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Scientists have a hard time explaining things. Granted, much of what they’re trying to explain is impossibly complicated. But not always. Jimmy Kimmel and John Oliver recently produced some great videos that should inspire everyone in science communication to realize that maybe all we really need to do is turn over the explaining to the professionals.…

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Enhancing Participation in the U.S. Global Change Research Program

The US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is a collection of 13 Federal entities charged by law to assist the United States and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change. As the understanding of global change has evolved over the past decades and as demand for scientific information on global change has increased, the USGCRP has increasingly focused on research that…

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Exxon’s Climate Concealment

Millions of Americans once wanted to smoke. Then they came to understand how deadly tobacco products were. Tragically, that understanding was long delayed because the tobacco industry worked for decades to hide the truth, promoting a message of scientific uncertainty instead. The same thing has happened with climate change, as Inside Climate News, a nonprofit news organization, has been reporting in a series of articles based on internal documents from…

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New studies deepen concerns about a climate-change ‘wild card’

Two new studies are adding to concerns about one of the most troubling scenarios for future climate change: the possibility that global warming could slow or shut down the Atlantic’s great ocean circulation systems, with dramatic implications for North America and Europe. The research, by separate teams of scientists, bolsters predictions of disruptions to global ocean currents — such as the Gulf Stream — that transfer tropical warmth from the…

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Did Big Oil seek to sway scientists in climate debate?

A key Democratic lawmaker is seeking an expanded inquiry into whether fossil-fuel companies have been secretly underwriting the research of some of the country’s most prominent scientific skeptics of climate change. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D- Ariz.), the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, sent requests to seven universities asking for detailed records on the funding sources for affiliated researchers who have opposed the scientific consensus on man-made…

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New NAS reports on climate change mitigation

Our planet has entered a period in which climate is changing more rapidly than ever experienced in recorded human history, primarily caused by the rapid build-up of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels. Scientists have identified a number of risks from changing climate, including rising sea level, drought, heat waves, more severe storms, and increasing precipitation intensity and associated disruption of terrestrial and aquatic…

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Short-term loss, long-term gain for climate change?

Image by AndyHogan14 There’s been a lot of anxiety in climate change circles after Tuesday’s election ushered in a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate. The Wednesday morning headlines were dire, including this one from Vox: “The biggest loser in this election is the climate.” On its face, I agree. The chances of bold climate action within the next two years took a big hit Tuesday. Coupled with the latest…

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New IPCC report says “irreversible impacts” coming

Photograph: John Amis/AP Climate change is set to inflict “severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts” on people and the natural world unless carbon emissions are cut sharply and rapidly, according to the most important assessment of global warming yet published. The stark report states that climate change has already increased the risk of severe heatwaves and other extreme weather and warns of worse to come, including food shortages and violent conflicts.…

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