Global Warming

Researchers forecast more intensified global warming

The latest climate forecasts made by several French scientific bodies reveal a rather alarming situation: current forecasts are a little too optimistic in relation to the reality of global warming.

According to models from the Pierre-Simon Laplace Institute (IPSL) and France’s National Meteorological Research Centre, our planet, in the worst-case scenario, could warm up to 6 or even 7°C by 2100.

However, at best, the situation is also alarming. If the planet achieves carbon neutrality by 2060, which is far from certain, then global warming will reach 1.9°C, as opposed to less than 1.5°C.

In an intermediate scenario, where the planet would reach carbon neutrality by 2080, the increase would be 2.6°C.

In the scientific community, the 1.5°C target appears increasingly unattainable. And climatologists are now increasingly reluctant to mention a “business as usual” scenario, simply because it no longer exists.

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Global Warming

Climate Change and the Looming Omega-3 Crisis

Algae are the small but mighty, responsible for synthesizing most of the world’s docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The plants provide DHA to fish and sea creatures, many of which end up on the plates of seafood lovers everywhere. But algae are particularly sensitive to changes in ambient temperature — and warmer waters have already started disrupting algae’s DHA synthesis.

A new study, published Wednesday in the journal Ambio, predicts that by 2100, 96 percent of the global population may not have sufficient access to a DHA, the naturally occurring essential brain-building omega-3 fatty acid.

DHA is a key component of cell membranes and is critical for brain function. It helps regulate cell survival, inflammation, and neuroprotection, and makes up 10 percent of the mammalian brain’s fatty acids. DHA is also thought to help develop the central nervous system and retina.

But humans can’t produce enough DHA on their own. To reach the recommended dose — 1.1 g for adult women and 1.6 g for adult males daily — they either have to eat DHA-rich foods like fish and seafood once or twice a week, or take dietary supplements.

As DHA production declines and human population explodes, humans all over the world will likely become DHA deficient. Basically, too many people and not enough seafood will lead to health complications.

Global Warming

As Earth faces climate catastrophe, US set to open nearly 200 power plants

Powerful hurricanes. Record-breaking heatwaves. Droughts that bring ruin to farmers. Raging forest fires. The mass die-off of the world’s coral reefs. Food scarcity.

To avoid a climate change apocalypse, carbon dioxide emissions need to fall by as much as 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, according to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Instead, utilities and energy companies are continuing to invest heavily in carbon-polluting natural gas. USA TODAY compiled its own list of 177 planned and proposed natural gas plants through August, using data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, which tracks power plants that have been officially announced, and the Sierra Club, which tracks proposed plants.

Of those, 152 have a scheduled opening date of between 2019 and 2033, though only 130 have specific locations chosen. An additional 25 are part of companies’ long-term planning processes and don’t have estimated opening dates yet.

The plants are a mix of large-scale installations meant to provide lots of electricity much of the day and smaller plants used for short periods when demand for energy is particularly high.

Texas has the most proposed plants, with 26. Next is Pennsylvania with 24, North Carolina with 12, Florida with 10, California with nine and Montana with eight.

There are close to 2,000 natural gas plants now in service.

Global Warming

Bill Gates-funded chemical cloud could help stop global warming

Fires burning across the Amazon rainforest have renewed the debate about solutions to climate change. Bill Gates is backing the first high-altitude experiment of one radical approach called solar geoengineering. It’s meant to mimic the effects of a giant volcanic eruption. Thousands of planes would fly at high altitudes, spraying millions of tons of particles around the planet to create a massive chemical cloud that would cool the surface.

“Modeling studies have found that it could reduce the intensity of heat waves, for instance, apparently it could reduce the rate of sea level rise. It could reduce the intensity of tropical storms,” said Andy Parker, project director at the Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative.

The technology is not far from being ready and it’s affordable, but it could cause massive changes in regional weather patterns and eradicate the Earth’s blue sky. These consequences might be horrific. They might involve things like mass famine, mass flooding, drought of kinds that will affect very large populations.

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Global Warming

Geese Change Migration Routes due to Global Warming

Geese which winter in Britain before flying to the Arctic to breed each summer are changing their migration route in response to climate change, researchers have found.

Scientists studying the habits of barnacle geese, which spend the winter months in large numbers on Britain’s coast, found that the birds were flying further north far into the Arctic Circle each spring to fatten up en route to their Norwegian summer breeding grounds.

The study is one of the first provide solid evidence that animals are adapting their long-established behaviour to cope with the effects of global warming.

Global Warming

Global Warming, Drought Drying Up Siberian Rivers, Cutting Off Far North

Global warming combined with the most serious drought in more than 30 years has led both to massive forest fires throughout Russia east of the Urals and to an abnormal drop in the water levels of major rivers, putting a halt to most river traffic and thus leaving many in the far north without the supplies they will need for the coming winter.

