Blog 118. Can Arctic Ice Cool Your Cocktail?

How come the scientific news seems flooded (as it were) by the melting of arctic ice?  After all, is the arctic really melting?  Should we believe all of the alarm over a little cold water?  Let’s look at the data. Continue reading

Blog 91. Can just anyone open a scientist’s email?

The 1/10/2016 New York Times (1/9/2016 web edition) offered an op-ed entitled, “Scientists, Give Up Your Emails.”  The author, a journalist named Paul Thacker, asserted that agencies (including universities) should not keep secret the personal communications of scientists who work for the government.  Continue reading

Blog 49. A refuge for what?

Of all the newsletters that cross my desk, the one that tugs my heart comes from the Friends of the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuges.  That heart-tug pulls back to my youth there, hunting rabbits and ducks on that land when it was wetlands and grassland, long before it was a nearly-dry refuge pumping groundwater to maintain some of its habitat.  Continue reading

Blog 25. Climate Extremes or Political Extremes?

A little history

In 1986 I was at a technical conference where an invited speaker was presenting data on a little-known project—measuring atmospheric CO2 concentrations, day after day, year after year. The terms “global warming” and “global climate change” weren’t used—they weren’t in the general vocabulary at that time. Nonetheless, I watched the data on the screen in growing horror. I suspect the other participants had the same feeling, but nobody said so. Continue reading