Climate Change This Week: Suffocating Seas, Climate Votes, and More!

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


BBB: Beautiful Brazilian Biodiversity – as shown by these red-eyed tree frogs, is another important reason to save its vital carbon-storing forests. Source

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon


From Forest To Tofu – Brazilian forests are falling to soy plantations. Credit Rhett Butler at

OO Booming Soy Industry Could Threaten Brazil’s Climate Commitments, researchers warn.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.


Circle of Fire – a wildfire burned up Fort McMurray, Canada, a city devoted to producing climate changing fossil fuels that help warm and dry out boreal forests, upping the chances for… wildfires. Source CBC, Reuters

OO Alberta, Canada:
Destructive Giant Wildfire Fueled In Part By Global Warming




Triple Win: Using Profits to Provide Needed US Family is key to creating a sustainable US population and bright futures for women – AND saving taxpayers many billions yearly in community costs by preventing unintended pregnancies. Source

OO A Business Nonprofit Plan for Free US Family Planning:
1-800-FAM-PLAN, INC.
– rip a page out of the Newman’s Own company playbook to privatize family planning, Amy Sewell proposes. Sell family planning materials to those who can pay, and use the profits to subsidize the same service for those who can’t. This would save taxpayers billions.

What’s not to like? As it is, is already pursuing something similar – spread the word!




Source Matthew Long, NCAR

OO Global Warming Could Deplete The Oceans’ Oxygen –
With Severe Consequences
indicates a new study. Takeaways:

    1. Oceans are warming, as they absorb 90% of global warming heat;
    2. Simple physics: warmer water contains less oxygen;
    3. Warmer, lighter, surface water mixes less with deeper layers;
  • Less surface oxygen, via surface exchange or produced by plankton, gets to deeper marine life;
  • This could expand existing oxygen minimum zones, where life is limited by little oxygen.


Life On Low Oxygen – the ancient, low energy, vampire squid is the only cephalopod known to live in oxygen minimum zones, feeding on detritus. A slow swimmer, it shocks with blue lights and inverts its spiny whorl to cover itself, displaying a scary but harmless ball of spines to potential predators.Source

  1. Some parts of the oceans already show oxygen deficiency.
  2. Oceanic deoxygenation will become widespread by the 2030s-40s, models indicate, due to continuing high carbon emissions.
  3. Oceanic suffocation has occurred in the past under globally warm conditions.

Fish and other important marine life are threatened by oceans becoming increasingly too warm, too acid, and too suffocating to support them.




What If Earth Day Was Monthly? Time to grow up and get real. Make Earth Day a monthly drumbeat on every 21st day. Check it out at !




Extreme Weather Could Produce Global Food Shock – climate change ups the chances of simultaneous extreme floods and droughts hitting major global grain-producing “breadbaskets” simultaneously. Credit Kelly Delay at Instagram

OO Food System Shock: Climate Change’s Greatest Threat To Civilization – over the next 40 years is likely to be climate change-amplified extreme droughts and floods hitting multiple major global grain-producing “breadbaskets” simultaneously, says a new study.




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.

OO Global Warming Policies We Set Today Will Determine The Next 10,000 Years – of global warming, a new study shows — and whether our civilization survives or not: history shows that harmful climate change has destroyed civilizations before.

This time, it could be worldwide. Let’s keep “The Hunger Games“ in the realm of fiction.


Hillary Gets It Source

OO Green Billionaire to Spend $25 Million
to Turn Out Young Climate Voters
– Thomas F. Steyer and his group, NextGen Climate, will target college and university campuses in seven mostly battleground states.

“On climate change, we have the starkest contrast I’ve ever seen between candidates … young voters care deeply about climate change,” says Mr. Steyer.

Nextgen’s Climate Goal: 50×30 -50% clean energy by 2030 – and 100% by 2050. Think BIG.




Miami Wetlands Source

OO Florida Wakes Up To Climate Change as the city of Miami Beach is slowly disappearing under water, especially at the big high tides; over the past decade the floods have been striking more frequently.

OO Fate Of World’s Coastlines Rests On Melting Antarctic Ice




An Electrifying Thought – run everything on clean electricity, says a new study by the Decarbonization Pathways Project, an international consortium of energy researchers. Source

OO Run Everything On Clean Electricity
To Save the Planet
says a new technical and detailed study of how to cut US 1990 climate-changing emissions by 80% by 2050—the change necessary if Americans hope to do their part to stay within the two-degree C warming limit.

