As I write this, our local school is closed due to concern about smoke inhalation. Other parts of the nation may not realize it but two severe wildfires broke out recently, in northern and southern California. If this had happened anywhere near New York City or Washington, D.C. it would be called Smokemageddon, or a Particulate Vortex, or something else clever, but because it's California we won't get Lester Holt in a facemask and 24 hour coverage on CNN.
Beer, the most popular alcoholic drink in the world, consumes around 17% of global barley production, but this share varies across major beer-producing countries; 83% in Brazil to 9% in Australia.
What if global warming hits and temperatures rise more than 0.1 Celsius that has happened so far? Less barley, less beer. The vulnerability of beer supply to such extremes has never been assessed but a new estimate is sure to spur action, at least if you believe in estimates.
In countries that have embraced centralized energy and migrated away from individual cooking with dung or wood, both public health and the emissions have improved. So why not pay for all developed countries to switch? The World Bank wanted to do that half a decade ago
but it became political; countries like the U.S. agreed only to contribute if they used solar or wind, which are not viable even in America much less in a poor nation. It was another case of wealthy countries with plenty of energy passing their guilt along to Africa and Asia.
Historically, large atmospheric events like fires and volcanic eruptions have had cooling effects. It is the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein", for example, part of which was inspired by the gloom from a volcanic eruption that led to 'a year without a summer'
in Europe of 1816.
Fires and other events cause the release of soot and other aerosols to be released which can cool the planet by reflecting sunlight back into space and increasing cloud brightness. A new study finda that such a cooling effect on the planet may have been significantly underestimated by previous researchers.
Five years ago, California set out to be a world leader in adopting ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets and created the world's fourth-largest carbon-trading program. Not bad for one state.
Except it isn't helping the state, it is subsidizing others. And some of the emissions targets are not emissions at all, they are instead epidemiological claims like small micron particulate matter (PM2.5), which have had zero acute deaths but were the target of EPA and California environmentalists despite a lack of evidence.
Cosmic rays from supernovae can influence Earth´s cloud cover and how that influences climate could be useful for making better models.
A new study shows how atmospheric ions, produced by the energetic cosmic rays raining down through the atmosphere,help the growth and formation of cloud condensation nuclei – the seeds necessary for forming clouds in the atmosphere. When the ionization in the atmosphere changes, the number of cloud condensation nuclei changes affecting the properties of clouds.
More cloud condensation nuclei mean more clouds and a colder climate, and vice-versa.
The realization that livestock like cows are ruminants - and produce a lot of methane while chewing - was a real boon to vegetarian activists because they got to say curbing meat would mean less global warming.
Methane has 23X the warming power of the more popular CO2 in climate change estimates but it drastically shorter in duration. Still, that is enough. When natural gas caused American CO2 emissions from energy to plummet back to early 1990s levels, solar and wind lobbyists and their environmental allies claimed that methane, which they had endorses as an alternative to coal for decades, was suddenly a crisis.
Tablet and phone marketing executives can sleep well tonight. While those devices are commonly blamed for recent sleep problems, beams of pure digital energy shot straight into the eyeballs will do that, a new paper seeks to shore up the failing claim that tiny particulate matter, PM 2.5 (2.5 microns per cubic meter of air), is impacting human health and should be the source of new regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Though the trend has been to listen to environmental claims about the benefits of trees in cities, in science they have a well-established dark side: in urban cities, they produce a lot of ground-level ozone, the very thing environmentalists spent decades lobbying against.
During hot days, trees emit compounds that worsen ozone, such as formaldehyde, which forms from isoprene, a volatile organic compound that trees can give off when temperatures are hot, and
terpenes, which also interact with sunlight to create a "natural" smog. If you have witnessed the haze of the Great Smoky Mountains, you are breathing in natural pollution.
The court case over whether ExxonMobil may have deliberately downplayed the potential dangers of global warming is heating up. Eleven attorney generals have filed a brief in US District Court in Manhattan supporting a lawsuit by Exxon to halt a probe by their peers in New York and Massachusetts.