Posts Tagged ‘ Climate change ’

Guest post: They are definitely going to take us over the edge if we let them

Nov 6th, 2019 12:38 pm | By

Originally a comment by Bjarte Foshaug on The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating.

At the beginning of the decade we are about to leave behind – the decade of Trump, the alt right, and post-truth politics – the 2010s were described as the last decade in which the human species still had a realistic chance of keeping global warming below 2 °C. Of course we didn’t seize this realistic chance while we had it, but kept running as fast as we could in the wrong direction, which means that any lingering hope must be sought in the more or less unrealistic realm. We already know where such hope will definitely not be found: It will not come … Read the rest

The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating

Nov 5th, 2019 4:38 pm | By

It’s not going to be fun.

The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists.

“We declare clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency,” it states. “To secure a sustainable future, we must change how we live. [This] entails major transformations in the ways our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems.”

There is no time to lose, the scientists say: “The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity.”

The statement is published in the

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Extreme red-flag warning

Oct 30th, 2019 11:43 am | By

The new normal:

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is under threat from a new blaze near Los Angeles – one of several wildfires burning across California.

The region is under a rare “extreme red-flag warning” from weather officials as gusts approach hurricane-level speeds, over 70mph (113km/h).

There is concern that the winds will also fan the nearby Getty fire, which has burned through 745 acres.

Wildfires across California have led to mass evacuations and power cuts.

Here’s the thing about California: much of it is desert, actual dry-as-tinder desert, some of which has been irrigated into hugely productive farmland by taking water out of rivers all over the west, and from the aquifer. California has used up much … Read the rest

Evacuate Sonoma County

Oct 27th, 2019 9:15 am | By

This isn’t what global warming will be like, it’s what it is like. This is global warming.

Californian authorities have issued new evacuation orders as wildfires that led to mass power cuts continue to sweep through the state.

The orders, covering large parts of Santa Rosa city, markedly increases the number of residents told to evacuate.

Some 90,000 people had already been ordered to leave towns in northern California.

“Anyone left in this mandatory evacuation areas need to leave now,” the sheriff’s office said in a warning.

The new evacuation order encompasses a huge area of Sonoma County, including Santa Rosa, where an estimated 175,000 people live.

Sonoma County is just north of San Francisco and Marin County; the … Read the rest

That won’t help

Oct 9th, 2019 8:51 am | By

From the News from Siberia file:

Scientists in Siberia have discovered an area of sea that is “boiling” with methane, with bubbles that can be scooped from the water with buckets. Researchers on an expedition to the East Siberian Sea said the “methane fountain” was unlike anything they had seen before, with concentrations of the gas in the region to be six to seven times higher than the global average.

The team is doing research on the environmental consequences of permafrost thawing. You know the drill – permafrost melting, methane being released, permafrost melting faster, more methane being released, permafrost melting even faster, continue until everything dies.

And it’s not just the tundra, it’s also the ocean.

In 2017, scientists

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As the planet warms

Aug 8th, 2019 11:23 am | By

There’s the Greenland ice shelf melting, which means much bigger rises in sea level happening much faster; there are the permanently dying forests which will become grasslands; there are the shrinking water tables…

And there is the little matter of the food supply.

As the planet warms, parts of the world face new risks of food and water shortages, expanding deserts, and land degradation, warns a major new report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Those effects are already underway, and some of them could soon become irreversible.

The changing climate has already likely contributed to drier climates in South and East Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East, reducing the food and water supply. In

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Nearing ecological collapse

Aug 4th, 2019 11:49 am | By

Forests. Forests and climate change. It’s not just in Siberia and Alberta and California that they’re in danger of disappearing altogether. Germany too is losing forests.

Germany’s parched forests are nearing ecological collapse, foresters and researchers warn. More than 1 million established trees have died since 2018 as a result of drought, winter storms and bark beetle plagues.

Germany’s forests are undoubtedly suffering as a result of climate change, with millions of seedlings planted in the hope of diversifying and restoring forests dying, warns Ulrich Dohle, chairman of the 10,000-member Bunds Deutscher Forstleute (BDF) forestry trade union.

