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“The Elementa Editors feel that this publication model fits much of the research carried out on the Anthropocene.

New open-access journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene was established with the intent of helping to break down traditional disciplinary barriers within natural science, sustainable engineering, and sustainability transitions. To help accomplish this goal contributions to six Knowledge Domains, each with an editorial staff of experts, form one overarching journal. But we have found that many articles cross between the Knowledge Domains, making their assignment into a single domain somewhat arbitrary.

To accommodate publication of this interdisciplinary research we now accept “cross-domain” articles that can be submitted simultaneously to two domains and if published will be included in both domains. This will provide additional visibility of appropriate articles across disciplines. As an example from my own research, when I publish work on the transformations and cycling of mercury between global reservoirs, I frequently face the difficult question of which disciplinary journal to publish in.

With cross-domain publication in Elementa, projects such as these can now gain visibility in multiple fields such as Ocean Science plus Atmospheric Science, or Ecology plus Earth and Environmental Science. The Elementa Editors feel that this publication model fits much of the research carried out on the Anthropocene, and encourage authors to submit “cross-domain” articles.”

Joel D. Blum: Editor-in-Chief, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene

Sponsored by Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene

VERY interesting climate adaptation/resilience job posted at Kresge Foundation. They are really great people! In Troy, Michigan though…

Republicans aim to shut down all federal government climate plans and actions. With a lame-duck president in office and an uninterested public, these types of amendments are excellent tactics.

This is a full reversal by Ecuador’s President Rafeal Correa, who previously had a plan to never drill for oil in the Amazon rainforest. His plan failed, and he had to cave to the oil companies (Ecuador is broke).

If there is a certain wisdom in the pro-life assertion that other rights become meaningless if the right to life is not upheld, then it is reasonable to assert that the right to life has little meaning if the earth is destroyed to the point where life becomes unsustainable.
National Catholic Reporter, calling Catholics to embrace climate science and move on to decision making for the sake of human survival.

Bright and refreshing read by the NRC. They go all-in on climate change action and working with scientists, rather than against them. They also embrace Pope Francis’s call for increasing science education and sustainable lifestyles.

There may have been a time when moving from a point of indecision on the matter of climate change, to a decision on whether it is real and caused by humans or not, required leaps of faith of somewhat equal proportions. But that was a long time and a lot of science ago.

The science, as it has developed, may not be perfect, but it is long past time that the question turn from whether human activity is causing climate change to what do we do about it.

The Catholic church should become a major player in educating the public to the scientific data and in motivating people to act for change.

The case for the reality of human-caused climate change was made in the strongest terms to date in the recently released third National Climate Assessment, a report exhaustive in its detail and the manner of its preparation. It was compiled by a team of more than 300 experts, including policymakers, decision-makers from the public and private realms, researchers, representatives of business and nongovernmental organizations, as well as representatives of the general public.

It was reviewed extensively, including by a panel of the National Academy of Sciences, the 13 federal agencies of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and the federal Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability.

The problem is enormous, but so is the opportunity for the church to use its resources, its access to some of the best experts in its academies and the attention of those in its parochial structures to begin to educate. This is a human life issue of enormous proportions, and one in which the young should be fully engaged. The Climate Assessment document as well as the recent discussion at the Vatican are excellent starting points for developing curricula materials for education programs in parishes and schools.


The infamous Firenado as a symptom of "Global Weirding."

New York Times’ Thomas Friedman explained on the Colbert Report:

The weather gets weird. The hots get hotter, the wets get wetter, the dries get drier, you’re going to see some really weird stuff.

Watch the Colbert Report interview, or read more from Vox on The Science Of Firenados

Come on journalists! Firenados are actually normal events. Journalists suck awful at two things: numbers and science. 

(via mediamattersforamerica)


Meanwhile, another wheel keeps turning:

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet alone contains enough ice to add another 10 to 13 feet of sea level rise, and the Greenland Ice Sheet contains enough to contribute another 20 feet.

