THE BLOG

Climate Change This Week: Earth Shaking News, Groundwater Disappearing, and More!

05/04/2015 05:01 pm ET | Updated May 04, 2016

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

@@ Global Warming in 60 Seconds - a good summary of the main facts, done in 1950s retro style.

*
*

2015-05-04-1430771595-8865889-JosIsidroTendetzaAntnaabslainactivistleaderccr255.jpg
José Isidro Tendetza Antún, an activist murdered days before he was to attend the Lima climate talks in 2014. Source: The Guardian

OO How many more? Murders of Environmental Defenders Rising - with 116 murdered in 2014 alone; indigenous activitsts are especially targeted.

*
*

2015-05-04-1430771633-76449-tropicalforeststreamcredjarOatflickrccr258.jpg

OO World's Plants, Soils To Switch From Absorbing
to Emitting CO2 By 2100
, study shows, depriving humanity of a vast storage space for carbon emissions.

*
*

2015-05-04-1430771892-5912016-droughtirrigationaditchinCAAPphotoJaeCHongccr237.jpg

Sign of the future? People are depleting major aquifers, formerly vast but now dwindling finite stores of underground water, around the world. Credit AP photo, Jae C Hong

California's Groundwater Could Dry Up Soon -
Just As Saudi Arabia's Just Did
reports Nathan Halverson at Reveal. Saudi Arabia allowed rich landowners to pump its major aquifer dry over 3 decades to grow wheat. No longer. Now, the country will have to spend far more on desalinating water and importing wheat to feed its citizens.

*
*

2015-05-04-1430771924-2392038-globaltemperaturerecord18802014NOAAdataccr276.png
Rising global air temperature, rising CO2, the 10 hottest years recorded yet (all occurring after 1998), and 361 (so far) consecutive months of above normal global average temperatures all show where this planet is headed.

OO The State Of The Earth In 4 Climate Trends

*
*

2015-05-04-1430771971-3260297-solarjobsintheUS20102014ccr276.png
US Solar jobs are booming, emissions are increasingly not tied to economic growth, the exploding growth of clean renewable energy worldwide, and increasing investments in renewables are all good signs of just how well we can address climate change. We need to do more, faster.

OO Four Hopeful Clean Energy Trends For Earth Day

*
*

2015-05-04-1430772011-7964526-ArcticOcean500skyUSGSUSGSatflickrviaMotherJones.png
Arctic sea and sky. Credit USGS

OO U.S. To Focus On Climate Change, Oceans
As New Chair Of Arctic Council

*
*

2015-05-04-1430772044-5862598-arcticfeedbackcyclesmehccr275.png
Feedback Cycles Will Warm Arctic More, without further human intervention. Two big ones: melting permafrost (purple) releases further greenhouse gases; melting ice (blue) exposes darker waters that absorb far more heat; a smaller feedback: warmer waters will increase phytoplankton blooms (green), which trap more heat in the waters. All three cycles will further reinforce themselves.

OO Melting Arctic Permafrost Creating Unstoppable Climate Change Cycle - as the permafrost melts and decays, releasing vast carbon emissions slowly, but enough ultimately to drive the cycle without human input.

Related Headlines:

2015-05-04-1430772074-773497-planktonphytocreditNOAAMESAproject640pxPhytoplanktonfoundationofoceanicfoodchaina.jpg
Phytoplankton blooms can trap heat in their surrouding waters. credit NOAA MESA project

OO Blooming Algae Could Accelerate Arctic Warming - as warming waters increase phytoplankton blooms, which, in turn, warm surrouding waters; this could result in 20% more Arctic warming by 2100, a new study says.

OO Why Arctic Warming Could Be Worse Than Previously Thought

2015-05-04-1430772118-4064935-icemeltinginarcticoceanwikipediaccr240.jpg
Crushing Thin Ice Is Easy especially as more extreme storms create giant waves. Wikipedia

OO Giant Waves Quickly Destroy Arctic Ocean Ice And Ecosystem - speeding up the removal of ice, vital in protecting the Arctic from further warming.

