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

Articles from 2023

2023-05-20. Rice Gets Reimagined, From the Mississippi to the Mekong. [] By Somini Sengupta, reporting from Arkansas and Bangladesh, and Tran Le Thuy, from Vietnam, The New York Times. Excerpt: Rice is in trouble as the Earth heats up, threatening the food and livelihood of billions of people. Sometimes there’s not enough rain when seedlings need water, or too much when the plants need to keep their heads above water. As the sea intrudes, salt ruins the crop. As nights warm, yields go down. These hazards are forcing the world to find new ways to grow one of its most important crops. Rice farmers are shifting their planting calendars. Plant breeders are working on seeds to withstand high temperatures or salty soils. Hardy heirloom varieties are being resurrected….

2023-05-20. In Flood-Stricken Area of Italy, Residents Fear This Won’t Be the Last of It. [] By Gaia Pianigiani and Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times. Excerpt: When the floods hit in the northern Italian town of Lugo this past week, overflowing a local watercourse and sending water gushing into streets and the surrounding fields, Irinel Lungu, 45, retreated with his wife and toddler to the second floor of their home. …The floods have upended tens of thousands of lives in the region, Emilia-Romagna, as exceptional weather in some areas brought about half the typical annual rainfall in 36 hours. And experts say it may no longer be so exceptional. …Extreme weather events have become more commonplace in Europe, from the violent storms and raging floods that killed dozens in Germany two years ago to the scorching temperatures that set records in a normally temperate Britain last July. Italy has suffered its own fair share of extreme events, caught between bouts of extreme drought that parch towns, cripple agriculture and dry out the country’s breadbasket, and then torrential rains and floods like those of this past week….

2023-05-16. Indonesia Plans on Building Nusantara, a New Capital City. [] By Hannah Beech, The New York Times. Excerpt: Since Indonesia’s independence in 1945, Jakarta had expanded from less than a million people to roughly 30 million. It had grown tall with skyscrapers built with fortunes made from timber, palm oil, natural gas, gold, copper, tin. …Jakarta was sinking, as thirsty residents drained its marshy aquifers and rising sea waters lapped its shores. Forty percent of the Indonesian capital now lies below sea level. …Joko Widodo …the governor of a capital city that seemed to teeter on the brink of ruin …raised sea walls and improved public transport. He later talked up the construction of a constellation of artificial islands to break the waters hitting Jakarta. …All the Sisyphean dredging, the endless concrete inches slathered on sea walls, the duct tape solutions could not raise Jakarta above the sea’s reach. And so Mr. Joko has turned to a different solution: …forsake the capital on the slender island of Java and construct a new one on Borneo, the world’s third largest island, about 800 miles away. The new capital is to be called Nusantara, meaning “archipelago” in ancient Javanese and befitting an unlikely nation of more than 17,000 islands scattered between two oceans….

2023-05-05. Climate Change Powered the Mediterranean’s Unusual Heat Wave. [] By Raymond Zhong, The New York Times. Excerpt: The early-season heat wave that broiled parts of Algeria, Morocco, Portugal and Spain last week almost certainly would not have occurred without human-induced climate change, an international team of scientists said in an analysis issued Friday. A mass of hot, dry air from the Sahara parked itself above the western Mediterranean for several days in late April, unleashing temperatures that are more typical of July or August in the region. Mainland Spain set an April record of 101.8 degrees Fahrenheit, or 38.8 Celsius, in the southern city of Córdoba. In Morocco, the mercury climbed to more than 106 degrees Fahrenheit in Marrakesh, according to provisional data, very likely smashing that nation’s April record as well….

2023-04-28. Climate Change, Megafires Crush Forest Regeneration. [] By Nancy Averett, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: High-intensity fires in western states kill mature trees and their seeds while warmer, drier conditions stress seedlings. But forest managers can still intervene to change this trajectory.

