy ways are helping save the world but a new study has found that tofu may actually be worse for the environment than beef. In a stark report on the environmental impact of the global food industry, WWF has warned that replacing meat with "highly refined" substitutes such as Quorn could increase the area of farmland needed to feed the UK. Instead, the charity has said, a wide range of measures will be required to bring harmful emissions from agriculture down to a safe level. In the new report, released today, researchers said: "A broad-based switch to plant-based products through increasing the intake of cereals and vegetables is more sustainable." ...


Tofu worse than beef? Let's ask the cows!

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Sun, Jan 17, 2010
from San Franscisco Examiner:
Bolivia's Morales plans alternative climate conference
Bolivian President Evo Morales said Tuesday he's inviting activists, scientists and government officials from around the world to an alternative climate conference following the failure of a summit in Copenhagen to produce binding agreements. The leftist leader said the April 20-22 meeting in Cochabamba will include indigenous peoples, social movements, environmentalists and scientists as well as governments "who want to work with their people." Morales said the meeting is meant partly to pressure industrialized nations to accept that they have a "climate debt" to poor countries and will work toward an international court on environmental crimes. Other topics will include a "universal proposal for the rights of mother earth" and the transfer of technology. ...


What if mother earth was a hermaphrodite?

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Sat, Jan 16, 2010
from Mother Jones:
The New Storm Brewing On the Climate Front
The cap-and-trade bill may have stalled in Congress, but its opponents aren't taking it easy. They've launched a new assault on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -- hoping to neutralize the only legal weapon the Obama administration has to curb carbon emissions if the climate legislation fails... In Congress, Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski has emerged as the leading -- and most canny -- threat to the EPA. Unlike many of her GOP colleagues, Murkowski acknowledges that emissions from human activity are warming the planet and must be reduced. (That her state is warming faster than most provides a good reason for her to be concerned.) And she's couching her attacks on the EPA in an argument that resonates with some Democrats and environmentalists: Legislation is a more effective way to address emissions, so the agency should back off to give Congress time to pass a law. ...


As we know, Congress is sooooo effective at all this.

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Mon, Jan 11, 2010
from Edmonton Journal:
'It's like a death watch'
...Scientists who have been studying polar bears in the region, however, believe that this event, and seven other acts of cannibalism recorded in the area this fall, are more signs that climate change is taking its toll on the bears of western Hudson Bay. "I've been studying polar bears in this region for 35 years, and prior to this fall, I personally knew of only one cub, and two other adults that were victims of cannibalism in that time," says Ian Stirling, retired from the Canadian Wildlife Service and now an adjunct professor at the University of Alberta. "To get eight in one year is really dramatic, especially when the bears came off the ice this year in fairly good shape. Breakup was later this year than it has been for a few years, so they had the extra time to hunt seals and put on weight before the ice went out. But it apparently wasn't enough to sustain all of them until freeze-up, which was particularly late this year." ...


But I don't want to watch!!!

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Sat, Jan 9, 2010
from Los Angeles Times:
Maldives: Paradise threatened?
...A string of coral islands lying 3 degrees above the equator in the Indian Ocean and 477 miles west of Sri Lanka, the Maldives has 1,190 islands. Only 200 of the islands are inhabited, home to about 390,000 Maldivians. But here's the doomsday foreshadowing: The largest of these 1,190 islands is 2 miles long, and most are smaller than a football field. The highest point in all the islands is less than 8 feet. A basketball hoop is 2 feet taller than the whole country... U.N. pundits say that oceans could rise as much as 2 feet in the next 90 years. Imagine what that might do to an island the size of a football field. ...


Maldives... may be taking a dive.

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Sat, Jan 9, 2010
from Indianapolis Star:
State Fair to celebrate Indiana's hogs
This year's Indiana State Fair will celebrate the state's $3 billion hog industry by putting hogs and pork products center stage during the 17-day fair. A series of events, exhibits and displays will toast Indiana's 3,000 hog farming families during the fair's "Year of Pigs" tribute. Indiana Pork Producers executive director Mike Platt says the Aug. 6-22 fair will highlight the large role the hog industry plays in the state's economy. Last year, Indiana hog farmers raised some 8 million pigs. ...


Displays include a booth that emits manure and urine smells!

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Wed, Jan 6, 2010
from TIME Magazine:
Global Warming: Why Branson Wants to Step In
...at least one business leader, the British billionaire and founder of the Virgin Group Richard Branson, says he has heard the alarm from scientists and environmentalists about climate change, and believes that the world must not waste time shifting away from oil and other fossil fuels... So, Branson has taken it upon himself -- unsurprisingly -- to lead the charge against carbon. In 2010, he will officially launch the Carbon War Room, a corporate think tank of sorts, designed to incubate and spread the best ways to cut carbon in corporate sectors ranging from aviation to shipping to construction... Branson's operation will start by addressing carbon emissions from a significant but little-known source that is not covered by any national or international regulations: global marine shipping. ...


Maybe he could clean up those islands of plastic crap while he's at it.

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Tue, Jan 5, 2010
from New York Times:
C.I.A. Is Sharing Data With Climate Scientists
The nation's top scientists and spies are collaborating on an effort to use the federal government's intelligence assets -- including spy satellites and other classified sensors -- to assess the hidden complexities of environmental change. They seek insights from natural phenomena like clouds and glaciers, deserts and tropical forests. The collaboration restarts an effort the Bush administration shut down and has the strong backing of the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In the last year, as part of the effort, the collaborators have scrutinized images of Arctic sea ice from reconnaissance satellites in an effort to distinguish things like summer melts from climate trends, and they have had images of the ice pack declassified to speed the scientific analysis. ...


Well that sure is Climate In Action!

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Mon, Jan 4, 2010
from New York Times:
Environmental Refugees Unable to Return Home
Natural calamities have plagued humanity for generations. But with the prospect of worsening climate conditions over the next few decades, experts on migration say tens of millions more people in the developing world could be on the move because of disasters. Rather than seeking a new life elsewhere in a mass international "climate migration," as some analysts had once predicted, many of these migrants are now expected to move to nearby megacities in their own countries. "Environmental refugees have lost everything," said Rabab Fatima, the South Asia representative of the International Organization for Migration. "They don't have the money to make a big move. They move to the next village, the next town and eventually to a city." ...


Surely, they will find shelter there.

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Sun, Jan 3, 2010
from The Economist:
The seat of power
...Less and less waste, these days, is actually allowed to go to waste. Instead, it is used to generate biogas, a methane-rich mixture that can be employed for heating and for the generation of electricity. Moreover, in an age concerned with the efficient use of energy, technological improvements are squeezing human fecal matter to release every last drop of the stuff. Making biogas means doing artificially to faeces what would happen to them naturally if they were simply dumped into the environment or allowed to degrade in the open air at a traditional sewage farm—namely, arranging for them to be chewed up by bacteria. Capturing the resulting methane has a double benefit. As well as yielding energy, it also prevents what is a potent greenhouse gas from being released into the atmosphere. ...


Our last hope: Shit.

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Thu, Dec 31, 2009
from McClatchy Newspapers:
Dust: Tiny particles with a big impact
Dust, dust, dust. It's everywhere, burrowing under beds, piling up on windowsills, clogging guns and machinery, irritating eyes, noses and lungs. It soars thousands of miles over continents and oceans, sometimes obliterating the sky. Enormous masses of the stuff - fine grains of soil, sand, smoke, soot, sea salt and other tiny particles, both seen and unseen - pervade Earth's air, land and water. Now scientists are beginning to have new respect for the way dust alters the environment and affects the health of people, animals and plants. As global warming raises temperatures and forests are cleared for agriculture and other development, the amount of dust swirling through the Earth's atmosphere is expected to grow. The likely impact is unknown. ...


...all we are is dust in the wind....

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Wed, Dec 30, 2009
from USA Today:
How McDonald's makes sure its burgers are safe
The hamburger you buy at McDonald's may look just like the hamburger you cook at home. But, in terms of safety, the two burgers are not close. Not unless you buy your own meat directly from a packing plant that you'd not only inspected yourself but was also inspected by a third party. And you demand the meat be tested multiple times for E. coli O157:H7, salmonella and coliform bacteria.... A day spent at the Keystone Foods plant here, one of five in the United States that makes hamburger patties for McDonald's, is a glimpse into the world of extreme food safety. McDonald's (MCD) is considered one of the best, if not the best, company in the United States when it comes to food safety. "They're the top of the top," says Caroline Smith DeWaal, food-safety director of the non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C. ...


No matter how safe the burgers, meat farms are still perilous to the habitat!

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Tue, Dec 29, 2009
from Reuters:
Brazil keeps climate targets despite failed summit
"We will fully comply with the targets. It doesn't matter that Copenhagen didn't go as well as we had hoped," Environment Minister Carlos Minc told reporters after meeting with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva... Brazil aims to reduce its projected 2020 greenhouse gas emissions by as much 39 percent. That amounts roughly to a 20 percent reduction from 2005 levels. According to the bill Lula is expected to sign into law later on Monday, those targets will be quantifiable and verifiable. Latin America's largest country had tried to prod other developing and industrialized countries into adopting bold targets at the U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen earlier this month. But the meeting failed to produce a new framework agreement on climate to follow the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012. ...


This is Brazilicious!

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Tue, Dec 29, 2009
from National Geographic News:
Africa-wide 'Great Green Wall' to Halt Sahara's Spread?
China built its famous Great Wall to keep out marauders. Now, millennia later, a "Great Green Wall" may rise in Africa to deter another, equally relentless invader: sand. The proposed wall of trees would stretch from Senegal to Djibouti as part of a plan to thwart the southward spread of the Sahara.... In many central and West African countries surrounding the Sahara, climate change has slowed rainfall to a trickle, according to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Crops have died and soils have eroded -- crippling local agriculture. If the trend continues, the UN forecasts that two-thirds of Africa's farmland may be swallowed by Saharan sands by 2025... ...


Now, if we can just keep this wall from being deforested!

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Mon, Dec 28, 2009
from POLITICO:
Senate Democrats to W.H.: Drop cap and trade
Bruised by the health care debate and worried about what 2010 will bring, moderate Senate Democrats are urging the White House to give up now on any effort to pass a cap-and-trade bill next year... The creation of an economywide market for greenhouse gas emissions is the heart of the climate bill that cleared the House earlier this year. But with the health care fight still raging and the economy still hurting, moderate Democrats have little appetite for another sweeping initiative -- especially another one likely to pass with little or no Republican support. "We need to deal with the phenomena of global warming, but I think it's very difficult in the kind of economic circumstances we have right now," said Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh, who called passage of any economywide cap and trade "unlikely." ...


Thank God tomorrow never comes.

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Mon, Dec 28, 2009
from The Center for Public Integrity:
The Climate Lobby from Soup to Nuts
The next round of the battle over climate change policy on Capitol Hill will involve more than the usual suspects. Way more... the overall number of businesses and groups lobbying on climate legislation has essentially held steady at about 1,160, thanks in part to a variety of interests that have left the fray. But a close look at the 140 or so interests that jumped into the debate for the first time in the third quarter shows a marked trend: Companies and organizations which feel they've been overlooked are fighting for a place at the table... Take the concerns raised by the world's largest maker of soup, Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup Company... "It wasn't until we analyzed what was going on in the House that we thought, 'Oh, gosh, we are being affected by this,'" said Kelly Johnston, Campbell Soup's vice president for public affairs, in an interview. ...


Surprise, Campbell's soup VP!

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Sun, Dec 27, 2009
from Tucson Arizona Daily Star:
Why your plants are so confused
Gardeners have had a tough year: a dry winter; relatively cool, late spring and early summer; a hot and sputtering monsoon; a near freeze in October; and a warm November. "I know plants were completely confused," says Michael A. Crimmins, a climate specialist with the Arizona Cooperative Extension. Some of the weather wackiness can be attributed to the effects of temperature changes in the Pacific known as El Niño and La Niña. But as world climate continues to change, more confusion is inevitable for both plants and gardeners. ...


I don't think the plants are merely confused. I think they're angry.

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Thu, Dec 24, 2009
from The Providence Journal:
Paula Moore: Invasion of jellyfish a sign of trouble
World leaders who attended the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen probably did not discuss the invasion of the jellyfish, but perhaps they should. While it might sound like the stuff of a B horror movie, millions of jellyfish -- some the size of refrigerators -- are swarming coastlines from Spain to New York and Japan to Hawaii. Last month, these marauders sank a 10-ton fishing trawler off the coast of Japan after the boat's crew tried to haul in a net containing dozens of huge Nomura jellyfish -- up to 450 pounds each. The best way to fight this growing menace is with our forks. Scientists believe that a combination of climate change, pollution and overfishing is causing the boom in jellyfish populations. Leaving animals, including fish, off our dinner plates will combat all three problems. ...


You'd think a knife would be more effective.

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Thu, Dec 24, 2009
from Wired:
7 Tipping Points That Could Transform Earth
...when the IPCC meets in 2014, tipping points -- or tipping elements, in academic vernacular -- will get much more attention. Scientists still disagree about which planetary systems are extra-sensitive to climate shifts, but the possibility can't be ignored. "The problem with tipping elements is that if any of them tips, it will be a real catastrophe. None of them are small," said Anders Levermann, a climate physicist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. Levermann's article on potential disruptions of South Asia's monsoon cycles was featured in a series of tipping element research reviews, published December 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Also discussed were ocean circulation, polar icecaps, Amazon rainforests, seafloor methane deposits and a west African dustbowl. Each is stressed by rising planetary temperatures. Some are less likely than others to tip; some might not be able to tip at all. Ambiguities, probabilities a limited grasp of Earth's complex systems are inherent to the science. But if any tip, it will be an epic disaster. ...


