Climate Change This Week: Heating Up, Melting Away, Upping Wind Power, and More!

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


Saving BUB, Beautiful Unique Biodiversity, like this Jeweled Flower Mantis found in Asian forests, is another reason to save these important ecosystems.Source Pinterest

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

OO Malaysia: Sarawak Establishes 2+ Million Acres Of Protected Areas and may add 1.1 million more… now will these truly be protected from illegal deforestation? Stay tuned, folks.

<> 2016-08-24-1472059889-5550597-dawnsunthruforestCreditDanatfreedigitalphotos.netccr3423.jpg

Credit Dan at

OO Rising Temperatures Stunt Tree Growth new research finds iconic Douglas firs across the West are water- and heat-stressed.


Rising Temperatures Fuel Fires – the Sobranes, CA wildfire has destroyed nearly 70,000 acres of forest and destroyed over 40 homes. Source

OO 43 Large US West Wildfires as of August 24, 2016 shows the US Forest Service wildfire map.

OO New England Is Being Deforested since the 1980s due to expansion of affluent suburbs, says a new study; since then 5% of its forests has been lost.

Sounds small? “Even a small-scale rate of deforestation will have a large impact over time,” says study co-author Pontus Olofsson of Boston University.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.




OO Extraordinary Heat Wave In Eastern U.S.,
With Extreme Humidity
– recently, for the second long stretch this summer, with heat indices approaching 110 degrees Fahrenheit.


Camelot It Isn’t as Africa and the Mideast heats up, literally and socially.

OO Epic Middle East Heat Wave Could Be
Global Warming’s Hellish Curtain-Raiser
– with record-shattering temperatures this summer scorching countries from Morocco to Saudi Arabia and beyond, climate experts warn that this could be a harbinger of worse to come.

OO It’s Hotter Nights – More Than Hotter Days –
That Make Heat Waves Dangerous
thanks to climate change. Hot nights deprive the body of a needed cool break from daytime heat, but under climate change, nights are heating up faster than days.

OO Heat Waves Bring Warnings About Synthetic Turf Risk – synthetic turf is much hotter to run on than natural grass: when air temperature reaches 90 F, turf temperatures have been measured at 165 F!

YEOW!! Time to hot foot it out of there – and returning the space to grass…


2015 Was Not Cool – practically anywhere on the planet; most areas were hotter than average. Source

OO Environmental Records Shattered
As Climate Change ‘Plays Out Before Us
– with the temperature of the air and oceans breaking records, sea levels reaching historic highs and carbon dioxide surpassing a key milestone, a major international report has found.

Related Headlines:

OO 2015 Set Frenzy Of Climate Records – and 2016 has broken or is poised to break several of 2015’s records: check out their interactive.

OO Latest Climate Report:
Heat, More Heat And Signs Of Worse To Come
– with 2015 record warm temperatures on every inhabited continent as ice melted and the seas rose at alarming rates. It hasn’t stopped.



@@ 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!




Credit NSIDC; Holly Tichney at UK Met Office

OO A Pieced History of The Arctic’s Sea Ice Back To 1850 shows that Arctic sea ice cover has declined over recent decades, with the greatest decrease in the summer, with sea ice extent reducing roughly 12% per decade since the satellite record began in 1979.

OO The Alaskan Highway Is Literally Melting – with bumps and sometimes wide deep cracks scarring huge swathes of the road.




Source Wikipedia

@@ How Climate Change Fuels Conflict – as temperatures soar and drought increases, many in Africa are losing their livelihoods. Looking for other ways to survive, some are turning to groups like Boko Haram.

OO Africa: Fleeing Disasters, Escaping Drought, Migrating – most agree that Africa is the most impacted region by widespread violence and climate catastrophes.

OO Britain Protests Immigration But Ignores A Root Cause: Climate Changewith its politicians skeptical of action on global warming.

