Monday, May 12, 2014

National Climate Assessment 2014

Last week, the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment report was released, which would have been the lead story of Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Mother's Day) on Daily Kos if it hadn't been Mother's Day.  Here are the stories I included about the topic in that diary, beginning with NASA's Fleet of Satellites Help Understand Climate Change on This Week @NASA.

The third U.S. National Climate Assessment was released which took observations from NASA's fleet of satellites to help understand climate change in the United States. Also, NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 spacecraft arrived at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base to begin final preparations for a scheduled July 1 launch. In Florida, the remaining flight hardware for the Delta IV rocket that will launch NASA's Orion spacecraft on Exploration Flight Test-1 in December arrived at Port Canaveral. At the Stennis Space Center, a cold-shock test for the RS-25 engine that will help power NASA's new Space Launch System rocket was completed. The Chandra X-ray Observatory found new stars, simulated space dust was created on earth, a new ISS crew trains in Russia, Shannon Lucid and Jerry Ross are inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame and NASA recognizes the small business community for helping the agency work toward achieving its goals!
I'll have the rest of the space news later.  Right now, follow over the jump for what three campuses on the campaign trail, Indiana University, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M, have to say about our current climate.

First, Indiana University experts comment on climate change report.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Climate change, once thought to be a problem for future generations, "has moved firmly into the present" and is having an impact in all corners of the United States, according to a comprehensive government report released today. Indiana University experts comment on the report; they address the following topics:

    Changing climate will affect Midwest crops, forests, public health
    Report signals need to move away from fossil fuels
    Recognize that other nations may not be able to adapt
Yes, climate change is now.

Next, Texas Tech Climate Scientist Contributes to White House Report.
Katharine Hayhoe: Choices we make now will determine severity of climate change's future impact.

Climate change is visible and occurring throughout the U.S., but the choices we make now will determine the severity of its impacts in the future, according to a Texas Tech University climate scientist who served as a lead author on a report released today by the White House.

Katharine Hayhoe, director of Texas Tech's Climate Science Center who was recently listed on the 2014 TIME 100 most influential people in the world, was one of 300 authors from private, public and academic sectors to contribute to the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA3). The project is a product of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, a consortium of 13 federal departments and agencies overseen by a 60-member federal advisory committee.

Experts view the study as the most comprehensive plain-language to date on what climate change means for the United States. It features 30 chapters and two appendices covering topics including eight U.S. regions, forestry, agriculture and human health.
That wasn't the only research on the climate published last week.  Texas A&M reported Study Says Earth Warming Rapidly.
Texas A&M University researchers have found evidence supporting higher rates of climate change and more warming over the coming century, and their work could help end the debate over how much warming the Earth will experience in the future.

Andrew Dessler, professor of atmospheric sciences, and graduate student John Kummer have had their work published in Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.

The Texas A&M researchers determined that previous calculations of the Earth’s climate sensitivity have neglected an important factor.  (The climate sensitivity is the warming that would occur if atmospheric carbon dioxide is doubled.)
In other words, things may be worse than we thought.  Welcome to "Years of Living Dangerously" in the 400 ppm world, where climate change reduces food supply.

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