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Harper, K.: The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire (Hardcover and eBook) | Princeton University Press
"Here is the monumental retelling of one of the most consequential chapters of human history: the fall of the Roman Empire. The Fate of Rome is the first book to examine the catastrophic role that climate change and infectious diseases played in the collapse of Rome’s power—a story of nature’s triumph over human ambition. Interweaving a grand historical narrative with cutting-edge climate science and genetic discoveries, Kyle Harper traces how the fate of Rome was decided not just by emperors, soldiers, and barbarians but also by volcanic eruptions, solar cycles, climate instability, and devastating viruses and bacteria. He takes readers from Rome’s pinnacle in the second century, when the empire seemed an invincible superpower, to its unraveling by the seventh century, when Rome was politically fragmented and materially depleted. Harper describes how the Romans were resilient in the face of enormous environmental stress, until the besieged empire could no longer withstand the combined challenges of a “little ice age” and recurrent outbreaks of bubonic plague. A poignant reflection on humanity’s intimate relationship with the environment, The Fate of Rome provides a sweeping account of how one of history’s greatest civilizations encountered and endured, yet ultimately succumbed to the cumulative burden of nature’s violence. The example of Rome is a timely reminder that climate change and germ evolution have shaped the world we inhabit—in ways that are surprising and profound."
book  publisher  classics  roman  empire  history  diseases  climate 
october 2017 by tsuomela
Data Basin
"Data Basin is a science-based mapping and analysis platform that supports learning, research, and sustainable environmental stewardship."
data-sources  data-curation  climate  environment  weather  meteorology 
november 2016 by tsuomela
STATMOS: Statistical Methods for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences | A research network
"Recent events in climate science have highlighted the need for increased participation of statisticians. While mathematics play an important role in modeling fluid dynamics, statistics specializes in quantifying uncertainty. We are building a network of statisticians with interest in atmospheric and ocean science. The hubs of the network (and some nodes) have personnel both in statistics and in atmospheric and ocean sciences, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research is a common node connected to each of the nodes. The network will also connect with similar networks in the Pacific Northwest and in Europe. The topics of research cover broad areas with a common theme being multivariate nonstationary non-Gaussian spatio-temporal models, which are needed to describe a changing world. Network researchers will study extreme events in space and time, will develop methods to compare models to data, make uncertainty assessments for scenario-based climate projections, and produce computationally efficient ways to deal with large amounts of data from observing networks and numerical models. "
academic-center  climate  environment  statistics  earth-science 
october 2016 by tsuomela
Could Climate Change Cause Another Holocaust? | The New Republic
Review of Black Earth: the Holocaust as history and warning by Timothy Snyder.
book  review  holocaust  climate  history  anarchy  politics  state  institutions 
september 2015 by tsuomela
When did the Anthropocene begin? A mid-twentieth century boundary level is stratigraphically optimal
"We evaluate the boundary of the Anthropocene geological time interval as an epoch, since it is useful to have a consistent temporal definition for this increasingly used unit, whether the presently informal term is eventually formalized or not. Of the three main levels suggested – an ‘early Anthropocene’ level some thousands of years ago; the beginning of the Industrial Revolution at ∼1800 CE (Common Era); and the ‘Great Acceleration’ of the mid-twentieth century – current evidence suggests that the last of these has the most pronounced and globally synchronous signal. A boundary at this time need not have a Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP or ‘golden spike’) but can be defined by a Global Standard Stratigraphic Age (GSSA), i.e. a point in time of the human calendar. We propose an appropriate boundary level here to be the time of the world's first nuclear bomb explosion, on July 16th 1945 at Alamogordo, New Mexico; additional bombs were detonated at the average rate of one every 9.6 days until 1988 with attendant worldwide fallout easily identifiable in the chemostratigraphic record. Hence, Anthropocene deposits would be those that may include the globally distributed primary artificial radionuclide signal, while also being recognized using a wide range of other stratigraphic criteria. This suggestion for the Holocene–Anthropocene boundary may ultimately be superseded, as the Anthropocene is only in its early phases, but it should remain practical and effective for use by at least the current generation of scientists."
nthropology  history  anthropocene  climate  climate-change  global-warming  climatology  geology  boundaries 
january 2015 by tsuomela
PLOS ONE: Assessing “Dangerous Climate Change”: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature
"We assess climate impacts of global warming using ongoing observations and paleoclimate data. We use Earth’s measured energy imbalance, paleoclimate data, and simple representations of the global carbon cycle and temperature to define emission reductions needed to stabilize climate and avoid potentially disastrous impacts on today’s young people, future generations, and nature. A cumulative industrial-era limit of ~500 GtC fossil fuel emissions and 100 GtC storage in the biosphere and soil would keep climate close to the Holocene range to which humanity and other species are adapted. Cumulative emissions of ~1000 GtC, sometimes associated with 2°C global warming, would spur “slow” feedbacks and eventual warming of 3–4°C with disastrous consequences. Rapid emissions reduction is required to restore Earth’s energy balance and avoid ocean heat uptake that would practically guarantee irreversible effects. Continuation of high fossil fuel emissions, given current knowledge of the consequences, would be an act of extraordinary witting intergenerational injustice. Responsible policymaking requires a rising price on carbon emissions that would preclude emissions from most remaining coal and unconventional fossil fuels and phase down emissions from conventional fossil fuels."
climate  climate-change  global-warming  risk 
april 2014 by tsuomela
Elegy for a Country’s Seasons by Zadie Smith | The New York Review of Books
"Oh, what have we done! It’s a biblical question, and we do not seem able to pull ourselves out of its familiar—essentially religious—cycle of shame, denial, and self-flagellation. This is why (I shall tell my granddaughter) the apocalyptic scenarios did not help—the terrible truth is that we had a profound, historical attraction to apocalypse. In the end, the only thing that could create the necessary traction in our minds was the intimate loss of the things we loved. Like when the seasons changed in our beloved little island, or when the lights went out on the fifteenth floor, or the day I went into an Italian garden in early July, with its owner, a woman in her eighties, and upon seeing the scorched yellow earth and withered roses, and hearing what only the really old people will confess—in all my years I’ve never seen anything like it—I found my mind finally beginning to turn from the elegiac what have we done to the practical what can we do?"
climate  climate-change  global-warming  religion  belief  argument  action 
march 2014 by tsuomela
Home - Climate CoLab
"The goal of the Climate CoLab is to harness the collective intelligence of thousands of people from all around the world to address global climate change. Inspired by systems like Wikipedia and Linux, the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence has developed this on-line forum where citizens create, analyze, and select detailed proposals for what to do about climate change."
climate  environment  climate-change  problem-solving  distributed  cognition  crowdsourcing  groups  competition 
may 2013 by tsuomela
www.nature.com
"In this paper, we address the chicken-or-egg question posed by two alternative explanations for the relationship between perceived personal experience of global warming and belief certainty that global warming is happening: Do observable climate impacts create opportunities for people to become more certain of the reality of global warming, or does prior belief certainty shape people’s perceptions of impacts through a process of motivated reasoning1? We use data from a nationally representative sample of Americans surveyed first in 2008 and again in 2011; these longitudinal data allow us to evaluate the causal relationships between belief certainty and perceived experience, assessing the impact of each on the other over time2. Among the full survey sample, we found that both processes occurred: ‘experiential learning’, where perceived personal experience of global warming led to increased belief certainty, and ‘motivated reasoning’, where high belief certainty influenced perceptions of personal experience. We then tested and confirmed the hypothesis that motivated reasoning occurs primarily among people who are already highly engaged in the issue whereas experiential learning occurs primarily among people who are less engaged in the issue, which is particularly important given that approximately 75% of American adults currently have low levels of engagement3"
environment  global-warming  climate-change  climate  psychology  sociology  belief  experience 
december 2012 by tsuomela
Future warming likely to be on high side of climate projections, analysis finds | UCAR - University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
"Climate model projections showing a greater rise in global temperature are likely to prove more accurate than those showing a lesser rise, according to a new analysis by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The findings, published in this week’s issue of Science, could provide a breakthrough in the longstanding quest to narrow the range of global warming expected in coming decades and beyond."
climate  climate-change  global-warming  climatology 
november 2012 by tsuomela
Guest Commentary: Climate spin is rampant - The Denver Post
"Along with colleagues around the world, I've been studying climate change and disasters for almost 20 years, and we just had a scientific paper accepted for publication this week on damage from U.S. tornadoes since 1950. What we found may surprise you: Over the past six decades, tornado damage has declined after accounting for development that has put more property into harm's way. Researchers have similar conclusions for other phenomena around the world, ranging from typhoons in China, bushfires in Australia, and windstorms in Europe. After adjusting for patterns of development, over the long-term there is no climate change signal — no "footprint" — of increasing damage from extreme events either globally or in particular regions."
climate-change  global-warming  disaster  insurance  politics  spin  climate  meteorology 
october 2012 by tsuomela
NARCCAP: The North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program
NARCCAP is an international program that serves the high resolution climate scenario needs of the United States, Canada, and northern Mexico, using regional climate model, coupled global climate model, and time-slice experiments.
climate  environment  climate-change  impact  modeling  science  computational-science 
june 2012 by tsuomela
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences :: Home
CIRES researchers explore all aspects of the earth system and search for ways to better understand how natural and human-made disturbances impact our dynamic planet. Our focus on innovation and collaboration has made us a world leader in interdisciplinary research and teaching. We’re committed to communicating our research in ways that help inform decision-makers and the public about how we can best ensure a sustainable future environment.
academic-center  environment  earth-science  science  climate  meteorology 
june 2012 by tsuomela
EOSDIS - Earth Data Website
EOSDIS enables the collection, processing, archive and distribution of Earth science data.
data  data-collection  data-curation  infrastructure  science  climate  environment  earth-science  nasa 
june 2012 by tsuomela
National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)
The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) supports research into our world's frozen realms: the snow, ice, glaciers, frozen ground, and climate interactions that make up Earth's cryosphere.

NSIDC manages and distributes scientific data, creates tools for data access, supports data users, performs scientific research, and educates the public about the cryosphere.
data  data-collection  data-curation  infrastructure  science  climate  cryosphere  precipitation  environment  ice  meteorology 
june 2012 by tsuomela
Irresponsible Skepticism: Lessons Learned From the Climate Disinformation Campaign - Climate Ethics
"This is the fourth and last entry in a series that has examined the climate change disinformation campaign as an ethical matter. The purpose of this series has been to distinguish between responsible scientific skepticism, an approach to climate change science that should be encouraged, and the tactics of the climate change disinformation campaign, strategies deployed to undermine mainstream climate change science that are often deeply ethically offensive. "
climate-change  climate  science  denial  ethics  skepticism  disinformation  agnotology  ignorance  propaganda 
april 2012 by tsuomela
RealClimate: Evaluating a 1981 temperature projection
"To conclude, a projection from 1981 for rising temperatures in a major science journal, at a time that the temperature rise was not yet obvious in the observations, has been found to agree well with the observations since then, underestimating the observed trend by about 30%, and easily beating naive predictions of no-change or a linear continuation of trends. It is also a nice example of a statement based on theory that could be falsified and up to now has withstood the test. The “global warming hypothesis” has been developed according to the principles of sound science."
climate  climate-change  global-warming  science  1980s  1981  environment 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Wind Map
"This map shows you the delicate tracery of wind flowing over the US right now."
data  visualization  weather  meteorology  climate  wind-power  real-time 
march 2012 by tsuomela
An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress
"Despite the uncertainty in future climate-change impacts, it is often assumed that humans would be able to adapt to any possible warming. Here we argue that heat stress imposes a robust upper limit to such adaptation. Peak heat stress, quantified by the wet-bulb temperature TW, is surprisingly similar across diverse climates today. TW never exceeds 31 °C. Any exceedence of 35 °C for extended periods should induce hyperthermia in humans and other mammals, as dissipation of metabolic heat becomes impossible. While this never happens now, it would begin to occur with global-mean warming of about 7 °C, calling the habitability of some regions into question. With 11–12 °C warming, such regions would spread to encompass the majority of the human population as currently distributed. Eventual warmings of 12 °C are possible from fossil fuel burning. One implication is that recent estimates of the costs of unmitigated climate change are too low unless the range of possible warming can somehow be narrowed. Heat stress also may help explain trends in the mammalian fossil record. "
global-warming  climate-change  climate  biology  consequences 
march 2012 by tsuomela
NASA - NASA Science Aircraft to Travel the Globe in 2012
"With missions scheduled throughout the year, 2012 is shaping up to be an extraordinary time for NASA’s Airborne Science Program and Earth system science research. Multiple aircraft and specialized instruments will operate in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America this year in support of studies conducted by NASA and the Earth science community, improving scientists' understanding of our planet."
science  nasa  atmosphere  climate  weather  meteorology  aircraft  2012 
february 2012 by tsuomela
Climate change becomes a flash point in science education - latimes.com
"Some states have introduced education standards requiring teachers to defend the denial of man-made global warming. A national watchdog group says it will start monitoring classrooms."
climate  climate-change  science  denial  education  teaching  evolution  controversy 
january 2012 by tsuomela
Contrary Brin: Arguing With Your Crazy Uncle About Climate Change
"Forget "left-versus-right." Or even arguments over taxes. The centerpiece of our current Phase Three of the American Civil War is the all-out campaign to discredit science."
politics  anti-science  science  denial  conservatism  climate-change  climate  global-warming  environment  ideology 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Balkinization - Science Communication vs. Soulcraft
"These data suggest that conflict over climate change, far from reflecting a deficit in public comprehension of scientific information, demonstrates how adept people are in forming beliefs that express their group commitments. Should that surprise anyone? Right or wrong, the risk perceptions of an ordinary individual won’t actually affect the climate: the contribution an individual makes to carbon emission levels by her personal behavior as a consumer, or to climate change policymaking by her personal behavior as a voter, is just too small to matter. If, however, an individual (whether a university professor in Massachusetts or an oil-rig worker in Oklahoma) forms a belief about climate change that is heretical within her community, she might well forfeit the friendship and respect of people she depends on most for support in her everyday life.
"
climate  global-warming  psychology  perception  deficit  science  education  bias  cognition 
july 2011 by tsuomela
Chris Hedges: This Time We’re Taking the Whole Planet With Us - Chris Hedges' Columns - Truthdig
"This time when we go down it will be global. There are no new lands to pillage, no new peoples to exploit. Technology, which has obliterated the constraints of time and space, has turned our global village into a global death trap. The fate of Easter Island will be writ large across the broad expanse of planet Earth."
decline  declension-narrative  rant  future  global-warming  climate  change  decay 
april 2011 by tsuomela
Testing Anthropic Selection: A Climate Change Example - Astrobiology
"Planetary anthropic selection, the idea that Earth has unusual properties since, otherwise, we would not be here to observe it, is a controversial idea. This paper proposes a methodology by which to test anthropic proposals by comparison of Earth to synthetic populations of Earth-like planets. The paper illustrates this approach by investigating possible anthropic selection for high (or low) rates of Milankovitch-driven climate change. Three separate tests are investigated: (1) Earth-Moon properties and their effect on obliquity
astrobiology  astronomy  planetary  anthropic-principle  life  biology  climate 
april 2011 by tsuomela
Data.Rescue@Home
"Data rescue at home is an internet-based attempt to digitize historical weather data from all over the globe and make the digitised data available to everybody. Two projects are currently online: German radiosonde data form the Second World War and meteorological station data from Tulagi (Solomon Islands) for the first half of the 20th century. "
citizen-science  crowdsourcing  meteorology  climate  data  history  digitization 
march 2011 by tsuomela
How to get to 100 percent renewables globally by 2050 | Grist
News post on an optimistic report on changing world energy supplies. We just need to divert 3% of world GDP to efficiency, renewables, and infrastructure. Whew!
energy  environment  infrastructure  reform  change  climate  global-warming  electric-grid  electricity  model  future  growth  optimism  efficiency 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Coyle, D.: The Economics of Enough: How to Run the Economy as If the Future Matters.
"Creating a sustainable economy--having enough to be happy without cheating the future--won't be easy. But The Economics of Enough starts a profoundly important conversation about how we can begin--and the first steps we need to take."
economics  sustainability  environment  climate  future  growth 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Anthropogenic greenhouse gas contribution to flood risk in England and Wales in autumn 2000 : Nature : Nature Publishing Group
"Here we present a multi-step, physically based ‘probabilistic event attribution’ framework showing that it is very likely that global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions substantially increased the risk of flood occurrence in England and Wales in autumn 2000."
global-warming  climate  precipitation  meteorology  environment  modeling  observation 
february 2011 by tsuomela
Human contribution to more-intense precipitation extremes : Nature : Nature Publishing Group
"Here we show that human-induced increases in greenhouse gases have contributed to the observed intensification of heavy precipitation events found over approximately two-thirds of data-covered parts of Northern Hemisphere land areas. These results are based on a comparison of observed and multi-model simulated changes in extreme precipitation over the latter half of the twentieth century analysed with an optimal fingerprinting technique. Changes in extreme precipitation projected by models, and thus the impacts of future changes in extreme precipitation, may be underestimated because models seem to underestimate the observed increase in heavy precipitation with warming."
global-warming  climate  precipitation  meteorology  environment  modeling  observation 
february 2011 by tsuomela
SpringerLink - Climatic Change, Volume 98, Numbers 1-2
Over 100 years of daily and monthly temperature data collected in western Montana, USA are analyzed for long-term changes in seasonal averages and daily extremes.
climate  global-warming  scale  regions  change  national-parks 
february 2011 by tsuomela
New Ways to Gauge the Finite Atmosphere - NYTimes.com
I recently became aware of fascinating efforts by  Adam Nieman to help society appreciate environmental challenges in fresh ways by visualizing volumes that are otherwise abstractions. In 2003 he created the image above, illustrating the volume of the world’s oceans and atmosphere (if the air were all at sea-level density) by rendering them as spheres sitting next to the Earth instead of spread out over its surface. To my eye, this helps powerfully convey the finite nature of these shared global assets.
environment  climate  climatology  visualization  visual-thinking  scale  global-warming 
november 2010 by tsuomela
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