how many people is too many people?

A 2010 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences looked at the link between policies that help women plan pregnancies and family size and global emissions (the study also looked at aging and urbanization trends).

The researchers predicted that lower population growth could provide benefits equivalent to between 16 and 29 percent of the emissions reduction needed to avoid a 2 degrees Celsius warming by 2050, the warning line set by international scientists.
The Atlantic, 1 Nov 2014

depends on who your friends, relatives and colleagues are

All those who fail to tackle the problems of pollution and climate change “will feel guilty on their deathbeds”, says a leading environmental campaigner. Mayer Hillman, formerly a fellow of the Policy Studies Institute, claims that there is now a broad consensus that travel by both road and air is pushing the planet towards “a situation which will become critical well before 2050”.

Describing climate change as an ethical issue and personal responsibility as a moral imperative, Hillman championed the imposition of an individual allowance for greenhouse-gas emissions, allowing those who are able to live with greater energy efficiency trading their surpluses. People without cars, for instance, might sell their allocation to people who wanted to travel more often.

Having given up flying on principle, he has been unable to visit friends, relatives and colleagues around the world, but says that the sacrifices are not as bad as they might seem.
The Telegraph (UK), 24 Jul 2004

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

flower miles warning

In the past three years, the amount of flowers imported from the Netherlands has fallen by 47% to 94,000 tons, while those from Africa have risen 39% to 17,000 tons. Environmentalists warned that ‘flower miles’ could have serious implications on climate change in terms of carbon dioxide emissions from aeroplanes.

Andrew Sime, the policy director of the New Economics Foundation, said, “There are plenty of flowers that grow in Britain in the winter and don’t need to be hot-housed. “Air freighting flowers half way round the world contributes to global warming.”
Daily Telegraph (UK), 10 Feb 2007

on yer bike, gov’ner!

“A new scientific finding in the journal Environmental Science & Technology shows that, counter to what most of us believe, driving a car causes more global warming pollution than flying the same distance in a plane.

The point that you probably wouldn’t take such long trips by car that you take by plane was not a part of the study and is an important matter to bring up as well.

Nonetheless, this study confirms again that driving is one of the leading ways humans cause global warming. Get out of your car and onto a bike or bus or subway or train today in order to help stop global warming.”
Clean Technica, 9 Aug 2010

you left something out – what about the cows?

“Many conscientious people are trying to help reduce global warming by driving more fuel-efficient cars and using energy-saving light bulbs. Although these measures help, science shows that going vegan is one of the most effective ways to fight global warming.

A staggering 51 percent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, according to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute.

The most powerful step that we can take as individuals to avert global warming is to stop eating meat, eggs, and dairy products.”
PETA website

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

winters colder

Britain’s winters are getting colder because of melting Arctic ice, the Government’s forecaster said yesterday. Mety Office chief scientist Julia Slingo said climate change was “loading the dice” towards freezing drier weather – and called publicly for the first time for an urgent investigation.
The Sun (UK), 11 Apr 2013
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fish getting smaller

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Global warming is likely to shrink the size of fish by as much as a quarter in coming decades, according to a groundbreaking study of the world’s oceans.

Researchers modelled the effect of rising ocean temperatures on the growth and distribution of more than 600 fish species around the world and found they were expected to shrink by 14-24 per cent by 2050.

Sydney Morning Herald, 2 Oct 2012

fish getting bigger

The tuna industry says climate change is bringing benefits. The chief executive of the Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Association, Brian Jeffriess, says Port Lincoln crews in South Australia are reporting an excellent quality and size catch. He says it can be partly attributed to the effects of climate change on the waters of the Great Australian Bight.
ABC News (Australia, 11 July 2008
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warning to all black sheep in the family

First scientists discovered that the milder winters were shrinking the sheep in the Outer Hebrides at a rate of 3.5 ounces (100g) a year as smaller, weaker lambs were surviving in the warmer weather. Now they have discovered the same process is turning the dark coats of Soay sheep on Hirta in the St Kilda archipelago lighter.

Dr Shane Maloney, an animal researcher whose findings are published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, said: “If environmental effects are the cause of the decline, then we can expect the proportion of dark coloured Soay sheep to decrease further.”
The Telegraph, 22 Jul 2009

thanks to Geir Aaslid

Scottish sheep shrink

Climate change is causing a breed of wild sheep in Scotland to shrink, according to research. Scientists say milder winters help smaller sheep to survive, resulting in this “paradoxical decrease in size”. The lead researcher in the study, Tim Coulson from Imperial College London, said the island provided an ideal opportunity to tease apart the factors driving the sheep’s physical change.
BBC News, 2 Jul 2009

thanks to Geir Aaslid

now that’s “Sky Blue Thinking”!

Professor Flannery says climate change is happening so quickly that mankind may need to pump sulphur into the atmosphere to survive. The gas sulphur could be inserted into the earth’s stratosphere to keep out the sun’s rays and slow global warming, a process called global dimming.

“It would change the colour of the sky,” Professor Flannery said. “It’s the last resort that we have, it’s the last barrier to a climate collapse.” The gas sulphur could be inserted into the earth’s stratosphere to keep out the sun’s rays and slow global warming, a process called global dimming.

