plagues

Climatic changes could lead to more outbreaks of bubonic plague among human populations, a study suggests.

Researchers found that the bacterium that caused the deadly disease became more widespread following warmer springs and wetter summers. The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Writing in the paper, co-author Nils Stenseth from the University of Oslo said: “The desert regions of Central Asia are known to contain natural foci of plague where the great gerbil (Rhombomys opimus) is the primary host.”

BBC News, 22 Aug 2006

see also – just plain scary

predictions

Following this example, a number of climate advocates have begun considering the benefits of greater centralisation in decision-making to mitigate the devastating scenarios offered by climate scientists.

For example, in an interview about her new book The Collapse of Western Civilization, Naomi Oreskes argued: “If anyone will weather this storm it seems likely that it will be the Chinese.”

In the book, Oreskes and co-author Erik Conway imagine a future world in which the predictions of the International Panel on Climate Change have come to pass.

With respect to China, the authors predict: China’s ability to weather disastrous climate change vindicated the necessity of centralised government … inspiring similar structures in other, reformulated nations.

ABC (Australia) The Drum, 5 Sep 2015, opinion by Peter Burdon

see also – in their own words

disappearing beach

Bondi beach will shrink to a thin ribbon of sand and extreme storm surges would reach the top of its concrete sea wall, research commissioned by the local council shows.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released on Friday, found the sea level would rise and could be expected to be up to 80 centimetres higher by the end of the century.

In the case of an 80-centimetre rise in sea levels, high tides would regularly flood parts of many Sydney suburbs that are close to water, including sections of Annandale, Mosman, Marrickville, Brighton-le-Sands, Sylvania Waters, Five Dock and Narrabeen.

Rob Brander, a senior lecturer at the University of NSW specialising in coastal geomorphology, said Sydney’s coastal regions faced significant impacts from rising sea levels.

“If a beach shifts landward, it hasn’t got many places to go,” Dr Brander said. “Beaches will get narrower and low-lying coastal properties will face damage.”Sydney Morning Herald, 29 Sep 2013

see also – just plain scary

team’s target

A team of scientists from Australia and New Zealand is warning that unless global warming can be capped at a rise of 2 degrees or less, the Antarctic Ice Shelves will collapse. They say that could add another 40cm to sea level rises by the end of the century, instead of the 5cm that has been previously forecast.

If we don’t hit that two degree target, then actually we’ve committed to several metres of sea level rise over the next few centuries, and thousands of years after that said Dr Chris Fogwill from the University of New South Wales’ Climate Change Research Centre.

ABC News (Australia), 15 Oct 2015

see also – just plain scary

polar bears get the elbow

Polar bears are likely to lose out to grizzly bears in fierce competition for food as climate change drives the two species closer together into shared habitat, biologists concluded in a study.

The research was based on 3-D computer modeling that compared the skull and jaw strength of the two bruins and found polar bears ill-suited to the tougher chewing demands posed by the largely vegetarian diet of their grizzly cousins.

This is one additional piece of evidence that things look pretty bleak for the polar bear, if current trends continue, said Graham Slater, the lead author of the research. Polar bears already are losing habitat as rising Arctic temperatures diminish the sea ice they depend on to hunt for seals.

As the ice continues to shrink, polar bears will be forced to seek additional food sources. To people who say polar bears can just change their diet, we are saying … they will have to, but it probably will not be sufficient for them, especially if they are co-existing with grizzly bears, said Blair Van Valkenburgh, senior author of the paper.

Heat Is Online, 24 Nov 2010 – Reuters

save the planet with fake trees!

Professor Klaus Lackner (Geophysics, Columbia University Earth Institute): Just like the leaves of a tree have air blowing over them, and they manage to extract some of the CO2 as it floats over the leaf’s surface, this device has surfaces over which the wind blows, and it gives up a fraction of its CO2 as it goes through. So the idea of this device is to capture carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Yes, it doesn’t look like a tree, because it’s just has functionally this one part in common. It doesn’t, like a normal tree, try to convert this with sunshine into starches. So the leaves of this tree do not have to be exposed to the sunshine, so they are stacked much more tightly. And, consequently, this synthetic tree is capable of collecting much more CO2 out of the wind than an ordinary tree would.

npr.org, 3 Dec 2007

see also – action plan

truffles under threat!

The black truffle, one of the most exclusive and expensive delicacies on the planet, is under threat from climate change.

A mysterious species of underground fungi with reported aphrodisiac and therapeutic properties, the aromatic truffles are also highly fragile and cannot withstand more than three weeks without water.

But prolonged drought in many of their prime growing regions in Europe and predictions about global warming suggest the future is about as black as the truffles themselves, to the despair of the growers.

“The bad harvest years, which used to be the exception, are becoming the norm,” Jean-Charles Savignac, President of the Federation Francaise des Trufficulteurs (FFT), told Reuters.

Reuters, 16 May 2008

the flight of the bumble bee

Global warming is shrinking the terrain where bumblebees live in North America and Europe, with these vital pollinators departing the southernmost and hottest parts of their ranges while failing to move north into cooler climes, scientists say.

Their study, published on Thursday, used records from 1901 to 2010 to track 67 bumblebee species, finding that the insects have surrendered about 185 miles (300 km) from the southern end of the regions they called home on both continents.

This is the ‘climate vise,’ said University of Ottawa biologist Jeremy Kerr, with the bumblebees “stuck at the northern edges of ranges while the southern edges are crushed inward and those populations are lost.”

Bumblebees are declining incredibly fast and the fingerprints of human-caused climate change are all over these changes, Kerr added. “Even more incredibly to us, these effects are often nearly identical across continents, occurring at the same pace in both Europe and North America.” Kerr said dramatic action should be considered: a proposal called “assisted migration” involving a large-scale relocation of bee populations into new areas where they might thrive.

More generally, losing pollinators is a sign that we are playing dangerously with life-support systems we can’t do without, Kerr added. “That is an experiment we should never have started.” Heat Is Online, 10 Jul 2015 – Reuters

grim outlook

Climate change is the latest threat to the world’s growing HIV epidemic, say Australian experts who warn of the “grim” outlook in the fight against the infectious disease.

Prominent HIV scientist Professor David Cooper, director of the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, agreed environmental change would have a negative impact on HIV sufferers.

Climate change will lead to food scarcity and poorer nutrition, putting people with perilous immune systems at more risk of dying of HIV, as well as contracting and transmitting new and unusual infections, Prof Cooper said.

The Age (Australia), 29/4/2008

see also – just plain scary

watch where you’re standing!

A former member of the Clinton administration, and current Senior Fellow at the virtual Clinton think tank the Center for American Progress, claimed Monday that global warming might have played a factor in the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis last week.

Writing at Climate Progress, the global warming blog of CAP, Joseph Romm – who served as Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy in 1997 and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary from 1995 though 1998 – stated in a piece entitled “Did Climate Change Contribute To The Minneapolis Bridge Collapse?”

“Certainly climate change will have the biggest infrastructure impact on our coastal cities, water and sewage systems, levees, and electric grid. But given that a remarkable 70,000 other bridges in the country are also structurally deficient, we should seek to learn whether such troubled bridges can take the ever-growing stresses generated by global warming.”

“We need to be as prepared as possible for a changed climate – as the Center for American Progress has previously argued. Indeed, if the adapters have their way in blocking serious efforts aimed at prevention, we’ll need to be prepared for the very worst.”

mrc Newsbusters, 7 Aug 2007

invasion of the crocodile-eating snakes!

Scientists recently found bones from a 60-million year old giant snake in Colombia—a snake that weighed a ton, and was as long as a school bus.

Paleontologist Jonathan Bloch of the Florida Museum of Natural History was on the team. He says the find also tells us about climate, because cold-blooded animals depend on ambient heat for their metabolism.

Bloch says it must have been ten degrees hotter in Colombia back then—contrary to a leading theory that tropical climates don’t change as much as others. So today’s warming trend may have an even wider impact than we thought.

Bloch’s team made some other inferences as well. For example, the snake would have been larger than anything else at the time, so it could have easily eaten whatever it liked, including primitive crocodiles!

They also suggest that the extinction of the dinosaurs may have set the stage for this giant snake to become king of the land for millions of years.

Science Net Links, 4 May 2009

see also – invasion!

moths move up

Global warming is forcing tropical species uphill to escape the rising temperatures at a rate of more than a metre a year, a new study from the mountains of Borneo suggests.

More than four decades after a group of undergraduate students visited the south-east Asian island in 1965, a team of British scientists returned to the same sites on Mount Kinabalu to repeat their survey of moths.

The group of six, including a member of the original trip, found that on average the insects had raised the altitude of their range by 67m.

The Guardian, 29 Jan 2009

opening the vent

The Pacific Ocean may open a “heat vent” above it that releases enough energy into space to reduce projected climate warming caused by the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

High clouds over the western tropical Pacific Ocean seem to decrease when sea surface temperatures are higher, said Arthur Hou of the American space agency, Nasa.