This could be done at an annual cost of about 1% of GDP, without sacrificing any “energy services.” To do so will require a major boost in electrification—doubling current production —while we continue to clean up the electric grid and double down on energy efficiency, especially in buildings. Definitely DOABLE.

OO Carbon Pricing Becomes A Cause For The World Bank And I.M.F. – They are pressing governments to impose a price tag on planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions, using economic leverage and technical assistance that institutions like the United Nations cannot muster.


OO The Link Between Red Meat And Climate Change – Shifting diets away from meat could halve worldwide per capita greenhouse gas emissions from eating and ward off additional deforestation — a major contributor to climate change, say studies.

OO Switch To Low-Carbon Transport Could ‘Save UK Billions’ – says a new study, and could reach £230+ Billion a year between 2020 and 2030.


Source Natash at free images

OO Dirt First: Standard US Farming Harms Climate AND Soil – say a team of soil scientists, who want farmers to understand why many farming practices they learned in ag school, and which are encouraged by the big ag companies, actually damage the microbiome of the soil and undermine fertility.

Toxicologist and Daily Climate Editor Pete Myers notes, “Agrochemicals undermineintrinsic soil fertility and addict crop lands to continuing agrochemical applications.”



@@ Climate Change: Greenland Melt Season Starts Two Months Early – reports this Carbon Freeze youtuber created in mid April. Forget politics: Earth is telling us to cut emissions ASAP or get ready for catastrophic changes.


The Thin Blue Line had Danish scientists rechecking their data for equipment malfunctions… it couldn’t be… but it was… a major ice sheet is melting far faster than it should… not sci-fi, here, folks… Source

OO Greenland Ice Sheet Melting Has Started Early by at least a month (as of mid-April) than normal, when compared to the 30+ years of reliable Danish Meteorological Institute records.

Related Headline:

OO Early Greenland Ice Sheet Melt Has Researchers Concerned


OO The Arctic Is Melting – And Scientists Just Lost A Key Tool To Observe Itas a US satellite program ends with the failure to replace a US satellite crucial to monitoring the Arctic.


On the Way To Extinction – as their icy home melts beneath them, they are being forced to swim for their lives – and mothers and cubs are increasingly dying because of it. Source US Fish and Wildlife Service

OO Global Warming Forcing Polar Bears To Swim Lethal Long Distances – says a new study: in 2004, only 25% of polar bears made a long-distance swim of 30+ miles; by 2012, nearly 70% of them were making such a swim, an increase proportional to the loss of sea ice.

Related Headline:

OO Melting Arctic Ice Is Forcing Polar Bears To Swim For More Than A Week Without Rest – a dramatic increase in the number of polar bears paddling across vast expanses of ocean to find suitable ice to stand on., says a new study.


Siberia Melts and Crumbles, acidifying the arctic ocean. Source Wikipedia

OO Siberian Erosion, River Runoff Speeds Up Arctic Ocean Acidification – as permafrost thaws, crumbling Russian coastlines and big rivers flowing north along eroding banks are dumping vast loads of organic carbon into marine waters there, acidifying the ocean, and threatening the entire Arctic Ocean.

OO Austria’s Treasured National Resource, Its Glaciers, Are Melting Fast – Glaciers there retreated an average of 72 feet in 2015, more than twice the rate of the previous year.




OO March Broke Nearly Every Warm Temperature Record There Is

OO Earth’s Hot Streak Continues For A Record 11 Months – and 2016 is the hottest year to date.

OO Study: Humans Have Caused All The Global Warming Since 1950



OO U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Climbed For The Second Straight Year

OO Recent “Improvement” – But Projected Worsening Of US Weather – as Earth warms, much of the US is seeing milder winters and US populations grew faster in warmer spots, says a new study.

But this “improvement” did not include the increase in extreme weather, only average temperatures. By 2100, most Americans will experience distinctly “unpleasant” weather.


