Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Man-made climate change makes heatwaves twice more likely

 Last updated on July 30th, 2018 at 3:10 pm by Mihai Andrei
As large swaths of the northern hemisphere are dealing with some of the worst heatwaves in history, researchers have just published a study showing that climate change resulting from human activities makes such events twice as likely.
https://cdn.zmescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Storm_Eleanor_01-02-2018.jpgMan-induced climate change makes climate events much more likely, studies have consistently shown. Depicted here, the 2018 storm Eleanor.

Summers are supposed to be hot — but in many parts of the world, it’s unnaturally and unbearably hot. The UK has witnessed its driest summer in modern history, Japan reported the hottest local temperatures in recorded history, and Scandinavia, known for its frigid temperatures, has been sizzling in temperatures over 30°C (86°F).

It’s hard to draw a direct cause-effect relationship between a complex, global phenomenon and singular heatwaves — but there’s a very good chance the two are connected. In the new study, renowned climatologist Michael Mann and colleagues address this issue, looking at data from seven weather stations in Finland, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. They chose these stations because they all had digitized records dating back to the early 1900s, unlike most other stations.
They found that, on average, man-induced climate change made heatwaves two times more likely. The results were not uniform and varied by country: in the Netherlands, Ireland, and Denmark, the odds of heatwaves have increased more than twofold.
“We found that for the weather station in the far north, in the Arctic Circle, the current heatwave is just extraordinary – unprecedented in the historical record,” said Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and also part of World Weather Attribution, who worked on the study.

The influence of climate change
Assessing the influence of climate change involves complex models and number crunching. Researchers attribute how often extreme events happen at a particular weather station and then compare them with modeled results of climate without the influence of human emissions of greenhouses gases (especially CO2). This way, they work out how likely climate change is to influence extreme weather events.

These studies are called attribution studies.
Attribution studies are much easier to carry out thanks to the increased processing power of modern computers, and scientists often focus on weather stations which have digitized data, which also makes the analysis easier. Such a study used to take several years, but this new analysis was made in little over a week.
Multiple lines of evidence support attribution of recent climate change to human activities, and scientists have high confidence that human activities are to blame.

Climate scientists are loath to say that an event is “caused” by climate change, but in this case, results are “unambiguous.”
“In many parts of Europe three day heat is not very exceptional and you could argue that it would be better to look at longer,” said Dr. Friederike Otto from the University of Oxford, one of the study’s authors. “But we’ve looked at longer periods and it doesn’t change the result very much.”

This is by no means a singular study — previous efforts have also consistently linked climate change with extreme weather events (both hot and cold). For instance, the heatwave in South Wales, Australia, was made at least 50 times more likely by global warming. The 2017 “Lucifer” heatwave across Europe’s 

Mediterranean nations was made at least 10 times more likely by climate change, and Hurricane Harvey was 3 times more likely thanks to climate change. Overall, many extreme climate events — and the increasingly hot summers — are linked with man-made climate change. A previous study from last year, also co-authored by Mann, found that all these extreme weather patterns are very likely linked to climate change. Mann actually believes this study may have understated the effects of climate change.
We are now in the phase that the effects of climate change are way beyond deniability — it’s time to start acting and tackling this problem — or suffer the consequences.

Knight Jonny C. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

California is burning ... Again

 
At Scripps Pier in San Diego, the surface water reached the highest temperature in 102 years of records, 78.8 degrees.
Palm Springs had its warmest July on record, with an average of 97.4 degrees. Death Valley experienced its hottest month on record, with the average temperature hitting 108.1. Park rangers said the heat was too much for some typically hardy birds that died in the broiling conditions.
Across California, the nighttime brought little relief, recording the highest minimum temperature statewide of any month since 1895.
California has been getting hotter for some time, but July was in a league of its own. The intense heat fueled fires across the state, from San Diego County to Redding, that have burned more than 1,000 homes and killed eight. It brought heat waves that overwhelmed electrical systems, leaving swaths of Los Angeles without power for days.
 
Moreover, the extreme conditions — capping years of trends heading in this direction — have caused scientists and policymakers to speak more openly and emphatically about what is causing this dramatic shift.
A decade ago, some scientists would warn against making broad conclusions linking an extraordinary heat wave to global warming. But the pace of heat records being broken in California in recent years is leading more scientists here to assertively link climate change to unrelenting heat that is only expected to worsen as humans continue putting greenhouse gases in the air.
“In the past, it would just be kind of once in a while — the odd year where you be really warm,” state climatologist Michael Anderson said.

But the last five years have been among the hottest in 124 years of record keeping, Anderson said.
 “That’s definitely an indication that the world is warming, and things are starting to change,” said Anderson, who manages the California Department of Water Resources’ state climate program. “We’re starting to see things where it’s different. It’s setting the narrative of climate change.”
 

Gov. Jerry Brown, who has made climate change a central part of his agenda, was more blunt last week when discussing the devastation in Redding. “People are doing everything they can, but nature is very powerful and we’re not on the side of nature,” he said. “We’re fighting nature with the amount of material we’re putting in the environment, and that material traps heat.”
 
Signs of the trend are everywhere. California endured its warmest summer on record last year. But those all-time temperature records have been topped in recent months — On July 6, all-time temperature records were set at UCLA (111), Burbank and Santa Ana (114), and Van Nuys (117). Chino hit 120 degrees, the highest ever recorded in the Ontario, Riverside or Chino areas.