2023-04-27. Climate Change Made East Africa’s Drought 100 Times as Likely, Study Says. [] By Raymond Zhong, The New York Times. Excerpt: Two and a half years of meager rain have shriveled crops, killed livestock and brought the Horn of Africa, one of the world’s poorest regions, to famine’s brink. Millions of people have faced food and water shortages. Hundreds of thousands have fled their homes, seeking relief. A below-normal forecast for the current rainy season means the suffering could continue. Human-caused climate change has made droughts of such severity at least 100 times as likely in this part of Africa as they were in the preindustrial era, an international team of scientists said in a study released Thursday. The findings starkly illustrate the misery that the burning of fossil fuels, mostly by wealthy countries, inflicts on societies that emit almost nothing by comparison. In parts of the nations hit hardest by the drought — Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia — climate hazards have piled on top of political and economic vulnerabilities. The region’s string of weak rainy seasons is now the longest in around 70 years of reliable rainfall records. But according to the study, what has made this drought exceptional isn’t just the poor rain, but the high temperatures that have parched the land….

2023-04-26. Record ocean temperatures put Earth in ‘uncharted territory’, say scientists. [] By Fiona Harvey, The Guardian. Excerpt: Temperatures in the world’s oceans have broken fresh records, … in an “unprecedented” run that has led to scientists stating the Earth has reached “uncharted territory” in the climate crisis. …Data collated by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), known as the Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature (OISST) series, gathered by satellites and buoys, has shown temperatures higher than in any previous year, in a series stretching back to 1981, continuously over the past 42 days. …Warming oceans are a concern for many reasons. Seawater takes up more space at higher temperatures, accelerating sea level rise, and warmer water at the poles accelerates the melting of the ice caps. Hotter temperatures can also be dire for marine ecosystems, as it can be difficult or impossible for species to adapt. …Some scientists fear that the rapid warming could be a sign of the climate crisis progressing at a faster rate than predicted. The oceans have acted as a kind of global buffer to the climate crisis over recent decades, both by absorbing vast amounts of the carbon dioxide that we have poured into the atmosphere, and by storing about 90% of the excess energy and heat this has created, dampening some of the impacts of global heating on land….

2023-04-24. Redefining “Glacial Pace”. [] By Damond Benningfield, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: Glaciers and ice sheets are moving much faster now than they were just a couple of decades ago. The vast majority of them are retreating, thinning, cracking, or shrinking at unprecedented speeds. Heated by Earth’s warming atmosphere and oceans, Greenland’s massive ice sheet is melting more rapidly and running into the sea. Weakened by changing currents in the Southern Ocean, the floating extensions of Antarctica’s even bigger ice sheet are cracking off like slivers of peanut brittle. And smaller mountain glaciers from Alaska to New Zealand are vanishing, setting up potentially major consequences for people and ecosystems that depend on their water. “Every region that has glaciers is out of balance,” said Alex Gardner, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “None are in equilibrium with the climate. None are healthy. And the problem has been accelerating.” …All of that is contributing to one more speedup: the rise in global sea level. “The most dominant reason we study the speed of ice is to understand the current and future contributions of ice to sea level rise,” said Richard Forster, a geologist and associate dean at the University of Utah….

2023-04-23. Leonardo’s Ferry Left High and Dry by Global Warming and Red Tape. [] By Jason Horowitz, The New York Times. Excerpt: Since at least 500 years ago, when the opposing banks of the Adda belonged to the Duchy of Milan and the Republic of Venice, ferries have run on water currents and a taut rope above a narrow stretch of the river. Leonardo spent a lot of time in the area and sketched the motorless ferry around 1513. …But a year after Italy’s worst drought in seven decades — when much of Europe gasped for precipitation — a winter without much rain or snow has turned into a dry spring across the country’s north. …the scarcity of rainfall, which has also hit the Adda, where swans glide on water so low that islands have emerged, rowboats are beached and the last of what the town calls “Leonardesque” ferries has become a stationary landmark….

2023-04-22. Eureka! After California’s Heavy Rains, Gold Seekers Are Giddy. [] By Thomas Fuller, The New York Times. Excerpt: There’s a fever in California’s gold country these days, the kind that comes with the realization that nature is unlocking another stash of precious metal. California’s prodigious winter rainfall blasted torrents of water through mountain streams and rivers. And as the warmer weather melts the massive banks of snow — one research station in the Sierra recorded 60 feet for the season — the rushing waters are detaching and carrying gold deposits along the way. The immense wildfires of recent years also loosened the soil, helping to push downstream what some here are calling flood gold….

2023-04-21. Climate Change Knocks It Out of the Park. [] By Kimberly M. S. Cartier, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: Home runs in baseball have been getting steadily more common for decades, and a recent spike in home runs might be driven by anthropogenic climate change. A new analysis combined decades of baseball statistics and ballistics data with predictive climate modeling. The study showed that more than 500 home runs since 2010 can be attributed to climate-driven, unseasonably hot temperatures. …Jim Albert, a statistician at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, noted that although these results are statistically significant, the number of home runs attributable to climate change is small relative to other ball and player effects. …Callahan speculated that there will likely come a point when team owners decide that the increase in home runs isn’t worth the heat-related health risks to players and fans. “I don’t know that we’ve seen a baseball game canceled for heat yet, but I think it’s coming,” he said. Teams might opt to shift from day games to night games, invest in a domed stadium, or even relocate to a cooler city—mitigation strategies that could have profound economic impacts on a region…..

2023-04-18. Colorado River snaking through Grand Canyon most endangered US waterway – report. [] By Nina Lakhani. The Guardian. Excerpt: A 277-mile stretch of the Colorado River that snakes through the iconic Grand Canyon is America’s most endangered waterway, a new report has found. The unique ecosystem and cultural heritage of the Grand Canyon is on the brink of collapse due to prolonged drought, rising temperatures and outdated river management, according to American Rivers, the conservation group that compiles the annual endangered list. …The 2023 list includes rivers that traverse 17 states and scores of sovereign tribal nations, and supply drinking water, food, recreation and spiritual nourishment to millions of people. The waterways are under threat from mining, the climate breakdown, dams, industrial pollution and outdated river management practices that for too long have rebuffed traditional knowledge and sustainable techniques tried and tested by Indigenous Americans. …The climate crisis has led to prolonged drought across the entire river basin and reduced snowfall on the Rockies, which, along with chronic overuse, has left the reservoirs with historically low water levels…. See also article in Eos/AGU: Ten Rivers Facing Pollution, Development, and Climate Change—And Policies That Can Help.

2023-04-17. ‘From bad to worse’: drought puts Kenya’s hospitals under pressure. [] By Caroline Kimeu, The Guardian. Excerpt: The morning rounds at Modogashe hospital in Lagdera do not take long. …According to a local official, patient numbers in Lagdera – a district in Garissa County, in the east of Kenya – have dropped from nearly 12,000 in 2019 to just over 8,000 last year, as people move away in search of water. …Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are experiencing their worst drought in 40 years, with their sixth consecutive failed rainy season. The number of people in Kenya facing severe hunger is expected to rise to 5.4 million this year, particularly in the north of the country, where about 95% of surface water sources have dried up….

2023-04-14. As the Arctic Warms, These Rivers Are Slowing Down. [] By Danielle Beurteaux, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: Permafrost is the understructure of the Arctic, but it’s thawing at a drastic pace, putting infrastructure and landscape in peril. Researchers wanted to ascertain how rising temperatures and thawing permafrost are affecting the movement of the Arctic’s large rivers. A new study published in Nature Climate Change found that such rivers’ channel migration is actually decreasing. Rivers across Alaska and Canada’s Yukon and Northwest Territories migrated 20% less between 1972 and 2020, a period when the region’s temperatures spiked. …researchers evaluated Landsat imagery of 10 rivers that were more than 100 meters wide in Alaska, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. These rivers, including the Yukon and Mackenzie, are in areas with varying amounts of permafrost, from continuous to sporadic. …The rivers that slowed down the most were in the areas with the most increased shrubification….

