The following information is presented here to create awareness of energy and climate change science and impacts. Communities that understand and prepare for ongoing energy and climate changes will be more prosperous and enjoy a better quality of life. Our climate literacy outreach efforts are endorsed by scientists at Indiana University, IUPUI, Purdue University, Butler University and Ball State University. (see endorsements below)
THE SCIENCE OF 350
Simply put, 350 parts per million is the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. Atmospheric CO2 is currently at about 396 ppm, which exceeds the safe limit and is why we are seeing climate impacts across the country and around the world. Climate scientists urge a return to 350 ppm as soon as possible because the longer we remain above 350, the greater the risk for disastrous and irreversible climate impacts. To view current atmospheric CO2 levels, go to NOAA Global Monitoring Division. To learn more about the science of 350, go to 350.org videos and animations. Also, checkout 350.org.
Irreversible Climate Change
America's pre-eminent climate scientist, Dr. James Hanson, explains why exploiting Canada's tar sands means game over for climate change. Read article Posted May 2012
The International Energy Agency warns the world is headed for irreversible climate change in 5 years if fossil fuel infrastructure is not rapidly changed. The world 'will lose forever' the chance to avoid dangerous climate change. Read article. Posted November 2011
As the Permafrost warms, scientists try to gauge risk to climate. If a substantial amount of stored carbon is released into the atmosphere in the form of methane (20 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide), it would dramatically intensify planetary warming, possibly triggering irreversible climate change. Read article. Posted December 2011
Bill Nye the Science Guy: Climate 101
Are you curious about the basic science of global warming? Bill Nye explains the science of climate change and the link between extreme weather and pollution from fossil fuels in a 5 minute YouTube, Climate 101. It takes a couple of jabs at climate denyers, but the science is sound.
CLIMATE IMPACTS & SIGNS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
These extreme weather events are consistent with a warming planet due to increased concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere.
- Polar ice melting faster than expected. A new study published in 'Science' found the ice in Greenland is melting five times faster than in the early 90s, contributing to rising seas. Read more Posted November 2012.
- This funny youtube video draws the connection between the melting Arctic ice, climate change's "scary new math" and extreme weather. See video.
The world's Arctic ice cap plummeted to a new low, surpassing a record set only five years ago in 2007, and is expected to keep retreating with as many as three weeks left in the annual melt season, according to NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Shrinking of the Arctic ices alarms scientists and environmentalists because the Arctic acts as the world's air conditioner, helping to moderate the globe's climate. It's loss is likely to speed up global warming. Read more at BBC, Businessweek, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, NYTimes, RealClimate, Wasthington Post. Climate Central Posted August 2012
Climate change has some "scary new math": three simple numbers that add up to a global catstrophe, and that make clear who the real enemy is. The international community has recognized that global temperature increase should not exceed 2 degrees Celcius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and that to do this requires deep cuts in global emissions. In oder to keep global warming below 2C, scientists estimate that global emissions can not exceed 565 Gigatons CO2. However, the burning of the world's proven oil, coal and gas reserves would release five times as much - 2,795 gigatons CO2. Read more. Posted Aug 2012
- The American Meteorological Society (weather) ramps up past statements to join their colleagues in climatology. The AMS issued an official statement that "... many of the observed changes [in weather] are beyond what can be explained by the natural variability of the climate. It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide. The most important of these over the long term is CO2, whose concentration in the atmosphere is rising principally as a result of fossil-fuel combustion and deforestation." Read more. Posted Aug 2012
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, global temperatures for May 2012 were the second warmest on record. As you can see on the map, most of the world experienced higher than normal temps. Global land surface temperatures were a record, all-time high for May. Posted July 2012
- A study conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication found that a large majority of Americans believe that global warming made several high profile extreme weather events worse, including the unusually warm winter of December 2011 and January 2012 (72%), record high summer temperatures in the U.S. in 2011 (70%), the drought in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 (69%), record snowfall in the U.S. in 2010 and 2011 (61%), the Mississippi River floods in the spring of 2011 (63%), and Hurricane Irene (59%). The study also found that 82 percent of Americans report that they personally experienced one or more types of extreme weather or a natural disaster in the past year. Read more. Posted May 2012
- U.N. Panel finds climate change behind some extreme weather events related to climate change. It is likely that greenhouse gas emissions related to human activity have already led to more record-high temperatures and fewer record lows, as well as to greater coastal flooding and to more extremes of precipitation, the report said. Read article. Posted November 2011
- A prominent physicist and skeptic of global warming spent two years trying to find out whether mainstream climate scientists were wrong. In the end, he determined they were right: Temperatures really are rising rapidly....What’s different is who is behind the study. One-quarter of the $600,000 to do the research came from the Charles Koch Foundation, whose founder is a major funder of skeptic groups and the tea party. Journal Gazette Gardian Posted November 2011
The slow-moving storm system that toppeled stage with its winds at the Indiana State Fair, killing five people, was the same one that dropped record rains over parts of the nation's eastern half, washing out roads in New Jersey and forcing a small hospital in Ohio to move patients. Nearly 8 inches of rain fell on New York City's Kennedy Airport and nearly 5 in Philadelphia, setting city records for any day. At Seabrook Farms, N.J., the daily total was nearly 11 inches. Staten Island got 2 months of rain in just one day. Two men rescued as water pours in elevator. Rains caused enormous sink hole. Its lazy pace and higher atmospheric moisture content was what caused the exceptional rainfall amounts, said Dave Scheibe, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, N.J. Read more. Posted Aug 2011
- Indiana records hottest and driest July. The heat dome that engulfed the central U.S.during July made it among the driest and hottest on record for some parts of the state. Read more at WISHTV. Posted Aug 2011.
- Portions of Iowa and Illinois report 14 inches of rain, and more expected. Storms have been going over the same areas again and again. Runoff is causing flash flooding in several locations. Motorists are reminded to not drive through standing water. If Des Moines reaches 90 degrees or more today it would be the 14th day in a row. It's already likely to be the warmest July statewide since 1955. Read article Posted July 2011
It's getting hot, hot, hot! According to NOAA, 2010 was tied with 2005 as the hottest year on record. In fact, nine of the 10 warmest years occurred since 2000. The first half of 2011 is already the 11th warmest on record. In a new study published in the journal Climate Change, American scientists warn of permanent, unprecedented heat. If the amount of warming pollution continues to increase, the world could permanently shift into a new, permanent heat regime in which the coolest warm-season of the 21st century is hotter than the hottest warm-season of the late 20th century. Read more. Posted July 2011.
- According to "Four Degrees and Beyond", published on November 29, 2010 by the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A global warming of 4 degrees Celcius (7.2F) or more is likely this century. Some of the impacts of 4C warming might include an average sea level rise of 2 m; displacement of up to tens of millions of people; permanent absence of summer sea ice in the Arctic; loss of most of the world's tropical coral reefs; yield decreases in some crops and complete failure of others. The world will need to commit to an "early peak" of fossil fuel use and "departure from a business-as-usual emissions pathway" if maximum warming is to be kept below 4C. You can read the abstracts of each contribution here. Posted December 2010
- Climate scientists confirm extreme weather events across the U.S. (floods battered New England, then Nashville, then Arkansas, then Oklahoma, DC’s scorching summer & damaging storms, heat waves roast Indy) — and around the world (Pakistan deluge, heat waves in Africa, eastern Asia, Russia, and China) are occurring with greater frequency, and in many cases with greater intensity, consistent with how the climate responds to increasing global warming pollution. Read AP and NYT articles. Posted Sept 2010
- NASA has confirmed that the first six months of 2010 have set a global temperature record and the National Snow and Ice Data Center shows the Arctic ice extent in June was the lowest in the satellite data record and continues to decline at a rapid pace. Arctic sea ice reflects sunlight, keeping the polar regions cool and moderating global climate.
- According to the Union of Concerned Scientists 2009 report, if our dependence on fossil fuels continues unabated, summers in Indianapolis are projected to experience more than 80 days above 90 oF and 28 days above 100 oF.
- According to a new study conducted at the Purdue Climate Change Research Center, hot weather extremes across much of the U.S. could increase significantly sooner than previously expected. The researchers used multiple precise climate models using middle-of-the-road assumptions about population growth and fossil fuel use. The study will be published in an upcoming issue of Geophysical Research Letters. In the meantime, here’s the manuscript.
- The National Acadamy of Sciences report on Climate Stabilization Targets makes clear the long-term impact of 21st Century carbon emissions. This 4-page brief provides a scientific evaluation of the implications of various target levels of atmospheric CO2. Certain levels of CO2 would lock the Earth's climate into very large impacts for hundreds of years. Lower targets could avoid such changes. See also National Academies Press.
