It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

“It is predicted there will be more and more incidents of severe clear-air turbulence, which typically comes out of the blue with no warning, occurring in the near future as climate change takes its effect in the stratosphere,” Dr Paul Williams, a Royal Society research fellow at Reading University, said last week.

“There has already been a steady rise in incidents of severe turbulence affecting flights over the past few decades. Globally, turbulence causes dozens of fatalities a year on small private planes and hundreds of injuries to passengers in big jets. And as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere keep on rising, so will the numbers of incidents.”

The Guardian, 11 Sep 2016

worse than we thought – carbon dioxide concentrations!

Research news about climate change and its expected effects has, if anything, become more alarming since the 2001 IPCC report which projected possible temperature increases by 2100 of up to 5.8 degrees Celcius (IPCC 2001).

For example, two different studies from the UK Hadley Centre have suggested that increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere may lead to higher temperature rises than those reported in IPCC’s work (Clarke 2003; Murphy et al 2004).

In addition, there are concerns that the effects of climate change are beginning to be seen before scientists had expected, and even that positive feedbacks in the climate system, which could accelerate global warming are starting to be detected (Vidal 2004).

CARBON RATIONING AND PERSONAL ENERGY USE, Tina Fawcet, Fawcett, T. 2004 Carbon rationing and personal energy use. Energy and Environment. 15(6) pp 1067-1083

see also new category – the tendency for news stories about climate change to be not only bad news but “worse than we thought”

Save the Buckeye!

Environmentalists said Friday that climate change might push the growing range of Ohio’s iconic buckeye tree out of the state, leaving it for archrival Michigan.

Save The Buckeye, a coalition of environmental activists and outdoor enthusiasts, has a billboard in Columbus warning about the fate of the buckeye tree, and backers plan to hold rallies during football tailgating events.

People had thought of global warming as something far away, affecting polar bears, said Tom Bullock, an advocate for the Pew Environment Group in Ohio.

“If we don’t get started now we will reduce the opportunity to reduce global warming and curb its worst effects.”

Fox News, 15 Sep 2008

worse than we thought – small islands swallowed!

Low-lying island atolls—which are home to half a million people around the world—are some of the places most immediately threatened by rising sea levels.

Now an unsettling new study from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that these vulnerable places could disappear at rates almost double what scientists had previously realized.

It appears that many atoll islands will be flooded annually, salinizing the limited freshwater resources and thus likely forcing inhabitants to abandon their islands in decades, not centuries, as previously thought, the paper, published in Nature Scientific Reports, says.

CoExist, 13 Oct 2015

see also new category – the tendency for news stories about climate change to be not only bad news but “worse than we thought”

seemed like a good idea at the time

As the United States moves toward taking action on global warming, practical experience with carbon markets in the European Union raises a critical question: Will such systems ever work?

Europeans took an early lead in efforts to curb global warming, championing the Kyoto Protocol and imposing a market-based system in 2005 to cap emissions from about 12,000 factories producing electricity, glass, steel, cement, pulp and paper.

Companies buy or sell permits based on whether they overshoot or come in beneath their pollution goals. European Union officials acknowledge that establishing such a vast market has been more complicated than they expected.

“Of course it was ambitious to set up a market for something you can’t see and to expect to see immediate changes in behavior,” said Jacqueline McGlade, the executive director of the European Environment Agency. “It’s easy, with hindsight, to say we could have been tougher.”

A major stumbling block arose at the outset, when some participating governments allocated too many trading permits to polluters when the market was created. That led to a near-market failure after the value of the permits fell by half, and called into question the validity of the system.

Heat Is Online – originally The New York Times, June 20, 2008

what do you say to a polar bear?

bear_wavingBut today’s emerging solution to eco-anxiety is ecotherapy.

The science originated among the New Agers of the USA, like Santa Fe-based therapist Melissa Pickett, who describes herself as “a student of evolutionary inquiry, a visionary and a change agent”.

