Climate Change This Week: CO2 Levels Zooming Faster, First Protest in Space, 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 – as are ours.

Saving BUB, Beautiful Unique Biodiversity, as in this Brazilian treehopper, is another reason to preserve carbon storing forests. Source

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

Endangered By Greed are Brazil’s forests, as corrupt lawmakers plan to open much of the conserved areas to deforestation for farms. Credit Rhett A. Butler at

OO Brazil Lawmakers Moves To Cut Amazon Conservation Units By 3 Million Acres in the eastern Amazon.

  • · The winners? Brazil agribusiness.
  • · The losers? The world will lose another big carbon sink to store our pollution,
  • · and thousands more species are likely to go extinct when those forests disappear.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.




Under Trump, More US Children Will Die Prematurely From Asthma since his policies will worsen the air pollution that is linked to this lethal lung disease.


OO Trump Gains, Science Loses Takeaways:

  • GOP Congress and Trump actions are the biggest effort yet
  • to cut basic US environmental protections,
  • Via a mix of executive actions, new laws, and budget cuts.

US Extreme Weather Disasters So Far In 2017 Have Cost A Record $5 Billion Credit Rick Meyer at UPI

  • Meanwhile, irreversible sea rise and loss of valuable species continue,
  • And US fiscal costs are escalating from climate change effects.
  • Putting environmental efforts on hold for 4-8 years is unthinkable for mnay scientists.
  • “We are in an emergency state for the planet,” said a global change biologist at Stanford University.

“The problem is not climate change alone. Pervasive pollution, invasive species, habitat loss and mass extinctions have swelled into critical problems within the United States and globally. Each compounds the other, and all are amplified by climate change.”

Credit Patrick Chappate at the New York Times

For a summary of the environmental disaster Trump and the GOP are creating, check out:

OO 8 Major Trump Executive Actions On Environment

OO 18 Proposed Rule Eliminations Through The Congressional Review Act

OO What’s At Stake In Trump’s Proposed EPA Cuts – they go far beyond climate change, affecting clean water, law enforcement and pollution cleanup.

OO Scientists Fear Climate Data Gap As Trump Aims At Satellites


Under Trump, More US Babies Will Die Prematurely From Asthma since his policies will worsen the air pollution that is linked to this lethal lung disease.

Tracking Trump’s Treachery: Environmental Deregulations – the Columbia Law School (NY) keeps an ongoing track of Trump’s efforts, abetted by the GOP, to cut environmental protections:

OO Climate Deregulation Tracker – All Updates as of this writing, there are 47 of them.

OO G7 Climate Change Statement Failure Blamed On US which has ‘reservations’, even as Trump dismantles Obama’s ‘clean power plan’.

OO Signatories To Paris Climate Agreement In Dispute Over Financing –

A gap of at least $40 Billion in financing commitments

  • · hampers efforts to combat climate change,
  • · signatories to the Paris agreement have warned,
  • · as they try to keep the agreement going
  • · despite doubts over US support under President Donald Trump.

OO Trump’s Dirty Climate Demands Roil US Allies Documents show the administration pushed other G-7 countries to embrace larger roles for nuclear power and fossil fuels. They refused.




OO The Reality of Climate Change – below are some of the biggest climate myths currently trending, compared to the reality. A good place for more details is here … where even more myths are busted!




OO Legendary Climate Scientist Likes A GOP Proposal On Global Warming James Hansen, the “father of climate change awareness,” wants the same carbon fee–and-dividend strategy proposed by Republicans.

OO In Generational Shift, College Republicans Poised To Reform Party On Climate Change

“Climate change is really real and really alarming to me personally,” said Grace Woodward, the College Republicans’ president.

OO Salt Lake City Publishes Plan To Combat Climate Change, Carbon Pollution

The Salt Lake City Council and Mayor Jackie Biskupski have jointly published a plan to tackle climate change and carbon pollution after both made a promise last year to hit sustainability benchmarks by 2040.




OO After Hyping Itself As Antidote To Fake News,

New York Times Hires Extreme Climate Denier New columnist Bret Stephens dismisses as “imaginary” the climate reality routinely reported by the Times. MEH: The NYT elsewhere defended its decision, saying “millions” agree with him. MEH: The same could be said for many fiction writers — I vote for Margaret Atwood!




