invasion!

Global warming blamed for Swedish beetle-infestation.

Sweden is 60-percent-covered by forests, and in 2005 timber and paper products accounted for 12 percent of the country’s total exports, for a value of 114 billion kronor, or $17 billion.

Sweden is 60-percent-covered by forests, and in 2005 timber and paper products accounted for 12 percent of the country’s total exports, for a value of 114 billion kronor, or $17 billion.

But now some see nature, in the shape of the five-millimeter, or 1/5-inch, hairy bark beetle, as striking back – induced by climate change.

This is the worst situation we’ve ever seen here in Sweden, said Bo Langstrom, a professor of entomology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

“Usually, the beetle only produces one brood per year here in Sweden. But last year, for the first time, it produced two.”

New York Times, 2 May 2007

struggles of an environmentalist

I have been researching and writing about anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) for Truthout for the past year, because I have long been deeply troubled by how fast the planet has been emitting its obvious distress signals.

On a nearly daily basis, I’ve sought out the most recent scientific studies, interviewed the top researchers and scientists penning those studies, and connected the dots to give readers as clear a picture as possible about the magnitude of the emergency we are in.

This work has emotional consequences: I’ve struggled with depression, anger, and fear.

I’ve watched myself shift through some of the five stages of grief proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance I’ve grieved for the planet and all the species who live here, and continue to do so as I work today.

Heat Is Online – originally Dahr Jamail, Truthout.org. Jan. 25, 2015

one good …

Lake Illawarra’s little tern population is due back from the northern hemisphere any day in search of safe nesting over the spring and summer months.

Signage and protective fences were erected around the lake’s entrance in a combined effort to protect the species by the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, the Lake Illawarra Authority, Illawarra Bird Observers Club and Wollongong City Council.

At less than 25cm long, the leaner, migratory seabird is the smallest tern in the world. Lake Illawarra chairman Doug Prosser said the sensitive little terns’ nesting habits made them particularly susceptible to predators.

He appealed to people not to take their dogs down to the area and “Watch where you put your feet.”

Illawarra Mercury (Australia), 29 Oct 2008 – screen copy held by this website

the early bird 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.

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.

A similar pattern has been observed for other species such as blue and great tits and swallows.

Dr Mark Avery, conservation director for the RSPB, one of the groups involved in the study, said: “This year’s report shows that climate change is with us already, and from our gardens to our seas, birds are having to respond rapidly to climate change simply to survive.”

Herald Scotland, 15 Aug 2008

all power to the can!

Next week’s National Recycling Week is an opportunity to look a little more closely at who we can all help to reduce the global strain on resources.

Planet Ark has singled out recycling as a key factor in ensuring that communities learn to live sustainably and combat the threat of global warming.

The organisation’s spokeswoman Rebecca Gilling said all sectors of society could contribute to the cause by taking time to consider the benefits that even small changes could have on our environment.

“Recycling a single aluminium can saves enough energy to run a TV set for three hours,” she said.

Newcastle Herald (Australia), 9 Nov 2007 – screen copy held by this website

visible signs

Tibetans are waking up with nosebleeds this autumn as their capital Lhasa experiences record low humidity. The Sunlight City, 3700 metres above sea level, is regarded as especially sensitive to global warming and is heating up faster than anywhere in the world, Chinese media has said.

The Age (Australia), 9 Nov 2007 – screen copy held by this website

girl power

More than half of Sunday Age readers support the introduction of an emissions trading scheme regardless of whether other countries follow suit.

Views of readers on emissions trading and climate change were canvassed in a poll that also revealed a significant gender divide over environmental issues.

Female readers are more likely to conserve water, recycle waste and support Australia going it alone on carbon emissions trading than their male counterparts.

They are also more inclined than men to take shorter showers, buy local produce and restrict garden watering for the sake of the environment.

But four times as many men as women support the introduction of nuclear power to helped cut carbon emissions.

Sydney Morning Herald, 11 Oct 2009

fat chance

Professor David Raubenheimer, a nutritional ecologist at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, believes that the worldwide obesity pandemic is caused by climate change and a low consumption of protein.

Sydney Morhing Herald 8 Dec 2014 – screencopy held by this website

lose the flakes

Dandruff and dog fur may be more than embarrassing inconveniences: they could be changing the world’s climate, new research shows.

Dead skin, animal hair and other materials, such as bacteria, fungi, algae, viruses, plant cells and pollens, have been found to make up a larger part of “aerosol” air pollution than was thought.

By counting and identifying cells in air samples from around the world, a German researcher, Ruprecht Jaenicke, showed that about 25 per cent of atmospheric particles came from these sources in some places.

