Far below the surface, the waters of south-east Asia are heating up. A region of the Pacific is now warming at least 15 times faster than at any time in the last 10,000 years. If this finding – so far limited to the depths where the Pacific and Indian Oceans wash into each other – is true for the blue planet as a whole, then the questions of climate change take on a new urgency.
The world may be warming more than twice as fast as thought because some key data has been overlooked, two scientists argue. But others think seasonal changes in the Pacific have led to an over-estimate of the warming.
An end to greenhouse gas emissions is possible by 2050, a report finds. But a decade before that, other researchers say, the world is set to cross a fateful threshold.
An old friend who has been active in politics for more than thirty years tells me he’s giving up. “I can’t stomach what’s going on in Washington anymore,” he says. “The hell with all of them. I have better things to do with my life.” My friend is falling exactly into the trap that the extreme right wants all of us to fall into
A warming world carries many threats, and now scientists have discovered that a change in atmospheric conditions could have serious consequences for soil chemistry
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-CA) found himself on Tuesday being added to the list of things that had been shut down because of Republicans in Congress.
The final film in the “Story of Stuff” series asks, What if the goal of our economy wasn’t more, but better—better health, better jobs, and a better chance to survive on the planet? In an ad for a major phone company blanketing TV this year, a circle of doe-eyed children is asked: "Who thinks more is better than less?"
In his complaints against the wing of the Republican Party that engineered the present government shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid derided his opponents as “Tea Party anarchists.” It’s hard to decide who should be more annoyed — the Tea Party or the anarchists.
Ireland is famous for its literature and singing and dancing, its pubs and ready humour, its rugged scenery and green fields – and its rain. But climate change could lead to a different-looking Ireland in future. Summer visitors to Ireland used to coping with frequent outpourings from the heavens might be in for a bit of a shock in future if the latest projections on the country’s climate by Met Ėireann, the Irish Meteorological Service, prove correct.
As a child I was bullied by bigger boys who threatened to beat me up if I didn’t give them what they wanted. But every time I gave in to their demands their subsequent demands grew larger. First they wanted the change in my pocket. Next it was the dessert in my lunchbox. Then my new Davy Crockett cap. Then the softball and bat I got for my birthday.
Professor Chris Rapley is a former director of both the British Antarctic Survey and the Science Museum in London. What the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, AR5, says about the oceans alarms him. The messages are ever clearer: climate change is real, we humans are the driver, and we need to act resolutely and soon to reduce the risk of serious disruption.
This week’s government shutdown has consequences for all of us, costing an estimated $300 million each day that the government is closed for business. Many Americans have voiced their frustrations with the fallout from the shutdown on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hash tag #DearCongress.
Winter may just be ending in Australia, but temperatures are already summerlike. September was one for the record books, with hot temperatures that baked the country from the outback to the coasts and made this the hottest September in the country’s 104 years of record-keeping.
This week on Moyers & Company in a rare television interview, Bill talks to visionary, author and farmer Wendell Berry to discuss a sensible, but no-compromise plan to save the Earth. Wendell Berry, one of America’s most influential writers who has written more than 40 novels, books of poetry, short stories and essays, has become an outspoken advocate for revolution.
If we really believe that doom is a viable expression of the endgame, wouldn’t we try to resolve some of this thanatos by“wresting control of our lives” from an inherently sick society? Wouldn’t we want to resolve remnants of cognitive dissonance by making our day-to-day behaviors more congruent with our “talk”?
In little more than a decade the world should be meeting 10% of its total energy needs from solar power, two British scientists say, despite the technological problems to be overcome. Hard on the heels of the latest UN report on climate change, two UK scientists have proposed an ambitious plan to tackle the problem it graphically describes.
New data visualizations from the NASA Center for Climate Simulation and NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio show how climate models - those used in the new report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - estimate how temperature and precipitation patterns could change throughout the 21st century.
Climate News Network has prepared this very abbreviated version of the first instalment of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) to serve as an objective guide to some of the headline issues it covers. It is in no sense an evaluation of what the Summary says: the wording is that of the IPCC authors themselves, except for a few cases where we have added headings.
The polar icecaps are melting faster than we thought they would; seas are rising faster than we thought they would; extreme weather events are increasing. Have a nice day! That’s a less than scientifically rigorous summary of the findings of the Fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released this morning in Stockholm.
