Monday, April 30, 2018

UN Climate Stalemate Frustrates Poor and Drought Ridden Countries

               Poorer nations are concerned that action on climate change is not fast enough to limit the impacts
Old divisions between rich and poor over money and ambition are again threatening to limit progress in UN climate negotiations. Discussions between negotiators from nearly 200 countries have resumed in Germany, aiming to flesh out the rules on the Paris climate pact. But developing countries say they are "frustrated" with the lack of leadership from the developed world. Commitments to cut carbon are still "woefully inadequate" they said.
2018 marks a critical stage in the global climate negotiations process. By the end of this year, governments will meet in Poland to finalize the so-called "rulebook" of the Paris deal, agreed in the French capital in December 2015.
This is seen as a key test.
The rules will define the ways in which every country reports on their emissions and on their carbon-cutting actions and, importantly, how they will increase these actions in the years ahead.
But while rich and poor countries united in Paris to push through the deal, significant ruptures have re-appeared in wrangles over key technical details.
The developed nations want almost all countries to share the same set of rules on how carbon emissions are measured, reported and verified. This issue, called "transparency" in the negotiations, has run into difficulties with many emerging economies arguing for more "flexibility".
According to some observers, the richer countries believe that some in the talks are trying to turn the clock back to the time when only wealthier countries had any commitments to cut carbon, while developing countries including India and China had no obligations.

Scientists predict that sea level rise caused by climate change will cause more floods such as these in Bangkok

"The EU, US, and other developed countries are worried about the slow pace of negotiations on transparency and other elements of the Paris rulebook," said Alden Meyer from the Union of Concerned Scientists.
"And what they see as the efforts of some developing countries to reintroduce bifurcation into the climate regime - an argument they thought had been settled in Paris."
The developing nations are, in turn, incensed that enthusiasm for the $100bn per year in climate finance support from the rich, due to start in 2020, has started to wane.
"It has been frustrating to hear some developed countries celebrate their climate leadership even as they fall well short of the modest commitments they have made over the years," said Thoriq Ibrahim, environment minister for the Maldives and chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States, one of the key groups of poorer nations in the talks.
"If we spent as much time working on this problem as we do congratulating ourselves for caring so deeply about it, we would be closer to an outcome worthy of a celebration.
"As it stands, we haven't mobilized nearly enough resources to tackle this problem and until developed countries match their rhetoric with action our survival will continue to hang in the balance."

Talanoa dialogue

The government of Fiji currently holds the presidency of the UN talks and has been trying to inspire greater efforts to cut greenhouse gases - they've introduced an international conversation called the Talanoa Dialogue to push countries to do more. But a UN summary of written submissions to this process reflects the frustrations.
"The scale and pace of climate action must increase dramatically, and immediately so," it says.
While the furore over the decision of US President Donald Trump to withdraw his country from the Paris agreement has died down for now, there are likely to be other flashpoints as the talks progress.
One such issue is the question of the influence of fossil fuel companies on the talks. Some campaigners want the UN to firm up the rules to ensure there are no conflicts of interest.
"The fossil fuel industry and its trade association proxies have undermined climate action for decades yet the UN continues to allow these obstructionist to pull a chair up to the table," said Jesse Bragg from Corporate Accountability.
"If we are to avert the worst effects of climate change and truly realize the promise of Paris, parties must first resolve to eject the presence of the very industry at the core of this crisis once and for all."
The talks in Bonn will run until May 10
Meanwhile people in drought ridden countries struggle to get enough food to survive.
There should be another program underway. Developed countries should provide more humanitarian aid, engineers, technicians and  equipment  and teach arid countries how to build canals, dams and irrigation ditches and how to desalinate sea water. If developing countries are helpless at  convincing the world to slow climate change, at least teach them how to deal with it.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Hungry birds as climate change drives food 'mismatch'

April 23, 2018        Source: : University of Exeter 
Summary: : Warmer springs create a 'mismatch' where hungry chicks hatch too late to feast on abundant caterpillars, new research shows. 

Female Pied flycatcher. 
Credit: Tom Wallis Warmer springs create a "mismatch" where hungry chicks hatch too late to feast on abundant caterpillars, new research shows.

With continued spring warming expected due to climate change, scientists say hatching of forest birds will be "increasingly mismatched" with peaks in caterpillar numbers.
The researchers, from the RSPB and the universities of Exeter and Edinburgh, used data collected across the UK -- largely by citizen scientists -- to study spring emergence of oak tree leaves and caterpillars, and timing of nesting by three bird species: blue tits, great tits and pied flycatchers.

They also tested a theory that some bird species in southern Britain may suffer most due to a greater mismatch effect -- but they found no evidence of this.
"Forests have a short peak in caterpillar abundance, and some forest birds time their breeding so this coincides with the time when their chicks are hungriest," said Dr Malcolm Burgess, of the University of Exeter and the RSPB.
"With spring coming earlier due to climate change, leaves and caterpillars emerge earlier and birds need to breed earlier to avoid being mismatched.

"We found that the earlier the spring, the less able birds are to do this.

"The biggest mismatch was among pied flycatchers -- as migratory birds, they are not in the UK in winter and therefore are much less able to respond to earlier spring weather."
The study presents the first assessment of whether the mismatch effect is greater in southern Britain than the north.
It has been suggested that northern bird populations may be "buffered" from the effects of climate change in this way.
Dr Ally Phillimore, from the University of Edinburgh, said: "We found no evidence of north-south variation in caterpillar-bird mismatch for any of the bird species. Therefore, population declines of insectivorous birds in southern Britain do not appear to be caused by greater mismatch in the south than the north."
Dr Karl Evans, from the University of Sheffield's Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, said "Our work suggests that as springs warm in the future less food is likely to be available for the chicks of insectivorous woodland birds unless evolution changes their timing of breeding."

First leafing dates of oak trees were collected by citizen scientists coordinated by the Woodland Trust via Nature's Calendar, caterpillar abundance was monitored by collecting frass (droppings) beneath oak trees, and the timing of egg laying by blue tits, great tits and pied flycatchers were recorded by the British Trust for Ornithology's long-running Nest Record Scheme.

The research team also included the universities of Durham, Glasgow, Oxford, Stirling and Cardiff.
The paper, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, is entitled: "Tritrophic phenological match-mismatch in space and time."
Story Source:
Materials provided by University of Exeter. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Knight Jonny C .

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Poppa and me Poppa ia my hero

I want to say this first , I  say to my brother  and sisters  to put picture  and cartoon on their post  for the pelpe  that can not read   to help them know about clmate change   it help me to show mama know about  My sister  post    what did you do on earth day 
Poppa had a suit on the top floor of hotel  , the  housekeper ask poppa  did he want some thng  poppa say no    that where poppa  my daddy stay  when  poppa and daddy saw mama  she work at the casino  poppa  buy casino  daddy like mama  say he  want to give  my brother and sisters and me to her   I do not know what mama say  to daddy  poppa say mama  told him what to do with him hand  poppa   grin  say Man your mama is a mean one  poppa say he like mama  she be good for  daddy   my sister say daddy is scred of mama   she tell daddy she will spank his musty but  , daddy   pat mama on the but  and run  mama run to catch him  poppa say  fight  kids  and we run  to mama and daddy  we all fall down  and gtin  it was fun 
The casino got  a game room for kids when thr mama and daddy  come to  gambe  I like going  to play  
Poppa take us  Satuday  we have  slot machine  shoting games  and  other  games   that is like  the games in the casino   there is  big bin  with ball in it  you can jump into  have fun   poppa get in the bin   say jump Man   poppa was fun  he like doing fun things  .
I got cousn my size  he like play with poppa  he go place with poppa and me   we go  sit on the ftont of hotel  to see eho is  coming in  they have bags  they go to hotel  other  go to the casino  to gambe  , lady on a walker come  poppa call a guy told him to help her   she was  going gambe  she say thank you to poppa   guy help lady  poppa cal him  say why  you and other did not come to help her  , he say  she need to stay home  poppa say  they stay at home  we will not need you  guy come up say he is the owner  poppa say  that come with his job  poppa say  you people need more traning .
Poppa say let go back in  Poppa turn roun  and say  I hope you do not forget whay I say .
Bubba say  poppa you will fire them  poppa grin  say fast you can spit .
Lady  see poppa  call him  poppa grin  we walk to her  poppa say  when you get here   she say today  poppa say  what room   she tell poppa  poppa say   like  to eat  lady say yes  poppa say Man  go get  your brother  and sisters  and Bubba brother and sister tell them it time to eat 
Lady like poppa  lady say she  say poppa  you need a wife  she want to be our grandmama   
I say  where you live  lady say with poppa  when we maried  , I say no  she say why   I say daddy  say we can not bring  anythng home  he has  enogh mouth  to frd  poppa grin   my big sister  say  we  like our own way  the lady say  we will work on it   my big sister say how  the lady say I can show  you  my  little sister  say lady  my mama  wil not  like  it and poppa grin   poppa  say lady  I not  know her name  I tel you I not maried   you are not one of my lady  
Lady say  she will keep try  my big sister  say how long she try   the lady say  for a very long time  before you was born   I say lady  you can not have poppa  he belong to us   lady say  okay this time  lady tell poppa she wil try  again   The  lady came to poppa memoral in reno  she hug all us  say she will miss his  lady told daddy  she will not  be back in shreveport  again   lady ask mama  for her phone  numbr   lady gave  phone numbr to mama  , lady call mama  every month 
Lady say to daddy  poppa was  one of a kind    Mama want to start  a place for the polar bears  like she did   the lady shelyer   lady and  kids would have a place to go  when  daddy was mean to them   I do not know what hapen  , poppa  say mama  open  a shop up in Nanook name  that will be a start   poppa say there is so many crook people  dadd got a big  room at his ofide  buildng  poppa say daddy what he want   poppa told uncle Chris what to do   uncle Chris  did a meting  room   a shop  to make things for Nanook  old peple cam   poppa watch them  poppa say to mama  they are cold   hungry   poppa say  make  lot of craf  poppa say  he will get a place at flea markt  put  them to work   2 peple move gift shop out  hotel  casino  poppa  open them  poppa put  old people to work there   poppa wound only hire  peple  no one hire .
I wait to do the last of my post  we went to the school meying last night   mama  aand other mama and daddy gave  them  hell  other mama and daddy  had the same  troube  with my teacher  as mama  , mama  read a letter my deacher sent  daddy   my teacher  told me to give  it to my daddy   daddy read the letter  daddy call mama  say read this   mama read it  daddy say you take care of it   daddy say that lady is nuts  .
Mama and daddy  say to daddy  they did not know who to trust on schol borad  when he left   daddy say  you call mrs Wiser  she  take care of you  daddy say I told the board she was  the best peson for the  job   in school today my teacher was so nice to me and my cousin   the boy was in anothr  room   my cousin and I are  always  good  because  we know  we do wrong  we will get purnsh  we do not  get spank   we get ground  and I  have to sit  on the couh  and get talk to   mama talk aout stuff when she was a kid  it go on long time  next day  you get the same ting   it bad than spank .
Poppa did  so many good things  for  his famiky  and friends  you need his help  he give it  most poppa hate  you put blame on other peple  I will tell you more about my poppa   I have  some good stories  about  playing ball   I will tell you about  I paly football   poppa help me  pick out  a cup    I have one  play baseball with Poppa 
Those are  some of the reson  wht poppa is my hero 
Thank you for  reading 

