climate

No. She does not want anything.

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Several experimental studies have shown that human social relationships are positively affected by the weather. Cunningham (1979) found that participants approached by an interviewer to participate in a survey were less reluctant to comply on sunny days compared with cloudy days. In a second study by this author the outside level of sunshine was found to be significantly related to the gratuity left by restaurant customers for a waitress. Hirshleifer and Shumway (2003) reported that sunshine level was positively correlated with returns on the stock market. Simonsohn (2007), examining actual university admission decisions, found that applicants’ academic attributes were weighted more heavily on cloudy days while non-academic attributes were weighted more heavily on sunny days. […]

Rind (1996) conducted an experiment in hotel rooms that did not have windows. A male server who delivered food and drinks to the rooms reported the sky conditions (sunny, partly sunny, cloudy, or rainy) to guests. More tips were left when the server mentioned pleasant weather conditions. In the study by Rind and Strohmetz (2001) a server in a restaurant was asked to either leave the backs of customers’ checks blank or to write one of two messages: that the weather would be good the next day or that the weather would not be so good the next day. More tips were found to be left by the customers when they were given a favorable forecast. […]

If actual or expected pleasant weather conditions facilitate positive social relationships, we can hypothesize that other behaviors, such as a courtship solicitation, are affected by weather. […]

Young women were more likely to give their phone number to a young man when solicited during sunny days.

{ Taylor & Francis | Continue reading }

They always build one door opposite another for the wind to. Way in. Way out.

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Berkeley Earth has just released analysis of land-surface temperature records going back 250 years, about 100 years further than previous studies. The analysis shows that the rise in average world land temperature globe is approximately 1.5 degrees C in the past 250 years, and about 0.9 degrees in the past 50 years. […]

Many of the changes in land-surface temperature can be explained by a combination of volcanoes and a proxy for human greenhouse gas emissions. Solar variation does not seem to impact the temperature trend.

{ Berkeley Earth | Continue reading }

Stick a fork in it

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A thousand years ago, the Doge Pietro Orseolo II took his triumphant naval fleet to the sea entrance at the Lido and ceremoniously threw a diamond ring into the water, thus marrying his city to the Adriatic and securing Venice’s dominion over its waters and trade routes. […]

When Goethe visited Venice for just over two weeks in 1786, he climbed the campanile twice, at high tide and then at low tide. It was from this tower that, at the age of 37 and already famous, he saw the sea for the first time in his life. […]

Now we know for sure that the ocean is rising faster than Venice will subside.

{ Aeon | Continue reading }

photo { Roman Noven and Tania Shcheglova }

‘The old woman dies, the burden is lifted.’ –Schopenhauer

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This report spells out what the world would be like if it warmed by 4 degrees Celsius, which is what scientists are nearly unanimously predicting by the end of the century, without serious policy changes.

The 4°C scenarios are devastating: the inundation of coastal cities; increasing risks for food production potentially leading to higher malnutrition rates; many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter; unprecedented heat waves in many regions, especially in the tropics; substantially exacerbated water scarcity in many regions; increased frequency of high-intensity tropical cyclones; and irreversible loss of biodiversity, including coral reef systems. […]

The science is unequivocal that humans are the cause of global warming, and major changes are already being observed: global mean warming is 0.8°C above pre industrial levels; oceans have warmed by 0.09°C since the 1950s and are acidifying; sea levels rose by about 20 cm since pre-industrial times and are now rising at 3.2 cm per decade; an exceptional number of extreme heat waves occurred in the last decade; major food crop growing areas are increasingly affected by drought.

{ World Bank | PDF }

We must return from the “forma formata” to the “formaformans”; in other words, we must move from that which “has become” to the “very principle of becoming.”

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Coffee is under threat from climate change, according to a study which found that popular Arabica beans could face extinction within decades.

Rising global temperatures and subtle changes in seasonal conditions could make 99.7 per cent of Arabica-growing areas unsuitable for the plant by 2080. […]

Identifying new sites where arabica could be grown away from its natural home in the mountains of Ethiopia and South Sudan could be the only way of preventing the demise of the species, researchers said.

{ Telegraph | Continue reading }

unrelated {List of unsolved problems }

‘We dead yo.’ –Samantha Hinds

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{ Three satellites found that 97 percent of Greenland — the land mass second only to Antarctica for its volume of ice — underwent a thaw never before seen in 33 years of satellite tracking, NASA reported Tuesday. Satellite experts at first didn’t trust their readings, especially since they showed an incredible acceleration. Over four days, Greenland’s ice sheet — which covers 683,000 square miles – went from 40 percent in thaw to nearly entirely in thaw. | NBC | Continue reading | Thanks Samantha }

And I’m gonna shine homie until my heart stops

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Using scientific theories, toy ecosystem modeling and paleontological evidence as a crystal ball, 18 scientists, including one from Simon Fraser University, predict we’re on a much worse collision course with Mother Nature than currently thought. […]

Earth’s accelerating loss of biodiversity, its climates’ increasingly extreme fluctuations, its ecosystems’ growing connectedness and its radically changing total energy budget are precursors to reaching a planetary state threshold or tipping point.

