the hills are alive….

The mountains in Europe are growing taller and melting glaciers are partly responsible, scientists say. Heavy glaciers cause the Earth’s crust to flex inward slightly. When glaciers disappear, the crust springs back and the overlaying mountains are thrust skyward, albeit slowly.

The European Alps have been growing since the end of the last little Ice Age in 1850 when glaciers began shrinking as temperatures warmed, but the rate of uplift has accelerated in recent decades because global warming has sped up the rate of glacier melt, the researchers say.

The conclusion is based on a new computer model that assumes that over timescales of a few years to thousands of years, the surface of the Earth behaves like a very thick fluid.
Live Science, 4/8/06

fish getting bigger but growing slower

Climate change is leading to bigger fish in shallow water, but they are growing slower at greater depths, CSIRO research in Tasmania suggests. These observations suggest that global climate change has enhanced some elements of productivity of shallow-water stocks but at the same time reduced the productivity and possibly the resilience of deep water stocks. The Australian research was published by the US National Academy of Sciences this week.
The Age, 27 Apr 2007

quick change

Scientists have found a mosquito that appears to have evolved and adapted to climatic changes induced by global warming— the first documented case of a genetic change in response to the apparent heating up of the planet. Even more surprising, said evolutionary biologist William Bradshaw, of the University of Oregon, in Eugene, who led the study, is that this evolutionary change can occur in as little as five years.
National Geographic, 5 Nov 2011

the lawyers win again

Australia’s coastal residents could be about to encounter the impact of climate change on their property insurance, a Sydney climate forum has been told.

Climate change business risk analyst Karl Mallon told the conference that the cash value of a home would be cut by up to 80 per cent if it is deemed uninsurable for a severe weather event caused by global warming. He said developers and local councils risk litigation for negligence if they fail to factor climate change into planning. The Age, 10 Apr 2007

that explains it!

Naomi Klein, best selling author and social activist, said the denial of climate science was prevalent in English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, the US and the UK because of a “colonial settler mentality”.

“Countries founded on a powerful frontier mentality have this idea of limitless nature than can be endlessly extracted,” she said. “Climate change is threatening to that because there are limits and you have to respect those limits. Where that frontier narrative is strongest is where denialism is strongest.”

“The rest of Europe has a keener sense of boundaries – they’ve lived against the limits of nature for longer.”
The Guardian, 17 Aug 2015

thanks to ddh

Need an explanation? Use climate change.

The wild boar population in Europe is growing. However, the reasons for this growth were not yet clear. Scientists have now found that climate change plays a major role. The number of wild boars grows particularly after mild winters, suggesting that food availability is a decisive factor.

“It is not so easy to determine the number of wild boars in Europe,” says wildlife biologist and first author of the study, Sebastian Vetter. “Therefore we analysed data on hunting bags and road accidents involving wild boar. Doing this we were able to depict the growth of the wild boar population.” Science Daily, 12 Aug 2015

thanks to David Mulberry

hot under the collar

A new research has shown that as the earth’s average temperature rises, so does human ‘heat’ in the form of violent tendencies. A new research has shown that as the earth’s average temperature rises, so does human “heat” in the form of violent tendencies, which links global warming with increased violence in human beings.DNAIndia, 20/3/10

more dam statistics

Climate change is working against Sydney. “There’s only two years supply in Warragamba Dam”, says Professor Tim Flannery, “yet Frank Sartor [NSW Minister for Energy and Utilities] is talking about the situation being stable….If the computer models are right then drought conditions will become permanent in eastern Australia.”Sydney Morning Herald, Running Out Of Water And Time, 25 Apr 2005

(admin note: Warragamba dam was 93% full at 22 Jul 2015)

drawing a long bow

Did Climate Change Contribute To The Minneapolis Bridge Collapse? Melissa Hortman of the Minnesota House of Representatives “speculated that 90-plus-degree heat Wednesday and the above-normal temperatures of the past two summers may have been a contributing factor,” and said “You wonder if this bridge was built to withstand the massive heat we have had this summer.”Newsbusters, 7/8/07

running hot and cold

Australia is in the grip of a nationwide cold snap – and paradoxically, it could be another result of global warming. But Grant Beard of the Bureau of Meteorology’s National Climate Centre said global warming could in fact be driving down overnight winter temperatures.

