2015-12-30. Climate Chaos, Across the Map.
By Justin Gillis, The New York Times.
2015-12-24. World's Smallest Glaciers Risk Vanishing in Warm Climate.
By JoAnna Wendel, EoS Earth & Space News (AGU).
2015-12-16. Greenland has lost a staggering amount of ice — and it’s only getting worse.
By Chris Mooney, Washington Post.
2015-12-16. Study Shows Climate Change Rapidly Warming World’s Lakes.
NASA Release 15-239.
2015-12-02. The Marshall Islands Are Disappearing.
By Coral Davenport, The New York Times.
2015-11-17. Billions of People Depend on Water From Shrinking Snowpacks.
By SIindya N. Bhanoo, the New York Times.
2015-11-12. The Secrets in Greenland’s Ice Sheet.
By Jon Gertner, The New York Times.
2015-11-05. Articles for GSS Climate Change chapter 8 on effects of climate change.
2015-10-29. Collapse of New England’s iconic cod tied to climate change.
By Marianne Lavelle, Science.
2015-10-27. Greenland Is Melting Away.
By Coral Davenport, Josh Haner, Larry Buchanan and Derek Watkins, The New York Times.
2015-10-26. Extreme heatwaves could push Gulf climate beyond human endurance, study shows.
By Damian Carrington, The Guardian.
2015-09-14. An Epic, 500-Year Snow Fail in California’s Iconic Mountains.
By Cheryl Katz, National Geographic.
2015-08-26. NASA Science Zeros in on Ocean Rise: How Much? How Soon?
NASA Release 15-174.
2015-08-20. Climate Change Intensifies California Drought, Scientists Say.
By Justin Gillis, The New York Times.
2015-08-12. Arctic sea ice has melted so much, National Geographic had to redraw its atlas.
By Clara Chaisson, NRDC.
2015-08-09. Will these Alaska villagers be America's first climate change refugees?
Science Friday, National Public Radio.
2015-07-09. Climate Change Is Shrinking Where Bumblebees Range, Research Finds.
By Nicholas St. Fleur, The New York Times.
2015-06-26. Pakistan morgues run out of space as heat wave kills more than 1,000.
By Syed Raza Hassan, Reuters.
2015-06-22. Risk of Extreme Weather From Climate Change to Rise Over Next Century, Report Says.
By Sabrina Tavernise, The New York Times.
2015-06-19. Researchers push to prevent a last dance for the lesser prairie chicken.
By Marianne Lavelle, Science.
2015-05-30. When It Rains, It Pours.
By Clara Chaisson, OnEarth, Natural Resources Defense Council.
2015-05-14. NASA Study Shows Antarctica’s Larsen B Ice Shelf Nearing Its Final Act.
NASA Release 15-092.
2015-04-27. Study: Global warming has dramatically upped the odds of extreme heat events.
By Chris Mooney, The Washington Post.
2015-04-07. USGCRP Climate & Health Assessment. U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).
2015-04-06. The Lowest of the Snow.
By Clara Chaisson, onEarth, NRDC.
2015-03-12. Warming Arctic may be causing heat waves elsewhere in world.
By Carolyn Gramling, Science.
2015-02-26. Vanishing ice could wipe out Alaskan village.
2015-02-12. Starved for Energy, Pakistan Braces for a Water Crisis.
By Salman Masood, The New York Times.
2015-02-12. NASA Study Finds Carbon Emissions Could Dramatically Increase Risk of U.S. Megadroughts.
NASA RELEASE 15-020.
2015-01-15. Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says.
By Carl Zimmer, The New York Times.
2014-12-19. Less tasty shrimp, thanks to climate change. By Puneet Kollipara, Science.
2014-12-18. Mount Kenya’s Vanishing Glaciers. Jon Mooallem, The New York Times Magazine.
2014-12-14. Waters Warm, and Cod Catch Ebbs in Maine. By Michael Wines and Jess Bidgood, The New York Times.
2014-12-04. Antarctic ice shelf being eaten away by sea. By Carolyn Gramling, Science.
2014-11-22. Climate Change Threatens to Strip the Identity of Glacier National Park. By Michael Wines, The New York Times.
2014-10-23. Climate Change Indicators in the United States. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
2014-10-16. U.S. Sees Increase in Days with Multiple Tornadoes. By Meagan Phelan, AAAS.
2014-10-10. What's going on with Antarctic sea ice? Excerpt: ...The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) announced this week that the sea ice surrounding Antarctica reached its maximum extent ...also set a record for the highest extent of sea ice around the continent since satellite measurements began in the late 1970s. ...uptick in Antarctic sea ice is still only a fraction (about a third) of the rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. ...This enigma has puzzled scientists, and it’s an active area of research; ...while the overall climate is warming, it’s a complicated system: The warming climate is also changing weather patterns. Multiple studies have been looking into how these changes might affect sea ice extent: for example, changes in prevailing wind patterns or in the magnitude of ocean waves, both of which can herd the ice toward or away from the coast.... http://news.sciencemag.org/climate/2014/10/whats-going-antarctic-sea-ice. By Carolyn Gramling, Science AAAS.
2014-10-01. 35,000 walrus come ashore in northwest Alaska. Excerpts: ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Pacific walrus that can't find sea ice for resting in Arctic waters are coming ashore in record numbers on a beach in northwest Alaska. An estimated 35,000 walrus were photographed Saturday about 5 miles north of Point Lay, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. ...The enormous gathering was spotted during NOAA's annual arctic marine mammal aerial survey, spokeswoman Julie Speegle said by email. ...The gathering of walrus on shore is a phenomenon that has accompanied the loss of summer sea ice as the climate has warmed. ...Unlike seals, walrus cannot swim indefinitely and must rest. They use their tusks to "haul out," or pull themselves onto ice or rocks. ..."It's another remarkable sign of the dramatic environmental conditions changing as the result of sea ice loss," said Margaret Williams, managing director of the group's Arctic program, by phone from Washington, D.C. "The walruses are telling us what the polar bears have told us and what many indigenous people have told us in the high Arctic, and that is that the Arctic environment is changing extremely rapidly and it is time for the rest of the world to take notice and also to take action to address the root causes of climate change." This summer, the sea ice's annual low point was the sixth smallest since satellite monitoring began in 1979.... http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/35-000-walrus-come-ashore-in-northwest-Alaska-5791705.php. By Dan Joling, Associated Press.
2014-09-29. Scientists Trace Extreme Heat in Australia to Climate Change. Excerpt: The savage heat waves that struck Australia last year were almost certainly a direct consequence of greenhouse gases released by human activity, researchers said Monday. It is perhaps the most definitive statement climate scientists have made tying a specific weather event to global warming. Five groups of researchers, using distinct methods, analyzed the heat that baked Australia for much of 2013 and continued into 2014, briefly shutting down the Australian Open tennis tournament in January when the temperature climbed to 111 degrees Fahrenheit...... http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/30/science/earth/human-related-climate-change-led-to-extreme-heat-scientists-say.html. By Justin Gillis, The New York Times.
2014-09-22. Testing Future Conditions for the Food Chain. Excerpt: ...The Illinois researchers are trying to move past just documenting the potential trouble, though. The bigger question is: What can be done to make crops more resilient? That has lately become an urgent topic. For decades, many climate experts were relatively sanguine on the issue, thinking that warming in frigid northern countries would benefit crops, helping to offset likely production losses in the tropics. Moreover, some research suggested potentially huge crop gains from a sort of counterintuitive ace in the hole: the very increase in carbon dioxide that is causing the planet to warm. ...The tests so far have confirmed the beneficial “CO2 fertilization effect,” as it is known. But in field conditions, the boon to the crops was not as great as in earlier greenhouse experiments, and probably not enough to offset the heat and other stresses of a warmer planet. “It’s there, it’s real, but the question is, how much is it going to help?” Dr. Leakey said.... http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/23/science/testing-future-conditions-for-the-food-chain.html. By Justin Gillis, The New York Times. Also, 2014 Sept 23 New York Times had a flurry of climate change related articles. See
2014-09-08. Climate Change Will Disrupt Half of North America’s Bird Species, Study Says. Excerpt: The Baltimore oriole will probably no longer live in Maryland, the common loon might leave Minnesota, and the trumpeter swan could be entirely gone. Those are some of the grim prospects outlined in a report released on Monday by the National Audubon Society, which found that climate change is likely to so alter the bird population of North America that about half of the approximately 650 species will be driven to smaller spaces or forced to find new places to live, feed and breed over the next 65 years. If they do not — and for several dozen it will be very difficult — they could become extinct. The four Audubon Society scientists who wrote the report projected in it that 21.4 percent of existing bird species studied will lose “more than half of the current climactic range by 2050 without the potential to make up losses by moving to other areas.” An additional 32 percent will be in the same predicament by 2080, they said. Among the most threatened species are the three-toed woodpecker, the northern hawk owl, the northern gannet, Baird’s sparrow, the rufous hummingbird and the trumpeter swan, the report said. They are among the 30 species that, by 2050, will no longer be able to live and breed in more than 90 percent of their current territory. ...“Common sense will tell you that with these kinds of findings, it’s hard to believe we won’t lose some species to extinction,” said David Yarnold, the president of the National Audubon Society. “How many? We honestly don’t know. We don’t know which ones are going to prove heroically resilient.” ...Drought in Southern California is blamed for a sharp drop in breeding among California raptors, perhaps because a lack of water is killing the insects and small rodents they feed on.... http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/09/us/climate-change-will-disrupt-half-of-north-americas-bird-species-study-says.html. By Felicity Barringer, The New York Times.
2014-08-24. What's Killing the Bay Area's Oysters? Excerpt: Signifiers of the good life, local bivalves may be harbingers of another phenomenon: species extinction. ...roughly 7 million oysters ... the five oyster farms on Tomales Bay sell each year to local restaurants and bars. ...Though Hog Island’s inventory had restabilized by 2013, ...We just couldn’t supply the product. It was painful—and still is because we’re not over it. The culprit? Ocean acidification—climate change’s caustic cousin—caused by rising carbon dioxide emissions. ...In 2005, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration began reporting that hatcheries throughout the West Coast were seeing steep declines in production, putting the $84 million industry in jeopardy. Hatchery staff and scientists scrambled to pinpoint the cause, .... It wasn’t until a year later that [Alan] Barton [or Whiskey Creek shellfish hatchery in Tillamook, Oregon] solved the mystery that had stumped scientists. On an ordinary summer day that was marred by a particularly bad die-off, he decided to test the pH levels in the tanks. ...Lo and behold, the pH level of the water was drastically lower (read: more corrosive) than usual. ...because the acidification is exacerbated by carbon dioxide emissions, every year it gets a little worse. ...These days, we release roughly 70 million tons per day—and the oceans soak up nearly a third of that. The result? On average, the sea is 30 percent more acidic than it was 200 years ago. And in the last decade, it began passing the point where young oysters can survive. It’s not necessarily the acidity that causes problems for the oysters, but rather the concomitant lack of carbonate ions in the water. Shellfish use these free-floating ions to build their shells. When seawater absorbs carbon dioxide, the number of carbonate ions available for the shellfish is reduced. “A baby oyster is trying to eat, grow, move around, and make a shell. So if it spends more energy trying to make a shell, then something else in that equation is going to suffer,” says Tessa Hill, a scientist with UC Davis who studies the impacts of rising carbon dioxide levels on native shellfish. “I say it’s like balancing your checkbook—you can’t spend a lot of energy on one thing without cutting back in some other category.” http://modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/whats-killing-the-bay-areas-oysters. By Jacoba Charles, San Francisco Magazine.
2014-05-19. The Big Melt Accelerates. Excerpt: Centuries from now, a large swath of the West Antarctic ice sheet is likely to be gone, its hundreds of trillions of tons of ice melted, causing a four-foot rise in already swollen seas. Scientists reported last week that the scenario may be inevitable, with new research concluding that some giant glaciers had passed the point of no return, possibly setting off a chain reaction that could doom the rest of the ice sheet. For many, the research signaled that changes in the earth’s climate have already reached a tipping point, even if global warming halted immediately. ...A full melt would cause sea level to rise 215 feet. During recent ice ages, glaciers expanded from the poles and covered nearly a third of the continents. And in the distant past there were episodes known as Snowball Earth, when the entire planet froze over. At the other extreme, a warm period near the end of the age of dinosaurs may have left the earth ice-free. Today the amount of ice is modest — 10 percent of land areas, nearly all of that in Greenland and Antarctica. ...In an analysis last year of the satellite and ground measurements, a team of scientists led by Alex S. Gardner, an earth scientist at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., who is moving to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, concluded that, on average, glaciers in all regions were withering away, dumping 260 billion metric tons of water into the ocean every year. ...Greenland, with 10 percent of the world’s ice, has enough to raise sea level by 23 feet. “I still think Greenland is the most important thing to watch for this century,” Dr. Scambos said. ...Researchers from Dartmouth found that another side effect from global warming, forest fires, made the melting even worse. Soot from fires elsewhere in the world landed on Greenland snow, making it darker, causing it to absorb more heat.... http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/20/science/the-melting-isnt-glacial.html - By Kenneth Chang, The New York Times.
2014-05-19. Hidden Greenland Canyons Mean More Sea Level Rise. Excerpt: Scientists at NASA and the University of California, Irvine (UCI), have found that canyons under Greenland's ocean-feeding glaciers are deeper and longer than previously thought, increasing the amount of Greenland's estimated contribution to future sea level rise. ...The results were published Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience. ...An animation of the newly mapped bed topography is available at: http://youtu.be/g_6a7SloMsY.... http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/may/hidden-greenland-canyons-mean-more-sea-level-rise/#.U3rZgy9GLhw - NASA RELEASE 14-141. See also Scientific American article, Deep Valleys Under Greenland Mean Higher Sea-Level Rise.
