Climate Change This Week: Undersea Deforestation Soars, Flipping Crystals, and More!

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


Saving BUB, Beautiful Unique Biodiversity, like this golden macaw, is another important reason to save the carbon storing Amazonian rainforest. Source

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon


OO Deforestation In The Amazon Continues – Takeaways:

  • in the last 50 years, nearly 20% has been lost
  • almost 300,000 square miles;
  • In 2015, it lost another 2,000 square miles.


OO Deforestation From Illegal Gold Mining Spreads To Northern Peru show satellite images.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

OO India State Plants Close To 50 Million Trees In A Day – trying to beat a world record. Takeaways:

  • govt funded +6.2 billion for tree-planting nationally;
  • India pledges to increase forest cover to 95 million hectares (235 million acres) by 2030.
  • long-term survival of trees planted in such mass campaigns remains a concern.



A Beauty Among Many That Are Threatened, the decline of the monarch butterfly is the poster story of much wider insect decline, including the catastrophic decline of bees worldwide. Credit Ted Wilcox

OO Vanishing Act: Why Insects Are Declining
And Why It Matters
– they are being lost to pesticides, monoculture, and habitat loss, but are essential to agriculture and \ecosystems necessary for our survival. Think food pollinators, for starters.


Paying For The Right Kind of Greenery Source

OO Uganda: A Cheap, Simple Way To Slow Deforestation – where it is happening rapidly, is to simply pay land owners not to cut down their trees, a program showed.

The program is a positive model for protecting a biodiverse hub that includes a key habitat for endangered chimpanzees.

It also validates the effectiveness of a “Payments for Ecosystems Services” of the sort that could help slow global deforestation, leading driver of climate change.





OO Sea Otters Are Climate Champions:
They Protect Carbon Storing Kelp Forests
in the Aleutian Islands by eating sea urchins, keeping these kelp eaters from ravaging kelp forests.

“The difference in annual absorption of atmospheric carbon from kelp photosynthesis between a world with and a world without sea otters is somewhere between 13 and 43 billion kg of carbon.”


Sea Urchins Flourish, Eating Declining Kelp as oceans warm and acidify. Credit David Doubilet

OO Warming, Acidifying Oceans Harm
Health, Survival Of Kelp Forests
– particularly those in the warmest part of their range, shows a new study, reducing kelps while resulting in more of its predators, sea urchins.

Rock lobsters, which usually keep sea urchin numbers in check, are falling, putting yet more pressure on kelp populations. It is uncertain whether kelp communities will survive.



An Undersea Jungle No More – most of Australia’s kelp forests were recently destroyed by a marine heat wave. Source

OO Australia: Marine Heatwave Devastates Vast Kelp Forests destroying about 90% of forests off the western coast between 2011 to 2013, posing a threat to biodiversity and the marine economy.

Related Headline:

OO Climate-Driven Regime Shift Of A Temperate Marine Ecosystem – rapid warming off Australia’s west coast has transformed large stretches of kelp forests into tropical and subtropical marine ecosystems of seaweeds, invertebrates, corals, and fish typical of subtropical and tropical waters, a new study finds.

OO Australia’s Other Great Reef Is Also Screwed – While the world panics about the Great Barrier Reef, an even larger and more valuable habitat, Australian kelp forests, are collapsing.


That’s Not Snow – It’s Skeletons… of mangroves that died from overheating.Credit James Cook University

OO Mangrove Die-Off in Australia Led by Climate Change – About 7,000 hectares of mangroves over 700 km in the north have died due to climate change and El Nino — the worst in the world, says a mangrove expert.

“This is what climate change looks like. You see things push the maximums or minimums.”

Climate change warmed waters in the area made rainfall more erratic and, with this strong El Nino year, pushed mangroves beyond their tolerance threshold.

Australia is also reeling from mass coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef and mass deaths of kelp forests off the coast of Western Australia.


OO Great Barrier Reef: Govt Must Choose Which Parts To Save says an expert, and confront the prospect that some of it may be doomed, an expert on conservation modelling has warned.




OO Climate May Be More Sensitive And Situation More Dire says new research. The climate may be warming more and faster in response to climate changing emissions than previously thought.




Like A Giant Climate Changing Infection Asian deforestation emits climate changing carbon gases, and often the farms that replace them further add emissions in growing livestock and crops. Source ulet ifan at

OO Asia: Significant Carbon Emissions from Changing Land Use and Coverfrom 1980-2009 resulted, and were responsible for 20-40% of such source emissions globally, a new study finds.




Source NSF Central Arizona Phoenix LTER site

OO Heat Wave Lifts June To Hottest On Record For US with a record average of nearly 72 F for the lower 48 states.


OO We Just Broke The Record For Hottest Year, Nine Straight Times




US Climate Change Costs Mount with this year looking to equal or be worse than the record US disaster year, 2011. Source NOAA

OO US Billion+ Dollar Weather Disasters Surge to Eight –
And It’s Only June
– Takeaways:

  • 2 floods and 6 severe weather events
  • Including severe hailstorms
  • many in Texas,
  • well above the US average in yearly disaster costs.



European Capitals Are Set to Heat UP under continued global warming.
Credit MikeMey67 at

OO Climate Change To Blame For 1,000 Deaths In 2003 Heat Wave says a new study.

  • The model attributes 1,000 deaths directly to climate change.
  • The model looked at Paris and London;
  • In much warmer Paris, 70% of the deaths were climate linked;
  • 20% in London.

Extended to the70,000+ deaths in Europe during that hot summer, the model could potentially link far more deaths to climate change.

The chances of experiencing such extreme heat waves in London and Paris have tripled.

OO Boiled Alive – When the human body gets to 42C, it starts to cook. The heat causes the proteins in each cell to irreversibly change, like an egg white as it boils. In the 2003 summer, record temperatures soared from 36.5 C to 41 C in Bosnia.

OO Climate Report Predicts British Heatwaves Of 48C



Source CBC, Reuters

OO Canada: Alberta Wildfires Costliest Disaster In Canadian History




Planetary Thermal Shield Disappearing as it literally melts away, allowing the planet to absorb ever more heat every day.

OO Arctic Sea Ice Crashes To Record Low For June
With Record Speed
– ice cover disappeared at an average rate of 29,000 miles a day, about 70% faster than the typical rate of ice loss, experts say.

OO Alaska: As Glaciers Melt, Landslides Follow – mountainsides around Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska are giving way, causing seismic tremors and tsunamis.



@@ A Simple And Smart Way To Fix Climate Change given by Dan Miller in 2014 at a Ted talk suggests a way to profit as we tackle climate change, by finally charging those who sell and use fossil fuels – and distributing the revenues back to all of us.

The strategy is sure to speed transition to clean renewable energy. What’s not to like? Check it out!




Hillary At Least Addresses Climate Change occasionally, but Trump is absent on even acknowledging the problem.

OO Food Shortages, Sea Level Rise:
US Voters’ Top Climate Change Concerns

OO Climate Change: The Missing Issue Of The 2016 Campaign – reveals a Guardian survey of US voters, who are angry that the national election campaigns fail to deal with concerns over the gathering global disaster.




OO Climate Change Makes Flood More Likely, More Damaging, experts say. Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that the warming of the planet’s atmosphere is increasing the occurrence of and the seriousness of heavy rains in West Virginia.

OO Britain Faces Drowning With Global Warming As the Earth’s temperature continues to rise at an alarming rate, and catastrophic flooding is just the beginning.


The Bright Eye of Destruction, Nepartak, is the latest in destructive typhoons helped by the heat of global warming. Source

OO Super Typhoon Nepartak Causes Devastation Across Taiwan’s Coastline

OO Climate Change Boosted Nepartak’s Intensity, Destruction


OO Acid Oceans Decreasing Carbon Storage in the Oceans – as the acidity* prevents myriad marine organisms from forming calcium carbonate skeletons, an important way that oceans store carbon.

Ultimately, there will be a limit of the carbon dioxide the oceans will be able to absorb. At that point, the planet will, under continued global warming, heat up far faster.

*As humans fill the air with the carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases that cause global warming, much of that carbon gets dissolved in the ocean, causing the water to acidify.2016-07-21-1469075680-3218209-musselsnfritesmoulesfritesSourceallomoulesfrites.comccr338.jpg

Muscled Out By Climate Change? Source

OO Climate Change Will Muscle
Mussels Off The Menu By 2100
says a new study, ocean acidification seriously affects mussels’ ability to cling onto rocks,, which they must do 6-12 months while they grow to a marketable size.

By 2100, the mussel coastal regions will be so acidic that nearly half of mussels will be unable to cling on long enough to be farmed.

Related Headline:

OO Acid Attack: Can Mussels Hang On for Much Longer?




Hot Times – Field and construction workers are particularly vulnerable to heat wave harm. Source

OO As Temperatures Climb, US Workers Are Suffering – In 2011, heat killed 61 U.S. workers and sickened 4,400+.

There are no federal heat standards for workers.

OO New York City Faces Drowning Within This Century – from projected sea level rises of 5-7 feet or more.

It’s not clear that even the planned 10-foot walls to protect Manhattan will be enough, especially when the next big storm comes.


The Sea Is Claiming Their Homes with rising tides, faster than these Marshall Islanders can find new ones. Source Bikini Atoll Local Government via AP

OO Seas Rising Faster Than Refugee Law Can Adapt – in being able to decide what rights people have when displaced by rising sea levels.


From Wet to Dry: As Lake Poopo Died, So Did the Identity of A Community

OO Climate Change Drying Up Lakes That Sustain Communities in the Andes in South America.



OO What Happens When Society Crumbles And Progress Stops Takeaways:

Every complex society in history – think Rome, the Maya, Greece – has collapsed.

  • societies grow more complex at the cost of energy;
  • social collapse occurs when not enough energy exists to sustain social complexity;
  • collapse of trade, political institutions, technology, economies, production ensues.
  • collapses are inhumane: MANY people die.
  • in past regional collapses, people refashioned new societies from remnants.
  • the next collapse is likely to be global;
  • current resource devastation and pollution means
  • there will not be much left to develop our current level of society, again.

