Back in 1985 when I published Nature’s End, my publisher arranged a news conference in Washington. The environmental reporters who showed up mostly scoffed at the warnings in the book. It predicted terrible fires, catastrophic droughts and pollution emergencies among other things, set in the context of a science fiction story. It was set in the year 2020. My co-author James Kunetka and I had called it with heartbreaking accuracy. We were ignored.
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Hurricane Michael, currently a catergory-1 storm, is tracking northward across the Caribbean, and is expected to make landfall in Florida on Wednesday. The storm is currently over Cuba, and is expected to strike the Florida Panhandle as a category-3 hurricane, with wind speeds up to 129 mph. Due to the high warmth of Gulf of Mexico waters, the storm could strengthen dramatically and suddenly as it moves off Cuba and out into the Gulf. This is what caused Hurricane Katrina to become such a severe storm as it moved onshore over New Orleans in 2005.
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We often hear a great deal from weather experts about how extreme weather is being made all the more intense by the rise in climate change, especially when it comes to events such as hurricanes, but we’re rarely given the chance to see just how much global warming is actually contributing to any given weather event. However, using composite maps from resources such as nullschool.net, we’re presented with a visual representation of how storms such as Hurricane Florence can change the temperature of the ocean’s surface as it passes overhead, to give us an idea how much energy is imparted to the storm.read more

A new study is suggesting that human influence is affecting the planet in an unexpected way: human-driven global warming appears to be accelerating the shift the planet’s axis. Although scientists have known about the slow wobble in the Earth’s axis for a long time, NASA researchers have found that the planet’s shrinking ice sheets are altering the Earth’s balance, causing the pole to drift one-third faster than it would if the planet’s temperature had remained stable.
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