Category Archives: Climate Change

It’s time to prepare for a changing Earth; By Orrin Pilkey


Photograph courtesy of: © William Neal, Orrin Pilkey & Norma Longo.

Excerpts;

Global climate change is an obvious fact and we are already in the midst of it. The time for action is now. In two decades, in the opinion of many climatologists, it will be too late to prevent catastrophic global damage…

Read Full Article; By Orrin Pilkey, The Charlotte Observer (12-05-2019)

Freak storms of 2019 Atlantic hurricane season left trail of destruction and revealed climate change fingerprints


Dorian hurricane. Search and rescue efforts in the Bahamas (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Erik Villa Rodriguez). Captions and image source: ©© Coast Guard

Excerpts;

Both Dorian and Lorenzo, which became the strongest hurricane to develop so far northeast in the Atlantic, attained Category 5 strength. The storms brought the count of Category 5s in the Atlantic since 2016 up to six, and marked the fourth year in a row with at least one Category 5, the longest stretch on record.

The historic intensity of both Dorian and Lorenzo, exhibited influences consistent with warming ocean waters and climate change…

Read Full Article; The Washington Post (12-04-2019)

Gulf of Mexico coral reefs to protect from storm surge in the future — But will they?


Photo source: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Coral reefs support 25 percent of all marine life around the globe. Those in the Gulf of Mexico, along the coasts of Louisiana, Florida, Texas and Mexico serve as important barriers to storm surge, lessening the impact of dangerous hurricanes.

A team of researchers used coupled climate model simulations as well as studies of fossil corals to describe how climate change will impact reefs in the Gulf of Mexico in the not-so-distant future, including a realistic snapshot of years 2080-2100…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (12-04-2019)

New Earth mission will track rising oceans into 2030


The Jason-CS/Sentinel-6 mission that will track sea level rise, one of the clearest signs of global warming, for the next 10 years. Sentinel-6A, the first of the mission’s two satellites, is shown in its clean room in Germany and is scheduled to launch in November 2020. Credits: IABG

By NASA;

Earth’s climate is changing, and the study of oceans is vital to understanding the effects of those changes on our future. For the first time, U.S and European agencies are preparing to launch a 10-year satellite mission to continue to study the clearest sign of global warming — rising sea levels. The Sentinel-6/Jason-CS mission (short for Jason-Continuity of Service), will be the longest-running mission dedicated to answering the question: How much will Earth’s oceans rise by 2030?

By 2030, Sentinel-6/Jason-CS will add to nearly 40 years of sea level records, providing us with the clearest, most sensitive measure of how humans are changing the planet and its climate.

The mission consists of two identical satellites, Sentinel-6A and Sentinel-6B, launching five years apart. The Sentinel-6A spacecraft was on display for the media on Nov. 15 for a last look in its clean room in Germany’s IABG space test center. The satellite is being prepared for a scheduled launch in November 2020 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Sentinel-6/Jason-CS follows in the footsteps of four other joint U.S.-European satellite missions — TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1, Ocean Surface Topography/Jason-2, and Jason-3 — that have measured sea level rise over the past three decades. The data gathered by those missions have shown that Earth’s oceans are rising by an average of 0.1 inches (3 millimeters) per year.

Sentinel-6/Jason-CS will continue that work, studying not just sea level change but also changes in ocean circulation, climate variability such as El Niño and La Niña, and weather patterns, including hurricanes and storms.

“Global sea level rise is, in a way, the most complete measure of how humans are changing the climate,” said Josh Willis, the mission’s project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “If you think about it, global sea level rise means that 70% of Earth’s surface is getting taller — 70% of the planet is changing its shape and growing. So it’s the whole planet changing. That’s what we’re really measuring.”

Decades of space- and ground-based observations have documented Earth’s surface temperature rising at a rapidly accelerating rate. The oceans help to stabilize our climate by absorbing over 90% of the heat trapped on the planet by excess greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, that have been emitted into the atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

As the oceans warm, they expand, increasing the volume of water; the trapped heat also melts ice sheets and glaciers, contributing further to sea level rise. The rate at which it is rising has accelerated over the past 25 years and is expected to continue accelerating in years to come.

Sentinel-6/Jason-CS will measure down to the millimeter how much global sea level rises during the 2020s and how fast that rise accelerates. As the rate increases, humans will need to adapt to the effects of rising seas — including flooding, coastal erosion, hazards from storms and negative impacts to marine life.

Along with measuring sea level rise, the mission will provide datasets that can help with weather predictions, assessing temperature changes in the atmosphere and collecting high-resolution vertical profiles of temperature and humidity.

As with its Jason-series predecessors, Sentinel-6/Jason-CS will gather global ocean data every 10 days, providing insights into large ocean features like El Niño events. However, unlike previous Jason-series missions, its higher-resolution instruments will also be able to provide data on smaller ocean features — including complex currents — that will benefit navigation and fishing communities.


One week’s worth of data from NASA’s Earth observing satellites show the rising sea level on Earth between Oct. 29 and Nov. 7, 2019. Areas in red show higher levels, while blue show the lowest. The joint U.S.-European Sentinel-6/Jason-CS mission will continue efforts to track sea level rise. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“Global sea level rise is one of the most expensive and disruptive impacts of climate change that there is,” said Willis. “In our lifetimes, we’re not going to see global sea level fall by a meaningful amount. We’re literally charting how much sea level rise we’re going have to deal with for the next several generations.”

Sentinel-6/Jason-CS is being jointly developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellite (EUMETSAT), NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with funding support from the European Commission and support from France’s National Centre for Space Studies (CNES). NASA’s contributions to the Sentinel-6 mission are science instrument payloads for the two Sentinel-6 satellites, launch services for those satellites, ground systems supporting the science instruments operations and support for the international Ocean Surface Topography Science Team.

Original Article; NASA (11-20-2019)

Climate change is reshaping communities of ocean organisms


Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Climate change is reshaping communities of fish and other sea life, according to a pioneering study on how ocean warming is affecting the mix of species. The study covers species that are important for fisheries and that serve as food for fish, such as copepods and other zooplankton…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (11-25-2019)

City of Miami Declares Climate Change Emergency


Miami City’s Skyline, Through the Reflex System of a Camera. Photo courtesy of: ©Marc Martinez

Excerpts;

The city of Miami has joined the city of Miami Beach in declaring a climate change emergency…

Read Full Article and Watch Video; NBC Miami (11-22-2019)

Miami Beach declares a climate emergency. Youth activists want other cities to do it too; The Miami Herald (10-18-2019)
Miami Beach is one of more than 1,100 jurisdictions in 20 counties that have declared a climate emergency, including New York City, the United Kingdom, and even Pope Francis. The long-simmering conversation about a climate emergency exploded in 2018 after an October United Nations report said that humanity needed to halve carbon emissions by 2030 to avoid even more dramatic changes by the end of the century…

Fish in California estuaries are evolving as climate change alters their habitat


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The threespine stickleback, a small fish found throughout the coastal areas of the Northern Hemisphere, is famously variable in appearance from one location to another, making it an ideal subject for studying how species adapt to different environments.

A new study shows that stickleback populations in estuaries along the coast of California have evolved over the past 40 years as climate change has altered their coastal habitats…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (11-21-2019)