Tag Archives: climate change

Climate change: Impacts ‘accelerating’ as leaders gather for UN talks


Beach erosion, Manzanillo, Costa Rica. Photo courtesy of: © Denis Delestrac

Excerpts;

The data, compiled by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), says the five-year period from 2014 to 2019 is the warmest on record.

Sea-level rise has accelerated significantly over the same period, as CO2 emissions have hit new highs.

The WMO says carbon-cutting efforts have to be intensified immediately…

Read Full Article; BBC News (09-22-2019)

How big was the global climate strike? 4 million people, activists estimate.

child-ocean-photograph
Photo source: ©© Muha

Excerpts;

Friday was a truly historic day for the potent new social movement committed to sounding a global alarm about the climate crisis. The Global Climate Strikes, inspired by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, age 16, may end up being the largest mass protest for action on global warming in history…

Read Full Article; VOX (09-21-2019)

How big was the global climate strike? Here’s the best city-by-city estimate; Quartz (09-21-2019)
On Sept. 20, the world likely saw its biggest single-day climate protest in history.
Either figure would eclipse prior protests over climate change, including the People’s Climate March in 2014, which had an estimated 600,000 protestors and the school climate strikes in March this year, which had an estimated 1.4 million in attendance…

Global climate strikes start Friday. Here’s what you should know


Photograph courtesy of: ©JP

Excerpts;

On Friday, people all over the world are expected to walk out of their schools and workplaces to demand action to address the global climate crisis…

Read Full Article; CNN (09-19-2019)

GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE → SEP. 20–27 (09-19-2019)
This week will be historic. In over 150 countries, people are stepping up to support young climate strikers and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. The climate crisis won’t wait, so neither will we…

These businesses are closing for Friday’s climate strike; CBS News (09-19-2019)
Thousands of people are planning to walk out of work or school on Friday to press global leaders for solutions to rapidly escalating . And while it was students who started the movement, more and more workers—and even companies—are joining them in support…

Poll: Millennials care about climate change; Axios (02-26-2018)
The nonprofit Alliance for Market Solutions released new polling on millennial attitudes about the reality of human-induced climate change and efforts to combat it. Millennials are broadly convinced human-induced climate change is real and deserves action…

Lawsuit could put U.S. government’s role in climate change on trial; CBS News (03-02-2019)
A lawsuit filed on behalf of 21 kids alleges the U.S. government knowingly failed to protect them from climate change. If the plaintiffs win, it could mean massive changes for the use of fossil fuels…

World ‘gravely’ unprepared for effects of climate crisis – report


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

Excerpts;

Trillions of dollars needed to avoid ‘climate apartheid’ but this is less than cost of inaction.

The world’s readiness for the inevitable effects of the climate crisis is “gravely insufficient”, according to a report from global leaders.

This lack of preparedness will result in poverty, water shortages and levels of migration soaring, with an “irrefutable toll on human life”, the report warns.

The report has been produced by the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), convened by 18 nations. It has contributions from the former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, the Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, environment ministers from China, India and Canada, the heads of the World Bank and the UN climate and environment divisions, and others…

Read Full Article; The Guardian UK (09-09-2019)

New Marine Heatwave Emerges off West Coast, Resembles “the Blob”

By NOAA;
Researchers are monitoring a new marine heatwave off the West Coast for effects on the marine ecosystem.

About five years ago “the Blob” of warm ocean water disrupted the West Coast marine ecosystem and depressed salmon returns. Now, a new expanse of unusually warm water has quickly grown in much the same way, in the same area, to almost the same size.

The warm expanse building off the West Coast stretches roughly from Alaska south to California. It ranks as the second largest marine heatwave in terms of area in the northern Pacific Ocean in the last 40 years, after “the Blob.”

“It’s on a trajectory to be as strong as the prior event,” said Andrew Leising, a research scientist at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California. He developed a system for tracking and measuring heatwaves in the Pacific Ocean using satellite data. “Already, on its own, it is one of the most significant events that we’ve seen.”

Cold water welling up from ocean depths along the coast has so far held the warm expanse offshore, he said. However, the upwelling, driven by coastal winds, usually wanes in the fall. The heatwave could then move onshore and affect coastal temperatures, he said. This already appears to have happened along the coast of Washington.

NOAA Fisheries is focusing additional monitoring on the new heatwave, designated the Northeast Pacific Marine Heatwave of 2019. NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest and Northwest Fisheries Science Centers will provide fisheries managers and others with information on how the unusually warm conditions could affect the marine ecosystem and fish stocks.

“We learned with ‘the Blob’ and similar events worldwide that what used to be unexpected is becoming more common,” said Cisco Werner, NOAA Fisheries Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor. “We will continue to inform the public about how the heatwave is evolving, and what we might anticipate based on experience.”

The new heatwave resembles the early stages of “the Blob.” This previous marine heat wave peaked through 2014 and 2015 with temperatures close to seven degrees Fahrenheit above average.

Blob Could Dissipate Quickly

Like “the Blob,” the new heatwave emerged over the past few months. A ridge of high pressure dampened the winds that otherwise mix and cool the ocean’s surface. The heatwave remains relatively new and is primarily affecting the upper layers of the ocean, it could break up rapidly.

