October 2023

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Favorite Blogs

  • Authentically Wired
    Water and a lot more from Paul F. Miller.
  • AWRA
    The water resources blog of the American Water Resources Association.
  • Blue Marble Earth
    An articulate Earth scientist with an MS in Geography from Oregon State University, Courtney van Stolk explores the 'whys' of this fantastic planet.
  • California Water Blog
    A biologist, economist, engineer and geologist walk onto a bar…From the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC-Davis.
  • Campanastan
    That's 'Campana-stan', or 'Place of Campana', formerly 'Aquablog'. Michael Campana's personal blog, promulgating his Weltanschauung.
  • Chance of Rain
    Journalist Emily Green's take on water and related issues.
  • Dr. Anne Jefferson's Watershed Hydrology Lab
    Anne blogs from Kent State University on a variety of earth science topics.
  • Great Lakes Law
    Noah Hall's blog about - what else - all things wet and legal in the Great Lakes region!
  • International Water Law Project
    Gabriel Eckstein, Professor of Law at Texas A&M University School of Law, comments on international and transboundary water law and policy.
  • John Fleck
    Former science writer @ Albuquerque Journal and current director of the Water Resources Program at U of NM. Topics: Colorado River basin, Western USA water, more!
  • Legal Planet: Environmental Law and Policy
    From the UC-Berkeley and UCLA law schools, it highlights the latest legal and policy initiatives and examines their implications.
  • Maven's Notebook
    A water, science, and environmental policy blog by Chris Austin, aka 'Maven'. Focus is on California.
  • On The Public Record
    A 'low level civil servant who reads a lot of government reports writes about California water and related topics.
  • Wettit - the water reddit
    Water blog with tons of news items, other blogs, etc.
  • Texas Agriculture Law Blog
    Don't let the name fool you - there are lots of water issues in agriculture and Tiffany Dowell of Texas A&M University does a fabulous job with this important Internet resource. Give it a read - I do every day!
  • The Water Blog
    From the Portland, OR, Water Bureau.
  • The Way of Water
    Dr. Jennifer Veilleux records her fieldwork, research, and thoughts about water resources development and management, indigenous rights, ethics, and a host of other issues.
  • Thirsty in Suburbia
    Gayle Leonard documents things from the world of water that make us smile: particularly funny, amusing and weird items on bottled water, water towers, water marketing, recycling, the art-water nexus and working.
  • This Day in Water History
    Michael J. 'Mike' McGuire, engineer extraordinaire, NAE member, and author of 'The Chlorine Revolution', blogs about historical happenings in the fields of drinking water and wastewater keyed to calendar dates.
  • WaSH Resources
    New publications, web sites and multi-media on water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH).
  • Waste, Water, Whatever
    Elizabeth Royte's ('Bottlemania', 'Garbage Land') notes on waste, water, whatever.
  • Water Matters
    News from the Columbia University Water Center.
  • Watershed Moments: Thoughts from the Hydrosphere
    From Sarah Boon - rediscovering her writing and editing roots after 13 years, primarily as an environmental scientist. Her writing centres around creative non-fiction, specifically memoir and nature writing. The landscapes of western Canada are her main inspiration.
  • WaterWired
    All things freshwater: news, comment, publications and analysis from hydrogeologist Michael E. Campana, Professor at Oregon State University and Technical Director of the AWRA.

Climate Change, Climate & Meteorology

RNRF: 2021 Climate Study Eliminates Possibility of Less Severe Global Warming Estimates

This report appeared in a Renewable Natural Resources Foundation report in August 2021. It is from a Reviews of Geophysics paper. I thought I had already posted it but apparently not.  

Screen Shot 2023-09-02 at 8.06.10 PMIt is well-established that human-generated carbon dioxide emissions (e.g., burning fossil fuels and deforestation) are warming the planet. There has been uncertainty, however, as to how warm the planet will get. A recent analysis, conducted by 25 researchers from around the globe and sponsored by the World Climate Research Program, found that it is very unlikely that global warming will be on the lower end of previous scientific estimates.

Climate sensitivity is the primary measure of how susceptible Earth’s climate is to human activities. The study determined that it is extremely unlikely that climate sensitivity could be low enough to avert a global warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius. More specifically, the study determined that there is at least a 95 percent chance that a doubling of carbon dioxide would warm the planet by more than 2 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels. Thus, if humans continue to emit carbon dioxide at current rates, the planet will likely be irreversibly damaged.

Long-established climate sensitivity estimates, determined in a landmark 1979 study (National Research Council, Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment, The National Academies Press (1979),, range from an increase of 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius if atmospheric carbon dioxide were doubled. The recent study found that if humans continue to emit at current rates, the global average temperature will likely increase between 2.3 and 4.5 degrees Celsius. The study used a narrower sensitivity range of between 2.6 to 3.9 degrees Celsius, which has a 66 percent change of happening. Overall, the new study narrowed the previous 1979 range while increasing the lower bound.

A temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius is the benchmark for global warming’s most devastating effects including sea level rise, extreme heat and weather events and irreversible damage to ecosystems. Thus, the results of this study are a grave warning for the state of the planet.

Currently, the world is on track to double its carbon dioxide emissions within the next fifty years but this can still be avoided if emissions are drastically cut now. If doubling does occur, even the upper limit of the temperature increase range of 4.5 degrees Celsius could be exceeded, although the study estimates only a 6 to 18 percent chance of this happening.

Numerous independent data sources were used in the production of this study including detailed climate models, satellite observations, ice cores of prehistoric temperatures, and instrument records since the industrial revolution. To ensure the validity and avoid bias, the authors required the report conclusions to be supported by numerous points of evidence.

This study confirms that human activities are undoubtedly warming the planet at an alarming rate and that the impending warming will not be minor. We are currently halfway to doubling the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the planet has already warmed by at least 1 degree Celsius above preindustrial levels. As a result, the study rebutted the assertion that doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide would only cause a 1.5-degree Celsius increase.

The researchers also refuted the claim that the climate could counteract warming temperatures on its own through natural responses such as increased cloud cover. Some have asserted that planet warming would also cause larger clouds to develop, which would in turn cool the planet by reflecting more sunlight away from the Earth. The study found this outcome to be unlikely. 

The only thing that will save the planet from climate change is human action. And, while the results of the study are alarming, having a more accurate climate sensitivity range could help to make better climate-related decisions. Drastic actions worldwide are needed to stop the doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide and its detrimental impacts on the planet and its inhabitants.


"Just because it’s a holiday weekend doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be responding to student emails! They have questions about the class they missed and the assignment they didn’t do!" - @ass_deans

Monday, 02 October 2023

Saturday, 30 September 2023

Friday, 29 September 2023

Thursday, 28 September 2023

Wednesday, 27 September 2023



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