Some among us predict shortages of clean drinking water on the planet Earth in the not-so-distant future. The Raincatch, designed by CIID students Hyeona Yang and Joshua Noble, is a raincoat that collects and purifies rain water. The collar of the coat captures the rain which is then passed through charcoal filters and a chemical purification system. Voila, drinkable water, which is stored around the shoulders and pockets of the coat.
As you know, Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently declared his candidacy for President of the United States, campaigning as a conservative Republican who does not believe climate change is human-induced. On the presidential campaign trail in New Hampshire Wednesday, he kicked the rhetoric up a notch claiming "a substantial number of scientists [have] manipulated data to keep the money rolling in ":
Fielding audience questions after brief remarks that dwelled largely on fiscal and economic issues, Perry encountered one skeptic who said he was quoting from Perry's 2010 book, Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington
, then asked whether misgivings about climate science fueled distrust of federal research in general.
"I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized," Perry answered. "I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we're seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change. Yes, our climates change. They've been changing ever since the earth was formed."
In the video below, Perry comes in at around the :53 mark:
The above Drought Monitor map tells the story of the exceptional drought conditions in Texas, Oklahoma and southern New Mexico. The last extended drought in Texas occurred in the 1940s and '50s and was the worst in history.
Miles and Miles of Drought in Texas | NYTimes.com says today that "the real fear is that this may not be a one- or two-year drought, but the kind that lasts for 30 or 40 years. Droughts of that extent appear often enough in tree-rings, which suggest that they are part of normal historical weather patterns across the Southwest." We all certainly hope not.
Drought: Past Problems and Future Scenarios by Justin Sheffield, a research hydrologist at Princeton University and Eric F. Wood, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University, reviews the historical occurrence of global drought, particularly during the 20th century and assesses the likely potential changes over the 21st century under climate change.
As you may have read, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just recalculated its climate "normals," 30-year averages of temperature and precipitation for about 7,500 locations across the United States, a task the agency undertakes every 10 years. The numbers show that the past decade was about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 70s, which raises the 30-year average by roughly one-half degree. Click the image for enlarged version.
In other words, that extra 1.5 degrees might be more than we can afford....The snapshots of climate history from NOAA can also provide a glimpse of what's in store locally in the future. Using climate models, we can project what future Julys might look like. For example, by 2050, assuming we continue to pump heat-trapping pollution into our atmosphere at a rate similar to today's, New Yorkers can expect the number of July days exceeding 90 degrees to double, and those exceeding 95 degrees to roughly triple. Sweltering days in excess of 100 degrees, rare now, will become a regular feature of the Big Apple's climate in the 2050s.
At our Weather Snob workstation, we are officially experiencing "extreme drought conditions", one reason we recommend rain barrels. Elsewhere people and animals are enduring wildfires, tornadoes, floods, and severe thunderstorms.
Heat waves, floods, and other extreme weather not only affect what's going on outside but likely affect the quality of your indoor air and raise your risk of health problems, according to a new report issued by the Institute of Medicine.
Dampness and poor ventilation contribute to indoor mold and allergens. Emissions from building materials also affect air quality, and misuse of electric generators result in sometimes catastrophic carbon monoxide poisonings.
Jeffrey May, principal scientist at May Indoor Air Investigations in Tyngsborough, MA, and author of several books, including Jeff May's Healthy Home Tips explains: "If you cool air, you get water. You have moisture in the coil of the air conditioner and if you don't have a good filtration system, the dust builds up, and wet dust turns into mold.
Minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ratings are used to rate how well an air conditioning filter removes dust from the air as it passes through the filter. To minimize allergens in your home, you want an air conditioner filter with a rating of MERV-8 or a MERV-11.
The Old Weather project was created with the goal of improving climate predictions by using old weather observations from the past. It's not a question of proving or dis-proving global warming as much as to improve upon our ability as a species to predict weather and climate in the future. And you can help them collect as much historical data as they can! From the site:
Help scientists recover worldwide weather observations made by Royal Navy ships around the time of World War I. These transcriptions will contribute to climate model projections and improve a database of weather extremes. Historians will use your work to track past ship movements and the stories of the people on board.