Only seven? I can keep track of that!

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Tue, Dec 22, 2009
from London Financial Times:
UN agrees to reform climate process
The United Nations bowed to intensifying pressure yesterday to start sweeping reforms of its processes for reaching agreement on climate change. Developed and developing countries have condemned the bureaucratic and unwieldy process of reaching unanimous agreement from 192 countries, which many blamed for the chaotic end of the Copenhagen climate change conference at the weekend... Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, led the calls for reform yesterday, saying: "What happened at Copenhagen was a flawed decision-making process." He attacked, without naming, the small group of countries that prevented the formal adoption of the accord. The group is known to include Venezuela, Bolivia and Sudan. Ed Miliband, the British climate secretary, also blamed China yesterday for the outcome, as China had vetoed two important commitments that other countries wanted left in. ...


Just so the new process includes even more blaming!

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Mon, Dec 21, 2009
from London Times:
Gordon Brown calls for new group to police global environment issues
A new global body dedicated to environmental stewardship is needed to prevent a repeat of the deadlock which undermined the Copenhagen climate change summit, Gordon Brown will say tomorrow. The UNs consensual method of negotiation, which requires all 192 countries to reach agreement, needs to be reformed to ensure that the will of the majority prevails, he feels. The Prime Minister will say: Never again should we face the deadlock that threatened to pull down those talks. Never again should we let a global deal to move towards a greener future be held to ransom by only a handful of countries. One of the frustrations for me was the lack of a global body with the sole responsibility for environmental stewardship..." ...


Hopefully this global body will carry big sticks.

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Mon, Dec 21, 2009
from Yale University, via EurekAlert:
Global temperatures could rise more than expected, new study shows
The kinds of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide taking place today could have a significantly larger effect on global temperatures than previously thought, according to a new study led by Yale University geologists. Their findings appear December 20 in the advanced online edition of Nature Geoscience.... Their reconstructed CO2 concentrations for the past five million years was used to estimate Earth-system climate sensitivity for a fully equilibrated state of the planet, and found that a relatively small rise in CO2 levels was associated with substantial global warming 4.5 million years ago. They also found that the global temperature was 2 to 3 degrees Celsius higher than today while CO2 levels were only between about 365 and 415 parts per million (ppm) -- similar to today's concentration of about 386 ppm.... "Since there is no indication that the future will behave differently than the past, we should expect a couple of degrees of continued warming even if we held CO2 concentrations at the current level." ...


You mean we can learn from the past? Why didn't anyone tell me?

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Sun, Dec 20, 2009
from New Scientist:
Sceptical climate researcher won't divulge key program
A physicist whose work is often highlighted by climate-change sceptics is refusing to provide the software he used to other climate researchers attempting to replicate his results. Nicola Scafetta, a physicist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, has published a series of papers over the past few years that suggest the sun played a much bigger role in warming over the 20th century than is generally accepted. In particular, one 2006 paper he co-authored concluded that: "The sun might have contributed approximately 50 per cent of the observed global warming since 1900" (Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1029/2006GL027142). This paper has been widely cited by those seeking to cast doubt on the scientific consensus on the cause of climate change, including US senator James Inhofe. Scafetta has also contributed to a book that claimed that "carbon dioxide probably is not the driving factor behind climate change". ...


Maybe the software is a just a little soft in the head.

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Sun, Dec 20, 2009
from Associated Press:
Climate reality: Voluntary efforts not enough
Around the world, countries and capitalism are already working to curb global warming on their own, with or without a global treaty.... But the impact of such piecemeal, voluntary efforts is small. Experts say it will never be enough without the kind of strong global agreement that eluded negotiators at the U.N. summit this past week in Copenhagen... Dozens of countries - including the top two carbon polluters, China and the United States - came to the climate talks with proposals to ratchet down pollution levels. But analysis by the United Nations and outside management systems experts show that those voluntary reductions will not keep temperatures from increasing by more than 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.3 degrees Fahrenheit) compared with now. ...


Let's consider putting ourselves out of our misery.

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Fri, Dec 18, 2009
from Associated Press:
Acid oceans, the 'evil twin' of climate change, overlooked in climate talks
Far from Copenhagen's turbulent climate talks, the sea lions, harbor seals and sea otters reposing along the shoreline and kelp forests of this protected marine area stand to gain from any global deal to cut greenhouse gases. These foragers of the sanctuary's frigid waters, flipping in and out of sight of California's coastal kayakers, may not seem like obvious beneficiaries of a climate treaty crafted in the Danish capital. But reducing carbon emissions worldwide also would help mend a lesser-known environmental problem: ocean acidification.... Another way to think of ocean acidification is as osteoporosis of the seas... ...


Our planet has fallen ... and it can't get up!

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Fri, Dec 18, 2009
from University of California - Berkeley via ScienceDaily:
Mammals May Be Nearly Half Way Toward Mass Extinction
If the planet is headed for another mass extinction like the previous five, each of which wiped out more than 75 percent of all species on the planet, then North American mammals are one-fifth to one-half the way there, according to a University of California, Berkeley, and Pennsylvania State University analysis. Many scientists warn that the perfect storm of global warming and environmental degradation -- both the result of human activity is leading to a sixth mass extinction equal to the "Big Five" that have occurred over the past 450 million years, the last of which killed off the dinosaurs 68 million years ago. Yet estimates of how dire the current loss of species is have been hampered by the inability to compare species diversity today with the past. ...


Is "equal to" the best we can do?

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Fri, Dec 18, 2009
from Associated Press:
UN document shows Copenhagen summit falling short
COPENHAGEN — Carbon emissions cuts pledged at U.N. climate talks would put the world on "an unsustainable pathway" toward average global warming 50 percent higher than industrial countries want, a confidential U.N. draft document showed Thursday... Scientists say such rises in average temperatures could lead to catastrophic sea level rises, which would threaten islands and coastal cities, kill off many species of animals and plants, and alter the agricultural economies of many countries. ...




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Thu, Dec 17, 2009
from The Daily Climate:
Cities pushing nations toward deeper cuts
Mayors of some of the world's largest cities flexed their muscle at the United Nations climate talks Wednesday, warning that "billions of people" are prepared to cut emissions far beyond whatever agreement world leaders may ink this week....The discussion came a day after California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called for a UN climate summit for cities and regions. "We at the local level have too much to lose," said Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. "We will go further, and we will make it safe for (politicians) to go further. We will push the envelope." Nickels and mayors of Delhi, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Melbourne – representing some 45 million people total – said they were pushing forward with ambitious climate adaptation and mitigation efforts, even as their national leaders remained stuck on those very points. They had no choice, said Melbourne Mayor Robert Doyle. Earlier this year the worst wildfires in Australia's history grazed the outskirts of his city, killing more than 75 people. Experts attributed the exceptionally fierce blaze to drought conditions that scientists predict will become increasingly common as emissions increase. ...


