climate impacts

Lessons of the Little Ice Age

What can we learn from the climate disruptions of the previous millennium?

The Little Ice Age wasn’t actually an ice age, but it was a period of markedly colder temperatures that began in the 1200s and lasted into the mid-1800s, with the 1600s a particular low point. It was a time when London winter fairs were regularly held on the middle of a frozen Thames river, glaciers …

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A Letter to My Fellow Boomers About Climate Change

We have met the enemy and he is us.

Polls show that a great many members of our generation oppose taking action against climate change.  I want to try to explain to that group why you should rethink your views.  Let me start by explaining why climate action would benefit you yourself and then widen the focus to include your grandchildren and their kids. …

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Climate Policy in the Bay State

With a nudge from its courts, Massachusetts is pushing back against Trump’s climate agenda.

Even in 2006, it was clear that climate change is a serious threat to Massachusetts. That year, in its path-breaking decision on climate change, the Supreme Court gave Massachusetts standing to challenge the Bush Administration’s refusal to regulate greenhouse gases. The basis for standing was impact of sea level rise on the state. It now …

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Louisiana Flood Lessons for a Climate-Changed Future

Louisiana’s preparedness for a 1000-year flood, and implications of the slow media response for slow-onset climate impacts

The devastating floods in southern Louisiana a week ago left at least 13 people dead, tens of thousands in need of rescue, and 60,000 homes damaged. In one parish, nearly ninety percent of homes flooded. Cellular network failures, road closures, power outages, and sewage-contaminated floodwaters continue to threaten relief efforts. The American Red Cross is …

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Climate Impacts: The Economist’s View

Climate change may damage economies more than previously thought.

The Economist has an important story about climate change impacts.  There are two big takeaways, one about growth in developing countries and one about economic repercussions  in developed countries like the U.S. It has long been known that climate change will impose costs on developing countries.  But there is  increasing reason to think that it …

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NY Times Triples on Climate Change

The NY Times has three op-eds this morning dealing with climate change: An op. ed. by Bruce Usher argues for a clean energy strategy: “The United States still has a very long way to go to curtail emissions, but the states are heading in the right direction, and national energy policy must build on their …

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The Cost of Climate Change

According to Climate Wire, the Obama Administration is trying to come up with a reliable economic estimate of the cost of unchecked climate change.   This sounds like a great idea but is actually full of pitfalls. Many of the individual elements of the economic impact analysis are the subjects of serious debate.  For instance, economists …

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Is April the New May?

This beautiful spring day seems an appropriate occasion to think about the changing of the seasons.  That’s coming earlier and earlier these days. From RealClimate: Did you know that in 1965 the U.S. Department of Agriculture planted a particular variety of lilac in more than seventy locations around the U.S. Northeast, to detect the onset …

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The Fire Next Time

Realclimate.org has an interesting post about the Australian wildfires: Although formal attribution studies quantifying the influence of climate change on the increased likelihood of extreme fire danger in south-east Australia have not yet been undertaken, it is very likely that there has been such an influence. Long-term increases in maximum temperature have been attributed to …

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