Something to keep in mind…
CLIMATE BREAKDOWN IS AN ‘EXISTENTIAL CRISIS’
Nobody really knows
Climate breakdown is like riding a roller coaster while blindfolded. We don’t know where we are, how fast it is going, or where we will be in 10, 20 years.
We know the global temperature is rising and that many parts of the ecosystem are collapsing. We know that the rate at which global warming proceeds will determine how many species will survive.
Clearly, it would be good to address things so as to slow it down as much as possible. It might avert catastrophe or at least keep more species alive at the negative end of the scale.
On the positive side, perhaps we can prevent the biggest changes, if we start now and are lucky.
That’s why it is important to act AS IF we CAN help, because we might be able to stop a lot of things, at least stop some of them, and can’t stop anything if we do not act.
We know that we have a very short time to act and that there is a great urgency to respond immediately.
It is paramount to understand the urgency.
HOT AIR NEWS ROUNDUP
To Escalate Fight Against ‘Existential Crisis,’ Greta Thunberg Backs General Strike for Climate
Common Dreams 4-23-19
“It is something that will affect the future of our civilization. It’s not just a movement. It’s a crisis and we must take action accordingly.” … in London on Monday, Thunberg spoke … Civil disobedience is important to show this is an emergency. We need to do everything we can to put pressure on the people in power.
‘How can I prepare my children for climate change?’
Yale Climate Connections 4-23-19
I think it’s better to teach them the tools and skills they’ll need now, rather than to wait until they are forced to adapt in a hurry. And I don’t mean things like teaching them to avoid meat and dairy, buy used or repurposed items, and consume less “stuff” in general. I am talking about things like: Is it a good idea for them to know how to garden and can, so that if there are food shortages, they will have produce?
To Save Humanity and Planet, Says Climate Activist, ‘We Must Go Straight to the Heart of Capitalism and Overthrow It
Common Dreams 4-23-19
“We have to overthrow this system which is eating the planet with perpetual growth,” Monbiot explained. “I mean since when was GDP a sensible measure of human welfare?” … “We’ve got to start ramping down all fossil fuel production and leave fossil fuels in the ground,” he declared. “There’s time, but we can’t do it by just pissing around at the margins. We’ve got to go straight to the heart of capitalism and overthrow it.”
A Green New Deal for New York City
The New York City Council last week overwhelmingly passed one of the most ambitious and innovative legislative packages ever considered by any major city to combat the existential threat of climate change.
Have hope, humanity is finding ways to defeat climate change
Climate Change News 4-18-19
Some 35 years ago, in the year 1984, Ethiopia was in the midst of an acute famine, leading to the loss of at least 400,000 lives and an international humanitarian campaign which people remember to this day. … Today – while over 8 million Ethiopians remain food insecure and the prospect of acute hunger still stalks the Horn of Africa – the government of Ethiopia has embarked on a national effort to restore at least 15 million hectares of agricultural land, as part of a set of measures to ensure that famine will never take place again.
This island is going trash free—by recycling all of its waste
National Geographic 4-22-19
By 2032 all waste on Bornholm will be treated as resources, say officials. Garbage sorting, recycling, minimizing waste, and a lot of new technology are the tools envisioned to turn Bornholm into one of the first garbage-free communities on the planet.
This very long article addresses carbon dioxide removal from the air and the businesses connected to it…
A climate change solution slowly gains ground
Washington Post 4-19-19
Global Thermostat, Carbon Engineering and Climeworks are three companies at the leading edge of the hunt for ways of skimming carbon dioxide from the air. … Some big deep-pocketed corporations — including oil companies — are looking, too. They are lured not so much by the virtues of fighting climate change but by the prospects of making money.
… one of the co-founders of Global Thermostat who estimates that CO2 could become a trillion dollar market.
The AOC Green New Deal animation is an inspiration. Watch it if you have not already seen it. It is archived here now…
A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
The Intercept 4-19-19
[This is] a seven-minute film … Set a couple of decades from now, it’s a flat-out rejection of the idea that a dystopian future is a forgone conclusion. Instead, it offers a thought experiment
Satellite confirms key NASA temperature data: The planet is warming — and fast
Climate Change News 4-21-19
A high-profile NASA temperature data set, which has pronounced the last five years the hottest on record and the globe a full degree Celsius warmer than in the late 1800s, has found new backing from independent satellite records … If anything, the researchers found, the pace of climate change could be somewhat more severe than previously acknowledged, at least in the fastest warming part of the world — its highest latitudes.