It would appear it's time for "world leaders" to start FOLLOWING.

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Wed, Dec 16, 2009
from New York Times:
Climate Talks Near Deal to Save Forests
COPENHAGEN -- Negotiators have all but completed a sweeping deal that would compensate countries for preserving forests, and in some cases, other natural landscapes like peat soils, swamps and fields that play a crucial role in curbing climate change. Environmental groups have long advocated such a compensation program because forests are efficient absorbers of carbon dioxide, the primary heat-trapping gas linked to global warming. Rain forest destruction, which releases the carbon dioxide stored in trees, is estimated to account for 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally. The agreement for the program, if signed as expected, may turn out to be the most significant achievement to come out of the Copenhagen climate talks, providing a system through which countries can be paid for conserving disappearing natural assets based on their contribution to reducing emissions. ...


Can I please get paid to not weed my garden?

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Wed, Dec 16, 2009
from Agence France-Presse:
Koalas, penguins at risk of extinction: study
Climate change threatens the survival of dozens of animal species from the emperor penguin to Australian koalas, according to a report released Monday at the UN climate summit. Rising sea levels, ocean acidification and shrinking polar ice are taking a heavy toll on species already struggling to cope with pollution and shrinking habitats, said the study from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an intergovernmental group. "Humans are not the only ones whose fate is at stake here in Copenhagen -- some of our favourite species are also taking the fall for our CO2 emissions," said Wendy Foden, an IUCN researcher and co-author of the study. ...


To hell with our not-so-favourite ones.

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Wed, Dec 16, 2009
from NASA, via WWF:
NASA: November was the Warmest on Record
NASA today (15 December 2009) updated its Global Land-Ocean Temperature Index with data for November 2009, indicating that the month was 0.68oC above the 1951-1980 mean, making it the warmest November on record. NASA also issued data for the September-October-November period, indicating that it was the 2nd warmest on record for land and ocean combined, behind only Sep-Oct-Nov 2005. ...


Another record! We so kick ass at this!

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Tue, Dec 15, 2009
from New York Times:
Trusting Nature as the Climate Referee
Imagine there's no Copenhagen. Imagine a planet in which global warming was averted without the periodic need for thousands of people to fly around the world to promise to stop burning fossil fuels. Imagine no international conferences wrangling over the details of climate policy. Imagine entrusting the tough questions to a referee: Mother Earth.... To end this political stalemate, Dr. McKitrick proposes calling each side's bluff. He suggests imposing financial penalties on carbon emissions that would be set according to the temperature in the earth's atmosphere. The penalties could start off small enough to be politically palatable to skeptical voters. If the skeptics are right and the earth isn't warming, then the penalties for burning carbon would stay small or maybe even disappear. But if the climate modelers and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are correct about the atmosphere heating up, then the penalties would quickly, and automatically, rise. ...


Unfortunately, temperature is just an observational theory.

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Mon, Dec 14, 2009
from New York Times:
In Bolivia, Water and Ice Tell of Climate Change
...The glaciers that have long provided water and electricity to this part of Bolivia are melting and disappearing, victims of global warming, most scientists say. If the water problems are not solved, El Alto, a poor sister city of La Paz, could perhaps be the first large urban casualty of climate change. A World Bank report concluded last year that climate change would eliminate many glaciers in the Andes within 20 years, threatening the existence of nearly 100 million people. For the nearly 200 nations trying to hammer out an international climate accord in Copenhagen, the question of how to address the needs of dozens of countries like Bolivia is a central focus of the negotiations and a major obstacle to a treaty. ...


If only the obstacle could melt like the glaciers.

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Mon, Dec 14, 2009
from Agence France-Presse:
'Monster' iceberg shedding hundreds of offshoots
An island-sized iceberg is breaking up as it drifts closer to Australia, producing hundreds of smaller slabs spread over a massive area of ocean, experts said Monday. The 140-square-kilometre (54-square-mile) block of ice, known as B17B, was seen some 1,700 kilometres (1,054 miles) south-southwest of Australia's western coast on December 9, prompting a maritime alert for vessels in the area. But as it has tracked further north and east the iceberg has shrunk to some 115 square kilometres -- still formidable at about twice the size of Manhattan. ...


This iceberg is going rogue!

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Sun, Dec 13, 2009
from 350.org:
The movement is glowing
From Bill McKibben: "It's been a remarkable day for those of us here in Copenhagen, but mostly not because of anything happening at the climate conference. Instead it's because of what you all did out in the rest of the world over the last 24 hours. We don't have a full count of vigils around the world, but in something like 3,000 cities and towns across the planet your vigils sent the most powerful of messages to the leaders here: stop playing games, and start protecting the planet. Here in Copenhagen, there were more than 100,000 people marching in the streets--99 percent of them peaceful and dignified--to call for climate solutions bold enough to meet the scale of the crisis. As the sun set on this city, thousands lit candles to stand in solidarity with those on the front lines of climate change--a moving and unprecedented moment in this movement. ...


The carbon footprint of a candle is small, but its light is mighty!

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Sun, Dec 13, 2009
from Associated Press:
968 detained at climate rally urging bold pact
COPENHAGEN - Tens of thousands of protesters have marched through the chilly Danish capital and nearly 1,000 were detained in a mass rally to demand an ambitious global climate pact, just as talks hit a snag over rich nations' demands on China and other emerging economies. The mostly peaceful demonstrations in Copenhagen on Saturday provided the centerpiece of a day of global climate activism stretching from Europe to Asia. Police assigned extra officers to watch protesters marching toward the suburban conference center to demand that leaders act now to fight climate change... Police said they rounded up 968 people in a preventive action against a group of youth activists at the tail end of the demonstration. ...


Would that such preventive action were being taken regarding the planet.

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Sat, Dec 12, 2009
from Associated Press:
AP IMPACT: Science not faked, but not pretty
E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data - but the messages don't support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an exhaustive review by The Associated Press. The 1,073 e-mails examined by the AP show that scientists harbored private doubts, however slight and fleeting, even as they told the world they were certain about climate change. However, the exchanges don't undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The scientists were keenly aware of how their work would be viewed and used, and, just like politicians, went to great pains to shape their message. Sometimes, they sounded more like schoolyard taunts than scientific tenets. ...


Whew! Thank goodness the Apocalypse is going to transpire as planned!

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Fri, Dec 11, 2009
from PhysOrg.com:
AGU session marks 30th anniversary of report on climate change projections
In 1979, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report estimating that global average temperatures would increase between 2 and 3.5 degrees Celsius by the middle of the 21st century if carbon dioxide concentrations were to double. This report, Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment, became known as the "Charney report" after the report committee's chair.... One of the first climate change assessments designed for policymakers, the Charney report found that regional shifts in climate would be significant, particularly in high latitudes where warming would exceed the global average. The report also found that the deep oceans' capacity to absorb heat had been underestimated, and that the rates of circulation between the upper oceans and the cold deeper oceans would slow the rate of warming. ...