2014-05-14. Ground-breaking study: Hurricanes reaching peak strength farther north as globe warms, tropics expand. Excerpt: ...Identifying a firm connection between hurricane activity and manmade global warming has proven elusive. The 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report stated there was “low confidence” in any link between observed changes in tropical storms and human activity. But this poleward shift in the peak strength of tropical storms could be the smoking gun linking human-induced climate change and hurricane behavior. The study, to be published in the journal Nature Thursday, analyzed where tropical storms around the world reached peak intensity between 1982 and 2012. It finds this location of maximum storm strength leaped poleward about 33 miles per decade in the Northern Hemisphere and 38 miles per decade in the Southern Hemisphere. ...The author team of James Kossin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), MIT’s Emanuel, and Gabriel Vecchi of NOAA links the storm shift to an expansion of the Hadley Cell – a massive atmospheric circulation that transports heat from the tropics to the mid-latitudes and drives the easterly trade winds. In other words, the tropics are occupying a larger area. The expansion “is likely due largely to human influences” or the heating effect of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, the study says.... http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/05/14/ground-breaking-study-hurricanes-reaching-peak-strength-farther-north-as-globe-warms-tropics-expand/. By Jason Samenow, Washington Post.
2014-04-23. NASA Satellites Show Drought May Take Toll on Congo Rainforest. Excerpt: A new analysis of NASA satellite data shows Africa's Congo rainforest, the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, has undergone a large-scale decline in greenness over the past decade. ...The study found a gradually decreasing trend in Congo rainforest greenness, sometimes referred to as "browning," suggesting a slow adjustment to the long-term drying trend. This is in contrast to the more immediate response seen in the Amazon, such as large-scale tree mortality, brought about by more episodic drought events.... http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/april/nasa-satellites-show-drought-may-take-toll-on-congo-rainforest/#.U1yE5sfgWa4. NASA RELEASE 14-117.
2014-03-04. Sydney Opera House and Statue of Liberty 'will be lost to sea level rise' Excerpt: ...Famous global landmarks including the Statue of Liberty, Tower of London and Sydney Opera House will be lost to rising seas caused by climate change, scientists have warned. Even with just a further 3C of warming – well within the range to which the UN climate science panel expects temperatures to rise by the end of the century – nearly one-fifth of the planet's 720 world heritage sites will be affected as ice sheets melt and warming oceans expand. ...The study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, looked at how many Unesco sites would be threatened after 2000 years of rising sea levels, but ..."It's relatively safe to say that we will see the first impacts at these sites in the 21st century," lead author Prof Ben Marzeion, of the University of Innsbruck in Austria, told the Guardian. ...particularly vulnerable sites included the leaning tower of Pisa, which is not directly on the coast but would be affected by sea level rises as a result of even a low temperature increase because it is very low-lying. He also cited Venice, ... Hamburg... and Bremen in Germany. ...Westminster Abbey and Westminster Palace, ... city centres of Bruges in Belgium, Naples in Italy and St Petersburg in Russia, .... South-east Asia will have the highest number of people affected by sea level rises, ...The threat to cultural sites from the sea is likely to be underestimated, the study admits, as it does not take into account temporary rises in sea levels caused by storm surges such as those that battered the east coast of the UK last December. "Essentially those are uncertainties that we cannot quantify, so we made sure we are on the conservative side of the estimates," Marzeion said.... http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/05/sydney-opera-house-statue-liberty-sea-level-climate-change-unescorl. Adam Vaughan, The Guardian.
2014-02-25. Study Implicates Mankind in a Peruvian Glacier’s Retreat. Excerpt: Sitting on a flat volcanic plain 18,000 feet above sea level, the great Quelccaya ice cap of Peru is the largest piece of ice in the tropics. In recent decades, as scientists have watched it melt at an accelerating pace, it has also become a powerful symbol of global warming. ...a paper released on Tuesday by the journal Geology, a group led by Justin S. Stroup and Meredith A. Kelly of Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., ...[concludes] that the glacier is sensitive to temperature and that other factors, like the amount of snowfall, are secondary, thus supporting a view long held by Dr. Thompson that the glacier can essentially be viewed as a huge thermometer. ...that is a sobering finding, considering ... that a part of the glacier that had apparently taken 1,600 years to grow had melted in a mere 25 years. ...land ice is melting virtually everywhere on the planet. That has been occurring since a 500-year period called the Little Ice Age that ended in about 1850, but the pace seems to have accelerated substantially in recent decades as human emissions have begun to overwhelm the natural cycles. ...The biggest scientific battle has been fought not over Quelccaya but over Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. ...Dr. Kelly is now looking for evidence that may shed light on the Kilimanjaro debate. Her method involves dating ridges of rock and debris, known as moraines, that glaciers leave at their far edges.... http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/26/science/study-links-melting-peruvian-ice-cap-to-higher-temperatures.html. By Justin Gillis, The New York Times.
2014-02-04. ScienceShot: Hungry Polar Bears Turn to Seabird Eggs. Excerpt: Polar bears are known for dining on whatever they want, from human garbage to reindeer to berries. But in the lower latitudes of the Canadian Arctic, they primarily prey on ringed seals.... Over the past 3 decades, however, the sea ice in this region has progressively broken up earlier than in the past due to climate change. The bears now face 2 months of ice-free habitat. Without seals to eat, the bears have increasingly turned to terrestrial prey, including the eggs of northern common eiders and thick-billed murres. ...polar bears are also dining on snow goose eggs and caribou—does ...polar bears in areas where the ice breaks up early don’t have enough time to hunt seals and acquire the fat reserves they need to make it through the ice-free season. The vanishing sea ice, the researchers conclude, is causing a cascade of unexpected ecological effects—not just on polar bears but also on seabirds.... http://news.sciencemag.org/climate/2014/02/scienceshot-hungry-polar-bears-turn-seabird-eggs. Virginia Morrill, Science Magazine (AAAS).
2014-01-31. A Bird Flies South, and It’s News. Excerpt: DUXBURY, Mass. — The snowy owl ... had been where no bird should safely be — Logan International Airport in Boston.... Not only is the Boston area seeing the largest number of snowy owls ever recorded, they are popping up in territory far from their usual habitat near the Arctic Circle. ...No one is sure why so many snowies are showing up in so many places — whether it can be attributed to more food in their Arctic habitats than usual, or climate change at the top of the world. “Think about the canary in the coal mine,” said Henry Tepper, the president of Mass Audubon, “you think about the snowy owl in the Arctic.” ...Ornithologists and bird watchers are not sure why the birds have come so far and in such great numbers this year. ...Climate change, which has been thawing Arctic ice so actively that new shipping routes are opening in the far north, could have disrupted the habitat, Professor [Kevin J.] McGowan [an ornithologist at Cornell] speculated. “That has to be one of the most vulnerable ecosystems on the planet. That’s going to be one of the first places that falls apart when there is warming in the atmosphere,” he said. This may have driven more of them south instead of north. A big shift in bird movement one year might just be a freakish event, he said, or potentially “it’s the beginning of a pattern.”... http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/us/influx-of-snowy-owls-thrills-and-baffles-birders.html. John Schwartz, The New York Times.
