Something to keep in mind…
27 square yards of leaves and needles blanket the crowns.
In addition, each summer, trees use up to 8,500 cubic yards of water per square mile,
which they release into the air through transpiration.
This water vapor creates new clouds that travel farther inland to release their rain.
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
The time has come the walrus said, to speak of many things…
The death toll keeps going up as they search through neighborhoods. An empty driveway is a good sign, one with one car still parked in it, not so good, two cars… They have floor plans of the houses and look for the bedrooms. They need cadaver dogs because, well, a bone looks just like a rock. It may be too late even for this. Burned beyond decoding DNA.
They want basic items, she said. They don’t even have toothbrushes. The vans full of supplies have already left from Scott’s Valley for Paradise. Empathy, compassion, heartrending pain — the first help is coming from the heart, from folks who care.
These firestorms caught people, once again, by surprise, by their speed. Hurricane Michael also grew at a breakneck pace. How much of this will it take?
A friend used to joke whenever I complained… “When I was young, I had to pull the bus to school uphill both ways in the snow…” Back then, when we were young. Joking aside, we had school buses then, we had (some) good schools, we could live on a minimum wage job, then… mostly, certainly better than can be done now. We had a lot.
We might have even understood that Climate Breakdown was creating an untenable world, then… Had we known, we might have done something. But we didn’t.
We know now and we must act now. The time has come.
Yes, Climate Change is Making Wildfires Worse
State of the Planet November 12, 2018
Three powerful wildfires are blazing in California. By Friday morning, the Camp fire had burned 70,000 acres in 24 hours, destroying Paradise, a community of about 26,000 people north of Sacramento. Near Los Angeles, the Woolsey and Hill fires have already scorched more than 7,000 acres, resulting in the evacuation of 88,000 homes by Friday morning, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A 2016 study co-authored by Williams and John Abatzoglou, a professor of geography at the University of Idaho, found that rising temperatures have doubled the area affected by forest fires in the western United States over the last 30 years.
“No matter how hard we try, the fires are going to keep getting bigger…
California’s wildfires: ‘Everybody is at risk’ from smoky conditions, experts say
PHYS ORG November 12, 2018
As a result of the Camp Fire burning near Paradise in Northern California, the entire Bay Area, much of the Central Valley and even Monterey—which is more than 200 miles away from the blaze, as the crow flies—are experiencing unhealthy air quality that began wafting in on seasonal winds just hours after the wildfire sparked Thursday. …
The amount of fine particulate matter registered across the Bay Area on Nov. 9 was the second-highest ever recorded since the metric started being tracked almost 20 years ago, Roselius said. The amount of fine particulate matter registered across the Bay Area on Nov. 9 was the second-highest ever recorded since the metric started being tracked almost 20 years ago, Roselius said.
California fires: what is happening and is climate change to blame?
The Guardian November 12, 2018
Large wildfires require a cocktail of conditions, such as favourable wind speed and direction, fuel, terrain and, of course, ignition, which can be as simple as a trailer throwing up sparks by scraping on a road.
Broadly speaking, however, climate change is making conditions more favourable for wildfires in the American west. Of the 20 largest wildfires in California’s recorded history, 15 have occurred since 2000, at a time when forests have become drier and warmer. …
“Climate change is increasing the vulnerability of many forests to ecosystem changes and tree mortality through fire, insect infestations, drought and disease outbreaks,” a major climate assessment by the US government states.
“Given strong relationships between climate and fire, even when modified by land use and management such as fuel treatments, projected climate changes suggest that western forests in the United States will be increasingly affected by large and intense fires that occur more frequently,”
Demands for ‘Real Climate Action’ as Death Toll From California Wildfires Hits Grim Record
Common Dreams November 12, 2018
With the Camp Fire raging in nothern California now having claimed the lives of 29 people, it ties the record (pdf) set back in 1933 for the deadliest single wildfire in the state. Having destroyed more than 6,000 structures, it also tops the record for most destructive fire.
It’s only 25 percent contained, and is one of several wildfires ravaging the state, as firefighters are also battling the Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, the Hill Fire in Ventura County, and the Nurse Fire in Solano County. And, with over 225 people are still unaccounted for, the death toll may rise.
Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to blame the blazes on “poor forest management.” The tweet drew ire from the head of the California firefighters union as well as legendary rocker Neil Young.
California Professional Firefighters president Brian K. Rice said in a statement that Trump’s “message attacking California and threatening to withhold aid to the victims of the cataclysmic fires is ill-informed, ill-timed, and demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front lines.”
Young, whose home was destroyed in the fire, wrote on his Archives site, “We are vulnerable because of climate change; the extreme weather events and our extended drought is part of it.” He added, “It really is time for a reckoning with this unfit leader. Maybe our new Congress can help. I sure hope so.”
Speaking to the Associated Press, Kristen Thornicke of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany said that while there are multiple factors behind the severity of the fires, “forest management wasn’t one of them.” AP adds: One reason that scientists know that management isn’t to blame is that some areas now burning had fires in 2005 and 2008, so they aren’t “fuel-choked closed-canopy forests,” [University of Utah fire scientist Philip] Dennison said.
Meteorologists Jeff Masters and Bob Henson pointed Sunday to a Twitter thread from climate scientist Daniel Swain, saying that the posts draw “the links between our evolving climate and California’s fire threat.”
California’s Wildfire and Climate Change Warnings Are Still Too Conservative, Scientist Says
inside climate news November 13, 2018
“I think what we have been observing has consistently been outpacing what we’ve been predicting,” said LeRoy Westerling, professor of management of complex systems at the University of California, Merced, who modeled the risk of future wildfires as part of the California Climate Change Assessment released in August.
The report estimated that the average area burned by wildfires would increase 77 percent by 2100 and the frequency of extreme wildfires would increase by nearly 50 percent if global greenhouse gas emissions continue at a high rate.
Scientists: Wind, drought worsen fires, not bad management
PHYS ORG November 12, 2018
“The biggest factor was wind,” Dennison said in an email. “With wind speeds as high as they were, there was nothing firefighters could do to stop the advance of the fires.”
These winds, called Santa Ana winds, and the unique geography of high mountains and deep valleys act like chimneys, fortifying the fires, Thornicke said.
The wind is so strong that fire breaks—areas where trees and brush have been cleared or intentionally burned to deprive the advancing flames of fuel—won’t work. One of the fires jumped over eight lanes of freeway, about 140 feet (43 meters), Dennison said.
California also has been in drought for all but a few years of the 21st century and is now experiencing its longest drought, which began on Dec. 27, 2011, and has lasted 358 weeks, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor . Nearly two-thirds of the state is abnormally dry.
University of Alberta fire scientist Mike Flanigan earlier this year told The Associated Press that the hotter and drier the weather, the easier it is for fires to start, spread and burn more intensely.
It’s simple, he said: “The warmer it is, the more fire we see.”
For every 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit that the air warms, it needs 15 percent more rain to make up for the drying of the fuel, Flannigan said.
HOT AIR NEWS ROUNDUP
On climate change, our plan is to wait for emergency evacuation of the planet
Washington Post November 13, 2018
There are tentative efforts being made to put a few people on Mars to try and survive in a bunker under constant high radiation in sub-frigid temperatures in an atmosphere 100 times thinner than Earth’s. If we make good progress on this endeavor, we will be able to evacuate the population of Earth into space around the year Never.
on the planetary assault rifle of unregulated emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The difference here is that the atmosphere, once fully loaded, will never stop firing at us.
Urging House Democrats to Go Bold on Climate, Group Says Probing Fossil Fuel Giants Must Be a ‘Top Priority’
Common Dreams November 12, 2018
“The science is clear: we need climate solutions now, and we don’t have a moment to lose,” 350.org declared in a petition it plans to send to Congress when it convenes in January. “We’re calling on our new Congress to align their policies with science and their priorities with the moral imperative of this moment. We’re calling for real climate leadership.”
“Launch a congressional investigation into ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel corporations for propagating confusion and denial about the scientific truth of climate change and for hiding the risks posed by their business activities to the planet,” the petition demands.
Ocasio-Cortez joins climate change sit-in at Pelosi’s office
The Hill November 13, 2018
Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined 150 youth activists in a Tuesday sit-in at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Capitol Hill office, where the group called for congressional action on climate change.
Warming at 100 Military Sites Across the U.S.
Climate Central November 7, 2018
In mid-October, Hurricane Michael devastated Tyndall Air Force Base in the Florida panhandle, ripping the roofs from buildings, forcing the base’s evacuation, and causing what the Air Force called “catastrophic damage.” A few weeks earlier, a September wildfire forced the evacuation of the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in California. This Veterans Day, it’s worth remembering that the extreme weather that comes with climate change is already affecting the U.S. military here at home.
