Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.
“Devilish” Biodiversity – another reason to save forests, as this Made-For-Halloween devil flower mantis from Africa illustrates. Source pinterest.com
Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon
Wet vs Dry Forest: The Big C Difference – wetter, richer, virgin rainforests store much more carbon than drier, more open ones that often replace logged rainforests under continued climate change. Source: ajunglescientists.wordpress.com, top; Credit Juan Pratginestos at wwf.panda.org, bottom.
OO Recovering Forests May Store Less Carbon As Climate Changes and former rainforests, once logged, recover more slowly, morphing into drier, less carbon-rich forests, says new research.
OO Deforestation Slowing, But Forests Breakdown Rising – the damage to remaining forests is rising due to selected logging, more wildfires, and fiercer storms – which means carbon emissions from this is also rising. Every dead tree means more carbon emissions.
The Universal Scourge of Forests: Palm Oil – where a carbon and biodiversity rich forest is replaced with a farm of palms devoted to making an unhealthy oil.Source: http://www.mongabay.com
OO Africa’s Forests ‘Threatened By Palm Oil Rush’ warns Greenpeace France, much like the recent loss of millions of hectares of south-east Asian forests to palm oil already.
When we threaten forests, we threaten ourselves.
If You Don’t Vote For Climate Action, You Can Forget The Rest – in a climate-changing world of famine, drought, rising seas, giant storms and heat waves, there will be no security in jobs, health, wealth, or national safety. There will be chaos ensuing from increasing crises and disasters. Vote.
STRONGEST CYCLONE EVER IN SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE
Whirling Dervish – With 150+ mph winds, Cyclone Winston was the strongest ever recorded cyclone south of the equator.
OO Category 5 Cyclone Winston Tears Through Fiji,
Severe Wind And Flooding Damage left 6 dead, hundreds of homes destroyed. A state of emergency was declared, and a month-long state of disaster.
@@ Climate Change 101: Why Care?
What You Need to Know – Bill Nye tells it all in five minutes amid graphic, dynamic, engaging, compelling imagery. Check it Out!
CLIMATE CHANGE HISTORY LESSON
A Climate Change Coastal Battle Lost – Dunwich went from a bustling port city to these ruin remnants today, as a mid 1200s climate change brought on battering storms that pulverized the city. Source http://www.geograph.org.uk
OO How Climate Change Sank an English City:
A Taste of Our Future? The tale:
- extreme storms started breaking up the eastern port of Dunwich in the mid1200s;
- as climate cooled into a “Little Ice Age,” these storms became more common.
- ultimately, one storm blocked the harbor and pulverized the port.
- people abandoned the city, which was slowly swept into the sea over the centuries.
Current US Climate Change Coastal Battles are increasing with ever more intense storms. Source climatecentral.org
Current climate change is:
- making extreme storms more common
- raising sea levels, and
- creating ever more destructive storm surges.
INCREDIBLE ARCTIC CHANGES
OO Scientists Are Floored By What’s Happening In The Arctic Right Nowwhere it’s been far hotter than previous Januarys; January 2016 was not only the hottest yet, but quite hotter than annual average January temperatures.
OO Arctic Sea Ice Is In Record Low Territory — Again
DESPERATE ARCTIC TIMES
Viewer discretion advised: this is a heart-wrenching scene to witness.
@@ Polar Bear Cannibalism: Male Eats Cub – the Harsh Reality of Climate Change Starving polar bears are increasingly common as record low sea ice prevents them from hunting their normal prey. Cannibalism is a sign of just how desperate polar bears have become.
OO Warming Permafrost Genetically Alters Microbes
To Emit Even More Climate Changing Gases – accelerating emissions, researchers have found. Takeaways:
- Microbes became more efficient decomposers;
- warmed plots emitted up to almost 40% more carbon dioxide
- greater emissions of very potent climate changers, eg, methane, also are indicated.
