Climate Change This Week: It Started 200 Years Ago, A Lit Fuse, and More!


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


Saving BUB, Beautiful Unique Biodiversity, like this little clown grasshopper from India, is another reason to conserve forests. Credit Lalie Sorbet on Flickr

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon


A Growing Indian Population Is Eating Its Forests converting them into croplands, and altering climate. Source BMC Ecology at Flickr

OO Deforestation Reducing Monsoon Rainfall In India: New Study Takeaways:

  • Large scale conversion of forests to croplands
  • Reduces evaporation of water from land to sky:
  • Crops have fewer leaves and shallower roots than forest plants,
  • thus much less water gets moved through them from earth to sky.
  • Winds circulate internally there, thus
  • Up to 25% of the north’s late monsoons depend on this
  • Evapotranspiration, which fuels the recycled precipitation.
  • In the south, where monsoons are fueled by evaporation
  • Off the Arabian Sea, deforestation affects monsoons little.

OO World’s Watersheds Lost 6 % Of Their Forests In 14 Years – shows a new analysis of satellite data, endangering water security.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.



@@ Next Floor – a short powerful film, allegorical for where our world is unsustainably headed, due to our shortsighted greed. Climate change is just a symptom of our unsustainable lifestyle.




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 Glenn Campbell

OO Small Warming Increase Means
Far More Extreme Events, Disasters
than previously thought, says a new analysis, when the increase is between 1.5-2.0 degrees C of warming.

The upper end of current climate extremes would be “the new normal” at 1.5 degrees warming – which could be just 10 to 20 years away under the current trajectory.



@@ 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!




OO Man-Made Warming Started Almost 200 Years Ago says a new study. Takeaways:

  • Fueled by the Industrial Revolution, begun in 1750,
  • Which created a surge in burning coal,
  • the first signs of warming showing up around 1830,
  • in oceanic temperatures of the tropics and Arctic.

“Our findings show that the climate can respond very quickly to changes in greenhouse gases,” said the lead study author.

And that goes for cutting them, too – if we started cutting dramatically tomorrow, you’d start seeing signs within a year.




As The Permafrost Melts the landscape becomes one of meltwater lakes.

OO ‘It’s A Lit Fuse:’ Widespread Release
Of Ancient Carbon From Melting Arctic Permafrost
has been measured and confirmed. Takeaways:

These releases of climate changing greenhouse gases
could trigger a self-reinforcing cycle of accelerating climate change:
gases spur further global warming, which spur further release of gases.
There are vast amounts of carbon stored in the permafrost.

“It’s a lit fuse, but the length of that fuse is very long,” said the lead study author.

“According to the model projections, we’re getting ready for the part where it starts to explode. But it hasn’t happened yet.”




OO China, US To Ratify Landmark Paris Climate Deal Ahead Of G20 Summitsources reveal. The move may tip momentum and bring accord into force globally sooner.

OO California Assembly Approves Climate Change Law – a bill extending California’s greenhouse gas emission targets, after an intense floor debate.

Related Headline:

OO California’s Emissions Goal Is A ‘Milestone’
On Climate Efforts: 40% Cut
– as lawmakers passed, and Gov. Jerry Brown promised to sign, bills requiring the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 % below 1990 levels.


California Dreamin’ Solar Source

OO More Electric Cars, More Solar Power Expected as California struggles to reach tough new climate standards; it’s already a world leader in developing environmental policies that address climate change.

OO As Energy Use Rises, Corporations Turn To Their Own Green Utility Sources – Apple recently received a federal designation for its renewable energy subsidiary, allowing it to become a wholesale seller of electricity.


OO Iowa Utilities Board Approves Huge Wind Energy Project it says will be the nation’s largest wind energy project.

OO Wind Takes Center Stage In Vermont Governor’s Race where victory went to the candidate who favors industrial-scale wind development.




Now You See It, Now You Don’t – Beijing that is, on a sunny and smoggy day from the CNN Bureau. Source CNN

OO Dark Clouds Loom For Oil As China Chases Blue Skies For G-20 – China will cut oil use enough to affect the global market:

  • As a policy to literally clear the skies of pollution as it hosts a September G-20 meeting;
  • And as a result of recent extreme flooding in many provinces that disabled many oil pipelines.




Up In Flames as wildfires continue their rampage across the dry west. Credit Eugene Garcia, EPA

OO Dozens Of Wildfires Rage Across Arid US West and have blackened hundreds of square miles recently, as destructive blazes forced residents from homes in California and Washington state.


So Cute, So Threatened, So Disappearing under climate change, as its alpine habitat literally becomes too hot for it.. Oh, and they have this cute, high-pitched squeak when alarmed.

OO Pika: The American ‘Fur Ball’ Being Threatened By A Warming Climate

OO The Saltmarsh Sparrow Is Creeping Dangerously Close To Extinction as rising seas and shrinking habitat are causing populations to plummet.




OO Climate Change Could Cost Millennials Trillions Of Dollars In Lifetime Income – 20s-30ish Americans could lose trillions of dollars in potential lifetime earnings as climate change disrupts the global economy and weakens U.S. productivity, says a new report.



Going to Sleep With the Fishes? Nearly 1 in 5 Boston homes will be drowning by 2100, as sea levels rise. Source

OO As Sea Levels Rise, Nearly 2 Million US Homes Could Be Underwater By 2100 says a recent research analysis published by Zillow.


