Friday, May 31, 2019

Opinion | Sea-level rise could be even worse than we’ve been led to expect


ONE THING scientists are sure will happen as the world warms is that the seas will rise, putting millions of people at risk of land erosion, flooding and permanent displacement. But ask experts exactly how far oceans will advance, and their answer gets far more qualified. A study published May 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that previous estimates of how bad sea-level rise could get were too conservative — and that coastal communities must contemplate more severe, long-term impacts from humans’ addiction to fossil fuels.

The village of Ilulissat is seen near icebergs that broke off from the Jakobshavn glacier on July 24, 2013, in Ilulissat, Greenland. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Continue reading at: Opinion | Sea-level rise could be even worse than we’ve been led to expect

12 free reports on climate change and the economy » Yale Climate Connections

These resources illuminate the economic risks of climate change and prospects for a cleaner, more sustainable economy.
The significant transformations required to meet the challenges posed by climate change are also, from an entrepreneurial perspective, tremendous opportunities. Inventors, business strategists and, of course, far-sighted entrepreneurs appreciated this perspective for years. Their activities have since been chronicled and analyzed by reporters, researchers, and, in some cases, the entrepreneurs themselves.
Wall Street sign
For this month’s bookshelf on climate change and business, Yale Climate Connections has assembled two different lists. This one covers recent reports from international organizations, trade associations, and research centers. A companion Bookshelf feature compiles 12 full-length hard-cover and paperback books on this subject. The books range from 200 to 704 pages and cost between $18 and $140.
12 free reports on climate change and the economy » Yale Climate Connections

State of the climate: Heat across Earth's surface and oceans mark early 2019 » Yale Climate Connections

Global surface temperatures in 2019 are on track to be either the second or third warmest since records began in the mid-1800s, behind only 2016 and possibly 2017.
n top of the long-term warming trend, temperatures in 2019 have been buoyed by a moderate El Niño event that is likely to persist through the rest of the year.
That’s one of the key findings from Carbon Brief’s latest “state of the climate” report, a quarterly series on global climate data that now includes temperatures, ocean heat, sea levels, greenhouse gas concentrations, climate model performance and polar ice.
Ocean heat content (OHC) set a new record in early 2019, with more warmth in the oceans than at any time since OHC records began in 1940.
Sun
The latest data shows that the level of the world’s oceans continued to rise in 2019, with sea levels around 8.5 centimeters (cm) higher than in the early 1990s.
State of the climate: Heat across Earth's surface and oceans mark early 2019 » Yale Climate Connections

Tell U.S. Governors: Reject All New Gas Infrastructure

Your letter will be delivered to North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam:

The IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5˚C has made it clearer than ever that the world must change course. The fossil fuel era is over, and we must make urgent strides to clean energy. That’s why it’s crucial that we end the myth of gas as a ‘bridge fuel’ to a safe future.
Tell U.S. Governors: Reject All New Gas Infrastructure

The uncertain future of protected lands and waters

The uncertain future of protected lands and waters | Science
Not all that protected, after all
The intention of creating protected natural areas is to protect them in the long term from destructive human activities. Governments do not always follow these intentions, however, and often legally remove protections and reduce the extent of protected areas. Golden Kroner et al. looked across the United States and Amazonia over the past 200 years and found more than 700 such changes, two-thirds of which have occurred since the year 2000 (see the Perspective by Naughton-Treves and Holland). The majority of these were to permit destructive practices, such as resource extraction. Thus, these changes do not just alter status but lead to irreparable environmental harm.

Fig. 2 Patterns, trends, and causes of PADDD in the United States.
(A to C) Spatial patterns (A), temporal trends (B), and proximate causes (C) of enacted PADDD events in the United States, from 1892 to 2018 (n = 269). PA layer includes federal terrestrial PAs (source described in the materials and methods).
Continue reading at: The uncertain future of protected lands and waters

Víctor Manuel Toledo takes office as Mexico's new Secretary of Environment

AMLO has named Victor Manuel Toledo -- leading Latin American agroecologist and ethnoecologist -- as Mexico's new secretary of the environment.
The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, informed at a conference that Víctor Manuel Toledo will become the new Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat).
The Mexican newspaper Heraldo de México reports that Dr Toledo takes office after the resignation of former secretary Josefa González Blanco last Saturday, who presented her resignation with a letter published in her Twitter account.
Dr Toledo is from Mexico City and studied biology, has a Science PhD from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and has been a professor at universities in California, Brazil, Spain, Cuba and Venezuela.
Víctor Manuel Toledo takes office as Mexico's new Secretary of Environment
Continue reading at: Víctor Manuel Toledo takes office as Mexico's new Secretary of Environment

