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Ben Strauss' Posts

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New York's one-inch escape from Irene

There could be a lot more than lawn chairs out of place after the next big storm.Photo: Downtown Traveler Cross-posted from Climate Central. New York City dodged a bullet with Irene, but big trouble passed more closely than most people think. If the storm surge had pushed New York Harbor about one inch higher, it could have been enough to overcome some of Lower Manhattan's outer defenses and flood the subway system, FDR Drive, PATH, and the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, if history is a guide. At 8:42 a.m. on Sunday morning, close to the peak of an unusually tall high tide, …

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The future of freezing

Cross-posted from Climate Central. In many parts of the U.S. March went out like a lion this year. But a new interactive map of high-resolution climate projections from Climate Central promises much tamer, warmer Marches in the future. In fact, freezing March temperatures will retreat northward this century like a routed army. (The retreat would slow to about half the speed under a low carbon pollution scenario.) Click on the image above to view the map. Of course, the idea of thawing temperatures seems pretty nice at the end of a long, snowy winter like the one we just had …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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The Glacier and the Email

‘Climategate’ is a diversion

Magicians divert us with wands and puffs of smoke. Bullfighters fool steers with flashes of cape at just the right moment. Even Shakespeare understood: Things in motion sooner catch the eye than what not stirs. The human brain likes movement, and that makes it poorly equipped to think about climate change. Scientists warn that, on our current course, the planet could warm as much as 10 degrees F this century with catastrophic consequences. But since the temperature fluctuates more than 10 degrees every day in most places, it's easy to see why many people might not be worried. Critics have …

Read more: Climate & Energy