Climate Change This Week: Groundwater Feeds Sea Rise, Community Solar Rises, and More!

Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.

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Party Caterpillar – one of many reasons forests should be preserved: crazy caterpillars! Source whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

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A Small Reprieve for Mother and Child? Half of Borneo’s orangutans have been killed by human activities over the past 60 years. A new reserve offers refuge for some survivors. Source WWF

OO Malaysia’s Christmas Gift To The World:
Massive Borneo Rainforest Reserve Created
68,000+ hectares in size – it’s a start.

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Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright… and brighter, as companies plan to restore some Sumatran peat forests, important for storing carbon and conserving the endangered Sumatran tiger and other endangered wildlife.

OO Indonesia: Forestry Giants Ready New Peatland Protection Plans

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

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GETTING WARMER…

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Just How Much Hotter Was 2015? That 2015 line floating above the next hottest 5 years tells all. Source NOAA

OO 2015 Was Remarkably Hotter Than Previous Years

Related Headlines:

OO 2015 Hottest Year So Far: 2016 Will Be Hotter – with global temperatures once again breaking records, says the Brish Meteorological Office.

OO You Think This Year Is Hot? Wait For 2016 …

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NATURAL REPERCUSSIONS

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What a Drag! As global ice melts, the new water is drawn towards the equator, where the greater water mass increases drag on the global spin. As it slows, our day becomes slightly longer. (Not drawn to scale).

OO Small, But Profound Effect:
Global Warming Is Literally Making Your Day Longer
– Ice melts. The new water increases the ocean mass and the drag that mass exerts on rotational spin, slowing it and lengthening the day, researchers have now shown.

OO Melting Glaciers Blamed For Subtle Slowing Of Earth’s Rotation

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The Face of Profound Change – a starving polar bear, an increasingly common Arctic sight. Credit Kerstin Langenberger at Facebook

OO Arctic, 2015:
Record High Heat, Low Ice, Profoundly Affecting Region
– The Arctic experienced record air temperatures and a new low in peak ice extent during 2015.

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Ancient Groundwater Adding To Rising Seas – as it is pumped up, used, and then via evaporation or runoff, makes its way to the oceans. It takes several millennia for water to replenish the aquifers.

OO Groundwater Depletion Adding To Global Sea-Level Rise – as climate change worsens droughts, increasing amounts of water are being depleted from the world’s aquifers; scientists estimate most of it ends up in the oceans.

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The Difference is Brown and White – notice the thriving coral, full of fish, behind the dead white one.

OO Climate Change Charged El Nino’s Extreme Effects:
Corals Aren’t Just Bleaching — They’re Dying

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OO Climate Change Is Driving Global Decline in Fish Stocks – helped by overfishing. But higher ocean temperatures are decreasing the plankton needed by baby fish to grow up, says a new study.

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“Once There Was A Butterfly…” may be what our future children will only know of many of these beautiful creatures, such as this English Peacock Butterfly.. notice the little blue emoticons on the hind wings! Source bluebell-woods.blogspot.com

OO Three-Quarters Of The UK’s Butterfly Species
Have Declined In The Last 40 Years
– due largely to climate change, habitat destruction and increased use of pesticides.

OO Lakes Warming Globally At An Alarming Rate study finds.

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CLUELESS JOURNALISM

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Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Martin O’Malley could all have given thoughtful, intelligent answers on how to address climate change – if they had been asked.

OO Climate Change Ignored In Another Presidential Debate

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CLUELESS LEADERSHIP

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What Climate Change? What Deal? is the clueless attitude of most Republican presidential candidates. They the global perception of the US as the biggest holdout of climate change deniers.

OO Republicans On Campaign Trail Largely Ignore The Climate Deal as President Obama hailed it as “the best chance we’ve had to save the one planet that we’ve got.”

OO India Says Paris Climate Deal Won’t Affect Plans To Double Coal Output

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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15,000,000,000,000,000 BTUs of US Energy to be saved by 2045 under a new federal standard.

OO US Dept of Energy Finalizes Biggest Efficiency Standard Ever – More efficient furnaces and rooftop AC units could save 15 quadrillion (that’s 15 zeros following the 15) BTUs of energy by 2045.

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OO Congress Passes Tax Credits For Solar And Wind

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Farty Art – rice paddies (even artfully created ones such as this) are a major source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas and a smelly component of farts.

OO New Rice Could Help Reduce Global Greenhouse Gases by nearly eliminating methane emissions from rice paddies, one of the biggest global emission sources of this potent greenhouse gas.

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Sunny, Solar, San Diego just became the largest American city to make a legally binding commitment to transition to 100 percent renewable energy.

OO San Diego Vows To Go To 100% Renewable Energy
In 20 Years

OO Philippines: Largest Polluters Face Investigation For Climate Damage – The Philippines will soon launch an investigation to answer a hot-button question: are companies violating human rights by spewing heavy pollution and accelerating climate change?

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If we do not grow sustainably,
Our children will die inhumanely.

Unintended Pregnancy Costs US Taxpayers:

Unintended Pregnancies Cost US Taxypayers Nearly $11 Billion Yearly
the Guttmacher Institute

Teen Childbearing Alone Cost US Taxpayers $9+ Billion In 2010
And the costs of raising a child usually ensures decades, if not a life, of poverty for its mother.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

@@ The Cost of Unintended Pregnancy: Too Young

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Help prevent unintended pregnancies in your community:
publicize where women can access affordable contraception.

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They can go here to find locations:

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And there are many more actions you can do, right here.

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SOLAR KEEPS RISING

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OO Community Solar Power Brings Renewable Energy ‘To The Masses’ – For the three-quarters of U.S. households that can’t install their own rooftop solar, a powerful alternative is emerging.

OO US Solar PV Systems Kept Getting Cheaper in 2015 third quarter, with system prices down by 2-18% year-over-year.

OO Big US Solar Company Raises Giant $600 Million Fund
to Finance Residential Solar

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Check it out here, right now!

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Dec 28, 2015

How unusual has the weather been? No one event is “caused” by climate change, but global warming, which is predicted to increase unusual, extreme weather, is having a daily effect on weather, worldwide.

Looking above at recent temperature anomalies, much of the US is cold, but with a bipolar effect between frigid Texas and the tropical southeast. Waters surrounding the US are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures: the eastern Pacific warm spot continues to prevent much rain from reaching California, the fruit and vegetable basket of the US, sending it into further drought.

Much of the areas surrounding the North Pole are experiencing much warmer than normal temperatures – not good news for our Arctic thermal shield of ice. Hotter than usual temperatures continue to dominate human habitats.

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There is, of course, much more news on the consequences and solutions to climate change. To get it, check out this annotated resource list I’ve compiled, “Climate Change News Resources,” at WordPress.com here. For more information on the science of climate change, its consequences and solutions you can view my annotated list of online information resources here.

To help you understand just what science does and does NOT do, check thisout!

Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by this everlasting wild protea flower I photographed one spring in Chile. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future. If you’d like to join the increasing numbers of people who want to TELL Congress that they will vote for clean energy candidates you can do so here. It’s our way of letting Congress know there’s a strong clean energy voting bloc out there. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audiopodcasts and texts are freely available.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, ONE AND ALL!!

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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