It was the warmest July on record in Fresno; for 26 consecutive days that month, temperatures reached or exceeded 100 degrees — the longest continuous stretch on record, said Brian Ochs, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford. (Maximum temperatures have continued to top 100 through the first several days of August.)
In terms of average temperature, it was the warmest July on record in San Luis Obispo , Oxnard, Camarillo, Long Beach, Van Nuys, Lancaster  and Palmdale, said weather service meteorologist Samantha Connolly.

Of particular concern is how overnight temperatures continue to climb. It’s no coincidence that they’re all in recent years, experts say.

“We are seeing the impacts of climate change now,” said Nina Oakley, regional climatologist for the Western Regional Climate Center in Reno. “This is certainly it. It’s happening.”
The effects are felt far beyond the record books. The mercury hit 113 in Redding and tied its temperature record for July 26 — the day the Carr fire raced out of control and began killing people.

It was one day among months of above-average temperatures that had dried out the brush to such a degree that it helped fuel the blaze’s ferocious spread.
 
And the lack of lower temperatures overnight has made fires harder to fight.
“You have greenhouse gases acting like a blanket and not letting things cool down as much — keeping things warmer,” Oakley said.
Take a look at a map of the world’s temperatures years ago, and an old heat wave  would be just one spot on Earth that’s anomalously warm, said Neil Lareau, assistant professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno. Now, “on a world map, the vast majority of the globe is hotter than normal,” he said.
“This is not some fluke. This is part of a sustained trend".
 
The excessive heat is already causing problems for wildlife. In Death Valley, where daytime highs reached at least 120 degrees on 18 of the last 19 days of the month, many birds have turned up dead in the last two weeks, the National Park Service said. The birds lacked signs of trauma, leading officials to believe they died from the intense heat. Birds lack the ability to produce sweat and instead cool themselves by puffing up their feathers and panting.

Before this July, last year’s was the hottest on record at Death Valley, when the average temperature hit 107.4. That one broke a 100-year-old record.
Off the Southern California coast, scientists say more record temperature readings could be broken in August, when maximum surface temperatures tend to be reached. Warming water temperatures can alter the marine food chain in various ways — bringing about toxic algae that make crabs, for example, dangerous to eat. Researchers are also seeing more warm water animals off the coast like jellyfish and sting rays.

Some experts thought water temperatures would return to more normal lower levels after El NiƱo faded, said Clarissa Anderson, executive director of the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System.
But that hasn’t happened. Temperatures have kept rising off Southern California, with near-shore surface temperatures a couple of degrees Celsius higher than average, Anderson said.
 
And the warm air temperatures are a foreboding sign for the rest of the fire season.
Projections show the next few months are likely to have well above-average activity in most of California’s fire zones, particularly in northern and central California, where the worst fires are burning now, Swain said.
“The fuels up there are just explosively dry,” Swain said, “due to a combination of low precipitation last winter, extremely high temperatures this summer and also, still, the legacy of the long-term drought.
“We’re having peak fire season conditions in the off-peak time of year, and there’s no real indication that things are going to get better before the peak of the season in the fall,” Swain said.
Barring an unseasonable period of rain, conditions will remain ripe for severe fires, he said.
“Time will tell, but it does look like this severe fire season is going to continue to be severe,” Swain said.
Get used to these conditions because they are the new norm. And in the future, these conditions will be the good old days.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Poppa and Me-----Peewee Football

