Sea Level Rise and the March of King Tides: Why We Need to Get Familiar with This Week’s Tidal Flooding

This week, many residents of the U.S. East Coast communities are witnessing flood waters rise with each high tide. These people are getting a taste of the future. Almost like being picked to try out some futuristic device for a few days — only this is messy, costly, and, if you realize it’s a taste of things to come, unnerving. Unwilling pioneers, in a way, these people are living on the front line of sea level rise and experiencing the periodic soaking that others don’t yet know, but will. Read More

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Indonesia on Track to Have the Worst Fire Season Since 1997

Much of western Indonesia is currently undergoing massive fires, producing enormous amounts of smoke-haze, and disrupting large parts of society in the region. This is unlikely to be ‘normal’ seasonal burning; it could rank among the worst fire seasons on record in Indonesia, with frequent and larger fires this year than in previous years. The burning will likely last for at least another month.

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Xcel’s Plan to Cut Carbon 60 percent is Affordable and Will Benefit Minnesota’s Economy

Growing up in Minnesota, I have very fond memories of going fishing with my Dad in the land of 10,000 lakes.  Whether it was slaying crappies on Lake Minnetonka or catching walleyes on our summer trips to Bemidji, I’ll never forget the times we had enjoying Minnesota’s great outdoors. Read More

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Yes, We Can Defend Scientists from Harassment AND Increase Transparency

We’ve written extensively about the use of open records laws to harass scientists for the past couple years and encouraged governments, academic institutions, and journalists to address the challenge of balancing accountability and academic freedom. The issue has taken on a new dimension in recent weeks, as high profile releases have brought significant attention to the work of academics throughout the country. Will this prompt institutions to figure out better solutions? Read More

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New Electric Vehicles for 2016: Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model X

Looking to start the new year with a new vehicle? Begin your obsessive internet research by reading the following recap of updates to the 2016 Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF, both electric vehicles that can seriously cut your transportation emissions while saving you some coin on fuel. I also preview the all-new Tesla Model X, debuting at a high price point but with features that could justify its six-figure price tag. Read More

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What Is—and Is Not—Considered Settled with Climate Science?

I was reminded this week, by an exchange of words between Senator Ted Cruz and Sierra Club President Aaron Mair, that at hearings on policy, the discussion can go off on a tangent toward climate science and what is or is not settled. Spoiler alert: settled is as close as scientists get to knowing that a scientific finding has been a widely accepted explanation or law for which no credible alternative exists. For some concepts, like gravity or the fact that carbon dioxide traps heat in Earth’s atmosphere, the science has been widely accepted for over a century or longer. Read More

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