Knight  Man  C.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Why is the ocean important?

Our watery world.
After all, we live on land.
But our world is a water world. The ocean covers 70% of Earth's surface. The average depth of the ocean is about 2.7 miles. In some places, the ocean is deeper than the tallest mountains are high! The ocean contains about 97% of all the water on Earth.

The ocean plays a starring role in whatever happens with the environment. One big part of its role is to soak up energy (heat) and distribute it more evenly around the Earth. Another part is to soak up CO2.
How does the ocean soak up energy?
How can a water balloon teach us about climate change? Watch this video and find out.
Ocean's food chain. See caption.
In the ocean, all creatures depend on the supply of plankton (tiny plants and animals) at the bottom of the food chain.
The ocean does an excellent job of absorbing excess heat from the atmosphere. The top few meters of the ocean stores as much heat as Earth's entire atmosphere. So, as the planet warms, it's the ocean that gets most of the extra energy.

But if the ocean gets too warm, then the plants and animals that live in it must adapt—or die.

Algae and plankton are at the bottom of the food chain. Plankton includes many different kinds of tiny animals, plants, or bacteria that just float and drift in the ocean. Other tiny animals such as krill (sort of like little shrimp) eat the plankton. Fish and even whales and seals feed on the krill. In some parts of the ocean, krill populations have dropped by over 80 percent. Why? Krill like to breed in really cold water near sea ice. What would happen if there were no sea ice? What would happen if there were very little plankton or krill? The whole food web could come unraveled.

Coral is another ocean creature in trouble. Coral is a very fragile animal that builds a shell around itself. It lives in harmony with a certain kind of colorful algae. The algae make food using sunlight, a process called photosynthesis. They share the food with the coral, and, in turn, the coral gives the algae a safe and sunny place to live. The two of them get along fine, living in clean, clear, shallow waters where the Sun shines through brightly. Fish love coral too, because there are lots of nooks and crannies for them to hide in.

But the algae cannot carry out photosynthesis in water that is too warm. The algae either die, or the coral spits it out. Scientists are not sure exactly what happens, but it's bad for the algae, the coral, and the fish. The corals lose their colorful food sources and become weak. This sad event is called coral bleaching, and it is happening on a grand scale in many places around the world.
How does the ocean soak up CO2?

Cross section drawing of ocean, with wind making turbulence and mixing carbon dioxide into the water.
The ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere wherever air meets water. Wind causes waves and turbulence, giving more opportunity for the water to absorb the carbon dioxide.

