March 27, 2013 |
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration Tuesday announced a nationwide plan to help wildlife adapt to threats from climate change. Developed along with state and tribal authorities, the strategy seeks to preserve species as global warming alters their historical habitats and, in many cases, forces them to migrate across state and tribal borders. Over the next five years, the plan establishes priorities for what will probably be a decades-long effort. One key proposal is to create wildlife "corridors" that would let animals and plants move to new habitats.
March 7, 2013 |
Having given his film a title like "Greedy Lying Bastards," director Craig Rosebraugh is clearly out to take no prisoners in his timely documentary tracking the politics, inconvenient truths and alternative "realities" of the endless global warming debate. Yet, despite his cogent finger-pointing, nifty graphs and succinct highlighting of recent climate change history, longtime followers of the hyper-partisan topic may not find much terribly new or revealing here. Rosebraugh, doing his Michael Moore thing both in front of and behind the camera (though he's hardly as commanding a presence)
February 5, 2013 |
Sometimes, headlines alone can tell a story. Start with this one from The Times: “Baby boomers may live longer, but their elders were healthier.” And while you're pondering that, check this one out: “Sperm count low among couch potatoes, study finds.” And finally, there's this, well, punch-line headline : “Gov. Christie eats doughnut with Letterman; talks Sandy storm aid.” Yes, boys and girls and boomers, we have met the enemy, and he is us. Of course, I'm not talking about you , specifically.
January 8, 2013 |
Last year was the hottest year on record for the contiguous 48 states, marked by near-record numbers of extreme weather events such as drought, wildfire, tornadoes and storms, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In its annual report, State of the Climate, NOAA reported that the average annual temperature was 55.3 degrees - 3.3 degrees greater than the average temperature for the 20th century. It was also a full degree higher than the previous record-high temperature, set in 1998 - the biggest margin between two record-high temperatures to date.
January 6, 2013 |
Societal change usually happens slowly, even once it's clear there's a problem. That's because, in a country as big as the United States, public opinion moves in leisurely currents. Change often requires going up against powerful, established interests, and it can take decades for those currents to erode the foundations of our special-interest fortresses. Think civil rights, gay marriage, equal rights for women. Even facing undeniably real problems - say, discrimination against gay people - one can make the case that gradual change is the best option.
December 14, 2012 |
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the most scrutinized of scientific bodies. Each report, each sentence and sometimes even a footnote can bring on a rousing online debate between scientists and the skeptics who love to bedevil them. Once again, the IPCC's upcoming report has kicked up a kerfuffle months before its scheduled release. An online blogger, who loathes the idea of regulating carbon emissions, leaked a draft of the IPCC's fifth assessment now under review until its release in September.
December 5, 2012 |
A fast-changing Arctic broke new records for loss of sea ice and spring snow cover this year, as well as the extent of the summertime melt of the Greenland ice sheet, federal scientists reported Wednesday. The latest report about the melting Arctic comes as frustrations flared in Doha, Qatar, over the slow progress at United Nations climate talks to reach a global agreement on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. The buildup of the gases is elevating average global temperatures, with the most pronounced changes in the northernmost latitudes.
November 29, 2012 |
Think of broccoli that you've got in the freezer. As long as it's frozen, it will remain stable for years. As soon as you pull it out, it'll go mushy and soon begin to unleash the stench of decay. That's one way Kevin Schaefer likes to describe what's happening to all the leaves and roots and other plant material locked in the frozen soils of the arctic tundra and forests since the last Ice Age. As the planet warms, this permafrost is thawing, releasing huge amounts of carbon and methane, Schaefer explains in a new report.
November 28, 2012 |
If the prospect of coastal cities sinking into the sea 100 years from now does not motivate Americans to do something dramatic to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, there is something happening at this very moment that should be setting off sirens. Rising CO2 levels are making the oceans more acidic and that change in the chemistry of the seas is disrupting the food chain that ends with you and me. For years, as scientists watched the carbon emissions from our tailpipes and smokestacks spew into the sky and goose temperatures higher, there was one mitigating factor that was keeping a brake on global warming: The oceans were absorbing a whole lot of that CO2. Now, though, it turns out that is not such a blessing.
November 27, 2012 |
What do Manhattan and Miami have in common with ancient Pompeii? They are doomed places where the residents cannot imagine that the good times will ever end. Superstorm Sandy got our attention -- like Mike Tyson walking into the house and punching our dog. And the certainty that more freakish, savage storms will pay a visit has made it tough for global-warming deniers to keep denying. But denial is not as tough to reckon with as obliviousness. Being oblivious to approaching doom is a consistent human trait.