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'Rising Seas,' long-form radio doc on climate change by Alex Chadwick and 'BURN: An Energy Journal'

My friend, former NPR colleague, and longtime journalism mentor Alex Chadwick has an incredible new radio documenting hitting the public radio airwaves this week. We're sharing it here on Boing Boing before it hits the radio-waves. I asked Alex to tell us a little about 'Rising Seas.' He explains:

The Rising Seas project grew out of an encounter at an MIT energy seminar almost a year ago. I met an Americanized Brit, Dr. Len Berry, from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. He's been speaking forcefully and clearly about the threat that rising seas present. At the end of his talk, I asked if Miami is a viable city. He smiled and answered, 'well, it is right now'.

And then I asked about the end of the century. He smiled again, but said nothing.

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Meltwater lake forms at North Pole

Photo credit: NOAA

NOAA's Arctic division maintains a couple of webcams at the North Pole, and one of them is showing a pretty impressive meltwater lake forming around it. Previous years show small ponds forming and refreezing throughout the summer, but this year nearly all the snow in view of the camera has melted into a lake-sized slush.

Check out this time lapse video of the lake forming. Much more photos and videos from this year and previous years at NOAA's website.

Beating the heat with a refrigerated space helmet

John Young (who made this head-mounted water cannon I posted about in 2005) says:

Like most of the country, West Chester, PA is INSANELY hot and muggy right now.

In desperation, I connected a homemade swamp cooler (plastic bucket, bag of ice, electric fan) with a 3M positive-pressure welding helmet to make a: REFRIGERATED SPACE HELMET.

I think the next step is to switch to a battery-operated fan, put the cooler on a wagon, and then I can walk all around in delicious, frosty coolness.

Narrative long reads that make climate change make sense

Anecdotes aren't data, but they do make data memorable. Alice Bell has a list of books that use storytelling and narrative to explain the often complicated science of climate change. One of the books on the list — Spencer Weart's The Discovery of Global Warming — is an oft-recommended favorite of mine. If for no other reason than the fact that I like to see how people react when I explain that we have known about the science behind climate change since the 19th century. And if it didn't work the way we think it does, then Earth would be a cold wasteland, like Mars. (Bonus, Weart and the Institute of Physics have a fantastic website that delves deeper into Weart's sources and can help you do your own research and answer follow-up questions.) Maggie

Why do some people say the Earth isn't getting hotter?

If you haven't seen the Skeptical Science website yet, you're missing out.

Via Tom Standage

Outstanding accounts

Phil Plait — who writes the Bad Astronomy blog — still has not been paid for his contributions to the Great Global Warming Conspiracy. For such an organized cabal, you think they would have a better accounting department. Maggie

Epic American drought gets worse in key farm states, after hottest month on record

This does not bode well for food prices: the Plains states where corn and soybeans are produced in greatest quantities are receiving the worst of excessive drought conditions, in the wake of the hottest month ever recorded in the US. Welcome to the new Dust Bowl? Xeni

TOM THE DANCING BUG: What Will Be the Biggest Political Story of 2032?

FOLLOW @RubenBolling on Twitter. Further: JOIN Tom the Dancing Bug’s proud and mighty INNER HIVE to support the comic and receive untold BENEFITS and PRIVILEGES!

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Words matter

In an answer to a reader question, NPR explains why it uses both "climate change" and "global warming" to refer to the concept of rising anthropogenic greenhouse gasses forcing a corresponding rise in global average temperature. Personally, I try to use "climate change" in all cases, for the same reason NPR likes that name—it doesn't confuse people who might otherwise not realize that a rising global average temperature can cause diverse local effects that aren't limited to higher temperatures. Maggie

TOM THE DANCING BUG: "Governor Rick, Science Hick," starring Rick Perry!!!

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