in support of small shops

Neighbourhood shops and farmers’ market will gain currency in the coming days, as reduction in vegetable transport will help save fuel and thereby help reduce global warming, said G, Nammalvar, organic farming scientist on Thursday.

Transportation of food items formed a considerable part in the entire transport industry, he added and suggested that shops like the Greens Shop would be best answer to reduce transportation.

Dr. Nammalvar suggested that ideal situation would be one where the distance between the points of production and sale was not more than 30 km. And, the presence of farmers’ and community markets would ensure absence of middlemen.

The Hindu, 26 Apr 2008

fragile coast

More than 700,000 Australian homes are vulnerable to rising sea levels, with up to $150 billion worth of homes, property and infrastructure at risk of seawater inundation, a parliamentary inquiry has heard.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts sea levels could rise between 0.18 metres and 0.59 metres over the next 100 years. But even a small rise will dramatically change Australia’s coastline, the department warns.

“It is estimated that erodible coasts will recede one metre for every one centimetre rise in sea level. Storm surges will exacerbate coastal erosion.” But even a small rise will dramatically change Australia’s coastline, the department warns. “It is estimated that erodible coasts will recede one metre for every one centimetre rise in sea level. Storm surges will exacerbate coastal erosion.”

Other experts believe sea levels could jump even more dramatically, rising several metres over the next century, inundating thousands of homes and threatening infrastructure.

The concern is that a threshold may soon be passed beyond which we’ll be committed to losing most or all of the Greenland ice sheet, said Professor Steffen of the Australian National University.

“This would lead to 6 metres of sea level rise (with enormous implications for Australia), although the time frame required to lose this amount of ice is highly uncertain, ranging from a century to a millennium or more.”

Sydney Morning Herald, 17 Oct 2008

see also – just plain scary

moving target

In Sydney to address the Metropolis conference, Dr Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said many scientists believed that even a 450 ppm target was not strong enough.

“There are a section of scientists and some analysts that are actually now saying that 450 is a bit too high and what we should be targeting is 350.”

Pointing to the dangerous predicament of low lying island nations such as Kiribati and the Maldives, Dr Pachauri said: “If you talk to the president of [the] Maldives, indeed the people of the Maldive Islands, they’re living in a state of fear.

Dr Pachauri warned the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere was already contributing to sea-level rise.

If the world’s big ice sheets kept melting, “you are talking about well over a metre of sea-level rise and that, to my mind, is going to be disastrous for hundreds of millions of people”.

Sydney Morning Herald, 24 Oct 2008

see also – just plain scary

frisky coral

Australian scientists have discovered some rare corals with promiscuous habits that could be helping them to breed their way out of extinction.

Faced with a shortage of mates of their own kind, these rare corals have cast a wider net and started cross-breeding with other coral species, producing hybrids.

It pushes the boundaries of our traditional understanding of species, said a researcher, Zoe Richards. “They are being a little promiscuous.”

By cross-breeding with other species, rare corals can increase their ability to adapt to the pressures of climate change and other human threats.

This is a mechanism enabling rare species to continue to reproduce and to continue to evolve as a species rather than die out, said Ms Richards, a marine scientist at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

With such tricks up their sleeves, it is even possible that the rare corals of today could become the common corals of the future.

Sydney Morning Herald, 22 Oct 2008

a new environmental warrior!

Stand aside Al Gore, there’s a new environmental warrior on the scene and his name is Jason Kimberley. He’s the photographer, author and Antarctic explorer who has a chilling message about the future of this planet and he’s delivering it via the movement he’s created, Cool Melbourne.

“I want to make sure all Melburnians know how poorly we’re treating our environment and how we need to improve,” an ardent Kimberley told Diary.

So what has Kimberley done to reduce the number of black balloons he sends up and away? He’s switched to a hybrid car, double-glazed his windows, installed solar heating and a water tank, bought friendly appliances, adn started a vegie patch. The Cool Melbourne websote says kiddies can do their bit by eating “nude food” – swapping plastic wrap and foil for reusable containers. Even adults can go nude (in a culinary sense).

The Age (Australia), 13 May 2008 – screen copy held by this website

Climate conference emits hot air!

Amid talk of offsetting the hefty carbon footprint of the United Nations climate conference in Bali, organisers missed a large elephant in the room.

The air-conditioning system installed to keep more than 10,000 delegates cool used highly damaging refrigerant gases – as lethal to the atmosphere as 48,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, and nearly the equivalent of the emissions of all aircraft used to fly delegates to Indonesia.