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Electric buses surge in Latin America, Chile all-electric by 2040 - Electrek

A number of Latin American countries are ramping up their adoption of electric buses this year, with Chile leading the way. The country recently added 200 new electric buses to its fleet, with an expected 500 more to follow next year, as it aims to have a fully electric public transport system by 2040.
Electric buses surge in Latin America, Chile all-electric by 2040 - Electrek

Strategic lawsuit against public participation - Wikipedia

strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censorintimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.
Strategic lawsuit against public participation - Wikipedia



Michigan and other red states have no anti-SLAPP laws! Shame!

For centuries the rivers sustained Aboriginal culture. Now they are dry, elders despair | Australia news | The Guardian

Driving across a bone-dry riverbed at Walgett, it’s easy to believe the worst predictions of climate disaster are happening as the temperature gauge on the car dashboard hits 49C.

Two rivers meet outside Walgett in north-west New South Wales: the Barwon and the Namoi. They are major tributaries in the Murray Darling system.

But they’re both empty, and this has never happened before.


The empty Barwon River

For centuries the rivers sustained Aboriginal culture. Now they are dry, elders despair | Australia news | The Guardian

Four scientists make creativity a key to communicating their research » Yale Climate Connections

Cartoons and imaginative use of video, art, and graphics help get their message across.

This month’s “This is Not Cool” original video, produced by independent videographer and YCC regular contributor Peter Sinclair, explores the creative science communication initiatives of four different scientists.



Four scientists make creativity a key to communicating their research » Yale Climate Connections

Friday, May 24, 2019

Wind energy: turbines are getting taller, bigger, and more powerful - Vox

The declining price of solar power gets more press, but there are big things happening in wind technology too. And I mean big.

The math on wind turbines is pretty simple: Bigger is better. Specifically, there are two ways to produce more power from the wind in a given area.

The first is with bigger rotors and blades to cover a wider area. That increases the capacity of the turbine, i.e., its total potential production.

The second is to get the blades up higher into the atmosphere, where the wind blows more steadily. That increases the turbine’s “capacity factor,” i.e., the amount of power it actually produces relative to its total potential (or more colloquially: how often it runs).


The GE Haliade-X, a big-ass wind turbine. GE

Wind energy: turbines are getting taller, bigger, and more powerful - Vox

E.P.A. Plans to Get Thousands of Pollution Deaths Off the Books by Changing Its Math - The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency plans to change the way it calculates the health risks of air pollution, a shift that would make it easier to roll back a key climate change rule because it would result in far fewer predicted deaths from pollution, according to five people with knowledge of the agency’s plans.


The Hunter power plant in Castle Dale, Utah, which burns an estimated 4.5 million tons of coal a year.CreditCreditBrandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times

The E.P.A. had originally forecast that eliminating the Obama-era rule, the Clean Power Plan, and replacing it with a new measure would have resulted in an additional 1,400 premature deaths per year. The new analytical model would significantly reduce that number and would most likely be used by the Trump administration to defend further rollbacks of air pollution rules if it is formally adopted.

E.P.A. Plans to Get Thousands of Pollution Deaths Off the Books by Changing Its Math - The New York Times

Climate change: Global sea level rise could be bigger than expected - BBC News

Scientists believe that global sea levels could rise far more than predicted, due to accelerating melting in Greenland and Antarctica. The long-held view has been that the world's seas would rise by a maximum of just under a metre by 2100. This new study, based on expert opinions, projects that the real level may be around double that figure. This could lead to the displacement of hundreds of millions of people, the authors say.

Ice sheet

JONATHAN BAMBER: A small boat in the Illulissat Icefjord in western Greenland, dwarfed by icebergs that have calved from Greenland's largest glacier, Jacobshavn Isbrae



Antarctic instability 'is spreading'

Thousands of penguin chicks wiped out

Warning from 'Antarctica's last forests'

Climate change: Global sea level rise could be bigger than expected - BBC News

BP backs Trump’s Arctic oil drilling plans despite climate risk - Unearthed

Oil major BP played a key role in lobbying the Trump administration to allow oil and gas drilling in two previously protected areas of the Alaskan Arctic, Unearthed can reveal.

Opening up the areas to exploration poses significant risks to the environment and will undermine efforts to meet the Paris climate targets to prevent catastrophic climate change.