2023-04-11. Dwindling sea ice may speed melting of Antarctic glaciers. [] By Paul Voosen, Science. Excerpt: In February, on an icebreaker off the coast of West Antarctica, Robert Larter, a marine geophysicist with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), came on deck to a startling sight: open gray water as far as the eye could see. There was no ice at all for the ship to break. The next day, satellite surveys would find sea ice around the continent hitting a record low. Unlike fast-shrinking Arctic sea ice, the sea ice ringing Antarctica seemed more resistant to climate change—until recently. But now a long-term decline may have set in, and it could have unexpected and ominous domino effects, according to several recent studies. Dwindling sea ice could strengthen a whirling current called the Ross Gyre, bringing warm waters closer to land and hastening the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which locks up enough water to raise global sea levels by 3.3 meters. The warmer water and glacial melt expected from a stronger gyre already show hints of slowing part of the global ocean’s overturning circulation, a critical “conveyor belt” of currents that distributes heat and removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere….

2023-04-10. A jail for wayward polar bears? You must be in Churchill, Canada…. [] By Zed Nelson, The Guardian. Excerpt: Perched on the southern edge of the Arctic on the shores of Hudson Bay, residents of the Canadian town of Churchill share their streets with the world’s largest land carnivore. Their regular encounters with polar bears have earned Churchill the nickname “Polar bear capital of the world”. …The 900 or so residents are used to looking cautiously around corners and not walking after dark. But it’s the bears that could claim to have a grievance: the town was built on their annual migratory route. …Living side by side with apex predators certainly poses challenges for the town’s residents, but it is the spectre of climate change that looms large over Churchill. The number of polar bears in western Hudson Bay has fallen by 27% in the past five years, according to a recent government survey that counted bears from the air. Polar bears need an enormous amount of body fat to sustain themselves on land in the ice-free summer months. While waiting for sea ice to form, they lose about 1kg (2.2lb) a day. Female bears and cubs have an especially hard time. Warmer summers mean longer stretches without sea ice, and less time to hunt seals….

2023-04-07. Baseball’s sluggers hit more home runs thanks to global warming. [] By Christian Elliott, Science. Excerpt: Climate change will affect essentially every aspect of our lives, climate researchers say, even America’s unofficial pastime, baseball. Because warmer air is less dense and exerts less drag on a batted ball, the number of home runs should in theory climb as global temperatures increase. And, sure enough, a new study shows that about 0.8% of the homers hit in Major League Baseball (MLB) since 2010 made it over the fence thanks to the extra distance global warming lent their flight. Other factors, however, from the explicit effort of players to hit more home runs to the design of the ball itself, play bigger roles in explaining why home run numbers have skyrocketed in recent decades. “From a purely baseball point of view, this is primarily an academic result, not a result that Major League Baseball should really worry about,” says Alan Nathan, a physicist at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, who was not involved in the work….

2023-04-05. Ice sheets can collapse at 600 metres a day, far faster than feared, study finds. [] By Damian Carrington, The Guardian. Excerpt: Ice sheets can collapse into the ocean in spurts of up to 600 metres (2,000 feet) a day, a study has found, far faster than recorded before. …the finding, based on sea floor sediment formations from the last ice age, was a “warning from the past” for today’s world in which the climate crisis is eroding ice sheets. …The research, published in the journal Nature, used high-resolution mapping of the sea bed off Norway, where large ice sheets collapsed into the sea at the end of the last ice age 20,000 years ago. The scientists focused on sets of small ridges parallel to the coast, which formed at the line where the base of the ice sheet met the oceans, called the grounding line. …Measuring the distance between the ridges enabled the scientists to calculate the speed of the Norwegian ice sheet collapse. They found speeds of between 50 metres a day and 600 metres a day. That is up to 20 times faster than the speediest retreat recorded previously by satellites, of 30 metres a day at the Pope Glacier in West Antarctica….

