Friday, February 20, 2015

Climate Change and the Arts

  








Climate Scientist Tries Arts To Stir Hearts Regarding Earth's Fate
http://www.npr.org/2015/02/16/386064582/climate-scientist-tries-arts-to-stir-hearts-regarding-earths-fate

A Friday post.

Cli-Fi is  "climate fiction" a relatively new (though it actually extends back to the mid-20th century) sub-genre of science fiction or other speculative fiction. It is manifesting in literature, film and TV.

An interesting, well acted little film i saw on Netflix recently called Young Ones ( trailer) is rather clever. Essentially it is a western/revenge/family type drama set in the rural southwestern or southern great Plains state a few decades from now.

It would actually be a good choice for another very good cli-fi plus film, Sleep Dealer, ( trailer ).

A couple of the best books I have read in the genre.

Solar by Ian McEwan (2010)

"It is a satire about a jaded Nobel-winning physicist whose dysfunctional personal life and cynical ambition see him pursuing a solar-energy based solution for climate change."

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood a trilogy, with the 3rd and titled volume published in 2013.
Atwood's 3 volume tour de force, adorned in dark humor, of a future based on the outcomes intentional and unintended, from the final ascendancy of neoliberal thought and climate change denial.
The humor? How about Project Bearlift? The energy corporations, that, in the book's "past" where drilling for oil and gas in the newly de-iced arctic. The same companies had funded transport for Bearlift, a program that air drops food waste collected by consumers and school children for starving polar bears.
The three books, in order to be read:
Oryx & Crake
Year of the Flood
Maddaddam

Highly recommended.

Friday, February 13, 2015

But What About Property Values?
















Science Friday audio piece re likely future mega-drought
 http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/02/13/2015/are-decades-long-megadroughts-on-the-horizon.html

Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains
 http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/1/e1400082 

"Abstract

In the Southwest and Central Plains of Western North America, climate change is expected to increase drought severity in the coming decades. These regions nevertheless experienced extended Medieval-era droughts that were more persistent than any historical event, providing crucial targets in the paleoclimate record for benchmarking the severity of future drought risks. We use an empirical drought reconstruction and three soil moisture metrics from 17 state-of-the-art general circulation models to show that these models project significantly drier conditions in the later half of the 21st century compared to the 20th century and earlier paleoclimatic intervals. This desiccation is consistent across most of the models and moisture balance variables, indicating a coherent and robust drying response to warming despite the diversity of models and metrics analyzed. Notably, future drought risk will likely exceed even the driest centuries of the Medieval Climate Anomaly (1100–1300 CE) in both moderate (RCP 4.5) and high (RCP 8.5) future emissions scenarios, leading to unprecedented drought conditions during the last millennium"

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Extreme Weather and Economies

 On Point:
"Winter storms, now costing the economy billions. Summer storms, too. And spring. And fall. And drought. We’ll look at the economics of extreme weather."
http://onpoint.wbur.org/2015/02/12/extreme-weather-snow-hurricanes-boston 

The Risky Business business group site/report:
 http://riskybusiness.org/
 


Friday, January 23, 2015

Its a Wrap


How was 2014 temperature etc. -wise, relatively speaking?
An informative piece on that and trends from the good folks at RealClimate...
 http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/01/thoughts-on-2014-and-ongoing-temperature-trends/



Friday, January 16, 2015

The Anthropocene Review

New, and timely academic journal, The Anthropocene Review, http://anr.sagepub.com/
"The Anthropocene Review is a trans-disciplinary journal issued 3 times per year, bringing together peer-reviewed articles on all aspects of research pertaining to the Anthropocene, from earth and environmental sciences, social sciences, material sciences, and humanities."

"As If I Didn't Know My Own Bed....*"


Planetary dashboard shows “Great Acceleration” in human activity since 1950

Marine defaunation: Animal loss in the global ocean

Humanity has exceeded 4 of 9 'planetary boundaries'


 * Its Friday, and no coffee, yet
"She comes back to tell me she’s gone
As if I didn’t know that
As if I didn’t know my own bed
As if I’d never notice
The way she brushed her hair from
Her forehead..." Paul Simon

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvliMzAFWHM

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Humor is a good thing

"New Climate Change Study Just 400 Pages Of Scientists Telling Americans To Read Previous Climate Change Studies"
http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-climate-change-study-just-400-pages-of-scienti,37761/

Glen Gerberg Weather and Climate Summit 2015

Thanks to the CLN folks for the heads up on this one.

The 2015 Glen Gerberg Weather and Climate Summit
http://www.stormcenter.com/wxcsummit/agenda.html intro page is http://www.stormcenter.com/wxcsummit/
Is live right now, streaming, and archived.

"Goal of Summit Participants
  • To learn about advanced technologies that can help improve weather forecasting and warning dissemination;
  • To understand the latest on the state of the climate and climate science research;
  • To better understand how extreme weather and climate change may impact their viewers;
  • Foster improved relationships with the speakers, scientists and subject matter experts.
  • For years, Summit participants have raved about the quality of the speakers and the benefits that come out of a week-long intimate gathering of professionals. "

    Good stuff folks. Suggest anyone involved in adaptation education/work tune in.

    Friday, January 02, 2015

    Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan fail to pass the Gom Jabbar test*


    On December 20th, a Federal Court re-listed the Gray Wolf as an endangered species. Good. The politicians and hunters in these three states were apparently unable to control their instinctive feelings about this competitor on the ancestral landscape.

    http://www.endangeredspecieslawandpolicy.com/files/2014/12/Humane-Soc_y-of-the-United-States-v.-Jewell_-2014-U.S.-Dist.-LEXIS-17524....pdf

    * For many of the folks i know, the wolf is kind of like the Gom Jabbar test.

    Monday, December 22, 2014

    Well, at least it won one news category


    "what stuck with readers were the claims that flat-out denied climate change science. The statement "Climate change is a hoax" won PolitiFact’s annual Readers' Poll for Lie of the Year with 31.8 percent of the vote."
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2014/dec/17/climate-change-year-fact-checking/

    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."
    http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2197/
    Meanwhile, an article about the Arctic ice sheet and the "attack from below":
    http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2188/

    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:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/12/the-most-popular-deceptive-climate-graph/

    Go Ask Alice

    An interesting article in The Economist about the heat sink function of the world's oceans.
    http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21613161-mystery-pause-global-warming-may-have-been-solved-answer-seems?fsrc=rss|sct

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

    Monday, December 01, 2014

    Hyperbole

    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."
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/01/world/climate-talks.html?emc=edit_th_20141201&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=57930525

    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...
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/11/a-clearer-picture-how-climate-change-affects-el-nino/

    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"
    http://www.vox.com/2014/11/19/7246067/nasa-animation-carbon-dioxide

    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 Grants.gov 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
    npoint.wbur.org/2014/11/06/climate-change-ipcc-united-nations-global-warming

    "Guests

    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):
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/SYR_AR5_LONGERREPORT.pdf

    Summary For Policy Makers (40 page PDF)
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/SYR_AR5_SPM.pdf

    Thursday, October 30, 2014

    Has anyone life cycle assessed this yet?

    Virtual grocery shopping...
    http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/10/27/instacart-peapod-grocery-shopping

    Collaboration

    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
    http://www.collectiveimpactforum.org/

    And, in sections on this really interesting site:
    http://www.setoolbelt.org/

    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:

    http://www.grida.no/publications/rr/food-crisis/

     "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.”

    http://www.acq.osd.mil/ie/download/CCARprint.pdf

    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).
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/10/new-developments-climate-services-for-health/

    btw:

    WHO climate Change sitehttp://www.who.int/topics/climate/en/

    CDC climate change site: http://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/

    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. ..."
    http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_report/

    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. "

    http://www.asknature.org/

    A nice basic intro video to biomimicry from 2010
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVHtAjQoWmg

    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.
    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-09-22/china-beats-europe-on-emitting-more-greenhouse-gases

    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:
    http://www.takepart.com/video/2014/09/17/whats-possible-un-climate-summit-opening-film?cmpid=longtailshare

    Some very dark humor

    About a House Committee that for some reason has the word science in its name:
    http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/8q3nmm/burn-noticed

    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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyceJesID88

    The Site and tool:
    http://hpcg.purdue.edu/FFDAS/

    For the Birds


    Audubon State of the Birds 2014 report
    http://climate.audubon.org/

    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN2-a82_3mg

    Search for your bird's probable future:
    http://climate.audubon.org/geographical-search

    Friday, September 05, 2014

    Beauty


    The work of Zaria Forman
    http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/09/05/beautiful-landscapes-of-our-melting-world/

    and

    http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2014/01/zaria-forman-pastel-icebergs/

    “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."
    http://www.georgetownclimate.org/sites/www.georgetownclimate.org/files/GCC-20%20Good%20Ideas-July%202014.pdf

    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."
    http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/09/03/wilderness-act-fifty-years-nature

    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..."
    http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/09/02/are-we-giving-business-students-skills-they-need?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRojvqzMZKXonjHpfsX56%2BUsUaa0lMI%2F0ER3fOvrPUfGjI4FRMRnI%2BSLDwEYGJlv6SgFSLHEMa5qw7gMXRQ%3D

    The Full Report (PDF 213 pages):
    https://netimpact.org/sites/default/files/documents/business-as-unusual-2014.pdf?src=main

    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)
    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014_full.html#.U_yXG2PG-ZM

    An On Point radio discussion prompted by the article:
    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014_full.html#.U_yXG2PG-ZM

    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