Global Warming

Ron Sher; PREP King Tide Photo Contest

Thirty-five mayors and other local elected officials from coastal communities all over the country gathered in New Hampshire this weekend to talk about Sea Level Rise. They came from both parties, and they didn’t wind up in the state that hosts the nation’s first primary by accident. 

Basically anywhere with a coast was represented.

Michael O'Brien / Flickr/CC

Last week, more than 100 world leaders attended the United Nations summit on climate change in New York City.

Kevin Bryant / Flickr CC

Researchers studying the Gulf of Maine say its waters are warming faster than 99 percent of the world’s oceans, and worry the rising temperatures will hit New England commercial fisheries hard.

The study is still in its preliminary phase, and is being conducted by scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. According to their data the waters off of New England’s coast are warming by about a half a degree Fahrenheit per year on average. That gives the region a dubious distinction.

Fragile Oasis via Flickr Creative Commons

The opening of the U.N.'s climate change summit this past weekend in Poland was overshadowed by Typhoon Haiyan. A Filipino envoy broke down in tears when describing the devastation, and received a standing ovation when he announced that he would fast until a "meaningful outcome is in sight."

An increase in weather-related disasters, fluctuating temperatures and rising sea levels are among the discouraging issues being discussed at the 2-week summit in Warsaw. But, there is some encouraging news…a new report by a Dutch agency found that global greenhouse gas emissions showed signs of slowing in 2012. The slackened pace is not attributed to recession, and has, in fact, occurred as wealth continues to climb among the world’s top CO2 emitters. Fred Pearce is environmental consultant for New Scientist, and breaks down the optimistic report for us. 

NASA/Kathryn Hansen via NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's flickr

Methane is 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon – and scientists have discovered there is a potentially disastrous amount of methane trapped under relatively thin ice in the east Siberian arctic shelf. New research measures the global impact the gas could have on global warming… and it’s not very optimistic.  Fred Pearce is environmental consultant for New Scientist.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is there a link between the recent spread of mosquito-borne diseases around the world and environmental pollution?                                                          -- Meg Ross, Lantana, FL

Larry Hamilton and Mary Stampone / Weather, Climate and Society 2013

  Last week the UNH Survey Center released the latest findings of the Granite State Poll. The Survey Center has been following a number of issues recently, the most high profile of which is whether or not there’s public support in New Hampshire for a proposed casino.

The Survey Center has also been part of a project looking at public attitudes about climate change – namely, why there’s a consensus among scientists – but not the public - that global warming is happening and caused by human activity.

iStock Photo

E - The Environmental Magazine

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

New Hampshire’s energy grid relies heavily on fossil fuels like oil and coal, and getting the grid off of those fuels will be a major hurdle in addressing the challenge of global warming.

But here in New Hampshire, it’s proving a steep challenge to get carbon out of the electric supply, without breaking the bank for customers or utilities. But that doesn’t mean that people aren’t trying. As part of a weeklong look at New Hampshire’s Energy Future, we ask what’s being done about CO2?

Efficiency First

Deforestation and Global Warming

Nov 28, 2012

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that cutting and burning trees adds more global warming pollution to the atmosphere than all the cars and trucks in the world combined?                   -- Mitchell Vale, Houston, TX

Arctic Summer Sea Ice At Lowest Levels

Nov 2, 2012
NASA/Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: I heard that the Arctic summer sea ice is at its lowest level since we began recording it. What are the implications of all this melting?]

-- Jo Shoemaker, Bowie, MD

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: I read that CO2 in our atmosphere is now more than 300 parts per million. Doesn’t this mean that we’re too late to avoid the worst impacts of climate change?      -- Karl Bren, Richmond, VA

The last big ice age ended about 11,000 years ago, and not a moment too soon — it made a lot more of the world livable, at least for humans.

But exactly what caused the big thaw isn't clear, and new research suggests that a wobble in the Earth kicked off a complicated process that changed the whole planet.

Ice tells the history of the Earth's climate: Air bubbles in ice reveal what the atmosphere was like and what the temperature was. And scientists can read this ice, even if it's been buried for thousands of years.

The Atlantic Ocean, especially the North Atlantic, is peculiar: Every few decades, the average temperature of surface water there changes dramatically.

Scientists want to know why that is, especially because these temperature shifts affect the weather. New research suggests that human activity is part of the cause.

Scientists originally thought that maybe some mysterious pattern in deep-ocean currents, such as an invisible hand stirring a giant bathtub, created this temperature see-saw.

Peter Gleick is not just any scientist. He got his doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley and won a MacArthur "genius" award. He is also an outspoken proponent of scientific evidence that humans are responsible for climate change.

And earlier this week, he confessed that he had lied to obtain internal documents from the Heartland Institute, a group that questions to what extent climate change is caused by humans.

Global Warming Rap

Sep 4, 2009