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15 April 2014

New Research Shows Asian Soot Cloud Affecting Pacific Storms

A group of researchers from Texas A & M University have a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this week that is getting a lot of attention. Cloud droplets and rain drops need something to form on, and without dust and other aerosols in the atmosphere we would see a lot less of both. Sometimes though, the addition of particulates can cause tiny cloud droplets …

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10 April 2014

The Most Pervasive Scientific Myth

I’ve written before here about how pervasive the myth is that science is divided about the reality of and the threat of man-made interference with our climate system. It truly is the number one science myth out there. Just by writing this post, I’ll get the usual comments with links to the usual rabid political sites (with unflattering pictures of Al Gore) telling me that thousands of scientists disagree, and …

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3 April 2014

Cutting back on refrigerants could drop greenhouse gas emissions

Research published this month in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, calculates the environmental impact of phasing down hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, under the Montreal Protocol. The landmark 1987 agreement phased out the use of ozone-depleting refrigerants, like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), leading to increased used of replacements that include HFCs.

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The Melt Begins- Arctic Sea Ice Max Was 5th Lowest on Record

The March Sea Ice Record is downward at 2.6% /decade. The melt season is now extending by 5 days per decade. Most of the ice is very young ice so the melt will likely be rapid, depending on weather conditions.  

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19 March 2014

What We Know About Our Climate- AAAS publishes a must read summary.

I’m glad this report tackles the myth (in America) that scientists are divided over the reality of our changing climate, and it’s cause. It’s totally and utterly false. Don’t believe me?? Go look at the journals like NATURE, SCIENCE, any AMS journal etc. If someone tells you that what’s in this report is wrong, you should ask them why they have not published the evidence why in a scientific journal. That’s …

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20 December 2013

Senator Olympia Snowe Encourages Scientists to Make Their Voices Heard

The large auditorium was standing-room only for former Senator Olympia Snowe’s (R-Maine) address at AGU’s 2013 Fall Meeting. An ally with a history of standing up for many of AGU’s key issues on and off Capitol Hill, Senator Snowe resigned in January of 2013 over what she saw as an increasingly inept and hyper-partisan atmosphere in Congress. During her time in the Senate, Snowe positioned herself in the middle of …

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16 December 2013

As the Earth warms, Arctic tundra rots

Melting ice caps may not be the only problem the Arctic has to worry about as the climate changes. As temperatures rise, permafrost melts earlier and stays wet longer. When plants and other organic material in the soil thaw, they decompose, releasing huge quantities of methane and carbon dioxide.

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13 December 2013

Microbial memories carry the pulse of past ocean climates

New data from ocean microbes in the Soledad basin off the coast of Baja, Calif., confirms a La Niña-like effect cooled surface waters 4,000 to 10,000 years ago.

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11 December 2013

‘Butterflies of the sea’ record ocean conditions in their shells

The shell of a tiny marine mollusk carries evidence of the ocean conditions that formed it, researchers have found. These “butterflies of the sea” could be used to determine the temperature and carbon dioxide levels of ancient oceans, they said this week at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting

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3 December 2013

Climate Science Legal Defense Fund: Protecting the Scientific Endeavor

So you are having a great time at the AGU Fall Meeting. You are meeting science colleagues from around the world, you are seeing cutting edge research presented in the scientific program, and you are enjoying the sights and sounds of beautiful San Francisco. Then you check your email and the blood drains from your face. Your institution’s legal counsel explains that a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request has …

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12 November 2013

New Website Wants to Encourage Public Discussion of Climate Change by Scientists

What are your thoughts on the new Climate Change National Forum and Review (CCNFR)? According to the website’s founders, the forum offers one way for scientists, and eventually policy makers, to join the discussion on climate change. The organization’s founders, Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, Dr. Barry Lefer, and Prof. Tracy Hester, developed CCNFR to educate the American public on the science of climate change and its policy implications. CCNFR’s main vehicle …

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Was Haiyan Caused By Climate Change? We Might Know In 30 Years.

There are claims going around that Typhoon Haiyan was a result of climate change, and this is nothing short of ridiculous.  There is some evidence that climate change will change the numbers (and intensity) of tropical cyclones, and some that the storms that do form will be stronger and wetter. That said, there is still a lot of uncertainty in those predictions. An excellent paper on this subject is from …

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28 September 2013

Some Background Reading To Better Understand The 5th IPCC Report

This is a re-post from: The Yale Forum here points to several of its postings written to improve understanding of the wealth of climate data that will begin to emerge later this week from the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report.   With the initial release of the first volume of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT on Friday, September 27, The Yale Forum points to several of …

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22 September 2013

The Real Uncertainties In Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release its 5th assessment report next Friday in Sweden. It’s the work of over 200 scientists, who have put together a summary of the peer-reviewed science published over the last several years, and it will almost certainly be bad news. You’re almost certain to hear some very ridiculous things in the coming days by those who fear the consequences of reducing our …

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29 August 2013

Lessons of Volcanic Eruptions

  Volcanic eruptions are the most important natural cause of climate change, and they teach us many lessons about the climate system.  The cooling Earth experiences for a couple years after a big volcanic eruption, like that of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, helps us calibrate the amount of warming we will suffer in the future from continued human emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide.  By filtering out the …

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3 August 2013

Unhappy Times In The Flat Earth Society

For anyone who cares about science and science education, it can seem very frustrating to realize how widespread certain myths are. Large numbers of Americans think that science is divided about the whether climate change is even occurring, and even more about whether humans are causing it. It’s easy to understand why people are confused; just google “Climate Change” and you will get a slew of unscientific tripe mixed in with …

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22 July 2013

Busy beavers capture carbon

A few environmental problem-solvers have proposed drawing carbon out of the air and burying it to reduce greenhouse gasses and curb climate change. Maybe they could take some tips from nature’s own geoengineers – beavers – which have been sequestering carbon for thousands of years in the ponds and meadows created by their dams. A new study finds that, due to decreasing populations, much less carbon is getting tucked away by beavers than in the past.

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20 July 2013

Wearing A Tinfoil Hat Is Getting Expensive- DC Court Says Michael Mann May Proceed in Defamation Suit Against CEI and National Review

Is a picture really worth a thousand words? Probably, and the one above has become one of the most famous science images, since the crew of Apollo 8 took a snap of the Earth rising over the lunar horizon. It was made by Dr. Michael Mann at Penn State University, and he had no idea the grief it would cause him. His book is a must read, and he details …

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10 July 2013

Baltimore Weathercaster Under Fire For Incorrect Statements on Climate Change

Two weeks ago I attended a climate change short course at the 41st American Meteorological Society conference on broadcast meteorology in Nashville. Top experts in the field like Dr. Tony Broccolli, Dr. Ben Santer (National Academies of Science) and Keith Dixon of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab spent the entire day with on air meteorologists updating them on the latest in the field. The AMS Committee on Station Science (I’m …

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9 June 2013

Two Views of An Increasingly Wild and Changing Climate

My friend Su Ostro at the Weather Channel, and Dr. Jennifer Francis at Rutgers joined author/journalist Chris Mooney at a Climate Desk Live/WWF event last week. The talk is well worth a watch. I’ve mentioned Dr. Francis and her research frequently here, and here is a chance to see whay her research is getting so much attention among forecasters. Stu is a fellow forecaster, and has a perspective like mine that is rooted in …

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