The new line of attack on climate science in the age of megafires

Every morning, wildland firefighters gather around radios to listen to the weather forecast. This summer, I was part of the team that fought a fire near Big Sur. When I heard the staticky voice announce that temperatures would exceed 105 degrees, the forecast sounded like a death sentence.



a close up of clouds in front of a sunset: The August Complex fire burns near Lake Pillsbury in the Mendocino National Forest on Sept. 16. By Oct. 5, it had burned more than 1 million acres. (Noah Berger/Associated Press )


© (Noah Berger / Associated Press)
The August Complex fire burns near Lake Pillsbury in the Mendocino National Forest on Sept. 16. By Oct. 5, it had burned more than 1 million acres. (Noah Berger/Associated Press )

Across California, unprecedented heat has made wildfires more difficult to predict and control. During the heat wave in Big Sur, the fire, which had been 40% contained at 30,000 acres, tripled in size in a matter of days. It has now burned nearly 125,000 acres.

Fighting wildfire involves hauling heavy packs and tools up mountains. Record heat makes this work more difficult and dangerous. After

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Firefighters are paying the price of climate denial

Every morning, wildland firefighters gather around radios to listen to the weather forecast. This summer, I was part of the team that fought a fire near Big Sur. When I heard the staticky voice announce that temperatures would exceed 105 degrees, the forecast sounded like a death sentence.

Across California, unprecedented heat has made wildfires more difficult to predict and control. During the heat wave in Big Sur, the fire, which had been 40% contained at 30,000 acres, tripled in size in a matter of days. It has now burned nearly 125,000 acres.

Fighting wildfire involves hauling heavy packs and tools up mountains. Record heat makes this work more difficult and dangerous. After hours cutting atop an exposed ridge, my arms and legs spasmed from muscle cramps. Extreme heat makes hearts race and brains falter. Firefighters often collapse. In Big Sur, plumes of smoke grew like thunderclouds.

We have entered

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IBM and The Climate Service to Work Together with Financial Institutions and Corporations to Assess the Cost of Climate Risk | News

ARMONK, N.Y. and DURHAM, N.C., Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — IBM (NYSE: IBM) and The Climate Service (TCS), a leader in climate risk analytics for investors and businesses, today announced their alliance to work with financial institutions and corporations to better measure and quantify risks associated with climate change. As part of the alliance, the companies are now making the TCS Climanomics® software platform available via Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud.

This alliance between IBM and TCS makes TCS’s advanced science available with enterprise-grade levels of scalability, availability, security, and interoperability. The companies are working together to help organizations put a price on climate risk and facilitate reporting consistent with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework.

The alliance will also leverage the experience of IBM Services in financial risk, analytics, weather risk, and compliance, to use the Climanomics® platform to provide climate risk analytics to

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IBM and The Climate Service to Work Together with Financial Institutions and Corporations to Assess the Cost of Climate Risk

ARMONK, N.Y. and DURHAM, N.C., Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — IBM (NYSE: IBM ) and The Climate Service (TCS), a leader in climate risk analytics for investors and businesses, today announced their alliance to work with financial institutions and corporations to better measure and quantify risks associated with climate change. As part of the alliance, the companies are now making the TCS Climanomics® software platform available via Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud.

This alliance between IBM and TCS makes TCS’s advanced science available with enterprise-grade levels of scalability, availability, security, and interoperability. The companies are working together to help organizations put a price on climate risk and facilitate reporting consistent with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework.

The alliance will also leverage the experience of IBM Services in financial risk, analytics, weather risk, and compliance, to use the Climanomics® platform to provide climate risk analytics to

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Dust increases reflect farming practices and climate trends reminiscent of the lead-up to the 1930s Dust Bowl — ScienceDaily

Got any spaces left on that 2020 bingo card? Pencil in “another Dust Bowl in the Great Plains.” A study from University of Utah researchers and their colleagues finds that atmospheric dust levels are rising across the Great Plains at a rate of up to 5% per year.

The trend of rising dust parallels expansion of cropland and seasonal crop cycles, suggesting that farming practices are exposing more soil to wind erosion. And if the Great Plains becomes drier, a possibility under climate change scenarios, then all the pieces are in place for a repeat of the Dust Bowl that devastated the Midwest in the 1930s.