SEAS ARE RISING FAST
OO Land of Change – is depicted in this watercolor combining art with 4 data graphs. Rising fossil fuel use (1) creates rising temperatures (2) and rising seas (3), as glaciers disappear (4). Credit Jill Pelto at http://www.jillpelto.com/gallery/
OO Seas Are Now Rising Faster Than They Have In 2,800 Years scientists say.
@@ Watching Rising Seas From Space – via NASA satellites
OO Sea Level Is Now Rising At Fastest Rate In Nearly 3,000 Years and the potential for things to get much worse, if emissions of global warming pollutants are not cut.
Now You See It, Then You Won’t a century or so from now. Credit Nickolay Lamm at Climate Central
OO Images Show How US Icons Will Be Submerged By A 25 Foot Sea Level Rise – a preview of what the world will look like in centuries ahead due to our current greed that fuels climate change.
Tropic Seas Rise More as polar meltwater distributes towards the equator; that equatorial gain slows the Earth’s rotation.
So, if the Greenland ice sheet collapsed into the sea, the melt water would dramatically raise global sea levels. But nearby countries would see sea levels dip
OO Sea Rise Is Uneven Globally
Due to Ice Sheet Shapes, Locations says Harvard geophysicst Jerry Mitrovica. A melting ice sheet:
- Decreases its gravitational attraction along with its mass, so
- Water flows away from it, and
- The land beneath it pops up.
Sea Fall, Sea Rise – A melting ice sheet has two effects on sea level: diminished gravitational attraction lowers the sea near an ice sheet — and nearby countries; melt water flowing into the ocean raises it. Credit Simon Werdmuller, courtesy of Maureen Raymo
- Sea level FALLS NEAR an ice sheet, and
- RISES FARoff from the sheet – starting about 2,000 km away
- When the Greenland ice sheet melts, the Southern Hemisphere seas will rise 30% more than average.
Similarly, Antarctica melting will help sea rise unusually more in the Northern Hemisphere.
OO Antarctica Could Melt Much More Than We Thought due to climate change past records indicate, say two new studies. Antarctica apparently lost tremendous volumes of ice – and had considerable plant life – over 10 million years ago, when atmospheric carbon dioxid levels weren’t much higher than they are now.
OO Record High Temperature In The Antarctic – has been registered by a Czech automatic measuring station: 17.8° C, in March 2015. That’s 64° F. It will get hotter.
OO As Seas Rise, Republicans Refuse to Recognize or Act
on Climate Change
CLIMATE ACTION: IT’S AMERICAN
OO Vast Majority Of Americans Backs Action Against Climate Change says the latest University of Texas Energy Poll. Will someone please tell that to the GOP candidates?
OO ‘Consequences’ For The US If It Quits Paris Climate Deal – With not a single Republican presidential candidate saying the country should do anything about climate change, US envoy Todd Stern warned the diplomatic blowback would be significant.
OO U.S. Will Sign Paris Agreement and Stick to It, Says US Envoy – despite the Supreme Court’s decision to put a chunk of President Barack Obama’s environmental action on hold.
CHINA BLOWS PAST US
OO China Is Kicking America’s Butt In Wind Power – surpassing the US in installing wind turbines for the first time. This is a game we can’t afford to lose.
OO California University System Sells Off Coal, Tar Sand Investments
OO Scientists Urge American Geophysical Union
To Drop Exxon Sponsor Over Its Climate Denial marketing.
Keep Utah Wild – Hundreds of protesters gathered recently to protest the leasing of public lands for oil and gas exploration. Source http://www.suwa.org
OO 100+ Climate Activists Protest BLM Oil, Gas Auction in Utah
OO Oil Leasing Protests: A New Front In Climate Policy Fight
OO Bill Gates: ‘We Need A Energy Miracle’ To Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change he says, three months after he created the “Breakthrough Energy Coalition,” a private investment initiative.
GOOD CLEAN NEWS
OO Renew Financial Raises $70 Million for New Ways to Finance Clean Energy
OO Norway Oil Giant Statoil to Invest $200 Million in Renewable Energy by 2022
OO Apple Issues $1.5 Billion In Green Bonds In First Sale dedicated to financing clean energy projects across its global business operations.
