Tag Archives: climate change

The World can make more water from the sea, but at what cost?


The Dead Sea. Photo source: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Worldwide, desalination is increasingly seen as one possible answer to problems of water quantity and quality that will worsen with global population growth and the extreme heat and prolonged drought linked to climate change.

However, desalination remains expensive, as it requires enormous amounts of energy…

Read Full Article; The NYT (10-22-2019)

Indian Ocean Dipole spells flood danger for East Africa


Little Hope Warrior, Kenya. Captions and Photo source: ©© Nesos

Excerpts;

Hundreds of thousands of people in East Africa are affected by heavy rains and floods linked to record-breaking temperature changes in the Indian Ocean.

The western Indian Ocean has been about two degrees warmer this month than the eastern Indian Ocean. As a result, higher evaporation off the African coastline is being dumped inland as rainfall: a simplified description of 2019’s positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) episode.

This year, the IOD is “enormous”, according to climate scientist Saji Hameed, who studies the phenomenon at the University of Aizu, Japan…

Read Full Article; The New Humanitarian (10-22-2019)

The IPCC’s Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere – What it means for Africa’s coastal cities

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Assilah, Morocco. Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care

Excerpts;

For African coastal cities, sea level rise and increasing storm frequency and intensity pose serious threats.

The reality is that the West, Central, East and Mediterranean coastal zones in Africa are very low-lying. Within these low-lying coastal zones are many of Africa’s largest cities: Dakar, Abidjan, Accra, Lagos, Dar es Salaam, Alexandria, Tripoli, and Cape Town…

Read Full Article; IPS (10-15-2019)

Our Unequal Earth: how environmental injustice divides the world

alaska
Photo source: ©© Angela AlaskaTeacher

Excerpts;

Environmental justice reporter, Nina Lakhani, asked five luminaries of the movement to explain ‘environmental justice’ in their own words. They reveal why, alongside global heating and the extinction crisis, it is one of the most pressing issues of our time…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (10-21-2019)

Climate gentrification: the rich can afford to move – what about the poor?; Guardian UK (09-25-2018)
While wealthy Arizonans flee the desert for cooler climes, ‘climate gentrification’ is also affecting hipster Red Hook, exposed on New York City’s floodplain. In Texas, campaigners want the oil industry to help pay for a coastal barrier to shield six counties from storm surges. And Molly Peterson asks what you can do if you buy a disaster-prone property and nobody warned you: so far, not much…

Climate change to shrink economies of rich, poor, hot and cold countries alike unless Paris Agreement holds; Science Daily (08-19-2019)
Detrimental economic effects of global warming are likely to go beyond those being discussed in policy circles — particularly for wealthier nations, say researchers. Study suggests that 7% of global GDP will disappear by 2100 as a result of business-as-usual carbon emissions…

Climate Change Could Create 100 million Poor, Over Half a Billion Homeless; CNN (11-09-2015)

New government report reveals staggering economic and health toll of climate change; CBS News (11-23-2018)
Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, according to a long-awaited report released Friday by the federal government…

Premature Deaths from Environmental Degradation Threat to Global Public Health, UNEP Report Says; UNEP- Nairobi, 23 May 2016

Human rights are at threat from climate change, but can also provide solutions; UNEP (10-04-2019)

Miami Beach declares a climate emergency. Youth activists want other cities to do it too.


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

Excerpts;

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, including droughts, famines and mass die-offs of coral reefs…

Read Full Article; The Miami Herald (10-18-2019)

September 2019 tied as hottest on record for planet

By NOAA;

The globe continued to simmer in exceptional warmth, as September 2019 tied with 2015 as the hottest September in NOAA’s 140-year temperature record. The month also capped off another warm year so far, with the globe experiencing its second-warmest January through September (YTD) ever recorded.

Below are highlights from NOAA’s latest monthly global climate report:

Climate by the numbers

September 2019
The average global land and ocean surface temperature for September 2019 was 1.71 degrees F (0.95 degrees C) above the 20th-century average and tied 2015 as the highest September temperature departure from average since global records began in 1880.

Septembers for 2015, 2016 and 2019 were the only Septembers with a global land and ocean surface temperature departure from average greater or equal than 1.62 degrees F (0.90 degrees C).

September 2019 was also the 43rd consecutive September and the 417th consecutive month with temperatures — at least nominally — above the 20th-century average.

Year to date | January through September
The first nine months of the year each had a global land and ocean temperature departure from average that ranked among the five warmest for their respective months. This gave way to the second-warmest January-through-September period in the 140-year record with a temperature of 1.69 degrees F (0.94 degrees C) above the 20th-century average. This was 0.22 degrees F (0.12 degrees C) cooler than the record-warm year to date set in 2016 and only 0.02 degrees F (0.01 degrees C) warmer than the now third- warmest year to date set in 2017.