Is thirty years long enough to be convincing?

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Fri, Dec 11, 2009
from Bloomberg News:
Fishermen Say Carbon Dioxide Having 'Really Scary' Ocean Effect
Jeremy Brown, a fisherman from the Pacific Northwest, is pulling things from the ocean he says are so disturbing that he came to Washington to warn U.S. lawmakers about it.... the ocean is becoming more acidic because of carbon-dioxide emissions that are damaging coral reefs, decimating populations of tiny animals at the base of the food chain and eating away at the shells of clams, mussels and oysters. "Every so often we snag a piece of coral on the gear," Brown, of Bellingham, Washington, said in an interview. "It doesn't look healthy, the color has gone out of it. The evidence is that we have instabilities in the system, and this last year was really scary."...Small snails and other tiny animals at the base of the food chain are disappearing at alarming rates, jeopardizing the health of pink salmon and other fish that feed on them... ...


When the fishermen are scared, I'm hooked!

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Fri, Dec 11, 2009
from National Geographic News:
2000-2010: A Decade of (Climate) Change
A decade ago, global climate change was largely considered a problem for the distant future. But it seems that future has come sooner than predicted. ...In 1997, a study published in the journal Nature tallied the value of 17 services provided by the environment, including water purification through wetlands, pollination, and recreation. The total was estimated at U.S. $33 trillion. The findings were largely ignored by policy makers, according to Stuart Pimm, a conservation biologist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who wrote an accompanying perspective piece on the study. Here we are just over a decade later and people are talking about tens of billions of dollars in financing to help developing countries do things like reduce carbon emissions from deforestation, he said. To me, that's the story of the decade, added Pimm... ...


Has this guy never heard of Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith, etc.? Get a life, loser!

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Wed, Dec 9, 2009
from London Daily Telegraph:
Copenhagen climate summit: global warming 'caused by sun's radiation'
As the world gathered in the Danish capital for the UN Climate Change Conference, more than 50 scientists, businessmen and lobby groups met to discuss the arguments against man made global warming. Although the meeting was considerably smaller than the official gathering of 15,000 people meeting down the road, the organisers claimed it could change the course of negotiations.... The meeting was organised by Danish group Climate Sense and the lobby group Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). ...


AKA DenialFest 2009

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Wed, Dec 9, 2009
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Starving polar bears turn to cannibalism
The images, taken in Hudson Bay, Canada, around 200 miles north of the town of Churchill, Manitoba, show a male polar bear carrying the bloodied head of a polar bear cub it has killed for food. Polar bears usually subsist on seals, which they hunt from a platform of sea ice. But the melting of sea ice as a result of rising global temperatures has made it more difficult for polar bears to hunt seals at sea, confining the bears to land. This has led to malnourishment and starvation as polar bears are unable to build sufficient fat reserves for winter.... Manitoba Conservation normally receive one to two reports of bear cannibalisation annually, but scientists say they are aware of eight cases so far this year. ...


"Hungry as a bear" takes on new meaning.

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Tue, Dec 8, 2009
from London Guardian:
Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after 'Danish text' leak
The UN Copenhagen climate talks are in disarray today after developing countries reacted furiously to leaked documents that show world leaders will next week be asked to sign an agreement that hands more power to rich countries and sidelines the UN's role in all future climate change negotiations. The document is also being interpreted by developing countries as setting unequal limits on per capita carbon emissions for developed and developing countries in 2050; meaning that people in rich countries would be permitted to emit nearly twice as much under the proposals....The document was described last night by one senior diplomat as "a very dangerous document for developing countries. It is a fundamental reworking of the UN balance of obligations. It is to be superimposed without discussion on the talks". ...


Hey you developing countries, emitting carbons just... just ain't that much fun. Really it ain't. Really.

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Tue, Dec 8, 2009
from London Guardian:
Naomi Klein kick-starts the activism at Copenhagen with call for disobedience
The Copenhagen deal may turn into the worst kind of disaster capitalism, Naomi Klein said last night. In her speech to Klimaforum09, the "people's summit" she told the thousand or so campaigners and activists that this was a chance to carry on building the new convergence, the movement of movements that began "all those years ago in Seattle, fighting against the privatisation of life itself". Here was an opportunity to "continue the conversation that was so rudely interrupted by 9/11". "Down the road at the Bella Centre [where delegates are meeting] there is the worst case of disaster capitalism that we have ever witnessed. We know that what is being proposed in the Bella Centre doesn't even come close to the deal that is needed. We know the paltry emissions cuts that Obama has proposed; they're insulting. We're the ones who created this crisis... on the basic historical principle of polluters pays, we should pay." ...


Easy for her to say, she's Canadian...

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Tue, Dec 8, 2009
from London Guardian:
Copenhagen climate change conference: 'Fourteen days to seal history's judgment on this generation'
Today 56 newspapers in 45 countries take the unprecedented step of speaking with one voice through a common editorial. We do so because humanity faces a profound emergency. Unless we combine to take decisive action, climate change will ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security. The dangers have been becoming apparent for a generation. Now the facts have started to speak: 11 of the past 14 years have been the warmest on record, the Arctic ice-cap is melting and last year's inflamed oil and food prices provide a foretaste of future havoc. In scientific journals the question is no longer whether humans are to blame, but how little time we have got left to limit the damage. Yet so far the world's response has been feeble and half-hearted... We call on the representatives of the 192 countries gathered in Copenhagen not to hesitate, not to fall into dispute, not to blame each other but to seize opportunity from the greatest modern failure of politics. ...


We call on these leaders: to wo/man up!

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Mon, Dec 7, 2009
from BBC:
BBC climate change poll shows rising concerns
Nearly two-thirds of 24,071 people polled in 23 countries said climate change was a "very serious" problem -- up from 44 percent in a GlobeScan 1998 poll. There was a roughly equal split between people who wanted their governments to push for rapid action on climate change and those favouring a gradual approach...The US and China buck the general trend, becoming less concerned about climate change over the past two years. ...


The spoiled brats of the planet -- USA -- strike again!

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Mon, Dec 7, 2009
from Agence France-Presse:
Thai village disappearing as sea levels rise 20m a year
AROUND 60 families have already been forced away from the once idyllic fishing community of Khun Samutchine, as the sea that local people rely on for their livelihood advances inland by more than 20m a year. "I live on somebody else's land, I can't escape the village because I'm too poor," Noo Wisuksin, 71, said as she pointed to the spot in the water where her home used to be decades ago. She is one of 25 million people under threat in Thailand's vast Chao Phraya river delta, which is sinking because of river damming and the clearing of mangrove forests, as climate change pushes up sea levels. ...


Farewell, cute little Thai village...

