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Oct. 16, 2012

Comprehending Carbon's Creation of Coral Catastrophe

by Neil Wagner

I knew coral reefs were in trouble, but I didn't know it was THIS bad!

climate change, global warming, CO2, carbon dioxide, coral reefs, ocean acidification
Apr. 17, 2012

Our Universe Revolves Around the Earth — For One Day

by Neil Wagner

Happy Birthday, Earth Day! What on Earth honors Earth Day’s 42nd anniversary on April 22nd with a collection of Earth Day fun facts.

global warming, climate change, earth day, earth, our planet, cartoon, visual art
Mar. 22, 2012

In Scientists We Trust… Except When We Don’t

by Neil Wagner

Let’s take a look at the climate-change-related topics that appear in today’s comic strip:A selective mistrust of scientists, especially with regards to certain hot-button issues.

climate change, global warming
Feb. 15, 2012

Awesome apps are apt to ably assist action against climate change

by Neil Wagner

Do you love your mobile electronic devices with a passion? Are you deeply concerned about our changing climate? Now you can indulge your intense passion and profound fear at the same time!

climate, climate change, energy efficiency, global warming, greenhouse gases, internet, iPad, iphone, technology, web
Jan. 11, 2012

Grazing Towards a Cooler Climate

by Neil Wagner

Which of the following statements is accurate, and which is outlandish?-Letting animals graze in an arctic region as they did in the last ice age will keep permafrost frozen and lower the area’s temperature.-Letting trees grow naturally in drought-riddled regions leads to more fertile soil.-Plowing a field causes rain.

climate change, global warming, permafrost
Dec. 05, 2011

The Coast is Clear — For Climate Change Mayhem

by Neil Wagner

Early November brought Alaska its worst storm in decades. It was described as “historic,” “epic,” and “massive.”While there is debate about the effect anthropogenic climate change has on current weather, there is increasing evidence Alaska’s recent storm (and, even more clearly, coastal hurricanes) have human fingerprints all over them.

climate, climate change, global warming, greenhouse gases, hurricanes, sea, sea ice, storms, wetlands
Nov. 11, 2011

Climate Conspiracy 5: Greens don’t “convince”, they “brainwash”

by Neil Wagner

Welcome to the final installment of the “What on Earth?” Climate Change Conspiracy Theory Week. If you haven’t seen our earlier installments, please use the links at the bottom of this post to satisfy all your climate change conspiracy needs.

Books
Nov. 09, 2011

Climate Conspiracy Theory 3: Scientists only in it for the money

by Neil Wagner

In our third installment of Climate Change Conspiracy Theory Week, we take on the greedy climate scientists who tell us our planet is warming just so they can continue their lifestyle of lavish parties, reality show franchises and tricked-out Hummer stretch limos.

climate change, global warming
Nov. 07, 2011

Climate Conspiracy 1: Scientists falsify data

by Neil Wagner

We start What on Earth? Climate Change Conspiracy Theory Week with a very popular one: climate scientists falsify data. Scientists have been portrayed as incompetent idealogues, who use fake science “crap”   to help along global warming.

climate change, global warming
Nov. 02, 2011

How long has climate change been studied?

by Neil Wagner

One reason I’m skeptical about global warming is that it hasn’t been studied for very long. I know scientists in the 1970s were worried about an ice age instead of global warming. Did they start studying global warming in the 80′s??

climate change, global warming
Oct. 28, 2011

Combatting climate change: Every little bit helps

by Neil Wagner

We can all take steps to cumulatively reduce our society’s use of fossil fuels. Energy efficient light bulbs, recycling, and taking public transportation to name a few. Saying these efforts don’t matter is like saying your vote doesn’t count — the sentiment is understandable but untrue. People can say the same thing about voting, but we occasionally have very close elections don’t we?

Oct. 04, 2011

Oil rigs vs. icebergs: A climate change clash of colosssi

by Neil Wagner

This summer, two Canadian ice shelves that were in place before Europeans settled the area have been melting … a lot.

Bill McKibben, carbon dioxide, climate, climate change, energy, energy efficiency, fuel, global warming, greenhouse gases, Keystone XL pipeline, power, Tar sands, tar sands pipeline
Apr. 09, 2010

When positive is a negative

by Neil Wagner

The world gets warmer. Frozen ground melts. Stuff that’s been trapped in the ice now escapes and adds to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The world gets even warmer. And on it goes…

Sep. 23, 2011

Bebbo’s Magical Moving Planet Adventure

by Neil Wagner

. The good folks at 350.org, a global campaign and network that works with grassroots organizers in 188 countries, are at it again. They’ve planned another one of their wild and wacky worldwide rallies for tomorrow, September 24, 2011. It’s … Continue reading →

350.org, alternative energy--, Bill McKibben, climate change, energy, energy efficiency, greenhouse gases
Sep. 09, 2011

C U in Hell, CFLs

by Neil Wagner

X Let’s hear it for energy efficiency! It reduces climate-warming CO2 emissions from power generation. It makes the replacement of highly productive fossil fuels with alternative energy sources a little less daunting. And it got a boost from 2007’s Energy … Continue reading →

alternative energy--, climate change, energy, energy efficiency, global warming
Jul. 22, 2011

The 10% extinction distinction

by Neil Wagner

CHECK OUT OUR SPECIAL APPEARANCE ON THE HUFFINGTON POST! Hope you enjoy the new WOE there AND here on Science Friday. We’d love to hear your comments. The rabbit (or is it a hare?) in today’s strip wants the cockroach … Continue reading →

climate change, extinction, global warming, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, species, University of Exeter
May. 27, 2011

Environmental business environment

by Neil Wagner

Research firm IBISWorld has identified the United States’ top 10 fastest growing fields during the span between 2000 and 2016. Their findings are encouraging to anyone who wants to see growth in environmentally-friendly industries. Voice Over Internet Protocol Providers … Continue reading →

alternative energy--, climate change, energy, energy efficiency, global warming, IBISWorld, power, solar, wind, wind mill, wind turbine
May. 06, 2011

Fauxtosynthesis: Clean energy of tomorrow?

by Neil Wagner

. One of the biggest obstacles to using solar power on a massive scale is our lack of a proper storage system — after all, the sun doesn’t shine 24/7. Now MIT Chemistry professor Dr. Daniel Nocera has announced the … Continue reading →

alternative energy--, biology, climate change, energy efficiency, fuel, global warming, power
Apr. 08, 2011

Evidence of climate change … or something exactly like it.

by Neil Wagner

. “How can scientists know what happened 100,000 years ago? I’m not buying it!” “The planet’s not getting warmer — in fact, it’s getting colder!” “Any changes we see are because of natural cycles.” If you have made these statements, … Continue reading →

biology, climate change, global warming, history, life, oceans
Mar. 25, 2011

Excellent energy efficiency enhancement

by Neil Wagner

. “What on Earth?” Auto Week concludes. Let’s add this up: Bebbo and Kito have recently talked about a solar panel design that’s twice as effective as traditional panels at pulling energy from sunlight, technology that dramatically reduces the lost … Continue reading →

alternative energy--, climate change, energy, energy efficiency, global warming, solar, technology
Aug. 31, 2010

A greener shade of auto racing

by Neil Wagner

Engines roaring… tires screeching… solar panels gleaming… To effectively combat global warming, the international community will ultimately have to stage the fight with a coordinated, large-scale effort. In the meantime it’s encouraging to see people, towns and businesses taking … Continue reading →

Aug. 27, 2010

Dry counties

by Neil Wagner

Climate change could cause 70% of U.S. counties to face water shortages or similar issues by 2050. When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore in 2007, some friends of mine wondered … Continue reading →

Jun. 11, 2010

Global Warming 101: The basic equation

by Neil Wagner

The equation behind human-induced climate change is as simple as 1+2=3. Welcome to Global Warming 101. It’s the first of a four-part series aimed at the staunchest of climate change skeptics. Rather than having the goal of convincing skeptics manmade … Continue reading →

May. 14, 2010

The ABCs of human impact

by Neil Wagner

A-E ACID RAIN Pollution can cause acid rain which has reduced fish population numbers, decreased biodiversity, killed trees, damaged cars’ paint jobs, and more. It’s affected parts of Europe, Canada, China, Taiwan the United States. Government regulation has gone a … Continue reading →

Feb. 05, 2010

The Red Scare

by Neil Wagner

The red fox moves into his smaller cousin’s territory and acts like he owns the place. As climate change warms up the Arctic, conditions become less and less favorable to the arctic fox. It’s harder to find their normal diet … Continue reading →

Dec. 23, 2009

New digs for Santa?

by Neil Wagner

Things are heating up at the North Pole, so Mr. Kringle night want to explore his options.  The Catlin Arctic Survey team spent three months in the Arctic measuring ice thickness and doing analysis. They found the ice is thinner, … Continue reading →

Nov. 20, 2009

The Ice Age Cometh…NOT!

by Neil Wagner

Nov. 13, 2009

You want consensus? We’ve GOT consensus.

by Neil Wagner

97% of climate scientists believe humans cause global warming. At least it’s not unanimous. Suppose you were feeling out of sorts and went to your family doctor, a general practitioner. The G.P said you had a serious illness that needed … Continue reading →

Aug. 19, 2009

Football tackles climate change

by Neil Wagner

It’s time for preseason football which means…Bebbo and Kito will disagree, as always. Bebbo must have read the Philadelphia Eagle’s Go Green website. Kito must have read, well, whatever he reads. Not surprisingly, everyone’s favorite horned puffin has a less … Continue reading →

Oct. 14, 2011

Climate change FAQ: What’s the deal with tree rings?

by Neil Wagner

Chris asks: I know scientists use tree rings and ice cores to look for information about climate change. Looking at a tree stump someplace or a sliver of ice at the South Pole? So what? How is that supposed to … Continue reading →

Antarctica, climate, climate change, global warming, sea, tree rings
Sep. 30, 2011

Another climate change question answered

by Neil Wagner

. Ingrid asks: Heavy snows like we had last winter proved to me that global warming is not reality. But I have to admit that the heat waves and droughts a lot of the country got this summer make me … Continue reading →

climate change, global warming, weather
Sep. 18, 2011

Your climate change questions answered

by Neil Wagner

. Paul asks: Why do people say the climate is warming when I’ve read the world has actually been getting cooler since 1998? Answer: People who make that statement have targeted 1998 because it is the warmest year in history. … Continue reading →

climate change, global warming
Sep. 02, 2011

The Sooner State’s state of seeing climate change sooner

by Neil Wagner

. It may be time to rewrite a classic. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s legendary 1943 musical “Oklahoma!” boldly proclaimed, “You’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma. Oklahoma, OK!” These days, not so much. The past 12 months in Oklahoma have been interesting, to say the … Continue reading →

climate, climate change, drought, global warming, heat, Oklahoma, snow, Texas, toilet to tap, Tornadoes
Aug. 26, 2011

There’s oil in them thar tar sands.

by Neil Wagner

. Oil makes the world go ’round. You’ve probably heard that was money’s job, but there’s a strong case to be made for oil. We need fossil fuels to make our society function in the manner to which we’ve become … Continue reading →

alternative energy--, climate change, energy efficiency, fuel, global warming, greenhouse gases, Keystone XL pipeline, Tar sands, wind
Aug. 19, 2011

Earth-friendly toys provide planet pleasing playtime

by Neil Wagner

. Here are a few links for toy companies that are making efforts to be planet-friendly. By no means is this list complete, but I thought it might give readers an idea of how manufacturers are handling the challenge. Please … Continue reading →

climate change, global warming, green, recycling, toys
Aug. 12, 2011

Holland, MI: Windmills, wooden shoes and lithium-ion batteries

by Neil Wagner

. STORY UPDATE 8/13/11: The Prez was in Holland yesterday!!! It was barely over a week ago that I read the story of Obama’s plans to visit Holland. Mayor Dykstra received an email last Thursday announcing the visit, about which … Continue reading →

alternative energy--, climate change, Dutch, global warming, Holland, lithium-ion, Michigan, Reader's World, Tulips
Aug. 10, 2011

Greenhouse gassiness

by Neil Wagner

. Today we talk about flatulence: the most man-made of man-made greenhouse gases. While the topic is giggle-inducing, the fact is that methane and carbon dioxide produced by livestock raised on large-scale farms are contributing significantly to climate change. A … Continue reading →

climate change, global warming, greenhouse effect, greenhouse gases
Aug. 05, 2011

Climate change: Shaping, changing, & shifting shorelines

by Neil Wagner

. In the 1978 film Superman, the Man of Steel’s nemesis (Lex Luthor) plots to trigger a massive earthquake along the San Andreas Fault. Since his plan calls for everything west of the fault line to crash into the ocean, … Continue reading →

climate change, global warming, North Carolina, sea, sea level, sea level rise, shoreline
Jul. 29, 2011