2013-12-07. The End of Snow Is Now? Excerpt: A new book, DEEP, digs into the science and emotion swirling around climate change and how it will impact the ski industry. ...Porter Fox felt under the gun to research and write "DEEP: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow" in just around 18 months. ...For those of us who love sliding on snow, climate change may entail losing more than just deep powder and that dreamy, euphoric state it puts us in. ..."The snowpack in British Columbia has declined by half overall and the ski season in some regions is four to five months shorter than it was 50 years ago," he writes in DEEP. "Eastern Canada is even warmer… Computer models show the Northeast ski season shrinking to less than 100 days by 2039. Under other models, the mean snow depth for the Rocky Mountains is predicted to drop to zero by 2100." But the more dire effects are being felt in the Alps, where "temperatures are rising three times faster than the global average," he writes.... http://www.outsideonline.com/adventure-travel/adventure-ethics/The-End-of-Snow-Is-Now-.html. Mary Catherine O'Connor, Outside.
2013-12-03. Report warns of climate change ‘tipping points’ within our lifetime. Excerpt: UC Berkeley’s Tony Barnosky joined climate scientists this morning at a press conference at the National Academy of Sciences ...to summarize a new report issued today focusing on the short-term effects of climate change and the need to monitor them closely. “Our report focuses on abrupt change, ...things that happen within a few years to decades: basically, over short enough time scales that young people living today would see the societal impacts brought on by faster-than-normal planetary changes,” said Barnosky in an email. Barnosky is professor of integrative biology and a member of the Berkeley Initiative in Global Change Biology (BIGCB). The report, “Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises,” [http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18373] is available from the National Research Council, part of the National Academies. Abrupt changes are already apparent, the authors noted: the number of serious wildfires has increased dramatically over the past decade, farmers are noticing hotter average temperatures that affect their crop yields, animals and plants are moving up mountainsides to reach cooler temperatures, and the Arctic sea ice is melting back more and more each summer. ...global change could also lead to economic and social impacts, much of this centered around food and water resources and the likelihood of international conflict to secure them. ...Barnosky was the lead author of a 2012 paper [http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2012/06/06/scientists-uncover-evidence-of-impending-tipping-point-for-earth/] that warned of a global tipping point at which Earth’s systems would irreversibly change as a result of changing climate. ...“Luckily, there is still time to slow climate change if we start dramatic cutbacks to greenhouse gas emissions now,” Barnosky wrote. “That will allow us to avoid the worst-case tipping point scenarios, but that window of opportunity will only be open for another few years, if we continue to change climate at the rate we have been.” [See also: video "Earth May Reach Tipping Point -- http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2012/06/06/scientists-uncover-evidence-of-impending-tipping-point-for-earth/] http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2013/12/03/report-warns-of-climate-change-tipping-points-within-our-lifetime/. Robert Sanders, UC Berkeley News Center.
2013-12-05. Diseases on the move because of climate change. Excerpt: ...Valley Fever is one of multiple diseases experts say are spreading in part because of climate change. ...The soil ...in much of the arid Southwest carries the Coccidioides fungus. In dry months, the dust scatters in the wind and can be breathed into the lungs, infecting humans, dogs and cats and other mammals. ...reported cases increased tenfold from 1998 to 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ...Valley Fever is an illness that's moving. Historically, it has been found in the dry areas of California and the Southwest. But Thompson, along with the CDC, reported three cases of cocci in eastern Washington state in 2012. ...Naegleria fowleri, "the brain-eating amoeba"...commonly found in freshwater lakes and rivers, ...tend to occur in areas where waters warm in the summer. Minnesota had its first ever infection in 2010, 550 miles farther north than an infection had ever been seen before. [See also http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/04/brain-eating-amoeba-annie-bahneman-pam-parasite/3633531/] Elizabeth Weise, USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/04/climate-change-disease/2623863/.
2013-11-18. Midwest Tornadoes: Severe Storms Sweep Across 12 States, Killing 6.
...Early Monday, Washington [IL] Mayor Gary Manier estimated that from
250 to 500 homes were either damaged or destroyed in the storm and that
it wasn't clear when residents would be allowed to return. ...The
unusually powerful late-season wave of thunderstorms brought damaging
winds and tornadoes to 12 states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois,
Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia,
Pennsylvania and western New York. ...Illinois was the hardest struck
with at least six people killed and dozens more injured. ...Although
about 80 reports of tornadoes had come in as of Sunday night, the
National Weather Service's Bunting said the actual number will likely be
in the 30 to 40 range...because the same tornado often gets reported
multiple times. Weather service meteorologist Matt Friedlein said such
weather is rare this late in the year, but that strong winds coupled
with temperatures in the 60s and 70s spawned Sunday's storms.... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/18/midwest-tornadoes_n_4294412.html. David Mercer and Don Babwin, Huffington Post.
2013-11-01. Vanishing Islands (YouTube video). LYON's first in the video series highlighting the effects of climate change in the Pacific Islands and how people are adapting to sea level rise on the front lines of climate change. Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is a federation of four states (Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap) where most of the population lives on high islands, but about 30,000 people live on low islands. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFsZm0ddAL8&feature=youtu.be. By LYON's.
2013-10-15. Climate change affecting North American forests, researchers find.
Excerpt: Climate change is making North American forests more vulnerable
to insects and disease but is helping some trees grow faster and
increase their resistance to pests, a team of researchers from Dartmouth
University said Monday. Researchers reviewed almost 500 scientific
studies dating to the 1950s ... as part of the National Climate
Assessment in 2012. The researchers said that higher temperatures and
increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are boosting tree growth,
which could have a positive impact on economies that depend on timber
and wood pulp, and could help pull carbon out of the ecosystem. ....Some
areas devastated by insects or disease may be restored because of
continued warming, with insects dying off because temperatures are too
high for them, Weed said. But warming also allows insects to flourish
and exaggerates their natural role in keeping forests healthy, the
researchers found. Various types of bark beetles, for example, are doing
more damage than expected, they said. ... “Mountain and southern pine
beetles are attacking hosts farther north and at higher elevations than
historic norms,” in part because warmer winters are allowing insects to
survive. ...droughts and fires also have been linked to climate
change.... http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_24313791/climate-change-affecting-north-american-forests-researchers-find. By Lenny Bernstein, The Washington Post.
2013-10-15. Moose Die-Off Alarms Scientists.
Excerpt: ...Across North America — in places as far-flung as Montana and
British Columbia, New Hampshire and Minnesota — moose populations are
in steep decline. And no one is sure why. ...Several factors are clearly
at work. But a common thread in most hypotheses is climate change.
