December 2012

Watch this December 1, 2012 : 4:47 PM

Another great video from @ClimateReality:

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How Much Is the Ice Melting? December 5, 2012 : 5:34 PM

Researchers answer the question:

“The vast ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica have begun melting and sliding into the ocean as heat-trapping greenhouse gases continue to build in the atmosphere. How much and how fast the ice is disappearing, however, has been poorly understood, because the satellites that measure it haven’t always agreed. But a report published Thursday in Science has cleared up much of the uncertainty.”

“A team of no fewer than 47 scientists from 36 laboratories, looking at data from 10 different satellites, has come up with numbers everyone is on board with: between 1992 and 2011, Greenland has lost an average of 152 billion metric tons of ice per year, while Antarctica has shed 71 billion, contributing 11 millimeters to the rise in sea level over that period — about a fifth of the total (the rest has come from from seawater expanding as it warms and from melting mountain glaciers).”

“The new estimates,” lead author Andrew Shepherd, of the University of Leeds, said in a press conference, “are the most reliable to date. They end 20 years of uncertainty.”

Source: Climate Central

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Too Much CO2 December 7, 2012 : 4:41 PM

Too much CO2 has a negative effect on plants:

“Here is a thing dumb people say about carbon dioxide pollution:”

“lol carbon dioxide isn’t bad for you I totally exhale it and stuff. Also, plants need it to eat I read somewhere, and I hypocritically rely on that bit of science as a counterpoint to your asking that I stop burning tires in my toilet.”

“Here is something you can say in response to such people, if you want to keep talking to them, which you should not: Too much carbon dioxide is bad for plants, too.”

“From the Max Planck Institute:”

“[T]he more carbon dioxide the better? The equation is unfortunately not as simple as that. The plants, which ensure our basic food supply today, have not been bred for vertical growth but for short stalks and high grain yields. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology and the University of Potsdam have now discovered that an increase in carbon dioxide levels could cancel out the beneficial effects of dwarf varieties.”

Source: Grist

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Climate Tracker December 8, 2012 : 2:43 PM

Countries around the world are not doing enough to combat the climate crisis:

“Major nations' policies are inadequate to limit global warming and the United States is off track even in carrying out its weak pledge to limit greenhouse gas emissions, a scientific scorecard showed on Friday.”

“The Climate Action Tracker report, issued on the sidelines of talks among almost 200 countries in Doha about climate change, said a toughening of policies was still possible to avert damaging floods, heat waves and rising seas.”

“Major emitters China, the United States, the European Union and Russia all got "inadequate" ratings for their plans to help limit global warming to an agreed U.N. ceiling of below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6F) above pre-industrial times, it said.”

Source: Reuters

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Meet the climate denial machine December 9, 2012 : 12:16 PM

A new report from Media Matters looks at climate deniers still appearing in the media:

“Despite the overwhelming consensus among climate experts that human activity is contributing to rising global temperatures, 66 percent of Americans incorrectly believe there is "a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is happening."

"The conservative media has fueled this confusion by distorting scientific research, hyping faux-scandals, and giving voice to groups funded by industries that have a financial interest in blocking action on climate change. Meanwhile, mainstream media outlets have shied away from the "controversy" over climate change and have failed to press U.S. policymakers on how they will address this global threat. When climate change is discussed, mainstream outlets sometimes strive for a false balance that elevates marginal voices and enables them to sow doubt about the science even in the face of mounting evidence.”

“Here, Media Matters looks at how conservative media outlets give industry-funded "experts" a platform, creating a polarized misunderstanding of climate science.”

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Three Simple Things December 10, 2012 : 5:12 PM

Climate Reality Project CEO Maggie Fox on three simple things you can do right now to stop the climate crisis:

1. Get the facts, feel empowered and make small changes. The more information you have, the better decisions you can make. “Learn more about the reality of climate change and how we can solve it,” explains Maggie. For example, did you know that for every 10 minutes your engine is off, you’ll prevent one pound of carbon dioxide (the primary contributor to global warming) from being released into the atmosphere? Now you know, so when you carpool you’ll think twice about leaving your engine idling to spew soot into the atmosphere. Just shut off the engine if you’re waiting more than 10 seconds. Contrary to popular belief, restarting your car does not burn more fuel than leaving it idling. In fact, idling for just 10 seconds wastes more gas than restarting the engine.

2. Inspire others. You not only teach valuable lessons to your kids by speaking about different issues, but your behavior influences them directly. You also have the power to inspire your friends and family members to make small changes to reduce pollution and carbon emissions. In turn, they can influence others. This starts a bigger shift in the behavior of your community. If you are feeling particularly inspired, go speak at your school or church about the changes you have made to show others how smoke it can be. “Use your voice — and demand action from our leaders to work toward meaningful solutions,” says Maggie.

3. Start at home. Seal off your windows and doors to avoid energy leaks. Install a thermostat and program it so it adjusts the temperature when you are not home. You will not only save money but will also reduce carbon emissions. And who doesn’t want more money in their pocket? Jeff Deyette, senior energy analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Clean Energy program and author of the science-based guide Cooler Smarter, explained during the 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report broadcast that the average American family can save over $180 a year with these simple changes. The changes you make can also help support businesses that care about the environment. “You will make a real impact by using your purchasing power as an intelligent, informed consumer, and rewarding companies that reduce their impact on our climate…” explains Maggie.

Source: Moms Clean Air Force

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Skiing December 12, 2012 : 8:55 PM

The climate crisis could decimate the skiing industry:

“A new study says a warming climate could cost the country's winter tourism industry as much as $2 billion a season as snowpack dwindles.”

“The report by Protect Our Winters and the Natural Resources Defense Council — dubbed "Winter Tourism in Peril" and released Thursday as Colorado endures a dry start to the ski season — says the country's $12.2 billion ski-and-snowmobile industry is waning as warmer temperatures melt snow and revenues.”

“The analysis — authored by a pair of doctoral students from the University of New Hampshire — concludes that rising winter temperatures since 1970 are threatening winter tourism in 38 states. The report said the difference between a good snow year and a bad snow year from 1999 to 2010 cost the industry between $810 million and $1.9 billion; 13,000 to 27,000 jobs; and 15 million skier visits.”

Interested in learning more about the link between the climate crisis and the ski industry? Visit the Climate Reality Project's "I Am Pro Snow" campaign to watch a clip from Warren Miller's latest film, Flow State: http://climaterealityproject.org/pro-snow/

Source: Denver Post

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Forecasting Denial December 16, 2012 : 8:22 AM

A great piece on weathermen and climate denial in Rolling Stone:

“It's been a busy year for TV weathercasters: July was the hottest month ever recorded in the United States, unprecedented wildfires scorched the West, the worst drought in 50 years parched two-thirds of the county. Then, in October, Hurricane Sandy slammed into New York and New Jersey. Yet the cause of much of the meteorological mayhem – global warming – was rarely mentioned on air. The reason: There's a shockingly high chance that your friendly TV weatherman is a full-blown climate denier.”

Read the entire article by clicking here.

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The Drying Up of the Colorado River? December 17, 2012 : 4:45 PM

Another consequence of the climate crisis:

"According to a new study from the federal Bureau of Reclamation, the Colorado River won't fare well over the next 50 years. Climate change, drought, and population growth all add up to far greater demand for water than the river will be able to supply by 2060."

"A large portion of the American West, especially its cities, rely on the Colorado. Almost 40 million residents of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming depend entirely on the river's water."

Source: Grist

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Bipartisan Action December 19, 2012 : 11:42 AM

Local Florida lawmakers demonstrate action to confront the climate crisis can transcend partisan lines:

"Unlike Congress, these public officials aren't debating the facts of climate change and its impacts or whether we should act. They see current effects and understand that in the face of streets flooding more regularly, drinking water supplies threatened by salinization, and models showing that some neighborhoods could become uninhabitable, what political party you support is irrelevant. Climate change impacts like sea level rise don¹t discriminate between Democrats and Republicans."

"As Congress continues to fail to address climate change at the national level, local officials from Florida's Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties representing a combined population of 5.6 million established the four-county Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact and recently completed a 110-point regional action plan. They have developed mitigation and adaptation strategies through joint efforts, which can inform policy-making and government funding at the state and federal levels."

Source: Climate Progress

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Bipartisan Action December 20, 2012 : 8:58 PM

Local Florida lawmakers demonstrate action to confront the climate crisis can transcend partisan lines:

"Unlike Congress, these public officials aren't debating the facts of climate change and its impacts or whether we should act. They see current effects and understand that in the face of streets flooding more regularly, drinking water supplies threatened by salinization, and models showing that some neighborhoods could become uninhabitable, what political party you support is irrelevant. Climate change impacts like sea level rise don't discriminate between Democrats and Republicans."

"As Congress continues to fail to address climate change at the national level, local officials from Florida¹s Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties‹representing a combined population of 5.6 million‹established the four-county Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact and recently completed a 110-point regional action plan. They have developed mitigation and adaptation strategies through joint efforts, which can inform policy-making and government funding at the state and federal levels."

Source: Climate Progress

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The Drought Continues December 21, 2012 : 5:09 PM

Reuters reports:

"Drought continued to expand through many key farming states within the central United States in the past week, as scattered rainfall failed to replenish parched soils, according to a report issued Thursday by state and federal climatology experts."

