Climate Change

7:50am

Thu September 6, 2012
The Salt

Extreme Weather Means Extreme Food Prices Worldwide, Aid Agency Warns

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 2:11 pm

Somali girls line up to receive a hot meal in Mogadishu last year after the worst drought in the Horn of Africa in decades, compounded by war, put millions in danger of starvation.
Roberto Schmmidt AFP/Getty Images

Reducing greenhouse gases and saving the polar bears tend to dominate discussions on climate change. But to the booming world population, one climate change issue may be even more pressing – hunger.

A new report by a leading international relief agency warns that climate change will increase the risk of large spikes in global food prices in the future, and lead to more hungry people in the world. That's because extreme weather like droughts, floods and heat waves are predicted to become much more frequent as the planet heats up.

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6:39am

Wed September 5, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

What's With Frosty? Why Isn't He Showing Up On Time?

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:57 am

iStockphoto.com

Check out this graph of America's "Growing Season" — it measures the number of continuous days and nights when it never gets below 32 degrees. You could call this our "frost-free" time of year. In many places, the frost-free season begins in the spring and ends somewhere in October.

As you can see, over the 20th century, it's been staying frost-free longer...and longer...and longer...

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2:34pm

Wed August 22, 2012
Environment

Humans' Role In Antarctic Ice Melt Is Unclear

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 5:59 pm

The Larsen B ice shelf, a large floating ice mass on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula, shattered and separated from the continent 10 years ago. A NASA satellite captured the event in this image from Feb. 23, 2002. The 650 foot-thick, 1,250-square-mile ice shelf had existed since the last ice age.
AP

Ten years ago, a piece of ice the size of Rhode Island disintegrated and melted in the waters off Antarctica. Two other massive ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula had suffered similar fates a few years before. The events became poster children for the effects of global warming. But a new study finds that the story isn't quite so simple.

There's no question that unusually warm air triggered the final demise of these huge chunks of ice. But a lingering question is whether these events can be attributed to human-induced global warming.

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3:13pm

Tue August 21, 2012
NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century

Boston Plans For 'Near-Term Risk' Of Rising Tides

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 4:13 pm

Some scientists predict that by 2050, climate change and an accompanying rise in sea level will lead to frequent flooding in Boston.
jeffgun Flickr

While many cities around the country grapple with drought and excessive heat this year, city planners in Boston have something else on their minds: the prospect of rising water.

In this coastal metropolis, scientists and computer models predict that climate change could eventually lead to dramatic increases in sea level around the city. Coupled with a storm surge at high tide, parts of the city could easily end up under water.

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10:05am

Tue August 21, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The City As Engine: Energy, Entropy And The Triumph Of Disorder

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 5:36 pm

Adam Frank stands atop of the Wilder Building in Rochester, N.Y.
Carlet Cleare WXXI

Cities may be the defining element of human civilization.

The path from hunter-gatherers in the Paleolithic era 25,000 years ago to the high-tech, high-wonder jumble we inhabit today runs straight through cities. In traveling that path, our construction of cities has always been a dance with physics. In some cases, that physics was explicitly understood; in others, its manifestation was only recognized in hindsight.

As our cities have become more complex the physics embodying their behavior and organization has also become more nuanced, subtle and profound.

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