<> 2016-08-24-1472060295-5308505-droughtsignprayforrainsourcefacebookccr253.jpg

OO US: Thirsty Westlands Faces Escalating Woes – think drought, and water wars.

OO So California: Stagnant Heat Brings Worst Smog In Years
And Surge In Hospital Visits

OO Climate Change Threatens Japan’s Agriculture



TheWannabe Atlantis: Louisiana Floods Bigtime with thousands of homes destroyed, and several killed. Credit Isaac Landov at

OO 3 Killed In ‘Historic’ Louisiana Floods; Thousands Rescued

OO Philippines: Five Dead, Tens Of Thousands Flee Floods caused by days of unrelenting rain.

OO India Climate: Extreme Heat, Drought – And Now, Rain – this year’s strong monsoon has created floods:

  • affecting 8+ million people;
  • 1+ million people are living in temporary shelters;
  • some 300 people have died.




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 In Corporate March To Clean Energy, Utilities Not Required – companies like google are buying renewable energy directly from the producers.

OO The New Green Grid: Utilities Deploy ‘Virtual Power Plants’ by linking together networks of energy-efficient buildings, solar installations, and batteries, US and Europe companies are increasingly helping utilities reduce energy demand at peak hours and supply targeted areas with renewably generated electricity.

OO An Expanded Power Grid Could Help California Fight Climate Change – by 2019, CA’s largest utilities could be slashing their use of fossil fuels by swapping CA solar energy for Rocky Mountain wind power in a sprawling Western electricity grid.


OO California, New York Are Going Clean Energy –
But CA Is Ditching Nuclear

OO California: Tiny Town To Cut Emissions Via A Utility Collective to buy power on behalf of residents and businesses, acquiring more clean power as part of a potential climate plan committing to climate changing gas reductions.

OO Creative Incentives To Boost Groundwater Recharge In California – an innovative program offers landowners incentives to collect stormwater run-off to recharge groundwater.


A Future Block Island View? Source

OO Rhode Island To Have First Us Offshore Wind Farm

OO US Tribes Work With Scientists Against Climate Change


OO China To Use Tougher Environmental Standards
To Tackle Capacity Glut
– including those of safety and energy efficiency, to rein in overproduction in key industrial sectors, such as steel, cement, coal, aluminum and glassmaking.

OO Australia: A Mining Shows How To Turn To Clean Renewables – as in wind and solar power.

OO Europe Aims To Close Loophole On Wood Energy that promotes burning wood for electricity by an industry that’s felling American trees, a reform that is urgently needed, says a new report.


Soil Once Covered That Green Pole – back in 1852; farming has since eroded much of the rich soil. Credit Megan Darby

OO No-Dig For Victory:
Saving Britain’s Soils From Climate Stress

  • Tilling soil exposes its carbon to air;
  • Exposed carbon converts into climate-changing CO2
  • And robs soils of needed carbon.
  • No till farming equipment is needed to plant seeds.

OO Seoul To Limit Old Diesel Vehicles To Fight Air Pollution


OO Wisconsin Taxes Wind Farms – too bad they didn’t think of this in coal’s heyday… those old mines will continue to cause environmental headaches, both in local pollution and climate change generated.




A Knotty Future awaits this Red Knot (hey, I don’t make up these names) and many other Arctic birds, as climate change drives a wedge between their breeding seasons and the emergence of their food sources.

OO Warming Climate Expected To Squeeze Out Arctic Bird Habitat – birds are hardwired to migrate according to daylight patterns; their food sources, insects, are hardwired to emerge based on temperature. This sets up a lethal mismatch in a warming future for breeding shorebirds, shows a new study.

About two-thirds of the studied species will lose most of their important breeding habitat by 2070.

OO Climate Change Could Make Beaches Saltier indicates a new study. Takeaways:

  • increasing temperatures up evaporation from beaches;
  • this makes the seawater trapped just beneath the surface saltier.
  • This could potentially affect coastal aquifers,
  • and beach life, such as crabs and shore birds.


