Roll the Dice and Balance the Books: Extreme Weather, Climate Change, and the UN

Climate change is already occurring, causing millions of dollars in property damage and thousands of deaths around the world. Its effects will only get worse as the planet’s temperature increases. The UNFCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) uses the term “loss and damage” for these present and future impacts of climate change, including sea level rise, increased temperatures, and unexpected extreme weather.  The last of these may be the hardest to address legally, because scientists can determine the probability that an event was influenced by climate change, but they cannot say that it was “caused” by climate change.

So how are we to measure “loss and damage” in a way that is helpful to the people who have suffered it?

Continue reading “Roll the Dice and Balance the Books: Extreme Weather, Climate Change, and the UN”

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Superoceans!

You’ve heard of supercontinents (or, if you haven’t, you will in a second because I’m a nerd and I’m going to tell you), but have you heard of superoceans?

If you take a few seconds, you’ll realize that they obviously go together.  If all the world’s landmasses are joined together in a single supercontinent (such as Pangaea, Rodinia, etc ad nauseum), then all the world’s oceans also have to be joined together into (say it with me, kids) a superocean.

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Paleoclimate: 4+ billion years of climate change

Climate change has become a huge word in recent years.  (As it well should.)  But we have a lot more data on the world’s climate history than just the 21st century.  We shouldn’t just be talking about climate change as if it were one single event, but rather a continuous process as old as the Earth itself.  Only then can we understand what is happening now, what could happen in the future, and how humans can and do influence the whole thing.

Continue reading “Paleoclimate: 4+ billion years of climate change”