Friday, May 25, 2018

Before the Flood

Before the Flood is set on the battlegrounds of climate change—from the North Pole to the South Pacific to the voting booth.

October 19, 2016 Clara Chaisson Leonardo DiCaprio usually plays the leading man. But in the new documentary Before the Flood, climate change is the star—a villainous one—and DiCaprio takes on a supporting role as a guide who walks us through what’s happening to the planet.

With two and a half years’ worth of footage, the film, directed by Fisher Stevens, takes us on a journey to the front lines of a warming world. We watch Arctic ice melting and coral reefs bleaching. We get a bird’s-eye view of the Alberta tar sands (“It kind of looks like Mordor,” DiCaprio remarks to a bemused oil exec). A helicopter ride over a smoldering Sumatran rainforest shows us how illegal slash-and-burn agriculture to clear land for palm oil plantations produces drifting haze that has made the air unhealthy to breathe in neighboring countries. We meet Indian farmers who have lost their crops to flooding, and the former Kiribati president Anote Tong, whose island nation is slowly slipping beneath the sea. As president, Tong oversaw the purchase of land in Fiji to relocate Kiribati’s residents when sea-level rise inevitably overwhelms the country.

“All that I have seen and learned on this journey has terrified me,” DiCaprio told delegates at last year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. In 2014, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon named DiCaprio a U.N. Messenger for Peace, with a special focus on climate change. The actor and longtime environmental activist—who also sits on NRDC’s Board of Trustees—is the first to admit that Before the Flood makes for some seriously daunting viewing.

But this horror flick isn’t without hope. Cleaner technologies and policies play the roles of potential heroes. DiCaprio speaks with electric car entrepreneur Elon Musk about his ambitious ideas for sustainable transportation and discusses how countries like Denmark are successfully transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy. DiCaprio also reminds the audience that we’re not merely witnesses to the planet’s destruction. Through how we live, we are all actively choosing what kind of world we want to leave for our children.

The film’s pithy tagline sums up the situation: “The science is clear. The future is not.”

Before the Flood premieres in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on October 21 and is available to stream on the National Geographic Channel.

onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC.

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Thanx Leo  DiCaprio
Crusader Jenny Nanook & Mika

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

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National Parks Report On Climate Change Finally Released, Uncensored

After previously erasing all mentions of climate change, National Park Service releases uncensored report

The study's lead scientist said she was "extremely happy" that mentions of climate change were restored.

In the face of mounting scrutiny over attempts to scrub all mentions of climate change from a report about sea level rise, the National Park Service (NPS) has finally released its long-awaited report.
The uncensored report was quietly released on Friday with no mention by the NPS, the Department of Interior, or its Secretary Ryan Zinke’s Twitter accounts.
The report highlights the climate risks at 118 coastal national park sites. While the impact will vary depending on the location and how much global temperatures increase, the report finds that parks in North Carolina’s Outer Banks are at the greatest risk from sea level rise.
In contrast to the Trump administration’s tendency to ignore or deny climate change and its risks, the report begins: “Global sea level is rising. While sea levels have been gradually rising since the last glacial maximum approximately 21,000 years ago, anthropogenic climate  change ( changes caused by interference from mankind)  has significantly increased the rate of global sea level rise.”
“Ongoing changes in relative sea levels and the potential for increasing storm surges due to anthropogenic climate change and other factors present challenges to national park managers,” it states.
After analyzing 18 different versions of the report, which was first drafted in the summer of 2016, journalists found that the word “anthropogenic” was crossed out by an official in a February 2018 draft. Three references to “human activities” causing climate change were also removed.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who denies the science on climate change, had previously said in his defense that “I didn’t change a paragraph — a comma — in any document and I never would.”
In response, last month House and Senate Democrats called on the Department of the Interior’s inspector general to investigate whether the NPS had violated its scientific integrity policy. They also asked for an investigation to identify who edited the NPS report and who directed them to do so.
The study’s lead scientist Maria Caffrey, a University of Colorado research assistant, said that she was “extremely happy” that the report was released with all mentions of climate change restored
Caffrey had worked on the report for five years. When she resisted the editing efforts, she was reportedly told by NPS officials that the report would not be released if she refused to accept the deletions, or that it could be released without her name on it.
“The fight probably destroyed my career with the [National Park Service],” she said, “but it will be worth it if we can uphold the truth and ensure that scientific integrity of other scientists won’t be challenged so easily in the future.”
 Yay!! Score one for climate scientists!

Facing Climate Change without the USA

Auto makers form alliance to reduce emissions
Automakers urged the White House to cooperate with California officials in a coming rewrite of vehicle efficiency standards, saying “climate change is real.”

