Climate Newsprint

Global warming is shifting Earth's clouds, study shows

The Guardian Climate Change - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 09:13

Climate Central: The warming of the planet over the past few decades has shifted a key band of clouds poleward and increased the heights of clouds tops

The reaction of clouds to a warming atmosphere has been one of the major sources of uncertainty in estimating exactly how much the world will heat up from the accumulation of greenhouse gases, as some changes would enhance warming, while others would counteract it.

The study, detailed Monday in the journal Nature, overcomes problems with the satellite record and shows that observations support projections from climate models. But the work is only a first step in understanding the relationship between climate change and clouds, with many uncertainties still to untangle, scientists not involved with the research said.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

US senators detail a climate science 'web of denial' but the impacts go well beyond their borders

The Guardian Climate Change - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 08:03

Australians have been both helpers and victims of the fossil fuelled web of climate science denial being detailed in the US Senate

By the middle of this week, about 20 Democratic senators in the US will have stood up before their Congress to talk about the fossil fuelled machinery of climate science denial.

The senators are naming the fossil fuel funders, describing the machinery and calling out the characters that make up a “web of denial”.

Related: Climate scientists are under attack from frivolous lawsuits | Lauren Kurtz

Koch brothers, Exxon & special interests have weaved a #WebOfDenial & misinformation when it comes to #climatechange https://t.co/RPMaCwvIQc

Schumer says climate skeptics 'should be ashamed of themselves.' I've never been prouder. https://t.co/D1BV0tfKjR #WebOfDenial

Related: The War on Science will change how you see the world | John Abraham

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

UK poorly prepared for climate change impacts, government advisers warn

The Guardian Climate Change - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 05:00

A 2,000 page report by Committee on Climate Change predicts global warming will hit UK with deadly heatwaves, more flooding and water shortages

The UK is poorly prepared for the inevitable impacts of global warming in coming decades, including deadly annual heatwaves, water shortages and difficulties in producing food, according the government’s official advisers.

Action must be taken now, according to the report from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published on Tuesday, with more widespread flooding and new diseases among the risks in most urgent need of addressing.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Hillary Clinton could run on strongest climate change platform ever

The Guardian Climate Change - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 19:18

The Democrats’ draft platform won’t be ratified until the convention, but climate activists are already hailing it as a ‘monumental victory’

Hillary Clinton could campaign much more aggressively against climate change than any US presidential candidate before her, under a draft platform adopted by Democratic party leaders.

The leaders committed the presumptive Democratic nominee to a carbon tax, a climate test for future pipelines and tighter rules on fracking – all stronger positions than those held by Clinton herself at the start of the race.

Related: We just broke the record for hottest year, 9 straight times | Dana Nuccitelli

Related: President Trump would be a climate catastrophe | Michael B Gerrard

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

President Trump would be a climate catastrophe | Michael B Gerrard

The Guardian Climate Change - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 18:12

His pro-coal, anti-wind dogma would set climate action back years – and leave a harmful legacy for generations

To prevent climate change that floods large portions of coastal cities, dooms small island nations and turns whole regions into deserts, we need to accelerate the transformation of the world’s energy economy away from fossil fuels. Those who have crunched the numbers say this can still be achieved, but just barely. Hitting the brakes would send us over the cliff.

Over we go if Donald Trump wins the election and carries through on his campaign promises. The effects on the global climate will persist not only for the four or eight years of his presidency, but for generations.

Related: Food shortages and sea level rise US voters' top climate change concerns

Related: Water world: rising tides close in on Trump, the climate change denier

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Food shortages and sea level rise US voters' top climate change concerns

The Guardian Climate Change - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 11:00

Survey of Guardian readers appalled at lack of climate discussion in 2016 campaign finds food and water shortages viewed as most pressing consequence

Diminishing food and water security and ruinous sea level rise are the leading climate change concerns of a section of the American electorate that is aghast at the lack of discussion of global warming during the presidential debate.

Related: Climate change: the missing issue of the 2016 campaign

Related: Water world: rising tides close in on Trump, the climate change denier

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

We just broke the record for hottest year, 9 straight times | Dana Nuccitelli

The Guardian Climate Change - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 10:00

Earth’s record hottest 12 consecutive months were set in each month ending in September 2015 through May 2016

2014 and 2015 each set the record for hottest calendar year since we began measuring surface temperatures over 150 years ago, and 2016 is almost certain to break the record once again. It will be without precedent: the first time that we’ve seen three consecutive record-breaking hot years.

