The Earth is Heating Up

Earth's surface temperature each year from 1900–2020 compared to the 1981-2020 average, based on temperature histories put together by three different research groups: NOAA (red), University of East Anglia (pink line), and NASA (orange line). All show Earth is warming. (Image courtesy of NOAA Climate.gov, adapted from State of the Climate 2020).

The entire planet is feeling the effects of a warming atmosphere and ocean, from Sudan to Siberia, and we are way passed denial or debate. Whether forest and brush fires, or droughts and water shortages, we are all in this together and we need to continue to take the steps needed now to get off of fossil fuels and move to renewables as fast as humanely possible. I think of action in terms of sober optimism and aggressive incrementalism…

Nurdles: the worst toxic waste you’ve probably never heard of – the Guardian

Nurdles - plastic "gravel" (by Barbara Agnew CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr)

Excerpts:

Billions of these tiny plastic pellets are floating in the ocean, causing as much damage as oil spills, yet they are still not classified as hazardous…

When the X-Press Pearl container ship caught fire and sank in the Indian Ocean in May, Sri Lanka was terrified that the vessel’s 350 tonnes of heavy fuel oil would spill into the ocean, causing an environmental disaster for the country’s pristine coral reefs and fishing industry.

Classified by the UN as Sri Lanka’s “worst maritime disaster”, the biggest impact was not caused by the heavy fuel oil. Nor was it the hazardous chemicals on board, which included nitric acid, caustic soda and methanol. The most “significant” harm, according to the UN, came from the spillage of 87 containers full of lentil-sized plastic pellets: nurdles…

New CO2 Record Prompts a Scientist to Ask, ‘What’s It Going to Take for Us to Wake Up?’ – Discover Magazine

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached its peak level for 2022, topping out at 421 parts per million. As seen in this graph, that is far higher than any concentration in the past 800,000 years. (Note: kyBCE = thousand years before the current era. The blue curves represent data recovered from Antarctic ice cores. Credit: NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory)

CO2 levels are now 50 percent higher than in pre-industrial times — a level not seen for 4 million years.

Every year at this time, headlines proclaim that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has climbed to record high levels. But that really shouldn’t be all that surprising, given that CO2 has risen to a new high every single year but one since direct measurements began in 1958.

Now, however, an arguably more meaningful milestone has been passed.

We Will All End Up Paying for Someone Else’s Beach House – New York Times

Rising ocean and shoreline erosion at South Nags Head, North Carolina (Photo © Orrin Pilkey & Norma Longo)

A video of a North Carolina beach house being dismembered by a voracious ocean was a viral hit this spring. But it won’t be long before the novelty wears off. As sea level rises and storm surges grow more intense, beach towns on every coast of the United States will soon be sacrificing more real estate to Poseidon. A 2018 study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that more than 300,000 coastal homes, currently worth well over $100 billion, are at risk of “chronic inundation” by 2045.