OO Despite The Supreme Court,
Clean Energy Tax Credits Will Cut Carbon noted the Obama administration. Recent five-year extensions of these credits will serve as a “bridge” to the Clean Power Plan.
OO Coalition of U.S. States Pledges to Accelerate Renewable Energy Efforts – composed of A bipartisan group of governors from 17 states, and also pledged to build better electricity grids and cut emissions from transport.
OO A Carbon Tax Jerry Brown Thinks Could Have Potential is a “revenue neutral” tax – i.e., revenues are recycled back to the public.
Credit Mary Ellen Harte
OO Booming Wind Business Ignores Oil Slump
As Market Values Double – even as oil prices fell in 2015, investors directed a record $329 billion to install new wind- and other clean-energy technologies, said Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
OO Colombian Court Bans Oil, Gas And Mining Operations In Paramos – a major environmental victory after a loophole permitting operations in rare ecosystems is declared “unconstitutional”.
The Dragon Goes Green – as China makes strides in shifting its economy away from coal, and towards clean energy.
OO China To Shut Down 1000+ Coal Mines In 2016
OO 100% Renewable Energy: What We Can Do In 10 Years – Takeaways:
VOTE FOR CLEAN ENERGY LAWMAKERS at all levels of government – is not mentioned in the piece, but will make the following much easier.
We can reduce emissions by 40% in 10-20 years by:
- speed our switch to clean wind and solar energy sources for electricity
- convert natural gas appliances to electrical appliances
- promote walking, bicycling and public transit
- retrofit all buildings and homes for energy efficiency
- promote local organic food sources
- promote farming that boosts carbon storage in soil
Battery Boom – as the US tech industry developing storage for clean energy.
We can reduce emissions by 80% in the longer term by:
- speed development of storage for clean energy
- create smart grids to distribute energy efficiently
- convert transport to electricity
- expand freight rail over trucking
OO Nearly 300,000 US Deaths May Be Prevented By 2030 With Cuts To Greenhouse Gas says a new study due to less pollution and resulting better health.
Are Vegetarian Diets Better for the Environment?
@@ Europe: Reducing Meat And Dairy Consumption
Required To Meet Climate Goals says a new study.
OO Vegan Diets Beat Solar Cars In Benefiting Our Future – cutting emissions isn’t enough; it’s also important to think about how meat consumption harms the environment.
Credit Irfan Khan, LA Times
OO California: Farmers Try To Recharge Aquifer,
Save Agriculture, With Winter Flooding – to make the aquifer last longer, even as agriculture must shrink. As winter rain replaces snow, this seems a natural way to conserve water.
OO As California Dries, Cities Seek Their Own Solutions – El Nino rains aren’t enough, so cities are turning to desalinization plants, water recycling, and rainfall capture to boost water supplies.
OO How California Residents Are Changing On Water – converting to low water yards, solar panels, less flushing, harvesting rainwater at homes and community-wide.
Bicycling to a Better Future as Germany develops bicycling highways. Source allesgerman.com
OO Germany’s New Bike Highways just started with the recent opening of its first; it’s building a network of wide, dedicated bicycle thoroughfares.
How Vulnerable Are Ecosystems? Sensitivity of Vegetation Productivity Index(defined as EVI) to climate variability (based on temperature, water availability and cloudiness). The index ranges from 0 (low sensitivity, green) to 100 (high sensitivity, red). Source Seddon et al, 2016
OO Climate Changing Vegetation Hot Spots:
US Midwest, the Amazon Rainforest, and East Australia – all have vegetation that is and will be quite vulnerable to climate change.
OO Measuring the Planet’s Health in Vibrant Shades of Green
OO Alaska: This Winter, Like Last, Is Warm, Snow-Sparse – Wide expanses of dry grass exposed on snowless ground raise concerns about early wildfires; ski races are being canceled or comprised of repeated circuits on a loop of manmade snow.