Hi everyone   did you miss me   I been bust all summer   we are spending the summer on the lake  we take short trips with daddy to take  help him with all  the family busness  his brothers  and sister help him   it a lot of  business   there  racetrack   I have  race horde  his name is Horse  poppa gave him yo me when  he was born i was  4   Horse sray at the ranch in Reno  he is not there now  the traner  got him on the runing  curcut  I saw him  in June  he was in Erie  Pennylania  he came in 3   he know me  I gave Horse  a apple  , I tell the traner to give Horse apples every day 
We had a raley for climate change   we got lot of name    did you read the post  Aunt Jeannie post # this is zerohour.org    youth climate March   we join them  my sister  call kids in Bossier   told them to read  and join  to have a raley  it was fun    we went to Reno bedore  met Charles  and Charlene   we became  friend  they want to know about climate chgne   Jenny read aunt Jeannie post  call them  they was not at home    Jenny told their daddy she is emal them some  stuff  get back with her  no mater the time  we will be up    Bossier   Reno  teenager  join #thisiszerohour .org  any age can join I am a member  and my mama  member  aunt Jeannie is member    we have  lot of grown up member       Charles  Charlene is twins  they come to visit  see how we run our meet   their mama   daddy came  this weekend  they work in Reno  at Circus  and Silver Legcy  . Our aunt Jeannie lives is Canada  she and mama  was friends before I born  join us to make this a better place  for all things to live .
n  I say poppa  we do not  drink ow for my poppa  story 
I was on the 2 grade  I say poppa I want to play football  bubba wil play  we win all the game   poppa say good idea  poppa say he will go with me  to pratice  and my games   my uncle Glenn play football for cowboys  before I born  he was qurterback  poppa say   uncle Glenn will come  show Bubba and me some stuff   
poppa take me to by football stuff  poppa say Man  you need  a cup   I say poppa  we do not drink  when we is on the field   poppa say yhe cup is not  for drink  I say poppa  why do I need a cup  poppa say you need the cup to put on  your gun  
poppa say to the man  he need a cup  the man say what size  poppa say  he will check to see  we went to a room with miror  poppa look   he  say to the man  he need this size  for his gun  I say poppa what I need  cup for  poppa say when  you fall down you  it wil not break 
I show my stuff to them  mama hug me say my litle man grow up  daddy look at mama   he smile   daddy say  baby did not  cry  baby is grow up 
Eloise say  diner  is  ready  I run to my room   pul of my clothes  put on my cup    my chair is next to aunt Mae   and poppa   aunt mae say Nee  Man is nake  I say no mama  I got  on my cup , i got  up on my chair   to  let mama see  they  start smiling   mama say  go put  pants on your musty but 
it was a fat boy on the  team  he was in the 2 grade    his mama nad lot of stuff on him  not to get hurt    we start game   the fat boy got the ball  they say run Dennis    other boys run to us   to get the ball  Dennis  saw the boys   come  dennis  ran the oyher way   dennis fall down  the other boy got the ball  we run aftr the  boy with the ball  we not cath him  Dennis  try to get up  he had to much stuff on   he was on his back   Dennis mama   come got him up 
it was time for the othr team to kick the ball to us   I got the ball  uncle Glen was  on the side with our coach  he say run  Man  do not let them catch you   i run fast  I look back  a  big  boy  was going to catch me   uncle Glen say run  I look back  the boy was going to catch me   I throw the ball to one side   I run to the other side  to poppa  
rhe other boys got the ball  we cath them   take the ball   and run  the coach  blow  his wisher   we did not stop   we run   the  game end in a tie  we all got  0    it was fun  
poppa say he prod of me   we got beter   my big brother play football  in high school  he  can run fast  , lot of girls like him   he no have a stedy  girlfriend    go out in date with a lot of girl    my brother talk to poppa abiut  girl  now he talk to daddy  about girls  we not talk to mama about girl  poppa say mama is a girl   dhe not know what to tel us  mama talk to my sisters about boy   
poppa  take me  on walks  we look for 4 leaf clover I have some  in my favrite book poppa gave me  poppa love buterflys   poppa say the  come from caterpiller  turn in to somethng very beatiful and grecful  poppa and I sit in the garden  watch the  buterflys  aaand feed the  birds  sometme uncle Harvey   mr  Larry come  out  sit with  us   they tell me    bubba  to go see what  aunt  Mamie   aunr Snita    MeMa    mama  was cookng   it was time  for them to get some food  .Poppa draw   paint pictue he draw     write poems     poppa   write lot of peom about my grandmama Rosa   I will ask  saddy can I  put  some in my  p oppa and me post  they are so pretty.
I will not stay away so long  it is summer  play time  we are on the lake   we go home  stay  
hope you enjoy read about my poppa .

Knight Man  C.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Heatwave was triggered by climate change, according to new research

July 30, 2018,          University of Oxford 
The unprecedented temperatures seen over Summer 2018 are a sign of things to come, and are a direct result of climate change, according to new Oxford University research. Credit: Shutterstock 
The unprecedented temperatures seen over Summer 2018 are a sign of things to come—and a direct result of climate change, according to new Oxford University research. 

In the newly published report, researchers from the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at the School of Geography and Environment, Oxford University, who worked in collaboration with the World Weather Attribution network (WWA), reveal that climate change more than doubled the likelihood of the European heatwave, which could come to be known as regular summer temperatures.

Dr. Friederike Otto, Deputy Director of the ECI at the University of Oxford, said: "What was once regarded as unusually warm weather will become commonplace – in some cases, it already has."

The research compares current temperatures with historical records at seven weather stations in northern Europe – two in Finland, one each in Denmark, the Irish Republic, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
These stations were selected because current temperature data could be accessed in real time, and they possess digitised records extending back to the early 1900s. The scientists also used computer models to assess the impact of man-made climate change.

For each year in the historical record, the team looked at the hottest consecutive three-day period. For 2018, it was the hottest three days of the year so far – either observed or in the 
short-term forecast.

The findings show that the planet is definitely heating up, and for some of the weather stations, current temperatures are unprecedented in the historical record.
"We found that for the weather station in the far north, in the Arctic Circle, the current heat wave is just extraordinary – unprecedented in the historical record," said Dr. Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, Senior Researcher at the Royal Netherlands 

Meteorological Institute (KNMI).
"And while that is a striking finding, it's hard for us to quantify the increase in likelihood accurately because summer temperatures vary a lot from year to year, making it impossible to estimate the trend from the observations. The same is true for the other three northern stations.
"But for the three stations further south – in the Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland – the historical record does allow us to make a calculation, and it shows that climate change has generally increased the odds of the current heatwave more than two-fold."

Knight Sha C.

For every Trump tweet about climate change .... a tree is planted

Treespond campaign to plant more trees. Images: Treepex
 
An organization has launched a campaign to tackle environmental issues by planting trees for every Donald Trump quote denying climate change.
 
Treepex, sponsors the planting of trees. It has created a new campaign to allow members to “fight back” against Mr Trump, who has publicly and frequently cast doubt on the existence of climate change throughout the years. The campaign titled, Treespond, aims to be an outlet for those frustrated by the  president’s constant comments about climate change, by allowing users to plant trees for every environment-related quote and tweet by Mr Trump. 
                      
 

 
"The main antagonists of our campaign are politicians, one of them: Donald J. Trump, who is one of the biggest climate deniers with THE biggest media stage," the campaign website states.
Treespond has tracked quotes from Mr Trump and evaluated them on a scale of how ignorant the organization perceives the statements to be. The more ignorant Treespond rates a statement, the more trees will be planted for that particular quote.

