2015 nearly sure to be warmest year on record

‘We have the knowledge and the tools to act. We have a choice. Future generations will not’


Global meltdown? @bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

A new report released just days before the start of the Paris climate talks makes it clear why there is so much interest in reaching an agreement to cap global warming. The World Meteorological Organization said it’s all but certain that 2015 will be the hottest year on record.

The global average temperature for the year will probably cross a symbolic threshold, reaching 1.0 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial era, capping a five-year span that is also the warmest on record, the WMO said, blaming a strong El Niño and human-induced global warming. Read more of the WMO information here. Continue reading

More proof there is no global warming ‘pause’


There is no ‘pause’ in global warming.

‘Why has so much research been framed around the concept of a ‘hiatus’ when it does not exist?’

Staff Report

After a couple of years of furor over the faux global warming pause, scientists with the University of Bristol (UK) say they have yet more evidence there was never any slowdown in the steady rise of temperatures worldwide. Continue reading

Study says 1980s saw major climate shift

Golden toads were discovered in Coata Rica in 1966. None have been seen since 1989, despite intensive surveys. They are presumed extinct. PHOTO COURTESY U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE.

Golden toads were discovered in Costa Rica in 1966. None have been seen since 1989, despite intensive surveys. They are presumed extinct. Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

‘The 1980s regime shift may be the beginning of the acceleration of the warming shown by the IPCC …’

Staff Report

By taking a big-picture look at the Earth’s various systems over time, researchers say they’ve been able to pinpoint a major global climate shift starting in the late 1980s, triggered by anthropogenic warming and the 1982 El Chichón volcanic eruption in Mexico.

The new study, published recently in Global Change Biology, documents a range of associated events caused by the shift, including a 60 percent increase in winter river flow into the Baltic Sea and a 400 percent increase in the average duration of wildfires in the Western United States. Continue reading

Can the tourism industry de-carbonize?


Global travel and tourism account for 5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. @bberwyn photo.

Study says modest carbon tax could offset travel industry climate impacts

Staff Report

Offsetting the climate change impacts of tourism and travel won’t be easy — but it might not be as expensive as you think.

According to a new study by the University of Waterloo, the damaging effects of carbon dioxide emissions associated with tourism could be eliminated if travelers paid just $11 per trip, on average. Continue reading

Here’s how the climate-denial sausage is made


There’s no question global temperatures have been climbing steadily for decades, yet a small cadre of radical organizations has been working to deceive the public about the realities of climate change.

New Yale study shows funding behind the effort to mislead Americans on climate science

By Bob Berwyn

Organizations funded by ExxonMobil and the Koch brothers form the core of a disinformation network that has spawned a vast body of literature that deliberately tries to deceive the public about global warming, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The research by Yale University researcher Dr. Justin Farrell closely scoured more than 40,000 texts produced by the climate change counter-movement (164 organizations), finding that  organizations with corporate funding were more likely to have written and disseminated texts meant to polarize the climate change issue. Continue reading

UK to strengthen protection for peatlands


A blanket bog on the Yell, Shetland Islands, with some peat working. Photo via Wikipedia and the Creative Commons.

New code could spur significant climate benefits

Staff Report

The UK wants to beef up protection and restoration of peatlands under a new government-backed code that could slash carbon dioxide emissions by 220 million tons and protect rare wildlife at the same time.

The Peatland Code was unveiled at the World Forum for Natural Capital in Edinburgh on November 23 following a successful two-year trial, which has seen businesses fund peatland restoration projects in southwest England, the Lake District and Wales.

The Code is based on research by academics at Birmingham City University and the University of Leeds which revealed that sustainable business investment could reverse the degradation of peatlands and significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading

Climate: Small temperature changes have big impacts in Arctic Ocean ecosystems


A NASA Earth Observatory satellite image captures a 2010 plankton bloom off the coast of Greenland.

Long-term study tracks shifting currents in Fram Straight

Staff Report

Intensive monitoring along the Fram Straight, between Greenland Svalbard, shows that even a short-term influx of warm water into the Arctic Ocean would be likely to have long-lasting effects on regional ecosystems.

Even small changes in surface water temperatures could quickly spread to affect life in the depths of the Arctic Ocean, a team of scientists concluded in a new study published in the journal Ecological Indicators. Continue reading


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