“It looks bad, but it could also go away pretty quickly if the unusually persistent weather patterns that caused it change,” said Nate Mantua, a research scientist at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

Current forecasts show the heat wave moderating but continuing for months.

A key question is whether the new heatwave will last long enough to affect the marine ecosystem. Biologists say that its large size means it probably already has. For example, warmer conditions during “the Blob” left lesser-quality food available to young salmon entering the ocean. It also shifted predator distributions in ways that contributed to low returns of salmon.

Other impacts linked to the earlier heatwave include:

The largest harmful algal bloom recorded on the West Coast, which shut down crabbing and clamming for months.
Thousands of young California sea lions stranding on beaches.
Multiple declared fishery disasters.
NOAA Fisheries scientists recently convened a special meeting to discuss the emerging heatwave and how to anticipate and track its effects. They are now reviewing impacts documented during the “the Blob” to compare them against the effects of the emerging heatwave.

“Given the magnitude of what we saw last time, we want to know if this evolves on a similar path,” said Chris Harvey, a research scientist at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

Monitoring Framework in Place

NOAA Fisheries’ two West Coast laboratories collaborate on the California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment. This is a joint effort to track and interpret environmental change off the West Coast. That provides a framework to monitor shifting conditions, Harvey said.

One challenge will be applying lessons learned from the last heat wave to anticipate and mitigate potential impacts of the new one. For example, the warm water of “the Blob” led humpback and other whales to feed closer to shore. Record numbers became entangled in lines from crab traps and other fishing gear.

In response, fishermen, managers, and others have formed working groups in California, Oregon, and Washington. They hope to find ways of reducing the risk of entanglements.

Real-time research on environmental changes will give managers the details they need to respond, said Kristen Koch, Director of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center. “This is a time when we all need to know how our marine ecosystem is changing, and what that means for those of us who live along the West Coast.”

The new northeast Pacific heatwave reflects current weather patterns. This includes a band of high pressure stretching north to the Bering Sea and Alaska, which have been unusually warm in recent years, said Nick Bond, a research meteorologist with the Joint Institute for the study of the Atmosphere and Ocean in Seattle, a collaboration between the University of Washington and NOAA.

“There are definitely concerning implications for the ecosystem,” said Bond, who is credited with naming “the Blob.” “It’s all a matter of how long it lasts and how deep it goes.”

Original Article NOAA (09-05-2019)

Hurricane Dorian: ‘We’re at the frontline of climate change but we don’t cause it’, says Barbados PM – as it happened


Hurricane Dorian damages a row of structures in the Bahamas. An aerial view of houses in the Bahamas from a Coast Guard Elizabeth City C-130 aircraft after Hurricane Dorian shifts north Sept. 3, 2019. Hurricane Dorian made landfall Saturday and intensified into Sunday. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Stanton. Captions and Photo source: ©© Coast Guards

Excerpts;

Sarah St George, chairman of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, told the Guardian that the “force and size” of Dorian took everyone by surprise, a situation made worse by the hurricane stalling over the archipelago.

“Grand Bahama is not in good shape at all because 70% of it was under water,” St George said…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (09-06-2019)

We are going to die together here’; BBC News (09-06-2019)

Hundreds of Bahamians stranded on hurricane-ravaged islands look for a way out; CNN (09-06-2019)
Hundreds of people stranded on hurricane-ravaged Abaco in the Bahamas waited Friday for a way off the islands as officials said hundreds, possibly thousands, were still missing and the death toll from Hurricane Dorian rose to 30…

Climate change to shrink economies of rich, poor, hot and cold countries alike unless Paris Agreement holds


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

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 — including over 10% of incomes in both Canada and the United States…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (08-19-2019)

July 2019 was hottest month on record for the planet


Image source: NOAA

By NOAA;

Much of the planet sweltered in unprecedented heat in July, as temperatures soared to new heights in the hottest month ever recorded. The record warmth also shrank Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows.

Here’s a closer look into NOAA’s latest monthly global climate report:

Climate by the numbers July 2019

The average global temperature in July was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees, making it the hottest July in the 140-year record, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. The previous hottest month on record was July 2016.

Nine of the 10 hottest Julys have occurred since 2005—with the last five years ranking as the five hottest. Last month was also the 43rd consecutive July and 415th consecutive month with above-average global temperatures.

Year to date I January through July

The period from January through July produced a global temperature that was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 56.9 degrees, tying with 2017 as the second-hottest year to date on record.

It was the hottest year to date for parts of North and South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the southern half of Africa, portions of the western Pacific Ocean, western Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.

An annotated map of the world showing notable climate events that occurred around the world in July 2019. For details, see the short bulleted list below in our story
An annotated map of the world showing notable climate events that occurred around the world in July 2019. For details, see the short bulleted list below in our story (NOAA)
Download Image
More notable stats and facts

Record-low sea ice: Average Arctic sea ice set a record low for July, running 19.8% below average – surpassing the previous historic low of July 2012.

Average Antarctic sea-ice coverage was 4.3% below the 1981-2010 average, making it the smallest for July in the 41-year record.

Some cool spots: Parts of Scandinavia and western and eastern Russia had temperatures at least 2.7 degrees F below average.

Original Article; NOAA (08-15-2019)