Science for Peace

Peace cannot be kept by force.
It can only be achieved by understanding.
Albert Einstein

Climate Change Research Findings

Links to recent studies on climate change

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From time to time links will be posted here to studies that have bearing on understanding and speaking out about climate change and related issues. We will primarily link to the website, Science Daily, which has brief summaries of just-published studies, mainly from peer-reviewed journals. A listing does not imply that Science for Peace has independently assessed the study, but is for informational purposes. Topics will include temperature trends, wind and weather patterns including more frequent extremes, polar warming and sea level rise, increased ocean acidity, and alteration of sea and land ecosystems.

Most recent posts

Climate Sensitivity Greater Than Previously Believed (December 20, 2011)

Climate sensitivity (the estimated temperature rise for a given increase in atmospheric CO2) may be underestimated. This could result from not considering the cooling effect of “secondary organic aerosols”, derived from gaseous plant products that are transformed by chemical processes to form particles that induce cloud formation or scatter incident sunlight back to space.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111220133542.htm
Source: ScienceDaily

Clouds Don't Cause Climate Change, Study Shows (September 6, 2011)

The fog of climate “controversy” includes the assertion that water vapour, not CO2, is the main greenhouse gas contributing to warming. In keeping with Hansen’s and Alley’s point that feedback from the primary, non-precipitable driver, CO2, includes atmospheric water, Texas A&M’s Dessler adds more corroboration: “The bottom line is that clouds have not replaced humans as the cause of the recent warming the Earth is experiencing”.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906121951.htm
Source: Science Daily / Texas A&M University

Transport Impacts on Atmosphere and Climate: Shipping (December 15, 2010)

Part of a series, this article (thanks to Glen Peters, of CICERO, for the reference) addresses the often neglected (e.g., by Kyoto) impact of international shipping: on local and regional shipping, and on climate change, divided into negative (temperature lowering) and positive radiative forcing. Shorter term cooling effects from aerosols and induced clouds appear to be neutralized by the much longer-lasting greenhouse effect of the emitted CO2.
Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1352231009003379
Source: ScienceDircet / Atmospheric Environment

Long-Term Trend in Global CO2 Emissions (September 21, 2011)

Based on estimates of energy consumption published by BP (British Petroleum), as well as production data for cement, lime, ammonia and steel and emissions per country from 1970 to 2008, this report suggests a significant drop in emissions in Kyoto protocol signers, and an increase in the developing world which more than cancels out any decreases, overall. There are no specific figures for the contributions from military or shipping. “This assessment excludes CO2 emissions from deforestation and logging, forest and peat fires, from post-burn decay of remaining above-ground biomass, and from decomposition of organic carbon in drained peat soils.” The report also does not appear to consider that the increased emissions attributed to developing countries may result in part from the outsourcing of production from developed to developing countries.
Link: http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/news_docs/JRC-PBL%20news%20release%20CO2%20emissions%20report%20-%2021%20Sept.pdf
Source: PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and Joint Research Centre of the European Commission

Paleoclimate Record Points Toward Potential Rapid Climate Changes (December 8, 2011)

This report summarises records from which one can infer ancient climates and corresponding ice and sea level changes. The current rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 is roughly 10,000 times the rate of past naturally occurring fluctuations, calling for the utmost alarm and concern over expected nonlinear feedbacks in ice cover and sea levels, even within a 2-degree Celsius maximum temperature increase. Co-author James Hansen of NASA is quoted as saying: “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 …It would be a prescription for disaster.”
Link: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20111208/
Full report: http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha05510d.html
Source: NASA

More climate change articles by category

Atmospheric Systems
Biodiversity
Carbon Sinks
Carbon Sources
Climate Change and Extreme Weather
Climate Change Websites
Economics
Food and Water
General
Health
Interesting Examples from Media
Major Reports from Governments and Organizations
Ocean and Polar Regions
Proposed Solutions
Temperature Trends
Unfiled climate change articles

All articles, sorted by category

Atmospheric Systems

Climate Sensitivity Greater Than Previously Believed (December 20, 2011)

Climate sensitivity (the estimated temperature rise for a given increase in atmospheric CO2) may be underestimated. This could result from not considering the cooling effect of “secondary organic aerosols”, derived from gaseous plant products that are transformed by chemical processes to form particles that induce cloud formation or scatter incident sunlight back to space.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111220133542.htm
Source: ScienceDaily

Clouds Don't Cause Climate Change, Study Shows (September 6, 2011)

The fog of climate “controversy” includes the assertion that water vapour, not CO2, is the main greenhouse gas contributing to warming. In keeping with Hansen’s and Alley’s point that feedback from the primary, non-precipitable driver, CO2, includes atmospheric water, Texas A&M’s Dessler adds more corroboration: “The bottom line is that clouds have not replaced humans as the cause of the recent warming the Earth is experiencing”.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906121951.htm
Source: Science Daily / Texas A&M University

Studies of Radiative Forcing Components: Reducing Uncertainty About Climate Change (October 16, 2010)

This account of a report from the Research Council of Norway in some ways clouds the already complicated picture of factors driving warming as well as cooling of the atmosphere. It does highlight the urgent need to sort out the (at least short-term) effects of soot and other aerosols, whose reduction for health reasons, it has been suggested, might at the same time remove a barrier to incoming solar radiation.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101015090959.htm
Source: Science Daily / The Research Council of Norway

Carbon Dioxide Controls Earth's Temperature, New Modeling Study Shows (October 15, 2010)

Two papers from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies help to clarify a major confusion about climate change: While water vapour and clouds currently contribute at least 50% of the total greenhouse effect, they represent, in turn, an effect of the levels of other greenhouse gases, particularly CO2. In a model of an atmosphere missing these other greenhouse gases, the atmospheric water vapour rapidly precipitates to the surface and freezes. One author states: “Today we are in uncharted territory as carbon dioxide approaches 390 parts per million in what has been referred to as the ‘superinterglacial.’”
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101014171146.htm
Source: Science Daily / NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Send in the Clouds: NASA's CloudSat Sees Clouds' Effect on Climate by Studying Them from Space (August 11, 2010)

