Wednesday, December 10, 2014

As Above, So Below

NASA:  "A comprehensive, 21-year analysis of the fastest-melting region of Antarctica has found that the melt rate of glaciers there has tripled during the last decade."
Meanwhile, an article about the Arctic ice sheet and the "attack from below":

A Watts' Widget Got in the Works

"The “World Climate Widget” from Tony Watts’ blog is probably the most popular deceptive image among climate “skeptics”. We’ll take it under the microscope and show what it would look like when done properly..."
From the fine folks at RealClimate:

Go Ask Alice

An interesting article in The Economist about the heat sink function of the world's oceans.|sct

* "Curiouser and curiouser!" Alice's Adventures in Wonderland , Lewis Carroll (1865)

Monday, December 01, 2014


Hyperbole: An exaggerated statement or claim not meant to be taken literally.

"Even with a deal to stop the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions, scientists warn, the world will become increasingly unpleasant. Without a deal, they say, the world could eventually become uninhabitable for humans."

Note, that apparently the 2 degree C "guardrail is somewhere in the rear view mirror, but i digress)
Really? "uninhabitable"? That is a poor word to use when communicationg about a subject when many view the scientists as alarmists anyway. Assuming for the sake of discussion that future probable water war(s) do not become a general nuclear exchange(s), we should not underestimate our specie's abilities over the long run. Paleogeneticists tell us that the entire human population was probably knocked back to Africa and somewhere under 10,000 individuals when the last super-volcano (Tuba +- 70,000 bce) errupted. That was no cake walk folks. This will not be either, and the smart money is on around 8 degrees C by 2100 rather than the 2 degrees C  3.6 degrees C mentioned in the NYT article. All hands on deck? yes. Extinction? not likely, depending on the breaks.

And now for something completely different.
If you are a fan of post nuclear war dystopian films, have you seen the one that almost ended the career of director Richard Lester?

Better Science about El Nino?

An article about a new study of its evolution and forcing mechanisms...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A really good resource about co2 cycle and the atmosphere

Thanks to Jamie for the heads up on this one:
"NASA found a way to visualize the most important process behind global warming"

Friday, November 07, 2014

Sustainment? A Friday Rant

Since the late 1980's "Sustainable Development"  changed into "sustainability" (it seems people, even "greenies" cannot comprehend "development" without "growth"), which in tern, has noe apparently become "resiliency". Sigh.
Anyway, one of the funny things to watch over the last 20 years has been how the business world and non-profit world started using the words sustainable/sustainability instead of profitable/staying in operation, totally divorced from the biogeophysical contact.
While looking over a announcement today i noticed a new Orwellian twist (" DOD Department of Defense Maintenance and Sustainment R&D Projects Grant")
Yes dear friends, "sustainment". It is apparently de rigueur in DOD circles now as evidenced by a google search using the word shows. It apparently means maintenance & support.
As scarcity and economic disparity and privitization increase, etc. etc. i wonder how long it will be before something replaces "resiliency" for the sustainability folks (properly so called, i.e. biogeophysically grounded use of the word) finally just move to saying "survival"?

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Radio Program about the Recent IPCC Report

On Point


Andy Revkin, writer for the New York Times’ Dot Earth blog. Senior fellow at Pace University’s Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies. (@revkin)

Constantine Samaras, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. (@CostaSamaras)

Anthony Leiserowitz, research scientist and director, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. (@ecotone2)

Eileen Claussen, founder and former president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Director of the Office of Atmospheric Programs at the EPA in the George HW Bush and Ronald Reagan administrations."

Monday, November 03, 2014

The Conservative Take Away

The conservative take away from IPCC AR5 is the baseline model RCP8.5, and the projected impact. That is the "conservative" model, since it relies only on past and current observable human behavior, not some assumption of a sudden, radical change in that behavior.

So if you work on or are interested in adaptation matters, you may want to read up on the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) which is similar (except for rate, ours is much faster) RCP8.5.

AR5 of IPCC Synthesis Report

The 5th Annual Assessment Report Synthesis Report is out.

Full Synthesis Report: (116 page PDF):

Summary For Policy Makers (40 page PDF)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Has anyone life cycle assessed this yet?

Virtual grocery shopping...


Went through a tad of training/introduction to "Collective Impact" recently. It is part of what i have been doing for years, but it was nice finding out it has a name/terminology etc. :)
Some resources,

Collective Impact Forum

And, in sections on this really interesting site:

Recommended for those who play connect the dots professionally.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Environment and Food

While researching this morning, ran into this interesting publication:

 "new rapid response assessment report released by UNEP warns that up to 25% of the world’s food production may become lost due to environmental breakdown by 2050 unless action is taken. Prepared by the Rapid Response Assessment Team at GRID-Arendal and UNEP-WCMC, the report provides the first summary by the UN of how climate change, water stress, invasive pests and land degradation may impact world food security, food prices and life on the planet and how we may be able to feed the world in a more sustainable manner. The report concludes that we need to get smart and more creative about recycling food wastes and fish discards into animal feed. While major efforts have gone into increasing efficiency in the traditional energy sector, food energy efficiency has received too little attention." (2009)

The 2014 DOD Roadmap

 "...certain  types  of  weather  events  have  become  more  frequent  and/or  intense,  including  heat   waves,  heavy  downpours,  and,  in  some  regions,  floods  and  droughts. Sea  levels  are  rising,  oceans  are  becoming  more  acidic,  and  glaciers  and  arctic  sea  ice  are  melting.  Scientists  predict  that  these  changes  will  continue  and  even  increase  in  frequency  or duration  over  the  next  100  years. These  climate related  effects  are  already  being  observed  at  installations  throughout  the  U.S.  and  overseas  and  affect  many  of  the  Department’s  activities  and  decisions  related  to  future  operating  environments,  military  readiness,  stationing,  environmental  compliance  and  stewardship,  and  infrastructure  planning  and  maintenance.”

Friday, October 17, 2014

Climate Change and Health

Here is a blog post from the good folks at Real Climate regarding climate change and the healthcare sector (U.S.) and healthcare systems (everybody else).


WHO climate Change site

CDC climate change site:

Monday, October 06, 2014

A bit of news from the annual check-up....

In the news  (well in some news ....) last couple weeks.
"This latest edition of the Living Planet Report is not for the faint-hearted. One key point that jumps out is that the Living Planet Index (LPI), which measures more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, has declined by 52 per cent since 1970. ..."

Friday, October 03, 2014

Take advantage of millions of years of R & D

Need to make/design something? Ask Nature:
"AskNature is the world’s most comprehensive catalog of nature’s solutions to human design challenges. This curated online library features free information on more than 1,800 (and growing!) natural phenomena and hundreds of bio-inspired applications.
Think of AskNature as your home habitat. Whether you're a designer, architect, engineer, or chemist looking for life-friendly solutions to a design challenge or a biologist who wants to share what you know about an amazing organism, AskNature is where biology and design cross-pollinate, so bio-inspired breakthroughs can be born. "

A nice basic intro video to biomimicry from 2010

Monday, September 29, 2014

We are Still Numer One (USA! USA!)

According to new research by scientists at two British universities, China’s CO2 emissions in 2013 reached 7.2 tons per capita—topping, for the first time, the EU’s per capita emissions of 6.8 tons. Meanwhile, Americans were responsible for 16.4 tons of CO2 per capita. And India lagged far behind, at 1.9 tons per capita.

Friday, September 26, 2014

You gotta watch, i mean its got Morgan Freeman

Thanks to Chris for the heads up on this one.

Nice video that emerged from this week's New York confab:

Some very dark humor

About a House Committee that for some reason has the word science in its name:

Monday, September 15, 2014

CO2 Emissions at a 10 kilometer scale

Thanks to Dave for the heads up on this one:

"FFDAS is a data product that estimates CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel for the years 1997 to 2011 on a global, 0.1° × 0.1°, hourly grid."
Intro video:

The Site and tool:

For the Birds

Audubon State of the Birds 2014 report


Search for your bird's probable future:

Friday, September 05, 2014


The work of Zaria Forman


“For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror
which we are barely able to endure, and it amazes us so,
because it serenely disdains to destroy us.
Every angel is terrible.”

― Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Georgetown' Climate Center's 20 good ideas

"A number of state and local governments are already taking tangible actions to address their growing vulnerability to severe storms, persistent drought, worsening flooding, and devastating wildfires.  Some are also developing plans and policies to lay the foundation for building resilience.

The 20 ideas contained in this document represent a collection of planning, funding, regulatory, and investment efforts already taking place in different U.S. states and localities to prepare for and reduce the risks of climate change. These ideas offer insights and lessons for all communities to learn from and build upon in developing their own responses to a changing climate."

Georgetown Climate Center

GCC's Wisconsin Clean Energy and Climate data


Can we overcome the "big ratchet"?

"Today is the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act of 1964.  The act drew protective lines around millions of acres and their wildlife.  To mark the anniversary, humans and nature from two angles today.  One, that my guest Ruth DeFries calls the Big Rachet – the human pattern of pushing nature to its limits, paying a price, then recovering – even more dominant – with human ingenuity.  Will we do that this time?  Then nature writer Jordan Fisher Smith joins us to look at the health of our wilderness itself.  This hour On Point:  nature and the wild in a time of planetary climate change."