Treespond has pulled together various quotes and tweets on climate change by Mr Trump, like in 2012 when he tweeted: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.” Although Mr Trump later claimed his 2012 tweet calling climate change a Chinese hoax was a joke, he has notably been critical of climate change often, since then. He has publicly cited cold temperatures to undermine concerns on global warming.

It costs about $10 for contributors to actually plant a tree for the Treespond campaign; contributors receive information on where the sponsored tree is really planted with updates on the plant’s progress. Treespond has partnered with the American Forestry Association to plant trees across the national forests of California recently devastated by wildfires.

US politicians have fiercely lambasted climate change deniers for opposing scientific consensus that human-caused global climate change is occurring.                   
Such is the case for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old Democratic socialist who defeated longtime US House Representative and Democratic Party star Joe Crowley in a stunning primary victory. She has proposed implementing a bold climate proposal, titled “Green New Deal” aimed at investing in the “development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution” in green energy.
 
The founders of Treepex told The Independent that its viral campaigns, like Treespond, further its efforts to fight deforestation. Lasha Kvantaliani, co-founder of Treepex, said its platform provides an alternative to having a “verbal argument” about the environment.
“In order to fight back and compensate for the damage a single ignorant opinion can cause, we created a platform that gives ‘a green fighter’ or 'tree hugger' the possibility to skip ‘verbal argument’ and immediately take action”. All of this is done with a lot humor and 'tongue in cheek'.

So, Mr Trump, keep on dissing climate change and climate scientists, keep letting those dumb remarks fall from your cake hole. The more mistruths the better. The more denials....the more trees get planted. That is taking a negative and turning it into a positive.

Information gathered from The Independent ….Thanx

Thursday, August 2, 2018

NOT DENIERS....BUT DO-LITTLES....THEY'RE JUST AS BAD

See the source image

Heatwave and climate change having negative impact on our soil, say experts

August 2, 2018 by Jordan Kenny, University of Manchester 
Credit: CC0 Public Domain 
The recent heatwave and drought could be having a deeper, more negative effect on soil than we first realised say scientists. 
This could have widespread implications for plants and other vegetation which, in turn, may impact on the wider entire ecosystem.
That's because organisms in soil are highly diverse and are responsible not only for producing the soil we need to grow crops, but also provide humans with many other benefits, such as cleaning water and regulating greenhouse gas emissions
The new study, led by researchers at The University of Manchester which has been published in Nature Communications, provides new insight into how a drought alters soil at microbial level. It shows that expected changes in climate will affect UK soil and that soil is not as tough as previously thought.
Due to climate change, disturbances such as drought are increasing in intensity and frequency. These extreme weather conditions change vegetation composition and soil moisture, which in turn impacts the soil's underlying organisms and microbial networks.
By studying how microbes react to severe drought, the study provides a better understanding of how underground soil networks respond to such environmental disturbances.
Lead author, Dr. Franciska de Vries, from Manchester's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, explains: "Soils harbour highly diverse microbial communities that are crucial for soil to function as it should.
"A major challenge is to understand how these complex microbial communities respond to and recover from disturbances, such as climate extremes, which are predicted to increase in frequency and intensity with climate change.
"These microbial communities within the soil play a crucial role in any ecosystem. But it wasn't known how soil networks respond to such disturbances until now."
Sequencing of soil DNA for the study was conducted at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH). Dr. Robert Griffiths, a molecular microbial ecologist at CEH, said: "This study further identifies those key organisms affected by drought, which will guide future research to predict how future soil microbial functions are affected by climate change."
The research team tested the effects of summer drought on plant communities consisting of four common grassland species. They found that drought increased the abundance of a certain fast-growing, drought-tolerant grass. With greater aboveground vegetation comes an increased rate of evapotranspiration, or cycling of water from plants to the atmosphere, lowering the overall soil moisture.
Science conducted as part of Lancaster University's Hazelrigg grassland experiment was key to the findings.
Professor Nick Ostle, from the Lancaster Environment Centre, said: "Our hot and dry summer this year is a 'wake up' to prepare for future weather stresses. We have just had the hottest ten years in UK history. This work shows that continued summer droughts will change soil biology. This matters as we plan for ensuring food security that depends on healthy soil."
Unlike past research, this study considered the multitude of direct and indirect interactions occurring between different microbial organisms in soil. Rather than focusing on select attributes of bacteria and fungi, this research takes a comprehensive approach to studying soil ecosystems.
Dr. de Vries added: "This study allows soil ecologists to estimate the current and future impacts of drought on belowground organisms, helping to understand the complex interactions of species due to climate change." 
Provided by: University of Manchester https://phys.org/partners/ university-of-manchester/https://phys.org/partners/university-of-manchester/
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/ 
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/
Thanx Jordan Kenny

Knight Jonny C. & the visiting  twin Reno Knights Charles & Charlene  J.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Geese Fly to Exhaustion in Race Against Climate Change

By Kimberly Hickok, Staff Writer | July 24, 2018  
Barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis) are arriving in the Arctic exhausted after their rushed migration.Credit: Shutterstock 

Every spring, thousands of barnacle geese make a grand migration from their temperate winter habitat in northern Europe and northwestern Russia to their summer nesting grounds in the Arctic. It's a journey of more than 1,800 miles (3,000 kilometers) that usually takes about a month, but new research has found that rising temperatures in the Arctic are pressuring the geese to make the trip in a grueling one-week sprint.

Barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis) are medium-size water birds found in Europe, Russia, the United Kingdom, Wales and the Arctic, according to the National Audubon Society. Until recent years, the timing of the birds' spring migration meant they arrived in the Arctic right as the snowmelt exposed their nesting sites and initiated plant growth. The birds would almost immediately lay their eggs, which would then hatch 30 or so days later, right at the peak season for plant growth — perfect timing for hungry, growing goslings. [Photos: Birds Evolved from Dinosaurs, Museum Exhibit Shows]

But in the past few decades, scientists noticed that things have changed. Temperatures in the Arctic have been getting warmer earlier and earlier in the season — by about a day per year — and this is putting significant pressure on the migrating barnacle geese.

The geese are trying to keep up with these environmental changes, but they're struggling. Scientists have found that the geese still leave at about the same time every year, but the animals have shortened their travel time to the Arctic. A trip that used to take about a month now takes the geese only about a week, as the birds will spend less time at their stopover sites or will skip them altogether and just keep flying. 

Instead of promptly laying their eggs as they usually do when they arrive at their Arctic nesting grounds, the exhausted geese need more than a week to recuperate and build up enough energy before they can start nesting. By the time the animals are ready to lay their eggs, the grasses and plants the birds feed on have been growing for a few weeks. As a result, goslings emerge from their eggs after the peak growing season rather than during it, and that's causing the young birds' survival rate to decline. 

The researchers predicted that barnacle geese may not be able to keep up with a continually warming climate and, as a consequence, their population may suffer. However, the researchers also pointed out that geese are a social species, and if enough individuals leave earlier, the rest may follow.
The study was published online July 19 in the journal Current Biology.
Original article on Live Science.

Crusader Jenny , Nanook & Mika

Saturday, July 28, 2018

What Climate Change Looks Like In 2018

A man cools off in the spray of a fire hydrant during a heatwave in Philadelphia this month. JESSICA KOURKOUNIS / GETTY IMAGES
By Christie Aschwanden is FiveThirtyEight's lead wriyyer for Science@cragcrest
It’s only July, but it has already been a long, hot spring and summer. The contiguous U.S. endured the warmest May ever recorded, and in June, the average temperature was 1.7 degrees Celsius (3.0 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th century average. Iowa, New Mexico and Texas set record highs for their minimum temperatures in June, and as of July 3, nearly 30 percent of the Lower 48 was experiencing drought conditions. And it’s not just the U.S. During the first five months of 2018, nearly every continent experienced record warm temperatures, and May 2018 marked the 401st consecutive month in which temperatures exceeded the 20th century average.

Land & Ocean Temperature Percentiles May 2018
NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information 
Data Source GHON-M version 3.3.0. & ERSST version 4.0.0

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201805
Climate change, in other words, is not a hypothetical future event — it’s here. We’re living it. And at a major science conference this month, some of the world’s leading climate scientists said it was changing our world in ways beyond what they’d anticipated.

“The red alert is on,” Laurent Fabius, who was president of the 2015 international climate change negotiations in Paris, told an audience last week at the EuroScience Open Forum, Europe’s largest interdisciplinary science meeting. As of 2015, global temperatures had risen about 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels. “It’s a race against time,” Fabius said, and the political challenge is to avoid acting too late.

A draft of a forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that leaked earlier this year concludes that global temperatures are on track to rise in excess of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by about 2040. The 2015 Paris climate agreement set limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius as a sort of stretch goal, with the less ambitious target being 2 degrees Celsius. The IPCC report, which is expected to be released in October, says that even if the pledges made under the Paris agreement are fulfilled, warming will still exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius. The report also says that the differences between the present day and just 0.5 degrees more warming are “substantial increases in extremes,” including hot temperatures, “heavy precipitation events” and extreme droughts.

We don’t have to look to the future to see what climate change can do. At the EuroScience Open Forum, Camille Parmesan,1 a professor and member of IPCC, discussed her research showing that 90 percent of the 490 plant species examined at two sites, one in Washington, D.C., the other in Chinnor in the U.K., are responding to climate change in measurable ways. Some plants she’s studied require winter chilling to thrive, and that’s a problem, because winter is warming more than spring.

And temperatures aren’t rising uniformly. Areas at higher latitudes are warming faster than other places, and that has allowed outbreaks of infections from Vibrio, a bacteria genus that thrives in warm waters, to happen in places like the Baltic Sea area. “We’ve underestimated the impact of climate change thus far,” Parmesan said.

The accelerating consequences of climate disruption will be a major theme when COP24, the next iteration of the climate conference that produced the Paris agreement, meets in Poland in December. Another focus of discussion will be the progress that each country has made toward its “nationally determined contributions,” the voluntary goals for reducing emissions that nations set for themselves in Paris. Progress is not in line with these goals in many countries, Fabius said. “Germany is not fulfilling its [NDCs], and in France last year, CO2 emissions were up,” he said.

If decision-makers can’t agree on politics, they might be persuaded by economics, said Thomas Stocker, a climate scientist and a longtime member of IPCC. De-carbonizing our energy systems is “the biggest opportunity in the 21st century,” he told the EuroScience Open Forum.

