greatest long term threat

Climate change is the “greatest long-term threat” to achieving global equality, UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband has told the United Nations.

Mr Miliband said although all countries were affected by climate change, the poorest people within the poorest countries would suffer the most. He called on the richest countries to take the greatest action to combat climate change.

He made the comments in his first speech to the UN as foreign secretary.

BBC News, 28 Sep 2007

autumn leaves

It turns out that climate change is substantially altering the timetable for those famously colorful changing autumn leaves in New England, according to a study released this week by the University of Connecticut.

“Many other studies have shown that autumn could come later each year based on rising temperatures,” says Yingying Xie, a researcher on the study. “But this is the first study to show the interactions of a range of different climate variables on regional ecosystems.”

“Oaks are more drought-tolerant, which may explain why southern New England shows less phonological sensitivity to drought variation than, say, regions dominated by maples or birches,” said John Silander, a researcher on the study. “Species composition makes a difference.”

Yahoo News, 24 Oct 2015

children in Baghdad know what snow is

Snow has fallen in Baghdad, Iraq for the first time in approximately 100 years. Although Baghdad sometimes sees hail and sleet, snow has never been seen in living memory.

Snow was also recorded in the western and central parts of the country, where it is also very unusual, and in the Kurdish north, which is mountainous and commonly sees snowfall.

A statement by the meteorology department read “Snow has fallen in Baghdad for the first time in about a century as a result of two air flows meeting. The first one was cold and dry and the second one was warm and humid. They met above Iraq.”

Dawood Shakir, director of the meteorology department, told AFP his take on the causation of the snow: “It’s very rare. Baghdad has never seen snow falling in living memory. These snowfalls are linked to the climate change that is happening everywhere. We are finding some places in the world which are warm and are supposed to be cold.”

WikiNews, 11 Jan 2008

save the Buddha!

Like any historical monument, Indonesia’s magnificent Borobudur temple in central Java has suffered the ravages of time.

But now conservationists fear the world’s biggest Buddhist temple, topped with stupas and decorated with hundreds of reliefs depicting Buddhist thought and the life of Buddha, faces a new threat: climate change.

As global temperatures rise and rainfall patterns change, the dark stone temple, which dates from the 9th century, could deteriorate faster than normal, Marsis Sutopo, head of the Borobudur Heritage Conservation Institute, told Reuters.

Although no direct link has been found between climate change and the damage to Borobudur, Sutopo said a two-year study by Italian stone expert Costantino Meucci showed that higher precipitation is affecting the temple’s volcanic stone.

Humidity allows moss and algae to grow on the stones already more than 1,000 years old. The stones have been exposed to the heat and humidity for so long, they have reached a critical point where deterioration is going to happen faster, he said. We suspect changing climate will make it happen faster.

Reuters, 6 Sep 2007

save winter!

Jessie Diggins is a cross-country skier on the American women’s team and a favorite to win a medal at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Diggins is also an advocate for climate action.

“I’m also someone who lives on this planet. I think you need to be able to stand up for things you believe in, and saving winter is something I believe in. It just breaks my heart because this is such a cool sport, and winter is so amazing and beautiful and I feel like we’re actually really at risk of losing it. And I don’t want my kids to grow up in a world where they’ve never experienced snow because we weren’t responsible enough.”

New York Times, 7 Feb 2018

evolution needs to speed up

Certainly, countless species have adapted to past climate fluctuations. However, their rate of change turns out to be painfully slow, according to a study by Professor John Wiens of the University of Arizona.

We found that, on average, species usually adapt to different climatic conditions at a rate of only by about 1C per million years, Wiens explained.

“But if global temperatures are going to rise by about four degrees over the next 100 years as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that is where you get a huge difference in rates. What that suggests overall is that simply evolving to match these conditions may not be an option for many species.”

Either evolution speeds up 10,000-fold, which is an unlikely occurrence, or there will be widespread extinctions.

The Guardian, 14 Jul 2013

more crime

Prof Pease, visiting professor of crime science at University College London, is reported by the Scotsman as saying that warmer weather will result in more people on the streets, larger crowds, and alcohol consumption – all of which are all linked to increases in crime.

