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how the climate works/how it changes
RealClimate.org: Climate Science from Climate Scientists
True to its slogan, this sophisticated website translates up-to-the-minute scientific studies into clear English and also offers outstanding links to scientific and other climate-related blogs and websites.

Climate Change: Past, Present, and Future
David Randall, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
Just how, and why, are the world's climates changing? Why should someone in Colorado care how much ice lasts through the summer in the Arctic Ocean? What do climate scientists know for sure about such questions, what is less sure, and what are the sources of uncertainty? This talk covers the scientific basics of climate change.
PDF file (20MB)
(90 minutes, September 2008)

Tiny Molecules that Change the World: The Science of Climate Change
Scott Denning, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
Follow the energy, as sunlight streams through clouds to warm the Earth, then beams back to the cold of space, driving our churning oceans and air and linking our droughts and blizzards with the searing Sahara and frosty Siberia. How is it that just a few molecules of carbon dioxide can change the whole planet's climate? What's the difference between weather and climate, and what does the temperature of the ocean have to do with either? This talk covers some of the basic processes that make up Earth's climate system.
(54 minutes, January 2008)

Climate Change: Forcings, Feedbacks, and Forecasts
low-res stream | med-res stream | QuickTime movie
David Randall, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
A clear, high-level look at how and why the climate is changing, how we can tell, and what to expect in years to come. What external components force our climate to change? How are albedo, water vapor, lapse rate, and cloud feedback important to our understanding of climate change? Can scientists forecast the next century of the earth's climate? The video itself shows only Dr. Randall; the PDF has the slides he's referring to.
PDF file (5MB)
(90 minutes, September 2007)

How the Climate System Works
low-res stream | med-res stream | QuickTime movie
Scott Denning, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
An overview of how the climate works, with specific attention to the energy balance, temperature, wind, and ocean. How does the sun warm the earth? Are some areas of the ocean warmer than others? Why does the wind blow? What is the difference between weather and climate? Can people predict climate even though they haven't perfected predicting weather? This talk looks at the components of our climate.
PDF file (1MB)
(44 minutes, August 2007)

what's happening
what may happen
Making Sense of 20th Century Temperature Changes
low-res stream | med-res stream | QuickTime movie
Bob Henson, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
This very clear explanation of a graph of global temperatures from 1880-2008 comes from the author of The Rough Guide to Climate Change, who is also a science writer at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).
(6 minutes, July 2009)

Why a Little Global Warming Means Big Increases in Heat Waves, Droughts, and Floods
Changing Climates @ CSU / 100 Views of Climate Change
This concise sheet (PDF) clearly explains this important fact. Designed to print out as a single double-sided sheet.

Scientists: Global Warming Likely to Surpass 2°C Target
Marianne Lavelle, National Geographic, February 2014
Brief, punchy story with many links about scientists who doubt that 2°C of warming will avoid dangerous consequences‒and who think we need to face the prospect of exceeding this degree of change.

Opinion: The Climate Change Era Is Already Upon Us
Jane Lubchenco and Thomas E. Lovejoy, The Daily Climate, October 28, 2013
This direct and lucid summary by two world-class biologists is a good place to start absorbing the sobering but potentially energizing implications of a study published in October in the top scientific journal Nature by biologist Camilo Mora and colleagues at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. As soon as 2020 in Indonesia, and before 2050 in New York City, their analysis concludes, "the coldest temperatures will be warmer than the hottest in the past"‒which means that in just three decades from now, many of the world's ecosystems "will likely move outside of temperature ranges that have nurtured life as we know it." For two of the many news stories about this same study, see the Washington Post's and Scientific American's.

IPCC, Assessing Climate Risks, Consistently Underestimates
The Daily Climate, December 2012
This provocative discussion of how and why the IPCC has underestimated many effects of climate change is based on a study published in Global Environmental Change in November 2012. (Naomi Oreskes and Michael Oppenheimer are two of the study's authors). A sidebar focuses on eight such underestimations: emissions, temperature, arctic sea ice, ice sheets, sea-level rise, ocean acidification, thawing tundra, and tipping points.

Greenhouse Gas Data, Emissions from Large Facilities
US Environmental Protection Agency
This interesting interactive map shows the U.S.'s biggest greenhouse gas emitters-sources that account for well over half of the country's total and range from universities and landfills to factories and power plants. For that national total and for the emissions associated with such things as energy production and use, click here.

how we know
what we know
Climate: To Find Warming's Speed, Scientists Must See through Clouds
Paul Voosen, Greenwire, November 2012
Cloud behavior is the biggest uncertainty for scientists thinking about exactly how much Earth will warm with more CO2 in the air: will we be facing problems that are merely serious, severe, or outright catastrophic? Much depends on what scientists call "aerosols"‒tiny particles of soot, dust, and so forth that allow clouds to form. This thorough and interesting article offers clear explanations of how clouds work and what scientists are doing to try to answer these questions.

Tiny Frigid Bubbles Get to the Core of Climate Change
Michael Lemonick, Climate Central, May 2012
A very reader-friendly introduction to what and how scientists learn from the bubbles they find in ancient ice.