The hardest hit of the rivers is the Lena, 77 percent of whose route crosses through the rapidly melting permafrost; and the hardest hit of the regions are the northernmost portions of the Sakha Republic, many of which are beyond any rail or highway and depend on the river.

In Yakutsk, the republic capital, the water level of the Lena has fallen two and a half meters, leaving many vessels stranded in the mud and killing off the fish on which residents depend. As a result, Russian experts say, villages and towns will have to be supplied by air or be put at risk of depopulation.

If the river fleet dies, it is likely that almost all of those who moved into the region in Soviet and post-Soviet times will leave and the remaining population of indigenous peoples will be forced to return to a life of subsistence. If that occurs, a large part of what is shown as Russia on the map won’t be Russian at all.

Global Warming

Iceland honours passing of first glacier lost to global warming

Iceland on Sunday honoured the passing of Okjokull, its first glacier lost to climate change, as scientists warn that some 400 others on the subarctic island risk the same fate. As the world recently marked the warmest July ever on record, a bronze plaque was mounted on a bare rock in a ceremony on the former glacier in western Iceland.

By memorialising a fallen glacier, they want to emphasise what is being lost — or dying — the world over, and also draw attention to the fact that this is something that humans have ‘accomplished’, although it is not something we should be proud of.

Global Warming

Fracking Methane

A new study concludes that the recent boom in fracking to extract shale gas, largely composed of methane, is responsible for a surge in the atmospheric concentration of the powerful greenhouse gas over the past decade.

Robert Howarth at Cornell University says he estimates that fracking in the U.S. and Canada is also responsible for more than half of the increase in the global fossil fuel emissions seen over the past 10 years.

His report warns that if shale gas extraction continues to rise, it will make the goals of the Paris climate change agreement even more difficult to achieve.

Global Warming

Food vs Climate

A new report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that it will be impossible to keep temperatures down under climate change unless there is a transformation in the way the world feeds itself and manages land use.

Because how we now grow crops and livestock causes a third of total greenhouse gas emissions to come from the soil, the report says land will have to be managed in more sustainable ways.

It also says the way we eat has to change, such as shifting our diets away from meat. A reversal of deforestation is also required.

Global Warming

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Under Threat

President Trump’s assault on climate and public lands has been called a kind of administrative vandalism. Under his leadership, crucial environmental regulations have been rolled back, the United States pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, and millions of acres of public lands have been opened to the energy industry.

Included in the list of areas under threat is Bears Ears National Monument. In December 2017, Trump announced plans to shrink the monument by 85%. A year later, with the protections removed, the surrounding public lands were opened to resource extraction. While the decision is still being challenged in court, for now, it stands.

Arctic Village, a small native village in northeastern Alaska, like Bears Ears, another refuge that lost crucial protections at the start of the Trump administration when the refuge coastal plain, the last 5% of Alaska’s coastline protected from resource extraction, was opened to the energy industry. The move marks the first time a national wildlife refuge in the U.S. has been opened and re-designated for oil development, setting a dangerous precedent.

The Gwich’in, the First Peoples of the area who rely on the land for culture and for subsistence, depend on the Coastal Plain for their chief source of food: the porcupine caribou. The herd, which makes up 80% of Gwich’in food supply, migrates between Canada and Alaska south of the Brooks Range to birth their calves in The Refuge Coastal Plain. This is the longest land migration route of any land mammal on earth. If the administration moves forward to develop the coastal plain for oil the Gwich’in will lose their main source of food.

Developing the coastal plain for oil will also increase climate change. While it’s estimated that the oil reserves would only last six months, based on the current rate at which oil is being used, the climate impacts would be devastating. Research showed that if all the oil is extracted and burned it would add equivalent climate emissions to our atmosphere as emissions from 898 coal plants operating for a year, or adding 776 million passenger vehicles to the road.

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Global Warming

Greenland Melt

A staggering 217 billion tons (197 billion metric tons) of meltwater flowed off of Greenland’s ice sheet into the Atlantic Ocean this July. The worst day of melting was July 31, when 11 billion tons (10 billion metric tons) of melted ice poured into the ocean.

This massive thaw represents some of the worst melting since 2012, according to The Washington Post. That year, 97% of the Greenland ice sheet experienced melting. This year, so far, 56% of the ice sheet has melted, but temperatures — 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit above average — have been higher than during the 2012 heat wave. All told, this July’s melt alone was enough to raise global average sea levels by 0.02 inches (0.5 millimeters).

Global Warming

Global Warming Is Pushing Pacific Salmon to the Brink

Pacific salmon that spawn in Western streams and rivers have been struggling for decades to survive water diversions, dams and logging. Now, global warming is pushing four important populations in California, Oregon and Idaho toward extinction, federal scientists warn in a new study.

The new research shows that several of the region’s salmon populations are now bumping into temperature limits, with those that spawn far inland after lengthy summer stream migrations and those that spend a lot of time in coastal habitats like river estuaries among the most at risk.

