The only surprising thing about Monday's big climate change news is that people seem surprised.
The Crisis Comes Ashore
May 21, 2010
The continuing undersea gusher of oil 50 miles off the shores of Louisiana is not the only source of dangerous uncontrolled pollution spewing into the environment. Worldwide, the amount of man-made CO2 being spilled every three seconds into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding the planet equals the highest current estimate of the amount of oil spilling from the Macondo well every day.
April 28, 2010
For most of the 2.5 million years that humans and their predecessors have been around, the Earth has been a volatile place. Subtle shifts in the planet’s orbit have triggered large temperature swings; glaciers have marched across North America and Europe and then retreated. But, about 10,000 years ago, something unusual happened: The Earth’s climate settled into a relatively stable state, global temperatures started hovering within a narrow band, and sea levels stopped rising and falling so drastically.
The Oddities Of Sea-Level Rise
March 24, 2010
The way we're warming the planet, we can probably expect sea levels to rise at least a meter, on average, by the end of the century. That's what most scientific projections suggest, anyway. One kink, though, is that that's just an average—the seas won't go up uniformly by one meter all across the globe. Some places will see much higher rises than that, some places much lower. Michael Lemonick has a great Environment360 piece delving into some of the factors that make sea-level rise so odd and unpredictable.
Why The IPCC Needs Fixing
January 31, 2010
Over at Dot Earth, Andy Revkin has a smart story about the growing pressure to change how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) operates, especially after the recent scandal over glaciers.
Are We Ready For The Rising Seas?
January 14, 2010
One aspect of climate change that's already affecting people in various parts of the world is the slow but steady rise in sea level (via YaleE360): Pacific and Indian Ocean atoll nations are already being abandoned because of the direct and indirect effects of sea level rise, such as saltwater intrusion into groundwater. In the Marshall Islands, some crops are being grown in abandoned 55-gallon oil drums because the ground is now too salty for planting. New Zealand is accepting, on a gradual basis, all of the inhabitants of the Tuvalu atolls.
Why Antarctica's Not Melting As Much (For Now)
January 08, 2010
Here's a handy animated map from NOAA showing all the places on the planet where it's unseasonably warm and unseasonably cool right now. Curiously, the freak cold seems to be occurring everywhere major media centers are located—the northeastern United States, Europe, Japan—so the chilly weather's grabbing all the headlines. But it's anomalously warm just about everywhere else in the world, especially the Arctic. (For more on the overall trends, see Joe Romm's post.) Oh, there's one other big exception: It seems to be anomalously cold in Antarctica right now.
September 28, 2009
Our oceans have been the victims of a giant Ponzi scheme, waged with Bernie Madoff–like callousness by the world’s fisheries. Beginning in the 1950s, as their operations became increasingly industrialized--with onboard refrigeration, acoustic fish-finders, and, later, GPS--they first depleted stocks of cod, hake, flounder, sole, and halibut in the Northern Hemisphere.
What Happens When Ice Bridges Start Shattering?
April 06, 2009
If you're looking for more news on the shattering of that massive ice bridge that was holding Antarctica's Wilkins Ice Shelf in place, Charlie Petit has a great round-up. Or you can watch the video here, which is grimly fascinating. The Wilkins is roughly the size of Connecticut and is the largest of ten or so shelves to have shrunk or collapsed on the Antarctic Peninsula in recent years. Everyone's fingering climate change as the culprit, as the continent has warmed by about 3C (or 5.4F) in the past half-century.
The Movie Review: 'Hellboy 2'
July 10, 2008
Near the midpoint of Hellboy II: The Golden Army, the titular demon is asked by his all-too-human girlfriend, “Do you need everyone to love you? Or am I enough?” The original Hellboy, which director Guillermo del Toro launched on an unsuspecting public in 2004, felt as though it would have been content with the latter option--the unconditional affection of comic-book and fantasy-film geeks, the ironic indie crowd, and an eclectic bag of viewers eager for something just a little different.