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Climate Change This Week: Climate Call to Arms, Arctic Aneurism, and More!

01/10/2014 01:33 am ET | Updated Mar 11, 2014

Today the Earth Got a Little Warmer.

Drunken Arctic Is Freezing the US reports Chris Mooney at MotherJones, as a large portion of the polar vortex, the mass of cold air that normally sits over the Arctic, broke off and moved south into the US, due to a weakening jetstream - think of it as a polar anuerism in the jetstream circulation. The jetstream is fueled by the temperature difference between pole and equator.

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The jetstream, weakened and slowed by Arctic warming, has released its normally strong hold on the Arctic polar air mass, allowing much of it to "wander drunkenly" into the US. Via Greg Laden/ECMWF


As the pole warms, decreasing that difference, the moderately wavy jetstream starts to weaken, slowing and wobbling, swinging wildly north and south more often, bringing wild, more prolonged, temperatures and precipitation. (Remember when the rain decided to hang around in Colorado this past September?) Welcome to another wild year! Let's hope the power stays on during the big freeze.

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Video Screen capture, Mary Ellen Harte.

@@ VIDEO: This is Not Cool: Climate, Jetstream, Polar Vortex, by Peter Sinclair, is a compelling, graphic, must-see, 7 minute zoom into how global warming is creating all this wild hot and cold weather, with incisive takeaways from some of the most reputable, articulate climate scientists out there. Check it out!

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"What Did You Say About Climate Change?"

(Big Show delivers the KO punch to Randy Orton, via Wikipedia.)

Polar Vortex Causes Hundreds of Injuries as People Making Snide Remarks About Climate Change Are Punched... posts Andy Borowitz at the New Yorker. As one colleague noted, "immature, and totally hilarious." Humor with a grain of truth: the more we deny climate, the more it will punch us.

Alright, back to the serious stuff...

7,300-Mile Mercury Pollution 'Bullseye' Surrounds Canadian Tar Sands say Canadian federal scientists, reports Emily Atkin at Climate Progress. Mercury - you know, the stuff that causes severe birth defects and brain damage. Mercury levels are up to 16 times higher there than the surrounding region, and it comes via air from the tar sands operations. Yet another reason to not use tar sand oil...

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Time to change this... get involved with Climate Action Across the US! Tom Toles at the Washington Post.

A Climate Call to Arms: Climate Action Across the US is planned for Earth Week 2014, April 21-25, reports Iowa legislator and climate activist Rob Hogg at Iowa Climate Advocates. Climate disasters supply moments for lawmakers and voters to recognize the need for action now, whatever they have felt in the past. It's time to move Congress, so get involved!

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Screen capture by Mary Ellen Harte at www.coursera.org

Free Online Climate Change Course Taught By Award-Winning Scientist is now available at Coursera.org, entitled, Energy, the Environment and Our Future, taught by internationally-acclaimed researcher and award-winning educator Richard Alley. Sign up today!

Ex BP Geologist: Peak Oil is Here And Will Break Economies reports Nafeez Ahmed at the UK Guardian. Forget about reserves, Richard Miller says: oil production is declining 4% yearly, which will drive its price ever higher. No time like the present to make it obsolete...

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To find out how, check out Pear Energy and Ethical Electricity.

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"The HULK" Wants You To Imagine A 100 Percent Clean Energy Future report Chris Mooney and Indre Viskontas at Grist. Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo asked Mark Jacobson, a Stanford energy policy expert, to draft a clean energy blueprint for New York. He did, without nuclear power or natural gas. Now, he's working on plans for all 50 states, as solar power continues its impressive growth...

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Credit Mark Jacobson, Stanford University

And here's a vision of clean energy California from their plan:

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OO From the California feasibility plan to power CA with wind, water and sunlight, by Mark Jacobson et al.

