Devastating weather has lead to an extreme drop in global wine production. According to the International Organization of Vine and Wine, wine production has fallen by 5 percent in comparison to 2015. From South Africa to France, crops are damaged.
Many believe that global warming is the cause of this wild weather that directly affects wine-production. The biggest contributing factor to global warming comes from the use of man-made machinery that emits Carbon Dioxide.
The world’s largest wine-producing nations have recently been taking some pretty big losses. Based on Forbes.com, France’s wine production has dropped by 12 percent while Portugal’s dropped by 20 percent.
Fortunately, not all major wine-producing countries dipped. The United States’ production rose by 2 percent, while New Zealand and Australia also saw a gain of 5 percent. Wine production in 2016 is estimated at about about 6.84 billion gallons of wine, which sounds like a lot.
But, if this wild weather continues, the wine industry may be doomed. So, drink up while you can.
thanks to ddh
Among the most solid examples of actual evolution in response to climate change is a shift in the proportion of European larger banded snails (Cepaea nemoralis) with light colored shells.
Shell color is genetic, and the genes responsible are known. It has been shown that, in a given environment, snails with light colored shells have a lower body temperature than those with dark colored shells.
And light colored shells are becoming more prevalent over time in the Netherlands, even in wooded, shady environments where you might expect dark shells to dominate.
“My anxiety attacks began two summers ago. They were mild at first, a low-level unease. But over a period of months they grew steadily worse, morphing into full-fledged fits of panic. I was a wreck.
The sight of an idling car, heat-trapping carbon dioxide spewing from its tailpipe, would send me into an hours-long panic, complete with shaking, the sweats, and staring off into space while others conversed around me.
The same thing happened on overly warm days, like those 60-degree ones here in the Big Apple last January. The culprit, I realized, was all the reporting I’d been doing on global warming—that, and the emotional impact of becoming a first-time parent.
I had come down with a severe case of eco-anxiety—a chronic fear of the environmental future.”
Higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, predicted to adversely affect the environment and humans, may help one species in time of need: the loblolly pine.
In an experiment where carbon dioxide levels were elevated to those predicted for 2050, one and a half times today’s levels, scientists found that these trees were able to withstand ice storms much better than those growing under current carbon dioxide levels.
“Before the storm, I was absolutely certain the pines would be more susceptible to ice damage under elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide,” said study participant Ram Oren, an ecology professor at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences.
“My impressions were absolutely wrong. Instead of increasing the sensitivity to ice-storm damage, carbon dioxide decreased the sensitivity.”
Greenhouse gases are turning the oceans acidic decades earlier than predicted with potentially catastrophic consequences for marine life, scientists have warned. The acid in sea water is powerful enough to dissolve the shells of sea creatures, they said.
An American team has found evidence that an acidic “tipping point” has been reached on the continental shelf along the west coast of North America.
This is potentially very bad news, said Paul Halloran, of Oxford University, an expert in the field. “The impact on tourism and fisheries may have huge economic consequences.”
Weatherwatch: Did warm weather cause the Titanic disaster?
But in fact the catastrophe may have been set in motion by a warm, wet year over Greenland in 1908, resulting in greater snow accumulation.
Writing in the journal Weather, Grant Bigg and David Wilton of Sheffield University explain how the snow soaked through cracks in the ice sheet, encouraging excess iceberg calving over the following few years.
Soberingly, global warming has increased iceberg hazard greatly in recent decades, making years like 1912 more the norm than the exception.
It also releases fertilising compounds equivalent to 340 grams of sulphur dioxide and 59 grams of phosphate, and consumes 169 megajoules of energy (Animal Science Journal, DOI: 10.1111/j.1740-0929.2007.00457.x).
In other words, a kilogram of beef is responsible for the equivalent of the amount of CO2 emitted by the average European car every 250 kilometres, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days.
The German upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, passed a resolution calling for a ban on internal combustion engines by 2030.
No, this doesn’t mean someone is going to come to your driveway under the cover of night and take your car away. The cross-party resolution wants the EU Commission in Brussels to implement a ban that would make sure that only zero-emission vehicles were being sold by 2030.