Cloud cover is expected to change as the world warms. By integrating data from planetary studies (Mars, Venus, Titan) with that of CloudSat, a richer picture of the role of clouds in climate is emerging. The altitude and type of clouds affect the retention of heat and the reflection back into space of solar energy.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810083053.htm
Source: Science Daily / NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

New Carbon Dioxide Emissions Model (August 3, 2010)

This report illustrates the tension between what is imperative and what is politically feasible in mitigating climate change. Quoting from the Science Daily report: “What’s new about this research is that we have integrated the carbon cycle into our model to obtain the emissions data,” says Erich Roeckner. According to the model, admissible carbon dioxide emissions will increase from approximately seven billion tonnes of carbon in the year 2000 to a maximum value of around ten billion tonnes in 2015. In order to achieve the long-term stabilisation of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, the emissions will then have to be reduced by 56 percent by the year 2050 and approach zero towards the end of this century. Although, based on these calculations, global warming would remain under the two-degree threshold until 2100, further warming may be expected in the long term: “It will take centuries for the global climate system to stabilize.”
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100802110827.htm
Source: Science Daily / Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

Unaccounted Feedbacks from Climate-Induced Ecosystem Changes May Increase Future Climate Warming (July 26, 2010)

The atmosphere does not pick and choose the chemical constituents we put in it. Climate “accounting” cannot fool the climate. We neglect “biogeochemical feedbacks” at our peril. This paper points to CO2 release from warmer soils, and “the emission of CO2 and methane from wetlands, nitrous oxides from soils, volatile organic compounds from forests, and trace gases and soot from fires.” Changes in lower-atmosphere ozone and nitrogen cycling can have an insufficiently-understood effect on carbon uptake by plants.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100725142610.htm
Source: Science Daily / University of Helsinki

Scrubbing CO2 from Atmosphere Could Be a Long-Term Commitment (July 2, 2010)

This report illustrates that is essential to consider the vast amounts of anthropogenic CO2 currently stored in ocean, plant, and soil buffers in any scheme to draw down atmospheric CO2. “If we do someday decide that we need to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to avoid a climate crisis, we might find ourselves committed to carbon dioxide removal for a long, long time. A more prudent plan might involve preventing carbon dioxide emissions now rather than trying to clean up the atmosphere later.”
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100701183601.htm
Source: Science Daily / Carnegie Institution

Is the Airborne Fraction of Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Increasing? (December 31, 2009)

While atmospheric CO2 continues to rise, this study indicates that roughly 60% of the anthropogenic contribution still ends up in the reservoirs of plants and oceans, preventing an otherwise even steeper rise in atmospheric CO2.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091230184221.htm
Source: Science Daily / American Geophysical Union

Biodiversity

Risk of Beetle Outbreaks Rise, Along With Temperature, in the Warming West (September 8, 2010)

Among the surprises of progressive climate change is the spread of destruction by the bark beetles, the spruce and mountain pine beetles, from Mexico to the Arctic. “Bark beetles are influenced directly by shifts in temperature, which affect developmental timing and temperature-induced mortality, and indirectly, through climatic effects on the species associated with beetles and their host trees.”
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100908171158.htm
Source: Science Daily / USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station

Climate Change Implicated in Decline of Horseshoe Crabs (September 1, 2010)

This study highlights likely climate change impact on the genetic diversity and hence adaptability and survivability of horseshoe crabs. It provides an example of the impact on the complex web of life: The viability of dependent feeding species, both local and migratory, is also at risk.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100830131344.htm
Source: Science Daily / United States Geological Survey

A 'Crystal Ball' for Predicting the Effects of Global Climate Change (August 5, 2010)

Genes and specific proteins are the enablers of adaptability of living things and ecosystems to climate change. This article addresses potential stumbling blocks, especially in certain tropical and polar species. “Comparative physiological analysis … can help us determine how a warming world will affect the structure of our ecosystems. It will help us predict which organisms will be forced out and which will continue to thrive.”
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100805111234.htm
Source: Science Daily / American Physiological Society

Increased Destruction of Bird Populations Are Predicted With Rise in Global Temperatures (August 5, 2010)

Birds may be the canary in the coal mine of climate change related heat waves in desert regions. With contributions from local knowledge, it would appear that with the overwhelming of the evaporative cooling ability of smaller birds, mass die-offs can occur.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100805143001.htm
Source: Science Daily / American Physiological Society

Rapid Changes for Arctic Flora and Fauna (June 14, 2010)

The Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010 Report lists a multiplicity of climate change impacts on Arctic habitat and, consequently, on flora and fauna. For example: A predicted northward shift of tree line by 2100 would result in “loss of 51% of tundra habitat”.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609094134.htm
Source: Science Daily / International Polar Year – Oslo Science Conference

Climate Change Linked to Major Vegetation Shifts Worldwide (June 9, 2010)

In the face of climate change, especially in vulnerable areas upon which a billion people currently depend, shifts of whole biomes, or “suites” of plants, reduces human survivability and increases risk of wildfires and loss of wildlife habitat.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607092143.htm
Source: Science Daily / University of California – Berkeley

Carbon Sinks

Ice-Free Arctic Ocean May Not Be of Much Use in Soaking Up Carbon Dioxide (August 3, 2010)

An ice-free summer Arctic Ocean in 30 years is a chilling prospect, due to loss of reflectivity of incoming solar radiation. This study argues against a possible benefit of uncovering open water that could then absorb atmospheric CO2. Although CO2 does dissolve better in the colder water, it also acidifies more quickly, rapidly inhibiting the formation of CO2-absorbing calcium-carbonate shelled organisms, which are generally what absorb a large proportion of the CO2 in warmer waters.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100802173736.htm
Source: Science Daily / University of Georgia

Reforestation May Lower the Climate Change Mitigation Potential of Forests (May 31, 2010)

Reforestation and afforestation in the form of plantations “substantially reduce carbon stock in ecosystems in comparison with natural forests.” intelligent forest management practices may partially compensate.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100528211152.htm
Source: Science Daily / University of Oklahoma

Carbon Sources

Long-Term Trend in Global CO2 Emissions (September 21, 2011)