Greenhouse effect is NATURAL (naturally)

by Neil Wagner

. Throughout history, humans have enjoyed a very comfortable climate on Earth, due to the naturally occurring greenhouse effect. So, c’mon kids! Let’s review the greenhouse effect! (Maybe if we ACT like it’s fun, it WILL be. Fake it ’til … Continue reading →

carbon dioxide, climate, climate change, global warming, greenhouse effect, greenhouse gases
Jul. 22, 2011

CONTEST! Your idea could appear in a comic strip!

by Neil Wagner

. Your creative idea could be chosen to appear in the September 23rd edition of  What on Earth? which highlights Moving Planet, the worldwide event being planned by Bill McKibben’s 350.org environmental organization. Entering the contest is easy: Think of … Continue reading →

Jul. 15, 2011

Why whine about wine? Climate change – THAT’s why!

by Neil Wagner

. The amount of Northern California land ripe for premium grape-growing (yes… I’m aware of the pun) could be reduced by 50% in the next 30 years. Not only that, researchers say their findings are conservative, since they’re assuming temperatures … Continue reading →

California, climate change, global warming, vineyards, wine
Jul. 08, 2011

Climate change skepticism makes strange bedfellows

by Neil Wagner

. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum to Glenn Beck on Fox News: “Drill everywhere…There is no such thing as global warming.” See? Climate scientists sadly needed thousands of dedicated professionals and millions of worldwide tests & readings over the course … Continue reading →

climate change, climate change skepticism, climate change skeptics, climate skeptics, global warming, politics, Rick Santorum, science
Jul. 01, 2011

1890-present: The golden age of sea level rise

by Neil Wagner

. Environmental writer Andrew Revkin’s tumblelog recently highlighted a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that inspired today’s “What on Earth?” The study analyzed sediment layers along the east coast of the U.S., concluding that sea … Continue reading →

Andrew Revkin, climate change, Ecological Society of America, global warming, history, Jim Parks, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, sea, sea level, sea level rise, Today's Green Minute
Jul. 01, 2011

You could appear as a cartoon in “What on Earth?”

by Neil Wagner

A drawing of you could appear in the July 15th “What on Earth?” comic strip. Here’s how: Use the “What on Earth?” Facebook page to get us your name and photo Tell us your favorite “What on Earth?” character — Bebbo the … Continue reading →

Jun. 24, 2011

Climate change consensus: The lowdown from down under

by Neil Wagner

. Two stories caught my eye recently. The first presented an open letter from Australian scientists who are taking to task denialists who perpetuate the phony debate over the existence of anthropogenic climate change. These skeptics capitalize on lay people’s … Continue reading →

Australia, climate change, farmers, global warming
Jun. 17, 2011

Gauging the girth of greenhouse gas gulpers

by Neil Wagner

. LIDAR: It’s part laser, part radar, ALL awesome. Especially when it comes to figuring out just how much capacity forests have to soak up all that pesky carbon dioxide we’re spewing into the atmosphere. LIght Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) … Continue reading →

carbon dioxide, climate change, global warming, LIDAR, trees
Jun. 10, 2011

Tropical trouble: Bats in heat (hot temperatures, that is)

by Neil Wagner

. From the Yale e360 article by William Laurance, Distinguished Research Professor and an Australian Laureate at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia: Much attention has been paid to how global warming is affecting the world’s polar regions and glaciers. … Continue reading →

climate change, flying fox, fruit bat, global warming, tropical, tropical jungle
Jun. 03, 2011

A solar power retail tale

by Neil Wagner

. The Lowe’s home improvement chain is teaming up with California-based Sungevity to make solor power more accesible to the masses. Some California Lowe’s locations will feature customer-friendly self-help kiosks that will email a solar panel installation estimate to the … Continue reading →

alternative energy--, California, climate change, energy, energy efficiency, global warming, Lowe's, power, solar, Sungevity
May. 20, 2011

Biodiversity’s big day

by Neil Wagner

. From the UN website: “The UN General Assembly, by its resolution 55/201 of 20 December 2000, proclaimed 22 May as The International Day for Biological Diversity… The UN General Assembly expressed… its deep concern about the continuing loss of … Continue reading →

Antarctica, Biodiversity, biology, climate change, environment, global warming
May. 13, 2011

See the sea level rise

by Neil Wagner

. When it comes to the effects of climate change, scientists don’t always get it right. Contrary to the belief of many skeptics, though, climatologists’ miscalculations are often due to UNDERestimation, rather than some hysterical exaggeration of global warming’s potential … Continue reading →

Arctic, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, climate change, global warming, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Polar, sea level, sea level rise, united nations

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