2023-04-03. California Salmon Stocks Are Crashing. A Fishing Ban Looks Certain. [] By Catrin Einhorn, The New York Times. Excerpt: This week, officials are expected to shut down all commercial and recreational salmon fishing off California for 2023. Much will be canceled off neighboring Oregon, too. The reason: An alarming decline of fish stocks linked to the one-two punch of heavily engineered waterways and the supercharged heat and drought that come with climate change. There are new threats in the ocean, too, that are less understood but may be tied to global warming, according to researchers….

2023-04-04. ‘Tornado alley’ is shifting farther into the US east, climate scientists warn. [] By Oliver Milman, The Guardian. Excerpt: A spate of devastating tornadoes that have recently ripped through parts of the eastern and southern US states could portend the sort of damage that will become more commonplace due to changes wrought by global heating, scientists have warned….

2023-03-29. Melting Antarctic ice predicted to cause rapid slowdown of deep ocean current by 2050. [] By Graham Readfearn, The Guardian. Excerpt: Melting ice around Antarctica will cause a rapid slowdown of a major global deep ocean current by 2050 that could alter the world’s climate for centuries and accelerate sea level rise, according to scientists behind new research. The research suggests if greenhouse gas emissions continue at today’s levels, the current in the deepest parts of the ocean could slow down by 40% in only three decades. This, the scientists said, could generate a cascade of impacts that could push up sea levels, alter weather patterns and starve marine life of a vital source of nutrients. …Prof Matt England, of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales and a co-author of the research published in Nature, said the whole deep ocean current was heading for collapse on its current trajectory. “In the past, these circulations have taken more than 1,000 years or so to change, but this is happening over just a few decades. It’s way faster than we thought these circulations could slow down….

2023-03-16. Global fresh water demand will outstrip supply by 40% by 2030, say experts. [] By Fiona Harvey, The Guardian. Excerpt: The world is facing an imminent water crisis, with demand expected to outstrip the supply of fresh water by 40% by the end of this decade, experts have said on the eve of a crucial UN water summit. Governments must urgently stop subsidising the extraction and overuse of water through misdirected agricultural subsidies, and industries from mining to manufacturing must be made to overhaul their wasteful practices, according to a landmark report on the economics of water. …Many governments still do not realise how interdependent they are when it comes to water, according to Rockstrom. Most countries depend for about half of their water supply on the evaporation of water from neighbouring countries – known as “green” water because it is held in soils and delivered from transpiration in forests and other ecosystems, when plants take up water from the soil and release vapour into the air from their leaves. The report sets out seven key recommendations, including reshaping the global governance of water resources, scaling up investment in water management through public-private partnerships, pricing water properly and establishing “just water partnerships” to raise finance for water projects in developing and middle-income countries….

2023-03-15. Schizophrenia pinpointed as a key factor in heat deaths. [] By Warren Cornwall, Science. Excerpt: …more than 600 people died from the heat in British Columbia, as temperatures topped 40°C for days, shattering records in a region better known for temperatures usually half as high. Now, new research has zeroed in on one of the hardest hit groups: people with schizophrenia. Epidemiologists combing through provincial health records found that, overall, those with mental health conditions seemed to have an elevated risk of a heat-related death. That was most severe for people with schizophrenia—a 200% increase compared with typical summers. …schizophrenia can affect the brain’s hypothalamus, which helps regulate temperature through sweating and shivering. Some antipsychotic medications can raise body temperature, which can have deadly effects when coupled with extreme heat. The disease affects people’s ability to make reasoned decisions or sense when they are ill. People with schizophrenia tend to have other conditions tied to heat-related illness, such as diabetes. Finally, schizophrenia is associated with isolation and homelessness, which puts people at risk when temperatures rise….