But it’s just happenstance that the calendar year begins in January, and so it’s also informative to compare all yearlong periods. In doing so, it becomes clear that we’re living in astonishingly hot times.

With Apr update, 2016 still > 99% likely to be a new record (assuming historical ytd/ann patterns valid). pic.twitter.com/GTN9sPL2D7

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Leaked TTIP energy proposal could 'sabotage' EU climate policy

The Guardian Climate Change - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 07:00

EU proposal on a free trade deal with the US could curb energy saving measures and a planned switch to clean energy, say MEPs

The latest draft version of the TTIP agreement could sabotage European efforts to save energy and switch to clean power, according to MEPs.

A 14th round of the troubled negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) free trade deal between the EU and US is due to begin on Monday in Brussels.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Massive mangrove die-off on Gulf of Carpentaria worst in the world, says expert

The Guardian Climate Change - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 04:52

Climate change and El Niño the culprits, says Norm Duke, an expert in mangrove ecology, after seeing 7,000ha of dead mangroves over 700km

Climate change and El Niño have caused the worst mangrove die-off in recorded history, stretching along 700km of Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria, an expert says.

The mass die-off coincided with the world’s worst global coral bleaching event, as well as the worst bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef, in which almost a quarter of the coral was killed – something also caused by unusually warm water.

Related: The Great Barrier Reef: a catastrophe laid bare

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

How sea otters help save the planet

The Guardian Climate Change - Sun, 07/10/2016 - 08:15
New research into the complex links of the food chain suggest that the lovable mammals play a key role in managing carbon dioxide levels

Charles Darwin once mused on the impacts that predators could have on the landscapes around them. In particular, he wondered – in On the Origin of Species – how neighbourhood cats might affect the abundance of flowers in the fields near his house at Downe in Kent. He concluded the animals’ potential to change local flora was considerable.

A robust cat population, he argued, would mean that local mouse numbers would be low and that, in turn, would mean there would high numbers of bumble bees – because mice destroy bee combs and nests. And as bees pollinate clover, Darwin argued that this cascade of oscillating species numbers would result in there being more clover in fields in areas where there are lots of feline pets. Cats mean clover, in short.

Around islands that lacked sea otters, urchins had increased in size and in numbers with devastating consequences

Related: Rare sea otter sighting offers sign of a resurgence, scientists hope

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Neocons linked to Tea Party paid for Andrea Leadsom’s flights to US

The Guardian Climate Change - Sat, 07/09/2016 - 22:00

Rightwing lobby group that attacks climate science and backs gun owners is courting politicians around the world

A controversial rightwing American lobbying group that denies climate change science and promotes gun ownership paid for the Tory prime ministerial hopeful Andrea Leadsom to fly to the United States to attend its conferences.

The American Legislative Exchange Council – Alec – is a neoconservative organisation with close links to members of the Tea Party movement. Championed by supporters of the free market, it has been attacked by critics for exerting a “powerful and undemocratic” influence on US politics.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Great Barrier Reef: government must choose which parts to save, says expert

The Guardian Climate Change - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 22:15

Professor Hugh Possingham says authorities must confront prospect that some parts of reef are doomed and focus on what to preserve

Governments must decide which parts of the Great Barrier Reef they most want to save and confront the prospect that some of it may be doomed, an expert on conservation modelling has warned.

University of Queensland professor Hugh Possingham said agencies, including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, needed to make tough decisions about which parts of the natural wonder are most worth preserving “rather than trying to save everything”.

Related: How the Great Barrier Reef got polluted – from farms and fossil fuels to filthy propaganda | Graham Readfearn

Related: This election, what hope is there for the Great Barrier Reef?

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Global warming to blame for hundreds of heatwave deaths, scientists say

The Guardian Climate Change - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 08:25

Manmade climate change increased the risk of heat-related deaths by about 70% in Paris and 20% in London in 2003, research shows

Hundreds of deaths in the searing European heatwave of 2003 can be attributed to manmade climate change, say scientists.

Researchers calculated that 506 out of 735 heat-related deaths recorded that summer in Paris – the hottest city – were due to global warming.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

[Editorial] The communities of Science

Science Magazine - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 23:00
My father was a mathematician. When I was a teenager, I talked to him about careers. I love math, even fairly esoteric stuff. He surprised me by saying, “Math is something to pursue only if you cannot imagine doing anything else. You can follow other careers and still do math, but pure math can be very isolating; only a few people in the world are likely to really understand what you are working on.” I was surprised that he was discouraging me from his career path. But wait, what? He was also implying that science was a social activity in an essential way. Author: Jeremy Berg
Categories: Climate Newsprint

[In Brief] News at a glance

Science Magazine - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 23:00
In science news around the world, NASA's Juno spacecraft successfully enters into orbit around Jupiter, the National Science Foundation's troubled National Ecological Observatory Network gets an additional $35 million, the Wellcome Trust prepares to launch an open-access journal that will publish only research funded by a Wellcome grant, more than 100 Nobel laureates sign a strongly worded letter chastising Greenpeace for its anti-GMO stance, and more. Also, Mexico faces particular challenges in adhering to the agreement it made with the United States and Canada to each generate 50% of their electricity from clean energy sources by 2025. And NASA announces the future of two spacecraft: Dawn will remain in orbit around Ceres, and New Horizons, which visited Pluto in 2015, will venture further to a rendezvous with an icy Kuiper belt object in 2019.
Categories: Climate Newsprint

[In Depth] Panel slams plan for human research rules

Science Magazine - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 23:00
In a development certain to fuel a long-running controversy, a prominent science advisory panel is calling on the U.S. government to abandon a nearly finished update to rules on protecting human research participants. It should wait until a new high-level commission, created by Congress and the president, to recommend improvements and then start over, the panel says. The recommendation, made 29 June by a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that is examining ways to reduce the regulatory burden on academic scientists, is the political equivalent of stepping in front of a speeding car in a bid to prevent a disastrous wreck. It's not clear, however, whether the panel will succeed in stopping the regulatory express—or just get run over. Both the Obama administration, which has been pushing to complete the new rules this year, and key lawmakers in Congress would need to back the halt—and so far they've been silent. Still, many researchers and university groups are thrilled with the panel's recommendation, noting that they have repeatedly objected to some of the proposed rule changes as unworkable—with little apparent impact. Author: David Malakoff
Categories: Climate Newsprint

[In Depth] Long-delayed nuclear center looks set for construction

Science Magazine - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 23:00
After many years of delays, the €1.7 billion Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research, an extension of the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research near Darmstadt, Germany, may finally get built. At a council meeting on 27 and 28 June, the partner countries—eight European Union members plus India and Russia—concluded that they have enough money to cover a €320 million budget gap; they will now seek building permits from the German government. Still, some countries have yet to commit their share of the missing cash, including Russia, which had agreed to bear about 18% of FAIR's total construction cost, the second largest contribution after Germany's 70%. Author: Edwin Cartlidge
Categories: Climate Newsprint

[In Depth] Titanic balloon sets record and tantalizes scientists

Science Magazine - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 23:00
The largest pressurized balloon to be launched by NASA has set a record for endurance: the longest midlatitude flight by a large scientific balloon. For decades, conventional "zero-pressure" balloons have given researchers a high-altitude platform for studying atmospheric chemistry, the cosmic microwave background, and many other phenomena. But at temperate latitudes, the endurance of conventional balloons is limited. So-called superpressure balloons promise to bring that endurance to temperate latitudes, opening new phenomena to observation. Packing 532,000 cubic meters of helium and measuring 114 meters in diameter, NASA's latest superpressure balloon circled the Southern Hemisphere for 46 days, lofting a gamma ray telescope to the edges of space. Author: Patrick Monahan
Categories: Climate Newsprint

[In Depth] Massive helium fields found in rift zone of Tanzania

Science Magazine - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 23:00
A mineral exploration company called Helium One says it has found three massive fields of helium gas in Tanzania that might be big enough to supply the world with helium for decades. But experts say the fields might not be worth developing anytime soon. Helium is the world's best coolant; in liquid form, its ultralow boiling point of 4 K makes it invaluable for keeping scientific and medical equipment extremely cold. It comes from Earth's crust, where radioactive uranium and thorium in rocks emit helium nuclei when they decay. Helium One hopes to raise $40 million to start drilling in Tanzania in 2017, but the company may struggle to enter a world market that has recently swung from shortage to surplus thanks to conservation by helium users and to stepped-up output by producers such as the United States, Qatar, and Russia. Author: Eric Hand
Categories: Climate Newsprint
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