The ground smoked for hours. Then, with a great flash and an enormous boom, the land exploded. When the smoke cleared, all that was left was a great, black hole. Ejected earth lay scattered around it — sheer sides plunging into the permafrost like some gigantic, gaping gun barrel.
This was the scene last summer in Yamal, Siberia — a region of extreme northern Russia.
When we think of the birth of the conservation movement in the 19th century, the names that usually spring to mind are the likes of John Muir and Henry David Thoreau, men who wrote about the need to protect wilderness areas in an age when the notion of mankind's "
Heartbreaking news Wednesday on that whole global warming thing. Two of the leading architects of a major U.N. agreement on climate, scheduled to be agreed upon this December, are trying to soften expectations. This is particularly disappointing because Paris had previously been billed as the most important negotiations since the failure in Copenhagen in 2009.
Climate change is already taking its toll on forests, according to recent studies. This week, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that in California forests, the numbers of large trees, including pines and the iconic sequoias, have dropped by 50 percent since 1930.
The biggest state in America, home to more ocean coastline than all others combined, has just set another record. This one, however, is nothing to cheer.
For the first time in recorded history, temperatures in Anchorage did not drop below zero once in an entire calendar year. In comparison, Alaska's largest city had 14 days below zero in the 2013 calendar year and 32 days in 2012. The average is 29 days.
In a paper I just published with colleague Dr Ted Scambos from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, we highlight the impact of southern ice sheet loss, particularly the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, on sea-leve
During a recent hike in Washington State's Olympic National Park, I marveled at the delicate geometry of frost-covered ferns. White crystalline structures seemed to grow from the green leaves, encasing them in a frozen frame of temporary beauty.
Progressing further up into the mountains, I stopped to lunch and sip hot coffee from a thermos while gazing across a river valley at a snow-covered mountainside, sizing up a frozen waterfall for a possible ice climb in the future. Yet I found myself beginning to wonder how many more winters ice would continue to form there.
Christophe McGlade and Paul Ekins, Nature, January 11, 2015
This paper published in the journal Nature has generated a great deal of attention in Canada, most of it centred on a single sentence in the paper: “85% of Cdn bitumen reserves remain unburnable if the 2C limit (for global temperature changes) is not to be exceeded.”