OO March Was Second Hottest On Record Globally It followed the second hottest February and third hottest January, showing just how much Earth has warmed from the continued buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

OO Atmospheric CO2 Levels Accelerate Upwards, Smashing Records despite data indicating a leveling of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.

  • · The last two years had “unprecedented” increases of CO2,
  • · The primary driver of global warming, fueling disruptive climate changes and ocean acidification,
  • · According to the latest CO2 data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Wildfires Send Plenty of CO2 Into the Atmosphere and have been increasing globally as the planet heats up.

The increase could be due to:

  • · Errors in estimating fossil fuel emissions;
  • · Increasing CO2 emissions from other sectors: agriculture, deforestation, undetected leaks, industrial pollution, for ex.;
  • · Climate change creating feedback cycles that increase CO2, such as: wildfires, melting permafrost.
  • · Our major CO2 sinks, the oceans and biosphere, may be absorbing less CO2. These sinks will eventually fill up.




Vast Melting of Permafrost Is Already Occurring in Siberia creating a landscape of melt lakes.

OO Global Warming Could Thaw Far More Permafrost Than Expected, about 20% more, a new study says. Takeaways:

  • · Permafrost is landscape covered with frozen soil – nearly 6 million sq miles currently;
  • · It is estimated to store more carbon than is in the entire atmosphere.
  • · 40+ % of that could thaw even with just a 2 degrees C warming, a Paris climate accord goal.
  • · 30+% could thaw with a rise of 1.5 C.

Why care? If that much permafrost thawed, it would release enough climate changing gases to substantially speed global warming further.

Siberian Cities Face Collapse by 2050 as the permafrost beneath them melts. Source

· The thaw would also melt the ground beneath the homes of 35 million people.

OO Global Warming To Melt An India-Size Area Of Permafrost Each Degree WarmerTakeaways:

  • · As permafrost melts, organic matter decompose,
  • · Releasing climate-changing gases.
  • · Just a single degree C rise in temperature
  • · Will melt vast areas, releasing vast amounts of climate changing gases.


OO Global Warming Will Melt An Area Bigger Than AUSTRALIA

When The Wind Blows, The Sea Ice Will Break… especially if warming has thinned the ice already. Source Earth Nullschool

OO Brutish High Pressure System Wrecked Already Thin Arctic Sea Ice recently, creating a broad clockwise pattern of winds that shattered ice already thinned by unusual warming. Another climate-feedback cycle helping to destroy the ice and further fuel warming: stronger, more extreme weather.

OO Arctic Ice In Retreat The effects of climate change can be felt growing slowly but subtly in most parts of the world as temperatures inch up and extreme weather occur more frequently.

Prelude To A Huge Iceberg? Source satellite images via Stef Lhermitte at twitter

OO Scientists Just Found A Strange, Worrying Crack In One Of Greenland’s Biggest Glaciers – It portends a huge iceberg in coming years, weakening the bulwark that keeps roughly a foot of sea level rise stored in the Petermann Glacier in check on Greenland.

OO As Permafrost Melts, Uncovered Mammoth Tusks Boom Ivory Trade MEH: I can see Stephen Colbert making hay with this one… climate is upending humanity but, hey, want to buy some ivory?




OO Saudis To Seek Bids For 700-Megawatt Wind And Solar Projects as part of the kingdom’s $50 billion program to boost power generation and cut its oil consumption.

OO China Solar, Wind To Attract $780 Billion Investment By 2030 – Research Report

China’s wind and solar sectors could attract as much as 5.4 trillion yuan ($780+ billion) in investment between 2016 and 2030 as the country tries to meet its renewable energy targets.

OO Electricity’s Carbon Footprint In US Shrinks, Sets Record


OO Countries Cut Carbon By Putting A Price On It Carbon taxes and cap-and-trade are two ways countries around the globe are using economic incentives to reduce greenhouse gases. They’re based on a simple idea: if something is made to cost more, there’ll be less of it produced.