Widening inequality thereby ignites what the historian Richard Hofstadter called the “paranoid style in American politics.” It animated the Know-Nothing and Anti-Masonic movements before the Civil War, the populist agitators of the Progressive Era and the John Birch Society
Researchers in the US say that millions of lives could be saved by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions were reduced. If the world does take concerted action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, then by 2100 between 1.4 million and three million people a year will be conspicuously better off: they won’t be dead.
The extent of sea ice in the Arctic appears to have reached its lowest point for 2013 – more than last year, but well below the long term average.Scientists say the sea ice which covers much of the Arctic Ocean appears to have reached its minimum extent for this year.
Boehner ushers a bill through the House that continues to fund the government after September 30 but doesn’t fund the Affordable Care Act. Anyone with half a brain knows Senate Democrats and the President won’t accept this — which means, if House Republicans stick to their guns, a government shut-down.
When it comes to solving the climate crisis, the world can't afford to ignore women's voices. Women's equality goes hand-in-hand with finding real solutions to climate change. Here are three reasons why.
How farmers care for peatlands can influence how welll they soak up greenhouse gases, because the plants that grow there are crucial to their effectiveness as carbon sinks. Such areas can also act as important flood plains, soaking up excess water. The trouble is that in many parts of the world peatlands are being destroyed or are under threat.
With our country facing tough choices about Syria, Moyers & Company’s John Light had a great piece on Friday: “Drought Helped Spark Syria’s Civil War — Is it One of Many Climate Wars to Come?” He interviewed one of our favorites, Francesco Femia, co-founder of the Center for Climate and Security, which has an advisory board of retired military commanders and foreign-policy experts.
There was a time when power generation belong to the public. This is a grassroots David and Goliath campaign to create a landmark model for how communities can take control of their energy future.
Congress will reconvene shortly. That means more battles over taxes and spending, regulations and safety nets, and how to get the economy out of first gear. Which means more gridlock and continual showdowns over budget resolutions and the debt ceiling.
The forest fires raging through states in the western US are among the worst on record, but latest research indicates that they will get even worse in future as temperatures rise. As fire crews battle to control the forest fires that have been devastating areas of the western US.
How did the people who lived in the Amazon forest millennia ago manage to survive in harmony with their surroundings? What happened to the forest when conditions were very dry? What will be the effect of global warming on the Amazon rainforest?
The way we make and use stuff is harming the world—and ourselves. To create a system that works, we can't just use our purchasing power. We must turn it into citizen power. Since I released "The Story of Stuff" six years ago, the most frequent snarky remark I get from people trying to take me down a notch is about my own stuff.
Climatologists are puzzled that greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated, while the atmosphere is warming more slowly than they expected. Now two scientists in the US think they know why. hey say cooling waters in the tropical Pacific Ocean have played a large part in slowing recent warming, a finding which challenges those who argue that the slowdown means climate change is not as serious a problem as most climate scientists are convinced it is.
Climate change is only one of the risks that coral larvae have to face – but those which do survive its effects can improve the prospects for mature reefs. Scientists in the UK and the US have found that coral larvae are capable of travelling very long distances before becoming part of a reef.
A war on climate change is a war on materialism, plain and simple. The carbon pollution spewing out of our power plants and tail pipes is a natural byproduct of the monstrous engine of economic growth we have built, an engine that exists solely to satisfy the demand our materialism creates.
The highly radioactive water leaking from the wrecked Fukushima plant is part of a problem that Japan will take decades to resolve and which will blight many thousands of lives. The discovery at the plant of a leak of radioactive caesium eight times more dangerous than the levels immediately after the Fukushima accident in March 2011 has aroused international concern that Japan is incapable of containing the aftermath of the accident.
Studies into how we use air conditioning technology suggest that our attempts to keep cool are in fact adding to rising temperatures.As the world swelters, so will energy demand rise: the heat extremes generated by climate change are likely to raise the global demand for air conditioning by 72%. So people will generate more heat and release more carbon dioxide just to stay cool as the thermometer soars.
By making 360-degree panoramic underwater vision available to anyone who has a computer, scientists hope to alert many more people to the plight of the world’s coral reefs. Scientists have hit on a way to harness 360-degree panoramas from Google’s underwater street-view format in order to let anyone with access to a computer see reefs in real time.
