Antarctic Glaciers Are Growing Unstable Above and Below Water

from Wired For several years, scientists have been worried about the retreat and eventual collapse of Thwaites Glacier, a Florida-sized plug that holds back the West Antarctic ice sheet from the Southern Ocean. If Thwaites goes kaput, the resulting catastrophe could raise global sea levels by more than two feet on its own, or by eight feet in combination with melting from nearby glaciers, according to NASA estimates. That fear has driven a big push by international teams of researchers to understand what’s going on at Thwaites and nearby Pine Island Glacier. A group of researchers from the United States […]

Continue reading

Is Anybody Listening?

from Forbes How much longer will we continue to ignore the impact of our continued refusal to do anything to mitigate the planet’s long-standing climate emergency? California and Oregon are in flames, forcing half a million people to abandon their homes, and exceeding in a matter of weeks the area burned last year: yet we still refuse to accept that this is a direct result of the increase in global temperature caused by human activity that has turned our forests into tinder. The orange skies lending an apocalyptic, science-fiction air to San Francisco illustrate the terrible magnitude of the catastrophe […]

Continue reading

Can Humans Help Trees Outrun Climate Change?

from NYTs Foresters began noticing the patches of dying pines and denuded oaks, and grew concerned. Warmer winters and drier summers had sent invasive insects and diseases marching northward, killing the trees. If the dieback continued, some woodlands could become shrub land. Most trees can migrate only as fast as their seeds disperse — and if current warming trends hold, the climate this century will change 10 times faster than many tree species can move, according to one estimate. Rhode Island is already seeing more heat and drought, shifting precipitation and the intensification of plagues such as the red pine […]

Continue reading

Can Clouds Buy Us More Time To Solve Climate Change

from TED Climate change is real, case closed. But there’s still a lot we don’t understand about it, and the more we know the better chance we have to slow it down. One still-unknown factor: How might clouds play a part? There’s a small hope that they could buy us some time to fix things … or they could make global warming worse. Climate scientist Kate Marvel takes us through the science of clouds and what it might take for Earth to break its own fever. ? More here.

Continue reading

Google’s New Tool to Fight Climate Change

from The Atlantic In the next decade or so, more than 6,000 cities, states, and provinces around the world will try to do something that has eluded humanity for 25 years: reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, which warm the atmosphere and cause climate change. The city-level leaders overseeing this task won’t have the same tools available to their national peers. Most of them won’t have an Environmental Protection Agency (or its equivalent), a meteorological bureau, a team of military engineers, or NASA. So where will they start? Never mind how to reduce their city’s greenhouse-gas emissions; how will they […]

Continue reading

Want to Survive Climate Change? You’ll Need a Good Community

from Wired In the summer of 1995, a blistering heat wave settled over Chicago for three days. It killed 739 people, making it one of the most unexpectedly lethal disasters in modern American history. No statistical models of the heat wave predicted such a high death toll. Researchers in the American Journal of Public Health reported that their analysis “failed to detect relationships between the weather and mortality that would explain what happened.” Just as mysterious as the number of fatalities was the way they were distributed across the city. Several of the most deadly areas were entirely black and […]

Continue reading

Coastal Cities Could Flood Three Times a Week by 2045

from Climate Central The lawns of homes purchased this year in vast swaths of coastal America could regularly be underwater before the mortgage has even been paid off, with new research showing high tide flooding could become nearly incessant in places within 30 years. Such floods could occur several times a week on average by 2045 along the mid-Atlantic coastline, where seas have been rising faster than nearly anywhere else, and where lands are sagging under the weight of geological changes. Washington and Annapolis, Md. could see more than 120 high tide floods every year by 2045, or one flood every three days, […]

Continue reading

Arctic Cities Crumble as Climate Change Thaws Permafrost

from Wired At first, Yury Scherbakov thought the cracks appearing in a wall he had installed in his two-room flat were caused by shoddy workmanship. But then other walls started cracking, and then the floor started to incline. “We sat on the couch and could feel it tilt,” says his wife, Nadezhda, as they carry furniture out of the flat. Yury wasn’t a poor craftsman, and Nadezhda wasn’t crazy: One corner of their five-story building at 59 Talnakhskaya Street in the northern Russian city of Norilsk was sinking as the permafrost underneath it thawed and the foundation slowly disintegrated. In […]

Continue reading

Scientists Accidentally Discover A Process To Turn Co2 Into Fuel

from kottke Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have stumbled upon a process that uses “nanospikes” to turn carbon dioxide into ethanol, a common fuel. This process has several advantages when compared to other methods of converting CO2 into fuel. The reaction uses common materials like copper and carbon, and it converts the CO2 into ethanol, which is already widely used as a fuel. Perhaps most importantly, it works at room temperature, which means that it can be started and stopped easily and with little energy cost. This means that this conversion process could be used as temporary energy storage during a […]

Continue reading

The Economics of California’s Drought

from The Atlantic As the U.S. Northeast emerges from yet another snowstorm, California has just concluded its hottest winter ever, registering average temperatures 4.4 degrees warmer than the state’s 20th-century average. Warm temperatures and clear skies may strike a beleaguered Bostonian as the cause for celebration. But in California, the dry conditions mean that the state’s drought has only grown more devastating. How devastating? Earlier this month, the title of a Los Angeles Times op-ed published by Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a professor at UC Irvine, got right to the point:California would run out of water in […]

Continue reading