divinely inspired

Wednesday at a ceremony to appoint Texas lawyer Shaarik Zafar to be special representative to Muslim communities, Secretary of State John Kerry said it was the United States’ Biblical “responsibility” to “confront climate change,” including to protect “vulnerable Muslim majority countries.”

Kerry said Scripture, in particular the Book of Genesis, make clear it is our “duty” to protect the planet and we should look at Muslim countries “with a sense of stewardship of earth,” adding, “That responsibility comes from God.”

Breitbart, 3 Sep 2014

things are getting itchier

Another reason to worry about global warming: more and itchier poison ivy.

The noxious vine grows faster and bigger as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, researchers report Monday. Their study appears in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“The fertilization effect of rising CO2 on poison ivy … and the shift toward a more allergenic form of urushiol have important implications for the future health of both humans and forests,” the study concludes.

NBC News, 30 May 2006

the cookie crumbles

Some must-have ingredients for cookies and other baked goods are already feeling the climate change pinch.

Peanut butter prices are spiking after the southern US saw one of the worst harvests in decades, thanks to out-of-the-ordinary extreme heat over the summer.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the peanut harvest is down nearly 15% compared to last year.

Likewise, extreme temperatures in Texas have hampered pecan production, while a recent study published in the journal Science found that yields of wheat are down about 5% since the 1980s.

Prevention 12 Apr 2012 – 8 Weird ways climate change is ruining everything

beavers have been too busy

A study found that the beaver is playing an increasing part in climate change because the dams they build for shelter create shallow, stagnant ponds of water which allow biological material to build up on the bottom of the river.

The production of methane is accelerated because stationary pools of water contain much less oxygen than a flowing river interacting with the atmosphere and microbes thrive in low-oxygen environments.

The study, by the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, estimates that beavers are indirectly producing 200 times more methane today than they were in 1900, when fur hunting had largely wiped out the populations in North American, Europe and Asia.

The Independent, 17 Dec 2014

together in ….

Water shortages and drought are having an impact on cotton production, causing price fluctuations and even a shortage in denim.

A pair of jeans uses 919 gallons of water during its life cycle, enough to fill 15 spa-size bathtubs. That includes the water that goes into irrigating the cotton crop, stitching the jeans together and washing them scores of times at home.

The company wants to reduce that number any way it can, and not just to project environmental responsibility. It fears that water shortages caused by climate change may jeopardize the company’s very existence in the coming decades by making cotton too expensive or scarce.

Although scientists are wary of linking specific extreme weather events to climate change, recent increases in floods and droughts are in line with patterns that experts have long projected would result from global warming.

New York Times, 1 Nov 2011

do your bit!

Keen to do your bit for global warming but can’t bear to part with your four-wheel-drive? Now you can be both a greenie and a gas guzzler by investing in projects slowing climate change.

People keen to compensate for the environmental impact of their cars and air travel are tipped to become big buyers of carbon credits, a greenhouse gas conference heard yesterday.

Under the State Government’s two-year-old Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme, energy suppliers such as AGL and Energy Australia must buy carbon credits to meet mandatory targets for reducing greenhouse gas.

There is increasing interest from non-liable parties in buying [carbon credits], the program head, Margaret Sniffen, told yesterday’s greenhouse conference.

Sydney Morning Herald, 9 Feb 2005

Christmas surprise

Forget decking the halls with boughs of holly. Native Wollemi pine trees, bags of cattle manure and carbon-offset gift vouchers are the way to achieve a sustainable Christmas this year, conservationists say.

Buying antique or pre-loved gifts from second-hand stores or the online auction site eBay avoids emissions from the manufacture of new ones.

Second-hand and recycled gifts are encouraged this year, and for that person who has everything – including a large carbon footprint – Origin Energy (www.originenergy.com.au) and Climate Friendly (www.climate friendly.com) offer gift certificates that offset carbon emissions.

Or, for between $15 and $40, Christmas shoppers can buy a duck, mosquito nets, cattle manure and literacy classes through aid group Oxfam Australia’s Unwrapped program to help those less fortunate.

Sun Herald (Australia), 14 Dec 2008

no flies on you!

House flies at Everest basecamp are another sign of climate change that is melting glaciers with worrying speed. Earlier this year Dawa Steven Sherpa was resting at Everest base camp when he and his companions heard something buzzing.

“What the heck is that?” asked the young Nepali climber. They searched and found a big black house fly, something unimaginable just a few years ago when no insect could have survived at 5,360 metres.

It’s happened twice this year – the Himalayas are warming up and changing fast, says Dawa, who only took up climbing seriously in 2006, but in a few years has climbed Everest twice as well as two 8,000m peaks in Tibet.

Heat Is Online, 12 Oct 2009 – originally The Guardian (UK) 12 Oct 2009)

just when you thought it was safe…

Two deaths in the waters off California and Mexico last week and a spate of shark-inflicted injuries to surfers off Florida’s Atlantic coast have left beachgoers seeking an explanation for a sudden surge in the number of strikes.

In the first four months of this year, there were four fatal shark attacks worldwide, compared with one in the whole of 2007, according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.

A contributory factor to the location of shark attacks could be global warming and rising sea temperatures.

‘You’ll find that some species will begin to appear in places they didn’t in the past with some regularity,’ Dr George Burgess of Florida University said.

The Guardian, 4 May 2008

see also – invasion!

silver lining?

The global financial crisis could give the world two or three years of much-needed time to step up the fight to slow climate change the climate change advisor for the former federal government, Ross Garnaut, said.

Professor Garnaut told a conference of agricultural and resource economists in Cairns that the crisis for markets will not change the extent of global warming the world faces, but will delay its onset by several years.

“The global financial crisis gives us a little breathing space but mitigation of climate change remains urgent, and of central importance,” he said

The Age (Australia), 12 Feb 2009 – screen copy held by this website

making waves

Climate change’s effect on the size of waves in the world’s oceans could be more significant than sea-level rise, scientists warn.

An international team led by CSIRO researcher Mark Hemer has begun studying how global warming will influence the generation of swells and what impact that may have on sandy coastlines such as Australia’s.

Newcastle Herald, 19 Apr 2013