British research into storm cycles has found evidence suggesting reduced atmospheric pollution may have had the unexpected side-effect of increasing the ferocity and frequency of hurricanesScientists from Britain’s Meteorological Office have fingered a new suspect in their attempt to solve the mystery of tropical storms.
North Dakota, now the second-largest oil-producing state in the US, is neglecting the gas that also comes from its wells, says a report, wasting money and adding to greenhouse gas emissions.
Recent research suggests that the rise and fall of the ancient world’s civilisations may have been due to a changing climate. Historians and archaeologists have invoked catastrophic volcanic eruption, a tsunami, invasion, a socioeconomic crisis, new technology and mysterious forces to explain the collapse of late Bronze Age civilisation in Europe.
Scientists in the UK say the steady advance in the arrival of spring each year may mean that some butterfly species which develop early will simply be unable to adapt any further. British researchers are using insect specimens kept in museums for a century and a quarter to learn more about climate change and the steady move towards the earlier annual arrival of spring.
Rachel Maddow reports on North Carolina's success in improving voter turnout and ease of voting through the 2008 election and the sudden change in direction (and ruling party) when wealthy Republican backer, Art Pope, turned the tide in 2010 allowing a Republican take-over of the state government and a wave of regressive legislation, including voter suppression.
Bill talks with author and New York Times journalist Mark Leibovich about his latest book, This Town, in which he writes that money rules D.C., and status is determined by who you know and what they can do for you. Mark Leibovich covers Washington, D.C., as chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine.
The highly radioactive water leaking from the wrecked Fukushima plant is part of a problem that Japan will take decades to resolve and which will blight many thousands of lives.
They carried signs that demanded “Voting Rights,” “Jobs for All” and “Decent Housing.” They protested the vigilante killing of an unarmed black teenager in the South and his killer’s acquittal. They denounced racial profiling in the country’s largest city.
Rachel Maddow reports on the increased emergency level at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan where hundreds of tons of radioactive water is leaking into the sea.
Scary stories of kidnappings and explosions lead our news feeds, but it's the good news that helps break down the myth of our own powerlessness. "If it bleeds, it leads." Ever hear that maxim of journalism? If you want readers, go with the scary, gruesome story—that's what gets hearts pumping and grabs attention. But what grabs our attention can also scare the heck out of us and shut us down.
It's taken 60 years, but solar is tantalizingly close to beating fossil fuels on price. The prices of solar cells are falling rapidly, and will keep doing so for the next few years. The big questions revolve around the rate of the price declines. And the panels themselves aren't the only place where cost reductions will be found. America has very high "soft costs" -- installation, permitting, marketing etc. Whittling down these expenses will help, too.
The arguments for and against fracking seem clear-cut. But it’s not that simple, and there is mounting evidence that exploiting shale gas may be neither necessary nor sensible. As the international debate intensifies over the arguments for and against exploiting shale gas, the largest British nature conservation charity has objected to proposals to drill at two sites in Britain.
For tonight's Conversation with Great Minds - Thom is joined by Jeff Cohen. Jeff is the founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College - where he is an associate professor of journalism.The former senior producer for MSNBC's "Donahue" program - he has appeared as a political commentator in national media and helped found both the media watchdog group FAIR -- Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting -- as well as the activism site RootsAction.org. Jeff's most recent book is "Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media."
European climate scientists say the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere mean it is virtually inevitable that far more parts of the world will experience more frequent and severe heat waves in the next 30 years. Stand by for extreme weather.
American business and industry is coming under closer scrutiny from shareholders concerned to see how prepared companies are to respond to the financial pressures of a warming world. Shareholders in the US are showing growing concern about their investments in companies exposed to climate change-related risks, according to new data released by Ceres, a US organisation that promotes more sustainable business practices.
When I give these climate talks, by the end people are typically agitated and full of questions. “What technology is going to fix this?” “How are we ever get people to agree on a solution?” “I’m just one person, what could I possibly do that would make an impact?”
I recently had the opportunity to engage in conversation with Guy McPherson about a number of topics and subsequently began reading his book Walking Away From Empire, Guy’s personal journey of leaving a tenured professorship to radically alter his living arrangements in preparation for the collapse of industrial civilization.
