wolves bridges burnt

For the gray wolves of Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park, climate change has turned their island home from a refuge of solitude into untenable isolation.

Wolves were first spotted on Isle Royale in 1948; they were likely attracted by the moose. But how did either species get out there in the first place? By way of ice bridges from the mainland to the island, said wildlife ecologist Rolf Peterson of Michigan Technological University.

But continued burning of fossil fuels has warmed winter temperatures in the region. Ice formation on Lake Superior has decreased, and ice bridges are becoming increasingly rare.

“In the ’60s, an ice bridge would form about four out of every five years; now, it’s more like one out of every 10 years,” Peterson said. takepart, 16 Mar 2016

all is lost-ski

Global warming will sow destruction across Russia and ex-Soviet states, a report said on Tuesday after the world’s richest countries issued targets on harmful emissions that environmentalists criticized as too soft.

The 52-page report — written by green group WWF and British charity Oxfam — described a grim picture of social, ecological and economic collapse in the world’s biggest country and its former empire unless the world took urgent action. This diagram shows infrastructure collapse.

When the temperature rises the infrastructure breaks, WWF climate change expert in Russia Alexei Kokorin said holding up a diagram of the ex-Soviet Union swathed in bands of red, orange and yellow at a presentation of the report in Moscow.

We must understand that damage caused by climate change is here and now rather than a problem in the distant future, in distant lands, WWF’s director in Russia, Igor Chestin, said in a statement alongside the report.

“We must understand that damage caused by climate change is here and now rather than a problem in the distant future, in distant lands,” WWF’s director in Russia, Igor Chestin, said in a statement alongside the report. “There’s a lot at stake, including our health and even our lives.”

Reuters, 8 Jul 2008

Venice will rise again!

The cities of Venice, Italy and New Orleans, Louisiana have a tremendous problem in common. They are both built on river sediments and they are both slowly sinking into the sea.

Venice (the old city) is currently virtually exactly at sea level (and sinking) while New Orleans is already around 7 feet BELOW sea level (and sinking) and has had to be protected by levees surrounding it which keep the Mississippi River and a large lake and the water from the Gulf of Mexico out.

In 2002, I realized that it was actually possible to essentially hydrostatically ‘jack up’ the massive region of Venice and the surrounding area, at a rate of about one inch (2,5 cm) per month, by using river water sent down into selective water wells to develop hydrostatic pressure down there.

If a thousand gallons of water from local rivers is sent down every minute, in each of thirty standard water wells, that water is INCOMPRESSIBLE. In a five year period of this (natural) process, we should lift Venice and the entire region by about FIVE VERTICAL FEET, thereby totally solving Venice’s problem.

The process is NATURAL (river water falling down wells to develop pressure) and amazingly cheap and easy to do! C Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from Univ of Chicago, 16 Aug 2016

And what do we do now?

Our world is about to change dramatically. We have already “locked in” global average warming of at least 2 degrees, which will have major impacts on food, water and global security.

Catastrophic outcomes – including economic, social, and ecological collapses – are likely even if, as Gilding expects, we manage to engineer a global emergency response. A world where half of all species becomes extinct is likely if an additional 2 billion people try to live like those in the most developed countries.

With planetary capacity already starkly breached, what happens then? And what do we do now?

The Age, 28 May 2011

more frequent and severe

This is the world we have changed, and we have to live in it – the world that caused the 2003 heatwave in Europe that killed more than 50,000 people and the 2011 drought in Texas that caused more than $5 billion in damage. Such events, our data shows, will become even more frequent and more severe said James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The Age, 7 Aug 2012 – screencopy held by this website

the crust beneath our feet

Reports by international groups of researchers – to be presented at a London conference next week – will show that climate change, caused by rising outputs of carbon dioxide from vehicles, factories and power stations, will not only affect the atmosphere and the sea but will alter the geology of the Earth.

Melting glaciers will set off avalanches, floods and mud flows in the Alps and other mountain ranges; torrential rainfall in the UK is likely to cause widespread erosion; while disappearing Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets threaten to let loose underwater landslides, triggering tsunamis that could even strike the seas around Britain.

