Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math

By Bill McKibben, July 19, 2012

If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: 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.

Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation – in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the “largest temperature departure from average of any season on record.” The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet’s history. Continue reading

Choosing Life Over Fear

Paul Gilding: The Earth is full
“Let me begin with four words that will provide the context for this week, four words that will come to define this century. Here they are: The Earth is full. It’s full of us, it’s full of our stuff, full of our waste, full of our demands. Yes, we are a brilliant and creative species, but we’ve created a little too much stuff — so much that our economy is now bigger than its host, our planet. Continue reading

James Hansen speaks out about global climate change

“Top climate scientist James Hansen tells the story of his involvement in the science of and debate over global climate change. In doing so he outlines the overwhelming evidence that change is happening and why that makes him deeply worried about the future.” Source: TED Talks Continue reading

It’s no great sacrifice to protect the environment

From David Suzuki and Faisal Moola’s weekly Science Matters blog:

It’s no great sacrifice to protect the environment

I recently read an article about a woman in Spokane, Washington, who doesn’t like phosphate-free dish-washing detergents. Phosphate-containing detergents are banned in Spokane County because of their negative impact on the environment, so the woman drives 45 minutes to Idaho where phosphate detergents are still sold. The article also notes that the woman has a five-year-old daughter. I’m astounded.

People often argue that protecting the environment will require too many sacrifices. Is this what they mean? That they would risk their children’s futures because they can’t be bothered to rinse their dishes before putting them into the dishwasher? Continue reading

Climate change is a certain threat

Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists and Activists Are Fueling the Climate Crisis—And What We Can Do to Avert DisasterMarch 6, 2009 – Why does the public often pay more attention to climate change deniers than climate scientists? Why do denial arguments that have been thoroughly debunked still show up regularly in the media?

Some researchers from New York’s Fordham University may have found some answers. Prof. David Budescu and his colleagues asked 223 volunteers to read sentences from reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The responses revealed some fundamental misunderstandings about how science works. Continue reading

Is climate change for real? NASA website says yes!

I’ve only just scratched the surface of this new website on global warming from NASA, but wow is it impressive. I was just trying to figure out how I can convince my staunchly Republican/conservative father that it’s time he admit it — global warming is real. Naturally he thinks it’s a tree-hugging liberal notion, and there’s no need to take it seriously — oh, and hybrids are a marketing scam. We got into this conversation last week when I was forced to go car shopping after a dump truck driver totaled my car. And for our US readers, he was wearing a “git ‘er done” t-shirt. Well, he got ‘er done, but that’s another story. Continue reading

Out of Africa – back to reality

So in case you’re wondering why MarineBio’s blog seems to have been neglected, it’s because I was in Tanzania. Though I was there for a meeting, I did take a day to explore Tanzania’s beautiful scenery and wild life. From the windows of our Toyota Camry-like car, we saw — zebras, giraffes, warthogs (so ugly they’re cute), buffalo, baboons, gazelles… all in a span of a quick 2-hour tour of the Arusha National Park. I was thinking about how cool I was for going on “safari” (seriously finger quoting here) in a fuel-efficient vehicle instead of a gas-guzzling 4-wheel drive SUV — safari utility vehicle. Ok, ok I’ll stop — it’s just that I really resented being in such an amazing place for a meeting and having to rush back to the US without enjoying more than 2-hours of the fantastic wild life there. Continue reading

Six degrees could change the world…

A new documentary titled “Six Degrees Could Change the World” will be airing on the National Geographic Channel on Sunday 10 February at 8pm ET.

The program, based on a book by the same title by Mark Lymas, sounds like scenes from a dramatic “The Day After” style disaster movie: from 1 degree of temperature increase: “residents flee Midwest drought” “alpine villages threatened by frequent rockfalls” “mass bleaching of coral spreads, scientists warn of ecological impact” “hurricane expected to hit Mediterranean coast”… to 6 degrees of temperature increase: “emergency alert system disbanded” “communications sporadic as major infrastructures collapse” “ocean’s surface becomes poisonous” “cities and towns unsustainable”…. Continue reading