March for Science

Put April 22 in your book!  If you took part in the Women’s March on Washington there or in any of the 673 sister marches around the planet, then you know the excitement, the camaraderie, the common purpose.  If you’ve been to the airports to support those caught in the web of xenophobia incarnate now in the Trump Administration, you understand the importance of being there, of making a statement with your presence, your voice.  If you’ve been involved with constituent meetings to tell your elected representatives that you won’t stand for democracy and the social compact being torn apart by the bestiality of the morally bankrupt in power, then you are well and truly in tune with hundreds of millions of your sisters and brothers around the world.  And, if you haven’t yet experienced the empowering, life-affirming coming together of people to express their common humanity and innate sanity, then here’s a great opportunity. Continue reading

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PB_FIG33_upgraded_mediaBLANK_11jan2015The Stockholm Resilience Centre has a paper in Science that updates their work on planetary boundaries.  “The planetary boundaries framework defines a safe operating space for humanity based on the intrinsic biophysical processes that regulate the stability of the Earth System.”  Of the nine planetary boundaries, the scientists reckon that four have now been crossed.  Does this mean we’re dead?  Not necessarily.  The lead author, Will Steffen, says “Transgressing a boundary increases the risk that human activities could inadvertently drive the Earth System into a much less hospitable state,…”  We’ve heightened the risk.  There’s quite a bit more here on the updated findings. Continue reading

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Climate Risk, Building Resilience

World Bank adaptation report2Haiyan, Sandy, Katrina.  By now, we should have gotten the message.  Some have, but not enough of us.  Yet.

The IPCC got it.  Years ago.  And one of their many important contributions has been to focus our attention on the need for adaptation to the worsening impacts of climate change.  I wrote about their comprehensive Special Report for Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) here two years ago. Continue reading

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Summary for Policymakers – The Physical Science

ipcc_altlogo_full_rgbIn September, the IPCC kicked off its cycle for the Fifth Assessment Report with the release of its look at the physical science, aka the Working Group I report.  I just wanted to bring to your attention the fact that they’ve now issued the finalized Summary for Policymakers (SPM) with all of its graphics.  This had been held up in the pipeline as final edits and review were performed.  It is a document well worth reading.  In fact, if you want to have the most thorough and, at the same, most easily readable overview of what the scientists have been seeing, then this is what you should read.  You can find the SPM here. Continue reading

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Ocean Impacts – IPCC Fifth Assessment Report

IPCCAR5oceanacidificationgraphThe first part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) has been out for a couple of weeks.  Looking at the physical science, AR5 covers the full range of how greenhouse gases are changing the face of our planet.

One area that is getting more attention this time around is the ocean.  As you can see here, for instance, as carbon Continue reading

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New IPCC Assessment Report Kicks Off

ar5 wg1The Fifth Assessment Report – AR5 for short – kicked off this morning in Stockholm.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, held a press conference to announce the findings of the first working group (WG1) on “The Physical Science Basis.”  (The rest of the AR5 will roll out in three more reports culminating in the Synthesis Report in October of next year.)

The lead in the press release today is “Human influence on the climate system is clear.”  That’s for those who have been living in another solar system for the past ten years.  For the rest of us, the report underlines a lot of what we already have learned.  It is a herculean task for the 259 authors Continue reading

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wmo reportThe World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has issued a report, “2001-2010, A Decade of Climate Extremes,” that underscores, if we needed it, how late in the day it has become.

“WMO’s report shows that global warming was significant from 1971 to 2010 and that the decadal rate of increase between 1991-2000 and 2001-2010 was unprecedented. Rising concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases are changing our climate, with far reaching implications for our environment and our oceans, which are absorbing both carbon dioxide and heat.”  That statement, from WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud in the press release, couldn’t say it better. Continue reading

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