Glacier and Ice-Sheet Dynamics in a Warming World


November 06, 2008: SFU Canada Research Chairs Seminar Series “Glacier and ice-sheet dynamics in a warming world”

Dr. Gwenn Flowers, Canada Research Chair in Glaciology / Department of Earth Sciences

Teaser image credit: Ted Scambos & Rob Bauer, NSIDC  / A researcher works with an ice core drill during the 2003 Antarctic Megadunes expedition.

Either governments are not serious about climate change or fossil-fuel firms are overvalued

By The Economist: MARKETS can misprice risk, as investors in subprime mortgages discovered in 2008. Several recent reports suggest that markets are now overlooking the risk of “unburnable carbon”. The share prices of oil, gas and coal companies depend in part on their reserves. The more fossil fuels a firm has underground, the more valuable its shares. But what if some of those reserves can never be dug up and burned?

If governments were determined to implement their climate policies, a lot of that carbon would have to be left in the ground, says Carbon Tracker, a non-profit organisation, and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, part of the London School of Economics. Their analysis starts by estimating the amount of carbon dioxide that could be put into the atmosphere if global temperatures are not to rise by more than 2°C, the most that climate scientists deem prudent. The maximum, says the report, is about 1,000 gigatons (GTCO2) between now and 2050. The report calls this the world’s “carbon budget”.

Home (2009)

We are living in exceptional times. Scientists tell us that we have 10 years to change the way we live, avert the depletion of natural resources and the catastrophic evolution of the Earth’s climate. The stakes are high for us and our children. Everyone should take part in the effort, and HOME has been conceived…

The Story of Earth

The Earth might seem solid beneath our feet but five billion years ago there was no sign of the planet we call home. Instead there was only a new star and a cloud of dust in our solar system. Over millions of years, a series of violent changes led to the formation of our world…

Do you believe in Global Warming?

By James West “I don’t see what all those environmentalists are worried about,” sneers your great uncle Joe. “Carbon dioxide is harmless, and great for plants!” OK. Take a deep breath. If you’re not careful, comments like this can result in dinner-table screaming matches. Luckily, we have a secret weapon: A flowchart that will help you calmly…

Jennifer Francis: Wacky Weather and disappearing Arctic Sea Ice are they connected?

Dr. Jennifer Francis – Rutgers University “Extreme weather events are increasing in frequency and intensity all around the northern hemisphere.” Concurrently, Arctic sea ice is in an accelerating decline, the entire surface of Greenland melted for the first time in at least 150 years, glaciers are disappearing around the world, and snow cover on Arctic…

Kevin Trenberth: How To Relate Climate Extremes to Climate Change

Public lecture by Distinguished Senior Scientist at the Climate Analysis Section at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Kevin Trenberth held at UNSW on October 16, 2012. “Heavy precipitation days are increasing even in places where precipitation is decreasing.” Framing the way to relate climate extremes to climate change Abstract The atmospheric and ocean environment…

Just How Many Climate “Sceptics” Are There?

By Graham Readfearn / Desmogblog.com – “The media will often report on what the public thinks about climate change – and they are getting it wrong,” says Professor Joseph Reser, of Griffith University’s School of Psychology, who has led one of the most extensive and detailed surveys into Australian attitudes to climate change and the underpinning science.

After asking 7,500 Australians about their attitudes to climate change and their acceptance that humans are having something to do with it, Reser says the vast majority of people accept the science – it’s happening and humans have a hand in it.

Several studies have pointed out just how difficult it can be to get a true picture of the general public’s view on climate change. Not to mention how people’s economic views – such as support for the free market – or political views are closely aligned with their views on climate change.

The Psychological Impacts of Global Climate Change

Authors: Doherty, Thomas J.; Clayton, Susan

An appreciation of the psychological impacts of global climate change entails recognizing the complexity and multiple meanings associated with climate change; situating impacts within other social, technological, and ecological transitions; and recognizing mediators and moderators of impacts. This article describes three classes of psychological impacts: direct (e.g., acute or traumatic effects of extreme weather events and a changed environment); indirect (e.g., threats to emotional well-being based on observation of impacts and concern or uncertainty about future risks); and psychosocial (e.g., chronic social and community effects of heat, drought, migrations, and climate-related conflicts, and postdisaster adjustment).

Climate, Sun, and Cosmic Rays

A perennial favorite among climate denial myths is that the earth’s current warming is due to changes on the sun. One of the most famous and egregious examples of how these distortions are manufactured, is the movie “The Great global Warming Swindle” More recently, climate deniers have invented new dodges out of thin air. Join…

Residents look on as a back fire set by firefighters consumes the hillside behind their homes as a wildfire burns on May 2, 2013 in Newbury Park, Calif. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Fires, Floods, and Heavy Snow: an Extreme May Weather Situation

Dr. Jeff Masters / via Wunderground – A highly unusual jet stream pattern is bringing a bizarre combination of heavy May snows, flooding, extreme fire danger, and well below average severe thunderstorm activity to the U.S. A strong “blocking” high pressure system has set up over Greenland, blocking the normal west-to-east progression of weather systems. A truly unusual situation has developed where the blocking high has forced a low pressure system near Greenland to move southwestwards to a point just off the New England coast. The blocking high has also forced an unusually sharp southwards dip in the jet stream over the Central U.S., where all-time May snowfall and cold temperature records are being set.

NASA: Warming-Driven Changes in Global Rainfall


By Kathryn Hansen NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. A NASA-led modeling study provides new evidence that global warming may increase the risk for extreme rainfall and drought.

Model simulations spanning 140 years show that warming from carbon dioxide will change the frequency that regions around the planet receive no rain (brown), moderate rain (tan), and very heavy rain (blue). The occurrence of no rain and heavy rain will increase, while moderate rainfall will decrease.