THE BLOG

Climate Change This Week: Rising Seas, Family Planning Pays, and More!

02/09/2015 02:46 pm ET | Updated Apr 11, 2015

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

@@ Climate Change: The Elevator Pitch

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These sea slugs are now invading northern California. Gary McDonald, Courtesy of UC Santa Cruz

OO Pink Sea Slug Masses Migrate To North California As warming waters make it more hospitable to the Dr Seussian invaders.

OO Melting Ice, Warmer Temperatures Linked To
Massive Oxygen Loss In The World's Oceans
10,000-17,000 years ago, and this new research could explain what is currently happening in our oceans today.

Related Headline:

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What a healthy reef looks like. NOAA library at Flickr

OO Something Really, Really Terrible Is About To Happen To Our Corals - many of them are on the verge of dying from a mass-scale bleaching event, as the ever warming oceans make it ever easier to create the conditions for one.

@@ Everyday Climate Change at Instagram
Bringing you the face of climate change daily

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Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert at Instagram Feb 6, 2015.
A Losing Battle: Locals rebuild a shoreline sea wall of giant clam shells, trying to halt erosion of their very low-lying land on Han Island, Carteret Atoll, off of Papua New Guinea.

Rising sea levels have eroded much coastline of the Carteret islands. Waves have crashed over the islands, destroying what little crop gardens islanders have. When this photo was taken food was scarce, with islanders living on a meager one meal per day diet of fish and coconut. Low-lying Pacific atolls such as this will suffer most from rising sea levels and changing weather patterns.

OO Everyday Climate Change, Now On Instagram

Related Headline:

OO The Making Of A Climate Refugee - As sea level rise sinks Kiribati, it could become the first Pacific nation to face mass exodus.

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Solving Climate Change and Hunger: Family Planning Pays says a new University of California at San Francisco report. "More than 800 million people on the planet are chronically hungry and climate change is accelerating," said lead author Joe Speidel, MD.

"Ongoing rapid population growth is making it much more difficult to address these serious world problems."

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Just as too many people on a truck can make it difficult to get anywhere, too many people on the planet can make it difficult to solve the ensuing problems. Library Foundation of Los Angeles, Alan Weisman

Improving access to family planning could provide up to 29% of needed decreases in greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing the need to increase food production would help stabilize the climate, since crops and livestock production currently produce 30% of global carbon emissions. It would also make it easier to address world hunger.


OO Climate Change Mitigation's Best-Kept Secret:
It's Fairly Easy to Make Big Changes
- and to dramatically slow our methane emissions -- if we make the commitment to do so.

Related Headline:

OO It's Not Too Late To Stop Climate Change,
And It'll Be Super-Cheap
- especially compared to the cost and consequences of inaction.

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OO A 50th Anniversary Few Remember:
LBJ's Warning On Carbon Dioxide

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SOLAR KEEPS SAILING

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Wikipedia

OO Charting Hawaii's Spectacular Solar Growth

OO Latin America's Solar Market Grew 370% in 2014 - installed 600+MW, and will more than triple again in 2015. Ole!

OO Obama Backs India's $160 Billion Solar Push

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OO U.K. Solar Poised to Cruise Past 5 GW Milestone -650,000+ solar rooftop and ground systems have now been installed, and counting!

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OO US Energy Department Provides $45 Million for Solar Manufacturing

OO US Company Gets $10 Million to Mass Produce Domestic Thin-Film Solar Cells to close in on making household solar power affordable.

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For customers in Uganda, the grid edge is the ability to charge a phone or keep an LED light powered.
Fenix International

OO Company Gets $12+ Million to Grow Solar, LEDs, Batteries and Businesses in Africa

OO Getting It Right: Europe Coulda Saved $100 Billion By
Installing Solar, Wind at Better Sites

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Check it out here, right now!

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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OO An Upside Of Cheap Oil -- Countries Are Ditching Their Fossil-Fuel Subsidies

OO US Companies Snag Significant Energy Efficiency Venture Capital

OO Researchers Tout Solar Panels Made With 'Perovskite' Mineral - potentially making household electricity cheaper than ever before.

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OO U.S. Wind Power Quadruples in 2014 As Texas Leads

OO The Shift Toward a Decentralized, Distributed Electric Grid Is Already Underway

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OO Nest Thermostat Pays for Itself in 2 Years - with a thermostat that learns, yielding new data about energy savings.


OO Hitting the Sweet Spot of Home Efficiency
For Big Savings

OO New Program Will Support Clean Energy And Efficiency For Low-Income Residents

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AP photo, Mike Groll

OO Fracking Set To Be Banned From 40% Of England's Shale Areas

OO China 2014 Coal Output Seen Down 2.5 %, First Drop In A Decade

OO Germany Boosts Onshore Wind Capacity By Record Amount In 2014

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WHAT WORKS

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Speaking Out:

OO Scientists Call On Obama To Stop Logging In Old Growth Forests

OO Groups Sue EPA Over Failure To Regulate Emissions From Factory Farms

OO At Vatican, EPA Chief To Talk 'Moral Issue' Of Climate Change

Informed Leadership:

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What the solar powered soil moisture satellite will look like in space. Credit NASA

OO As Global Warming Evolves, NASA Launches Soil Moisture Satellite

OO Pennsylvania's New Governor Will Ban Fracking In State Parks And Forests

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OO Obama Budget Aims to Make Solar and Wind Incentives Permanent

OO Scotland Just Announced An Indefinite Ban On Fracking

Insights:

OO Accelerated Ice Melt Causing Iceland to Rise which could affect its volcanoes and hastening eruptions that disrupt air travel.