MEH: If we brought our populations to sustainable numbers and consumption levels humanely, we might spare our descendents this inhumane future.




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



Credit E. Moinu, IITA

OO The Limits To Green Growth – Reconciling environmental and economic imperatives will be hard, but necessary.

“Some might argue that calling for radical transformation, rather than incremental change, is inappropriate…
But this view implicitly underestimates the seriousness of the environmental crisis that the world faces, and assumes linear change when the needed transformation will be non-linear.”


“We Now Live In A Full World, but we still behave as if it were empty…”
Credit Randy Scott Slavin

As Herman Daly notes:

“we now live in a full world, but we still behave as if it were empty, with ample space and resources for the indefinite future…

The prevailing obsession with economic growth puts us on the path to ecological collapse, sacrificing the very sustenance of our well-being and survival.

To reverse this ominous trajectory, we must transition toward a steady-state economy focused on qualitative development, as opposed to quantitative growth, and the interdependence of the human economy and global ecosphere.”2016-07-21-1469075996-5106620-soilheldinhandswplantNatashatfreeimagesrbdcctw98.jpg

Credit Natash at free images

OO How The World’s Most Fertile Soil Can Help Reverse Climate Change – Takeaways:

  • Soil mixed with biochar* and organic matter stores far more carbon;
  • Retains far more water and is far more fertile;
  • In combo with reducing fossil fuel use, it could make a huge difference
  • And address many agriculture, food security and hunger issues.

*organic wastes heated in a low oxygen environment – a way to recycle human and agricultural wastes, both plant and animal.


Source AFP via Getty Images

OO Fix or Nix the Most Inefficient, Dirtiest Plants
To Reduce Emissions
in every country, a new study indicates, since not all plants are equal in how much emissions they produce per unit power.

OO A Super Microgrid Controller Allows Microgrids to ‘Talk’ to Each Other – important as clean energy microgrids spread.

OO Flipping Crystals Improves Solar Cell Performance – Takeaways:

  • Perovskite crystals can convert sunlight to electricity efficiently;
  • A new two dimensional formation of the crystal has tripled that efficiency
  • And is outstandingly stable.
  • Perovskites are closer to being used in solar installations.

OO California: Making Your Home Energy Smart With A Click – the state government is making it happen.



OO Miami’s Plan To Deal With Climate Change: Make Developers Pay Up – charging fees for those who develop in environmentally sensitive areas.

OO Here’s What US Can Learn From Germany’s Sunny Grid – One day recently, Germany had generated just short of 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy. Part 3 of 4.

OO Surviving Kenya’s Drought:
Catching Water With Rocks
– Rock catchment systems use naturally occurring rock outcrops to divert rainwater to a central collection area. A concrete wall is built to direct the water that trickles down the rock surface into a sand and gravel filter, then down pipes into covered storage tanks.




OO Big Solar Is Leaving Rooftop Systems In The Dust – Solar power is on pace for the first time this year to contribute more new electricity to the grid than will any other form of energy – a feat driven more by economics than green mandates, favoring large scale over rooftop installations.

OO Offshore Wind Costs Hit Record Low .

OO Wind Power Plant In Atacama Desert Fills Chile’s Clean-Energy Sails


OO Google, Amazon and Apple Are Forging
the Future of Corporate Energy Management

Large corporations are taking a more active approach to managing their energy.

OO New York Investing Bigtime in Clean Energy Future



Bringing The Sun to her community in Tanzania, selling solar lights, and clean stoves as part of the Solar Sisters cooperative. Source Solar Sisters

OO From Basket Weavers To Salt Farmers:
The Women Leading A Renewables Revolution
– From Tanzania to India, social enterprises are helping women become clean energy entrepreneurs.

OO Deutsche Bank Pulls Back From Deals in Coal Mining Sector




Where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Stand on Climate, Energy

OO Where Clinton, Trump Stand on Energy, Climate Change

OO Trump’s Wall Will Hurt U.S. Energy Companies – by choking off a burgeoning energy relationship between the US and the emerging oil and gas nation of Mexico.




OO Despite Economic Advantages,
Some Republican States Are Discouraging Clean Energy

OO G20 Nations Fail To Agree
On Timeline For Phasing Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies




OO Coal Dust Pollution Kills 23,000 Yearly In EU penetrating lungs, and it racks up tens of billions of euros in health costs, says a new report.

OO Shell Seeks Exemption To North Sea Clear-Up Rules so it doesn’t have to remove all the drilling crap it left undersea – some of the structures the size of the Empire State Building.

OO Poland’s Disappearing Lakes Fuel Battle Over Coal Mining as the industry siphons groundwater for its mining, and farms and lakes dry up.




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.



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


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 Faster Rooftop Solar Growth
To Cut Demand From Biggest U.S. Grid

OO ‘The Switch: How Solar, Storage And New Tech
Means Cheap Power For All’
– the solar revolution is closer than you think, argues an expert, as storage and new technology evolve.

OO MGM Resorts Expands Solar Array, Now US Largest





Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, July 20, 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 and so does the drought in California, despite the occasional precipitation.

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 wild 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 texts are freely available.


For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly columns at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week


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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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