“We can’t make changes to the earth surface without some kind of consequence just as we can’t burn fossil fuels without consequences,” says Andy Lambert, lead author of the study and a recent U graduate. “So while the agriculture industry is absolutely important, we

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Scientists return from Arctic with wealth of climate data

BERLIN (AP) — An icebreaker carrying scientists on a year-long international effort to study the high Arctic has returned to its home port in Germany carrying a wealth of data that will help researchers better predict climate change in the decades to come.

The RV Polarstern arrived Monday in the North Sea port of Bremerhaven, from where she set off more than a year ago prepared for bitter cold and polar bear encounters — but not for the pandemic lockdowns that almost scuttled the mission half-way through.

“We basically achieved everything we set out to do,” the expedition’s leader, Markus Rex, told The Associated Press by satellite phone as it left the polar circle last week. “We conducted measurements for a whole year with just a short break.”

The ship had to break away from its position in the far north for three weeks in May to pick up supplies

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“We must act now” on climate

“Science tells us, every day with more precision, that urgent action is needed—and I am not dramatizing, this is what science says—if we are to keep the hope of avoiding radical and catastrophic climate change,” he told an audience today at the launch event for TED Countdown, a new global initiative to accelerate climate action. “And for this, we must act now. This is a scientific fact.”

The pope, who recently published a new encyclical arguing for social unity, believes that we need to start with education about environmental problems based on science. We need to ensure that everyone has access to clean water and sustainably produced food. And we need to transition to clean, renewable energy, with a focus on meeting the needs of the poor and people who have to move to new jobs in the energy sector.

Businesses also need to consider their impact on both the

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Without nuclear power, the world’s climate challenge will get a whole lot harder

The Covid-19 crisis not only delivered an unprecedented shock to the world economy. It also underscored the scale of the climate challenge we face: Even in the current deep recession, global carbon emissions remain unsustainable.



a sunset in the background: White steam billows from the Cattenom nuclear power plant, at sunset in Cattenom, eastern France, on June 2, 2020. - Cattenom is the ninth largest nuclear power station in the world. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BERDA / AFP) (Photo by SEBASTIEN BERDA/AFP via Getty Images)


© Sebastien Berda/AFP/Getty Images
White steam billows from the Cattenom nuclear power plant, at sunset in Cattenom, eastern France, on June 2, 2020. – Cattenom is the ninth largest nuclear power station in the world. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BERDA / AFP) (Photo by SEBASTIEN BERDA/AFP via Getty Images)

If the world is to meet energy security and climate goals, clean energy must be at the core of post-Covid-19 economic recovery efforts. Strong growth in wind and solar energy and in the use of electric cars gives us grounds for hope, as does the promise of emerging technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture. But the scale of the challenge means we cannot afford to exclude any

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Study shows how climate impacts food webs, poses socioeconomic threat in Eastern Africa

Study shows how climate impacts food webs, poses socioeconomic threat in Eastern Africa
The research team spent 12 days on Lake Tanganyika collecting core samples from the lake’s floor. They chartered a Congolese merchant vessel, seen here, and adapted it for their research project. Credit: Michael McGlue, University of Kentucky

A new study is sounding the alarm on the impact climate change could have on one of the world’s most vulnerable regions.


Michael McGlue, Pioneer Natural Resources Professor of Stratigraphy in the University of Kentucky Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and his team conducted the study at Lake Tanganyika—a major African fishery. The results, which published today in Science Advances, show how certain changes in climate may place the fishery at risk, potentially diminishing food resources for millions of people in this area of eastern Africa.

“Lake Tanganyika’s fish are a critically important resource for impoverished people from four nations (Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Zambia) and resilience

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Climate patterns linked in Amazon, North and South America, study shows

amazon rainforest
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

University of Arkansas researchers have established a link between climate patterns in the Amazon and large parts of North and South America using their newly developed tree-ring chronology from the Amazon River basin.


The discovery helps researchers better understand large-scale climate extremes and the impact of the El Niño phenomenon.

Tree growth is a well-established climate proxy. By comparing growth rings in Cedrela odorata trees found in the Rio Paru watershed of the eastern Amazon River with hundreds of similar chronologies in North and South America, scientists have shown an inverse relationship in tree growth, and therefore precipitation patterns, between the areas. Drought in the Amazon is correlated with wetness in the southwestern United States, Mexico and Patagonia, and vice versa.

The process is driven by the El Niño phenomenon, which influences surface-level winds along the equator, researchers said. El Niño is the name given to

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