Marine Heatwave Caused Massive Bleaching on the beautiful giant Great Barrier Reef, turning undersea rainbows into ghostly white coral graveyards.

OO ‘The Blob’:
How Marine Heatwaves Are Causing Unprecedented Climate Chaos
– a giant mass of hot seawater off California caused massive die-offs of sea birds, marine mammals, fish and more during 2014-2015.

Such marine heatwaves are increasing worldwide, especially in Australia, where in 2015 they permanently destroyed 60+ miles of kelp forests. These forests sustained about $10 billion worth of fish and tourism industries.


Gone Forever are many miles of kelp forests off Australia, along with all the fascinating creatures that lived among them, doomed by marine heatwaves. Source

In 2016, marine heatwaves caused disastrous coral die-offs on the Great Barrier Reef there, and massive die-offs of mangroves, important natural coastal storm barriers.

OO Arctic Fish Populations Changing As Ice Dwindles, report says, with twenty species, including sleeper sharks, as newly documented denizens of the Arctic Chukchi and Beaufort seas.


Did This Just Start A Bog Fire? Lightning can if the bogs are hot and dry. Source

OO A New Climate Danger: Carbon Released By Burning Bogs – rising temperatures can dry out northern peatlands, increasing the risk of fires that release thousands of years of stored carbon into the atmosphere.

Bog fires are notoriously difficult to extinguish, and can burn for decades.

OO Mountain Biodiversity More Vulnerable To Climate Change
than previously reported, a new study shows.


Untouchable? As waters warm and enable toxic algal blooms, oysters and other shellfish concentrate the toxins in their flesh, making them poisonous. Source

OO Study Links Global Warming To Rise In Waterborne Illnesses – such as food poisoning from oysters, along with other nasty infections, a new study shows.


A Cornucopia of Cichlid Fish evolved in Lake Tanganyika, such as this Blue Neon, and are being lost as the lake slowly warms over the centuries – an outdoor laboratory that previews what will happen to fish in a global warming world. Source

OO World’s Longest Lake Is Being Depleted Of Life As Waters Warm – loss of biodiversity in Lake Tanganyika, Africa’s oldest and deepest lake, has been driven by 500 years of sustained climate warming, a study of core sediments has found.

OO Sea Lions Decline Tied To Declining Food Sources In Warming Waters in the Falkland Islands.




@@ The Madhouse Effect – Enjoy the cartoons as you learn about the science, policy and solutions of climate change – and the strange pathology of climate denial.

Probably too many and big words for Donald Trump, but fine for ages 12 and up. You can get it here – a great gift for friends and family who need it.




New York Goes Green – well, at least with its energy… but a farmer can dream of more…Source

OO New York Approves Plan For 50 % Renewable Energy By 2030 The ambitious plan will rely on big subsidies to nuclear power plants to help reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels.

OO Apple Can Sell Power As Tech Giants Boost Energy Investments – It spent $850 million last year on a 130-megawatt solar farm near San Francisco, and can now begin selling power into wholesale markets.


Born in 2015, Walking in 2016? The global climate agreement created in Paris, December 2015, may start going into effect soon.

OO Global Climate Deal Likely To Enter Into Force In 2006 a new study shows.

OO Massachusetts’ Ambitious Clean Energy Bill
Jolts Offshore Wind Prospects
– making offshore wind a big part of its renewable energy requirements.

OO Toyota, Tesla And Vestas Ranked Among World’s Top Green Companiesand are outperforming most polluting counterparts by three to one.




Pushing Clean Energy And A Safe Future by creating new ways for the US government to address climate change. Credit AP photo, Julie Jacobson

OO Every US Govt Agency Will Have To Consider Climate Change in their decisions from now on, as the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality has finalized a process of shaping how the agencies will do so.

Related Headline:

OO Obama Broadens Use Of ‘Climate Tests’ In Federal Project Reviews to account for the carbon emissions and other climate impacts of their major decisions, new guidelines say.