“Eco-anxiety is caused by our disconnection from nature. People tell me how an article about the polar bears losing their habitat was making them ill,” she says.

“So I place a photograph of a polar bear into the patients’ hands and encourage them to have an imaginary conversation with him as a way to ease their despair.”

She also advises we carry rocks in our pockets to remind us of our connection with the Earth and buy one of her “sacred matrices” (yours for $10 each).

The Independent, 20 Mar 2008

see also – action plan

worse than we thought – worlds oceans!

A group of 17 scientists with varied backgrounds, including noted climatologist James Hansen has written a paper describing a scenario where the world’s oceans rise much faster than other models have predicted—they have uploaded it to Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics—an open access site created to allow for public peer review of researcher ideas.

The authors argue that such a rise will result in much faster ice melting than other models have suggested, resulting in a rise of the world’s oceans to dangerous levels…….

The researchers are hoping their work will cause more than just a change in the standards that have been set—that it might also wake the human race to the cataclysmic changes that really are coming and cause us to change our ways before it is too late—if it is not already.

Phys Org, 24/07/2015

see also new category – the tendency for news stories about climate change to be not only bad news but “worse than we thought”

grapes in Margaret River mature early

………………………………….

Predicted rising temperatures in the Margaret River region in the next few years are expected to have a significant impact on the quality of wine grapes, with early maturity an increasing concern.

Curtin University associate professor Mark Gibberd said a new study of WA’s wine regions showed a “demonstrable” change in grape maturation. AHA Viticulture senior consultant Jim Campbell-Clause said rising temperatures for the past eight years had made earlier vintages “pretty well the norm”. The trend is a warming trend, he said.

West Australian Regional, 27 Jan 2015

grapes in Margaret River don’t mature early

Dr Leanne Webb from CSIRO and her team have now analysed decades of records from wine-growing regions across southern Australia. They combined this with temperature data from the Bureau of Meteorology, modelling of soil moisture and records of crop yields from the winegrowers.

They found that early grape maturation had occurred in all the vineyards except Margaret River in Western Australia, which had actually dropped back by about half a day per decade.The researchers say the study will help wineries develop strategies to deal with climate change.

ABC (Australia) Science, 27 Feb 2012

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see also – having it both ways

surprise finding – the carbon market is being rorted!

Europe’s greenhouse gas market has shown that investments by rich countries into clean-energy projects in poor nations are not always the best way to cut emissions blamed for global warming, the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress reported.

In the European Union’s greenhouse gas market, the world’s largest, many polluters have sought to meet government-imposed emissions limits by investing in projects through the U.N.’s Clean Development Mechanism.

The mechanism allows polluters in rich countries to claim credits back home by investing in projects such as hydropower in Brazil or destruction of refrigerant gases in China.

Such projects are called carbon offsets by players in the $100 billion carbon market because they aim to reduce a polluter’s carbon footprint by cutting emissions elsewhere.

Some offset credits were awarded for projects that would have occurred even in the absence of the CDM, despite a rigorous screening process, the report said.

Heat Is Online – The Guardian (U.K.), Dec. 2, 2008

worse than we thought – animal life!

Climate change is happening far faster than predicted, and it’s causing a huge decline in animal life, according to a recent report released by Boston-based asset management firm Grantham Mayo van Otterloo (GMO).

The total amount of animal life on Earth has halved in the last 35 years, and bird populations have decreased by 40%, a recent report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates.

Animal populations plummeted by 52% between 1970 and 2010, according to the WWF’s Living Planet Index, which is calculated using trends in 10,380 populations of over 3,038 vertebrate species (fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals).

Birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals have all seen some of their populations decline over the past few decades.

Business Insider (Australia), 6 Aug 2015

see also new category – the tendency for news stories about climate change to be not only bad news but “worse than we thought”

Urgent warning!

As the heat increases,our lakes and rivers will dry up to a great extent, and will contain hardly any water except during the rainy season, when they will be temporarily swelled to enormous proportions.