That includes Chinook salmon in California’s Central Valley and in the Columbia and Willamette River basins in Oregon; coho salmon in parts of Northern California and Oregon; and sockeye salmon that reach the Snake River Basin in Idaho, all of which are already on the federal endangered species list.

The salmon live much of their lives in the ocean, but they swim far upstream to spawn. In the process, they’re a key part of the food chain, including for bears and whales, and they are important to indigenous groups and fisheries along the U.S. West Coast.

The research spells out several ways that global warming endangers the fish. Among them:

– Young salmon die when the water warms above a certain threshold, and droughts can leave salmon stranded or exposed to predators by low water levels.

– Flooding can also flush eggs and young fish from their nests, so the scientists included projections of how global warming will affect extreme atmospheric river rain storms in California as one of the ways to measure the growing threat.

– Warmer stream temperatures have also increased outbreaks of fish disease that can affect salmon, including pathogenic parasites. In May, a toxic algae bloom along the coast of Norway killed 8 million farmed salmon at an estimated cost of about $82 million. In Alaska’s Yukon River, a parasite linked with global warming has taken a big toll on the salmon fishery. And in recent weeks, local indigenous observers in Alaska have posted numerous reports of dead salmon in rivers in the western part of the state, as water temperatures reached record highs during Alaska’s record-setting heat wave.

– Salmon are also sensitive to changes in ocean currents that carry nutrients, as well as sea level rise, which affects the physical connection between ocean and stream ecosystems, like coastal wetlands in California. Some salmon populations living near the edge of the range of suitable conditions will start to cluster in rivers near the coast, unable to reach their historic spawning grounds unless “access to higher-elevation habitats is restored and habitat quality in rearing areas and migration corridors is improved,” the scientists wrote.

Sockeye salmon 900 mark conlin vw pics uig via getty

Global Warming

Climate Consensus

As all-time temperature records continue to be broken in heat waves around the Northern Hemisphere this summer, scientists say there has never been a time in the past 2,000 years when global temperatures have risen so quickly.

June 2019 was the hottest on record, and July is likely to be the hottest as well.

Scientists in three separate reports say that while the world has warmed and cooled many times over the centuries, soaring greenhouse gas emissions are resulting in a climate that is now warming as never seen before.

“This paper should finally stop climate change deniers claiming that the recent observed coherent global warming is part of a natural climate cycle,” said Mark Maslin, professor of climatology at University College London, who wasn’t part of the studies.

One of the lead authors says the scientific consensus that human activity is behind global heating is likely to have surpassed 99%.

Oceans Are Melting Glaciers from Below Much Faster than Predicted

Beneath the ocean’s surface, glaciers may be melting 10 to 100 times faster than previously believed, new research shows.

Until now, scientists had a limited understanding of what happens under the water at the point where ice meets sea. Using a combination of radar, sonar and time-lapse photography, a team of researchers has now provided the first detailed measurements of the underwater changes over time. Their findings suggest that the theories currently used to gauge glacier change are underestimating glaciers’ ice loss.

The warming atmosphere melts glaciers from above, while ocean water can erode the ice along the glacier’s face. Researchers have been studying similar effects of ocean water beneath the ice shelves in Antarctica, which slow the flow of the glaciers on land behind them. Last year, a study there found that warming ocean waters are contributing to glacial changes that increase the rate of sea level rise.

As fresh water from melting glaciers enters the ocean, it does more than increase sea level. “Plumes” of fast-moving runoff stir up nutrients locked deep in the water, which then feed phytoplankton and zooplankton near the surface, spurring population booms.

Changes in tidewater glaciers can have an impact on people living along the Alaskan coast, altering patterns in the ocean water that provides food and livelihood for many. Longer melt seasons mean more fresh water entering the ocean earlier in the year. This could affect things like salmon swimming up those streams or not.

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Environment

June Hottest Month on Record

June 2019 was the hottest June on record for the globe. And, it was the second month in a row that balmy temperatures caused Antarctic sea ice coverage to reach a record low.

The sizzling average land and sea temperature of June 2019 was 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit (0.95 degrees Celsius) above the global average temp of 59.9 F (15.5 C), making June 2019 the hottest June in 140 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information.

Global Warming

Lake Malawi – Empty Nets

Declining fish numbers in the 20 000 square kilometre Lake Malawi appear to be the result of overfishing and climate change.

The many communities living around the Lake depending on the fishing for food and livelihood are facing a collapse of their lifestyle.

The number of fish caught has decreased by up to eighty percent, while environmental changes make the fishing more difficult. Strong winds and heavy rainfall are new factors affecting the fishermen. Moreover, unsustainable overfishing has also reduced the catches.

There was no attempt by authorities to regulate the exploitation of the natural resource.

The number of fishermen has also doubled in the last ten years due to the lack of other jobs in the country.

Malawi’s agriculture-based economy is sharply vulnerable to climatic events and increasingly entrenched poverty heightens pressure on the environment.

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