Sydney Morning Herald, 19 May 2008

charcoal on ebay

As well as a global dimming plan, Professor Flannery said carbon should be taken out of the air and converted into charcoal, then ploughed into farmers’ fields. Wealthy people should pay poor farmers in tropical zones to plant forests – possibly through a direct purchase scheme such as the eBay website.

And all conventional coal-fired power stations – which did not have “clean coal” technology – should be closed by 2030.
Sydney Morning Herald, 19 May 2008

climate change in the basement

Wet basement last year? Blame climate change. Twin Cities waterproofing contractors say climate change has led to unprecedented demand for their services. “The climate has been changing,” said Peter Snyder, an associate professor of atmospheric science at the University of Minnesota.

“It’s pretty clear that we’re seeing more extremes.” While last year’s wet spring doesn’t mean Minnesotans should expect flooded basements every year, Snyder said, his work indicates that intense weather events are becoming increasingly frequent in the Upper Midwest.
Star Tribune, 3 Apr 2015

thanks to ddh

where do I put this thermometer?

Queenslanders have been urged to set their fridge temperatures to four degrees celsius to help combat climate change.

Premier Anna Bligh, who launched the initiative at Sea World’s polar bear shores on the Gold Coast, said climate change was everyone’s responsibility. If we had every Queenslander change the temperature of their fridge by one degree, it would be the equivalent of taking 11,000 cars off the road.

A television commercial will screen in the coming months and 50,000 free thermometers will be handed out as part of the campaign.
The Age (Australia), 23 Oct 2007

fore!

An environmental expert in St Andrews has warned the year 2050 could see the town’s famous golf course, the Old Course, crumble into the North Sea. Professor Jan Bebbington, director of the St Andrews Sustainability Institute, has visualised the effect of climate change on Scotland in 50 years.
BBC News, 13 Oct 2008

punch drunk butterflies heaven bound

California butterflies are reeling from a one-two punch of climate change and land development, says an unprecedented analysis led by UC Davis butterfly expert Arthur Shapiro. Their most significant findings:

•Butterfly diversity (the number of different species present) is falling fast at all the sites near sea level. It is declining more slowly or holding roughly constant in the mountains, except at tree line.
•At tree line, butterfly diversity is actually going up, as lower-elevation species react to the warming climate by moving upslope to higher, cooler elevations.
•Diversity among high-elevation butterflies is beginning to fall as temperatures become uncomfortably warm for them and, Shapiro says, “There is nowhere to go except heaven.”

Science Daily, 12 Jan 2010

230 feet (70 metres)

Dr Gillett said the last assessment of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found human influence could be detected on all continents except Antarctica.

In the Arctic, we have the Greenland ice sheet, in the Antarctic, the Antarctic ice sheet. If those all melted, that would contribute 70 metres to sea level. Now that’s not going to happen in the next century or even several centuries but if even some of that ice starts to melt then that could make a large contribution to sea level rise.
The Age, 31 Oct 2008

cliches not threatened

A study published in the June 10 issue of the journal Nature clearly demonstrates changes in species ranges as butterflies shift north to track a changing climate as the planet warms up.

Camille Parmesan, Ph D., and her co-investigators found that out of 57 species studied in Europe and North Africa, 35 of which there were data for both the northern and southern range boundaries, two thirds had shifted northward. Most of the remaining one third remained stable.

“This puts the nail in the coffin,” said Parmesan of the results. “It’s black and white.”
University of California, Santa Barbara, 10/6/99

less mosquitoes

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Malaria transmission will not increase because of global warming in the African nation of Burundi according to a statistical analysis by researchers in Austria and Burundi. Writing in the International Journal of Global Warming, the team explains that rising temperatures will lead to lower humidity and rainfall which will shorten the lifespan of mosquitoes carrying malaria.
Science Daily, 2 Feb 2011

more mosquitoes

All else being equal, as the planet warms, it seems likely that malaria will become more dangerous to more people. “This is indisputable evidence of a climate effect,” said Mercedes Pascual, a disease ecologist at Michigan and one of authors of the Science paper. “Our findings here underscore the size of the problem and emphasize the need for sustained intervention efforts in these regions, especially in Africa.”
Time.com, 6 mar 2014
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no brides for brothers

“That evening I learnt of a most remarkable consequence of the drought. The Samburu circumcise their youths in grand ceremonies, which are held every seven years or so, when enough cattle and other foods have accumulated to support such celebrations. Circumcision represents a transition to manhood, and until a youth has passed it he can’t marry.

“But it’s been 14 years since a circumcision ceremony has been held here. There are now 40,000 uncircumcised young men, some in their late 20s, waiting their turn. All of the eligible young women, tired of waiting, have married older men (multiple wives are allowed), so there are no wives for the new initiates.

“I could never have imagined that climate change would have such an effect on an entire society.”

The Age, 2 Nov 2007, re Professor Tim Flannery, An Explorers Notebook

is our number up?

Would contact with extraterrestrials benefit or harm humanity? … ecosystem-valuing universalist ETI may observe humanity’s ecological destructive tendencies and wipe humanity out in order to preserve the Earth system as a whole.

These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems.It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets.

Would contact with extraterrestrials benefit or harm humanity? A scenario analysis,, Seth D. Baum, Jacob D. Haqq-Misra, Shawn D. Domagal-Goldman, Acta Astronautica (2011) 68:2114-2129

thanks to Andrew Mark Harding