2023-03-13. Rivers in the Sky Are Hindering Winter Arctic Sea Ice Recovery. [] By Rachel Fritts, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: Atmospheric rivers are reaching farther north with greater frequency than they were 4 decades ago, according to new research. These lofted highways of water vapor are dumping rain on recovering Arctic sea ice during the winter, when ice should be at its peak. At any given time, multiple atmospheric rivers are moving more than a Mississippi River’s worth of water from the equator to higher latitudes. When researchers first described the phenomenon several decades ago, it was seen as a midlatitude event, associated with flooding in California and snowmelt in the Pacific Northwest. But recently, atmospheric rivers have been snaking their way to the poles as well. A new study definitively links these extreme weather events with broader trends in Arctic sea ice loss….

2023-03-04. ‘Everyone should be concerned’: Antarctic sea ice reaches lowest levels ever recorded. [] By Graham Readfearn, The Guardian. Excerpt: For 44 years, satellites have helped scientists track how much ice is floating on the ocean around Antarctica’s 18,000km coastline. The continent’s fringing waters witness a massive shift each year, with sea ice peaking at about 18m sq km each September before dropping to just above 2m sq km by February. But across those four decades of satellite observations, there has never been less ice around the continent than there was last week. …Hobbs and other scientists said the new record – the third time it’s been broken in six years – has started a scramble for answers among polar scientists. The fate of Antarctica – especially the ice on land – is important because the continent holds enough ice to raise sea levels by many metres if it was to melt. While melting sea ice does not directly raise sea levels because it is already floating on water, several scientists told the Guardian of knock-on effects that can. …Sea ice helps to buffer the effect of storms on ice attached to the coast. If it starts to disappear for longer, the increased wave action can weaken those floating ice shelves that themselves stabilise the massive ice sheets and glaciers behind them on the land….

2023-02-27. How Hail Hazards Are Changing Around the Mediterranean. [] By Sante Laviola,  Giulio Monte,  Elsa Cattani and  Vincenzo Levizzani, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: A new method for studying hailstorms from space offers more consistent and more complete views of how and where hail forms, and how climate change might influence hail’s impacts in the future. The Mediterranean Basin is one of the most vulnerable areas on Earth to the effects of rapid climate change. Observed rates of temperature rise indicate that the region is warming 20% faster compared with the global average, inducing a trend toward drier conditions and changing precipitation regimes. The steep temperature rise increases the vulnerability of the Mediterranean Basin to several hazards that affect ecosystems and human health and security, such as heat waves, droughts, and fires. Along with such events, the frequency and intensity of storm-related hazards also may be amplified around the Mediterranean in a warming climate. Hail is one hazard of interest because of its dangerous and destructive nature, especially when hail particles grow to large sizes. …Our analysis of the 22-year data set demonstrates, despite high interannual variability, that there are statistically significant (significance > 90%) increasing trends in the numbers of large hail and super hail events across the entire Mediterranean Basin …there has been a roughly 30% increase in the incidence of the phenomena in the past decade (2010–2021) with respect to the preceding 1999–2010 period….

2023-02-27. ‘Big irony’ as winter sports sponsored by climate polluters, report finds. [] By Damian Carrington, The Guardian. Excerpt: Winter sports are being sponsored by high-carbon companies despite their pollution helping to melt the snow the sports require to exist, according to a new report. The report found that more than 100 events, organisations and athletes were sponsored by fossil fuel companies, carmakers and airlines. The sponsorships were like “winter sport nailing the lid on its own coffin”, said one Olympic champion. The report, by campaign group Badvertising and thinktank New Weather Sweden, found 83 sponsorship deals from car manufacturers. The largest governing body in winter sports, the International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS), is itself sponsored by Audi. Almost 90% of the vehicles produced by Audi in 2021 were petrol or diesel driven. The report also found sponsorship deals from 12 fossil fuel companies, including Gazprom and Equinor, and five airlines, including British Airways and SAS. …The European Alps suffered a poor winter for snow in 2023 and recent research found the duration of snow cover there is now 36 days shorter than the long-term average, as CO2 emissions drive up global heating….