According to a survey conducted by the Department of Defense between 2013 and 2015, at least one military site in every state has been negatively affected by some type of extreme weather, flooding, or wildfire.
Rising Tides: How Near-Daily Flooding of America’s Shorelines Could Become the Norm
Climate Central October 4, 2018
No hurricane had hit Miami that week. The flooding was the result of a “king tide” — an especially intense high tide brought about by a particular alignment of the moon and sun that usually occurs in the fall and winter. Rain and wind had amplified the tide’s effects.
Minor floods, and the damage and disruption they cause, have grown far more common in the last few decades. As sea levels rise thanks to human-caused climate change and other factors, these floods will become more common still.
Maybe not such a good idea, but interesting nevertheless… Would flooding the deserts help stop global warming?
NBC News November 11, 2018
Imagine flooding a desert half the size of the Sahara. Using 238 trillion gallons of desalinated ocean water to do the job. Creating millions of 1-acre-square micro-reservoirs to grow enough algae to gobble up all of Earth’s climate-changing carbon dioxide. For an encore: How about spreading the water and fertilizer (the dead algae) to grow a vast new forest of oxygen-producing trees?
The startup accelerator that helped finance Airbnb, Dropbox and Reddit asked innovators last month to come forward with specific proposals on desert flooding and three other extreme plans for reducing greenhouse gas concentrations. The existential threat posed by climate change requires research into solutions that the investment firm itself conceded could be “risky, unproven, even unlikely to work.”
Fast-Rising Demand for Air Conditioning Is Adding to Global Warming. The Numbers Are Striking.
inside climate change November 12, 2018
Approximately 1.2 billion window-mounted air conditioning units and other small-scale, room-cooling devices are currently in use worldwide. By 2050, the figure is expected to increase to 4.5 billion, according to RMI.
Many of today’s air conditioners use hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), coolants that are short-lived climate pollutants that can leak into the atmosphere at the end of an air conditioner’s useful life when the devices are destroyed. HFCs remain in the atmosphere for an average of 14 years and are approximately 1,000 to 3,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.
Koch Industries Lobbies Against Electric Vehicle Tax Credit
Desmog November 9, 2018
Koch Industries is calling for the elimination of tax credits for electric vehicles (EVs), all while claiming that it does not oppose plug-in cars and inviting the elimination of oil and gas subsidies that the petroleum conglomerate and its industry peers receive.
Outgoing Nevada Republican Senator Dean Heller introduced a bill in September that would lift the sales cap on electric vehicles eligible for a federal tax credit, and replace the cap with a deadline that would dictate when the credit would start being phased out.
EPA seeks new truck pollution rules; says air won’t suffer
PHYS ORG November 13, 2018
The proposed “Cleaner Trucks Initiative” is drawing expressions of hope but skepticism from some environmental groups, especially because the EPA under President Donald Trump already has proposed relaxing emissions requirements for light passenger cars and trucks by freezing them at 2020 levels.
Andrew Linhardt, the Sierra Club’s deputy director for clean transportation, said his group is wary, and it wants to see details. Linhardt said he would favor the adoption of rules that would reduce nitrogen oxide emissions but doubts that the administration wants to do that.
U.S. Judge Halts Keystone XL Oil Pipeline in Blow to Trump, Trudeau
NYT November 13, 2018
The ruling of a U.S. Court in Montana late on Thursday dealt a setback to TransCanada Corp, whose stock fell 1.7 percent in Toronto. Shares of companies that would ship oil on the pipeline also slid.
TransCanada said in a statement it remains committed to building the $8 billion, 1,180 mile (1,900 km) pipeline, but it has also said it is seeking partners and has not taken a final investment decision.
Landmark Children’s Climate Lawsuit Hits New Roadblock
Mother Jones November 9, 2018
A high-profile lawsuit aiming to hold the federal government accountable for not curbing climate change has encountered yet another roadblock. After the Supreme Court permitted the case to proceed last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals delayed the case again on Thursday.
On November 2, the Supreme Court vacated Roberts’ previous decision and allowed the case to proceed over the objections of Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch. But the government requested another delay, this time petitioning the district court directly.
This editorial looks at the history of Climate Breakdown inaction…
Climate Change First Became News 30 Years Ago. Why Haven’t We Fixed It?
National Geographic July 2018
Research by an array of scientists and scholars supports a daunting conclusion: Climate change is unlike any environmental problem we’ve ever faced. We can’t “fix” it the way we’ve started to fix smog or the ozone hole, with circumscribed regulations and treaties and limited technological changes. Climate change is too big in space, time, and complexity; the emissions that cause it are too central a consequence of the effort of some 7.5 billion people now, and some 10 billion within several decades, to prosper on Earth.
Fight Climate Change in Your Own Garden
Ecowatch November 12, 2018
During World War I, Americans were encouraged to do their part in the war effort by planting, fertilizing, harvesting and storing their own fruits and vegetables. The food would go to allies in Europe, where there was a food crisis. These so-called “victory gardens” declined when WWI ended but resurged during World War II. By 1944, nearly 20 million victory gardens produced about 8 million tons of food.
Today, the nonprofit Green America is trying to bring back victory gardens as a way to fight climate change.
Two important videos on some ways to help the planet. The couple in this 15-minute clip is doing some remarkable and simple things to live sustainably in the city…
VIDEO: The couple in this 15-minute clip is doing some remarkable and simple things to live sustainably in the city…
VIDEO: How to grow a salad garden on your porch in the winter…
Good News! The Ozone Layer Is On the Road to Recovery!
Mother Jones November 11, 20018
In a rare piece of good news about the environment—and proof of what concerted global action can achieve—the United Nations announced in a Monday report that the ozone layer, which was significantly damaged over the course of decades by humans, is on the road to recovery.
The city of Honolulu is actually planning ahead…
Hawaii News Now November 13, 2018
City officials to discuss climate change in series of meetings.
[ VIDEO: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2018/11/13/city-officials-discuss-climate-change-series-meetings/ ]
In the local news report. Josh Sanbro, the executive director of the office for climate change in Honolulu says:
We are getting dryer. We are losing our tradewinds. We are losing our beaches. Those are the two things that really make Hawaii special and beautiful. The more we do now the better it’s going to be.
Report: New England’s Nuclear Plants Will Be Key To Fighting Climate Change
New Hampshire Public Radio November 13, 2018
A new report suggests New Hampshire’s Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant will be essential to curbing the effects of climate change in the coming years.
Seabrook and Millstone Station in Connecticut will be the only two nuclear plants left in New England after next year.
Broadly, the UCS report suggests that at-risk nuclear plants are likely to be replaced with higher-emission natural gas – or request government bailouts to stay afloat.
“New public policies are needed to properly value low-carbon energy and prevent the replacement of nuclear plants with large quantities of natural gas,” the report says. “Until such policies are in place or natural gas prices rise significantly, owners of economically at risk nuclear reactors will continue asking policymakers for financial assistance,” it continues.
Opponents of Seabrook, which is seeking to extend its operating license through 2050, are worried about cracks in the plant’s concrete foundations. It’s the only nuclear plant in the country known to have the problem, called ASR.
Analysts: Fast-growing African Cities at ‘Extreme Risk’ from Climate Change
VOA News October 6, 2018
Researchers at U.K.-based Verisk Maplecroft found 84 of the world’s 100 fastest-growing cities are at “extreme risk” from the impacts of a warming planet, including 79 in Africa.
Fast-rising populations act as “a risk multiplier in lower-income cities with poor public infrastructure and inadequate disaster response mechanisms”, with more people putting strain on limited resources, the study said.
Companies working in and near these cities will have to contend with direct climate change impacts, ranging from destruction of infrastructure and housing by disasters to worker fatigue or death linked to high temperatures, the analysis said.
Paul Beckwith: It’s not your fault, climate change, unless you are an oil company executive VIDEO: https://youtu.be/Lt5ORKJoH-Q
Wildlife & the Environment
Climate change is ‘escalator to extinction’ for mountain birds
BBC November 9, 2018
Having nests raided by predators is a bigger threat for birds flocking to breed than in the past, it shows.
This raises the risk of extinction for birds on Arctic shores, say researchers.
They point to a link with climate change, which may be changing the behaviour and habitat of animals, such as foxes, which steal eggs.
Rates of daily nest predation in the Arctic have increased three-fold in the last 70 years. A two-fold increase was found in Europe, most of Asia and North America, while a smaller change was observed in the tropics and Southern Hemisphere.
Climate change: Heatwaves ‘halve’ male insect fertility
BBC November 13, 2018
Scientists exposed beetles to experimental heatwaves in the laboratory, which resulted in reduced male fertility.
The effects could be passed down to the beetles’ offspring.
Further work could shed light on whether climate change is a factor behind mass declines in insect populations, say researchers.
Rainforest destruction from gold mining hits all-time high in Peru
Faster than Expected November 8, 2018
Small-scale gold mining has destroyed more than 170,000 acres of primary rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon in the past five years, according to a new analysis by scientists at Wake Forest University’s Center for Amazonian Scientific Innovation (CINCIA).
That’s an area larger than San Francisco and 30 percent more than previously reported.
“The scale of the deforestation is really shocking,” said Luis Fernandez, executive director of CINCIA and research associate professor in the department of biology. “In 2013, the first comprehensive look at Peruvian rainforest lost from mining showed 30,000 hectares. Five years later, we have found nearly 100,000 hectares of deforested landscape.”
Report: Climate change will affect Indiana tourism
The Hearald Bulletin November 13, 2018
“Ticks in January is crazy, right?” Paul Labovitz, superintendent at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, said.
Then a wildfire came this year to the park.
The Dunes, where prescribed fires are conducted to manage vegetation and to prevent unplanned fires, had an unexpected wildfire in February, the first ever for that month. Fire seasons had typically been in summers through November.
“The fire season is almost year-round now,” Labovitz said.
Ticks and fires are among small but significant signs that Indiana’s climate is changing and will affect tourism to the Hoosier state, researchers said this week.
New discovery: The Greenland Icesheet emits methane to the atmosphere
U of Copenhagen November 12, 2018
For the first time researchers has documented, that methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is emitted directly to the atmosphere from under the ice and not only from wet permafrost soils. This new knowledge can change the way we measure how much methane is emitted from the land surface in the Arctic.
Rapid melting of Greenland glacier could raise sea level for decades
Science November 12, 2018
Greenland’s remote northeast—and a new study suggests it’s likely to continue its rush to the sea for decades to come.
The vulnerable glacier, part of a broader flow of ice called the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream, shows that yet another region of Greenland is feeling the effects of warming oceans.
Compiling airborne and satellite data from six different space agencies—NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Cana-dian Space Agency, and three European agencies—the team pieced together ice motions in the region over 40 years. “For the first 25 years, the glacier was stable,” Mouginot says. But from 2000 to 2012, it began to move more rapidly; and each year since 2012 it has sped up by about 125 meters per year.
Modest warming risks ‘irreversible’ ice sheet loss, study warns
PHYS ORG November 12, 2018
Even modest temperature rises agreed under an international plan to limit climate disaster could see the ice caps melt enough this century for their loss to be “irreversible”, experts warned Monday. …
“We say that 1.5-2C is close to the limit for which more dramatic effects may be expected from the ice sheets,” Frank Pattyn, head of the department of geosciences, Free University of Brussels and lead study author, told AFP.
Although scientists predict it would take hundreds of years for them to melt even with huge global temperature increases, Monday’s study provides further cause for concern with mankind’s only realistic plan to avert runaway warming.
Many models of the 1.5-2C scenario allow for the threshold to be breached in the short term, potentially heating the planet several degrees higher, before using carbon capture and other technologies to bring temperatures back into line by 2100.
The study warned against this approach.
New research questions the rate of climate change
Heriot-Watt University November 8, 2018
Researchers previously thought that the rate of erosion on these fossils was significantly slower – hence climate change was slower.
Now the study, published in Nature sheds new light on the how fast climate change is actually happening.
Dr Clayton Magill said: “There are some outstanding gaps in current knowledge about the imminent impacts of climate change on ocean environments and in this study we show that there are still large unknowns in the major sources of fossil carbon on earth. “We don’t know how much carbon is trapped in the ocean but now we’ve proven the process, it could pose catastrophic threat to earth’s climate.”
Climate change likely caused migration, demise of ancient Indus Valley civilization
Woods Hole November 14, 2018
More than 4,000 years ago, the Harappa culture thrived in the Indus River Valley of what is now modern Pakistan and northwestern India, where they built sophisticated cities, invented sewage systems that predated ancient Rome’s, and engaged in long-distance trade with settlements in Mesopotamia. Yet by 1800 BCE, this advanced culture had abandoned their cities, moving instead to smaller villages in the Himalayan foothills. A new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found evidence that climate change likely drove the Harappans to resettle far away from the floodplains of the Indus.
Climate change may be dissolving the ocean floor. Here’s why we should be worried.
NBC News November 14, 2018, 2018
A study published Oct. 29 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that high levels of carbon dioxide — the heat-trapping greenhouse gas that is a key contributor to Earth’s warming climate — have made parts of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Southern Ocean so acidic that the chalky white mineral that makes up the seafloor is dissolving.
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
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!