The Hot Zone

Scientists simulate climate’s worst case scenario

What happens if the human population continues to grow and nothing much changes in the way we curb fossil fuel use? Climate models these days have largely focused on scenarios that assume some level of restraint on greenhouse emissions, with particular emphasis on the political goal of keeping global temperatures no higher than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.  But scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder and the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on September 15, 2011 No Comments »
Category : Climate Science and Scientists

Coal ash cause of Permian extinction

The mass Permian extinction 250 million years ago is frequently blamed on volcanoes. But a new study shows that what may have really tipped the climate was the volcanic release of massive amounts of combusted coal –  similar to modern day coal ash from coal-fired power plants. If so, modern day climate change hasn’t been the first time that burning coal was to blame. The extinction of that era wiped out some 90 percent of marine species, one of the largest extinction events in history.... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on January 28, 2011 1 Comment »
Category : Climates of the Past

Energy checkbook

The journal Science has devoted a special issue to puzzling out the Earth’s energy problem. Among the articles, foretelling the prospects of moving solar electricity from Africa to Europe, the downer that cellulosic ethanol has become, and the possibility of a nuclear renaissance, is a large chart that compares various energy sources in the way they consume other natural resources. The surprising thing about the chart is that coal and oil don’t come out looking so bad. There’s a... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on August 18, 2010 No Comments »
Category : The man made climate

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