THE BLOG
10/02/2014 09:42 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: Solar Sunflower, Banks Bank on Clean Energy, 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, Oct 2, 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 wobbling jetstream continues to influence US weather, with half the country baking while the other half experiences cooler than average weather; 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.

(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.)

SOLAR KEEPS SURFING

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OO Utility Study: If You Can't Beat Solar, Join It - the rise of solar power won't raise rates, and will only hurt those utilities that do not invest in it.

OO California: Clean Solar N Storage
Now Competes With Dirty Fossil Fuels
- even without subsidies, says a company that is working to profit from it. Here's why.

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This solar generator, created by IBM, boasts an 80% efficiency in converting radiation into electricity and heating water. Source: IBM

New Solar Sunflower Generator Is 80% Efficient at converting radiation into electricity and heating water, reports Robin McKie at the UK Guardian, and can also desalinate water. Each 30 foot generator can generate enough electricity and hot water for several homes on a sunny day.

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Check it out here, right now!

GOOD CLEAN NEWS

OO Climate Summit Fallout: Raises Business' Interest, Activism

OO Economic Benefits Of Preventing Global Warming
Enters The Political Debate
as studies show the benefits are many.

OO New Global Alliance for Energy- Efficient Appliances and Equipment Launched

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OO Bank of America Announces $10 Billion Catalytic Finance Initiative
to Accelerate Clean Energy Investments
that reduce carbon emissions.

OO New York State's Clean Energy Strategy:
Let the Market Pick the Winners
- as it lets regulators create a general framework for developing a distributed clean energy grid, and then step back and let market forces take over.

OO The Montreal Policy Prevented
the Most Carbon Emissions Annually
indicates a new analysis.

WHAT WORKS

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Speaking Out:

OO US Carbon Emissions Tick Higher;
Obama Tells UN: 'We have to do more.'

OO Obama Presses Chinese on Global Warming

OO UK Coal Power Plants Should Be Phased Out,
Says David Cameron

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Leonardo di Caprio spoke at the UN climate summit. CBSNews

OO Leonardo DiCaprio Addresses UN Climate Summit:
'You Can Make History... Or Be Vilified By It'

Good Ideas:

OO Cancel Developing Countries' Debt
In Exchange For Climate Change Action

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Renting cars by the hour is becoming a realtiy for many Americans, especially in cities.

OO We Could Save $100 Trillion If
We Ditched Private Car Ownership By 2050
says a new report.

OO Citizen Scientists Classify Storms For The Cyclone Center - what a great way to get engaged with the science....

OO New Formula Could Cut Pollution From Concrete - important, because it is the most-used construction material in the world and a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions.

Scientific Insights:

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Sticky weather: the normal gentle curve of the jet stream is forced into becoming steeper and slower, causing hot or cold weather to "stick" for longer periods than normal.
New Scientist

Crazy Weather Traced To Arctic's Impact On Jet Stream reports Andy Coglan at New Scientist. The rapid retreat of Arctic sea ice caused by climate change may be to blame for more frequent prolonged spells of extreme weather in Europe, Asia and North America, such as heat waves, freezing temperatures or storms.

OO Ageing Societies Will Be Better For The Planet

Just How Fast Can Sea Levels Rise?
15 Feet a Century
and possibly more, says a new study, reports Phys.org. Sea levels rose at least this fast after the 5 most recent ice age periods.

Check out this video of eminent scientists explaining how global warming is accelerating sea level rise now:

OO Climate Impact Of Black Carbon Severely Overestimated says study.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies:

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Peter Essick

OO Record Year For Fossil Fuel Emissions
Pushes Carbon Budget To The Brink

OO US Carbon Emissions Rise Despite Obama Climate Plan

OO Indonesia: Coal Mine Has Heavy Impact On Forests

WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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OO Floods, Forest Fires, Expanding Deserts: The Future Has Arrived indicates evidence from around the world.

OO Flooding Risk From Climate Change, Country by Country

OO Australia: Greenhouse Gases Made Hottest Year On Record
'2,000 Times More Likely'

new research finds.

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OO How Global Warming Affected Extreme Weather Events In 2013
- Interactive:
92 international scientists report on how climate change affected 16 of the biggest 2013 weather events: droughts, heatwaves and more intense storms were affected.

OO As the Tropics Expand Towards Poles,
So Do Tropical Cyclones

YOU CAN ACT

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You don't have to be a Rockafeller to divest:

Take the Divest/Invest Pledge - to demonstrate the growing numbers of individual investors who are saying no to fossil fuels in their portfolios.

Divest from climate polluters and reinvest in clean energy. Green America's Fossil Free Investment campaign has the most complete resources available.

Break up with your megabank.
Megabanks continue to invest billions in coal and other fossil fuels, even after pledging to go carbon free. Green America's Break Up With Your Megabank Campaign has all the resources you need to move your money to banks and credit unions that invest in local communities and green companies.

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Share this information widely.
Encourage family, friends, your house of worship, school, etc. to divest their money from fossil fuels as well. The faster the movement grows, the more pressure there will be on polluters.

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

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When forests are destroyed, so are other forms of wildlife, like these orangutans. Recycling clothes can help. Credit: Rhett Butler at Mongabay.

Avoid New Clothes To Save Forests because many new clothes are made by destroying forests, reports Mike Garowecki at Mongabay. How? Synthetic fibers that make up new clothing - rayon, viscose, et al - are made from dissolved pulp, produced by dissolving forest trees with toxic chemicals. The trees are supplied by Indonesian wood fiber plantations, which destroy rainforests.

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A happy thrift shopper: buying used clothing not only helps save forests, but saves you money. Full disclosure: I buy almost ALL my clothing used - and I love it! It's like an exciting treasure hunt!
Bruce Stambaugh

Before buying new clothing, think about buying used clothing from online auctions, consignment and thrift shops, and your local yard sales. You save money AND forests.

OO Norway To Pay Liberia To Stop Deforestation

OO Cargill Commits To Zero Deforestation
Across Entire Global Supply Chain

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This Cock of the Rock is just one of many fascinating birds that live in the carbon-storing forests of Peru.

Norway, Germany to Pay Peru To Stop Deforestation reports Jeremy Hance at Mongabay. Peru's President has signed a partnership with these countries, pledgying to grant title of at least 10+ million additional acres of forest to indigenous people, who are often the best preservers of their forests. Germany will continue its conservation aid to Peru, as Norway pledges $300+ million in exchange for verified results over the next 6 years.

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Orchids are important indicators of a forests health, and are used to predict extinction of other species, and to help manage forests.

The "Canaries" of Forest Health,
Orchids Are Threatened by Deforestation
, reports Julian Moll-Rocek at Mongabay, especially in South America. One of the largest plant families in existence, orchids tend to be highly localized, so are going extinct especially rapidly as special habitats disappear worldwide from human development.

OO Logging, Plantations Threaten The Functioning Of Remaining Forests by affecting the community makeup of ants and termites, vital for nutrient and seed distribution in forests, says new research.

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 African everlasting flower 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.

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