Winters have grown substantially shorter across much of the moose’s
range. In New Hampshire, a longer fall with less snow has greatly
increased the number of winter ticks, a devastating parasite. “You can
get 100,000 ticks on a moose,” said Kristine Rines, a biologist with the
state’s Fish and Game Department. In Minnesota, the leading culprits
are brain worms and liver flukes. Both spend part of their life cycles
in snails, which thrive in moist environments. Another theory is heat
stress. Moose are made for cold weather, and when the temperature rises
above 23 degrees Fahrenheit in winter, as has happened more often in
recent years, they expend extra energy to stay cool. That can lead to
exhaustion and death. ...Unregulated hunting may also play a role in
moose mortality. So may wolves in Minnesota and the West.... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/15/science/earth/something-is-killing-off-the-moose.html. Jim Robbins, The New York Times.
2013-10-09. By 2047, Coldest Years May Be Warmer Than Hottest in Past, Scientists Say. Excerpt: ...Scientists from the University of Hawaii at Manoa calculated that by 2047, plus or minus five years, the average temperatures in each year will be hotter across most parts of the planet than they had been at those locations in any year between 1860 and 2005. ... Unprecedented climates will arrive even sooner in the tropics, Dr. Mora’s group predicts, putting increasing stress on human societies there, on the coral reefs that supply millions of people with fish, and on the world’s greatest forests. ...models show that unprecedented temperatures could be delayed by 20 to 25 years if there is a vigorous global effort to bring emissions under control. ...emissions cuts would buy critical time for nature and for human society to adapt, as well as for development of technologies that might help further reduce emissions. ...The Mora paper is a rarity: a class project that turned into a high-profile article in one of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals. Dr. Mora ...assigned a class of graduate students to analyze forecasts produced by 39 of the world’s foremost climate models. The models, whose results are publicly available, are operated by 21 research centers in 12 countries, and financed largely by governments. Thousands of scientific papers have been published about the model results, but the students identified one area of analysis that was missing ... how the temperature changes in specific places might compare with historical norms. ... Many people perceive climate change to be most serious at the poles, and the largest absolute changes in temperature are already occurring in the Arctic and parts of Antarctica. But the Mora paper dovetails with previous research suggesting that the biggest risks to nature and to human society, at least in the near term, may actually be in the tropics.... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/10/science/earth/by-2047-coldest-years-will-be-warmer-than-hottest-in-past.html. Justin Gillis, The New York Times.
2013-09-11. Seachange--The Pacific's Perilous Turn.
Excerpt: Globally, overfishing remains a scourge. But souring seas and
ocean warming are expected to reduce even more of the plants and animals
we depend on for food and income. .... http://apps.seattletimes.com/reports/sea-change/2013/sep/11/pacific-ocean-perilous-turn-overview/. By Craig Welch, The Seattle Times.
2013-09-05. Explaining Extreme Events of 2012 from a Climate Perspective.
Excerpt: New analyses find evidence
of human-caused climate change in half of the 12 extreme weather and
climate events analyzed from 2012. ...according to the report
...released today by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological
Society. Key findings include: Human-induced climate change had little
impact on the lack of precipitation in the central United States in
2012. ...however, human-induced climate change was found to be a factor
in the magnitude of warmth and was found to have affected the likelihood
of such heat waves. High temperatures, such as those experienced in the
U.S. in 2012 are now likely to occur four times as frequently due to
human-induced climate change. ...The record-setting impacts of Sandy
were largely attributable to the massive storm surge and resulting
inundation from the onshore-directed storm path coincident with high
tide. ...climate-change related increases in sea level have nearly
doubled today’s annual probability of a Sandy-level flood recurrence as
compared to 1950. ...The extremely low Arctic sea ice extent in summer
2012 ... cannot be explained by natural variability alone. Summer Arctic
sea ice ... is expected to be largely absent by mid-century. ...The
unusually high amount of summer rainfall in the United Kingdom in 2012
was largely the result of natural variability. ...The July 2012 extreme
rainfall events in North China and southwestern Japan were mainly due to
natural variability.... http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2013/20130905-extremeweatherandclimateevents.html. NOAA.
2013-09-03. NASA-Led Study Reveals Industrial Soot's Role in 1800s Glacier Retreat. http://www.nasa.gov/press/2013/september/nasa-led-study-reveals-industrial-soots-role-in-1800s-glacier-retreat/ NASA RELEASE 13-273. Excerpt: A NASA-led team of scientists has uncovered strong evidence that soot from a rapidly industrializing Europe caused the abrupt retreat of mountain glaciers in the European Alps that began in the 1860s, a period often thought of as the end of the Little Ice Age....
2013-08-08. Agency finds climate change taking toll on California. Excerpt: California lakes are warming, sea levels are rising, wildfires are spreading, and mountain plants and animals are migrating to higher ground as the impact of climate change takes hold throughout the state, a new report says. The evidence of the effects of the warming trend emerged in an analysis of 36 "indicators" - warning signs of changes - that are detailed in the 240-page report released Wednesday by the state's Environmental Protection Agency. ..."The combined impact described by the indicators is dramatic," said Matthew Rodriquez, California's secretary for environmental protection, whose agency specialists prepared the report. "The science is clear that we're already seeing significant changes in every part of the state," he said Wednesday. "If you look at these indicators, you can't really debate that climate change, and its impact, is here." ..."Sea-level rise could lead to flooding of low-lying areas, loss of coastal wetlands, erosion of coastal beaches, saltwater contamination of groundwater aquifers and impacts on roads, sewage treatment plants and other coastal infrastructure," the report warns. ...The annual average acres burned by California wildfires in the dozen years since 2000 (598,000 acres) is more than double the acreage burned in the 50 years between 1950 and 2000 (264,000 acres). ...A study on Southern California's Santa Rosa Mountains shows that dominant plant species have moved upward - by an average of 213 feet over the past 30 years. And in the Sierra Nevada, the lower edge of conifer-dominated forests has been retreating upslope for the past 60 years.... http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Agency-finds-climate-change-taking-toll-on-4716422.php. David Perlman, San Francisco Chronicle.
2013-07-24. Polar Thaw Opens Shortcut for Russian Natural Gas. Excerpt: ...The polar ice cap is melting, and if executives at the Russian energy company Novatek feel guilty about profiting from that, they do not let it be known in public. ...Novatek, in partnership with the French energy company Total and the China National Petroleum Corporation, is building a $20 billion liquefied natural gas plant on the central Arctic coast of Russia. It is one of the first major energy projects to take advantage of the summer thawing of the Arctic caused by global warming. The plant, called Yamal LNG, would send gas to Asia along the sea lanes known as the Northeast Passage, which opened for regular international shipping only four years ago. .... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/25/business/energy-environment/polar-thaw-opens-shortcut-for-russian-natural-gas.html. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times. [Note: this is a "socio-economic-inclusive" positive feedback loop: the
more global warming there is, the easier it is to transport fossil
fuel, which in turn makes more global warming.]
