Headlines 

New University Rules Encourage Scientists to Avoid Air Travel

Last December, on a dark evening in Baltimore, Anna Scott left her apartment and dragged her bag three minutes to the train station. She eventually caught her train, the Crescent, claimed a comfortable seat to cuddle up in, and took out her laptop full of files related to her PhD work on urban temperature at Johns Hopkins. The Crescent would be her home for the next 27 hours. The same weekend, Arvind Ravikumar, a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford, showed up at the train station in Los Angeles and got on…

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Michael Bloomberg: Why Im Supporting Democrats in 2018

I’ve never much liked political parties. I’ve always believed that we should put country before party. Too many politicians practice the reverse, with terrible consequences for the American people. But although I don’t believe in partisanship, I very much believe in the importance of politics and elections. That’s how we make change and progress in a democracy. Over the years, I have supported candidates in both parties who were willing to break with partisanship and the special interests and seek common ground around solutions to make America better. I’ve focused…

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Antarctic ice melting faster than ever, studies show

Rate of melt has accelerated threefold in last five years and could contribute 25cm to sea-level rises without urgent action Ice in the Antarctic is melting at a record-breaking rate and the subsequent sea rises could have catastrophic consequences for cities around the world, according to two new studies. A report led by scientists in the UK and US found the rate of melting from the Antarctic ice sheet has accelerated threefold in the last five years and is now vanishing faster than at any previously recorded time. A separate…

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Lessons from Montecito: Science’s Credibility Is At Stake

For applied scientists—that intrepid cadre who get their hands dirty in the sometimes dangerous world beyond the ivory tower, participating in difficult decisions with little time and major consequences—getting the right answer is only half the battle. The other half is successfully explaining what they’ve found, and what it means. This winter’s debris flows in the posh community of Montecito, California, which led to more than 20 deaths, provided examples of success and failure on both counts. And those successes and failures have ramifications far beyond managing geophysical risks. WIRED…

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Sea Level Rise in the SF Bay Area Just Got a Lot More Dire

If you move to the San Francisco Bay Area, prepare to pay some of the most exorbitant home prices on the planet. Also, prepare for the fact that someday, your new home could be underwater—and not just financially. Sea level rise threatens to wipe out swaths of the Bay's densely populated coastlines, and a new study out today in Science Advances paints an even more dire scenario: The coastal land is also sinking, making a rising sea that much more precarious. Considering sea level rise alone, models show that, on…

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Headlines 

How Bill Gates aims to clean up the planet

Its a simple idea: strip CO2 from the air and use it to produce carbon-neutral fuel. But can it work on an industrial scale? Carbon capture and storage (CCS) The Observer Sun 4 Feb 2018 04.00EST Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Carbon Engineerings direct air capture plant in Squamish, British Columbia, one of the few such facilities in the world. Photograph: pembina.org Its nothing much to look at, but the tangle of pipes, pumps, tanks, reactors, chimneys and ducts on a messy industrial estate outside the…

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Odds and Ends 

HUME BOOM! Heat from Brit Hume’s burn on Al Gore defender is enough to melt the ice caps

It all started with Brit Hume mocking Al Gore’s turn-on-a-dime views on what constitutes global warming after the Goracle abandoned his “warmer winters” approach in favor of what’s currently happening in the U.S.: Next he’ll tell us that if the earth cools, it will cause hot weather —> https://t.co/SOOJZMjl7B — Brit Hume (@brithume) January 6, 2018 But Hume’s #science resume was called into question by a defender of Gore: Hey Brit where did you get your climate science degree? — Nancy J (@nardwein) January 7, 2018 Read more: https://twitchy.com/dougp-3137/2018/01/06/hume-boom-heat-from-brit-humes-burn-on-al-gore-defender-is-enough-to-melt-the-ice-caps/

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Headlines 

The Potential Pitfalls of Electric Cars, in 5 Charts

If we're going to put the brakes on climate change, electric cars will be crucial. At least, that's the general consensus: Get the heck out of that Hummer, and into something without an exhaust pipe. At least seven countries plan to ban the sale of cars with internal combustion engines sometime in the next few decades, and the specter of losing out on markets like the UK, France, and most of all China (the world's biggest car buyer) has pushed the auto industry to mobilize. This week, Ford announced plans…

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New York City plans to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue oil companies

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Its up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed put us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York safer and more resilient New York City is seeking to lead the assault on both climate change and the Trump administration with a plan to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue the worlds most powerful oil companies over their contribution to dangerous global warming. City officials have set a goal of divesting New Yorks $189bn pension funds from fossil fuel companies within five…

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Macron awards US scientists grants to move to France in defiance of Trump

Frances president awards millions of euros to 18 American scientists to relocate in effort to counter Donald Trump on the climate change front Eighteen climate scientists from the US and elsewhere have hit the jackpot as Frances president, Trump declared he would withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord. More than 5,000 people from about 100 countries expressed interest in the grants. Most of the applicants and 13 of the 18 winners were US-based researchers. Macrons appeal gave me such a psychological boost, to have that kind of support,…

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Too right it’s Black Friday: our relentless consumption is trashing the planet | George Monbiot

Growth must go on and its destroying the Earth. But theres no way of greening it. So we need a new system, writes Guardian columnist George Monbiot Everyone wants everything how is that going to work? The promise of economic growth is that the poor can live like the rich and the rich can live like the oligarchs. But already we are bursting through the physical limits of the planet that sustains us. Climate breakdown, soil loss, the collapse of habitats and species, the sea of plastic, million plastic bottles…

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Norway Idea to Exit Oil Stocks Is Shot Heard Around the World

Norway’s unloading its shares of Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and other oil giants to diversify its holdings and guard against drops in crude prices. European oil stocks fell. Big Oil is under pressure, read more here Norway’s Finance Ministry, which oversees the fund, said it will study the proposal and will take at least a year to decide what to do. The fund has already sold off most of its coal stocks. “People are starting to recognize the risks of oil and gas,” said Jason Disterhoft of…

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Headlines 

Countries with coral reefs must do more on climate change Unesco

Custodians of world heritage-listed sites should aim to keep global temperature increases to just 1.5C, UN agency says Countries with responsibility over world heritage-listed coral reefs should adopt ambitious climate change targets, aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions to levels that would keep global temperature increases to just 1.5C, the UN agency responsible for overseeing world heritage sites has said. At a meeting of Unescos world heritage committee in Krakow, Poland, a decision was adopted that clarified and strengthened the responsibility of countries that have custodianship over world-heritage listed coral…

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Great Barrier Reef: Australia must act urgently on water quality, says Unesco

Draft decision says Australia would not, at this rate, meet interim or long-term targets in the Reef 2050 report Unesco has expressed serious concern about the impact of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef and warned Australia it will not meet the targets of the Reef 2050 report without considerable work to improve water quality. The criticism was contained in back-to-back coral bleaching events affecting about two-thirds of the reef and the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan] in its current form, notably in relation to the most urgently needed…

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