Peoples who have lived in the same place for countless generations – the Amazon, perhaps, or the Arctic – possess invaluable knowledge about living with climate change, and it is evolving all the time. Climate change often seems to be seen as the preserve of scientists and environmental journalists. But what about the accumulated wisdom of traditional and indigenous peoples?
We sometimes forget that one consequence of climate change is likely to be new ways for diseases to spread. But the natural world offers stark reminders. Some like it hot: more protozoans can infect the monarch butterfly as climates become milder; nematode parasites get two chances to infect caribou and reindeer as a result of Arctic warming; and coral pathogens become more active with warmer seas.
Dutch scientists have thought up a new use for all the carbon dioxide that pours from the chimneys of fossil fuel-burning power stations: harvest it for even more electricity. They could, they argue, pump the carbon dioxide through water or other liquids and produce a flow of electrons and therefore more electricity.
British scientists say estimates of the amount of iron dissolving into seawater around some of the world’s coasts may be drastically wrong. They say there is no standard, one-size-fits-all way to measure how much iron enters the water in different parts of the globe. Instead, they say, the amounts may vary by up to ten thousand times between one area and another, with profound implications for the impact of the iron on the oceanic carbon cycle.
Greenland’s icesheet is melting, at the surface and at its base. Don’t worry: it isn’t global warming that is thawing the base of the Greenland ice cap. It is just the normal warmth of an active rocky planet.
It’s official: global warming could get worse – almost unimaginably worse. Conditions on planet Earth mean that in theory, at least, there could be a runaway greenhouse effect. There is already a runaway greenhouse effect on the planet Venus
A recently published study by researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington found elevated levels of arsenic and other heavy metals in groundwater near natural gas fracking sites in Texas' Barnett Shale.
The world’s coral reefs are under threat. Some scientists say doses of cloud brightening could provide a solution to the problem. Here’s a new twist to the geoengineer’s dilemma: just change the climate locally – over the bit you want to protect – and leave the rest of the planet alone.
Trees may be getting more efficient in the way they manage water. They could be exploiting the higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, growing foliage from a lower uptake of groundwater. If so, then the carbon dioxide fertilisation effect – predicted by theorists and observed in laboratory experiments – could be real.
Urban sprawl may not be as bad for the environment as we thought – as long as every home is fitted with solar panels and electric cars become the norm. Modern planners are building compact cities, believing tightly controlled zones are better for the environment. New research suggests the opposite: urban sprawl might be a better option, with solar power fitted to suburban houses and the adoption of electric cars transforming the energy needs of a city.
There have been dire warnings about melting glaciers in the Himalayas leading to falling flows in some of Asia’s major’s rivers. Now scientists are turning some of their original research on its head. The river systems fed by the glaciers of the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau are a vital source of water, food and energy for hundreds of millions of people downstream.
Turning deserts into forests sounds like a utopian dream, but a group of scientists believe that “carbon farming” really might be the answer to climate change. Large forests planted with a single species of tough small tree could capture enough carbon from the atmosphere to slow down climate change and green the world’s deserts at the same time, researchers say.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas which in the short term is a much greater threat to global temperatures than carbon dioxide. Now researchers think it can be released by earthquakes.
The Arctic permafrost thaws each year, but – to the surprise of scientists from Denmark – in some areas it is not releasing the carbon dioxide it contains nearly as fast as they had expected.
Research into one of the world’s oldest and driest deserts has unearthed evidence of the evolutionary timeline for species that have avoided extinction by adapting to dramatic climate change
Marine species are leaving waters near the Equator and heading for cooler seas nearer the poles ten times faster than creatures which live on land, scientists have found.
Australia has been warned of the rising threat of dengue fever and heat stroke deaths in the wake of a study that found climate change is aiding the spread of infectious diseases around the world. The report, partly-funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and published in Science, found that climate change is already abetting diseases in wildlife and agriculture, with humans at heightened risk from dengue fever, malaria and cholera.
Finnish researchers say they have found how to produce biofuel cheaply, while a US team says it can make hydrogen from water at less cost than conventional methods.