2013-07-23. Wildfire season getting longer. Excerpt: ...Slight temperature increases have extended fire seasons and boosted burned acreage, while housing encroachment into the forest has dramatically increased the cost of fighting fires. Analysts say 16 percent of the West's so-called wildland-urban interface is now developed, and already fire suppression consumes nearly half of the U.S. Forest Service budget. If that encroachment reaches 50 percent of the area where private lands border federal forests, economist Ray Rasker of non-profit research group Headwaters Economics said, the costs would climb to $6 billion — more than the current Forest Service budget. ...The fires that threaten precarious communities are growing more ferocious in part because of climate change, said Dave Cleaves, climate-change adviser for the U.S. Forest Service. "We're seeing more acres burned and more burned in large fires," Cleaves said. ...Warmer summers exacerbate drought, as do quicker-evaporating winter rains and snowmelt. These trends increase forest diseases and pests, such as bark beetles, which have killed millions of acres of trees in the West, creating vast amounts of fuel to feed fires. "The changing climate is not only accelerating the intensity of these disturbances," Cleaves said, "but linking them more closely together." On average, the West's fire season is now two months longer than it was in the early 1970s, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said during testimony before a U.S. Senate committee last month. A 2006 study by University of California-Merced geographer Anthony Westerling put the increase at 78 days..... http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/23/wildfire-season-getting-longer/2581381/. Brandon Loomis, The Arizona Republic [article in USA Today].
2013-07-22. Alaska Looks for Answers in Glacier’s Summer Flood Surges. Excerpt: ...glaciers ...are melting and retreating rapidly all over the world. But the unpredictable flood surges at the Mendenhall Glacier, about 14 miles from downtown Juneau, Alaska’s capital, are turning a jog into a sprint as global temperatures and climate variability increase. ...Starting in July 2011, and each year since, sudden torrents of water shooting out from beneath the glacier have become a new facet of Juneau’s brief, shimmering high summer season. In that first, and so far biggest, measured flood burst, an estimated 10 billion gallons gushed out in three days, threatening homes and property along the Mendenhall River that winds through part of the city. There have been at least two smaller bursts this year. ...Glaciologists even have a name for the process, which is happening in many places all over the world as climates change: jokulhlaup, an Icelandic word usually translated as “glacier leap.”.... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/23/us/alaska-looks-for-answers-in-glaciers-summer-flood-surges.html. Kirk Johnson, New York Times.
2013-07-10. Giant Iceberg Breaks Off Antarctic Glacier. Excerpt: A massive iceberg, larger than the city of Chicago, broke off of Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier on Monday (July 8), and is now floating freely in the Amundsen Sea, according to a team of German scientists. The newborn iceberg measures about 278 square miles (720 square kilometers), and was seen by TerraSAR-X, an earth-observing satellite operated by the German Space Agency (DLR). ...Humbert and her colleagues did not draw direct connections between this week's calving event and climate change, ...the flow of the Pine Island Glacier may be driven by other factors, Humbert said. ...whether the flow speeds up or slows down is based more on changing wind directions in the Amundsen Sea, and less by rising air temperatures. ...Still, if the glacier's flow speeds up, it could have serious consequences, the researchers said. The Pine Island Glacier currently acts as a plug, holding back part of the immense West Antarctic Ice Sheet whose melting ice contributes to rising sea levels.... http://www.livescience.com/38078-pine-island-glacier-iceberg.html. Denise Chow, LiveScience.
2013-06-13 NCDC Releases 2012 Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters Information. Excerpt: 2012 saw 11 weather and climate disaster events each with losses exceeding $1 billion in damages. This makes 2012 the second costliest year since 1980, with a total of more than $110 billion in damages throughout the year. The 2012 total damages rank only behind 2005, which incurred $160 billion in damages due in part to four devastating land-falling hurricanes. The 2012 billion-dollar events included seven severe weather and tornado events, two tropical cyclone events, and the yearlong drought and its associated wildfires. These 11 events killed over 300 people and had devastating economic effects on the areas impacted. Billion-Dollar Weather/Climate Disasters: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/overview. Table: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/events. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/ncdc-releases-2012-billion-dollar-weather-and-climate-disasters-information. NOAA.
2013-03-13. Warm Ocean, Not Icebergs, Causing Most of Antarctic Ice Shelves' Mass Loss. Excerpt: Ocean waters melting the undersides of Antarctic ice shelves are responsible for most of the continent's ice shelf mass loss, a new study by NASA and university researchers has found. ...the rates of basal melt, or the melting of the ice shelves from underneath, ...accounted for 55 percent of all Antarctic ice shelf mass loss from 2003 to 2008, an amount much higher than previously thought. Antarctica holds about 60 percent of the planet's fresh water locked into its massive ice sheet. ...Determining how ice shelves melt will help scientists improve projections of how the Antarctic ice sheet will respond to a warming ocean and contribute to sea level rise. ...In some places, basal melt exceeds iceberg calving. In other places, the opposite is true. But in total, Antarctic ice shelves lost 2,921 trillion pounds (1,325 trillion kilograms) of ice per year in 2003-2008 through basal melt, while iceberg formation accounted for 2,400 trillion pounds (1,089 trillion kilograms) of mass loss each year. ...For images related to this release, please visit: http://go.nasa.gov/175OAkF .... http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/jun/HQ_13-183_Melting_Ice_Shelves.html. NASA Release 13-183.
2013-06-06. 115 U.S. Ski Areas Seek Climate Change Action From Congress. Excerpt: Ski areas from 24 states have signed the Climate Declaration, which calls on U.S. federal policymakers and legislators to seize the economic opportunity of addressing climate change. These 115 ski areas join Climate Declaration founding signatory Aspen Snowmass and 40 other American businesses, including General Motors, Nike and Levi Strauss & Co., as well as Ceres, a coalition of large investors, companies and public interest groups, in declaring that a bold response to the climate challenge is “one of America’s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century.” Ski areas in the United States employ some 160,000 people and generate roughly $12.2 billion in annual revenue. ...ski areas are developing renewable energy on site through the application of wind, solar, geothermal and micro-hydro technology. Ski areas are applying energy-efficient green building techniques, retrofitting existing facilities to save energy, replacing inefficient compressors in snowmaking operations, using alternative fuels in resort vehicle fleets, implementing anti-idling policies and providing or promoting car pooling or mass transit use by guests and employees.... http://ens-newswire.com/2013/06/06/115-u-s-ski-areas-seek-climate-change-action-from-congress/. Environment News Service.
