Huffpost Green
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Mary Ellen Harte Headshot

Climate Change This Week: Really Hot Summers, New Global Warming Gases and More!

Posted: Updated:

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

2014-06-14-anomaltempjune142014.jpg

Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, June 14 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, slightly cooler than normal temperatures pervade the US, but the eastern Pacific warm sport continues to prevent much rain from reaching California.

The North Pole and arctic ocean show slightly cooler than normal temperatures but are surrounded by areas experiencing much warmer than normal temperatures. At this point, long sunny days are starting to melt the already diminished cap -- 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.)

2014-06-14-CopperCreekTrailviewJune102014.jpg

I'm out in the Colorado Rockies wilderness with limited internet access, folks, (...Those sprouting aspen leaves are blocking my signal? Seriously?) so this week's installment will focus mostly on linked headlines... have fun exploring!

Defeating Defeatism: Why the US Should Succeed On Climate Change reports
Joe Romm at Climate Progress, answers a defeatist article with 5 good reasons on why the US should and can succeed on climate change:

2014-03-14-cleanenergybulb500solutionsideabulblead972x514viaclimateprogresscctw97.jpg

1. What the US needs to do is very cheap economically and will have little effect on growth, as key clean technologies are plummeting in cost.

2. All US voters are severely affected by climate change, and will be increasingly motivated to elect leaders who act on climate change, as the effects and benefits of action become more obvious -- whether it's rising food prices, storm damage, increasingly extreme weather or the money saving benefits of clean energy.

3. If we address climate change, we will not be sacrificing so much as ensuring a better quality of life through less pollution and a safer climate.

2013-11-28-HurricaneSandycreditANASAsatelliteimage_resize.jpg

Hurricane Sandy broke a seasonal record, occurring later than another other US hurricane on record. Credit: NOAA.

4. No matter how bad it might be now, it will be much worse if we continue to delay acting. The time to act on climate change is always now.

5. International awareness and action on climate change continues to increase and involve key emitters, such as China, which plans to cap its emissions.

When it comes to climate change,

HOPE IS A MORAL IMPERATIVE!

OBAMA'S CLIMATE PLAN:

OO Obama Climate Plan Will Deliver Only A Quarter Of Pledged 2030 Cuts

OO How Obama's Climate Rule Could Change The U.S. Job Market

OO 6 Coal State Lawmakers Favor EPA's New Carbon Emissions Rule

2013-11-28-windturbineinstallationinbasinnrangeJuly302013DSCN2164_resizea.jpg

Many US states are cutting carbon pollution via increasing clean energy sources, such as wind power. Credit Mary Ellen Harte

OO How Some States Are Making Carbon Pollution Cuts Really Easy

OO Media Underreports EPA Historic Carbon Pollution Rules

OO How Does The New EPA Rule Stack Up Against Obama's Other Climate Actions?

RISING RISKS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

In the US:

2014-06-14-summerTemperatureTrendscredClimateCentral.jpg

The West is getting hot the fastest. Credit Climate Central

OO Here's How Much U.S. Summers Have Warmed Since 1970 reports

OO California's Drought: Winter Fog is Fading Away

2014-06-14-Redtailedhawkinflightwikipedia500.jpg
Red Tailed Hawks are common raptors in California, where drought is making it difficult for both hawks and owls to find enough rodents (food) to breed successfully. Wikipedia.

OO California's Raptors Having Unusually Poor Breeding Season

2014-06-14-JamestownChurchruinwikipedia.jpg

The Jamestown Church ruin from 1639. Wikipedia.

OO Climate Change Washing Away US History: Jamestown Settlement -- as rising seas have already destroyed some of the archeological digs.

OO Air Conditioning Raising Night-Time Temperatures In The US

Food:

OO Europe Faces Cereals Crop Crash

2014-06-14-wheatwikimediabeerallthesamesongcom.png
Both European cereal crops, such as wheat and beer production are at risk from climate change. Sources: Wikimedia Commons; allthesamesong.com

OO Three Ways Climate Change Is Going To Ruin Your Beer

Worldwide:

OO Dust in the Wind Could Speed Greenland's Ice Melt

2014-06-14-fishequatorialreefcreditD.Dixson.jpg

Credit D. Dixson

OO El Niño 2014 Could Spell Disaster for Coral Reefs

OO Intact Amazon Forests Show Possible Signs Of Global Warming Impact

2014-06-14-rainforestaatDaintreeAustraliawikipedia.png

Ecosystems such as rainforests provide valuable services. Wikipedia.

Global Environmental Damage May Cost More Than US GDP says a new study, reports Mongabay.com. It added up all the world's ecosystem services - from carbon storage and crop pollination, to recreation and flood mitigation - and found, every year, nature provides $145 trillion in benefits.

It also indicates that land use changes, most of which has been caused by humans, may be reducing these benefits by trillions of dollars every year.

2014-06-14-wildfire400pxBush_fire_at_Captain_Creek_central_Queensland_Australiadec2010credit80trading24viawikimedia_resize.JPG

Extreme heat and drought have contributed to an increase in devastating wildfires in Australia. Credit: 80 trading 24 at Wikimedia Commons

OO Australia: Record Heat Tied to Global Warming

Scientists Discover Three New Global Warming Gases - Comparison of air samples has revealed three new global warming gases and the evidence suggests they are man-made, reports Responding To Climate Change. Global warming gases have 3 or more atoms in their molecules, which allow them to trap heat that fuels global warming.

Industrial pollution has probably contributed many man-made heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere, but not necessarily in quantities large enough to significantly contribute to global warming for most gases, but what of their aggregated impact as a threat?

OO Threat from new gases found in air

2014-06-14-drunkenforestviaclimateprogress.jpg

Some boreal forests are already being undermined physically by the melting of the permafrost.
Via Climate Progress

Ignoring Boreal Forests Could Speed Up Global Warming reports Mongabay. Greenhouse gas emissions from human activity have caused global air and sea surface temperatures to rise approximately 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since the beginning of the 20th century, contributing to a plethora of problems worldwide from rising sea levels to desertification. A new study finds that global temperatures may start to increase even faster if more is not done to protect Earth's boreal forests.

Related headlines:

OO Oil Company Breaks Agreement, Builds Big Roads In Yasuni Rainforest

OO Logger Continues To Destroy Indonesian Rainforest Despite Green Promises (Photos)

2014-06-14-chameleonmadagascar2006DSCN8582a.jpg
Madagascar forests house many unique species, including this inch long chameleon!
Credit Mary Ellen Harte

OO Madagascar Deforestation Continues: Singapore Siezes Massive Illegal Rosewood Shipment Singapore authorities have made the largest-ever international seizure of rosewood logs, evidence that industrial-scale smuggling of Madagascar's rainforest timber continues despite an official ban on the trade. Rare biodiversity is threatened on Madagascar, which has lost most of its forests to exploitation.

WHAT WORKS

2014-05-16-moneybagsgreenmrviaforcechangecomcctw92.jpg

OO Scientists Vindicate 'Limits To Growth' -- Urge Investment In 'Circular Economy' Early warning of civilisational collapse by early to mid 21st century is startlingly prescient -- but opportunity for transition remains open.

OO Credit, Climate And The Road To A Sustainable Financial System Credit markets can be pivotal for the transition to a green economy, but are already being impacted by the disruptive effects of climate change

☼☼☼

OO Show Us The Money If Countries Are To Curb Climate Change: IEA $53 trillion must be channelled towards low carbon energy by 2035 to stave off dangerous climate change, says IEA

OO The Northeast's Cap-And-Trade System Just Had Its Most Successful Auction Ever

2014-06-14-chinasolarPVgreen400wviawww.evwind.esresize.jpg

China is a leading emitter of carbon pollution, but also a lead investor in clean energy. Wikipedia.

Global Renewables Report Card, China leads -- China remains in the world leader in renewable energy investments in three of the most important renewable energy sources -- solar photovoltaic, wind and hydropower reports Bobby Magill at Climate Progress.

2014-06-14-Parrotthumb500xsourcegooglespout.jpg

Preserving forests helps store carbon and preserve biodiversity.

In Cutting Deforestation, Brazil Leads World In Reducing Emissions reports Mongabay. Brazil's success in reducing deforestation in the world's largest rainforest has been much heralded, but progress may stall unless farmers, ranchers and other land users in the region are provided incentives to further improve the environmental sustainability of their operations, argues a new study.

2014-06-14-chinaBeijingWatchTowerviawikipediacctw96.jpg

When China cuts carbon, the entire planet benefits. China is a leader in making solar panels. Wikipedia.

China Coal Cap Could Strand Assets -- China's move away from being the world's largest producer and consumer of coal could happen quicker than expected, leaving the mining sector, investors and foreign exporters in disarray, reports Climate News Network.... But considering these sectors are ennabling destructive climate change, the consequences of being stranded are just!

OO China's Curbs On Coal A Rising Risk For Investors -- Report Carbon Tracker warns banks to be wary of lending to coal producers, citing the risk of stranded assets as China cuts CO2 emissions.

OO Renewable Energy Capacity Grew 8+ percent In 2013 Renewables hit new record in 2013, accounting for over 56 percent of new power capacity across the world.

2014-04-25-DITV507mb2.jpg

YOU CAN ACT

Robert Hogg, Iowa State Senator, recently sent an email with the following; more details can be found here.

Support the New Carbon Pollution Rules via email to the EPA at carbonpollutioninput@epa.gov
And urge your Congressmen/women to support them, too!
On Twitter, you can use the hash tag #StopCarbonPollution to support the rules.

2013-11-28-19562DennisSchroederNRELa.jpg

Credit Dennis Schroeder/NREL

"Put Solar On It," Saturday, June 21

A coalition of national groups is sponsoring a national day of action called "Put Solar On It" on Saturday, June 21, with details here. https://joinmosaic.com/blog/groups-announce-day-action-support-solar-energy-putsolaronit/ Join the solar revolution!
On Twitter, you can use the hash tag #PutSolarOnIt to support this day of action.

2014-01-31-geostellargetcleanenergy.png

Check it out here, right now!


"Climate Phone-A-Thon," June 23 to June 27 -- is a nationwide, grassroots effort to encourage Americans to call our Congressional representatives and Senators at their Washington, DC, offices to support a carbon tax, the carbon pollution rules and other action on climate.

2014-06-14-climateactionplanningwww.coolcalifornia.org360ccr229.gif

Via www.coolcalifornia.org

A phone call takes five minutes or less. Encourage your friends, families and colleagues around the country to call, too. On Twitter, you can use the hash tag #ClimatePhoneAThon to promote this week.

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 wild mountain yellow violet 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.

2014-06-14-yellowvioletinCOrockiesJune102014.jpg

From Our Partners