In addition, the refrigerant is a potent greenhouse gas, with each kilogram at least as damaging as 1.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Investigators at the Balinese resort complex at Nusa Dua counted 700 cylinders of the gas, each of them weighing 13.5 kilograms, and the system was visibly leaking.

Sydney Morning Herald, 18 Dec 2007

time is up for sheep and cattle!

In his report on climate change released at the beginning of the month, Professor Garnaut said that the price of beef and land would soar to a point where only wealthy households could afford beef.

Citing research, he said kangaroo meat “Could again become important” and that if a way to reduce methane emissions from livestock wasn’t found, 7 million cattle and 36 million sheep could be replaced by 175 million farmed kangaroos.

Kangaroos produce no methane, and the other environmental benefit is that kangaroos have soft feet, which means less damage to the land and less soil erosion compared to sheep and cattle.

Newcastle Herald (Australia), 15 Oct 2008 – screen copy held by this website

true believers rocked!

“It’s time to get over big government. I know most Australians did so aeons ago but a few hold-outs, such as myself, kept the faith.

The Government’s wimpish response to the crisis of climate change has rocked the faith of the true believers. We can’t wait any longer for government to provide leadership, the price signals and incentives push us towards a simpler life.

If the planet is to be saved it will have to start at the bottom, with people deciding to change the way they live. People power, we can only hope will embolden the Government to do the right thing.

It would seem that whatever personal action we take to reduce our carbon footprint – buy a hybrid car, install solar heating, give up meat – will be negated by a Chinese family now rich enough to buy its first car and first fridge, who will replace the carbon dioxide we have virtuously reduced.”

Adele Horin, Sydney Morning Herald, 19 Jul 2008 – screen copy held by this website

living within means

Continuing global economic growth “is not possible” if nations are to tackle climate change, a report by an environmental think-tank has warned.

The New Economics Foundation (Nef) said “unprecedented and probably impossible” carbon reductions would be needed to hold temperature rises below 2C (3.6F).

Scientists say exceeding this limit could lead to dangerous global warming.

We urgently need to change our economy to live within its environmental budget, said Nef’s policy director Andrew Simms

Heat Is Online – orig BBCNews, 25 Jan 2010

citizen science

One of the clearest measures of global warming is right outside your window: earlier blooming and budding plants in the spring.

Project BudBurst scientists are getting reports that common lilac, red maples, Virginia bluebells and other popular ornamental plants on their “10 Most Wanted” list are waking up earlier in the spring than ever — a sign that the climate is heating up.

We’re seeing that the data show that spring is advancing, said Sandra Henderson of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which oversees Project BudBurst.

All the instructions for participating, including a geolocator so participants can report their whereabouts, are available at the project website.

An application that allows citizen scientists to report their findings on their cell phones may soon be available, Henderson said. UCLA is working on a mobile phone application to do it, Henderson said.

The application will allow users to quickly send in photos documenting what a plant in a particular location is doing on a given day.

Project BudBurst and other citizen science campaigns is actually empowering, said Henderson. “We want people to be outside in a meaningful way.”

Heat Is Online, 22 Apr 2010 – Discovery.com

out of fashion

Designers and fashion experts fear the increasingly unpredictable weather could see the back of the industry’s traditional, seasonal collections.

They have been the framework for the fashion calendar for so long but could now become meaningless because of the topsy-turvy weather.

The impact on the industry, which currently revolves around a major seasonal change twice a year, could be enormous.

British designer Katherine Hamnett said: “The entire clothing industry is upside-down right now and has been for some time. We have bikinis being sold in January, and fur coats being sold in August. It’s bonkers.

Daily Mail, 9 Oct 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

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

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

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

turtles skewed

Some of Australia’s most vulnerable native animals could die out as climate change takes its toll on their already fragile existence.

The warning is contained in a report that catalogues the risks facing 11 species from the impact of rising temperatures and rainfall decline.

The report, produced by environmental group WWF and a research team from Macquarie University, says global warming could skew the sex ratios for marine turtles in favour of females, as sex is determined by the incubation temperature of eggs.

Tammie Matson from the WWF, said while Australian species had adapted to climate change in the past, many were now suffering from habitat loss and introduced predators.

“Climate change is just another factor in the mix that could spell extinction for a number of species,” Dr Matson said. “It will exacerbate existing threats. It will tip some species over the edge.”

The Age (Australia), 25 Mat 2008 – screen copy held by this website

chameleon parrots

Scientists are investigating a link between colour and climate in a study of why the Australian parrots vary from red to orange to yellow.

Birds that live in lower-rainfall parts of south-east Australia, such as along the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers, have a plumage of pale yellow.

But in higher-rainfall areas such as Gippsland and along the Great Divide, these rosellas remain truer to their name and are rich red.

With climate change it could be possible to see more yellow forms of the crimson rosella in Victoria, Deakin University’s Andy Bennett said.

With increasing aridity, Professor Bennett said, the boundary between the yellow and red varieties could move, resulting in a larger area populated by yellow rosellas.

Sydney Morning Herald, 15 Oct 2008

ban fireworks

With droughts and wildfires hitting many parts of the U.S., municipalities from Colorado to Tennessee canceled July 4th public fireworks displays or banned personal fireworks this year, citing the fire hazards they posed.

In June, a study published in the journal Ecosphere found that almost all of North America will see more wildfires by 2100, reported Reuters.

The study’s lead author, Max Moritz, said, “In the long run, we found what most fear – increasing fire activity across large areas of the planet.”

Huffington Post, 11 Aug 2012 – What Climate Change Just Might Ruin

mound-building Mallee fowl takes a hit!

For nearly 20 years, Joe Benshemensh has been monitoring the mound-building Mallee fowl, trying to discern what’s killing them off, and whether they have a future.

“If climate change is a reality then the prognosis is dire. On the other hand, they have a geographic range that gives us some hope they won’t be eliminated, just take a severe hit. Our big challenge is to modify the monitoring program, to actively preserve them.”

The Sunday Age (Australia), 1 Jun 2008 – screen copy held by this website

…but can new wine be put in new bottles?

World wine producers face rising challenges from global warming and soaring fuel costs but any price increases will be bearable, the head of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine said yesterday.

More efficient producers, who find how to produce better wine even with rising costs, will be the winners, Frederico Castellucci said shortly after being re-elected director-general at the organistion’s congress, where 44 countries were represented.

Solutions being researched including lighter bottles and other packaging such as boxes, increased competition and cost-saving efforts could speed the trend to bigger plots, he said.

The Sun Herald (Australia), 22 Jun 2008 – screen copy held by this website

flat as a …

pancakes

It may be a bit harder to drown your pancakes in maple syrup in the future, studies suggest.

According to a 2010 Cornell University study, “maple syrup production in the Northeast is expected to slightly decline by 2100, and the window for tapping trees will move earlier by about a month.”

Additionally, most maple syrup production south of Pennsylvania “will likely be lost by 2100 due to lack of freezing.”

Huffington Post, 11 Aug 2012 What Climate Change Just Might Ruin

in search of the secetive chestnut rail

Stephen Garnett, a professor of tropical knowledge at Charles Darwin University believes global warming will herald stronger and more frequent cyclones and, as habitats change, life forms will fight for space or even existence.

Consider the chestnut rail, a secretive bird whose ginger body and green beak make it prettier than it sounds – a raucous “wack waka, wah-wah”, alternated with grunts – and once common on Marchinbar Island, about 640 kilometres north-east of Darwin.

Since Cyclone Monica swept through, in April last year, the chestnut rail has been nowhere to be seen on the island.

Sydney Morning Herald, 28 Nov 2007

women affected

A California congresswoman warns global warming will be so detrimental to poor women, it will drive them to prostitution.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., has re-introduced legislation that forces the government to address all “policies and programs in the United States that are globally related to climate change” through the lens of gender.

Her resolution, “Recognizing the disparate impact of climate change on women and the efforts of women globally to address climate change,” asserts that long term and catastrophic weather changes will result in drought and destructive weather events such as flooding, which could lead to food shortages, joblessness and disease, along with economic and political crisis on a regional scale.

Since “women will disproportionately face harmful impacts from climate change, particularly in poor and developing nations where women regularly assume increased responsibility for growing the family’s food and collecting water, fuel, and other resources,” the measure reads, they will be the most desperate and vulnerable, forced into situations,“such as sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage.”

Fox News Politics, 27 Mar 2015

Arctic Sea ice – 2012

2012 could be a record year for the extent of Arctic sea ice at its yearly summer minimum.

Walt Meier, a research scientist at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center, said that with recent satellite observations, “It definitely portends a low-ice year, whether it means it will go below 2007 (the record minimum in September), it is too early to tell,” reported LiveScience.

As sea ice declines in the Arctic, countries are anticipating a competition for control of shipping lanes and mineral extraction in the region.

In Antarctica, research from the United States’ Palmer Station on the Antarctic Peninsula has found that “87 percent of the peninsula’s land-bound glaciers are in retreat,” reported OurAmazingPlanet.