2013-05-24. Russia evacuates 'drifting' Arctic research station as ice floe melts Excerpt: MOSCOW As global warming accelerates, the life span of Arctic ice floes is decreasing, shocking Russian scientists who base their 'drifting' research stations there. ...Russia's environment ministry has ordered the urgent evacuation of 16 scientists from a research station on an Arctic ice floe near Canada because the ice around it is disintegrating at an alarming rate, giving the station little chance of survival. ...The emergency has sparked a wider debate among Russian Arctic researchers over how to continue their work amid rapidly changing climate conditions, and in an atmosphere in which the race for newly uncovered Arctic resources has become one of the most politically charged issues on the international agenda. "It's getting harder and harder to find a proper block of ice to sustain one of these stations," says Viktor Boyarsky, a former polar explorer and current director of the Russian State Museum of the Arctic and Antarctic in St. Petersburg. ...If current trends continue, Russia will have to start building artificial platforms that can withstand Arctic ice conditions, experts say.... http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2013/0524/Russia-evacuates-drifting-Arctic-research-station-as-ice-floe-melts; Fred Weir, Christian Science Monitor
2013-05-29. As Glaciers Melt, Alpine Mountains Lose Their Glue, Threatening Swiss Village Excerpt: ...Grindelwald, population 3,800, lies in the foothills of a wall of Alpine peaks, rising to more than 13,000 feet. It is also home to two of Switzerland’s largest glaciers, the Upper and Lower Grindelwald Glaciers, which for millenniums have snaked their way through Alpine gorges toward the town. With global warming, the glaciers are melting. Once stretching to the edge of town, they now end high in the mountains. Moreover, their greenish glacial water is forming lakes. In summer, when the melting accelerates, floodwaters threaten the area. ...the shrinking of the glaciers removes a kind of buttress supporting parts of the mountains, menacing the region with rock slides. Grindelwald stands as a stark example of what is happening these days to Switzerland’s glaciers, and there are more than a hundred, large and small. ...the warming reduces the effect of permafrost that once acted as a sort of glue binding together the mass of the mountains. ...a chunk of the Eiger amounting to about 900,000 cubic yards fell from the east face, causing the cloud of rock dust.... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/30/world/europe/in-swiss-alps-glacial-melting-unglues-mountains.html; John Tagliabue, New York Times.
2013-05-14. Climate change may be baring Mount Everest Excerpt: A warming climate is melting the glaciers of Mount Everest, shrinking the frozen cloak of Earth’s highest peak by 13% in the last 50 years, researchers have found. Rocks and natural debris previously covered by snow are appearing now as the snow line has retreated 590 feet, according to Sudeep Thakuri, a University of Milan scientist who led the research. ...Researchers said they believe the observed changes could be due to human-generated greenhouse gases altering global climate, although their research has not established a firm connection. ...Small glaciers of less than a square kilometer (about 247 acres), are vanishing fastest, registering a 43% decline in surface area since the 1960s. ...“The Himalayan glaciers and ice caps are considered a water tower for Asia since they store and supply water downstream during the dry season,” said Thakuri. “Downstream populations are dependent on the melt water for agriculture, drinking and power production.” ...The plateau is of concern because it is the ultimate source of drinking and irrigation water for more than 1 billion people in Asia. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-everest-climate-20130514,0,7957473.story By Geoffrey Mohan, Los Angeles Times. See also
2013-05-13. America's first climate refugees. Excerpt: Sabrina Warner keeps having the same nightmare: a huge wave rearing up out of the water and crashing over her home, forcing her to swim for her life with her toddler son. ...Warner's vision is not far removed from a reality written by climate change. The people of Newtok, on the west coast of Alaska and about 400 miles south of the Bering Strait that separates the state from Russia, are living a slow-motion disaster that will end, very possibly within the next five years, with the entire village being washed away. The Ninglick River coils around Newtok on three sides before emptying into the Bering Sea. It has steadily been eating away at the land, carrying off 100ft or more some years, in a process moving at unusual speed because of climate change. Eventually all of the villagers will have to leave, becoming America's first climate change refugees. ...A report by the US Army Corps of Engineers predicted that the highest point in the village – the school of Warner's nightmare – could be underwater by 2017. ...more than 180 native communities in Alaska, ... are flooding and losing land because of the ice melt that is part of the changing climate. ...The proposed new site for Newtok, voted on by the villagers and approved by government planners, lies only nine miles away, .... But the cost of the move could run as high as $130m.... For the villagers of Newtok, finding the cash, and finding their way through the government bureaucracy, is proving the challenge of their lives.... http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2013/may/13/newtok-alaska-climate-change-refugees Suzanne Goldenberg theguardian
2013-04-05. A Stubborn Drought Tests Texas Ranchers http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/business/a-long-drought-tests-texas-cattle-ranchers-patience-and-creativity.html. Stefanie Strom, New York Times. See also video at http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/04/05/business/100000002112739/drought-on-the-range.html - Excerpt: ...The persistence of the drought here has forced ranchers to use all the creative techniques they can muster to survive. For some, it has meant knowing as much about land management and grass as they know about the bloodlines of their herds. ...For others, it is knowing the right moment to sell calves or to gamble on something called “rain insurance.” The cattle herd nationwide is at its lowest level in 60 years, and nowhere is that more apparent than in Texas, the nation’s largest cattle-producing state. The Texas inventory of cattle and calves was 11.3 million on Jan. 1, a decline of 5 percent from a year earlier and the lowest level since 1967, according to the Agriculture Department. The state’s beef cattle inventory fell even more, to 4.02 million head, down 12 percent from 2012, when similarly precipitous declines occurred. The sharp contraction, brought on by two years of drought in Texas followed by a year of drought across the Great Plains that drove feed prices sky high, has left some wondering if the state will ever again have herds as large as it once boasted....
2013 Apr 4. In Sign of Warming, 1,600 Years of Ice in Andes Melted in 25 Years. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/world/americas/1600-years-of-ice-in-perus-andes-melted-in-25-years-scientists-say.html, by Justin Gillis, New York Times. Excerpt: ...Glacial ice in the Peruvian Andes that took at least 1,600 years to form has melted in just 25 years, scientists reported Thursday, the latest indication that the recent spike in global temperatures has thrown the natural world out of balance. The evidence comes from a remarkable find at the margins of the Quelccaya ice cap in Peru, the world’s largest tropical ice sheet. Rapid melting there in the modern era is uncovering plants that were locked in a deep freeze when the glacier advanced many thousands of years ago. Dating of those plants, using a radioactive form of carbon in the plant tissues that decays at a known rate, has given scientists an unusually precise method of determining the history of the ice sheet’s margins....
2013 March 26. New Mexico Farmers Seek 'Priority Call' as Drought Persists. By Felicity Barringer, The NY Times. Excerpt: The drought-fueled anger of southeastern New Mexico’s farmers and ranchers is boiling, and there is nowhere near enough water in the desiccated Pecos River to cool it down. Roswell, about 75 miles to the north, has somewhat more water available and so is the focus of intense resentment here...For decades, the regional status quo meant the northerners pumped groundwater and the southerners piped surface water. Now, amid the worst drought on record, some in Carlsbad say they must upend the status quo to survive. They want to make what is known as a priority call on the Pecos River....
