Posts

September 22, 2014

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4:39 AM | Carbon News headlines 22/9/14: If the PM doesn’t worry about climate change, why should we?
Welcome to a new regular feature on Hot Topic: the week’s Carbon News headlines, brought to you every Monday. Carbon News is an NZ-published web newsletter covering climate and carbon news from around the world, published and edited by experienced journalist Adelia Hallett. The full articles are behind the Carbon News paywall, but there’s a […]

September 21, 2014

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11:44 PM | Upcoming MOOC makes sense of climate science denial
In collaboration with The University of Queensland, Skeptical Science is developing a MOOC, or Massive Online Open Course, that makes sense of climate science denial. The Denial101x MOOC will launch in March 2015 on the EdX platform. Registration has just opened so you can now register for free. Here is a description of the MOOC:   Denial101x: Making Sense of Climate Science Denial Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate? Learn to make sense of the science […]
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11:16 PM | Things you can do about global warming now we have a new do-nothing government (same as the old one)
Australia’s brilliant First Dog On The Moon on climate action (courtesy of The Tree), deemed by me to be relevant in the aftermath of an election that has delivered New Zealand another three years of National-led government, and therefore little prospect of serious action on climate matters. I’ll have a slightly less amusing reaction to […]
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7:21 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #38
"Today, we march... In Berlin, London, Amsterdam, Oslo, Rome, Stockholm, Paris, Madrid, Porto, Geneva, Ljubliana, Budapest and so many other places." - 350.0rg SkS Highlights As to be expected, Dana's The 97% v the 3% – just how much global warming are humans causing? garnered the most comments of the articles posted on Skeptical Science during the past week. Deciding who should pay to publish peer-reviewed scientific research by John Abraham attracted the second […]

September 20, 2014

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10:30 PM | Not-so-serious Sunday 49: Diatom Art
By Kelly It’s been such a long time since I posted a ‘tangentially related to geoscience’ post, but after seeing this clip I just couldn’t resist. Enjoy! The following text is taken directly from Vimeo where this video was sourced, … Continue reading →
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7:57 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #38B
2014 on track to be hottest year on record Arctic Sea Ice to reach sixth lowest extent on record China's dirty coal ban causes waves "If we want to prevent conflicts, we have to address climate change now" India's push for renewable energy: Is it enough? Latin America at a climate crossroads Michael Bloomberg presses the case for urban action Obama delays key power plant rule of signature climate change plan Prince Charles will tell leaders climate action is ‘only rational […]
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5:52 PM | Solving the metal problem: new polymer used in organic solar cells to allow wide use of metal cathodes, improve efficiency
Organic solar cells (OSC) are an exciting next-generation option for photovoltaics.  The main advantage is that they’re cheap, easily processed using solution-based methods, which opens up many innovative applications – printable cells, even solar paint! The main issue holding OSCs back is … Continue reading →

Page, Z., Liu, Y., Duzhko, V., Russell, T. & Emrick, T. (2014). Fulleropyrrolidine interlayers: Tailoring electrodes to raise organic solar cell efficiency, Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1255826

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7:36 AM | 50 Canadian climate researchers speak out in support of the People's Climate March
The Canadian government is hell-bent on exploiting the Alberta tar sands to the fullest extent possible, even at the expense of the global climate. Canada simply cannot meet its carbon pollution reduction pledges if it continues to expand tar sands operations. While the American government has finally begun to take the threat of climate change seriously and do something about it, the Canadian government has merely played lip service to the problem. 50 Canadian climate researchers have reached […]

September 19, 2014

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5:56 AM | The Perplexing PETM
The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) around 56 million years ago is perhaps the most studied of the many episodes of global warming in the geological record, but it still has plenty of puzzles. Professor Daniela Schmidt has written an article in "Geology" highlighting a couple of them, which is an excuse to delve a little into this episode of climate change that has some similarities to, and some important differences from, modern climate change.   A […]
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12:31 AM | The abundantly peculiar Arctic ground squirrel
They survive colder core body temperatures than any other known vertebrate, sustaining a temperature below freezing yet not becoming frozen. They emerge from hibernation with clock-like accuracy despite having spent 8 months in underground burrows below Arctic tundra and layers of snow, out of sight of the Sun. The Arctic ground squirrel is an adorable furball of mystery. Loren Buck, University of Alaska Anchorage Department of Biological Science professor, has been enticed by the truths he […]

September 18, 2014

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5:51 AM | Deciding who should pay to publish peer-reviewed scientific research
There is an important discussion to be had about the future of scientific publications. As a practicing and publishing scientist, I am judged by the quality and quantity of my contributions to the scientific community. Traditionally, this comes down to counting how many papers I publish and weighting them by the quality (impact) of the journals where the papers appear. A fancy word for this is “Impact Factor,” which is a measure of the frequency papers in a particular journal are […]

September 17, 2014

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1:01 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #38A
$1 Trillion: Annual investment goal puts climate solutions within reach Big firms brace for global carbon price rollout China, the climate and the fate of the planet Climate change report: prevent damage by overhauling global economy Does the new Prime Minister of India believe in climate change? Global warming 'pause' explained NASA ranks this August as warmest on record No rain for decades: Stand by for the ‘megadroughts’, scientists warn Ocean algae can evolve fast to tackle […]

September 16, 2014

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11:11 PM | Breaking battery convention: new study indicates fast charging not necessarily detrimental to cycling lifetimes
It’s exciting in science when a conventional view is overthrown, as this opens the way for both new perspectives on old data and new experiments to design to test new theories.  A great example of this challenging of convention appears … Continue reading →

Li Y, El Gabaly F, Ferguson TR, Smith RB, Bartelt NC, Sugar JD, Fenton KR, Cogswell DA, Kilcoyne AL, Tyliszczak T & Bazant MZ (2014). Current-induced transition from particle-by-particle to concurrent intercalation in phase-separating battery electrodes., Nature materials, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25218062

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5:49 AM | Certain Arctic lakes store more greenhouse gases than they release
This is a re-post of an NSF press release New research, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), counters a widely-held scientific view that thawing permafrost uniformly accelerates atmospheric warming, indicating instead that certain Arctic lakes store more greenhouse gases than they emit into the atmosphere. The study, published this week in the journal Nature, focuses on thermokarst lakes, which occur as permafrost thaws and creates surface depressions that fill with melted fresh […]

September 15, 2014

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10:29 PM | The how to, and how not to, guide to interviewing for the Australian Public Service (2)
By Kelly Last week I started talking through the process of applying for positions in the Australian Public Service Graduate Programs. To recap, I covered some considerations for addressing the selection criteria. I applied to three departments; Department of A, Department … Continue reading →
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5:55 AM | The 97% v the 3% – just how much global warming are humans causing?
A pair of climate scientists recently had a dispute regarding how much global warming humans are responsible for. Gavin Schmidt from Nasa represented the consensus of 96–97% of climate experts in arguing that humans have been the dominant cause of global warming since 1950, while Judith Curry from Georgia Tech represented the opinions of 2–4% of climate experts that we could be responsible for less than half of that warming. Curry is to be the featured speaker on this subject at a […]

September 14, 2014

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8:45 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #37
SkS Highlights 97 hours of consensus: caricatures and quotes from 97 scientists by John Cook attracted the most comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. In addition, the 97 Hours campaign was widely acclaimed and promoted by numerous individuals and organizations throughout the world — see the SkS in theNews section of this Digest for details. El Niño Watch Long-term weather forecasters say it is now unlikely that a strong El Niño will develop this […]

September 13, 2014

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2:13 PM | Solving the puzzle of Greenland melting 20,000 years ago
Using a combination of experimental data taken from ice cores from the frigid glacier of Greenland and computer models of global circulation, scientists have partially solved a mystery about a lagged melting of Greenland 20,000 years ago, when the glaciers … Continue reading →

Buizert C, Gkinis V, Severinghaus JP, He F, Lecavalier BS, Kindler P, Leuenberger M, Carlson AE, Vinther B, Masson-Delmotte V & White JW (2014). Greenland temperature response to climate forcing during the last deglaciation., Science (New York, N.Y.), 345 (6201) 1177-80. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25190795

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9:52 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #37B
Agribusiness drives most illegal deforestation Can carbon capture technology be part of the climate solution? In 'This Changes Everything,' Naomi Klein sounds climate alarm Is India's new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, a climate sceptic? Judge cleared ‘necessity’ defense for use in climate trial Judith Curry scores own goal in climate hockey Monsoon floods kill 420 in India and Pakistan Personalising climate change through open data and apps The good and bad climate news from […]

September 11, 2014

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8:11 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #37A
97%, 97 hours, 97 climate scientists 97 experts explain the scientific consensus on climate change As people march, a moment of truth in the climate fight Climate change in plain language Don't understand global warming? Let 97 climate scientists explain it Fossil fuels, global warming and democracy Greenhouse gas levels rising at fastest rate since 1984 Legendary accounting firm just ran the numbers on climate change Prophetic visions can rouse politicians from complacency The two-degrees […]
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10:32 AM | What’s geology got to do with it? 5 – Scottish Independence Referendum
Flo summarises 5 geo-relevant policy issues that are likely to impact on the Scottish Independence Referendum. Sooooo apologies for the long blog holiday we’ve been on of late, Marion and I have had a fairly hectic summer, but fear not, we will be updating on a more regular basis from now on! Hitting the headlines […]
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9:40 AM | Carter in Dunedin: Otago Uni provides platform for climate crank plagiarist
For reasons best known to themselves, Otago University’s senior management this week provided climate denier and serial plagiarist Bob Carter with no fewer than two opportunities to spread his misinformation and misrepresentation of the state of climate science. The first, a public lecture on Tuesday evening (poster on left), gave Carter the chance to spruik […]
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7:52 AM | Interview: Inequality is a lifelong story
Tarja Halonen was the 11th President of the Republic of Finland and Finland’s first female head of state from 2000 to 2012. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the UN High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, and the Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders. She is also a member of the high-level reflection … Continue reading →
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5:36 AM | Record Greenhouse Gas Levels Impact Atmosphere and Oceans
This is a WMO press release Geneva, 9 September 2014 (WMO) – The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2013, propelled by a surge in levels of carbon dioxide.  This is according to the World Meteorological Organization’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, which injected even greater urgency into the need for concerted international action against accelerating and potentially devastating climate change. The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin showed that […]

September 10, 2014

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10:44 PM | Something old, something blue, something borrowed, not much new: Labour’s climate policy
Mr February (aka Simon Johnson) looks at the Labour Party’s climate change policy and concludes it’s not exactly innovative. As I was saying in my previous post Labour do have a seven page climate change policy that is at first look pretty comprehensive. Labour will begin the transition to a low carbon clean energy economy […]
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5:51 AM | In the Years of Living Dangerously, Part 3
In this last post about the Years of Living Dangerously series, I focus on episode 8 (A Dangerous Future). This episode follows Matt Damon, Thomas Friedman and Michael Hall as they all become investigative journalists in different parts of the world. Each story is individually, is impactful but when they are juxtaposed, the connections between climate change and human welfare are obvious. We meet Michael Hall as he disembarks in Bangladesh on a mission to find impacts of climate change on […]
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1:48 AM | Arctic ground squirrel videos
Arctic Ground Squirrel Videos The extraordinary life of the Arctic ground squirrel is described by dedicated scientists who study the handsome creatures. In videos The Perfect Yuppie Pet, In the Field, In the Lab, And the Circadian Clock, the scientists reflect on questions about the Arctic ground squirrel and its unusual lifestyle. Discover what makes these animals so unique by hearing the scientists' newfound insights. In these videos Professor Loren Buck of University Alaska Anchorage, […]
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12:26 AM | TDB Today: An election looms: do I feel lucky?
A word to the wise: there’s an election about to happen. Not much sign of climate policy coverage in the newspapers or on television, so in my Daily Blog post this week — An election looms: do I feel lucky? — I provide an entirely superficial but 100% accurate overview of the climate policies of […]

September 09, 2014

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5:51 AM | Cutting Emissions Pays for Itself
This is a re-post from Audrey Resutek at the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change  Study finds that savings from healthier air can make up for some or all of the cost of carbon reduction policies.  Lower rates of asthma and other health problems are frequently cited as benefits of policies aimed at cutting carbon emissions from sources like power plants and vehicles, because these policies also lead to reductions in other harmful types of air pollution. […]
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2:35 AM | Memo to Labour: Calling fossil fuels “transition fuels” doesn’t make the carbon go away
The New Zealand Labour Party announced their climate change policy on 24 August; the Sunday before last Sunday. At first glance, it sounds refreshingly like a policy that takes anthropogenic global warming seriously. From the announcement: A Labour Government will put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on both mitigation and adaptation, establish […]
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