To really understand climate change, we need to see the big picture. This beautiful globe is an animated climate model, made to help scientists figure out what the eff is going on.
This particular model (which you can see in all its mesmerizing glory at 8:33) shows many atmospheric particles moving around the globe. The reddish-orange is dust streaming off the Sahara; the white is pollution from burning coal and volcanoes; the red dots are fires; and the blue swirls are sea salt whipped into the air by the wind.
All those swirling particles affect our climate. “There are so many different factors at work,” says climate scientist Gavin Schmidt. "Everything from how light travels through the atmosphere to how the winds move the ocean around to how rain hits the ground has an effect on what actually happens on Earth both now and in the future."
A new report from the government finds that the time to worry about climate change is now (or, really, years ago), because it is here in full effect already.
This morning, the Obama Administration released a major report showing how climate change is already upon us. From agriculture to human health, global warming is already having wide impacts, all the evidence shows. And, of course, what’s happened so far is just a prelude. It’s going to get much worse unless we stop exacerbating the problem by putting more carbon into the atmosphere.
The third National Climate Assessment (NCA) is based on the work of 200 scientists, and is the most comprehensive study of its type to date.
Choosing solar power no longer has to be a sacrifice for the sake of the environment. In Germany, Italy, and Spain, installing your own solar panels can now actually save money.
A report released by European renewable energy consulting firm Eclareon shows that solar energy has reached “grid parity.” In other words, over the full lifetime of the equipment, the total cost of owning and operating rooftop solar panels is about the same as buying electricity from the grid.
Spring might have just sprung, but there’s already a hint of a particularly cruel, hot summer in the air. It’s not surprising, especially not when you look at the persistent growth of weirdly warm weather in the United States since 1964.
The world has a challenge on its hands: As people rise out of poverty, their energy consumption rises, too, putting pressure on everyone around the globe to offer game-changing solutions to the greenhouse-gas crisis. These folks are meeting the task. Read more>
There are a lot of roads just sitting there in the sun, doing nothing with all that energy. Why not use them to collect it? Introducing the Solar Roadway, a road built out of solar panels.
The road is made of three parts: a hard-wearing translucent top-layer with the solar cells, LED lights (for road markings) and a heating element (to keep off snow and ice); an electronics layer to control lighting and communications; and a base plate layer that distributes power to nearby homes and businesses (and perhaps electric vehicle charging stations). Plus, there’s a channel at the edge to collect and filter run-off water (including anti-freeze and other chemicals that normally leeches into the ground).