“It’s a catastrophe. German forests are close to collapsing,” Dohle added in an interview with t-online, a online news portal of

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Almost the size of Belgium

Aug 1st, 2019 1:49 pm | By

Also, the fires that destroy forests that could have absorbed some of the CO2 also fill the air with soot which…raises temperatures further.

Russia has declared a state of emergency in five Siberian regions after wildfires engulfed an area of forest almost the size of Belgium amid record high temperatures as a result of climate change.

Officials said 2.7 million hectares of forest (about 10,400 square miles) were ablaze on Tuesday as soaring temperatures, lightning storms and strong winds combined, sending smoke hundreds of miles to reach some of Russia’s biggest regional cities.

Environmental groups worry that in addition to the destruction of carbon-absorbing forest, the carbon dioxide, smoke and soot released will accelerate temperature increases that are already

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The Greenland ice sheet

Aug 1st, 2019 1:41 pm | By

What happens when there’s nothing left to melt?

In years past, when it rained near Greenlander Toennes Berthelsen’s family camp, water would flood down as the mountain top ice melted, creating rivers where there usually are none.

Last week, when it rained there, there was no river at all.

“It was heavy raining, but we couldn’t see any flood coming down,” Berthelsen said. The ice cap at the top of the mountain was completely gone.

It’s been exceptionally warm in Greenland this year.

Now, the same heat dome that cooked Europe is forecast to raise temperatures in Greenland into the 70s Fahrenheit on parts of the coast, and the ice sheet is in the midst of one of its most

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Less carbon sequestered

Jul 30th, 2019 3:33 pm | By

Maybe it will help if we rake the forest floors?

The CBC reports a forestry professor has found that:

certain tree species are having a tough time growing back in areas that have been affected by wildfires due to warming temperatures — a discovery that could have major implications for both the forestry sector and long-term climate change targets.

Among Stevens-Rumann,’s work was a 2017 study of nearly 1,500 sites charred by 52 wildfires in the U.S. Rocky Mountains. Her research found that lower elevation trees had a tough time naturally regenerating in areas that burned between 2000 and 2015 compared with sites affected between 1985 and 1999, largely due to drier weather conditions.

More recently, a 2019 study

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Copious volumes of previously stored carbon dioxide

Jul 26th, 2019 10:15 am | By

The Beeb on the burning of the Arctic:

Wildfires are ravaging the Arctic, with areas of northern Siberia, northern Scandinavia, Alaska and Greenland engulfed in flames.

Lightning frequently triggers fires in the region but this year they have been worsened by summer temperatures that are higher than average because of climate change.

Plumes of smoke from the fires can be seen from space.

Climate change is making the summer temps higher and the resulting fires will make climate change worse, aka hello feedback loop.

In June, the fires released an estimated 50 megatonnes of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of Sweden’s annual carbon output, according to Cams.

Jonathan Amos offers some analysis:

The fires are releasing copious volumes of

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A heat wave bakes the continent

Jun 27th, 2019 11:05 am | By

There will be more and worse.

Oppressively hot weather has broken records across Europe this week as a heat wave bakes the continent. Monthly and all-time temperature records were broken Wednesday in parts of Germany, Poland, France, Spain, and the Czech Republic. Clermont-Ferrand, France reported a record high of 105.6 degrees Fahrenheit. And forecasters expect parts of France could see temperatures rise to 110 degrees Fahrenheit by Friday.

“The whole government is mobilized,” French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters on Monday. Public health warnings for heat have also been issued in Belgium, Italy, and Switzerland.

Temperatures like that can kill, especially if you’re not used to them or have to work in them or both. (The utility of being … Read the rest

We are toast anyway

Jun 21st, 2019 11:48 am | By

What was that about melting again? From the tundra to the Himalayas:

Over the last several years, on Mt. Everest, veteran alpine guides have reported seeing an increasing number of human skeletons and frozen corpses. One guide named Gelje Sherpa told the Times that when he first summited, in 2008, he found three bodies, and during a recent season he found six.

Seems to be a sign that the glaciers are melting.

A new study, published on Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, added a significant layer of proof, finding that, over the past forty years, the average rate that the Himalayas have lost ice has doubled. While the paper’s findings have dire consequences for the millions of

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Jun 18th, 2019 12:17 pm | By

Speaking of climate and emergency – Chennai (formerly Madras) has run out of water. That’s 11 million people.

The southern Indian city of Chennai (formerly Madras) is in crisis after its four main water reservoirs ran completely dry.

The acute water shortage has forced the city to scramble for urgent solutions, including drilling new boreholes.

Residents have had to stand in line for hours to get water from government tanks, and restaurants have closed due to the lack of water.

In the Arctic the permafrost is melting, and in southern India the water supply is drying up.

The water crisis has also meant that most of the city has to depend solely on Chennai’s water department, which has been

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Look at all the thermokarst

Jun 18th, 2019 11:53 am | By

Turns out permafrost isn’t perma.

Permafrost at outposts in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, an expedition has discovered, in the latest sign that the global climate crisis is accelerating even faster than scientists had feared.

A team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks said they were astounded by how quickly a succession of unusually hot summers had destabilised the upper layers of giant subterranean ice blocks that had been frozen solid for millennia.

They flew an old prop plane to extremely remote areas up there.

Diving through a lucky break in the clouds, Romanovsky and his colleagues said they were confronted with a landscape that was unrecognisable from the pristine Arctic terrain they had

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Meh, climate change, what’s all the fuss?

Apr 25th, 2019 10:09 am | By

Greta Thunberg is getting some attention.

So now it’s time for the right-wing adults to unload on her – Brendan O’Neill out in front as usual.

Anyone who doubts that the green movement is morphing into a millenarian cult should take a close look at Greta Thunberg. This poor young woman increasingly looks and sounds like a cult member. The monotone voice. The look of apocalyptic dread in her eyes. The explicit talk of the coming great ‘fire’ that will punish us for our eco-sins. There is something chilling and positively pre-modern about Ms Thunberg. One can imagine her in a sparse wooden church in the Plymouth Colony in the 1600s warning parishioners of the hellfire that will rain

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Uncanny narratives

Feb 3rd, 2019 11:15 am | By

David Wallace-Wells used to shrug off climate change as just the price of economic growth, and then he didn’t any more.

A few years ago, I began collecting stories of climate change, many of them terrifying, gripping, uncanny narratives, with even the most small-scale sagas playing like fables: a group of Arctic scientists trapped when melting ice isolated their research centre on an island also populated by a group of polar bears; a Russian boy killed by anthrax released from a thawing reindeer carcass that had been trapped in permafrost for many decades. At first, it seemed the news was inventing a new genre of allegory. But of course climate change is not an allegory. Beginning in 2011, about a

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The future has arrived

Nov 24th, 2018 11:42 am | By

This year’s climate report will be reality for the next climate report.

More and more of the predicted impacts of global warming are now becoming a reality.

For instance, the 2014 assessment forecast that coastal cities would see more flooding in the coming years as sea levels rose. That’s no longer theoretical: Scientists have now documented a record number of “nuisance flooding” events during high tides in cities like Miami and Charleston, S.C.

“High tide flooding is now posing daily risks to businesses, neighborhoods, infrastructure, transportation, and ecosystems in the Southeast,” the report says.

Can they all move to Oklahoma? Would that work?

The United States military has long taken climate change seriously, both for its potential impacts on troops

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He mocked the science of climate change

Nov 23rd, 2018 4:29 pm | By

The Times on that climate change report:

The report, which was mandated by Congress and made public by the White House, is notable not only for the precision of its calculations and bluntness of its conclusions, but also because its findings are directly at odds with President Trump’s agenda of environmental deregulation, which he asserts will spur economic growth.

Mr. Trump has taken aggressive steps to allow more planet-warming pollution from vehicle tailpipes and power plant smokestacks, and has vowed to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, under which nearly every country in the world pledged to cut carbon emissions. Just this week, he mocked the science of climate change because of a

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One cold snap will not stop it

Nov 23rd, 2018 11:42 am | By

A new report on climate change – released by the Trump administration on a day when apparently 93% of the population is shopping. Hoping we’ll ignore it much?

The report says it’s going to be bad. Really bad.

The costs of climate change could reach hundreds of billions of dollars annually, according to the report. The Southeast alone will probably lose over a half a billion labor hours by 2100 due to extreme heat.

Farmers will face extremely tough times. The quality and quantity of their crops will decline across the country due to higher temperatures, drought and flooding. In parts of the Midwest, farms will be able to produce less than 75% of the corn they produce today, and

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