Decreasing sea ice levels were also addressed in a recent spoof of Shell’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic this summer.

Huffington Post, 11 Aug 2012 – What Climate Change Just Might Ruin

see also – Arctic sea ice

off the air

A 2011 report from the U.K.’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found that climate change could affect certain infrastructure, like wireless internet.

The Guardian reports, “higher temperatures can reduce the range of wireless communications, rainstorms can impact the reliability of the signal, and drier summers and wetter winters may cause greater subsidence, damaging masts and underground cables,” according to secretary of state for the environment.

The Guardian notes, “The government acknowledges that the impact of climate change on telecommunications is not well understood, but the report raises a series of potential risks.”

Huffington Post, 11 Aug 2012 – What Climate Change Just Might Ruin

more tipping points than a see saw

see_sawEarth may be approaching its points of no return. As Arctic sea ice hits a record low, focus is turning to climate ”tipping points” – a threshold that, once crossed, cannot be reversed and will create fundamental changes to other areas.

“It’s a trigger that leads to more warming at a regional level, but also leads to flow-on effects through other systems,” said Will Steffen, the chief adviser on global warming science to Australia’s Climate Commission. There are about 14 known “tipping elements”, according to a paper published by the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The Age (Australia), 23 Sep 2012

We’re all doomed!

In a world of celebrity filled with sportsmen and actors, Tim Flannery is a rare breed indeed; a celebrity scientist, explorer and writer dubbed the “Indiana Jones of science”.

“We were sliding into a crisis, without anyone knowing. It’s a dire situation which could lead to the collapse of our global civilisation. If we don’t get on top of the problem this decade, we won’t.”

Although he says his book has been well-received by the Australian public, he is disappointed at the lack of political action. “There’s a moral paralysis in both parties,” Flannery says, in typically outspoken fashion. “In the absence of legislative change, we’re doomed.”
The Sydney Morning Herald 24 May 2006 (Tim Flannery was Australia’s first (and last) Climate Commissioner)

Dark Age looms!

knight_on_horseImagine a future in which humanity’s accumulated wisdom about Earth — our vast experience with weather trends, fish spawning and migration patterns, plant pollination and much more — turns increasingly obsolete.

As each decade passes, knowledge of Earth’s past becomes progressively less effective as a guide to the future. Civilization enters a dark age in its practical understanding of our planet.

To comprehend how this could occur, picture yourself in our grandchildren’s time, a century hence. Significant global warming has occurred, as scientists predicted.

Nature’s longstanding, repeatable patterns — relied on for millenniums by humanity to plan everything from infrastructure to agriculture — are no longer so reliable. Cycles that have been largely unwavering during modern human history are disrupted by substantial changes in temperature and precipitation.William B Gail, in New York Times, 19 Apr 2016

thanks to ddh

all bad news

As floods once again hit parts of the UK, experts warn the incidence of gales and floods could increase over the next 50 years, when they predict temperatures will rise by up to two degrees centigrade. Experts even warn that malaria could return to large parts of the UK.

They say the climate change could cause an extra 5,000 deaths from skin cancer every year – and 2,000 from heatwaves. The report published on Friday, by the Expert Group on Climate Change on Health, predicts more intense summer heatwaves, and an increased risk of winter floods and severe gales.

BBC News, 9 Feb 2001

survivor strawberries

With higher temperatures expected in northern latitudes in coming decades, the U.K. has begun a program to develop strawberries that will survive in higher temperatures with less water.

Since chocolate also may be threatened, could sexy chocolate-covered strawberries, a Valentine’s Day staple, be endangered?

According to The Telegraph, Dr. David Simpson, a scientist with England’s East Malling Research, said last year, “Consumer demand for fresh strawberries in the UK has been growing year on year since the early 1990s.

The British growers have done a great job of increasing their productivity to satisfy this demand between April and October.

The future will be challenging due to the impacts of climate change and the withdrawal of many pesticides but the breeding programme at EMR is using the latest scientific approaches to develop a range of varieties that will meet the needs of our growers for the future.”

Huffington Post 11 Aug 2012 What Climate Change Just Might Ruin

weeds

Climate change is likely to increase the number of weeds on Australian farms and undermine traditional methods of killing them, scientists have warned.

Dr Peter Hayman, from the South Australian Research and Development Institute, said rising levels of carbon dioxide and higher temperatures would increase weed problems.

“Farmers face an array of changes cascading from the global climate shift that will require a whole range of adaptive management measures on the ground”. Haymen said.

Sun Herald (Australia) 17 Sep 2006 – screencopy held by website