Atmospheric aerosols play a crucial role in regulating the global climate, and the meteorological relevance of cellular particles could be high, said Dr Jaenicke, of the University of Mainz, whose results were published yesterday in the journal Science.

Sydney Morning Herald, 2 Apr 2005

red helicopter

Melburnians believed their 13-year water crisis – with its withering parks and gardens, dying trees, and the end of carefree water use – was as severe as facing a war or major natural disaster.

Documents reveal the Government’s thinking behind the so-called “red helicopter” advertisements, which featured a chopper-borne Steve Bracks (premier of Victoria – admin)announcing the controversial desalination plant.

Shannon’s Way’s (government’s advertising agency – admin) pitch to the Government was centred on the reassurance and leadership of Mr Bracks, underlying that he has been “correct all along”.

The pitch also said the advertisement should highlight that announcements were “just part of the plan on water”. The helicopter, Shannon’s Way said, was important because of the “vibrant nature of the sound – loud, fast and full. And like the film Apocalypse Now, we can use … the intense sound of a helicopter at full throttle.”

Sydney Morning Herald, 11 Oct 2009

murky water

Warmer temperatures are expected to cause more colored organic matter to run off into lakes, turning the water brown.

That will kill the plants at the bottom of the lakes, as they need sunlight to survive.

That means that the animal species which eat those plants will have to find something else to feed them, which will cause significant drop of their number.

Greenbuzz, 2 Jul 2011

more bugs

Bad news for allergy sufferers — climate change, and specifically warmer temperatures, may bring more pollen and ragweed, according to a 2011 study from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Along with allergies, a changing climate may be tied to more infectious diseases. According to one study, climate change could affect wild bird migratory patterns, increasing the chances for human flu pandemics.

Illnesses like Lyme disease could also become more prominent.

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

not all bad news

A colony of Antarctic penguins could be excused for feeling like climate change’s big winners.

A study has found a group of Adelie penguins on Beaufort Island in the Ross Sea, 3500km south of New Zealand, has significantly boosted its numbers as nearby glaciers have receded.

A team of US and New Zealand-based scientists has used aerial photographs from as far back as 1958 and modern satellite imagery to measure nesting areas and population.

Population size varied with available habitat, and both increased rapidly since the mid-1980s, the team found.

Numbers in the colony increased by 84 per cent as habitat grew by 71 per cent.

The Age, 4 Apr 2013

turtles go the distance

Turtles go the distance. Female loggerhead turtles in Florida, US, increasingly rely on long-distance relationships with males in North Carolina, according to research our of the University of Exeter in the UK.

That’s because the sex of the loggerhead hatchlings is determined by the temperature at which the egg is incubated: warmer temperatures yield females, cooler ones yield males.

So warming temperatures in the US mean that southern populations of loggerheads are increasingly dominated by females.

New Scientist, 31 Aug 2007

shocking approach

A shark expert has warned that Victoria’s “shocking approach” to beach safety could put swimmers at risk as the state faces what could be its worst shark season, due to global warming.

Ric Wilson, from Shark Patrol Victoria, has called for a statewide revamp of beach patrolling, saying the current system is “abysmal” and swimmers’ safety is “the luck of the draw”.

Mr Wilson – who has made voluntary patrols of Victorian waters using his own aircraft for the past 20 years – says he believes global warming ould be behind an increase in the number of sharks approaching on the state’s beaches.

The Sunday Age (Australia), 30 Dec 2007 – screencopy held by this website

a cruel hoax

After the warmest January on record, maple syrup producers in Ohio were surprised to have recently discovered premature maple tree buds.

The shocking thing about this story is that it is not about melting glaciers in faraway Alaska or snow melt at the North Pole, but about the impact of global warming on a very American rite of spring.

“The gathering of maple sap is how we all here know the season is upon us,” says Joe Logan. “This is a cruel hoax on the trees and us.”

A budding maple tree in early February is bad news for the farmer — and for anyone who enjoys delicious “made in America” maple syrup on their pancakes.

Imminent change is upon us — not just in Ohio and Alaska, but at breakfast tables all across the United States.

Huffington Post, 25 May 2011

moving day

Imagine picking up Scone, carting the town 350 kilometres north west and dropping it in the dust near Moree.

Simultaneously, we would drag the entire Hunter Region into the hot, dry landscape over the Great Dividing Range.

Hunter residents will experience this climate shift during the next 22 years under a ‘moderate’ global warming scenario involving a one-degree temperature increase, according to a report by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Newcastle Herald, 10 Sept 2007 – screencopy held by this website

designing for climate change

Leading international fashion designers and industry experts say unpredictable and typically warmer weather worldwide is wreaking havoc on the industry.