OO The Quest To Capture And Store Carbon – And Slow Climate Change — Just Reached A New Milestone with the launch of the first US large scale facility combining bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.

India Mines the Sun, Rather Than Coal with a national program encouraging the growth of solar power.

OO India Pivots Away From Coal-Fired Power chased by drought, rising costs, and clean technology; the world’s third-largest coal user joins China and US in a shift from black fuel.

OO After Years Of Soaring Growth, Asia’s Fuel Demand Falters



@@ 7 INSANE Effects of Climate Change in Your Lifetime – compelling, but don’t watch while eating.




OO How Is Climate Change Affecting Us Now? Here’s a sampling:

  • · REGIONAL CONFLICTS: Climate change has increased drought in the middle east, and has contributed to the rise of ISIS, the destabilization of the middle east, and millions of Syrian and other refugees desperately fleeing to other countries.
  • · MIAMI IS SINKING: Many parts are already experiencing sea water regularly flooding at merely high tides, as a result of rising sea levels.
  • · FARMERS ARE UNDER STRESS: and trying to adapt to climate changes but with an increase in frequency and severity of drought and heavy rains, these extremes make getting crops difficult. Already crops are shifting north in the northern hemisphere.
  • · PINE BEETLE DEVASTATING FORESTS: The Pine Beetle has shifted further north with warmer winters and exploded with longer summers that allow it to reproduce 2-3x more, devastating extremely large pine forests from the US to Canada, and causing significant economic and environmental fallout.
  • · WILDFIRES ARE INCREASING: Wildfires are becoming more frequent, more severe and covering more ground due to climate change. This is killing people, burning communities out, reducing air quality substantially over major areas of continents, costing quite a lot, and adding climate changing emissions.
  • · INSURANCE PREMIUMS ARE UP: Insurance companies have been paying out a lot more claims due to climate change, and thus hiking their premiums and rates. They see that climate change results in extreme weather events, causing significant economic damage. This forces insurers to adapt and lobby for change.

As Drought Envelops Africa, Many Are Starving Source

  • · HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS ARE ALREADY DYING ANNUALLY: A UN organization tasked with monitoring the impacts of climate change calculates that climate change is already causing 400,000 premature deaths a year.
  • · PERMAFROST IS MELTING: Northern communities housing 35 million people are built on permanently frozen ground, permafrost, which is already occurring, destroying buildings and infrastructure such as roads. Permafrost warming in parts of Alaska is accelerating.
  • · TORNADOES ARE INCREASING AND SHIFTING RANGE: occurring in clusters, increasing in destructive power and being seen further north and in different seasons, as predicted by models to occur under continued climate change. Communities without tornado experience or preparation are being hit.

No Coffee???

OO Six of Your Favorite Foods Are Threatened By Climate Change – they are:

  • · Coffee – yields are down globally due to hotter, drier weather; the most common species could be extinct by 2080.
  • · Avocados – are weather-sensitive and slow-growing, and recent droughts have dropped yields in the two major producers, Australia and California.
  • · Mangoes – will “burn” if it’s too hot, and its major producer, India is becoming extremely hot and drier, another challenge for mango production.

No Maple Syrup???

  • · Maple syrup – relies trees freezing at night, and then thawing during the day so the sap flows down the tree. But as winters get warmer, this process is becoming disrupted, decreasing sap flow – and the sugar content.
  • · Fish N Chips – relies on cold-water fish, which are migrating further north as seas warm, dropping accessibility; they are being replaced in UK waters by squid, sardines and anchovies.
  • · Chocolate – comes from a plant that is sensitive to dryness; as the major producer (50% of global production) dries, it is wreaking havoc on the cocoa bean, meaning less, more expensive chocolate.

No Chocolate???

Scientists predict that by 2050 temperatures will be too hot for the cocoa bean to grow in the main regions that produce chocolate, likely turning it into a rare and expensive delicacy.


OO 11% Of Chinese Deaths Due To Air Pollution Tied To US, Europe Consumer Goods –says a new study. Takeaways:

· Such pollution killed 700,000+ people globally in 2007, the most recent year with data.

· Hardest hit were Asian countries, especially China,

· Where this causes nearly 110,000 premature deaths annually.

