Tagged With climate

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On the climate and energy front, 2016 was a year of contradictions. Again and again, our planet smashed global temperature records. The fingerprints of climate change were visible in extreme weather from the North Pole to Louisiana. But the clean energy sector also hit some major milestones. Wind and solar power expanded rapidly as costs fell, demonstrating that a high-tech, low-carbon future is within reach.

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Geoengineering is one of those things that sounds like maybe a good idea on paper but could also go horribly, apocalyptically wrong. But if the prospect of plunging Earth's weather systems into chaos isn't enough to convince scientists we need to tread very cautiously with the ultimate global warming tech-fix, perhaps this will: Geoengineering could be a disaster for science.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just released its annual "Arctic Report Card", a comprehensive overview of what's happening at our planet's North Pole. If it were an actual report card, the Arctic would be on the verge of failing.

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The British Antarctic Survey has a problem in the form of an enormous crack in the East Antarctic ice sheet. Dormant for about 35 years, The Crack began to grow in 2012. Today, it threatens to cleave off the entire ice shelf supporting the Halley VI research station. And so, Halley VI is being towed out of harm's way.

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Trump may never remove that dumb tweet about climate change being a Chinese hoax, but there are signs that the US president-elect is warming up to the notion that maybe — just maybe! — global warming isn't a liberal conspiracy. The latest signal came on Monday, when Trump met with former US presidential candidate and noted climate activist Al Gore to discuss our ever-warming planet. 

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An estimated 20 billion barrels of oil valued at up to $US900 billion ($1.2 trillion) has been discovered in a West Texan shale formation, the US Geological Survey announced this week. Three times the size of the Bakken oilfields in North Dakota, it could be the largest such deposit ever assessed in the United States.

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Seabird poop: Good for ruining your picnic at the beach, and apparently good for keeping the Arctic cool, too. But if the birds want to stop their summertime home from melting away, they're going to have to start taking laxatives.

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It teased us with the possibility of a no-show, but a weak La Niña has officially arrived, according to NOAA. Parts of the northern United States can expect a cooler and wetter-than-average winter, while southern California, unfortunately, can expect more drought.

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Welcome to the future. A future that me, and many people who put their faith in science, have been staring at in bewilderment, denial and abject terror for the better part of a year.