The Half Degree Difference in global warming – that is, 1.5 C warming rather than 2 C – can dramatically reduce the impacts of climate change worldwide, new research says. Source

OO 2 Degrees C Warming Not Safe?
Why Half A Degree Matters:
Higher Seas, Longer Heat Waves, Dead Reefs
– we’ve already got the dead reefs to prove it – do we really want the flooded cities and heat deaths too, before we get the picture?


We’ve Already Hit the 1.5 C Warming Mark if you compare current data with the earliest baseline temperature data considered reliable, that is, between 1880-1910, a new anlaysis shows. Credit Climate Central

OO Flirting With The 1.5°C Threshold – Climate Central analysis shows world needs to dramatically speed emissions cuts if it wants to meet the 1.5C goal, since we are already hitting it.

OO Radical Action Needed To Decarbonize World Energy Supply and improve energy efficiency to keep the global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius, the Energy Transitions Commission reports.


Imagine All of Humanity Jumping Into The Sea, Every Day – And Not Getting Out – that’s how much water is being added to the oceans daily by Greenland ice melting. Credit Christine Zeinino at Flickr

OO Earth Itself Has Dramatically Upped The Stakes For The Paris Climate Accord with record warm temperatures and climate impacts in 2016, showing that even current pledges to cut warming aren’t strong enough.




The Part That Sustains Us is Green, Not Red or Blue NASA


OO Democrats, Republicans Form Bipartisan House Climate Caucus

OO San Diego Republican Mayor Pushes Plan
To Run On 100% Renewable Energy

OO These Republican Lawmakers Are Turning To Climate Action
To Help Keep Their Seats




Talks for a free trade deal between Europe and the U.S. face a serious impasse with “irreconcilable” differences in some areas, including environmental, according to leaked negotiating texts.

OO Leaked TTIP Documents Cast Doubt On EU-US Trade Deal – The two sides are also at odds over US demands that would require the EU to break promises it has made on environmental protection. Oh no, say it ain’t so, O!

OO Trade Deal Could Trump Climate Pact – President Obama hopes to finalize both the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. But…

Both trade agreements limit “the ability of governments to put in place climate and other public interest policies” and give “huge power” to big polluters,” notes Ilana Solomon, director of the Sierra Club’s Responsible Trade Program. Bad news.


Climate Change Bankruptcy could result for investors who ignore climate change risks when investing; fully half of the world’s investors are on this ignorant course.

OO Half Of Leading Investors Ignoring Climate Change: Study

Related Headline:

OO Protecting Pensions From Climate Risk –
And The World From A ‘Sub-Clime’ Crisis? Not.
Globally “nearly half of the world’s biggest asset owners are doing nothing at all to mitigate climate risk” says a report.



The Truly Clueless… Credit Jeff Danziger

OO EU Dropped Climate Policies After BP Threat Of Oil Industry ‘Exodus’




OO The Extinction Crisis In A Warming World – the rapid disruption of the climate is placing even bigger stresses on species that are already struggling to survive.




What Once Was … much of the Great Barrier Reef is now dead or dying. Source

OO Climate Change is ‘Devastating’ The Great Barrier Reef – global warming upped the odds that the reef would hit lethally warm levels by 175 times – ie, 17,500%, says new analyses.


Ghosts Where Once Was Life as a coral reef dies. Source XL Catlin Seaview Survey

OO Half Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Coral ‘Dead Or Dying’: Scientists

Worse, coral bleaching often leads to death, and….

OO ‘And then we wept‘:
93% of the Great Barrier Reef Now Bleached
show a series of scientific surveys of the Great Barrier Reef bleaching event — an environmental assault on the largest coral ecosystem on Earth — and scientists aren’t holding back.

“Between 60 and 100% of corals are severely bleached on 316 reefs, nearly all in the northern half of the Reef,” said lead researcher Prof. Terry Hughes.

He continued “I showed the results of aerial surveys of #bleaching on the #GreatBarrierReef to my students, And then we wept.”

A colleague noted that Hughes was not an alarmist. He’s simply showing the dreadful truth.

Just wanted to let you all know that I also broke down and wept. Our greed and stupidity are destroying the most magnificent, beautiful and ancient undersea worlds, and depriving our children from ever seeing – or, more importantly, benefiting – from them.


Related Headlines:

OO Great Barrier Reef: 93% Of Reefs Hit By Coral Bleaching

OO Coral Bleaching Spreads To Western Australia now that the big reef on the east side has been devastated…

OO Weakened Coral Reefs Can’t Be Fished As Much – or they will weaken further and die under continuing climate change, a new study shows.



@@ Video Portraits Of A Changing Planet, From North Carolina – A UNC video series shows ordinary people reacting as climate change reshapes the world around them.


OO World Heading For Catastrophe Over Natural Disasters,
Risk Expert Warns
– with “inconceivably bad” consequences as climate change fuels a huge increase in catastrophic droughts and floods and the humanitarian crises that follow, the UN’s head of disaster planning has warned.

OO Most Americans Say Climate Changing, Humans To Blame – now we have to act.

OO Activists Step Up Campaign To Hold Oil Industry Accountable For Climate Damages


A Golden Rule For Humanity, and Earth – over 270 religious leaders are supporting a new ambitious climate action. Source

OO Dalai Lama, Archbishop Tutu Sign Interfaith Climate Statement along with hundreds of other religious leaders.

OO World Leading Scientists Urge Major UK Newspaper
To Improve ‘Sub-Standard’ Climate Reporting

OO UK Support For Fracking Hits New Low – just 19% of the public approve of it.



Tax Your Coal To Help Poor Nations Adapt – as you promised, says Indian Minister Prakash Javadekar to developed nations. Source Globe Legislators Organization at flickr

OO Tax Coal To Raise $100 Billion Climate Funds, Urges India Minister




OO Readers Playlist: Songs About Climate Change
A verse from Jackson Browne’s 1974 “Before the Deluge”:

Some of them were angry
At the way the earth was abused
By the men who learned how to forge her beauty into power
And they struggled to protect her from them
Only to be confused
By the magnitude of her fury in the final hour

Let’s not get confused, or distracted, folks.



The Flooding Face of Rising Seas in a Ghana village. Credit Matilde Gattoni at Instagram

OO The Environment Photographers You Should Be Following On Instagram – seeing is believing. Here are some favorite Instagrammers who focus on capturing our changing planet.




OO More Than Half US Population Lives Amid Dangerous Air Pollution,
Report Warns
– the American Lung Association’s ‘state of the air’ report finds that 166 million Americans are living in unhealthy ozone or particle pollution with serious health risks.

Related Headline:

OO Spikes In U.S. Air Pollution Linked To Warming Climate



Not Just Methane but ethane is being emitted by the US fossil fuel Bakken Shale formation, and it worsens climate change. Credit Tim Evanson at flickr

OO U.S. Oil ,Gas Boom Is Adding New Global Warming Threat – startled scientists have discovered: that ethane is leaking from the US Bakken Shale formation. Takeaways:

  • Ethane is a very short-lived but climate-changing and polluting gas;
  • Ethane’s real threat is that its presence helps extend the lifetime of methane;
  • (methane aka natural gas, is a very potent climate-changing gas);
  • Ethane also helps form ozone, another harmful gas;
  • 2% of the world’s emissions of ethane are coming from the US shale formation.




OO World Governments Vow To End Fossil Fuel Era
At UN Climate Signing Ceremony
– More than 170 governments declared an end to the fossil fuel era, using the signing ceremony for the landmark Paris agreement as an occasion to renew their vows to fight climate change.

Related Headline:

OO Explainer: The Adoption, Signing And Ratification Of The UN Climate Deal– what the difference is between adopting, signing and ratifying the deal, and considers when it might enter force.

OO US Senate Passed an Overwhelmingly Bipartisan Energy Bill – Energy efficiency advocates applauded its measures for buildings and weatherization programs, even as some greens have expressed concerns about the legislation’s provisions that would define the burning of biomass as carbon-neutral.

Hah! – and my chicken can’t fly, so it’s a pig.

OO Senate Passes Broad Bill To Modernize Energy Infrastructure


Fresh Clean Air Is Really Beautiful especially in the Grand Canyon. Source

OO Why US Skies Keep Getting Cleaner – The American Lung Association reports overall cleaner air in the United States, mostly because of changes inside coal-burning power plants and cleaner vehicle engines. How about mostly because coal plants are closing?

OO Coal Use Falls In Most States,
But “New Coal” – aka Natural Gas – Rises
says a new federal report. Whoopee.



