swarms

Scientists say global warming could be about to boost fly populations in the world’s cooler nations, bringing swarms of blowflies to countries like England.

Researchers from Southampton University used computer models to analyse how a rise in tempterature could affect populations of houseflies and bluebottles, the British name for blowflies.

Based on the data, they estimated that Britains’s fly numbers could rise by 250 per cent by 2080.

Sun Herald (Australia), 16 Oct 2005 – screencopy held by this website

Squirrels beat the heat

Canadian squirrels have evolved earlier breeding times.

Squirrels with genes for earlier breeding were probably favored because this allows them to take advantage of an earlier spring and hoard more pinecones for winter survival

…..as the climate has warmed in recent decades, Canadian squirrels have evolved shifts in their breeding times that make them more successful in warmer climates.

Berkeley University: Understanding Evolution, May 2009

They’re invading!…but then again maybe not

Ancient viruses have been lying dormant in Siberian permafrost for centuries. But global warming is about to change that. Scientists have made another massive discovery of ancient (and giant) viruses hidden dormant in the permafrost. As the planet warms, finding these things—and waking them—is going to become more commonplace.

….. the distant possibility does exist, and as more and more polar thawing occurs, our statistical chance of finding something will grow. But Dr. James Van Etten, a professor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln thinks that a viral outbreak is a worry you can put out of your head. “Certainly,” he says, “I would not lose any sleep over this issue.” The Daily Beast, 27 Sep 2015

thanks to ddh

too many black sheep in the family

Scientists have discovered milder winters are turning the dark coats of Soay sheep on Hirta in the St Kilda archipelago lighter. Dr Maloney, of the University of Western Australia, said: “Our finding that the proportion of dark-coloured Soay sheep decreased over the past 20 years as ambient temperature increased could be interpreted in several ways, the most parsimonious being that dark colouration has provided an energetic advantage in winter that is being attenuated in a warming climate.
The Telegraph, 22/7/09

Hopeful news at last – the U.N. is becoming irrelevant!

After another U.N. climate conference gave only modest results, European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard says the process needs to provide a “substantial answer” to global warming in two years to remain relevant. I think that it has to deliver a substantial answer to climate change in 2015, Hedegaard said. “If it fails to do so, then I think this critical question will be asked by many more.”
USAToday, 24 Nov 2013

This means……

Combating climate change should be seen as a “war” that must be won for the sake of future generations, the Prince of Wales said as he received his Global Environmental Citizen award last night. “We should see this as a war we simply have to win. Our successors will pay dearly for our inaction and we surely owe it to them to take urgent steps now.”
The Telegraph, 12 Apr 2008

pestilence

According to several leading climate scientists and public health researchers, global warming will lead to higher incidence and more intense versions of disease.

The direct or indirect effects of global warming might intensify the prevalence of tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, dengue and Lyme disease, they said, but the threat of increased health risks is likely to futher motivate the public to combat global warming.

“The environmental changes wrought by global warming will undoubtedly result in major ecologic changes that will alter patterns and intensity of some infectious diseases,” said Gerald Friedland, professor of medicine and epidemiology and public health at the Yale School of Medicine.

Yale News, 11 Apr 2012

see also – just plain scary

bio-degradable footwear

The uncomfortable truth is that overconsumption is a major factor in climate change, Jo Paoletti, an associate professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland says. “We buy much more clothing today than we did a generation ago, and too much of it is ‘ast,’ disposable fashion.”

If we define ‘sustainable fashion’ as made of particular [eco-friendly] fibers but still ready for Goodwill in a few months, we are deluding ourselves,” says Jo Paoletti.

There’s good news: several companies are already stepping up to contribute to the industry’s sustainability and to work toward lessening its environmental impact, as Politiwicz points out.

Puma, for example, is manufacturing biodegradable footwear. Levi’s recently launched an initiative to use less water in its jeans manufacturing process. Even fast fashion behemoth H&M has launched its own Conscious Collection sustainability initiative.

Huffington Post 11 Aug 2012 What Climate Change Just Might Ruin

divinely inspired

Wednesday at a ceremony to appoint Texas lawyer Shaarik Zafar to be special representative to Muslim communities, Secretary of State John Kerry said it was the United States’ Biblical “responsibility” to “confront climate change,” including to protect “vulnerable Muslim majority countries.”

Kerry said Scripture, in particular the Book of Genesis, make clear it is our “duty” to protect the planet and we should look at Muslim countries “with a sense of stewardship of earth,” adding, “That responsibility comes from God.”

Breitbart, 3 Sep 2014

things are getting itchier

Another reason to worry about global warming: more and itchier poison ivy.

The noxious vine grows faster and bigger as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, researchers report Monday. Their study appears in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“The fertilization effect of rising CO2 on poison ivy … and the shift toward a more allergenic form of urushiol have important implications for the future health of both humans and forests,” the study concludes.

NBC News, 30 May 2006

the cookie crumbles

Some must-have ingredients for cookies and other baked goods are already feeling the climate change pinch.

Peanut butter prices are spiking after the southern US saw one of the worst harvests in decades, thanks to out-of-the-ordinary extreme heat over the summer.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the peanut harvest is down nearly 15% compared to last year.

Likewise, extreme temperatures in Texas have hampered pecan production, while a recent study published in the journal Science found that yields of wheat are down about 5% since the 1980s.

Prevention 12 Apr 2012 – 8 Weird ways climate change is ruining everything

beavers have been too busy

A study found that the beaver is playing an increasing part in climate change because the dams they build for shelter create shallow, stagnant ponds of water which allow biological material to build up on the bottom of the river.

The production of methane is accelerated because stationary pools of water contain much less oxygen than a flowing river interacting with the atmosphere and microbes thrive in low-oxygen environments.

The study, by the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, estimates that beavers are indirectly producing 200 times more methane today than they were in 1900, when fur hunting had largely wiped out the populations in North American, Europe and Asia.

The Independent, 17 Dec 2014

together in ….

Water shortages and drought are having an impact on cotton production, causing price fluctuations and even a shortage in denim.

A pair of jeans uses 919 gallons of water during its life cycle, enough to fill 15 spa-size bathtubs. That includes the water that goes into irrigating the cotton crop, stitching the jeans together and washing them scores of times at home.

The company wants to reduce that number any way it can, and not just to project environmental responsibility. It fears that water shortages caused by climate change may jeopardize the company’s very existence in the coming decades by making cotton too expensive or scarce.

Although scientists are wary of linking specific extreme weather events to climate change, recent increases in floods and droughts are in line with patterns that experts have long projected would result from global warming.

New York Times, 1 Nov 2011

do your bit!

Keen to do your bit for global warming but can’t bear to part with your four-wheel-drive? Now you can be both a greenie and a gas guzzler by investing in projects slowing climate change.

People keen to compensate for the environmental impact of their cars and air travel are tipped to become big buyers of carbon credits, a greenhouse gas conference heard yesterday.

Under the State Government’s two-year-old Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme, energy suppliers such as AGL and Energy Australia must buy carbon credits to meet mandatory targets for reducing greenhouse gas.

There is increasing interest from non-liable parties in buying [carbon credits], the program head, Margaret Sniffen, told yesterday’s greenhouse conference.

Sydney Morning Herald, 9 Feb 2005

Christmas surprise

Forget decking the halls with boughs of holly. Native Wollemi pine trees, bags of cattle manure and carbon-offset gift vouchers are the way to achieve a sustainable Christmas this year, conservationists say.

Buying antique or pre-loved gifts from second-hand stores or the online auction site eBay avoids emissions from the manufacture of new ones.

Second-hand and recycled gifts are encouraged this year, and for that person who has everything – including a large carbon footprint – Origin Energy (www.originenergy.com.au) and Climate Friendly (www.climate friendly.com) offer gift certificates that offset carbon emissions.

Or, for between $15 and $40, Christmas shoppers can buy a duck, mosquito nets, cattle manure and literacy classes through aid group Oxfam Australia’s Unwrapped program to help those less fortunate.

Sun Herald (Australia), 14 Dec 2008

no flies on you!

House flies at Everest basecamp are another sign of climate change that is melting glaciers with worrying speed. Earlier this year Dawa Steven Sherpa was resting at Everest base camp when he and his companions heard something buzzing.

“What the heck is that?” asked the young Nepali climber. They searched and found a big black house fly, something unimaginable just a few years ago when no insect could have survived at 5,360 metres.

It’s happened twice this year – the Himalayas are warming up and changing fast, says Dawa, who only took up climbing seriously in 2006, but in a few years has climbed Everest twice as well as two 8,000m peaks in Tibet.

Heat Is Online, 12 Oct 2009 – originally The Guardian (UK) 12 Oct 2009)

just when you thought it was safe…

Two deaths in the waters off California and Mexico last week and a spate of shark-inflicted injuries to surfers off Florida’s Atlantic coast have left beachgoers seeking an explanation for a sudden surge in the number of strikes.

In the first four months of this year, there were four fatal shark attacks worldwide, compared with one in the whole of 2007, according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.

A contributory factor to the location of shark attacks could be global warming and rising sea temperatures.

‘You’ll find that some species will begin to appear in places they didn’t in the past with some regularity,’ Dr George Burgess of Florida University said.

The Guardian, 4 May 2008

see also – invasion!

silver lining?

The global financial crisis could give the world two or three years of much-needed time to step up the fight to slow climate change the climate change advisor for the former federal government, Ross Garnaut, said.

Professor Garnaut told a conference of agricultural and resource economists in Cairns that the crisis for markets will not change the extent of global warming the world faces, but will delay its onset by several years.

“The global financial crisis gives us a little breathing space but mitigation of climate change remains urgent, and of central importance,” he said

The Age (Australia), 12 Feb 2009 – screen copy held by this website

making waves

Climate change’s effect on the size of waves in the world’s oceans could be more significant than sea-level rise, scientists warn.

An international team led by CSIRO researcher Mark Hemer has begun studying how global warming will influence the generation of swells and what impact that may have on sandy coastlines such as Australia’s.

Newcastle Herald, 19 Apr 2013

shrinking bumblebees!

Global warming and evolution are reshaping the bodies of some American bumblebees, a new study finds.

