Sisyphus and climate activism: the surprising truth

In December, the scientist who — probably more than any other individual — brought ocean acidification to the attention of the world, Ken Caldeira, gave a named lecture to the huge science conference known as the AGU (officially, the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union). He spoke on the legacy of Carl Sagan, andContinue reading “Sisyphus and climate activism: the surprising truth”

Ocean acidification and coral reefs

A concluding remark from a talk this morning by Ken Caldeira on ocean acidification:  My personal opinion is that without emissions mitigation coral reefs on this planet will not be sustainable by mid-century.  For the gloomer, a look at the science from the NRDC. Jeez. This may be harder to face than global warming. 

Geo-Engineering: Five Experts Debate

From Seed magazine, an excellent discussion of the pros and cons of geo-engineering the climate to avoid a potential disaster, by five recognized experts. Here's "the prompt," as the kids say: In June the National Academies’ climate panel will convene to examine whether geo-engineering fixes are technically and economically feasible—and whether they can be carriedContinue reading “Geo-Engineering: Five Experts Debate”

What, Us Worry? (Accelerating CO2 Emissions edition)

In as roundtable discussion at the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Ken Caldeira argues for a consideration of the need to geoengineer, despite the risks of such an effort. He cites an especially alarming study, Global and Regional Drivers of Accelerating CO2 Emissions,  by Michael Raupach, with a particularly vivid graph. Caldeira writes: While we mightContinue reading “What, Us Worry? (Accelerating CO2 Emissions edition)”

Global Warming Moving Jet Streams Northward, Researchers Suspect

Numerous different researchers at different institutions have found that global warming is altering the nature and strength of the the jetstreams that move weather around the planet. At the Carnegie Institute, based at Stanford, Cristina Archer and Ken Caldeira looked at jetstream trends from the years l979-2001. (Some people have all the luck.) In aContinue reading “Global Warming Moving Jet Streams Northward, Researchers Suspect”

Stabilizing Climate Requires Near-Zero Emissions

More good atmospheric news: According to young researchers Ken Caldeira and Damon Matthews, reducing carbon emissions by 80% by the year 2050 may not be enough to stabilize the climate. In a study just published in the Geophysical Research Letters, with the actually kinda catchy title Stabilizing Climate Requires Near-Zero Emissions, they argue that becauseContinue reading “Stabilizing Climate Requires Near-Zero Emissions”