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Posts Tagged ‘climate-change’

Counting the Benefits of Agroecology: We Have the Tools, Let’s Use Them

With global challenges such as diminishing environmental quality and public health, combined with accelerating climate change, we need more than ever to know how to confront many problems at once. Since plants inhale carbon dioxide and soils store carbon, there are numerous reasons to expect agriculture to play a significant role for improving the human prospect. Indeed, scientific research documents that we have tools to achieve ecological and climatic sustainability, but here’s the catch—we have to use them. Read More

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Is Small Farmers’ Firewood Use Burning up the Forests?

For many years, small farmers in developing countries have been blamed for deforestation because of the way that they make breakfast. While in developed countries nearly everyone cooks with fossil fuels, or with electricity generated by fossil fuels or hydroelectricity, in developing countries firewood still predominates, especially among the poorest people in rural areas. But is this really an important driver of deforestation—and thus a major contributor to global warming? A new study—the most in-depth and comprehensive look at the subject yet—says no.

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What Kinds of Scrutiny of Scientists are Legitimate?

This morning, Rep. Raul Grijalva sent letters to seven universities seeking documents related to academics who have testified before Congress on climate change. The requests come in the wake of revelations over the weekend that the Smithsonian Institution agreed not to disclose payments from the Southern Company, a major utility, to fund and review the work of Smithsonian aerospace engineer Willie Soon. As all of the researchers in question have been critical of mainstream climate science, some are wondering if Rep. Grijalva’s requests can be considered a witch hunt. So is it? Read More

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Willie Soon’s Failure to Disclose Industry Funding for Contrarian Climate Research is Another Reason to Support Transparency

My first job in science communication was as an “Explainer” in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. The program helps visitors – particularly students – understand the forces of flight. Our uniforms included red polo shirts that said “The Explainer Program” on the front and had the name of the company that sponsored the program – Cessna Aircraft – on the sleeve.

I recall this old uniform because the Smithsonian is under scrutiny for an entirely different type of sponsorship that was hidden from public view. Read More

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Groundbreaking New Report on Geoengineering Tackles Carbon Dioxide Removal Experiments

The scientific body established by a law signed by President Lincoln released two groundbreaking reports today on geoengineering. Read More

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Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth: The NAS Weighs Controversial Measures in New Report

The president’s science advisor John P. Holdren has often observed that humanity has three basic options for dealing with climate change: Mitigation (reducing heat-trapping emissions), adaptation (coping with unavoidable impacts of climate change), and suffering.  The more swiftly we both mitigate and adapt, the less suffering we endure and impose on future generations.

Suppose, however, that we falter and temperatures continue to rise to dangerous levels. In a climate emergency, facing high risks of major and otherwise unavoidable impacts, should the U.S. or other governments consider forced cooling of Earth by injecting reflecting aerosol particles into the stratosphere? Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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Detective or Scientist? Fingerprinting the Ocean to Estimate Global Sea Level Rise

Guest Bogger

Carling Hay, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow, Harvard University & Rutgers University

Cambridge, MA

When you pick up the newspaper or turn on the television, you are likely to find a story about climate change and rising sea levels. Most of these stories focus on making predictions for the next century and beyond. After all, don’t we already have a complete understanding of the past? The answer to that question isn’t quite so simple.   Read More

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Preparing for Climate Change: President’s Budget Misses Opportunity

Yeah, I get it. The president’s budget doesn’t really mean anything. It’s just a vehicle to lay out his vision for the country, right? Congress is controlled by Republicans, and most of the president’s fiscal priorities likely won’t be reflected in the budget he finds on his desk several months from now. But here’s one fiscal priority both parties should be able to support: pre-disaster mitigation, or …disaster preparedness. Read More

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How Oregon Can Fill Up On Clean Fuels

Something big is brewing in Oregon. No, it’s not a new IPA from Portland-based Bridgeport Brewery—though that sounds delightful. It’s the next phase of Oregon’s Clean Fuel Program, a forward-thinking regulation that requires transportation fuel to get steadily cleaner on average, ultimately achieving a 10 percent reduction in carbon emissions per unit of fuel in 10 years. Extending this rule is a big deal because approximately one-third of Oregon’s greenhouse gases come from transportation, and Oregon has the in-state resource potential to produce significant amounts of clean fuels. Read More

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The Land Sector Can Close Half the Dangerous Climate Change Gap

Today we’re releasing an important report on what the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases could do to reduce the global warming pollution released by their land sectors—that is, their agriculture and forests. It’s called Halfway There? What the Land Sector Can Contribute to Closing the Emissions Gap.

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