Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Climate Change

Climate change has intensified hurricane rainfall

PBS News Hour: “Hurricane Harvey swamped Houston with seven days of pounding rain last August. When scientists went back to look at historical weather patterns, they reported Harvey dumped 20 percent more rain than it typically would have. The culprit: climate change. Today, we know that Harvey wasn’t an outlier. A new study, published Wednesday in Nature by the same lab, reports that climate change intensified the rains of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria by between 4 and 9 percent. The researchers predict that future warming could increase rainfall totals for the most extreme hurricanes and tropical cyclones by up to 30 percent.

Humans can also affect these torrential rains through how we engineer cities. A second analysis, also published today in Nature, found the urbanization of the Houston area — namely its skyscrapers and the pervasive use of pavement and other concrete surfaces — made Harvey’s rain dump and subsequent flooding worse. Here’s how both teams used supercomputers to analyze these superstorms and what their research means for future storms…”

Biologists around the world track tremendous increase in wildlife death on highways

The New York Times – In Brazil, Animals Cross a Road of No Return – “Highway BR-262 is among the deadliest in the world for wildlife. Biologist Wagner Fischer has been monitoring its grim toll for more than two decades…In 2014, a team led by Julio Cesar de Souza, of the Federal University of Mato… Continue Reading

An Economist’s Guide to Climate Change Science

An Economist’s Guide to Climate Change Science. Solomon Hsiang, Robert E. Kopp. NBER Working Paper No. 25189 Issued in October 2018. [h/t Mary Whisner] “Climate change management is a global challenge that requires social science as much as it requires natural science. We provide a brief introduction to the physical science of climate change, written… Continue Reading

Flip side of UN climate report’s findings – change is a mandatory choice the world must make

The Nation: “Ask me when they learn that I study climate politics. Fair enough. The science is grim, as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just reminded us with a report on how hard it will be to keep average global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. But it’s the wrong question. Yes,… Continue Reading

America is warming fast. See how your city’s weather will be different in just one generation.

Weather 2050 – “Our world is getting warmer. This we know. Just look at Los Angeles, which experienced all-time record heat in July, topping out at 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Dozens of other heat records across the United States were smashed this summer alone. But how much will temperatures in US cities change by 2050? By… Continue Reading

Research finds large buildup of heat in oceans suggesting a faster rate of global warming

Washington Post: “The world’s oceans have been soaking up far more excess heat in recent decades than scientists realized, suggesting that Earth could be set to warm even faster than predicted in the years ahead, according to new research published Wednesday. Over the past quarter-century, Earth’s oceans have retained 60 percent more heat each year… Continue Reading

Report – astonishing 60% decline in size of populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians in just over 40 years

“The Living Planet Report documents the state of the planet—including biodiversity, ecosystems, and demand on natural resources—and what it means for humans and wildlife. Published by WWF every two years, the report brings together a variety of research to provide a comprehensive view of the health of the Earth. We are pushing our planet to the… Continue Reading

WSJ data visualizations that illustrate the rising costs of hurricanes in US

“The Wall Street Journal  [paywall] has created several data visualizations that illustrate the rising costs of hurricanes in the United States. Maps and graphs illustrate that the populations of coastal counties have increased significantly more than those in the rest of the mainland, which means there are more homes susceptible to damage. In addition, the… Continue Reading

‘Hyperalarming’ study shows massive insect loss

Washington Post: “Insects around the world are in a crisis, according to a small but growing number of long-term studies showing dramatic declines in invertebrate populations. A new report suggests that the problem is more widespread than scientists realized. Huge numbers of bugs have been lost in a pristine national forest in Puerto Rico, the… Continue Reading

Report – To confront climate change, we need to democratize, decarbonize, and decommodify our energy resources

Follow-up to recent posting U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – global warming crisis and 10 year ticking clock please see this study via Brookings – Eco-Socialism or Bust – By Thea Riofrancos, Robert Shaw, Will Speck. “To confront climate change, we need to democratize, decarbonize, and decommodify our energy resources. Broadly, our energy vision… Continue Reading

U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – global warming crisis and 10 year ticking clock

News release: “With more than 6,000 scientific references cited and the dedicated contribution of thousands of expert and government reviewers worldwide, this important report testifies to the breadth and policy relevance of the IPCC,” said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC. Ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries prepared the IPCC report in response… Continue Reading

Climate scientists are struggling to find the right words for very bad news

Washington Post: “A much-awaited report from the U.N.’s top climate science panel will show an enormous gap between where we are and where we need to be to prevent dangerous levels of warming…The IPCC [United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change], the world’s definitive scientific body when it comes to climate change, was awarded the… Continue Reading