We shall have earthquakes of great size and strength, and hitherto peaceful mountains, finding that they re in tropical regions, will break out as volcanoes….

The heat will be so great that, except in the extreme northern and southern parts of the continent, the people of the United States will lose their energy and become as lazy and listless as are now the people of Panama.

They will spend their time lying in hammocks and will take little interest in politics, although from time to time they may arouse theselves sufficiently to indulge in a brief revolution after the present South American pattern.

New York Times, 19 Nov 1881 (warming caused by tilting of the Earth’s axis)

thanks to Mervyn

calling all climate crusaders – cool it!

Exacerbating the problem are the piles of research telling climate crusaders to lay off the apocalyptic rhetoric, meaning that, in order to be effective communicators, experts must often stifle their most dire predictions.

The problem is that climate change threatens feelings of self-efficacy — the sense that we can control our destiny. This is precisely why social scientists urge communicators not to overburden the public with catastrophic predictions about the future, because doing so can inspire fatalism.

Think Progress, 16 Sep 2015

pied flycatcher lays an egg!

Many British birds are laying their eggs earlier in the year as a result of climate change, a report by conservation groups claimed yesterday.

The report said birds were being forced to rapidly adapt their behaviour in order to survive, including altering their nesting and migration patterns and travelling further to find food.

Work carried out by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) surveying 30,000 nests showed species such as the chaffinch and robin are laying their eggs about a week earlier than they did during the 1960s.

Matt Murphy, ornithologist for the Countryside Council for Wales, said climate change was affecting the breeding patterns of pied flycatchers living in Welsh oak woodlands.

heraldscotland, 15 Aug 2008

worse than we thought – by just about any measure!

As climate change exceeds the worst projections, scientists underscore the urgency of reducing emissions.

By just about any measure, global warming is matching or exceeding experts’ worst projections, and could bring drastic change to our planet, including a 19-foot sea level rise and the extinction of many species, according to a new report released today.

We are in the lead-up to an historic climate summit — the Copenhagen climate summit — and it is absolutely essential that any policy making regarding climate change be based on the best and most up-to-date science, said co-author Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University in State College.

Discovery.com, 11 Feb 2013

see also new category – the tendency for news stories about climate change to be not only bad news but “worse than we thought”

hurricanese increase in intensity

………………………………….

The number of very intense hurricanes striking the east coast of North America and the Caribbean could increase over the next century if ocean temperatures continue to rise. The total number of storms, however, is set to fall.

That is according to researchers in the US who have applied a popular model for forecasting cyclone activity to a series of climate projections made by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC).

physicsworld.com, 29 Jan 2010

hurricanes decrease in intensity

Global warming could increase a climate phenomenon known as wind shear that inhibits Atlantic hurricanes, a potentially positive result of climate change, according to new research released on Tuesday.

The study, to be published on Wednesday in Geophysical Research Letters, found that climate model simulations show a “robust increase” in wind shear in the tropical Atlantic during the 21st century from global warming.

Wind shear, a difference in wind speed or direction at different altitudes, tends to tear apart tropical cyclones, preventing nascent ones from growing and already-formed hurricanes from becoming the monster storms that cause the most damage.

planetark.com, 18 Apr 2007
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see also – having it both ways

the ups and downs of dengue transmission

Dengue is the world’s most prevalent mosquito-borne disease, with more than 200 million people each year becoming infected. We used a mechanistic virus transmission model to determine whether climate warming would change dengue transmission in Australia….

Using the ECHAM5 model, decreased dengue transmission was predicted under the A2 carbon emission scenario, whereas some increases are likely under the B1 scenario. Dengue epidemic potential may decrease under climate warming due to mosquito breeding sites becoming drier and mosquito survivorship declining.

These results contradict most previous studies that use correlative models to show increased dengue transmission under climate warming….

It is therefore naive to assume a simple relationship between climate and incidence, and incorrect to state that climate warming will uniformly increase dengue transmission, although in general the health impacts of climate change will be negative.

