The bliggityblogsphere has been abuzz with recent finding by the Berkeley Earth Project that independently confirm that global climate change is real. From the BBC:
The Earth’s surface really is getting warmer, a new analysis by a US scientific group set up in the wake of the “Climategate” affair has concluded.
The Berkeley Earth Project has used new methods and some new data, but finds the same warming trend seen by groups such as the UK Met Office and Nasa.
Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, has a nice, in depth write-up, that provides some caveats missing from most of the press releases: New independent climate study confirms global warming is real.
Continue reading Climate change deniers continue to be wrong, science words with friends, and support science in the classroom
Few scientific fields generate as much controversy as climate change. Misunderstandings, misrepresentations, and outright lies are common. While environmentalists rightly criticize anti-global warming activists for not being truthful, neither side is innocent. Presented here are five common misrepresentations from both sides and the truth about those issues.
Continue reading 10 misrepresentations about climate change
Few things have inspired the human imagination quite like the ocean. The vast, mysterious deep is the stuff of poets, artists, explorers, and scientists. A natural result of this seemingly endless, unfathomable world-beneath-the-waves is the emergence of a broad and persistent ocean mythology, ranging from tales of sea monsters, to near magical healing powers, to perceptions of infinite abundance. Every year, we take a week to explore these myths – the fictions, falsehoods, and pseudoscience – surrounding the ocean.
Welcome to a Week of Ocean Pseudoscience!
We’ve got some great posts on our plate, starting today. We’ll be counting down our top seven misunderstood marine creatures, exposing some deceptions from the climate denial industry, investigating rumors surrounding the use of ethanol additive in outboard motors, and having some fun with cryptozoology. David will probably have something to say about sharks, too.
Along the way, our friends from Deep Fried Sea will join us as they wander the ocean looking for the still missing Iffy and meet all kinds of weird and wonderful marine creatures.
That awesome logo was designed by Jason Robertshaw of the Cephalopodcast. If any other ocean bloggers want to join in, feel free to stamp your post with that logo and shoot me an e-mail so we can link to it from the homepage. Over on twitter, feel free to tweet us your favorite ocean psuedoscience, with the hashtag #PseudOcean (and follow us @SFriedScientist, @WhySharksMatter, and @bgrassbluecrab). So settle in for a week of ocean pseudoscience.
Sea level rise. Desertification. Ocean acidification. Climategate. Permafrost. Greenland ice sheet. Hockey stick. The language of global climate change can be overwhelming. Every year, as we learn more about the ways that human activity fundamentally alter global processes, the subject becomes even broader and more complicated. Fortunately, world renowned oceanographer Orrin Pilkey and his son, Keith Pilkey, have produced a comprehensive and readable primer on global climate change. The strength of Global Climate Change: A Primer can be broken into three sections – the content, the conflict, and the illustrations.
Continue reading A primer for climate change
I’ve been critical of President Obama’s policies concerning science, technology and education in the past. I think he uses a lot of great-sounding rhetoric, but I have yet to see very much in the way of actual results. Despite lofty promises about climate change, we remain without a cap-and-trade system or any sort of meaningful response plan. To make things worse, the administration recently fired their primary adviser for climate change policy. Is all hope lost? Perhaps not.
Continue reading Ethical Debate: Clean Energy and the State of the Union
Earlier this week, Dr. M of Deep Sea News evaluated President Obama’s science and conservation policies and awarded him a B-. I gave President Obama a C+ overall after his first 100 days in office, noting that some things haven’t had enough time to be given a fair grade, and I think things have gotten much worse since then. I was a little shocked at how high this grade was, and I left Dr. M a snarky comment (sorry, Craig).
In the interest of fairness, I wanted to find a way to objectively grade these policies. The best that I can find is the Obameter, run by non-partisan fact checker Politifact. Basically, they record every promise that President Obama made during the campaign and since he’s become President, and they keep track of how each is progressing. Each is rated “promise kept”, “compromise” (something similar happened though not exactly what was promised), “in the works” (not done yet but actively being worked on), “stalled” (no work being done but it may happen at some point), and “promise broken”.
Continue reading Grading President Obama on science and conservation
Dear Representative Boehner,
Congratulations on your party’s recent election victories. Your speech at the end of the night was particularly touching, and your personal story is inspirational. The election results do seem to signify that many Americans are not happy with how the Democratic party has been running Washington, and some change will likely be good for the country. As a scientist, however, I am deeply troubled by some of what I’m hearing about the new Republican House majority, particularly about global climate change policy.
Continue reading An open letter about climate change to soon-to-be Speaker John Boehner
When most people think of an animal threatened by global warming, images of a polar bear drowning because of lost ice habitat come to mind. Few know that climate change can also threaten animals used to living in environments much warmer than the Arctic. Even when you’re used to heat, too much heat can be a serious problem- particularly in vulnerable early life history stages.
One example of this phenomenon is the sea turtle. Though one species (the leatherback) often ventures into Arctic waters, the other species are largely confined to tropical and temperate climates. All seven species are threatened or endangered due to decades of bycatch mortality and habitat destruction, and they are in serious trouble as a result of warming beach temperatures.
Photo credit: David Shiffman
Continue reading Altered sea turtle sex ratios: Can global warming harm warm-water animals?