From Airplanes to Climate Change
David Randall, Colorado Water, pages 10-11, August/September 2011
Short and very clear explanation of how climate models work. (Other articles in this issue of the newsletter of the Water Center of Colorado State University address related topics such as how drought indices work, but they tend to be more narrowly focused on Colorado, and more technical in style.)

UN Report: Cities Ignore Climate Change at their Peril
Mark Kinver, BBC News, March 2011
Summary of a United Nations report about the ties between the world's cities and climate change-their contributions to the problem (large); the risks they face (large); and their potential contributions to solutions (large). Includes a link to several UN press releases about this report and an order form for the complete document (Global Report on Human Settlements 2011, Cities and Climate Change: Policy Directions, $58).

Drought Projections
National Center for Atmospheric Research, 2010
Working with 22 computer climate models, the standard drought index, and previously published studies, NCAR scientist Aiguo Dai concluded that much of the world, including the US, may face severe drought by the end of this century. This news release summarizes the report and offers a link to the full text, a set of maps, and a video of drought projections for the next 90 years.

Modeling and Reconstructing Climates *
Reconstruction of Past Climates
Eugene Kelly, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University
(30 minutes, September 2007)
Top Ten Things You Need to Know About Climate Models
David Randall, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
(32 minutes, September 2007)

These two talks explore ways scientists reconstruct our climate's history and model both past and future climate changes. First, Dr. Kelly looks at what we can learn from marine microfossils, trees, pollen, and even soil from years ago; he offers details about ocean and ice core proxies (slide 31), marine microfossils (40), dendroclimatology (47), palynology (59), paleosols (66), the goals of Great Plains Research (72), and the benefit of paleoclimatic studies (88). Second (starting at slide 101), Dr. Randall explores how climate models work; how they incorporate atmosphere, ocean, and land surface information (starting at 102); their history (139); how they're tested (146); what they're still missing (156), and their future (163).

natural ecosystems
Common Plants, Animals Threatened by Climate Change
Neela Banerjee, Los Angeles Times, May 2013
This is a very short but informative description of a study published in Nature Climate Change of likely impacts on the ranges of common species, many of which will "experience significant range loss under climate change."

The Color of Bunny: Can Evolution Save Species from Climate Change?
Hillary Rosner, High Country News, February 2012
Snowshoe hares change from brown to white for the winter, so that they'll be camouflaged in the snow. What happens when the timing of snowfall and snowmelt change? What's possible for these animals in terms of evolution and adaptation? This complicated, unfolding story is well told here, with ramifications for other species and for how we decide to manage change.

Climate Change May Bring Big Ecosystem Shifts
Science Daily, December 2011
Clear and informative report on new computer modeling study from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology: "By 2100, global climate change will modify plant communities covering almost half of Earth's land surface and will drive the conversion of nearly 40 percent of land-based ecosystems from one major ecological community type‒such as forest, grassland or tundra‒toward another." A startling map of the world's ecological sensitivity makes vivid the sum of ecological stresses a rapidly changing climate may well bring. The study results were published in the journal Climatic Change.

Rapid Range Shift of Species and Climate Warming
Summary of a study published in Science, August 19, 2011
This new meta-analysis of all known studies of how plant and animal species have changed their distribution in conjunction with changes in climate reveals rates of response up to three times faster than scientists had previously thought, with movements towards the poles (or uphill) at rates averaging around 20 cm (nearly 8 inches) an hour, every hour of the year. According to project leader Chris Thomas (Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of York in the UK), "This has been going on for the last 40 years and is set to continue for at least the rest of this century." Click here for a short video summary by Professor Thomas.

Climate Change in Our Own Lives *
Amy Seidl
Biologist Seidl talks about and reads from her book Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World, which explores the unsettling cultural and personal effects of local seasonal changes‒especially, for this event, focused on butterflies.
(23 minutes, April 2009)

Adapting to Climate Change
low-res stream | med-res stream | QuickTime movie
Jill Baron, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University
We need to think in new ways about managing natural resources in light of climate change and other stresses (such as fire suppression, habitat loss, invasive species, pollution)‒and as we face various kinds of uncertainty, including scientific, social, and institutional.
(8 minutes, July 2009)

cold places
'Incredible' Rate of Polar Ice Loss Alarms Scientists
Robin McKie, The Guardian/The Observer, August 2014
A brief but informative account of a recent study of ice volume loss in Greenland and Antarctica‒just one instance of unsettling information that new studies seem to be consolidating.

10 Key Findings from a Rapidly Acidifying Arctic Ocean
Julia Whitty, Mother Jones, May 2013
A primer based on the Arctic Ocean Acidification Assessment from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP). Click here for the report's Summary for Policy Makers.

Melting Ice Opens Fight Over Sea Routes for Arctic Debate
Flavia Krause-Jackson and Nicole Gaouette, Bloomberg, May 2013
Some of the ramifications of the opening of arctic waters for trade routes, resource mining, national security, and other important topics.

Thawing Tundra May Produce Less CO2
Tiffany Stecker, Christa Marshall, and ClimateWire; Scientific American, May 2013
A study that finds tundra releasing less CO2 than expected, given the increased growth of shrubs.

Arctic Treeline Advance Not as Fast as Previously Believed
Carey Restino, The Arctic Sounder, March 2012
New studies from Cambridge University and Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory suggest that treeline is advancing more slowly than predicted by previous studies.

Arctic Blog: As Climate Warms, A Shifting Landscape for Wildlife
Steve Zack, Wildlife Conservation Society, August 2011, Yale e360
An eloquent overview from the field of changes underway for insects, birds, foxes, muskoxen, and other denizens of the Far North.

Climate Change Forcing Buried Toxics Back Into Atmosphere
Katherine Bagley, InsideClimate News, July 2011
As Arctic ice sea ice melts, buried POPs‒persistent organic pollutants, including PCBs and DDT‒are being re-released into the environment, with potentially worldwide ripple effects, including serious harm to wildlife and humans.

Shifting Spring: Arctic Plankton Blooming Up to 50 Days Earlier Now
Brian Vastag, Washington Post, March 2011

Shift in Northern Forests Could Increase Global Warming
Douglas Fischer and Daily Climate, Scientific American, March 2011

Barrow, Alaska: Ground Zero for Climate Change
Bob Reiss, Smithsonian, March 2010
An efficient overview of what Inupiat elders and hunters, scientists in various fields, and even the U.S. Coast Guard are learning about by watching the many changes occurring now along Alaska's north coast.

Undersea Release of Methane
Cornelia Dean, New York Times, March 4, 2010
Short overview of recent research about current and potential methane release from underwater permafrost, on the occasion of a study (published in Science) of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. For more on this study, including a link to the article in Science and a short video interview with one of its authors, Natalia Shakhova, see the blog run by the editors of Physics Today.

War Over the Arctic? Global Warming Skeptics Distract Us from Security Risks.
Walter Rodgers, Christian Science Monitor, March 2010
Interesting and brief commentary about emerging conflicts over access to an ice-free Arctic; good sources cited.

Arctic Tundra Is Being Lost As Far North Quickly Warms
Bill Sherwonit, Yale Environment 360, January 2010

Effects of Climate Change on Societies and People *
Kathleen A. Galvin, Department of Anthropology, Colorado State University
How will climate change impact people around the world? Anthropologist Galvin looks at what we know, why we should care, and how we know it with a focus on the Arctic and Africa.
(23 minutes, October 2007)

food and water
Climate Change a Growing Risk For U.S. Water Supplies
Alyson Kenward, Climate Central, February 2012
Short, concise article about the impact that climate change will have on American sources of drinking water in the near and far future.

Home, Home . . . on Less Range
Felicity Barringer, New York Times, January 2012
Scientists at Duke University and the Environmental Defense Fund looked at California's rangelands as an example of what we might expect with a warmer climate. Whether it is wetter or drier, they found, there will be less rangeland for cattle.

Europe Braces for Serious Crop Losses and Blackouts
Jeremy Lovell and ClimateWire, Scientific American, June 13, 2011
Short good article about the impact of recent drought on European agriculture and power plants.

Hindering Harvests: Changes in the Climate are Already Having an Effect on Crop Yields‒But Not Yet a Very Big One
The Economist, May 2011
Beginning with the results of a study published in Science, this article considers recent changes in global yields of corn, wheat, rice, and soy crops, as they might be linked to a warming climate.

Where Will 'Amber Waves of Grain' Grow in a Climate-Changed World?
Tiffany Stecker, ClimateWire, New York Times, March 2011
This interesting article addresses some of the complications and current research about likely changes in crop yields (especially wheat) with rising CO2 and temperatures.

Opportunities and Challenges in Managing Rangelands
Marshall Frasier, Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, Colorado State University
What are rangelands, what are they used for, and how do they impact our lives? This presentation discusses managing rangelands and how changes may occur given a changing climate.
(15 minutes, February 2009)

Climate Change Science and Rangelands
Jack Morgan, United States Department of Agriculture
How do different plants and grasses respond to the rise in CO2? How will the ways that we manage rangelands evolve as the climate changes? This brief presentation describes the near future of climate change, the long-term responses, and some management options for dealing with these rangelands issues.
(15 minutes, February 2009)

Building Resilience and Adapting to Climate Change on the Tibetan Plateau
Julia Klein, Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Watershed Stewardship, Colorado State University
You may know about climate change in the United States, but what about on the Tibetan Plateau? Can grazing actually help reduce the negative consequences of a warming climate? This presentation looks at completed and ongoing research on climate change, rangelands, grazing, and policy decisions on the Tibetan Plateau.
(14 minutes, February 2009)

Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Agriculture and Forestry
Stephen Ogle, Natural Resource Ecology Lab, Colorado State University
How can we lessen greenhouse gases and their effects through our practices in forestry and agriculture? What are some ways that we are already mitigating greenhouse gas emissions? This short clip describes multiple strategies within agriculture and forestry that are reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
(15 minutes, February 2009)

