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In Memoriam

Climate Change

I would like to bring to the attention of our community the following material, reflecting the results of the world's leading climate scientists.

Yours sincerely,
John J. Benedetto
Director of the Norbert Wiener Center

  • A Milestone for Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere
    One of the world's most important sentinel sites for measuring levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, reported that levels had recently risen above the symbolically important figure of 400 parts per million, and were likely to stay that way "for the indefinite future."

  • An Introductory Global CO2 Model
    W. E. Schiesser

  • Adapting to climate change a major challenge for forests
    Climate change is happening so quickly that a question mark hangs over whether forests can adapt accordingly without human interference and can continue to perform their various functions such as timber production, protection against natural hazards and providing a recreational space for the public.

  • What was "unprecedented" about Paris climate agreement?
    In December 2015, more than 190 countries, representing the source of more than 95 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, met in France for the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Together, they crafted the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. "It's the first time essentially all the countries of the world have agreed to a common framework for addressing the problem of climate change," says Andrew Light, University Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy and director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University.

  • Polar vortex shifting due to climate change, extending winter, study finds
    Global warming could be making winters in eastern North America even longer, according to a new study. The study finds that, because of sea ice loss in the Arctic, the polar vortex is shifting and temperatures are turning colder during March.

  • The Plastic Earth
    Jerry Mitrovica connects the planet's dynamic history to climate change. The weight of ice sheets in polar regions can actually flatten the earth's rocky mantle, altering the speed of the planet's rotation and changing sea levels.

  • Spatial and temporal distribution of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet since AD 1900
    The Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) is losing mass at an accelerating rate, contributing to global sea level rise. But are the present rates unusual, compared to twentieth-century variability? It has been difficult to answer this question because of the shortage of observations before the late twentieth century. Kurt Kjaer and colleagues address this data gap by analysing a collection of aerial photographs taken in the 1980s.

  • Assessing the Global Climate in May 2016
    The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for May 2016 was the highest for the month of May in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880.

  • 2016 on pace to be the hottest year on record
    The new data shows that May was the thirtieth consecutive month to have soaring global temperatures across land and sea surfaces. This is the longest and hottest streak since temperature record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA.

  • U.S. and Canada pledge to cut methane emissions as part of broad climate change agreement
    President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday announced a wide range of environmental initiatives to combat climate change, expand renewable energy and protect a fragile and remote region important to both nations -- the Arctic.

    University of Maryland was a co-host of the United Nations-sponsored "Climate Action 2016" summit in Washington, D.C. for some 600 invited leaders from around the world. This summit was preceded by a "Climate Action Forum" on our campus that drew over 500 participants from the state and beyond.

    Climate change is the defining issue of our age. The landmark Paris Agreement reached last December commits all countries to holding global temperature rise to "well below 2 degrees Celsius". This feat will require economy-wide global and national transformations. A robust, multi-sector response will be a key component of this solution to pivot societies toward a more sustainable future for all - the future we want.

  • Scientists say Antarctic melting could double sea level rise. Here's what that looks like.
    In a groundbreaking climate change study, scientists have found that by neglecting to include the melting of Antarctica, we have vastly underestimated the potential for sea level rise over the next 80 years - and beyond.

  • The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses
    The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses seeks to create an interdisciplinary forum for discussion of evidence of climate change, its causes, its ecosystemic impacts, and its human impacts. The journal also explores technological, policy, strategic, and social responses to climate change.

  • 2015 smashes 2014's global temperature record.
    According to NASA and NOAA data 2015 was the hottest year ever.

  • Altering Course: Why the United States may be on the cusp of an energy revolution.
    "Of the nearly 100 quadrillion British thermal units of energy (BTUs) used each year in the United States, 61 quads are wasted. That is not a moral judgment, or a commentary on insufficient conservation (poor insulation, idling cars, people failing to turn off lights when they leave a room). It is, as Mara Prentiss notes, predominantly fundamental physics: the fuel is burned, but less than 50 percent performs useful work."

  • Inside Exxon's Great Climate Cover-Up: From Early Climate Change Researcher to Epic Climate Denier.
    A new report by InsideClimate News reveals how oil giant ExxonMobil's own research confirmed the role of fossil fuels in global warming decades ago. By 1977, Exxon's own senior experts had begun to warn the burning of fossil fuels could pose a threat to humanity.

  • Outsourcing Manufacturing to China Results in High CO2 Emissions.
    Despite the increasingly fervent debate regarding the trade relationship between China and the United States and its implications for the global political environment, it is evident that manufacturing goods in China and shipping them to developed countries has real-world consequences, particularly for the environment. University of Maryland researchers, in collaboration with others, have begun to quantify the magnitude of those impacts.

  • AMS Bulletin book review of Mathematics and climate.
    Gerald R. North reviews Mathematics and climate, by Hans Kaper and Hans Engler. North writes, "... a successful attempt in a brief survey to bring the world of climate science to the attention of aspiring and mature mathematicians, physicists, and engineers."

  • Climate Change Demands Marshall Plan Levels of Response
    Naomi Klein writes: "If we treat climate change as the crisis it is, we don't just have the potential to avert disaster but could improve society in the process."

  • Climate Crisis, the Deindustrialization Imperative and the Jobs vs. Environment Dilemma
    Richard Smith, Truthout: To prevent wholesale global ecological collapse we must radically retrench and close down swathes of unsustainable industries in the North, sustainably industrialize the South, and "converge and contract" around a sustainable mode of life within the framework of a global eco-socialist economy.

  • Modeling the impact of climate change on tropical moist forest dynamics: a hierarchical Bayesian approach
    There will be a Colloquium at Georgetown University in Washington DC on climate change.
    SPEAKER: Romain Gaspard, CNRS, Université Antilles-Guyane
    ABSTRACT: Identifying, quantifying and predicting the impact of climate change on tropical moist forest dynamics is becoming a matter of urgency. Growth and mortality are the two main processes driving population dynamics. Although these processes are not independent, they are generally modeled separately. In this work we develop a joint growth and mortality model for tropical moist forests that incorporates a set of climatic variables, functional traits and interactions. A Bayesian method is used to select relevant covariates and to estimate the model parameters. This modeling approach formalizes a complex ecological problem and offers a mathematical framework for tropical ecologists to deal with uncertainties at the community level, especially for earlier data with incomplete botanical determinations. The model is applied to a 30-year dynamic data obtained at the Paracou experimental site in French Guiana. We identified three major climatic drivers and found differential species responses according to their functional traits.

  • Oligarchy and Climate Change: A Catastrophic Coincidence
    Naomi Klein writes: "It is our great collective misfortune that the scientific community made its decisive diagnosis of the climate threat at the precise moment when an elite minority was enjoying more unfettered political, cultural, and intellectual power than at any point since the 1920s."

  • Democracy Now! -- Climate Change
    Democracy Now! has long covered the issue of climate change. They have reported from the U.N. Climate Change Conferences in Warsaw, Doha, Durban, Canc�n, and Copenhagen, and from the World Peoples� Summit on Climate Change hosted by Bolivia. They have interviewed many of the world�s top scientists, writers, policy makers, activists, indigenous leaders and academics on the issue. They continue to follow the environmental movements to directly confront the root causes of global warming, and to advocate for climate justice, and sustainable alternatives.

  • Mathematical Modeling for Climate Change
    SIAM reports on how a changing climate triggers earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanos.

  • NOAA Reports on Climate Change
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a primary provider of climate science, data, tools, and information used by stakeholders and citizens in decision-making contexts. These resources are supported by our strong foundation in science � including global climate observation and monitoring networks; world-renowned scientists; and state-of-the-art climate models.

  • US Geological Survey
    The US Geological Survey has a section devoted to Climate and Land Use change which has many interesting programs.

  • Senator King's Climate Change in a Nutshell Card
    Senator Angus S. King, Jr. (I, Maine) carries a card with him at all times. It contains a great analysis on Climate change in a nutshell. The very same card that he carries on his person is available here!

  • Scientists who participated in the 2014 IPCC meeting in Copenhagen report on climate change. For more information, see the 2014 Synthesis Report of the IPCC.

  • DOD's Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap
    The responsibility of the Department of Defense is the security of our country. Amond the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change. The DOD refers to climate change as a "threat multiplier" and provides the following roadmap to climate change adaptation activities.

  • Climate Change: How to make the big polluters really pay
    Naomi Klein discusses how Lego, by dropping Shell, shows new ways to target the astronomical profits of the fossil fuel industries.

  • New Evidence Links Earthquakes to Fracking
    The evidence linking fracking to earthquakes continues to pile up. A study by seven researchers from California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and the UK, The Environmental Costs and Benefits of Fracking, said �Unconventional oil and natural gas extraction enabled by horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing [fracking] is driving an economic boom with consequences described from �revolutionary� to �disastrous.� The reality lies somewhere in between.�

  • Climate Change: Evidence and Causes
    The Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences promote the use of science to benefit society and inform about the current state of climate change.

  • Union of Concerned Scientists
    Read about the Union of Concerned Scientists: Science for healthy planet and safer world.

  • Time to Tax Carbon
    Enhancing environmental quality AND economic growth.

  • U.N. reports CO2 levels rising
    Greenhouse gases reached historic highs in 2013, a report from the World Meteorological Organization's Global Atmospheric Watch program says, in part because of rising emissions from automobiles and smokestacks.

  • Climate Change Is New Focus of White House Financial Fears
    The Washington Post discusses how the Obama administration is focused like a laser on a different threat to federal finances and the U.S. economy: the consequences of global warming.

  • Fueling Innovation at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
    Harvard graduate Ben Nguyen supports pressing research and teaching needs.

  • Storing Energy from the Sun
    How Harvard researchers plan to harvest solar energy to change the world's energy production.

  • 2015 International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses
    To be held April 10-11, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada.

  • Global Restoration: Time for significant action on climate change
    Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski calls on the U.S. government to exercise leadership to address climate change.

  • Investigating a Changing Climate
    Ford scientists are spanning the globe (and modeling it on supercomputers) to develop new ways of studying climate change. Their aim: to gain a deeper understanding of Earth�s past and present in order to better predict the consequences of climate shifts to come.

  • Q+A With Robert Stavins
    Scroll down to the Q+A section of this edition of Colloquy Magazine for a discussion with economist Robert Stavins on the polarized world of climate policy.

  • Harvard Portrait: Naomi Oreskes
    Harvard Magazine features Naomi Oreskes on her work on the scientific community's consensus on climate change.

  • Change in the Outer Banks
    Washington Post article on how North Carolina's Outer Banks are rapidly deteriorating and how this sparked political change in the region

  • Al Gore - The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate
    Al Gore's Rolling Stone article on how it's time to accelerate the shift toward a low-carbon future

  • Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    See what the CCAN is doing not so far away from the UMCP campus!

  • Climate change is the fight of our lives � yet we can hardly bear to look at it
    Naomi Klein discusses fossil fuels and climate change. Her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate is now available wherever books are sold.

  • Why the GOP Still Denies Climate Change
    The New York Magazine attempts to answer the question that has dumbfounded us all.

  • Confronting Climate Change
    Harvard's President Faust addreses how their university will address climate change.

  • Buffering the Sun
    Harvard scholar David Keith discusses the question of climate engineering.

  • Climate Panel Cites Near Certainty on Warming
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states authors are now 95-100% confident that human activity is the primary influence on planetary warming.

  • Get involved with Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley
    Sign up for Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (D) to get help change the undeniable effects of climate change.

  • NASA's Global Climate Change
    See Nasa's official page on Global Climate Change and the Vital Signs of our Planet Earth.

  • 97% of Scientists agree
    NASA reports that 97% of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities. Dozens of scientific societies back up this claim.

  • BBC Climate Change: Hot Topics
    See the BBC's webpage on Climate Change

  • Quantitative Approaches to Sustainability Seminars
    Rachel Levy discusses how mathematicians can contribute to education about sustainability in the Notices of the AMS.

  • Mathematics of Planet Earth
    See highlights from the international project known as "Mathematics of Planet Earth".

  • "Smoke, Mirrors and Hot Air" Redux: Tea Party Edition
    The Union of Concerned Scientists asks the Tea Party and climate change deniers: Got Science?

  • Video Lecture: Mary Lou Zeeman Tackles Tipping Points
    Bowdoin College professor Mary Lou Zeeman gives a lecture discussing simple dynamical models of planet Earth. She is the Codirector of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network.

  • Climate Crisis is Real
    Bernie Terentius Scala (Toronto, 2001) writes about his concerns of climate change in the Letters to the Editor section of the University of Toronto Magazine.

  • Soul On Ice
    With an artist's eye and a scientist's measure, James Balog has been providing evidence of the Earth's glaciers in decline.

  • Mathematics and Climate
    A book published by SIAM written by Hans Kaper and Hans Engler.

  • Carbon Pollution Standards
    Read up on the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) plan to reduce carbon pollution.

  • Fracking and Climate Change
    The Climate Coalition explores the effects of Fracking on Climate Change.

  • Climate Diruption Dispatches
    The reality of Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (ACD) continues to outstrip our ability to model worst-case scenarios, as it is happening so much faster than was ever anticipated. Dahr Jamail, from Truthout, discusses.

  • The Fight for Fossil-Fuel Divestment
    In face of rising calls from student groups for Harvard University to divest its investments in fossil-fuel producers� stocks, the administration has announced a plan to create a �social-choice fund.� It would �take special account of social responsibility considerations�� overseen by the Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (CCSR)�and dedicate investment returns to supporting financial aid for students.

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Norbert Wiener Center
Department of Mathematics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: (301) 405-5158
The Norbert Wiener Center is part of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences.