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

declining flows in the Colorado River, reconnecting the Mississippi to its floodplain, agrivoltaics, climate change contribution to Australia’s wildfires, 20% of U.S. electricity will be renewable in 2020!

InsideClimate News reports on a study concluding that the flows in the Colorado River, which provide water to 40 million people in major cities and vast tracts of farmland in the Southwest, are even more sensitive to climate change than previously thought. Warmer spring temperatures since 1980 have cut the Rocky Mountain snowpack, the source of the Colorado river flow, by 20 percent. By factoring in the impact of reduced reflectivity of the surface as the snow level recedes, the authors conclude that increased evaporation rates mean that flows are declining at a rate of about 9.3 percent for every 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit increase in temperature. Flow reductions are evident throughout the basin, as the water storage in Lake Mead (the largest reservoir in the U.S.) has dropped 60 percent since 2000, to its lowest level since its creation in 1935. Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Michigan summarizes the predicament by saying, “the more oil and gas we burn, the less water will be available to the American Southwest.”

National Geographic reports on new research documenting a mechanism by which permafrost can abruptly thaw, releasing methane. Understanding the release of methane (and carbon dioxide) from permafrost melt is important, as the last major IPCC assessment in 2014 didn’t incorporate permafrost emissions when projecting future temperatures. The authors suggest that abrupt thawing, which can occur where there is a lot of ice in the soil, may double estimates of emissions from thawing permafrost…

read more
February 29 2020

Republicans come out of “the closet” on climate change, the Trillion Trees Initiative, Trump Administration cooks the books on auto mileage, Delta Airlines pledges $1 billion to offset emissions

The Washington Post describes how many Republican legislators and strategists are coming out of “the closet” on climate change by beginning to promote solutions to a problem they have denied exists. This is being driven by the attitudes of young and suburban Republican voters, who have become increasingly convinced of the reality of climate change and the need to act. At VOX, Dave Roberts describes the Republican proposals, which are not really climate policies, but efforts to look like they are “for something” since “they have exhausted the strategy of lying about climate science and need something new to replace it.”

The Guardian describes the changes underway in the very “red” state of Utah. At the request of the Republican-dominated state legislature, a University of Utah economic think tank has produced a plan to reduce emissions affecting both the local air quality and the global climate. InsideClimate News reports that climate change was a priority for voters in the Democratic primary in New Hampshire…

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!
March 15 2020

declining flows in the Colorado River, reconnecting the Mississippi to its floodplain, agrivoltaics, climate change contribution to Australia’s wildfires, 20% of U.S. electricity will be renewable in 2020!

InsideClimate News reports on a study concluding that the flows in the Colorado River, which provide water to 40 million people in major cities and vast tracts of farmland in the Southwest, are even more sensitive to climate change than previously thought. Warmer spring temperatures since 1980 have cut the Rocky Mountain snowpack, the source of the Colorado river flow, by 20 percent. By factoring in the impact of reduced reflectivity of the surface as the snow level recedes, the authors conclude that increased evaporation rates mean that flows are declining at a rate of about 9.3 percent for every 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit increase in temperature. Flow reductions are evident throughout the basin, as the water storage in Lake Mead (the largest reservoir in the U.S.) has dropped 60 percent since 2000, to its lowest level since its creation in 1935. Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Michigan summarizes the predicament by saying, “the more oil and gas we burn, the less water will be available to the American Southwest.”

National Geographic reports on new research documenting a mechanism by which permafrost can abruptly thaw, releasing methane. Understanding the release of methane (and carbon dioxide) from permafrost melt is important, as the last major IPCC assessment in 2014 didn’t incorporate permafrost emissions when projecting future temperatures. The authors suggest that abrupt thawing, which can occur where there is a lot of ice in the soil, may double estimates of emissions from thawing permafrost…

read more
February 29 2020

Republicans come out of “the closet” on climate change, the Trillion Trees Initiative, Trump Administration cooks the books on auto mileage, Delta Airlines pledges $1 billion to offset emissions

The Washington Post describes how many Republican legislators and strategists are coming out of “the closet” on climate change by beginning to promote solutions to a problem they have denied exists. This is being driven by the attitudes of young and suburban Republican voters, who have become increasingly convinced of the reality of climate change and the need to act. At VOX, Dave Roberts describes the Republican proposals, which are not really climate policies, but efforts to look like they are “for something” since “they have exhausted the strategy of lying about climate science and need something new to replace it.”

The Guardian describes the changes underway in the very “red” state of Utah. At the request of the Republican-dominated state legislature, a University of Utah economic think tank has produced a plan to reduce emissions affecting both the local air quality and the global climate. InsideClimate News reports that climate change was a priority for voters in the Democratic primary in New Hampshire…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES