Tag Archives: climate

Take 5: Top Books on Climate Change

Got scientists and engineers on your holiday shopping list? Take five and check out our top gift ideas. NAP books and merchandise make thoughtful gifts for thinking people.

America's Climate Choices

America’s Climate Choices

Climate change is occurring. It is very likely caused by the emission of greenhouse gases from human activities, and poses significant risks for a range of human and natural systems. And these emissions continue to increase, which will result in further…
Details

Climate Stabilization Targets

Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia

Emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth’s climate. Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock the Earth…
Details

Ocean Acidification

Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean

The ocean has absorbed a significant portion of all human-made carbon dioxide emissions. This benefits human society by moderating the rate of climate change, but also causes unprecedented changes to ocean chemistry. Carbon dioxide taken up by the ocean…
Details

Understanding Earth's Deep Past

Understanding Earth’s Deep Past: Lessons for Our Climate Future

There is little dispute within the scientific community that humans are changing Earth’s climate on a decadal to century time-scale. By the end of this century, without a reduction in emissions, atmospheric CO2 is projected to increase to levels that Earth…
Details

Understanding Climate's Influence on Human Evolution

Understanding Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution

The hominin fossil record documents a history of critical evolutionary events that have ultimately shaped and defined what it means to be human, including the origins of bipedalism; the emergence of our genus Homo; the first use of stone tools; increases in…
Details

Climate Change Resources

A report released today from the National Research Council reiterates the pressing need for substantial action to limit the magnitude of climate change and to prepare to adapt to its impacts. Read about the America’s Climate Choices series below.

1x1-Spacer America’s Climate Choices, which builds on the four previous America’s Climate Choices panel reports, reaffirms that the preponderance of scientific evidence points to human activities as the most likely cause for most of the global warming that has occurred during the last several decades. Furthermore, the risk of dangerous climate change impacts is growing with every ton of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.

America’s Climate Choices makes the case for implementing strong federal policies that establish coherent national goals and incentives, and that promote strong U.S. engagement in international-level response efforts.

America’s Climate Choices Panel Reports:

Advancing the Science of Climate Change
Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change
Limiting the Magnitude of Climate Change
Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change

Understanding Earth's Deep Past
Understanding Earth’s Deep Past: Lessons for Our Climate Future
Prepublication Available

There is little dispute within the scientific community that humans are changing Earth’s climate on a decadal to century time-scale. By the end of this century, without a reduction in emissions, atmospheric CO2 is projected to increase to levels that Earth…
Details

Climate Stabilization Targets
Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts Over Decades to Millennia

Emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth’s climate. Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock Earth…
Details

Ocean Acidification
Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean

The ocean has absorbed a significant portion of all human-made carbon dioxide emissions. This benefits human society by moderating the rate of climate change, but also causes unprecedented changes to ocean chemistry. Carbon dioxide taken up by the ocean…
Details

Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements

The world’s nations are moving toward agreements that will bind us together in an effort to limit future greenhouse gas emissions. With such agreements will come the need for all nations to make accurate estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and to monitor…
Details

Monitoring Climate Change Impacts
Monitoring Climate Change Impacts: Metrics at the Intersection of the Human and Earth Systems

The stresses associated with climate change are expected to be felt keenly as human population grows to a projected 9 billion by the middle of this century, increasing the demand for resources and supporting infrastructure. Therefore, information to assess…
Details

Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years
Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years

In response to a request from Congress, Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years assesses the state of scientific efforts to reconstruct surface temperature records for Earth during approximately the last 2,000 years and the…
Details

Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability
Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability

More accurate forecasts of climate conditions over time periods of weeks to a few years could help people plan agricultural activities, mitigate drought, and manage energy resources, among other activities; however, current forecast systems have limited…
Details

Understanding Climate's Influence on Human Evolution
Understanding Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution

The hominin fossil record documents a history of critical evolutionary events that have ultimately shaped and defined what it means to be human, including the origins of bipedalism; the emergence of our genus Homo; the first use of stone tools; increases in…
Details

Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events
Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events: Understanding the Contributions to Infectious Disease Emergence: Workshop Summary

Long before the “germ theory” of disease was described, late in the nineteenth century, humans knew that climatic conditions influence the appearance and spread of epidemic diseases. Ancient notions about the effects of weather and climate on disease remain…
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Evaluating Progress of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program
Evaluating Progress of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program: Methods and Preliminary Results

The U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) coordinates the efforts of 13 federal agencies to understand why climate is changing, to improve predictions about how it will change in the future, and to use that information to assess impacts on human systems…
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For Earth Day, Resources to Communicate the Science of Climate Change

The impacts of human activities—particularly emissions of carbon dioxide, but also including other greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and population growth—are so vast that they will largely control the future of the Earth’s climate system. This future could bring a relatively mild change in climate, or it could deliver an extreme change from today’s climate to entirely different climate conditions that will last many thousands of years. The eventual course of the climate system over millennia will be determined largely by the actions taken this century by governments, businesses, and individuals around the world.

Earth and its residents are entering a new geological epoch—the Anthropocene—in which human activities are a primary force affecting climate. Our actions this century to reduce or increase greenhouse gas emissions will determine whether the Anthropocene is a relatively mild event or a severe transition extending over many thousands of years.

Society is beginning to make important choices regarding future greenhouse gas emissions. Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia considers the projected climate changes and impacts that would occur if greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were stabilized at particular concentration levels. While this book does not recommend or justify any particular stabilization target, it does provide important scientific insights about the relationships among emissions, greenhouse gas concentrations, temperatures, and impacts.

The books from the America’s Climate Choices series address the serious and sweeping issues associated with global climate change, including the science and technology challenges involved, and provide advice on actions and strategies the nation can take to respond. Advancing the Science of Climate Change, Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change, Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change, and Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change are an authoritative set of analyses to inform and guide responses to climate change across the nation.

These books and others from the National Research Council are available to read online at no charge. The catalog pages for these books contain links to videos and other materials that are great teacher resources. If you teach at the undergraduate or graduate level, visit www.nap.edu/contact.html to request an examination copy of these or any other titles that you feel would be appropriate to use as a textbook for a course.

Climate Stabilization Targets Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia

Emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth’s climate. Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock the Earth…
Details

 

Advancing the Science of Climate Change Advancing the Science of Climate Change

Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for–and in many cases is already affecting–a broad range of human and natural systems. The compelling case for these conclusions is provided in Advancing the…
Details

Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change

Climate change, driven by the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, poses serious, wide-ranging threats to human societies and natural ecosystems around the world. The largest overall source of greenhouse gas emissions is the burning…
Details

 

Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change

Global climate change is one of America’s most significant long-term policy challenges. Human activity–especially the use of fossil fuels, industrial processes, livestock production, waste disposal, and land use change–is affecting global average…
Details

 

Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

Across the United States, impacts of climate change are already evident. Heat waves have become more frequent and intense, cold extremes have become less frequent, and patterns of rainfall are likely changing. The proportion of precipitation that falls as…
Details

 

Ocean Acidification Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean

The ocean has absorbed a significant portion of all human-made carbon dioxide emissions. This benefits human society by moderating the rate of climate change, but also causes unprecedented changes to ocean chemistry. Carbon dioxide taken up by the ocean…
Details

 

National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces

In response to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), the National Research Council appointed a committee operating under the auspices of the Naval Studies Board to study the national security implications of climate change for U.S. naval forces. In conducting…
Details

Understanding Earth's Deep Past Understanding Earth’s Deep Past: Lessons for Our Climate Future

There is little dispute within the scientific community that humans are changing Earth’s climate on a decadal to century time-scale. By the end of this century, without a reduction in emissions, atmospheric CO2 is projected to increase to levels that Earth…
Details

 

Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements

The world’s nations are moving toward agreements that will bind us together in an effort to limit future greenhouse gas emissions. With such agreements will come the need for all nations to make accurate estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and to monitor…
Details

