It is one of the profound ironies of climate change that a state besieged by its effects — where coastal islands face existential threats and daily floods render major thoroughfares difficult to navigate — is also populated by powerful politicians who express deep suspicion of the relevant science.
More than 98 inches of snow has fallen in Boston this season, while workers have spent about 170,000 hours plowing the streets and distributed more than 76,000 tons of salt on roadways. At the same time, much of the American West, Rocky Mountains, and Northern and Central Plains have experienced warmer-than-average temperatures. California, in the grip of an epic drought, had its fourth-driest January ever recorded with just 15 percent of average precipitation.
In December 2015, world leaders will gather in Paris to negotiate a binding agreement to reduce global carbon emissions. It will be the twenty-first major UN climate summit since 1992. Two decades of conferences have coincided with mounting emissions and rising temperatures. Indeed, the World Meteorological Organization has pronounced 2014 as the warmest year on record for the planet.
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.