Posts

August 22, 2014

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1:25 PM | Has Earth's Missing Heat Been Found?
A new study suggests a natural climate cycle in the North Atlantic Ocean gobbled Earth's extra heat.

August 21, 2014

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9:40 PM | Does the motion of the solar system affect our climate?
The Earth’s climate is believed to be affected, not just by people driving Humvees, but by a series of complex cycles, which can occur over a few years (such as El Nino) or even tens of thousands of years (changes in the Earth’s axis of rotation). But another cycle which may have an effect, lasts…

Shaviv, N., Prokoph, A. & Veizer, J. (2014). Is the Solar System's Galactic Motion Imprinted in the Phanerozoic Climate?, Scientific Reports, 4 6150. DOI: 10.1038/srep06150

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9:03 PM | AESS Webinar : UN Sustainable Development Goals Setting Agenda for Sustainability
The webinar UN Sustainable Development Goals Setting Agenda for Sustainability is part of the Association for Environmental Studies and Educators (AESS) Webinar Series Visit Eventbrite to Register here The AESS webinar takes place on September 8, 2014 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm EST The live webinar presented by Magdalena A K Muir, Adjunct Associate Researcher with Columbia Climate [...]

August 20, 2014

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10:05 PM | Temperature Key to Crocs in the Sea
Evolution is great at producing novelty. Every organism that has ever lived – from the first cell to …
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1:24 PM | Rising Ocean Acidity Weakens Hunting Ability in Sharks
Sharks, the ocean’s top predators, renowned for their impressive hunting abilities, rely extensively on their keen sense of smell to hunt prey located miles away—earning themselves the label “swimming noses.” But a new study reveals that high levels of seawater acidity expected due to climate change can diminish their ability to track prey through sensing […]
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7:01 AM | Drought-Stricken California Town Struggles to Keep the Water Flowing
From heavy machinery to hand-held flour sifters, this town is pulling out all the stops to save its water.

August 18, 2014

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5:42 PM | Geography in the News: The Strangest Desert
By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM The Strange Namib Desert of Africa Africa seems to always be in the news covering conflict and disease across the continent. Its wonderful physical diversity, however, provides a background that is often overlooked by the casual reader. The Namib Desert is just one of…
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1:40 PM | Major Gift Will Expand Center for Climate Change Law
Columbia Law School's Center for Climate Change Law will be newly expanded with a major gift from the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation. The center, an affiliate of the Earth Institute, has been renamed the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.
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6:07 AM | El Nino Project (Part 7)
So, we’ve seen that Ludescher et al have a way to predict El Niños. But there’s something a bit funny: their definition of El Niño is not the standard one! Precisely defining a complicated climate phenomenon like El Niño is a tricky business. Lots of different things tend to happen when an El Niño occurs. […]

August 17, 2014

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9:28 PM | Profiles In Courage
Republicans and global warming: In stark contrast to their party’s public stance on Capitol Hill, many Republicans privately acknowledge the scientific consensus that human activity is at least partially responsible for climate change and recognize the need to address the problem. However, they see little political benefit to speaking out on the issue… Anthony Adragna, […]

August 14, 2014

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7:17 PM | Studies Find Climate Change to Disrupt Antarctic and Tropical Ecosystems
A recent study finds that West Antarctica’s ecosystem is highly correlated to its climate. As a result, climate change will have a negative impact on its ecological relationships, from plankton to penguins. Antarctica isn’t alone - climate change will also affect tropical ocean ecosystems by causing mass coral bleaching.
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5:29 PM | California Isn’t Just Dry — It’s Hot
California's average temperature for January through July was the highest on record.
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5:29 PM | California Isn’t Just Dry — It’s Hot
California's average temperature for January through July was the highest on record.
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9:18 AM | Greenland 2014: field work update!
The Greenland ice sheet is the largest continuous body of ice in the northern hemisphere, covering an area of ~22million km^2. Despite appearing to be devoid of life, it is […]
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4:03 AM | The merits of plasticity
Whether a species thrives or flags can have resounding consequences. When we think of our changing world, we imagine an ecosystem occupied by organisms which are interlinked. Photosynthesizers like plants and phytoplankton which harvest energy from the Sun occupy the lowest trophic level, while the herbivores that eat them are on the second trophic level, supporting higher level carnivores. When something goes wrong in one part of this pyramid / web / food chain, disconnects can […]
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4:03 AM | The merits of plasticity
Whether a species thrives or flags can have resounding consequences. When we think of our changing world, we imagine an ecosystem occupied by organisms which are interlinked.

