climate change

Congress Orders NASA to Deal With DSCOVR

In a stunning break from years of inaction, the US Congress has tabled legislation ordering NASA to finally deal with the critically important Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR).

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008 was submitted last week to the House of Representatives. Section 207 of this Act is plainly entitled: “Plan For Disposition Of Deep Space Climate Observatory.

If this Act becomes law, NASA must finally cough up some answers on why this vital piece of space hardware has been sitting in a box for the last seven years.

Polar Bear Listed as a "Threatened Species" by the US Department of the Interior

The US Department of the Interior has just announced that is has listed the Polar Bear as a “Threatened Species” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Here's a copy of the news release, analysis to follow shortly on what this means for oil exploration in Alaska:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today announced that he is accepting the recommendation of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dale Hall to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Welcome Explorer Todd Carmichael and Expedition Earth, Mission 2008: South Pole

The DeSmogBlog team is proud to introduce our newest blogger!

Please welcome Explorer Todd Carmichael, who on November 9th, 2008 will attempt to become the first American Explorer ever to complete a solo and unaided trek from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole.

Todd is an amazing individual and one that cares deeply about the state of the planet, especially the issue of climate change. Over the coming months Todd will be writing on DeSmog and his special section we're calling “Expedition Earth, Mission 2008: the South Pole,” about preparations for his expedition and also on climate change issues and solutions.

My Trek to the South Pole

Note: Please welcome our newest blogger, Explorer Todd Carmichael. Check out this video to learn a little more about Todd and read our welcome message here.

Soon I’'ll be standing at the intersection of 80 degrees West and 80 degrees South.

It’s a place I know well, a point seemingly on the edge of the planet, or close to it. Its name is Hercules Inlet and it is found on the very rim of Antarctica. Moments before I'll have shaken hands with my pilot and nervously watched as he teased his plane back into the sky. His name is Robert, his will be the last face I’ll see for nearly two months.

University research linked to global warming

A Canadian scientist says university research should be added to the list of human activities that contribute to global warming.

Professor Hervé Philippe of University of Montreal has found that his own research produces 44 tons of carbon dioxide a year.

The average American citizen, in contrast, produces 20 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Think the Climate Denial Industry is Dead? Think again

Joe Romm at Climate Progress has the results of a new Pew Research Center public opinion study showing that there still remains a major discrepancy between public opinion and what the scientific community worldwide is saying about the causes of global warming.

Check out My Expedition Earth Facebook Group

Even us Polar Explorers are on Facebook! While this is where you can find all the updates on my preparations for the trip and daily dispatches when I'm in the South Pole, you can also find them on here on the Expedition Earth Facebook group.

Please join and help spread the message by asking all your friends on Facebook to join up as well!

Thanks!

1956 New York Times Article Warned of Warmer Climate

Seems that the idea that human activity is causing climate isn't new at all. The headline in the October 28, 1956 edition of the New York Times warns:

Judge tells US to decide on polar bears, poll tells presidential hopefuls to gird for action

A federal judge has rejected the Bush Administration’s bid for further delay and ordered it to decide by May 15 whether to provide protection for polar bears whose Arctic habitat is melting due to global warming.

The decision could also lead to restrictions on oil and gas exploration offshore Alaska and curbs on greenhouse emissions.

Meanwhile, a new poll has found that two-thirds of adult Americans believe the next president should do something about climate change, pronto.


Climate Change and Pine Beetles

To understand just how complex, scary and immediate climate change is, look no further than the case of the tiny mountain pine beetle.

Populations of this tree-eating insect have exploded over the last ten years due to warmer winters, devastating the majestic forests of western Canada and destroying over $20 billion in timber.

Now comes a frightening study published in the prestigious journal Nature that that the huge swaths of dead trees killed by the beetles are themselves emitting enormous quantities of carbon into the atmosphere as they decompose – further exacerbating our climate problems.

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