The mechanism allows the heat to escape, keeping the oceans cool.

The newly discovered vent, if confirmed, could significantly reduce estimates of future global warming now being put forward by computer models of the Earth’s climate.

BBC News, 5 Mar 2001

see also – action plan

cloud ships

Special ships that create clouds by spraying seawater into the air could be the most cost effective way of tackling climate change, new research has found.

The technique, known as marine cloud whitening, would create clouds above the Pacific Ocean that would have a cooling effect by reflecting sunlight away from Earth.

A wind-powered fleet of nearly 2,000 ships would criss-cross the sea, sucking up sea water and spraying it upwards through tall funnels.

‘When you spray saltwater into the air, you create nuclei that cloud condenses around, creating bigger and whiter clouds, thus bouncing more sunlight back into space,’ said David Young from the think-tank that commissioned the study.

The paper by Professor Eric Bickel and Lee Lane looked into the costs of potential climate engineering projects. It was commissioned by the Copenhagen Consensus Centre that advises governments how to spend aid money. Daily Mail, 8 Aug 2009

see also – action plan

sink or …

The idea was conceived by advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, who were commissioned by banking giant HSBC to promote its £50million project tackling climate change.

The Ogilvy team came up with an innovative way to show the adverse impact of global climate change.They glued an aerial view of a city to the base of a swimming pool. When the pool was filled with water, it gave a shocking effect akin to a city submerged in water.

The visual of a sunken city shocked swimmers and onlookers, driving home the impact of global warming, and how it could destroy our world someday.

The Telegraph, 26 Nov 2008

see also – action plan

fisher-free

A group of scientists have called for the Coral Sea to be declared the world’s largest marine protected area, but the fishing industry says the idea is ludicrous.

Marine researchers said the Coral Sea, which covers one million square kilometres bordering the Great Barrier Reef, should become a non-fishing area to protect its immense environmental and heritage values from the escalating threats of overfishing and climate change.

Professor Terry Hughes, of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, said there was overwhelming evidence the world’s marine ecosystems have been seriously degraded by overfishing, pollution and global warming.

“These trends call for urgent, practical solutions” said Professor Hughes.

The Age (Australia), 10 Sep 2008

see also – action plan

bats falling like flies

Overheated flying foxes, panting and frantically fanning themselves with their wings, fell from the trees in New South Wales, Australia, six years ago.

Up to 3,500 black and grey-headed flying foxes died on the ground beneath their roosts, victims, researchers believe, of heat waves that pushed temperatures to 108 degrees F (42º C). In this era of looming climate change, such scorching temperatures are occurring more often.

Tragically so: since 1994, more than 30,000 flying foxes have died in New South Wales, apparently because of at least 19 episodes of extreme heat.

Climate Change and Bats, Volume 26, Issue 2, Summer 2008

kiss the carbon years goodbye!

Get excited about an energy revolution, Visualize our Earth from space, Know that it’s fragile,

..Don’t drive, unless you have to, Walk more *Cycle more* Skate more…Avoid drive-thrus…Avoid fast food*Eat Less Meat, Share what you have*Buy Less Stuff, Reuse Before you Recycle, Dig up the concrete….Put your hot water heater on a timer…

Support climate friendly politicians…Put on a sweater….Buy tree-free or post-consumer paper….Use a clothsline instead of a dryer, Dream of a solar-hydrogen economy

….Kiss the carbon years goodbye, Our world will be whole, And Healed Tomorrow, If We Pay Attention Today.

Syracuse Cultural Workers postcard, How to end global warming, 2007

see also – action plan

but it’s meat and drink to me!

Eating less lamb and drinking fewer pints will help save the planet, according to a Government advisor.

Diners are being encouraged to eat more pork and chicken instead, as they produce fewer carbon emissions. The study also found that alcoholic drinks contribute significantly to emissions with the growing and procesing of hops and malt into beer and whisky prodcing 1.5 percent of Britain’s greenhouse gases.

“Changing our lifesyles, including our diets, is going to be one of the crucial elements in cutrting carbon emissions,” said David Kennedy, chief executive officer of the Committee on Climate Change.

Mr Kennedy, who says he has stopped eating kebabs because they contain lamb, added:”We are not saying that everyone should become vegetarian or give up drinking but moving towards less carbon intensive foods will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve health.”

