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EPA releases new climate change indicators report

The Earth’s climate is changing. Temperatures are rising, snow and rainfall patterns are shifting, and more extreme climate events—like heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures—are already taking place. Scientists are highly confident that many of these observed changes can be linked to the climbing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, which are caused by human activities. EPA is working with many other organizations to collect…

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Global carbon dioxide emissions in one convenient map

World leaders face multiple barriers in their efforts to reach agreement on greenhouse gas emission policies. And, according to Arizona State University researchers, without globally consistent, independent emissions assessments, climate agreements will remain burdened by errors, self-reporting and the inability to verify emissions progress. Now, an international research team led by ASU scientists has developed a new approach to estimate CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels – one that provides…

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Can We Do Without a Global Climate Treaty?

Jianan Yu/Reuters Don’t give up on a global climate treaty, but don’t count on it any time soon. I have seen these negotiations up close. Every country trots out its list of reasons why it needs more time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the negotiations become a race to the bottom. But once countries feel confident in their ability to simultaneously reduce emissions and grow their economies, they will…

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Can Humans Get Used to Having a Two-Way Relationship with Earth’s Climate?

Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center Earlier this summer, I was invited to write an essay on humanity’s troubled relationship with the changing atmosphere for a special issue of Audubon Magazine centered on the Audubon Society’s comprehensive new report on birds in a changing climate. The issue is now published online and in print and has a range of excellent features, including “How Climate Change is…

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WSJ gives ink (again) to climate change critics

In his latest Wall Street Journal op-ed, Matt Ridley provides a predictable litany of reasons why action on climate change shouldn’t be a priority right now. It’s a classic “delayer” mash-up of professing respect for science while simultaneously failing to take repeated warnings from scientists seriously. None of his distractions or excuses change the fact that acting on global warming now is the cheapest, safest, and most effective way to…

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Consensus is actually a real part of science

One of the many unfortunate aspects of arguments over climate change is that it’s where many people come across the idea of a scientific consensus. Just as unfortunately, their first exposure tends to be in the form of shouted sound bites: “But there’s a consensus!” “Consensus has no place in science!” Lost in the shouting is the fact that consensus plays several key roles in the process of science. In…

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New IPCC report: Global warming even worse than we thought

Credit Kadir van Lohuizen for The New York Times Runaway growth in the emission of greenhouse gases is swamping all political efforts to deal with the problem, raising the risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” over the coming decades, according to a draft of a major new United Nations report. Global warming is already cutting grain production by several percentage points, the report found, and that could grow much…

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New ocean readings may explain global warming “pause”

OVER the past few years one of the biggest questions in climate science has been why, since the turn of the century, average surface-air temperatures on Earth have not risen, even though the concentration in the atmosphere of heat-trapping carbon dioxide has continued to go up. This “pause” in global warming has been seized on by those sceptical that humanity needs to act to curb greenhouse-gas emissions or even (in…

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