“Not only are the oceans and atmosphere conspiring against us, bringing baking temperatures, more powerful storms and floods, but the crust beneath our feet seems likely to join in too,” said Professor Bill McGuire, director of the Benfield Hazard Research Centre, at University College London (UCL).

The Guardian, 6 Sep 2009

play misty for me

Enter “marine cloud brightening,” a geoengineering scheme that would increase cloud reflectivity over the ocean by spraying them with an ultrafine saltwater mist from ships.

The clouds, containing more particles, would cast enough sunlight back into space to at least partially offset the warming effects of all that CO2 from burning fossil fuels.

Stephen Salter, an emeritus professor of engineering design at the University of Edinburgh is the lead and was for many years the only engineer working on a proposal to accomplish marine cloud brightening by populating the world’s oceans with up to 1,500 ships of a somewhat exotic design—sometimes known as “albedo yachts”.

Each vessel would be remote-controlled, wind-powered, and capable of generating (via turbines dragged through the water) the electricity required to create a mist of seawater and loft it 1,000 meters into the atmosphere.

Scientific American, 21 Oct 2009

plagues

Climatic changes could lead to more outbreaks of bubonic plague among human populations, a study suggests.

Researchers found that the bacterium that caused the deadly disease became more widespread following warmer springs and wetter summers. The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Writing in the paper, co-author Nils Stenseth from the University of Oslo said: “The desert regions of Central Asia are known to contain natural foci of plague where the great gerbil (Rhombomys opimus) is the primary host.”

BBC News, 22 Aug 2006

disappearing beach

Bondi beach will shrink to a thin ribbon of sand and extreme storm surges would reach the top of its concrete sea wall, research commissioned by the local council shows.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released on Friday, found the sea level would rise and could be expected to be up to 80 centimetres higher by the end of the century.

In the case of an 80-centimetre rise in sea levels, high tides would regularly flood parts of many Sydney suburbs that are close to water, including sections of Annandale, Mosman, Marrickville, Brighton-le-Sands, Sylvania Waters, Five Dock and Narrabeen.

Rob Brander, a senior lecturer at the University of NSW specialising in coastal geomorphology, said Sydney’s coastal regions faced significant impacts from rising sea levels.

“If a beach shifts landward, it hasn’t got many places to go,” Dr Brander said. “Beaches will get narrower and low-lying coastal properties will face damage.”Sydney Morning Herald, 29 Sep 2013

team’s target

A team of scientists from Australia and New Zealand is warning that unless global warming can be capped at a rise of 2 degrees or less, the Antarctic Ice Shelves will collapse. They say that could add another 40cm to sea level rises by the end of the century, instead of the 5cm that has been previously forecast.

If we don’t hit that two degree target, then actually we’ve committed to several metres of sea level rise over the next few centuries, and thousands of years after that said Dr Chris Fogwill from the University of New South Wales’ Climate Change Research Centre.

ABC News (Australia), 15 Oct 2015

polar bears get the elbow

Polar bears are likely to lose out to grizzly bears in fierce competition for food as climate change drives the two species closer together into shared habitat, biologists concluded in a study.

The research was based on 3-D computer modeling that compared the skull and jaw strength of the two bruins and found polar bears ill-suited to the tougher chewing demands posed by the largely vegetarian diet of their grizzly cousins.

This is one additional piece of evidence that things look pretty bleak for the polar bear, if current trends continue, said Graham Slater, the lead author of the research. Polar bears already are losing habitat as rising Arctic temperatures diminish the sea ice they depend on to hunt for seals.

As the ice continues to shrink, polar bears will be forced to seek additional food sources. To people who say polar bears can just change their diet, we are saying … they will have to, but it probably will not be sufficient for them, especially if they are co-existing with grizzly bears, said Blair Van Valkenburgh, senior author of the paper.

Heat Is Online, 24 Nov 2010 – Reuters

save the planet with fake trees!