OO Obama To Roll Out New Climate Change Measures for combating climate change before he leaves office.


OO Clinton Makes Pitch For ‘Modern Grid’ essential for transitioning to clean renewable power; she called for billions of dollars in added infrastructure investments recently.




Credit Nate Beeler at the Columbus Dispatch

OO Trump: Climate Change Won’t Be ‘Devastating – yeah, right – tell that to the flood victims in Louisiana, and the people who lost their homes to wildfires in the west, or to tornadoes in the Midwest…




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.




Another Beautiful Undersea Kingdom Destroyed – a Guam coral reef in a cooler, healthier past, above, and in the wake of a warming present, devastated by bleaching, below.

OO ‘I Cried…Right Into My Mask’ – Guam’s reefs have bleached four years straight, but have received little notice. Takeaways:

  • Just outside the Pacific “triangle” of high coral biodiversity,
  • Guam reefs host 300+ types of coral;
  • An important tourism area, Tumon Bay, has been hard hit
  • Early in the “bleaching season”

@@ A Coral Convulses: this heated coral expands then expels its symbiotic algae under time lapse photography.

Warming waters can up the photosynthesis of resident algae, leading to toxic levels of oxygen inside coral tissues. Thus, expelling the algae is a short term defense. But continued warm waters can deter algae from re-colonizing the coral, leading to its death.

El Nino worsened conditions on Guam reefs, causing extremely low tides which left parts of the reef exposed to air, and other parts shallow, thus prone to more heating.

“Today, for the first time in the 50 years I’ve been in the water, I cried for an hour, right into my mask, as I witnessed the extent to which our lovely Tumon Bay corals were…dying,” coral biologist Laurie Raymundo wrote.





OO When Protest Becomes Sacrament – these Catholic social justice advocates are exemplars of the force behind We Are Seneca Lake, one of the nation’s longest-running campaigns of civil disobedience, blockading a facility that enables fracking.

OO Clean Power Plan Offers Chance To Right Past Injustices, advocates say, in a little known provision.


OO Climate Change May Be Doubted By Some,
But Now It’s The Law
says a federal appeals court in Chicago giving a thumbs-up this week to an obscure regulatory practice that helps the U.S. government account for projected costs of climate change.




OO US Must Bury Coal To Save Miner Jobs said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, using ex-miners to clean up the messes left behind by closed coal mines, and having ex-miners help shape a post coal economy.

OO US Coal Regulator To Crack Down On Cleanup Coverage – states should force coal companies to set aside collateral to pay for future mine cleanups and protect taxpayers as the industry braces for further declines, a leading federal regulator said recently.

OO Colorado: Fighting Fracking at the Ballot Box – as the energy industry ramped up publicity for unregulated fracking, activists gathered signatures across the state to put 2 proposed fracking regulations on the November ballot.


They’re Baaaaaack… To Drill for more oil, this time off Australia. As if the country hasn’t got enough climate change disasters with marine heatwaves destroying its coral reefs, kelp forests and mangroves. Wikipedia

OO BP Reveals Plans To Drill For Oil In Great Australian Bight Marine Reserve a commonwealth marine reserve.

OO Undermining China: Towns Sink After Mines Close – and houses sink into the collapsing network of mine tunnels.

OO India’s Coal Ministry Said To Seek Environment Tax On Petcoke an oil-refining byproduct and a coal substitute, is more polluting than coal and should be subject to the same federal taxes, the coal ministry said. Imagine anything like that ever happening in the US…



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

@@ How Parents Can Help Prevent Teen Pregnancy

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 Solar Manufacturers Pivoting Away From Big US Utility Projects because utilities aren’t signing as many deals to buy electricity from their giant power plants.


Check it out here, right now!




Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Aug 23, 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, some 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. Down south, a stagnating storm front, expected under climate change, brought historic flooding to much of Louisiana.

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 these wild flowers I photographed one summer. 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.


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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