Carbon Sequestration in Soils
Stephen Ogle, Natural Resource Ecology Lab, Colorado State University
How does carbon sequestration work within forests and agricultural settings? What are some carbon sequestration projects and considerations that must be taken into account when discussing this process? This clip introduces and overviews carbon sequestration with specific attention to forest lands and agriculture.
(27 minutes, November 2007)

Humans, Agriculture, and Environment (longer version)
James Pritchett, Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, Colorado State University
This overview discusses the future of agriculture in the United States in a changing climate. What will be the impact of changing precipitation and a warming climate on our ability to grow crops? How does the market adapt to changes in climate and policy? Is ethanol production good for the environment? This video and slideshow include charts, maps, and examples of how the climate is already changing agriculture.
(25 minutes, October 2007)

How High Will Sea Levels Rise? Let's Ask the Experts
Brad Plumer, Washington Post, Wonkblog, November 2013
Good story about a study that asked 90 experts for their best answer to this question. Most of them said one meter, give or take. This essay explains.

Endangered Coral Reefs Die as Ocean Temperatures Rise and Water Turns Acidic
Hari Sreenivasan, PBS Newshour
Good short video (also MP3 and transcript) about how Florida's coral reefs are responding to current changes caused by carbon dioxide in the air. Includes economic impacts and efforts to rebuild reefs.
(7 minutes, June 2013)

Cutting Specific Atmospheric Pollutants Would Slow Sea Level Rise
National Science Foundation News, April 2013
Results of a study suggesting that if we can quickly cut methane, tropospheric ozone, hydrofluorcarbons, and black carbon emissions (which cycle out of the air much more quickly than does carbon dioxide), we might "temporarily forestall the rate of sea level rise by roughly 25 to 50 percent."

Ocean Acidification Rate May Be Unprecedented
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
March 2012
How carbon dioxide increases ocean acidity, why it matters to living things, and how current rates of change compare to events many millions of years in the past: the summary of recent research offered by this short, lucid piece is an excellent starting place for this important topic.

impacts on people
Wars, Murders to Rise Due to Global Warming?
Ker Than, National Geographic, August 2013
Interesting (and worrying) summary of a study published in the journal Science that brings together findings from a wide range of fields (economics, archaeology, political science, psychology, climatology) to reveal a wide-spread link between higher temperatures and human aggression, both now and in the past. You may have to sign up to read the article, but doing so is free and straightforward.

Climate Vulnerability Monitor, 2nd edition
DARA, 2012
Who is most likely to be getting sick and dying from climate change and fossil fuel pollution? You'll find a serious attempt to answer this question here, though it takes some energy to interpret all the figures.

10 Places Climate Change Kills the Most People
Market Watch, Wall Street Journal
This annotated slide show offers a quick introduction to some of key results of the Climate Vulnerability Monitor's 2nd edition (noted below, under TEACH).

Primer: What's New (and What Isn't) in the IPCC's Report on Extreme Weather
Katherine Bagley, InsideClimate News, November 2011
Excellent Q&A-format explanation of key points in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report tackling the job of clarifying "the link between wild weather and global warming." Do greenhouse gases cause extreme weather? Who is, or will be, hardest hit by ensuing disasters? How can we lessen the impacts? The full report (aimed at policy makers) is "Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX)"; its home page offers a good 5-minute video and highlights the strength of the scientific team that did this work: 220 authors, from 62 countries, with 18611 expert review comments.

Climate Change and Extreme Weather
Scientific American, John Carey, June 2011
An excellent three-part series about the increasing evidence that the recent extreme weather really is linked to climate change, and on some key questions: Why would this be so? How do we know? What difference does it make to us? What should we be doing to prepare?
Part 1 is " Storm Warnings: Extreme Weather Is a Product of Climate Change."
Part 2 is " Global Warming and the Science of Extreme Weather."
Part 3 is " Our Extreme Future: Predicting and Coping with the Effects of a Changing Climate."

War Over the Arctic? Global Warming Skeptics Distract Us from Security Risks.
Walter Rodgers, Christian Science Monitor, March 2010
Interesting and brief commentary about emerging conflicts over access to an ice-free Arctic; good sources cited.

'Shrinking' the Climate Problem
Andrew C. Revkin, October 28, 2010
This intriguing blog entry describes a recent conference in London about what psychoanalysis might say to questions like these: How can the human mind cope with such an overwhelming issue as climate change? Might anxiety and fear be stopping us from responding well to this impending crisis? How might we understand apathy as a symptom, not a cause? Revkin quotes Portland State University research fellow Renee Lertzman, who attended the conference, with a follow-up interview. The conference program is here.

The Effects of Climate Change on People
video Part 1 * | video Part 2 *

Lori Peek, Department of Sociology, Colorado State University
Despite unfortunate technical problems in this video, sociologist Peek presents a clear and vivid description of how and why climate change will impact our world. Among the questions she considers: How do our built environments influence our vulnerability (part 2, slide 3)? In what ways will our changing climate also change peoples' exposure to risk (part 2, slide 23)? What can we do and what is already being done (part 2, slide 76)?
(70 minutes, March 2009)

U.S. National Security and Climate Change *
William W. Doe, Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands, Colorado State University
A discussion of climate change's potential impacts on international conflicts and what the U.S. military is doing to prepare for them. This analysis links climate change, national security, and energy independence as growing global challenges.
(16 minutes, January 2008)

Climate Change and a Plateauing Oil Supply
Kyle Saunders, Department of Political Science, Colorado State University
(20 minutes, January 2008)

Climate Change and Human Disease *
Gerald N. Callahan, Department of Microbiology, Pathology, and Immunology, Colorado State University
How and why rising temperatures worldwide and in the U.S. will likely increase the reach of major diseases such as West Nile Fever, Malaria, Dengue, and Yellow Fever.
(20 minutes, October 2007)

Climate, Poverty, and Health: Time for Preventative Medicine
Larry Brilliant, 2007, 24 pp (plus extras)
What will climate change do to human health, especially infectious diseases? And what should we be doing to prevent some of this damage? For some answers, read this lecture given by the public health specialist who founded the Seva Foundation and directed Google.org. For smaller font and tighter spacing, see the same lecture here.

faith, morality, ethics
the arts
responses from ethics, art, literature
Cool Art in the Hot Zone‒Artists Respond to Climate Change *
Lynne Hull, Fort Collins, CO environmental artist
Ever wonder how visual artists approach on a topic like the challenges of climate change? Artist Hull offers a brief history of environmental art work, then describes and shows images of many examples of current environmental/climate change art, including some of her own work.
(45 minutes, February 2009)

Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World *
Amy Seidl
An experienced ecologist talks about her experience with climate change as a butterfly expert and mother. Reflecting on her process of writing, the influence of her children on her work, the changing climate in her own Vermont home, and our adaptive capacity, Seidl discusses and shares excerpts from her book
Early Spring.
(23 minutes, April 2009)

Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers, and Dumpster Divers *
Laura Pritchett
What compels a person to dive in a dumpster? What's there to be discovered? In this short clip, writer (and book editor) Pritchett describes one of her favorite pastimes and how she got started.
(19 minutes, April 2009)

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions: Communicating
Useful materials collected by this successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change; while some items duplicate those on this site, others are additions. Includes a set of daily‒life analogies to use in explaining climate matters.

Science Is Not Enough
Panel, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Scientists (including James Hanson) & journalists talk (to an audience of scientists) about communication challenges and opportunities in this lively, engaging, interactive video presentation, much of it focused on climate change.
(90 minutes, 2012)

focus on africa
African Pastoral Decision Making under Changing Climates
Randy Boone, Natural Resource Ecology Lab, Colorado State University
How are pastoral systems in African responding to climate change? What models show us the changes that come for these communities with more frequent droughts? This video covers climate change and other stressors to the African pastoral systems.
(17 minutes, February 2009)

Life in Mali and Climate Change *
Lara Prihodko, Natural Resource Ecology Lab, Colorado State University
A close look at the prolonged drought in Mali as an example of how some of the world's poorest nations may suffer disproportionately under climate change despite their own tiny carbon footprints.
(20 minutes, February 2009)

Effects of Climate Change on Societies and People *
Kathleen A. Galvin, Department of Anthropology, Colorado State University
How will climate change impact people around the world? Anthropologist Galvin looks at what we know, why we should care, and how we know it with a focus on the Arctic and Africa.
(23 minutes, October 2007)

daily life / activism
Household Greenhouse Gas Footprints
Mark Easter, Natural Resource Ecology Lab, Colorado State University
You're ready to go green, but what can you do around your home and what difference will it really make? Learn ways to decrease your greenhouse gas footprint through changes in your means of transportation, heating your house & water, and your home electricity use. Then, see a family with conservation in mind and their savings compared to the typical household.
(20 minutes, January 2008)

The Joys of Carbon Dieting
Lucinda Smith, Natural Resources Department, City of Fort Collins, Colorado
Which mode of transportation is best for the environment? Is grass-fed better than grain-fed beef? This video answers these questions and more as it gives an overview of how to calculate your carbon footprint, how to reduce and offset your footprint, and how to conserve energy. Smith, an energy guru for the city of Fort Collins, also describes many resources for locals, including a local carbon calculator.
(48 minutes, February 2009)

Reasons for Optimism on Climate Action
Michael Northrop, Huffington Post, January 2014
A encouraging shot of positive news here, much (but not all) of it on the policy front. Full of concrete details and supporting links.

Why the Climate Movement Should Get Political in 2014
Phil Aroneanu, Huffington Post, January 2014
A clear and invigorating argument that more citizens should engage in the political process on the issue of climate change‒with a summary of some citizen-led accomplishments in 2013.

Worst-Case Scenario for Oil Sands Industry Has Come to Life, Leaked Document Shows
Katherine Bagley, InsideClimate News, December 2013
A very interesting account of what consultants have said to the industry about NGO and citizen activist opposition to the tar sands, based on (and including) documents leaked by WikiLeaks.