Professor Klaus Lackner (Geophysics, Columbia University Earth Institute): Just like the leaves of a tree have air blowing over them, and they manage to extract some of the CO2 as it floats over the leaf’s surface, this device has surfaces over which the wind blows, and it gives up a fraction of its CO2 as it goes through. So the idea of this device is to capture carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Yes, it doesn’t look like a tree, because it’s just has functionally this one part in common. It doesn’t, like a normal tree, try to convert this with sunshine into starches. So the leaves of this tree do not have to be exposed to the sunshine, so they are stacked much more tightly. And, consequently, this synthetic tree is capable of collecting much more CO2 out of the wind than an ordinary tree would.

npr.org, 3 Dec 2007

truffles under threat!

The black truffle, one of the most exclusive and expensive delicacies on the planet, is under threat from climate change.

A mysterious species of underground fungi with reported aphrodisiac and therapeutic properties, the aromatic truffles are also highly fragile and cannot withstand more than three weeks without water.

But prolonged drought in many of their prime growing regions in Europe and predictions about global warming suggest the future is about as black as the truffles themselves, to the despair of the growers.

“The bad harvest years, which used to be the exception, are becoming the norm,” Jean-Charles Savignac, President of the Federation Francaise des Trufficulteurs (FFT), told Reuters.

Reuters, 16 May 2008

the flight of the bumble bee

Global warming is shrinking the terrain where bumblebees live in North America and Europe, with these vital pollinators departing the southernmost and hottest parts of their ranges while failing to move north into cooler climes, scientists say.

Their study, published on Thursday, used records from 1901 to 2010 to track 67 bumblebee species, finding that the insects have surrendered about 185 miles (300 km) from the southern end of the regions they called home on both continents.

This is the ‘climate vise,’ said University of Ottawa biologist Jeremy Kerr, with the bumblebees “stuck at the northern edges of ranges while the southern edges are crushed inward and those populations are lost.”

Bumblebees are declining incredibly fast and the fingerprints of human-caused climate change are all over these changes, Kerr added. “Even more incredibly to us, these effects are often nearly identical across continents, occurring at the same pace in both Europe and North America.” Kerr said dramatic action should be considered: a proposal called “assisted migration” involving a large-scale relocation of bee populations into new areas where they might thrive.

More generally, losing pollinators is a sign that we are playing dangerously with life-support systems we can’t do without, Kerr added. “That is an experiment we should never have started.” Heat Is Online, 10 Jul 2015 – Reuters

grim outlook

Climate change is the latest threat to the world’s growing HIV epidemic, say Australian experts who warn of the “grim” outlook in the fight against the infectious disease.

Prominent HIV scientist Professor David Cooper, director of the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, agreed environmental change would have a negative impact on HIV sufferers.

Climate change will lead to food scarcity and poorer nutrition, putting people with perilous immune systems at more risk of dying of HIV, as well as contracting and transmitting new and unusual infections, Prof Cooper said.

The Age (Australia), 29/4/2008

watch where you’re standing!

A former member of the Clinton administration, and current Senior Fellow at the virtual Clinton think tank the Center for American Progress, claimed Monday that global warming might have played a factor in the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis last week.

Writing at Climate Progress, the global warming blog of CAP, Joseph Romm – who served as Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy in 1997 and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary from 1995 though 1998 – stated in a piece entitled “Did Climate Change Contribute To The Minneapolis Bridge Collapse?”

“Certainly climate change will have the biggest infrastructure impact on our coastal cities, water and sewage systems, levees, and electric grid. But given that a remarkable 70,000 other bridges in the country are also structurally deficient, we should seek to learn whether such troubled bridges can take the ever-growing stresses generated by global warming.”

“We need to be as prepared as possible for a changed climate – as the Center for American Progress has previously argued. Indeed, if the adapters have their way in blocking serious efforts aimed at prevention, we’ll need to be prepared for the very worst.”

mrc Newsbusters, 7 Aug 2007

invasion of the crocodile-eating snakes!

Scientists recently found bones from a 60-million year old giant snake in Colombia—a snake that weighed a ton, and was as long as a school bus.

Paleontologist Jonathan Bloch of the Florida Museum of Natural History was on the team. He says the find also tells us about climate, because cold-blooded animals depend on ambient heat for their metabolism.

Bloch says it must have been ten degrees hotter in Colombia back then—contrary to a leading theory that tropical climates don’t change as much as others. So today’s warming trend may have an even wider impact than we thought.

Bloch’s team made some other inferences as well. For example, the snake would have been larger than anything else at the time, so it could have easily eaten whatever it liked, including primitive crocodiles!

They also suggest that the extinction of the dinosaurs may have set the stage for this giant snake to become king of the land for millions of years.

Science Net Links, 4 May 2009

see also – invasion!

moths move up

Global warming is forcing tropical species uphill to escape the rising temperatures at a rate of more than a metre a year, a new study from the mountains of Borneo suggests.

More than four decades after a group of undergraduate students visited the south-east Asian island in 1965, a team of British scientists returned to the same sites on Mount Kinabalu to repeat their survey of moths.

The group of six, including a member of the original trip, found that on average the insects had raised the altitude of their range by 67m.

The Guardian, 29 Jan 2009

opening the vent

The Pacific Ocean may open a “heat vent” above it that releases enough energy into space to reduce projected climate warming caused by the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

High clouds over the western tropical Pacific Ocean seem to decrease when sea surface temperatures are higher, said Arthur Hou of the American space agency, Nasa.

The mechanism allows the heat to escape, keeping the oceans cool.

The newly discovered vent, if confirmed, could significantly reduce estimates of future global warming now being put forward by computer models of the Earth’s climate.

BBC News, 5 Mar 2001

cloud ships

Special ships that create clouds by spraying seawater into the air could be the most cost effective way of tackling climate change, new research has found.

The technique, known as marine cloud whitening, would create clouds above the Pacific Ocean that would have a cooling effect by reflecting sunlight away from Earth.

A wind-powered fleet of nearly 2,000 ships would criss-cross the sea, sucking up sea water and spraying it upwards through tall funnels.

‘When you spray saltwater into the air, you create nuclei that cloud condenses around, creating bigger and whiter clouds, thus bouncing more sunlight back into space,’ said David Young from the think-tank that commissioned the study.

The paper by Professor Eric Bickel and Lee Lane looked into the costs of potential climate engineering projects. It was commissioned by the Copenhagen Consensus Centre that advises governments how to spend aid money. Daily Mail, 8 Aug 2009

sink or …

The idea was conceived by advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, who were commissioned by banking giant HSBC to promote its £50million project tackling climate change.

The Ogilvy team came up with an innovative way to show the adverse impact of global climate change.They glued an aerial view of a city to the base of a swimming pool. When the pool was filled with water, it gave a shocking effect akin to a city submerged in water.

The visual of a sunken city shocked swimmers and onlookers, driving home the impact of global warming, and how it could destroy our world someday.

The Telegraph, 26 Nov 2008

fisher-free

A group of scientists have called for the Coral Sea to be declared the world’s largest marine protected area, but the fishing industry says the idea is ludicrous.

Marine researchers said the Coral Sea, which covers one million square kilometres bordering the Great Barrier Reef, should become a non-fishing area to protect its immense environmental and heritage values from the escalating threats of overfishing and climate change.

Professor Terry Hughes, of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, said there was overwhelming evidence the world’s marine ecosystems have been seriously degraded by overfishing, pollution and global warming.

“These trends call for urgent, practical solutions” said Professor Hughes.

The Age (Australia), 10 Sep 2008

bats falling like flies

Overheated flying foxes, panting and frantically fanning themselves with their wings, fell from the trees in New South Wales, Australia, six years ago.

Up to 3,500 black and grey-headed flying foxes died on the ground beneath their roosts, victims, researchers believe, of heat waves that pushed temperatures to 108 degrees F (42º C). In this era of looming climate change, such scorching temperatures are occurring more often.

Tragically so: since 1994, more than 30,000 flying foxes have died in New South Wales, apparently because of at least 19 episodes of extreme heat.

