Understanding the culture of climate change. August 4, 2014.
Note: a reflection piece originally posted on The Otter.
Like the research that inspired it, this article is a cultural consequence of climate change. Seven years ago, I was on a bus, reading a book about ancient climates. I looked out the window at a sunset so brilliant, it seemed to ignite Toronto's skyscrapers. More
How climate scholars can shape climate policy. July 3, 2014.
In order to keep global warming below 2° C, there is desperate need for urgency in curbing greenhouse gas emissions. However, national and international policymakers have yet to take major action. In the most recent issue of Nature Climate Change, Cambridge University geographer David Christian Rose explains why even the governments that have publicly acknowledged the threat of climate change have been so slow to address it. More
University loans vast archive relevant to climate history. May 25, 2014.
Many articles on this site outline the role of documentary evidence for testing, refining, and expanding reconstructions of past climates developed using scientific “proxy” sources and computer simulations. Documents that record past weather were written in literate societies. Hence, reconstructions of ancient climates cannot benefit from documentary refinement, and the same holds true for reconstructions of regions settled by non-literate societies. More
How does climate change influence warfare? April 28, 2014.
According to the most recent summary for policymakers published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “climate change can indirectly increase risks of violent conflicts” by exacerbating the socially destabilizing influence of poverty and economic shocks. While the IPCC attaches “medium confidence” to this claim, it is hardly controversial. More
Does climate change cause social crisis? March 25, 2014.
The Little Ice Age (LIA) was a period of generally cooler, and more variable, temperatures that was felt across most of the globe from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries. In the wake of a very cold winter in North America, and a very wet winter in Britain, it has been all over the news lately. For example, in the April issue of Foreign Affairs, Deborah Coen evaluated a major new study on the Little Ice Age by fellow historian Geoffrey Parker. In the March 23rd New York Times Sunday Review, Parker presented his “lessons from the Little Ice Age.” More
Major study interprets recent climate in light of past. February 20, 2014.
Last year the World Meteorological Organization released an important summary report on the world’s climate and how we make sense of it. The World’s Climate: 2001-2010 was unfortunately overshadowed by the publication of the Fifth Summary for Policymakers written by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However, its conclusions are continuing to trickle through blogs and media outlets, as they shed new light on the past, present, and future of the world’s climate. More
Best of the Web: August 2014
'Widespread methane leakage' from ocean floor off US coast. BBC Science & Environment
How to Track Climate Change? Digitize a Century's Worth of Moldy Old Records. The Atlantic
Global Warming Pause no more than a Natural Variation says Statistical Study of Historical Data. Reporting Climate Science
How tropical glaciers respond to cooling periods. Science Daily
A fifteenth-century depiction of the St. Elizabeth's Flood (1421), in the Northern Low Countries. Outer right wing of an altarpiece dedicated to Saint Elizabeth, c. 1490-1495.