Sports Bigs Step Up On Climate Change
James Warren, New York Daily News, December 2013
This interesting editorial about the involvement of major league hockey, baseball, basketball, football, and the U.S. Olympic Committee in greenhouse-gas emissions reduction makes a good update for the very good Sports Illustrated cover story from March, 2007, on the potential impact of climate change on sports, As the Planet Changes, So Do the Games We Play: Time to Pay Attention.

Writing an Effective Letter to the Editor
The Union of Concerned Scientists offers useful, succinct tips and explains why such letters are important, even if they don't get published.

Julia Kumari Drapkin, KVNF radio, Paonia, Colorado
These very interesting (and mostly short) audio podcasts examine the intersection between climate science and to other important aspects of our lives, focused in a small community in western Colorado where kitchen table concerns include cattle ranching, irrigation, fruit orchards, coal mines, backyard birdfeeders, and more. Science journalist Drapkins brings together observations from community members (many of them highly skeptical) with what scientists have to say. To read about this project (which also includes a local almanac), see here on the High Country News site.
(varying lengths)

Institutionalizing Delay: Foundation Funding and the Creation of U.S. Climate Change Counter-Movement Organizations
Robert J. Brulle, Climatic Change, December 2013
Start with the news release link above for a readable summary of a study of how a lot of climate-denial funding has recently gone "dark"‒that is, untraceable. The full academic article is here.

How Science Is Telling Us All to Revolt
Naomi Klein, New Statesman, October 2013
Provocative story about how "resistance" (movements of "people or groups of people" who "adopt a certain set of dynamics that does not fit within the capitalist culture") might offer one effective brake on rising carbon dioxide‒and about some leading scientists who have become alarmed by "the radical implications of even their own research."

Bracing for the Cloud: Digital Economy Requires Massive Amount of Electricity
The Breakthrough, August 2013
The average iPhone uses more energy per year than a refrigerator‒or two, if its owner watches an hour of video a week. And that energy most likely comes from burning coal. A startling story about the growing footprint of our digital lives and economies.

Where Your Gas Money Goes
Union of Concerned Scientists, 2012
Wonder what happens to your gas dollars? See this report for some answers, including notes, sources, etc.‒and some efficiency tips.

Organizing Cools the Planet
Hilary Moore and Joshua Kahn Russell, PM Press, 2011, 59 pp
Those who wish to initiate their own actions might consult this pamphlet and companion website, an informative and readable introduction to activist organizing with a focus on climate justice issues ($5.95, 50% off for orders from organizations).

Buying Carbon Offsets May Ease Eco-Guilt but not Global Warming
To find out what your carbon-offset money might or might not be buying, see the four-month, five-continent investigation done by the Christian Science Monitor and the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. Lead writer Doug Struck. April 2010.

Household Actions Can Provide a Behavioral Wedge to Rapidly Reduce US Carbon Emissions
Thomas Dietz et.al., PNAS, November 2009
This study (published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) considered the relative effects of various household changes (from replacing cars to unplugging idle electronics), considering both carbon emissions and likely frequency of the changes. The impacts, it concluded, can be substantial. A bit academic in style, but not difficult to read.

The Policy Challenges of Climate Change *
Michele Betsill, Department of Political Science, Colorado State University
What does climate change have to do with politics? What can we do, what are we doing, and how well are we doing? How do the approaches of the US and the EU differ? What is the cost of inaction when it comes to global warming? The answers to these questions and more are covered in this interesting discussion.
(25 minutes, November 2007)

Climate Change Politics and Policy Making *
Michele Betsill, Department of Political Science, Colorado State University
A lucid, interesting, and thorough explanation of the politics of climate change on the global, national, state, and local levels. Political scientist Betsill's topics include competing arguments about what counts as fair, the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, policy changes by recent US presidents, US versus EU approaches to climate change, cap and trade, and what Colorado, other states, and cities like Fort Collins are doing. The slides, unfortunately, did not get recorded properly, but Dr. Betsill's talk is clear.
PDF file (4MB)
(46 minutes, April 2009)

As the World Burns & The Climate Killers
Jeff Goodell and Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone
For two lively, well-researched articles (provocatively packaged) about who has been lobbying and acting in other ways to slow or stop new policies that will cut carbon dioxide emissions, see these two articles from the January 21, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone: Jeff Goodell, As the World Burns ("How Big Oil and Big Coal mounted one of the most aggressive lobbying campaigns in history to block progress on global warming"); and Tim Dickinson's "The Climate Killers" ("Meet the 17 polluters and deniers who are derailing efforts to curb global warming"). You may be able to find these online, but it's likely you'll need to find a paper copy of this issue.