The cold spell, he explained, was being fuelled by the high pressure systems that increasingly dominate southern areas of Australia during autumn and early winter.Sydney Morning Herald, 3 Jul 2006

is nothing sacred?

The rising demand for flat-screen televisions could have a greater impact on global warming than the world’s largest coal-fired power stations, a leading environmental scientist warned yesterday.

As a driver of global warming, nitrogen trifluoride is 17,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide, yet no one knows how much of it is being released into the atmosphere by the industry, said Michael Prather, director of the environment institute at the University of California, Irvine.

Writing in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Prather and a colleague, Juno Hsu, state that this year’s production of the gas is equivalent to 67m tonnes of carbon dioxide, meaning it has “a potential greenhouse impact larger than that of the industrialised nations’ emissions of PFCs or SF6, or even that of the world’s largest coal-fired power plants”. The Guardian, 3 Jul 2008

see also – Say what?

money please

The United Nations climate chief has urged global financial institutions to triple their investments in clean energy to reach the $1 trillion a year mark that would help avert a climate catastrophe.

In an interview with the Guardian, the UN’s Christiana Figueres urged institutions to begin building the foundations of a clean energy economy by scaling up their investments.
The Guardian, 15 Jan 2014

see also – Say what?

climate change in ruins

From ancient ruins in Thailand to a 12th-century settlement off Africa’s eastern coast, prized sites around the world have withstood centuries of wars, looting and natural disasters. But experts say they might not survive a more recent menace: a swiftly warming planet.

“Our world is changing, there is no going back,” Tom Downing of the Stockholm Environment Institute said Tuesday at the U.N. climate conference, where he released a report on threats to archaeological sites, coastal areas and other treasures.Fox News, 8 Nov 2006

buckeye ejected

It’s not the best-researched global-warming theory, but it could be the most horrifying to certain fans of college football: Environmentalists said Friday that climate change might push the growing range of Ohio’s iconic buckeye tree out of the state, leaving it for archrival Michigan.

David Lytle, chief of the Division of Forestry in the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said healthy adult buckeye trees can tolerate a wide climate range, although seedlings are more sensitive. Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan could eventually give buckeye trees a more comfortable habitat.

Save The Buckeye, a coalition of environmental activists and outdoor enthusiasts doesn’t have any evidence that the buckeye’s range has been pushed north but says global warming threatens to make that happen.
USA today, 12 Sep 2008

statistics that are not to be sneezed at

Pollen seasons as well as the amount of pollen in the air progressively increased during a six-year study in Italy, the doctors told a meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in New Orleans.

“By studying a well-defined geographical region, we observed that the progressive increase of the average temperature has prolonged the duration of the pollen seasons of some plants and, consequently, the overall pollen load,” Dr. Walter Canonica, who worked on the study, said in a statement.The Telegraph (UK), 1 Mar 2010

dam statistics

“Over the past 50 years southern Australia has lost about 20 percent of its rainfall and one cause is almost certainly global warming. Similar losses have been experienced in eastern Australia and although the science is less certain it is probable that global warming is behind these losses too.

But by far the most dangerous trend is the declines in the flow of Australian rivers; it has fallen by around 70 percent in recent decades, so dams no longer fill even when it does rain. Growing evidence suggests that hotter soils caused directly by global warming have increased evaporation and transpiration and that the change is permanent.

I believe the first thing Australians need to do is to stop worrying about “the drought” – which is transient – and start talking about the new climate.”
Tim Flannery, New Scientist, 16 Jun 2007
(admin note: at July 2015 Australian dams are 68 to 97% full, apart from Perth and Adelaide)

contender for award for the most tenuous link to climate change

But now there is a new charge against carbon dioxide that may strike more deeply at the heart of American public opinion: The claim that it promotes obesity.

But why blame CO2? The evidence here is more circumstantial, but Danish researcher Lars-Georg Hersoug notes that atmospheric levels of the gas have risen during the same period and that in the United States, obesity has increased most rapidly on the East Coast, where CO2 concentrations are highest.