The Telegraph, 24 May 2009

see also – action plan

walking on thin ice

While the steady disappearance of sea ice in the Arctic has been one of the hallmark effects of global warming, research shows it is not only covering less of the planet, but it’s also getting significantly thinner.

That makes it more susceptible to melting, potentially altering local ecosystems, shipping routes and ocean and atmospheric patterns. In estimating ice thickness, satellites must try to gauge thickness differences of just a few feet from hundreds of miles above the planet’s surface.

“It’s a tricky business,” University of Washington researcher, Ron Lindsay said.

The Guardian, 5 March 2015

bring back Sunday!

The power of public opinion and citizen action will have a strong impact on the climate conference taking place in Copenhagen.

One thing we can easily do to achieve this goal: we can declare Sunday to be a fossil fuel-free day or a low-carbon day or at least an energy-saving day. We can start this week, this month or in 2010. We can start individually and collectively.

The long journey to cut carbon dioxide emissions can start in the here and now….in the context of excessive carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, which are bringing catastrophic upheavals, we can and should restore Sunday to a day for Gaia, a day for the Earth.

The Guardian, 17 Sep 2009

poisoned chalice

“Global energy, food and water security are also poised on a knife edge…Australian leaders glibly talk about adapting to a 4-degree world with little idea of what it means – which is a world of 1 billion people rather than the present 7 billion…The damage caused by this culture threatens the very foundations of democratic society…Adversarial politics and corporate myopia are incapable of addressing life-threatening climate change.”

“The community must go around these barriers and demand leaders take urgent action before the poisoned chalice we pass to our grandchildren becomes even more toxic.” Ian Dunlop chaired the Australian Greenhouse Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading 1998-2000.

Sydney Morning Herald, 22 Sep 2012

see also – just plain scary

worse than we thought – toll on plants and animals!

Human-enhanced climate change is taking its toll on the world’s plants, animals and physical environment much more quickly than previously thought, scientists have warned.

An international research team has found that many accounts of plants flowering early, birds changing their migration habits, and glaciers and mountain snow melting were most likely the result of rising greenhouses gases.

Climate change from greenhouse gases is not only affecting the temperature, David Karoly, a professor from the University of Melbourne’s school of earth sciences and a member of the research team, said yesterday.

“It is already affecting ecosystems, and other systems, like glaciers. It is happening earlier than previous studies would have indicated. When you look at the different signals across the globe, you can see that message very clearly.”

Sydney Morning Herald, 15 May 2008

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

water supply

Sydney’s water supply could be at risk from a growing threat of more intense and frequent bushfires brought on by extended drought and climate change, experts say.

Hotter and drier conditions related to a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could lead to exceptionally intense bushfires, the head of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute, John Merson, said last week.

They might threaten the ability of eucalypt forests in the mountains to recover, he told a climate change conference in Sydney. That could lead to erosion, silting of rivers and dams, and less water trickling through to aquifers in the catchment for Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.

If we got into another bad bushfire year this year the ability of the forests to recover would be seriously compromised, Dr Merson said.

Sydney Morning Herald, 19 Sep 2005

see also – just plain scary

fish emboldened

Acidic ocean water blunts the sense of smell in fish, making them bolder – perhaps recklessly so, according to a new study offering a glimpse of the oceans of the future. The findings suggest that, if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated, fish could suffer debilitating behavioral effects.

If reef fish behavior does not adapt to rising CO2 levels over coming generations, there could be serious consequences for the structure and function of future reef communities, the authors wrote in the study published in Nature Climate Change.

This is the first time people have been able to test what would happen in 100 years, said Danielle Dixson, an assistant professor at Georgia Tech University and co-author of the study, which was led by Australian researchers.

The differences are striking, said Karl Castillo, an assistant professor of marine sciences at the University of North Carolina who was not involved with the research. This is a strong study, Castillo said. “There’s no doubt there is something happening here due to acidification.” Heat Is Online, 14 Apr 2014 – The Daily Climate

in support of small shops

Neighbourhood shops and farmers’ market will gain currency in the coming days, as reduction in vegetable transport will help save fuel and thereby help reduce global warming, said G, Nammalvar, organic farming scientist on Thursday.

Transportation of food items formed a considerable part in the entire transport industry, he added and suggested that shops like the Greens Shop would be best answer to reduce transportation.

Dr. Nammalvar suggested that ideal situation would be one where the distance between the points of production and sale was not more than 30 km. And, the presence of farmers’ and community markets would ensure absence of middlemen.

The Hindu, 26 Apr 2008

see also – action plan

the case of the disappearing acorns

Rod Simmons, a field botantist based in Arlington, Virginia, and Arlington naturalists began calling around.