Some local and state governments in the U.S. are exploring that opportunity. “The Trump White House is not just failing to do climate,” Parmesan said. “It’s doing its best to stop every advance we’ve made in the last 20 years, but what’s happening is a reaction from the ground level up that’s countering that national-level resistance.” (The White House did not respond to FiveThirtyEight’s request for comment.) As an example, she pointed to Georgetown, Texas, a city north of Austin. The electric company there is owned by the city, which has just switched to 100 percent renewable energy. “The mayor is quite conservative, and he got mad when people said it was for climate change,” she said. “He said, ‘No, no — it just makes economic sense.’”
Thanx  Christie Aschwanden 
Knight Jonny C.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Report: 2017 was deadliest year for environmental activists

By Ray Downs  |  July 24, 2018 A view of the Anavilhanas Islands, formed by the Amazonas River in Brazil, where heavy deforestation has taken place over the years. Since then, Brazil has become the deadliest country in the world for environmental activists, a new report said Tuesday. File Photo by Marcelo Sayao/EPA
July 24 (UPI) -- At least 207 land and environmental activists around the world were killed in 2017, making it the deadliest year on record, British organization Global Witness said in a report Tuesday.

The report, At What Cost?, shows the rise in killings has been linked to an increased demand for consumer products like palm oil and coffee.

A growing number of attacks are carried out against people who refuse to give up their land to grow these products, Global Witness said. But demand in other industries, such as mining, also result in killings against indigenous leaders, community activists and environmentalists trying to protect their land.

"Local activists are being murdered as governments and businesses value quick profit over human life," said Ben Leather, a senior campaigner at Global Witness. "Many of the products emerging from this bloodshed are on the shelves of our supermarkets. Yet as brave communities stand up to corrupt officials, destructive industries and environmental devastation, they are being brutally silenced. Enough is enough."

Latin America accounted for about 60 percent of the killings. The deadliest country for land activists was Brazil, where 57 died last year. Mexico and Peru saw dramatic increases in killings, from 3 to 15 and 2 to 8, respectively. And Nicaragua, with a population of 6 million people, saw 4 homicides of land activists, making it the deadliest country per capita.

John Knox, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, told Al Jazeera Latin America's population and corruption make it dangerous ground for environmental activists.

"You see indigenous peoples who are still directly dependent on natural resources in forests or sometimes fisheries who are already discriminated against or marginalized," he said. "When conflicts between the companies and governments that want to profit from natural resources and the people who depend upon them occur in countries or regions that have a weak rule of law, then they are much more likely to result in violence and killing."

The Philippines was the deadliest country in Asia and second-deadliest in the world. Culprits vary, with criminal gangs blamed for at least 90 deaths last year, and government forces for at least 53.

The deadliest industry was agribusiness, in which 46 land activists were killed. At least 40 were killed in the mining sector and 23 in the logging industry.

Data limits means the numbers of those killed could be much higher. It also doesn't include people attacked in other ways, including death threats, arrests, intimidation, cyber-attacks, sexual assault and lawsuits, the organization said.

"The appalling stories of women threatened with rape, homes burnt down, and families attacked with machetes are shocking at an individual level," said writer and environmental activist Margaret Atwood, a supporter of Global Witness. "Collectively, they show an epidemic of violence visited upon defenders of the earth. This violation of human rights calls for vigorous protest."
Thanx Ray Downs

Knight Sha  C.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Before and After Global Warming

Glaciers
 
See the source image
 
 Picture of Muir  glacier taken in 1882 and picture taken of same spot in 2005
 
See the source image
 
See the source image
 
FOREST
 
ROCKY NATIONAL PARK BEFORE: Healthy pine trees stretch for tens of millions of acres in the northwestern United States and western Canada.
  Rocky National Park before global warming
 
ROCKY NATIONAL PARK NOW: A hillside of dead pine trees killed by Mountain Pine Beetles shows the effects of warming temperatures in the mountain ranges. In the past, freezing temperatures reduced insect populations. The beetles are now able to survive the milder winters leading to devastating infestations.
 Rocky National Park after  higher temperatures brought about population explosion in pine tree devouring Pine Beetles
 
REEFS
THE GREAT BARRIER BEFORE: Considered one of the most biologically-diverse regions in the world, Australia's Great Barrier covers around 135,000 square miles, or an area that's nearly the size of Texas. Ocean acidification and temperature increases from  climate change are the reef's biggest long-term threat.
 Great Barrier Reef before leap in rising ocean temperatures
 
THE GREAT BARRIER REEF NOW: Warmer water temperatures trigger widespread coral bleaching, when coral turns white and is much more susceptible to death. Coral is vital to supporting ocean life.
 Now... enormous areas of the reef have been bleached as coral creatures die from too warm temperatures
 
CORAL REEFS BEFORE: Corals seen in Dibba, located on the east coast of the northern Emirates, are healthy and teeming with fish in 2004.
Coral reef in Dibba off coast of Emirates before jump in ocean temp
 
CORAL REEFS NOW: The reef was devastated in 2008 by harmful algae blooms known as red tide, potentially linked, in part, to increased greenhouse gases and rising ocean temperatures. The tide kills sea life by depleting the oxygen in the water.
Same reef today after death was caused by Red Tide Algae. Massive growth of the algae due to global warming and greenhouse gases
 
THE DANUBE RIVER BEFORE: The Danube, Europe's second longest river, flows eastward from its source in Germany to the Black Sea in Romania. The Danube river basin is critical to supporting industry, transport, agriculture, and fishing.
Danube River Before
 
THE DANUBE RIVER NOW: Between 2011 and 2012, a persistent drought led to record-low water levels along the Danube, stranding boats and paralyzing parts of the busy waterway.
 Danube after two year drought lowered water levels so much, ships were stranded in mid stream
 
SAN BLAS ARCHIPELAGO BEFORE: The San Blas islands in Panama are home to the Guna people. Their traditional thatched-roof houses and ancient way of life are being threatened by climate change.
SAN BLAS ARCHIPELAGO BEFORE
 
SAN BLAS ARCHIPELAGO AFTER SEA LEVEL RISE
 
'A picture is worth a thousand words', so they say.
 What do you say??