WILLIAMS, C.R., MINCHAM, G., FADDY, H., VIENNET, E., RITCHIE, S.A. and HARLEY, D. (2016) ‘Projections of increased and decreased dengue incidence under climate change’, Epidemiology and Infection, , pp. 1–10.

thanks to ddh

Bittern boom busted!

Rising sea could end the bittern boom. One of Britain’s rarest birds whose numbers climbed back from near extinction a decade ago faces a new threat from the sea.

Speaking at a conference at the Potteric Carr Nature Reserve in South Yorkshire, Dr Mark Avery, RSPB conservation director, said the Bittern population relied on breeding grounds such as the Minsmere Reserve along the Suffolk coast.

A substantial area of new reed bed will urgently need to be created away from the coast, and the threat of climate change-driven, sea level rise, he said. BBC News, 4 Mar 2008

worse than we thought – potential damages!

Sir Nicholas Stern, teh author of the world’s most comprehensive study of the economic impact of climate change, says fresh research into teh planet’s carbon sink suggests his report probably underestimated the potential dmages.

New research indicated a weakening of the so-called carbon cycle, in particular the ability of the planet’s oceans to absorb carbon dioxide, Sir Nicholas said. And the risks threatening forests, another type of carbon sink, “are stronger than we thought”, he said. “So I think we are seeing early signs that some risks are bigger than the ones we included.”

The Age, 28 Mar 2007 – screen copy held by this website

see also new category – the tendency for news stories about climate change to be not only bad news but “worse than we thought”

calling all Earthlings!

“We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion. We need to eliminate nationalism and tribalism and become Earthlings.

And as Earthlings, we need to recognize that all the other species that live on this planet are also fellow citizens and also Earthlings.

This is a planet of incredible diversity of life-forms; it is not a planet of one species as many of us believe. We need to stop burning fossil fuels and utilize only wind, water, and solar power with all generation of power coming from individual or small community units like windmills, waterwheels, and solar panels.

Sea transportation should be by sail. The big clippers were the finest ships ever built and sufficient to our needs. Air transportation should be by solar powered blimps when air transportation is necessary.”

seashepherd.org, May 4, 2007, Commentary by Paul Watson,Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

worse than we thought – global warming acceleration!

Without decisive action, global warming in the 21st century is likely to accelerate at a much faster pace and cause more environmental damage than predicted, according to a leading member of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“We now have data showing that from 2000 to 2007, greenhouse gas emissions increased far more rapidly than we expected, primarily because developing countries, like China and India, saw a huge upsurge in electric power generation, almost all of it based on coal,” said IPCC scientist Chris Field of Stanford University and the Carnegie Institution for Science.

Stanford News, 18 Feb 2009

green plans in the red!

The cost of efforts to avoid dangerous global warming may be 170 percent higher than 2007 estimates, a report for the UN’s climate agency said on Thursday.

The report comes four days before the UN leads a fresh round of talks in Poland to agree a successor to the Kyoto Protocol in ongoing negotiations marred by squabbles over who should bear the cost of fighting climate change.

The UN report cited research by the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy adviser to 28 countries, and others which showed growing capital costs especially in the energy sector.

The increased investment needed is entirely due to higher capital costs for energy supply facilities, it said.

Heat Is Online – Planetark.org, Nov. 28, 2008

worse than we thought – destruction of sea life!

Rising acid levels in the Southern Ocean will start destroying sea life within 30 years, three decades earlier than previously thought, Australian climate change researchers warned yesterday.

Scientists had previously predicted that when carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 550 parts per million – compared with about 383 parts per million today – the oceans would become so acidic that the calcium in the shells of sea creatures would start dissolving. However, it was thought it would take 60 to 100 years for such a “tipping point” to be reached.

But new findings by Ben McNeil, of the University of NSW, and the CSIRO’s Dr Richard Matear, suggest rising acidity may trigger “irreversible” destruction of shell creatures far sooner.

Sydney Morning Herald, 17 Nov 2008

see also new category – the tendency for news stories about climate change to be not only bad news but “worse than we thought”

You left out – do you hire Windows users or Apple users?

The New York Times is a leader in covering climate change. Now The Times is ramping up its coverage to make the most important story in the world even more relevant, urgent and accessible to a huge audience around the globe. We are looking for an editor to lead this dynamic new group.

We want someone with an entrepreneurial streak who is obsessed with finding new ways to connect with readers and new ways to tell this vital story.


The New York Times is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of an individual’s sex, age, race, color, creed, national origin, alienage, religion, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation or affectional preference, gender identity and expression, disability, genetic trait or predisposition, carrier status, citizenship, veteran or military status and other personal characteristics protected by law.

New York Times

thanks to ddh

worse than we thought – carbon emissions!

stunned_crowdThe cream of the UK climate science community sat in stunned silence as a scientist pointed out that carbon emissions since 2000 have risen much faster than anyone thought possible, driven mainly by the coal-fuelled economic boom in the developing world.

So much extra pollution is being pumped out that most of the climate targets debated by politicians and campaigners are fanciful at best, and “dangerously misguided” at worst, said Kevin Anderson, an expert at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at Manchester University. The Guardian, 9 Dec 2008

see also new category – the tendency for news stories about climate change to be not only bad news but “worse than we thought”

use less stuff!

TED TURNER: Not doing it will be catastrophic. We’ll be eight degrees hotter in ten, not ten but 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals. Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state — like Somalia or Sudan — and living conditions will be intolerable.

The droughts will be so bad there’ll be no more corn grown. Not doing it is suicide. Just like dropping bombs on each other, nuclear weapons is suicide. We’ve got to stop doing the suicidal two things, which are hanging on to our nuclear weapons and after that we’ve got to stabilize the population. When I was born-

CHARLIE ROSE: So what’s wrong with the population?

TURNER: We’re too many people. That’s why we have global warming. We have global warming because too many people are using too much stuff. If there were less people, they’d be using less stuff.

did we miss anyone?

Climate change will expose more people – in less likely areas than previous – to wildfires, drought, hurricanes and flooding. The weather ambushes lead to increasing cases of PTSD.

Those at particular risk to mental health damage from the effects of global warming include:

  • – People displaced by extreme weather events
  • – Low income individuals with limited access to care
  • – Limited English proficiency individuals who may not comprehend public service campaigns
  • – Immigrant groups that may have not previously had adequate mental or physical health to withstand environmental damages
  • – Indigenous peoples who may remain on sovereign land whose infrastructures are not up kept by the government
  • – Children
  • – Homeless
  • – Pregnant Women
  • – Elders
  • – Persons with disabilities
  • – Outdoor 0ccupational groups
  • – Persons with pre-existing or chronic medical conditions.
Sovereign Health Group, 7th May 2016, About the author – “Sovereign Health Group staff writer Kristin Currin-Sheehan is a mindful spirit swimming in metaphysical pools with faith as her compass.”

worse than we thought – plants flowering!

Scientific models are failing to accurately predict the impact of global warming on plants, says a new report. Researchers found in long-term studies that some are flowering up to eight times faster than models anticipate.

The authors say that poor study design and a lack of investment in experiments partly account for the difference.

“If a whole plant community starts growing a week earlier than we expect according to these experiments, it’s going to take up a lot more water over the growing season and if you add to that many years of the model projections, you are going to see big changes in the water supply,” said Dr Elizabeth Wolkovich, who is now at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

BBC News, 2 May 2012

see also new category – the tendency for news stories about climate change to be not only bad news but “worse than we thought”

stop the krill from being …..

Almost half of Antarctic krill offspring would struggle to survive in vast regions of the Southern Ocean’s increasingly acidic waters by the end of the century if carbon emissions continue unchecked, climate study projections show.

If such conditions continued, researchers at the Australian Antarctic Division predict krill populations could be wiped out by 2300. “Up to a third of all carbon dioxide that humans produce each year dissolves into the sea,” said Marine biologist Rob King.

