CC8C. Staying Current—What Are the Consequences of Global Warming?

Articles from 2022

2022-09-22. Europe’s Shrinking Waterways Reveal Treasures, and Experts Are Worried. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/22/world/europe/europe-rivers-reservoirs-drought.html] By Derrick Bryson Taylor, The New York Times. Excerpt: …Across Europe, once-submerged villages, ships and bridges — some dating back thousands of years — have re-emerged this year as rivers and reservoirs have dried up. The steady stream of gripping photos has circulated while much of the continent faced a string of extreme heat waves and a devastating drought, two phenomena that scientists say are made more likely and more severe by human-caused climate change. …the Spanish Stonehenge, rose from a drought-hit dam west of Madrid. …In Prahovo, Serbia, water levels in the Danube River have fallen so low that more than a dozen sunken Nazi Germany World War II boats are now exposed. And in Northern England, falling water levels at Baitings Reservoir have revealed an ancient packhorse bridge.…

2022-09-15. In a First Study of Pakistan’s Floods, Scientists See Climate Change at Work. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/15/climate/pakistan-floods-global-warming.html] By Raymond Zhong, The New York Times. Excerpt: Pakistan began receiving abnormally heavy rain in mid-June, and, by late August, drenching downpours were declared a national emergency. The southern part of the Indus River, which traverses the length of the country,became a vast lake. Villages have become islands, surrounded by putrid water that stretches to the horizon. More than 1,500 people have died. Floodwaters could take months to recede. The deluges were made worse by global warming caused by greenhouse-gas emissions, scientists said Thursday, drawing upon a fast-growing field of research that gauges the influence of climate change on specific extreme weather events soon after they occur — and while societies are still dealing with their shattering consequences. As climate scientists’ techniques improve, they can assess, with ever-greater confidence and specificity, how human-induced changes in Earth’s chemistry are affecting the severe weather outside our windows, adding weight and urgency to questions about how nations should adapt. The floods in Pakistan are the deadliest in a recent string of eye-popping weather extremes across the Northern Hemisphere: relentless droughts in the Horn of AfricaMexico and China; flash floods in West and Central AfricaIran and the inland United States; searing heat waves in IndiaJapanCaliforniaBritain and Europe. …The country might have experienced disastrously high rainfall this year even without global warming, said the study’s lead author, Friederike Otto, a climate scientist at Imperial College London. “But it’s worse because of climate change,” Dr. Otto said. “And especially in these highly vulnerable regions, small changes matter a lot.”.…

2022-09-10. The Olive Oil Capital of the World, Parched. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/10/business/olive-oil-spain.html] By David Segal and José Bautista, The New York Times. Excerpt: …Drought has ravaged dozens of crops throughout Europe — corn in Romania, rice in Italy, beans in Belgium, and beets and garlic in France. Among the hardest hit is the olive crop of Spain, which produces one half of the world’s olive oil. Nearly half of Spain’s output comes from Jaén — pronounced hi-EN — a landlocked southern province of 5,200 square miles, about the size of Connecticut, that yields far more olive oil annually than all of Italy, according to the International Olive Council. It is often called the olive oil capital of the world. …What happens to a one-crop economy when that crop is scorched by record-breaking temperatures? …Since the Romans began planting this forest centuries ago, olive trees have sustained thousands of farmers and itinerant workers here.…

2022-09-09. At the Great Salt Lake, record salinity and low water imperils millions of birds. [https://www.science.org/content/article/great-salt-lake-record-salinity-and-low-water-imperils-millions-birds] By Eli Kintisch, Science Magazine. Excerpt: Utah’s Great Salt Lake is smaller and saltier than at any time in recorded history. In July, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported that the world’s third-largest saline lake had dropped to the lowest level ever documented. And last week researchers measured the highest salt concentrations ever seen in the lake’s southern arm, a key bird habitat. Salinity has climbed to 18%, exceeding a threshold at which essential microorganisms begin to die.The trends, driven by drought and water diversion, have scientists warning that a critical feeding ground for millions of migrating birds is at risk of collapse. “We’re into uncharted waters,” says biochemist Bonnie Baxter of Westminster College, who has been documenting the lake’s alarming changes. “One week the birds are gone from a spot we usually see them. The next week we see dead flies along the shore. And each week we have to walk further to reach the water.” After years of inaction, the prospect of a dying lake, plus the risk of harmful dust blowing from the dry lakebed, is galvanizing policymakers to find ways of restoring water to the shrinking lake. …This year, however, policymakers sprang into action. In April, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed a landmark series of bills aimed at rescuing the lake and addressing the drought. They include new rules that allow farmers to sell water rights they are not using to groups that will allow the water to flow to the lake. The state earmarked $450 million for water infrastructure and conservation projects, including a $40 million fund that could acquire water for the lake in the future.…

2022-09-08. Just a small rise in Earth’s temperature could cause irreversible ecosystem and weather changes. [https://www.science.org/content/article/just-small-rise-earth-s-temperature-could-cause-irreversible-ecosystem-and-weather] By Cathleen O’Grady, Science Magazine. Excerpt: From melting ice sheets to stressed coral reefs, global warming is changing our world in unmistakable ways. But identifying “tipping points,” thresholds past which such transformations become irreversible or self-sustaining, has been more difficult—and controversial. An expansive study of climate tipping points in this week’s issue Science [Exceeding 1.5°C global warming could trigger multiple climate tipping points] is likely to fuel that discussion. It synthesizes the most current evidence on how much warming would risk passing 16 tipping points, triggering polar ice collapses, permafrost thawing, monsoon disruptions, and forest and coral reef diebacks. Many of these systems are already stressed by rising temperatures, and the study finds the world might already be within the warming range where the risk is elevated. It also concludes that even under the most ambitious scenario for limiting global warming—to 1.5°C compared with preindustrial levels—the planet could still see dramatic changes.…

2022-09-07. The Southern Ocean absorbs more heat than any other ocean on Earth and the impacts will be felt for generations. [https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/sep/08/the-southern-ocean-absorbs-more-heat-than-any-other-ocean-on-earth-and-the-impacts-will-be-felt-for-generations] By Maurice Huguenin, Matthew England and Ryan Holmes, The Guardian. Excerpt: Over the last 50 years, the oceans have been working in overdrive to slow global warming, absorbing about 40% of our carbon dioxide emissions, and more than 90% of the excess heat trapped in the atmosphere. But as our research published today in Nature Communications has found, some oceans work harder than others. We used a computational global ocean circulation model to examine exactly how ocean warming has played out over the last 50 years. And we found the Southern Ocean has dominated the global absorption of heat. In fact, Southern Ocean heat uptake accounts for almost all the planet’s ocean warming, thereby controlling the rate of climate change. This Southern Ocean warming and its associated impacts are effectively irreversible on human timescales, because it takes millennia for heat trapped deep in the ocean to be released back into the atmosphere. This means changes happening now will be felt for generations to come – and those changes are only set to get worse, unless we can stop carbon dioxide emissions and achieve net zero. …Ocean warming buffers the worst impacts of climate change, but it’s not without cost. Sea levels are rising because heat causes water to expand and ice to melt. …if the Southern Ocean continues to account for the vast majority of ocean heat uptake until 2100, we might see its heat content increase by as much as seven times more than what we have already seen up to today. This will have enormous impacts around the globe, such as further disturbances to the Southern Ocean food webrapid melting of Antarctic ice shelves and changes in the ocean conveyor belt.…

2022-08-29. Pakistan floods: plea for help amid fears monsoon could put a third of country underwater. [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/29/pakistan-floods-plea-for-help-amid-fears-monsoon-could-put-a-third-of-country-underwater] By Martin Farrer, The Guardian. Excerpt: Pakistan’s government has appealed for international help to tackle a flooding emergency that has killed more than 1,000 people and threatens to leave a third of the country – an area roughly the size of Britain – underwater. …Sherry Rehman, a Pakistan senator and federal minister for climate change, told AFP on Monday: “What we see now is an ocean of water submerging entire districts. This is very far from a normal monsoon – it is climate dystopia at our doorstep.” Rehman said on Sunday that the warming climate was causing glaciers in mountainous northern regions to melt faster than normal, exacerbating the impact of the heavy rain. Pakistan has more glaciers – 7,532 – than anywhere outside the polar regions.… See also New York Times article.

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2022-08-29. Major sea-level rise caused by melting of Greenland ice cap is ‘now inevitable’. [https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/29/major-sea-level-rise-caused-by-melting-of-greenland-ice-cap-is-now-inevitable-27cm-climate] By Damian Carrington, The Guardian. Excerpt: Major sea-level rise from the melting of the Greenland ice cap is now inevitable, scientists have found, even if the fossil fuel burning that is driving the climate crisis were to end overnight. The research shows the global heating to date will cause an absolute minimum sea-level rise of 27cm (10.6in) from Greenland alone as 110tn tonnes of ice melt. With continued carbon emissions, the melting of other ice caps and thermal expansion of the ocean, a multi-metre sea-level rise appears likely. Billions of people live in coastal regions, making flooding due to rising sea levels one of the greatest long-term impacts of the climate crisis. If Greenland’s record melt year of 2012 becomes a routine occurrence later this century, as is possible, then the ice cap will deliver a “staggering” 78cm of sea-level rise, the scientists said. …the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change used satellite measurements of ice losses from Greenland and the shape of the ice cap from 2000-19. … Mountain glaciers in the Himalayas and the Alps are already on course to lose a third and half of their ice respectively, while the west Antarctic ice sheet is also thought by some scientists to be past the point at which major losses are inevitable. Warming oceans also expand, adding to sea-level rise. “There is growing support in the scientific literature for multi-metre levels of rise within the next 100 to 200 years,” said Colgan. A collapse of the colossal east Antarctic ice sheet, which would lead to a 52-metre rise in sea levels if it all melted, could be averted if rapid climate action is taken.… See also New York Times article.

2022-08-24. Scientists exposed plants to a yearlong drought. The result is worrying for climate change. [https://www.science.org/content/article/scientists-exposed-plants-yearlong-drought-result-worrying-climate-change] By Elizabeth Pennisi, Science Magazine. Excerpt: Europe and many other parts of the world are currently grappling with extreme drought—and that could be bad news for efforts to curb climate change, concludes a new global study of how shrubs and grasses respond to parched conditions. Grasslands and shrublands cover more than 40% of Earth’s terra firma, and they remove hefty amounts of carbon dioxide from the air. But by deliberately blocking precipitation from falling at 100 research sites around the world, researchers found that a single year of drought can reduce the growth of vegetation by more than 80%, greatly diminishing its ability to absorb carbon dioxide. Overall, plant growth in the artificially drought-stricken grassy patches fell by 36%, far more than earlier estimates. But the study, presented last week at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Montreal, also found great variability: Vegetation at 20% of the sites continued to thrive despite the lack of water. …Jentsch-Beierkuhnlein notes that during the current European drought, intensively managed grasslands with relatively few species, such as hayfields, have been hard hit. Planting more diverse assemblages might enable such grasslands to “keep delivering ecosystem services even under severe drought,” she says.…

2022-08-24. India, a Dairy Titan, Studies How to Keep Milk Flowing in a Hotter World. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/24/world/asia/india-climate-change-milk-prices.html] By Mujib Mashal and Hari Kumar, The New York Times. Excerpt: …The scientists of the National Dairy Research Institute are quietly working to preserve India’s status as a dairy powerhouse in the face of the country’s acute threat from climate change, conducting studies on everything from developing new breeds of buffalo to testing new crops of shrubs for protein content. …India, the world’s largest producer of milk, generates more than 200 million tons every year. The dairy industry, which relies on 80 million farmers across the country, most with small herds, has grown steadily and now accounts for nearly 5 percent of India’s economy. …Stress on animals is just one way that extreme heat is challenging this crucial industry.…

2022-08-23. Climate Change Has Already Aggravated 58% of Infectious Diseases. [https://eos.org/articles/climate-change-has-already-aggravated-58-of-infectious-diseases] By Jenessa Duncombe, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: In a sweeping analysis of more than 800 published studies, scientists from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) discovered climate change had exacerbated 58% of infectious diseases in certain documented instances. Although less common, climate warming also lessened 16% of infectious diseases. …The illnesses aggravated by climate change include some of the deadliest, such as measles, malaria, and diarrheal diseases. Scientific literature has long supported the fact that climate change enhances certain diseases, such as a study earlier this year finding that bacteria-caused diarrhea could become more dominant as wetter and warmer conditions spread. However, “this is the first paper to really comprehensively try and put together the full picture,” said McKenzie. Warming temperatures, changes in precipitation, and floods worsened the highest numbers of diseases. These factors were followed by other hazards associated with climate change, including fires, storms, sea level rise, ocean climate change, heat waves, drought, and changes to land cover.…

2022-08-20. UPS Drivers Say ‘Brutal’ Heat Is Endangering Their Lives. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/20/business/ups-postal-workers-heat-stroke-deaths.html] By Livia Albeck-Ripka, The New York Times. Excerpt: …Mr. Gubell, 26, had delivered about 200 packages. Temperatures had soared into the high 80s, and it was even hotter inside the metal shell of the back of the truck, where, with each stop, he would spend up to a minute or so to retrieve his cargo, sweat beading on his skin. Now, pulled over on the side of the road, he was panting and barely able to speak, gripping his phone with his hand, which had cramped from dehydration. …As blistering heat waves swept across the United States this summer, breaking temperature records and placing millions under heat advisories and warnings, workers like Mr. Gubell have continued to deliver America’s packages for a variety of carriers, often in trucks that have no cooling mechanisms for drivers. Some UPS workers have shared photographs that show thermometer readings of up to 150 degrees in the backs of their trucks. …Government records show that the problem is not isolated: Since 2015, at least 270 UPS and United States Postal Service drivers have been sickened and in many cases hospitalized from heat exposure. Dozens of workers for other delivery companies, including FedEx, have also suffered from heat exhaustion, according to the records, and a handful of drivers have also died in the past few years. According to the Teamsters, heat-related injuries, illnesses and deaths among drivers are severely underreported. The issue first drew widespread public attention in 2019, after reporting by the Center for Public Integrity and NBC News highlighted the grave heat dangers faced by mail and delivery workers.…

2022-08-19. ‘Spanish Stonehenge’ emerges from drought-hit dam. [https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/spanish-stonehenge-emerges-drought-hit-dam-2022-08-18/] By Silvio Castellanos and Marco Trujillo, Reuters. Excerpt: CACERES, Spain, Aug 18 …A brutal summer has caused havoc for many in rural Spain, but one unexpected side-effect of the country’s worst drought in decades has delighted archaeologists – the emergence of a prehistoric stone circle in a dam whose waterline has receded. Officially known as the Dolmen of Guadalperal but dubbed the Spanish Stonehenge, the circle of dozens of megalithic stones is believed to date back to 5000 BC. It currently sits fully exposed in one corner of the Valdecanas reservoir, in the central province of Caceres, where authorities say the water level has dropped to 28% of capacity.…

2022-08-19. How an Unlikely Friendship Upended Permafrost Myths. [https://eos.org/features/how-an-unlikely-friendship-upended-permafrost-myths] By Jenessa Duncombe, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: It’s not just the Arctic: Worldwide, methane emissions have been rising at an accelerating rate since 2007, and scientists aren’t sure why. Last year, about 640 million metric tons of methane entered the atmosphere, and global concentrations hit the highest value recorded since data collection began in 1983. Although scientists believe that Arctic methane contributes only a tiny fraction of today’s rise in emissions, they worry that will change. Methane emissions from thawing permafrost could use up 25%–40% of the allowable emissions to keep climate increase below 2°C, according to Susan Natali at the Woodwell Climate Research Center in Falmouth, Mass. …A seminal discovery by a Russian scientist and an American researcher investigating winter methane emissions in the 1990s revealed a source of methane emissions that was previously unaccounted for. In the years following, estimates of climate warming from permafrost would more than double.…

2022-08-17. California urges residents to cut power use as searing heatwave grips US west. [https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/aug/17/california-power-cuts-heatwave-climate-crisis] By The Guardian. Excerpt: California has urged residents to cut power use as a searing heatwave settles over the state and stretches power supplies to a breaking point, in the latest sign of extreme weather conditions in the US west. Temperatures in the most populous state are forecast to climb to well above 100F (38C) during the afternoon. To prevent power outages, state officials asked residents and businesses to turn off lights and appliances and preset their thermostats to 78F (26C), especially during the critical hours between 4 and 9pm local time when demand typically peaks and solar power generation beings to ebb.…

2022-08-15. Flash Flooding in West Virginia Prompts Dozens of Water Rescues. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/15/us/west-virginia-flash-floods.html] By Christine Chung, The New York Times. Excerpt: Residents of two West Virginia counties were recovering from significant flash flooding that prompted dozens of water rescues early on Monday and destroyed at least two bridges, officials said. Overnight, brown water rose swiftly in Kanawha and Fayette Counties, uprooting trees, engulfing cars and roads, washing out culverts and damaging at least 100 homes in Kanawha County, just east of Charleston, W.Wa., officials said. The rain began around 3 a.m. on Monday and two to five inches fell, said Megan Kiebler, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston.…

2022-08-15. Weeks of heat above 100F will be the norm in much of US by 2053, study finds. [https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/aug/15/extreme-heat-risk-temperatures-2053-study] By Richard Luscombe, The Guardian. Excerpt: As many as 100 million Americans will be living in ‘extreme’ zones that will see heat index exceed 125F, according to new study… Almost two-thirds of Americans, who live in mostly southern and central states, will be at risk from the critical temperature increases, according to a Washington Post analysis of data from the non-profit First Street Foundation, which used current trends to predict the number of extreme heat days 30 years into the future.

2022-08-13. Europe’s rivers run dry as scientists warn drought could be worst in 500 years. [https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/13/europes-rivers-run-dry-as-scientists-warn-drought-could-be-worst-in-500-years] By Jon Henley, The Guardian. Excerpt: In places, the Loire can now be crossed on foot; France’s longest river has never flowed so slowly. The Rhine is fast becoming impassable to barge traffic. In Italy, the Po is 2 metres lower than normal, crippling crops. Serbia is dredging the Danube. Across Europe, drought is reducing once-mighty rivers to trickles, with potentially dramatic consequences for industry, freight, energy and food production – just as supply shortages and price rises due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine bite. Driven by climate breakdown, an unusually dry winter and spring followed by record-breaking summer temperatures and repeated heatwaves have left Europe’s essential waterways under-replenished and, increasingly, overheated. With no significant rainfall recorded for almost two months across western, central and southern Europe and none forecast in the near future, meteorologists say the drought could become the continent’s worst in more than 500 years.…

2022-08-11. How Wildfires Affect Snow in the American West. [https://eos.org/research-spotlights/how-wildfires-affect-snow-in-the-american-west] By Saima May Sidik, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: Fresh powder does more than support winter sports. Snowmelt flows into streams, where it helps sustain agriculture, supports natural ecosystems, and provides drinking water. But wildfires are threatening snowpacks, and research on wildfire’s impact on snow water equivalent generally focuses on localized areas, with varying methods and conflicting results. Now, Giovando and Niemann set about rectifying this situation with data from the Snow Telemetry system, or SNOTEL, which uses automated sensors to measure snow depth and other aspects of weather at hundreds of sites around the western United States. The researchers compared 45 burned SNOTEL sites to similar unburned sites. They found that when burned regions were at their snowiest, they obtained, on average, 13% less water from snow than their unburned counterparts. Snow melted completely 9 days earlier in burned regions compared to unburned areas. …The results of this study suggest that although climate change has affected the timing of snowmelt, wildfires exacerbate this change and can also have a larger effect on the amount of water obtained from snow. (Water Resources Researchhttps://doi.org/10.1029/2021WR031569, 2022).…

2022-08-11. America’s summer of floods: climate crisis fueling barrage, scientists say. [https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/aug/11/america-summer-floods-rainfall-climate-crisis] By Oliver Milman, The Guardian. Excerpt: An entire building and roads washed away by raging waters in Yellowstone. People desperately swimming from their homes in St Louis. Dozens dead after torrential downpours in Kentucky. The summer of 2022 has been one of extreme floods in the US, with scientists warning the climate crisis is worsening the devastation. The deadliest of the recent barrage of floods, in Kentucky, was described as “heartbreaking” by Joe Biden as he surveyed ruined houses and inundated cars on Monday. At least 37 people died after five days of pounding record rain washed down mountainsides and drowned entire towns, an event that scientists say is a once in 1,000 year occurrence. Such extremes are no longer such outliers, however, with St Louis breaking its one-day rainfall record by 8am on 26 July, swamping city streets and houses, a disaster quickly followed by a similarly severe storm that hit Illinois. On Friday, Death Valley in California, a place known for its searing dry heat, got a year’s worth of rain in just three hours, causing huge sheets of flooding that washed away and damaged hundreds of miles of roads. In an 11-day span, the US experienced at least four flooding events that would each normally be expected once every 1,000 years, or have a 0.1% chance of happening in any given year. Scientists say extreme rainfall spurred by climate breakdown is rendering many of these historical norms obsolete.… See also Record Death Valley flooding ‘a once-in-1,000-year event’.

2022-08-11. The Arctic has warmed nearly four times faster than the globe since 1979. [https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-022-00498-3] By Mika RantanenAlexey Yu. KarpechkoAntti LipponenKalle NordlingOtto HyvärinenKimmo RuosteenojaTimo Vihma & Ari Laaksonen, Nature. Excerpt: In recent decades, the warming in the Arctic has been much faster than in the rest of the world, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification. Numerous studies report that the Arctic is warming either twice, more than twice, or even three times as fast as the globe on average. Here we show, by using several observational datasets which cover the Arctic region, that during the last 43 years the Arctic has been warming nearly four times faster than the globe, which is a higher ratio than generally reported in literature. …we caution that referring to Arctic warming as to being twice as fast as the global warming, as frequently stated in literature, is a clear underestimation of the situation during the last 43 years since the start of the satellite observations. At a regional scale, areas in the Eurasian sector of the Arctic Ocean have warmed even up to seven times as fast as the globe (Fig. 1c).…

2022-08-05. ‘Most Severe’ Drought Grips France as Extreme Heat Persists in Europe. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/05/world/europe/france-drought-europe-heat.html] By Aurelien Breeden, The New York Times. Excerpt: PARIS — France declared Friday that it was in the grip of its “most severe” drought, one that has also desiccated large areas of Europe this summer, causing wildfires and imperiling crops as temperature records shatter across the continent. “This drought is the most severe recorded in our country,” Élisabeth Borne, the French prime minister, said in a statement on Friday. Ms. Borne said France had received insufficient rainfall and had been hit in recent weeks by an “accumulation of successive heat waves,” increasing demand for water even as precious reserves evaporated in seemingly endless days of sweltering heat. She urged the French to be “very vigilant” about their water usage.…

2022-08-02. Satellite images reveal shrinkage of Utah’s Great Salt Lake. [https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/02/satellite-images-reveal-shrinkage-of-utahs-great-salt-lake] By Sadia Nowshin, The Guardian. Excerpt: Striking new images show lake has lost nearly half of its surface area from the historical average. …The disappearance of the lake has been attributed to drought caused by climate breakdown and water use, along with the redirection of water from streams used to replenish the lake for use in residential spaces and agriculture. The demand for the lake’s water has increased as the population of Utah climbs. Currently home to about 3.3 million people, it is projected that the population will increase by 66% by 2060, making it the fastest growing state in the US.… [Note: this article has a great interactive graphic comparing the Great Salt Lake in 1985 and 2022.]

2022-07-26. Flash Floods Swamp St. Louis Area, Breaking a Century-Old Rain Record. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/26/us/flash-flooding-st-louis-missouri.html] By Michael LevensonChristine Hauser and Eric Berger, The New York Times. Excerpt: …More than nine inches of rain fell in the St. Louis area overnight, the highest 24-hour rainfall total on record there, the National Weather Service said. It surpassed the 7.02 inches that fell in 1915 from the remnants of the Galveston hurricane. The normal amount of rain in St. Louis for July and August combined is 7.31 inches. By Tuesday morning, 10 to 12 inches of rain had fallen in parts of eastern Missouri, the National Weather Service said. The largest total was 12.34 inches in St. Peters, northwest of St. Louis, the agency said, noting that rain continued to fall.…

2022-07-24. Pakistan’s Deadly Flood Season Worsened by Climate Change and Bad Infrastructure. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/24/world/asia/pakistan-monsoon-floods.html] By Zia ur-Rehman, Christina Goldbaum and Salman Masood, The New York Times. Excerpt: KARACHI, Pakistan — Year after year in Kausar Niazi Colony, a slum in the port city of Karachi, Murtaza Hussain and his neighbors watched as monsoon rains flooded into their homes, damaging furniture, televisions and other precious valuables. …But the season this year has been particularly brutal, offering an urgent reminder that in an era of global warming, extreme weather events are increasingly the norm, not the exception, across the region — and that Pakistan’s major cities remain woefully ill equipped to handle them. Monsoon rains have killed at least 282 people over the past five weeks, many of them women and children, the National Disaster Management Authority announced on Thursday. The deluge has also damaged critical infrastructure, like highways and bridges, and around 5,600 homes, the authority said. Pakistan has long ranked among the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world, according to the Global Climate Risk Index, which tracks the devastating human and economic toll of extreme weather events. The country is estimated to have lost nearly 10,000 lives to climate-related disasters and suffered about $4 billion in losses between 1998 and 2018.…

2022-07-24. Heat Waves Sweep the Northeast Over Sweltering Weekend. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/24/nyregion/heat-wave-us.html] By Ali Watkins, The New York Times. Excerpt: Scorching temperatures swept the Northeast on Sunday in the region’s first prolonged heat wave of the summer, with a record-breaking five straight days of triple-digit temperatures in Newark and blistering heat in Boston; Providence, R.I.; and Manchester, N.H. Other parts of the country also sweltered, with Oklahoma enduring temperatures that have topped 100 degrees in nine of the past 11 days. The baking heat underscored the sobering reality that such dangerous temperatures are becoming a summertime norm for the United States and elsewhere, with heat waveswildfires and droughts disrupting day-to-day life across the globe.…

2022-07-21. A Painful Deadline Nears as Colorado River Reservoirs Run Critically Low. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/21/climate/colorado-river-water-cuts.html] By Henry Fountains, The New York Times. Excerpt: States in the Colorado River basin are scrambling to propose steep cuts in the water they’ll use from the river next year, in response to a call by the federal government for immediate, drastic efforts to keep the river’s main storage reservoirs from reaching critically low levels. The request comes with the Southwest still in the grip of a severe two-decade drought that shows no signs of letting up. And it comes on top of earlier, less desperate, efforts to keep more water in the two reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, including a first-ever shortage declaration last year that cut water to farmers in Arizona. …the long-term outlook for the Colorado is bleak, as climate change continues to affect runoff into the river and reduces the likelihood of a series of wet years that could end the drought. The request for cuts has further exposed the fault lines between the upper basin states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming and the lower basin states, California, Arizona and Nevada. The upper basin states note that they do not use all the water allocated to them, and that the most significant cuts will have to come from the lower basin states, which use more than their allocated share.…

2022-07-19. ‘It goes up like tinder’: unprecedented blazes envelop Alaska. [https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jul/18/alaska-wildfires-east-fork-lime-complex] By Brendan Jones, The Guardian. Excerpt: Across the state, 264 individual fires are burning and it is on track to break its 2004 record of 6.5m acres destroyed. Alaska has seen more than 500 forest fires since the beginning of April, which have forced the evacuation of mining camps, villages and remote cabins. By 15 June, more than 1m acres (405,000 hectares) in the state had already gone up in flames, about the amount of acres that would normally burn in an entire fire season. By mid-July, more than 3m acres of land had been torched, putting the state at risk of breaking its 2004 record of 6.5m acres (2.6m hectares) burned.…

2022-07-18. ‘Heat apocalypse’ warning in western France as thousands flee wildfire. [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/18/heat-apocalypse-warning-western-france-thousands-flee-wildfire] By Jon Henley and Sam Jones, The Guardian. Excerpt: Meteorologists have warned of a “heat apocalypse” in western France as more than 8,500 further people fled their homes to escape a large wildfire sparked by a searing southern European heatwave that has already caused hundreds of deaths. Nearly 25,000 people have been forced to abandon homes, holiday rentals and campsites for emergency shelters in the Gironde département west of Bordeaux, while blazes in Spain, Portugal and Greece have forced thousands more to flee. Temperatures across southern Europe showed some sign of abating on Monday as the heatwave, during which temperatures have surpassed 40C (104F) across much of the region, moved north, including towards Britain, which was set for its hottest day on record.… See also: Europe’s heatwave moves north as UK braces for hottest day on record; and UK has hottest night on record as temperatures forecast to hit 40C.

2022-07-12. Nearly $2trillion of damage inflicted on other countries by US emissions. [https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/12/us-carbon-emissions-greenhouse-gases-climate-crisis] By Oliver Milman, The Guardian. Excerpt: The US has inflicted more than $1.9trillion in damage to other countries from the effects of its greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new analysis that has provided the first measurement of nations’ liability in stoking the climate crisis. The huge volume of planet-heating gases pumped out by the US, the largest historical emitter, has caused such harm to other, mostly poor, countries through heatwaves, crop failures and other consequences that the US is responsible for $1.91tn in lost global income since 1990, the study found. This puts the US ahead of China, currently the world’s leading emitter, Russian, India and Brazil as the next largest contributors to global economic damage through their emissions. Combined, these five leading culprits have caused a total of $6tn in losses worldwide, or about 11% of annual global GDP, since 1990 by fueling climate breakdown.…

2022-07-12. Dangerous heatwaves engulf parts of China, US and Europe. [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/12/dangerous-heatwaves-engulf-parts-china-us-europe] By Vincent NiSam Jones, and Nina Lakhani, The Guardian. Excerpt: Dangerous heatwaves are engulfing parts of China, Europe, south-west and central US this week, as dozens of cities have found themselves dealing with soaring summer temperatures. By Tuesday afternoon, at least 86 Chinese cities in eastern and southern parts of the country had issued heat alerts. Chinese meteorologists forecast temperatures in some cities would top 40C (104F) in the next 24 hours. In Shanghai, China’s most populous city, the authorities have told its 25 million people to prepare for unusually hot weather. Since record-keeping began in 1873, Shanghai has had only 15 days with temperatures above 40C. …Heatwave-related mortality has risen by a factor of four from 1990 to 2019, reaching 26,800 deaths in 2019, according to a Lancet study published in 2020.…

2022-07-07. Glacier Tragedy Shows Reach of Europe’s New Heat. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/07/world/europe/italy-glacier-collapse.html] By Jason Horowitz, The New York Times. Excerpt: CANAZEI, Italy — Days before a glacier in the Italian Dolomites broke off with the force of a collapsing skyscraper, crushing at least nine hikers under an avalanche of ice, snow and rock, Carlo Budel heard water running under the ice. …A year after Greece lost lives, livestock and entire swaths of forest to wildfires, and deadly floods swept through Germany, the calamity in these mountains this week provided the latest evidence that almost no part of the continent can escape the effects of Europe’s new, intense and often unlivable summer heat. That includes the highest peak of the Dolomites. Italy is suffering through another prolonged and scorching heat wave, which contributed to the disaster and has brought the worst drought in 70 years along the Po River, its longest waterway, cutting off fountains and parching parts of the country. …In the last 20 years, Professor Fazzini said, Italy had lost 25 percent of the water from those shrinking glaciers.…

2022-07-06. Arctic Shipping Routes Are Feeling the Heat. [https://eos.org/articles/arctic-shipping-routes-are-feeling-the-heat] By Jenessa Duncombe, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: Controversy over shipping routes in the Arctic Ocean is intensifying in light of recent climate science projections of sea ice melt. By midcentury, ice-free routes in international waters once covered by summer sea ice may appear for the first time in recent history, according to new research. A more accessible Arctic could influence the timing, sustainability, and legal status of international shipping. … Sea ice extent may even influence the reach of international law: At present, Article 234 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea grants coastal countries regulatory power over areas that are ice-covered for most of the year. Although opinions differ, some have said shrinking sea ice could limit countries’ claims in the Arctic Ocean. “There’s no scenario in which melting ice in the Arctic is good news,” said climate scientist Amanda Lynch from Brown University. “But the unfortunate reality is that the ice is already retreating, these routes are opening up, and we need to start thinking critically about the legal, environmental, and geopolitical implications.”.…

2022-07-05. ‘Every year it gets worse’: on the frontline of the climate crisis in Bangladesh. [https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/05/every-year-it-gets-worse-on-the-frontline-of-the-climate-crisis-in-bangladesh] By Thaslima Begum, The Guardian. Excerpt: Over the past few weeks, catastrophic flash floods – the worst in Bangladesh in a century – have inundated much of Sylhet, where rising waters have washed away whole towns, killing at least 68 people and leaving thousands displaced. According to the UN, an estimated 7.2 million people across seven districts have been affected. …Humayara Jeba, 20, a climate fighter at YouthNet, the largest youth-led network for climate advocacy in Bangladesh, says women and girls are the most affected by the flooding because of their limited access to resources. “With high existing levels of poverty and inequality, climate change is intensifying the everyday challenges they already face,” she says. …An estimated 60,000 women are pregnant in the affected region, with more than 6,500 births expected to take place in July. According to Sylhet health department, 24 healthcare facilities have sustained extensive damage, including MAG Osmani Medical College hospital, the city’s main hospital, which usually treats up to 5,000 patients a day.Of the 926 community clinics scattered throughout Sylhet, 414 are under water. Dr Himanshu Roy, Sylhet’s divisional health director, says that an outbreak of waterborne diseases has left medical staff struggling to cope.…

2022-06-28. Extreme temperatures in major Latin American cities could be linked to nearly 1 million deaths. [https://www.science.org/content/article/extreme-temperatures-major-latin-american-cities-could-be-linked-nearly-1-million] By Rodrigo Perez Ortego, Science Magazine. Excerpt: In mid-January, the southern tip of South America suffered its worst heat wave in years. In Argentina, temperatures in more than 50 cities rose above 40°C, more than 10°C warmer than the typical average temperature in cities such as Buenos Aires. The scorching heat sparked wildfires, worsened a drought, hurt agriculture, and temporarily collapsed Buenos Aires’s electrical power supply. It also killed at least 3 people, although experts estimate the true number might be much higher. With climate change, heat waves and cold fronts are worsening and taking lives worldwide: about 5 million in the past 20 years, according to at least one study. In a new study published today in Nature Medicine, an international team of researchers estimates that almost 900,000 deaths in the years between 2002 and 2015 could be attributable to extreme temperatures alone in major Latin American cities. This is the most detailed estimate in Latin America, and the first ever for some cities.…

2022-06-28. Chilli peppers, coffee, wine: how the climate crisis is causing food shortages. [https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/28/climate-crisis-food-shortages] By Victoria Namkung, The Guardian. Excerpt: Blistering heat, stronger storms, droughts, floods and fires are putting food production at risk. …Huy Fong Foods, the southern California company that produces 20m bottles of sriracha annually, has experienced a low inventory of red jalapeño chilli peppers in recent years made worse by spring’s crop failure. The cause? Severe weather and drought conditions in Mexico. It’s not just chilli peppers. Mustard producers in France and Canada said extreme weather caused a 50% reduction in seed production last year, leading to a shortage of the condiment on grocery store shelves. Blistering heat, stronger storms, droughts, floods, fires and changes in rainfall patterns are also affecting the cost and availability of staples, including wheat, corn, coffee, apples, chocolate and wine. The climate crisis is increasing the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events – and it’s putting food production at risk. …In the Great Plains, where most of the US’s wheat is harvested, drought depressed the winter crop. Abandonment levels for winter wheat in the US – primarily in Texas and Oklahoma – are the highest since 2002. Meanwhile in Montana, flooding is threatening grain crops. …In India, a fierce heatwave damaged the wheat crop due to record-setting temperatures throughout the spring and summer. As Delhi hit 120F in May, the government placed a ban on wheat exports, driving up prices even further than the rise following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Climate change could seriously affect the global production of maize and wheat as early as 2030, a 2021 Nasa study found, with maize crop yields estimated to decline by 24%. …Extreme weather is affecting the cost of coffee. Between April 2020 and December 2021, coffee prices increased 70% after droughts and frost destroyed crops in Brazil, the world’s largest coffee-producing country. …Last year, France’s wine industry saw its smallest harvest since 1957, with an estimated loss of $2bn in sales. One Champagne vineyard that typically makes 40,000 to 50,000 bottles annually produced nothing in 2021 due to higher temperatures and heavy rains. One study showed that if temperatures rise by 2C, wine-growing regions could shrink by as much as 56%. Four degrees of warming could mean 85% of those areas would no longer be able to produce good wines.…

2022-06-18. Burning planet: why are the world’s heatwaves getting more intense? [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/18/burning-planet-why-are-the-worlds-heatwaves-getting-more-intense] By Fiona HarveyAshifa Kassam in Madrid,  Nina Lakhani in Phoenix, and Amrit Dhillon in New Delhi, The Guardian. Excerpt: …When the temperature readings started to come through from Antarctic weather stations in early March, scientists at first thought there might have been some mistake. Temperatures, which should have been cooling rapidly as the south pole’s brief summer faded, were soaring – at the Vostok station, about 800 miles from the geographic south pole, thermometers recorded a massive 15C hotter than the previous all-time record, while at Terra Nova coastal base the water hovered above freezing, unheard of for the time of year. …But that was not all. At the north pole, similarly unusual temperatures were also being recorded, astonishing for the time of year when the Arctic should be slowly emerging from its winter deep freeze. The region was more than 3C warmer than its long-term average, researchers said. …To induce a heatwave at one pole may be regarded as a warning; heatwaves at both poles at once start to look a lot like climate catastrophe. …A heatwave struck India and Pakistan in March, bringing the highest temperatures in that month since records began 122 years ago. Scorching weather has continued across the subcontinent, wreaking disaster for millions. Spring was more like midsummer in the US, with soaring temperatures across the country in May. Spain saw the mercury hit 40C in early June as a heatwave swept across Europe, hitting the UK last week. Scientists have been able quickly to prove that these record-breaking temperatures are no natural occurrence. A study published last month showed that the south Asian heatwave was made 30 times more likely to happen by human influence on the climate.…

2022-06-17. Electrocuted birds are sparking wildfires. [https://www.science.org/content/article/electrocuted-birds-are-sparking-wildfires] By Richard Kemeny, Science Magazine. Excerpt: In 2014, a wildfire ripped through central Chile, destroying 2500 homes and killing at least 13 people. A year later, a blaze in Idaho burned more than 4000 hectares, an area nearly 12 times the size of New York City’s Central Park. Both conflagrations had one thing in common: Experts believe they were started by birds. Our feathered friends love to perch on power lines, …. But if a bird touches the wrong wires together, or somehow forms an electrical pathway to the ground, it can get fried. Falling to the floor like winged Molotov cocktails, birds can spark an inferno if they hit an especially dry, tindered patch of earth. More than three dozen fires started this way in the United States from 2014 to 2018, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of such blazes. …Humans are responsible for the vast majority of wildfires in the United States. …The researchers found 44 reports of avian-induced wildfires, they report this month in the Wildlife Society Bulletin. Twelve (the densest cluster of fires) occurred in an ecological region that stretches from southern Oregon through California to northern Mexico, bounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Nevada mountains. This area…has a warm Mediterranean-style climate…with mild, wet winters fed by the ocean, followed by hot, dry summers. It is also prone to severe droughts. This combination creates large amounts of vegetation in the winter that quickly dries out to become potential fuel. “That’s why we see a lot of fires going to the catastrophic level,” Barnes says. The region is also densely populated, which may make unwanted urban-wildlife interactions, such as electrocuted large raptors (hawks, eagles, and owls) more likely. …The wildfires reported in the study were generally small: Most of them burned about 1.2 hectares, a touch over two U.S. football fields. Yet there is a clear potential for large-scale devastation, as the Idaho and Chile fires show.…