Bumper Sticker of the Week:

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☼☼☼ On the Bright Side ☼☼☼

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(>(>(> PEOPLE SPEAK OUT <)<)<)

OO Dems Push for Renewal of Expired Wind Power Production Tax Credit for 2014

OO Train Explosions Prompt US Regulator Warning on Bakken Oil Flammability

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OO Arizona: Environmental Groups Sue Utiliy Over Four Corners Pollution

OO Minnesota: Massive Solar Plan Wins Bid Over Gas Minnesota soon could see at least a sevenfold expansion of solar power as judge rules that solar is better than gas.

OO North Dakota: After Oil Train Explosion Mayor Calls For Changes In US Fuel Transport

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Credit: AP

OO North Dakota: After Explosive Crash, Officials Hint Persistent Threat Of Oil Rail Transport

OO PA Town Bans Fracking one day ahead of a state supreme court saying it could.

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OO Texas: EPA Report on Fracking There Raises New Concerns

OO Texas:Town Raises Concerns About Increasing Earthquakes in Fort Worth - tied to fracking.

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For more, click here.

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OO UK: London Ordered by Eu Commission to Drastically Cut Pollution by 2020 or face fines.

OO Australia: Leader Urged To Rethink Climate Policies After Hottest Year

☼☼☼ BRIGHT DEVELOPMENTS ☼☼☼

OO Climate Coverage Soars In 2013, Spurred By Energy, Weather

OO Seven Wonders Of A Hopeful World

OO How Technology Can Halt Climate Change

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Credit: Ford

OO Ford Unveils Solar Concept Car - could save up to 4 tons of emissions yearly, and make it independent of the grid.

OO Installation Improvements Drive Down Solar's Soft Costs

OO US Solar Shines Bright In 2013

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OO Solar Power Craze On Wall St. Propels Start-Up

OO How Walgreens Went Off The Grid

OO We Agree: to Build More Efficient TVs - Environmentalists, govt regulators and the cable, satellite television industry agreed to save an estimated $1 billion yearly by doing so.

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For more news on green technology, click here.

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OO Clean Energy to Spread to More States, Many More US Buildings via PACE - commercial property assessed clean energy projects, in 2014.

OO EPA Unveils Regulations To Make New Wood Heaters Burn 80% Cleaner

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OO Obama's Second Term Is All About Climate Change


OO Home Electricity Use In US Falling To 2001 Levels Due to more energy-efficient housing, appliances and gadgets, declining for the third year in a row - way to go!

☼☼☼ BRIGHT SIDE, STATE SIDE ☼☼☼

OO Arizona Utility Closes Four Corners Coal Units

OO California's Policy Plan for a Stable Green Grid by 2020.

OO California Installed More Rooftop Solar In 2013 Than All Previous 30 Years

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Rooftop solar at Googleplex, CA. via Wikipedia.

OO Colorado Ballot Measure Could Let Towns Ban Fracking

OO Massachusetts Takes A Major Step Forward In Smart Grid Technology

OO NY City Greenhouse Gas Emissions Drop 19% Since 2005

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OO Oklahoma: New Disclosure RulesTarget Fracking Chemicals

OO West Virginia: Oil Company Fined $3.2 Million For Fracking Violations

OO West Texas: Wind Soon Will Light Up The Region

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A Texas wind farm. National Science Foundation via wikimedia commons.

☼☼☼ BRIGHT SIDE, WORLDWIDE ☼☼☼

OO Small Farmers See Better Access To Credit With Eco-Certification

OO Quebec-California Partnership Blazes Trail For Carbon Trading

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Unlike these cattle, chicken and pigs convert fodder into meat far more efficiently. Credit UN photo/Tim McKulka

OO Single Stomach Livestocks Help Cut Carbon - single stomach livestock (chicken, pigs) convert food into protein far more efficiently than cattle, saving energy, but minimizing livestock greenhouse gas emissions also means managing what they eat, what they produce and how they're cared for.

OO Brazilian State Auction Clears 122 Megawatts of Solar PV

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OO China Launches Fifth Carbon Trading Zone

OO China Zooms Forward in Solar with New 1,000 Megawatt Solar Plant Project - creating jobs, and using all those solar panels they are building. Something we should be doing...

OO German Power Costs Seen Dropping For Fourth Year

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Credit Ad Meskens Wikimedia Commons

OO UK Wind Farms Generated Record Electricity In December

OO UK Renewable energy: Ruling the waves Via the North Sea offshore wind project, the biggest and most ambitious offshore wind programme in the world.

OO UK: Electricity Use Drops As Old Light Bulbs Fade - due to switching away from incandescent light bulbs, says expert.

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The flag flies, May 21, 2013.

At Moore, OK, the day after a huge tornado demolished it.

Credit Major Jon Quinlan/defenseimagery mil

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***** US Climate Change News *****

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OO US Likely To Blow 2020 Emission Target Without Climate Action Plan

OO Climate to Be 2014 Political Battlefield

OO Major Winter Storm Brings Out the Climate Deniers like mushrooms after the rain...

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@@ Classic Jon Stewart Satire on Climate Deniers Confusing Weather for Climate:
Aasif : How can Earth be warming, when temperatures plummet every winter?
Samantha : OMG, It's 90F here in Australia and going up -- Earth is heating super fast!
Jason: OMG! It's getting dark here - I'm getting scared... what happened to the Sun?

A 2010 segment that is timeless; the terrific trio act starts in the latter half. Screen capture, Mary Ellen Harte.

<><><> CALIFORNIA DRYIN' <><><>

OO Central Valley Sinks As Parched Farms Drain Aquifers

OO California Snowpack Drastically Low, Spells Danger For 2014 Water Supplies

OO California Drought Deepens As Another Year's Rains Stay Away

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Briones Reservoir, like others in CA, is low. Credit: Mary Ellen Harte

OO Sunny Sierra Raises Chilling Drought Fears

OO Water Bonds Shrivel As California Sees Driest Year The driest year on record threatens water supplies to the world's most productive agricultural region, almost doubling borrowing costs on some bonds issued by California water agencies.

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OO US Farmers Face Difficult 2014 After Reaping Record Year

OO America Burning - The Yarnell Hill Fire Tragedy And The Nation's Wildfire Crisis

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OO Federal Flood Insurance Program Drowning In Debt as payouts due to increasing weather disasters take toll.

OO Walmart Carbon Emissions Soar Despite Green Talk

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The first snow storm of 2014 blanketed New England and elsewhere with snow, ice, and bitter cold. Credit NASA

OO New England Town Budgets Feel The Force Of 3 Major Storms

OO Maine: Daunting Calculus For Shrimpers As Entire Season Is Lost - believed, in part, due to warming waters.

OO North Dakota: After Recent Explosions, Oil Shares Take A Hit

OO Utah: West Nile Virus Blamed For Death Of Bald Eagles

<><><><> GOPPING IT UP <><><><>

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Even elephants can't survive on oil. Credit: Mary Ellen Harte

OO Conservative Foundation Sues Govt for Environmental Regulations

OO DOE Stands By 'Social Cost Of Carbon' Despite Conservative Attack

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Via the University of East Anglia Climate Change webpage

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<<<< Climate Change Round the World >>>>

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OO Planet Likely To Warm By 4 C (8 F) By 2100, Scientists Warn in a new study.

OO Environmental Health News Top Topics of 2013 - China's smog plans, Canada's oilsands and coal's slipping grip.

OO World Went On Warming In 2013

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OO Carbon Dioxide Levels Now 61% Higher Than 1990 and rising....


OO 2013: A Year Of Protests, Conflicts Of Interest And Lingering Mysteries

OO January 2014: A Huge Month For Global Climate Ambition - several events will be shaping the conversation on climate change....

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OO Earth climate anomaly map for January 8, 2014 from the Climate Reanalyzer. Note that the US wasn't the only place experiencing unusually cold weather.

OO Big Weather Events "Getting Worse," UK Climatologist Says

OO Rich Nations Could Face Climate Compensation Legal Challenge

OO Aviation Industry Set To Expand 5% Per Year - not good news, since air travel accounts for significant carbon emissions...

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OO Australia Rings In The New Year With Record-Breaking Heat Wave

OO Australia Swelters After Recording Hottest Year In 2013 Extreme cyclones, bigger bushfires and hotter weather throughout the year will continue as the effects of climate change are realised, Australia's weather bureau warns.

OO Australia: Record-Breaking 2013 Looks Like Global Warming Say Govt Scientists .

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Average extreme temperatures are rising (top) as well as the daily frequency of extreme temperatures (bottom).

OO Palau, Micronesia : Climate Change Brings Fear Of Rising Seas

OO Chinese Researchers Pin Beijing's Smog On Fossil Fuels

OO China: 8 Million Acres Of Farmland Now Too Polluted For Food due to coal burning pollution.

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OO Philippines: Post-Typhoon, A Profound Resettlement Crisis

OO Caribbean Deluge Disaster Raises New Climate Change Warnings

OO Amazon Forest Loss Threatens Brazil, Peru, Bolivia And Ecuador

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Credit Rhett Butler at www.mongabay.com

OO Ecuador: A Massacre, Kidnap, and Big Oil

OO Brazil: Ethanol Sector, Once Thriving, Now Buffeted By Forces Both Man-Made, Natural.

OO Argentina: President's Image Wilts In Year-End Heat Wave

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OO Iceland's Vanishing Ice Threatens Culture, Society

OO Global Weather Whiplash: Searing heat Down Under, Whiteout in North America

OO Zambia Grapples With Climate Change, Waits For Rain - will the monsoon come in time?

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Drought memories hover, as maize farmers await the monsoon in Zambia. Wikimedia.

OO UK Suffers The Stormiest December Since 1969

OO UK, January 4th:Evacuations Underway As Villages Cut Off, Caused By Ferocious Storms And Floods Storm-ravaged Britain is facing a further battering over the coming days as gales continue to savage miles of coastline. Already lives have been lost, cliffs have collapsed, sea fronts wrecked and thousands of acres of countryside left underwater.

OO Storms Hit German Insurers Hard In 2013

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Ten Global Warming Indicators. Credit NOAA

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(((((((( Seeking the Science ))))))))

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OO Loss Of Tropical Coral Reefs Could Be First Irreversible Climate Consequence

OO Climate Change Will Starve The Deep Sea, Study Finds

OO Global Warming Could Upset Antarctic Food Chain

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A Micronesian coral reef. Credit Dan Norton

OO Drought Will Be 20% More Frequent By End Of Century say scientists.

OO Cold Fact: More Record Lows Than Highs In The USA In 2013 - under continued global warming, more extreme weather, both hot and cold, can be expected.

OO Fracking 101: Breaking Down Today's Drilling So how exactly does it work?

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@@@ Climate Change in the Media @@@

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@@ 20 Indelible Images Tell the Tale of 2013 in Climate

@@ 2013 Climate By the Numbers: One-Stop Shop for it All

@@ World Continues Warming Despite Arctic Weather in US as Andrew Freedman of Climate Central explains on the PBS newshour.

@@ LIVING ON EARTH @@ PRI's Environmental News Magazine, covers climate change and other fascinating topics as well. Check it out!

!!!! Want to Save Energy & Help the Planet? Check out these helpful EPA Climate Change youtubers here! !!!!

@@ At Last, a Green Radio Show to counter the Lush Bimbaugh wasteland. Check out On the Green Front with Betsy Rosenberg at Progressive Radio Network to keep updated on climate change, and other green topics.
@@ Video: America's Dangerous Pipelines - the title says it all; compelling ....
To help you understand just what science does and does NOT do, check this out!

Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by this Chilean scene I photographed recently. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future. If you'd like to join the increasing numbers of people who want to TELL Congress that they will vote for clean energy candidates you can do so here. It's our way of letting Congress know there's a strong clean energy voting bloc out there. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.

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