Consequences

Category archives for Consequences

Two degrees of separation

Compare and contrast: The team’s new examination of the paleo-climate record now shows that “a global warming of a couple degrees Celsius would basically create a different planet,” Hansen warned. It’s different than the one that humanity, that civilization knows about. If we look at the paleo record, the target of two degrees Celsius is…

I would be remiss if I didn’t direct your attention to a new paper in Science that concludes, however tentatively, that the global climate may not be as sensitive to rising atmosheric CO2 levels as everyone has assumed. It is, after all, a rare dose of optimism in a field that has been characterized by…

Canada and the Kyoto Protocol

Word is Canada will give the world a lump of coal tar for Christmas: Canada will announce next month that it will formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, CTV News has learned. The Harper government has tentatively planned an announcement for a few days before Christmas, CTV’s Roger Smith reported Sunday evening. Given the Canada…

“Major storms could submerge New York City in next decade” cries a randomly selected mainstream media outlet over a story about a new report warning residents that climate change could make life difficult in the not-too-distant future. The report, from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, is pretty standard stuff for those…

It’s hard to argue against funding scientific research. But let me try. This past week 18 experts assembled as the Task Force on Climate Remediation Research released the product of its collective wisdom. A creation of the Bipartisan Policy Center, which the New York Times‘ Cornelia Dean describes as “a research organization based in Washington…

Ice recap Summer 2011

The good folks at the National Snow and Ice Data Center summarize the season in the Arctic Ocean. Turns out that the weather conditions that helped make 2007 a record for low sea-ice extent didn’t recur. And yet, 2011 came within a relative hair’s breadth of setting a new record. That means longer-term climate trends…

Give it time?

More than a few writers have gotten a lot of mileage out of comparing the tobacco and fossil-fuel industries’ propaganda efforts to counter rapidly rising mountains of science that counter their “it’s all good” message. Al Gore featured it in his slide show. Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway wrote an entire book, Merchants of Doubt.…

Change is the one constant

Fill in the blanks: It is customary in the popular media and in many journal articles to cite a projected _________ figure as if it were a given, a figure so certain that it could virtually be used for long-range planning purposes. But we must carefully examine the assumptions behind such projections. And forecasts that…

The stick sets the beat

The title of this post won’t mean much until you read this contribution to The Conversation, a new and laudable attempt by climatologists to get out the message that time’s a wastin,’ folks. Here’s a taste: We’re only a few decades away from a major tipping point, plus or minus only about a decade. The…

Good news and bad

David Appell at Quark Soup draws our attention (via Stoat) to a graph in the recent America’s Climate Choices report from the NAS/NRC. If the forecasts on which the authors rely come to pass, it’s going to take almost a couple of decades for U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions to return to post-recession levels. Sounds like…