It is forcing fashion houses to ditch traditional collections for transeasonal garments that may lead to a drastic overhaul of fashion show schedules and retail delivery dates.

So worried are some fashion houses about the impact of climate change is having on the way we dress and shop, they are calling in the climate experts.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that American retail giant Liz Claiborne Inc had enlisted a New York climatologist to speak to 30 of its executives on topics ranging from the types of fabrics they should be using to the timing of retail deliveries and seasonal markdowns.

Other US fashion retail giants, including Target and Kohl’s have also started using climate experts to plan their collections and schedule end-of-season sales. And from January, Target will sell swimwear year-round.

The Sunday Age (Australia), 7 Oct 2007 – screencopy held by this website

don’t feed the man meat

Climate change is not only a pertinent issue for anyone mindful of the environment, but also an opportunity for a serious recruitment drive by vegetarians.

Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) research has found that food – in particular beef and dairy – is a major contributor to the average household’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Brisbane Vegetarian and Vegan spokeswoman Maureen Collier said she would try to take advantage of increased awareness of climate change.

“We are hoping that once people realize the effect that a meat-eating lifestyle is having on the environment, they will think more seriously about a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle,” she said.

Sun Herald, (Australia), 24 Aug 2008 – screencopy held by this website

lose the flakes

Dandruff and dog fur may be more than embarrassing inconveniences: they could be changing the world’s climate, new research shows.

Dead skin, animal hair and other materials, such as bacteria, fungi, algae, viruses, plant cells and pollens, have been found to make up a larger part of “aerosol” air pollution than was thought.

By counting and identifying cells in air samples from around the world, a German researcher, Ruprecht Jaenicke, showed that about 25 per cent of atmospheric particles came from these sources in some places.

Atmospheric aerosols play a crucial role in regulating the global climate, and the meteorological relevance of cellular particles could be high, said Dr Jaenicke, of the University of Mainz, whose results were published yesterday in the journal Science.

Sydney Morning Herald, 2 Apr 2005

not so fast

Blooms of toxic algae can occur in the open ocean, a team of scientists has reported. Once thought to be a problem plaguing only the coast, causing fishery closures and wildlife deaths, the research shows that open-sea algae populations also occasionally bloom into a toxic soup.

Since the algae consume carbon dioxide, earlier research by Moss Landing Marine Laboratories director Kenneth Coale had led to proposals to fertilise the ocean on a mass scale to stave off global warming.

The discovery of the algae’s toxicity throws a spanner into these plans.

“We should use this as a caution,” said Mary Silver of the University of California. “Using iron fertilisation as a remedy for global warming would be dangerous.”

Sydney Morning Herald, 15 November 2010

doped up cows!

New research carried out by The University of Nottingham suggests targeted use of hormone treatments could make the dairy industry more efficient and sustainable in addition to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr Archer, a Research Fellow in Veterinary Epidemiology, said: “Routine hormone treatments could improve efficiency by getting more cows pregnant sooner. This is better for the environment as for every litre of milk produced; fewer animals would be needed, which generates less waste. This applies for any breed of cow and to the majority of farms, except those that are already exceptionally well managed.”

Phys Org, 11 Jun 2015

big winners!

When cockroaches are resting, they periodically stop breathing for as long as 40 minutes, though why they do so has been unclear.

To investigate the mystery, Natalie Schimpf and her colleagues at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, examined whether speckled cockroaches (Nauphoeta cinerea) change their breathing pattern in response to changes in carbon dioxide or oxygen concentration, or humidity.

They conclude that cockroaches close the spiracles through which they breathe primarily to save water. In dry environments the insects took shorter breaths than in moist conditions.

The nifty breath-holding adaptation has allowed cockroaches to colonise drier habitats, says George McGavin of the University of Oxford, and may allow them to thrive in climate change.

New Scientist, 18 Aug 2009

springback mountains

Though the average hiker wouldn’t notice, the Alps and other mountain ranges have experienced a gradual growth spurt over the past century or so thanks to the melting of the glaciers atop them.

For thousands of years, the weight of these glaciers has pushed against the Earth’s surface, causing it to depress. As the glaciers melt, this weight is lifting, and the surface slowly is springing back.

Because global warming speeds up the melting of these glaciers, the mountains are rebounding faster.

Livescience, 16 Aug 2011

save the trees!

Some 7,000 of around 100,000 tree species in the world are on the international IUCN Red List of endangered species, according to Douglas Gibbs, of Botanic Gardens Conservation International.

But experts believe around a quarter of tree species are already in danger, and that climate change could reduce the range of half the world’s plants and potentially put them at risk of extinction.

