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Save the Martians!

GLOBAL WARMING ON MARS! I just read the Nature paper entitled "Global warming and climate forcing by recent albedo changes on Mars," by Fenton et al. I suspect it will make the rounds in the blogosphere in fairly short order, so here are a few things to remember about the paper. The analysis starts with two maps of planetary albedo for Mars -- one from the 1970s and one from 1999-2000. Albedo is a fancy name for reflectivity; how reflective a planet is, and how that reflectivity is distributed on the surface, has an impact on the planet's climate. These …

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A follow-up

My last article made the point that in fighting climate chaos, only a refundable carbon tax, one that returns revenues directly to the population, mitigates regressivity in way that benefits those hit hardest by such a tax. It concludes by pointing out that just about everyone who pays serious attention to the problem of climate chaos concludes that carbon taxes or cap and trade systems -- methods of putting a price on carbon -- cannot by themselves solve the problem. This post will explore in a bit more detail what additional measures can help reduce emissions. We could institute rule-based …

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A new anti-Exxon?

ConocoPhillips steps up to the plate.

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Another conservative attack on motives

I'm always excited when people on the right address climate change, even if they say stupid things. At least they're starting to think about it. On National Review, Ken Green of AEI says that Gore's carbon tax proposal is great, but the rest of his proposals are both redundant and sucky. After listing them, he says: The fact that most of this agenda would be rendered superfluous by the tax shift shows the control-fiend mentality that really drives climate activists. If set at the right rate, a carbon tax would be virtually guaranteed to reduce emissions, but the climatistas can't …

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Good interview on climate change

Good interview with Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.) in Foreign Policy in Focus this week. Gilchrest, chair of the House Climate Change Caucus and co-sponsor of the Climate Stewardship Act, was not appointed to the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming last month because he refused to deny that humans are causing climate change. A few excerpts from the interview: Gilchrest: There's no question that we're at a time when we need strong, bold initiatives. This is not something where we have decades to deal with it. When you create legislation, it's around for a long time before it's …

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Check it out

The Christian Science Monitor has always had excellent environmental coverage, but now they've gone above and beyond by creating an entire website devoted to global warming. It's great one-stop shopping for the latest news. Speaking of, check out "Many new constraints for Bush on the environment," a delightful rundown of all the setbacks and humiliations suffered by the Bushies in the past year, complicating their perpetual quest to dismantle U.S. environmental policy.

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This time, it’s personal

(Continued from parts I and II.) Last but not least (actually, what quite literally hits closest to home!): North America Moderate climate change in the early decades of the century is projected to increase aggregate yields of rain-fed agriculture by 5-20 percent, but with important variability among regions. Warming in Western mountains is projected to cause decreased snowpack, more winter flooding, and reduced summer flows, exacerbating competition for over-allocated water resources. Disturbances from pests, diseases, and fire are projected to have increasing impacts on forests, with an extended period of high fire risk and large increases in area burned. Cities …

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Oh, the anticipation!

The IPCC report I've most been looking forward to is from Working Group III, on mitigation. It looks like drafts of that report are already leaking -- Reuters has a (poorly written) rundown. From what I can tell through the muddy writing, the IPCC lays out a range of mitigation scenarios, which would run anywhere from 0.2 to 3.0 percent of global GDP: The IPCC scenario of a 0.2 percent loss in GDP in 2030 is based on stabilising greenhouse gases at 650 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere by 2030, up from about 430 ppm now. ... UN …

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A visual comparison

When the IPCC WGII summary was released last week, there were media reports on last-minute clashes between scientists and political types -- the former pushing for the original strong language, the latter pushing to water it down. George Monbiot's column yesterday addressed the subject, in characteristically outraged tones. For those interested in the details, DeSmogBlog has compiled a comparison of a leaked version of the summary and the final summary released last Friday, with changes highlighted. Over at the Seattle P-I blog, Lisa Stiffler has another rundown of the changes. There's nothing storm-the-barricades outrageous, but it's pretty clear that all …

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Continued …

And now for the IPCC report's regional assessments, continued from yesterday: Africa By 2020, between 75 and 250 million people are projected to be exposed to an increase of water stress due to climate change. The area suitable for agriculture, the length of growing seasons, and yield potential, particularly along the margins of semi-arid and arid areas, are expected to decrease. This would further adversely affect food security and exacerbate malnutrition in the continent. In some countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent by 2020. Toward the end of the 21st century, projected sea-level …

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