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

University & College Education & Sustainability

"... Net Impact publishes its ninth annual survey of social and environmental graduate school programs, called “Business As UNusual” . The title notwithstanding, it reveals that such programs have become woven into the fabric of many college and university curricula — that teaching sustainability is, indeed, business as usual on campuses these days.
That doesn’t necessarily mean these programs are equipping today’s students for tomorrow’s challenges..."

The Full Report (PDF 213 pages):

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity?

I do not agree that Americans will take up the pitchforks and attack the rich, but never the less, an interesting discussion of economic desparity in the U.S..
An important subject for sustainability, on many levels.

Pitchforks vs the plutocrats (by a plutocrat)

An On Point radio discussion prompted by the article:

Monday, August 11, 2014

What is the Extension education role re climate change?

The Role of Extension in Climate Adaptation in the United States
Report from the Land Grant Sea Grant Climate Extension Summit June 2013


Friday, August 08, 2014

He Used the F Word!

"Climatologists have spent decades politely warning that we are cooking our planet, but now one has decided to stop sugar coating it. Professor Jason Box of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland tweeted “If even a small fraction of Arctic sea floor carbon is released to the atmosphere, we're fucked.”

RE the research:

Christopher Box's blog:

Thursday, August 07, 2014

And do not forget what may be under all that disappearing ice in the Arctic/Antarctic ....

Thanks to Chris for the heads up on this one.

Or, PETM II, the sequel...
A good artical explaining why i consider the worst case climate models to be the useful, conservative ones for adaptation planning

From those famous, respected champions of neoclassical economics, the apptly named...

And, do not forget to check out the CDP

The reporting standard.

Supply Chain Management: 

General Climate Change: 



New promo for CDP supply chain measurement etc by Walmart:  

GHG Protocol Updates


Agriculture Sector guidance

Scope 3 Calculation Guidance

Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard

A nice little video on this one: 

Monday, August 04, 2014

Give Me Your Tired, Your Dry Yearning to Be Wet

The New NASA study re Western water issues in the U.S.. Must read, if in West or the Great Lakes watershed.

A related article, from 7 years ago...

Friday, August 01, 2014

Imagine: Funding for Climate Change Ed

Thanks to Mark on CLN for the heads up on this one.
Chance of even getting outta committee is probably zero. But, I guess someone in the House is smarter than their average bear.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Climate change and potential for China-India water conflict

Deem glaciers are ah melten folks 

Smart Growth Strategies for Disaster Recovery and Resilience

Thanks to Sherrie for the heads up on this one:

"How and where growth occurs, both in the short and long terms, can have a major impact on how well communities can prepare for and recover from natural disasters. But communities have not always used development planning as a strategy to become more resilient to hazards. Integrating smart growth approaches into preparedness and recovery can change this dynamic. Smart growth strategies like creating flexible land use policies, targeting public investment to catalyze private investment, and engaging the entire community in making decisions about the future can help communities recover from a disaster, rebuild according to a shared community vision, and be better prepared for the next natural disaster. "

Land Use/Agricuture GHG Estimation Tools

"America’s farm, ranch and forest managers are stewards of the land, and have long recognized the significance of managing soil health, plant productivity and animal nutrition. Conservation practices and other management changes can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase carbon storage while improving soil health, crop or livestock productivity, and resilience to drought and other extreme weather. This report lays out methods for estimating changes in GHG emissions and carbon storage at a local scale. The methods in the report will be used to develop user-friendly tools for farmers, ranchers, forest landowners and other USDA stakeholders to help them evaluate the GHG benefits of a wide variety of management practices."

Financial Recovery Resources

"Be prepared before a disaster strikes your community or small business.
As part of a series of focus groups and meetings with consumers and small business owners, the Kansas City Fed has developed an array of materials to help you be prepared before and after a disaster.
Check out our disaster preparedness and recovery financial forms, checklists and resources ..."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

California and desalination: Blue Economy?

"Since the 1970s, California has dipped its toe into ocean desalination --talking, planning, debating. But for a variety of reasons -- mainly cost and environmental concerns-- the state has never taken the plunge.
Until now...."


Interesting posibilities.

The process in VERY energy intensive. Can California do this on a large enough scale, to meet their own future water needs?
Having the toughest GHG policy, Can they also apply the state's technology clusters to improve desalanation tehc, water conservation, low water design across all sectors? Can they thereby create a water export market to the parched southwest?

In an optimistic scenario, Will folks where i live, late this century, be buying California's future low water use design tech to reduce the stress on the great lakes?


Thursday, July 17, 2014

What is Sustainability

Perfect for Short Antention Span Theatre, a 4 minute video:

Done by tese folks, including other videos @

Monday, July 07, 2014


"Global average temperatures will rise at least 4°C by 2100 and potentially more than 8°C by 2200 if carbon dioxide emissions are not reduced according to new research published in Nature that shows our climate is more sensitive to carbon dioxide than most previous estimates."
News report:
The Nature Article