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The Week That Was: Bring on the Madness

March 3, 2012, By Climate Central

This week: Deadly tornadoes, Natural Gas? (Not So Fast), Pain at the Pump, and Geoengineering.

As the calendar turns to March, it can mean only one thing: March Madness.

Get ready for the NCAA Tournament mayhem, which isn’t actually about basketball as much as it is the millions of office pools and pick ‘em brackets that are spawned by the tournament. We won’t mention that they may be illegal. Your secret is safe with us. But other than Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and those circling black helicopters, who’s really watching what you do?


If you can’t wait until Selection Sunday and want to start sussing out the 68-team field, jump right in. Our only advice is, don’t pick Missouri. The Tigers are one of the few college powers to have never made the Final Four. So maybe they’re not that powerful.

Speaking of wanna-be powers and another trademarked day of the week, Super Tuesday looms for the Republican nominees. If you want to start sussing out the field for the 10-state free-for-all, jump right in. Based on his RPI and road wins in Arizona and Michigan, Mitt Romney has a small edge in securing a No. 1 seed. We get the feeling Rick Santorum would be very upset if you called him a Cinderella.

And finally, we once again say goodbye to a musical icon. Davy Jones, lead singer and heartthrob for the Monkees, died of a heart attack on Wednesday. He was 66. Jones was best known for his British accent, and big hits like Daydream Believer and A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You.

We can’t sing a lick, and don’t have a British accent. But we are known for The Week That Was at Climate Central. Bring on the Madness.

Monday, Feb. 27

Abigail Borah: COP-ping an Attitude on Climate Change
For a young person who cares about the environment, Middlebury College is the place to go for all sorts of reasons. The college created the nation’s first degree in environmental studies way back in 1965; it boasts uber-activist Bill McKibben, and probably has more tree-huggers per acre than any campus on the planet.

Warming Arctic Fueling Cold, Snowy Winters
The blockbuster snowstorms and frigid temperatures seen in much of the northern hemisphere during the past few winters are in part the result of global warming-related Arctic sea ice loss, according to a new study published Monday. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds clear links between the precipitous decline of Arctic sea ice and severe winter weather in Europe, Asia, and parts of the U.S. during the past several years.

Tuesday, Feb. 28

Natural Gas Our New Savior? Not So Fast . . .
You’d think we’d have learned something from the cautionary tale that is ethanol. Evidently not, though: we have a new savior called natural gas. It’s the perfect solution, because it’s plentiful and home-drilled, (thank you, fracking), and it emits only half the CO2 that coal does. Only it’s not the perfect solution as scientists have discovered.

All the World is a Melting Pot (of Glaciers)
There’s plenty of ice in mountain glaciers around the world, and they’re melting. Now NASA has put together a movie that lets you zoom around the Earth to visit the places where it’s happening fastest, including Alaska, Canada and Patagonia. The blue areas on the globe represent areas with greatest ice loss, while the yellow dots stand for individual glaciers.

Wednesday, Feb. 29

Geoengineering: You Want Crazy, We’ve Got Crazy
For people who drool over technology, geoengineering is like a juicy steak (or, for vegetarians, a juicy carrot). That’s the idea behind geoengineering, a set of grand and crazy-sounding ideas for cooling off a hot planet. With that in mind, here are Climate Central’s Top 5 geoengineering projects you’ve never heard of — and probably never will again.

Snow, Deadly Tornadoes Slam Upper Midwest, Ohio Valley
An intense winter storm has brought blizzard conditions to the Great Plains and the Upper Midwest, while spawning a spring-like tornado outbreak across several states, killing at least nine people so far. As of late Wednesday afternoon, tornado and severe thunderstorm watches stretched from the shores of Lake Erie southwestward to Mississippi and Alabama, and several tornado warnings were in effect.

Thursday, March 1

Filling Up With Answers to Your Pain at the Pump
Gas prices are in the news, as the average cost for a gallon of unleaded regular keeps rising toward $4. Politicians and the general public have been increasingly vocal in their demand that President Obama do something about it. Here’s what you need to know about gas prices, followed by an interactive state-specific gas price graphic.

No Snow, No Problem: Urban Skiing Hits the Streets
With below average snowfall across much of the U.S. this winter, it’s tough to find good skiing conditions. But who says there has to be fresh powder in the mountains in order to ski? This video, shot last year in British Columbia, proves that it’s possible to ski in an urban area — even on pavement (although that can’t be good for your skis).

Friday, March 2

Rising Temps in Northwest May Impact Hydro, California
In the coming decades, warmer temperatures could hamstring hydropower production in the Pacific Northwest, forcing California to look elsewhere for an electricity boost.

Climate Central is an independent, non-profit journalism and research organization, dedicated to helping mainstream Americans understand how climate change connects to them, and arming our audiences with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their future.