Many of the lessons learned are most applicable to those living in a similar climate to the Whole Systems Farm in Vermont; however, the farm’s thriving ecosystem has been created on marginal land, and Falk stresses that the concepts can be transferred to other locations where only marginal land is available and creative solutions are needed.
Consider it a taste of the future: the fire, smoke, drought, dust, and heat that have made life unpleasant, if not dangerous, from Louisiana to Los Angeles. New records tell the tale: biggest wildfire ever recorded in Arizona (538,049 acres), biggest fire ever in New Mexico (156,600 acres), all-time worst fire year in Texas history (3,697,000 acres).
Nine weeks ago, oil near a tar sands extraction site in Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada, began to leak and ooze from the ground. It is currently wending its way through a nearby swampy forest, blackening vegetation and killing wildlife.
A new poll has found climate science denialism in Congress is quickly losing favor among young voters, both Republican and Democrat. The poll, conducted by Democratic and Republican firms for the League of Conservation Voters, found 73 percent of respondents associate climate change deniers with words like “ignorant,” “out-of-touch” or “crazy.”
Some recent fires in the forests of Alaska have been the worst for 10,000 years, researchers say – and they could happen elsewhere in this warming world.
A warming climate will play havoc with energy supplies and food for millions of people in West Africa, as well as putting industrial growth in doubt.
Atmospheric rivers, airborne corridors of concentrated moisture which carry huge volumes of water, are set to get wider and longer, causing more frequent and catastrophic floods as the atmosphere warms.
Two more US states say they will require insurance companies to reveal how prepared they are to cope with risks related to climate change.
Melting permafrost is one of those "wild cards" that might define a runaway climate tipping point. Permafrost is mainly frozen "old" vegetation from a time when the world was much warmer.
The melting of the Arctic icecap has become so fast and so certain that researchers can now confidently predict when the ocean will become ice-free, to within four years.
Red Cloud is the founder of Lakota Solar Enterprises, one of the country’s first Native American-owned renewable energy companies.
Scientists have identified the problem that commercial hatcheries must overcome to keep baby oysters alive in increasingly acid seas − but wild oysters are still under threat
Powerful message to Europe’s politicians that building low-carbon cars and vans is the way to create a million jobs, boost the economy − and improve air quality
Clear and compelling evidence shows that winter snows vital for tourism and agriculture are in rapid decline in Southern California.
Sea-level rise may be slow to show its hand but once it really starts, researchers say, it will keep going for centuries, with baleful effects. For each degree by which the Earth warms, they believe, sea levels will probably rise by over two metres.
New research shows that glaciologists still cannot say for certain whether the Earth’s north and south polar ice is melting faster as the years pass.
The forensic search for the mysterious agent that almost melted Greenland goes on. The latest suspect to be rounded up for questioning is the jet stream, according to scientists in Sheffield, in the UK.
Ocean acidification will make coral skeletons more feeble and coral reefs more vulnerable to battering by the seas – but it may not kill the corals, according to new research from the University of California, Santa Cruz.Two important habitats for marine life, coral reefs and eelgrass meadows, will survive climate change but it will make them vulnerable.
The bad habits of the locals have been blamed for the decline of Lake Chad in Africa but it was pollution from people far away that caused rain patterns to shift.
The British government’s promise not to subsidise new nuclear power stations in the UK looks set to torpedo its own stated energy policy which is to build a range of new reactors to keep the lights on.
On both sides of the Atlantic scientists studying lakes have discovered they are warming – and this is bad news both for water quality and the fish. The Alpine lakes of Austria are warming up. By 2050, their surface waters could be up to 3°C warmer, according to new research in the journal Hydrobiologia.
Some parts of the world face frequent catastrophic floods by the end of this century while other regions could get less hazardous.
Work by 100 scientists over five years reveal that more than half the species studied are in danger because of a warming planet.
One of the great stumbling blocks of climate talks in the last 15 years has been that America refuses to move to cut emissions of greenhouse gases until China does – but at the weekend leaders of the world’s two great polluters reached agreement to phase out one of the most potent of them hydrofluorocarbons (HCFs).
One of Africa’s most distinguished scientists insists that in a warming climate the world needs to adopt genetically modified crops on a massive scale in order to feed the planet’s growing population.
Over 40 years cloud cover has been steadily falling in Spain providing more sunshine but that is a threat as well as a bonus.