Since we launched this video in late January, more than 250,000 people have watched it as it has bounced around the digital globe. The video, which comes to us from our friends at NASA, is an amazing 26-second animation depicting how temperatures around the globe have warmed since 1880. That year is what scientists call the beginning of the “modern record.” You’ll note an acceleration of those temperatures in the late 1970s as greenhouse gas emissions from energy production increased worldwide and clean air laws reduced emissions of pollutants that had a cooling effect on the climate, and thus were masking some of the global warming signal. The data comes from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, which monitors global surface temperatures. As NASA notes, “in this animation, reds indicate temperatures higher than the average during a baseline period of 1951-1980, while blues indicate lower temperatures than the baseline average.”
See Animation HERE
A geoengineering solution to climate change could lead to significant rainfall reduction in Europe and North America, a team of European scientists concludes. The researchers studied how models of Earth in a warm, CO2-rich world respond to an artificial reduction in the amount of sunlight reaching the planet’s surface.
The study is published June 6 in Earth System Dynamics, an Open Access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).
Tackling climate change by reducing the solar radiation reaching our planet using climate engineering, known also as geoengineering, could result in undesirable effects for Earth and humankind. In particular, the work by the team of German, Norwegian, French, and UK scientists shows that disruption of global and regional rainfall patterns is likely in a geoengineered climate.
“Climate engineering cannot be seen as a substitute for a policy pathway of mitigating climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” they conclude in the paper.
Text and Image via ScienceDaily
Climate science has a long view. The measuring of rainfall, temperature and pressure with instruments made from glass, mercury and copper wire. Scientists have been collecting data for centuries, first in hand-written notebooks, later in vast computer databases. Edmund Halley mapped the trade winds in 1686 and Benjamin Franklin traced the Gulf Stream in the eighteenth century, the first hints of truly global systems. Helmut Landsberg added statistical analysis in the twentieth century, which revealed fluctuation in what until then had felt eternally recurring to the individual. Eventually, models of Earthʼs climate emerged from the data, an attempt to grasp the forces that drive the reality of our immediate environment, our world.
But science itself is careful. Its method progresses cautiously through hypotheses and experiments, always inviting their falsification. Yet, there are moments when it gets propelled to the forefront of human affairs, such as it happened to theoretical physics when it enabled the construction of nuclear devices. Over the last fifty years, climate science has been making visible that human activity has had a significant and increasing influence on the Earthʼs atmosphere. Now it has been given the place in the spotlight, and it feels quite uncomfortable there.
Excerpt of a text written by Sascha Pohﬂepp. Read it HERE