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22 April 2015

The Earth on Earth Day

I remember very well watching the CBS Evening News 45 years ago on the first Earth Day. It was a major story, and I believe Walter Cronkite led the broadcast with it. We know a lot more about our planet now than we did then, and there have been some amazing successes in protecting our environment. We now know something that was not well understood then, and that is the …

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14 April 2015

Climate Denial Disappearing Among TV Weathercasters

A new study by George Mason University shows something that a lot of us who work in broadcast meteorology have noticed- the rapid disappearance of climate change deniers among TV weathercasters. I’m not the only one who has noticed it, because I frequently hear talk about it from colleagues at various conferences. It’s very rare to hear ridiculous pronouncements about climate change from TV weathercasters these days, but it was far different …

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5 April 2015

We Must Defend Science if We Want a Prosperous Future

Originally published on The Conversation. It definitely applies as much (and likely more) to America as Australia. Barry Jones, University of Melbourne Today’s Australians are, by far, the best educated cohort in our history –- on paper, anyway -– but this is not reflected in the quality of our political discourse. We appear to be lacking in courage, judgement, capacity to analyse and even simple curiosity, except about immediate personal …

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26 March 2015

Shell-shocked: Ocean acidification likely hampers tiny shell builders in Southern Ocean

A new study shows a ubiquitous type of phytoplankton — tiny organisms that are the base of the marine food web – appears to be suffering from the effects of ocean acidification caused by climate change.

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25 March 2015

On the JOIDES Resolution: Turbidite Transport (+ video)

On this expedition, we’re studying sediments that have been eroded from the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world. The Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers carry this sediment to the delta in Bangladesh, but what happens next? How does this material get all the way out to the middle of the Bay of Bengal where we’re drilling, almost 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) away?

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19 March 2015

Harvesting “big data” to help farmers

Scientists are using massive amounts of information about the climate, weather and land to develop new tools farmers can use to grow more food without harming the environment.

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18 March 2015

NOAA: Earth Had Warmest Winter On Record

Earth just had it’s warmest winter on record, and this past February was the second warmest on record. This from NOAA/NCDC During February, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.48°F (0.82°C) above the 20th century average. This was the second highest for February in the 1880–2015 record. The highest temperature occurred in 1998, at 1.55°F (0.86°C) above average. During February, the globally-averaged land surface temperature was 3.02°F …

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13 March 2015

Three Things You Really Should Read before The Weekend

Trying to define pornography, a frustrated U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once famously declared “I know it when I see it”, and perhaps you can say the same thing about critical thinking. Greg Laden (at Science Blogs) wrote a great post today about Bjorn Lomborg, a “famous” climate denier, and a statement he made about sea level rise. Laden then goes on to show just how ridiculous the argument …

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7 March 2015

The Biggest Scientific Myth in America, and Why It’s No Accident

I chatted with Dr. Naomi Oreskes about her book Merchants of Doubt last December at the AGU in San Francisco. She told me about the movie, and I hope to see it soon. Dr. Oreskes published a stunning paper in Science in 2004 1994 looked at the level of scientific consensus on climate change. What she found was stunning to many scientists in other fields, and since then other studies have also shown just …

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28 February 2015

American Meteorological Society Criticises Congressional Investigation of Climate Researchers

More on this from Jason Samenow at the Washington Post.  This seems to be related to the disclosure last week, that Dr. Willie Soon did not disclose that he received funding from fossil fuel corporations. This appears on the surface to be  a serious ethical violation, and I would not be surprised to see action taken by the journals in which these papers were published. It’s worth noting that EVERY …

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27 February 2015

Oklahoma Senator Illustrates Dunning-Kruger Effect

I wrote about the Dunning Kruger effect last week and a U.S.Senator took the floor of the Senate today to illustrate why you do not want to be a victim of this disease. In case you’re wondering about how the winter of 2015 is shaping up in the U.S. and around the world. Read this post from last week as well.Then there is also this research being published in the …

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19 February 2015

NPP Suomi Satellite View of The Ice and Snow

The best views of Earth from space are often from the relatively new NPP/Suomi satellite. The image below is a true-colour view of a snowy and icy Northeast U.S. If you click on the image you will get a MUCH larger version. You should be able to make an 11-14 print from it. Also, check out what Dr. Jennifer Francis has to say about the connection between the loss of …

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Northeast U.S. Shivers, as Nation Experiences 6th Warmest Winter

More cold air is coming to the Midwest and East next week as well, with long-range numerical guidance indicating temps. will stay WELL below normal for most of next week. The intense cold over the north, contrasted with the warmth in the tropics has produced a jet stream with winds approaching 180 mph around 6 kilometers above the surface (`30,000 feet). It may surprise you to learn though that for …

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15 February 2015

Fox Glacier – a time lapse video of slope failures as the glacier retreats

Victoria University of Wellington has compiled a fascinating time lapse video of slope movements as the Fox Glacier in New Zealand retreats in response to climate change

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A Reliable Vaccine to Treat Dunning-Kruger Syndrome

Well, it actually an effect rather than a syndrome, but it can seem like one to others. The vaccine for it is science literacy, but make no mistake, it doesn’t work for everyone. It’s kind of like the flu shot, it protects many and lessens the severity for most others, but some people get the full-blown illness anyhow. If you’re wondering what the Dunning-Kruger effect is, just look at the …

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11 February 2015

Coldest Air of The Winter Headed For the NE U.S. and Midwest

A true outbreak of Polar air is headed for the northeastern quarter of the U.S. beginning Thursday. It will actually come in at least two and maybe 3 waves. The first wave will bring snow showers and plunging temps on Thursday to the East Coast from Virginia to Maine, and another surge will arrive Saturday evening with even colder air. A true Polar air mass often brings a dusting of …

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6 February 2015

The Peak Of Anti-Science?

Just when you think that basic denial of science could not get any more ridiculous, we have a week when a U.S. Senator questions hand washing laws in restaurants, and life saving vaccinations becomes a campaign issue among presidential candidates. We can only hope that this era of anti-science is at its peak and will get better soon. I’ve been interested in the psychology of this type of behavior for …

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17 January 2015

Finding The Missing Heat- A Science Based Detective Story

While there was huge press coverage over the last couple of days about the NASA/NOAA Announcement that 2014 was the hottest on record, the behind the scenes science is actually very fascinating. In spite of the serious threat we face from burning fossil fuels and it’s likely consequences, the science of trying to understand our climate system in even more detail is actually a rather riveting detective story. First a …

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16 January 2015

Earth Sees Hottest Year on Record for 3rd Time This Century

Update 5:30 PM 16 Jan. This is an excellent info-graphic from Gavin Schmidt of NASA GISS. 13 of the 15 hottest years on record were in the last 15 years. The odds of this happening naturally are less than in 1 in 27 million based on an analysis by Climate Central. Andy Freedman at Mashable has a good piece on this as well today here. This is the third time …

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15 January 2015

2014 Hottest On Record- NASA/NOAA Make It Official Tomorrow

While the U.S. Midwest had a cool 2014, mainly due to a frigid winter, the planet as a whole was the hottest since reliable records have been kept. NASA and NOAA will make the official announcement tomorrow. Some interesting tidbits: The Japan Meteorological Agency declared 2014 as the hottest year on record globally.   NASA and NOAA will release their official global numbers on Friday and all signs are pointing …

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