The tongues of two Rocky Mountains species of bumblebees are about one-quarter shorter than they were 40 years ago, evolving that way because climate change altered the buffet of wildflowers they normally feed from, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science.

While biologists have tracked how global warming has altered the developmental, migration, timing and other behavior in plants and animals, what makes this study unusual is the physical changes in the bees, said study co-author Candace Galen at the University of Missouri.

“It speaks to the magnitude of the change of the climate that it’s affecting the evolution of the organisms,” Galen said. “It’s a beautiful demonstration of adaptive evolution.”

Heat Is Online – The Associated Press, 24 Sep 2015

jellyfish on the move!

A blood-orange blob the size of a small refrigerator emerged from the dark waters, its venomous tentacles trapped in a fishing net.

Within minutes, hundreds more were being hauled up, a pulsating mass crowding out the catch of mackerel and sea bass.

The fishermen leaned into the nets, grunting and grumbling as they tossed the translucent jellyfish back into the bay, giants weighing up to 200 kilograms (450 pounds), marine invaders that are putting the men’s livelihoods at risk.

The venom of the Nomura, the world’s largest jellyfish, a creature up to 2 meters (6 feet) in diameter, can ruin a whole day’s catch by tainting or killing fish stung when ensnared with them in the maze of nets here in northwest Japan’s Wakasa Bay.

Scientists believe climate change — the warming of oceans — has allowed some of the almost 2,000 jellyfish species to expand their ranges, appear earlier in the year and increase overall numbers, much as warming has helped ticks, bark beetles and other pests to spread to new latitudes.

These increases in jellyfish should be a warning sign that our oceans are stressed and unhealthy, said Lucas Brotz, a University of British Columbia researcher.

Heat Is Online – The Associated Press, 16 Nov 2009

bearded lady lizard

Bearded dragon sex switched by heat. Similarly, the sex Australian central bearded dragons can be “switched” by heat.

A team of researchers led by Alex Quinn at Canberra University in Australia recently incubated eggs at relatively high temperatures – between 34°C and 37°C and found that the majority of embryos that had ZZ sex chromosomes (genetically male), went on to hatch as females.

The team is worried that the lizards may not be able to adapt fast enough to warming temperatures, leading to males being wiped-out altogether.

New Scientist, 31 Aug 2007

whales off course

Birds, whales and other migratory creatures are suffering from global warming that puts them in the wrong place at the wrong time, a U.N. official told 166-nation climate talks on Monday.

A warmer climate disrupts the biological clocks of migratory species including bats, dolphins, antelopes or turtles, said Lahcen el Kabiri, deputy head of the U.N.’s Bonn-based Convention on Migratory Species.

They are the most visible warning signs — indicators signalling the dramatic changes to our ecosystems caused in part by climate change, he told delegates on the opening day of a May 7-18 U.N. meeting searching for new ways to offset warming.

Climate change affects all migratory species, El Kabiri, a Moroccan, told Reuters. He said that whales were sometimes in the wrong place to feed on fish and plankton which were thriving closer to the poles because of warmer oceans.

Heat Is Online – originally Reuters, 8 May 2007

insects threatened!

Many tropical insects face extinction by the end of this century unless they adapt to the rising global temperatures predicted, US scientists have said.

Researchers led by the University of Washington said insects in the tropics were much more sensitive to temperature changes than those elsewhere.

In contrast, higher latitudes could experience an insect population boom. The scientists said changes in insect numbers could have secondary effects on plant pollination and food supplies.

In the tropics, many species appear to be living at or near their thermal optimum, a temperature that lets them thrive, said Joshua Tewksbury of the University of Washington.

But once temperature gets above the thermal optimum, fitness levels most likely decline quickly and there may not be much they can do about it, he added.

Heat Is Online, – originally BBC News, 6 May 2008

penguins pining away

Penguins and post-El Niño stress disorder. It seems that Galápagos penguin may suffer from post-El Niño stress disorder.

After the strong El Niño events of 1982?83 and 1997?98 populations declined by more than 60%, according to F. Hernán Vargas of the University of Oxford and colleagues.

They also looked at what this means for the future of the species and found a 30% chance it will disappear entirely within 100 years, if El Niño events keep happening with the same frequency.

If, however, the frequency increases, as predicted by some climatologists, the risk becomes greater. A doubling of the strong events leads to an 80% of extinction within 100 years.

New Scientist, 31 Aug 2007

walking the walk

Di Tod, 54, a clarinettist from Melbourne’s Burwood, is smarthly dressed and made up.

She also has soil under her nails, a hint of the 14 months she’s put into her 0.1 hectare permaculture garden which extends from the front of the house to the back “I’ve worked thousands of hours,” says Tod. “I’ll work from early morning until dark. I have literally planted by the moon.”

Tod says anxiety about climate chane and energy depletion prompted the dramatic life change. She recounts how three years ago she persuaded her reluctant family – her trumpeter husband, Bill Evans, 46, and their daughters, Molly, 18, and Emily, 16 – to move from their “pretty period home” in middle class Canterbury to a humble brick veneer house in Burwood.

The plan was to use money from the sale to finance a small farm, which would make them as self sufficient as possible.

