Just back from Kazakhstan. It was a very dangerous -30c (-22f below zero). We (USAID) and the UNDP run a Climate Resilient Wheat program(PDF) for the KZ government. Here are some non-work pics…:)
This is what Okinawa woke up to on Monday morning, around 5:30am. For once I am actually glad I couldn’t get my early morning run in!
Interesting disaster notification app. Any followers know about this app? Where could I find more information?
"Officials canceled two Olympic test events last February in Sochi after several days of temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and a lack of snowfall had left ski trails bare and brown in spots. That situation led the climatologist Daniel Scott, a professor of global change and tourism at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, to analyze potential venues for future Winter Games. His thought was that with a rise in the average global temperature of more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit possible by 2100, there might not be that many snowy regions left in which to hold the Games. He concluded that of the 19 cities that have hosted the Winter Olympics, as few as 10 might be cold enough by midcentury to host them again. By 2100, that number shrinks to 6.
The planet has warmed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1800s, and as a result, snow is melting. In the last 47 years, a million square miles of spring snow cover has disappeared from the Northern Hemisphere. Europe has lost half of its Alpine glacial ice since the 1850s, and if climate change is not reined in, two-thirds of European ski resorts will be likely to close by 2100.
The same could happen in the United States, where in the Northeast, more than half of the 103 ski resorts may no longer be viable in 30 years because of warmer winters. As far for the Western part of the country, it will lose an estimated 25 to 100 percent of its snowpack by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are not curtailed — reducing the snowpack in Park City, Utah, to zero and relegating skiing to the top quarter of Ajax Mountain in Aspen.” NYTimes
Contact me directly if you intend to apply. 3-5 years expeience required. Supports USAID. Excellent opportunity.
Associate Communications Specialist
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES:
Engility Corporation, building on IRG’s legacy in international development, seeks an Associate, Communications Specialist. The full-time Communications Associate will help expand the company’s corporate and project-based communications for its International Development Business and work with USAID. This individual will support the business group’s need for online presence across multiple digital media platforms. This includes regular communications support for Engility and the organization at-large, and those that support specific programs, strategic partnerships, thought leadership initiatives, technical tool development and enhancement, and the development of high-profile, digital marketing materials.
Oversee Engility International Development’s online presence, including public websites and digital communications efforts such as social media initiatives
Provide digital media support for high level public events with USAID and other organizations
Collaborate to develop and execute integrated media plans across platforms for key issue areas
Execute online communications strategies to raise visibility by increasing web traffic, growing online communities, and other digital media outreach
Work as part of a team to develop new web content, email newsletters, and social media and ensure quality in text, graphics, and other online content through content management system
Provide input to the Communications team for the development and implementation of the communications strategy
Help ensure that internal staff are aware of communications policies and procedures, support staff through the tools needed to enact these procedures, and improve and adapt these procedures as necessary
Help ensure that internal staff are aware of the company’s practices (messaging, logo use, language style, design style, branding, etc.) and assist them in complying with these standards
Probable overseas field travel to projects, client mission offices and conferences
MINIMUM TANGIBLE QUALIFICATIONS:
Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
Must have 3-5 years of directly relevant experience, including developing and executing integrated strategic media plans across platforms
At least two years of website management experience; expert with social media tools and new media technology.
Strong social media engagement skills
Experience managing organizational social media feeds (e.g., Twitter and Facebook)
Knowledge of some or all of the following: how to manage PDFs, edit photos, create graphics, and edit web pages using Adobe Creative Suite Web Premium including Acrobat Pro, Photoshop, Fireworks and/or Dreamweaver, Adobe Connect, and/or similar applications
Experience working within the communications culture of international development and staff in the public sector
Excellent writing skills and experience in editing
Attention to detail, strong organizational skills, adaptability, and flexibility
Ability to manage multiple projects effectively in a fast-paced environment and consistently meet deadlines.
Ability to work both independently and highly collaboratively, with appropriate levels of initiative and creativity
High degree of integrity, professionalism and maturity, and the ability to handle confidential matters
Experience managing a content management system using Drupal or similar platform
Ability to measure web trends using available tools
Experience working with quantitative data
Diplomatic manner and disposition in interacting with management, colleagues at all levels, regional contacts, and the general public
Judge called the Govenor’s actions to change the law illegal. Excellent coverage by the AP.
I’m headed to Kazakhstan tomorrow (working on our Climate Resilient Wheat project for USAID and the UN). It will not be warm. Not even a little bit.
A warmer Arctic could permanently affect the pattern of the high-altitude polar jet stream, resulting in longer and colder winters over North America and northern Europe, US scientists say. The jet stream, a ribbon of high altitude, high-speed wind in northern latitudes that blows from west to east, is formed when the cold Arctic air clashes with warmer air from further south. The greater the difference in temperature, the faster the jet stream moves.