A naturalist in Maryland found no acorns on an Audubon nature walk there. Ditto for Fairfax, Falls Church, Charles County, even as far away as Pennsylvania. There are no acorns falling from the majestic oaks in Arlington National Cemetery.

“Once I started paying attention, I couldn’t find any acorns anywhere. Not from white oaks, red oaks or black oaks, and this was supposed to be their big year,” said Greg Zell, a naturalist at Long Branch Nature Center in Arlington.

“We’re talking zero. Not a single acorn. It’s really bizarre.”

Is it climate change or could it be the extreme opposite of a natural boom-and-bust cycle?

treehugger, 8 Dec 2008

country vs city

More rural Australians will suffer mosquito-borne diseases and food poisoning as climate change causes temperatures to rise, an academic warns.

Professor Kevin Parton, from Charles Sturt University in Orange, NSW, said rural Australians will be harder hit by climate change than their metropolitan counterparts, as health services are more difficult to access in the country.

As vectors that support and carry diseases, such as air, water and organic movement, shift in response to climate change, so too will health problems, he said.

We could see both a worsening of existing diseases as well as the spread of diseases usually associated with warmer regions, such as Ross River and Barmah Forest viral infections, move to more temperate climates.

The Age (Australia), 15 Jan 2008

see also – just plain scary

invasion – Asian carp

They’re called Asian carp, and they emigrated to the lower reaches of the Mississippi River in the 1970s. Now they’re knocking on the door of the Great Lakes, threatening to destroy one of the most valuable aquatic regions in the U.S., unless the often fractious Great Lakes states manage to pull together and keep them out.

The situation is so serious that the White House convened an “Asian carp summit” on Monday to work out a defense plan.

Asian carp — a collection of related fish, including bighead carp and silver carp — are what’s known as an invasive species, an animal or plant that moves into a new environment, often badly disrupting it.

Invasive species are becoming more common because of international trade, which turns the planet into a giant pinball machine, transplanting wildlife from one corner of the world to another, and because of climate change, which prompts species to migrate to more hospitable environments, often at the expense of those that already live there.

If the preventive efforts don’t work, you might want to put on a helmet the next time you go waterskiing on Lake Michigan.

Time, 2/9/10

see also – invasion!

state of fear

Dr Pachauri supported the views of scientists who believe stabilising atmospheric carbon dioxide at 450 parts per million – a level that Professor Garnaut says is beyond reach in the short-term – was not enough. If you talk to the president of Maldives and indeed the People of the Maldive islands, they are living in a state of fear, he said yesterday. If you look at parts of Africa, by 2020 there will be 75 million to 250 million people living under water stress on account of climate change.

The Age (Australia), 24 Oct 2008

see also – just plain scary

coral reefs utterly destroyed

Unless we change the way we live, the Earth’s coral reefs will be utterly destroyed within our children’s lifetimes, says marine scientist JEN Veron.
Ponder these facts: The atmospheric levels of CO2 we are already committed to reach, no matter what mitigation is now implemented, have no equal over the entire longevity of the Great Barrier Reef, perhaps 25 million years. And most significantly, the rate of CO2 increase we are now experiencing has no precedent in all known geological history.

The Guardian, 7 Dec 2010 – screen copy held by this website

see also – just plain scary

thanks to mervyn

rewriting history

The Black Death struck Europe in 1347, killing 30-50% of the European population in six violent years. These outbreaks were traditionally thought to be caused by rodent reservoirs of infected rats lurking in Europe’s cities, or potentially by rodent reservoirs in the wilderness.

But our research, published in the journal PNAS, suggests otherwise. We found that Europe’s plague outbreaks were indeed associated with climate fluctuations – but in Asia.

Using tree-ring based climate records from Europe and Asia, we showed that plague reintroductions into European harbours were associated with periods of wet conditions, followed by a drought, across large parts of Central Asia.

The Conversation, 24 February 2015

see also – just plain scary

the latest loser – the lesser butterfly orchid

Climate change is likely to produce losers as well as winners in Britain’s native flora – flowers of the mountains and cooler places are expected to decline – but the survey did not pick up as much negative evidence.

More increases that may be consistent with a warming climate have been found in plants that specialise in growing on waste places, such as square-stalked willowherb and prickly lettuce.

However, there is one candidate for global warming victim, and this is once again an orchid: the lesser butterfly orchid. This is a species of northern Europe, which tends to grow on the edges of heaths and moorlands.

