climate science

Op-Ed: Climate Change: 'We've Created a Civilization Hell Bent on Destroying Itself – I'm Terrified,' Writes Earth Scientist

Read time: 17 mins
dead fish, live fish

By James Dyke, University of Exeter

The coffee tasted bad. Acrid and with a sweet, sickly smell. The sort of coffee that results from overfilling the filter machine and then leaving the brew to stew on the hot plate for several hours. The sort of coffee I would drink continually during the day to keep whatever gears left in my head turning.

Odours are powerfully connected to memories. And so it’s the smell of that bad coffee which has become entwined with the memory of my sudden realization that we are facing utter ruin.

It was the spring of 2011, and I had managed to corner a very senior member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) during a coffee break at a workshop. The IPCC was established in 1988 as a response to increasing concern that the observed changes in the Earth’s climate are being largely caused by humans.

UN Report: Extreme Weather Displaced 2 Million People in 2018

Read time: 4 mins
Virginia National Guard driving through Hurricane Florence floodwaters

By Olivia Rosane, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

Extreme weather events impacted close to 62 million people in 2018 and displaced more than two million as of September of that year. That's just one of the alarming findings in the UN World Meteorological Organization's (WMOStatement on the State of the Global Climate in 2018.

“The physical signs and socio-economic impacts of climate change are accelerating as record greenhouse gas concentrations drive global temperatures towards increasingly dangerous levels,” the WMO wrote in a press release announcing the report Thursday.

Can YouTube Solve Its Serious Climate Science Denial Problem?

Read time: 6 mins
Climate denier video clips on YouTube

What are we in for next?” asks the narrator on the YouTube video.

Will the temperature resume an upward trend? Will it remain flat for a lengthy period? Or will it begin to drop? No one knows, not even the biggest, fastest computers.”

The video — with the clickbait title “What They Haven’t Told You about Climate Change” — has been watched more than 2.5 million times on the Google-owned video platform.

IPCC Report Says 1.5C Climate Target Is Reachable, But Only With Rapid Fossil Fuel Phase Out

Read time: 5 mins
wind turbines in front of coal power plant in UK

There is no scenario to keep global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) that allows coal to be burned for electricity by the middle of this century, a major United Nations (UN) climate report says.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report concludes human-caused greenhouse gas emissions have already pushed global average temperatures up by 1°C since the second half of the 19th century.

Warming is higher than the 1°C average over land, with temperatures as much as three times higher in the Arctic, causing melting. Extreme temperatures, rainfall, and sea levels have been pushed higher.

Massive and rapid transformations across societies will be needed to keep to a 1.5°C target, with dramatic cuts to fossil fuel use across all sectors of society.

The 19th-Century Tumult Over Climate Change – And Why It Matters Today

Read time: 8 mins

By Deborah Coen, Yale University

Back in the 19th century, when tractors were still pulled by horses and the word “computer” meant a person hired to carry out tedious calculations, climate science made front-page news.

One European forester remarked in 1901 that few questions had “been debated and addressed from so many sides and so relentlessly” as that of the climatic effect of deforestation. Recalling this crowded, noisy and wide-ranging conflict – a “hurly-burly” over the “climate question,” as the scientist Eduard Brückner called it at the time – reminds us that climate science has not always been the elite, well-mannered pursuit that it is today.

Greenhouse Hothouse Firehouse: Scientists Set out Pathways for Planet Earth

Read time: 6 mins
Los Angeles city skyline at sunset

By Martin Bush. Reposted with permission from ClimateZone.org.

A scientific paper recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) is getting a lot of attention. Written in the dry style of systems analysis — and throughout the text referring to the planet as the “Earth System,” it nevertheless brilliantly manages to present the looming dangers of extreme climate change in a way that has powerfully resonated with many people. People who are worried about climate change, but aren’t exactly sure what the future holds, how bad it’s going to get, and how to avoid being dragged in that direction. 

Could Proposed Mission Statement Changes Shake NOAA’s Climate Focus?

Read time: 3 mins
Cyclone satellite image over central U.S.

By Olivia Rosane, Ecowatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is the foremost U.S. agency focusing on weather, climate and oceans, reassured reporters Monday that it would not shift its focus away from climate change and conservation after a presentation last week suggested it might do exactly that, USA Today reported.

Last week, acting NOAA head Rear Admiral Timothy Gallaudet spoke at a Department of Commerce summit and proposed removing “climate” from NOAA's current mission statement and replacing its directive “to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources” with one “To protect lives and property, empower the economy, and support homeland and national security,” the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCSreported Sunday.

I Was an Exxon-Funded Climate Scientist

Read time: 7 mins
Exxon station signs

By Katharine Hayhoe, Texas Tech University

ExxonMobil’s deliberate attempts to sow doubt on the reality and urgency of climate change and their donations to front groups to disseminate false information about climate change have been public knowledge for a long time, now.

Investigative reports in 2015 revealed that Exxon had its own scientists doing its own climate modeling as far back as the 1970s: science and modeling that was not only accurate, but that was being used to plan for the company’s future.

Yes, We Can Do 'Sound' Climate Science Even Though It's Projecting the Future

Read time: 9 mins
model showing global water vapor in the atmosphere

By Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research and Reto Knutti, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich

Increasingly in the current U.S. administration and Congress, questions have been raised about the use of proper scientific methods and accusations have been made about using flawed approaches. The Conversation

This is especially the case with regard to climate science, as evidenced by the hearing of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, chaired by Lamar Smith, on March 29, 2017.

Facts And Evidence Matter In Confronting Climate Crisis

Read time: 4 mins

We recently highlighted the faulty logic of a pseudoscientific argument against addressing climate change: the proposition that because CO2 is necessary for plants, increasing emissions is good for the planet and the life it supports. Those who read, write or talk regularly about climate change and ecology are familiar with other anti-environmental arguments not coated with a scientific sheen.

A common one is that if you drive a car, buy any plastic goods or even type on a computer keyboard your observation that we need to reduce fossil fuel use is not valid — no matter how much evidence you present. Like the “CO2 is plant food” claim, it’s a poor argument, but for different reasons. It’s easy to refute the junk science claim with large amounts of available evidence. This one’s simply a logical fallacy.

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