Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.
Climate-Change Christmas Carols - by Ethan Kuperberg in "Shouts and Murmurs" at the New Yorker caught my eye. Okay, I admit I haven't sung any of these - but one is SO tempted!
OO 2014: Riding A Rocket, Divestment Movement Gains Momentum - there is a growing belief among global leaders, investors, scientists, and large corporations that the use of fossil fuels must be sharply curtailed--if not phased out--for the sake of future generations.
Is Straw the New Black? The good guys, Presidents Obama (US) and XI Jinping (China) are first and third, from left to right; the "sold my soul to fossil fuel darkness" ones are Prime Ministers Tony Abbott (Australia) and Stephen Harper (Canada), second and fourth. Credit: Dylan Petrohilos
OO The Good, The Bad And The Ugly:
Who Fought Climate Change (Or Didn't) In 2014
Keeping Humanity Safe with Forests. Forests help regulate global climate, so their large scale loss through exploitation could spell disaster for our agriculture and drinking water supplies. Mongabay.com
OO Tropical Deforestation Could Disrupt Rainfall, Agriculture Globally - besides accelerating global warming. Global food production could be threatened by distorting rainfall patterns across, Europe, China and the US Midwest, says a new study.
OO 9 Things Scientists Did This Year To Ensure A Better Climate Future
> "What We Know" Report from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest US scientist organization - why scientists are highly alarmed at their own predictions, including a world mere decades away that can no longer support humanity, causing an end to "modern civilization as we have come to know it."
Just one of many climate effects impacting the US.
><>The US National Climate Assessment Report
Broke It Down By Region - put together by 300 leading climate scientists and experts, it found that the impacts of climate change are happening now across the US.
<><>The New Climate Economy Report
Showed Us How To Get Somewhere Better - the sooner, the better.
><><> The Living Planet Report : We're Losing Vital Biodiverty FAST
> The World Energy Outlook Report Gave Some Stark News:
We'll Enter a Climate Danger Zone by 2040 - without drastic action to cut emissions soon. One place to start is to cut fossil fuel subsidies, which do not help those that need it.
<> Inventors Of The LED Won The Nobel Prize For Energy-Saving Technology
><> Scientists Asked Florida Governor Rick Scott To Take Climate Action
<><> Several Studies Show Natural Gas Is No Answer to Climate Change - it's a dirty fossil fuel whose promotion delays needed investment in clean energy.
SOLAR KEEPS FLYING
OO US Solar-Plus-Storage Market to Surpass $1 Billion by 2018
OO Scientists Demonstrate 45.7% Efficiency for Concentrator Solar Cell - at the Dept of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, one of the highest efficiencies achieved for any type of solar cell.
This concentrator cell can receive more than 1,000 suns of concentrated sunlight. It greatly improves earlier designs with an additional high-quality absorber layer to achieve an ultra-high efficiency.
OO The Desolenator Make Clean Drinking Water
From Salt Water With A Little Sunlight the solar-powered device could make the process affordable for the millions of people around the world who don't have running water.
OO India to Fund $158 Million for 1 Gigawatt of Solar Projects
OO Australia: Record-Breaking Solar Electric Car Getting Ready to Hit the Streets
Check it out here, right now!
GOOD CLEAN NEWS
OO Nearly $1 Billion Available for PACE Projects in 2014 - Property Assessed Clean Energy loans exploded in 2014.
OO Green Bonds Sell Big In 2014 As Finance Bids To Help Climate
OO Richard Branson Joins Forces With Amory Lovins in Climate Fight - Branson's foundation allies Lovins' Rocky Mt Institute to creat a mega-think tank for clean energy.
OO Smart Thermostat Programs Roll on in Texas, Arizona and Maryland
OO EBay Cuts Ties To Anti-Clean Energy Political Group ALEC
OO India: Major Wind Manufacturer Plans to Focus on Solar
OO Scotland: 269 Sunken Turbines To Make World's Largest Tidal Farm capable of powering nearly 175,000 homes in the U.K. with 400 megawatts of power; the project breaks ground next month.
OO Obama Takes Executive Action To Protect Alaska's Coastline Forever
OO Coal Ash, Second-Biggest US Form Of Waste,
To Be Federally Regulated
For The First Time - although the regulations fall short of being adequate, say many groups.