2023-02-25. The Salton Sea, an Accident of History, Faces a New Water Crisis. [] By Henry Fountain, The New York Times. Excerpt: The vast California lake relies on runoff from cropland to avoid disappearing. But as farmers face water cuts due to drought and an ever drier Colorado River, the Salton Sea stands to lose again. …As the sea has shrunk it’s become so salty — it’s currently nearly twice as salty as seawater — that only a handful of fish species, including tilapia and the endangered desert pupfish, remain. With fewer fish, bird populations along what is an important migratory flyway have declined. …Human health has been affected, too. The retreating water has exposed huge expanses of lake bed, and with wind stirring up dust from them, air quality in the Imperial Valley is among the worst in the state. That’s led to a high incidence of childhood asthma and other respiratory illnesses among the valley’s 180,000 residents….

2023-02-16. Will global warming make temperature less deadly? [] By Harry Stevens, The Washington Post. Excerpt: Both heat and cold can kill. But cold is far more deadly. For every death linked to heat, nine are tied to cold. The scientific paper published in the June 2021 issue of the journal Nature Climate Change was alarming. Between 1991 and 2018, the peer-reviewed study reported, more than one-third of deaths from heat exposure were linked to global warming. …A month later, the same research group, which is based out of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine but includes scientists from dozens of countries, released another peer-reviewed study that told a fuller, more complex story about the link between climate change, temperature and human mortality. …the second paper reported that between 2000 and 2019, annual deaths from heat exposure increased. But deaths from cold exposure, which were far more common, fell by an even larger amount. All told, during those two decades the world warmed by about 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit, and some 650,000 fewer people died from temperature exposure….

2023-02-10. Cacti replacing snow on Swiss mountainsides due to global heating. [] By Alessio Perrone, The Guardian. Excerpt: The residents of the Swiss canton of Valais are used to seeing their mountainsides covered with snow in winter and edelweiss flowers in summer. But as global heating intensifies, they are increasingly finding an invasive species colonising the slopes: cacti…. For GSS Climate Change chapter 8.

2023-02-01. Dangerous Fungi Are Spreading Across U.S. as Temperatures Rise. [] By Dominique Mosbergen, Wall Street Journal. Excerpt: Dangerous fungal infections are on the rise, and a growing body of research suggests warmer temperatures might be a culprit. …Climate change might also be creating conditions for some disease-causing fungi to expand their geographical range, research shows. …Deaths from fungal infections are increasing, due in part to growing populations of people with weakened immune systems who are more vulnerable to severe fungal disease, public-health experts said. At least 7,000 people died in the U.S. from fungal infections in 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, up from hundreds of people each year around 1970. …A January study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that higher temperatures may prompt some disease-causing fungi to evolve faster to survive….

2023-01-31. With rapidly increasing heat and drought, can plants adapt?. [] By Robert Sanders, UC Berkeley News. Excerpt: At a time when climate change is making many areas of the planet hotter and drier, it’s sobering to think that deserts are relatively new biomes that have grown considerably over the past 30 million years. Widespread arid regions, like the deserts that today cover much of western North America, began to emerge only within the past 5 to 7 million years. Understanding how plants that invaded these harsh deserts biomes were able to survive could help predict how ecosystems will fare in a drier future. An intensive study of a group of plants that first invaded emerging deserts millions of years ago concludes that these pioneers — rock daisies — did not come unequipped to deal with heat, scorching sun and lack of water. They had developed adaptations to such stresses while living on dry, exposed rock outcroppings within older, more moist areas and even tropical forests, all of which made it easier for them to invade expanding arid areas. The study by University of California, Berkeley, researcher Isaac Lichter-Marck is the first to provide evidence to resolve a long-standing evolutionary debate: Did iconic desert plants, like the stately saguaro cacti, the flaming ocotillos and the Seussian agaves, adapt to arid conditions only after they invaded deserts? Or did they come preadapted to the stresses of desert living? …Lichter-Marck and Bruce Baldwin, UC Berkeley professor of integrative biology, curator of the Jepson Herbarium and chief editor of The Jepson Desert Manual: Vascular Plants of Southeastern California(2002), published their study about the evolution of rock daisies in North American deserts this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences….