*
*

2015-05-04-1430772157-3532163-keepitinthegroundiconccr275.jpg
You can sign up here to join the Keep It In the Ground campaign, urging major world funds to divest from fossil fuels.

OO Leading Scientists Say 75% Of Known Fossil Fuels Must Stay Underground to avoid the worst effects of climate change, with economists in an Earth Day 2015 statement.

*
*

2015-05-04-1430772192-4721621-earthquakefromfrackingmapsnatural19572012fracking20132014SourceNewYorkTimesUSGSdataccr275.jpg
The left map shows sesmic activity 1957-2012; the center and right maps show the current seismic activity, linked to fracking. Credit: USGS data, source New York Times

OO Earth Shaking News:
Scientists Convinced Of Tie Between Earthquakes And Drilling

Related Headlines:

OO US Maps Pinpoint Earthquakes Linked To Quest For Oil And Gas

OO Oklahoma's Clear Link Between Earthquakes And Energy Boom

OO The Link Between Fracking Activity And Earthquakes Is Getting Stronger

*
*

2014-07-06-populationmatters2green.png

If we do not grow sustainably,
Our children will die inhumanely.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Engage social media and traditional media. Comment on social media, publish blogs, and write letters to the newspapers.Create a BUZZ!

And there are many more actions you can do, right here.

SOLAR KEEPS SMILING

2015-02-02-solarkeepssmilingpanelfield300x197ViaSolar.calfinder.com.jpg

OO SolarCity Will Add 300MW of Commercial Solar From New $1 Billion Fund

OO The Second Coming Of Solar Is Here -
With New Investment Opportunities

OO California: Company Provides Solar Power with Water Efficiency - NRG is the first solar company to do so.

2015-05-04-1430772222-9070394-solarplanefliesoverAbuDhabiSourceReutersccr275.jpg

OO The First Round-The-Globe PV-Powered Flight - the global journey is planned to last 25 days over five months, starting and finishing in the sun-scorched deserts of Abu Dhabi.

OO MIT Invention Turns Salt Into Drinking Water Using Solar Power

OO Does Going "Off The Grid" Actually Help The Climate? Not if the grid can distribute the power more efficiently to many users with far less redundant infrastructure.

2015-05-04-1430772276-2103695-chinasolarPVgreen400wviawww.evwind.esresize.jpg
China's solar journey continues.

OO China Adds Solar Power the Size of France in First Quarter 2015

OO Japan: Solar Energy Is on the Verge of a 'Global Boom' - as nuclear recedes and oil-fired power plants close, Japan is one of the world's largest markets for solar power.

2014-01-31-geostellargetcleanenergy.png

Check it out here, right now!

*
*
*

GOOD CLEAN NEWS

2014-03-14-cleanenergybulb500solutionsideabulblead972x514viaclimateprogresscctw97.jpg

OO Strong Future Forecast For Renewable Energy

OO The Age Of Wind And Solar Is Closer Than You Think - renewable energy, spurred by a crisis in climate, may usurp fossil fuels by mid-century.

OO Landmark US Govt Report Calls for Billions in New Grid Investments

2013-11-28-EnergyStarColorLogo.jpg

OO Congress Passes Bipartisan Bill to Improve Energy Efficiency

OO Congress Passes Bill for Grid-Enabled Water Heaters - letting thesebig energy users become far more efficient.

OO EPA's Proposed Carbon Rule Would Create 100,000s Of Jobs, report says.

2015-05-04-1430772316-9756415-fracking375aoilfieldpumpjackscreditUniversityofTexasviaCPcctw96.jpg
Fracking Fading? Time to stop this toxic, climate-changing, earth-shaking activity.

OO Half of U.S. Fracking Companies Will Be Dead or Sold This Year

OO Methane Emissions Can Be Cut Cheaply Worldwide from leaks by oil and gas operations, says a new study.

2015-05-04-1430772349-936726-chinesedragongreenccr234.jpg
OO China Could Get 85% Of Its Electricity From Renewables By 2050, report finds.

OO Chinese Banks Must Cut Coal Lending, Shift To Cleaner Businesses to win its pollution war.