2022-06-16. ‘Wholly Unexpected’: These Polar Bears Can Survive With Less Sea Ice. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/16/climate/climate-change-polar-bears.html] By Henry Fountain, The New York Times. Excerpt: Scientists have identified a distinct subpopulation of polar bears in southeastern Greenland that, in an area with little sea ice, survive by hunting from ice that breaks off glaciers. The discovery suggests a way that a small number of bears might survive as warming continues and more of the sea ice that they normally depend on disappears. But the researchers and other polar experts cautioned that grave risks to the overall polar bear population in the Arctic remain and will only be lessened by cutting greenhouse gas emissions to curb global warming. The subpopulation, believed to number several hundred animals, was identified during a multiyear study of what was thought to be a single population of bears along Greenland’s entire 1,800-mile-long east coast. …Overall, there are an estimated 26,000 polar bears around the Arctic, in 19 officially designated subpopulations. The animals live on the seasonal sea ice, hunting their primary prey, seals, as the seals bask on the ice or come up for air through breathing holes. But the rapid warming of the Arctic linked to human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases has reduced the extent and duration of sea-ice cover.… See also article in Science Magazine.

2022-06-16. Dangerously Hot Weather Descends on 60 Million Americans. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/15/us/heat-wave-midwest-southeast.html] By Livia Albeck-Ripka and Derrick Bryson Taylor, The New York Times. Excerpt: Millions of people were expected to suffer through blistering conditions again on Thursday with heat-related warnings and advisories in effect, mostly in the Midwest and Southeast, the National Weather Service said, adding that it may take weeks to see relief. More than 60 million people from Southern California to West Virginia and as far south as Florida were under an excessive heat warning or heat advisory, meteorologists said. Residents in several states on Wednesday saw temperatures rise well into the 90s, and in some cases into the 100s, according to forecasters at the National Weather Service. They said hot temperatures were likely to persist across large sections of the country for several days.…

2022-06-15. Flooding Chaos in Yellowstone, a Sign of Crises to Come. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/15/us/yellowstone-national-park-floods.html] By Jim RobbinsThomas Fuller and Christine Chung, The New York Times. Excerpt: …The floodwaters that raged through Yellowstone this week changed the course of rivers, tore out bridges, poured through homes and forced the evacuation of thousands of visitors from the nation’s oldest national park. It is difficult to directly connect the damage in Yellowstone to a rapidly warming climate — rivers have flooded for millenniums — but scientists are raising the alarm that in the coming years destruction related to climate change will reach nearly all 423 national parks, which are particularly vulnerable to rising temperatures. …The cactuses in Saguaro National Park in Arizona, icons of the rugged, arid West with prickly arms that reach for bright blue desert sky, are dying from the heat. …in Joshua Tree National Park, where scientists are mulling a future when the park would be mostly denuded of the trees it was named after. Joshua trees are dying from both rising temperatures and wildfires. A blaze in the nearby Mojave National Preserve in 2020 killed 1.3 million trees, leaving the park management to describe one area as “a graveyard of Joshua tree skeletons.”… See also National Geographic article Yellowstone flooding: Why is it happening now?

2022-06-14. On Climate Change’s Front Lines, Hard Lives Grow Even Harder. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/14/world/asia/india-south-asia-climate-change.html] By Mujib Mashal and Hari Kumar, The New York Times. Excerpt: When the unseasonably heavy rains flooded the fields, and then the equally unseasonable heat shriveled the seeds, it didn’t just slash Ranjit Singh’s wheat harvest by nearly half. It put him, and nearly all the other households in his village in northern India, that much further from financial stability in a country where a majority of people scratch out a living on farms. Like many Indian farmers, Mr. Singh is saddled with enormous debt and wondering how he will repay it, as a warming world makes farming ever more precarious. For India and other South Asian nations, home to hundreds of millions of humanity’s most vulnerable, a seemingly bottomless well of challenges — poverty, food security, health, governance — has only deepened as the region bakes on the front lines of climate change. Global warming is no longer a distant prospect that officials with short electoral mandates can choose to look away from.…

2022-06-13. ‘Vomiting. The loss of strength’: Southwest heat drives health fears. [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2022/06/13/extreme-heat-las-vegas/] By Joshua Partlow, The Washington Post. Excerpt: LAS VEGAS — Cristian Sanchez’s crew was on the job site by 6 a.m. Saturday, when Las Vegas was just a balmy 90 degrees. By the end of their shift, ripping out dead grass to make way for drought-resistant vegetation, temperatures at Harry Reid International Airport would reach 109 degrees, tied for the daily record set in 1956. Another 109 the day before broke that day’s record, and set the mark for hottest day of the year, part of a late spring heat wave that also blistered Arizona, California, and much of the American southwest. …Sanchez, from Veracruz, Mexico, has spent six years as a landscaper in Las Vegas, and he knew what it looked like when heat became overwhelming. …“Vomiting. The loss of strength,” he said. “When I first began working this way, I felt the heat, with a lot of headaches. But over time, one gets used to it, your body gets accustomed to the heat. And it becomes normal.” But for researchers studying extreme heat here, Sanchez falls neatly into a particularly high risk category for heat-related illness and injury. A study published last month in the International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology that looked at the effects of extreme heat on the health of the outdoor workforce in Nevada, California and Arizona found that heat morbidities increase with years of service on the job. …“That was not expected,” said lead author Erick Bandala,…. He thought newer, unexperienced workers would face the biggest problems. …workers become inured to the threat, even as climate change, driven by the burning of fossil fuels, makes heat waves more frequent and more intense.…

2022-06-04. Climate change is forcing schools to close early for ‘heat days’. By Laura Meckler and Anna Phillips, The Washington Post. Excerpt: With no air conditioning and no money to install it, districts are sending students home. Temperatures kept rising in Philadelphia and Baltimore. Finally, it was just too hot to keep students in classrooms without air conditioning. On Tuesday, both systems let students out early. Climate change poses a growing threat to American schools. Regions where extreme heat was once rare — from the Northeast to the Pacific Northwest — now periodically find their buildings unbearably hot as spring turns to summer and again when classes resume in August or September…. [https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2022/06/04/school-heat-days-climate-change/] 

2022-06-02. How humid air, intensified by climate change, is melting Greenland ice. By Kasha Patel, The Washington Post. Excerpt: The term “atmospheric river” has recently become popularized in media due to its role in extreme weather. As the plume of water vapor makes landfall, it precipitates as rain or snow. In the fall and winter, atmospheric rivers bring much of California’s annual precipitation but can also unleash intense flooding. In July 2021, an atmospheric river brought flooding to Germany, which killed more than 200 people. In Greenland, these warm rivers in the sky also play a role in melting the ice sheet. Amid rising temperatures, Greenland has lost more ice mass than it gained for 25 years in a row. In that time, melting ice from Greenland has added about 0.4 inches to sea level rise — equivalent to adding water from 120 million Olympic-size swimming pools each year. If the entire ice sheet were to melt, sea level could increase by more than 20 feet. In a study released Thursday, Box and his colleagues illuminate how an atmospheric river caused the August 2021 melt event and brought rain to the summit. The explanation foretells a future that could be increasingly common as global temperatures rise due to human-caused climate change, accelerating sea level rise…. [https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2022/06/02/greenland-melt-warm-climate-change/

2022-06-01. ‘Consequences will be dire’: Chile’s water crisis is reaching breaking point. By John Bartlett, The Guardian. Excerpt: Unprecedented drought makes water a national security issue as more than half of Chile’s 19 million population lived in area with ‘severe water scarcity’ by end of 2021. From the Atacama Desert to Patagonia, a 13-year megadrought is straining Chile’s freshwater resources to breaking point.By the end  of 2021, the fourth driest year on record, more than half of Chile’s 19 million population lived in an area suffering from “severe water scarcity”, and in April an unprecedented water rationing plan was announced for the capital, Santiago. In hundreds of rural communities in the centre and north of the country, Chileans are forced to rely on emergency tankers to deliver drinking water. …Many called for a rewrite of Chile’s 1981 water code, a relic of Gen Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship (1973-1990) which enshrines one of the most privatised water systems in the world, allowing people to buy and sell water allocations like stocks. Chile is also the only country in the world that specifically says in its constitution that water rights are treated as private property.… [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/01/chiles-water-crisis-megadrought-reaching-breaking-point

2022-05-26. Climate Change Leads to Decline in Lichen Biocrusts. By Derek Smith, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: Biological soil crusts, or biocrusts, are communities of living organisms at the soil surface and are known as the “living skin” of dryland ecosystems. They cement soil grains together, thereby protecting dryland soils from erosion. Biocrusts also add critical nutrients to the soil by converting nitrogen in the atmosphere to ammonia, which serves as a kind of fertilizer for plants and microbes. Unfortunately, trampling by livestock and such human activity as driving vehicles off-road make biocrust survival difficult. New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America has suggested that there’s another phenomenon that biocrusts are sensitive to: climate change. …The research was conducted on the Colorado Plateau within the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. …Increasing summertime temperatures best explained the decline in lichen cover; lichen cover was lowest in years with the hottest maximum temperatures in June…. [ttps://eos.org/articles/climate-change-leads-to-decline-in-lichen-biocrusts

2022-05-24. Active Hurricane Season Expected in the Atlantic Ocean. By enessa Duncombe, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: If forecasts are correct, this season will mark the seventh consecutive above-normal hurricane season for the Atlantic. NOAA forecasts out today predict a 65% chance of an above-average season, a 25% chance of a normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. The ranges account for uncertainty in the data and models of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center…. [https://eos.org/articles/active-hurricane-season-expected-in-the-atlantic-ocean]