OO Without A ‘March Miracle,’
Drought Will Continue In Southern California
OO Australia: Fossil Fuel Emissions Fueled Its Record-Breaking Spring Heatsuggests a new study, especially its run of three hottest springs on record – 2014, 2015 and 2013.
OO India: Climate Change Is Killing Off Its Bees – not good news for its crops.
Massed Over Millenia, Dying Within Decades due to manmade climate change, appears to be the fate of the beautiful Great Barrier Reef.
OO Climate Change Is Destroying the Great Barrier Reef – FAST – not over centuries, but within a generation, says reef expert Charlie Veron. Between 1985 and 2012 alone, the world’s largest reef lost nearly half its corals to cyclones, bleaching events, and coral-eating crown of thorns starfish.
OO Ocean Acidification Expected To Cause Deformities In Half Of Young Corals – as more atmospheric carbon dioxide is absorbed in the ocean, corals develop smaller, deformed and porous exoskeletons.
Algal Foam on beaches is often mistaken for pollution, but is the decaying remains of vast colonies of phytoplankton, commonly known as foam algae. Credit Richard Kirby
OO Climate Change Creating Big Changes
Beneath the Waves – says a new study. Takeways:
- phytoplankton are the base of the marine food chain, and important in biogeochemical cycles;
- phytoplankton are shifting towards the poles faster than thought;
Warming surface waters impact phytoplankton via changing:
- ocean circulation
- and other ecological conditions.
“Generally, the whole physical environment is altered,” said NASA and Princeton scientist Andrew Barton.
The Mighty Felled by the Tiny? Grizzly bears feed on a dead fin whale, one of many marine mammals, containing algal toxin, that have washed up on Alaskan shores. Source NOAA
OO Alaska: Algal Toxins Found in Dead Seals, Sea Otters and Whales – Algal toxins are tied to marine mammal deaths a new study indicates, as:
- Waters warm and ice melts, allowing more light in waters, good for algal growth;
- Toxic algal blooms also proliferate;
- Marine mammals depend on shellfish that feed on toxic algae;
- Algal toxins concentrate in marine mammals.
Like a Ghoulish Horror Show the starfish turns to jello, with the arms often breaking apart and crawling away as the starfish dies. Credit Christopher Harley
OO Massive Starfish Die-Off Now Linked To Warming Ocean say scientists studying what is killing starfish from Alaska to Mexico. Takeaways:
- Warm waters stress marine organisms, including starfish
- Warm waters make infectious agents more virulent
- Virus infected starfish die more when warm
- expect a warmer, sicker marine world;
- marine animals, from sponges to corals , lobsters, shellfish, and turtles potentially risk disease in warmer oceans.
Fancy Cousin to Snails and Clams, this sea slug will also face a higher risk of disease in warmer waters. Source Pinterest
OO Warm Waters Linked To Sea Star Wasting – larger ones tend to survive more than smaller ones, and some appear to have survived, sometimes losing arms.
OO Los Angeles, CA: Warming Climate May Be
The Next Big Public Health Problem – Climate change will bring new diseases, threaten the water supply, worsen air quality and cardiovascular disease, and cause deaths from extreme heat, experts say.
OO Human Fingerprints Are On US Coastal Floods – on thousands of them — and countless more the world over, as fossil fuel use spurs sea rise. Check out the interactive map!
OO Chocolate Lovers Beware:
Dry Ivory Coast Weather May Cut Cocoa Crop, Farmers Say
OO Russia: Warmth Wreaks Havoc on Southern Farmland
OO Fall In Rain Lowers Southeast Asia Food Yields
OO Ethiopia In Grip Of Devastating Drought,
And Food Aid May Soon Run Out sparked by the worst El Niño in a generation and worsened by climate change; aid agencies warn that aid could run out as soon as May.
OO Zimbabwe’s Main Hydro Power Dam
Running Out Of Water After Drought – the worst
in more than two decades, an official said.
