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A new study by Rahmstorf and Coumou makes an explicit link between climate change and Western Russia’s long, brutal heat wave of July 2010, which caused numerous deaths, plunged Moscow into a sea of smog, and decimated the country’s wheat crops (leading officials to ban all grain exports). The study is significant as it contradicts earlier findings by Dole et al that seems to have confused, in Rahmstorf’s words, “an absence of evidence,” with “evidence of absence.” The authors assert that the “2010 Moscow heat record is, with 80% probability, due to the long-term climatic warming trend.” (more…)
There is an atmosphere of heady optimism amongst the Libyan public, and there should be. Muammar Gaddafi, after over 40 long years in power, has fallen. His peculiarly brutal brand of government (essentially a Ceausescu-style surveillance state with a neo-bedouin fashion veneer) has fallen with him, to join the same sands of history that have swept away Libyan rulers for centuries, from Roman governors to Ottoman pashas. (more…)
The Spice must flow. Or not.
A few days ago, the UK-based Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering project, or “SPICE,” was asked to delay its initial step in a project aimed at cooling the Earth’s climate. Essentially, its ultimate aim is to one day mimic the effects of volcanic eruptions through the large-scale spraying of climate-cooling sulphate particles into the stratosphere. The first step is to use water particles sprayed from a balloon, but that will have to wait. (more…)
The Nile Basin has been a hotbed of activity over the last year. In addition to the Arab Spring and South Sudan becoming a recognized state, the nations within the Nile Basin are renegotiating a longstanding water-sharing agreement over use of the Nile’s waters. All of this action creates an opportunity to develop a climate-resilient water-sharing agreement that could help reduce the probability of future water conflicts. (more…)