 

Modeling the Economics of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Modeling the Economics of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Summary of a Workshop

Models are fundamental for estimating the possible costs and effectiveness of different policies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. There is a wide array of models to perform such analysis, differing in the level of technological detail, treatment…
Details

Monitoring Climate Change Impacts Monitoring Climate Change Impacts: Metrics at the Intersection of the Human and Earth Systems

The stresses associated with climate change are expected to be felt keenly as human population grows to a projected 9 billion by the middle of this century, increasing the demand for resources and supporting infrastructure. Therefore, information to assess…
Details

 

Global Sources of Local Pollution Global Sources of Local Pollution: An Assessment of Long-Range Transport of Key Air Pollutants to and from the United States

Recent advances in air pollution monitoring and modeling capabilities have made it possible to show that air pollution can be transported long distances and that adverse impacts of emitted pollutants cannot be confined to one country or even one continent….
Details

 

Cutting Edge Technology to Combat Climate Change

On October 5th, NASA and the US Agency for International Development launched SERVIR-Himalaya, a web-based environmental imaging and management system to help decision-makers assess climate change and environmental threats. Already in use in Africa and Mesoamerica, this system combines satellite imagery, data management tools, and visualization capabilities to monitor and forecast environmental changes and improve responses to natural disasters.

Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change promotes the use of such an open access repository. Part of the new America’s Climate Choices series, this book discusses the need for climate change to be considered in actions and decisions across a wide range of sectors and interests.

The other books in this series — Advancing the Science of Climate Change, Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change, and Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change — discuss research on the causes and consequences of climate change, evaluate technologies and policies that can be used to limit the magnitude of future climate change, and advocate for understanding of the steps that can be taken to adapt to climate change. These books and other recent titles from the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate can inform debate, discussion, and decision making.

Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change

Global climate change is one of America’s most significant long-term policy challenges. Human activity–especially the use of fossil fuels, industrial processes, livestock production, waste disposal, and land use change–is affecting global average…
Details

Advancing the Science of Climate Change Advancing the Science of Climate Change

Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for-and in many cases is already affecting-a broad range of human and natural systems. The compelling case for these conclusions is provided in Advancing the…
Details

Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change

Climate change, driven by the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, poses serious, wide-ranging threats to human societies and natural ecosystems around the world. The largest overall source of greenhouse gas emissions is the burning…
Details

Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

Across the United States, impacts of climate change are already evident. Some extreme weather events such as heat waves have become more frequent and intense, cold extremes have become less frequent, and patterns of rainfall are likely changing. The…
Details

Monitoring Climate Change Impacts Monitoring Climate Change Impacts: Metrics at the Intersection of the Human and Earth Systems

The stresses associated with climate change are expected to be felt keenly as human population grows to a projected 9 billion by the middle of this century, increasing the demand for resources and supporting infrastructure. Therefore, information to assess…
Details

Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability

More accurate forecasts of climate conditions over time periods of weeks to a few years could help people plan agricultural activities, mitigate drought, and manage energy resources, amongst other activities; however, current forecast systems have limited…
Details

Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements

The world’s nations are moving toward agreements that will bind us together in an effort to limit future greenhouse gas emissions. With such agreements will come the need for all nations to make accurate estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and to monitor…
Details

Climate Stabilization Targets Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia

Emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth’s climate. Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock the Earth…
Details

When Weather Matters When Weather Matters: Science and Service to Meet Critical Societal Needs

The past 15 years have seen marked progress in observing, understanding, and predicting weather. At the same time, the United States has failed to match or surpass progress in operational numerical weather prediction achieved by other nations and failed to…
Details

Global Sources of Local Pollution Global Sources of Local Pollution: An Assessment of Long-Range Transport of Key Air Pollutants to and from the United States

Recent advances in air pollution monitoring and modeling capabilities have made it possible to show that air pollution can be transported long distances and that adverse impacts of emitted pollutants cannot be confined to one country or even one continent….
Details

Five New Books: Weather Science, Drug Safety, and more

Our usual collection of the new publications to NAP.edu this week includes a number of books on health and medicine, as well as a prepublication on weather. Four of the five new books this week have Free PDFs available to download.

All New Publications This Week

When Weather Matters: Science and Service to Meet Critical Societal Needs (prepublication)

Ethical Issues in Studying the Safety of Approved Drugs: A Letter Report (final)

Mental, Neurological, and Substance Use Disorders in Sub-Saharan Africa: Reducing the Treatment Gap, Improving Quality of Care: Workshop Summary (prepublication)

Strategic Approach to the Evaluation of Programs Implemented Under the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde U.S. Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 (prepublication)

A National Cancer Clinical Trials System for the 21st Century: Reinvigorating the NCI Cooperative Group Program (final)

New Books: Health, Water Management, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and more

It’s Monday, so we’re doing our usual roundup of the publications that were new to the nap.edu catalog in the last week. As with many of our publications, all of the new publications this week have PDFs available to download for free.

Featured Publication

Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements (prepublication)


The world’s nations are moving toward agreements that will bind us together in an effort to limit future greenhouse gas emissions. With such agreements will come the need for all nations to make accurate estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and to monitor changes over time. In this context, the present book focuses on the greenhouse gases that result from human activities, have long lifetimes in the atmosphere and thus will change global climate for decades to millennia or more, and are currently included in international agreements. The book devotes considerably more space to CO2 than to the other gases because CO2 is the largest single contributor to global climate change and is thus the focus of many mitigation efforts. Only data in the public domain were considered because public access and transparency are necessary to build trust in a climate treaty.

The book concludes that each country could estimate fossil-fuel CO2 emissions accurately enough to support monitoring of a climate treaty. However, current methods are not sufficiently accurate to check these self-reported estimates against independent data or to estimate other greenhouse gas emissions. Strategic investments would, within 5 years, improve reporting of emissions by countries and yield a useful capability for independent verification of greenhouse gas emissions reported by countries.

All New Publications This Week

Informing the Future: Critical Issues in Health, Fifth Edition (final)

A Scientific Assessment of Alternatives for Reducing Water Management Effects on Threatened and Endangered Fishes in California’s Bay Delta (prepublication)

Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 8 (final)

Medical Surge Capacity: Workshop Summary (final)

Ecosystem Concepts for Sustainable Bivalve Mariculture (final)

The Rise of Games and High Performance Computing for Modeling and Simulation (final)

Understanding Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution (final)

Review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Draft IRIS Assessment of Tetrachloroethylene (final)

Free from NAP: Thirteen PDFs To Download

Once a month we collect all the free resources available at your disposal and send an e-mail to our subscriber list (if you’re not already subscribed, subscribe here). Today’s e-mail had far too many free PDFs to include, but to make sure everyone can conveniently find all the new free PDFs we have to offer, here is the complete list:

Understanding Climate's Influence on Human Evolution Understanding Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution The hominin fossil record documents a history of critical evolutionary events that have ultimately shaped and defined what it means to be human, including the origins of bipedalism; the emergence of our genus Homo; the first use of stone tools; increases in… Details
Envisioning the 2020 CensusEnvisioning the 2020 Census Planning for the 2020 census is already beginning. This book from the National Research Council examines several aspects of census planning, including questionnaire design, address updating, non-response follow-up, coverage follow-up, de-duplication of… Details
An Enabling Foundation for NASA's Space and Earth Science Missions An Enabling Foundation for NASA’s Space and Earth Science Missions NASA’s space and Earth science program is composed of two principal components: spaceflight projects and mission-enabling activities. Most of the budget of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is applied to spaceflight missions, but NASA identifies nearly… Details
Infectious Disease Movement in a Borderless World Infectious Disease Movement in a Borderless World: Workshop Summary Modern transportation allows people, animals, and plants–and the pathogens they carry–to travel more easily than ever before. The ease and speed of travel, tourism, and international trade connect once-remote areas with one another, eliminating many of the… Details
Grand Challenges of Our Aging Society Grand Challenges of Our Aging Society: Workshop Summary
Aging populations are generating both challenges and opportunities for societies around the globe. Increases in longevity and improvements in health raise many questions. What steps can be taken to optimize physical and cognitive health and productivity… Details
Information Assurance for Network-Centric Naval Forces Information Assurance for Network-Centric Naval Forces
Owing to the expansion of network-centric operating concepts across the Department of Defense (DOD) and the growing threat to information and cybersecurity from lone actors, groups of like-minded actors, nation-states, and malicious insiders, information… Details
Mitigating the Nutritional Impacts of the Global Food Price Crisis Mitigating the Nutritional Impacts of the Global Food Price Crisis: Workshop Summary
In 2007 and 2008, the world witnessed a dramatic increase in food prices. The global financial crisis that began in 2008 compounded the burden of high food prices, exacerbating the problems of hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. The tandem food… Details
Revitalizing NASA's Suborbital Program Revitalizing NASA’s Suborbital Program: Advancing Science, Driving Innovation, and Developing a Workforce Suborbital flight activities, including the use of sounding rockets, aircraft, and high-altitude balloons, and suborbital reusable launch vehicles, offer valuable opportunities to advance science, train the next generation of scientists and engineers, and… Details
Promoting Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security in Developing Countries Promoting Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security in Developing Countries There is growing concern about the possible use of toxic industrial chemicals or other hazardous chemicals by those seeking to perpetrate acts of terrorism. The U.S. Chemical Security Engagement Program (CSP), funded by the U.S. Department of State and run by..Details
NOAA's Education Program NOAA’s Education Program: Review and Critique There is a national need to educate the public about the ocean, coastal resources, atmosphere and climate. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),  the agency responsible for understanding and predicting changes in the Earth’s… Details
Seventeenth Interim Report of the Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels Seventeenth Interim Report of the Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels Extremely hazardous substances (EHSs) can be released accidentally as a result of chemical spills, industrial explosions, and other accidents, or intentionally through terrorist activities. Workers and residents in communities surrounding industrial… Details
Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience: A Workshop Report The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11) on the United States prompted a rethinking of how the United States prepares for disasters. Federal policy documents written since 9/11 have stressed that the private and public sectors share equal..Details
Spectrum Management for Science in the 21st Century Spectrum Management for Science in the 21st Century Radio observations of the cosmos are gathered by geoscientists using complex earth-orbiting satellites and ground-based equipment, and by radio astronomers using large ground-based radio telescopes. Signals from natural radio emissions are extremely weak, and… Details

New books this week: Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution and more

Featured Publication

Understanding Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution (prepublication)

The hominin fossil record documents a history of critical evolutionary events that have ultimately shaped and defined what it means to be human, including the origins of bipedalism; the emergence of our genus Homo; the first use of stone tools; increases in brain size; and the emergence of Homo sapiens, tools, and culture. The geological record suggests that some of these evolutionary events were coincident with substantial changes in African and Eurasian climate, raising the intriguing possibility that key junctures in human evolution and behavioral development may have been affected or controlled by the environmental characteristics of the areas where hominins evolved. However, with both a sparse hominin fossil record and an incomplete understanding of past climates, the particular effect of the environment on hominin evolution remains speculative. This presents an opportunity for exciting and fundamental scientific research to improve our understanding of how climate may have helped to shape our species, and thereby to shed light on the evolutionary forces that made us distinctively human.

All New Publications This Week

Promoting Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security in Developing Countries (prepublication)

Evaluation of the Health and Safety Risks of the New USAMRIID High Containment Facilities at Fort Detrick, Maryland (prepublication)

NOAA’s Education Program: Review and Critique (prepublication)

Seventeenth Interim Report of the Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (final)

Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments (final)

Electricity from Renewable Resources: Status, Prospects, and Impediments (final)