Life After Copenhagen: Where do we go from here?
Panel: Jill Baron, Michele Betsill, Gillian Bowser, Scott Denning.
Panel moderator: Gene Kelly.
School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Colorado State University

(video, 85 minutes, February 2010)

business & economics
Entrepreneurial Opportunity in a Carbon-Constrained World
Thomas J. Dean, Department of Management, Colorado State University
While some think protecting our environment comes at an economic cost, this video shows it as an entrepreneur's opportunity. How can we capture the power of entrepreneurship to build a sustainable world? Why will this convergence happen and what are some companies doing already?
(20 minutes, January 2008)

Climate Change Challenges and Business Adaptations
John Grant, Department of Management, University of Northern Colorado
How can your expectations change businesses? With more customers and shareholders concerned about social and environmental performance, the ways in which companies are assessed are also changing. This video covers the historical record, societal expectations, market failures, triple bottom line assessments, and cases of positive examples.
(29 minutes, November 2007)

The Economics of Climate Change
Charles Kolstad, Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara
When it comes to climate change, is the economy the problem or part of the solution? Economist Kolstad dives into this question, considering the social choices of economists; the costs, benefits, and risks of action and inaction; cap and trade policies; and some economic solutions.
(90 minutes, November 2008)

Solutions to the Climate/Energy Problem
Scott Denning, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
Climate scientist Denning begins by explaining why we're so sure we've got a climate problem caused by our use of fossil fuels. Then he explores some ways of thinking about what we can do about this problem-and how we might make changes happen. A lively and positive talk.
(52 minutes, February 2009)

A Fast and Effective Rx for Climate Change‒Green Building and Sustainable Development
Brian Dunbar, Executive Director, Institute for the Built Environment, Colorado State University
How much waste and carbon emissions come from construction and remodeling? Isn't it always more expensive to build green homes and buildings? Can our buildings have positive impacts on the environment? What can we learn from nature about how we create our living spaces? Green building expert Dunbar answers these and many other questions. At slide 55, there's a video on green building, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, and sustainable development.
(46 minutes, February 2009)

Global Renewable Energy on Track to Soon Eclipse Natural Gas, Nuclear
Ker Than, National Geographic, June 2013
An encouraging forecast from the International Energy Agency (IEA) about the market trends for renewable electricity.

Seaweed Biofuels: A Green Alternative that Might Just Save the Planet
Damian Carrington, The Guardian, June 2013
An interesting description of efforts underway in Scotland and elsewhere to make fuel out of seaweed‒a possibility that avoids many problems with other biofuel sources.

10 Key Findings from a Rapidly Acidifying Arctic Ocean
Julia Whitty, Mother Jones, May 2013
A primer based on the Arctic Ocean Acidification Assessment from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP). Click here for the report's Summary for Policy Makers.

Asia's Soaring Energy Demands Will Pose Major Economic, Climate, Health Risks
Coco Liu, Greenwire, April 2013
Short summary of a chapter in the Asian Development Bank's report "Asian Development Outlook 2013" that outlines some of the energy problems faced by this developing region: "Under its current energy path, Asia is expected to contribute nearly half of the world's carbon dioxide emissions by 2035, the report predicts."

How the Focus on 'Energy Intensity' Is Hurting the Fight Against Climate Change
Chris Nelder, The Atlantic Cities, March 2013
The limitations of energy intensity as an indirect measuring stick for carbon dioxide emissions and climate change‒and some new indexes developed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration that might do a better job.

Calgary Researchers Tout "Rust Power" as a Renewable Energy Source
Ivan Semeniuk, The Globe and Mail, March 2013
Maybe everyday rust can help store energy from wind and sun so it can be used when the wind's not blowing and the sun's not shining. Here is a quick news story about this intriguing new research, which was published in the journal

The Secret to Solar Power
Jeff Himmelman, New York Times, August 2012
Entertaining and informative piece about the significant financial benefits of solar power (especially leased), both for individuals and for companies, and how this plus is sometimes obscured by the industry's lingering image as "idealistic."

Waste Wattage: Cities Aim to Flush Heat Energy Out of Sewers
Rachel Kaufman, National Geographic News, December 2012
This intriguing story about the innovative use of waste-water heat to warm (and cool) buildings comes from a three-year National Geographic initiative whose website includes a personal energy meter, a light bulb savings calculator, global maps of energy use and fossil-fuel subsidies, quizzes, blogs, energy stories like this one, and an archive of earlier stories.

Alternative Social Action: Local High School Strategies for Saving Energy
Jennifer Cross, Department of Sociology, Colorado State University
Take a look at the astonishing decrease in energy use by Colorado's Poudre School District and then learn how you can bring about change. Sociologist Cross describes how commitment, charismatic leadership, communication, and culture all play a part in organizational change.
(25 minutes, February 2009)

Toward a Carbon-Neutral Campus
Carol Dollard, Facilities Management, Colorado State University
What is Colorado State doing to conserve energy and decrease its footprint? What are some projects that have already been completed, and what are some in the future? What types of complications arise when accounting for emissions and planning for the future? This overview of CSU's progress, position, and plan to move forward also include how individuals can help reduce their part of the university's footprint.
(42 minutes, February 2009)

The Promise of Lithium-ion Batteries
Amy Prieto, Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University
Dive deep into the chemistry of lithium-ion batteries, consider what people demand from batteries, and learn more about research that could result in lighter weight, safer, and more environmentally friendly batteries. The Marketplace radio series Burn also devotes 6 minutes to Prieto's battery work.
(25 minutes, February 2009)

