Friday, May 01, 2015

I gotta get on their mailing list

From one of my favorite tech sites

The inadvertent hilarity of the Heartland Institute vs. Pope Francis

"Each e-mail from their press office offers a mix of comedy and tragedy. .."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

From the department of While Rome Burned

Climate Change and Sustainability: A Widening or Narrowing Gap?

"Observers and students of climate change risk, on the one hand, and sustainability advocates, on the other, have been on seemingly diverging paths for the last decade. This may seem contradictory: aren’t these issues so closely related that their paths should overlap dramatically and at least run in the same direction?..."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ruddiman & Peer Review

An interesting piece by Bill Ruddiman ( Ruddiman Hypothesis ) :
"Recently I’ve read claims that some scientists are opposed to AGW but won’t speak out because they fear censure from a nearly monolithic community intent on imposing a mainstream view. Yet my last 10 years of personal experience refute this claim. This story began late in 2003 when I introduced a new idea (the ‘early anthropogenic hypothesis’) that went completely against a prevailing climatic paradigm of the time. I claimed that detectable human influences on Earth’s surface and its climate began thousands of years ago because of agriculture. Here I describe how this radically different idea was received by the mainstream scientific community... " 

Friday, April 17, 2015

What is that droning sound?

"It sounds like science fiction. Unfortunately, it’s not. Lethal autonomous weapons systems. Robot killers. They’re on the drawing board now. Their prototypes and early forms are beyond the drawing board. This week in Geneva, a big UN meeting is trying to keep the genie in the bottle. Human Rights Watch has launched its Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. But technology and strategic competition are ratcheting up. Pushing toward weapons that target and kill on their own. If it sounds like a Terminator movie, it is. This hour On Point: the rise and pushback. Killer robots."

                                     Still from the film Sleep Dealer

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Permafrost + heat = methane

A good science source re the current unthawing of the ground in the arctic is  Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE)
 "The Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE) is investigating the role of gas hydrates in arctic areas, and the effects they will have on oceans and our global climate in the future.
The research centre is located at UiT The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø, which is the northernmost university in the world."

Monday, April 13, 2015

Climate Kids

Thanks to Catherine for this one:


New on the NASA Climate Kids Web Site Check out the latest educational game from NASA’s Climate Kids—OFFSET! Take matters into your own hands and help cut back on carbon emissions. Part pong, part resource-management, and 100% retro, this game is challenging, exciting, and educational. Play it today!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

A Little Something for Extension folk

UW-Cooperative Extension has completed an assessment of climate change educational resources and training needs for extension educators. The assessment report can be downloaded from:

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Deep Thoughts

You gotta love the Moments of Wonder series:

"Scientists are split right down the middle, 90/10"

Friday, April 03, 2015

A hypothesis about the cold winter in eastern North America

"The past winter was globally the warmest on record. At the same time it set a new cold record in the subpolar North Atlantic – and it was very cold in the eastern parts of North America. Are these things related?" 

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

STEM & Earth Science

" To develop a STEM unit around paleoclimatology and its possible relation to current extreme weather events, you might like to include a number of elements...."

From the good folks at NSTA

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Our Precious Bodily Fluids *

"The 2015 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR 2015), titled Water for a Sustainable  March 20, 2015.
The WWDR 2015 demonstrates how water resources and services are essential to achieving global sustainability. Taking account of economic growth, social equity and environmental sustainability, the report’s forward-looking narrative describes how major challenges and change factors in the modern world will affect ..."

Case Studies and Indicators:

Facts & Figures:

Executive Summary:

The really short version

* Footnote to Title

From the Department of WTF

Courtesy of WikiLeaks:

New Adaptation Resource for Cascadia

Thanks to Vivianne for the heads up on this one:  

Adapting to Climate Change on the Oregon Coast: 
A Citizen’s Guide March 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Day Before Tomorrow

"The consequences of a large reduction in ocean overturning would look nothing like the Hollywood film The Day After Tomorrow. But they would not be harmless either –..." 

California Dreaming

"More water woe in California this year. The most populous state in the Union, the biggest source of American veggies and much more, is entering its fourth year of drought. Parched reservoirs all over. ..."

Monday, March 09, 2015

Resiliency Practice Resources

Thanks to Mary for the reminder on this one.

The Stockholm Resiliency Center is a great place for resources on "resiliency", as defined by them:
"Resilience is the capacity of a system, be it an individual, a forest, a city or an economy, to deal with change and continue to develop. It is about how humans and nature can use shocks and disturbances like a financial crisis or climate change to spur renewal and innovative thinking."

Applying Resiliency Thinking

A good PDF on this:

Applying It:

The Resiliency Alliance Page: 
 Where you will find (free registration necessary for downloading):

Social-ecological Inventory Workbook - Supplement to the workbook for Practitioners


Belated Happy Women's Day

Shaken the Tree

Shawano County: Annual Resiliency Workshop

News of the Weird for 03/09/2015

Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials have been ordered not to use the term “climate change” or “global warming” in any official...

A little number for the Governor of Florida...


Friday, February 20, 2015

Climate Change and the Arts


Climate Scientist Tries Arts To Stir Hearts Regarding Earth's 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

Highly recommended.

Friday, February 13, 2015

But What About Property Values?

Science Friday audio piece re likely future mega-drought

Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains 


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." 

The Risky Business business group site/report:

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...

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Anthropocene Review

New, and timely academic journal, The Anthropocene Review,
"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

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",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 intro page is
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.

    * 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."

    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)