August 13, 2014

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3:04 PM | Ocean Sediments Tell a Surprising Climate Story
Geochemists Alexander van Geen and Jacob Mey helped coauthor a recent paper in the leading journal Science showing that warming climate in the future may not degrade oxygen supplies in some parts of the oceans as previously thought. As surface waters warm, they hold less oxygen dissolved from the air; they also become less dense and thus less [...]
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2:42 PM | Pedaling for the Planet: NYC-DC Climate Ride
JD Capuano is known at the National Resources Defense Council   and Etsy  (an e-commerce website for handmade and vintage items) as a key partner in developing their organizations’ sustainability strategies and operations plans. In Hoboken, N.J., he’s known as a sparkplug behind improvements in the city’s environmental performance.  He’s known at Columbia University for many things, most [...]

August 12, 2014

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4:44 AM | Developing Countries to Become Major Climate Change Contributors by 2030—Later Than Previous Estimates
Developed nations have dominated global surface temperature change historically, and according to a new study, they will continue to do so until 2030, when developing nations, particularly the two population giants—China and India—will overtake them.  “This is significant,” said lead author Daniel Ward, a postdoctoral researcher from Cornell University, because most human-induced “climate change will […]

August 08, 2014

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3:52 PM | A Summit for Young Climate Leaders
We created CliMates in 2011. Our dream was to find new ways for youth worldwide to work together on climate change. In less than a year, CliMates grew into a network of several hundred students and young professionals across all continents and from different academic backgrounds. This year, the 2nd CliMates International Summit will take place in New York City from Aug. 25-29. This event will experiment with new ways to educate and train participants, introducing them to new approaches to […]

August 07, 2014

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3:00 PM | Cap and Trade Faces First Major Political Test
A group of Democrats wants to delay the planned expansion of California's cap-and-trade system. They're worried about the impact of higher gas prices.
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1:00 PM | El Niño Fizzle: No Relief Likely for California Drought
Odds of a strong pattern of warm Pacific waters forming in time to bring winter rains are diminishing.

August 06, 2014

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9:40 PM | Study: Trees save 850 lives every year, prevent thousands of health complications (seriously!)
Next time you pass a tree, you might want to give it a second thought. Maybe even a hug. One day, that tree might just help save your life.

August 05, 2014

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8:05 PM | Governor Inslee and CO2 in New York Times
Oysters and Dabob BayCO2 and and policy and politics in Washington State got some New York Times attention yesterday: nytimes.com/2014/08/04/us/as-oysters-die-climate-policy-goes-on-stumpRalph Schwartz at the Bellingham adds a little local perspective ny-times-shows-that-stances-on-coal-terminal-look-fuzzy-at-a-distance.While Washington State comes out better as far as future climate change in model predictions relative to other locations and even sea level rise will be less here than […]
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5:23 PM | Sea-level spikes can harm beaches worse than hurricane
Unforeseen, short-term increases in sea level caused by strong winds, pressure changes and fluctuating ocean currents can cause more damage to beaches on the East Coast over the course of a year than a powerful hurricane making landfall, according to a new study. The new research suggests that these sea-level anomalies could be more of a threat to coastal homes and businesses than previously thought, and could become higher and more frequent as a result of climate change.
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3:39 PM | Artist Will Take a 13-Hour Watery Stand to Draw Attention to Rising Seas
A performance artist will stand in San Francisco Bay for a tidal cycle of thirteen hours to dramatize the challenge of rising seas. At high tide, she'll be covered up to her neck.

August 04, 2014

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3:02 PM | The Case for CO2 Pessimism
A while back Ezra Klein was interviewing Ta-Nehisi Coates. Coates wrote an article in the Atlantic title: The Case For Reparations (I highly recommend reading the Atlantic article). Most of the interview was about Coates' Atlantic article. But part way through the interview, Coates asked Klein "How are we going to deal with climate change?"Below is Klein's answer clipped from the full interview. Klein followed up with an article: 7 reasons America will fail at global climate […]

August 03, 2014

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5:00 PM | Global Warming Kicks Up Record Pacific Trade Winds
The rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean is producing intense Pacific trade winds -- and a temporary hiatus in warming surface temperatures.

August 02, 2014

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8:19 AM | With climate change, uncertainty is no-one’s friend
Heard people say climate science is uncertain? Research by psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky from the University of Bristol and his colleagues finds this would be more, not less, reason to fight global warming.

August 01, 2014

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3:23 PM | Climate Change or Public Health: Which Matters More?
A new study by Earth Institute researchers suggests that talking about the human health impacts of air pollution related to burning fossil fuels might make a more convincing argument for action among conservatives, who are generally more skeptical of the scientific evidence for climate change.
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