THE BLOG

Climate Change This Week: Apple Goes Solar, Apocalyptic US Droughts Predicted, and More!

02/23/2015 03:45 pm ET | Updated Apr 25, 2015

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

@@ Deadpan Climate Humor At Its Best:
Philomena Cunk Moments of Wonder - Climate Change
- of course, one can easily imagine some US voters really believing that coal comes from dinosaurs - and that burning it has made dinosaurs rare... Philomena played by the talented comedienne, Diane Morgan.

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Likely future scenes of the US Southwest and Great Plains, as scientists predict the worst megadroughts in the past 1000 years to unfold from 2050 onwards, as a result of global warming.

US Southwest, Great Plains Could Soon Face Worst 'Megadroughts' In Modern History, study finds, reports Ari Phillips at Climate Progress. The NASA/NSF funded study builds upon recent research, predicting megadrought conditions, starting by 2050, that will far surpass even the worst southwest medieval megadroughts thought to have caused the downfall of ancient Native American civilizations, such as the Pueblos.

The extreme results surprised even the study researchers.

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Tom Toles at the Washington Post

Related Headlines:

OO Droughts Will Hammer US West As 21st Century Unfolds

OO U.S. Central Plains, Southwest Likely Face Apocalyptic Drought

OO Southwest, Central Plains Face 'Unprecedented' Drought

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Boston, February 2015: I know my car's around here...somewhere... Credit Steven Senne, AP photo

OO As Boston's Crazy Snow Keeps Falling,
Scientists Weigh In On Climate Impact

"All weather events are affected by climate change
because the environment
in which they occur
is warmer and moister
than it used to be."
--Kevin Trenberth, IPCC climate scientist

Related Headlines:

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OO Cold Air Invasion Coming: What's the Role of Warming?

OO Weird Winter Weather Plot Thickens As Arctic Swiftly Warms

OO Global Warming May Be Affecting Jet Stream - A winter of strange weather and turbulent transatlantic flights in the northern hemisphere has scientists asking: Has a predicted climate imbalance of the jet stream begun?

@@ The Climate Change Elevator Pitch: Ken Caldeira

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

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February 21, 2015: Sarura Aden walked for 25 days across the Somali desert to a crowded, unsanitary and undernourished refugee camp in Kenya, witnessing the killing of other refugees by militia and wild animals, as she fled a tremendous drought that had destroyed all of her livestock and her way of life. Credit Matilde Gattoni at Instagram

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Credit Walter at Flickr

Paris Climate Pact To Rely on Peer Pressure, Cooperation, Not Coercion reports John Upton at Climate Central. Having failed at forcing countries to achieve needed carbon cuts within specific time frames, the UN will now focus on a process that includes national accountability instead. Will it succeed? Stay tuned.

More Warming Woes for Corals:

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Crown of Thorns starfish are big suckers and can devastate coral reefs. Wikipedia

OO Great Barrier Reef: Warmer Waters Helping Coral-Eating Starfish Thrive

OO Warmer Oceans Helping Coral-Eating Starfish Thrive

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OO Arctic Upheaval: new book outlines challenges at the top of the world

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SOLAR KEEPS FLYING

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OO The Carolinas Have Become Hot Spots for Solar Market Expansion

OO Duke Energy Proposes $69M Investment in South Carolina Solar

OO Massachusetts: the Second-Biggest Employer for Solar Power

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OO Apple Plans $850Million Solar Plant With First Solar
To Power All California Operations

Related Headline:

OO Apple Deal, Tax Change Could Spark Corporate Solar Stampede of contracts driven by the looming change in a solar tax incentive that makes such projects particularly attractive.

OO The Great Solar Panel Debate: To Lease or To Buy? read who did which, and why.

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Credit USA Today, Screenshot

OO One Of The World's Largest Solar Energy Farms Opens In California

Related Headline:

OO Solar Farm Capable Of Powering 160,000 Homes Opens In California

OO Minnesota: Regulators Approve Projects That Will Boost Solar Power There 10x

OO U.S. Companies Pledge To Build 20 GW Of Renewable Energy In India

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Check it out here, right now!

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

OO Judge Halts Use Of Eminent Domain On Nebraskans For Keystone Pipeline

OO Fed Report: Gas Can Replace Coal Plants, Supporting Obama Climate Plans

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OO EU Energy Consumption Level Falls To 20-Year Low

OO "Stop Me Before I Kill the Planet":
Another Major Oil Producer Calls for Carbon Pricing

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OO Google Buys Altamont Wind to Power Its Headquarters,
Surpassing 1 GW in Contracts

OO Germany Leads Record Wind Power Growth in Europe

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Source Shutterstock

OO Climate Scientist Wins $50,000 In Libel Lawsuit
Against Conservative Newspaper
- as the judge notes that the paper can be skeptical about climate science without creating misleading or false statements about scientists.

OO Tesla Plans Battery for Household Energy-Storage Market

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OO Obama Looks to Raise $2 Billion in Climate Change Investments

OO US Factories Are Polluting Way Less As They Clean Up Their Acts as environmental rules emerge.

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WHAT WORKS

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Speaking Out:

OO New York Times: Those Who Deny Climate Science Are Not 'Skeptics'

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Source: Climate Progress

OO US National Academy: Forget Geoengineering - Even The Term Is Misleading since " 'engineering' implied a level of control that is illusory." The two academy reports concluded "There is no substitute for dramatic reductions in the emissions of CO2."

OO President Obama Emphasizes Cold Hard Truth About Climate Change

OO Ranking The Best And Worst Companies In Terms Of Deforestation - assessment ranks more than 400 companies, banks, investor, and other powerbrokers by the extent and scope of their sourcing policies for six 'forest risk commodities': soy palm oil, beef, leather, timber, pulp and paper.

Related Headline:

OO Chinese Companies Named And Shamed On List Of Deforestation 'Power Brokers'

OO Greenpeace Targets Banco Santander for Financing a Controversial Logging Company

Important Insights:

OO Warmer Seas Linked To East Coast Hurricane Outbreaks

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A subalpine wildflower meadow in the Colorado Rockies is the site of the first and longest running global warming field experiment in the world. Credit Ben Blonder

OO 23-Year Global Warming Field Experiment Now Finds
Global Warming Impacts Already Underway
Full disclosure: the lead researcher, John Harte, is my husband.

OO Why Climate Scientists Are Right About How Hot The Planet Is Going To Get - historical evidence in sediments now back them up, a new study shows.

OO Fossil Fuel Pollution Decreased Rainfall In Central America - by shifting a vital rainfall belt south, says a new study that examined a 450 year old record rainfall and temperature.

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Source: The Daily Climate

OO Human Brain, Media Not "Wired" For Climate Understanding say 2 leading Australian scientists, and reporting all sides of a story often results in public confusion rather than clarity... maybe it has something to do with presenting all sides as if they all have equal legitimacy.

Good Ideas:

OO Save Mangroves: They Save Coral Reefs and Coasts
From Climate Change
- say federal scientists, who focus on how these coastal swamps can save our declining reefs.

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Source Wang et al, Industrial and Engineering Chemical Research journal, 2014

'Smart' Windows Could Save Energy Tiny droplets of a heat sensitive gel sandwiched between glass panes turn cloudy when it's hot outside, filtering out some warming sunlight, an improvement over current electronic versions, reports Sid Perkins at Student Science.

OO Want to Save money on your energy bill? There's a game for that.

OO Getting More Restaurants To Go Carbon-Neutral - begins the minute the customer walks through the door.

Informed Leadership:

OO UK's Three Party Leaders Sign Joint Climate Pledge

OO California Lawmakers Introduce Major Package Of Bills To Tackle Climate Change

OO Leading in Cleaning Up Trucking:
A Young Green CEO of a Big Company
- in trucking, worth $100 million.

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WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies

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Credit Shutterstock

OO Small Earthquakes Linked To Fracking Could Lead To Major Ones - says a government scientist.

OO Canada: Oil Train Derails, Spills Unknown Amount Of Crude Oil

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Source youmeanbiodiversity.wordpress.com

OO Unusual String Of Bottlenose Dolphin Deaths Linked To BP Oil Spill

Dangerously Dumb Ideas:

OO Climate Hacking, aka Geoengineering, Is Barking Mad

OO Biofuel Goals Could Require All the World's Crops - which is just how much of a nonstarter it is, made in the 2008 free, downloadable book, Cool the Earth, Save the Economy.