“I’m your boring Mrs Eastern Suburbs sort of person – unless you talk to my kids who say, ‘Be normal Mum. Don’t be weird, don’t be a hippie!'” says Tod. “It wasn’t until I stumbled across websites about the impending collapse of global oil supplies that my fear ratcheted up a few notches. It felt like Armageddon. I just wanted to protect my family.”

The Sun Herald (Sydney) 29 Jul 2007 – screen copy held by this website

runaway warming process

Many scientists concede that without drastic emissions reductions by 2020, we are on the path toward a 4C rise as early as mid-century, with catastrophic consequences, including the loss of the world’s coral reefs; the disappearance of major mountain glaciers; the total loss of the Arctic summer sea-ice, most of the Greenland ice-sheet and the break-up of West Antarctica; acidification and overheating of the oceans; the collapse of the Amazon rainforest; and the loss of Arctic permafrost; to name just a few.

Each of these ecosystem collapses could trigger an out-of-control runaway warming process. Worse, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley now project that we are actually on course to reach global temperatures of up to 8C within 90 years.

CounterCurrents.org, 23 Sep 2010

see also – just plain scary

Greenland polar bears feel the heat!

Polar bear penis bones are shrinking in Eastern Greenland, according to Christian Sonne of the University of Aarhus in Denmark and colleagues.

They found that polar bears living in the Eastern Greenland are somewhat less well endowed than their cousins in Svalbard and the Canadian Arctic.

They say this could be due to the high prevalence of pollutants such as PCBs and DDT in Eastern Greenland – pollutants which records show are less prevalent in Svalbard and the Canadian Arctic.

In 2004, Steven Fergusson of the University of Manitoba in Canada showed that carnivores living in snowy environments, close to the poles, tend to have longer penis bones to help them be more competitive.

So Sonne’s group concludes that human pollution, combined with the difficulty of finding food in warming climates, may spell disaster for Eastern Greenland polar bears.

New Scientist, 31 Aug 2007

clouds on the horizon

A NASA study in December 2008 found that warming [of more than a degree and a half Fahrenheit] was enough to trigger a 45 percent increase in thunder-clouds that can rise five miles above the sea, generating ‘super-cells’ with torrents of rain and hail.

In fact, total global rainfall is now increasing 1.5 percent a decade. Larger storms over land now create more lightning; every degree Celsius brings about 6 percent more lightning, according to the climate scientist Amanda Staudt.

In just one day in June 2008, lightning sparked 1,700 different fires across California, burning a million acres and setting a new state record. These blazes burned on the new earth, not the old one.

Countercurrents.org, 23 Apr 2010

poles adrift

Earth’s poles are drifting and climate change is to blame, claim scientists.

The planet’s rotation has always wobbled slightly, and over time this movement has caused the North Pole to shift very slightly over time.

But researchers now believe global warming could be drastically increasing this shift.

Lead researcher Jianli Chen said that ‘ice melting and sea level change can explain 90 per cent of the shift’ and that ‘the driving force for the sudden change is climate change.’

Chen presented the findings at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

Daily Mail, 17 Dec 2013

a dog’s life

Pets are normally sheltered from the harsh realities of wild living.

But across Europe, increasing temperatures will expose pets to new infectious diseases spread by ticks, fleas and mosquitoes, according to new research.

In a separate paper, Claudio Genchi of the University of Milan, Italy, has found that dogs in central Europe will increasingly become vulnerable to the roundworm dirofilaria, spread by mosquitoes, as summer temperatures climb high enough for the parasite to incubate in its fly host.

Susan Shaw and colleagues at the University of Bristol, UK, have also found a significant reservoir of canine leishmaniosis in dogs living in the southern UK.

If climate change allows sandflies to spread into the country, there is a real danger the disease could spread, they warn.

New Scientist, 8 Apr 2009

vive the horse and buggy!

Australia must ban fossil fuel imports by 2020 if it hopes to cut greenhouse gas emissions, scientist and Australian of the Year Tim Flannery says.

Commenting ahead of a speech at an ethanol industry conference in Melbourne, Dr Flannery said the Stern report into the world’s environmental state identified biofuel use as one of the cheapest methods to halt global warming.

The Age, 18 Apr 2007

can’t see the forest for the …

A modeling study published in the journal Nature last year describes a recent, rapid shift in extensive areas of African grassland and savanna to more densely vegetated, wooded states, a trend that is expected to accelerate in coming decades as atmospheric concentrations of CO2 rise.

Already there are signs that open-country animals like the cheetah are suffering as savanna becomes more wooded. This trend is not confined to Africa.

An Australian study released last month, which relied in part on satellite data, concludes that foliage cover in warm, arid areas worldwide has increased by about 11 percent in the last three decades due to higher CO2 levels.

environment360 13 Jun 2013

the case of the missing lakes

A whopping 125 lakes in the Arctic have disappeared in the past few decades, backing up the idea that global warming is working fiendishly fast nearest Earth’s poles.

Research into the whereabouts of the missing water points to the probability that permafrost underneath the lakes thawed out.

When this normally permanently-frozen ground thaws, the water in the lakes can seep through the soil, draining the lake, one researcher likened it to pulling the plug out of the bathtub.

