Climate Change This Week: The Extreme Weather Connection, Another Solar Breakthrough, and More!

07/07/2015 10:46 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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

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Beautiful in so many ways: where people moved government to act on climate. Source www.infohostels.com

OO Netherlands: For First Time, A Court Orders A Government
To Act On Global Warming

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Moore, OK, the day after a huge tornado demolished it.
Credit Major Jon Quinlan/defenseimagery mil

OO Inaction On Climate Change Would Cost Billions,
Major Epa Study Finds
- a global agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions would prevent nearly 70,000 premature American deaths annually by t2100 while sparing the U.S. economic losses.

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Source greentechmedia.com

OO Wind and Solar Will Soon Become the 'Least-Cost Option
Almost Universally
' says the new Bloomberg New Energy Finance report.

Related Headline:

OO Three Ways The World's Power Mix Is About To Change - Takeaways from the Bloomberg report:

  • coal and gas are headed out
  • solar and wind are rushing in to replace them
  • as trillions are invested in them through 2040

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Solar Power In a Stormy Future? Credit Warren Gretz/NREL

OO Our Solar Future Will Have Too Many Coal Plants
To Make It Safe
from climate change predicts the new Bloomberg report. Indeed, total emissions will be up 13%, it predicts.

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Supercells are already pretty extreme, producing torrential downpours, and multiple tornadoes at times - do we really want to see them get more extreme? Source www.robotspacebrain.com

OO Most Extreme Weather Has Climate Change Link,
Study Says


Related Headline:

2015-07-07-1436278187-5361463-hurricanesandyrollercoasterCreditTomMihalekReutersccr284.jpg
Remnants of Hurricane Sandy: a Preview of Future Water Follies? Credit Tom Mihalek/Reuters

OO New Study Links Global Warming To Hurricane Sandy,
Other Extreme Weather Events

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OO US Community Solar Market to Grow Fivefold in 2015, Top 500MW in 2020
California, Minnesota, Colorado and Massachusetts will pave the way.

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Source climateandcapitalism.com

OO Abrupt Changes, Tipping Points To Create
A Chaotic Human Future
- indicate several studies, reports Ian Angus at Climate And Capitalism. Takeaways:

  1. paleoclimate records indicate that abrupt changes (eg, tipping points) occur
  2. it takes little to destabilize the climate
  3. current levels of greenhouse gases make tipping points unavoidable - James Hansen
  4. human communities will likely not adapt fast enough
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The Beaufort Sea hosts a large population of beluga whales; acidification will harm their food sources. Source gallery4share.com

OO Canada: Beaufort Sea Acidifying Fastest of All Oceans research suggests, offering a vision of what a major side effect of climate change will do to waters everywhere.

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Wikipedia
Ticks Are Spreading up in the subalpine Colorado Rockies, which has longer, warmer seasons than decades ago; ticks were never seen up at 10,000 feet (where our summer field research lab is) until about 3 years ago.

Now, every summer I can expect to find one or more crawling on or biting me - and they carry potentially fatal diseases.

OO Asthma, Ticks And Heatstroke:
Here's What Climate Change Could Mean For Your Health

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Ford's e-bike rollout....

OO As Car Sales Decline, Ford Explores Rentals, E-Bike

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OO Climate Change Harms California Wildflowers 15 years of field research indicates, with warmer, drier winters resulting in fewer types blooming in the fields.

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Buck Island Barrier Reef, St. Croix, Carribean:1995 (top), 2011, (bottom). Credit: John Brooks (top), David Arnold (bottom).

OO Then And Now: Coral Comparisons Offer Clues To Changing Climate - warmer waters and acidification are degrading our reefs.

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Bill Maher and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy discuss the Pope's recent encyclical on the environment.

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

OO El Nino, Exploding Populations, Could Send Food Prices Soaring Soon

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Do your part to prevent unintended births.

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

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SOLAR KEEPS DANCING

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OO First Solar CEO: 'By 2017, We'll Be Under $1.00 per Watt Fully Installed' -
For US Solar Power
with or without government tax incentives.

OO UCLA Discovers How Solar Cells' Charges Can Last for Weeks - instead of a few seconds, with huge implications for storing solar energy and increasing its reliability cheaply.

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OO Saudi Prince: Solar 'Will Soon Be Expanding Exponentially in the Kingdom' even as they continue to export climate changing oil.

OO Japan Building Giant Battery Systems to Store Solar Power

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A worker inspects solar panels at a Chinese solar farm. Source www.smh.au

OO Meet China's Clean Energy Wildcatters
Who Are $9 Billion Richer
- from developing solar power.

OO Spain: Anger Grows Over Law Designed to Halt Residential Storage - from both citizens and industry, who are fighting back.

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Check it out here, right now!

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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OO US Microgrid Capacity Will More Than Double by 2020
--and Include a Lot More Renewables

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OO Public Investment in Clean Energy 'Poised for Exponential Growth'

OO Scotland's Wind Power Hits Record Levels

OO Power From The Tides Growing In Europe, Canada

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WHAT WORKS

Speaking Out:

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Romans came out to support the pope's green message. Credit Paul Haring/CNS

OO Rome: Pope Francis's Environmental Message
Brings Thousands Onto Streets


OO New York: Group Calls For End To State's Coal Bailouts

Insights:

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In Greenland, massive calving of gigaton icebergs are creating earthquakes big enough to be felt far away - and are a seismic record of the accelerating rate of ice loss as the Arctic warms. Source brassgoggles.co.uk

OO 5.0 Earthquakes Are Shaking Greenland,
Tracking the Massive Ice Loss Underway
that continues to add to sea level rise.

OO A Healthier Lifestyle Will Also Help Fight Climate Change says study; cutting consumption of red meat and dairy, and banning fizzy CO2 filled drinks.

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WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies

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Mining Canadian crude creates much dirtier landscapes, too. Source Howl Arts Collective at flickr

OO Canadian Crude Oil 20% Dirtier Than Normal US Crude in terms of emissions, says a new study funded by the US Dept of Energy.

OO Enough Natural Gas Is Leaking to Negate Climate Benefits of using it over coal or oil, says a new report, due to leaks as well as controlled emissions via venting and flaring.

OO Utah: Fracking Town's Pollution Tied To Dead Babies - nearly all the infant deaths in 2013 had the same common factor: their mothers were pregnant during one of the worst winter fracking pollution episodes, the winter of 2012-2013.

Clueless Leadership

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

Instead of addressing climate change:

OO GOP Targets Clean Power Plan With Week Of Votes And Hearings

OO House GOP Bill Attacks Obama Plan To Limit Carbon Pollution
From Coal Plants

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Oct 12, 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 - all the way up to Alaska! -- 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:

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Source New York Times

OO US Summers Bringing More And More Heat - just how hot is your state? Check out the interactive.

Social Repercussions:

OO Climate Change Threatens 50 Years Of Progress In Global Health says study.

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OO Wildfires Threaten Thousands Of Homes In Southern California

OO Outer Banks National Seashores Could Lose $2 Billion To Rising Seas

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Woman (who must be incredibly hot herself) cools her father's head. The young and old are particularly vulnerable to extreme heat. Source www.todayonline.com

OO Pakistan Morgues Overflow As Heat Wave Kills 1,000+

OO Chile: No Let-Up Seen In Santiago's Driest June
In 50 Years
leading to headache-inducing levels of pollution and Andean ski slopes bereft of snow, with no rain clouds on the horizon.

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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 wildflowers 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.

Hope you all had a Happy 4th of July - our wildflowers sure did!

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