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A supercell thunderstorm. Credit Lane Pearman at Flickr
Thunderstorms Help Bring Ozone Down to Earth, where it contributes to global warming, reports Brian Kahn at Climate Central, from its usual haunt high up in the atmosphere, where it acts as a UV shield. Research indicates that under continued climate change, storms could increase up to 40% by 2100 over the US, shifting planetary ozone function from shielding UV to accelerating global warming.

OO Climate Change USA: Snowier Winters, But Less Snowy Springs

OO Southern Forests' Ability To Suck Carbon From The Air May Be Slowing

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Snowpack in the California Sierras. Source: www.kcet.org

OO Scientists See Shrinking California Snowpack As Harbinger - with future warming reducing California's natural water reservoir - its mountain snowpack - by more than half by 2100.

Good Ideas:

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OO Making a Marketplace For Renewable Energy:
Utilities as Matchmakers
- matching up communities and farms with excess solar power with businesses wanting to buy that power.

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One global source of natural capital: fresh water. Rhett Butler at Mongabay.com

OO Accounting For Natural Capital On Financial Exchanges

OO Chinese Developers Get Active Building Passive Energy Homes

OO Save The World?
Less Beef And Travel, And Eat More Vegetables
- mom was right.

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WHAT DOESN'T WORK

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Sean Gallagher at Instagram
Coals burns in a peasant's stove in China, which produces 46% -- and burns 49% of total global coal (US EIA). Greenpeace notes online that, "a third of all CO2 emissions come from burning coal. It's used to produce nearly 40 % of the world's power."

Fossil Fuel Follies

OO Drought-Stricken California Let Oil Companies
Inject Waste Into Drinkable Water Sources

OO Millions Of Gallons Of Oil Settled
On Gulf Sea Floor After BP Oil Spill
and continue to wreck the ecosystems there.

OO Pennsylvania: Fracking Companies Regularly Commit Serious Environmental Violations

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@@ How to Make a Moonscape on Earth: The Alberta Tar Sands - a photo essay. Todd Korol at Reuters

OO W Virginia: Pipeline Explodes With Huge Fireball making this the 4th major mishap at a US pipeline in a month.

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Wikimedia Commons

OO The Pipeline Fight Does Not Stop With Keystone XL - other pipelines equally or more dangerous are in the works.

OO Oklahoma: Nearly Daily Earthquakes Connected to Fracking
Shaking Up Communities

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The damage costs of US extreme weather will continue to escalate under climate change.

The Cost of Climate Change:

OO Earth's Dashboard Is Flashing Red--Are Enough People Listening?

OO Obama Orders Rising Seas Built In to Building Standards

Falling Short on Leadership:

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This is what's happening to American forests, so Europe can burn them up as wood pellets.

OO Obama's Climate Plan Threatens US Forests - Regulating emissions and clean energy? Yes. Promoting the burning of our forests for biofuels - and saying it's "carbon-free"? No!

OO Evangelical Senator James Inhofe Says Only God Can Cause Climate Change
OMG! You mean God burns fossil fuels? God help us if Inhofe's in charge of the US Senate Environment committee.

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Feb 8, 2015

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 and the waters surrounding it are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures; although an atmospheric river dumps rain in California, warmer temperatures prevent much of that water to be stored as snow in coastal mountains, and so the drought continues.

Much of the areas surrounding the North Pole 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.

Natural Repercussions:

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A major blizzard covered the northeast US recently with snow; such extreme blizzards are predicted to worsen in intensity and frequency under continuing climate change. NOAA

@@ Picture This: So Much Snow

OO Global Warming Could Make Blizzards Worse

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Don't bother clicking -- go here to play with this. Fastest warming seasons by state: only in Texas is summer warming the fastest. NOAA

The US Is Divided by Seasons and Warming reports Brian Kahn at Climate Central, but every season has been warming since 1970 throughout the US, and the rate of warming has accelerated. In summer, the Lower 48 has warmed by 0.4°F per decade, while the winter has warmed slightly faster: about 0.6°F per decade.

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Climate Change Will Hit Australia the Hardest reports Oliver Milman at the UK Guardian, possibly on track for a rise of more than 5°C (10oF) by 2100, outstripping the warming rate in the rest of the world, says the most comprehensive analysis ever produced of the country's future climate.

OO Climate Change In Minnesota: More Heat, More Big Storms


Social repercussions:

OO Climate Stresses Push Kashmir's Poor Into Militancy,
Pakistan Experts Warn

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KEEPING CARBON STORED: FORESTS UPDATE
Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

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Papua New Guinea is home to many species of Birds of Paradise that are found no where else: as those forests disappear, so do they. via Cornell Lab of Ornithology

OO Deforestation May Be Accelerating In Papua New Guinea

OO Indonesia: Sumatran Community Takes Charge To Protect Its Forest


OO After 10 Years Vying For Protection,
Kalimantan Community Granted Legal Rights To Its Forest
- communities are key in protecting forests.

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Wild Siberian Tigers are now only found in part of Russia and a northeast province in China.

OO China Tries Out Logging Ban In Northeastern Province

OO 155 Chinese Nationals Arrested For Illegal Logging In Myanmar

OO Radical Transparency: Tracking Deforestation Through Satellite Imagery

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 Chilean protea I photographed one spring. 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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This is even more colorful when brilliant orange Chilean bumble bees visit the blossoms!