2022-05-19. French dijon mustard supply hit by climate and rising costs, say producers. By Robyn Wilson, The Guardian. Excerpt: Climate change and rising costs are causing supermarkets in France to run out of dijon mustard, raising questions over whether the shortage could spread to other countries. French mustard producers said seed production in 2021 was down 50% after poor harvests, which they said had been brought on by the changing climate in France’s Burgundy region and Canada, the second largest mustard seed producer in the world. It has caused French supermarket shelves to run empty of the condiment, including in several stores visited by the Guardian. One of France’s largest mustard producers, Reine de Dijon, said the shortages were being driven by climate breakdown. The group’s general manager, Luc Vandermaesen, said a “heat dome” in Canada at the beginning of July in 2021 had “really dried up the crops”.… [https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/may/19/french-dijon-mustard-supply-hit-by-climate-and-rising-costs-say-producers]

2022-05-16. Here Are the Wildfire Risks to Homes Across the Lower 48 States. By Christopher Flavelle and Nadja Popovich, The New York Times. Excerpt: [county-by-county map of the U.S.] New data was used to calculate fire risk to residential and other properties. The threats are rising. …The data, released Monday by the First Street Foundation, a nonprofit research group in New York, comes as rising housing prices in cities and suburbs push Americans deeper into fire-prone areas, with little idea about the specific risk in their new locale.… [https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/05/16/climate/wildfire-risk-map-properties.html]

2022-05-15. Caesar’s favourite herb was the Viagra of ancient Rome. Until climate change killed it off. By James Tapper, The Guardian. Excerpt: Of all the mysteries of ancient Rome, silphium is among the most intriguing. Romans loved the herb as much as we love chocolate. They used silphium as perfume, as medicine, as an aphrodisiac and turned it into a condiment, called laser, that they poured on to almost every dish. …Yet it became extinct less than a century later, by the time of Nero, and for nearly 2,000 years people have puzzled over the cause. Researchers now believe it was the first victim of man-made climate change – and warn that we should heed the lesson of silphium or risk losing plants that are the basis of many modern flavours. Paul Pollaro and Paul Robertson of the University of New Hampshire say their research, published in Frontiers in Conservation Science, shows that urban growth and accompanying deforestation changed the local microclimate where silphium grew. “You’ll often see the narrative that it [became extinct] because of a mix of over-harvesting and also over-grazing – sheep were very fond of it and it made the meat more valuable,” Pollaro said. “Our argument is that regardless of how much was harvested, if the climate was changing, silphium was going to go extinct anyway.”.… [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/15/caesars-favourite-herb-was-the-viagra-of-ancient-rome-until-climate-change-killed-it-off]

2022-05-14. The Colorado River Is In Crisis, and It’s Getting Worse Everyday. By Karin Brulliard, The Washington Post. Excerpt: …the Colorado’s water was overpromised when it was first allocated a century ago. Demand in the fast-growing Southwest exceeds supply, and it is growing even as supply drops amid a climate change-driven megadrought and rising temperatures. …As temperatures rise, the mountain snowpack that feeds the Colorado river is diminishing over time and melting earlier. That decreasing runoff is more quickly soaking into Western Colorado’s parched terrain and evaporating into its hotter air. Less water is flowing downriver, depriving the ranchers, rafters, anglers and animals who depend on it.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/interactive/2022/colorado-river-crisis/]

2022-05-13. Did Warming Play a Role in Deadly South African Floods? Yes, a Study Says. By Henry Fountain, The New York Times. Excerpt: The heavy rains that caused catastrophic flooding in South Africa in mid-April were made twice as likely to occur by climate change, scientists said Friday. An analysis of the flooding, which killed more than 400 people in Durban and surrounding areas in the eastern part of the country, found that the intense two-day storm that caused it had a 1-in-20 chance of occurring in any given year. If the world had not warmed as a result of human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases, the study found, the chances would have been half that, 1 in 40. The study, by a loose-knit group of climate scientists, meteorologists and disaster experts called World Weather Attribution, is the latest in a string of analyses showing that the damaging effects of global warming, once considered a future problem, have already arrived. And extreme events like this one are expected to increase as warming continues.… [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/13/climate/south-africa-floods-climate-change.html]

2022-05-12. Wildfire, Drought, and Insects Threaten Forests in the United States. By Rishika Pardikar, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: Western forest managers face a catch-22: They can keep carbon sequestered in trees by reducing controlled burns, but that creates denser forests at greater risk of going up in uncontrolled flames. Wildfire risk to forests across the United States is set to increase by a factor of 4, and tree mortality caused by other climate-induced factors like drought, heat, disease, and insects is set to at least double, new research shows. “Forests in the western half of the U.S. have the highest vulnerability to each of these risks,” said William Anderegg, an associate professor at the University of Utah and lead author of the paper, which was published in Ecology Letters. But risks are not confined to the West. There are wildfire risks in Florida and Georgia, as well as parts of Oklahoma and Texas, and insect and drought risks in the northern Great Lakes states.… [https://eos.org/articles/wildfire-drought-and-insects-threaten-forests-in-the-united-states]

2022-05-12. The swift march of climate change in North Carolina’s ‘ghost forests’. By Brady Dennis, The Washington Post. Excerpt: …Few examples of climate change are as unmistakable and arresting as the “ghost forests” proliferating along parts of the East Coast — and particularly throughout the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula of North Carolina. Places where Lanier once stood on dry ground are now in waist-deep water. Forests populated by towering pines, red maple, sweet gum and bald cypress have transitioned to shrub land. Stretches of shrub habitat have given way to marsh. And what once was marsh has succumbed to the encroaching sea. … As sea levels rise, droughts deepen and storms become more intense, saltier water makes its way into these woodlands more readily from surrounding water bodies, as well as deeper into the sprawling network of drainage ditches and irrigation canals created long ago to support the expansion of agriculture. Persistently wet conditions can weaken existing trees. And episodes of saltwater intrusion can push already stressed forests to the breaking point, poisoning the freshwater on which they depend and hastening the death of trees not only at the water’s edge, but in some cases far inland. The result are expanses of dead or dying trees, known as “snags,” that stand as grim monuments to a shifting ecosystem.“This has happened over and over before in geologic time,” says Marcelo Ardón, an ecologist at North Carolina State University. “But now it is happening faster.”.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2022/05/12/ghost-forests-carolina-climate-change/]

2022-05-12. Record heat fueling violent storms in central U.S.. By Matthew Cappucci and Jason Samenow, The Washington Post. Excerpt: A sprawling dome of summerlike heat has swelled from Texas to Wisconsin and is poised to shatter records in more than a dozen states. Madison, Wis., Chicago, Des Moines, St. Louis, Kansas, Little Rock and New Orleans could all set record highs above 90 degrees Thursday.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2022/05/12/record-heat-storms-midwest-minneapolis/]

2022-05-09. As record-setting heat blasts Pakistan, a glacial lake floods village. By Kasha Patel, The Washington Post. Excerpt: Record-high April temperatures over Pakistan melted glaciers faster than normal, triggering a flash flood Saturday in a village in the northern region of the country that wiped out part of a key bridge and damaged homes and buildings. The event, known as a glacial lake outburst flood, occurs when water is suddenly released from a glacial lake because of a dam failure or breach. Warmtemperatures over the past month accelerated snow and ice melt near an ice-dammed lake by Shishpar glacier, near Mount Shishpar, increasing the lake’s volume and likely causing the breachand water to overflow across the top.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2022/05/09/pakistan-heat-flood-glacier/]

2022-05-09. India tries to adapt to extreme heat but is paying a heavy price. By Gerry Shih and Kasha Patel, The Washington Post. Excerpt: …Typically, heat waves in India affect only part of the country, occur in the summer and only last for a week or so. But a string of early heat waves this spring has been longer and more widespread than any observed before. India experienced its hottest March on record. Northwest and central India followed with their hottest April. “This probably would be the most severe heat wave in March and April in the entire [recorded] history” of India, said Vimal Mishra, a climate scientist at Indian Institute of TechnologyGandhinagar. …India loses more than 100 billion hours of labor per year because of extreme heat, the most of any country in the world, according to research published in Nature Communications. …The extreme heat is straining not only farmers but also their crops, as high temperatures coincided with the final weeks of the planting season, when grains need cool weather to mature. Devinder Sharma, an agricultural policy expert, said a quarter of every acre of Indian wheat could be lost to the heat.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/05/09/india-heat-wave-climate-change/]

2022-05-02. ‘We are living in hell’: Pakistan and India suffer extreme spring heatwaves. By Hannah Ellis-Petersen in Delhi and Shah Meer Baloch in Islamabad. TheGuardian. Excerpt: For the past few weeks, Nazeer Ahmed has been living in one of the hottest places on Earth. As a brutal heatwave has swept across India and Pakistan, his home in Turbat, in Pakistan’s Balochistan region, has been suffering through weeks of temperatures that have repeatedly hit almost 50C (122F), unprecedented for this time of year. Locals have been driven into their homes, unable to work except during the cooler night hours, and are facing critical shortages of water and power. Ahmed fears that things are only about to get worse. It was here, in 2021, that the world’s highest temperature for May was recorded, a staggering 54C. …As the heatwave has exacerbated massive energy shortages across India and Pakistan, Turbat, a city of about 200,000 residents, now barely receives any electricity, with up to nine hours of load shedding every day, meaning that air conditioners and refrigerators cannot function. “We are living in hell,” said Ahmed.… [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/02/pakistan-india-heatwaves-water-electricity-shortages]

2022-05-01. ‘Turning the dial up’: US south-west braces for extended wildfire season amid drastic drought. By Gabrielle Canon, The Guardian. Excerpt: A million acres have already burned across the country already, with La Niña bringing more severe dry climate. …“Climate change is taking a situation that would be bad for us normally,” says Gregg Garffin, a climatologist at the University of Arizona, “and turning the dial up.” Once confined to specific times of year, wildfire conditions are stretching across more months, and will likely continue until the region gets additional rain.… [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/01/us-new-mexico-drought-wildfire-southwest]

2022-04-28. Animal melting pot created by climate change could lead to new disease outbreaks. By Jon Cohen, Science Magazine. Excerpt: As habitats shift, many mammalian species will meet each other for the first time and swap viruses, modeling study predicts. Earth’s warming climate is expected to change the habitat of many animal species, which a new modeling study predicts may spell trouble: Species on the move will mingle with many others they have never encountered before, allowing the various animals to exchange viruses. That could spark new disease outbreaks in many wildlife populations—and in humans as well. By 2070, assuming the most conservative warming scenario, there will be at least 15,000 new cross-species transmissions involving more than 3000 mammalian species, according to a modeling team led by Colin Carlson, a global change biologist at Georgetown University. “Most of this pattern has probably been set in motion with the 1° of warming we’ve already experienced,” says Carlson, whose study appears online in Nature today. …“We get a completely different geography of risk than we expected,” he says. He anticipated that climate change would drive species north and south toward the poles, but the models showed intense mixing occurs earlier, because species will move to habitats at higher or lower altitudes. Bats, which make up about 20% of all mammals, will have an outsize impact on mixing because their ability to fly allows even nonmigratory species to travel hundreds of kilometers over a lifetime, far more mobility than most small animals.… [https://www.science.org/content/article/animal-melting-pot-created-climate-change-could-lead-new-disease-outbreaks]

2022-04-20. Global warming is speeding up ocean currents. Here’s why. By Paul Voosen, Science Magazine. Excerpt: Excess heat constricts water flow in shallow surface layers Two years ago, oceanographers made a surprising discovery: Not only have oceans been warming because of human-driven climate change, but the currents that flow through them have accelerated—by some 15% per decade from 1990 to 2013. At the time, many scientists suspected faster ocean winds were driving the speedup. But a new modeling study fingers another culprit: the ocean’s own tendency to warm from top to bottom, leading to constricted surface layers where water flows faster, like blood in clogged arteries. The study suggests climate change will continue to speed up across ocean currents, potentially limiting the heat the ocean can capture and complicating migrations for already stressed marine life.… [https://www.science.org/content/article/global-warming-speeding-ocean-currents-here-s-why]

2022-04-13. As Australia’s climate changes, a tropical disease advances. By Frances Vinall, The Washington Post. Excerpt: Public health professionals say the appearance of Japanese encephalitis here is just the latest example of how global warming is contributing to the spread of disease. Six years ago, melting permafrost in Siberia released frozen anthrax, which infected an Indigenous community. In 2007, the tropical chikungunya virus was detected in Europe for the first time in two Italian villages and has since appeared in France. In the United States, Lyme disease cases have doubled over 30 years as warmer conditions create longer tick seasons. And in Australia, experts warn Japanese encephalitis could be the first of several illnesses to spread south. Tim Inglis is the head of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Western Australia. “With accelerating climate change, we’re going to be in a world of hurt,” he said, “with some of these diseases that have in the past been restricted in the tropics extending, as we’re beginning to see. …The mosquitoes that carry [Japanese encephalitis] need pools of stagnant water, such as those created by the heavy downpours of the tropics, to breed. In February and March, the northeast coast of Australia was hit with record floods — conditions that enabled the virus to travel hundreds of miles south and west via mosquitoes biting water birds, horses and, especially, pigs. …over the past decade, it has traveled in the opposite direction, to higher-altitude regions of Tibet and Nepal.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/14/australia-japanese-encephalitis-climate-change/]

2022-04-11. Climate change is killing off soil organisms critical for some of Earth’s ecosystems. By Elizabeth Pennisi, Science Magazine. Excerpt: Lichens can’t take the heat, with disastrous implications for arid places Just as our skin is key to our well-being, the “skin” covering desert soils is essential to life in dry places. This “biocrust,” made up of fungi, lichens, mosses, blue-green algae, and other microbes, retains water and produces nutrients that other organisms can use. Now, new research shows climate change is destroying the integrity of this skin. …in 2013, scientists discovered climate change is changing the microbial composition of biocrusts. A new survey of these organisms in a pristine grassland in Canyonlands National Park in Utah has uncovered a hidden vulnerability of some of the lichens in these crusts. …The U.S. Southwest is rapidly warming, and Canyonlands is no exception, says USGS ecologist Rebecca Finger-Higgens, who led the analysis. Weather measurements over the past 50 years reveal temperatures in that park have increased 0.27°C each decade, and recent summers have been particularly warm. At the same time, almost all the lichens have been waning, particularly the kinds that help convert nitrogen in the air to a form organisms can use, Finger-Higgens and her team report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1967 and in 1996, those nitrogen-fixing lichen made up 19% of the biocrust, even though the percentage did fluctuate from year to year. Since then, that percentage has shrunk to just 5%, and it shows no sign of increasing again.… [https://www.science.org/content/article/climate-change-killing-soil-organisms-critical-some-earth-s-ecosystems]

2022-04-08. U.S. Fires Quadrupled in Size, Tripled in Frequency in 20 Years. By Kimberly M. S. Cartier, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: Changes including intensifying drought, expansion into burnable land, and an increase in human-caused ignitions have led to a shift in fire patterns.Extreme fires increased primarily in the western and Great Plains regions, while moderate and small fires worsened across the entire country. These fire pattern changes, which threaten human and ecosystem health, are attributed to a combination of climate change impacts and human expansion into new and burnable land.… [https://eos.org/articles/u-s-fires-quadrupled-in-size-tripled-in-frequency-in-20-years]

2022-04-04. Australian Wildfires Linked to Ozone Layer Depletion. By Krystal Vasquez, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: The Australian “Black Summer” bushfires produced nearly 1 million tons of smoke in 2019 and 2020, wreaking havoc on local air quality. But new research has shown that this is far from the only impact that the smoke had on the atmosphere. According to the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, thunderstorms generated by the intense wildfires thrust smoke particles well into the stratosphere, where they contributed to a 1% loss of the ozone layer. That’s the amount that should have been recovered over the past decade due to the adoption of the Montreal Protocol, said Susan Solomon, a professor of environmental studies and chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and lead author on the paper. “This fire offset that in one blow.”.… [https://eos.org/articles/australian-wildfires-linked-to-ozone-layer-depletion]

2022-03-28. Warmer Nights Are Adding Fuel to Nighttime Fires. By Jennifer Schmidt, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: Wildland firefighters battling record-setting blazes are noticing that the game is changing. Where crews once gained ground in the evening hours, when fires naturally die down, some on the front lines now say they often are facing a sustained battle. A new study published in Nature showed just how accurate these reports are, particularly in the western United States.… [https://eos.org/articles/warmer-nights-are-adding-fuel-to-nighttime-fires]

2022-03-29. In a First, an Ice Shelf Collapses in East Antarctica. By Henry Fountain, The New York Times. Excerpt: For the first time since satellites began observing Antarctica nearly half a century ago, an ice shelf has collapsed on the eastern part of the continent, scientists said. The collapse of the 450-square-mile Conger ice shelf in a part of the continent called Wilkes Land occurred in mid-March. It was first spotted by scientists with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and appeared in satellite images taken on March 17, according to the National Ice Center in the United States. …Several very large glaciers in West Antarctica are already flowing faster and if their ice shelves were to collapse completely, sea levels could rise on the order of 10 feet over centuries.… [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/25/climate/east-antarctica-ice-shelf-collapse.html] See also article in The Guardian.

2022-02-27. ‘Rain Bomb’ Hits Northeastern Australia, Killing at Least 9. By Yan Zhuang, The New York Times. Excerpt: Days of downpours have pummeled Queensland and New South Wales, with the authorities describing the wild weather as “waves of water just coming down.” …Up to 18,000 homes across the state have been affected, the authorities estimated, with about 15,000 of those in Brisbane. More than 1,500 people have been evacuated and about 53,000 homes were without power on Monday morning. Hundreds of schools are closed, and officials have asked residents to work from home. Residents have been asked to conserve water after flooding knocked a water treatment plant offline on Sunday. On Monday morning, the rain had eased and the Brisbane River had peaked at 12.6 feet. It was expected to peak again in the afternoon.… [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/27/world/australia/australia-flood-queensland.html.] See also Washington Post article.

2022-02-23. Spreading like Wildfire: The Rising Threat of Extraordinary Landscape Fires. By UN Environment Programme. Excerpt: Wildfires are becoming more intense and more frequent, ravaging communities and ecosystems in their path. Recent years have seen record-breaking wildfire seasons across the world from Australia to the Arctic to North and South America. With global temperatures on the rise, the need to reduce wildfire risk is more critical than ever. A new report, Spreading like Wildfire: The Rising Threat of Extraordinary Landscape Fires, by UNEP and GRID-Arendal, finds that climate change and land-use change are making wildfires worse and anticipates a global increase of extreme fires even in areas previously unaffected. Uncontrollable and extreme wildfires can be devastating to people, biodiversity and ecosystems. They also exacerbate climate change, contributing significant greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere.… [https://www.unep.org/resources/report/spreading-wildfire-rising-threat-extraordinary-landscape-fires]

2022-02-17. Facing the effects of climate change, skiers want to save their snow — and their sport. By Denise Hruby, The Washington Post. Excerpt: OBERWÖLZ, Austria — At the Lachtal ski resort, high in the eastern Alps of Austria, skiers immediately pull out their phones after sliding off the chairlift — not to take selfies, but rather to snap pictures of the windmills that have become part of the mountainous vista. When the first windmills were built here in 2002, at about 7,290 feet, many tourists saw the massive blades as an eyesore. But as the wind park grew and expanded, so did skiers’ environmental conscience. Today, locals and tourists are proud to ski among the backdrop. “When I ride up with them and eavesdrop, they’re usually impressed,” says Rudolf Wiesnegger, who maintains the wind park and adjacent solar panels. “They comment that it’s great for the environment,” he says. …Skiers and spectators have been flabbergasted by this year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing. Just as the LED snowflakes that sparkled during the Opening Ceremonies weren’t real, the snow that skiers and snowboarders are competing on isn’t natural, either.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2022/02/17/skiing-snow-climate-change-olympics/]

2022-02-10. Himalayas Are Experiencing an “Exceptional” Loss of Glacial Mass. By Rishika Pardikar, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: The Himalayas have lost 40% of their glacial mass since the Little Ice Age. East Nepal and Bhutan have experienced the most rapid losses.… [https://eos.org/articles/himalayas-are-experiencing-an-exceptional-loss-of-glacial-mass]

2022-02-14. Rapid intensification of the emerging southwestern North American megadrought in 2020–2021. By A. Park WilliamsBenjamin I. Cook & Jason E. Smerdon, Nature Climate Change. Abstract: A previous reconstruction back to 800 CE indicated that the 2000–2018 soil moisture deficit in southwestern North America was exceeded during one megadrought in the late-1500s. Here, we show that after exceptional drought severity in 2021, ~19% of which is attributable to anthropogenic climate trends, 2000–2021 was the driest 22-yr period since at least 800. This drought will very likely persist through 2022, matching the duration of the late-1500s megadrought.… [https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-022-01290-z] See also New York Times article How Bad Is the Western Drought? Worst in 12 Centuries, Study Finds.

