John Oliver shows a fairer representation of both sides: 97 scientists versus three climate change deniers.
Development and climate change are creating the perfect conditions for widely destructive infernos.
There are, at the moment, nearly 200,000 glaciers on Earth. They have a volume of nearly 106,000 miles cubed, and cover an area of about 453,000 miles squared. This means they cover an area roughly equivalent to that of Germany, Poland, and Switzerland combined.
We know this in large part because of satellite data. But we know it more specifically because of a new survey, just published by an international collection of scientists in the Journal of Glaciology, that uses sent-from-space data to provide a comprehensive view of the world’s glaciers. The new inventory is based on information compiled by the Randolph Glacier Inventory in New Hampshire. It’s the first statistical analysis of the world’s glacier distribution.
Read more. [Image Shutterstock/abonjoch]
The deadly avalanche on Everest earlier this month wasn’t technically an avalanche. It was an “ice release”—a collapse of a glacial mass known as a serac. Rather than getting swept up by a rush of powdery snow across a slope, the victims fell under the blunt force of house-sized ice blocks tumbling through the Khumbu Icefall, an unavoidable obstacle on the most popular route up Everest. The worst accident in the mountain’s history has effectively ended the 2014 climbing season. And some see global warming as the key culprit.
"I am at Everest Basecamp right now and things are dire because of climate change,” John All, a climber, scientist, and professor of geography at Western Kentucky University, told me by email. “The ice is melting at unprecedented rates and [that] greatly increases the risk to climbers.”
"You could say [that] climate change closed Mt. Everest this year,” he added.
The United Nations’ latest report on climate change contains plenty of dire warnings about the adverse impact “human interference with the climate system” is having on everything from sea levels to crop yields to violent conflicts. But the primary message of the study isn’t, as John Kerry suggested on Sunday, for countries to collectively reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Instead, the subtext appears to be this: Climate change is happening and will continue to happen for the foreseeable future. As a result, we need to adapt to a warming planet—to minimize the risks and maximize the benefits associated with increasing temperatures—rather than focusing solely on curbing warming in the first place. And it’s businesses and local governments, rather than the international community, that can lead the way.
“The really big breakthrough in this report is the new idea of thinking about managing climate change,” Chris Field, the co-chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) study, said this week, adding that governments, companies, and communities are already experimenting with “climate-change adaptation.”
Read more. [Image: Carlos Barria/Reuters]
A recent decline in the rate of increased worldwide temperatures is masking the brow-sweating temperatures of the future.
The warming climate is predicted to bring punishing rainstorms.
One of the warmest Winter Olympics in history is getting warmer.
Temperatures reached the low-60s today in Sochi, and they’re expected to stay there on Thursday and Friday. For some perspective, the weather in the coastal resort is now roughly as warm as it was during certain days of London’s Summer Games in 2012. According to Forecast.io, the average temperature for the Sochi Olympics so far has been45 degrees Fahrenheit,three degrees lower than the average during the previous Warmest Winter Olympics Ever: the 2010 Vancouver Games. But Sochi’s highs have been higher than Vancouver’s. And Vancouver’s daily average never rose above 50 degrees, while Sochi’s has surpassed that level several times.
Read more. [Image: Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk]
"Scientists have known for a while that the warming atmosphere is changing the global food chain, and that these alterations can starve seabirds. But a team of researchers that has been monitoring penguins since the 1980s alleges that more extreme weather is directly responsible for killing these birds, mainly through abnormal heat and powerful rainstorms. These worsening environmental stresses can decimate as much as half of a penguin-chick population in a year, they say in a new study in PLOS ONE.”
[Image: Dee Boersma/University of Washington]
It’s amazing what we can do when everybody works together.
Read more. [Image: NOAA]