New Names for the New Normal:
No Longer ‘Astonished’ by the ‘Big One’

Using hyperbole when describing latter-day climate events creates the illusion that such events are still, as they used to be, rare.

Since humans plan and prepare for norms, not anomalies, such misnomers can feed the notion that climate change isn’t really happening… it’s just another 100-year storm. Such a discontinuity, as futurist Alex Steffen calls this phenomenon, requires people to reconcile an image of the world that was there with the new reality of the world that is.

The Sound of Thin Ice:
The Cryosphere is Crying

Once humans began walking upright and making Chevrolets, they could accomplish what only volcanoes, asteroid strikes, and changes in Earth’s orbit have done before: rapidly melt the cryosphere. The cryosphere, a critical and beautifully balanced component of a delicate ecological system, is creaking and groaning and, most importantly, thawing. Levels of carbon in the atmosphere from human activity are so dense that the next ice age, due in some 50,000 years, has been rained out. According to scientists, it won’t begin for at least another 100,000 years hence, and growing.

CSI: Weather
Climate Sleuths Investigate

Climatologists are teasing out the extraordinarily complex systems and conditions that have obtained over the millennia. Measuring gas levels, air currents, saline conditions, flora and fauna, volcanic conditions, temperatures, meteor strikes, and more.

They are doing this in order to understand how the climate is influenced by environmental factors, and to use that information to address how we can best manage the climate of today – and the even more dynamic one perhaps still to come.

But wait, some of these conditions happened thousands, even hundreds of millions, of years ago. How are they getting their data? CSI: Climate Sleuths Investigate.