I’m going to do all this reading and research anyway… might as well share what I learn!
NEWS
+
VIEWS
June 30 2022

the Arctic is warming quickly, early-season heat waves abound, flooding in Yellowstone, green aluminum, is creating fossil-fuel PR immoral?

Recent measurements have documented that a region of the Arctic is warming faster than any place on Earth. The Guardian reports on these temperature increases on the islands of Svalbard and Franz Josef Land in the Barents Sea. That the Arctic would warm more rapidly relative to the rest of the planet has been predicted since the 1970s, due mainly to ice (that reflects solar radiation) being replaced by water (that absorbs solar radiation). However, the heating appears to be happening faster than previously estimated. This will likely have significant impacts on weather outside of the Arctic as the historical temperature gradient between the tropics and the Arctic gets smaller.

Water availability is declining in the western U.S. through a combination of drought, population growth and lack of conservation (John Oliver has a nice primer on the problem). This reduction can be seen in Utah as the Great Salt Lake dwindles in size. The New York Times examines the implications of this change, which extends far beyond the loss of water itself. In particular, the exposed lake bed is becoming an air-quality hazard for the region, and there is no indication yet that the growth in water use that’s driving this problem is being addressed. A similar problem has already played out at Owens Lake east of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, which has resulted in the town of Keeler essentially being abandoned. An article in the Washington Post describes the potential for taps to go dry in the South African city of Gqeberha, due to climate change and inadequate water-system maintenance.

The Washington Post reports that the “immediate crises — among them war, spiking gas prices and an open-ended pandemic — are hindering the ability of leaders to take necessary action on the longer-term threats posed by climate change.” At our present rate of emissions, we will fly past the 1.5°C target by 2030. One leading climate scientist noted, “we know what we need to do, but we are not doing it yet.” An article in the New York Times describes the growing challenges facing countries in Asia due to climate change and extreme weather…

read more
June 15 2022

carbon dioxide at all-time high, it’s cheaper to transition off fossil fuels, consumer demand for EVs grows, Americans reduce beef consumption, flows decline in Colorado and Rio Grande rivers

NOAA announced that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached nearly 421 parts per million in May. This means that there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than at any time in at least 4 million years. It comes as no surprise. As reported by the New York Times, emissions totaled 36.3 billion tons in 2021, the highest level in history. As three past Secretaries of the UNFCCC note in an op-ed, this makes the failure to pursue aggressive decarbonization by the leadership of the major industrialized nations all that more sad and painful.

This increase in carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) continues to heat the planet. The Washington Post describes a recent atmospheric river that caused it to rain at the summit of Greenland. This led to an enormous melt event on the ice sheet. “In the past decade, Greenland experienced three major melt years, 2012, 2019 and 2021, which were all tied to atmospheric rivers. Before 2012, the last major melt event connected to an atmospheric river was more than 100 years ago.”

A recent study examined the net warming effect of carbon dioxide and non-carbon-dioxide pollutants from both fossil-fuel and non-fossil-fuel sources. Anthropocene Magazine reports that the short-lived greenhouse pollutants methane, black carbon soot, ground level ozone and hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants cause just as much warming as carbon dioxide. This shows that, while decarbonization is crucial to meeting our long-term climate goals, it is essential that we also reduce short-lived climate pollutants this decade to keep global temperatures lower by mid-century…

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!
June 30 2022

the Arctic is warming quickly, early-season heat waves abound, flooding in Yellowstone, green aluminum, is creating fossil-fuel PR immoral?

Recent measurements have documented that a region of the Arctic is warming faster than any place on Earth. The Guardian reports on these temperature increases on the islands of Svalbard and Franz Josef Land in the Barents Sea. That the Arctic would warm more rapidly relative to the rest of the planet has been predicted since the 1970s, due mainly to ice (that reflects solar radiation) being replaced by water (that absorbs solar radiation). However, the heating appears to be happening faster than previously estimated. This will likely have significant impacts on weather outside of the Arctic as the historical temperature gradient between the tropics and the Arctic gets smaller.

Water availability is declining in the western U.S. through a combination of drought, population growth and lack of conservation (John Oliver has a nice primer on the problem). This reduction can be seen in Utah as the Great Salt Lake dwindles in size. The New York Times examines the implications of this change, which extends far beyond the loss of water itself. In particular, the exposed lake bed is becoming an air-quality hazard for the region, and there is no indication yet that the growth in water use that’s driving this problem is being addressed. A similar problem has already played out at Owens Lake east of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, which has resulted in the town of Keeler essentially being abandoned. An article in the Washington Post describes the potential for taps to go dry in the South African city of Gqeberha, due to climate change and inadequate water-system maintenance.

The Washington Post reports that the “immediate crises — among them war, spiking gas prices and an open-ended pandemic — are hindering the ability of leaders to take necessary action on the longer-term threats posed by climate change.” At our present rate of emissions, we will fly past the 1.5°C target by 2030. One leading climate scientist noted, “we know what we need to do, but we are not doing it yet.” An article in the New York Times describes the growing challenges facing countries in Asia due to climate change and extreme weather…

read more
June 15 2022

carbon dioxide at all-time high, it’s cheaper to transition off fossil fuels, consumer demand for EVs grows, Americans reduce beef consumption, flows decline in Colorado and Rio Grande rivers

NOAA announced that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached nearly 421 parts per million in May. This means that there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than at any time in at least 4 million years. It comes as no surprise. As reported by the New York Times, emissions totaled 36.3 billion tons in 2021, the highest level in history. As three past Secretaries of the UNFCCC note in an op-ed, this makes the failure to pursue aggressive decarbonization by the leadership of the major industrialized nations all that more sad and painful.

This increase in carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) continues to heat the planet. The Washington Post describes a recent atmospheric river that caused it to rain at the summit of Greenland. This led to an enormous melt event on the ice sheet. “In the past decade, Greenland experienced three major melt years, 2012, 2019 and 2021, which were all tied to atmospheric rivers. Before 2012, the last major melt event connected to an atmospheric river was more than 100 years ago.”

A recent study examined the net warming effect of carbon dioxide and non-carbon-dioxide pollutants from both fossil-fuel and non-fossil-fuel sources. Anthropocene Magazine reports that the short-lived greenhouse pollutants methane, black carbon soot, ground level ozone and hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants cause just as much warming as carbon dioxide. This shows that, while decarbonization is crucial to meeting our long-term climate goals, it is essential that we also reduce short-lived climate pollutants this decade to keep global temperatures lower by mid-century…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES