Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.
Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, May 29, 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, much of the US is experiencing warmer than usual temperatures, while the Pacific warm spot continues to prevent rain from reaching California.
Much of the Arctic Ocean is slightly cooler than normal, although two large tongues of unusually warm temperatures reach towards the pole, not good news for our polar thermal ice shield. 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.)
SOLAR KEEPS SURFING...
Solar continues to surf along with more venture capital being raised every week. Here's a solar sampler of headlines:
OO Solar Paired With Energy Storage Scores a Regulatory Win in California
OO Hawaii Regulators to Utilities: Get Moving on Clean Energy!
OO The Truly Smart Solar City Lamp Post
Book of the Week:
Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?
Source: Library Foundation of Los Angeles
By Alan Weisman makes a number of important insights on the overpopulation crisis: one success story is Iran, which, with the help of the Ayatollah, has successfully created population management programs. Basically, they provided information, reproductive management materials, and female education.
You can get the book here, and listen to an hour interview on the book with him here.
Credit University of Texas
Stunning News: Largest US Shale Oil Reserve Is Mostly Un-Drillable, Feds Say reports Emily Atkin at Climate Progress. The recoverable portion, a tiny 4% of the original estimate, would meet US oil needs for a month, say the US Energy Information Administration. So much for US energy independence. Maybe we should re-think the case for resuming US oil exports...
Southeast Australia: Autumn Record Heat Wave Follows Record-Breaking Hot Summer reports Katie Valentine at Climate Progress. Intense heat and dryness has made bushfire season more dangerous.
Credit Toni Fish at Wikimedia Commons.
"The latest summer was another example of climate change tearing through the record books," said Climate Council Head Tim Flannery. "It's not just about one summer but an overall trend to more extreme weather. Things are getting bad and if we want to stop them getting worse this is the critical decade for action."
Globally, last month tied for the warmest April ever recorded.
It was also the first month with CO2 levels above 400 ppm daily in at least 800,000 years.
March, too, made records globally as the fourth-hottest on record.
Pope Francis 'If We Destroy Creation, Creation Will Destroy Us' reports Jack Jenkins at Climate Progress. The pope calling on his fellow Christians to become "Custodians of Creation" and issuing a dire warning about the potentially catastrophic effects of global climate change.
Meanwhile, Ohio churches called on their governor to preserve the state's renewable energy standards and energy efficiency programs, reports Joanna Foster at Climate Progress.
"It is our calling as people of faith to be compassionate and caring for the earth,"
said Rev Tim Ahrens of the First Congregational Church.
In Florida, the Evangelical Environmental Network says Climate Change Is A 'Pro-Life' Issue, urges its governor to recognize climate change as a threat to the state, and is petitioning him to develop a plan to address it.
'Worse Than War': Record-Breaking Balkans Flooding follows a string of severe rainfall events, reports Joanna Foster at Climate Progress, destroying 100,000 homes, displacing 500,000 people, and causing 1000s of landslides. The massive destruction of livestock and pets has turned into a public health threat.
As the atmosphere warms, it holds more moisture, resulting in heavier rainfalls; unusually heavy rainfall has occurred recently in Afghanistan, the UK, Florida, the Solomon Islands and New Zealand. Expect even more as the weather continues to get more extreme under global warming, say scientists.
OO How South Florida Communities Are Taking On Climate Change
OO How Green Spaces Could Stop Cities From Overheating
OO Climate Change in Pakistan: Innovation In The Absence Of Government Support
OO Clean Energy: Ocean To Provide Green Heat for 300-yr-old Mansion In Wales
OO Good Laws: EPA Proposal Would Dramatically Cut Carbon Emissions From Coal Plants
OO Divesting From Deforestation: Deutsche Bank Dumps Controversial Palm Oil Company
OO One of 5 National landmarks facing climate threats.
Credit: Statue of Liberty National Monument
4-5 Foot Sea Level Rise More Likely by 2100, reports Joe Romm at Climate Progress. Several new studies underscore scientists' concerns we're headed toward sea level rise of 4 to 5 feet by 2100 -- and ultimately toward a 69-foot rise over many hundreds of years due to the unstoppable melting of Antarctic and Greenland glaciers.
NASA's glaciologist Eric Rignot notes that taken together, the new papers "suggest that the globe's ice sheets will contribute far more to sea level rise than current projections show." Also, the rate of sea level rise in 2100 could be upwards of 1 inch per YEAR!
What We've Bought Our Future Children: Disappearing Coasts. Some of the projected US coast lost from a 20 meter sea level rise (highlighted in red), which will occur over the coming centuries due to the unstoppable melting of Antarctic and Greenland glaciers. (Am not sure why Long Island, NY isn't completely submerged.) This is one thing we can't turn back - but we can stop the story from getting worse. Source: google data, via Climate Progress.
Antarctic Ice Collapse Could Devastate Global Food Supply says a new study, reports Suzanne Goldenberg at the UK Guardian. The ongoing collapse of a large part of the Antarctica ice sheet could devastate global food supply, drowning vast areas of crop lands across the Middle East and Asia, according to new research.
Asian rice fields could be permanently flooded as sea level rises from the unstoppable melting of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Credit: janet747/flickr
The report also warns that America's corn belt could face yield declines of more than 25% by 2050 - unless there are new advances in agriculture to compensate for hotter temperatures, changing rainfall and more aggressive weeds and pests under climate change.
RISING RISKS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
OO NOAA: Last Month Tied for Globe's Hottest April
OO Cold U.S. Winter Caused By Warm Tropical Waters?
OO As Mountain Snow Fails And Glaciers Melt, Pakistan Faces Water Threats
Miami during the April 2013 floods. Source: wild wx at the Wild Weather blog wildwx.com
OO When Will US Coastal Property Values Crash? More than half of Florida has a good chance of disappearing within the next 100 years, due to sea level rise from melting glaciers - but the chaos will start well before then.
OO Arizona Wildfire Explodes In Size, Threatens Evacuations
OO Dust Bowl Days: Will We Cut Carbon Pollution Fast Enough To Prevent Permanent US Droughts? So far, we aren't.
A New Forest Threat: Indonesia's "Empty Forest Syndrome" spreads as encroaching populations empty them of wildlife, notes Erik Meijaard at Mongabay.com. Without wildlife, these carbon-storing forests have little chance of functioning properly , since plants and trees as so closely co-adapted to the wildlife for their survival.
Wildlife aren't just pretty ornaments decorating the forest - they are essential to a forest's existence. Credit Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
There is, of course, much more news on the consequences and solutions to climate change. To get it, check out this annotated resource list I've compiled, "Climate Change News Resources," at Wordpress.com here. For more information on the science of climate change, its consequences and solutions you can view my annotated list of online information resources 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 rust attacking a native California rose that 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.