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Mary Ellen Harte

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Climate Change This Week: Tippy Arctic Times, Siberian Carbon Bomb and More

Posted: 09/03/2012 8:35 am

Tipping, tipping ... And Thar She Goes! As Arctic summer ice likely disappears by 2022, most Arctic experts say, after being taken aback by the swiftness of this summer's record-breaking melt, reports Fen Montaigne at Environment360. Most experts now agree that the polar summer ice is beyond the point of return, and consequences will be profound, including significant changes in weather patterns for the U.S. and other countries in the northern hemisphere. And you thought 2012 was interesting....

Global Warming Is Real! says an organization of American weather broadcasters, the American Meteorological Society, reports Joe Romm at ClimateProgress. Important, since most Americans rely on and trust their weather broadcasters on weather and climate -- and most Americans want to learn more about climate change from them.

Hot Times in Siberia: Record wildfires in Siberian forests and boglands have burned close to a half million acres during their unusually hot summer, reports Brian Dunbar at the National Atmospheric and Space Administration website. Hotter times for all of us, since the wildfires' huge emissions of carbon dioxide further accelerates global warming...

Ba-a-a-a-ahhhhhd News: There Goes the Goat Cheese. Farmers in Wisconsin (yup, Paul Ryan's home), the top US goat cheese producing state, are being forced to cull goat herds or sell out, as the summer climate-change-enhanced drought destroyed much of the feed crop, sending feed prices soaring, reports Karen Herzog at the Milwaukee Sentinal Journal. The state lost 6,000 goats this past year -- that's a lot of goat cheese, folks...

Siberian Thaw Setting Off Carbon Bomb
: A vast outcrop of the Arctic Siberian coast, frozen since the Ice Age, is releasing huge carbon deposits as rising temperatures thaw parts of its coastline, a study in the journal Nature warns, reports Agence France Presse in the Australian News. Released carbon enters a vicious feedback cycle, enhancing global warming further that, in turn, releases yet more Siberian stored carbon. After everything else we just read, this is just what we wanted to hear, yes?


The Climate Change - Hurricane Connection: Wind, Water, and Isaac. Climate change affects not only intensity but size of hurricanes. The extra heat energy vacuumed off the ocean surface can be channeled into absorbing more water and accelerating winds. Hurricanes are braked by the land they pass over. But even a slower hurricane can wreak destruction by quickly dumping vast amounts of water in one area, damaging communities. Thus, even downgraded to a tropical storm, giant Isaac still packs a powerful punch, enhanced by climate change.


Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by this view of Emerald Lake that Ben Blonder photographed not far from our research cabin, and generously shares with us. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future, despite what Mitt Romney thinks. If you'd like to tell Congress that you're voting for candidates that will support clean energy, join the increasing numbers of people doing so here. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.


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