THE BLOG
08/02/2014 02:58 pm ET Updated Oct 02, 2014

Climate Change This Week: The Jet Stream Run Amok, Cheap Wind and More!

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

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Aug 1, 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, the west bakes with above average temperatures as much of the rest of the US experiences unusually cool temperatures; the eastern Pacific warm spot continues to prevent much rain from reaching California.

Areas surrounding the North Pole are a mix of abnormally warm and cool temperatures - overall, 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.)

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OO Winds flowing north from just west of Hawaii, through the Bering Strait, over the North Pole and on into the North Atlantic as seen by NOAA's GFS model and imaged by Earth Nullschool.

OO Jet Stream So Weak Winds Are Running From Pacific to Atlantic Across the North Pole - this is truly bizarre. The Arctic circumpolar jet stream pattern appears to be breaking up.

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Love a challenge? Create a small solar inverter, and win a million dollars from Google.

OO Google's $1 Million Challenge: Make A Small Household Solar Inverter - about the size of a laptop will do. Takers, anyone?

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OO This Solar Car Just Set A New World Land Speed Record - over 50 miles per hour! Way to go, solar!

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Check it out here, right now!

GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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OO Ontario to Become Energy Lab with 34MW of Clean Energy Storage using batteries, flywheels, hydrogen and thermal energy storage in mandated mix.

OO California And Mexico Sign Climate Pact During Governor Brown's Visit

OO US Govt Cut Their Carbon Emissions 17% Since 2008 - like pulling nearly 2 million cars off US roads.

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Credit Mary Ellen Harte

OO Onshore Wind Power Is Now Cheapest Form Of New Electricity In Denmark

WHAT WORKS

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Speaking out:

OO Ex Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin: Tackling Climate Change Will Save Economy - not harm it, but we need a better measure of economic health than GDP.

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Waiting to Slash CO2 Emissions Could Cost You and US says a Council of Economic Advisers report released by the White House, reports Bobby Magill at Climate Central. The cost of the U.S. delaying action on climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions could increase 40% each decade if no action is taken.

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Extreme weather and sea level rise will cause climate costs, already monumental, to spike in the future if not dealt with now.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions sooner rather than later helps to offset the threat of sea level rise, higher temperatures and melting ice sheets, which could cause costly and widespread damage in the future if nothing is done to slash CO2, according to the report.

OO Judge Halts Plans To Drill Near California National Park citing competition for scarce water, and endangered wildlife.

OO 21 Protesters Arrested For Trying To Block The First US Tar Sands Mine in Utah.

Good Ideas:

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OO New York: How Hurricane Sandy's Aftermath Is Creating a Smarter Power System

OO Electric Vehicles Offer a Major Growth Opportunity for Utilities

OO Netherlands: Town Uses Ocean To Provide Heat To Low-Income Residents - as fishing declines, the ocean now becomes a source of clean energy.

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A villager harvests palm for construction. Credit: Rhett Butler at Mongabay.com

Local Communities Key To Saving Forests, Curbing Global Warming says a new report, writes Morgan Erikson-Davis at Mongabay. Deforestation is compromising forests worldwide, destroying vital habitat and causing greenhouse gases emissions that contribute to global warming. A possible solution? Protect forests by empowering the local communities that live within them.

OO Brazil's Indigenous Tribes: The Low Cost Solution To Climate Change?

Scientific Insights:

OO Is Antarctica's ice cover really increasing?

WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies

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Natural Gas Is a Bridge to Climate Hell writes Naomi Orestes at TomDispatch, for several reasons:

1. it leaks from wells - whether in use or abandoned (wells can rarely be sealed completely) -- and during transport, and is inefficiently burned via flaring onsite at gas fields.

2. it is 70-80 times more potent than CO2 at trapping heat, ie, warming the globe, during its atmospheric lifetime of 20 years or so; so rising emissions from rising leaks means far more heating.

3. cheap gas suppresses the rapid switch to renewable clean energy: solar, wind and geothermal power.

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Coal Fired Plant in China. Natural gas does not stop US coal from being exported and burned elsewhere: it does not replace the coal. Credit Kleineolive at Wikipedia.

4. it doesn't replace coal: US coal, not burned, simply gets exported and burned overseas.

5. committing a vast infrastructure to natural gas commits powerful lobbies to ensure it continues.

6. no data indicate that natural gas is decreasing US carbon emissions yet; preliminary 2013 data suggest just the opposite.

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OO Buy Low, Sell High: How Big Coal, The BLM Cheat US Taxpayers

OO EPA Is Failing To Stop Methane Leaks From Pipelines says Inspector General

OO Nearly Half Of UK Opens To Fracking Exploration including protected areas

Denial:

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OO Poll: U.S. Leads The World... In Climate Denial says a poll of 20 countries and 16,000+ people... home of the fossil fuel-billionaire, climate-denial-funding Koch Bros, where money buys idiocy.

