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Melanie Fitzpatrick

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About the author: Melanie Fitzpatrick, a climate scientist with the UCS Climate and Energy Program, is an expert on local and global impacts of climate change. She holds a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of Washington, specializing in the role of sea ice and clouds in Antarctica. See Melanie's full bio.

Wacky Weather, a Warmer Arctic, and a Slower Jet Stream – Is There a Link?

The flow of the jet stream is somewhat like a river – at times, a straight rushing ravine and at other times, a slow twisting meander. It’s almost like the atmosphere is alternately dancing the quickstep or doing a slow waltz. Why does the jet stream change its behavior and how might a warming climate be affecting this central influence on our weather in the U.S.? Let’s take a close look at what’s going on in the atmosphere up above us every day. Read More

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President Takes Historic First Step on Climate Action: Near-term Target for CO2 Reductions

Remember the promises to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that were made in Copenhagen in 2009? Since then, there has been a growing gap between what nations collectively need to do to meet their stated goals and what they have actually put on the table in terms of commitments out to 2020. Yesterday that changed – at least in the United States. Read More

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Today’s “King Tides” Preview the Future of Sea Level Rise

If you’ve been wondering what sea level will look like with ongoing climate change, head to the coast during a “king tide,” the highest tide of the year. This weekend extreme high tides are happening in a number of places along the U.S. East Coast, including Florida, New Jersey, and Maryland. Grab your camera and join the fray! Read More

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Critical Decade for Climate Action – New Report Echoes Many Others: We Must Decarbonize to Stabilize Climate

We’re living in a crucial time for action on climate change. Two years on from a report on the “Critical Decade,” the Australian Climate Commission published an update today. According to the update, the years from 2011 to 2020 are the time during which we must begin to turn around our heat-trapping emissions in order to stabilize the climate system and limit increasingly dangerous impacts. Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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Scientists Agree Human-Caused Climate Change is Real: But Wait, We’ve Known That for Decades!

An important peer-reviewed study was published today by John Cook et al. in the journal Environmental Research Letters. John Cook runs the well-known Skeptical Science website that rebuts global warming misinformation. His new research once again confirms there is overwhelming agreement amongst climate scientists – over 97 percent agree – and in the scientific literature – over 97 percent of papers confirm – that global warming is real and largely caused by humans. However, current surveys of the U.S. public, such as those done by the Pew Center and Yale, show that less than half the population believe scientists are in agreement on the issue of human-caused climate change. Read More

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We’ve Never Been Here Before: 400ppm of CO2 Measured in the Atmosphere at Mauna Loa

We’ve just crossed a sobering milestone. For the first time since humans have walked the planet, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at Mauna Loa Observatory has reached 400 parts per million. On May 9, scientists from both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography measured the daily average concentration of carbon dioxide in air above this value. I don’t know about you, but when I heard this I wanted to cry. Let me put this in context for you. Read More

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Talking About Sea Level Rise: Leading Scientists Meet in Galveston, Texas

What better place to talk about the impacts of sea level rise than a coastal city on a barrier island on the Gulf Coast? That’s where I was two weeks ago – in Galveston, Texas, with 80 other Earth scientists at a conference sponsored by the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union. Galveston was the site of the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, more than a century ago. Read More

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