Fish and other animals in the ocean breathe oxygen and give off carbon dioxide (CO2), just like land animals. Ocean plants take in the carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, just like land plants. The ocean is great at sucking up CO2 from the air. It absorbs about one-quarter of the CO2 that we humans create when we burn fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas.) If not for the ocean, we'd be in even worse trouble with too much CO2.

However, the ocean and everything in it are paying a price. The ocean is becoming more acidic.

What does this mean? Liquids are either acid or alkaline. Each liquid falls somewhere along a scale with acid at one end and alkaline at the other.

Drawing of the pH scale, with the most acidic reading of -5 on the left and the most alkaline reading of 14 on right. Example substances are shown, with their pH levels: Pure water has pH of 7, tomato juice is 4, battery acid is 0. Ocean water is 8.
Normally, ocean water is less acidic than fresh water. Unfortunately, as the ocean absorbs more and more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, it becomes more acidic. Lemon juice is an example of an acidic liquid. Toothpaste is alkaline. The ocean is slightly alkaline.

However, when the ocean absorbs a lot of CO2, the water becomes more acidic. The alkalinity of the ocean is very important in maintaining a delicate balance needed for animals--like the mussels in this picture—to make protective shells. If the water is too acidic, the animals may not be able to make strong shells. Corals could also be affected, since their skeletons are made of the same shell-like material.
How does the ocean affect the climate?
One way the ocean affects the climate in places like Europe is by carrying heat to the north in the Atlantic Ocean. Way up north, cold water in the North Atlantic ocean sinks very deep and spreads out all around the world. The sinking water is replaced by warm water near the surface that moves to the north. Scientists call this the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt. The heat carried north helps keep the Atlantic ocean warmer in the winter time, which warms the nearby countries as well.

NASA missions that very accurately measure the hills and valleys in the ocean and changes in sea level help scientists understand what is happened with ocean currents.

The "great ocean conveyor belt" refers to the major ocean currents that move warm water from the equator to the poles and cold water from the poles back toward the equator.

Does the salt in the ocean do anything?
Diagram shows levels of salt concentration in river water (least salty), estuary water (middle) and ocean water (most salty).
Fresh water has lower salinity (saltiness) than estuary water, where the ocean water mixes with river water. The ocean itself is most salty of all.

The amount of salt in the ocean water also affects currents. Saltier water is heavier than less salty water. When salty ocean water freezes, the ice can no longer hold on to the salt. Instead, the salt mixes with the water below making it saltier and heavier. Glaciers, land ice and icebergs are made of fresh water, so what happens when this ice melts? Good question!

World map showing major ocean currents by salinity levels. Warm, shallow water is less salty than deeper, colder water.
The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt carries warmer, less salty water from the equator to the poles, and colder, saltier water from the poles back toward the equator. Colder water and very salty water are heavier than warmer water and less salty water.

The water in the North Atlantic sinks because it's cold, but also because it's salty. Being both cold AND salty makes it really heavy, so it can sink very far. But if too much ice melts in the North Atlantic, the water could become less salty. If that happens, what about the Ocean Conveyor Belt? Would it stop warming the North Atlantic? Could Europe get really cold? Scientists say it seems unlikely, but NASA satellites are keeping a close eye on the melting ice and the ocean currents to try to understand this complicated system better.
Thanx NASA Climate  Kids
Knight Sha  C.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Why is the Weather Getting Scary


Why is the weather getting Scary?

The world is getting warmer

The average temperature of the Earth's surface has increased by about 0.85°C (1.4F) in the last 100 years. Up until 2015, 13 of the 14 warmest years in history had been recorded in the 21st Century. 2015 became the hottest year on record, but then was surpassed by a record-breaking 2016.

Reason : Greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide

Scientists believe that gases released from industry and agriculture (known as emissions) are adding to the natural greenhouse effect, the way the Earth's atmosphere traps some of the energy from the Sun.
Human activities such as burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas are increasing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. And to add to the damage humans are causing, carbon-absorbing forests are being cut down by thousands of square miles per year. The forests absorb harmful carbon-dioxide and release life giving oxygen.
The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is now higher than at any time in the last 800,000 years and reached a record high in May 2015. But 2016 marked five consecutive years of CO2 increases of at least two parts per million.

What are the effects?

Arctic sea ice melt

Higher temperatures, extreme weather events and higher sea levels are all linked to a warming climate and could have a drastic effect on all the world’s regions.
Since 1900, sea levels have risen by on average about 19cm globally. The rate of sea-level rise has accelerated in recent decades, placing a number of islands and low-lying countries at risk.
The retreat of polar ice sheets is an important contributor to this rise. Arctic sea ice is also shrinking because of higher temperatures.
An area of sea ice roughly 10 times the size of the UK has been lost since 1980s.

 What does the future hold?

Higher temperatures and more extreme weather

The scale of potential impacts is quite possibly enormous. The changes could drive shortages in freshwater, bring about major changes in food production conditions and cause a rise in the number of casualties from floods, storms, heat waves and droughts.
This is because climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events .

 Projected temperature change (1986–2005 to 2081-2100)

If greenhouse gas emissions peak between 2010-2020 and then decline substantially

If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise throughout the 21st century

Source: International Panel on Climate Change - Fifth Assessment Report

 What can be done?

World’s top ten greenhouse gas emitters

The top 10 greenhouse gas emitters make up over 70% of total emissions

China 24%

USA 12%

EU 9%

India 6%

Brazil 6%

Russia 5%

Japan 3%

Canada 2%

DR Congo 1.5%

Indonesia 1.5%

Limiting the damage

By the end of October 2015, 146 countries had submitted national climate plans on curbing emissions that are expected to form the cornerstone of a binding, global treaty on climate change.
According to a UN report, submissions in their current form point to a rise of 2.7°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100.
Scientists have determined that if temperature rises surpass 2°C, this will lead to substantial and dangerous climate impacts, which will hit the world's poor in particular.

 Average warming (°C) projected by 2100

If countries do not act
4.5 degrees

Following current policies
3.6 degrees

Based on Paris pledges

Source: Climate Action Tracker, data compiled by Climate Analytics, ECOFYS, New Climate Institute and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Image result for Happy Earth Day greetings

Saturday, April 21, 2018


 Earth Day was founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, and Earth Day 2018 occurs on Sunday, April 22. The holiday is now a global celebration that’s sometimes extended into Earth Week, a full seven days of events focused on green living. The brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the protests of the 1960s, Earth Day began as a “national teach-in on the environment” and was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses. By raising public awareness of pollution, Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight.

By the early 1960s Americans were becoming aware of the effects of pollution on the environment. Rachel Carson’s 1962 bestseller “Silent Spring” raised the specter of the dangerous effects of pesticides on America’s countrysides. Later in the decade, a 1969 fire on Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River shed light on the problem of chemical waste disposal. Until that time, protecting the planet’s natural resources was not part of the national political agenda, and the number of activists devoted to large-scale issues such as industrial pollution was minimal. Factories pumped pollutants into the air, lakes and rivers with few legal consequences. Big, gas-guzzling cars were considered a sign of prosperity. Only a small portion of the American population was familiar with–let alone practiced–recycling.

Did You Know?
A highlight of the United Nations' Earth Day celebration in New York City is the ringing of the Peace Bell, a gift from Japan, at the exact moment of the vernal equinox.

Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962, Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat from Wisconsin, was determined to convince the federal government that the planet was at risk. In 1969, Nelson, considered one of the leaders of the modern environmental movement, developed the idea for Earth Day after being inspired by the anti-Vietnam War “teach-ins” that were taking place on college campuses around the United States. According to Nelson, he envisioned a large-scale, grassroots environmental demonstration “to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda.”

Nelson announced the Earth Day concept at a conference in Seattle in the fall of 1969 and invited the entire nation to get involved. He later recalled, “The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes and air—and they did so with spectacular exuberance.” Dennis Hayes, a young activist who had served as student president at Stanford University, was selected as Earth Day’s national coordinator, and he worked with an army of student volunteers and several staff members from Nelson’s Senate office to organize the project. According to Nelson, “Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself.”

On April 22, rallies were held in Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and most other American cities, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. In New York City, Mayor John Lindsay closed off a portion of Fifth Avenue to traffic for several hours and spoke at a rally in Union Square with actors Paul Newman and Ali McGraw. In Washington, D.C., thousands of people listened to speeches and performances by singer Pete Seeger and others, and Congress went into recess so its members could speak to their constituents at Earth Day events.

The first Earth Day was effective at raising awareness about environmental issues and transforming public attitudes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Public opinion polls indicate that a permanent change in national priorities followed Earth Day 1970. When polled in May 1971, 25 percent of the U.S. public declared protecting the environment to be an important goal, a 2,500 percent increase over 1969.” Earth Day kicked off the “Environmental decade with a bang,” as Senator Nelson later put it. During the 1970s, a number of important pieces of environmental legislation were passed, among them the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. Another key development was the establishment in December 1970 of the Environmental Protection Agency, which was tasked with protecting human health and safeguarding the natural environment—air, water and land.

Since 1970, Earth Day celebrations have grown. In 1990, Earth Day went global, with 200 million people in over 140 nations participating, according to the Earth Day Network (EDN), a nonprofit organization that coordinates Earth Day activities. In 2000, Earth Day focused on clean energy and involved hundreds of millions of people in 184 countries and 5,000 environmental groups, according to EDN. Activities ranged from a traveling, talking drum chain in Gabon, Africa, to a gathering of hundreds of thousands of people at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Today, the Earth Day Network collaborates with more than 17,000 partners and organizations in 174 countries. According to EDN, more than 1 billion people are involved in Earth Day activities, making it “the largest secular civic event in the world.”
The Crusader & her Kmights
Jenny , Nanook , Mika , Jonny , Sha , Man 
Knights in training : Chris , Sheryl , Bubba , CC , RJ  , Uncle Jon

Thursday, April 19, 2018

What is "global climate change"?

Is the climate of the whole Earth really changing?
Yes! Earth has been getting warmer—and fast.

Global climate is the average climate over the entire planet. And the reason scientists and folks like you are concerned is that Earth's global climate is changing. The planet is warming up fast—faster than at any time scientists know about from their studies of Earth's entire history.
What is climate?

"Climate" describes conditions over the long term and over an entire region.

Climate is the big picture. It is the big picture of temperatures, rainfall, wind and other conditions over a larger region and a longer time than weather. For example, the weather was rainy in Phoenix, Arizona, last week. But this city usually gets only about 7 inches of rain each year. So the climate for Arizona is dry. Much of Southern California also has a dry, desert climate. Brazil has a tropical climate, because it's warm and rains there a lot.
What is weather?

TV weather reporters need all the information they can get in order to predict the weather for just a few days.

Weather is local and temporary.

On our own Earth, we cannot control weather by turning a thermostat up to make it warmer or down to make it cooler. The best we can do is try to predict the weather. Weather scientists, called meteorologists, try to foresee what's going to happen next.

Is that big black cloud going to let loose over San Francisco, or wait until it gets to Sacramento? Will that new storm forming in the Atlantic Ocean turn into a hurricane? Conditions are just right for tornadoes. Will any form? And where might they touch the ground and cause trouble?

Weather happens at a particular time and place. Rain, snow, wind, hurricanes, tornadoes—these are all weather events.

Do we care if Earth is getting warmer?

The whole planet Earth as seen from space.
The whole Earth as seen from 22,300 miles away, out in space.

Yes, we care! After all, Earth is our spaceship.

It carries us on a 583-million-mile cruise around the Sun every year. It even has its own "force field." Earth has a magnetic field that protects us from killer radiation and brutal solar wind. For its life-support system, Earth has all the air, water, and food we need.

Just like astronauts on a long space voyage, we need to monitor all our "ship's" vital functions and keep our Earth "ship shape."
Does what we do matter?

Earth's fate is in our hands.

Everything that happens here affects something over there.

Earth has its own control system. The oceans, the land, the air, the plants and animals, and the energy from the Sun all affect each other to make everything work in harmony. Nothing changes in one place without changing something in another place. The overall effect gives us our global climate.

What is making Earth's climate warmer?
Scientists have discovered that humans are causing this warming.

But how do they know that? What are we doing that could cause the whole planet to get warmer? And how could warming happen so fast? What will happen to people and other living things if the planet keeps getting warmer? And what can we do to slow down or stop the warming?
Thanx NASA Climate Kids
Knight Jonny  C.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Meet Dreadnoughtus, Perhaps the Biggest Creature to Ever Walk the Planet

Image result for images of dreadnoughtus

He was a big boy. A very, very big boy.
In fact, the Dreadnoughtus schrani dinosaur discovered in 2014 was one of the biggest — if not THE biggest — land animal ever to grace the Earth.
Experts estimate that back in his day — which was the Upper Cretaceous period, approximately 77 million years ago — that this creature whose fossilized remains were unearthed recently in Argentina’s southwestern Patagonia measured out at 85 feet long and weighed about 65 tons.
No wonder, then, paleontologists picked a first name that breaks down to “fear nothing.” (The second name honors benefactor and tech entrepreneur Adam Schran.) You wouldn’t be scared, either, if you towered over every creature in sight, could smash most anything with your whip-like tail and could smoosh anything with your colossal feet.
“Dreadnoughtus schrani was astoundingly huge,” said Kenneth Lacovara, the lead author of the report published in Scientific Reports, as quoted on his school Drexel University’s website. “It weighed as much as a dozen African elephants or more than seven T. rex.”
And to think the massive dinosaur pieced together by Lacovara’s team was still growing up, according to expert analysis.
It’s hard to say how much bigger this or other Dreadnoughtus may have gotten had it fully matured. Nor, without a time machine, can one quickly determine if this new species was bigger than fellow titanosaurs such as the similarly gargantuan Argentinosaurus.
That’s mostly because other finds like these are relatively incomplete, forcing paleontologists to make estimates based off a bone or two here and there.
“Titanosaurs are a remarkable group of dinosaurs,"said Matthew Lamanna, a Carnegie Museum of Natural History scholar who was part of the team, in the Drexel piece. “But they have remained a mystery because, in almost all cases, their fossils are very incomplete.”
Not so with the new Dreadnoughtus specimen, which is another big reason — big being the operative word for everything about this creature — it’s so special.
Those who excavated the sometimes snow-covered terrain not far from Antarctica were able to locate more than 70% of the Dreadnoughtus’ bones, including part of a jaw. Compare that to maybe 3% to 27% for other dinosaur finds of its kind.
Lacovara characterized the discovery as “by far the best example we have of any of the most giant creatures to ever walk the planet.”
And it’s not like the scientists unearthed little chicken bones. A picture Lacovara posted to Twitter showed a woman next to one of Dreadnoughtus’ scapulas, or shoulder blades, both roughly the same size. Its humerus, or upper arm, bone was taller than the Drexel University professor. A neck vertebra measured about 3 feet in diameter.
All these things — from fossils of large bones to a single tooth, from part of a jaw to toes and a claw — coupled with digital technology could help to learn a great deal about the Dreadnoughtus and other titanosaurs’ lived in their era, beyond the fact it had a 37-foot-long neck and 30-foot-long tail.
One thing that it would have had to do, to get this big, is eat. A lot. (And it was all plants, proving your Mom right that veggies can make you big and strong.)
Lacovara thinks the Dreadnoughtus must have had “a life-long obsession with eating,” perhaps spending all his waking existence chomping leaves from giant tree after giant tree.
He said: “Every day is about taking in enough calories to nourish this house-sized body.”
These remarkable creatures inhabited the planet we live on. And they roamed the same places we have malls and parking lots today.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Hidden Coral Crisis: Loss of Fish Diversity After Bleaching Strikes

Scientists in Australia have documented how the composition of coral species affects the survival of fish populations following bleaching events. As small fish key to coral health disappear, reefs’ resilience to future catastrophes could decline.

Clown fish at Lizard Island during the 2016 coral bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef.ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies/Laura Richardson
WHEN CORAL REEFS turn deathly white as ocean temperatures spike, the kaleidoscope of marine life surrounding them dims, as well, becoming more functionally monochromatic and less ecologically diverse, according to researchers who studied a section of the Great Barrier Reef before, during and after a catastrophic coral bleaching event in 2016.

This “biotic homogenization” of fish populations could make coral reefs even less resilient as the frequency of climate change-induced coral bleaching accelerates, said Laura Richardson, lead author of the study published Thursday in the journal Global Change Biology.

“In the case of our study, what we found was that prior to bleaching the fish communities among these different coral habitats varied quite substantially,” said Richardson, who conducted the research as a PhD student at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. “But by six months after the bleaching, the variation among these communities was almost entirely lost. If the abundance of particular species declines, you have less of these fishes carrying out important ecosystem functions.”

For instance, Richardson – now a postdoc at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom – and her colleagues documented declines in populations of damselfish and other small herbivorous fish following a bleaching event in February 2016. Water temperatures rose to 32.8 C (91 F) that month and the marine heat wave persisted for more than eight weeks. Damselfish and similar species are coral cleaners, removing algae and seaweed so that corals can thrive and then revive after a bleaching event.

“If a reef has fewer fishes carrying out particular functional roles or particular tasks in the ecosystem, then when there is ongoing disturbances such as bleaching events or storms, the ecosystem as a whole will be less resilient as they have less insurance to play with,” noted Richardson.

The study is the first to document biotic homogenization on coral reefs. Previous studies have shown that the apparent richness of wildlife in any given ecological community can mask a loss of diversity among ecosystems as species are shuffled due to various pressures, including climate change; this is sometimes called a hidden biodiversity crisis. In research published in 2015, scientists analyzed 29 years of surveys for North Atlantic groundfish that had begun in 1985. The researchers discovered that, off Scotland, “the species identity of colder northern localities increasingly resembles that of warmer southern localities.” The changing composition of fish communities tracked rising ocean temperatures, they noted.
Lizard Island Bleaching 2016
Branching corals and small‐bodied reef fish are often more affected by coral bleaching. Pictured here, a bleached branching acroporid colony with associated reef fish, right next to a healthy (or yet to bleached) Porites colony, on Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef, in January 2016. (ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies/ Laura Richardson)

“As long as species are not globally extinct this homogenization is potentially reversible,” the researchers wrote. “However, this crisis is largely unrecognized, and adds to the challenges already facing marine biodiversity.”

So to the casual snorkeler, even a bleached coral reef might look alive with an abundance of fish. But the numbers hide a uniformity. It’s like walking into a crowded cafe in San Francisco once patronized by artists, activists and surfers. It’s still packed but now everyone works for Twitter and is staring at a MacBook Air.

Richardson and her colleagues’ research has also has broken new ground on how the bleaching of specific species of coral affects the composition of fish populations.

She did not set out to study coral bleaching impacts when she began surveying fish populations or “assemblages” in September 2015 at 16 reef sites surrounding Lizard Island off Australia’s far northeast coast. “I went out to the island to look at how the different communities of coral influence the structure of different habitats,” Richardson said.

She and a colleague would jump in the water and establish survey transacts by attaching yellow tape at one end of a reef. “As the tape rolls out, the person who counts the fish goes first and counts all the fish within a 5m [16ft] belt along that transact,” Richardson said. “And the second person follows and counts the corals along the tape.”

Shortly after the team completed the surveys, scientists issued a warning of a coming bleaching event at the Great Barrier Reef. Richardson returned to Lizard Island in April 2016 to survey the same sites as the bleaching was in full swing.

As waters warm, corals expel their zooxanthellae, the symbiotic single-cell algae that provide them with nutrition and their eye-popping color in exchange for shelter in the coral polyp. Zooxanthellae can turn toxic to corals when water temperatures rise by as little as 1 C (1.8 F).
Lizard Island Bleaching 2016
Bleaching at Lizard Island in 2016. Some species decline and others survive severe bleaching events. (ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies/ Laura Richardson)

Six months after the bleaching episode ended, Richardson made a third trip to Lizard Island in October 2016 for another round of surveys at the 16 sites.

The scientists’ analysis concluded that the types of corals affected by bleaching had more consequence for certain fish species than the percentage of coral cover lost. The surveys from April 2016 showed that bleaching affected 51 percent of coral cover, but that branching corals were particularly hit hard.

“The fishes that we specifically noted that declined were the small-bodied reef fishes like the damselfishes and cardinal fishes that are really dependent on live branching coral for habitat – and they use those live branching coral as refuge from predation by larger reef fishes and also from environmental stresses like sunlight and strong currents,” said Richardson. “The loss of these live branching specialists meant that other fishes were able to take their place and use the reef space.”

The fish that disappeared tended to be small specialist species that filled a specific ecological niche. They were replaced by generalist species that could tolerate the coral ruin left by bleaching.

Richardson cautioned that the Lizard Island surveys offer a “short-term snapshot” of the impact of coral bleaching on fish populations. “Corals are highly dynamic systems and they can change a lot.” Still, she said, “In the paper we advise that managers will benefit by taking note of coral species composition as that’s likely to affect the fishes that you find there and that’s likely to affect the overall resilience of those coral reef ecosystems.”
Knight Sha C .

Friday, April 13, 2018

And now for something nice to look at

Related image

A major climate boundary in the central U.S. has shifted 140 miles due to global warming

Doyle Rice, USA TODAY Published 2:25 p.m. ET April 13, 2018 | Updated 3:26 p.m. ET April 13, 2018

A boundary that divides the humid eastern U.S. and the dry western Plains appears to have shifted 140 miles to the east over the past century due to global warming, new research suggests.

Scientists say it will almost certainly continue shifting in coming decades, expanding the arid climate of the western Plains into what we think of as the Midwest. The implications for farming could be huge.
The boundary line was first identified in 1878 by the American geologist and explorer John Wesley Powell. At that time, it was at 100 degrees west longitude, also known as the 100th meridian. 

“Powell talked eloquently about the 100th meridian, and this concept of a boundary line has stayed with us down to the current day,” said Richard Seager, a climate scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Seager is the lead author of two new studies about the shifting climate boundary.

Running south to north, the 100th meridian cuts through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas. It's considered the beginning of the Great Plains, a windswept, largely treeless expanse that covers large parts of 10 states and occupies one-fifth of the nation's land area. Yet its population is less than Georgia's.

Both population and development are sparse west of the 100th meridian, where farms are larger and primarily depend on arid-resistant crops like wheat, the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies said. To the more humid east, more people and infrastructure exist. Farms are smaller and a large portion of the harvested crop is moisture-loving corn.

Now, due to shifting patterns in precipitation, wind and temperature since the 1870s — due to man-made climate change — the boundary between the dry West and the wetter East has shifted to roughly 98 degrees west longitude, the 98th meridian. 

For instance, in Texas, the boundary has moved approximately from Abilene to Fort Worth.

According to Columbia University’s Earth Institute, Seager predicts that as the line continues to move farther East, farms will have to consolidate and become larger to remain viable.

 A rare wow for me..A North American Climate Boundary Has Shifted 140 Miles East Due to Global Warming.. …
And unless farmers are able to adapt, such as by using irrigation, they will need to consider growing wheat or another more suitable crop than corn.

"Large expanses of cropland may fail altogether, and have to be converted to western-style grazing range. Water supplies could become a problem for urban areas,” the Earth Institute said.
Crusader Jenny , Nanook & Mika