All posts tagged: Climate scientists

Joe Biden and Donald Trump Have Thoughts About Your Next Car

Joe Biden and Donald Trump Have Thoughts About Your Next Car

[ad_1] Get ready for the EV election. Doug Mills / The New York Times / Redux March 20, 2024, 6:32 PM ET The Biden administration earlier today issued a major new rule intended to spur the country’s electric-vehicle industry and slash future sales of new gas-powered cars. The rule is not a ban on gas cars, nor does it mandate electric-vehicle sales. It is a new emissions standard, requiring automakers to cut the average carbon emission of their fleets by nearly 50 percent by 2032. It would speed up the transformation of the car industry: The simplest way for automakers to cut emissions will likely be to shift more of their fleets to electric and hybrid models, and the Biden administration estimates that the rule would result in electric vehicles making up as much as half of all new cars sold by 2032. It also gives the country more of a chance of meeting the administration’s goal of cutting U.S. emissions in half by 2030 and eliminating them by 2050. The final rule is a …

Trump’s America Will Lose the Climate Race

Trump’s America Will Lose the Climate Race

[ad_1] If Donald Trump wins a second term, and his administration realizes conservative advocacy groups’ plans to dismantle environmental protections and drill, baby, drill, the United States is in for four years of relentless carbon pollution. In other words, another Trump presidency all but guarantees a complete abnegation of the country’s climate duties from 2025 to 2029. And as climate scientists say, emissions anywhere mean global warming everywhere: The United States’ heat-trapping contributions to the atmosphere during those years will make the world warmer than it would be without them. Already, the warming that humanity has locked in will bring many places to the edge of habitability, and adding to that damage would be an “unmitigated disaster,” the atmospheric-climate scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan told me. “But if it’s just four years, we can survive it,” he added, to my surprise. “Unless that four years becomes 20 years … But if it is just four years, then you can recover.” A second Trump presidency is the open question looming over climate science. Given that global warming is …

A counterintuitive effect of global warming

A counterintuitive effect of global warming

[ad_1] This is an edition of Time-Travel Thursdays, a journey through The Atlantic’s archives to contextualize the present and surface delightful treasures. Sign up here. In a 1998 Atlantic cover story, William H. Calvin offered perhaps the best oceanography lesson to appear in a major national magazine. It was also a call for concern: He drew on the research of the legendary Columbia University climate scientist Wallace Broecker to explain the relationship between ocean currents and the climate, and warn about a rather counterintuitive tipping point that our age of global warming could cause. By warming the planet, humanity might kick off a disastrous oceanographic flip-flop. A part of the great underwater conveyor belt called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, better known as AMOC, could shut down, he wrote. Enormous inputs of freshwater from melting northern ice or warming-induced rainfall in the high latitudes could dilute the salty Atlantic Ocean and change the temperature balance, throwing off the pace of the North Atlantic Current, which makes up a section of AMOC’s global journey. Instead of …

The Climate-Acceleration Era Is Here

The Climate-Acceleration Era Is Here

[ad_1] From a climate perspective, 2024 is beginning in uncharted territory. Temperatures last year broke records not by small intervals but by big leaps; 2023 was the hottest year ever recorded, and each month in the second half of the year was the hottest—the hottest June, the hottest July, all the way through to December. July was in fact the hottest month in recorded history. Already, experts predict that 2024 is likely to be even hotter. But these heat records, although important milestones, won’t hold their title for long. “Getting too excited about any given year is a bit of a fool’s game, because we’re on an escalator that’s going up,” Jason Smerdon, a climate scientist at the Columbia Climate School, told me. “We’re going to be doing this every year.” Instead, the way to think about climate change now is through two interlinked concepts. The first is nonlinearity, the idea that change will happen by factors of multiplication, rather than addition. The second is the idea of “gray swan” events, which are both predictable …

Earth’s Hot Oceans Are a Cosmic Tragedy

Earth’s Hot Oceans Are a Cosmic Tragedy

[ad_1] The ocean off the coast of southern Florida is having a long, hot summer. For weeks, surface temperatures hovered around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, before dropping to the 80s last week. The world’s third-largest barrier reef is dying, and scientists are fishing out coral samples and bringing them to the cool safety of laboratory tanks. One spot along the coastline hit triple-digit temperatures last month, conditions you would expect inside a hot tub. Some coastal Floridians skipped their usual dips in the ocean because it didn’t seem appealing anymore. Marine heat waves—periods of persistent and anomalously high temperatures of surface seawater—have materialized in other parts of the world too. The surface temperatures of about 44 percent of Earth’s oceans are currently experiencing extreme heat, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Some of that warming is to be expected, because 2023 is an El Niño year. But “all of these marine heat waves are made warmer because of climate change,” Dillon Amaya, a research scientist at NOAA’s Physical Sciences Laboratory, told me. June was …