I’m going to do all this reading and research anyway… might as well share what I learn!
NEWS
+
VIEWS
February 15 2020

arctic changes influencing mid-latitudes and tropics, Trump continues assault on public health, will climate change blow up the economy?, climate models work after all, brewers and pot growers reducing carbon emissions

The decline of sea ice and snow cover in the Arctic has resulted in this region heating more quickly than other parts of the planet. This effect, known as Arctic amplification, was predicted by scientists in the 1970s. Scientists have also hypothesized that these changes will influence weather in temperate and tropical regions, and InsideClimate News reports on a new study that suggests how this might be happening. Late summer heating in the Arctic is creating convection into southern latitudes, strengthening trade winds and El Niño oscillations while also weakening the Aleutian Low that drives storms toward the west coast of North America. There is still significant debate in the scientific community about the precise mechanisms that connect the changes in the Arctic with weather in the mid-latitudes and the tropics, but there is general agreement that such connections are likely.

Water Today examines the growing threat to water security posed by the changing climate in Australia. Major metropolitan areas have invested in, and are considering expanding, desalination plants. Change in flood patterns (fewer small floods and more larger floods where reservoirs must spill water), increased demand and higher temperatures (driving more evaporation) are key elements of the problem. A similar story is told by the Salt Lake Tribune for the Colorado River. Water levels at Lake Powell, a major reservoir on the Colorado River, are now about half of what they were in 2000.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, founded by Manhattan Project scientists, has just moved its doomsday clock to 100 seconds before midnight. It has never been this close, and Katrina vanden Heuvel explains why in the Washington Post…

read more
January 31 2020

the hottest five years in recorded history, 1.5°C goal likely unachievable, Australian fires challenge narrative of Murdoch-owned media, U.S. Treasury Secretary insults 17-year-old girl, Indiana utility phases out coal-fired electricity for cheaper solar

It is no surprise that the last five-year period was the hottest in recorded history, as reported by the Washington Post. The authors point to troubling signs that natural feedback loops may trigger more warming sooner than scientists hoped. The New York Times notes that 2019 was the second hottest year ever, and the last decade was the hottest ever recorded. InsideClimate News reports on the rising heat content of the oceans, which is the real powerhouse of climate-change impacts. The heat accumulating in the oceans every day is equivalent to the energy produced by 400,000 atom bombs the size of the one that destroyed Hiroshima (you can review the math behind this claim in my previous blog post, The Unseen Atomic Bombs). Meanwhile, the Washington Post summarizes President Trump’s nearly 500 lies about environmental issues since his inauguration.

Dave Roberts at VOX examines the unfortunate reality that our chances of meeting the aspirational goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C is now virtually impossible (this short animation from Carbon Brief demonstrates how challenging the 1.5°C path has become). Roberts notes that to hit the 1.5°C target, emissions would have to drop 15% per year everywhere from here on out. Despite all our action to date, the unfortunate truth is that not only have emissions never fallen at 15% per year anywhere ever, they are still growing. This assures that we are going to see major impacts but, as Kate Marvel notes in Scientific American, it is vital to remember that these impacts do not arrive because we fall off a cliff. Rather, we are sliding into them, and we do have the power to slow and eventually arrest that slide (Roberts has previously described the case of conditional optimism)…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES
 

NEWS
+
VIEWS
I’m going to do all this reading and research anyway… might as well share what I learn!
February 15 2020

arctic changes influencing mid-latitudes and tropics, Trump continues assault on public health, will climate change blow up the economy?, climate models work after all, brewers and pot growers reducing carbon emissions

The decline of sea ice and snow cover in the Arctic has resulted in this region heating more quickly than other parts of the planet. This effect, known as Arctic amplification, was predicted by scientists in the 1970s. Scientists have also hypothesized that these changes will influence weather in temperate and tropical regions, and InsideClimate News reports on a new study that suggests how this might be happening. Late summer heating in the Arctic is creating convection into southern latitudes, strengthening trade winds and El Niño oscillations while also weakening the Aleutian Low that drives storms toward the west coast of North America. There is still significant debate in the scientific community about the precise mechanisms that connect the changes in the Arctic with weather in the mid-latitudes and the tropics, but there is general agreement that such connections are likely.

Water Today examines the growing threat to water security posed by the changing climate in Australia. Major metropolitan areas have invested in, and are considering expanding, desalination plants. Change in flood patterns (fewer small floods and more larger floods where reservoirs must spill water), increased demand and higher temperatures (driving more evaporation) are key elements of the problem. A similar story is told by the Salt Lake Tribune for the Colorado River. Water levels at Lake Powell, a major reservoir on the Colorado River, are now about half of what they were in 2000.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, founded by Manhattan Project scientists, has just moved its doomsday clock to 100 seconds before midnight. It has never been this close, and Katrina vanden Heuvel explains why in the Washington Post…

read more
January 31 2020

the hottest five years in recorded history, 1.5°C goal likely unachievable, Australian fires challenge narrative of Murdoch-owned media, U.S. Treasury Secretary insults 17-year-old girl, Indiana utility phases out coal-fired electricity for cheaper solar

It is no surprise that the last five-year period was the hottest in recorded history, as reported by the Washington Post. The authors point to troubling signs that natural feedback loops may trigger more warming sooner than scientists hoped. The New York Times notes that 2019 was the second hottest year ever, and the last decade was the hottest ever recorded. InsideClimate News reports on the rising heat content of the oceans, which is the real powerhouse of climate-change impacts. The heat accumulating in the oceans every day is equivalent to the energy produced by 400,000 atom bombs the size of the one that destroyed Hiroshima (you can review the math behind this claim in my previous blog post, The Unseen Atomic Bombs). Meanwhile, the Washington Post summarizes President Trump’s nearly 500 lies about environmental issues since his inauguration.

Dave Roberts at VOX examines the unfortunate reality that our chances of meeting the aspirational goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C is now virtually impossible (this short animation from Carbon Brief demonstrates how challenging the 1.5°C path has become). Roberts notes that to hit the 1.5°C target, emissions would have to drop 15% per year everywhere from here on out. Despite all our action to date, the unfortunate truth is that not only have emissions never fallen at 15% per year anywhere ever, they are still growing. This assures that we are going to see major impacts but, as Kate Marvel notes in Scientific American, it is vital to remember that these impacts do not arrive because we fall off a cliff. Rather, we are sliding into them, and we do have the power to slow and eventually arrest that slide (Roberts has previously described the case of conditional optimism)…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES