THE BLOG
04/04/2014 02:54 am ET | Updated Jun 03, 2014

Climate Change This Week: Major Climate Change Report, Moves on Methane, and More!

Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Apr 3, 2014

How unusual has the weather been? No one event is "caused" by climate change, but global warming, which is predicted to increase unusual, extreme weather, is having a daily effect on weather, worldwide. Looking above at recent temperature anomalies, the North Pole and surroundings (that big orange spot) are experiencing much warmer than normal temperatures - not good news for our Arctic thermal shield of ice. Hotter than usual temperatures continue to dominate human habitats.

(Add 0.3-0.4 C to have these anomaly values calibrate with those of NASA.) Daily updates of can be seen here for both the temperature anomalies map, and the jetstream map. For real time animated US surface wind patterns, click here, and here, for the planet. (Clicking on "earth" there reveals data and map options.)

Climate Change Is Now, Threatens Food, Coastlines, Soaring Costs says IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the largest reputable global body of climate scientists, report Tim McDonnell, Jeremy Schulman, and James West at the Climate Desk. What you need to know:

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Via the University of East Anglia Climate Change webpage

1. Climate Change Impacts Are Now Global

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2. Heat Waves, Fires, And Droughts Are Major US Threats
3. Food Prices Will Soar as sources become unpredictable and population booms - expect conflicts

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An Alaskan house falls into the sea, victim of coastal storm erosion. Credit Tony Weylouanna.

4. Coastal Communities Will Flood And Erode
5. Climate Refugees Will Increase, possibly conflicts, too
6. Human Health Will Suffer

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How do you adapt to ever worsening extreme weather?

7. Adapting To Climate Change Will Cost More Than We Have judging from the present.

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8. We Can Reduce Climate Change Through Cutting Carbon/Greenhouse Gas Emissions, mostly through not burning fossil fuels. WE CAN SAVE ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF MONEY by developing clean energy sources ASAP.

Finally, this report represents a conservative consensus developed over years. Thus, the track record of past IPCC reports shows that they typically underestimate the magnitude and speed of developing threats. Yeah - the threats and costs are worse than portrayed.

Relevant headlines:

OO, OO UN, EJF Reports: Warming Worsens Security Woes

OO Obama, EU Leaders: Sustainable Economic Growth Impossible Without Climate Action

OO Climate Change 'Already Affecting Food Supply' - IPCC

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Source: wikipedia.

OO Bees, Pollinated Crops, At Risk From Climate Change

OO Big Climate Danger Could Arrive As Soon As 2036

OO UN Climate Science Report Will Highlight 'Limits To Adaptation'

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US Samoa. Credit Acepharma at Wikimedia Commons.

OO Hundreds Of Pacific Islands Wiped Out By 1m Sea Level Rise - IPCC

OO Climate Change Will Hike Air Pollution Deaths Says UN Study

OO World Unprepared For Climate Damage To Food Security

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Credit solarpanelspower.net

President Obama Announces Plan to Cut Methane Emissions, reports Emily Atkin at Climate Progress, without help from Congress, via policies that will regulate venting from oil and gas wells by 2014's end, and if necessary, EPA regulations on emissions from agriculture, landfills and fossil fuel development on private lands. Methane's about 28 times more potent in global warming than CO2, so even seemingly small cuts in emissions still have significant effects. The US is set to contribute to a new international fund to cut methane emissions worldwide, as well. Meanwhile the EPA is moving to protect streams and wetlands from fossil fuel pollution. Way to go, O!

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Ocean acidification threatens coral reefs. Credit Dan Norton.

Pacific Ocean Acidifying Much Faster Than Expected, study shows, reports Emily Atkin at Climate Progress, and besides harming coral reef and commercial seafood species, could result in the ocean releasing even more greenhouse warming emissions into the atmosphere.

HOT STATISTICS!

OO 2013 Is 6th Warmest, Weather Extremes Consistent With Climate Change, U.N. Report Finds

OO 13 of 14 Warmest Years On Record Occurred In 21st Century - UN

OO Centuries Of Continued Warming Locked Into Earth's Climate Warns UN's WMO

Solar Tipping Point Nears for Abandoning Utilities, and Going Off-Grid says finance firm Morgan Stanley, encouraging huge numbers of US businesses and homeowners to directly generate their own power, mostly via solar installations, reports Giles Parkinson at Renew Economy. This is, of course, bad news for utilities, and might not even be the best option for the US energy sector, but may be the kick they need to seriously start incorporating renewable clean energy into their business. As it is, 10 US states are already offering solar power as cheaply as fossil fueled utilities. Let the sun shine...

SOLAR KEEPS SURGING

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Credit Dennis Schroeder/NREL

OO Solar Costs to Halve as Gas Prices Surge

OO Coal, Renewables Squeezing out Natural Gas in Europe

There's more, of course. On the bright side, Citicorp declares that the Age of Renewables has begun. Californians are being paid for their Cap n Trade policy. Bright ideas include floating wind turbines.

DROUGHTS

In the US, droughts persist in California and ripple throughout the US west; conditions for dust bowls are forming in Texas. Droughts persist in South America and Africa.

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One of the many gifts of carbon-storing forests. Credit Rhett Butler at www.mongabay.com

FORESTS

Carbon-storing forest loss continues in Uganda, Indonesia, and Myanmar, and from the drug trade, while corporate food giants are committing to sourcing their palm oil from farms not created through further deforestation. Logging roads are allowing alien trees to invade already threatened forests.

FOSSIL FUEL FOLLIES

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A fracking landscape. Via gctca.org.za

In the US over 1 million fracking wells have enabled the export of more fossil fuels, the emissions of which wipe out any advantage gained from using natural gas instead of coal in the US. And new dirty, disgusting fossil fuel messes have occurred in Pennsylvania, Texas and Lake Michigan.

To get even more news and information about the consequences and solutions to climate change, check out this annotated resource list I've compiled, "Climate Change News Resources," at Wordpress.com here.

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 California poppy 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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