Dr. Cayelan Carey partners with the United Nations to confront global water crisis

From VT News

BLACKSBURG, Va., May 19, 2015 – A Virginia Tech ecologist provided potential solutions to the world’s water problems in an article published recently in the United Nations’ Chronicle.

The report will assist the United Nations in finalizing its post-2015 sustainable development goals, which include ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

The goals were proposed by world leaders at the Rio+20 conference held in Brazil in 2012 and were meant to set realistic, ...

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Don’t stop explaining climate science

Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Even though it may feel like beating your head against the wall, take every opportunity to explain climate science to your friends, family, church members, students, and even the deniers you encounter on street corners. Kudos to the Interfaces of Global Change Program’s efforts to improve climate science communication.

Recently, 50 U.S. Senators voted “yea” on the following: “it is the sense of Congress that — (1) climate change is real; and (2) human activity ...

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Susan Susan Hassol’s recent Ted Talk is about the need for better science communication skills

We’re stymied in solving the climate change problem because of an underlying challenge – a communication failure – rooted in language and ideology. Aspects of this failure include how scientists communicate, how some people confound the science with the solutions, and an active disinformation campaign designed to cast doubt. Resolution of the communication failure is essential, as it can unleash our ability to solve the climate problem.

Susan Joy Hassol is a climate change communicator, analyst, and ...

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IGC Science Communication Workshop is led by Susan Hassol and Michael Mann

A major part of the mission of the Interfaces of Global Change Ph.D. program (IGC) at Virginia Tech is to help graduate students identify the different positive roles that they can play in society. Effective communication of scientific information to audiences with diverse backgrounds will be central to their success, regardless of what role they pursue. By developing the skills to make accurate science accessible to broader audiences, the students can help citizens make informed decisions that affect their own health, the environment, ...

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Booming population, looming drought and the worsening effects of climate change

By Richard Parker

From the New York Times Opinion Page

WIMBERLEY, Tex. — “WE don’t want you here,” warned the county commissioner, pointing an accusatory finger at the drilling company executives as 600 local residents rose to their feet. “We want you to leave Hays County.”

Normally, my small town is a placid place nestled in the Texas Hill Country, far from controversy, a peaceful hour’s ...

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Distinguished Lecture: Dr. Michael Mann/The Climate Wars

“The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: The Battle Continues”

SAVE THE DATE!
Friday, March 20, 2015 | 4:00-5:00 p.m. | The Lyric Theatre | Blacksburg, Virginia

The Interfaces of Global Change Program at Virginia Tech is proud to host Dr. Michael Mann for a science communication workshop and public lecture on Friday, March 20, 2015. Dr. Mann is an award-winning climate scientist and central figure in the political debate over climate change. His lecture at the Lyric Theatre will ...

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Verbal Warming: Labels in the Climate Debate

From the New York Times:

by Justin Gillis

“The words are hurled around like epithets.

People who reject the findings of climate science are dismissed as “deniers” and “disinformers.” Those who accept the science are attacked as “alarmists” or “warmistas. “ The second term, evoking the Sandinista revolutionaries of Nicaragua, is perhaps meant to suggest that the science is part of some socialist plot.

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Response to climate skeptics

By Bruce Hull

Organizations around the world are adapting to climate change, lending credibility to climate science. These organizations buy, study, and use the best available science to inform their multi-billion dollar decisions and strategies. They not only have access to all the science in the public domain, but have commissioned and kept confidential additional science that gives them competitive advantages. These organizations find climate science convincing enough to change business as usual. ...

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Cordie Diggins’ research featured in Nature Conservancy Magazine

In West Virginia, conservationists have set out to revive heavily logged red spruce forests in hopes of saving an endangered flying squirrel from extinction. Cordie Diggins, a Virginia Tech doctoral student and an IGC Fellow, is featured in the following Nature Conservancy Magazine article.

Flying High

“Craig Stihler holds the squirming rodent in his gloved hands. “It’s a biter,” warns the bespectacled biologist as he handles the animal using only calm, deliberate movements. With its ...

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Protected forests, parks & marine sanctuaries are basic life support systems

From the New York Times

By Thomas Friedman

I PARTICIPATED in the World Parks Congress in Sydney last week and learned a new phrase: “a black elephant.” A black elephant, explained the London-based investor and environmentalist Adam Sweidan, is a cross between “a black swan” (an unlikely, unexpected event with enormous ramifications) and the “elephant in the room” (a problem that is visible to everyone, yet no one still wants to address it) even though we know ...

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Naomi Oreskes’ new book imagines the future history of climate change

From the New York Times

by Claudia Dreifus

Naomi Oreskes is a historian of science at Harvard, but she is attracting wide notice these days for a work of science fiction.

“The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From the Future,” written with Erik M. Conway, takes the point of view of a historian in 2393 explaining how “the Great Collapse of 2093” occurred.

“Without spoiling the story,” she ...

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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issues starkest warning yet

From the New York Times

“The gathering risks of climate change are so profound that they could stall or even reverse generations of progress against poverty and hunger if greenhouse emissions continue at a runaway pace, according to a major new United Nations report.

Despite growing efforts in many countries to tackle the problem, the global situation is becoming more acute as developing countries join the West in burning huge amounts of fossil ...

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Climate-induced warming alters walrus behavior

USGS Science Feature: October 1, 2014

“Once again, an extreme retreat of Alaska’s summer sea ice has led large numbers of Pacific walruses to haul out on land to rest instead of resting on offshore ice. The walruses are hauling out on land in a spectacle that has become all too common in six of the last eight years as a consequence of climate-induced warming. Summer sea ice is retreating far north of the shallow continental shelf waters of the Chukchi ...

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Rhododendrons, nitrogen cycling, and global change

From VT News:

Global change research in Jeb Barrett’s lab is featured this week in VT News :

“How important is the soil beneath our feet to what grows above it? 

The short answer is very, according to Virginia Tech’s Mahtaab Bagherzadeh of Annandale, Virginia, a senior majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science and a 2014 Fralin Life Science InstituteSummer Undergraduate Research Fellow.

Bagherzadeh recently participated in a study that discovered invading ...

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Keynote: Susan Joy Hassol addresses IGC IGEP

The Climate Change Story

The Interfaces of Global Change IGEP recently held their Spring Retreat at the Skelton Conference Center at Virginia Tech. The day included a special seminar featuring Susan Joy Hassol, Director of Climate Communication, based in Boulder, Colorado and Asheville, North Carolina. In her presentation titled, “The Climate Change Story”, she addressed both the scientific evidence for climate change as well as the need for effective communication strategies when talking about climate change ...

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Leandro Castello studies the impacts of extreme weather events on Amazonian floodplains

Dr. Leandro Castello and his colleagues at Woods Hole Research Center and University of California Santa Barbara recently received a grant from NASA to study the impacts of extreme weather events (floods and droughts) on aquatic plants, forests, and fisheries of the central Amazonian river floodplain. This study was recently featured in VT News. A Public Radio interview on WVTF also highlighted this project.

Read the full VT News article here.

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Moose Die-Off Alarms Scientists

Moose populations across North America are experiencing a sharp decline, and the exact cause is a mystery. 

“What exactly has changed remains a mystery. Several factors are clearly at work. But a common thread in most hypotheses is climate change.

Winters have grown substantially shorter across much of the moose’s range. In New Hampshire, a longer fall with less snow has greatly increased the number of winter ticks, a devastating parasite. “You can get 100,000 ticks on a moose,” said ...

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