getting warmer
June 20, 2018

The San Francisco Police Department has identified a suspect in the murder of at least five gay men in the late 1970s, CNN reports. The killer, who was known as "the Doodler" because he would sketch strangers in bars, could have killed as many as 14 different people. "I'm looking at five murders," said Inspector Dan Cunningham. "But I'd be a fool to say he didn't do more."

While police repeatedly questioned one man in connection to the murders in the 1970s, they never caught the Doodler — who would leave bars with the men he sketched, then stab his victims to death. A drawing of the Doodler was released in 1975 based on three men who were assaulted by a person that detectives at the time believed was their killer. "We have a suspect in the assault that spawned the sketch," explained Cunningham.

After the recent arrest of the suspected Golden State Killer, investigators are hoping they might be able to get usable DNA samples from blood samples taken at two Doodler crime scenes as well. The Doodler today would be in his early 60s, if he is still alive; the police have updated their sketch of him to look as he would now. Jeva Lange

April 8, 2016

Computer models used to predict climate change could have a major flaw in how they determine the ability of clouds to cool the planet, a new paper published in Science suggests — and, if true, the new research means that making progress against rising temperatures is going to be even more difficult than was long expected.

The new paper looked at "mixed-phase" clouds, which are made up of both cooled water and ice crystals, The New York Times reports. Using data from a satellite monitoring the particles in the atmosphere, mixed-phase clouds appear to scientists to have more water and less ice than was first expected. Because water reflects solar radiation back into the sky, watery clouds help slow warming. But with less ice to begin with, there is naturally less of an ability for water to replace the ice, according to the scientists behind the new research. As a result, more warming occurs than was at first predicted.

If the data proves to be true, it could mean there will be an additional 1.3 degrees Celsius of warming than was modeled previously. Last year's climate talks in Paris had scientists agreeing to keep temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees over the Earth's temperature during the preindustrial era. That would have required keeping global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius — so if the research on clouds proves to be correct, the range remaining for the Paris goal has shrunk to just 0.2 degree Celsius from 0.7 degrees.

"Every model will react differently: It could be higher, it could be lower [than 1.3 degrees]," the paper's author, Ivy Tan, said. "The point is, it's going to result in a significant amount of warming." Jeva Lange

December 11, 2015

Golden Globe-winning actor Don Cheadle wrote a passionate editorial for Time on Friday, warning that "the Paris summit cannot fail; the risk is too great." A Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program, Cheadle was referring to the 12-day climate conference COP21, which is set to conclude on Saturday.

"Rising seas, catastrophic droughts, severe storms. While these events sound like the backdrop for a blockbuster movie, these are real impacts we're beginning to see across the world, worsened by climate change," Cheadle wrote.

The agreement made in Paris won't solve everything. We will need to do much more to reduce emissions and prepare for the impacts at home and abroad, especially providing financing and technological assistance to developing countries. But an agreement in Paris will build the foundation for stronger action that we'll need in the years ahead.

After the summit closes, we must go back to our homes and communities to do more to reduce the impacts of climate change while preparing for the changes we cannot avoid.

The scale of the challenge requires a global effort, but our individual actions add up, and matter. [Time]

Cheadle has been a longtime champion of addressing the rising temperature of the planet, having starred in the climate change documentary series Years of Living Dangerously as a celebrity correspondent. Jeva Lange

October 28, 2015

The CNBC debate Wednesday night, officially titled "Your Money, Your Vote," will serve as a more thematic debate than previous iterations hosted by Fox and CNN. Republican presidential candidates will be asked questions with a specific focus on "job growth, taxes, technology, retirement, and the health of our national economy."

At least one advocacy group will be weighing in, too — though it cost them six figures to secure a coveted 30-second ad spot during the debate. In a suggestion you won't likely hear from the Republicans on stage, the ad proposes climate-change action as a fuel for job creation:

The ad spot was purchased by Tom Steyer, the billionaire behind the environmental advocacy group NextGen Climate; the organization's goal is to achieve 50 percent clean energy by the year 2030, Mother Jones reports. With the ad, Steyer and his group are determined to hold Republican presidential candidates responsible for their action, or inaction, in combating climate change and to "disqualify" anyone who remains skeptical about widely accepted science on the topic.

Curiously, Steyer might have an ally on the stage: While Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and others are vocal climate-change skeptics, Ben Carson, the new national frontrunner, has previously agreed that there should be "more than 50 percent" clean energy.

"I don't care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican […] if you have any thread of decency in you, you want to take care of the environment because you know you have to pass it on to the next generation," Carson said earlier this month. Jeva Lange

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