Links of The Month

Featured Links of November 2017

Featured Links of July 2017

  • Confronting climate change

Featured Links of April 2017

Featured Links of March 2017

  • 1997 was ‘tipping point’ for ice caps around Greenland’s edges

    Measuring almost 100,000 km2 (about twice the size of the Netherlands), the ice caps around Greenland’s edges represent the largest glacierised area on earth, outside of the large ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. On a healthy ice cap, tens of metres of tightly packed snow are able to absorb meltwater in summer. In winter, that water refreezes, causing the total mass to remain more or less stable from year to year. However, increasing temperatures have knocked that yearly cycle out of balance. The amount of meltwater is so great that the tightly packed snow is now completely saturated with refrozen meltwater. That means that new meltwater cannot be absorbed by the snow anymore, causing it to run off into the sea.

  • Climate breaks multiple records in 2016, with global impacts from the World Meteorological Society:

    “This report confirms that the year 2016 was the warmest on record – a remarkable 1.1 °C above the pre-industrial period, which is 0.06 °C above the previous record set in 2015. This increase in global temperature is consistent with other changes occurring in the climate system,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.


    At least three times so far this winter, the Arctic has witnessed the Polar equivalent of a heatwave, with powerful Atlantic storms driving an influx of warm, moist air. This meant that at the height of the Arctic winter and the sea ice refreezing period, there were days which were actually close to melting point. Antarctic sea ice has also been at a record low, in contrast to the trend in recent years.

  • Study: Emissions from power plants, refineries may be far higher than reported

    A new peer-reviewed paper in Environmental Science and Technology suggests that methane emissions from natural gas power plants and oil refineries may be significantly higher than accounted for in current inventories. The report estimates average hourly methane emissions 11 to 90 times higher for refineries, and 21 to 120 times higher for natural gas power plants than those calculated from data provided by facility operators to Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program.

    By multiplying total CO2 emitted annually by all US natural gas power plants and refineries (as tallied by EPA) by the methane-to-CO2 emission ratio determined in the study, the authors estimate yearly methane emissions from the nation’s refineries and gas-fired power plants are twenty times higher than currently reported.

Featured Links of February 2017

Featured Links of January 2017

Featured Links of December 2016

Featured Links of November 2016

  • worldicelossn1058px_0How Much Arctic Sea Ice Is Each of Us Melting? Quite a Bit, New Study Says

    The study’s authors, climate scientists Dirk Notz and Julienne Stroeve, applied this finding to per capita emissions data from 2013 for each country, and found that the average person causes the loss of hundreds of feet of sea ice each year. But the U.S. and other high-emitting countries like Australia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are not average. Americans, for instance, have a personal footprint of as much as 645 square feet of ice loss. China, a large emitter but with a massive population, has lower per-capita emissions, with up to 322 square feet of ice loss per person.

  • Marketplace: EPA’s last minute changes to fracking report downplayed risks

    New documents have emerged that show the EPA downplayed the risks of fracking in a landmark report on the process used to extract oil and gas from shale. The last minute changes made by the EPA are documented in a story by the public radio show Marketplace and APM Reports.

Featured Links of October 2016

      • Taylor Valley is one the McMurdo Dry Valleys. The landscape is composed of expanses of a sandy, gravelly soil, ice-covered lakes (at right), and glaciers flowing from the local mountains (center background). Credit: Andrew Fountain & Science Daily

        Taylor Valley is one the McMurdo Dry Valleys. The landscape is composed of expanses of a sandy, gravelly soil, ice-covered lakes (at right), and glaciers flowing from the local mountains (center background).
        Credit: Andrew Fountain & Science Daily

        Consequences from Antarctica climate change

        Extreme Antarctica ice melt provides glimpse of ecosystem response to global climate change

        In the scientific paper, “The Impact of a Large-scale Climate Event on Antarctic Ecosystem Processes,” published in a special section in Bioscience, Fountain and his team detail the climate event and summarize the cascading ecological consequences over the last 15 years caused by a single season of intense melting in Antarctica between 2001 and 2002.

Featured Links of September 2016

      • Explaining Ocean Warming: Causes, scale, effects and consequences, a report from IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)

        When we step back, as we have tried to do with this report, and look at the overall consequences of our business-as-usual activities, it is clear that we are locking ourselves into an increasingly difficult future for us and generations to come.

Featured Links of August 2016

  • Louisiana Downpours, August 2016, Climate Central, World Weather Attribution

    Based on these different approaches —all of which are in agreement— the team found that human-caused climate change increased the frequency and intensity of the heavy rains such as the August 12–14 event along the Central U.S. Gulf Coast region.

Featured Links of July 2016

Featured Links of June 2016

  • Temperature spiraling out of control:

Featured Links of May 2016

      • First Day Of FERC Protests: 7 Arrested, Commissioner Home Visited

        During the blockade and at an action in the morning, #RubberStampRebellion activists distributed a small pamphlet to passersby that explained the rationale for the rebellion actions planned for this week:

        For too long, this invisible federal agency has caused community destruction and climate devastation with every permit it issues.

        For too long, FERC has rubber-stamped fracked-gas pipelines, compressor stations and export facilities.

      • Animation shows advance of climate change with horrifying clarity

        A new visualization from University of Reading climate scientist Ed Hawkins has a novel approach: putting monthly average temperatures on a circular graph and animating the outward spiral toward certain amounts of deviation from that month’s global average in the 1850-1900 range.

Featured Links of April 2016

      • Sea-level rise could nearly double over earlier estimates in next 100 years

        AMHERST, Mass. – A new study from climate scientists Robert DeConto at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and David Pollard at Pennsylvania State University suggests that the most recent estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for future sea-level rise over the next 100 years could be too low by almost a factor of two. Details appear in the current issue of Nature.

Featured Links of March 2016

  • Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms: The Threat of Irreparable Harm, by Jim Hansen

    So after you have talked to a scientist about this topic, ask him or her a final question. Do you agree that we have reached a dangerous situation? Do you think we may be approaching a point of no return, a situation in which our children inherit a climate system undergoing changes that are out of their control, changes that will cause them irreparable harm?

  • Regional climate change and national responsibilities

    There is striking incongruity between the global distribution of nations principally responsible for fossil fuel CO2 emissions, known to be the main cause of climate change, and the regions suffering the greatest consequences from the warming, a fact with substantial implications for global energy and climate policies

  • Atlantic Circulation Weaker Than In Last Thousand Years

    A sweeping ocean conveyor system that ushers warm tropical waters into the North Atlantic appears to have partly recovered from a near-collapse around the time that the Beatles were breaking up, but the system remains weaker than it had been since before humans figured out how to write modern music on a page.

    Also see this video:

Featured Links of February 2016

Featured Links of January 2016

Featured Links of December 2015

      • Thresholds and closing windows: risks of irreversible cryosphere climate change

        Never has a single generation held the future of so many coming generations, species and ecosystems in its hands

      • Arctic Report Card: update for 2015

        The average annual surface air temperature anomaly (+1.3°C relative to the 1981-2010 baseline) over land north of 60°N between October 2014 and September 2015 was the highest in the observational record beginning in 1900. This represents a 2.9°C increase since the beginning of the 20th Century. Average air temperature anomalies in all seasons between October 2014 and September 2015 were generally positive throughout the Arctic, with extensive regions exceeding +3°C relative to the 1981-2010 baseline.

      • RECO2UNT: It’s time to do the math again”

        Climate policy making is based on the twin propositions that two degrees Celsius (2°C) of global warming is an appropriate policy target, and that there is a significant carbon budget and amount of “burnable carbon” allowable whilst meeting this target. This survey concludes that the evidence does not support either of these propositions.The catastrophic and irreversible consequences of 2°C of warming demand a strong risk-management approach, with a low rate of failure. We should not take risks with the climate that we would not take, for example, with civil infrastructure.

Featured Links of November 2015

      • Explaining Extreme Events of 2014 from a Climate Perspective
        • 32 papers looking at 28 different extreme events from around the world in 2014. Largest of the four reports.
        • Most global coverage of any of the past reports. All seven continents are represented.
        • Papers cover event types ranging from the more common heat, precipitation and drought,
          to new event types including fires, Antarctic sea ice extent, and sea level pressure anomalies.

Featured Links of October 2015

      • Welcome to a New Planet

        Not so long ago, it was science fiction. Now, it’s hard science — and that should frighten us all. The latest reports from the prestigious and sober Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) make increasingly hair-raising reading, suggesting that the planet is approaching possible moments of irreversible damage in a fashion and at a speed that had not been anticipated.

Featured Links of August 2015

Featured Links of May 2015

      • Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’

        Climate as a common good
        23. The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all. At the global level, it is a complex system linked to many of the essential conditions for human life. A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon. Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.

Featured Links of February 2015

      • Could Global Tide Be Starting To Turn Against Fossil Fuels?

        Boom may be turning to bust for fossil fuels. Market forces are combining with the prospect of new limits on carbon emissions from major economies such as China and the United States to prick the carbon bubble. Many analysts are now suggesting that — with prices falling and production costs rising — the coming year could be the moment when investors realize the game is up for the coal and oil industries.

      • A melting Arctic and weird weather: the plot thickens

        Yes, droughts, cold and snowstorms have happened before, but the persistence of this pattern over North America is starting to raise eyebrows. Is climate change at work here?

Featured Links of January 2015

Featured Links of December 2014

Featured Links of November 2014

Featured Links of October 2014

      • National Divestment Day

        When our Governments fail us, it’s time to take matters into our own hands. Money speaks. That’s why, on October 17-18, Australians everywhere joined together to move our money out of the financial institutions that are funding climate destruction.

      • October Divest Digest: When No One Accepted “No” As A Final Answer

        Here are a few summaries of stories and events from across the United States that demonstrate students strength in never accepting “no” as a final answer.

Featured Links of September 2014

      • Integrated life-cycle assessment of electricity-supply scenarios confirms global environmental benefit of low-carbon technologies

        Life-cycle assessments commonly used to analyze the environmental costs and benefits of climate-mitigation options are usually static in nature and address individual power plants. Our paper presents, to our knowledge, the first life-cycle assessment of the large-scale implementation of climate-mitigation technologies, addressing the feedback of th
        e electricity system onto itself and using scenario-consistent assumptions of technical improvements in key energy and material production technologies

      • Global shale gas development

        Extracting oil or natural gas from shale poses a number of risks to the environment and requires large quantities of nearby water. Much of this water is needed for fracturing the shale to allow hydrocarbons to flow to the surface. Yet shale resources are not always located where water is abundant. Our analysis shows that China, India, South Africa, and Mexico, for example, have large quantities of shale gas but limited supplies of freshwater. It also shows that roughly 38 percent of the area where shale resources are located is arid or under significant water stress; plus, 386 million people live above these areas. These factors pose significant social, environmental, and financial challenges to accessing water and could limit shale development.

Featured Links of August 2014

      • Compendium of scientific, medical, and media findings demonstrating risks and harms of fracking (unconventional gas and oil extraction)

        Horizontal drilling combined with high – volume h ydraulic fracturing and clustered multi – well pads are recently combined technologies for extract ing oil and natural gas from shale bedrock. As this unconventional extraction method (collectively known as “fracking”) has pushed into more densely populated a reas of the United States , and as fracking operations have increased in frequency and intensity, a significant body of evidence has emerged to demonstrate that these activities are inherently dangerous to people and their communities.

        Risks include adverse impacts on water, air, agriculture, public health and safety, property values , climate stability and economic vitality.

      • Dahr Jamail | “Peak Water,” Methane Blowholes and Ice-Free Arctic Cruises: The Climate Crisis Deepens:

        Widely published climatologist Jason Box, who closely followed the research expedition [to the Arctic Ocean], responded to what he saw with a tweet that quickly went viral: “If even a small fraction of Arctic sea floor carbon is released to the atmosphere, we’re f’d.

Featured Links of July 2014

      • Rejection of Colorado Coal Mine on Global Warming Grounds Could Be Game-Changer

        A U.S. District Court judge ruled on June 27 that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service both wrongly approved expansion of the West Elk coal mine in Somerset, Colo., because they failed to take into account the economic impacts greenhouse gas emissions from the mining would have.

        The federal agencies said it was impossible to quantify such impacts, but the court pointed out a tool is available to quantify the effects of emissions and the agencies chose to ignore it. The tool, the “social cost of carbon protocol,” puts a price on the damages from drought, flood, storm, fire and disease caused by global warming

        “It is arbitrary to offer detailed projections of a project’s upside while omitting a feasible projection of the project’s costs,” U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson ruled.

      • The Meth Bridge to Nowhere, this pillar of our national climate policy of “all-of-the-above” coming to the rescue of more-of-the-same, continues to crumble:

        About 40 percent of the oil and gas wells in parts of the Marcellus shale region will probably be leaking methane into the groundwater or into the atmosphere, concludes a Cornell-led research team that examined the records of more than 41,000 such wells in Pennsylvania.

        Here is the original paper.

      • A close-up view of the Climate Action Plan brought to you by the White-House-EPA-Wall-Street axis of Evil:

        It didn’t take long for the residents of Finleyville who lived near the fracking operations to complain – about the noise and air quality, and what they regarded as threats to their health and quality of life. Initially, EQT, one of the largest producers of natural gas in Pennsylvania, tried to allay concerns with promises of noise studies and offers of vouchers so residents could stay in hotels to avoid the noise and fumes.

      • The source of this bad news is the good news: the national conversation is changing.  The bad new is that talk alone does not suspend the laws of physics, chemistry and biology.

        “There’s a profound game-changing event going on in the life of the sea,” says Callum Roberts, a professor of marine conservation at the University of York, England. “The fact is that changes in alkalinity are going to cause massive reorganization of marine life, impacts on marine food webs, productivity, all sorts of things. We’re heading for a car crash here.”

        Many of these risks are caused by one of the world’s most pressing problems: climate change. Rising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are causing global temperatures to rise, which is leading to the melting of the polar ice caps, which in turn has resulted in rising sea levels and a host of ecological issues.

Featured Links of June 2014

      • The Myth that Gas is “Clean Energy”

        According to a recent lifecycle analysis performed by a team of Cornell University scientists led by Professor Robert W. Howarth, unconventional gas—particularly when it is extracted from shale using hydraulic fracturing methods—is likely to present an even greater climate disruption threat than coal and oil, the other dirty fossil fuels.

      • Paraphrasing Upton Sinclair:

        It is difficult to get politicians to understand something, when their campaign contributions depend upon their not understanding it!

        Obama Climate Rules Not Enough to Fight Global Warming

      • Capitalism [noun]:The 1%-plan to have a cretaceous atmosphere and a cretaceous climate.

Featured Links of May 2014

      • National Climate Assessment

        Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present. Corn producers in Iowa, oyster growers in Washington State, and maple syrup producers in Vermont are all observing climate-related changes that are outside of recent experience. So, too, are coastal planners in Florida, water managers in the arid Southwest, city dwellers from Phoenix to New York, and Native Peoples on tribal lands from Louisiana to Alaska. This National Climate Assessment concludes that the evidence of human-induced climate change continues to strengthen and that impacts are increasing across the country.

        We know the truth about climate chaos and yet, “led” by spineless politicians peddling snake oil, we continue business as usual.

Featured Links of April 2014

      • Arctic Sea Ice Minimum Volumes 1979-2012

        This is an animated visualization of the startling decline of Arctic Sea Ice, showing the minimum volume reached every September since 1979, set on a map of New York with a 10km grid to give an idea of scale. It is clear that the trend of Arctic sea ice decline indicates that it’ll be ice-free for an increasingly large part of the year, with consequences for the climate.

      • Time history of atmospheric carbon dioxide from 800,000 years before until Jan 2014The unprecedented fossil fuel experiment supported, among others, by the investments of the State of Rhode Island and its Institutions of Higher Learning. Indeed, as Nietzsche noted: “Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” Welcome to the asylum called Global Capitalism.

Featured Links of March 2014

Featured Links of February 2014

      • Climate Change Evidence & Causes

        The Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences, with their similar missions
        to promote the use of science to benefit society and to inform critical policy debates, offer this new publication as a key reference document for decision makers, policy makers, educators, and other individuals seeking authoritative answers about the current state
        of climate-change science.

      • Exxon’s Pro-Fracking CEO Is Suing to Stop Fracking Near His Mansion

        Fancy a side of irony with your corporate hypocrisy? Last night on MSNBC, Nation Editor-at-Large Chris Hayes profiled ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, a vocal proponent of hydraulic fracking, who is suing to prevent the construction of a water tower near his eighty-three-acre, $5 million horse ranch in Bartonville, Texas.

Featured Links of January 2014

      • Fracking the Future: How Unconventional Gas Threatens our Water, Health and Climate.

        A national moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for unconventional gas until independent scientific studies are conducted to verify that fracking is not responsible for adverse outcomes on drinking water, public health and the global climate.

      • Surging Seas

        Search or navigate our interactive map tool to see maps of areas below different amounts of sea level rise and flooding, down to neighborhood scale, matched with area timelines of risk. The tool also provides statistics of population, homes and land affected by city, county and state, plus links to factsheets, data downloads, action plans, embeddable widgets, and more.

Featured Links of December 2013

      • Climate Change At The National Academies

        Both abrupt changes in the physical climate system and steady changes in climate that can trigger abrupt changes in other physical, biological, and human systems present possible threats to nature and society. Abrupt change is already underway in some systems, and large scientific uncertainties about the likelihood of other abrupt changes highlight the need for further research. However, with recent advances in understanding of the climate system, some potential abrupt changes once thought to be imminent threats are now considered unlikely to occur this century.

      • Assessing “Dangerous Climate Change”: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature, James Hansen et al.

        A target of limiting warming to 2°C has been widely adopted, as discussed above. We suspect, however, that this may be a case of inching toward a better answer. If our suspicion is correct, then that gradual approach is itself very dangerous, because of the climate system’s inertia. It will become exceedingly difficult to keep warming below a target smaller than 2°C, if high emissions continue much longer.

        Here is a review of this paper.