David J. Burdige

Professor and Eminent Scholar, Department of Ocean and Earth Sciences, Old Dominion University

Climate Change in the News

Listed below are articles I have found in the media and the popular science press related to climate change

9/10/23 Climate Report Card Says Countries Are Trying, but Urgently Need Improvement – Eight years after world leaders approved a landmark agreement in Paris to fight climate change, countries have made only limited progress in staving off the most dangerous effects of global warming, according to the first official report card on the global climate treaty. Many of the worst-case climate change scenarios that were much feared in the early 2010s look far less likely today, the report said. Yet those efforts still aren’t enough to avoid calamity, according to the report Read more about the report here (note: Unless you have a subscription to the NY Times you may not be able to read this article unless you log in using Google Chrome as your web browser. The link a few lines up will get you to the actual report).

9/18/22 ODU study looks at possibilities if sea level rise goes unchecked – A recent article in the Virginian Pilot looks at the consequences of seal level rise around ODU. As if we didn’t know it already, they will likely be significant. Or, as the authors of the study say “The ‘cost of doing nothing’? Billions.” See the article here. (The picture to the right shows a submerged car in the underpass on Virginia Beach Blvd. near Tidewater Dr. in Norfolk after hurricane Matthew rolled through in 2016. This storm was considered a 1-in-500 year event).

9/3/22 Postcards from a World on Fire – A recent article in the NY Times illustrates the effects of climate change in 193 countries worldwide. The bottom line – climate change is (really) real and is happening as we speak. The link to this page is here. If you do not have a subscription to the NY Times and you are not viewing this page in Google Chrome you will probably need to copy and paste this page link into Chrome (Google appears to have an agreement with the NY Times allowing guests to view Times pages in Chrome)

9/26/20 This is Just Wrong … Sorry for injecting politics here, but this is just wrong. Science magazine has reported that a climate science critic will be appointed to be the new chief scientist at NOAA. For details see the article

7/23/20 Earth’s Climate Sensitivity How hot will the Earth get if we double atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) from preindustrial levels? For 40 years, this value was thought to range from 1.5°C and 4.5°C (see the figure to the right) — a temperature range that encompasses everything from a merely troubling rise to a much more catastrophic change in global temperatures. A recent study has shown that a range of between 2.6°C and 3.9°C is probably a better (and more tightly constrained) estimate of this value. This new work is discussed here and this article also has a nice summary of the history of the research that has been carried out since the 1980’s to quantify the Earth’s climate sensitivity.

4/27/20 Nenana Ice Classic This is an annual contest to guess the time and date of the ice break up in the Tanana River at Nenana, Alaska (for more details click here). Tickets cost $2.50 and the winner gets $300,000 !!!! However more relevant to us is the fact that the web site Real Climate recently showed that since 1920 the ice break up has been occurring earlier in time at a rate of ~8 days per century (also see the graph to the left). Could it be climate change in Alaska?

12/14/19 Climate Models Do Work !!!! The next time someone tells you climate models don’t do a good job predicting future global warming have them read this overview article, or the original paper

12/1/19 Not Good News … U.N. climate report offers ‘bleak’ emissions forecast. Global emissions are expected to keep climbing despite promises from almost 200 nations to address climate change, propelling temperatures upward and threatening to shatter the threshold of 2°C that scientists say would invite dramatic changes to ecology and the economy. Read more here.

10/9/19 Seal level rise and salt water intrusion is killing coastal forests up and down the East Coast (including coastal North Carolina and Virginia’s Eastern Shore). Read a story about this here.

10/4/19 This link has an interesting article on how elephants foraging in the Congo rainforest enhance carbon storage and therefore the negative impact elephant poaching has on this carbon storage. Read the story here.

9/25/19 The IPCC just released a report on the state of the oceans. The news is not good … Read (or listen) to a story about the report here. Read the report itself by clicking here.

9/25/19 Norfolk was in the spotlight in a recent report from the American Geophysical Union on sea level rise and coastal flooding. Read about the report here and click here for the report itself, “Surging Waters: Science empowering communities in the face of flooding”.

9/17/19 “This is what climate change looks like in Australia – in pictures” (The Guardian Weekly) click here

9/16/19 “Climate change transforming where fish in the Great Lakes region live” (Detroit Free Press) click here

8/30/19 “Amazon fires clearly linked to deforestation, scientists say” (Science, 30 Aug. 2019) click here

A forest fire in Altamira, in Brazil’s Pará state