2015-05-04-1430772385-8188620-SmoginHarbinChinaOct2013creditKyodoNewsAP_resize.jpg
A Clearer Future? China pursues less coal and more clean energy to clear its air.

OO China Reduces Coal Use And CO2 Emissions, boosting global climate talks.

OO China Plants the Most Carbon-Storing Trees With 'Green Great Wall'

2015-05-04-1430772426-8759970-norwayoilsourceUKTelegraphccr275.jpg
Norway's nationally owned oil company backs a tax on carbon. Source UK Telegraph

OO Big Oil CEO Backs A Global Tax On Carbon - Eldar Saetre, CEO of Statoil, the Norwegian oil giant.

OO Japan Hikes Target For Emissions Cuts To About 25% By 2030 - every little bit counts.

OO Australia Run On 100% Renewable Power By 2050, report finds due to falling costs of wind and solar power.

*
*
*

WHAT WORKS

2014-04-25-DITV507mb2.jpg

Speaking out:

OO Banking Giant: HSBC Warns Clients of Fossil Fuel Investment Risks

OO Big Insurers Warn US To Prepare For Climate Change rather than waste money responding to resulting disasters... a stitch in time...

<><><>

OO Former Shell Boss: Fossil Fuel Industry Must 'Change Profoundly' and step up efforts to develop low carbon technologies.

OO World Bank: Climate Change Is A 'Fundamental Threat' to development. Then stop funding fossil fuel projects, WB!

Good Ideas:

2015-05-04-1430772452-9115492-organicLEDlampsourceFastCompanyccr275.jpg
Lighting the Future: an organic LED lamp. Source Fast Company

OO No More Bulbs: Organic LEDs - made of thin layers, they can be used in every day objects, as they already are in TVs and mobile phones.

OO Liquid Batteries For Solar And Wind Power - flow batteries provide energy steadily over time and last much longer than other types of storage.

2015-05-04-1430772483-3832078-supermarketrefrigeratorfridgeSourcegreenmyplanet.netccr275.jpg
Storing Energy Is Cool when done at the right time. Source greenmyplanet.net

OO Turn Supermarket Fridges Into Energy Storage Assets - cool refrigerant liquid at night during cheaper off-peak hours, and use it to keep the fridges cool during the day and outages.

OO The New Carbon Tracker Initiative:
Blueprint For Fossil Fuel Divestment for Companies

Insights:

2015-05-04-1430772510-9184652-heatwavecityGermanywikipediaccr255.jpg
Hot Times Ahead Wikipedia

OO Temperatures Could Rise By 6C By 2100,
With Cataclysmic Results
say experts.

OO 75% Of World's Extremely Hot Days
Can Be Linked Now To Climate Change

OO Changes In Water Vapor And Clouds Are Amplifying Global Warming

@@ Looking for Global Warming? Check the Ocean

*
*

Informed Leadership:

OO Under U.S. Leadership, Arctic Council Vows To Fight Climate Change

2015-05-04-1430772537-3586820-corncropinEuropecreditH.RaabatFlickrccr252.jpg
Credit H. Raab at Flickr

OO USDA Takes on Agriculture's Huge Contribution To Climate Change

OO White House: Upgrade Grid to Withstand Climate Change

*
*
*

WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies

2015-05-04-1430772567-2227951-oildrillingdevelopmentCreditAPPhotoCharlesRexArbogastccr275.jpg
What Oil, Gas Does to Crop Land Credit AP Photo/ Charles Rex Arbogast

OO North America: Oil And Gas Industry Has Grabbed 7 Million Acres
Of Crop and Range Land Since 2000
- decreasing ecosystem services and productivity for the US and Canada.

OO Earthquakes Linked To Fracking Activity Are Rising, says U.S. Govt
"These earthquakes are occurring at a higher rate than ever before and pose a much greater risk to people living nearby."