A ban on internal combustion engines is expected to have an impact on the direction of the auto industry, since Germany does have the fourth largest automaking industry in the world.
“If the Paris agreement to curb climate-warming emissions is to be taken seriously, no new combustion engine cars should be allowed on roads after 2030,” said Greens party lawmaker Oliver Krischer to Der Spiegel.
thanks to ddh
Eco-anxiety is real, according to some psychologists, and it can really stress you out.
As one eco-anxious reporter described it, “The sight of an idling car, heat-trapping carbon dioxide spewing from the tailpipe, would send me into an hours-long panic, complete with shaking, the sweats, and staring off into space while others conversed around me”
We can’t even escape at the movies. In his 2006 Oscar-winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” Vice President Al Gore warned us that we might be a mere decade away from a global environmental disaster.
It was really time to be afraid — very afraid. Therapists who treat eco-anxiety say their patients report a number of general anxiety symptoms, including loss of appetite, irritability, panic attacks, insomnia, nightmares, unexplained weakness and actual physical pain.
Some people say they cry uncontrollably at the thought of the polar ice caps melting or of yet another species facing extinction. So what do you do if you are suffering from eco-anxiety? Some people see an eco-therapist.
According to the International Community for Ecopsychology, there are almost 150 ecopsychology practitioners around the world [source: Ecopsychology]. More colleges and universities, like Naropa University in Boulder, Colo., and Prescott College in Tucson, Ariz., have started offering ecopsychology as a major, so the number of trained eco-therapists is likely to grow.
Eco-therapists charge up to $250 an hour to diagnose the cause of your worries and offer solutions.
Some eco-therapists advise their patients to get outside and feel closer to nature, while others recommend that patients bring nature closer to them by carrying around a rock or piece of tree bark.
New Zealand could lose its unenviable reputation as the skin-cancer centre of the world thanks to climate change. However, there may be cause for celebration, with some scientists believing that by the second half of this century the rate will be falling.
Scientists think that climate change will speed up a recovery of the ozone layer over much of the world and block out more of the damaging UV rays.
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research scientist Greg Bodeker said the peak in the skin-cancer rate was expected about 2040. Beyond that, increased ozone concentrations were likely to take New Zealand and the rate back to where it was in the 1950s or 60s.
“It’s a good story, absolutely. We are already seeing ozone recovery over New Zealand,” Bodeker said.
China’s long-term food security and social stability may be threatened unless the world’s largest grain producer invests more to fight the effects of drought, McKinsey & Co. said in a report Nov. 24.
The country’s corn harvest, the world’s second-largest, plunged by 13 percent to a four-year low this year because of drought, a survey of farmers by Geneva-based SGS SA for Bloomberg showed.
The crops affected would include wheat, corn and rice, Zheng Guoguang, head of the China Meteorological Administration, said in an article published on the agency’s Web site Tuesday.
“By 2050, with extreme conditions, South Asia’s grain output could be cut by 30 percent and with the level of global grain stores falling sharply, it would increase the difficulty of boosting imports,” Zheng said. “Trying to make up the difference of lower output by relying on imports doesn’t look very optimistic.”
Global warming could rapidly threaten grasses, including wild relatives of staple foods such as wheat and rice that provide half of all the calories consumed by humans.
A new study looking ahead to 2070 found that climate change was occurring thousands of times faster than the ability of wild grasses to adapt. While the research cannot predict what might happen to world food supplies as a result, the authors warn of “troubling implications”.
“We show that past rates of climatic niche change in grasses are much slower than rates of future projected climate change, suggesting that extinctions might occur in many species and/or local populations,” wrote the researchers, led by John Wiens, from the University of Arizona in the US.
“This has several troubling implications, for both global biodiversity and human welfare.”
thanks to ddh
Don’t panic, but researchers have discovered that oxygen is (very) slowly draining out of Earth’s atmosphere, and right now, they’re not sure why.
By analysing air bubbles trapped inside ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica, a team from Princeton University has found oxygen levels have dropped by 0.7 percent in the last 800,000 years, and figuring out why could be crucial to predicting our planet’s future.
As far as ecosystems on Earth are concerned, the drop is only a trivial one, but it can still tell us more about the secrets of what makes a planet habitable – useful information to have if we’re ever going to live on Mars
….Another possible cause is long-term climate change – over the last few million years, we’ve seen a slight overall drop in global temperatures, even though Earth has been rapidly heating up over the past half a century.
thanks to ddh
Continued exposure to carbon dioxide seriously compromises the safety of small reef fish, with research showing they lose their survival instincts and become vulnerable to predators as seawater becomes more acidic.
The study by Australian and American scientists, conducted in naturally occurring carbon dioxide seeps in Papua New Guinea’s Milne Bay, found an acidic environment made reef fish become attracted to the smell of their predators.
Results showed that more than 90 per cent of the time, fish in these waters swam into areas where predators were. Fish studied in non-acidified water consistently avoided areas with predators.
The work by scientists from the institute, James Cook University and the Georgia Institute of Technology is in the journal Nature Climate Change on Monday.
“It is predicted there will be more and more incidents of severe clear-air turbulence, which typically comes out of the blue with no warning, occurring in the near future as climate change takes its effect in the stratosphere,” Dr Paul Williams, a Royal Society research fellow at Reading University, said last week.
“There has already been a steady rise in incidents of severe turbulence affecting flights over the past few decades. Globally, turbulence causes dozens of fatalities a year on small private planes and hundreds of injuries to passengers in big jets. And as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere keep on rising, so will the numbers of incidents.”
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.
Save The Buckeye, a coalition of environmental activists and outdoor enthusiasts, has a billboard in Columbus warning about the fate of the buckeye tree, and backers plan to hold rallies during football tailgating events.
People had thought of global warming as something far away, affecting polar bears, said Tom Bullock, an advocate for the Pew Environment Group in Ohio.
“If we don’t get started now we will reduce the opportunity to reduce global warming and curb its worst effects.”
Europeans took an early lead in efforts to curb global warming, championing the Kyoto Protocol and imposing a market-based system in 2005 to cap emissions from about 12,000 factories producing electricity, glass, steel, cement, pulp and paper.
Companies buy or sell permits based on whether they overshoot or come in beneath their pollution goals. European Union officials acknowledge that establishing such a vast market has been more complicated than they expected.
“Of course it was ambitious to set up a market for something you can’t see and to expect to see immediate changes in behavior,” said Jacqueline McGlade, the executive director of the European Environment Agency. “It’s easy, with hindsight, to say we could have been tougher.”
A major stumbling block arose at the outset, when some participating governments allocated too many trading permits to polluters when the market was created. That led to a near-market failure after the value of the permits fell by half, and called into question the validity of the system.
Europe’s greenhouse gas market has shown that investments by rich countries into clean-energy projects in poor nations are not always the best way to cut emissions blamed for global warming, the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress reported.
In the European Union’s greenhouse gas market, the world’s largest, many polluters have sought to meet government-imposed emissions limits by investing in projects through the U.N.’s Clean Development Mechanism.
The mechanism allows polluters in rich countries to claim credits back home by investing in projects such as hydropower in Brazil or destruction of refrigerant gases in China.
Such projects are called carbon offsets by players in the $100 billion carbon market because they aim to reduce a polluter’s carbon footprint by cutting emissions elsewhere.
Some offset credits were awarded for projects that would have occurred even in the absence of the CDM, despite a rigorous screening process, the report said.
The melting of the earth’s ice cover has already become a source of physical trauma. In Alaska, Inuits report an increase in accidents caused by walking on thin ice. “Climate Change and Human Health” Paul R. Epstein, M.D., M.P.H. The NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL of MEDICINE, 6 Oct 2005, Vol. 353 No. 14
Exacerbating the problem are the piles of research telling climate crusaders to lay off the apocalyptic rhetoric, meaning that, in order to be effective communicators, experts must often stifle their most dire predictions.