Map showing the Beaufort Sea and the Trump administration's proposed leasing areas within the Arctic Refuge. Credit: Bureau of Land Management



Writing to Trump administration officials, the company first lobbied for more areas to be opened up to drilling off the US coast and then welcomed plans to lease swathes of the Arctic’s Beaufort Sea for oil and gas exploration, according to documents seen by Unearthed.

BP backs Trump’s Arctic oil drilling plans despite climate risk - Unearthed

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Why the Guardian is changing the language it uses about the environment | Environment | The Guardian

The Guardian has updated its style guide to introduce terms that more accurately describe the environmental crises facing the world.

Instead of “climate change” the preferred terms are “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” and “global heating” is favoured over “global warming”, although the original terms are not banned.

“We want to ensure that we are being scientifically precise, while also communicating clearly with readers on this very important issue,” said the editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner. “The phrase ‘climate change’, for example, sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity.”

“Increasingly, climate scientists and organisations from the UN to the Met Office are changing their terminology, and using stronger language to describe the situation we’re in,” she said.

Melting Arctic ice forces animals to search for food on land, such as these polar bears in northern Russia.
The destruction of Arctic ecosystems forces animals to search for food on land, such as these polar bears in northern Russia. Photograph: Alexander Grir/AFP/Getty Images

Continue reading at: Why the Guardian is changing the language it uses about the environment | Environment | The Guardian

Our Communities, Our Power: Advancing Resistance and Resilience in Climate Change Adaptation Toolkit | CAKE: Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange

The Beloved Community is a vision for our future where all people share equally in the wealth and bounty of the earth, where we protect its abundance, diversity and beauty for future generations. In this vision of liberation, racism, exploitation, and domination are replaced by democracy, cooperation, interdependence, and love. To get there, we pursue transformative, systems-change solutions. What do we mean by this? The root causes of the problems our communities face—like climate change, racism, and economic inequality—are all deeply connected. Since the problems are connected, so are the solutions.

Our Communities, Our Power: Advancing Resistance and Resilience in Climate Change Adaptation Toolkit | CAKE: Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Levin introduces bill to end sales of gasoline-powered cars in US by 2040

Zero-emission vehicles, or ZEVs, may make up less than 2 percent of the nation’s car sales but a bill introduced on Capitol Hill by Rep. Mike Levin, D-San Juan Capistrano, would require half of all sales of new passenger vehicles in 2030 be ZEVs, with the mandate ramping up 5 percent per year to 100 percent by 2040 — essentially eliminating the sale of gasoline-powered passenger cars in the U.S. in little more than 20 years.

Friday, May 17, 2019

CO2 levels: Carbon dioxide hit the highest level in human history - The Washington Post

When will we ever learn...



Over the weekend, the climate system sounded simultaneous alarms. Near the entrance to the Arctic Ocean in northwest Russia, the temperature surged to 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 Celsius). Meanwhile, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eclipsed 415 parts per million for the first time in human history.



CO2 levels: Carbon dioxide hit the highest level in human history - The Washington Post

Monday, May 13, 2019

Polluter-pay law introduced in Michigan legislature | Michigan Radio

Michigan lawmakers introduced new bills designed to make polluters pay. It requires that the polluter clean up the pollutant as much as technically possible. Democrats Senator Jeff Irwin and Representative Yousef Rabhi introduced identical bills in the House and Senate Thursday. Irwin says there was a polluter-pay law, but the Engler administration changed them in 1995.

Polluter-pay law introduced in Michigan legislature | Michigan Radio

Microplastics are blowing in the wind | Science News for Students

Not just in the oceans...



A new study offers the first proof that microplastics are traveling long distances by air. These tiny bits of plastic were found raining down in remote places at rates that rival what’s seen in large cities — some 365 bits of plastic trash per square meter (10.7 square feet) per day. Clearly, one author concludes, this “invisible pollution is transporting its way around the world.”

a photo of the Pyrenees mountains in Europe

This part of the Pyrenees mountains in Europe looks remote and clean. But tiny bits of plastic fall here every day, scientists are finding.G. LE ROUX

Continue reading at: Microplastics are blowing in the wind | Science News for Students

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Saving Ecosystems to Protect the Climate, and Vice Versa: a Global Deal for Nature | InsideClimate News

The Global Deal for Nature (GDN) is a time-bound, science-driven plan to save the diversity and abundance of life on Earth. Pairing the GDN and the Paris Climate Agreement would avoid catastrophic climate change, conserve species, and secure essential ecosystem services. New findings give urgency to this union: Less than half of the terrestrial realm is intact, yet conserving all native ecosystems—coupled with energy transition measures—will be required to remain below a 1.5°C rise in average global temperature.

The Arctic tundra is among several key ecosystems that store large amounts of carbon, keeping it out of the atmosphere, but are under increasing pressure as global temperatures rise. Credit: Dave Walsh/VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images
The Arctic tundra is among several key ecosystems that store large amounts of carbon, keeping it out of the atmosphere, but that are under increasing pressure as global temperatures rise. Credit: Dave Walsh/VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images

Continue reading at: Saving Ecosystems to Protect the Climate, and Vice Versa: a Global Deal for Nature | InsideClimate News

Free full-text paper in Science: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/4/eaaw2869

Here are 5 ways people are speeding up the extinction of species | Science News

Common sense but where is common sense today?

Stories about individual species on the brink of extinction may be all too familiar. But a new tally now reveals the breadth of the conservation crisis: One million of the world’s species are now poised to vanish, some as soon as within the next few decades.

golden toad
GONE GOLD  The last recorded sighting of the golden toad Incilius periglenes, once abundant in the cloud forests of Central America, was on May 15, 1989.

That number, which amounts to 1 in every 8 animal or plant species on Earth, comes from a sweeping new analysis of about 15,000 studies conducted within the last 50 years on topics ranging from biodiversity to climate to the health of ecosystems. During that time, the human population has doubled, increasing from 3.7 billion in 1970 to 7.6 billion today. And people are behind the looming losses, an international group of scientists says.

Continue reading at: Here are 5 ways people are speeding up the extinction of species | Science News

Political will to fight climate change is fading, warns UN chief - BBC News

Avengers - The Endgame. Maybe it is time for humanity to focus on the real endgame and end the oblivion and distractions - or disappear from the planet...
Political will to fight climate change is fading, warns UN chief - BBC News

Thursday, May 9, 2019

What Losing 1 Million Species Means for the Planet — and Humanity • The Revelator

A new UN report finds that at least 1 million species are at risk of extinction. Will this finally be enough to motivate worldwide action?
The United Nations this week released a powerful report on the state of nature around the planet. Among its disheartening conclusions, the report — by hundreds of experts from 50 countries — estimates that a staggering 1 million species are at risk of extinction in the next few decades due to human-related causes.
Continue reading at: What Losing 1 Million Species Means for the Planet — and Humanity • The Revelator

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Friday, May 3, 2019

Food safety: Dung beetles and soil bacteria reduce risk of human pathogens -- ScienceDaily

Food safety regulations increasingly pressure growers to remove hedgerows, ponds and other natural habitats from farms to keep out pathogen-carrying wildlife and livestock. Yet, this could come at the cost of biodiversity. New research encourages the presence of dung beetles and soil bacteria at farms as they naturally suppress E. coli and other harmful pathogens before spreading to humans.

Continue reading at: Food safety: Dung beetles and soil bacteria reduce risk of human pathogens -- ScienceDaily

Thursday, May 2, 2019

UK Parliament declares climate change emergency - BBC News

This is leadership needed from every government!



MPs have approved a motion to declare an environment and climate emergency.

This proposal, which demonstrates the will of the Commons on the issue but does not legally compel the government to act, was approved without a vote.

Climate protesters in Westminster

Continue reading at: UK Parliament declares climate change emergency - BBC News

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

PFAS found in Saline during investigation across River Raisin watershed - mlive.com

Michigan officials are investigating PFAS contamination in a second watershed that feeds into Lake Erie.

The chemicals were found last summer in Saline, southwest of Ann Arbor, where the city’s wastewater treatment plant was discharging them to a tributary of the River Raisin.

That’s also near a contaminated industrial site, located just steps from the Saline River, that has even higher levels of the unsafe chemicals in groundwater- and they’re possibly moving into the river, officials say.

Continue reading at: PFAS found in Saline during investigation across River Raisin watershed - mlive.com

WHO: New report calls for urgent action to avert antimicrobial resistance crisis

CAFOS such as the ones we have in Lenawee County are one big culprit for this danger!

International organizations unite on critical recommendations to combat drug-resistant infections and prevent staggering number of deaths each year

29 April 2019 Joint News Release  New York

UN, international agencies and experts today released a groundbreaking report demanding immediate, coordinated and ambitious action to avert a potentially disastrous drug-resistance crisis.

If no action is taken - warns the UN Ad hoc Interagency Coordinating Group on Antimicrobial Resistance who released the report – drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050 and damage to the economy as catastrophic as the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. By 2030, antimicrobial resistance could force up to 24 million people into extreme poverty.



Continue reading at: New report calls for urgent action to avert antimicrobial resistance crisis