Climate Change This Week: Ghost Forests, Sahara Solar, and More!

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

And the chances of Donald Trump’s family and fortune surviving climate change are small, dwindling daily and irreversibly.


Saving BUB, Beautiful Unique Biodiversity, as in these Crested Guineafowl found in Cameroon, is another reason to preserve carbon storing forests. Source

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon


Unleashing More Climate Change, Destroying His Last Home, for Palm Oil?Chimpanzees now number a few thousand in a very small area, and this forestis part of it. Once it’s destroyed, the climate changing carbon released will add to the destruction of our children’s future. Source, modified

OO YOU CAN ACT: New York Investors Plan To Destroy Rainforest For Palm Oil Profit – replacing it with giant plantations in Cameroon, Africa. Sign here to urge Cameroon’s president to say no to these short-sighted investors.

OO Soil Could Emit CO2 Bigtime Within Decades, Unless We Increase Forests, Grasslands from former human use, a new study shows. These, not carbon capture and sequestration, are the easiest, cheapest ways to store carbon and slow climate change.


Source Rainforest Rescue

OO Indigenous Rights Are Key To Preserving Forests climate change study finds; it shows at least a quarter of forest carbon is stored on communal land, particularly in Brazil.

OO Failure To Secure Forest Dweller Rights Risks Carbon Emissions Spike a new report says, since dwellers protect these carbon storing systems that are their homes.


US Coast Forests Dying From Salt by rising seas, which are now flooding wetlands among the coastal woodlands.

OO Ghost Forests: Rising Seas Are Killing US Woodlands pushing saltwater into U.S. wetlands, killing trees from Florida to New Jersey.


OO YOU CAN ACT: Sign The Wilderness Bill Of Rights Developed By The Wilderness Society,

“We, the American people, stand united to defend our wild. We call on our lawmakers to protect and preserve our national heritage. Public lands are what unite us. They are vital …”

A sampling of the 10 Rights:

I. The protection of our wild places will be an urgent priority.
II. Our public lands will not be sold off to the highest bidder.
III. America’s public lands will receive the funding needed to flourish and endure for generations.
VI. Fossil fuel development will be prohibited on lands that are too wild to drill.
VII. Public lands must be a central part of the solution to climate change.

These are rights that serve our children’s future, that we can all agree on. Read the full list and sign here.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.




Remember the Polar Vortex Invasion of 2014? Expect repeats. Source

Sounds crazy? Only if you still think that climate change only means warming – not more extreme changes… read on…

OO Polar Vortex Shifting Due To Climate Change, Extending US Winters in the east, a new study finds. Because of Arctic sea ice loss, the polar vortex is shifting and temperatures are turning colder during March.

OO Why Republicans Still Reject The Science Of Global Warming – it’s morphed into an “anything Obama supports, we’re against” religion, fueled with the campaign support of fossil fuel industries.

But even Charles Koch is acknowledging that climate change exists in part from humans – and now, Obama is being replaced by Trump… is this enough to evoke seismic change by the new party in power?

As it stands, “Only one major political party in the world denies climate change, and it’s in charge of the most important political body in the world.”



@@ 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!




The Big Shrink: A Bay Disappears as all of Great Salt Lake shrinks from human overuse of inflows and the drought. Source

OO NASA Images: Utah’s Great Salt Lake Shrinking Dramatically – the largest US lake after the Great Lakes. Takeaways:

  • Farming has dramatically reduced the river inflows that feed this lake;
  • 5 years of drought have also helped shrink the lake.
  • It has shrunk to half its size since about 1850.

If it vanishes:

  • resulting toxic dust could cause massive, costly city pollution (think dust storms);
  • a57 million brine shrimp industry ends;
  • a70 million waterfowl hunting industry ends;
  • a1+ billion economy depends on it.

OO Global Warming Contributed To Record ‘Snow Drought’ In The US West in 2015, shows a new study. High temperatures resulted in record low snowpack in the northwest.