The Independent, 24 Apr 2006

will you lead by example?

If it’s so hard to change the climate to suit humans, why not alter humans to suit the changing climate, philosophers from Oxford and New York universities are asking. They suggest humans could be modified to be smaller, to dislike eating meat, have fewer children and be more willing to co-operate with social goals.

Behavioural changes might not be enough, even if they are widely adopted, and international agreements for market solutions such as emissions trading are proving difficult to achieve, say Matthew Liao, of New York University, and Anders Sandberg and Rebecca Roache, of Oxford University.

They suggest hormone treatments could be used to suppress child growth, or embryos selected for smaller size. They say people who lack the motivation or willpower to give up eating meat could be helped by “meat patches” on their skin, which deliver hormones to stimulate the immune system against common bovine proteins.

“Henceforth eating ‘eco-unfriendly’ food would induce unpleasant experiences,” the authors say. Better-educated women have fewer children, so human engineering to enhance cognition could lead to fertility reduction as “a positive side effect from the point of view of tackling climate change”, the paper also argues.

Sydney Morning Herald, 6 Apr 2012

see also – action plan

human development derailed!

Climate change may be the single factor that makes the future very different, impeding the continuing progress in human development that history would lead us to expect.

While international agreements have been difficult to achieve and policy responses have been generally slow, the broad consensus is clear: climate change is happening, and it can derail human development. – United Nations Human Development report The Guardian, 5 Nov 2010

can’t see the wood for…..

If global warming really is the mother of all enveronmental probalems, then perhaps the time has come to bring to an end the clearing and logging of natural forests. This will make a significant and cost-effective contribution to solving the global warming problem.

We must not forget that the laws of science apply universally and do not recognise political boundaries. Whether a natural forest is in Tasmania, Victoria or Papua, it performs the same kind of role in the global carbon cycle and in helping to regulate atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.

Brendan Mackey, professor of environmental science at the Australian National University, in The Age, 7 Aug 2007 – screen copy held by this website

see also – action plan

heat turned up!

The number of elderly Melburnians dying due to extreme heat is expected to rise dramatically as climate change takes hold this century, research suggests.

Nicole Joffe from consultants Net Balance found the number of days with an average temperature above 30 degrees would double by mid-century – from two to at least four a year – even if governments acted to cut greenhouse emissions. Failure to tackle climate change would trigger a steeper rise.

Sydney Morning Herald, 26 Mar 2007

see also – just plain scary

the private struggles of a climate scientist

For activists like Mike Tidwell — founder of the nonprofit Chesapeake Climate Action Network and author of The Ravaging Tide: Strange Weather, Future Katrinas, and the Race to Save America’s Coastal Cities — — part of being on the front lines means being outspoken and passionate about the cause.

But while activism may be a more forgiving platform to express emotional stresses than within the scientific community, the personal toll of the work goes largely undiscussed.

“You don’t just start talking about unbelievably fast sea-level rise at a cocktail party at a friend’s house,” Tidwell says. “So having to deny the emotional need to talk about what’s on your mind all the time … those are some of the burdens that climate aware scientists and activists have to endure.”

“People talk about climate change, openly talk about activism, and people even talk about how scary it is, and about how screwed we are and unbelievable it is that sea level is rising, and world governments still aren’t doing sXXX. But nobody talks about how it makes them feel personally.”

Heat Is Online – originally Grist.org, Oct. 28, 2014 By Madeleine Thomas

no-one spared, not even retrospectively!

A study of woolly mammoths has added to evidence they were wiped out by climate change, scientists say.

British and Swedish researchers sequenced DNA from 88 samples of bone, tooth and tusk, looking for a signature in the genetic code handed down on the maternal line. They used this telltale sign to build a family tree of mammoths spanning 200,000 years.

A warm period 120,000 years ago caused populations to decline and become fragmented. Wrangel Island, in the Siberian Arctic, and the island of St Paul, off Alaska, are believed to have been the mammoths’ last refuge. Sydney Morning Herald, 12 Sep 2013 – screencopy held by this website

giant sunshade

Professor Roger Angel thinks he can diffract the power of the sun by placing trillions of lenses in space and creating a 100,000-square-mile sunshade.

Each lens will have a diffraction pattern etched onto it which will cause the sun’s rays to change direction. He intends to use electromagnetic propulsion to get the lenses into space. If work was started immediately Prof Angel thinks the sunshield could be operation by 2040.

He said: “Things that take a few decades are not that futuristic.”

The Telegraph, 17 Feb 2009

see also – action plan