I’m going to do all this reading and research anyway… might as well share what I learn!
NEWS
+
VIEWS
July 15 2021

our hot "megadrought," outlawing nonfunctional grass, the prophets of doom (were right), recognizing coal communities as energy "veterans"

The Guardian interviews three leading scientists about the "megadrought" in the western U.S., which has now reached a length and intensity that is matching the worst droughts in the region in a thousand years. Scientist Jonathan Overpeck notes in the Hill that this is a "hot drought," where low precipitation is combined with high temperatures, a situation which will become more common as the world warms. As described in the Washington Post, Lake Mead (the reservoir behind Hoover Dam, the largest in the country), is now at the lowest level since it was filled in the 1930s (this site tracks Lake Mead’s level in real time). The governor of Utah, one of the hardest hit states, has resorted to praying for rain, and California agriculture is facing some difficult questions in the short and longer term due to reduced water availability. California is also facing the need to generate more gas-fired electricity due to the loss of hydroelectric generating capability.

To underscore the reality that this is indeed a "hot drought," a meteorologically stable dome of high pressure developed over the Pacific Northwest, sending temperatures skyrocketing to new records in Portland, Seattle and British Columbia, where the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada was measured in Lytton, B.C. (115°F on June 27). The heat literally cooked one billion intertidal marine organisms at low tide, and fruit on trees. The stable high-pressure system may be linked directly to climate change. This was not “just another heat wave,” said extreme-weather expert Christopher Burt in the Washington Post, but rather “the most anomalous extreme heat event ever observed on Earth since records began two centuries ago.” A heat wave of this magnitude is virtually impossible without human-caused climate change (said one scientist, “Global warming is not our grandchildren’s problem; it is ours, here and now”). While such an extreme episode used to be considered a one-in-a-thousand-year event (based on frequency of occurrence in the past), scientists predict it will happen every 5 to 10 years in 2050 on our current emissions path. Lost in the news of heat in the Northwest was the fact that Phoenix set a record with six days in a row at 115°F, and that nighttime temperatures are setting records across the continent. This is a predicted impact of climate change, and is a major threat to human lives as it makes cooling down at night impossible.

read more
June 30 2021

Exxon Mobil management loses Board seats, fires burn in high-elevation forests, coal-mine cleanup a "house of cards", linking home batteries to create virtual power plants, expanding EV charging infrastructure

NOAA has a great animation that shows how global temperatures have changed over the last 70 years. The New York Times notes that, under President Biden, the U.S. EPA has updated its website to feature and track indicators of climate change, something that the Trump Administration refused to do. Another climate-change indicator from the political realm: a growing number of elected Republicans are speaking out about the reality of climate change (a small but necessary step).

Exxon Mobil’s stock value has dropped nearly 30% in five years, with the company taking on debt to buoy its stock price and pay dividends after posting a $22 billion loss in 2020. The New York Times has a detailed look at how a small investment firm organized shareholders to win two seats on Exxon Mobil’s Board of Directors. The firm argued that the company needs to change its business model to be successful as the world transitions away from fossil fuels. These investors believe that the effect a company has on society, in addition to its bottom line, will determine its long-term success…

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!
July 15 2021

our hot "megadrought," outlawing nonfunctional grass, the prophets of doom (were right), recognizing coal communities as energy "veterans"

The Guardian interviews three leading scientists about the "megadrought" in the western U.S., which has now reached a length and intensity that is matching the worst droughts in the region in a thousand years. Scientist Jonathan Overpeck notes in the Hill that this is a "hot drought," where low precipitation is combined with high temperatures, a situation which will become more common as the world warms. As described in the Washington Post, Lake Mead (the reservoir behind Hoover Dam, the largest in the country), is now at the lowest level since it was filled in the 1930s (this site tracks Lake Mead’s level in real time). The governor of Utah, one of the hardest hit states, has resorted to praying for rain, and California agriculture is facing some difficult questions in the short and longer term due to reduced water availability. California is also facing the need to generate more gas-fired electricity due to the loss of hydroelectric generating capability.

To underscore the reality that this is indeed a "hot drought," a meteorologically stable dome of high pressure developed over the Pacific Northwest, sending temperatures skyrocketing to new records in Portland, Seattle and British Columbia, where the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada was measured in Lytton, B.C. (115°F on June 27). The heat literally cooked one billion intertidal marine organisms at low tide, and fruit on trees. The stable high-pressure system may be linked directly to climate change. This was not “just another heat wave,” said extreme-weather expert Christopher Burt in the Washington Post, but rather “the most anomalous extreme heat event ever observed on Earth since records began two centuries ago.” A heat wave of this magnitude is virtually impossible without human-caused climate change (said one scientist, “Global warming is not our grandchildren’s problem; it is ours, here and now”). While such an extreme episode used to be considered a one-in-a-thousand-year event (based on frequency of occurrence in the past), scientists predict it will happen every 5 to 10 years in 2050 on our current emissions path. Lost in the news of heat in the Northwest was the fact that Phoenix set a record with six days in a row at 115°F, and that nighttime temperatures are setting records across the continent. This is a predicted impact of climate change, and is a major threat to human lives as it makes cooling down at night impossible.

read more
June 30 2021

Exxon Mobil management loses Board seats, fires burn in high-elevation forests, coal-mine cleanup a "house of cards", linking home batteries to create virtual power plants, expanding EV charging infrastructure

NOAA has a great animation that shows how global temperatures have changed over the last 70 years. The New York Times notes that, under President Biden, the U.S. EPA has updated its website to feature and track indicators of climate change, something that the Trump Administration refused to do. Another climate-change indicator from the political realm: a growing number of elected Republicans are speaking out about the reality of climate change (a small but necessary step).

Exxon Mobil’s stock value has dropped nearly 30% in five years, with the company taking on debt to buoy its stock price and pay dividends after posting a $22 billion loss in 2020. The New York Times has a detailed look at how a small investment firm organized shareholders to win two seats on Exxon Mobil’s Board of Directors. The firm argued that the company needs to change its business model to be successful as the world transitions away from fossil fuels. These investors believe that the effect a company has on society, in addition to its bottom line, will determine its long-term success…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES