Sunday, October 28, 2018

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees C--Part 2 Consequences

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As I mentioned in my last post, I am highlighting some key findings from the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that came out earlier this month. Last time, I highlighted one of the key takeaway points from the report:  we are seeing the impacts of climate change now and temperatures are expected to continue to increase. Today, I am highlighting some of the predicted consequences detailed in the report.

Here are some of the main physical consequences that we can expect in the next several decades:

  • Temperatures on land will increase throughout most of the world
  • Temperatures over oceans will increase throughout most of the world
  • There will be more hot extremes (extreme heat waves)
  • There will be more extremes in precipitation 
  • Some areas will experience unusual droughts
  • Sea level will rise approximately 1/4 to 3/4 of a meter 
  • There will be significant disruptions in ecosystems
Of course, the report highlights that the impacts of climate change will be better under a 1.5 degree C change compared with a 2 degree C change. Indeed, the 2 degree C change would prove to be far more problematic.

The consequences outlined above are already being seen. There is growing research to support that we are in a changing world. There is so much data as to what is happening out there that the predictive models are getting better. We are able to understand what is happening on the planet in more precise ways. 

Next time, I will outline some of the ways the report suggests we can react to try to mitigate climate change and its impacts.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees C--Part 1 Facing the Reality of Climate Change

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Earlier this month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a special report called Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees C.  The report, linked here, is chock full of information that is useful to the public, to scientists, and to policymakers.

The next several posts on this blog will highlight some of the main findings of the report. The actual report has a ton of references and supporting maps and charts that many will find useful. However, in the posts here, I will focus on some of the broader issues that the report considers. Today's post focuses on facing the reality of climate change.


One of the findings that has gotten a great deal of attention in the report is the notice that the planet has already warmed one degree Celsius from pre-industrial times as a result of anthropogenic climate change. In addition, the report notes that temperature will increase an additional 0.5 degrees Celsius between now and 2030. These changes will last for hundreds of years and perhaps millennia. As a result of these changes, there will be significant disruption to natural and human systems. The report notes that there have been modifications in these systems already.

For many of us in the field of environmental science and sustainability, the report is not a surprise. Various scientists provided evidence for climate change over the last few decades and many climatologists predicted the temperature increase. What is striking in the report, however, is the immediacy of the issue. We are at the beginning of a difficult period. We are already seeing the impacts of climate change on the planet and the problem is expected to get worse very soon.

When scientists decades ago warned of this problem, many in this country looked the other way. The issue became politicized in order to protect economic interests of large organizations seeking to continue to produce products that cause global climate change. We whistled through the graveyard.

Now the issue is imminent and there is a need for leadership and action.

Next time, I will review evidence for climate change provided by the report.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Funding Opportunity of the Week - Making the Case for Nature

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An unusually long lasting flu bug and the start of a busy semester put a crimp on my blogging as of late, but I am back at it.

Today's funding opportunity of the week comes from National Geographic and focuses on making a case for nature. Many of us love nature, but some don't care about it one way or another. National Geographic is seeking to fund projects that help to understand how we can make a better case for nature.

Specifically, they are seeking projects that:

  1. Identify the specific visual and narrative communication mechanisms that will elicit action for wildlife conservation from target audiences. Multidisciplinary collaborations between scientists (e.g., neuroscientists, psychologists) and visual artists (e.g., photographers, videographers, painters, technologists) are strongly encouraged 
  2. Measure differences in attitudes and/or behaviors across diverse audiences (e.g., ages, geographic regions, backgrounds) based on how information about wildlife is presented; proposals that use creative approaches to overcome sample size issues are encouraged
  3. Apply and test social marketing principles to determine best practices when communicating about wildlife conservation to inspire action and increase or maintain engagement from target audiences

Also, a bit more from the Website:

Typical proposal requests should be less than $30,000, but applicants may request up to $50,000. Successful applicants may use awarded funds over one or two years. Up to 100 percent of the total can be used as a stipend for the applicant and/or team members (e.g., consultants, field assistants, data analysts, lab assistants). However, a solid justification must be presented if more than 50 percent of the budget will be used for stipends. Requesting funds to “buy out” salaries for full-time employees from their institutions is not allowed. All applications should include a clear review of the state of knowledge about the topic and a plan for evaluating the outcomes of the proposed work.