THE BLOG
01/26/2015 03:07 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: State of the Climate, Solar Rise, and More!

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


OO A "Cheesy Love Story" : The Fun Ad Doritos Doesn't Want You to See - palm oil is bad for people and our carbon-storing rainforests. It's in Doritos.

Related Headline:

OO Fake Doritos Ad Pressures Pepsi Over Palm Oil Policy

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The State of the Climate

Takeaways:

* Our global "water insurance," glaciers, are melting away.

* Sea level rise: 8 inches over past century -- now, rising much faster.


"The Fuse is Blown":
Glaciologist's Jaw Dropping Account of a Shattering Moment

Eric Rignot co-authored a paper last spring showing that large areas of the West Antarctic Ice sheet are now in "irreversible decline" -- think irreversible sea level rise....

* Things are changing FASTER than the science predicted.

But we can act to address this fast - the solutions are relatively cheap!
Will you be part of the solution?

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Just how likely is global warming man-made, not random variability?

OO Go Figure: Figuring the Odds of Earth's Hot Streak of Years - by statisticians on the warming being random, rather than man-made.

OO EPA Plans Oil and Gas Methane Emissions Cuts - up to 45% by 2025 (from 2012 levels) Well, that will hack away at a future source ... but what about present sources from fossil fuel operations - and from the tundra due to global warming?

SOLAR KEEPS RISING

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OO Solar Power On The Rise - As the cost of solar power continues to fall, the market booms worldwide: in many parts, it is now cheaper to produce solar power than fossil fuel or nuclear energy

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OO USA: Solar Is Cheaper Than the Grid
in 42 of the 50 Largest Cities
- and in almost all of them, solar is a better investment than the stock market.

Related headline:

OO Report: Forget Stocks, Invest In Solar Panels

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OO Solar Is Adding Jobs 20 Times Faster Than the Broader Economy


Related Headline:

OO The Solar Industry Created More Jobs In 2014 Than Oil And Gas Extraction

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OO US South Goes Solar:
Bipartisans Support Solar Spread in Florida & Georgia
- from tea partyers to liberals.

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OO Host-Owned Rooftop Solar Improves a Home's Resale Value - says a new study.

OO CA: Another Big 550MW Solar Farm, Desert Sunlight, Goes Online - as California adds solar capacity in half-gigawatt chunks.

OO US SunEdison Plans $4B Solar Factory, 5GW of Projects - In India

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Check it out here, right now!

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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OO Save Energy --> Cut Pollution --> Cut Children's Asthma - is the message that really works to get people to cut home energy use, says a UCLA study.

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OO US Produces More Wind Power Than Any Other Nation President Obama said in his 2015 State of the Union address, notes the Power of Wind team at the American Wind Energy Association. We also make the most productive wind turbines, but all that is threatened by the recent cut of the federal Production Tax Credit in Congress.

OO Americans Getting More Serious About Global Warming As A Priority - says a new Pew Poll, but at 22nd place in the list of 23 top policy priorities, you might wonder how - 38% of those polled put it on the list, however, and that's a popup of almost 10% from last year.

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OO Maine: Green-Energy Inspiration Found on a Danish Island - Maine's Monhegan stands to learn from the Danish energy-independent island of Samso.

OO California Takes Lead In Developing Energy Storage - mandating enough stored energy in its utilities to power 1 million homes.

OO US Automakers Keep Rolling Out Electric Vehicles

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The many, many reasons why China is cutting subsides for polluting non-electric cars. Wikipedia

OO China to Cut Subsidies for Non-Electric Vehicles

OO Soon 80% Of Canada Could Have A Carbon Price

OO Mines Worldwide Becoming Important Market for Renewables - both as providing solar/wind power sites on deserted lands, and powering current operations with clean renewables.

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WHAT WORKS

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Speaking Out:

OO Poland's Shale Gas Revolution Evaporates In Face Of Protests

OO W VA: Facing Backlash, Board Of Education Votes
For an Accurate Climate Change Curriculum

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OO Activists Rally Across USA: Call On White House To Reject Keystone XL


OO Religious Activists Tell Republicans To Get Religion On Climate Change

Insights:

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Mongabay

OO Drying And Burning Peatlands Amplify Global Warming

Good Ideas:

OO Biggest Energy Innovation? Go Without - energy efficiency is the invisible fuel.

OO Making Bike Sharing Part Of Public

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WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies:

OO New - And Worrisome - Contaminants Emerge
From Oil And Gas Wells
- two new hazardous fracking waste chemicals - ammonium and iodide - are pouring into Pennsylvania and West Virginia waterways, a new study shows.

OO Who Needs Lobbyists?
Big Energy Spends Big Ad Bucks To Win American Minds

OO Fracking Plays Dirty - fracking sand companies in Wisconsin are asking to be annexed to cities so country regulations don't stop their growth.

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OO Burning Oil : 2.7 Million Gallons A Minute and Rising - Global oil consumption has never been higher and is rising.

OO Canada: 230,000 People With No Drinking Water After Diesel Spill

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Biomass burning emits greenhouse gases, and is how America is legally burning its carbon-storing forests: turning them into wood pellets and exporting them to European fireplaces.

OO EPA Gives Green Light to Biomass Pollution - a bad idea, made worse when people start defining carbon-storing forests as "biomass." Burning biomass emits greenhouse gases.

