Capital Public Radio interviewed Geoff Schladow, director of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center and CCWAS trainer, about predicting impacts of climate change on Lake Tahoe and the surrounding region.
Because of its prominence in the landscape, data records in the Tahoe basin go back for decades. This allows scientists to see long-term trends. For example, Schladow commented that, "Springtime, defined by the peak of the spring runoff, is occurring two weeks sooner than it did 40 years ago." In addition, surface waters appear to be warming more than deep water. This may spur algal growth and impede the mixing that contributes to Lake Tahoe's renowned clarity.
Schladow described Lake Tahoe as "a sensitive instrument" whose study may lend insight into understanding climate change impacts and the effect upon the local economy.
For more, see Capital Public Radio for a podcast and transcript.
California and the rest of the west coast will see higher sea levels by 2030. While this isn't startling, a report released today by the National Research Council provided more detailed projections based on regional factors as well as global climate models. The NRC panel predicted variable amounts of rise due to uplifting in some areas, with the net impact placing cities in danger because of higher storm surges, flooding, shoreline erosion, and wetland loss. Further, elevated sea levels caused by El Niño events and accelerated erosion of coastal cliffs and beaches will compound these impacts.
You can download the full NRC report at their site:
The Center for Ethics in Society at Stanford University recently hosted a panel discussion on the ethics of climate change research. Noah Diffenbaugh, a Stanford University climate scientist, Naomi Oreskes, a UCSD historian of science with particular interests in anthropogenic climate change and the development of scientific consensus, and ethics center postdoc Joseph Mazor spent a lively 90 minutes discussing the relationship between climate change research and ideology, how to minimize the distortion of climate change research, and how to discuss climate change research in the public sphere.
Download the video (scroll to the bottom of the page when it comes up), crank up the sound on your computer, and listen to a stimulating conversation while you do that long-postponed filing or office-cleaning.
An upcoming event and a report from a recent conference address how better to communicate climate scence to the public.
In January, the Erb Institute of the University of Michigan and the Union of Concerned Scientists gathered 90 leading scholars, business leaders, policy makers, advocates, religious leaders and journalists at U of M to explore communicating climate science. The summary report, just published, distills the collective wisdom of that landmark two-day event. It's well worth a read.
In a similar vein, the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center will present Peter Joseph, M.D., speaking about "The Climate Crisis: Science vs. Denial" on 10 July (South Lake Tahoe) and 11 July (Incline Village). You can download a flyer from TERC with more information about Dr. Joseph and his presentation.
The Fourth International Conference on Climate Change will be held 12-13 July 2012 in in partnership with the College of the Environment and the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.
The Climate Change Conference is for any person with an interest in, and concern for, scientific, policy and strategic perspectives in climate change, and will address a range of critically important themes relating to the vexing question of climate change. Within this broad context, this year's conference theme emphasizes local and regional responses to global issues of climate change and impact. Plenary speakers will include some of the world’s leading thinkers in the fields of climatology and environmental science, as well as numerous paper, workshop and colloquium presentations by researchers and practitioners.
For more information, see the conference website.
Abstracts are due 31 May 2012.