Based on estimates of energy consumption published by BP (British Petroleum), as well as production data for cement, lime, ammonia and steel and emissions per country from 1970 to 2008, this report suggests a significant drop in emissions in Kyoto protocol signers, and an increase in the developing world which more than cancels out any decreases, overall. There are no specific figures for the contributions from military or shipping. “This assessment excludes CO2 emissions from deforestation and logging, forest and peat fires, from post-burn decay of remaining above-ground biomass, and from decomposition of organic carbon in drained peat soils.” The report also does not appear to consider that the increased emissions attributed to developing countries may result in part from the outsourcing of production from developed to developing countries.
Link: http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/news_docs/JRC-PBL%20news%20release%20CO2%20emissions%20report%20-%2021%20Sept.pdf
Source: PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and Joint Research Centre of the European Commission

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aviation and Marine Fuel Use (September 13, 2011)

A look at the many pie charts available on contributers to greenhouse gas emissions reveals a glaring exception: The military. This set of slides from the U.S.EPA and Office of Naval Operations, from the relatively quiescent year of 1998, is a rare look at the complexity of attempting to calculate, from available data, output of selected categories of military activities. Missing are impacts of land use and the increasingly privatized and outsourced components.
Link: http://www.epa.gov/ttnchie1/conference/ei10/ghg/barbour.pdf
Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency / Gail Bruss and Wiley Barbour

Climatic Benefits from Carbon Sequestration Are Largely Offset by Increased Nitrous Oxide Emissions, Study Finds (September 3, 2011)

Human contributions to the earth’s nitrogen cycle have been relatively neglected until recently. Overuse of fertilizers can tip the balance toward increased atmospheric nitrous oxide (N2O), itself a potent greenhouse gas. The authors cautiously suggest: “The cooling effect due to enhanced carbon uptake of the terrestrial biosphere is more than compensated for by the warming effects from enhanced terrestrial N2O emissions.”
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110801094301.htm
Source: Science Daily / Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry

Permafrost Could Release Vast Amounts of Carbon and Accelerate Climate Change by End of Century (August 24, 2011)

A modeling study at a supercomputing facility run by France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission corrects the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 fourth assessment report’s underestimate of carbon available for release in permafrost. “It found that 62 petagrams of soil carbon will be released into the atmosphere by 2100, or about 68 billion U.S. tons. This release of carbon is equivalent to an additional 7.5 years of global anthropogenic emissions at today’s rate.” The modelling assumes an 8-degree-Celsius increase in arctic temperatures by 2100, and incorporates more detailed understanding of the specific dynamics of permafrost carbon storage and release.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110823115651.htm
Source: Science Daily / DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Transport Impacts on Atmosphere and Climate: Shipping (December 15, 2010)

Part of a series, this article (thanks to Glen Peters, of CICERO, for the reference) addresses the often neglected (e.g., by Kyoto) impact of international shipping: on local and regional shipping, and on climate change, divided into negative (temperature lowering) and positive radiative forcing. Shorter term cooling effects from aerosols and induced clouds appear to be neutralized by the much longer-lasting greenhouse effect of the emitted CO2.
Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1352231009003379
Source: ScienceDircet / Atmospheric Environment

China's Environmental Challenges Have Global Implications, Experts Argue (September 21, 2010)

China’s environmental destruction parallels its industrial growth. This article proposes Western help in developing alternative energy, but does not appear to address emissions due to production of consumer goods for the West, or the impact of shipping all over the globe.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921144123.htm
Source: Science Daily / Michigan State University

Main Climate Threat from Carbon Dioxide Sources Yet to Be Built (September 10, 2010)

Supposing there were an immediate freeze on producing new CO2-emitting infrastructure (power plants, vehicles, etc.)? Even then, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere could still reach as high as 430ppm by 2060, the authors’ model predicts.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100909141521.htm
Source: Science Daily / Carnegie Institution

Travelling by Car Increases Global Temperatures More Than Travelling by Plane, but Only in the Long Term (August 3, 2010)

Many researchers argue there is urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions immediately, to mitigate numerous feedback or “tipping point” processes. In this study, “[t]he researchers use, for the first time, a suite of climate chemistry models to consider the climate effects of all long- and short-lived gases, aerosols and cloud effects, not just carbon dioxide, resulting from transport worldwide.” While all motorised transport contributes long-lived CO2 to the atmosphere, due to the high altitude of emissions, “in the first years after the journey, air travel increases global temperatures four times more than car travel.”
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100804103648.htm
Source: Science Daily / Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO)

Permafrost Warming, Monitoring Improving (August 2, 2010)

Climate modeling improves with the quality of the data inputted. This report illustrates one example of the painstaking work required to understand the thawing of permafrost, predicted to be an increasing source of greenhouse gases. “For permafrost temperatures, you have to be there. You have to establish boreholes.” The result: Not all permafrost thaws at the same rate.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100803101924.htm
Source: Science Daily / University of Alaska Fairbanks

Black Carbon Implicated in Global Warming (July 29, 2010)

Diesel motors and cooking fires are controllable contributers to particulate pollution. This study looks at the “black carbon” which is formed from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels (mainly diesel exhaust but also from coal cooking fires). The presence of a higher ratio of black carbon to sulphate (derived from industrial processes) in the atmosphere correlates with increased absorption of solar radiation and hence global warming. Black carbon plumes from burning fossil fuel contribute twice as much warming as plumes from burning biomass .
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100729144225.htm
Source: Science Daily / University of Iowa – Health Science

Best Hope for Saving Arctic Sea Ice Is Cutting Soot Emissions, Say Researchers (July 28, 2010)

Soot ( a component of which is black carbon) is bad for lungs, but has been neglected in climate change modeling as an absorber of solar radiation in clouds, air, and snow and ice. This study suggests that soot from fossil fuel and biomass burning is the second greatest contributor to global warming behind CO2, but, because it is cleared much more quickly, rapid reduction may offer the best chance to slow the whole process. “The most immediate, effective and low-cost way to reduce soot emissions is to put particle traps on vehicles, diesel trucks, buses, and construction equipment.”
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100728092617.htm
Source: Science Daily / Stanford University

Warmer Climate Could Increase Release of Carbon Dioxide by Inland Lakes (July 23, 2010)