The problem is that climate change threatens feelings of self-efficacy — the sense that we can control our destiny. This is precisely why social scientists urge communicators not to overburden the public with catastrophic predictions about the future, because doing so can inspire fatalism.
Many British birds are laying their eggs earlier in the year as a result of climate change, a report by conservation groups claimed yesterday.
The report said birds were being forced to rapidly adapt their behaviour in order to survive, including altering their nesting and migration patterns and travelling further to find food.
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.
Matt Murphy, ornithologist for the Countryside Council for Wales, said climate change was affecting the breeding patterns of pied flycatchers living in Welsh oak woodlands.
Using the ECHAM5 model, decreased dengue transmission was predicted under the A2 carbon emission scenario, whereas some increases are likely under the B1 scenario. Dengue epidemic potential may decrease under climate warming due to mosquito breeding sites becoming drier and mosquito survivorship declining.
These results contradict most previous studies that use correlative models to show increased dengue transmission under climate warming….
It is therefore naive to assume a simple relationship between climate and incidence, and incorrect to state that climate warming will uniformly increase dengue transmission, although in general the health impacts of climate change will be negative.
WILLIAMS, C.R., MINCHAM, G., FADDY, H., VIENNET, E., RITCHIE, S.A. and HARLEY, D. (2016) ‘Projections of increased and decreased dengue incidence under climate change’, Epidemiology and Infection, , pp. 1–10.
thanks to ddh
Speaking at a conference at the Potteric Carr Nature Reserve in South Yorkshire, Dr Mark Avery, RSPB conservation director, said the Bittern population relied on breeding grounds such as the Minsmere Reserve along the Suffolk coast.
A substantial area of new reed bed will urgently need to be created away from the coast, and the threat of climate change-driven, sea level rise, he said.
“We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion. We need to eliminate nationalism and tribalism and become Earthlings.
And as Earthlings, we need to recognize that all the other species that live on this planet are also fellow citizens and also Earthlings.
This is a planet of incredible diversity of life-forms; it is not a planet of one species as many of us believe. We need to stop burning fossil fuels and utilize only wind, water, and solar power with all generation of power coming from individual or small community units like windmills, waterwheels, and solar panels.
Sea transportation should be by sail. The big clippers were the finest ships ever built and sufficient to our needs. Air transportation should be by solar powered blimps when air transportation is necessary.”
The report comes four days before the UN leads a fresh round of talks in Poland to agree a successor to the Kyoto Protocol in ongoing negotiations marred by squabbles over who should bear the cost of fighting climate change.
The UN report cited research by the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy adviser to 28 countries, and others which showed growing capital costs especially in the energy sector.
The increased investment needed is entirely due to higher capital costs for energy supply facilities, it said.
The New York Times is a leader in covering climate change. Now The Times is ramping up its coverage to make the most important story in the world even more relevant, urgent and accessible to a huge audience around the globe. We are looking for an editor to lead this dynamic new group.
We want someone with an entrepreneurial streak who is obsessed with finding new ways to connect with readers and new ways to tell this vital story.
The New York Times is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of an individual’s sex, age, race, color, creed, national origin, alienage, religion, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation or affectional preference, gender identity and expression, disability, genetic trait or predisposition, carrier status, citizenship, veteran or military status and other personal characteristics protected by law.
thanks to ddh
Climate change will expose more people – in less likely areas than previous – to wildfires, drought, hurricanes and flooding. The weather ambushes lead to increasing cases of PTSD.
Those at particular risk to mental health damage from the effects of global warming include:
- – People displaced by extreme weather events
- – Low income individuals with limited access to care
- – Limited English proficiency individuals who may not comprehend public service campaigns
- – Immigrant groups that may have not previously had adequate mental or physical health to withstand environmental damages
- – Indigenous peoples who may remain on sovereign land whose infrastructures are not up kept by the government
- – Children
- – Homeless
- – Pregnant Women
- – Elders
- – Persons with disabilities
- – Outdoor 0ccupational groups
- – Persons with pre-existing or chronic medical conditions.