OO Colorado River: No Tech Breakthroughs Will Bring Back Water – disappearing due to the effects of climate change, says a new report.

OO Greenhouse Gases Made West Coast Drought Worse shows a new study.


The Face of Rising Sea Levels: Melting Antarctica Source NASA

OO Climate Change Captured In Stunning Antarctic Ice Photos

OO Paris Climate Deal: Renewables Alone Won’t Stop Global Warming – it won’t happen fast enough, unless leaders to act to:

  1. dramatically cut off investment to fossil fuels and switch to clean energy;
  2. dramatically cut demand: bringing population/consumption to sustainable levels.

OO The Long-Term Environmental Impact Of Our Short-Term Politics will echo to the end of our civilization, as climate change, unchecked, seals its end. That means you, too, Trump.

“The window of opportunity for acting in a cost-effective way – or in an effective way – is closing fast,” said Princeton University’s Michael Oppenheimer.




OO Someone Is Stealing The World’s Oil Reserves – But Who?

Takeaways in this mystery thriller:

  • Exxon and other big oil companies are decreasing their estimated reserves
  • Even though the price of oil is still comparable to what it was in the 1970s-80s.
  • But the remaining reserves are far deeper and more expensive to extract.
  • When it costs as much oil to extract an equal amount of oil,
  • Big Oil will be out of business.


Going Below The Double Lines Is a No-No economically at current oil prices. We are currently depleting oil reserves that oil companies can profit from extracting. Source

– OR

  • Big Oil raises oil prices and we decide to pay them, IF we can,
  • Even if it leads us into far more catastrophic climate change.
  • But will we?
  • – Or will we be driving EVs charged by clean renewably produced electricity?
  • Produced by former oil companies that decided to invest in renewables?

Stay tuned…

Related Headline:

OO Exxon’s Slashes Oil Sands Reserve Estimates,
But Keeps Producing Climate Change
– as it extracts climate changing oil. The future doesn’t look profitable.

But, hey, we know that just from unfolding climate disasters, right?




OO The Average American Melts About 540 Square Feet Of Arctic Ice Yearlydue to their abnormally high consumption of resources, a study found.

OO Around The Arctic In 20 Weeks:
By Sailboat Through Meltwaters
– another sign of the alarmingly fast meltdown of our planetary thermal shield.


billy barr bares all about snow as this winter hermit measures snow data daily outside his snug cabin in the Colorado Rockies

OO Video: The Snow Guardian: Tracking The Warming Of The Rockies – for 40+ years, billy barr has lived alone every winter in his cabin, daily collecting snow data. It is now telling a hot story.
FD: I’ve known this remarkable man for decades, who works for the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, my summer research haunt.




OO Oil Majors Join Forces In Climate Push With Renewable Energy Fund Players include Saudi Aramco and Shell.

OO Wind And Solar Could Fuel Africa’s Future with prices for renewables dropping, many countries in Africa might leap past dirty forms of energy towards a cleaner future.


OO US, 35 States To Boost Electric Vehicle Charging Network The feds will establish 48 national electric-vehicle charging networks on nearly 25,000 miles of highways in 35 U.S. states. Well, if Trump lets it.

OO Global Carbon Intensity Falls With Coal Use Falloff To Record Low in 2015, as coal consumption in major economies plummeted.

OO UK Coal-Powered Electricity Projected To Fall By Record Amount


Kenya: Viva La Solar Revolution! Experimentation with solar lighting is fast expanding into broader use of renewable power for business, energy experts say.

OO Taste Of Solar Power Builds Appetite For More In Kenya one of the countries leading Africa’s push toward solar energy use, survey finds.

OO Indonesia, Vietnam Look To Blaze Trail For Solar In Southeast Asiaintroducing targets to fire up green energy generation as a landmark global agreement to curb pollution is set to take effect.


Credit Ian Wylie at Foundation for Deep Ecology

OO New Landmark Deals Tackle Big Climate Polluting Sectors:
Planes, Ships And Coolants
albeit too slowly, so far.

