Tag Archives: climate change

Antarctic ice sheets could be at greater risk of melting than previously thought


Antarctica. Photo courtesy of © Denis Delestrac for Coastal Care’s Photo of the Month, July and August 2018.

Excerpts;

Antarctica is the largest reservoir of ice on Earth — but new research by the University of South Australia suggests it could be at greater risk of melting than previously thought…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (12-02-2019)

315 billion-tonne iceberg breaks off Antarctica; BBC News (09-30-2019)
The Amery Ice Shelf in Antarctica has just produced its biggest iceberg in more than 50 years…

This Florida Keys neighborhood has been flooded for nearly 3 months


Photo source: ©© Bryan Elkus

Excerpts;

The flooding here and elsewhere is happening during so-called “king tides.” Those are times, mostly in the fall, when the moon’s gravitational pull means tides are higher than usual.

Read Full Article; NPR (11-28-2019)

Rising tides force Miami Beach residents to seek higher ground; CBS News (09-25-2019)

Column: High-rises spell the end for Florida beaches; By Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper; Tampa Bay (07-25-2017)
Floridians are becoming more attuned to sea level rise and more familiar with nuisance flooding related to the rising sea. However, we believe there is less recognition that by century’s end it is likely that most of Florida’s major beaches will be permanently gone…

California King Tides Project: January 10-12 and February 8-9, 2020; California Coastal Commission (10-31-2019)

Worst floods for 50 years bring Venice to ‘its knees’; CNN (11-13-2019)
The worst flooding to hit Venice in more than 50 years has brought the historic city to its knees. Local authorities in the Italian lagoon city called for a state of emergency to be imposed…

Indian Ocean Dipole spells flood danger for East Africa; The New Humanitarian (10-22-2019)
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. 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…

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)

European Investment Bank to phase out fossil fuel financing


Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care.

Excerpts;

The European Investment Bank has agreed to phase out its multibillion-euro financing for fossil fuels within the next two years to become the world’s first “climate bank”.

The bank will end its financing of oil, gas, and coal projects after 2021, a policy that will make the EU’s lending arm the first multilateral lender to rule out financing for projects that contribute to the climate crisis…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (11-15-2019)

The US President Doesn’t Care to Understand Global Warming; The Atlantic (12-29-2017)
It’s a shame—ours and his…

Trump to planet: Drop dead, CNN (06-01-2017)
“America First” is becoming increasingly America alone. Somehow, Donald Trump has managed, with a single, desperate and ill-conceived stroke, to sever the United States from the rest of the world…

Climate Progress, With or Without Trump; The New York Times (03-31-2017)

California lawmakers vote on bill to go emissions-free by 2045; CBS News (08-28-2018)

Companies to keep promise to Obama on reducing carbon use; Bloomberg (03-28-2017)
Many of America’s biggest corporations including Apple Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are sticking by their pledges to fight climate change even as President Donald Trump guts his predecessor’s environmental policies. Companies say their promises, coordinated by the Obama administration, reflect their push to cut energy costs, head off activist pressure and address a risk to their bottom line in the decades to come.

Top US firms including Walmart and Ford oppose Trump on climate change, The Guardian UK (12-01-2017)

As Trump Retreats, States Are Joining Forces on Climate Action; Yale E360 (10-09-2017)

Europe Now Has One Million Electric Vehicles on the Road; Yale E360 (08-27-2018)

Venice is sinking and this time it may go under


Acqua alta, Venice, Italy. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

From its founding in the Early Middle Ages, Venice has had a fraught relationship with the sea, dependent on it for food and trade, protected from the mainland by the waters of the lagoon, yet always threatened by changing environmental conditions.

Today, though, wind and water lash the palaces and churches with alarming frequency. “Acqua alta,” the term locals use for when the water gets high, pours through the city, most recently even flooding the great church of San Marco. According to The Guardian, it’s only the sixth recorded time the church has flooded in the last 1200 years, but the fourth in the last 20 years. Venice is sinking, and this time it may go under…

Read Full Article; CNN (11-15-2019)

Worst floods for 50 years bring Venice to ‘its knees; CNN (11-13-2019)
The worst flooding to hit Venice in more than 50 years has brought the historic city to its knees. Local authorities in the Italian lagoon city called for a state of emergency to be imposed…