2013 SkS Weekly News Roundup #20B

Burning tar sands = 'unsolvable' climate crisis: Hansen

Fresh off his resignation from NASA, leading climate scientist James Hansen is making the rounds this week, warning media and lawmakers that not only are we heading for a "tremendously chaotic" climate, but if we dig up and burn Canadian tar sands, the climate crisis will be rendered "unsolvable."

Burning Tar Sands = 'Unsolvable' Climate Crisis: Hansen by Jacob Chamberlain, Common Dreams, May 17, 2013

Climate change has shifted the North and South Poles

Increased melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and other ice losses worldwide have helped to move the North Pole several centimeters east each year since 2005.

Climate Change Has Shifted the Locations of Earth's North and South Poles by Richard A. Lovett, Nature magazine, Scientific American, May 14, 2013

Climate change is happening… So what?

Seven in 10 U.S. citizens believe climate change is real and happening now. Yet most have never even contacted a government official about the issue, let alone volunteered with an environmental organisation or taken other action.

These findings are part of an exploration of Climate Change in the American Mind issued  by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

Climate Change Is Happening… So What? by Silvia Romanelli, Inter Press Service (IPS), May 16, 2013

Fiji's villagers move uphill to escape rising seas

Fiji's picturesque Natewa Bay must be a hard place to leave, and for none more so than the villagers of Vunidogoloa, who are preparing to abandon their ancestral home in the face of the rising sea. But they have little choice: big waves now overtop a once-protective sea wall, their salt-polluted vegetation is dying. They are to move as a community a mile inland, and uphill, to a new site on the northern island of Vanua Levu. Devout Methodists, they have named Kenani, Fijian for Canaan – the promised land. 

Fiji's villagers move uphill to escape global warming's rising seas by Geoffry Lean, The Telegraph, May 17, 2013

Global warming has not stalled

Suggestions that global warming has stalled are a "diversionary tactic" from "deniers" who want the public to be confused over climate change, according to the world's best-known climate scientist. Prof James Hansen, who first alerted the world to climate change in 1988, said on Friday: "It is not true that the temperature has not changed in the two decades." 

Global warming has not stalled by Damian Carrington, The Guardian, May 17, 2013

Go fish (somewhere else): Warming oceans are altering catches

The new study in Nature shows these anecdotes aren't simply a fluke. Data from fish catches from around the world show it's happening everywhere the ocean is warming — which is just about everywhere.

Go Fish (Somewhere Else): Warming Oceans Are Altering Catches by Richard Harris, NPR, May 15, 2013

Ignoring the cost of climate change is bad business

In the financial markets, volatility is rising and all manner of derivatives are employed to hedge against potentially catastrophic losses. In the real world, the climate is becoming more volatile, yet cities and businesses – make that entire industries – are doing little to protect themselves from extreme weather.

Ignoring the cost of climate change is bad business by Eric Reguly, The Globe and Mail, May 17, 2013

Mount Everest's ice is melting

Earth's global thaw has reached Mount Everest, the world's tallest peak, researchers said today (May 14) at the Meeting of the Americas in Cancun, Mexico.

Glaciers in the Mount Everest region have shrunk by 13 percent in the last 50 years and the snowline has shifted upward by 590 feet (180 meters), Sudeep Thakuri, a graduate student at the University of Milan in Italy, said in a statement. Located in the Himalaya Mountains on the border between China and Nepal, Everest's summit is 29,029 feet (8,848 m) above sea level.

Mount Everest's Ice is Melting by Becky Oskin, LiveScience, May 14, 2013

Profits vs. disaster in Arctic meltdown

Many eyes are turning north to the Arctic, some in horror at the rapid decline of a key component of our life support system, others in eager anticipation at the untapped resources beneath the vanishing snow and ice.

“I’ve worked in the north for 21 years and the scale and speed of change up there is astonishing,” said Douglas Clark of the University of Saskatchewan.

“These changes, taken as whole, and reflected in our report, keep me awake at night,” Clark told IPS.

Profits vs. Disaster in Arctic Meltdown by Stephen Leahy, International Press Service, IPS, May 16, 2013

Warmer springs linked to dwindling snow in Rocky Mountains

Snow cover across the Rockies has been shrinking since 1980. This meltwater accounts for 80 percent of the annual water supply for more than 70 million people in the U.S.

Warmer Springs Linked to Dwindling Snow in Rocky Mountains by Denise Chow and LiveScience, Scientific American, May 15, 2013 

Why we know about the greenhouse gas effect

Our understanding of how certain atmospheric gases trap heat dates back almost 200 years to 1824 when Joseph Fourier described what we know as the greenhouse effect. Fourier, a French mathematician and physicist, asked what seems to be a simple question: why doesn’t the planet keep heating up as it receives sunlight? What is regulating our atmospheric temperature? 

Why we know about the greenhouse gas effect by David Wogan, Scientific American, May 16, 2013

Zombie climate sceptic theories survive

Study finds overwhelming scientific consensus that humans have caused global warming, but media still hasn't caught up.

Zombie climate sceptic theories survive only in newspapers and on TV by Graham Readfearn. PlanetOz, The Guardian, May 17, 2013


Posted by John Hartz on Sunday, 19 May, 2013

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