When the lakes disappear, the ecosystems they support also lose their home.

Live Science, 16 Aug 2011

sour grapes

Areas suitable for growing premium wine grapes could be reduced by 50 percent — and possibly as much as 81 percent — by the end of this century, according to a study Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The main problem: an increase in the frequency of extremely hot days, according to Noah Diffenbaugh of the department of earth and atmospheric sciences at Purdue University.

CBS News, 10/7/06

disappearing pumpkins

This Thanksgiving, climate change may hit a little closer to home.

Libby’s Pumpkin, which supplies more than 85 percent of the world’s canned pumpkin, says an unusually rainy spring and summer will slash annual pumpkin yields by half this year.

This past June, Illinois got more than 9 inches of rain, more than 5 inches above average, according to Jim Angel, Illinois’s state climatologist.

Between May and July – critical growing months for processing pumpkins like those used in Libby’s cans – almost 2 feet of rain fell in Illinois, more than 10 inches above average.

Christian Science Monitor, 8 Oct 2015

fir trees make hay

Suspended 20 stories in the air, Ken Bible looks down on the crown of a 500-year-old Douglas fir and ponders a mystery.

The vantage point allows the University of Washington forest ecologist to study the upper reaches of this old-growth forest, where a reproductive orgy is under way.

“We’ve never seen anything like this here,” he says, reaching over the edge of the open-air gondola to grasp a limb laden with cones. He counts at least 30.

“Normally, a branch like this would have about three,” he says. “Why so many this year? We really don’t know.”

The work is part of a bigger effort to figure out what climate change, both natural and man-made, will mean for the Northwest’s iconic forests.

Seattle Times, 27 Nov 2007

forever in …

Almost everyone owns a pair of blue jeans.

But water shortages and drought are having an impact on cotton production, causing price fluctuations and even a shortage in denim.

According to a recent New York Times report, a pair of jeans uses 919 gallons of water during its life cycle, enough to fill 15 spa-size bathtubs.

“That includes the water that goes into irrigating the cotton crop, stitching the jeans together and washing them scores of times at home,” reports the Times.

Worried that water shortages could threaten the very existence of the jeans industry, Levi Strauss developed a nonprofit to teach farmers how to harvest rainwater for irrigation, introduced a brand that uses zero water during the stone-washing process, and is urging people to wash their jeans less.

For more earth-friendly jeans, choose organic brands—organic farming methods protect the soil, and healthy soil holds more water reserves to help in times of drought. Better yet, shop for used jeans.

Prevention, 12 Apr 2013

the end is high!

The Forcey family, of Sandringham, are keen bushwalkers, skiers and cyclists.

But lately they have made sacrifices for a new outdoor ritual — walking along Melbourne beaches waving an 11-metre pole that bears a dire warning.

They call it the global warming pole.

And it symbolises the concerns of Tim and Coni Forcey and their 16-year-old twins, Renee and Eric, about the planet’s future.

The pole’s red markers illustrate how far sea levels could rise if ice in Greenland and Antarctica continues to melt at the rate forecast by climate. The point of it is to catch people’s attention.

“For the most part, they are really interested and want to talk about global warming,” Mr Forcey said.

The Age, 28 Oct 2006

window closing

Sir Nicholas, a former World Bank chief economist, seeks to overturn conventional thinking by arguing that fighting climate change will save, not cost, money.

Whitehall sources told The Independent that the report was hard-headed.

“It didn’t deal in sandals and brown rice. It stuck to the economics.”

Insurance analysts said in evidence to Sir Nicholas that they feared insurance claims caused by storms, droughts and other natural disasters could exceed the world’s GDP.

Sir Nicholas believes a window of 10 to 15 years exists to save the global economy from severe damage – but after that it will be too late, Mr Swan said.

Sydney Morning Herald, 28 Oct 2006

stirring the pot

Coffee is an early-morning staple. But it’s also threatened by all of the emissions we’re creating.

Coffee-selling giant Starbucks is doing its part to use less energy and water, including its announcement that all new retail stores will be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

Cutting emissions and protecting resources will help protect the coffee plantations the company depends on, those threatened by the uncharacteristic extreme heat, drought, and increase pest populations brought on by climate change.

Prevention, 12 Apr 2013

fashion statement

Climate change, the term given to trends in statistical weather patterns, is often closely linked to anthropogenic global warming, and it’s likely a large reason that U.S. climates are getting warmer each year.

But those hotter temperatures are also eroding the seasonality of your wardrobe; in other words, we’re wearing more of the same clothes, year-round. Your favorite pair of J.Crew cropped pants?

As a result of 2011’s no-show winter, you could wear them in September and February.

Huffington Post, 11 Aug 2012, What Climate Change Just Might Ruin

caterpillers on the march!

Caterpillars Devour 45 Towns in Liberia: Climate Change Possibly to Blame. In the aftermath of another extended rainy season, Liberia has experienced its worst caterpillar plague in three decades.

Tens of millions of the black-haired creatures have swarmed farms, devastated crops and contaminated several major waterways.

Care2 28 Jan 2009

watch your step

The strange holes in the earth found in the northern tundra on Russian territory in July could mean the beginning of irreversible changes in the climate of our planet.

According to Russian scientists, the most likely reason for the formation of such holes is the emission of natural gas, which may be caused by global warming.

According to geologist Konstantin Ranks, the emission of natural gas that scholars consider the most likely explanation for the formation of the holes may be a consequence of global warming.

Russia Beyond the Headlines, 25 Jul 2014

turtles speed up!

Caretta carettas usually come on land around July every year, but this year began to arrive in June.

Head of the Alanya Agricultural Directorate Umut Olgun said that the turtles have started arriving earlier on the shores of Alanya this year.

Remarking that caretta carettas typically arrive on Alanya shores to lay their eggs between July and September every year, Olgun pointed out that their early arrival this year could have been caused by global climate change.

Today’s Zaman, 11 Jun 2007

here today …

Climate change blamed for missing lake. Center glaciologist Andres Rivera said that during the last two months, the changing climate played a significant role in the destruction of a five-acre glacial lake in Chile’s Magallanes region, the BBC reported Wednesday.

Rivera, who visited the lake’s former location Monday, said rising temperatures likely caused area glaciers to melt, and they in turn added pressure to a natural dam next to the lake.

This confirms that glaciers in the region are retreating and getting thinner, he told the BBC. “This would not be happening if the temperature had not increased.”

Phys org 5 Jul 2007

getting physical

Climate change will probably trigger more human conflict, according to an article in the journal Science.

An examination of 60 separate studies, including one stretching back to 10,000 B.C., found that individuals, groups and nations are “substantially” more likely to become involved in physical conflict in hot weather and heavy rain.

Climate change is expected to drive up temperatures in many regions, which will “systematically increase the risk of many types of conflict” ranging from barroom brawls and rape to civil wars and international disputes, according to the article.

“The strongest evidence is that high temperatures really matter,” said Solomon Hsiang, one of the study’s authors. “A few degrees warmer is always worse.”

Bloomberg Business, 2 Aug 2013

climate change raises the heat

A new report blames global warming for rising rates of infidelity, especially bad news for couples in Miami, where rising tides and raging hurricanes remind us all how much extracurricular sex we could be having on a daily basis.

Victoria Milan, a dating website for people looking to cheat on their significant other, surveyed 5,000 of its members, both men and women.

A shocking 72 percent of them responded that yes, their own Al Gore-esque stress about unpredictable weather is the cause of their extramarital dalliances.

Guess the fact of their existing committed relationships was just an inconvenient truth.

Miami New Times, 28 May 2014

wolves to the rescue

Balanced at the apex of an arch, the keystone locks all the other stones in place. Remove it and the arch collapses.

Keystone predators, such as wolves, are structurally similar, holding ecosystems together from the top down in food web relationships called trophic cascades.

Keystone predators control elk numbers and behavior. On the lookout for wolves, wary elk eat more sparingly. This releases shrubs and saplings from browsing pressure, improves habitat for other species, and increases biodiversity.

These cascading effects, termed the ecology of fear, are based on powerful evolutionary relationships that were in place until we eliminated large predators in the early part of the twentieth century.

While wolves won’t slow climate change, they certainly can help create ecosystems better able to withstand it. However, trophic cascades have yet to make it into the lexicon of climate change solutions.

Could this be because combating climate change with wolves is too implausible or costly?

Island Press 10 Sep 2010

not until … fly

“Global warming has certainly been observed very robustly, and we understand the processes by which humans are causing it quite well,” explains Noah Diffenbaugh, a Woods Institute for the Environment fellow and assistant professor of earth science at Stanford University.

Part of Diffenbaugh’s research includes studying how climate change affects pest patterns.

Corn—one of the main commodity crops used to feed pigs bound for the supermarket—is threatened by not only climate-related drought and flooding, but also by the corn earworm, and damage from the pest is projected to worsen in the coming decades, thanks to warmer winters.

In fact, we’re already seeing the scenario unfold: Bacon prices surged over the summer, thanks to climate-related troubles in cornfields.

Prevention, 12 Apr 2013

it’s a bird eat bird world

Jim Hayward, a seabird biologist based on Protection Island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, is making his evening rounds through the largest gull nesting colony in the Puget Sound region.

He’s been monitoring this site since 1987, so he’s used to the shrieking, the divebombing, the frequent splatterings of gull poop, and the pecking at his head, hands and feet.

What he’s not accustomed to is the cannibalism. Over the last decade, the gulls have shown a growing taste for their neighbors’ eggs and chicks. The trend appears linked to climate change.

“It doesn’t seem like a lot, but a one-tenth of a degree change in seawater temperature correlates to a 10 percent increase in (the odds of) cannibalism,” said Hayward, a professor at Andrews University in Michigan.

KitsapSun, 23 Jul 2016

life is like a box of ……

Brace yourselves, chocolate lovers: The anticipated one-degree rise in world temperature by 2030 will devastate Western Africa’s small cocoa farms, according to Colombian researchers.

If the world temperature increases two degrees by 2050, it will be virtually impossible to grow cocoa plants at the elevations where current farms are located.

If there’s ever a reason to switch to energy-efficient lightbulbs and drive less, this is it!