Hersoug has so far conducted just one test of his hypothesis, an experiment in which six young men were placed in special climate rooms for seven hours. They were then given the opportunity to eat as much as they wanted, and those who had been exposed to increased CO2 levels ate six percent more than those who had not.
Raw Story, 16/3/12

cart before horse

“Climate change is a serious issue, not just for Australia but the whole planet. It is important we address the problem and not get stuck in debate about whether it is real or not, or it will be too late to do anything.”

editorial – Newcastle Herald (Australia) 24 May 2011 (screencopy held by this website)

shrinking salmon set to soar

A new study released by Vancity says there will be a significant decline in the province’s salmon stock within the next five decades due to climate change and the drop in fish numbers would result in soaring prices.

“This is a really tangible way for people to understand the impact of climate change,” says Rashid Sumaila, one of the study’s authors who has been working with the UBC’s fisheries research unit for over 20 years.

Sumaila is urging all levels of government in Canada to take action. He says while projections are set for 2050, the move to reduce carbon dioxide emissions has to start now.

He also says the public is equally responsible for taking the initiative for change. “Make sure your carbon footprint is as minimal as you can. Get to your representatives, let them know this is serious.”
CBC (British Columbia) News, 6 Jul 2015

thanks to Joe Public

and your solution is?

Falling birth rates in some developed and developing countries (a significant portion of which are due to government-imposed limits on the number of children a couple can have) have begun to reduce or reverse the population explosion.

It remains unclear how many people the planet can comfortably sustain, but it is clear that per capita energy consumption must go down if climate change is to be controlled. Ultimately, a one child per couple rule is not sustainable either and there is no perfect number for human population. But it is clear that more humans means more greenhouse gas emissions.
Scientific American, 26 Nov 2011

climate change & female bearded lizards

A recent study published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature reveals a new way that lizards might be affected by the higher temperatures (on average) that our planet has been doing through.

The researchers studied a population of Bearded Dragon lizards in Australia, an animal who’s sex is usually determined by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, and found that the heat was actually making eggs with male chromosomes turn out female after a climate sex-change, so to speak.
Tree Hugger, 2 Jul 2015

see also – Say what?

thanks to Joe Public

rats getting smaller and bigger

You probably hadn’t noticed — but the head shape and overall size of rodents has been changing over the past century. A University of Illinois at Chicago ecologist has tied these changes to human population density and climate change.

The finding is reported by Oliver Pergams, UIC research assistant professor of biological sciences, in the July 31 issue of PLoS One. Pergams found both increases and decreases in the 15 anatomic traits he measured, with changes as great as 50 percent over 80 years.
Science Daily, July 31 2009

thanks to Andrew Mark Harding

more bats in the belfry

Thousands of fruit bats have flown down from the tropics to make Melbourne their home. A Deakin University researcher has found out why. Dr Parris figured climate change had to be the answer.

She had completed her PhD (on frogs) in Canberra with Dr Donna Hazell at the Australian National University’s centre for resource and environmental studies.

“The construction and continued expansion of our city, and the huge amount of water we use on our gardens, has made Melbourne warm enough and wet enough for the bats to live here year-round, while the watering also means trees flower and fruit for a longer period,” Dr Parris says.
Sydney Morning Herald 6 Jun 2005

see also – Say what?

as bald as a chicken

May was Earth’s hottest month on record — and as the planet gets warmer, chickens are struggling to adapt.

Their body temperatures rise, which leads to higher mortality rates and an increased risk of disease that may threaten global poultry supply in the next decades. Enter geneticist Carl Schmidt and his team from the University of Delaware, who believe that reducing a chicken’s feather count — making it look bald, basically — will cool it down and reduce health risks.
Time, 27 Jun 2014

important scientific study left incomplete!

Long-term global warming could cause loaves of bread to shrink in size due a reduction in the amount of protein in grains, Australian scientists have found. Dr Glenn Fitzgerald, a senior researcher for the state government of Victoria who led the study, said the amount of protein in the grain is set to reduce by 2 to 14 per cent if carbon dioxide levels increase as anticipated.

Asked about the taste of the 2050 loaves, he said: “We haven’t actually eaten them. We baked the loaves of bread for scientific processes,” he said. “They get dried out. I don’t know what it tastes like.”
The Telegraph (UK) 23 Jun 2013

blind as a …

A changing climate could hamper the ability of some bat species to hunt effectively using sound, according to a new study. Bats calling at low frequencies will hear echoes from an object further away than bats calling at high frequencies, says study co-author Holger Goerlitz, a biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany.

One thing is clear: global warming will impact the pure physics of sound that bats use to echolocate.
National Geographic, 10 Dec 2012

back to the trees!

Climate justice is the understanding that we will not be able to stop climate change if we don’t change the neo-liberal, corporate-based economy which stops us from achieving sustainable societies. It is the understanding that corporate globalization must be stopped.

Indigenous Peoples, peasant communities, fisherfolk, and especially women in these communities, have been able to live harmoniously and sustainably with the Earth for millennia. They are now not only the most affected by climate change, but also the most affected by its false solutions, such as agrofuels, mega-dams, genetic modification, tree plantations and carbon offset schemes.

Instead of market-based climate mitigation schemes, the sustainable practices of these peoples and communities should be seen as offering the real solutions to climate change.
The Global Justice Ecology Project website

frenzied beetles upset apple cart

Climate change could be throwing common tree killers called mountain pine beetles into a reproductive frenzy. A new study suggests that some beetles living in Colorado, which normally reproduce just once annually, now churn out an extra generation of new bugs each year. The insects, says Jeffry Mitton, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, were swarming close to 2 months too early that year.

It seemed so implausible that when he told colleagues about the encounter, some didn’t believe him. “This would really upset the apple cart,” Milton remembers thinking.
Science AAAS, 16 Mar 2012

I know where I’m placing my bet!

Humans will be extinct in 100 years because the planet will be uninhabitable, according to Australian microbiologist Frank Fenner, one of the leaders of the effort to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. He blames overcrowding, denuded resources and climate change.

“For years now, we have heard that we are at a tipping point. Al Gore warned us in An Inconvenient Truth that immediate action was required if we were to prevent global warming.”

“Only two conclusions can be drawn: Either these old warnings were alarmist, or we are already in far bigger trouble than the U.N. Claims.”
Reuters, 18 Jun 2015

thanks to David Mulberry

ice hockey threatened

A quintessentially Canadian winter tradition – outdoor ice hockey – could be facing extinction within decades because of climate change, a new study says.

The ice season has shortened noticeably over the last 50 years, especially in southern British Columbia and Alberta and parts of the prairie provinces, the study in the Institute of Physics’ journal, Environmental Research Letters, says.
The Guardian, 5 Mar 2012

urgent warning!

As glacial meltwater floods into oceans and the global sea level rises with climate change, the distribution of weight on the Earth’s crust will shift from land to sea. This shift in weight distribution could cause volcanoes to erupt more often, some studies suggest. Humans in the 21st century probably won’t experience this shift, however, since this effect seems to lag by up to about 2,500 years.
Live Science, 5 Aug 2013

brighter bugs beat polar bears

It turns out Europe’s insects are getting lighter on average in response to increasing temperatures. “For two of the major groups of insects, we have now demonstrated a direct link between climate, insect color and habitat preference,” explained Carsten Rahbek, co-author of the study and the Director of the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate at the University of Copenhagen and professor at Imperial College London.

The survival of the humble bumble bee or the innocuous ant play a pivotal role in defining our natural world as this Earth’s climate changes. Ultimately, the color change in butterfly wings will have a bigger impact on Earth’s biodiversity than all the polar bears in the world.
Discover, 27 May 2014

lightning might strike twice!

To the ever-growing list of projected effects from global warming, add a curious entry: a potentially huge jump in lightning strikes in the United States.

David M. Romps, an atmospheric physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, who led the work, said the change would come about from a global temperature increase of roughly 7 degrees fahrenheit. “This increase in lightning is an example of a fairly large change you can get from what sounds like a relatively small global temperature increase,” Romps said.
Sydney Morning Herald, 14 Nov 2014

gasping fish and panting squid

Unless we find a way to rein in our carbon emissions very soon, a low-oxygen ocean may become an inescapable feature of our planet. A team of Danish researchers published a particularly sobering study last year. They wondered how long oxygen levels would drop if we could somehow reduce our carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2100. They determined that over the next few thousand years oxygen levels would continue to fall, until they declined by 30 percent.

The oxygen would slowly return to the oceans, but even 100,000 years from now they will not have fully recovered. If they’re right, fish will be gasping and squid will be panting for a long time to come.
Resilience, 5/8/10

I feel the Earth move …..

