• Latest in the National Dialogue

    • Ocean Circulation, Climate Change, and Arctic Sea Ice
      Andreas Schmittner

      Ocean Circulation, Climate Change, and Arctic Sea Ice

      Recent observations of the Atlantic deep ocean overturning circulation, called the Atlantic Meridional (north-south) Overturning (up-down) Circulation, or AMOC, also known as the Great Conveyor Belt, or Thermohaline Circulation, shows that it has been decreasing since 2004, the time for which detailed measurements are available from the RAPID program. Climate models also predict a decrease for the future due to man-made global warming, but the observed decline, shown as the red line in the below figure, is much larger than that predicted by the models. At a recent meeting of oceanographers in Bristol, UK, scientists were wondering what could cause this discrepancy.   Stength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation as measured by the RAPID program (red)... Continue Reading...

    • The Pope’s Encyclical: Climate Change’s Profound Challenges to Maine
      Andy OBrien

      The Pope’s Encyclical: Climate Change’s Profound Challenges to Maine

      "Now, faced as we are with global environmental deterioration, I wish to address every person living on this planet," Pope Francis began in his first papal encyclical on the environment last week. In his far-reaching 184-page letter titled "Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home" the pope said the earth is fast resembling "an immense pile of filth" and declared the urgent need for a "bold cultural revolution." The document also contained a stark reinterpretation of the concept of "dominion" in Genesis, marking a seismic shift in traditional Christian beliefs regarding the relationship between humans and nature. He said Christians should "forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God's image and given dominion over the earth justifies... Continue Reading...

    • CCNF Interview with Divestment Movement Leaders
      Michael Quirke

      CCNF Interview with Divestment Movement Leaders

      [Below are a set of excerpts from a CCNF virtual session with Ben Franta, PhD Candidate in Applied Physics at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a board member of the group Divest Harvard, and Geoffrey Supran, MIT Energy Fellow and leader of the group Fossil Free MIT. The transcript is minimally edited for readability and brevity.] Quirke: Welcome Ben and Geoffrey, so before we get into the weeds, what is divestment? Franta: Divestment is the opposite of investment, so when you pull your investments out of a particular sector or company — that is divestment. Often people will do this as an act of protest or because what the company is doing is not socially responsible. So some prominent examples in the past include: institutional divestment... Continue Reading...

    • CCNF negotiating with potential partners, sponsors to educate millions on climate before COP21
      Michael Quirke

      CCNF negotiating with potential partners, sponsors to educate millions on climate before COP21

      Houston, Texas (CCNF) July 11, 2015 — Already a trusted source for citizens and educators wanting to hear what real climate scientists have to say about climate change, CCNF has now opened up its online forum to an ongoing discussion on values and begun hosting a bipartisan debate on climate policy that is solution-oriented and scientifically grounded. To sustain the forum’s growth, and to provide quality coverage of the climate crisis and realize the full potential of this new national dialogue, CCNF is seeking partnership with a group of accredited 501(c)(3) universities, media outlet(s), and a scientific institution with a strong #SciComm/#SciEd arm. CCNF is also communicating with potential corporate/foundation sponsors who might sponsor a partner’s contributions to the dialogue and... Continue Reading...

    • The Faucet
      John Nielsen-Gammon

      The Faucet

      The effects of climate change on individual extreme events consist of thermodynamic changes and atmospheric circulation changes. In a new opinion piece in Nature Climate Change, Kevin Trenberth, John Fasullo, and Ted Shepherd (TFS) argue that we should be focusing on the thermodynamic changes. While I agree that such an approach is useful and appropriate at times, I think Trenberth et al. take it too far. Consider an extreme rainfall event, such as the rain that occurred in a few hours last May in the headwaters of the Blanco River in Texas and led to catastrophic flooding in Wimberley and San Marcos. The necessary ingredients are an ample supply of moisture, preferably throughout a deep column of the atmosphere, and... Continue Reading...

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