Truly scary how little control we have over the natural world. Coincidental with the nightmare the Japanese are living through, Catastrophes! Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Tornadoes, and Other Earth-Shattering Disasters by Donald R. Prothero is scheduled for release today March 17, 2011. The author is Professor of Geology at Occidental College in Los Angeles, and Lecturer in Geobiology at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. The book offers easy to understand explanations of the forces that caused noteworthy disasters along with "gut-wrenching accounts of terrifying human experiences and a staggering loss of human life." Whew!
Some are now wondering if there a connection between the Japanese earthquake and climate change, or solar storms perhaps. USA Today reassures us that there is no such thing as *earthquake weather*, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Statistically, there is approximately an equal distribution of earthquakes in cold weather, hot weather, rainy weather and so on.
The earthquake off the coast of Japan -- and all earthquakes -- are independent of both global warming and solar activity, according to Roger Pielke, Sr., a senior research scientist at the University of Colorado.
He says these geophysical events are a result of movements in the Earth's crust, as are any tsunamis that follow an earthquake. Long-term changes in the Earth's atmosphere don't affect geology.
The fourth edition of Understanding Weather and Climate has been thoroughly updated throughout. Every part of the text has been examined and updated to ensure currency and clarity.Integrating the classic textbook model with emerging areas of instructional technology, this book focuses on explaining, rather than describing, the processes that produce Earth's weather and climate. The authors encourage a non-mathematical understanding of physical principles as a vehicle for learning about atmospheric processes.
We use air conditioners here at Weather Snob to cool the office and to sleep at night in the hot summer weather. Recently we acquired the Kill A Watt electricity usage monitor to see just how much we use in power for the air conditioners and the other gadgets around the office. Sometimes just seeing how much power an air conditioner uses makes your realize you could simply put on the fan and save the planet a little power. Get one of these if you really want to know and save on bills. After we got ours two months ago, we already are more aware of devices and things left on, and turn most stuff off we just aren't using saving us $100 bucks easily in just one month.
Writing about global warming and the possible effects is just heart breaking. Koalas are the latest possible causality of global warming, threatened by the rising level of carbon dioxide pollution in the atmosphere because which is sapping nutrients from the eucalyptus leaves they feed on. Researchers also found that the amount of toxicity in the leaves of eucalyptus saplings rose when the level of carbon dioxide within a greenhouse was increased.
More than 30 billion kilowatt-hours of energy is wasted because many of us simply forget to shut down our computers when we aren’t using them. If we could just improve the efficiency of how we use our PCs, the savings in energy costs would be over $3 billion dollars a year. LocalCooling is a 100% FREE power management tool, from Uniblue Research Labs, that allows users to optimize their energy savings in minutes and as a result reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Cut your energy bills
Reduce the amount of greenhouse gas CO2 emissions as a result of your reduced PC power consumption
Give you full control over your power mode settings Improve your overall efficiency and computing experience
Show you, in detail, how much you have saved since installing the software
The picture above shows the city of Houston bathed in ozone filled pollution. If you really want to see what effect pollution has on the weather, and the way it looks, you may want to visit some of the Most Polluted Cities in the US. Or not. We live in Boston, so the pollution here just doesn't make it into the top 20, and we're really glad. And it should be no surprise to anyone that Los Angeles is the most polluted with ozone. Click on through to see more shots of polluted cities and how they look.
It started with a question: How can we inspire people to take action on climate change?
On 31 March 2007, 2.2 million people and 2100 Sydney businesses turned off their lights for one hour - Earth Hour. If the greenhouse reduction achieved in the Sydney CBD during Earth Hour was sustained for a year, it would be equivalent to taking 48,616 cars off the road for a year.
With Sydney icons like the Harbour Bridge and Opera House turning their lights off, and unique events such as weddings by candlelight, the world took notice. Inspired by the collective effort of millions of Sydneysiders, many major global cities are joining Earth Hour in 2008, turning a symbolic event into a global movement.