2015-05-04-1430772598-5110210-pickyourpoisontheoilspillorthetoxicchemicalcleanupSourcesWikipediaGristccr275.png
Pick Your Poison: the oil spill or the toxic chemical cleanup, Sources Wikipedia, Grist

OO Replacing One US Pollution With Another:
Big Oil Uses Toxic Chemicals To Clean Up Spills

OO China's Pollution Challenge: Two Of Most Polluted Provinces
Fail To Limit Factory Emissions

Ignorance:

OO GOP Conservatives Don't Think Climate Change Will Happen In Their Lifetimes says a new Gallup poll, even though ...

OO 83% Of Americans Say Climate Is Changing says poll conducted by world's largest reinsurance company. Go figure.

Clueless Leadership

2013-11-28-goplogodeadwithoildropw220_resize.png

Even elephants can't survive on oil. Credit: Mary Ellen Harte

OO GOP Senate Agrees That Global Warming Occurring, Impacting US --
But Fails to Act
in a recent vote.

OO GOP Republican Presidential Hopefuls Ignore Climate Issue

OO Oklahoma: Lawmakers Vote To Outlaw Fracking Bans
-- As Fracking Earthquakes There Rise
-This is almost as good as flood-threatened Florida's governor refusing to let any state workers say "Climate Change". Just what DO they put in their Koolaid down in the Magnolia Zone?

2015-05-04-1430772628-2797000-publiclandsalefortimberSourcekswild.orgccr275.jpg
The sort of stuff our GOP Congress would like to see converted into sofas rather than saved for future generations. Source kswild.org

OO On Earth Day, GOP Congress Targets America's Public Lands and Waters

OO GOP Weighs How To Undercut Obama's Climate Talks

OO President Ignores Fracking Risks In The Everglades
As He Urges Action on Climate

*
*
*

WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

2015-05-04-1430772676-9822701-anomaltempmay042015.png

Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, May 4, 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: the eastern Pacific warm spot continues to prevent much rain from reaching California, sending it into further drought.

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:

OO Extreme Heat and Heavy Rain Events Expected to Double by 2100 due to climate change, says a new analysis.

2015-05-04-1430772713-9115438-UStemperaturesrisingsincefirstearthdaySourceClimateCentralccr275.png
Go to the link below for the live interactive.

OO Since First Earth Day, U.S. Temps Have Been Rising

OO At $24 Trillion, Oceans Are World's 7th-Largest Economy -
But Its Resources Are Eroding
due to over-fishing, pollution and climate change, a study said.

Natural Repercussions:

OO Viral Blight Could Ravage Earth's Wheat,
Aided By Rising Greenhouse Gases

OO Nearly Half of Biggest Investors Expose Their Assets To Climate Change and "gamble" on companies heavily exposed to environmental risks, says a new report.

2015-05-04-1430772796-1774394-africamigrantdisasterSourceUKDailyMailccr275.jpg
Thousands have died already in 2015 trying to migrate away from Africa. Source The UK Daily Mail

OO Africa: Migrant Tragedies Will Worsen With Climate Change

OO Brazil: Drought Blamed For Upsurge In Dengue Fever

OO India: Farmers Commit Suicide As Crops Fail From Bad Weather and debts mount.


California Dryin'

OO A Sea Dries, Exposing a Toxic Bomb of accumulated toxic pollution that the wind can now distribute.

OO 'Explosive' Wildfires Are Already Out Of Control
-- Months Before Fire Season

2015-04-13-1428954510-2485514-wildfirevortexMorganFireNEofSFcredMattGranzcourtesytwittersacramentoNationalWeatherService.jpg

OO Dry, Warm Conditions Keep California's National Forests Parched

OO Nine More Ways The State Has To Change Its Water Ways - use wastewater, smart meters to fine violators, tiered pricing, and stop using up our aquifers, for starters.

*
*
*

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

2015-05-04-1430772878-2683031-forestPitsfieldMARhettButlerccr257.png

Forests: worth saving. Credit Rhett Butler at Mongabay

OO McDonald's Commits To Zero Deforestation
Throughout Its Entire Supply Chain

OO Using Satellites To Stop Forest Destruction In Its Tracks - Orbital Insight plans to collect satellite imagery of tropical forests to track changes over time.

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.

2015-05-04-1430772925-5573967-AlstromeriawdropletsDSCN3095a.jpg