A Swedish study suggests climate models include carbon release from sediment in inland lakes. “The annual rate at which bound carbon is deposited as sediment in the lakes of the boreal zone will fall by 4-27 per cent, depending on which climate forecasts are borne out, over the next hundred years. The production of carbon dioxide by lake sediment will increase correspondingly, resulting in higher levels of emissions to the atmosphere.”
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100721132625.htm
Source: Science Daily / Uppsala University

Military Greenhouse Gas Emissions: EPA Should Recognize Environmental Impact of Protecting Foreign Oil, Researchers Urge (July 22, 2010)

Many concerns have been raised about the detrimental effects on food security of a shift to biofuels. Here, agricultural economists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in the heart of corn ethanol country, argue that, to have a fair comparison of the impacts on both climate and taxpayer of biofuels and gasoline, the accounting of the indirect costs of gasoline must include costs of military and security. Thus, as a byproduct of an energy economics controversy, light is shed on the military as a significant contributer of greenhouse gases otherwise frequently neglected.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100721121657.htm
Source: Science Daily / University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Air Traffic Poised to Become a Major Factor in Global Warming, Scientists Predict (May 31, 2010)

Air traffic predicted to increase 7-fold by 2100, and hence to become a significant source of greenhouse gases. Note that this is a prediction only, but it is rare for attention to be given to this source, and it was not even included in the Kyoto protocol.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100526124715.htm
Source: Science Daily / American Chemical Society

Climate Change and Extreme Weather

Climate Responses to the Ocean Temperature Maximum in the Tropical Eastern Atlantic Ocean (August 15, 2011)

There is much interest in understanding how warming may contribute to more extreme weather events, which involve both water and wind. Summer Eastern tropical North Atlantic surface temperatures adjacent to West Africa (a source of hurricanes) were 1 degree C higher in 2010 than in 2009, and precipitation was 35% higher. In a modeling study, it appears that contributors include higher convection as well as stronger winds, resulting in “somewhat enhanced” storm intensities.
Link: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/druyan_10/
Source: NASA: Goddard Institute of Space Studies / Leonard M. Druyan and Matthew Fulakeza

Catastrophic Drought Looms for Capital City of Bolivia (November 12, 2010)

The country that hosted the first World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth is in jeopardy. Using fossilized pollen records of interglacial periods, this report “defined a tipping point [leading to desert conditions] that was exceeded within a 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius warming above modern conditions”.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101112141332.htm
Source: Science Daily / National Science Foundation

2010 Was Fourth Warmest U.S. Summer on Record (September 14, 2010)

Air temperatures are at best an indirect and fluctuating correlate of the gathering quantity of heat accumulating in the oceans (water has a much greater capacity for heat storage than air). Nonetheless, this summary of measurements is a useful breakdown of temperature as well as precipitation and energy usage during the summer of 2010. The one positive note is fewer wildfires, as the West was not as hot and dry this year.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100913165150.htm
Source: Science Daily / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Dramatic Climate Change Is Unpredictable (August 30, 2010)

Greenland ice cores show rapid rises in temperature during ice ages (“Dansgaard-Oeschger events”). An attempt to model rapid fluctuations points to the likelihood of past chaotic and multifactorial shifts but now, in addition, an ongoing tipping of the climate balance due to man-made greenhouse gases, that might auger even more rapid and unpredictable shifts.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100830094922.htm
Source: Science Daily / University of Copenhagen

New Computer Model Advances Climate Change Research (August 19, 2010)

“The Community Earth System Model (CESM) will be one of the primary climate models used for the next assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)” in 2013-14. “Thanks to its improved physics and expanded biogeochemistry, it gives us a better representation of the real world…Using the CESM, researchers can now simulate the interaction of marine ecosystems with greenhouse gases; the climatic influence of ozone, dust, and other atmospheric chemicals; the cycling of carbon through the atmosphere, oceans, and land surfaces; and the influence of greenhouse gases on the upper atmosphere.”
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100818154730.htm
Source: Science Daily / National Center for Atmospheric Research

More Cold and Snowy Winters to Come in Europe, Eastern Asia and Eastern North America (June 15, 2010)

Contrary to the claims of “global cooling” following the wintry weather in the Northeastern U.S., the increased cold and snow actually appears to stem from arctic warming that exceeds predictions.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100611093710.htm
Source: Science Daily / International Polar Year – Oslo Science Conference

Climate Change Websites

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (U.S.A.) Map of Extreme Weather Events of 2011 (October 4, 2011)

A useful graphic summary of significant climate and weather events of 2011.
Link: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2011/images/extremes-201108.png

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) (October 4, 2011)

The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) is the primary climate-change data and information analysis center of the U.S. Department of Energy. As such, it is a source of collected information on selected greenhouse gas concentrations and climate measures.
Link: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/

The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide in Earth's Climate History (January 11, 2011)

Video of Prof. Richard Alley’s American Geophysical Union talk on CO2 as the Climate Control Knob.

Link: http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml

George Monbiot on climate change (January 11, 2011)

George Monbiot is a writer and activist and the author of several books including Heat: how to stop the planet burning. He writes a weekly column for the Guardian newspaper.

Link: http://www.monbiot.com/archives/category/climate-change/

Surface Temperature Analysis (January 11, 2011)

Link: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Dr. James Hansen’s website on climate change (September 24, 2010)

Dr. James Hansen is one of the worlds foremost climate scientists and author of Storms of My Grandchildren. In his scientific work, Dr. Hansen has proven to be consistently accurate in his predictions. He has long been recognized as an authority on climate science and has been asked to give briefings to every U.S. administration since that of President George H.W. Bush. Recently Dr. Hansen testified to the U.S. Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, to the Committee on Ways and Means, and to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (U.S. House of Representatives). Overseas, he most recently spoke to the Club of Rome, at the United Nations University in Tokyo and to the French National Assembly.

On his website Dr. Hansen provides links to numerous papers and other resources.
Link: http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/

Website of Dr. Danny Harvey (September 24, 2010)

Dr. Danny Harvey is a geography professor and energy policy expert at the University of Toronto. He is author of A Handbook on Low-Energy Buildings and District Energy Systems: Fundamentals, Techniques, and Examples. His latest books Energy and The New Reality, Volume 1: Energy Efficiency and the Demand for Energy Services and Energy and The New Reality, Volume 2: Carbon free Energy were published in 2010. The following two sites link to more information as well as to excerpts and slides:
http://faculty.geog.utoronto.ca/Harvey/Harvey/publications.htm#pub
http://www.earthscan.co.uk/?tabid=102427

Dr. Harvey’s website includes publications, PowerPoint presentations, transit ideas for the Toronto Area and Layman’s Overview of the Global Warming Issue and Solutions.
http://faculty.geog.utoronto.ca/Harvey/Harvey/index.htm

Website for Dr. Richard Peltier (September 24, 2010)

Website for Dr. Richard Peltier, University of Toronto University Professor and Professor of Physics, Director of the Centre for Global Change Science, principal investigator of the Polar Climate Stability Network, and Scientific Director of SciNet.
Link: http://www.atmosp.physics.utoronto.ca/~peltier/

Economics

Governments Spend $1.4 Billion Per Day to Destabilize Climate (January 19, 2012)

This report notes that, in addition to neglect of health and environmental costs, “a long legacy of governments propping up oil, coal, and natural gas has resulted in a very uneven energy playing field…. Eliminating all fossil fuel consumption subsidies by 2020 would cut global carbon emissions by nearly 5 percent while reducing government debt.”
Link: http://www.earth-policy.org/data_highlights/2012/highlights24
Source: Earth Policy Research

Food and Water

Raging Storms and Rising Seas Swelling the Ranks of Climate Refugees (August 15, 2011)

As yet another extreme weather event breaches the abilities of societies to cope, this work addresses the already-overwhelming pressures on peoples at the margins — of our rising oceans, of water and food security, and perhaps of our capacity for concern. “The country where rising seas threaten the most people is China, with 144 million potential climate refugees. India and Bangladesh are next, with 63 million and 62 million respectively. Viet Nam has 43 million vulnerable people, and Indonesia 42 million. Also in the top 10 are Japan with 30 million, Egypt with 26 million, and the United States with 23 million.” The article does not address the additional impact of encroaching salinization on coastal agriculture.
Link: http://www.earth-policy.org/book_bytes/2011/wotech6_ss1
Source: Earth Policy Institute / Lester R. Brown

World on the Edge by the Numbers – Grain Production Falling as Soil Erosion Continues (August 2, 2011)

Increased heat energy retention by greenhouse gases affects precipitation as well as temperature, leading to myriad secondary effects. Focusing on soil loss in Haiti, Lesotho, Mongolia, and North Korea, this brief report neglects the crime of the direct, man-made damage from military and economic interferences which have rendered these areas and the people that inhabit them even more vulnerable to climate change.
Link: http://www.earth-policy.org/data_highlights/2011/highlights17
Source: Earth Policy Institute

Groundwater Depletion Rate Accelerating Worldwide (September 23, 2010)

Global warming threatens the world’s freshwater supplies. An additional threat is the increasing depletion of groundwater (especially in northwest India, northeastern China, northeast Pakistan, California’s central valley, and the midwestern United States), calculated to be at a rate that would, if all of it came from the Great Lakes, empty them in 80 years. Much of this water ends up in the oceans, and contributes one quarter of the current yearly sea level rise.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100923142503.htm
Source: Science Daily / American Geophysical Union.

Drought Drives Decade-Long Decline in Plant Growth (August 21, 2010)

In the current climate of increasing food insecurity, even a small decrease in plant productivity is cause for alarm. This study indicates a shift from global-warming-driven increases to a decline thought to be due to drought in southern latitudes.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100820101504.htm
Source: Science Daily / NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Lowering Daisy's Emissions: Battle Against Agricultural Climate Offenders (August 21, 2010)

“[I]t is emissions of the greenhouse gases methane (CH4, from cattle) and nitrous oxide (N2O, from the soil and fertilisers) that make agriculture such a major climate culprit.” Proper agronomic practices at the level of the individual farmer my help.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100819074447.htm
Source: Science Daily / The Research Council of Norway

Greenhouse Gas Calculator Connects Farming Practices With Carbon Credits (August 12, 2010)

While there is controversy over proposals to establish market schemes for carbon/greenhouse gases, a “Farming Systems Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculator” offers a way to estimate how farming practices can have an impact, “by installing methane capture technologies in animal-based systems, no-till farming, establishing grasslands, and planting trees”, and minimizing fertilizer use.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100809093643.htm
Source: Science Daily / American Society of Agronomy

Climate Change Threatens Food Supply of 60 Million People in Asia (July 18, 2010)

Food scarcity due to water scarcity lies ahead for up to a billion people in South and Southeast Asia, according to climate model predictions of melting of Himalayan glaciers (the “water tower” of the region). However, the predicted impacts due to rivers drying may be unevenly distributed geographically, and, of course, are subject to the uncertainty of the underlying assumptions.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100616090225.htm
Source: Science Daily / Utrecht University

General

What Carbon Cycle? College Students Lack Scientific Literacy, Study Finds (January 7, 2011)

At two U.S. Universities, students reveal a lack of knowledge of the basis for understanding climate change, the carbon cycle. In the absence of clear and complex thought an earlier mode of understanding predominates, e.g., fat burns off, calories melt away. When applied to questions involving, e.g., carbon sequestration or deforestation impacts, “’everyday, informal reasoning’ runs counter to true scientific literacy”. The concern is that the finger of blame may be pointed at young students, and not where it should be: at the educators and leaders who do not educate themselves and stand up to the well-known intrusions into our schools and universities.

Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110107094904.htm
Source: Science Daily / Michigan State University

Climate Scientist Warns World of Widespread Suffering If Further Climate Change Is Not Forestalled (December 8, 2010)

Climate scientist Lonnie Thompson notes a “very clear pattern in the scientific evidence documenting that the Earth is warming, that the warming is due largely to human activity, that warming is causing important changes to many of the Earth’s support systems, and that rapid and potentially catastrophic changes in the near future are possible.