OO Washington State: Gov. Inslee Wants To Cap And Tax Emissions
From Major Polluters
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a statewide ban on fracking, after noting the health hazards of the process. Source: www.crainsnewyork.com
OO New York Will Ban Fracking - health hazards drew concern.
OO California: Energy-Storage Plans Gain Ground - proposals for energy storage systems beat out hundreds of bids to construct new power plants as a way to meet peak power needs.
OO Birds Are Avoiding Offshore Wind Farms,
OO Global Coal Demand Growth To Slow In Next Five Years as China, the world's biggest consumer of the fuel, takes steps to cut energy intensity and diversify supply, says the IEA.
OO China Plans Big Slowdown Of New Coal-To-Gas Projects
OO Wisconsin Green Groups Sue State
For Not Enforcing Air Pollution Standards
OO US Power Sector Needs $2.1 Trillion in Investment by 2035, Says IEA
Ice pancakes are now more common in the Arctic as it melts, which could further speed melting.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK
Fossil Fuel Follies:
OO Forget Oil -- Fossil Fuel Byproducts Caused Major Disasters in 2014 - such as coal ash, fracking wastewater, and petcoal, far more insidious forms of pollution. ICK!
OO Ohio: 25 Families Had To Flee Homes Due To Fracking Gas Leak
OO Petrochemical Factories: The Forgotten Mega-Polluters - just like the oil and gas industry, needs to be held accountable for its emissions, says a new report.
OO 57,000-Gallon Oil Spill In Canada
Forces Closure Of Pipeline To U.S.
OO Black Lung Escalates In China Just As Coal Use Starts To Slow
OO UK: North Sea Oil Industry 'Close to Collapse' says senior industrial leader.
OO Latest International Climate Pledges Still Fall Short of 2°C Goal,
Says New Research
"The pledges made so far lead to earlier emission peaking in many countries, with 1-1.5 °C less total warming than without these policies, but not sufficient to meet the 2°C target."
@@ Last Call at The Oasis is a powerful new documentary on water scarcity, and what we can do about it, if we act now.
OO USGS: High Plains Aquifer Groundwater Declining - rising population and climate change are drawing down a major US aquifer dangerously fast.
WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS
Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Dec 28, 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, 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, keeping it in severe 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.
OO New York, Other Big US Cities Face More Power Outages
From Climate Change
OO Tipping Point Nears for 'Emerging Flooding Crisis' - much sooner than previously thought, says a new study.
By 2050, sea level rise will create monthly flooding in more than two dozen cities, and in some of those cities, it could be daily by the 2070s.
OO Alaska: Melting Permafrost Threatens Infrastructure, Homes as much of the ground beneath them, stripped of natural cover and warming up from the Brooks Range south, is becoming unstable.
OO Bad News For Florida:
Greenland Ice Melting Could Be Much Faster than previously thought, say two new studies.
OO Climate Changes, Habitat Loss Cited As Threats To 300+ Bird Species
OO Europe's 500 Year Record Heat Directly Tied to Climate Change - say 3 different studies from different countries.
OO Persistent Warming Driving Big Arctic Changes - and in the lower 48, too, as the Arctic continues to heat twice as fast as the rest of the world..
OO Australia: Drought Hits Queensland Milk Supplies
KEEPING CARBON STORED: FORESTS UPDATE
Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon
OO Connecting The Dots: From Christmas Cookies To Climate Change
OO 300+ Million Acres Of Degraded Lands Identified For More Agriculture
That Won't Harm Tropical Forests
OO Deforestation Impacts On Amazonian River
Ecosystems Could Be Far-Reaching - lessening their ability to support life.
OO Tropical Rainforests Not Absorbing As Much Carbon As Expected from heightened carbon dioxide levels, scientists say.
OO Amazonian Peatlands Store Mega Carbon - says a new study: 10 times more than undisturbed rainforest -- so their preservation is critical in fighting climate change.
OO Forests Could Be A Thrifty Way To Fight Ozone Pollution
OO New Mapping Technique Sheds Light On Dry Forests
Endemic, sometimes endangered birds in Camaroon are being threatened by deforestation.
Ondrej Sedlacek at Mongabay.com
OO Deforestation Taking Toll On Nesting Birds In Cameroon
OO Hunting Is A Greater Threat Than Logging For Most Wildlife In Borneo
OO Palm Oil Helpss Large-Scale Illegal Logging In Indonesia providing cover for the logging.
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 tundra berries 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. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.