Almost half of Antarctic krill offspring would struggle to survive in vast regions of the Southern Ocean’s increasingly acidic waters by the end of the century if carbon emissions continue unchecked, climate study projections show.
If such conditions continued, researchers at the Australian Antarctic Division predict krill populations could be wiped out by 2300. “Up to a third of all carbon dioxide that humans produce each year dissolves into the sea,” said Marine biologist Rob King.
Scientists have long worried whether animals can respond to the planet’s changing climate. Now, a new study reports that at least one species of songbird—and likely many more—already knows how to prep its chicks for a warming world. They do so by emitting special calls to the embryos inside their eggs, which can hear and learn external sounds.
The idea that the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) parents were “talking to their eggs” occurred to Mylene Mariette, a behavioral ecologist at Deakin University in Waurn Ponds, Australia, while recording the birds’ sounds at an outdoor aviary. She noticed that sometimes when a parent was alone, it would make a rapid, high-pitched series of calls while sitting on the eggs.
She found that parents of both sexes uttered these calls only during the end of the incubation period and when the maximum daily temperature rose above 26°C (78.8°F). Mariette thinks the finches’ ability to prepare their offspring for their future environment makes sense because they live in arid habitats and they breed whenever conditions are good—irrespective of the season.
She adds that these finches show that some animals, at least, aren’t just sitting ducks when it comes to climate change—they may be much better able to adapt to a warming world than we thought.
thanks to ddh
Climate change is being blamed for a changing of the guard among Sydney’s cockroach population.
Researchers say the most common sub-species in city households was the german cockroach, until it disappeared about seven years ago.
Martyn Robinson from the Australian Museum says the Australian house cockroach, methana marginalus, which likes warmer climates, has begun moving in.
“It’s most likely to be the…warmer climate,” he said.
Copenhagen’s city council in conjunction with Lord Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard sent postcards out to 160 Copenhagen hotels urging COP15 Climate Change Conference guests and delegates to ‘Be sustainable – don’t buy sex’.
In response SIO (Sexarbejdernes Interesse Organisation; or the Sex workers Interest Organisation) announced on their website that this was a political attempt to criminalize sex work in the city.
They also announced that anyone who had received such a postcard could use it instead of payment:
“If you are a delegate at COP15, Sexworkers in Copenhagen are accepting the postcard as payment for sex.
In other words – we offer free sex for your postcard. We do this as a protest against the unjust and degrading campaign of the City Council. .
Employees and politicians of the Municipality of Copenhagen are exempted from the offer.”
The entire world trade in bananas, and many developing economies, are now based on a single variety, the Cavendish. Experts fear that it too may be vulnerable.
“Weeds are survivors,” said Lee Van Wychen, director of science policy for the Weed Science Society of America. “They can fill various niches and thrive under a wide range of conditions. While we have about 45 major crops in the U.S., there are more than 400 species of different weeds associated with those crops.”
“There is always another weed species ready to become a major competitor with a crop if growing conditions change, such as an increase in carbon dioxide levels.”
A historic Texas drought is driving bears into urban areas searching for food and water, the latest in a series of bizarre wildlife stories to come out of the deadly hot and dry weather across the nation.
They’re going to where they need to, said Louis Harveson, a Sul Ross State University professor of wildlife management who directs the school’s Borderlands Research Institute. “They’re scavengers — they’re basically an oversized raccoon.”
On a recent day, Penny Ferguson had returned from her 5:30 a.m. workout and, like any other morning, let her beagle out. The dog began barking wildly, and Ferguson ran outside to keep it from waking the neighbors.
A full-grown black bear on all fours, so big its shoulders reached her hips, was on her front lawn near the bird feeder. The bear ran out from under Ferguson’s front window and casually loped across the street. It wasn’t much bothered, but didn’t like the noise, said Ferguson, whose home in Fort Davis, Texas, is nestled near Davis mountains southeast of El Paso.
“We’re in town, much further into town than I would ever expect bears to be coming.”