An annotated map showing notable climate events that occurred around the world in September 2019. For details, see the short bulleted list below in our story and at http://bit.ly/Global201909.

More notable climate events in this report

  • North America had its warmest September since continental records began in 1910 at 3.10 degrees F (1.72 degrees C). South America, Africa, Asia, the Gulf of Mexico and the Hawaiian region had a top-three warmest September on record.
  • The Arctic sea ice coverage (extent) for September was the third lowest on record at 32.6% below the 1981–2010 average. The Arctic reached its annual minimum sea ice extent of 1.60 million square miles on September 18, marking the end of the melt season. The Arctic sea ice minimum extent for 2019 tied with 2007 and 2016 as the second lowest minimum extent in the 41-year record.
  • The Antarctic sea ice extent for September was 1.3% below the 1981-2010 average and the 13th-smallest September extent in the 41-year record.

Original Article; NOAA (10-16-2019)

Melting ice redraws the World map and starts a power struggle


Svalbard, Arctic region. Photo source: ©© Bjorn Alfthan / UNEP

Excerpts;

The Arctic is emerging as a potential geopolitical flashpoint for the U.S., Russia and China as shipping routes get unblocked…

Read Full Article; Bloomberg (10-11-2019)

Marine mammals most at risk from increased Arctic ship traffic; Science Daily (07-02-2018)
The first comprehensive survey of Arctic marine mammal populations’ vulnerability to shipping along two main routes finds which face the most risks from heavier traffic in the region…

“FREIGHTENED – The Real Price of Shipping,” a movie by multi award-winning filmmaker Denis Delestrac-©-2016; (03-31-2016)
90% of the goods we consume in the West are manufactured in far-off lands and brought to us by ship. The cargo shipping industry is a key player in world economy and forms the basis of our very model of modern civilisation; without it, it would be impossible to fulfil the ever-increasing demands of our societies. Yet the functioning and regulations of this business remain largely obscure to many, and its hidden costs affect us all. Due to their size, freight ships no longer fit in traditional city harbours; they have moved out of the public’s eye, behind barriers and check points…

Peruvian Glaciers Have Shrunk By 30 Percent Since 2000

lima-peru
Lima, Peru. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Nearly 30 percent of Peru’s glaciers have melted away since 2000, threatening a critical source of drinking water and irrigation for millions of people downstream, according to a new study published in the journal The Cryosphere.

Overall, the country lost nearly 8 gigatons of ice from 2000 to 2016, with 170 glaciers — covering an area equivalent to 80,000 soccer fields — disappearing entirely…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (10-07-2019)

Human rights are at threat from climate change, but can also provide solutions


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Climate change is here, and it is impeding the fulfilment of our rights. The right to life is universally recognized as a fundamental human right, yet, every year, 150,000 premature deaths are being linked to the climate crisis—a number set to increase with rising temperatures.

Climate-related deaths are caused by extreme weather events, heat waves, floods, droughts, wildfires, water-borne and vector-borne diseases, malnutrition and air pollution. The climate crisis threatens the right to water and sanitation, contributing to water crises like the one in Bolivia, where glaciers are receding, and water rationing has been required in major cities. At 2°C, 100 million more people are forecasted to face water insecurity.

The climate emergency also violates the right to health, not only through premature deaths, but also through increased incidences of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, malnutrition, stunting, wasting, allergies, injuries and mental illness. For example, dengue fever is the most rapidly spreading vector-borne disease, with a thirtyfold increase in global incidence that is largely attributable to climate change. According to the Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change, the climate crisis is the biggest global health threat of the twenty-first century and could reverse five decades of progress in global health, particularly as it endangers the right to food.

“Climate variability and extremes are among the key drivers behind the recent uptick in global hunger and one of the leading causes of severe food crises. The cumulative effect of changes in climate is undermining all dimensions of food security—food availability, access, utilization and stability,” says the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in its 2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World.

Entire communities, such as Vunidogoloa, Fiji, have been or are in the process of being relocated owing to rising sea levels, coastal erosion, storm surges, salinization and other climate impacts. It is estimated that by 2050, 150 million people or more could be displaced by the impacts of the climate crisis. Over a longer timeframe, entire states are at risk of becoming uninhabitable, including Kiribati, Maldives and Tuvalu. This displacement is threatening the right to a healthy environment…

Read Full Article; UNEP (10-04-2019)