December 06, 2011 | 12:38 PM
How is climate change impacting the water cycle?
Climate change is increasing our risk of both heavy rains and extreme droughts. But why is that? Aren't the two contradictory? Take a look at our new visual guide to how climate change impacts the water cycle. You might remember the water cycle from school: Water evaporates from the land and sea and returns to the earth as rain and snow. Climate change is intensifying that cycle. Higher temperatures mean there is more evaporation. Warmer air can hold more water vapor, which can lead to more intense rainstorms. But much of the water runs off into the rivers and streams, and the soil remains dry. More evaporation from the soil increases the risk of drought. This graphic draws a picture of how global warming changes the water cycle, and in turn is changing the weather we see outside. Take a look at this graphic and share it with your friends. And if you'd like even more detail on climate change and the water cycle, check out my recent blog post here.
December 05, 2011 | 1:26 PM
Extreme weather: A visual guide
Climate change is a problem we are facing right now, and it affects the weather we see every day. The next time someone asks you what climate change is, try using this graphic as a handy visual guide.
December 05, 2011 | 9:35 AM
Clean energy: It’s time to get realOver the next few weeks, we're going to explore the ins and outs of how we can use clean energy to solve the climate crisis. We're going to break down its job creation potential, how energy efficiency can save you money (and who doesn't like that?), the ways the Pentagon is driving clean energy innovation and so much more. Stay tuned.
December 02, 2011 | 1:12 PM
"Debunking" deniers: Practical tips[caption id="attachment_5441" align="alignright" width="202" caption="Source: U.S. Government"][/caption]Have you heard about The Debunking Handbook? It's a must-read for anyone interested in dispelling the misinformation put out by climate change deniers. The Handbook's tips are taken not from the latest climate science, as you might expect, but from psychological research. As its authors, John Cook (creator of the Skeptical Science website) and Stephan Lewandowsky (a professor of psychology at the University of Western Australia) explain, debunking a myth requires more than just "packing more information into people's heads." Our brains don't work like hard drives -- they're much more complex. Rooted in this science of how people think, the Handbook lays out the following advice for effective debunking:
- Focus on the truth, not the myth. You want to increase your audience's familiarity with the right facts, not the misinformation. Don't give the myth more attention than it deserves, or your efforts might "backfire." It even helps, before you mention a myth, to add an explicit disclaimer: "The information to follow is FALSE!"
- Less can be more. Although it might be tempting to list every piece of evidence that disproves a denier's argument, research shows this is "overkill." It's best to keep your argument simple. People are most likely to believe information that's easy to understand.