He says: “The question really is not whether global warming will lead to an increase in street crime, but by how much?”

The Guardian, 11 Apr 2007

less fish

Climate change is likely to hit supplies of many of Australia’s favourite eating fish, including barramundi, salmon, rock lobster and prawns, the most extensive study on the subject yet undertaken by the Federal Government has warned.

The CSIRO study, commissioned by the Department of Climate Change and to be released today, reports the overall impact of global change “will pose some very significant risks to the sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture in Australia”.

The Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, said the report, a preliminary assessment of the challenges posed by climate change, found it was likely to affect the fishing industry, as well as the regional and coastal communities the industry supports.

Senator Wong said the report was another reminder of the need to tackle climate change through reducing carbon pollution.

Sydney Morning Herald, 6 Oct 2008

buses are not enough

“Better public transport systems probably can make a contribution, but they can’t make it quickly,” the Federal Government’s climate policy advisor, Professor Ross Garnaut, said yesterday.

“It’s more likely that we can get faster results through lowering (carbon) emissions from private automobiles.”

Answering questions at a University of Melbourne conference on climate change and social justice, Garnaut said that for more than half a century the growth of Australian cities had been planned around cars.

It would take many decades for this to be turned around, he said, although rising petrol prices were already forcing people to reconsider their reliance on cars.

The Age (Australia), 4 Apr 2008 – screen copy held by this website

poppies with more punch

Greater concentrations of carbon dioxide in a warming world may have a drastic effect on the potency of opium poppies, according to a new study.

While this increase might mean more morphine available for legal pharmaceutical uses, the painkiller is also the main ingredient in heroin.

The current crop of poppies is twice as potent as those grown at carbon dioxide levels seen in 1950, says Lewis Ziska of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Crop Systems and Global Change Laboratory.

The net result, according to Ziska, is that climate change’s impacts on plants are likely to be chaotic and difficult to predict.

For example, he says, “wheat may make more seeds, but we may have stronger poison ivy and poppies.”

ScienceLine, 3 Aug 2009

the eyes have it

Have those sneeze attacks and itchy eyes that plague you every spring worsened in recent years?

If so, global warming may be partly to blame. Over the past few decades, more and more Americans have started suffering from seasonal allergies and asthma.

Though lifestyle changes and pollution ultimately leave people more vulnerable to the airborne allergens they breathe in, research has shown that the higher carbon dioxide levels and warmer temperatures associated with global warming are also playing a role by prodding plants to bloom earlier and produce more pollen.

With more allergens produced earlier, allergy season can last longer. Get those tissues ready.

Livescience, 16 Aug 2011

the early bird

Australia’s migratory birds are arriving earlier and leaving later and global warming is likely to be a reason, a study has found.

Macquarie University PhD students Linda Beaumont and Ian McAllan and Associate Professor Lesley Hughes have analysed the movements of migratory birds visiting south-eastern Australia since the 1960s.

They have compared the arrival of 34 species and the departure of 12 species over the past 40 years.

Temperature change in Australia of about 0.5 degrees since the 1960s was very likely to influence migratory patterns, Ms Beaumont said.

Newcastle Herald (Australia), 21 Jun 2006 – screencopy held by website

little old winemaker me

In the Yarra Valley, Warramate winemaker David Church is already picking his shiraz and only has cabernet sauvignon to go.

With hot days still coming in, he is struggling to keep everything cool. Vineyards in other areas report being between two and three weeks earlier than usual, the result of an early flowering for the grapes and a dry, warm summer.

There may also be another reason: global warming. At Trestle Bridge Vineyard in the Yarra Valley, grape growers Bob and Betty Young are getting used to early starts.

“We’re three weeks earlier than last year and last year we were earlier than we had ever been before,” Mrs Young said.

The Age (Australia) 13 Mar 2006

bugs

In recent months several Melbourne councils have added their names to the list of areas officially declared prone to termite attack.

Several councils did so in 2004 and at least one more is considering it…It is not clear why termite activity is one the rise, but one clue could be global warming, as evidenced by our apparently warmer, and longer lasting summers.

The Age, 23 Jul 2007 – screencopy held by this website