Seeing Climate, Seeing Change

• October 12, 2009 – Fall 2009 STEP Seminar Series – “Seeing Climate, Seeing Change”

Heidi Cullen, Director of Communications, Senior Research Scientist, Climate Central,

Heidi Cullen is an excellent speaker: She needs more "soap boxes" She deserves many more platforms and communication devices! Climate Central is one: It’s "a new nonprofit science and media organization created to provide clear and objective information about climate change and its potential solutions."

She has excellent graphics, representative studies and anecdotes. Perhaps with Climate Central’s website, they will reach and convince lots more of us. As a "big picture" climate scientist of the Holocene, she could recite instances where climate change has drastically affected civilizations: the Anasazi, the Maya, the Great Drought of 1272-1298. People rely on climate stability.

A couple of worrisome publications: Raupach and Canadell, PNAS, 2007, illustrating CO2 data results beyond the "worst case" scenario, and Peter Stott, Nature, re: the hot summer deaths in Europe in 2003.

Human contribution to the European heatwave of 2003

Peter A. Stott, D. A. Stone, M. R. Allen

Nature 432, 610-614 (2 December 2004) doi:10.1038/nature03089 Letter

Abstract | Full Text | PDF | Rights and permissions | Save this link

She gives credit to GFDL, who, with the IPCC, is developing new climate models.

She offered the questions: how can we convince the public to have the credence and trust in scientists that they profess to have? How can we get more local news sources to educate people about climate change?

("Global warming" has too many political connotations, it seems.)

Notable websites, blogs, etc., mentioned in the presentation: ProPublica represents "journalism in the public interest" "An insider’s view of climate science, politics, & solutions" The writer is Joe Romm, who was recognized by Time magazine as "One of the heroes of Environment 2009, and the Web’s most influential climate-change blogger". A website with ideas for everyone on becoming green, the the areas of fashion & beauty, food & health, home & garden, tech & transport, travel & outdoors, and work & connect.

Dr. Cullen hopes for the establishment of a National or World Climate Service, much like the National Weather Service.

Climate Change Conference, free online, Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Education Online Conference on Climate Change" is a 3-day, free, education online conference taking place, Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, 2009.

Open to everyone, registration is here:

Sessions will be recorded for later viewing at the same site.

Climate change issues will be discussed from the aspects of science, history and art.

Source: Email from John Walber at

NSF-funded climate humanitarian program abruptly terminated

“Citing budget constraints, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) announced this week it will shut down its Center for Capacity Building, a small group of experts headed by Dr. Michael “Mickey” Glantz, a 35-year veteran of NCAR and a well-known champion of helping human beings adapt to climate change. The Center was dedicated to assisting communities in Asia, Africa, and other areas less fortunate than the US in dealing with the societal impacts of weather and climate. The abrupt announcement was met with vociferous protest within the social science community and amongst colleagues in the climate policy arena. What does this move say about overall support for the role of social sciences in climate research and policy development?”

ClimateScienceWatch, is the newsletter for “Promoting integrity in the use of climate science in government”.

Posted on Friday, August 08, 2008.

Read the whole entry.

Climate Change May Challenge National Security

“Climate Change May Challenge National Security, Classified Report Warns
Source: The Earth Institute at Columbia University

The National Intelligence Council (NIC) has completed a new classified assessment that explores how climate change could threaten U.S. security in the next 20 years by causing political instability, mass movements of refugees, terrorism, or conflicts over water and other resources. Among the major outside contributors of data was the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), a member of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. While the NIC assessment itself is confidential, the CIESIN data is public, and is posted here (PDF; 4.5 MB).”

Source: DocuTicker Newsletter No. 41

understanding and responding to climate change — 2008

Climate_cov.jpg The National Academies have released the 2008 edition of “Understanding and Responding to Climate Change,” a booklet designed to give the public a comprehensive and easy-to-read analysis of findings and recommendations from expert consensus reports on climate change.

You may download or order free copies of the climate change booklet, “Earth Observations from Space”, and or “What you need to know about energy” at

Scientific Assessment of the Effects of Global Change on the United States

Finally released, after four years, and even now only after threat of
a court order —
from the National Science and Technology Council,
Scientific Assessment of the Effects of Global Change on the United States


Our Low-Carbon Future, in “State of the World 2008”

“Building a low-carbon economy is the central challenge of our time. Meeting that challenge will require restructuring the global energy industry through technological, economic, and policy innovations that are as unprecedented as the climate change it must address, writes Worldwatch President Christopher Flavin in Chapter 6 of State of the World 2008

Read: Chapter 6: “Building a Low-Carbon Economy”

Source: Worldwatch Institute email newsletter, Mar. 20, 2008

Ice Stories: Dispatches from Polar Scientists [Real Player, Windows Media Player]

The Exploratorium recently decided to celebrate International Polar Year 2007-2008 by giving cameras to a group of penguin biologists, glaciologists, cosmologists, geologists, and marine scientists working in Antarctica and the Arctic. The results of this interesting idea can be found on this site, and visitors will enjoy learning about the thoughts and experiences of the scientists working in these two regions. Visitors can get started by clicking on the “Check out the dispatches” button. Visitors can learn how penguins function as barometers of climate change, get up close and personal with a smattering of charismatic marine mammals, and learn about the fascinating South Pole Telescope. Visitors can also browse through archived materials and they should definitely revisit the site, as they will be adding posts from scientists in the Arctic over the coming months. [KMG] Source: Scout Report, Feb. 1, 2008