OO Alberta, Canada Introduces Bill To Make Oil Sands Emissions Cap Law for the oil producing province.




Credit Stephen B. Morton at AP photo

OO Climate Change Is Already Forcing Americans To Move As global warming causes more extreme weather and sea-level rise, US coastal communities are thinking about people moving away from the water.


Face of a Climate Change Future – continued global warming will have catastrophic effects on global food supplies Source Reuters

OO VIDEO: UN Paints Apocalyptic Climate Changing Picture Of Famine, War And Disease unless world wakes up to dangers of climate change.

The world will “grieve over the avoidable human tragedy” of climate change as refugees flee hunger, poverty, illness and conflict unless urgent action is taken, a new United Nations report warns.

Related Headline:

OO UN: Huge Emissions Cuts Needed To Meet Paris Climate Goals

OO Greenhouse Gas Emissions Set To Bust Global Climate Pact In 2030 says the U.N., based on national pledges so far.



@@ 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 To Deal With Climate Change We Need A New Financial System Starting with ending debt-based currency. Takeaways:

  • Debt-based currency: banks lend out 10x more money than they hold;
  • Thus, 90% of the money in our economy relies on debt.
  • but as a national debt grows, so must the national economy to pay it,
  • – and that further corrodes our global resource base.




  • Banks must back their loans with far larger reserves – or cut back loans;
  • OR let the government create money and spend it into existence – the Chicago Plan
  • This would dramatically cut private and public debt, and up stability.
  • Measure economic health not based on growth but sustainability.

Guess who won’t like this?
Banks and mega-rich, who profit from current debts.


Another Way To Clean Toxic Air: Cut Down on Energy Use which, when fueled by fossil fuels, creates toxic air.

OO Save Kids’ Lives By Cleaning Toxic Air Takeaways:

  • about 2 billion children worldwide breathe toxic air by World Health Organization (WHO) pollution guidelines
  • about 300 million kids — almost 1 in 7 worldwide — breathe abnormally high toxic outdoor air.

OO Storing Electricity Underwater Two projects are testing the concept. The idea:

  • Use clean energy to compress air on land and
  • pump it into containers deep under water;
  • Compressing air creates heat that can be stored;
  • To generate electricity from stored air, release it to drive a turbine,
  • And use the stored heat to warm the turbine cooled by expanding air.


Mangroves: One of the Best Ways to Store Carbon on Earth Source

OO African Wetlands Projects: A Win For Climate And People,
If Well Managed
so that people also prosper, especially in developing nations.

Mangroves and wetlands worldwide:

  • suck up about 10 times more CO2 per acre per year than rainforests do;
  • store 3-5 times as much over the long term,
  • mostly in the soil that extends deep beneath their roots;
  • are disappearing much faster than rainforests,
  • due to coastal development, pollution, aquaculture, and overuse.

OO Tree Planting Pays Off For Minneapolis, Other US Cities providing shade, absorbing pollution; cities could see big returns on their investments in planting more, especially to adapt to climate change, says a new study


It Eats Plants – AND Carbon Dioxide: the bacterium (little green sticks here) Clostridium thermocellum. Say it 3x fast. Source

OO Carbon-Eating Bacteria Could Be One Answer To Climate Change – a species that breaks down plant fiber, and can also break down CO2.




Bye-Bye Butterflies in the UK, like this peacock one, as climate change worsens, a new study concludes. Source

OO Butterflies Could Be Soon Wiped Out By Extreme Weather Heat waves, cold snaps and heavy rain have probably already help crash populations of butterflies in the UK, says a new study, and will likely continue.


Imagine Them Gone – many birds have been killed, and many more are threatened, from loss of habitat or hunting. Source

OO Hundreds Of Millions Of Birds Are Missing – Takeaways:

  • Bird trackers are seeing/hearing 420+ million fewer migratory birds since 1980;
  • Spreading human development robs them of vital habitat;
  • Humans continue to hunt wild birds by the millions.
  • Bird habitat needs to be conserved to save them;
  • Birds are important pest controllers for crops: they eat insects.