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OO Oil And Gas Companies Won't Have To Pay For Damage Caused To Louisiana's Coast,
Judge Rules
- the world is theirs to exploit and trash without blame... thanks, judge.

OO Elon Musk Is Right: Hydrogen Is 'An Incredibly Dumb' Car Fuel - requiring far more mass and volume of the car, not to mention far lower efficiency in energy conversion.

OO Scientists: No, We Can't Fight Climate Change By Burning Trees - because trees are the cheapest way to store carbon, and burning them adds to greenhouse gases... duh. Why did the EPA create a memo even hinting at such folly as burning trees for energy?

Clueless Leadership:

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OO GOP House Passes Keystone Pipeline Construction Bill
Despite Obama's Opposition

OO GOP Senators Debate Whether Climate Change Is Real
At EPA Carbon Rule Hearing
- despite the overwhelming evidence and the agreement of reputable scientists that climate change is real. Your tax dollars and votes at work, folks!

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OO Big Cities Head For Water Crisis As Populations Explode - and the resulting climate change creates ever worsening droughts.

OO Populations Clash With Forest Conservation Via Agriculture

OO Borneo: Populations Clash With Forest Conservation Via Hunting

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Credit: projectgreenbag.com

OO How Did We Ruin The Oceans? 7 Billion People, That's How - the climate-changing and chemical pollution of the oceans and voracious appetites of exploding populations are fueling dramatic changes and extinctions of marine animals and ecosystems, warn scientists.

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*** YOU CAN ACT ***

Global Population Speak Out 2015 - pledge to become a Population Speak Out activist, raising public awareness in a variety of ways, including your own.

OO Population Taboo -- Kiss It Adieu! Dave Gardner of Growthbusters.org gives a good 2010 summary of why we need to speak out.

@@ The Most IMPORTANT Video You'll Ever See, Part I - Human populations are growing exponentially... see what this means for human survival.

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Feb 22, 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 is experiencing colder than normal temperatures, while surrounded by abnormally warm waters. The increased moisture from the warm waters combines with the cold to produce record breaking blizzards in the northeast. Meanwhile, the abnormally warm eastern Pacific continues to prevent much rain from reaching California, sending it into further drought.

Much of the areas surrounding the North Pole, and the North Pole itself 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.

Social Repercussions:

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A nearby volcanic eruption is evocative of the apocalypse. Credit: Francisco Negroni

OO Extreme Climate Change Tops List of How Civilization Will Most Likely End in a report created by Oxford scientists based on research. The other 11 global risks include everything but the obvious: too many people, which fuels many of the named risks.

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OO Pennsylvania Vs. Climate Change: Lyme Disease Becomes Epidemic

OO Climate Change Threatens Future Of Australian Outdoor Summer Sport

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Credit Jatkins at Wikimedia Commons

OO Researchers: Rising Sea Levels Having Effects At Kennedy Space Center

Natural Repercussions:

OO South America: Changes In Lakes Warning Signs Of Climate Change on other parts of the world, say researchers.

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

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A Camaroon logging truck full of murdered giants. Credit Amcaja at Wikimedia Commons

OO Illegal Logging Still A Big Issue In Cameroon

OO Zimbabwe Forests Under Threat

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Malay forest newly cleared for palm oil farm. Credit Rhett Butler at Mongabay

OO Illegal Logging Contributed To Deadly Malaysian Floods - says government minister.

OO Malaysian Authorities Failing To Take Action Against Poachers - wildlife is integral to forest health.

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Source www.boardinggate101.com

OO New Caledonia, SW Pacific: Ancient Majestic Trees Die Off, Near Extinction - no one reason can be pinpointed, but climate change appears to be fueling a few possible factors, including infestation, feral disturbance, and hot dry weather. These Millenium trees only start reproducing when they become 500 years old.

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Where Do Your Chocolate Come From? Wikipedia

OO 'Sustainable' Cacao Company Allegedly Continues Deforestation to Farm

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 these crocuses 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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