Sunday, July 22, 2018

What can teenagers do to fight climate change?

An email came in recently from H.H., a thirteen-year-old on a “year long quest to find out how I can make a difference” in the fight against climate change. The email included a list of questions. They’re good questions, so I’ll answer them here as best as I can. 

1. Is it possible to stop climate change?
Not entirely, but it should be possible to stop the worst effects of climate change.

The climate reacts slowly to all the carbon dioxide we’ve been adding to the atmosphere. It will take decades or even hundreds of years for the full effects of the fossil fuel we’ve already burned to be felt. So it isn’t really possible to fully stop climate change.

But most scientists think it is possible to avoid the worst effects of climate change. We have a short time in which to act. If we can hold emissions down — and then gradually eliminate them — we should be able to prevent the really bad scenarios that scientists are warning us about.

2. Do we need to have a global government to address climate change or does local governments work too?
We don’t need a global government, but we do need a global agreement between governments. There is only one climate, so the nations of the earth need to cooperate to reach the common goal of reducing carbon emissions. The good news is that we’ve cooperated before. For example, over twenty years ago, 186 nations agreed to a treaty to address the hole in the ozone layer. Climate change is a much bigger problem, but at least we know what needs to be done.

3. How did you first come to know or get interested in climate change?
Scientists have been studying climate change since before I was born, but like most people, I didn’t pay much attention until the issue started becoming more urgent in the 1990s. Once I started to learn about climate change, I realized that it’s a much bigger problem than most, because it affects every aspect of the environment and the economy.

TerraPass began as a school project in 2004. Since then, of course, I’ve learned more than ever about the causes of climate change and — more importantly — the potential solutions.

4. How has knowing about climate change influenced your life?

I spend every day working on climate change, so it’s influenced my life quite a bit! And, like a lot of people, I take steps to conserve energy usage. Beyond those obvious things, here are some other ways climate change has influenced my life:

Good (yes, there are some good things): I enjoy working in an area that I feel is important to the future health and wealth of the planet. I’m a science geek, and science of climate and energy turns out to be completely fascinating. I’m also a politics geek, and the politics of climate change are also fascinating — and totally frustrating. These days, I’m feeling optimistic that we’re starting to move in the right direction. So that’s nice.

Bad: I wish climate change would go away! I would prefer to live in a world where we had access to cheap, clean energy. But we don’t, so I worry in particular about some of the potentially irreversible effects of climate change, such as biodiversity loss.

5. What do you think is the best way to convince people that climate change is happening?

Good question. I’m pretty sure the answer lies in helping people understand that climate change isn’t only a threat, but also an opportunity. In 50 years, we will all be healthier and wealthier than we are now — and the environment will be safe. But only if we start acting now.

Of course, some people will never be convinced, so we should focus most of our energy on motivating the people who do understand the problem (the majority of Americans) to push for solutions.

6. Can you suggest other sources — media, places to visit, activities to take part in, or people I could contact to help me understand and fight against climate change?

There’s so much information available online that I hardly know where to begin. You might want to check out this list of the top 50 green blogs, and find the ones that interest you most.

There’s also an interesting study guide related to the movie An Inconvenient Truth. One of the best ways for you to get involved is through your school.

Of course, you can also get involved by finding ways to reduce your carbon footprint. You don’t drive yet, so you’re already doing a good job on that front. Perhaps you can find ways to green your home.

Update: Via this Grist post, I found this area of the Clinton Global Initiative web site that lists out ideas for “commitments” that young people can take to fight climate change. Lots of ideas in there.

7. Why do you think people don’t believe that climate change is happening?

This is a complicated topic. I think there are a few reasons. The first is that the science of climate change is difficult. The second is that climate change is scary. A third reason — and this may be the most important one — is that the politics of climate change are a mess. I know that’s a vague answer, but you could write a whole book about this.

8. What do you think I should do after I finish college to help save earth?
This question is easy: don’t worry about it. Here’s why:

You won’t graduate from college for eight years. In eight years, the world will be very different. We’ll have a different government. We’ll have new technologies. We’ll have new laws and new international agreements. No one can predict what the world will look like in eight years, so just study hard and see what opportunities arise.

More importantly, what you should do depends entirely on what you like to do. All sorts of people are needed to help fight climate change: scientists, engineers, legislators, educators, entrepreneurs, businesspeople, financiers, activists, and the list goes on. The best thing for you to do is whatever you most enjoy, because that’s where you’ll make the greatest difference. And the only way to find that out is to try out a bunch of different things, talk to people who do work you find interesting, and learn as much as possible.

It’s really difficult to convey the sheer breadth and diversity of opportunities available to someone interested in the environment. (See here if you want a taste.) Fortunately for you, this is one question you can put off answering for a few years.

Knight  Sha  C .