Once that happens, which the authors predict could be reached this century, the planet’s ecosystems, as we know them, could irreversibly collapse in the proverbial blink of an eye.

{ EurekAlert | Continue reading }

You’re born under the sign of Libra, which represents the element of air, or the intellect

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The season in which a baby is born apparently influences the risk of developing mental disorders later in life, suggests a large new study.

The season of birth may affect everything from eyesight and eating habits to birth defects and personality later in life. Past research has also hinted the season one is born in might affect mental health, with scientists suggesting a number of reasons for this apparent effect. […]

The researchers found that all the mental disorders they looked at showed seasonal distributions. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder had statistically significant peaks in January, and significant lows in July, August and September. Depression saw an almost significant May peak and a significant November deficit.

{ LiveScience | Continue reading }

I paid my way. I paid my way. Steady on.

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For decades, a small group of scientific dissenters has been trying to shoot holes in the prevailing science of climate change, offering one reason after another why the outlook simply must be wrong.

Over time, nearly every one of their arguments has been knocked down by accumulating evidence, and polls say 97 percent of working climate scientists now see global warming as a serious risk.

Yet in recent years, the climate change skeptics have seized on one last argument that cannot be so readily dismissed. Their theory is that clouds will save us.

They acknowledge that the human release of greenhouse gases will cause the planet to warm. But they assert that clouds — which can either warm or cool the earth, depending on the type and location — will shift in such a way as to counter much of the expected temperature rise and preserve the equable climate on which civilization depends.

Their theory exploits the greatest remaining mystery in climate science, the difficulty that researchers have had in predicting how clouds will change. The scientific majority believes that clouds will most likely have a neutral effect or will even amplify the warming, perhaps strongly, but the lack of unambiguous proof has left room for dissent.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

photo { Robert Whitman }

‘Did you ever notice that ‘What the hell’ is always the right decision?’ –Marilyn Monroe

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{ The Weather Stone }

O heaven above me, thou modest one! thou glowing one! O thou, my happiness before sunrise!

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I’ve covered these highly counter-intuitive findings before and the title of that article sums it up: Weather Has Little Effect on Mood.

Most of us intuitively think the weather has quite a strong effect on our mood. Many assume that the rain and cold weather depresses us and sun and warmth perks us up.

So why don’t we see this effect in the research?

That’s the question a new study by Klimstra et al. (2011) tries to answer.

And it turns out this is true. In fact Klimstra et al. found four distinct groups:

1. Unaffected
2. Summer lovers
3. Summer haters
4. Rain haters

{ PsyBlog | Continue reading }

photo { Mark Rice }

I know right? When’s it scheduled for again?

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Climate scientists have long warned that if we continue to burn fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas as our dominant source of energy, the planet will warm, extreme events will increase, and we will become more vulnerable to disasters. Overall, the planet has warmed about 1.2°F over the past century. Since I was born in 1970, the United States has heated up at a pace of 0.5°F per decade. As Lemonick points out, ”Scientists know that the increasing load of greenhouse gases we’re pumping into the atmosphere doesn’t “cause” extreme weather. But it does raise the odds, just as a diet of triple bacon cheeseburgers raises the odds of heart disease.”

All weather is now born into an environment that is warmer and moister because of man-made, heat-trapping greenhouse gas pollution. Thanks in part to warmer oceans, there is 4 percent more water vapor in the atmosphere and that amount will continue to increase as the planet warms, providing more fuel for storms. Droughts, wildfires, heat waves and heavy downpours are going to become more frequent, more intense and longer lasting. In fact, we can already see this playing out in historical data.

{ Salon | Continue reading | More: Why do people still deny climate change? }

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded in its most recent assessment report: “warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.” And as data continue to pile up, the evidence gets ever stronger that human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause of the observed warming over the past century.

But hurricanes are difficult. Climate models predict that they will become more intense. At the same time, considerable uncertainty remains. We have only about 40 years of reliable observational records, which precludes a clear determination of their variability. Given that different aspects of climate change could act to increase or decrease hurricane activity, whether or not Katrina can be ascribed to global warming is a challenge beset by difficulty.

{ Slate | Continue reading | More: When should we blame climate change for natural disasters? }

Humanity has done little to address climate change. Global emissions of carbon dioxide reached (another) all-time peak in 2010. The most recent international talks to craft a global treaty to address the problem pushed off major action until 2020. Fortunately, there’s an alternative—curbing the other greenhouse gases.

Specifically, in the case of rapid action to slow catastrophic climate change, the best alternatives appear to be: methane and black carbon (otherwise known as soot). A new economic and scientific analysis published in Science on January 13 of the benefits of cutting these two greenhouse gases finds the benefits to be manifold—from human health to increased agricultural yields.

Even better, by analyzing some 400 potential soot- and methane-emission control measures, the international team of researchers found that just 14 deliver “nearly 90 percent” of the potential benefits. Bonus: the 14 steps also restrain global warming by roughly 0.5 degree Celsius by 2050, according to computer modeling.

{ Scientific American | Continue reading }