“Such future scenarios,” he says, “emerge not, as is often suggested, simply from computer simulations, but from the weight and balance of the empirical evidence as well.” Global warming “is here and is already affecting our climate, so prevention is no longer an option.”
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101208125801.htm
Source: Science Daily / Ohio State University

Hydroelectric Power Reservoirs Cleaner Than Previously Feared, New Research Shows (September 15, 2010)

Do the countless dams of the modern era cause accelerated climate change? A 30-year-old reservoir in Laos currently appears to be taking up more CO2 than is released. However, caution appears to be indicated when considering dams in general: During the initial phase (which can be years), submerged and decaying organic matter may yield significant net production of greenhouse gases. No comparison appears to be made with the potential CO2 uptake, had the land not been submerged in the first place.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100915084454.htm
Source: Science Daily / SINTEF

Health

Land-Use Expert Brings Satellite Data Down to Earth (September 12, 2010)

Unpredicted relationships among (a) satellite imagery of land use,(b) the actual interactions between peoples and land on the ground, and (b) shifts in disease patterns, call for caution in designing environmental policy and carbon credit schemes.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100908101935.htm
Source: Science Daily / Stanford University

When Climate Change Becomes a Health Issue, Are People More Likely to Listen? (July 20, 2010)

How to communicate concerns about climate change to those who are skeptical or “disengaged”? A behavioural-attitudinal study suggests: “Re-defining climate change in public health terms should help people make connection to already familiar problems such as asthma, allergies and infectious diseases, while shifting the visualization of the issue away from remote Arctic regions and distant peoples and animals”. The study does not appear to address how to convince people that “distant peoples and animals” matter.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719111957.htm
Source: Science Daily / George Mason University

Hot Spots Where Heatwaves Could Pose Greater Health Risk (June 12, 2010)

Climate models predict significant increase in the “heat index”, which addresses the health effects of heat and humidity, in the river valleys and coastal regions of Mediterranean Europe. Based on previous experience, this will mean tens of thousands of premature deaths, droughts, and crop destruction.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100611145451.htm
Source: Science Daily / ETH Zurich

Algal Blooms Hit the Poor of India Hard (May 31, 2010)

Climate-driven toxic algal blooms are threatening the health and livelihoods of millions in coastal India.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100531082607.htm
Source: Science Daily / University of Gothenburg

Interesting Examples from Media

Global warming blamed for extreme weather (July 31, 2010)

A Chinese news source attributes a litany of disruptive and destructive weather events to global warming.
Link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-07/31/c_13423747.htm
Source: English.news.cn

The Earth is hotter than ever, global warming is real, researchers warn (July 29, 2010)

Scientists hope findings will debunk some growing skepticism about climate change.
Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/science/the-earth-is-hotter-than-ever-global-warming-is-real-researchers-warn/article1655436/
Source: Globe and Mail

Major Reports from Governments and Organizations

Paleoclimate Record Points Toward Potential Rapid Climate Changes (December 8, 2011)

This report summarises records from which one can infer ancient climates and corresponding ice and sea level changes. The current rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 is roughly 10,000 times the rate of past naturally occurring fluctuations, calling for the utmost alarm and concern over expected nonlinear feedbacks in ice cover and sea levels, even within a 2-degree Celsius maximum temperature increase. Co-author James Hansen of NASA is quoted as saying: “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 …It would be a prescription for disaster.”
Link: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20111208/
Full report: http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha05510d.html
Source: NASA

Americans’ Knowledge of Climate Change (October 12, 2010)

This Yale study, albeit based on polling methods which have their critics, indicate a significant lack of basic knowledge on anthropogenic climate change, but a large majority endorsing mass education.
Link: http://environment.yale.edu/climate/publications/knowledge-of-climate-change
Source: Yale Project on Climate Change Communication

Abrupt Climate Change: Should We Be Worried? (September 24, 2010)

Link: http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?cid=9986&pid=12455&tid=282
Source: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

10 Indicators of a Human Fingerprint on Climate Change (September 24, 2010)

Link: http://www.skepticalscience.com/10-Indicators-of-a-Human-Fingerprint-on-Climate-Change.html
Source: Skeptical Science / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

State of the Climate in 2009 (August 3, 2010)

“Global average surface and lower-troposphere temperatures during the last three decades have been progressively warmer than all earlier decades, and the 2000s
(2000–09) was the warmest decade in the instrumental record. This warming has been particularly apparent in the mid- and high-latitude regions of the Northern Hemisphere…” Numerous variables and phenomena are tracked and described.
Link: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/2009.php
Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Climatic Data Center / Arndt, D. S., M. O. Baringer, and M. R. Johnson, Eds., 2010: State of the Climate in 2009. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 91 (6), S1-S224.

Report Calls for Coordinated Information on Climate Change (July 23, 2010)

The Copenhagen Climate Conference highlighted concerns about the willingness of major governments to tackle climate change urgently. In this news item, a report by the National Research Council requested by the U.S. Congress states: “Federal policies should not unnecessarily supersede measures already being taken regionally or locally…”. While calling for “reliable data coordinated through climate services and a greenhouse gas monitoring and management system to provide timely information tailored to decision makers at all levels” this report, subsumed under a program called America’s Climate Choices also calls for “urging federal agencies to support training for researchers on how to communicate complex climate change information and uncertainties to different audiences”.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100723095426.htm
Source: Science Daily / National Academy of Sciences

Explained: Climate sensitivity (March 19, 2010)

If we double the Earth’s greenhouse gases, how much will the temperature change? That’s what this number tells you.
Link: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2010/explained-climate-sensitivity.html
Source: MIT News Office
Note: For more articles for the educated layperson on climate topics: http://paoc.mit.edu/cmi/news.htm

Revised MIT climate model sounds alarm. New analysis shows warming could be double previous estimates (May 20, 2009)

A summary of a groundbreaking modeling effort from MIT in 2009, that incorporated economic factors into climate projections. “The new projections… indicate a median probability of surface warming of 5.2 degrees Celsius by 2100, with a 90 percent probability range of 3.5 to 7.4 degrees. This can be compared to a median projected increase in the 2003 study of just 2.4 degrees. The difference is caused by several factors rather than any single big change. Among these are improved economic modeling and newer economic data showing less chance of low emissions than had been projected in the earlier scenarios.”
Link: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/techtalk53-26.pdf
Source: MIT Tech Talk

