» Global warming

EPA Climate Change Impacts

The changing climate impacts society and ecosystems in a broad variety of ways. For example, climate change can alter rainfall, influence crop yields, affect human health, cause changes to forests and other ecosystems, and even impact our energy supply. Climate-related impacts are occurring across the country and over many sectors of our economy. Explore the impacts of climate change by region, by sector, or by state. Read More

The projected timing of climate departure from recent variability

Ecological and societal disruptions by modern climate change are critically determined by the time frame over which climates shift beyond historical analogues. Here we present a new index of the year when the projected mean climate of a given location moves to a state continuously outside the bounds of historical variability under alternative greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. Using 1860 to 2005 as the historical period, this index has a global mean of 2069 (=/- 18 years s.d.) for near-surface air temperature under an emissions stabilization scenario and 2047 (+/- 14 years s.d.) under a “business-as-usual” scenario. Unprecedented climates will occur earliest in the tropics and among low-income countries, highlighting the vulnerability of global biodiversity and the limited governmental capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change. Our findings shed light on the urgency of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions if climates potentially harmful to biodiversity and society are to be prevented. Read More

EPA: Adapting to Change (Climate Change)

Adaptation is the adjustment that society or ecosystems make to prepare for, or adjust to climate change. Adaptation can include actions by individuals and communities, from a farmer planting more drought-resistant crops to a city ensuring that new coastal infrastructure can accommodate future sea level rise. Many governments and organizations across the United States and the world have already begun taking actions to adapt to climate change. Together, adaptation, coupled with actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, are essential to limiting the damages from future climate change. Read More

Towards a culture of low carbon research for the 21st century

The research community has highlighted for several decades the implications of greenhouse gas emissions for climate change. In response, world governments have agreed to limit global temperature change to 2°C, which requires drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. In advanced economies, a commitment to a 2°C limit generally represents a reduction of emissions of between 80-95% from the 1990 baseline. Despite this, emissions from international aviation increased by 53 % between 1990 and 2011 in those countries. Academic researchers are among the highest emitters, primarily as a result of emissions from flying to conferences, project meetings, and fieldwork. Here we review the rationale for and alternatives to the current high-carbon research culture. We find no clear obstacles to justify an exemption for the research community from the emission reduction targets applied elsewhere. While stimulating ideas and creating personal links of trust are important benefits of face-to-face meetings, these benefits may be outweighed by the opportunities to reach much wider communities by developing and using new social media and online platforms. We argue that the research community needs a road map to reduce its emissions following government targets, which ironically are based on findings of the research community. A road map to a low-carbon research space would need simple monitoring, an example of which is presented here and documents the Tyndall Travel Tracker, incentives from international and national research platforms and funders, and a fundamental change in the research culture to align the walk with the talk. Such a change in practice would strengthen the trust of the public in research. Read More

Engaging with energy reduction: Does a climate change frame have the potential for achieving broader sustainable behavior

Reducing energy use is key in meeting ambitious climate change targets being set around the world. This research considers the psychological impact, and potential for behavioural spillover, resulting from receiving energy information framed in terms of financial costs or the environment. We utilised an online tool in order to present undergraduate participants with an energy display simulation of their own energy use and presented energy use in terms of kilowatt-hours, carbon dioxide (CO2), or costs. Study 1 found increased motivations to save energy for climate change reasons and some indications that environmental behaviour might increase after participants received CO2 information compared to alternatives. Study 2 found that CO2 information increased climate change salience, which mediated effects observed on environmental behaviour intentions. Data suggest that highlighting climate change in relation to energy savings may be useful for promoting broader environmental behaviour. Read More

The Great Energy Challenge: Four Ways to Look at Global Carbon Footprints

Four ways to look at Global Carbon Footprints: Fourteen nations and Europe account for about 80 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions. Read More

Climate of Change: Interactions and Feedbacks between Water, Air and Ice

In this two to three week module, students explore short-term climate variability resulting from atmosphere-ocean-ice interactions. The module promotes awareness of past and contemporary cultures and regions strongly affected by permanently altered or increasingly uncertain climates as students consider human adaptation to climate fluctuations. Students investigate the dynamics and impacts associated with climate variability by examining and analyzing atmosphere, ocean, and ice data; completing a series of readings; and engaging in group discussions. Materials and teaching descriptions for gallery walks, interactive discussions, group work, and lab exercises are provided. Read More

Indigenous Nations' Responses to Climate Change

The most promising avenues for Indigenous climate-change advocacy appear to bypass the established global system of sovereign states by asserting Native sovereignty in other areas. By not including the settler states, the Treaty of Indigenous Nations recognizes that the sovereignty of First Nations does not stem from its relationship with a federal government but is rather inherent and stems from its existence before the arrival of the colonial powers. The treaty also recognizes that the powers of Indigenous nations are not simply legally confined within the Western system of laws but are also social, economic, cultural, and spiritual. Even if the United States, Canada, and other countries are not responsive to Indigenous concerns, tribal leadership has a responsibility to safeguard the health and well-being of the tribal community by working with other Indigenous peoples, allies, and neighbors. Read More

Climate Change and Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations

Indigenous peoples are the “miner’s canary” of global climate change for the rest of humanity. Native nations of the Arctic and Subarctic are already feeling catastrophic effects of warmer temperatures, in the melting of sea ice, permafrost, and glaciers, and increase in fires, insects, flooding and drought patterns. South Pacific Indigenous peoples are finding their islands inundated by rising sea levels, erosion from intense storms, and saltwater intrusion into freshwater supplies. Read More

Global Warming Lesson Plan: NOW on PBS

Is human activity bringing about alarming global warming scenarios and related catastrophes? Or is such thinking a myth brought about by flawed or incomplete science? Finding the answers to these questions has turned global warming into a highly politicized and contentious issue. Use the NOW Classroom standards-linked lesson on global warming to help students research and form credible opinions. This lesson is designed for social studies, debate, language arts, government/citizenship, and current events classes, grades 9-12. Read More

Mission

EERL's mission is to be the best possible online collection of environmental and energy sustainability resources for community college educators and for their students. The resources are also available for practitioners and the public.

EERL & ATEEC

EERL is a product of a community college-based National Science Foundation Center, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), and its partners.

Contact ATEEC 563.441.4087 or by email ateec@eicc.edu