Climate Change and Bats, Volume 26, Issue 2, Summer 2008

kiss the carbon years goodbye!

Get excited about an energy revolution, Visualize our Earth from space, Know that it’s fragile,

..Don’t drive, unless you have to, Walk more *Cycle more* Skate more…Avoid drive-thrus…Avoid fast food*Eat Less Meat, Share what you have*Buy Less Stuff, Reuse Before you Recycle, Dig up the concrete….Put your hot water heater on a timer…

Support climate friendly politicians…Put on a sweater….Buy tree-free or post-consumer paper….Use a clothsline instead of a dryer, Dream of a solar-hydrogen economy

….Kiss the carbon years goodbye, Our world will be whole, And Healed Tomorrow, If We Pay Attention Today.

Syracuse Cultural Workers postcard, How to end global warming, 2007

but it’s meat and drink to me!

Eating less lamb and drinking fewer pints will help save the planet, according to a Government advisor.

Diners are being encouraged to eat more pork and chicken instead, as they produce fewer carbon emissions. The study also found that alcoholic drinks contribute significantly to emissions with the growing and procesing of hops and malt into beer and whisky prodcing 1.5 percent of Britain’s greenhouse gases.

“Changing our lifesyles, including our diets, is going to be one of the crucial elements in cutrting carbon emissions,” said David Kennedy, chief executive officer of the Committee on Climate Change.

Mr Kennedy, who says he has stopped eating kebabs because they contain lamb, added:”We are not saying that everyone should become vegetarian or give up drinking but moving towards less carbon intensive foods will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve health.”

The Telegraph, 24 May 2009

walking on thin ice

While the steady disappearance of sea ice in the Arctic has been one of the hallmark effects of global warming, research shows it is not only covering less of the planet, but it’s also getting significantly thinner.

That makes it more susceptible to melting, potentially altering local ecosystems, shipping routes and ocean and atmospheric patterns. In estimating ice thickness, satellites must try to gauge thickness differences of just a few feet from hundreds of miles above the planet’s surface.

“It’s a tricky business,” University of Washington researcher, Ron Lindsay said.

The Guardian, 5 March 2015

bring back Sunday!

The power of public opinion and citizen action will have a strong impact on the climate conference taking place in Copenhagen.

One thing we can easily do to achieve this goal: we can declare Sunday to be a fossil fuel-free day or a low-carbon day or at least an energy-saving day. We can start this week, this month or in 2010. We can start individually and collectively.

The long journey to cut carbon dioxide emissions can start in the here and now….in the context of excessive carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, which are bringing catastrophic upheavals, we can and should restore Sunday to a day for Gaia, a day for the Earth.

The Guardian, 17 Sep 2009

poisoned chalice

“Global energy, food and water security are also poised on a knife edge…Australian leaders glibly talk about adapting to a 4-degree world with little idea of what it means – which is a world of 1 billion people rather than the present 7 billion…The damage caused by this culture threatens the very foundations of democratic society…Adversarial politics and corporate myopia are incapable of addressing life-threatening climate change.”

“The community must go around these barriers and demand leaders take urgent action before the poisoned chalice we pass to our grandchildren becomes even more toxic.” Ian Dunlop chaired the Australian Greenhouse Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading 1998-2000.

Sydney Morning Herald, 22 Sep 2012

worse than we thought – toll on plants and animals!

Human-enhanced climate change is taking its toll on the world’s plants, animals and physical environment much more quickly than previously thought, scientists have warned.

An international research team has found that many accounts of plants flowering early, birds changing their migration habits, and glaciers and mountain snow melting were most likely the result of rising greenhouses gases.

Climate change from greenhouse gases is not only affecting the temperature, David Karoly, a professor from the University of Melbourne’s school of earth sciences and a member of the research team, said yesterday.

“It is already affecting ecosystems, and other systems, like glaciers. It is happening earlier than previous studies would have indicated. When you look at the different signals across the globe, you can see that message very clearly.”

Sydney Morning Herald, 15 May 2008