OO Wind Turbine Technician Is the Fastest-Growing US Profession indicate data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“I look forward to climbing up 300 feet and working on something that’s critical,”said John Crothers, who is studying to be a turbine tech at the Ecotech Institute, a technical college in Aurora, Colorado.

OO Global Wind Capacity To Nearly Double In Next Five Years largely led by further market growth in China, but also as a stronger industry emerges in the US, says the Global Wind Energy Council.



OO Apple Has Slashed Carbon Emissions 60% Since 2011

OO Corporations Move To Curb Global Warming – CEOs and investors hail the Paris Agreement as the start of a new era to combat climate change.

OO Republicans Are Warming Up To Renewable Energy – As the cost of wind and solar power has plummeted.


OO Solar Is Now Cheaper Than Coal, Says India Energy Minister

OO China Curbs Plans for More Coal-Fired Power Plants

OO France To Set Unilateral Floor Price For Carbon Emissions – the government has committed to unilaterally set a carbon price floor for electricity producers, aiming to curb coal-fired power generation and boosting renewables.


Credit Gab1209 at Flickr

OO Saudi Arabia Announces Sweeping Plan to Overhaul Its Economy,
End Its ‘Addiction to Oil’

“We have an addiction to oil…this is dangerous,” Prince Mohammed said on state-owned al-Arabiya. “It has delayed development of other sectors.”




More Deformed Babies Are Expected As Zika Expands via the spread of the mosquitoes that carry it. Source

OO Climate Change To Widen Range Of Disease-Carrying Mosquitoesincluding Zika virus carriers.

OO Five Killed In Texas Floods As Severe Weather Lashes Central U.S

OO Flooding Flushes Oil, Fracking Chemicals Into Texas Rivers


Source climateand

OO Europe Will Soon Be Hit By Deadly
‘Once-In-A-Century’ Extreme Weather — Annually


Hot Work Getting Hotter – in India, and elsewhere. Credit J. Adam Huggins at The New York Times

OO Rising Heat At Work Is Major New Climate Threat: U.N. – Searing temperatures will cost emerging economies up to 10% in lost daytime working hours, if countries do not cut planet-warming emissions further than they have promised so far, U.N. agencies and international labor bodies say.

Countries likely to be worst affected by rising temperatures include India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cambodia, Pakistan, Burkina Faso and parts of West Africa, said the joint report.




OO UK Parliament Group: Impending Environmental Limits on Economic Growth – A report commissioned on behalf of a cross-party group of British MPs says that industrial civilization is currently on track to experience “an eventual collapse of production and living standards” in the next few decades if business-as-usual continues.



Tea Time Over? Credit J Aaron Farr via Flickr

OO Not Just Coffee:
Climate Brings Hard Times For Tea
– Chinese research shows that the changing monsoon pattern in East Asia and heavier rainfall is harming the yield and quality of tea.

OO As Drought Deepens, African Nations Struggle To Get Globe’s Attention

OO Bangaladesh: Climate Refugees Flood Capital


OO India: Drought Migrants Head To Cities
In Desperate Search For Water

OO Parts Of India Ban Daytime Cooking
After Hundreds Die From Heat Wave And Fires

OO India Crippled By Extreme Weather As 100 Million Exposed To Floods



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

@@ Myth vs Truth: The Huge Value of Contraception is an incisive, heartfelt recognition of the value of contraception by Sarah Brown, CEO, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

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


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.




OO The US Solar Market Is Now 1 Million Installations Strong – Customers weigh in on what it’s like to be one of a million.

OO The Sun Prince:
If You Have Solar Panels in Oakland,
Prince May Have Paid for Them
– the music legend had a hidden green heart, and was the driving force and checkbook behind the environmental group Green For All.

OO New Buildings in San Francisco Will Require Solar, Says New Rule


OO $15 Million Raised to Finance Local Off-Grid Solar Companies in Africa

OO Tanzania: Solar Panels Power Business Surge – Not Just Lights

OO Bigger Risk, Bigger Returns in Renewable Energy’s Emerging Markets – The rate of return for solar projects in most of the developing world is more than double the rate in Europe.


Check it out here, right now!




Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, May 10, 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: despite El Nino driven rains, California continues its long 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.



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 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 strawberry flower I photographed one spring. 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 textsare freely available.


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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