The Global Warming Debate

Facebook Twitter

Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong by William D. Nordhaus. The threat of climate change is an increasingly important environmental issue for the globe. Because the economic questions involved have received relatively little attention, I have been writing a nontechnical book for people who would like to see how market-based approaches could be used to formulate policy on climate change. When I showed an early draft to colleagues, their response was that I had left out the arguments of skeptics about climate change, and I accordingly addressed this at length. But one of the difficulties I found in examining the views of climate skeptics is that they are scattered widely in blogs, talks, and pamphlets. Greenland Research Station Reveals Past and Future of Climate Change Impacts.

Second in a three-part series.

Greenland Research Station Reveals Past and Future of Climate Change Impacts

SUMMIT STATION, Greenland -- At first glance, this research station on the highest point of Greenland's vast ice sheet doesn't look like much. A scattering of trailers perch on stilts high above the snow, with a neat grid of small yellow tents off to one side. There's a tall metal tower, a few outhouses. A pile of fuel bladders stands in stark contrast next to the carefully groomed ice runway. But this nondescript outpost is a magnet for scientists trying to answer some very big questions. Columbus Blamed For Little Ice Age. MINNEAPOLIS — By sailing to the New World, Christopher Columbus and other explorers who followed him may have set off a chain of events that cooled Europe’s climate.

Columbus Blamed For Little Ice Age

The European conquest of the Americas decimated the people living there, leaving large areas of cleared land untended. Trees that filled in this territory pulled billions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, Stanford University geochemist Richard Nevle reported October 11 at the Geological Society of America annual meeting.

Such carbon dioxide removal could have diminished the heat-trapping capacity of the atmosphere and cooled the climate, Nevil and his colleagues have previously reported. Reign Check: Abundant Rainfall May Have Spurred Expansion of Genghis Khan's Empire. The Mongol hordes led by Genghis Khan carved out the largest contiguous land empire history has ever witnessed, reaching at its apex from Asia's Pacific coast to eastern Europe and down into Persia and southeastern Asia.

Reign Check: Abundant Rainfall May Have Spurred Expansion of Genghis Khan's Empire

Although conventional wisdom suggests drought may have pushed them across the steppe to conquer more bountiful lands, ancient, long-dead trees discovered in a forbidding lava field in Mongolia give evidence that unprecedented rains might actually have helped fuel their expansion. The Mongols took the Old World by storm in the 13th century.

Their invasions and expansion are often attributed to the unstable climate they experienced on the steppes, "with them preying on others because they did not have a constant set of resources," says geographer Amy Hessl at West Virginia University. "Now, we agree they experienced a variable climate. Farmers May Have Kicked Off Local Climate Change 3,500 Years Ago. Humans may have been causing climate change for much longer than we’ve been burning fossil fuels.

Farmers May Have Kicked Off Local Climate Change 3,500 Years Ago

In fact, the agrarian revolution may have started human-induced climate changes long before the industrial revolution began to sully the skies. How? Through the clearing of forests, which still remains the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. Iron-rich dust fuelled 4 million years of ice ages - environment - 03 August 2011. DUST is all that's needed to plunge the world into an ice age.

Iron-rich dust fuelled 4 million years of ice ages - environment - 03 August 2011

When blown into the sea, the iron it contains can fertilise plankton growth on a scale large enough to cause global temperatures to drop. The finding adds support to the idea of staving off climate change by simulating the effects of dust - perhaps by sprinkling the oceans with iron filings. Iron-rich dust falling on the ocean has long been known to spark blooms of plankton, and researchers suspect the process could have intensified the ice ages that have occurred over the past few million years. Can Fracking and Carbon Sequestration Co-Exist? Natural gas production and carbon sequestration may be headed for an underground collision course.

Can Fracking and Carbon Sequestration Co-Exist?

That is the message from a new study finding that many of the same shale rock formations where companies want to extract gas also happen to sit above optimal sites envisioned for storing carbon dioxide underground that is captured from power plants and industrial facilities. The problem with this overlap, the researchers found, is that shale-gas extraction involves fracturing rock that could be needed as an impenetrable cover to hold CO2 underground permanently and prevent it from leaking back into the atmosphere. "Shale gas production through hydraulic fracturing can compromise future use of the shale as a caprock formation in a CO2 storage operation," said Michael Celia, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Princeton University and a co-author of the study. Malcolm Bull reviews ‘A Perfect Moral Storm’ by Stephen Gardiner · LRB 24 May 2012. For the benefit of anyone who has spent the past decade or so on a different planet, the most frequently asked questions about climate change on this one are as follows.

Malcolm Bull reviews ‘A Perfect Moral Storm’ by Stephen Gardiner · LRB 24 May 2012

Is it getting warmer? Yes, surface temperatures have risen by 0.8°C from pre-industrial levels. Climate Skepticism Not Rooted In Science Illiteracy. People who strongly resist data indicating that human-induced climate change could spell catastrophe aren’t ignorant about science or numerical reasoning.

Climate Skepticism Not Rooted In Science Illiteracy

Quite the opposite, a new study finds: High science literacy actually boosts the likelihood that certain people will challenge what constitutes credible climate science. Who will be receptive to climate science, the study found, depends more on cultural factors such as attitudes toward commerce, government regulation and individualism than on scientific literacy. “Simply improving the clarity of scientific information will not dispel public conflict” over climate, the study’s authors conclude online May 27 in Nature Climate Change. The Battle Over Climate Science. There's no police tape across Michael Mann's office doorway this morning.

The Battle Over Climate Science

"Always a good start," he says, juggling a cup of coffee as he slides his key into the lock. Mann, a paleoclimatologist, wears a sport coat over a turtleneck. As he takes a seat at his desk, a narrow sunbeam angles through the window, spotlighting a jumble of books, journals and correspondence. Behind him, a framed picture of his six-year-old daughter rests near a certificate for the Nobel Peace Prize he shared in 2007. Is Earth Nearing an Environmental "Tipping Point"? Human activities are pushing Earth toward a "tipping point" that could cause sudden, irreversible changes in relatively stable conditions that have allowed civilization to flourish, a new study warns.

Is Earth Nearing an Environmental "Tipping Point"?

There are signs that a toxic brew of climate change, habitat loss and population growth is dramatically reshaping life on Earth, an international team of researchers reported yesterday in the journal Nature. Those pressures are greater than the natural forces that caused the end of the last ice age roughly 11,700 years ago, a time when half the planet's large mammal species went extinct and humans migrated out of Africa.

"We are doing enough to cause one of these tipping points," said lead author Anthony Barnosky, a paleobiologist at the University of California, Berkeley. "The question now is, how close are we? Is it inevitable? The Climate Extremists - Bjørn Lomborg. Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space COPENHAGEN – Extreme weather is often said to be one of the main reasons for taking firm action on global warming. - Global warming info you deserve to hear. Not Too Hot to Handle - By Charles Kenny. It's a great time to be depressed about the fate of the planet. The last United Nations confab on climate change, a November meeting in Durban, South Africa, suggested we're unlikely to see any new deal on greenhouse gasses having an impact before 2020.

And it was over less than a day before Canada withdrew from what is the only current legally binding treaty on climate change -- the Kyoto Protocol, which expires at the end of this year. The United States never signed up for Kyoto in the first place, of course -- and Barack Obama's administration has hardly been leading the charge for a replacement. The Authoritarian Impulse and Climate Change « NoFrakkingConsensus. March 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm Remember that old adage – The road to hell is paved with good intentions? I wish there was a short YouTube video that made this point clearly, persuasively, and humorously.

NoFrakkingConsensus. When to Doubt a Scientific ‘Consensus’ A December 18 Washington Post poll, released on the final day of the ill-fated Copenhagen climate summit, reported “four in ten Americans now saying that they place little or no trust in what scientists have to say about the environment.” Nor is the poll an outlier. Several recent polls have found “climate change” skepticism rising faster than sea levels on Planet Algore (not to be confused with Planet Earth, where sea levels remain relatively stable). The Emperor’s New Climate-Change Agreement - Bjørn Lomborg. Hot Air: The EU's Emissions Trading System Isn't Working - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International. "Carbon Emissions’ Friendly Skies" by José Maria Figueres. Will the EU ground its flying carbon tax? India Balks at Greenhouse Gas Emission Cuts.

The Climate Threat We Can Beat. A Tour of the New Geopolitics of Global Warming. Climate politics: hockey-stick to hamster-wheel. "Green Unilateralism" by Simon Zadek. "The High Stakes of Rio+20" by Achim Steiner. "When Democracies Collide" by Volker Perthes. Mexico puts climate change action into law - environment - 25 April 2012. "The Particle-Emissions Dilemma" by Henning Rodhe.

Beijing Emission Cuts May Underestimate Use of Coal.