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Mon, Dec 7, 2009
from Kampala New Vision:
Warming melts Rwenzori glaciers
Ice is melting away on the world's highest mountains. The Rwenzori in western Uganda, the Himalayas of India and the world's highest mountain, Everest, are losing their glaciers due to global warming and the resultant climate change... The scientists, in their latest report based on 95 years of collecting data, stated that the rapid melting of the Rwenzori ice-cap over the past century provides dramatic evidence of global warming. Since 1912, 85 percent of the glacier has disappeared and the melting appears to be rising. Twenty-six per cent of the ice has disappeared since 2000. The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of Ohio University, concludes that the primary cause of the ice loss is the increase in global temperature. ...


Figures. I finally learn Uganda HAS a glacier... when it's almost gone!

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Sun, Dec 6, 2009
from Inter Press Service:
U.S.: "We All Breathe the Same Air and Drink the Same Water"
Some 8,000 kilometres from the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Native American environmental experts from 66 tribes came together at a summit here this week to address the most pressing needs in their communities - problems, all emphasised, that know no geographic boundaries... "There are those who still rely on traditional agriculture for their livelihood and for ceremonial purposes - the growing of corn, the harmonious relationship between the seasons," said Milton Bluehouse of the New Mexico Environment Department, who is also a member of the Navajo Nation. "Global warming impacts our cultures strongly. In Navajo country, for example, if there's no snow on the mountain, we can't have our yeibichei dances," he told IPS. A yeibiche dance is a nine-day curing ceremony performed by specially trained medicine people. ...


Think we can get on the Copenhagen agenda our world leaders doing the yeibiche dance?

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Sat, Dec 5, 2009
from TIME Magazine:
The Tragedy of the Himalayas
...Scientists call it the third pole -- but when it comes to clear and present threats from climate change, it may rank first. The high-altitude glaciers of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau -- which cover parts of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and China -- are the water tower of Asia. When the ice thaws and the snow melts every spring, the glaciers birth the great rivers of the region, the mightiest river system in the world: the Ganges, the Indus, the Brahmaputra, the Mekong, the Yellow, the Yangtze. Together, these rivers give material and spiritual sustenance to 3 billion people, nearly half of the world's population -- and all are nursed by Himalayan ice... a new report from the international consulting group McKinsey & Co. estimates that by 2030, India alone will have only 50 percent of the water that it needs under a business-as-usual scenario. Nor is Asia the only region that will grapple with water scarcity in a warmer world: the McKinsey report estimates that the globe will have 40 percent less water than it needs by 2030 if nothing is done to change current consumption patterns. ...


My cup runneth not over.

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Fri, Dec 4, 2009
from Center for Public Integrity:
Canada's About-Face on Climate
...Since [Stephen] Harper became prime minister in 2006, his message has consistently been that action on global warming cannot stand in the way of Canada's economic growth, that the terms of the Kyoto agreement are economically irresponsible, and that Canada could act in concert with the United States. He has maintained that position despite a recent report, sponsored by one of Canada's largest banks, which concluded that meeting Canada's Kyoto commitments would not significantly harm the economy. Shaped by oil-rich Alberta, Harper's position represents a stunning about-face in Canada's policy on climate change. It is a shift environmentalists and other critics attribute to the legions of lobbyists who represent the big industrial greenhouse gas emitters that for years have struggled to weaken Canadian climate change legislation. ...


O Canada! We stand on guard for thee profit!

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Fri, Dec 4, 2009
from London Times:
Climate change may be real, but it's still not easy being green
...Despite mournful polar bears and charts showing carbon emissions soaring, most people find it hard to believe that global warming will affect them personally. Recent polls by the Pew Research Centre in Washington, DC, found that 75-80 per cent of participants regarded climate change as an important issue. But respondents ranked it last on a list of priorities....Part of the fault lies with our inner caveman. Evolution has programmed humans to pay most attention to issues that will have an immediate impact. Our ancestors fretted about club-swinging neighbours and the predator at the watering hole. Any carbon emissions from the cave didn’t make the grade then and still don’t today....By the time we wake up to the threat posed by climate change, it could well be too late. And if we’re not going to make rational decisions about the future, others may have to help us to do so. ...


My inner caveman wants to drag people by the hair to MAKE them change. Think that'll work?

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Thu, Dec 3, 2009
from Climate Wire:
Rising Partisanship Sharply Erodes U.S. Public's Belief in Global Warming
On the eve of major international climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, belief in global warming in the United States has slipped to the lowest point in 12 years of measuring, according to a poll from New York-based Harris Interactive Inc. As U.S. negotiators fly to the Danish capital to forge a political agreement based on President Obama's proposal to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by about 17 percent, most of the American public doesn't know what the talks are about, according to the Harris survey. Just 51 percent of adults questioned said they believed carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases would cause the Earth's average temperature to increase. Two years ago, fully 71 percent of respondents linked greenhouse gases directly to global warming. ...


Imagination has always been an essential aspect of being an American.

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Thu, Dec 3, 2009
from Washington Post:
As emissions increase, carbon 'sinks' get clogged
In the race to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, scientists have been looking to forests and oceans to absorb the pollution people generate. Relying on nature to compensate for human excesses sounds like a win-win situation -- except that these resources are under stress from the very emissions we are asking them to absorb, making them less able partners in the pact...a global society of conservation biologists has launched a lobbying campaign, asking key decision-makers -- from the Danish officials chairing next week's climate talks in Copenhagen to U.S. lawmakers -- to push for steeper emission cuts to ensure that humans do not exhaust forests' capacity to store carbon in the decades to come. ...


Man up!, natural resources!

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Thu, Dec 3, 2009
from New Scientist:
Antarctica was climate refuge during Permian extinction
The cool climate of Antarctica was a refuge for animals fleeing climate change during the biggest mass extinction in Earth's history, suggests a new fossil study. The discovery may have implications for how modern animals will adapt to global warming. Around 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, about 90 per cent of land species were wiped out as global temperatures soared. A cat-sized distant relative of mammals, Kombuisia antarctica, seems to have survived the extinction by fleeing south to Antarctica.... It is still not certain what caused the end-Permian global warming and subsequent mass extinctions, but a leading theory is that massive volcanic eruptions in Siberia poured carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, driving temperatures up dramatically worldwide and forcing many species into extinction. ...


Antarctica: the last refuge.

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Wed, Dec 2, 2009
from London Daily Telegraph:
Copenhagen climate summit: 50/50 chance of stopping catastrophe, Lord Stern says
An ambitious deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions needs to be agreed at the Copenhagen climate summit to give a 50/50 chance of keeping temperatures from rising more than 2C, Lord Stern has said. But failure to secure a new agreement could put the world at risk of temperature rises of more than 5C - a change in climate which he said "could only be described as catastrophic." ...


Why don't we just flip a coin instead?

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Tue, Dec 1, 2009
from Reuters:
World carbon emissions overshoot "budget": PwC
OSLO (Reuters) - The world has emitted extra greenhouse gases this century equivalent to the annual totals of China and the United States above a maximum for avoiding the worst of climate change, a study estimated on Tuesday. Global accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers said in the report that almost all major nations, including European Union countries that pride themselves on climate policies, were lagging since 2000 in a push for low-carbon growth.... "If you stay on this path the entire carbon budget will be used by about 2034, about 16 years early," John Hawksworth, head of macroeconomics at PwC, told Reuters of the report, based on a new PwC Low Carbon Economy Index. ...


Accountants: the new warriors in the fight to save the habitat!

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Tue, Dec 1, 2009
from Terra Daily:
Antarctic melt may push sea levels to 1.4 metres: study
Quickening ice loss in West Antarctica will likely contribute heavily to a projected sea level rise of up to 1.4 metres (4.5 feet) by 2100, according to a major scientific report released Tuesday. Scientists long held that most of Antarctica's continent-sized ice sheet was highly resistant to global warming, and that the more vulnerable West Antarctic ice block would remain intact for thousands of years to come. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- whose 2007 report is the scientific benchmark for the UN December 7-18 Copenhagen climate summit -- did not even factor melting ice sheets into its forecasts for rising seas. But studies since then show huge loss of ice mass, mainly as a result of warmer ocean temperatures, according to the review by more than 100 experts on the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research. ...


Quick! Only really tall people get to breed.

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Mon, Nov 30, 2009
from New York Times:
Intrigue and Plot Twists in Global Climate Talks
In the otherwise ponderous and unhurried context of global climate negotiations, the past two weeks have seen a variety of gripping twists. It started this month in Singapore, where Barack Obama, the U.S. president, and other leaders used the sidelines of an economic forum to deflate expectations for a treaty at the December climate summit meeting in Copenhagen... Those rooting for a climate pact at Copenhagen were left to mull over the meeting's shrinking significance until -- twist! -- computer hackers turned the global climate conversation on its head with a trove of spicy e-mail messages. ...


With the amount of sex available in Copenhagen, the spiciness has only begun.

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Sun, Nov 29, 2009
from London Observer:
Climate change denier Nick Griffin to represent EU at Copenhagen
Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National party, is to represent the European parliament at the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen, which opens next week. Last night politicians and scientists reacted furiously to news that the far-right politician and climate change denier should be attending the summit on behalf of the EU....n a speech in the parliament last week, Griffin denounced those who warn of the consequences of climate change as "cranks". He said they had reached "an Orwellian consensus" that was "based not on scientific agreement, but on bullying, censorship and fraudulent statistics". "The anti-western intellectual cranks of the left suffered a collective breakdown when communism collapsed. Climate change is their new theology�" ...


And you, Nick Griffin, in that new theology, are the devil.

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Sun, Nov 29, 2009
from Sports Illustrated:
Ski resorts fight global warming; Utah gov unsure
...Warmer temperatures at night are making it more difficult to make snow and the snow that falls naturally is melting earlier in the spring. In few places is this a bigger concern than the American West, where skiing is one of the most lucrative segments of the tourism industry and often the only reason many people visit cash-strapped states like Utah during winter. But even as world leaders descend on Copenhagen next month to figure out a way to reduce carbon emissions blamed in global warming, the industry is still grappling with leaders in some of their own ski-crazy states who refuse to concede that humans have any impact on climate change. Chief among them is Republican Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who says he will host what he calls the first "legitimate debate" about man's role in climate change in the spring... it openly infuriates industry officials elsewhere who liken it to having a debate about whether the world is flat. "That's just kind of raging ignorance," said Auden Schendler, executive director of sustainability for Aspen (Colo.) Skiing Co. "We're not environmentalists, we're business people. We have studied the hell out of the climate science. To have a neighboring governor not believe it ... It's absurd." ...


Bring it on, little man.

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Sat, Nov 28, 2009
from London Daily Telegraph:
Who's to blame for Climategate?
...East Anglia is now ground zero in a controversy which just might influence the entire future of our planet. A little over a week ago, hundreds of internal emails written by scientists working at the CRU were obtained by a hacker and posted on the internet, some of which appeared to show that researchers had deliberately faked evidence of global warming by manipulating statistics.... Phil Jones, the 57-year-old director of the CRU, is the man who has suddenly found himself the number one target of climate change conspiracy theorists the world over after he sent the most damaging of all the emails exposed by the anonymous hacker. In one message, dated November 1999, he wrote: "I've just completed Mike's trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 to hide the decline." ...


"Climategate" will later look like just one more bump on the road to ruin.

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Fri, Nov 27, 2009
from Associated Press:
The challenge in Copenhagen: reshaping the world
Next month's climate summit in Copenhagen seeks to transform the way we run the planet, from the generation of energy, to the building of homes and cities, to the shaping of the landscape. It would also shift wealth from rich to poor countries in the process. No wonder a deal will be tough to cut. In recent weeks, prospects brightened, then dimmed, then revived again... The divide over Copenhagen's goals reflects an abiding distrust between manufacturing powerhouses that built vast riches over 200 years, while spewing carbon dioxide and other industrial gases into the atmosphere, and countries still struggling to end hunger within their borders. ...


Where's the Antichrist when you need him/her?

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Thu, Nov 26, 2009
from Agence France-Presse:
Climate change to cost trillions, say economists
Estimates vary widely on the costs of damage from climate change, easing these impacts and taming the carbon gas stoking the problem, but economists agree the bill is likely to be in the trillions of dollars. Figures depend on different forecasts for greenhouse-gas emissions and the timeline for reaching them. In addition, key variables remain sketchy. How will rainfall, snowfall, storm frequency and ocean levels look a few decades from now? How will they affect a specific country or region? And how fast will nations introduce low-carbon technologies, carbon taxes and other policies that alter energy use? Despite these uncertainties, economists share a broad consensus: climate change will ultimately cost thousands of billions of dollars, a tab that keeps rising as more carbon enters the atmosphere. ...


And what's the APR (compounded) on that?

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Wed, Nov 25, 2009
from Agence France-Presse:
Climate science update: from bad to worse
PARIS, France -- The planet could warm by seven degrees Celsius (10.8 degrees Fahrenheit) this century, a figure that lies at the farthest range of expert predictions made only two years ago, scientists said on Tuesday. The study is the biggest overview on global warming since the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a landmark report in 2007. Several authors of the new paper were part of that Nobel-winning group. Entitled the "Copenhagen Diagnosis," the 64-page summary is pitched at the December 7-18 UN conference in Denmark tasked with forging a planet-wide deal to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. ...


Let's just go w/ Celsius as 7 doesn't sound NEARLY as bad as 10.8.