The Telegraph, 23 Sep 2008

Christmas – bah, humbug!

Escalating climate change will have an impact on every aspect of Australian Defence Force operations, a report warns, with rising natural disasters and changes to the “physical battle space” affecting Defence’s mission, facilities and strategic environment.

The ADF will have to permanently abandon the idea of Christmas as a time of relaxation and get used to a world where increased floods, fires, storms and cyclones keep it busy throughout summer.

The authors, led by strategic analyst Anthony Bergin and head of the Antarctic Climate Research Centre Tony Press, say the Chief of the Defence Force should appoint a climate change adviser.

Sydney Morning Herald, 24 Mar 2013

shrinking fish

As fish get smaller under man’s environmental impact they will become more prone to predators and a crucial food source will become more endangered than thought obvious, warn scientists.

Previous research has found some key fish species dwindle in size as larger specimens are trawled out and climate change affects the food chain.

Sydney Morning Herald, 1 Feb 2013

rise of the Grolars!

Polar and Grizzly bears would not normally share breeding habitats, but biologists from the American Museum of Natural History have recently reported Grizzlies moving into what was traditionally Polar bear territory, while an article in Nature has suggested that retracting Arctic sea ice may force Polar bears to migrate into Grizzly terrain.

Although Pizzly (or Grolar) bears – that is, Grizzly-Polar bear hybrids – have occasionally been bred in captivity, their existence in the wild was first proved in 2006 following DNA testing of a bear shot in the Canadian Arctic.

Geological Society of London blog, 5 Mar 2014

moving day

Arizona’s low taxes and living costs, friendly culture, arts scenes and easy access to outdoor activities make it an appealing state in which to settle.

And in decades ahead the state’s draw as a new home could be boosted as seas rise and oceans warm, forcing coastal residents to deal with fallout like strengthening storms, floods, mudslides and other disasters.

“We see natural disasters all over the world; but to be very close to one, and experience the utter helplessness, as well as the repeated evacuations, is very, very stressful,” says Jenni Aguilar, who moved her family to a four-bedroom house near Tucson from California on Memorial Day.

Climate Central, 7 Jun 2018

thanks to David Hanig

the clock is running!

A top climate scientist is warning that climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years.

In a recent speech at the University of Chicago, James Anderson — a professor of atmospheric chemistry at Harvard University — warned that climate change is drastically pushing Earth back to the Eocene Epoch from 33 million BCE, when there was no ice on either pole.

Recovery is all but impossible, he argued, without a World War II-style transformation of industry—an acceleration of the effort to halt carbon pollution and remove it from the atmosphere, and a new effort to reflect sunlight away from the earth’s poles.

This has do[sic] be done, Anderson added, within the next five years. “The chance that there will be any permanent ice left in the Arctic after 2022 is essentially zero,” Anderson said, “with 75 to 80 percent of permanent ice having melted already in the last 35 years.”

Gritpost, 19 Feb 2018

thanks to David Mulberry

amphibians jump the gun!

The timing of amphibian breeding is largely driven by environmental cues such as temperature and moisture (Carey and Alexander 2003); because of this, their breeding phenology may be directly affected by global warming.

In temperate regions may be even more susceptible to increases temperatures. Most temperate species spend a large portion of the year inactive, escaping either cold winters or hot summers. Subtle increases in temperature or moisture trigger them to emerge from their hibernacula.

Immediately upon emergence, they migrate to ponds or streams to breed. Thus, one hypothesized direct affect of global warming on amphibians is a trend towards early breeding as the average temperatures increase.

Amphibiaweb, 22 Feb 2006

feathers ruffled

With daytime temperatures above freezing, the rains soaked young Adélie and gentoo penguins not yet equipped with water-repellent feathers.

At night, when the mercury dipped below freezing, the wet chicks froze. The experience, explorer Jon Bowermaster added, painted a clear and grim picture of the impact of global climate change. It’s not just melting ice, he said.

“It’s actually killing these cute little birds that are so popular in the movies.” he said

National Geographic, 2 Jul 2008

suicidal birds on the increase!

For years, airport officials have removed shrubs and trees that attract birds.

They have tried to scare them away with music, pyrotechnics and cannons. They have even raided birds’ nests and culled the adults with shotguns.

Still, birds, often geese, sometimes end up in plane engines, causing inconvenience, or worse.

“There is evidence both in North America and in Europe that birds are shifting their territories,” said Joel L. Cracraft, curator in charge of the department of ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History. “And that has been correlated with global warming.”

New York Times, 16 Jan 2009

more couch potatoes!