University of Toronto study shows that rainfall-induced erosion affects movements of continental plates.

The erosion caused by rainfall directly affects the movement of continental plates beneath mountain ranges, says a University of Toronto geophysicist — the first time science has raised the possibility that human-induced climate change could affect the deep workings of the planet.

“In geology, we have this idea that erosion’s going to affect merely the surface,” says Russell Pysklywec, a professor of geology. “It goes right down to the mantle thermal engine — the thing that’s actually driving plate tectonics. It’s fairly surprising — it hasn’t been shown before.”
Eureka Alert, 20/4/06

Diego Maradona makes a comeback!

Eskimos and scientists report a strange “lightness at noon” that is turning the usual all-day darkness of the high Canadian Arctic into twilight, apparently in defiance of natural laws. Canadian government officials say it may be the result of an unusual atmospheric phenomenon caused by global warming.

Wayne Davidson, the Canadian government official who runs the station, says he believes it it caused by climate change. For the past five years, Mr Davidson says, there has been a growing light along the horizon in the middle of the day in winter. “The entire horizon is raised like magic, like the hand of God is bringing it up,” he says.
Rense.com, 19 Dec 2004

they’re onto us!

Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth’s atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.

Shawn Domagal-Goldman of Nasa’s Planetary Science Division and his colleagues compiled a list of plausible outcomes that could unfold in the aftermath of a close encounter, to help humanity “prepare for actual contact”.
The Guardian, 19 Aug 2011

see also – Say what?

climate change threat to plain English!

The complex couplings between human and natural systems that must be understood to respond to climate change, demands a robustly multi- and interdisciplinary approach to research.

Furthermore, attention to the differential gendered impacts and opportunities of climate change requires a deeply intersectional approach in which the relevance of factors such as class and race are considered alongside gender.
Monash University Conference (Australia) 15-16 Sept 2011

deluded about climate change?

Australian psychiatrists have described the first case of “climate change delusion”, a previously unreported illness in which a patient refused to drink water because he “felt guilty” about the effect it would have on the environment.

Dr Joshua Wolf & Dr Robert Salo, of the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, treated a 17-year-old patient who believed that “due to climate change, his own water consumption could lead within days to the deaths of millions of people.”

The report, published in the Royal Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, said the case was the first of its kind, directly linking anxiety over climate change to psychosis. Dr Robert Salo said he expected more patients to suffer from the disorder as long as the issue remained on the agenda.
The Telegraph (UK), 11 Jul 2008

the jig is up!

Plotted on a map of Britain, the sightings can be seen to stretch from Liverpool to Dover and from Llanelli to Derby. Whatever the explanation, experts agree that the number of suspected flying saucers has hit unusual highs this summer. Malcolm Robinson, who studies the phenomenon, said: “Something very bizarre is happening in the skies over the UK.”

The founder member of Strange Phenomena Investigations, added: “There has been an unusual number of sightings recently. “Some experts believe it could be linked to global warming and craft from outer space are appearing because they are concerned about what man is doing to this planet.”

The Telegraph, 7 Jul 2008

gingerbread houses continue to crumble

Gingerbread houses latest victim of global warming. Sweet-toothed Swedes who have spent hours constructing edible Christmas gingerbread houses are seeing their creations collapse in the Scandinavian country’s unusually damp winter, suppliers said on Monday.

“The damp weather spells immediate devastation for gingerbread houses. The problem is the mild winter,” spokesman at Sweden’s leading gingerbread wholesaler Anna’s, Aake Mattsson, told Swedish news agency TT.
Terra Daily, 11 Dec 2006

Run!

The deserts of north Africa are threatening to leap the Mediterranean and creep through Spain, according to government figures made public as part of a national campaign to halt desertification. A third of the country is at risk of being turned into desert as climate change and tourism add to the effects of farming.
The Guardian, 18 Jun 2005

thanks to Andrew Mark Harding

fish and chips are off the menu

Warming seas will push traditional fish favourites off the British menu, a study suggests. Fish such as haddock, plaice and lemon sole will decline as the North Sea warms by a predicted 1.8 degrees over 50 years, say scientists.

The classic fish and chips enjoyed by previous generations could be replaced by the likes of sardines and squid, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
BBC News, 14/4/15

thanks to BadgerBod