Articles on Climate science

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Another way to change the carbon balance: trees. Neil Palmer/CIAT for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Rather than divest, advocate for carbon balancing

Divestment campaigns aim to halt the use of fossil fuels, but the climate can be also stabilized through ‘recarbonization’ techniques, such as reforestation and changing agricultural practices.
Out of sight out of mind? The vast majority of global warming is going into the ocean. peter dondel/Flickr

The climate ‘hiatus’ doesn’t take the heat off global warming

Over the past decade, warming air temperatures at Earth's surface appear to have slowed. But that ignores the vast majority of heat going steadily into the ocean. And, a new paper shows, that makes no difference to the long-term prognosis.
Clumps of thunderstorms are driving increases in rain over tropical oceans. Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

The tropics are getting wetter: the reason could be clumpy storms

For a long time climate models have forecast increasing rainfall in tropics. Now we know part of the reason: clumpy thunderstorms.
Carbon dioxide levels are rising at their fastest rate since the dinosaurs’ time. iurii/Shutterstock.com

What will a hotter Australia be like? The past gives us some clues

The latest climate projections released last week by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO predict that Australia could potentially warm by between 2.8C and 5.1C by 2090. Meanwhile, the 2014 State of the…
Scientists will be either ineffectual or counter-productive. EPA

Why climate scientists shouldn’t bother testifying to Congress

Western liberal democracies believe that in difficult political decisions science serves as a referee and arbiter of truth. Scientific knowledge can indeed inform and narrow the scope of policy choices…
Climate science is right – but it isn’t winning. NASA

Is it time to take science out of the climate change debate?

Scientists tell us that the world is warming and greenhouse gas emissions are to blame. Yet climate change framed by scientists, politicians and economists as a straightforward pollution problem will neither…
Antarctica has actually been protected from sea ice melt by the ozone hole. Vassil Tzvetanov

The ozone hole leaves a lasting impression on southern climate

Many people think of sunburn and skin cancer when they hear about the ozone hole. But more ultraviolet (UV) radiation isn’t the only problem. The ozone hole has also led to dramatic changes in Southern…
Apollo Bay in Victoria. Australia’s coastal towns are vulnerable to changes in the surrounding seas. ccdoh1/Flickr

Your coastal town’s climate score? There’s a website for that

Australia’s coastal towns, many built around fisheries and tourism, are particularly vulnerable to climate change. South east and south west Australia are marine hotspots — they are warming much faster…
Science can’t tell us exactly when the rising oceans will swallow up the Maldives, but it can give us a good idea. Hiroyuki-H

Why climate ‘uncertainty’ is no excuse for doing nothing

Former environment minister Owen Paterson has called for the UK to scrap its climate change targets. In a speech to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, he cited “considerable uncertainty” over the impact…
A new study shows plants may absorb more carbon than we thought. Jason Samfield/Flickr

Plants absorb more CO2 than we thought, but …

Through burning fossil fuels, humans are rapidly driving up levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which in turn is raising global temperatures. But not all the CO2 released from burning coal, oil…
A king tide in New Zealand, part of a project documenting what future sea level rise might look like. Witness King Tides/Flickr

15 years from now, our impact on regional sea level will be clear

Human activity is driving sea levels higher. Australia’s seas are likely to rise by around 70 centimetres by 2100 if nothing is done to combat climate change. But 2100 can seem a long way off. At the moment…
In 2012 and 2013 parts of New Zealand suffered the worst drought in 70 years. Dave Young/Flickr

New Zealand is drying out, and here’s why

Over 2012 and 2013, parts of New Zealand experienced their worst drought in nearly 70 years. Drought is the costliest climate extreme in New Zealand; the 2012-2013 event depressed the country’s GDP by…
New research shows 2013 would not have been as hot without human-caused climate change. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Human hands are all over Australia’s hottest ever year

2013 was Australia’s hottest year on record, but how much of that was due to human-caused climate change? Today scientists publish five research papers that reveal the extent of human influence on Australia’s…
It’s not just protesters: even climate models suggest it’s more sensible to act on climate change now. AAP Image/Delta Harpley

‘Wait and see’ on climate? No, the science is clear: act now

When should we act to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change: now, or later when we know more? One person who thinks we should wait is New York University theoretical physicist…

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