Prevention, 12 Apr 2013

I’m sane, it’s everyone else who’s crazy

To test the relationship between ambient temperature and personality, we conducted two large-scale studies in two geographically large yet culturally distinct countries: China and the United States.

Using data from 59 Chinese cities (N = 5,587), multilevel analyses and machine learning analyses revealed that compared with individuals who grew up in regions with less clement temperatures, individuals who grew up in regions with more clement temperatures (that is, closer to 22 °C) scored higher on personality factors related to socialization and stability (agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability) and personal growth and plasticity (extraversion and openness to experience)……

As climate change continues across the world, we may also observe concomitant changes in human personality.

Wenqi Wei, Jackson G. Lu, […]Lei Wang Nature Human Behaviour 1, 890–895 (2017) doi:10.1038/s41562-017-0240-0, 27/11/17

thanks to David Hanig

cooling off period

A new study by three economists has found hotter temperatures lead to less sex. Stop climate change; get laid more.

Although it’s not quite as simple as that, as the economists explain in their paper “Maybe next month? Temperature shocks, climate change and dynamic adjustments in birth rates” published this week by the prestigious National Bureau of Economic Research in the US.

Indeed, for any given month, additional days above 27 degrees were found to cause a large decline in birth rates about eight to 10 months later. While there was a rebound in subsequent months, this did not make up entirely for the decline.

The lack of a full rebound suggests that increased temperatures due to climate change may reduce population growth rates in the coming century.

Sydney Morning Herald, 5 Nov 2015

one man’s meat is ….

The IPCC findings come hot on the heels of another study, “The importance of reduced meat and dairy consumption for meeting stringent climate change targets”, published in the April edition of Climate Change.

The study’s lead author argues that targeting the fossil fuel industry alone is insufficient because “the agricultural emissions … may be too high. Thus we have to take action in both sectors.”

In 2010 a UN report, “Priority, Products, and Materials” concluded that, “A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.”

ABC News (Australia), 28 Apr 2014

bumpy ride!

Nope, not even air travel is safe from our wavering weather.

Running atmospheric computer models, British researchers found a connection between climate change and turbulence, and they predict that the average strength of turbulence will increase by 10 to 40% by 2050. The amount of airspace containing significant turbulence will most likely double, too.

“The main takeaway message for flyers is to expect less-comfortable flights in the coming decades, with the seatbelt sign switched on perhaps twice as often,” explains study coauthor and atmospheric scientist Paul Williams, PhD, a Royal Society research fellow at the University of Reading.

Bumpier rides could translate into more bumps and bruises. The Federal Aviation Administration lists airplane turbulence as the number one cause of in-flight injuries. Between injuries and airplane damage, turbulence currently costs the airlines of the world tens of millions of dollars.

“Aviation is partly responsible for changing the climate, but our findings show for the first time how climate change could affect aviation,” Williams and his team notes.

Prevention, 12 Apr 2013

wet blankets

Gavin Houghton and his wife were prepared to put their money where their convictions are when renovating their Edwardian home in North Carlton.

The couple employed an architect who specialises in sustainable design, knowing the resulting plan’s passive solar energy, water savings and environmentally conscious elements would increase their building costs by 20 per cent.

The innovative design involved demolishing the back of their home to put large water tanks under a concrete slab. The slab would also provide thermal mass that, in conjunction with a “thermal chimney”, would create passive heating and cooling for their home.

The couple planned to create a second level and install two banks of solar panels on the roof. As well as creating space for their young family, their aim was to “future-proof” the property by turning a two-star energy-rated house into a six-star.

“I think it’s our duty as a society to build something which is going to last 50 or 60 years in a sustainable manner and I think what we have done seems a little bit odd now but these will be mandatory requirements in five or six years’ time,” Mr Houghton says.

Unfortunately for the Houghtons, their neighbours did not share that view. Soon after the planning application was advertised in August 2008, a campaign to object to the development began, with neighbours doorknocking to collect signatures for a petition.

In all, 36 residents objected. Concerns included the visual impact of the solar panels and thermal chimney on the area’s heritage and fears about the impact of the underground water tanks on adjoining properties.

The Age, 20 Feb 2010

feathers ruffled

Winter 2014 – the effects of global warming are being seen first-hand as participants of continent-wide backyard bird watchers find birds in North American areas they typically aren’t seen this time of year.

Changes in migration patterns also mean that different species of birds, which have previously never interacted, are suddenly shuffled together into the same space.

Society for Science points out that the repercussions of this mixture are unstudied, stating, “Scientists don’t yet know what those communities will look like, or how the birds will interact with each other.”

Bird-X notes that while some birds may live peacefully with each other, it’s very likely that the need for limited territory will cause problems that never before existed.

Bird-X 16 Dec 2014

there’s an awful lot of coffee in …..

Most people agree that chocolate tastes great, but is there a way to make it taste even better?

Perhaps, according to scientists who looked at different conditions that can put a strain on cocoa trees. Reporting in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, they say that although the agricultural method used to grow cocoa trees doesn’t matter that much, the specific weather conditions do.

The research team detected only minor differences in the chemical composition among the beans harvested from the farms during the same weather conditions…..

The larger contribution to chemical composition was the weather. Overall, the antioxidant content increased and fat content of the beans decreased during the dry season as temperatures rose and soil moisture dropped.

The researchers say these differences could contribute to variability in cocoa bean flavor.

Eureka News Alert, 6 Dec 2017

thanks to David Hanig

tighten your belt!

As the world meets in Cancun, Mexico for the latest round of United Nations talks on climate change, the influential academics called for much tougher measures to cut carbon emissions.

In one paper Professor Kevin Anderson, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said the only way to reduce global emissions enough, while allowing the poor nations to continue to grow, is to halt economic growth in the rich world over the next twenty years.

Prof Anderson admitted it “would not be easy” to persuade people to reduce their consumption of goods.

He said politicians should consider a rationing system similar to the one introduced during the last “time of crisis” in the 1930s and 40s.

The Telegraph, 29 Nov 2010

jumping the gun

There is currently no organized discipline for the study of the psychological risks of climate change, yet it is already taking a toll on many people who tackle this issue.

Surprisingly susceptible are those who might seem to be immune. Those who do acknowledge the problem face a different set of issues, particularly those who work on the problem.

Lisa Van Susteren coined the term “pre-traumatic stress disorder” to describe the grief, anger, and anxiety clinging to the scientists and advocates whose job it is to gaze into a future that can look increasingly bleak.

The longtime counselor is profoundly empathetic, and her interest in pre-traumatic stress is intensely personal. Said Van Susteren, “Pre-traumatic stress disorder? It’s what I see. It’s what I live. It’s what I see others living.”

Think Progress, 16 Sep 2015

beer tastes worse

………………………………….

climate change is starting to degrade the quality of beer. Or so say a team at the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute lead by the climatologist Martin Mozny.

The team has just published a study in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology which concludes that “even with the modest warming so far experienced, [hop] yields [in the Czech Republic] have stagnated and quality declined”.

But it is the decline in quality of the Saaz hops, which produce the famous Czech pilsners, that is perhaps most worrying for beer lovers.

The “Alpha” acid content – “a major determinant of quality”, according to the team, as it’s the compound that produces a pilsner’s defining bitter taste – is likely to fall a further 13–32% if the predicted warming occurs.

The Guardian, 15 Sep 2009

beer tastes better

From rising sea levels to stifling heat waves, the effects of global warming are shaping up to be a worldwide buzz kill. But brewers in Greenland seem to be going with the flow, having found a new use for one of their homeland’s fastest growing—but least celebrated—natural resources: melted Arctic ice.

On July 31 a team of canny entrepreneurs unveiled Greenland Beer, an ale brewed with water melted from Greenland’s ice cap, at a public tasting in Copenhagen, Denmark. And if reaction from tipplers at the tasting was any indication, the brewers may be on to something.

Electrician Flemming Larsen described the ale to the Associated Press as “smooth, soft, but not bitter … different from most other beer.” Maybe that is because it’s ice-cap water, he said.

National Geographic, 3 Aug 2006
………………………………….

see also – having it both ways

Hell on Earth

Presently our use of fossil fuels is leading to a temperature rise of at least 4C (from a pre-industrial global mean that has been relatively stable for around 10, 000 years, the Holocene).

This unprecedented rapid warming so threatens species and ecosystems, agriculture and industry, Third World countries and rich Western post-nation state economies that only one person in ten is predicted to survive.

Seven to ten billion people are at risk of premature death in this hell on Earth we are creating with the unintended side effects of our present use of an extremely beneficial source of energy.

CounterCurrents.org, 6 Feb 2012

(don’t) spend a penny

But the rise of bitcoin is also happening at a specific moment in history: Humanity is decades behind schedule on counteracting climate change, and every action in this era should be evaluated on its net impact on the climate. Increasingly, bitcoin is failing the test….

But what they might not have accounted for is how much of an energy suck the computer network behind bitcoin could one day become. Simply put, bitcoin is slowing the effort to achieve a rapid transition away from fossil fuels. What’s more, this is just the beginning. Given its rapidly growing climate footprint, bitcoin is a malignant development, and it’s getting worse…..

In just a few months from now, at bitcoin’s current growth rate, the electricity demanded by the cryptocurrency network will start to outstrip what’s available, requiring new energy-generating plants. And with the climate conscious racing to replace fossil fuel-base plants with renewable energy sources, new stress on the grid means more facilities using dirty technologies.

Grist, 5 Dec 2017

thanks to David Hanig

All is lost!

From depression to substance abuse to suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder, growing bodies of research in the relatively new field of psychology of global warming suggest that climate change will take a pretty heavy toll on the human psyche as storms become more destructive and droughts more prolonged.

For your everyday environmentalist, the emotional stress suffered by a rapidly changing Earth can result in some pretty substantial anxieties.

Two years ago, Camille Parmesan, a professor at Plymouth University and the University of Texas at Austin, became so “professionally depressed” that she questioned abandoning her research in climate change entirely.

“I don’t know of a single scientist that’s not having an emotional reaction to what is being lost,” Parmesan is quoted saying in the National Wildlife Federation’s 2012 report.

Grist, 28 Oct 2014