  • Florida tops the list with nearly 1,00,000 homes drowning;
  • New Jersey is next with nearly 200,000 homes lost;
  • All other states will lose 40,000-100,000 homes;
  • In Boston, nearly one in five homes could be at risk unless more protections are put in place.



OO Climate Change To Increase Hay Fever – Millions more Britons could start to suffer from hay fever as a result of climate change, suggests a recent study..



The Future: More of the Same as climate change continues, warn scientists.Credit Isaac Landov at

OO Flooding In The South Looks A Lot Like Climate Change and expect more floods, destruction and death, warn scientists and experts who say weather prediction models are now outdated.

OO Kansas City Area Hit By Floods After Three Days Of Downpour recently, forcing emergency services to conduct about 10 water rescues in Missouri’s largest city.



The Source of Future Floods is the melting Baltero glacier, one of many in the Himalayas. Wikipedia

OO Pakistan Expands Glacier Monitoring In Effort To Cut Disaster Riskinvesting $8+ million to expand a network of glacier monitoring stations tracking the pace of glacial melt in its mountain ranges, to strengthen early warning systems and reduce the impact of flooding.

OO Hit By Climate Change, Central American Coffee Growers
Get A Taste For Cocoa
and plant it instead.




Repurposing Dirty Energy Rigs For Storing Clean Energy – one startup envisions using the empty underground space to store energy from clean power sources.Source

OO A Texas Startup’s Big Energy Idea: Storing Clean Energy Underground – Takeaways:

  • Quidnet Energy wants to
  • Use clean renewable power to force water
  • into deep cracks that once held fossil fuels;
  • when released the water will shoot up to the surface
  • to power electric turbines.
  • This essentially stores the energy for when it is needed,
  • Making solar and wind energy more accessible for use.



Colorado Solar Source

OO Colorado Utility Compromises With Solar Owners For A Win-Win agreeing to pay solar owners higher rates for peak power, following deals in other states.

OO Colorado Governor To Ask For 35 % Cut In CO2 Pollution By 2030, saying climate change is hurting the state economy while the clean technology sector is helping it.



Why Walkies? As more cities try to improve walkability worldwide, a new report outlines the reasons behind the shift, the actions that cities can take to create more walkable streets, and why walkability matters.

OO 50 Reasons Why Everyone Should Want More Walkable Streets – The top five are that walking:

  • Helps people live longer;
  • Helps people lose weight;
  • Reduces the risk of chronic disease;
  • Makes people happier;
  • Improves traffic safety.

That’s enough for me already.

OO Australian Logistics Software Promises To Minimise Traffic And Emissions – delivery vehicles are major greenhouse gas emitters but new software reroutes trucks with real-time data and machine learning.



@@ Dakota Pipeline Company Attacks
Native American Protesters with Dogs and Pepper Spray
as they protested the pipeline’s construction. It would carry about 500,000 barrels of crude daily to Illinois.

The project has faced months of resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and members of nearly 100 more tribes from across the U.S. and Canada.

OO Environmentalists Fight Feds For Hiding
Climate Harm Of Public Lands Drilling In West


Chad Myers Finally Gets The Message that humans cause climate change, something that a chemist predicted back in the 1890s, using basic physics principles — oh, and his brain.

OO Cnn Meteorologist Now Concludes Climate Change Is Caused By Humans
It was an evolution in understanding,
and personal amassing of more observations –

2010 was a record hot year, that,
absent climate change, should not have been.

This, and more, shattered the possibility of other causes,
leaving only the human factor.

Source NOAA

Eventually, It’s The Human Factor that stands out as the only logical explanation for global warming.

“It’s OK to be wrong as long as you learn from your mistakes,” he says.

Yes, but will enough of us learn in enough time? The records continue to break.

OO Media Ignored Extreme Weather, Flooding In Louisiana – despite the epic flooding in Louisiana being the worst natural US disaster since Superstorm Sandy in 2012, mainstream media failed to notice, initially.




OO Study Finds Biofuels Worse For Climate Than Gasoline – using a new approach to counter old arguments of biofuel benefits.

MEH: in a 2008 free, still available online book Cool The Earth, Save The Economyabout solving global warming, my husband and I had pointed out how biofuels could only make the situation worse.

Plants convert solar energy at an efficiency of 1-2%… compare that to the efficiency of wind turbines or solar panels… and plants take up a lot more space, on an increasingly crowded planet.

OO Natural Gas Leaks Make Natural Gas Dirtier – Scientists have traced a giant plume of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, over the Southwest’s Four Corners region to leaks from oil and natural gas fields.

OO US Govt Move Oil & Gas Lease Auctions Online In Effort To Stifle Opposition to nearly 24 million acres of leases in Gulf of Mexico that were auctioned recently amid protests from community activists and environmentalists.


OO Study: Fracking Chemicals In Water Raise Fertility Risks New research suggests chemicals used in fracking and other gas and oil operations increase risk of miscarriages, reduced male fertility, prostate cancer, birth defects and preterm birth by disrupting hormones.

Surprise, surprise…

OO Living Near A Fracking Site Is Tied To Migraines, Fatigue – and is associated with increased rates of sinus problems, says new research.




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 The Falling Costs Of US Solar Power, In 7 Charts – solar continues its steady march down the cost curve, as growth accelerates.

OO Indian Scientists Design Solar Tree To Save Space
For Solar Power Generation
– hoping to help overcome one of the key challenges the country faces in the generation of solar power.


Check it out here, right now!




Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Sept 6, 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. So do the western wildfires.

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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