A Conversation about Archaeology in the Arctic. January 17, 2016.
For the third episode of the Climate History Podcast, Dr. Dagomar Degroot interviews two leading archaeologists of the medieval and early modern Arctic: Dr. Thomas McGovern of the City University of New York, and Dr. George Hambrecht of the University of Maryland College Park. More
Teaching Climate History in a Warming World. December 17, 2015.
This semester, I taught my first course devoted exclusively to the environmental history of climate change. The course was, as one of my senior auditors pointed out, unusually ambitious. Luckily, I had a group of brilliant, hard-working students who embraced its challenges. Their coursework included a fifteen-page essay that connected a change in past global or regional climates to an episode in human history. They had to find a topic and then use a primary source to make an argument about that topic. They needed to support their argument using a blend of scientific and humanistic scholarship. The results were impressive, and you can read some of the abstracts here. More
Assessing the Future During COP21. November 30, 2015.
This week, roughly 40,000 delegates from 147 nations gather in Paris for the twenty-first annual "Conference of Parties" (COP21) in the fight against climate change. For the first time, participating governments will seek a legally binding agreement on mitigating and adapting to climate change. Their ambition will be to ensure that average global temperatures do not rise more than two degrees Celsius above their preindustrial averages. However, this goal now faces at least four serious challenges. More
A Conversation with Sam White. November 17, 2015.
For the second episode of the Climate History Podcast, Dr. Dagomar Degroot interviews the co-founder and co-administrator of the Climate History Network: Dr. Sam White of Ohio State University. Professor White is one of the most innovative and respected environmental historians of the "Little Ice Age," a period of climatic cooling that, according to some definitions, affected most of the world from the fourteenth through the nineteenth centuries. More
Lessons From the Storm that Wasn't. October 10, 2015.
Last week, millions of people across the eastern coasts of the United States and Canada faced a frightening prospect: landfall of a major hurricane to rival Sandy, or perhaps even Katrina. At noon on October 1st, Hurricane Joaquin churned over Samana Cay, the largest uninhabited island in the Bahamas, and perhaps the first land glimpsed by Columbus in 1492. More
Whatever Happened to the Global Warming "Pause?" September 2, 2015.
It is only September, but, absent a massive volcanic eruption or asteroid impact, 2015 will be, by far, the hottest year on the instrumental record. The culprit is a massive El Niño that is compounding the warming effects of rising greenhouse gas emissions. This year’s scorching heat will mean that the three hottest years on record will have occurred within the same five-year stretch: in 2010, 2014, and 2015. More
A Conversation with Geoffrey Parker. July 23, 2015.
More and more people are recognizing that, to understand climate change today, we must study its past. The study of past climates has never been more popular or more interdisciplinary, and its findings are increasingly reaching the media. Policymakers are taking notice - although not always in ways we would like - and the general public is, too. In fact, this site now attracts around 100,000 visitors annually, and we hope to build on that number as we add new features and content. To that end, we are launching a new Climate History Podcast on iTunes. Within days, you will be able to search for it on iTunes, but you can already subscribe by clicking on this link. More
Featured Image, January 2016:
A map of impenetrable pack ice between Svalbard and Novaya Zemlya, drawn in the summer of 1676. The ice is far to the south of where it would be found today.
The Volcano That Shrouded the Earth and Gave Birth to a Monster. Nautilus
Volcanic Eruptions: Reconciling Past Mismatches. Future Earth
Growth Rings On Rocks Give Up North American Climate Secrets. Berkeley News
The Next Great Famine. The New Yorker
Two Irrational Responses to Climate Change: Witch Hunts and Denial. Los Angeles Times
Haily Dalvi, V. et al., "Solar thermal technologies as a bridge from fossil fuels to renewables." Nature Climate Change 5, 1007-1013 (2015).
Estrada, F. et al., "Economic losses from US hurricanes consistent with an influence from climate change." Nature Geoscience 8, 880-884 (2015).
Ming Lee, T. et al., "Predictors of public climate change awareness and risk perception around the world." Nature Climate CHange 5, 1014-1020 (2015).
Rajaratnam, B. et al., "Debunking the Climate Hiatus." Climatic Change (2015): 1-12.
Cai, W. et al., "ENSO and Greenhouse Warming." Nature Climate Change 5 (2015): 849-859.
Bauer, Peter, Alan Thorpe, and Gilbert Brunet, "The quiet revolution of numerical weather prediction." Nature 525 (2015): 47-55.
"Climatic Change Special Issue: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Climate Ethics." Climatic Change 130:3 (2015).
Archived Best of the Web
We are generously supported by:
Banner image credit: NASA, Benoit Lecavalier.