The Promise of Photovoltaic Solar Energy
Jim Sites, Department of Physics, Colorado State University
Can solar energy replace carbon emitting technologies and provide enough energy for the U.S.? How much land would be needed for harvesting this much solar energy? What are some different types of solar panels and how do they work? This short talk answers these questions and makes the case for solar energy, explains the advantages of thin-film solar cells, and discusses on-going work measuring small test cells at Colorado State University.
(22 minutes, November 2007)

Cleaner Fuels and Engines
Bryan Willson, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University
What are carbon credits and how do they work? How can technology help with air pollution in developing countries? What do algae have to do with climate change? How does the way many people cook impact emissions? These questions and other information regarding cleaner fuels and engines are covered in this short and interesting talk.
(19 minutes, November 2007)

Interdisciplinary Climate Change Research
DISsertations initiative for the advancement of Climate Change ReSearch(DISCCRS)
Finding it hard to stay current on research findings about climate change? DISCCRS News, a weekly electronic newsletter, can help. Focused on information for those engaged in interdisciplinary climate-change research, particularly the sciences, policy, and communication, it includes useful links for researchers and college-level teachers. To receive the newsletter, write to info@disccrs.org and put "please sign me up for the newsletter" in the subject line. For recent PhDs in the U.S. who want to think and work across disciplinary boundaries, both the newsletter and its associated website include valuable career and networking information.

Climate Connections: National Public Radio
Access to a rich collection of stories about the effects of and reactions to changing climates: local and global, headlines and features; in the form of texts, audio, slides, and videos; organized into causes, solutions, signs, adaptation, what to do, and profiles.

Dot Earth
Reporter Andrew Revkin's smart and energetic blog Dot Earth often deals with climate change topics, emphasizing the news and sometimes the controversies that attend that news. As the site says about itself, Dot Earth "examines efforts to balance human affairs with the planet's limits." Well written and web savvy; frequently includes video clips.

What Climate Scientists Talk About Now
Pilita Clark, Financial Times, August 2013
Interesting and wide-ranging story about some of the scientists involved in the 5th assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which will be released starting in the fall of 2013. Includes a description of the work that goes into these reports and some of the issues that these scientists are particularly concerned about, including the built-in conservatism of these documents.

Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture
This blog, by biologist Phil Camill, offers a forum for exploring "big questions about society and environmental change" by "focusing on the interaction between nature and culture, showcasing big ideas from all disciplines‒sociology/anthropology, ethics, ecology and other natural sciences, psychology, history, political science, ethnic studies, religion, literature, visual and performing arts, and so on." The contents include good information and ideas on a wide-ranging set of topics, including many aspects of climate change, including science, communication, adaptation, and energy. Camill directs the Environmental Studies Program and teaches Environmental Studies and Earth and Oceanographic Science at Bowdoin College.

wild weather
What You Need to See to Understand Blizzard 'Nemo'
Andrew Freedman, Climate Central, February 2013
An interesting and visually rich explanation of the various factors that came together to create this blizzard, including such elements as a bar chart of Northeast Extremes in 1-Day Precipitation, winters, 1911-2012.

Making Sense of the Moore Tornado in a Climate Context
Andrew Freedman, Climate Central, May 2013
Will global warming make tornadoes worse? Nobody really knows, but most scientists have doubted it. To complement Freedman's excellent overview, see Seth Borenstein's Associated Press story (March 2013), " Could Global Warming Change Tornado Season, Too?" For a related story that also addresses the credibility of scientists, see " The Real Climate-Change Lesson from the Oklahoma Tornado" (Andrew Guzman, The Daily Beast, May 2013).

Putting This Spring's Cold in Context
Bob Henson, UCAR/NCAR AtmosNews, May 2013
Record-breaking heat back-to-back with record-breaking cold and snow: what made the late spring of 2013 so odd in North America? See this clear explanation and vivid graphics.

Linking Extreme Heat Events to Global Warming
Encyclopedia of Earth, August 2012
Short account of a 2012 NASA report making this connection, with links to the original study (published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) and high-resolution visualizations (including the shifting bell curve). A little technical, as the report depends on statistics, but clear enough for non-specialists, too.

Primer: What's New (and What Isn't) in the IPCC's Report on Extreme Weather
Katherine Bagley, InsideClimate News, November 2011
Excellent Q&A-format explanation of key points in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report tackling the job of clarifying "the link between wild weather and global warming." Do greenhouse gases cause extreme weather? Who is, or will be, hardest hit by ensuing disasters? How can we lessen the impacts? The full report (aimed at policy makers) is "Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX)"; its home page offers a good 5-minute video and highlights the strength of the scientific team that did this work: 220 authors, from 62 countries, with 18611 expert review comments.

Extreme Storms and Floods Concretely Linked to Climate Change?
Brian Handwerk, National Geographic News, February 2011
Focusing on floods and their connections to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide, with links to several studies, scientists, and related stories.

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