Seven trends spotted at United Nations climate talks

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Need help making sense of the 20th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference? Lauren Gifford, a CU-Boulder doctoral student, was at the Conference of the Parties that took place in Lima, Peru on Dec. 1-14. Gifford and fellow PhD student Jonas Bruun, from the University of Manchester, were part of the Institute for Policy Studies delegation at the talks. They called the conference a “dress rehearsal” for talks that should conclude with a new international climate agreement in 2015. With several strands of negotiations between governments and hundreds of events held in parallel, Gifford … [Read more...]

Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability – IPCC Working Group II Report Now Available

IPCC Working Group II

Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its full contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The report provides the most comprehensive look to date at the worldwide impacts of climate change and the opportunities for response. View and download the report here: IPCC Working Group II: Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability - Summary for Policymakers In addition to the final versions of the 30-chapter report, cross-chapter materials, technical summary, and summary for policymakers, this latest release includes … [Read more...]

Ozone gardens at CU-Boulder and NCAR reveal harmful effects of pollution

Ozone Garden

Most people have heard about the harmful effects of pollution on human and plant health, but until recently, visualizing such effects took some imagination. Now, new “ozone gardens” at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Museum of Natural History and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Mesa Laboratory make the evidence startlingly clear. Visits to the gardens are free and open to the public. Scientists at CU-Boulder and NCAR are growing plants that develop brown and black spots on their leaves when exposed to harmful air pollution. The ozone gardens feature particular … [Read more...]

Five questions for Climate Scientist James White

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This interview, conducted by Cynthis Pasquale, originally appeared in the University of Colorado CU Connections website. You can watch videos featuring Professor White on the Climate & Weather section of Learn More About Climate. Humans and ecosystems can adapt to a slowly changing climate, but what happens when these changes happen abruptly? “When it comes to climate change, speed kills,” says James White, a Fellow and Director of INSTAAR (Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research) and a professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. White headed a panel of the … [Read more...]

Dr. Konrad Steffen and James Hansen Offer Evidence for a Disruptive Call to Action

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A paper by James Hansen and 17 scientific colleagues includes the work of CU-Boulder Professor Emeritus of Geography, Konrad Steffen. “Assessing Dangerous Climate Change: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature” calls for cohesive, unified action to reduce fossil fuel emissions to pre-Industrial Era levels. The paper details the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to reducing carbon emissions. PLOS ONE, as publishers of the paper, announced a call for papers to support this goal. Read more about the paper on the PLOS ONE website. … [Read more...]

New Report on Abrupt Climate Change Calls for Increased Monitoring and Early Warning System

West Antarctica Ice Sheet

A new National Academy of Science report on climate change has just been made available from its National Research Council, chaired by Professor James White of CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. A video replay of the press briefing webcast is now available. Read or download a pdf of the the complete report or view the summary here: Summary: Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change The report, “Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises,” draws upon recent research to adjust the timeframe within which certain climate change impacts may happen. It emphasizes … [Read more...]