It was, no doubt, incomprehensible for the U.S. to begin the process of pulling out of the UN Paris Climate Agreement, for all the reasons widely reported since President Donald Trump made the fateful announcement June 1st. The move undermines our reputation and relations overseas, risks weakening other countries’ commitment to the accord, and threatens
The United States, Mexico, and Canada have inked a new climate pact to produce 50% of their electricity by 2025 from clean energy sources. The clean electricity pact includes wind, solar, nuclear, and hydropower. The deal is set to be announced Wednesday at a summit of the three nations. As reported by Reuters, this agreement builds
Looks like a comment on today’s EPA carbon rule, but we do hope you’ll notice that this cartoon is seven years old. Thanks to the artist and the University of Colorado—Boulder for being ahead of their time! (Or not.)
US “clean gas” wells in operation (Irekia-Eusko Jaurlaritza in blogs.lse.ac.uk) Turns out that just about everyone (including President Obama) has been hugely underestimating the methane pollution levels of so-called “clean gas.” The booming American economy now seems to come at a greater cost than we originally thought when we found out that natural gas produces
A firefighter pauses at the $2013 Rim Fire in Yosemite National Park, August-September 2013 (Calfire photo on facebook). President Obama released the federal budget for 2015 last week. Overall, it involves the lowest deficit ($514 billion) of his five-year tenure in office and restores some funding cut in last year’s sequester. Parts of the new
Officials open the 2013 UNFCCC meetings with determination and louder warnings…. (Photo source: http://ow.ly/qL43P) It’s time for the governments of the world to struggle with climate change policy again. Every year, late in November and early in December, representatives of 195 nations gather for two weeks to try to negotiate global responses to the increasingly
New research has shown that rising sea levels could be greatly slowed if certain fast cycling pollutants are cut from the numerous emissions being pumped into the atmosphere. According to the research, published in the journal Nature Climate Change this week, cutting levels of methane, soot, refrigerants, and gases that lead to the formation of ground-level ozone,
Climate change deniers are often want to pronounce the current trends in our climate as being part of a larger cycle of warming. Despite the overwhelming lack of evidence for such a claim, it is always important to look at climate cycles to see where and how they might play a part. New research published in
Understanding the carbon cycle is a vital part of understanding how our planet will react to a continually warming planet, especially because that warming is caused by increasingly high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. One tantalisingly elusive aspect of the carbon cycle is the carbon stored deep in the Earth’s mantle. “We are
A team of scientists from Britain, Russia, Mongolia, and Switzerland have released a report which finds that evidence obtained from Siberian caves suggest that a global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius could result in permanently frozen ground end up thawing across a massive swathe of Siberia, threatening a release of carbon dioxide. Such a
Republicans don’t want taxes at all, whereas Democrats want to tax everything. It might be an oversimple explanation but it’s definitely going to be right more than it’s wrong. It’s also a good indicator of your allegiance when you hear that US Senators Barbara Boxer and Bernie Sanders have proposed a tax on carbon emissions. The
Permafrost covers almost a quarter of the northern hemisphere, and according to recent calculations contains 1,700 gigatonnes of carbon – that’s an amount twice what is currently in our atmosphere. A new report released by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) entitled ‘Policy Implications of Warming Permafrost’ warns that the release of this permafrost carbon could seriously amplify
In an attempt to determine the density of our planet’s core, scientists have attempted to simulate Earth’s formation, and found that Earth’s core contains the largest reservoir of carbon on the planet. Or should we say in the planet … I’m sorry. I’ll shut up now.
Researchers have found that previous estimates about the total mass of life on our planet have been a little too generous, having to decrease the estimate by one third. The study behind the discovery was published in the current online issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and was led by Dr. Jens
British and Australian researchers working on data collected over a ten-year period from robotic probes wandering around the Southern Ocean have discovered an important method of how carbon is drawn from the surface of the Southern Ocean to the deeper waters below. The research shows that carbon is not drawn down uniformly by the ocean
Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have recently measured levels of CO2 in the atmosphere at 400 parts per million. This is the first time in 800,000 years this has happened on planet Earth.
The global levels of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel combustion reached a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2011, only 1 Gt beneath the necessary levels required to keep global temperatures to a 2°C increase. The figures are part of the preliminary estimates provided by the International Energy Agency (IEA) released Thursday. Global
Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have concluded a study to measure levels of carbon at various levels in the Arctic Ocean, providing a baseline for further understanding. The study was recently published in the journal Biogeosciences. It provides data that will help researchers in the future as they try to better
A new study shows that tropical vegetation contains 21 percent more carbon dioxide than previous similar studies had suggested.The study produced maps of carbon storage of forest, shrub lands, and savannas in the tropics of Africa, Asia and South America. Published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the study was conducted by scientists from Woods
Human land use of the Amazon basin has begun to change the regional water and energy cycles, says a new report, which also notes that continued interaction between deforestation, fire, and climate change have the potential to drastically alter carbon storage, rainfall patterns, and river discharge on an even larger basin-wide scale. All of these
The massive levels of greenhouse gasses left in the atmosphere as a result of human burning of fossil fuels is liable to disrupt normal patterns of glaciation say scientists in a new study. If humans had not arrived and interrupted things, science tells us that the Earth’s current warm phase would have given way to
Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of drought in many of the world’s peatlands which, in turn, is liable to release far more carbon dioxide than had previously been assumed. This new discovery comes as a result of a report published in the journal Nature Geosciences by Dr Nathalie Fenner and
There have been hopes in the scientific community that as the increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere warmed the planet’s climate, the forests would grow and increase their carbon storage capacity. But new research suggests that another factor – increased litterfall – may turn about turn about any increased carbon storage.
Enacted in 1993, the Northwest Forest Plan consists of a series of federal policies and guidelines which govern the use of federal lands in the Pacific Northwest. Researchers have just concluded, however, that as a result of these same guidelines – which were initially introduced in an effort to conserve old growth forests and preserve species like the northern spotted owl – protection of the land increased carbon sequestration as well.
“The ocean is taking up less carbon because of the warming caused by the carbon in the atmosphere.”
Many studies have shown that people who live in the city help the environment by having a much smaller carbon footprint than those living in the country. However a new study shows that this is not the case, and that no matter where you live, your carbon footprint will be pretty much the same.
The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which took place some 55.9 million years ago, is the best analogue that we currently have for understanding what might happen if greenhouse gas emissions are not curtailed soon, and according to a new study, the rate of release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere today is 10 times as fast when compared to the PETM.
From our favorite climate denial de-crocker on the web, here’s another great video from him (recently updated). As he summarizes on Climate Denial Crock of the Week:
“For a lot of climate deniers, this is their penultimate argument, the master climate crock. They think it’s the stroke to end all arguments. It’s only the most outrageous and dishonest cherry pick of all time.”
UC Berkeley Researchers Jones and Kammen, working at the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) have conducted a landmark GHG emission analysis of U.S. households, and which also provides a tool for more effective consumer and governmental policy decision-making. The “tool” here is the “carbon calculator” made available for free on the Cool Climate Network website.
Chemotherapy — the therapeutic introduction of chemical toxins to cancerous tissue — can lose its effectiveness relatively quickly. Due primarily to a strongly conserved, pumping mechanism, known as cell efflux, chemo-resistant tumor cells are able to rapidly pump the anti-tumor chemicals out of the cell, rendering the chemotherapy much less effective. Pumped-out chemotoxins end up building up in extracellular tissue and sometimes killing healthy cells. This add both to the pain, and cost, of chemo.
But the key to enhancing the therapy lies in the chemistry and the geometry of simple carbon crystals known as nanodiamonds.
This year sees the beginning of a decade-long project called the Deep Carbon Observatory, which will spend the next ten years searching out everything carbon-related in our world. “Twenty years ago, the idea that there was a deep underground biosphere would have been laughed at,” said Robert Hazen, a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution
It is the fundamental structural element of all living things. It is a key component of many energy sources, and, it is a crucial player in our planet’s climate system. The natural cycling of this element — Carbon (C) — between earth, atmosphere and ocean maintains the habitable conditions that all Life depends upon. Much
On the whole, a lot of people agree that something needs to be done to stop global warming. Whether they believe it is happening or not, is sometimes not the issue; simply in case it is happening is enough to warrant action, many believe. Governments are debating what to do, NPO’s are telling them what
2005 saw the worst drought in the Amazon rainforest for over a hundred years, and was believed to be just that; a one in a hundred year event. Sadly, only five years later and another drought hit the Amazon rainforest. And scientists now believe that the 2010 drought may have been even more devastating to
With 70% of our planet covered with water, understanding the effect it has on our lives and the world around us is important, but sadly, the necessity for understanding it is also a hindrance in doing so; with so much water, it is difficult to acquire accurate and reliable measurements. Scientists have long attempted to
Here’s some of the biggest global warming and environmental politics news and commentary from the last week or so, along with some fun cartoons. Rocket Fuel in Our Water? The inspiration for the cartoon above, among other things: information that there is rocket fuel (or a component of it) in water supplies across the U.S.
Manmade climate change is not only a thing of the last hundred years, according to new research from scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL). The Roman Conquest, expansion of civilization in China, the Black Death, and the discovery of America, amongst other historical landmarks, have all had large impacts on the climate.
You wouldn’t necessarily look to Genghis Kahn as being an environmentalist, but the facts are clear, he did a lot for increasing the storage of carbon dioxide as he and his Mongol hordes decided to head out and see what was on the other side of the wall. A new study published in the online
A new study led by researchers new and old from Michigan State University has found that college students in the United States do not understand the basic science of the carbon cycle, amongst other basic scientific issues such as the conservation of matter. “Improving students’ understanding of these biological principles could make them better prepared
New research has discovered what one researcher labelled an “accounting error” in the current calculations of how much carbon is absorbed by continents. According to the new research to be published in the journal Science, the amount of greenhouse gas currently taken in by forests and other carbon sinks is less than has previously been
An international team of researchers led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has delved into understanding the self-cleaning properties of our atmosphere and found that, relatively speaking, the atmosphere has a seemingly stable capacity to rid itself of most pollutants. The study, published online in the journal Science, shows that global levels of
According to a new study the amount of dust in the planet’s atmosphere has doubled over the last century, and unsurprisingly is affecting climate and ecology around the world. Led by Natale Mahowald, an associate professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell University, the study set out to use available data combined with computer
Perhaps because I have been a Physical Chemist for more years than I care to mention, I have the idea that Physical Chemists have something important to contribute to just about any discussion about physical phenomena. I hope that I can convince you that this is in fact true in the case of global climate
Here’s a cool website I recently found out about. I’m sure you’ve probably seen carbon or ecological footprint calculators before, but a new one from Climate Action takes us one significant step further. First, like many such calculators, you input certain info regarding your electricity usage, gas usage, flying details, etc. and find out, approximately,
Spain is home to the Alta Velocidad Española train service, which operates high speed trains at up to 300 kilometres per hour on dedicated tracks throughout the country. And according to a new study published in the journal Transportation Research Record these AVE trains consume 29 percent less energy than conventional trans per passenger transported,
Carbon sequestration is one of a number of proposed solutions to minimizing the ejection of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and thus mitigating the growing climate change and warming currently taking place. However according to Stanford geophysicist Mark Zoback there is a major point being overlooked in the furthering of these proposals. Zoback believes that
A new research study to be published online in the journal Nature Geoscience have raised the question as to whether undersea methane is contributing to the rising acidification of the planet’s oceans. The research team found methane leaking from “cold seeps” in two areas of the Pacific Ocean was being taken up by oceanic microorganisms
One of the most disastrous results of climate change is the initialization of feedback loops which themselves further the impact of climate change. One of the most potentially dangerous of these are the fires which burn through the dryer parts of our planet. And according to a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience