Climate 411

Global Warming from Soot

The author of today’s post, Lisa Moore, is a scientist in the Climate and Air Program.

Most people don’t realize it, but "black carbon" or soot – the same stuff that dirties up chimney flues and car mufflers – is a significant contributor to global warming. Today’s best estimates place it next in line behind the greenhouse gases CO2 and methane (see Table 2.13 in the IPCC report).



Soot particle under a microscope. Credit: D.M. Smith, University of Denver.

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Posted in Arctic & Antarctic / Read 5 Responses

Climate News: Geo-engineering, Soot and Deforestation

Guest blogger Lisa Moore, Ph.D., is a scientist in the Climate and Air Program.

There’s always something new in climate change research. This week, scientists described the risks of geo-engineering, proposed an efficient way to reduce Arctic climate change, and discussed options for decreasing deforestation in developing countries.

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Also posted in Geoengineering / Read 1 Response

Part 5 of 5: The Melting of the North Pole

The second installment of the IPCC’s 4th Assessment on Climate Change, titled “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”, was released on April 6, 2007. In recognition of this report, I’m doing a weekly series called “Climate Dangers You May Not Know About“.

1. More Acidic Oceans
2. Drinking Water and Disease
3. Shifts in Lifecycle Timing
4. Drought and Violence
5. The Melting of the North Pole


The North Pole is surrounded by the huge Arctic Ocean. For millennia, that ocean has been covered by ice, but today that sea ice is rapidly melting. We’ve lost about 20 percent of summer sea ice since 1980 – an area equal to Texas, California and Montana combined – and it’s happening faster than we had predicted. The North Pole could be ice-free during summer months well before 2050.

Illustration by Steve Deyo, ©UCAR, based on research by NSIDC and NCAR.

A lot of press attention has been focused on how the loss of sea ice is threatening the polar bear. Much less attention has been paid to global impacts of this melting sea ice.

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Posted in Arctic & Antarctic / Read 6 Responses

Arctic Villages Haiku

Arctic Villages
On permafrost for millennia
Falling into sea.

Posted in Arctic & Antarctic / Comments are closed

Inuits Blame U.S. for Global Warming

Here’s an interesting news item you may have missed. The Inuit, who live in the arctic circle, are blaming the U.S. for destroying their homeland. On Thursday, they will make their case at a hearing of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Representing them is Sheila Watt-Cloutier, recently nominated with Al Gore for a Nobel Peace Prize for their work on climate change.

So why do the Inuit think the U.S. is responsible for the loss of their homeland? Here’s the scoop.

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Posted in Arctic & Antarctic / Read 2 Responses