NASA

Lauren McCauley – The Earth Just Experienced the Hottest Month on the Books. Period.

August 16, 2016

On Monday it was confirmed that the Earth has broken an ominous climate milestone amid a wave of troubling records: July 2016 was the hottest recorded month—ever. According to new NASA data, the global mean surface temperatures last month were 0.84° Celsius (1.51° Fahrenheit) above average and was the warmest July in their data set, which dates back to 1880. This marks the 10th straight month to set a new monthly warming record, based on NASA’s analysis. “Every month so far this year has been record hot,” reported Climate Central‘s Andrea Thompson. “In NASA’s data, that streak goes back to October 2015, which was the first month in its data set that was more than 1C hotter than average.” Read

Chris D’Angelo – The Results Of Earth’s ‘Annual Physical’ Are A Scary Dose Of Deja Vu

August 10, 2016

  A devastating dose of long-term climate change combined with a strong El Niño in 2015 seemingly left every major climate record on the books shattered, according to an annual international climate report released Tuesday. The State of the Climate report, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and described as Earth’s “annual physical,” finds that the health of the planet has, once again, fallen into uncharted territory. Read

ROBERT HUNZIKER – Epicenter of Obliteration – Arctic Ice

June 21, 2016

“Obliteration” is intentionally Machiavellian, and over-reaching, but the hard truth is that obliteration (extinction) could really, truly happen, assuming certain things happen, or not, depending…. In such case, in order to gain a full understanding of Arctic ice loss as it relates to obliteration, query the world’s foremost Arctic expert, Peter Wadhams, professor of Ocean Physics, University of Cambridge. All of which brings to fore a fascinating fact: How many people have traveled under the ice of the North Pole? Read

Asoka Bandarage – Climate, Consciousness and Social Change

June 14, 2016

Climate change is a complex phenomenon involving unknown changes in planetary biophysical systems.  However, there is now scientific consensus, that climate change is caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Fossil fuel combustion is considered the primary cause of carbon emissions and climate change worldwide. Scientists warn that unless we are able to bring down carbon emissions rapidly to below 350 ppm in this century, the effects on planetary life will be catastrophic. We are at 400 ppm (parts per million molecules) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and are adding 2 ppm of carbon dioxide every year. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) reports that last month, April 2016, was the warmest month recorded and that 2016 is likely to be the hottest year ever, surpassing the previous annual record of 2015, by the largest historical margin. We are seeing the realities of climate change: rising temperatures, declining Arctic sea ice, extreme weather events, heatwaves wildfires, floods, droughts, stronger storms and hurricanes and so on. The number and range of species on Earth are expected to decline greatly as temperatures continue to rise. Biodiversity is declining at a rate of more than 100 per million species every year with as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species possibly

Progressive Commentary Hour – 06.07.16

June 7, 2016

Guest #1 - Kevin Hinchey is a film directory, professor of cinemaphotography and a director of the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust that managers the Wilhelm Reich archives at Harvard University’s Countway Library of medicine. He also operates the Wilhelm Reich museum in Rangeley Maine. Kevin has a masters from NYU’s Graduate Film School and has worked as a screenwriter in Los Angeles and New York City and currently teaches film making and courses about Reich in Connecticut and Massachusetts. His lecture series, TheTrue Story of Government Ordered Bookburning in America, about the destruction of tons of Reich’s works is a warning of scientific totalitarianism. Kevin is currently editing a full featured documentary about the life and thought and research of Wilhelm Reich – the Wilhelm Reich Documentary Film Project. To help fund the project, visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/wilhelm-reich-documentary-film-project-edit-phase--7#/ Guest #2 - Professor James (Jim) Strick teaches in the department of earth environment studies at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster Pennsylvania, where is also the Chair of the Program in Science and Technologhy. Dr. Strick was trained in microbiology and has specialized in the history science, the history of biological ideas and experimentation into life. Jim holds degrees SUNY, two masters degrees – one in history from Princeton University and another in environmental sciences from SUNY, and doctorate in history from Princeton. He has published volumes about Darwin, Astrobiology and NASA, the debate about the origins of life and an excellent volume about Wilhelm Reich – Wilhelm Reich Biologist” – published by Harvard Press. He is an advisor of the journal ISIS from the History of Science Society and has published articles in numerous professional journals.

