Archive for May 30, 2014

Difference Between Weather and Climate

In the next National Geographic episode of Cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson will cover the science of climate change. In this clip, he explains the difference between weather and climate:

“Weather is hard to predict, but climate is predictable. Climate has changed many times in the long history of the earth, but always in response to a global force. The strongest force driving climate change right now is the increasing CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, which is trapping more heat from the sun.”

Watch the entire episode on Sunday, June 1 at 9 PM on Fox. Learn more and watch additional clips on the Cosmos website.

Humorous Climate Change Video Series

Communitopia is a nonprofit organization based in Pittsburgh with a focus on climate communication, using new media and humor. Their Don’t Just Sit There – Do Something! video series makes the subject of climate change accessible – breaking the science down into short, digestible nuggets; defusing fear and dread with humor and relatable characters; keeping the topic of climate change fresh with episodic content; and empowering viewers with easy actions, at a personal and a larger advocacy level. Their most recent video, 18th episode in the series, is a music video parody focused on energy and money saving consumer actions called “Watt Chop,” featuring cameos from Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto and others involved in the local green movement. Watch the video below!

Climate Change “Debate” Must End

DavittWoodwellThe incoming President/CEO of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, a partner organization of PCI, recently spoke to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on energy and climate issues. In the Q&A, Davitt Woodwell takes a clear stance on climate change action.

Q: In terms of environmental problems, what should Americans be the most concerned about and why?

A: Clearly, the climate change “debate” must come to an end. America must accept the science and move to act on limiting climate impacts.

It is a challenge that America is up to and represents not only environmental consequences but also considerable economic and national security concerns, as well. This is not about the weather, it is about long-term thinking and getting beyond the comfort zone of the here and now.

Read the full article here.

National Climate Assessment Released

Pennsylvanians will need to adapt quickly to already occurring climate change that is causing more frequent and intense flooding events and more deadly summer heat waves, according to the third U.S. National Climate Assessment released today.

The assessment of possible climate change impacts also predicted that Pennsylvania will experience warmer winters and less snowfall, and increased flooding events that will severely damage water, sewer and electrical systems and human health.

Projected increase in the number of days per year with a maximum temperature greater than 90°F averaged between 2041 and 2070, compared to 1971-2000, assuming continued increases in global emissions (A2) and substantial reductions in future emissions (B1). (Figure source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC).

Projected increase in the number of days per year with a maximum temperature greater than 90°F averaged between 2041 and 2070, compared to 1971-2000, assuming continued increases in global emissions (A2). (Figure source: NOAA NCDC / CICS-NC).

A regional heat map projects the Pittsburgh region will experience more than 20 additional days above 90°F per year by 2070 compared to the end of last century. Urban residents are more vulnerable to higher temperatures, since concrete and asphalt retain heat. The “urban heat island” effect can be mitigated by planting vegetation, such as trees or green roofs. These green infrastructure features can also help reduce flooding damage by retaining water during extreme weather events.

Explore the 2014 National Climate Assessment by visiting this interactive website: nca2014.globalchange.gov and read more from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.