The governor is a prominent climate change denier. His home is located on a beach, just one foot above sea level. Erosion, higher waves, sea level rise, flooding, and storms threaten the property.

Gov. Scott’s beachfront home vulnerable to changing climate

The day after the Third National Climate Change Assessment report came out, the New York Times said Scott would not respond to its questions about what Florida is doing about sea level rise. When a Palm Beach television station asked him about it, Scott said the state’s emergency management division would handle any flooding problems — period.

Three years ago, Scott made his position plainer. “I’ve not been convinced that there’s any man-made climate change,” he said in a 2011 interview.

Scott has a vested interest in how Florida fares amid the rising seas. He owns a $9.2 million mansion in Naples that sits right on the beach, a foot above sea level and about 200 feet from the water.

"He’s definitely in one of the most vulnerable positions," said Jim Beever of the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council. Despite Scott’s denial, Beever said, the sea is creeping up on him already. Along that stretch of the Collier County coastline, he said, it has been rising at the rate of about 8 to 9 inches over the past century.

Because Florida is so flat, even a few inches of increase means water pushes a long way inland. For instance, 60 miles north of Naples, the mangroves lining the shores of Charlotte Harbor have retreated the length of a football field from where they were 50 years ago.

The rising sea will lead to greater beach erosion and other problems, but what poses the most immediate threat to Scott’s home is not the slow creep of higher waves. It’s the increasing reach of the storm surge that accompanies tropical storms and hurricanes.

National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change

The new CNA Military Advisory Board report “National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change” is already making a significant impact on the climate discussion in the United States. The report was launched at the Woodrow Wilson Center 15 May 2014, with a panel that included Rear Admiral David Titley, USN (ret), General Ron Keys, USAF (ret), Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, USN (ret) and Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, British Royal Navy (ret).

Via Climate and Security

Tragic news from the Pacific North West: Mysterious sea star disease killing tens of thousands of starfish recorded in Oregon. Starfish are “tearing themselves apart” - literally the arms of the starfish crawl away from the body until they tear off, leaving behind a core that’s turned inside out. Some starfish “melt” into blobs, with no apparent explanation. It’s gory and it seems countless millions of these animals are dying up and down the entire Pacific coast of North America - reported from southern California to Alaska.

Cause is unknown, but suspects include bacteria, invasive species, or warming oceans and acidification from climate change.

The mysterious disease that has caused widespread sea star die-offs in Puget Sound is now killing dozens of sea stars off the Oregon Coast.

Divers with the Oregon Coast Aquarium made the discovery during a survey on April 27 that revealed 48 dead and dying sea stars in a 60-square-meter area in Yaquina Bay on Oregon’s central coast. The symptoms of wasting syndrome were seen in sunflower stars, ochre stars and giant pink stars.

Sea stars infected with the disease physically deteriorate before they die. In some cases, afflicted arms break off from the sea star’s body and walk away before dissolving completely. Scientists suspect a bacteria or virus is causing it, but they don’t know for sure. Until April, there had only been a few cases reported in Oregon.


When Predators Vanish, So Does the Ecosystem

Mark D. Bertness, an ecologist at Brown University, began studying the salt marshes of New England in 1981. Twenty-six years later, in 2007, he started to watch them die. In one marsh after another, lush stretches of cordgrass disappeared, replaced by bare ground. The die-offs were wiping out salt marshes in just a few years.

“It’s unbelievable how quickly it’s moved in,” Dr. Bertness said.

Scientists have been witnessing a similar transformation in a number of plant species along coastlines in the United States and in other countries. And in many cases, it’s been hard to pinpoint the cause of the die-off, with fungal outbreaks, pollution, choking sediments stirred up by boats, and rising sea levels proposed as killers.

There is much at stake in the hunt for the culprit, because salt marshes are hugely important. They shield coasts from flooding, pull pollutants from water and are nurseries for many fish species.

Via NYTimes

Salt marshes play an important role in flood protection. They’re particularly important ecosystems that need protection as sea levels rise, humans over fish, and invasive species take over.

Gavin Schmidt’s TED talk on detecting patterns of climate change.