Sydney Morning Herald, 9 Jul 2013

worse than we thought – speed of climate change!

The conference at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Exeter, called by Tony Blair to inform world leaders about the urgency of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, was told of a series of new research findings which showed that climate change was speeding up and would be worse than hitherto expected.

David Griggs, director of the centre, said the meeting was “an ideal opportunity for the scientific community to identify emission levels, especially of carbon dioxide, at which the Earth’s climate could be thrown into irreversible change.”

Only five years ago the scientists on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were confident that Antarctica and its vast ice sheets were so cold that they would not begin to melt for centuries even if climate changed elsewhere.

Science Direct, Current Biology: Volume 15, Issue 4, 22 February 2005, Pages R109–R110

see also new category – the tendency for news stories about climate change to be not only bad news but “worse than we thought”

Zebra finches read IPCC reports!

bird_reading
Scientists have long worried whether animals can respond to the planet’s changing climate. Now, a new study reports that at least one species of songbird—and likely many more—already knows how to prep its chicks for a warming world. They do so by emitting special calls to the embryos inside their eggs, which can hear and learn external sounds.

The idea that the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) parents were “talking to their eggs” occurred to Mylene Mariette, a behavioral ecologist at Deakin University in Waurn Ponds, Australia, while recording the birds’ sounds at an outdoor aviary. She noticed that sometimes when a parent was alone, it would make a rapid, high-pitched series of calls while sitting on the eggs.

She found that parents of both sexes uttered these calls only during the end of the incubation period and when the maximum daily temperature rose above 26°C (78.8°F). Mariette thinks the finches’ ability to prepare their offspring for their future environment makes sense because they live in arid habitats and they breed whenever conditions are good—irrespective of the season.

She adds that these finches show that some animals, at least, aren’t just sitting ducks when it comes to climate change—they may be much better able to adapt to a warming world than we thought.

Science mag, 18 Aug 2016

thanks to ddh

worse than we thought – global food production!

The impact of climate change on global crop production is likely to be worse than previously predicted, scientists said at a Royal Society discussion meeting partly organised by Reading scientists in London.

A two-day international meeting entitled ‘Food Crops in a Changing Climate’ brought together world-class scientists in the fields of meteorology, climate science and agriculture, to discuss the impacts of a changing climate on the productivity of staple food crops, grown throughout the world.

“Both these results show that we need to seriously re-examine our predictions for future global food production as they are likely to be far lower than previously estimated.” said Professor Steve Long from Illinois University.

University of Reading, Impact of climate change on crops worse than previously thought, 27 Apr 2005

see also new category – the tendency for news stories about climate change to be not only bad news but “worse than we thought”

they all look the same to me

Climate change is being blamed for a changing of the guard among Sydney’s cockroach population.

Researchers say the most common sub-species in city households was the german cockroach, until it disappeared about seven years ago.

Martyn Robinson from the Australian Museum says the Australian house cockroach, methana marginalus, which likes warmer climates, has begun moving in.

“It’s most likely to be the…warmer climate,” he said.

ABC News (Australia), 14 Mar 2007

democracy in action

Copenhagen’s city council in conjunction with Lord Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard sent postcards out to 160 Copenhagen hotels urging COP15 Climate Change Conference guests and delegates to ‘Be sustainable – don’t buy sex’.

In response SIO (Sexarbejdernes Interesse Organisation; or the Sex workers Interest Organisation) announced on their website that this was a political attempt to criminalize sex work in the city.

They also announced that anyone who had received such a postcard could use it instead of payment:

“If you are a delegate at COP15, Sexworkers in Copenhagen are accepting the postcard as payment for sex.

In other words – we offer free sex for your postcard. We do this as a protest against the unjust and degrading campaign of the City Council. .

Employees and politicians of the Municipality of Copenhagen are exempted from the offer.”

Science Blogs, 15 Dec 2009