The plea came in a May 3 letter to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the industry’s leading trade group. It said carmakers “strongly support” continued alignment between federal mileage standards and those set by California. General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Daimler AG and nine other carmakers are members of the Alliance.

“Automakers remain committed to increasing fuel efficiency requirements, which yield everyday fuel savings for consumers while also reducing emissions -- because climate change is real and we have a continuing role in reducing greenhouse gases and improving fuel efficiency,” David Schwietert, executive vice president of federal government relations at the Alliance, wrote in the letter, which was made public Monday.

The letter came roughly a week before President Donald Trump signaled he was open to talks with California on mileage standards. The direction came after the administration’s April ruling that the Obama administration standards for model years 2022-2025 were too aggressive and needed to be eased.

Court Battle Threat

Officials from the state have pledged to fight a Trump-led rollback, setting up a potential messy legal battle and the risk of different mileage requirements in California and 12 additional states that follow its rules.

“Operating under two or three sets of regulations would be inefficient and disrupt a period of rapid innovation in the auto industry,” Schwietert wrote, adding that fractured rules could have negative consequences for the roughly 7 million people employed directly or indirectly by the American auto industry.

A joint proposal for revised mileage targets from the Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is still in the works and could be released by late May or early June. A leaked draft of the proposal, led by the NHTSA, recommended freezing mileage requirements at a 37-miles-per-gallon fleet average from 2020 through 2026 instead of increasing each year to eventually reach about 50 miles per gallon.

In addition to voicing support for annual gains in efficiency requirements, the Alliance asked the White House to consider ways to keep California at the table, including extending the so-called national program of rules beyond 2025 and updating efficiency credit mechanisms.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Monday, May 21, 2018

A little extra global warming will mean a lot more habitat loss for plants and animals, study says

By  Deborah Netburn             May 18 , 2018
A polar bear walks in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. New research suggests that a small difference in global temperatures will have a big effect on wildlife habitat. (Subhankar Banerjee / Associated Press)

What difference does half a degree Celsius of global warming make?

To many plants and animals, and especially insects, it could mean the difference between life and death, according to a new study.

In a paper published Thursday in Science, researchers report that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the average pre-industrial global temperature would avoid half the risks of global warming to plants and animals and two-thirds of the risk to insects compared to 2 degrees of warming.

The new analysis was inspired in part by the 2015 Paris climate agreement in which 176 countries agreed to work together to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, with an ultimate goal of keeping the temperature from climbing no more than 1.5 degrees.

"All the previous scientific literature looked at 2 degrees as the lower limit because that was what was being discussed at the time," said Rachel Warren of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, an environmental biologist who led the new work. "After the, Paris agreement the landscape changed. We wanted to know what the benefits would be to limit warming globally by an extra .5 degree."

In the new work, Warren and her colleagues analyzed how the geographical ranges of about 100,000 species of terrestrial plants and animals would be affected by several different warming scenarios.

"Basically, every plant, animal and insect has a range of climates where it's happy," she said. "Outside of that range, it gets a little bit uncomfortable, and eventually gets to where it can't survive at all."

The researchers found that 18% of insects, 16% of plants and 8% of vertebrates will lose more than half their geographical range if the average global temperature is two degrees hotter than it was before the industrial revolution.

If the warming can be limited to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels however, that risk drops significantly. In this scenario, only 6% of insects, 8% of plants and 4% of vertebrates would be expected to see more than half their geographical range disappear.

The authors also looked at what would happen if the Earth warmed by 3 degrees by 2100, which is what is projected to occur if members of the Paris accord met their current pledges to reduce emissions by 2030 but then did nothing else.

In that case, 49% of insects, 44% of plants and 26% of vertebrates would see more than half of their geographical range disappear.

"The takeaway is that if you could limit warming to 1.5 degrees, the risk to biodiversity is quite small. At 2 degrees it becomes significant, and at 3 degrees almost half the insects and plants would be at risk," Warren said.

To come to this conclusion, the authors started by looking at the geographical ranges of 100,000 species, including 34,000 insects. This data came from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, which is an open access database that gets contributions from research institutions all over the world.
Marine heat waves have led to severe bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef.
Marine heat waves have led to severe bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef. (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)

For this study, the authors used longitudinal and latitudinal data for each recorded observation of the 100,000 plant and animal species and then, based on that information, calculated what type of climate the individual species need to survive.

Here, climate does not just meant temperature, although that's part of it, Warren said. It also includes rainfall and seasonal changes.

For example, some plants and animals require temperatures to drop below freezing in the winter to reproduce.

