climate change

NASA's supercomputer model created this simulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Six Tough Questions About Climate Change

People often ask certain tough questions about climate change— about the costs of cutting carbon emissions, the feasibility of transitioning to renewable energy, and whether it’s already too late to do anything about climate change. Laura Segafredo, manager of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, answers these questions.

by |November 30, 2015
Tony Barnston. Photo: Francesco Fiondella

Conversations with a Climatologist

Tony Barnston, a scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, took a few hours out of his day and answered questions on a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session.

by |November 29, 2015
New York City emitted over 54 million tons of CO2 in the year 2010. To imagine this number, every sphere here represents 1 ton of CO2 at the average surface temperature and pressure. Image: Carbon Visuals/Flickr

Why are Past Surface Temperatures and CO2 Concentrations Important?

Kelsey Dyez, a geochemist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, describes how the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere influences climate.

by |November 27, 2015
Photo: Joshua Wolfe

A Daily Dose, Plus Magnum Mondays

Leading up to the UN Conference on Climate Change this month in Paris, the Earth Institute is posting daily photos and videos from experts working in the field of climate science.

by |November 26, 2015
Icepod flying over the edge of the Ross ice shelf. Credit Sarah Starke

The Compact Efficiency of New Airborne Science

The latest team celebration is around the magnetometer data. Magnetics has evolved quite a bit over the years of geophysical sampling. Lamont scientist Robin Bell recalls when in the 1990s working on a project in West Antarctica that the magnetometer was towed on a winch ~100 meters behind the aircraft – now it is nearly cheek to cheek with other instruments!

by |November 25, 2015
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From Copenhagen to Paris: Holding onto Hope

I don’t believe for a second that we are on the brink of global destruction. We are on the brink of a global re-distribution and whole scale re-balancing of global goods and bads. But we have been there before and survived.

by |November 25, 2015
An electric car charging station in Amsterdam. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Could Cut Per Capita Greenhouse Emissions 90% by 2050, Says Report

The report says it is possible to revamp the energy system in a way that reduces per capita carbon dioxide emissions from 17 tons per person currently to 1.7 tons in 2050, while still providing all the services people expect, from driving to air conditioning.

by |November 23, 2015
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From Copenhagen to Paris: Low Expectations

As we head to Paris, the expectations are profoundly lower. The national commitments that countries are putting on the table do not add up to nearly enough to keep us within 2 degrees; instead the plan is to come back every five years and hopefully do better. … It is still mathematically possible to stay within 2 degrees, but the odds of actually doing so seem to be receding by the month.

by |November 23, 2015
ROSETTA's temporary home in Antarctica. (credit Matt Siegfried)

In One Simple Line of Data You Can Read a Full Story

The lines of data are slowly creeping across our Ross Ice Shelf GIS map and with each new line comes an improved understanding of Ross Ice Shelf. What can you learn from a ‘snapshot’ of data? A radar contains a nice story.

by |November 19, 2015
Fires on the island of Borneo are visible from space. (Photo: NASA)

Peat Fires Choking Southeast Asia Pose a New Threat to Global Climate

The Indonesian peat fires that have been choking cities across Southeast Asia with a yellow haze are creating more than a local menace—burning peat releases immense stores of CO2, contributing to global warming.

by |November 19, 2015