A recent study on permafrost melt and nitrous oxide release is outlined below in the Climate Studies section. This is a great article. Well worth reading…
The Blue Ocean Event and Collapsing Ecosystems
Counter Punch 4-19-19
Accordingly, the Arctic has experienced “the biggest transition of albedo on the planet.” (Wadhams) The consequences are unimaginably challenging, … Not only that but, the Arctic is already a hothouse in the hemisphere. For example, permafrost samples in the Yukon near Dempster Highway registered temps, as of April 2019, nearly 2°C higher than at any point in time over the past 10,000 years.
New studies highlight challenge of meeting Paris Agreement climate goals
PHYS ORG 4-23-19
New research highlights the “incredible challenge” of reaching the Paris Agreement without intense action and details the extreme temperatures parts of the planet will suffer if countries fail to reduce emissions.
Plastic’s carbon footprint – Researchers conduct first global assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from plastics
Science Daily 4-15-19
From campaigns against microplastics to news of the great Pacific garbage patch, public awareness is growing about the outsized effect plastic has on the world’s oceans. However, its effect on the air is far less obvious. Plastic production, use, and disposal all emit prodigious amounts of greenhouse gasses, but scientists haven’t had a firm grasp on the scope.
How the plastics industry is hijacking the circular economy
Tree Hugger 4-19-19
What they are calling circular is a sham, just fantasy recycling so that they can maintain the status quo.
… And there we have it: It is really just a more elaborate form of recycling than what we have now. It doesn’t change anything really, other than trying to extract value out of the recycled materials, but it still all has to be disposed of properly by the user who tends to buy these products for convenience,
Chevron and Exxon Say They Can Turn Around the Failed Finances of Fracking Industry
After a decade of the American fracking industry burning through hundreds of billions of dollars more than it earned, this industry previously dominated by shale drilling specialists is entering a new phase. The oil majors — a group of multinational companies that typically have divisions throughout the oil supply chain — now are investing heavily in fracked oil and gas operations. … The latest development is Chevron acquiring shale oil and gas company Anadarko for $33 billion.
Canada oil sands CO2 emissions hugely underestimated: study
PHYS ORG 4-23-19
Environment Canada scientists flying over the region took atmospheric measurements and found CO2 emission intensities up to 123 percent higher than current estimates. … “This leads to 64 percent higher annual GHG emissions from surface mining operations, and 30 percent higher overall oil sands GHG emissions
Same study, different article…
Oilsands CO2 emissions may be far higher than companies report, scientists say
It means that Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions would be around 2.3 per cent higher than previously thought. And if research eventually shows that other oilsands sites are subject to similar underreporting issues, Canada’s overall greenhouse gas emissions could be as much as six per cent more than thought — throwing a wrench into the calculations that underpin government emissions strategies.
At least 51 dead after severe floods in South Africa
Flooding has collapsed buildings and homes and debris has blocked storm drains and sewer lines, officials said. The inclement weather also caused power outages and cable damage.
Denver weather: Sunday was the wettest day in 19 months, and most of the rain fell in 10 minutes
The Denver Post 4-23-19
In one hour, DIA saw 0.81 inches of rainfall — and that one hour alone made it the observation site’s wettest day since Sept. 23, 2017. DIA officially saw a total of 0.82 inches of rainfall on Sunday. … According to the National Weather Service office in Boulder, DIA saw an astounding 0.52 inches of rain in just 10 minutes
The Midwest needs more than levees to survive its “biblical” floods
Vice News 4-20-19
Last month’s floods were the most intense the Army Corps of Engineers has ever seen in the Midwest. “It’s immense,” Bret Budd, Army Corps of Engineers Chief of the Omaha District Systems Restoration Team, told VICE News. “It’s a biblical flood for us. It is going to tax the resources of everybody around. We have over 500 miles of levee to provide to reduce the risk of flooding. Of those 500 miles, we had over 50 breaches.” … The Corps has been scrambling to patch the broken levees before the rivers rise again — but gaping holes are still unfilled.
Boulder’s chilly February and March ran against global trend
Daily Camera 4-19-19
NOAA reported on Thursday that the March temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.91 degrees above the 20th century average of 54.9 degrees, and was the second highest for March in the 1880-2019 record. Only March 2016 was warmer, at 2.23 degrees above average. … Record warm March temperatures were recorded across much of Alaska, northwestern Canada, and across parts of the Barents, East China and Tasman seas, Western Europe, central Russia, southern Australia and the southern Atlantic and western Indian oceans, according to NOAA. No land or ocean areas had record-cold March temperatures. … The most notable warm land surface temperature departures from average during March were seen across Alaska, northwestern Canada and north-central Asia, where temperatures were at least 7.2 degrees above average.
Floods have a greater impact due to sanctions…
Iranians flee third major flood in 2 weeks
“[Sanctions are] impeding aid efforts by Iranian Red Crescent to all communities,” he wrote on Twitter. “Blocked equipment includes relief choppers: This isn’t just economic warfare; it’s economic TERRORISM.” … Foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi echoed the complaint. … “Given that the accounts of the Iranian Red Crescent have been blocked (due to U.S. sanctions), no foreign citizen or Iranian national living abroad (are) able to send any relief aid to flood-hit people,” Qassemi told the Islamic Republic News Agency Tuesday.
ADAPTION AND RESILIENCE
An effort to save biodiversity on Earth. Read the article and watch the video…
To save life on Earth, here’s the $100 billion-a-year solution
PHYS ORG 4-22-19
To make a better biodiversity map, they propose that the GDN embrace monitoring progress from the ground (and below the sea surface) to space using powerful new technologies, much of it publicly available. … His new ASU center is focused on using methods to help map, monitor and conserve aspects of the environments, including biodiversity. … “In addition to biodiversity, we have a water resource interest, we have carbon and climate,” … and then we have the world’s largest constellation of satellites, called Planet.” … Planet currently operates 331 Earth-observing satellites.
A plan to map coral reefs…
Green material for refrigeration identified
Science Daily 4-18-19
Researchers have identified an eco-friendly solid that could replace the inefficient and polluting gases used in most refrigerators and air conditioners. When put under pressure, plastic crystals of neopentylglycol yield huge cooling effects — enough that they are competitive with conventional coolants.
More than 100 U.S. cities have pledged to switch to renewable energy
Yale Climate Connections 4-19-19
People across the country … are urging their communities to switch to one hundred percent renewable energy. … “Ready for 100,” [is] a Sierra Club campaign helping mobilize people to demand community-wide clean energy. … More than a hundred U.S. cities have already committed to transition to 100% renewable electricity. And most of them aim to meet that goal by 2035.
The methods are applied to building a dam in Mombassa…
Designing water infrastructure for climate uncertainty
A new method identifies opportunities to learn and adapt to changing temperature and precipitation trends. … has developed a new, systematic approach to designing long-term water infrastructure amid climate change uncertainty. Their planning framework assesses the potential to learn about regional climate change over time as new observations become available, and thus evaluate the suitability of flexible approaches that add water storage capacity incrementally if the climate becomes warmer and drier.
Greensboro, North Carolina, says its new electric buses will save money
Yale Climate Connections 4-23-19
Electric buses are quiet and good for the environment. But that’s not what inspired officials in Greensboro, North Carolina, to add ten electric buses to the city’s fleet. Their motivation was primarily financial.
Washington state passes 100 percent clean electricity legislation
The Washington State Legislature passed Senate Bill 5116 on Monday – a bill that will eliminate coal power by 2025 and transition the state to 100 percent clean and renewable electricity by 2045. … The bill passed the state House last week and now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk to be signed into law.
India could meet air quality standards by cutting household fuel use
PHYS ORG 4-19-19
curbing emissions from dirty household fuels such as wood, dung, coal and kerosene, shows a new analysis … Eliminating emissions from these sources—without any changes to industrial or vehicle emissions—would bring the average outdoor air pollution levels below the country’s air quality standard, the study shows.
New York city bans inefficient glass skyscrapers, WA state to end coal
Climate Home News 4-23-19
[The program] sets out to achieve carbon neutrality and 100% clean energy by 2050 by modernising the city’s buildings, transport, and boosting clean energy. In a global first, New York City will be ordering all existing buildings of 25,000 square feet or more, of which there are 50,000 across the city, to carry out energy upgrades in a bid to slash their emissions. Buildings account for 70% of the city’s carbon pollution.
WILDLIFE & THE ENVIRONMENT
The paper referred to in the article is linked below under the Studies section…
Saving Ecosystems to Protect the Climate, and Vice Versa: a Global Deal for Nature
Climate Change News 4-21-19
an international group of scientists is proposing a third way that marries the two in an ambitious plan they hope will save the species that make our planet so rich—including ourselves. … They set out their timetable in a paper released Friday in the journal Science Advances calling for a “Global Deal for Nature.” Its unified objective: protect the ecosystems to combat climate change; combat climate change to protect the ecosystems.
Dragonflies Make Epic Migrations, But Climate Change Could Foil Their Itineraries
common green darners, which are found from Cuba to Canada, make a long, complex journey that takes three generations and spans a distance of more than 1,500 miles. Scientists are still trying to figure out exactly how they do it, but temperature seems to play a key role in telling the animals when to move. Unfortunately, this means climate change could well wreck the whole event even before we fully understand it. Worse, it would leave much of eastern North America without an important member of its food web.
“In the Puerto Rican rainforest, 98 per cent of ground insects were reported to have vanished in 35 years.” https://t.co/SoEgqwVzR3
— Extinction Symbol (@extinctsymbol)
Soft tissue makes coral tougher in the face of climate change
PHYS ORG 4-23-19
soft tissues that cover the rocky coral skeleton promote the recovery of corals following a bleaching event. … These soft tissues, which are home to beneficial algae, represent a source of energy for corals.
Carbon dioxide from Silicon Valley affects the chemistry of Monterey Bay
PHYS ORG 4-23-19
carbon dioxide in air [is] blowing out to sea from cities and agricultural areas, including Silicon Valley.
‘Decades of denial’: major report finds New Zealand’s environment is in serious trouble
The Guardian 4-23-19
It found New Zealand is now considered one of the most invaded countries in the world, with 75 animal and plant species having gone extinct since human settlement. The once-vibrant bird life has fared particularly badly, with 90% of seabirds and 80% of shorebirds threatened with or at risk of extinction. … Almost two-thirds of New Zealand’s rare ecosystems are under threat of collapse, and over the last 15 years the extinction risk worsened for 86 species,
PROTESTS • EXTINCTION REBELLION • RESISTANCE
— UN Women (@UN_Women)
Fridays for Future
A long article about the history of the movement…
The Climate Kids Are All Right
Youths around the world are rising to the climate challenge — and they don’t care what the trolls have to say about it. … The report pegged the cost of climate-related damages that would result from global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels at $54 trillion. … It was a wake-up call that galvanized young people. And this month, thousands of scientists signed onto a letter, posted in Science magazine, in support of the youth protests. The authors wrote that the activists’ “concerns are justified and supported by the best available science” and that “without bold and focused action, their future is in critical danger.”
Greta Thunberg’s speech for Extinction Rebellion in London’s Marble Arch April, 21, 2019
We are now facing an existential crises, the climate crisis and the ecological crisis which have never been treated as crises before. They have been ignored for decades.
JOIN XR USA: on their website
XR NEWSLETTERS & EVENTS: on their website
XR USA: on YOUTUBE
Extinction Rebellion: “We want the lawmakers to realize this is an absolute emergency”
Extinction Rebellion proposal inspired by Irish climate, abortion breakthroughs
The Guardian 4-18-19
The protest group wants a citizens’ assembly in the UK, following an Irish model that led to new political settlements on previously divisive issues … In Ireland, the government commissioned a citizens’ assembly to make recommendations on climate policy, among a range of issues. It led to a referendum that overturned a constitutional ban on abortion, representing a huge cultural shift for the Catholic-majority country.
It’s time to dump Earth Day and join the Extinction Rebellion
Tree Hugger 4-22-19
But then the Earth Day Network’s lead sponsors are a car manufacturer, a delivery company and an airline, so we can’t make too big a deal about CO2 emissions. Their mission statement doesn’t even mention it.
Extinction Rebellion die-in at the Natural History Museum in London
Extinction Rebellion: Climate change protesters at Natural History Museum
Extinction Rebellion activists took over part of the Natural History Museum as the climate change protest entered its second week. … About 100 people lay down under the blue whale skeleton at about 14:15 BST. … It comes as more than 1,000 people have been arrested since the protests began in central London a week ago.
Emissions from thawing Arctic permafrost may be 12 times higher than thought, scientists say
Nitrous oxide, a third greenhouse gas nearly 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, stays in the atmosphere for an average of 114 years, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). … It has “conventionally been assumed to have minimal emissions in permafrost regions”, according to a fresh study published in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics journal.
This is the study…
The microbial by-product nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas and ozone depleting substance, has conventionally been assumed to have minimal emissions in permafrost regions. This assumption has been questioned by recent in situ studies … we used the airborne eddy-covariance technique to make in situ N2O flux measurements over the North Slope of Alaska from a low-flying aircraft spanning a much larger area:
Paul Beckwith breaks down the above study…
Paul Beckwith 4-20-19
Surprise… Nitrous oxide emissions from our rapidly warming north are up to 12-times higher than we previously thought, since thawing Arctic permafrost is a huge source. The problem is:
• 1) The top 3 meters of permafrost contains 73 billion tons of nitrogen;
• 2) As it thaws microbial action releases bucket loads of N2O; and
• 3) N2O is a very powerful Greenhouse Gas, with a Global Warming Potential about 300 times that of CO2 (lifetime in atmosphere of 114 years).
Arctic’s Melting Permafrost Will Cost Nearly $70 Trillion, Study Finds
According to the new research, published in the journal Nature Communications, melting permafrost caused by accelerating Arctic warming would add close to $70 trillion to the overall economic impact of climate change if the planet warms by 3°C by 2100.
Even if action is taken to limit warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century, the research found melting permafrost would still add $24.8 trillion to overall climate costs.
How bacteria build an enzyme that destroys climate-changing laughing gas
Science Daily 4-17-19
New research reveals how soil bacteria build the only known enzyme for the destruction of the potent global warming and ozone-depleting gas nitrous oxide. Alongside carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane, the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O), commonly known as ‘laughing gas’, is now a cause for great concern, and there is much international focus on reducing emissions. It is hoped that the findings will help pave the way for strategies to mitigate the damaging effects of N2O.
A Global Deal For Nature: Guiding principles, milestones, and targets
Science Mag 4-19-19
The Global Deal for Nature (GDN) is a time-bound, science-driven plan to save the diversity and abundance of life on Earth. [to] avoid catastrophic climate change, conserve species, and secure essential ecosystem services. … The GDN targets 30% of Earth to be formally protected and an additional 20% designated as climate stabilization areas, by 2030, to stay below 1.5°C. We highlight the 67% of terrestrial ecoregions that can meet 30% protection, thereby reducing extinction threats and carbon emissions from natural reservoirs. Freshwater and marine targets included here extend the GDN to all realms and provide a pathway to ensuring a more livable biosphere.
Arctic leaks of laughing gas may add to heat
Climate News Network 4-22-19
US scientists have identified yet another hazard linked to the thawing permafrost: laughing gas. A series of flights over the North Slope of Alaska has detected unexpected levels of emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide from the rapidly warming soils. … Nitrous oxide, which chemists know also as laughing gas, is an estimated 300 times more potent as a climate warming agent than the principal greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. It was present in data recordings at levels at least 12 times higher than all previous estimates.
From coal to gas: How the shift can help stabilize climate change
PHYS ORG 4-22-19
the study examined the impacts from a variety of direct and indirect emissions of such a shift on both shorter and longer timescales ranging from a few decades to a century. … “Our conclusion that the benefits of natural gas outweigh the possible risks is robust under a broad range of methane leakage, and under uncertainties in emissions data and metrics,”
Arctic warming will accelerate climate change and impact global economy
Science Daily 4-23-19
Carbon released into the atmosphere by the increasing loss of Arctic permafrost, combined with higher solar absorption by the Earth’s surface due to the melting of sea ice and land snow, will accelerate climate change — and have a multi-trillion dollar impact on the world economy.
Rate of ice loss from Greenland has grown by a factor of six since the 1980s, scientists find – The ice sheet has the potential to raise sea levels by more than 20 feet, were it all to melt someday.
Washington Post 4-23-19
Greenland, home to Earth’s second-largest ice sheet, has lost ice at an accelerating pace in the past several decades — a nearly sixfold increase that could contribute to future sea-level rise, according to a new study based on nearly a half-century of data. … “The entire periphery of Greenland is affected. I am particularly concerned about the northern regions, which host the largest amount of potential sea-level rise and are already changing fast,”
Losing Arctic Ice and Permafrost Will Cost Trillions as Earth Warms, Study Says
Inside Climate News 4-23-19
These models provide the basis for a significant body of scientific literature around climate change, but perhaps the most widely respected published work—the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, which provided a scientific basis for the Paris climate agreement—did not adequately account for the impacts of permafrost when it modeled what’s at stake with climate change. The science on permafrost at that point was too preliminary.
Paul Beckwith: “I declare a global climate change emergency to claw back up the rock face to attempt to regain system stability, or face an untenable calamity of biblical proportions.”
Kevin Hester: “There is no past analogue for the rapidity of what we are baring witness to. There has been a flood of articles … 2C is no longer attainable and that we are heading for dangerous climate change”
Guy McPherson: “The recent and near-future rises in temperature are occurring and will occur at least an order of magnitude faster than the worst of all prior Mass Extinctions. Habitat for human animals is disappearing throughout the world, and abrupt climate change has barely begun.”
Magi Amma: We need to turn on a dime at mach nine!
• 1 gigatonne equals one billion tons
• 1 gigatonne of carbon equals 3.67 gigatonnes of CO2
• 1 part per million of atmospheric CO2 is equivalent to 7.81 gigatonnes of CO2
• 1 part per million of atmospheric carbon is equivalent to 2.13 gigatonnes of carbon