Scientific Reticence and Sea Level Rise (May 3, 2007)

Climate scientist James Hansen addresses the systemic barriers, within the scientific community, to clarity of thought and action to prevent catastrophic effects of climate change, specifically sea level rise.
Link: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/2/2/024002/pdf/1748-9326_2_2_024002.pdf
Source: J. E. Hansen, Environmental Research Letters

Ocean and Polar Regions

Observations of Climate Change from Indigenous Alaskans (September 13, 2011)

This report calls attention to the integrating of traditional and local knowledge with the better disseminated formal scientific studies. Interviewers with Alaska Natives in the Yukon River Basin point to warming, increased hazards to travel and hunting due to decreased ice, impacts on range and distribution of plant and animal life, and unpredictable weather.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110913152927.htm
Source: Science Daily / United States Geological Survey

Mass Extinction Linked to Ancient Climate Change, New Details Reveal (January 27, 2011)

Measurements of ancient climate have depended on an assumption of how to apportion the contributions of ocean temperatures and mass of ice sheets to the ratios of isotopes of oxygen preserved in sediments. A new method, based on the preferential “clumping” or bonding of isotopes, can avoid the necessity of making such assumptions, by more directly measuring temperature. Once this is done, an estimate can then be made of how much lighter oxygen isotope was tied up in ice sheets. The extensive ice thus estimated is thought to have contributed to mass extinction, partly by lowering sea levels and hence limiting the amount of life-breeding shallow waters on continental shelves.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127141703.htm
Source: Science Daily / California Institute of Technology

Growing La Nina Chills out the Pacific (September 16, 2010)

Climate predictions are complex and must consider the normal oscillations in the Pacific Ocean surface waters from warmer (El Nino) to cooler (La Nina). This article points out the significant implications of the current La Nina, which releases less moisture into the Eastern Pacific atmosphere and results in continued drought conditions on land.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100916090547.htm
Source: Science Daily / NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Arctic Sea Ice Reaches Lowest 2010 Extent, Third Lowest in Satellite Record (September 16, 2010)

Yearly measurements of minimum Arctic sea ice extent are one way of monitoring climate change, in which polar regions are expected to warm more rapidly than temperate and tropical areas. Although 2010’s extent is greater than 2007 and 2008, yearly fluctuations are expected in any complex system.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100916091755.htm
Source: Science Daily / University of Colorado at Boulder.

Melting Rate of Icecaps in Greenland and Western Antarctica Lower Than Expected (September 7, 2010)

While icecap melting brings the dual concerns of decreased reflectivity on solar radiation as well as sea level rise, this recent analysis of satellite measurements of gravitational shifts (thought to reflect decreased mass of ice caps due to melting) introduces a downward correction by factoring in the vertical shifts of earth’s crust resulting from the melting of ice cover since the last ice age.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100906085152.htm
Source: Science Daily / Delft University of Technology

El Niños Are Growing Stronger, NASA/NOAA Study Finds (August 27, 2010)

“The most dominant year-to-year fluctuating pattern in Earth’s climate system”, El Niño-Southern Oscillation is becoming more intense and is shifting westward toward the central Pacific. This means that there is less surface warming along the South American Pacific coast. While potential linkage to anthropogenic global warming needs to be studied, the shift could have a major impact on global climate.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100825200657.htm
Source: Science Daily / NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory / Geophysical Research Letters

Limiting Ocean Acidification Under Global Change (August 23, 2010)

Most climate models focus on greenhouse gases and temperature. This article describes modeling in which CO2-driven ocean acidity is the chief outcome variable of various mitigation strategies.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100820101400.htm
Source: Science Daily / National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK)

Is the Ice in the Arctic Ocean Getting Thinner? (August 20, 2010)

Maintaining the historically constant Arctic Ocean salinity and the organisms that have adapted to it requires a yearly supply of thicker ice to break up and be carried south. As sea ice thins, there is also risk of disrupting global ocean circulation that transports and distributes massive amounts of heat energy and significantly influences climate patterns.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100820101356.htm
Source: Science Daily / NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Coastal Creatures May Have Reduced Ability to Fight Off Infections in Acidified Oceans (August 5, 2010)

Human impact is creating increasingly polluted low-oxygen coastal marine environments with high carbon dioxide and acidification. Due to the effects on gill functioning of their immune system response of clumping of blood cells in response to pathogens, “organisms in these conditions can’t fight off infections as well as animals living in oxygen rich, low carbon dioxide environments.”
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100805142959.htm
Source: Science Daily / American Physiological Society

Ice-Free Arctic Ocean May Not Be of Much Use in Soaking Up Carbon Dioxide (August 3, 2010)

An ice-free summer Arctic Ocean in 30 years is a chilling prospect, due to loss of reflectivity of incoming solar radiation. This study argues against a possible benefit of uncovering open water that could then absorb atmospheric CO2. Although CO2 does dissolve better in the colder water, it also acidifies more quickly, rapidly inhibiting the formation of CO2-absorbing calcium-carbonate shelled organisms, which are generally what absorb a large proportion of the CO2 in warmer waters.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100802173736.htm
Source: Science Daily / University of Georgia

Marine Phytoplankton Declining: Striking Global Changes at the Base of the Marine Food Web Linked to Rising Ocean Temperatures (July 28, 2010)

A coauthor of this Dalhousie study states: “Phytoplankton are a critical part of our planetary life support system. They produce half of the oxygen we breathe, draw down surface CO2, and ultimately support all of our fisheries.” Warming of ocean waters is leading to increased stratification and hence to reduced mixing of nutrients necessary for phytoplankton growth, likely contributing to phytoplankton levels decreasing by 1% per year over the past 40 years.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100728131705.htm
Source: Science Daily / Dalhousie University

Sea Levels Rising in Parts of Indian Ocean; Greenhouse Gases Play Role, Study Finds (July 13, 2010)

A warming of 0.5 degrees Celsius of a large area of the Indian Ocean, primarily attributed to anthropogenic greenhouse gases, is said to be driving two perpendicular atmospheric wind patterns. The combined effect of these two patterns contributes to a widespread regional sea level rise (sea level changes are unevenly distributed globally) threatening islands and coastal areas.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100713101412.htm
Source: Science Daily / University of Colorado at Boulder

Researchers Witness Overnight Breakup, Retreat of Greenland Glacier (July 13, 2010)

A real-time study of the breakup of a major Greenland glacier system points to local ocean warming (not just land warming) as a factor in glacial-melt-driven sea level rise.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100712154438.htm
Source: Science Daily / NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Proposed Solutions

Simultaneously Mitigating Near-Term Climate Change and Improving Human Health and Food Security (January 13, 2012)

Fourteen key methods of reducing black carbon soot and ozone would “reduce projected global mean warming ~0.5°C by 2050. This strategy avoids 0.7 to 4.7 million annual premature deaths from outdoor air pollution and increases annual crop yields by 30 to 135 million metric tons due to ozone reductions in 2030 and beyond.” It would be highly cost-effective as well, the authors claim.
Link: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/335/6065/183
Source: Science

Cutting Soot Emissions: Fastest, Most Economical Way to Slow Global Warming? (September 1, 2011)

Gross neglect and regulatory inaction continues regarding the fact that “reducing soot emissions from diesel engines and other sources could slow melting of sea ice in the Arctic faster and more economically than any other quick fix”. The researcher suggests that “controlling soot could reduce warming above parts of the Arctic Circle by almost 3 degrees Fahrenheit within 15 years”.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110831205919.htm
Source: Science Daily / American Chemical Society

Solar Industry Responsible for Lead Emissions in Developing Countries, Research Finds (August 31, 2011)

Conservation is imperative. This report points out an example of how life-cycle analysis is indispensable. While solar power is promising, it currently comes along with the need for lead batteries (made in China), whose manufacturing processes impose a significant, unacceptable disease burden.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110831115918.htm
Source: Science Daily / University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Carbon Swap Bank to Beat Climate Change, Australian Researchers Propose (January 6, 2011)

Cap and trade schemes tend to invoke concern about international ponzi schemes. Here is a proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by basing measures on real, not derivative or notional, greenhouse gas sources and sinks. It suggests “no international agreements would be needed and there would be no detrimental effect on national industry or competitiveness, and no potential for financial wizards to embroil carbon emissions in their vicious circle of boom and bust”. Nonetheless, it is hard to see how such a scheme will lead to the urgent 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries indicated by the science, if already-occuring global warming amplifications are to be mitigated.

Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110106100936.htm

Source: Science Daily / Inderscience Publishers

Swedish Biofuels Do Have Major Benefits for the Climate (September 20, 2010)

This somewhat confusing study of a particular case does helpfully point out the complexity of any attempt to quantify the greenhouse gas impact of biofuels, including indirect effects having to do with alternative land use and increased pressures to cultivate other areas in order to compensate for the loss of food-growing land.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920080457.htm
Source: Science Daily / Lund University

Optimizing Climate Change Reduction (September 16, 2010)

This study models the potential effects of geoengineering by injection of sunlight-blocking aerosols in varying distributions according to latitude. Effects on air temperature and precipitation patterns are separate. It is a challenge to optimize fairly for all inhabited regions, and, in any case, the authors point out, “geoengineering is not an alternative to greenhouse gas emissions reductions”, e.g., ocean acidification would continue.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100916101856.htm
Source: Science Daily / Carnegie Institution.

Energy Technologies Not Enough to Sufficiently Reduce Carbon Emissions, Expert Concludes (September 9, 2010)

In a Science essay, physicist Martin Hoffert doubts current energy schemes and projected demand will permit atmospheric CO2 concentrations to be kept even under 450ppm: “Carbon taxes and ramped-up government research budgets could help spur investments. But developing carbon-neutral technologies also requires, at the very least, reversing perverse incentives, such as existing global subsidies to fossil fuels that are estimated to be 12 times higher than those to renewable energy.”
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100909141525.htm
Source: Science Daily / New York University

Temperature Trends

NASA Finds 2011 Ninth Warmest Year on Record (January 19, 2012)

Excerpted from the news release: “We know the planet is absorbing more energy than it is emitting,” said GISS director James E. Hansen. “So we are continuing to see a trend toward higher temperatures. Even with the cooling effects of a strong La Niña influence and low solar activity for the past several years, 2011 was one of the 10 warmest years on record.” Hansen said he expects record-breaking global average temperature in the next two to three years because solar activity is on the upswing and the next El Niño will increase tropical Pacific temperatures. The warmest years on record were 2005 and 2010, in a virtual tie.
Link: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20120119/
Source: NASA

Earth's Climate History: Implications for Tomorrow (July 15, 2011)

A common misconception is that climate change predictions are made based on models, which may be flawed. This is a brief summary of the “been there, done that”: there is an actual record of past climate changes to learn from. Note that the current rate of change is, alarmingly, far more rapid than previous warmings.
Link: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_15/
Source: NASA: Goddard Institute for Space Studies / James E. Hansen and Makiko Sato

Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change (January 19, 2011)

The loss of albedo (reflection of sunlight back to space) due to ice sheet loss threatens to tip the balance rapidly in an already precarious world, based on geological records of past natural shifts due to cycles of increased incident solar irradiation (not currently a factor). The paper indicates the need for immediate action on human-caused transfer of fossil carbon to the atmosphere.
Link: http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110118_MilankovicPaper.pdf
Source: James E. Hansen and Makiko Sato, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University Earth Institute, New York

Earth's Hot Past Could Be Prologue to Future Climate (January 14, 2011)

Climate models are just beginning to incorporate slower feedback mechanisms such as ice sheet melting (decreasing albedo). National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Jeffrey Kiehl sounds the alarm that, when the full effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide (currently increasing at an unprecedented rate) is taken into account, estimates of global warming increase markedly.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110113141607.htm
Source: Science Daily / National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Heat Waves Could Be Commonplace in the US by 2039 (July 9, 2010)

Climate modeling is now indicating significantly increased frequency of major heat events in the U.S. that will bring on droughts, crop destruction, and possibly large numbers of deaths, by the 2030’s or earlier, even if there is a global warming of “only” 2 degrees Celsius.
Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100708122617.htm
Source: Science Daily / Stanford University

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