AMRITA GUPTA – “The Third World War Will be About Water”

May 25, 2016

Rajendra Singh, known as the “water man of India,” believes that critically depleted aquifers around the world can be revived with community effort. For the past 32 years, through his NGO Tarun Bharat Sangh (Young India Organization), Singh has led community-based water harvesting and water management initiatives in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, an arid, semi-desert state in the northwest of India.In 2015, NASA’s satellite data revealed that 21 of the world’s 37 large aquifers are severely water-stressed. With growing populations, and increased demands from agriculture and industry, researchers indicated that this crisis is only likely to worsen. In that time, he has been credited with transforming the landscape and the climate of the region. Seven rivers have been rejuvenated and more than 250,000 wells replenished. Once-parched fields are now fertile. In the process, he has rehabilitated more than 1,200 communities that had been displaced due to water scarcity. As he says, “when the water comes back, the people come back.” For his work, Singh was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for community leadership in 2001, and the Stockholm Water Prize in 2015. Policy Innovations spoke with Rajendra Singh and his global partner Minni Jain, director of The Flow Partnership, over Skype and

Dahr Jamail – Navy Allowed to Kill or Injure Nearly 12 Million Whales, Dolphins, Other Marine Mammals in Pacific

May 17, 2016

What if you were told the US Navy is legally permitted to harass, injure or kill nearly 12 million whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions and seals across the North Pacific Ocean over a five-year period? It is true, and over one-quarter of every tax dollar you pay is helping to fund it. A multistate, international citizen watchdog group called the West Coast Action Alliance (WCAA), tabulated numbers that came straight from the Navy’s Northwest Training and Testing EIS (environmental impact statement) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Letters of Authorization for incidental “takes” of marine mammals issued by NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. A “take” is a form of harm to an animal that ranges from harassment, to injury, and sometimes to death. Many wildlife conservationists see even “takes” that only cause behavior changes as injurious, because chronic harassment of animals that are feeding or breeding can end up harming, or even contributing to their deaths if they are driven out of habitats critical to their survival. Read

Michelle Lani Shiota – How Awe Sharpens Our Brains

May 11, 2016

More than 4.5 million people visited the Grand Canyon National Park in 2013; more than 3.5 million visited Yosemite. That same year, worldwide revenues for Cirque du Soleil, the Quebecois theatrical venture emphasizing extreme feats of acrobatics and agility, were close to $850 million. Fireworks displays, first developed in seventh-century China, are now featured in celebrations throughout the world at tremendous public expense. The Hubble telescope, which provides our most vivid images of outer space, initially cost $1.5 billion to launch—and accumulated costs of the project have been estimated at over $10 billion. A behavioral scientist looks at these numbers and asks, Why? Why do people spend huge amounts of time, effort, and money on these apparently pointless activities? An economist might conclude that they are all an appalling waste of resources. Why are fireworks, circuses, and images of distant space experienced as so moving and meaningful, when they offer neither material nor social reward? As a psychologist who studies human emotion, I approach the problem by asking how these stimuli make us feel, what they have in common, and what that might tell us about human nature. Panoramic views, brilliant colors in the skies, remarkable human accomplishments, great works of architecture, art, and music—they all have

Climate-exodus expected in the Middle East and North Africa

May 4, 2016

More than 500 million people live in the Middle East and North Africa – a region which is very hot in summer and where climate change is already evident. The number of extremely hot days has doubled since 1970. “In future, the climate in large parts of the Middle East and North Africa could change in such a manner that the very existence of its inhabitants is in jeopardy,” says Jos Lelieveld, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and Professor at the Cyprus Institute. Lelieveld and his colleagues have investigated how temperatures will develop in the Middle East and North Africa over the course of the 21st century. The result is deeply alarming: Even if Earth’s temperature were to increase on average only by two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times, the temperature in summer in these regions will increase more than twofold. By mid-century, during the warmest periods, temperatures will not fall below 30 degrees at night, and during daytime they could rise to 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit). By the end of the century, midday temperatures on hot days could even climb to 50 degrees Celsius (approximately 122 degrees Fahrenheit). Another finding: Heat waves

Associated Press – Global warming is changing the way the Earth spins on its axis

April 11, 2016

Global warming is shifting the way the Earth wobbles on its polar axis, a new NASA study finds. Melting ice sheets — especially in Greenland — are changing the distribution of weight on Earth. And that has caused both the North Pole and the wobble, which is called polar motion, to change course, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science Advances. Scientists and navigators have been accurately measuring the true pole and polar motion since 1899 and for almost the entire 20th century they migrated a bit toward Canada. But that has changed with this century and now it’s moving toward England, said study lead author Surendra Adhikari at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. “The recent shift from the 20th-century direction is very dramatic,” Adhikari said. While scientists say the shift is harmless, it is meaningful. Jonathan Overpeck, professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona who wasn’t part of the study, said “this highlights how real and profoundly large an impact humans are having on the planet.” Since 2003, Greenland has lost on average more than 600 trillion pounds of ice a year and that affects the way the Earth wobbles in a manner similar to a
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