Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The New Truth About Global Warming

In the winter, we dare to ask: why did global warming pause? New science shows it didn't. Official records grossly underestimated real heating here on Earth. You'll hear that science unfold.

What else has been low-balled? The US EPA estimates of dangerous methane emissions in America. Our guest explains just-released science showing humans are emitting 1 and a half times more than the government told you.

We'll wrap up the show with the climate-related death of another dream: the economy of the southern states. Why is the "stormbelt" withering?

I'm Alex Smith. Get ready for Ecoshock.

Download/listen to this Radio Ecoshock show in CD Quality (56 MB) or Lo-Fi (14 MB)


Scientists have been pondering why all our carbon was not showing up as higher temperatures. While extreme weather seems on the increase, climate change deniers are talking about a long pause in warming.

Two scientists have finally figured out where the heat is. In the one hour Radio Ecoshock show I interview Robert Way, a doctoral student at the University of Ottawa. Along with University of York UK computational scientist Kevin Cowtan, Robert just published a startling study in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. They've got scientists talking, and media calling from all over the world, after finding planet Earth is warming more than twice the accepted figures.

Here's the scoop. Big institutions like NASA, the Hadley Centre in the UK, and others in Europe calculate Earth's temperature, to see how much warming has taken place. As you might guess there are large areas where there are no weather stations to make those measurements. That includes places like Africa, but especially in the Arctic.

Up until now, global warming estimates just left those spots out. But using a combination of techniques including satellite measurement, Way and Cowtan found a huge amount of warming was left out. In fact, instead of warming just 0.05 degrees Centigrade over the last decade, earth has warmed more than twice that, at 0.12 degrees C.

It's a ground-breaking paper.

Resources for this interview: Here is the University of Ottawa press release

Here is the Real Climate posting and discussion

Here is the way UK's The Independent newspaper handled it

The website for this paper is here.

The youtube videos are under "media" but here is a good one

Download/listen to this Radio Ecoshock interview with Robert Way (20 min) in CD Quality or Lo-Fi


A new university study shows emissions of the dangerous greenhouse gas methane are much higher than the American government reports. Have artificially low figures protected the American cattle industry, and fossil fuel producers?

Joining us is Scot M. Miller. He's from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard. Scot is the lead author of a paper just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science titled "Anthropogenic emissions of methane in the United States."

Scientist Scot M Miller

There has been growing concern about methane leaking out of the melting Arctic. So it's alarming to find government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency have been underestimating real methane emissions in the lower 48 states.

Download/listen to this Radio Ecoshock interview with Scot Miller (20 min) in CD Quality or Lo-Fi

USA Today coverage of this story.


Remember prosperity in the new American South? Factories opening, people moving down into the real estate boom. Fortunes may still be made there, but for most people, the system shows signs of eroding away.

Robert Leslie is part of a team of artists, writers, and photographers who explored the underbelly of that dream. The result is called "Stormbelt." It's a journey across the southern states. Robert's work has been published in Vanity, the New York Times and the French version of Vogue magazine.

Photojournalist Robert Leslie

Co-authors include Edward Burtynsky, founder of Toronto Image Works Gallery, and Cameron Sinclair, co-founder of Architecture for Humanity and author of "Design Like You Give A Damn [2]: Building Change From The Ground Up".

Listen to/download this Radio Ecoshock interview with Robert Leslie (19 min) in CD Quality or Lo-Fi

Here is the web site for Stormbelt, with some samples.

If you are a Mac user (Mac computer, IPad, Iphone) you can get a sample of this book from Itunes (doesn't work on a PC or Android device)

The full book is already out in the United Kingdom. It's published by Published by Dewi Lewis Publishing UK (ISBN: 978-1-907893-47-6). Stormbelt should be released in the United States in January.

Stormbelt was just featured in the Guardian newspaper in the UK, with an image-gallery to boot.


Coming up on Radio Ecoshock, we've got more on the harsh ecological impact of both fracking and mining. Plus a look at possible ocean die-off with one of America's top ocean scientists. Did you know that the star-fish population is collapsing off the California coast? Why are more whales and dolphins hugging the shore?

We can only lie to ourselves so long. It's been a fib-fest of climate denial and economic black magic. When reality strikes, our confidence building script wont' cut it. It's not future shock when Nature denies the game of snatch and greed. It's ecoshock, when humans discover our real role here on Earth. We were never Gods, but creatures among a web of co-dependent species, in a thin and fragile atmosphere.

We become part of nature, or fail and fall. What is your decision?

I'm Alex Smith. Thank you for listening. Grab our past programs free at the web site ecoshock.org. Please tune in again next week, for more Radio Ecoshock.

Remember I don't get paid by anybody other than help from listeners. Please help keep Radio Ecoshock going with a donation, or become one of our 150 people keeping this program on the air with a $10 a month membership. Details here.

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