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Are new trains, like Vancouver's Canada Line, the solution?

I arrived back in Vancouver at the beginning of the week, just in time to be among the first passengers on the new train connecting the airport and the city of Richmond with downtown.The $2 billion “Canada Line” train link was built more or less as...

Posted August 21, 2009    

Hurricane Bill, the Atlantic hurricane season and Pacific warming

The first Atlantic hurricane of the season, Hurricane Bill, is on its way north towards the east coast of Canada. Forecasters expect Bill to pass the coast of Nova Scotia on Sunday and run towards Newfoundland and Labrador.The offshore path of the...

Posted August 21, 2009    

The link between heat waves and global warming

In Saturday's Globe and Mail, Rex Murphy had yet another obtuse column speculating about global cooling, spurred by Toronto's cool, wet summer. While the errors in Murphy's supposedly ironic columns have not quite reached the level of George Will,...

Posted July 28, 2009    

El Nino and the likelihood of mass coral bleaching

The seasonal forecasting system recently developed by NOAA Coral Reef Watch suggests that coral reefs in the Caribbean and in part of the central equatorial Pacific (the Line Islands, including Kiritimati or "Christmas Island") are at risk of coral...

Posted July 23, 2009    

Beneficial biofuels

A policy forum in this week's Science outlines the types of biofuel that could actually lead to net reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and have other societal or environmental benefits. The paper argues that current methods of growing energy-...

Posted July 17, 2009    

The challenge of agreeing on degrees

Andy Revkin has a nice short summary of the wisdom, or lack thereof, of pledging to avoid climate warming of 2 deg C or any other threshold beyond which climate disaster looms.The problem is that not only is there no one firm threshold, even if...

Posted July 11, 2009    

Mixing mitigation and adaptation at the G8 summit

The climate change discussions at the G8 Summit have been a blank canvas upon which media outlets and commentators can project their judgments on the state of climate change policy. Is the story the agreement on a 2 deg C threshold? The lack of...

Posted July 10, 2009    

No climate change deal from the G8 summit

Coverage and criticism of the failure to reach a consensus on climate policy at international meetings like the G8 summits tend to focus, for good reason, on emissions reductions. The lede from the NY Times:As President Obama arrived for three days...

Posted July 8, 2009    

Abuse of science and logic by the National Corn Growers Association

The National Corn Growers Association released a report arguing that there is no connection between the use of nitrogen fertilizers on corn in the Midwestern US and the seasonal “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico.There is no point mincing words about...

Posted July 6, 2009    

A thought on the Waxman-Markey climate bill

Yesterday, the US Congress narrowly passed a bill to control greenhouse gas emissions. The Waxman-Markey bill will install a cap and trade system, set a renewable portfolio standard and pay for a number of other related, and unrelated, programs and...

Posted June 27, 2009    

Coping with Commitment: New study on the challenge facing coral reefs

Maribo's back from a long hiatus, in which the host was overseas collecting data, samples and I fear some sort of parasite. Just in time, as a new study of mine on climate change and coral reefs just appeared in PLOS-One today (link - no...

Posted June 2, 2009    

The media and scientific responsibility

One of the challenges teaching about climate change is that the students are privilege to all the bad information available online and in other forms of media. Climate science is not unique in this sense; the 24-7 game of broken telephone known as...

Posted April 11, 2009