New research shows that more extreme climate conditions due to global warming are already affecting more than 250 national parks, including the Mojave National Preserve, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park and Mammoth Cave National Park. Recent temperatures at Grand Canyon National Park have been at the extreme end of historical averages. Read More
July 3rd, 2014
June 30th, 2014
From time to time we take a look at things we published several years ago, to see whether they’re still up to date. We often need to decide whether to reprint them as is, revise them first, or simply decide to stop using them. This requires figuring out whether the information they contain is still valid, or has become somewhat obsolete in light of new science and recent political developments. Read More
June 27th, 2014
In the hours before yesterday’s World Cup football match between the U.S. and Germany, the Brazilian city of Recife was hit by a torrential downpour. A coastal city of 1.5 million people, Recife is used to high humidity and rainfall. But with streets flooded to waist level in some places, players, officials and fans had a tough time even making it to the stadium for the game. Read More
June 27th, 2014
The electric grid contains many mysteries, and we will have to master many of these to reduce carbon emissions. Fortunately, the independent grid operators are increasingly pulling back the curtain on renewable energy and coal plant retirements. And the view is great! Read More
June 9th, 2014
I’m now in Bonn at the United Nations climate negotiations, where the big news is that in the last week the world’s two biggest emitters – China and the United States – have announced important actions to cut their carbon pollution, especially from the coal that they burn. These steps are welcome, but they are plans, not accomplishments, and they come late compared to other countries that have already acted to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.
Ironically, most of these successes are in tropical developing countries, where countries’ reductions in rates of deforestation and in some cases their reforestation of cleared land have cut their net emissions of global warming pollution. Their actions have already accomplished more for the climate than the actions of many developed nations have.
Audrey Peterman, President and Co-founder of Earthwise Productions, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
May 27th, 2014
“Because I know these stories I am wholly unable to sit quietly by or to lend my energies to the induced apathy from which our country suffers. The elevation of Fort Monroe to the status of National Monument gives us a window into our natural and cultural heritage and shows us our connectedness as a nation…I fervently hope that the Fort Monroe story inspires us to wake up and address the most pressing threat faced by our generation – climate change.” Audrey Peterman Read More
The U.S. National Climate Assessment: A Detailed Evaluation of the Scientific Evidence on Climate Change
April 24th, 2014
We have heard a lot in the past few weeks about the latest international assessment of climate change impacts as new reports have been finalized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Of course climate change is a global phenomenon occurring over decades and, for many, it is hard to relate to new information about global changes. But help is on the way! The third U.S. National Climate Assessment is scheduled for release on May 6. Read More
April 15th, 2014
One small but important breakthrough in the new IPCC report on climate mitigation, released Sunday in Berlin, is that the chapter on agriculture, forest, and other land use (AFOLU) looks at the demand side, not just supply. In other words, it not only asks how we can create less global warming pollution in producing food and wood products, but also what kinds of food and wood products we ought to be producing and consuming if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change. Read More
March 21st, 2014
I’m in Berlin at the Global Land Project conference, a biennial gathering of about 1000 scientists who study how we Earthlings use our world. I gave a talk on beef compared to other meats in the informal “Pecha Kucha” format, which requires you to use only 20 slides, each displayed for only 20 seconds. It was fun, but the big excitement has been hearing new ideas presented by researchers from all over the world.
March 20th, 2014
The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 400 parts per million for the first time in human history at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii in May last year. That same level has been reached again in the last few days. This year we’ve hit the target in March, two months earlier, and it will stay above 400ppm for longer. At that rate, it will only be a handful of years until we are living in an atmosphere permanently above 400 ppm. While 400 ppm is a somewhat arbitrary marker, humans did not exist the last time atmospheric CO2 was at that level. Read More