According to Jennifer Francis, a climate expert at Rutgers University, the Arctic air has warmed in recent years as a result of melting polar ice caps, meaning there is now less of a difference in temperatures when it hits air from lower latitudes. “The jet stream is a very fast moving river of air over our head, but over the past two decades the jet stream has weakened. This is something we can measure,” she said Saturday at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. As a result, instead of circling the earth in the far north, the jet stream has begun to meander, like a river heading off course. This has brought chilly Arctic weather further south than normal, and warmer temperatures up north. Perhaps most disturbingly, it remains in place for longer periods of time.
Image Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio [x]
I have a feeling this was taken out of context.
Nestlé chairman Peter Brabeck has a history of courting controversy and is likely to further inflame his critics with his belief that man-made emissions are not the primary reason behind our changing climate.
While scientists point to the near certainty that human activity is driving up temperatures, Brabeck argues that it is largely down to Earth’s natural cycles, and warns against trying to play god by seeking to stop global warming. Instead, he believes society should focus on adaptation.
Sitting in the Swiss mountain ski resort of Davos after we have both listened to the Tanzanian president tell the heartbreaking story of how global warming is making life increasingly unbearable for his people, Brabeck told me that:
“Climate change is an intrinsic part of the development of the world. Since the world has existed we have had climate changes and we will have climate change as long as the world exists … For me the issue is more about what can we do in order to adapt to climate change and perhaps to try to gain more time … Are we God to say the climate, as it is today, is the one we have to keep? That’s the way it’s going to be? We are not God. What we have to assure is that climate change happens within a timeframe that humankind can adapt to.”
Good read, not for everyone though, since it’s from a multi-gabllionaire’s perspective.
If we really want to prevent future crises, it’s not going to be a matter of shutting down every time there’s a scary weather forecast, but investing in longer-term solutions to our sprawl.
Easier said than done. Georgians and southerners love their sprawl, and are deeply averse to urban planning investments that involve participation. Developers know this, and prey on southern states for its cheap land and purchasable politicians. Voters, therefore, need to force their politicians to decouple their relationships with big land developers and engage the public.
xtanti asked: Hi Michael, Greetings from Indonesia. I enjoy your blog because I'm interested to learn about environment. As you might heard recently there're two big volcano eruptions in our country. Do you think they can influence the global weather? I've read in a journal that Krakatoa and Tambora eruptions in 19th century created global wheather changes then. Or the two recent eruptions are not significant enough for global weather? (I'm sorry if my English is not well structured) Yeni
Your English is just great! Yes, the gas and soot from erupting volcanoes do influence the climate for short periods of time. The volcanoes erupting in Indonesia right now are not getting the media coverage they deserve. Nearly 100,000 people have been evacuated, airports are closed, and the images of ash covering everything are amazing.
Mike Gunson, atmospheric chemist and director of the Global Change project at NASA has a better answer:
Can one blast from a volcano affect readings over most of the globe for an extended time?
Overall, volcanoes release about 5 percent of the equivalent amount of CO2 released by humans. Quite small. However, about once every 20 years there is a volcanic eruption (e.g., Mt. Pinatubo, El Chichon) which throws out a tremendous amount of particles and other gases. These will effectively shield us enough from the sun to lead to a period of global cooling. They typically dissipate after about two years, but the effect is nearly global.
That said, I’m not sure where to find the estimates of how these two big volcanoes will affect climate. Climate “forcings” are not my area. Maybe JAXA?
Shoveling Snow Is Way, Way Harder In Antarctica. Via a Gizmodo’s reblog
cardinalpearl asked: Hi Michael, You have an excellent blog, and what sounds like a really cool job! How did you end up in your field and what sort of advice could you offer to someone interested in your line of work? Thank you!
I’ve been meaning to add a background blurb to my FAQs page. I suppose I should do that soon… Basically, I worked for a newspaper in Providence Rhode Island and wanted to be a Pulitzer Prize winning environmental journalist. This was back in the early 2000s. Then, with the rise of the internet, newspapers collapsed and I didn’t see a future in enviro-journalism. So, I went back to school and got two masters degrees, one in environmental law, the other in urban planning. Both focused on aspects of climate adaptation. I consulted governments during school to pay the bills, wrote and published in climate change journals, and positioned myself basically for the (rather humblamazing) job I have now. A bit more background here, and my Reader Mail tag covers this a little if you’re into digging around.
Thanks a lot for your nice note!
Anonymous asked: Hi, I'd like to know if you've seen the recent floods that have hit the UK/Britain and what your thoughts are. A lot of people are blaming the floods on climate change, and I hope more people will take it seriously now, especially by thinking about who they vote for as a result.
I have read about the floods a bit. And I was surprised to read reports like this: “British weather scientists link flooding to climate change/.” Pretty remarkable stance, imo.
Interesting, to me, is: Can the British economy withstand regular flooding events? How will the taxpayers pay for all the clean up, year after year?