Even more emissions occur when OO Biomass Industry Plays With Fire and gets burned.

Related Headline:

OO UK: 'Green' Biomass Boilers May Waste Billions In Public Money

Clueless Leadership:

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

OO House Passes Sneaky Bill
Attacking Public Health and Environmental Regulations

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Jan 25, 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.

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Nature's Breaking Points: Humanity Has Crossed 4 Out Of 9 'Planetary Boundaries' says a new study, reports Joel Achenbach at the Washington Post, beyond which we are destabilizing our environment and creating an unsafe future for humans in coming decades. The crossed boundaries are the extinction rate, deforestation, atmospheric CO2 levels, and the flow of nitrogen and phosphorous into the oceans.

Although the paper mentions our exploding populations, the authors miss that for what it is: the most obvious crossed boundary of all, and the main force pushing us beyond other boundaries.

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An array of human ills, from allergies to depression will increase in a warming world and cause additional deaths, says the World Health Organization.

OO Seven Ways Climate Change Could Really Kill You include allergies, heart attacks, salmonella outbreaks, depression, malaria, diarrhea, heat exposure and malnutrition, all of which will increase as the world warms further, the World Health Organization warns.

Natural Repercussions:

OO Global Warming Linked To More Extreme Weather And Weaker Jet Stream - more directly than ever.

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Source Citizen Of Earth at DailyKos

Sea Levels Rising Much Faster Than Previously Thought says a new study, reports Seth Borenstein at the Sacramento Bee via AP. The study uses a new method showing that the rise during much of the 20th century was actually underestimated by about 30% -- that is, the rise was slower.

But that means the rise since 1990 to present must be actually far faster to account for current levels. So, the current rise is much faster than previously estimated. Oh-oh.

Related Headline:

OO Sea Level Rise Accelerating Faster Than Thought

OO Earth's Fresh-Water Resources At Risk says a new study.

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High altitude forest in the Grand Canyon National Park. Credit Park Williams, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory

Dry Skies Literally Drying Out And Threatening US Southwest Forests reports John Upton at Climate Central, say researchers. Due to drought, the skies are holding so much less water than they could that it is creating a lack of vapor pressure, known as a vapor pressure deficit.

This ends up pulling moisture out of the high altitude southwest forests atop plateaus and mountains. This, added to decreased snowpacks and higher temperatures, is behind ever worsening wildfire seasons there, and increasing loss of forests.

OO Alarm Over Siberian Sea Permafrost Thaw, Methane Leak where a Russian gas company plans to drill - just west of the peninsula where a giant sinkhole was discovered last summer, probably created from methane escaping the melting permafrost.

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Source: www.dcclothesline.com

OO Mass Die-Offs Of Fish, Birds, Mammals Increasing - some of which are consistent with climate change.

OO 2014 Was The Warmest Year Ever Recorded On Earth

OO Perennial Arctic Sea Ice Continues To Shrink - threatening the planetary summer thermal shield.

Human Repercussions:

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Source Facebook

OO CA: Drought Fears: Signs Of 4th Straight Dry Year - state and federal water officials sound the alarm, saying that more action will be needed to combat the continuing drought.

OO Los Angeles Basin: Far Higher GHG Methane Emissions Found

OO Fishing Industry Could Lose Up To $41 Billion Due To Climate Change says a new study.

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A parasitic trematode worm, magnified. Wikipedia

OO Another Reason To Fear Climate Change: You May Get Worms - parasitic ones, like the ones that invade your skin in the tropics.

OO Asia: Climate Change Plagues Nepal In The Himalayan Mountains as melting glaciers deprive it of needed hydroelectric power and change weather, threatening food crops.

OO Pakistan: Climate Change Turning Mountain Communities Into Soup of Hazards - as hotter temperatures that melt glaciers, and heavier rains create far more flooding.

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Smog over the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. Credit Brian Jeffrey Beggerly via wikimedia commons.

OO Airpocalypse Now: Beijing's Toxic Smog Soars Off Charts. Again.

OO Africa: Global Warming Foments Extremism in Boko Haram - contributing to the ongoing violence.

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

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Logging is widespread in Peninsula Malaysia, and in Malaysian Sarawak on Borneo Island.

OO High Deforestation Rates In Malaysian States Hit By Flooding

OO Sarawak Malaysia May Stop New Logging
After Much Deforestation And Corruption

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OO Amazon Gold Rush Destroying Huge Swaths Of Rainforest

OO Deforestation Climbing - Along With Fears - In The Amazon

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The real price of that steak dinner? More climate change, and threats to your health. Try something deliciously green next time! Wikipedia.

OO Global Warming Driver: Rising Meat Consumption
Pushes Farming Past Deforestation
- says a new study.

OO Sulawesi Village Seeks Protection For Sacred Forest
Threatened By Development - it supplies their water and, yes, store lots of carbon.

OO Palm Oil Expansion May Play Role In The Ebola Crisis - as expansion into forests increases likelihood of transmission from wildlife to humans.

Good Conservation Ideas:

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Courtesy Tim Kovar in the Portland Tribune

OO Tree Climbing As A Tool To Build Respect For Forests

OO Sulawesi, Indonesia: Farmers Help Restore Degraded Forests

OO Community Forest Management Attracts International Attention
In Sulawesi, Indonesia

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 stinging plant flower I photographed in Chile. 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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