What Yellowstone Will Be Like in 2050 Credit Hannah Rothstein

OO Artist Shows What Climate Change Will Do To Our National Parks where the creep of change is playing out in places that Americans want to preserve for the enjoyment of future generations. MEH: That bear was drawn from a real photograph of actually a polar bear I’ve seen the photo.

OO Climate Change Is Ruining Farmers’ Lives, But Only A Few Will Admit It

King Tide in San Francisco Bay Source

OO Sea-Level Rise In California Could Be Catastrophic a new study says, with a 60+% chance of a 3+ foot sea rise by 2100 under business as usual.

OO Unless Emissions Drop, Much Of Coastal Louisiana Will Be Swamped – A few weeks ago President Donald Trump announced a trade: A few thousand temporary jobs for West Virginia coal miners in exchange for letting the Gulf of Mexico drown much of south Louisiana over the next 50 years.

OO Climate Change Is Hitting Home, And It’s Not Fair

  • · Polls show that most Americans think climate change is happening,
  • · But not affecting them.
  • · Untrue,
  • · but climate change is affecting the poor more than others worldwide.

OO Loss Of Coral Reefs Caused By Rising Sea Temperatures Could Cost $1 Trillion Globally – Loss of Great Barrier Reef alone could cost north Queensland 1m visitors a year, imperiling 10,000 jobs and draining $1 Billion from economy.




@@ 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!




Mission 2020 campaign by former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres urges decisive action to curb emissions by 2020 on six fronts

Don’t Be Late!

OO Ex UN Climate Chief Campaigns For Decisive Action To Curb Emissions By 2020 On 6 Fronts – Christiana Figueres has started the Mission 2020 campaign with a decarbonization roadmap to reach these 2020 goals:

  • · Energy: Renewables will need to outcompete fossil fuels worldwide
  • · Transport: Zero emission transport options will be chosen in major cities and transport routes
  • · Infrastructure: Cities and states will be using plans to fully decarbonize infrastructure by 2050

How Palm Oil Fuels Climate Change: Deforestation Credit Matthias Klum

  • · Land Use: Large-scale deforestation to be replaced by land restoration; agriculture shifts to earth-friendly practices
  • · Industry: Heavy industry commits to being Paris-compliant
  • · Finance: Investment in climate action is $1+trillion per year, and all financial institutions have a disclosed transition strategy

Businesses and governments only have three years to act to steer away from a course that will lock in the most devastating impacts of climate change, says the campaign.

Verticaal Farming Is Sprouting Worldwide but it has its limits – imagine trying to grow wheat… Source

OO Eight Ways Cities Are Building Climate Resilience Takeaways:

  1. · Vertical farms indoors use a fraction of the energy and water needed by outdoor farms.
  2. · Using historical data to prevent flooding
  3. · Smart energy grids save money
  4. · Low-impact development standards for cities retains water and cools the city.

Local Nature Preserves Can Help Preserve Cities Source

  1. · Use local natural systems like wetlands for water management.
  2. · Create urban ecosystem to supply important services like water management.
  3. · Give rivers more flood room so they don’t flood cities.
  4. · Account for climate change in planning city infrastrcture.

OO Next 10 Years Critical For Achieving Climate Change Goals says a new study. To have a good chance of meeting the limits set by the Paris Agreement, humanity needs to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions while preserving carbon sinks, with net emissions peaking within the decade.

OO Project Drawdown Aims To Reverse Global Warming – this new book offers a pathway to get to the point where greenhouse gases peak in the atmosphere and begin declining by 2050.

OO Forget Dow Jones: Report On Climate Daily says Canadian star environmentalist David Suzuki to journalists.

OO Anatomy Of Climate Change Misinformation:

Heartland Institute’s Climate Denial Campaign Into Schools – they mailed a climate denial book to 25,000 US teachers around the US. How and why did they do it? What is the chief motivation? What are the techniques they employ to cast doubt on climate science? Check out more here.

Cover Cropping Helps Soil Absorb Carbon Source

OO Joining The Fight Against Climate Change Would Help Farming Thrive – Farmers have the political clout necessary to influence environmental and climate change policies.

What can farmers do to help?