Next, researchers consulted computer models to see how these geographic ranges will shift as the globe gets hotter.

"Picture looking down on North America and seeing shadows that represent the geographical range, what we call the climate envelope," Warren said. "As the earth gets warmer, these shadows start to move northward.

"The tropics get hotter, the temperate zones get more like the tropics and the polar zones get more like the temperate zones," she added.

You might imagine that Earth's biomass also would move northward to remain in its preferred climate shadow, but of course it's not as simple as that.

Sometimes the models show a climate shadow moving northward into the ocean or into a mountain range that is not a suitable home for certain plants and animals.

The authors also considered the varying abilities of plants, animals and insects to migrate as part of their analysis.

Previous work has shown that mammals and butterflies are adept at moving in response to climate change, while insects, plants and amphibians are not.

The research team was surprised to find that insects were especially susceptible to changes in climate, and Warren said she'd like to investigate that more.

"So far, we have warmed the world 1 degree," Warren said. "If we warm it another .5 degree by 2100, then some birds and mammals can catch up, but if it gets to 2 degrees, far fewer can catch up and at 3 degrees they won't be able to keep pace with it."
Deborah Netburn is a science reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She began her journalism career at the New York Observer in 1999, and has covered residential real estate, rich kids in Manhattan, entertainment, home and garden, national news, and technology. She has worked at the Los Angeles Times since 2006.
Thanx Deborah Netburn
Knight Sha  C.

Friday, May 18, 2018


 Imagine an ecosystem as a tiny world within our world. Here, living things, like plants and animals, interact with non-living elements, including water, rocks, soil and temperature. Every portion of the ecosystem influences everything else. An ecosystem exists within a larger area called a biome.
Here’s an example of an Ecosystem: The Sonoran Desert in Arizona is a harsh landscape. Within the desert, though, there are streams and creeks. Here, fish, birds, turtles and snakes live. There are trees and plants. This is one type of an ecosystem. In other parts of the desert, there is little water. Here, only a few plants, such as cactus can survive. The animals that live here – snakes, ground rats, and scorpions – must adapt to harsh conditions. This is a different ecosystem within the same biome.
Fun Facts About Ecosystems for Kids
Animals and plants within an ecosystem depend on each other for their survival. If conditions change, the animals and plants have to adapt.
Plants can’t migrate when conditions change. During drought and heat, they might die. If they die, then herbivores won’t have anything to eat. They must either find new plants to eat or move to a new place. If they move, then carnivores have no food. They must move too.
Sometime ecosystems change because of a climate change or a natural disaster. Sometimes, ecosystems are destroyed by humans.
Think about the ecosystems that might exist in your neighborhood or even in your own yard. If you have a vegetable garden, the plants attract plant-eating insects. The insects attract birds, snakes and frogs. These animals might attract predators, including fox, raccoons, coyotes and owls. Who knew there was so much going on right outside your door! A vegetable garden is a man-made ecosystem, but you get the idea.

Ecosystems Vocabulary :
Portion: piece, part
Harsh: severe, tough
Survive: live
Adapt: change
Drought: lack of water
Herbivore: plant eater
Carnivore: meat eater
Ecosystems Vocabulary Ecosystem Q&A
Question 1: How can I protect ecosystems in my area?

Answer 1: Pay attention to what you do in your own yard. Be careful with pesticides and fertilizers. Pesticides can poison birds, frogs and snakes. When fertilizers run into streams and rivers, they encourage algae to grow. The algae grow too much and smother other aquatic animals and plants. Grow flowering plants, vegetables and berries to give animals something to eat.
Question 2: What are the different types of Ecosystems?

Answer 2: The different types of environment ecosystems are as follows: Forest Ecosystems – Marine Ecosystems – Desert Ecosystems – Grassland Ecosystems – Tundra Ecosystems and Freshwater Ecosystems
Question 3: Is the ecosystem important?

Answer 3: The ecosystem is very important. Without a healthy ecosystem we would suffer terribly or simply would not exist. We need to protect nature to protect our drinking water, our crops and even the air we breathe. Everyone should care about the ecosystem, no matter how old or how young. By caring today we are caring for tomorrow’s world.
Question 4: What is destroying the ecosystem?

Answer 4: Unfortunately it’s our Human daily activities that are causing harm to our ecosystem. Examples of this are: Over hunting (Rhino, Tigers, Elephants, Lions and many more). Over Fishing, Deforestation and of course pollution.

thanx Easy Science  for Kids
I found my article  I ask  daddy to write  put the picture on it  
kids know about climate change  my sister say I learn to spell better  I can do  climate change post   thank you for reading  .
I have more Poppa and Me  story
Knight Man C .