Credit Jim Wilson at the New York Times
OO Change In EPA Policy Could Broaden Reach Over Oil & Gas Wells Emissions
MORE CLUELESS LEADERSHIP
Credit Julie Edwards, Alamy via the Guardian
OO UK’s Clean-Energy Future At Risk – critics say the government’s sudden decision to cut support has spooked investors.
OO Japan Environment Ministry’s Coal Plant Approval
Casts Doubt On CO2 Pledge experts and environmental activists said.
OO Australia: Science Agency Climate Cuts
Will Breach Paris Agreement, Cost Economy – millions, a report by Australia’s Climate Council has found.
FOSSIL FUEL FOLLIES
THE “NEW COAL” PROBLEM
Prescient Portent – Tom Toles published this cartoon January 5, 2015 at theWashington Post.
OO U.S. Tied to Spike in Global Methane Emissions over the last decade, and the U.S. may be responsible for 30-60% of that global spike, due to a 30% US spike in that very potent climate changing gas, says a new Harvard University study.
OO California: Natural Gas Leak Capped, But New Gas Source Needed say officials, worried that Southern California may not have enough stored to furnish power plants during this summer, possibly resulting in electricity shortages.
OO L.A. Gas Leak Plugged, But California Pipelines Regularly Leak Daily with the total annual amount likely exceeding the Aliso gas leak, says one state estimate.
Created in 2010, But True Today Credit Bob Englehart at the Courant
OO Aliso Canyon Gas Leak Exposes Infrastructure Vulnerabilities Across US
OO 10 Year On: Health, Environmental Complaints From Oil Drilling, Say Neighbors at Wilmington, CA – and this is probably just the tip of an iceberg of similar communities.
OO Europe Places Bets On Natural Gas To Secure Energy Future – for the next 20 years and beyond, according to a new strategy by the European Commission. OMG, what part of the US methane problem don’t they get????
THE MONEY THING
Remind Me Again Why Bankrupt Oil Companies Are Bad? Credit Mike Lukovich
OO One-Third of World’s Oil Companies Could Go Bankrupt in 2016 says a new report that closely examined 500 publicly traded oil and natural gas exploration and production companies, many of which have already started layoffs.
OO Oil And Gas Producers ‘In Distress’ As Low Oil Price Pain Continues as many U.S. producers borrowed heavily and cheaply to cash in on the shale boom, but $30-a-barrel prices are now causing severe difficulties.
OO Fossil Fuel Funded Report Denies The Expert Global Warming Consensus as the infamous Heartland Institute distributed to elected officials a nonsense, non-science report full of denial.
If we do not grow sustainably,
Our children will die inhumanely.
@@ The Cost of Unintended Pregnancy: Too Young
Teen childbearing 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
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Help prevent unintended pregnancies in your community:
publicize where women can access affordable contraception.
They can go here to find locations:
And there are many more actions you can do, right here.
SOLAR KEEPS SURFING
OO US Solar Market Sets New Record, Installing 7.3GW of Solar PV in 2015
OO Big-Box Stores Roofs Are One of Solar’s Largest Untapped Resources
OO Half the Price in Half the Time:
Solar Storage Innovation Harnesses New Energy Frontier
OO SunPower Breaks Solar Panel Efficiency Record — Again!
OO Big Solar Project Aims To Save Marshall Islands Millions Of Dollars
OO Pakistan’s Parliament Becomes First In World To Run Entirely On Solar Power
Check it out here, right now!
WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS
Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Mar 1, 2016
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 and the waters surrounding it are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures: the eastern Pacific warm spot continues to prevent much rain from reaching California, sending it into further drought.
Much of the areas surrounding the North Pole are experiencing much warmer than normal temperatures – indeed, the arctic experienced record breaking temperatures in January, and its ice has started to melt at a time when it is mostly dark! This is NOT good news for our Arctic’s planetary thermal shield of ice.
Hotter than usual temperatures continue to dominate human habitats.
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 little drama I photographed one California spring. Will the spider get the ant? 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, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.