Saturday, July 21, 2018

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Wagner Calls Teen 'Naive' After Climate Change Question

 
 Videos circulating on social media show Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor Scott Wagner telling a teenager that she's young and naive after asking about climate change.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Fossil fuel industry spent nearly $2 billion to kill U.S. climate action, new study finds Industry has out-lobbied environmentalists 10-to-1 on climate since 2000.

JOE ROMM      JULy  19, 2018
ACTIVISTS RALLY IN NEW YORK CITY TO SUPPORT THE STATE'S INVESTIGATION INTO WHETHER OIL GIANT EXXON COVERED UP ITS KNOWLEDGE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE, FEBRUARY 22, 2017. CREDIT: SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES
Legislation to address climate change has repeatedly died in Congress. But a major new study says the policy deaths were not from natural causes — they were caused by humans, just like climate change itself is.

Climate action has been repeatedly drowned by a devastating surge and flood of money from the fossil fuel industry — nearly $2 billion in lobbying since 2000 alone.

This is according to stunning new analysis in the journal Climatic Change on “The climate lobby” by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert J. Brulle.

The most important conclusion of Brulle’s is that spending by those in favor of climate action was dramatically overwhelmed by the big fossil fuel suppliers and users: “Environmental organizations and the renewable energy sector lobbying expenditures were dwarfed by a ratio of 10:1 by the spending of the sectors engaged in the supply and use of fossil fuels.” 

The study serves to help put to rest notion that the effort to pass climate legislation has ever been a fair fight. But then, the big corporate producers and consumers of fossil fuels have hundreds of billions of dollars in annual revenue — thus dwarfing the funds available to major environmental groups and the emerging clean energy sector.

Brulle analyzed the “countervailing power ratio,” which is the total lobbying expenditures by the big fossil fuel trade associations along with the transportation, electric utility, and fossil fuel sectors divided by the total lobbying expenditures of the renewable energy sector along with environmental organizations (see the chart below).
The ratio of lobbying expenditures by opponents of climate action compared to proponents. CREDIT:Climatic Change
THE RATIO OF LOBBYING EXPENDITURES BY OPPONENTS OF CLIMATE ACTION COMPARED TO PROPONENTS. CREDIT:CLIMATIC CHANGE
“Special interests dominate the conversation, all working for a particular advantage for their industry,” as Dr. Brulle told ThinkProgress in an email. “The common good is not represented.”

Indeed, the other key point of the study is that a truly staggering amount of money has been spent lobbying Congress on climate change this century, more than $2 billion.

The biggest surge came, unsurprisingly, during the 2009-2010 period — when Congress came the closest it ever did to passing serious climate legislation

US national climate change lobbying expenditures total by year 2000–2016 (green) and as a percent of total lobbying (blue). CREDIT: Climatic Change.
US NATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE LOBBYING EXPENDITURES TOTAL BY YEAR 2000–2016 (GREEN) AND AS A PERCENT OF TOTAL LOBBYING (BLUE). CREDIT: CLIMATIC CHANGE.
During 2009 and 2010, total lobbying expenditures on climate change accounted for a whopping nine percent of all lobbying expenditures.

The House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, often called the Waxman-Markey bill, by a slim margin in June 2009. At that point, the fossil fuel industry launched an all-out — and ultimately successful — lobbying push to undermine any effort by the Senate to  pass their own version of the climate bill over the next 12 months. 

Indeed, of the top nine energy companies with the biggest lobbying expenditures between January 2009 and June 2010, six were Big Oil companies (led by ExxonMobil), and the other three were a coal producer and two coal-intensive utilities.

“It’s clear that when the greatest threat presents itself — like when Congress and the Executive branch are aligned and favorable to and recognize climate change as a major issue,” explained Brulle, “these corporations that engage in the supply and use of fossil fuels work the hardest to upend legislative efforts by increasing their lobby spending ten-fold.”

Finally, it’s worth noting, as Brulle does, that electric utilities, which collectively have spent vast sums lobbying on climate change, were not all lobbying uniformly against the climate bill in 2009 and 2010.

But the biggest carbon polluters at the time, such as Southern Company and American Electric Power (AEP), were among the very biggest spenders.

Also, as the study notes, “several corporations’ apparent support for climate policy is a sophisticated strategy to simultaneously attempt to appear to support such legislation, while actually supporting efforts to undermine it.”

To do this, some companies had memberships in coalitions that both supported climate legislation (U.S. Climate Action Partnership) and that opposed it (American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity).

And it appears to be the case that the opponents of the climate bill were very actively trying to kill the bill, while many of the so-called proponents were mainly lobbying to shape the bill “as a hedge against unacceptable climate legislation in case their first preference (no action) is defeated,” as the study notes.

Post 2010,  the fossil fuel industry has maintained its consistent large edge in  lobbying over environmentalists and clean energy companies.

Sadly, brand new IRS rules from the Trump administration “will no longer force Kochs and other groups to disclose donors,” as the New York Times reported Tuesday. That means major anti-climate groups, like Americans for Prosperity, will  not have to report that it is heavily backed by the Koch brothers, who are billionaire fossil fuel barons.

In short, tracking the role of dirty money in politics just got a lot harder.

The bottom line is that one major reason for the lack of action on climate change is that, for nearly two decades, the opponents of serious action have been vastly outspending the proponents.
Thanx  #CLIMATE, #CONGRESS, #FOSSIL FUELS, #LOBBYING, #POLITICS

Crusader  Jenny , Nanook & Mika

Wednesday, July 18, 2018