Archive by category | Alicia Newton

Focussing on sea level

Focussing on sea level

Nature Geoscience’s latest issue highlights the challenges of understanding fluctuating sea level – from 70 million years ago to the future (sea level content free to registered users). A collection of commentaries and research papers look at how sea level has changed in the past and try to project its future evolution. In addition, the issue provides insights into some of the societal impacts of sea level change, and how some countries are planning for the future.  Read more

Climate and society in the Arctic

Climate and society in the Arctic

Although the Inuit people of the North American Arctic are generally thought to be vulnerable to climate change, particularly in the wake of record sea ice loss, it can be difficult to quantify all of the risks to their way of life. In a new paper in Climatic Change, a group of researchers led by Gita Laidler of Carleton University assessed the ability of the residents of Igloolik, a coastal community north of the Arctic Circle, to adapt to changing conditions. The team reports that although the hunters have so far adapted to thinning ice and changing seasons, societal changes among the younger generations may leave the community increasingly at risk.  Read more

CLIMAP for the 21st century

CLIMAP for the 21st century

In the 70s and 80s, scientists from around the world worked to reconstruct Last Glacial Maximum (19,000 to 23,000 years ago) sea surface temperatures across the globe under the auspices of the Climate: Long Range Investigation, Mapping and Prediction (CLIMAP) project. Since then, a number of new proxies and seafloor coring and drilling projects have produced a wealth of additional data. In a new paper online this week in Nature Geoscience (subscription required), the MARGO (Multiproxy Approach for the Reconstruction of the Glacial Ocean surface) team members have updated this reconstruction using all the newly available data.  Read more

The Greening of Christianity

The Greening of Christianity

With a new year comes a new version of the Bible. Well not exactly new, but fairly recent. This past summer, Harper Bibles published an eco-friendly version of the Bible known as The Green Bible . In addition to being printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink, The Green Bible highlights all the passages that encourage people to care for the Earth in, of course, green ink. While the verses themselves are not new (the text comes from the New Standard Revised Bible), the focus on the Earth is. And this version also includes an introduction from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as essays by prominent theologians and information on how to get involved.  Read more

AGU Chapman Conference on water vapor – the final report

The AGU Chapman Conference on water vapour and its role in climate has come to a close, and I have headed back to not so sunny London. In addition to getting scientists out of the lab, the meeting afforded great opportunities for normally independent communities to interact. Pupu platters and Longboard Ales led to a very interesting discussion about the meaning of terms such as mean global precipitation and temperature rise. Are statistics such as these preventing scientists from meaningfully communicating results about climate change? This of course comes back to old faithful argument “if the Earth is getting warmer, why did it snow last week?” Definitely something to think about when preparing press releases or giving interviews.  Read more

AGU Chapman conference: water vapor and climate

I’m here in Kailua Kona for the AGU Chapman conference on atmospheric water vapor and its role in climate. Given the high humidity and afternoon rain, the topic seems quite appropriate.  Read more