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

sea level continues to challenge low-lying areas of Atlantic coast, fire and then floods in British Columbia and Australia, largest-ever order for solar panels in U.S., parking lots and landfills as solar-energy producers, federal government starts decarbonization push

An article in Grist revisits Tangier Island, in Chesapeake Bay. The island is slowly disappearing because of sea level rise and coastal erosion. These processes appear to be accelerating, and the latest study suggests that the island will be uninhabitable by 2051. The mayor of the island, James “Ooker” Eskridge, had a famous interaction with Al Gore during a CNN town hall when the mayor insisted that sea level rise was not a thing. Eskridge, a supporter of Donald Trump, said that Trump told him "not to worry about sea-level rise. Your island has been there for hundreds of years, and I believe your island will be there for hundreds more.” AP reports that Charleston, South Carolina, experienced the fourth-highest tide in 85 years of recording. What’s remarkable is that the other three highest levels happened during tropical storms or hurricanes. Another AP story describes the results of a recent election in Virginia Beach, where voters approved a new tax to support adaptation to rising sea level and intense flooding. This is evidence of the growing understanding that the problems of climate change are real.

A storm dropped a month’s worth of rain in two days across parts of British Columbia as described in an article in the Guardian. Said one resident, “Things that we just thought would always be there — like highway bridges that were built 30 years ago that were part of our life — were absolutely destroyed. Mountainsides just collapsed onto roads. The level of destruction is really difficult to comprehend.” This storm was one of several atmospheric rivers to strike the region recently. This type of precipitation event, which is replicated weekly across the planet now (i.e., Australia), is becoming more and more likely due the physical fact that a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture. It is particularly dramatic to have these storms happening in southern British Columbia and Australia, areas also recently hammered by major heat and wildfire events.

read more
November 30 2021

U.N. climate meeting has its ups and downs, climate misinformation on Facebook, climate challenges for California agriculture, the dehydration of Arizona

The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has concluded in Glasgow with an agreement that makes at best modest progress addressing the problem. The New York Times notes that many issues remain unresolved (Yale Climate Connections calls these shortfalls "yawning gaps" and other "crevasses"). Under the Paris Accord, the parties were to arrive in Glasgow with updated pledges for reducing carbon emissions. While they did so, an investigation by the Washington Post documented that many countries are under-reporting their actual emissions, possibly as much as 23% in total. This suggests that efforts to reduce emissions have not been as successful as described—and we already know that, even if original targets had been met, they were not ambitious enough to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. In the Atlantic, Robinson Meyer notes that the nations’ actual policies lag even further behind their pledges. While the new pledges might keep global average temperature increases by 2100 to 2.4°C, policies are still at a level closer to 2.7°C, well beyond the more protective 1.5°C.

This has made many claim that the COP is just a waste of time. Greta Thunberg called the meetings "blah, blah, blah," and indigenous leaders were disappointed (although the concept of a "just transition" for less developed nations was an important part of the meeting). There is not, however, an alternative to COP to achieve the global transition, and as Meyer states, there’s more to COP than the math:

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!
December 15 2021

sea level continues to challenge low-lying areas of Atlantic coast, fire and then floods in British Columbia and Australia, largest-ever order for solar panels in U.S., parking lots and landfills as solar-energy producers, federal government starts decarbonization push

An article in Grist revisits Tangier Island, in Chesapeake Bay. The island is slowly disappearing because of sea level rise and coastal erosion. These processes appear to be accelerating, and the latest study suggests that the island will be uninhabitable by 2051. The mayor of the island, James “Ooker” Eskridge, had a famous interaction with Al Gore during a CNN town hall when the mayor insisted that sea level rise was not a thing. Eskridge, a supporter of Donald Trump, said that Trump told him "not to worry about sea-level rise. Your island has been there for hundreds of years, and I believe your island will be there for hundreds more.” AP reports that Charleston, South Carolina, experienced the fourth-highest tide in 85 years of recording. What’s remarkable is that the other three highest levels happened during tropical storms or hurricanes. Another AP story describes the results of a recent election in Virginia Beach, where voters approved a new tax to support adaptation to rising sea level and intense flooding. This is evidence of the growing understanding that the problems of climate change are real.

A storm dropped a month’s worth of rain in two days across parts of British Columbia as described in an article in the Guardian. Said one resident, “Things that we just thought would always be there — like highway bridges that were built 30 years ago that were part of our life — were absolutely destroyed. Mountainsides just collapsed onto roads. The level of destruction is really difficult to comprehend.” This storm was one of several atmospheric rivers to strike the region recently. This type of precipitation event, which is replicated weekly across the planet now (i.e., Australia), is becoming more and more likely due the physical fact that a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture. It is particularly dramatic to have these storms happening in southern British Columbia and Australia, areas also recently hammered by major heat and wildfire events.

read more
November 30 2021

U.N. climate meeting has its ups and downs, climate misinformation on Facebook, climate challenges for California agriculture, the dehydration of Arizona

The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has concluded in Glasgow with an agreement that makes at best modest progress addressing the problem. The New York Times notes that many issues remain unresolved (Yale Climate Connections calls these shortfalls "yawning gaps" and other "crevasses"). Under the Paris Accord, the parties were to arrive in Glasgow with updated pledges for reducing carbon emissions. While they did so, an investigation by the Washington Post documented that many countries are under-reporting their actual emissions, possibly as much as 23% in total. This suggests that efforts to reduce emissions have not been as successful as described—and we already know that, even if original targets had been met, they were not ambitious enough to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. In the Atlantic, Robinson Meyer notes that the nations’ actual policies lag even further behind their pledges. While the new pledges might keep global average temperature increases by 2100 to 2.4°C, policies are still at a level closer to 2.7°C, well beyond the more protective 1.5°C.

This has made many claim that the COP is just a waste of time. Greta Thunberg called the meetings "blah, blah, blah," and indigenous leaders were disappointed (although the concept of a "just transition" for less developed nations was an important part of the meeting). There is not, however, an alternative to COP to achieve the global transition, and as Meyer states, there’s more to COP than the math:

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES