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38 Climate Scientists Criticize Global Warming Op-ed in WSJ
The Wall Street Journal published a letter to the editor on Feb. 1 from a group of 38 climate scientists, harshly criticizing a global warming op-ed that ran in that paper last week for its scientific inaccuracies. The letter, "Check with Climate Scientists for Views on Climate," states that the op-ed misstated the evidence on global warming and falsely represented certain authors as climate scientists despite their lack of expertise in the field.
Nine of the 10 warmest years since 1880 have occurred since the year 2000, as the Earth has experienced sustained higher temperatures than in any decade during the 20th century. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory, Robert Simmon.
The op-ed states:
"You published "No Need to Panic About Global Warming" (op-ed, Jan. 27) on climate change by the climate-science equivalent of dentists practicing cardiology. While accomplished in their own fields, most of these authors have no expertise in climate science. The few authors who have such expertise are known to have extreme views that are out of step with nearly every other climate expert."
The letter pushes back against the assertion that global warming has stopped in recent years, which is a claim that has frequently been made in the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere.
"Climate experts know that the long-term warming trend has not abated in the past decade. In fact, it was the warmest decade on record," the letter states. The lead author of the letter, Kevin Trenberth, is a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Many other climate scientists, economists and writers have also weighed in on last week's op-ed. A few notable examples include climate scientist and water expert Peter Gleick, who wrote a piece for Forbes.com, Andy Revkin of the DotEarth blog, and Bill Chameides, a dean at Duke University, writing for the Huffington Post.
The following 38 climate scientists signed the letter:
Kevin Trenberth, Sc.D, Distinguished Senior Scientist, Climate Analysis Section, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Richard Somerville, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego
Katharine Hayhoe, Ph.D., Director, Climate Science Center, Texas Tech University
Rasmus Benestad, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, The Norwegian Meteorological Institute
Gerald Meehl, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Michael Oppenheimer, Ph.D., Professor of Geosciences; Director, Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy, Princeton University
Peter Gleick, Ph.D., co-founder and president, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security
Michael C. MacCracken, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Climate Institute, Washington
Michael Mann, Ph.D., Director, Earth System Science Center, Pennsylvania State University
Steven Running, Ph.D., Professor, Director, Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group, University of Montana
Robert Corell, Ph.D., Chair, Arctic Climate Impact Assessment; Principal, Global Environment Technology Foundation
Dennis Ojima, Ph.D., Professor, Senior Research Scientist, and Head of the Dept. of Interior's Climate Science Center at Colorado State University
Josh Willis, Ph.D., Climate Scientist, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Matthew England, Ph.D., Professor, Joint Director of the Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia
Ken Caldeira, Ph.D., Atmospheric Scientist, Dept. of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution
Warren Washington, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Terry L. Root, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University
David Karoly, Ph.D., ARC Federation Fellow and Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia
Jeffrey Kiehl, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Donald Wuebbles, Ph.D., Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois
Camille Parmesan, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, University of Texas; Professor of Global Change Biology, Marine Institute, University of Plymouth, UK
Simon Donner, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Canada
Barrett N. Rock, Ph.D., Professor, Complex Systems Research Center and Department of Natural Resources, University of New Hampshire
David Griggs, Ph.D., Professor and Director, Monash Sustainability Institute, Monash University, Australia
Roger N. Jones, Ph.D., Professor, Professorial Research Fellow, Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University, Australia
William L. Chameides, Ph.D., Dean and Professor, School of the Environment, Duke University
Gary Yohe, Ph.D., Professor, Economics and Environmental Studies, Wesleyan University, CT
Robert Watson, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Chair of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Steven Sherwood, Ph.D., Director, Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Chris Rapley, Ph.D., Professor of Climate Science, University College London, UK
Joan Kleypas, Ph.D., Scientist, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research
James J. McCarthy, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Oceanography, Harvard University
Stefan Rahmstorf, Ph.D., Professor of Physics of the Oceans, Potsdam University, Germany
Julia Cole, Ph.D., Professor, Geosciences and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona
William H. Schlesinger, Ph.D., President, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Jonathan Overpeck, Ph.D., Professor of Geosciences and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona
Eric Rignot, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Professor of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine
Wolfgang Cramer, Professor of Global Ecology, Mediterranean Institute for Biodiversity and Ecology, CNRS, Aix-en-Provence, France
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Farms with just one or a handful of different crops encourage fewer species of pollinating and pest-controlling insects to linger, ultimately winnowing away crop yields, according to a new study.
Up to half of the detrimental impacts of the "landscape simplification" that monocropping entails come as a result of a diminished mix of ecosystem service-providing insects, a team of scientists reported Oct. 16 in the journal Science Advances.
Monocrop palm oil plantation Honduras.
SHARE Foundation / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0
"Our study shows that biodiversity is essential to ensure the provision of ecosystem services and to maintain a high and stable agricultural production," Matteo Dainese, the study's lead author and a biologist at Eurac Research in Bolzano, Italy, said in a statement.
It stands to reason that, with declines in the sheer numbers of insects that ferry pollen from plant to plant and keep crop-eating pests under control, these services will wane as well. But until now, it hasn't been clear how monocultures affect the number and mix of these species or how crop yields might change as a result.
Aiming to solve these questions, Dainese and his colleagues pulled together data from 89 studies cutting across a variety of landscapes, from the tropics of Asia and Africa to the higher latitudes of northern Europe. They tabulated the number of pollinating and pest-controlling insects at these sites — both the absolute number of individuals and the number of species — along with an assessment of the ecosystem services the insects provided.
In almost all of the studies they looked at, the team found that a more diverse pool of these species translated into more pollination and greater pest control. They also showed that simplified landscapes supported fewer species of service-providing insects, which ultimately led to lower crop yields.
The researchers also looked at a third measure of the makeup of insect populations — what they called "evenness." In natural ecosystems, a handful of dominant species with many more individuals typically live alongside a higher number of rarer species. The team found as landscapes became less diverse, dominant species numbers dwindled and rare species gained ground. This resulting, more equitable mix led to less pollination (though it didn't end up affecting pest control).
"Our study provides strong empirical support for the potential benefits of new pathways to sustainable agriculture that aim to reconcile the protection of biodiversity and the production of food for increasing human populations," Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, one of the study's authors and an animal ecologist at the University of Würzburg in Germany, said in the statement.
The scientists figure that the richness of pollinator species explains around a third of the harmful impacts of less diverse landscapes, while the richness of pest-controlling species accounts for about half of the same measure. In their view, the results of their research point to the need to protect biodiversity on and around crops in an uncertain future.
"Under future conditions with ongoing global change and more frequent extreme climate events, the value of farmland biodiversity ensuring resilience against environmental disturbances will become even more important," Steffan-Dewenter said.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Mongabay.
Ivory Coast's rainforests have been decimated by cocoa production and what is left is put in peril by a new law that will remove legal protections for thousands of square miles of forests, according to The Guardian.
By Karin Kirk
Greenland had quite the summer. It rose from peaceful obscurity to global headliner as ice melted so swiftly and massively that many were left grasping for adjectives. Then, Greenland's profile was further boosted, albeit not to its delight, when President Trump expressed interest in buying it, only to be summarily dismissed by the Danish prime minister.
During that time I happened to be in East Greenland, both as an observer of the stark effects of climate change and as a witness to local dialogue about presidential real estate aspirations, polar bear migrations and Greenland's sudden emergence as a trending topic.
Heavy metals that may damage a developing brain are present in 95 percent of baby foods on the market. Cirou Frederic / PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections / Getty Images
Heavy metals that may damage a developing brain are present in 95 percent of baby foods on the market, according to new research from the advocacy organization Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), which bills itself as an alliance of scientists, nonprofit organizations and donors trying to reduce exposures to neurotoxic chemicals during the first three years of development.
By Kerstin Palme
Creepy-crawlies are among the oldest life forms on this planet. Before dinosaurs ever walked the earth, insects were certainly already there. Some estimates date their origins to 400 million years ago. They're also extremely successful. Of the 7 to 8 million species documented on Earth, around three quarters are likely bugs.
But several insect species could disappear for good in the next few decades and that would have serious consequences for humans.
Volvo introduced its first-ever all-electric vehicle this week, kicking off an ambitious plan to slash emissions and phase out solely gas-powered vehicles starting this year.
The report, released Wednesday, found that almost every European who lives in a city is exposed to unhealthy air, Reuters reported.