- The climate impacts report prepared by the U.S. Global Change Research Program summarizes climate impacts that are happening now and are projected to occur in the future depending on actions we take today. The report describes climate changes by region and provides an overview of Climate Impacts in the Midwest
- To help you navigate the extensive USGCRP website, we have provided a summary with links to the appropriate web pages for your convenience. CGI Summary of Impacts Report
See upcoming climate education events
CLIMATE IMPACTS FOR INDIANA
Union of Concerned Scientists
National Wildlife Federation
Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force Interim Progress Report
The Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force this week released a report outlining the Task Force’s advancement so far and recommending key components to include in a national strategy on climate change adaptation. The Task Force has already found that:
• Climate change is affecting, and will continue to affect, nearly every aspect of our society and the environment. Some of the impacts are increased severity of floods, droughts, and heat waves, increased wildfires, and sea level rise.
• Climate change impacts are pervasive, wide-ranging and affect the core systems of our society: transportation, ecosystems, agriculture, business, infrastructure, water, and energy, among others.
• Climate change already is affecting the ability of Federal agencies to fulfill their missions.
As a result of these changes, the Task Force notes that U.S. government interests, missions and operations must adapt to climate change and build resilience. The report also states that it is imperative that adaptation to climate change and building resilience both help to manage climate change risks to human well-being and ecosystems and take advantage of the opportunities created by climate change.
The Task Force is made up of the representatives from the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and more the 20 other Federal Agencies.
Commerce Department Proposes Establishment of NOAA Climate Service
Individuals and decision-makers across widely diverse sectors – from agriculture to energy to transportation – increasingly are asking NOAA for information about climate change in order to make the best choices for their families, communities and businesses. To meet the rising tide of these requests, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced the intent to create a NOAA Climate Service line office dedicated to bringing together the agency’s strong climate science and service delivery capabilities. Read article.
Go to new site climate.gov
National Security and Clean Energy Roundtable
Flag Day, Monday June 14, 2010
6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
University Place Hotel and Conference Center
850 W Michigan Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Join former adjunct general of Indiana, Major General George Buskirk and local Veteran leaders for a roundtable on the benefits for Indiana of a clean energy and climate legislation. Key Speaker: Eric Dannenmaier, professor at the IU Law School. Mr. Dannenmaier works internationally on issues related to energy, climate protection and national security. He is a contributor to Pew Research Group on these topics.
Please RSVP to
by June 11
Alliance for Climate Education www.acespace.org
In Indy the week of March 15th.
To book a presentation at your high school, please contact Ben Swift, Outreach Coordinator at
View a 30 second video
The Reality of Global Warming: Cold Facts on a Hot Topic
January 21, 2010 7 p.m.
The Richard G. Lugar Franciscan Center for Global Studies at Marion University will host a presentation on global warming. Guest speaker Dr. Brian J. Soden is a professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science. Soden specializes in the use of satellite observations to test and improve computer model simulations of climate change. Dr. Soden has published peer-reviewed papers related to the response of the climate system to global warming and served as a lead author of the 2007 report for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He has been involved in climate science for more than a decade and his work has been widely featured in scientific journals including Science and Nature. His awards include the American Meteorological Society's Henry G. Houghton Award, the National Space Club's David S. Johnson Award, and the NASA H.E. Langley award. Click here for more information. Register for this free event.
The Debate is Over Among Climate Science Experts
A 2009 University of Illinois study shows a consensus among active publishers on climate change. Doran and Kendall Zimmerman conclude “..the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.” Read more...
Stolen emails don’t change the fact that nearly every major scientific institution and professional society around the world has concluded that human activity is the main cause of global warming; that 2010 is on track to be the warmest year on record and that this decade will be the warmest on record.
Looking at Climate Change in terms of Probablities - The most terrifying video
Gov. Arnold Schwarsenegger - Climate Action in California
We're happy to announce our efforts to raise public awareness of climate science and impacts have been endorsed by:
- Gabriel Filippelli, Ph.D. Professor of Geology, Chair of Department of Earth Sciences, Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis
- Andrew T. Hsu, Ph.D. Director, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, Director IUPUI Lugar Center for Renewable Energy, Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis
- Kyle Cline, Business Manager, IUPUI Lugar Center for Renewable Energy
- Kevin Robert Gurney, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Dept of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences & Dept of Agronomy, Purdue University
- J.C. Randolph, Ph.D., Professor of Environmental Science, Director, Center for Research in Energy and the Environment, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University
- William M. Brown, AIA, LEED AP, Director of Sustainability, Indiana University
- Tim Carter, Director, Center for Urban Ecology, Butler University
- Bennet B. Brabson, Ph.D. Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University Bloomington
- Robert Koester AIA, LEED AP, Professor of Architecture, Director, Center for Energy Research. Education, Service, Ball State University
- Albert Ruesink, Professor of Biology, Indiana University
Letters of Endorsement
IUPUI Lugar Energy Center
IU Center for Research in Energy and the Environment
IU Professor of Physics