According to an August report by the nonprofit National Wildlife Federation, climate change is creating obstacles that can impede our time in the outdoors — namely, by increasing the number of pests.

Nature is critical to health, says Martha Berger, a children’s health officer with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Climate change, she added, could “further alienate kids from nature.”

Huffington Post, 6 Sep 2014

more stings

Insect stings have been on the rise in Alaska, and experts think that global warming could be to blame.

Jeffrey Demain, director of the Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Center of Alaska in Anchorage, “We think climate and temperature changes are creating a more favorable environment for their survivability.”

Demain and other experts believe this scenario could be part of a worldwide trend of stinging insects spreading northward in response to climate change.

National Geographic, 16 Jul 2008

bacon soars

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 2012 – 8 Weird ways climate change is ruining everything

return of jaws

“The one thing that’s affecting shark attacks more than anything else is human activity,” said Dr George Burgess of Florida University, a shark expert who maintains the database.

As the population continues to rise, so does the number of people in the water for recreation. Another 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,” he said.

The Guardian, 4 May 2008

bumpy ride

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.

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

vanishing kelp

They are the mighty rainforests of the ocean, towering up to 25 metres from the seabed.

Like many forests on land, the giant kelp jungles in the waters off south-east Australia are gravely threatened by climate change, scientists say.

Karen Gowlett-Holmes, a marine biologist with the CSIRO and co-owner of Eaglehawk Dive Centre on the east coast of Tasmania, said the destruction of the kelp forests was having ”a huge impact” on marine ecology.

Sydney Morning Herald, 18 Aug 2012

going south for the winter

Tropical fish lured south by currents.

The leader of the CSIRO’s Marine Climate Impacts and Adaptation Stream, Alistair Hobday, used modelling to indicate the likely future occurrences of 14 fish species throughout each month of the year.

In 95 per cent of the 25 scenarios, most species moved south, pointing to a pole-ward shift. Predictions are for more pelagic fish in southerly latitudes.

The evidence is backed by sightings of blue and striped marlin off Tasmania and Gippsland, and marlin, cobia, wahoo and Spanish mackerel in southern NSW.

Sydney Morning Herald, 19 Aug 2012

the last of the cows

Is Global Warming Leading To Cow Infertility?

Reproductive efficiency has suffered a dramatic decrease since the mid-1980s despite rapid worldwide progress in genetics and management of high producing dairy herds.

Researchers from the University of Barcelona propose that summer heat stress is likely to be a major factor related to low fertility in high producing dairy herds, especially in countries with warm weather.

Scientific Blogging, 5 Sep 2007

rewriting history

Contrary to common beliefs, societal collapses of the past have been caused by sudden climate change, not only by social, political and economic factors, Yale anthropologist Harvey Weiss reports in a new study published in this week’s Science.

We also know where the population growth will be greatest, Weiss adds. “We must use this information to design strategies that minimize the impact of climate change on societies that are at greater risk. This will require substantial international cooperation, without which the 21st century will likely witness unprecedented social disruptions.”

Sci Gogo 27 Jan 2001

more stones

As daily temperatures increase, so does the number of patients seeking treatment for kidney stones.

In a study that may both reflect and foretell a warming planet’s impact on human health, a research team found a link between hot days and kidney stones in 60,000 patients in several U.S. cities with varying climates.

“We found that as daily temperatures rise, there is a rapid increase in the probability of patients presenting over the next 20 days with kidney stones,” said study leader Gregory E. Tasian, MD, MSc, MSCE.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 10 Jul 2014

birds punched in gut

Half of all bird species in North America — including the bald eagle — are at risk of severe population decline by 2080 if the swift pace of global warming continues, the National Audubon Society concluded in a study released Monday.

“The scale of the disruption we’re projecting is a real punch in the gut,” said Gary Langham, chief Audubon scientist.

Seattle Times, 8 Sep 2014

bumblebees on the wane

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.

Study co-author Candace Galen at the University of Missouri worries that without long-tongued bees, some flowers will falter.

Also, she said shorter tongue bees often “cheat” and bite a hole in the flower’s side, which doesn’t help the plant spread its seeds.

Fox News Science, 25 Sep 2015

big picture, small picture

In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Environmental Protection Administrator Gina McCarthy said climate change, if unconfronted, will bring about droughts, food shortages, economic disruption and other consequences.

She also warned that the changing climate could make the morning caffeine rush a thing of the past.

“Climate change puts the world’s coffee-growing regions at risk,” Ms. McCarthy said, adding that governments must consider climate change when making virtually every policy position, even those that on the surface seem to have nothing to do with the environment.

Washington Times, 11 Mar 2015