2022-02-01. Climate change may be fueling increase in major Northeast snowstorms. By Jacob Feuerstein, The Washington Post. Excerpt: Saturday’s tremendous coastal storm pushed a band of heavy snow into southern New England, burying cities under a snowpack up to two feet deep. These near-recordsnowfall totals continue an astonishing run of historic storms to impact the Northeast in recent years, probably attributed, in part, to anthropogenic climate change. “Extreme snowstorms, even in the face of longer term declines in winter snow, are entirely consistent with the effects of global warming,” Justin Mankin, a professor at Dartmouth College who studies climate change and variability, said in a statement.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2022/02/01/northeast-snow-storm-climate/]

2022-01-20. The Maldives is being swallowed by the sea. Can it adapt? By Tristan McConnell, National Geographic. Excerpt: …Twenty-five hundred years of maritime living have shaped the culture and identity of the people of the Maldives, a country of 1,196 low-lying islands arranged into a double chain of 26 coral atolls, so flat they scarcely breach the horizon. …the Maldives may become the first country on Earth to disappear beneath rising seas. …Now, as the pace of climate change accelerates, this tiny nation is trying to buy time, in hopes that the world’s leaders will reduce carbon emissions before the Maldives’ inevitable demise. The archipelago has bet its future—along with a substantial sum from the national purse—on construction of an artificial, elevated island that could house a majority of the population of nearly 555,000 people. Meanwhile, a Dutch design firm plans to build 5,000 floating homes on pontoons anchored in a lagoon across the capital. …The nation’s entire land area is just 115 square miles sitting in 35,000 square miles of ocean, with few islands bigger than 300 acres. …The islands themselves have an ephemeral quality: sandbanks upon living coral, they grow and shrink, rise and fall, depending upon the ocean currents and sand deposits. (The list of “disappeared islands” of the Maldives is long.) Most of the islands—including the capital Malé—stand about 3.5 feet above sea level; climate scientists forecast they will be inundated by the century’s end. Hulhumalé, the man-made rescue platform, has an elevation of 6.5 feet.… [https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/the-maldives-is-being-swallowed-by-the-sea-can-it-adapt]

2022-01-10. The Uncertain Future of Antarctica’s Melting Ice. By Florence Colleoni,  Tim Naish,  Robert DeConto,  Laura De Santis and  Pippa L. Whitehouse, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: A new multidisciplinary, international research program aims to tackle one of the grand challenges in climate science: resolving the Antarctic Ice Sheet’s contribution to future sea level rise. …Among the most visible effects of anthropogenic global warming are rising seas around the world: Since 1880, the global mean sea level (GMSL) has increased by 20 centimeters. …sea level globally will continue to rise well beyond the 21st century, even if warming of the planet is stabilized below the target set by the Paris climate agreement in 2015 of 2°C above the preindustrial average. …An estimated 800 million people are likely to experience impacts of high-tide flooding by the end of the 21st century, even if the Paris climate agreement target is met. In many coastal settings, even a small increase in baseline sea level can substantially increase the frequency and magnitude of flooding during high tides, storm surges, and extreme weather. The United Nations estimates that the potential costs of damage to harbors and ports alone from this flooding could be as high as $111.6 billion by 2050 and $367.2 billion by the end of the century. …If global carbon emissions follow the high-emission Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) 5–8.5, meaning atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rise above 1,000 parts per million by 2100 …, melting Antarctic ice would contribute 14–32 centimeters (13th–87th percentiles) to an overall GMSL rise of 62–101 centimeters… according to a statistical assessment of numerical model projections [e.g., Edwards et al., 2021].… [https://eos.org/features/the-uncertain-future-of-antarcticas-melting-ice]

2022-01-10. Health Impacts of Air Pollution from Australian Megafires. By Saima Sidik, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: From October 2019 to February 2020, fire ripped through the Australian bush with unprecedented intensity, killing 34 people and more than 3 billion animals. In a new study, Graham et al. seek to quantify the health impacts of an indirect form of fire damage: the damage caused by poor air quality. Like car engines, gas stoves, and cigarettes, fires create fine particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, called PM2.5. High PM2.5 concentrations can exacerbate a wide range of medical conditions, from lung disease to cardiovascular disease, even leading to death. …Around 437,000 people were exposed to air with a PM2.5 concentration of least 25 micrograms per cubic meter of air, which is substantially more than the 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air that the World Health Organization considers an acceptable level for short-term exposure. …Using methodology developed by the World Health Organization, the authors estimated that increased PM2.5 levels brought on by the fires led to 171 deaths, or about 30% of the deaths caused by short-term PM2.5 exposure during this time.… [https://eos.org/research-spotlights/health-impacts-of-air-pollution-from-australian-megafires]

2022-01. As Water Runs Low, San Joaquin Valley Adapts to a Drier Future. By Glen Martin, California Magazine. Excerpt: As the drought has deepened in the state, growers have turned to groundwater, resulting in severe overdraft in many areas—particularly the San Joaquin Valley. That led to the passage of the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which required the identification of the state’s overdrawn and at-risk basins, quantification of their yields, and the development of pumping plans that achieve sustainability within 20 years of being implemented. …Almond trees are only commercially productive for about 20 years, and his groundwater plan means replacement trees won’t be planted in many areas. Instead, Woolf will concentrate on growing tomatoes for processing, as well as pistachios, which are longer-lived and less thirsty than almonds. …Woolf is also experimenting with alternative crops—specifically, drought-tolerant ones like agave, the feedstock for products like tequila and mezcal. “The ultimate goal would be to distill and market spirits ourselves, under our own brand,” he says. …And there’s a new crop on the horizon: energy. Rather than asking his plants to turn sunlight into calories, as farmers always have, Woolf plans to harvest sunlight directly. He’ll ultimately convert 3,500 acres of former cropland to solar installation, and many other growers are doing the same: Large photovoltaic arrays are popping up all across the valley.… [https://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/winter-2021/water-runs-low-san-joaquin-valley-adapts-drier-future]

2022-01-07. Lyme-carrying ticks live longer—and could spread farther—thanks to warmer winters. By Elizabeth Pennisi, Science Magazine. Excerpt: Research reported here this week at the annual meeting of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology has revealed black-legged ticks infected with the Lyme disease–causing microbe thrive in below-freezing weather and can be active even in winter. The finding suggests the variable winter conditions brought on by climate change could increase ticks’ activity, boosting the odds that people will encounter the ticks and come down with Lyme disease.… [https://www.science.org/content/article/lyme-carrying-ticks-live-longer-and-could-spread-farther-thanks-warmer-winters]

2022-01-05. More than 40 percent of Americans live in counties hit by climate disasters in 2021. By Sarah Kaplan and Andrew Ba Tran, The Washington Post. Excerpt: As climate-fueled extreme weather intensified last year, more than 80 percent of Americans experienced a heat wave. The impacts of fires and severe storms also spread. …At least 656 people died amid the onslaught of disasters, media reports and government records show. The cost of the destruction tops $104 billion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, even before officials calculate the final toll of wildfires, drought and heat waves in the West. While the Federal Emergency Management Agency identified fewer climate-related disasters in individual counties last year, it declared eight of these emergencies statewide — the most since 1998 — encompassing 135 million people overall.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2022/01/05/climate-disasters-2021-fires/]

Climate Change cover

Non-chronological resources

Ecological Impacts of Climate Change. Free booklet, with powerpoints on current effects of climate changes from the National Academy Press. Each example is of a specific species. The powerpoints are tailored for different parts of the country. You can choose the region you live in or all of them. You can get the booklet in hard copy or as a PDF file.

Climate Time Machine – NASA JPL. Visualizations of changes in ice melt, 
sea level, CO2, and global temperatures.

Realclimate — a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. … to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. Discussion is restricted to scientific topics, not any political or economic implications of the science.

Blog: SCIAM OBSERVATIONS – GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE–Opinions, arguments and analyses from the editors of Scientific American

New maps of  potential U.S. coastal areas to be inundated by global warming–These maps correspond with a one meter rise in sea level — the amount of sea level rise scientists predict will occur whether or not we cease emitting carbon today, on account of all the warming the earth has yet to do in order to reach equilibrium with the amount of C02 we’ve already put into the atmosphere.

Climate Central – Surging Seas (clickable map) – http://sealevel.climatecentral.org/

Climate Change Education.org

Climate Denial – Debunking unscientific climate denials: on YouTube do search for “Climate Denial Crock of the Week” See example

More denials of Climate Change, and answers, from Grist magazine.

Earth–The Operator’s Manual 
Segment 5: CO2 in the Ice Core Record 

Track Wildfires in the West (New York Times; https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/wildfires-air-quality-tracker.html)

Fire and Smoke Map (https://fire.airnow.gov)