Monthly Archives: July 2007

Short-term Change and El Niño

The author of today’s post, Bill Chameides, is Chief Scientist at Environmental Defense.

Last week in our Suggestion Box we got this question:

I’ve compiled a NCDC state by state average temperature map and trends from 1895 thru 2006. 1998 was the warmest year, but years since then are showing either the same as 1998 or cooler in most states. How can I explain to people why average temps haven’t been warming EVERY year since 1998 instead of going up and down?

This is a good question, and one I get fairly often, so let me try to explain.

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Posted in News / Read 8 Responses

Signs of Global Warming

In reading the news this week, I was struck by how many reports there were from around the world of problems related to global warming. Here’s what I found:

Warming poses threat to Chesapeake
Washington Post, July 20, 2007

China says climate change drying up major rivers
Yahoo! News – Reuters, July 16, 2007

Warming may bring hurricanes to Mediterranean
Yahoo! News – Reuters, July 16, 2007

Glacier in retreat
New York Times, July 17, 2007

Climate change threatens Italy’s Po River delta
Yahoo! News – AFP, July 17, 2007

I also came across an interesting article in the Washington Post about by a guy who went around the world visiting places affected by global warming. The descriptions are, um, chilling.

Posted in News / Read 3 Responses

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 Models: How Good Are They?

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

Stephen Colbert once quipped, "It’s not that I don’t believe in climate change, it’s that I don’t believe in climate. Have you ever heard anyone say, "How’s the climate?" No! They say, "How’s the weather?""

People often confuse climate and weather. They wonder how scientists can reliably predict climate 50 years from now when they can’t predict the weather a few weeks from now. The answer is that climate and weather are different, and it’s easier to predict climate than weather.

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Extreme Weather: This Season's Norm?

With all that’s going on in the world, it’s easy to miss weather events. So you may not have noticed that U.S. weather patterns the last few months have been quite extreme and worrying.

From NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center

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Posted in Extreme Weather / Read 50 Responses

Quote of the Week

What is needed now is a strong, sustained, and well-coordinated effort between governments at all levels, businesses, civic institutions, and individuals to adopt policies, programs, and practices that accelerate the adoption of clean, efficient energy choices. The costs of delay are high. For every year of delay in beginning significant emissions reductions, global concentrations of heat-trapping gases rise higher and the goal of avoiding dangerous climate change becomes more difficult and more costly to achieve.

From Confronting Climate Change in the U.S. Northeast [PDF 8MB], prepared by the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment Synthesis Team. July 2007.

For more on the toll of global warming in the Northeast, visit our New York City page.

Posted in What Others are Saying / Read 5 Responses