2013-03-21. Wichita Falls, Texas, Could Go Dry by Year's End | Audrey White, The Texas Tribune. Excerpt: The Texas government keeps a list of a communities that could run out of water within 180 days. Most are small, affecting a few hundred or few thousand people. But now there is a big city on the list — Wichita Falls, near the Oklahoma border, home to more than 100,000 people. Wichita Falls was added to the list last month when lake levels dropped to 40 percent and the city entered Stage 3 watering restrictions. Currently, residents can water only once per week, and city officials warn that the restrictions could tighten further sometime this summer. ...More than three-quarters of the state is experiencing drought, and weather experts expect little relief in the next few months. ...Wichita Falls will almost certainly implement Stage 4 drought restrictions by the end of summer, and perhaps as early as June, .... Most likely, Stage 4 will include no outdoor watering, no filling of pools and additional restrictions on car-wash businesses. Industrial users could also be affected, he said. ...“all turf, trees, shrubs, flowers would have to die." Nix is working with the TCEQ to create and implement a water reuse system that would treat wastewater to return it to the drinking water supply, hopefully by early next year.... .... See full article at http://www.texastribune.org/2013/03/21/wichita-falls-among-cities-could-go-dry-years-end/.
2013 March 10. Amplified Greenhouse Effect Shifts North's Growing Seasons. By NASA Release 13-069. Excerpt: Vegetation growth at Earth's northern latitudes increasingly resembles lusher latitudes to the south, according to a NASA-funded study based on a 30-year record of land surface and newly improved satellite data sets....
2013 February 05. Report: Climate change could devastate agriculture. By Christopher Doerning, USA Today. Excerpt: Climate change could have a drastic and harmful effect on U.S. agriculture, forcing farmers and ranchers to alter where they grow crops and costing them millions of dollars in additional costs to tackle weeds, pests and diseases that threaten their operations, a sweeping government report said Tuesday. An analysis released by the Agriculture Department said that although U.S. crops and livestock have been able to adapt to changes in their surroundings for close to 150 years, the accelerating pace and intensity of global warming during the next few decades may soon be too much for the once-resilient sector to overcome. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said 2012 was the hottest year ever in the USA since record-keeping began in 1895, surpassing the previous high by a full degree Fahrenheit. The country was battered by the worst drought in more than 50 years, and crops withered away in bone-dry fields across the Midwest....
2013 January 27. Major climate changes looming. By Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle. Excerpt: ..."We are poised right at the edge of some very major changes on Earth," said Anthony Barnosky, a UC Berkeley professor of biology who studies the interaction of climate change with population growth and land use. ...At current trends, the Earth could warm by 4 degrees Celsius in 50 years, according to a November World Bank report. ... "The last time Earth was 4 degrees warmer than it is now was about 14 million years ago," Barnosky said. ...it is technically feasible to halt such changes by nearly ending the use of fossil fuels. ...Katharine Hayhoe, an evangelical Christian and climatologist at Texas Tech University "... it's not just about thermometers or satellite instruments,"..."It's about looking in our own backyards, when the trees are flowering now compared to 30 years ago, what types of birds and butterflies and bugs that ... used to be further south." ...The pine bark beetle, held in check by winter freezes, is epidemic over millions of acres of forests from California to South Dakota. Oceans, which absorb CO2, have increased in acidity, damaging coral reefs, shellfish and organisms at the bottom of the food chain. ... such changes in ocean chemistry in the geologic past were accompanied by "mass extinctions of ocean or terrestrial life or both." ...wind and solar could power the world many times over. ...the world would need to install 1.7 billion solar rooftops and 4 million wind turbines….
2013 January 21. How High Could the Tide Go. By Justin Gillis, The New York Times. Excerpt: …Experts say the emissions that may make a huge increase of sea level inevitable are expected to occur in just the next few decades. They fear that because the world’s coasts are so densely settled, the rising oceans will lead to a humanitarian crisis lasting many hundreds of years. Scientists say it has been difficult to get people to understand or focus on the importance, for future generations, of today’s decisions about greenhouse gases. Their evidence that the gases represent a problem is based not just on computerized forecasts of the future, as is commonly believed, but on what they describe as a growing body of evidence about what occurred in the past. To add to that body of knowledge, Dr. Raymo is studying geologic history going back several million years. The earth has warmed up many times, for purely natural reasons, and those episodes often featured huge shifts of climate, partial collapse of the polar ice sheets and substantial increases in sea level….
2013 January 10. Heat, Flood or Icy Cold, Extreme Weather Rages Worldwide. By Sarah Lyall, The New York Times. Excerpt: …Around the world, extreme has become the new commonplace. China is enduring its coldest winter in nearly 30 years. Brazil is in the grip of a dreadful heat spell. Eastern Russia is so freezing — minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and counting — that the traffic lights recently stopped working in the city of Yakutsk. Bush fires are raging across Australia, fueled by a record-shattering heat wave. Pakistan was inundated by unexpected flooding in September. A vicious storm bringing rain, snow and floods just struck the Middle East. … said Omar Baddour, chief of the data management applications division at the World Meteorological Organization, …Such events are increasing in intensity as well as frequency, … a sign that climate change is not just about rising temperatures, but also about intense, unpleasant, anomalous weather of all kinds. … in Britain … the floods of 2012 followed the floods of 2007 and also the floods of 2009, which all told have resulted in nearly $6.5 billion in insurance payouts. …Britain’s weather service declared 2012 the … the second-wettest in Britain as a whole, since records began more than 100 years ago. …there were also severe snowstorms in Sicily and southern Italy for the first time since World War II… tornadoes and waterspouts struck the Italian coast.) …Meanwhile, China is enduring its worst winter in recent memory, … more than 1,000 houses collapsed under a relentless onslaught of snow, while in Inner Mongolia, 180,000 livestock froze to death. The cold has wreaked havoc with crops, sending the price of vegetables soaring. … in South America, energy analysts say that Brazil may face electricity rationing for the first time since 2002, as a heat wave and a lack of rain deplete the reservoirs for hydroelectric plants. …The temperature in Rio de Janeiro climbed to 109.8 degrees on Dec. 26, the city’s highest temperature since official records began in 1915….
2013 January 02. Commodities fear as mighty Mississippi runs dry in drought. By Tim Walker, The Independent. Excerpt: … the mighty Mississippi is being choked by drought, as historically low water levels threaten to halt the flow of vital commodities … with potentially devastating economic consequences. Last summer saw the country's worst drought for more than 50 years, damaging crops across the Mid-West and making stretches of the Mississippi perilously shallow and narrow for barge traffic, which typically carries around $7bn of grain, coal, crude oil, cement and other materials and commodities along the river in December and January. ... a section of the river may become impassable by Thursday. …Debra Colbert, senior vice-president of the Waterways Council, told The Independent: "We have never had an extended closure on the Mississippi. This is the height of the export shipping season. From now until March, more than 60 per cent of the nation's grain moves on the inland waterway, bound for export. The impacts are going to be enormous, …." …Responsibility for keeping the shipping channel open falls to the US Army's Corps of Engineers, which said the drought-induced crisis was "equal to or worse than any of the past five decades". …The region's senators recently wrote to President Obama, pressing for more water to be allowed into the Mississippi from another tributary, the Missouri…. The Corps of Engineers cut the flow of the Missouri by two-thirds in November to stock reservoirs, assuaging drought conditions in more northerly states…
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