How it all ends

This short video from science teacher Greg Craven explains how it all ends. It’s all about risk management. You buy insurance even if you don’t think your house will burn down, because the consequences are so serious.


L.A. Times: You can’t explain away climate change

The Los Angeles Times, in an editorial titled “You can’t explain away climate change: Some hold that global warming stopped in 1998, but scientists know better,” writes:

You probably won’t hear it from columnist George F. Will, Fox News commentators or the plethora of conservative blogs that have claimed global warming essentially stopped in 1998, but recent figures released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that global land and ocean surface temperatures in June were the highest since record-keeping began in 1880. What’s more, the first half of 2010 was the hottest such period ever recorded, and Arctic sea ice melted at a record-setting pace in June.

The heat can probably be attributed at least in part to periodic and entirely natural changes in ocean temperatures and surface air pressure — the El Niño/La Niña phenomena most likely played a role. But the fact that peak years are getting hotter while even relatively “cool” years now tend to remain above historical averages (the 10 warmest years on record all occurred within the last 15 years, according to the NOAA) shows that something else is at work. A consensus of climate scientists worldwide, including not only the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change but the national scientific academies of the United States and the rest of the developed world, have identified that “something else” as anthropogenic (human-caused) greenhouse gases, which reflect the sun’s heat back onto the Earth rather than letting it escape into space.

Read the whole editorial.

Climate Update

There’s been a lot of climate change news recently. Every item below deserves its own post, but I’m just going to summarize, and you can click on the links and read what’s there as your homework.

Water Resources Center Archives: round-up

Bay Delta Blog has a nice round-up, giving some details about the Water Resources Center Archives’ move to Southern California, including links to the winning proposal, so you can see what UC Riverside and CSU San Bernardino are planning. I agree with what BDB sees as the downsides:

That said, this is not a completely ideal result. It would have been preferable not to fracture the collection, even between only two facilities on two campuses that are relatively near to each other. Moreover, while digitizing the archives will greatly enhance access to the WRCA collection, charging a remote fee would diminish the impact, so I do hope that a suitable balance can be struck.

Also, from the Contra Costa Times: UC water archive to leave Berkeley campus, go to two campuses in south state.

Water Resources Center Archives update

Water Resources Center Archives director Linda Vida has a statement:

Dear friends, colleagues, and supporters of WRCA,

Last Friday, July 16th, 2010, the UCOP Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) announced its decision regarding WRCA’s future home. After a thorough review of the three proposals that were submitted from UC Berkeley, Davis and Riverside to house WRCA, UC Riverside has been selected as the new academic home.

The Riverside campus will be partnering with CSU San Bernardino to provide continued access and development of this important collection.

More on WRCA’s blog.