Heat Is Online – Planetark.org, 1 Aug 2011
It is in this context that Lehman Brothers decided to take a hard look at global warming, starting with the scientific and climatological evidence, then proceedings to the economic consequences and implications for policy; and finally – with significant help from the Firm’s equity analysts – considering potential impacts on major business sectors.
The result is this publication: The Business of Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities…And, as the title indicates, we consider that climate change poses many challenges but also presents many business opportunities…
This study is far from the last word; indeed, we see it as just a starting point for a dialogue with our investing an corporate clients. As the discussions with our clients and policy experts progress, we will take this work further.
Global warming could release radioactive waste stored in an abandoned Cold War-era U.S. military camp deep under Greenland’s ice caps if a thaw continues to spread in coming decades, scientists said on Friday.
Camp Century was built in northwest Greenland in 1959 as part of U.S. research into the feasibility of nuclear missile launch sites in the Arctic, the University of Zurich said in a statement. Staff left gallons of fuel and an unknown amount of low-level radioactive coolant there when the base shut down in 1967 on the assumption it would be entombed forever, according to the university.
It is all currently about 35 metres (114.83 ft) down. But the part of the ice sheet covering the camp could start to melt by the end of the century on current trends, the scientists added.
The study said it would be extremely costly to try to remove any waste now. It recommended waiting “until the ice sheet has melted down to almost expose the wastes before beginning site remediation.”
thanks to ddh
Locavores, those who aim to eat locally grown food, may be doing more harm than good to the environment, writes Simon Webster.
British consumers would be better off buying dairy products from New Zealand than from their own country, a report from Lincoln University, New Zealand, concluded last year.
British dairy produces 35 per cent more greenhouse gas emissions than New Zealand dairy, even including transport from New Zealand to Britain, the report found. This is because New Zealand agriculture uses fewer fertilisers and its dairy cows graze outside on grass, whereas British cows are housed in barns where they eat bought-in, concentrated feed.
More efficient farming methods also make New Zealand lamb and apples better options in Britain than local produce, the researchers found.
Songbirds in the US are getting smaller, and climate change is suspected as the cause. A study of almost half a million birds, belonging to over 100 species, shows that many are gradually becoming lighter and growing shorter wings.
This shrinkage has occurred within just half a century, with the birds thought to be evolving into a smaller size in response to warmer temperatures.
Dr Josh Van Buskirk of the University of Zurich, Switzerland and colleagues Mr Robert Mulvihill and Mr Robert Leberman of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Rector, Pennsylvania, US decided to evaluate the sizes of hundreds of thousands of birds that pass through the Carnegie Museum’s Powdermill ringing station, also in Pennsylvania.
But some species are losing more weight. For example, the rose-breasted grosbeak has declined in mass by about 4%, while the Kentucky warbler has dropped 3.3% in weight and the scarlet tanager 2.3%. The headline finding is that the body sizes of many species of North American birds, mostly songbirds, are gradually becoming smaller, says Dr Buskirk.
Jessica Ash and Gordon Gallup studied 109 fossilized skulls from different lattitudes to determine that “climate may have been an important selective force behind the evollution of human cranial capacity,” according to Gallup, who theorised that changes in global temperature could account for as much as 50 per cent of the variation in headmeat.
“Specifically we found that as the distance from the equator increased, north or south, so did brain size,” he said.
The researchers will publish their study in the spring edition of Human Nature.
New research shows penguins will suffer in a warming world. But the important extension of this work is into the future.
The scientists took their current knowledge of penguin health and climate and asked what will happen to these penguins in the future. Since we do not have measurements in the future, the scientists used climate models.
These models are computer calculations of the actual climate that will exist in the future, and the calculations are based on our best understanding of how the climate system works.
Fortunately, climate models have an excellent history in predicting how the future will evolve.
I expect that now with the science of climate change settled (in the sense we know the climate is changing and we know humans are the main cause), scientists will turn their attention to impacts research.
Dr John Abraham, a professor of thermal sciences in The Guardian, 3 Aug 2016 – emphasis and underline by this website
thanks to ddh