  • · planting cover crops,
  • · extending crop rotations or eliminating tillage;
  • · Help leverage the Congressional 2018 farm bill to fund green farming incentives.




OO Global Warming Could Make Hurricane Intensify More Quickly,

Making Forecasting More Difficult a new study suggests.

OO Great Barrier Reef Further Harmed By Run-Off Pollution From Cyclone Debbie – yet another sting, this time from the tail from Cyclone Debbie, with fresh run-off pollution from torrential rains sweeping into Great Barrier Reef water, smashing many corals.

OO Liana And Other Vines Impeding Carbon Storage In South American Rainforests – and Central American ones, too, as they proliferate under global warming.

“Once There Was A Butterfly…” may be what our future children will only know of many of these beautiful creatures, such as this English Peacock Butterfly. Source

OO UK: Disastrous 2016 Data Show Butterflies Are ‘Failing To Cope’ With Climate Change and the pollution causing it:

  • · 40 out of nearly 60 species declined in 2016, with the survival on some in doubt.
  • · Three quarters of UK butterflies have declined over the last 40 years.




Get the BIG Picture, Trump? Source The Autonomous Space Agency Network

OO ‘First Protest In Space’ Targets Trump With An Astronaut’s Famous Words originally used when viewing Earth from the moon: “You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a b****.’ “

OO UK: Lawyers Sue Government To Produce Plan To Fight Climate Change – as is now required by law. The government has 21 days to produce a plan or face legal action.

OO Emerging Nations Urge Rich Countries To Honour Climate Finance Pledges China, Brazil, India and South Africa have urged industrialised countries to honour financial commitments made in Paris in 2015 to help developing countries fight against global climate change.

Take It Away said the judge to the pipeline company, after hearing the case of the native Americans. Source iStock

OO Oklahoma: Tribal Members Defeat Natural Gas Pipeline Company – forcing the company to remove a pipeline they had installed on their lands.

OO Why Scientists Are Fighting Back: We’ve Had Enough Of Trump’s War On Facts

“the principle that demonstrable facts and evidence – not fake news, alternative facts, supposition or innuendo – must form the backbone of public decisions. It is what separates a democracy from a theocracy, monarchy, or dictatorship, all forms of government in which “the truth” is whatever the ruler says it is…”




We Resist. We Build. We Rise. Let’s March for our children and our future by marching for action on the climate on April 29, 2017.

On April 29, NRDC will march for our communities, our climate, and for the well-being of our families and future generations. Will you join us?
NRDC Apr 17

OO April 29: March For A Safe Climate. says March with hundreds of thousands of others to:

  • · push forward with a united vision of a clean energy economy that works for all.
  • · reject Trump’s attack on our communities and climate,
  • · Push back against fossil-fuel-soaked nationalism, xenophobia, and hatred.
  • · Push back against corporate censorship of climate change.

Create a huge impact on our leaders, as past marches have.

You can sign up here .




Coal Ash Pollution in North Carolina, Source WaterKeeper Alliance Inc at flickr

OO Tennessee: 2 Cases Bring Coal’s Hidden Hazard, Coal Ash, To Light Coal ash, the hazardous byproduct of burning coal to produce power, is a particularly insidious legacy of the nation’s dependence on coal: 100+ million tons are produced every year.

OO BP Struggles To Control Damaged Well In Alaskan Arctic


OO Our Most Iconic National Parks Are In Danger Of Becoming Oil And Gas Drilling Hot Spots under Trump’s 19th executive order, titled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” which may also make it easier for energy companies to drill in America’s national parks.

OO Methane Leaks From Canada Energy Wells Affects Groundwater, Travels Great Distances

And researchers call for effective monitoring in Canada.




@@ 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!



If we do not live 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.


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.




Check it out here, right now!




Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, April 25, 2017


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.

Unusually heavy rains have released California from a SURFACE water drought, but significantly depleted California aquifers keep 60+% of the state in a GROUNDWATER drought, which will likely take decades to disappear. It also means this major US agricultural region has a small safety net, when the next dry year strikes.

Much of the US and waters surrounding it are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures.

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 this out!

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


Find this interesting? Please re-post it!

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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