Maybe They Can Turn It Into a Hotel – at least in the dry season. Source

OO China’s Largest Freshwater Lake Turns Into Prairie As human diversions of its feeder river, industrial use, and a prolonged dry season, of the sort expected under continuing climate change, takes its toll. Move over, Great Salt Lake!




Xie to Don: Get Real on Climate says China climate rep Xie Zhenhua, because there’s money for your country to be made if you do, both in savings on avoided climate catastrophes and jobs to address climate change.

OO China Climate Chief To Trump: Keep The US Part Of Paris Agreement – otherwise, US social and economic progress will suffer.

Related Headline:

OO China To Trump: Wise Men Don’t Sneer At Climate Change China and the US don’t need to go to war to destroy our civilization – just keep pumping the skies full of carbon dioxide for 75 more years, slowly turning much of the planet into a wasteland.

We’re on our way… enjoy the trip!

OO Nigeria’s Own “Inconvenient Truth” Brings Home Climate Threats which may help Boko Haram extremism and are an issue “we cannot afford to ignore,” filmmaker says.




Billion Dollar Greenwash For Fossil Fuels – a ‘climate’ fund by 10 of the largest oil companies seeks to limit gas leakage rather than promote truly clean renewable energy sources. Credit Jae C. Hong at AP

OO Oil Firms Announce $1 Billion Climate Fund
– Devoted To Fossil Fuels
– trying to clean up gas leaks and develop carbon capture and sequestration technology, which despite plenty of research has not been shown to be feasible on a large scale.

Analysts call their efforts to actually combat climate ‘a drop in the ocean.’


As Oil Runs Dry, So Does Alaska Credit John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri, modified

OO Oil Addict Alaska Falling, As Oil Does – running a $3 billion deficit and the highest unemployment rate in the US, as government coffers, totally depend on plummeting oil revenues, dry up.

OO Fuel Prices Along US East Coast Spike After Alabama Pipeline Explosionwhich closed it for the second time within two months, showing how vulnerable the US East coast is to an accident on a single fossil fuel pipeline.


Source Asian Development Bank

OO Overlooked Source Of CO2: Processing Sewage Water – which releases significant amounts of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel-derived chemicals in wastewater due to detergents used at home (showers, washing machine) and industrially, says a new study.

OO Southern California’s Deadliest Quake May Have Been Caused By Oil Drilling study says. The 1933 Long Beach earthquake, the deadliest ever recorded Southern California history, may have been caused by deep drilling in an oil field.


An Expanding Wyoming Class: The Unemployed

OO Wyoming’s Trifecta – Coal, Oil And Gas – All Fall Down as unemployment once again rises from shuttered oil and coal production.

Fossil fuels are a dirty, unreliable source of unhealthy jobs.

OO The US Keeps Replacing Nuclear Power Plants With Coal Or Gas


OO India’s Deadly Smog Beats Out China’s Toxic Air:
Urgent Actions Are Needed To Clear The Skies
– cleaner fuels, more energy efficient appliances, more clean energy plants.

But they never mention sustainable populations levels. Just hold your breath, India. There’s more to come.

Related Headline:

OO 1,800 Schools Shut Down Due To Pollution In New Delhi

OO Irony Not Dead:
Climate Scheme Funds Greece To Build Two Coal Plants



If we do not live 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.




Diamond in the Desert – the Noor Solar Plant will be the largest solar plant in Africa. Source

OO Vast Moroccan Solar Power Plant Is Hard Act For Africa To Follow given it is largely funded by the European Union, but it may inspire the rest of Africa, which mostly uses solar panels to by-pass the power grid.


Check it out here, right now!




Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Nov 15, 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.

Much of the areas surrounding and including 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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1 Response to Climate Change This Week: Ghost Forests, Sahara Solar, and More!

  1. “Only one major political party in the world denies climate change, and it’s in charge of the most important political body in the world.”
    Yes… truly frightening.

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