Clueless Leadership:

OO West Virginia: Both Major Congressional Candidates Say Climate Change 'Not Our Problem'

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Many Republican governors object to EPA regulations. Photo: AP Images

Governors: Hate EPA's Carbon Regs? Your States May Benefit The Most shows new research, reports Joanna Foster at Climate Progress. Previous polls showed that governors opposing EPA's proposed carbon limits are clueless about how their constituents feel. Add economic cluelessness to that.

OO Iowa Governor Accused Of Passing Up $1 Million For New Solar

RISING RISKS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

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There will be a point when high tide flooding will be more than a nuisance for Miami.
Via floridatrend.com

OO Tidal 'Flooding' Rising In US Coastal Cities As Sea Level Inches Up

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Global Heating Threatens US Transport: Roads, Ports and Planes - transport could be both a cause and a casualty of climate change, a new report says, reports Bobby Magill at Climate Central. Transport is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, but the resulting climate change will wash away bridges and roads, make flying more expensive, soften highways in heat waves, and more.

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Colorado River itself gets pretty dry, but the basin is also suffering a dramatic loss of groundwater.
Wikipedia.

Colorado River Basin Suffering Shocking Water Loss in its groundwater, says a new study, reports Jeff Spross at Climate Progress, with the fastest depletion in the latest year with data, 2013. The basin supplies water to 40 million people and 4 million acres of cropland across California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming and Colorado. The loss has major ramifications for supply food for the US - think spiking food and water prices.

OO CA: Salmon Are Dying As Salmon River Gets Too Hot - poached salmon, anyone?

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As The Planet Heats, More People Will Go Hungry, Thirsty says a new study, reports Emily Atkin at Climate Progress. A million people are hungry and without drinking water in inner China due to extreme heat and drought, and such tableaus will be magnified worldwide, scientists conclude, as rising temperatures and ozone pollution increasingly harm crop yields.

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Photo: CIAT at flickr

OO Rising Temperatures Harm India's Wheat Crop

OO Sahel Food Shortage As Climate Change Further Threatens Crops say studies.

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OO Europe: Habitat and Wildlife Are Vulnerable to Climate Change says a new study.


OO Five Ways Climate Change Harms Indigenous People from the Arctic to the Amazon and beyond.

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Photo: Esteban Cobo/EPA

OO As Arctic Ice Melts, Giant Waves Form in Expanding Waters - house-sized ones were measured in recent storms.

Extreme Weather:

OO People Die As Phoenix Sets Temperature Records In Arizona Extreme Heat Wave - "More people die from heat than any other weather event."

OO Japan: 11 Die, 1000s Sicken As Temperatures Reach 101 Degrees

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Lightning strikes the windy city. Credit Barry Butler at Twitter.

OO Chicago: Increased Storms Flood Nearly 600 Buildings With Sewage in 2013 - as climate change effects overwhelm the ancient sewer system there.

OO Boston: Tornado Hits Nearby As Cold Air Invades US Again A tornado touches down north of Boston as another blast of colder-than-normal air invades the eastern U.S

OO Late July Chill Helps Set Record Lows Across Eastern US

KEEPING CARBON STORED: FOREST UPDATE

OO Deforestation Rising In Carbon-storing Yasuni Natl Park As Ecuador To Open It To Drilling in this world-class biodiversity hotspot.

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New Guinea rainforests are home to many Birds of Paradise, besides being important carbon storage systems. Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology

Palm Oil Company Clears Rainforest In New Guinea reports Rhett Butler at Mongabay. An Indonesian Stock Exchange-listed company, whose commissioner is a member of The Nature Conservancy-Indonesia's board, has been clearing dense rainforest in New Guinea, finds a new report from Greenomics-Indonesia. The report is based on analysis of data from Global Forest Watch, NASA satellites, Indonesia's Ministry of Forestry, and company documents.

OO Forest Conservation: Reconnecting Religious Faith And Forests - sacred forest patches are important in conserving biodiversity in Africa and Asia. Can they be expanded?

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The jaguar, denizen of the Brazilian Amazon. Wikipedia

Brazil Could Meet All Its Food Demand By 2040 Without Cutting Down Another Tree
Better utilization of its vast areas of pasturelands could enable Brazil to dramatically boost agricultural production without the need to clear another hectare of Amazon rainforest, cerrado, or Atlantic forest, argues a new study published in the journal Global Environmental Change, reports Mongabay.

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The Amazonian rainforest is home to many beautiful hummingbirds found no where else. Credit Michel Giraud-Audine at flickr.

Phone-Based Logging Alert System Eyes Expanding To The Amazon - After exceeding an ambitious fundraising target to launch a near-real time forest monitoring system in the Congo Basin, a San-Francisco based start-up is now eyeing expansion in the Amazon, where it hopes to help an indigenous rainforest tribe fight illegal logging, reports Mongabay.

OO Peru Slashes Environmental Protections To Attract More Mining, Fossil Fuel Investmenst - bye-bye, carbon storing forests...

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 subalpine flowers I photographed one summer. 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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