"Drought conditions were most pervasive in the Plains states, including in top wheat producer Kansas, according to the Drought Monitor report."

"Fully 100 percent of Kansas was in at least "severe" drought as of Tuesday, up from 99.34 percent a week earlier, according to the Drought Monitor, and almost 78 percent remained in at least "extreme drought,"
>the second-worst level of drought.²

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Public Opinion is Overwhelming December 22, 2012 : 5:34 PM

Climate denial has become the opinion of only a few anti-science zealots:

"Nearly 4 out of 5 Americans now think temperatures are rising and that global warming will be a serious problem for the United States if nothing is done about it, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds."

"Belief and worry about climate change are inching up among Americans in general, but concern is growing faster among people who don't often trust scientists on the environment. In follow-up interviews, some of those doubters said they believe their own eyes as they've watched thermometers rise, New York City subway tunnels flood, polar ice melt and Midwestern farm fields dry up.

"Overall, 78 percent of those surveyed said they thought temperatures were rising and 80 percent called it a serious problem. That's up slightly from 2009, when 75 percent thought global warming was occurring and just 73 percent thought it was a serious problem. In general, U.S. belief in global warming, according to AP-GfK and other polls, has fluctuated over the years but has stayed between about 70 and 85 percent."

Source: Huffington Post

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The Threat of Climate Change December 23, 2012 : 12:52 PM

From the Director of National Intelligence:

"Climate change has the potential to stoke regional instabilities and fuel international tensions, according to a major new report from the US National Intelligence Council."

"Released yesterday, the Global Trends 2030 report seeks to map out the security trends that will shape international relations over the next two decades. It is the latest in a series of studies from national security bodies around the world to acknowledge that climate change and its likely impacts on food, water, and natural resource supplies represents an emerging security threat."

"Demand for food, water, and energy will grow by approximately 35, 40 and 50 per cent respectively, owing to an increase in the global population and the consumption patterns of an expanding middle class," the report states. "Climate change will worsen the outlook for the availability of these critical resources."

Source: The Guardian

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It's Not Too Late - Yet December 29, 2012 : 8:01 PM

We can still avoid the most serious consequences of the climate crisis:

“For a couple of years now, climate scientists have agreed that to avoid the most serious consequences of global warming we need to cap the planet’s average temperature at no more than 2 degrees C (or 3.6°F) above where it stood in the 1800s. The temperature has already risen by about 1°C -- the longer we wait to rein in greenhouse-gas emissions, the harder it will be to reach that goal — and the recent international climate talks in Doha made it clear that emissions aren’t likely to be reined in anytime soon.”

“This raises the question of how much more those emissions could grow before the 2°C target becomes physically impossible to achieve. And a recent paper in Nature Climate Change has a somewhat encouraging answer. Even if annual emissions nearly double by 2020 from today’s 30 billion tons or so, it would still be possible to cap the temperature rise at 2°C, or at worst, rise slightly above that level before coming back down.”

Source: ClimateCentral.org

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2012 By The Numbers December 30, 2012 : 12:17 PM

Some intriguing numbers from 2012 posted at Climate Progress:

“Sometimes energy makes headlines, sometimes it doesn’t. But it almost always has important implications for the global economy, the environment, and our day-to-day lives.”

“Here are 10 energy statistics from 2012 that capture some of the most noteworthy trends of the year, and that will shape the energy world in the years to come.”

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Good News December 30, 2012 : 9:41 PM

US appeals Court finds in favor of the EPA regulating greenhouse gases:

“An appeals court in D.C. today rejected an attempt by the fossil fuel industry to gut a critical EPA pollution rule.”

“In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that the agency had the authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, as pollutants. Since that point, as the EPA has struggled to implement various rules limiting such pollution for both new and old power plants, there have been a series of court battles over its authority. The ruling today is not the final word, but is nonetheless an important victory.”

Source: Grist

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Climate Misinformer of the Year December 31, 2012 : 7:36 PM

Media Matters names its Climate Misinformer of the Year:

"ClimateDepot.com founder Marc Morano has been called "the Matt Drudge of climate denial," the "king of the skeptics," and "a central cell of the climate-denial machine," and he revels in these descriptions. Although he has no scientific expertise, he is adamant that manmade global warming is a "con job" based on "subprime science." Morano gained prominence working for two of the most vocal climate deniers in the U.S.: Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), who notoriously called climate change "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," and Rush Limbaugh, who we named Climate Change Misinformer of the Year in 2011 for his steadfast denial of climate science and wild conspiracy theories about the climate change "hoax."

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