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Wed, Nov 25, 2009
from ABC News:
POLL: Fewer Republicans and Conservatives Believe Global Warming Is Happening
The number of Americans who believe global warming is occurring has declined to its lowest since 1997, though at 72 percent, it's still a broad majority. The drop has steepened in the last year-and-a-half -- almost exclusively among conservatives and Republicans... Belief that Earth is warming peaked at 85 percent in 2006, then flattened before turning back. Even with the decline, Americans who think global warming probably is occurring outnumber those who think not by nearly 3-1, 72 percent to 26 percent. ...


Having opinions about global warming is a luxury we can no longer afford.

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Tue, Nov 24, 2009
from Science Daily:
Is Global Warming Unstoppable?
In a provocative new study, a University of Utah scientist argues that rising carbon dioxide emissions -- the major cause of global warming -- cannot be stabilized unless the world's economy collapses or society builds the equivalent of one new nuclear power plant each day.... "Stabilization of carbon dioxide emissions at current rates will require approximately 300 gigawatts of new non-carbon-dioxide-emitting power production capacity annually -- approximately one new nuclear power plant (or equivalent) per day," Garrett says. "Physically, there are no other options without killing the economy."... That "constant" is 9.7 (plus or minus 0.3) milliwatts per inflation-adjusted 1990 dollar. So if you look at economic and energy production at any specific time in history, "each inflation-adjusted 1990 dollar would be supported by 9.7 milliwatts of primary energy consumption," Garrett says. Garrett tested his theory and found this constant relationship between energy use and economic production at any given time by using United Nations statistics for global GDP (gross domestic product), U.S. Department of Energy data on global energy consumption during 1970-2005, and previous studies that estimated global economic production as long as 2,000 years ago. Then he investigated the implications for carbon dioxide emissions. ...


Can't we just wish really really hard?

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Tue, Nov 24, 2009
from Associated Press:
CO2 curve ticks upward as key climate talks loom
The readings at this 3 km high station show an upward curve as the world counts down to climate talks: Global warming gases have built up to record levels in the atmosphere, from emissions that match scientists' worst-case scenarios. Carbon dioxide concentrations this autumn are hovering at around 385 parts per million, on their way to a near-certain record high above 390 in the first half of next year, at the annual peak. "For the past million years we've never seen 390. You have to wonder what that's going to do," said physicist John Barnes, the observatory director. One leading atmospheric scientist, Stephen Schneider, sees "coin-flip odds for serious outcomes for our planet". ...


You mean ... we might survive?

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Mon, Nov 23, 2009
from Washington Post:
The ultimate crop rotation
In recent months, the Ethiopian government began marketing abroad one of the hottest commodities in an increasingly crowded and hungry world: farmland...This impoverished and chronically food-insecure Horn of Africa nation is rapidly becoming one of the world's leading destinations for the booming business of land leasing, by which relatively rich countries and investment firms are securing 40-to-99-year contracts to farm vast tracts of land.... The harshest critics of the practice conjure images of poor Africans starving as food is hauled off to rich countries. ...


And what's so new about that?

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Sun, Nov 22, 2009
from Reuters:
Denmark says 65 leaders to join climate talks
COPENHAGEN, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Sixty-five world leaders have confirmed they will attend a U.N. conference in Copenhagen in December that will try to clinch a new global climate deal, and many more are considering, Danish officials said on Sunday. Facing splits in the climate talks, Denmark 10 days ago formally invited the heads of state and government of 191 U.N. member states to come for the final two days of the Dec. 7-18 conference to push for a deal at the meeting, originally meant for environment ministers. ...


And they will all require followers.

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Sun, Nov 22, 2009
from Washington Post:
In the trenches on climate change, hostility among foes
Electronic files that were stolen from a prominent climate research center and made public last week provide a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes battle to shape the public perception of global warming. While few U.S. politicians bother to question whether humans are changing the world's climate -- nearly three years ago the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded the evidence was unequivocal -- public debate persists. And the newly disclosed private exchanges among climate scientists at Britain's Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia reveal an intellectual circle that appears to feel very much under attack, and eager to punish its enemies. ...


We 'Docs don't mind climate skeptics as long as they don't emit carbon!

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Thu, Nov 19, 2009
from Inter Press Service:
Women Central to Adaptation, Mitigation
Poor women will bear the greatest "climate burden", says the United Nations Population Fund in its 2009 State of the World Population report, released today. The report emphasises that climate change is more than an issue of energy efficiency or industrial carbon emissions; it is also an issue of population dynamics, poverty and gender equity. Poor and vulnerable populations the world over are the ones who will be hardest hit by climate change, despite their comparatively minute contribution to our global carbon footprint - the poorest billion people on Earth contribute a mere three percent of the world's total carbon footprint. ...


Just so the gals don't get all hysterical!

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Thu, Nov 19, 2009
from Washington Post:
A climate threat, rising from the soil
...one of the biggest, and most overlooked, causes of global climate change: a vast and often smoldering layer of coal-black peat that has made Indonesia the world's third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the United States. Unlike the noxious gases pumped into the atmosphere by gas-guzzling sport-utility vehicles in the United States and smoke-belching factories in China, danger here in the heart of Borneo rises from the ground itself. Peat, formed over thousands of years from decomposed trees, grass and scrub, contains gigantic quantities of carbon dioxide, which used to stay locked in the ground. It is now drying and disintegrating, as once-soggy swamps are shorn of trees and drained by canals, and when it burns, carbon dioxide gushes into the atmosphere. ...


A-PEAT-calypse!

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Thu, Nov 19, 2009
from New York Times:
Seas Grow Less Effective at Absorbing Emissions
The Earth's oceans, which have absorbed carbon dioxide from fuel emissions since the dawn of the industrial era, have recently grown less efficient at sopping it up, new research suggests. Emissions from the burning of fossil fuels began soaring in the 1950s, and oceans largely kept up, scientists say. But the growth in the intake rate has slowed since the 1980s, and markedly so since 2000, the authors of a study write in a report in Thursday's issue of Nature. The research suggests that the seas cannot indefinitely be considered a reliable "carbon sink" as humans generate heat-trapping gases linked to global warming. The slowdown in the rise of the absorption rate resulted from a gradual change in the oceans' chemistry, the study found. "The more carbon dioxide the ocean absorbs, the more acidic it becomes and the less carbon dioxide it can absorb," said the study's lead author, Samar Khatiwala... ...


...from sea to slacker sea...

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Thu, Nov 19, 2009
from The Charleston Gazette:
Report details 'coal's assault on human health'
Coal pollution is assaulting human health through impacts on workers, residents near mining operations and power plants, and the environment in coalfield communities, according to a new report by a group of physicians....coal combustion releases mercury, particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and dozens of other substances known to be hazardous to human health. ...Even people who do not develop illnesses from coal pollutants could find their health and wellbeing impacted because of coal's contribution to global warming. The discharge of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from coal-burning power plants is a major contributor to global warming and its adverse effects on health worldwide, such as heat stroke, malaria, declining food production, scarce water supplies, social conflict and starvation. ...


ApoCOALypse!

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