2023-01-16. Skipped Showers, Paper Plates: An Arizona Suburb’s Water Is Cut Off. [] By Jack Healy, The New York Times. Excerpt: RIO VERDE, Ariz. — Joe McCue thought he had found a desert paradise when he bought one of the new stucco houses sprouting in the granite foothills of Rio Verde, Ariz. There were good schools, mountain views and cactus-spangled hiking trails out the back door. Then the water got cut off. Earlier this month, the community’s longtime water supplier, the neighboring city of Scottsdale, turned off the tap for Rio Verde Foothills, blaming a grinding drought that is threatening the future of the West. Scottsdale said it had to focus on conserving water for its own residents, and could no longer sell water to roughly 500 to 700 homes — or around 1,000 people. …Almost overnight, the Rio Verde Foothills turned into a worst-case scenario of a hotter, drier climate, showing what happens when unregulated growth collides with shrinking water supplies….

2023-01-15. Dwindling Snow Leaves Swiss Alpine Villages Staring at an Identity Crisis. [] By Erika Solomon, The New York Times. Excerpt: …As the planet warms, Europe has faced a bruising year of climate crises. In the summer, many regions suffered severe drought and record heat. Already this year, some areas have seen the highest-recorded winter temperatures — so warm that many ski resorts could not even make snow. For Switzerland, whose glaciers and snowpack form a crucial storehouse for European water supplies, the effect has been especially alarming. The country is warming at more than double the rate of the global mean and its glaciers lost 6 percent of their volume in the last year alone, according to Swiss federal authorities and a glacier monitoring group. The changes pose a risk to some parts of a Swiss ski industry that by some estimates generates around $5.5 billion a year. But in a country where nearly everyone skis, the loss of snow is more than an economic or environmental danger. It is a threat to national identity….

2023-01-11. Oceans were the hottest ever recorded in 2022, analysis shows. [] By Damian Carrington, The Guardian. Excerpt: The world’s oceans were the hottest ever recorded in 2022, demonstrating the profound and pervasive changes that human-caused emissions have made to the planet’s climate. More than 90% of the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gas emissions is absorbed in the oceans. The records, starting in 1958, show an inexorable rise in ocean temperature, with an acceleration in warming after 1990. Sea surface temperatures are a major influence on the world’s weather. Hotter oceans help supercharge extreme weather, leading to more intense hurricanes and typhoons and more moisture in the air, which brings more intense rains and flooding. Warmer water also expands, pushing up sea levels and endangering coastal cities…. See also New York Times article The Last 8 Years Were the Hottest on Record.

2023-01-11. As Storms Hammer California, Homeless Campers Try to Survive Outside. [] By Shawn HublerLivia Albeck-Ripka and Corina Knoll, The New York Times. Excerpt: From rural Sonoma County to the celebrity enclave of Montecito, a brutal parade of atmospheric rivers has tested California’s infrastructure and endurance. Streets have flooded, levees have failed, mudslides have closed highways and wind gusts have knocked out electricity for days. At least 17 people have died since late December. But few have faced as stark a challenge as the more than 170,000 people who are homeless in California. The state not only has the nation’s largest population of homeless residents, but unlike in colder locales, nearly 70 percent of them sleep in tents, vehicles or public open spaces. …The extreme weather driven by climate change has intensified the need for efforts to protect homeless people across the country, where about 230,000 people are living unsheltered, according to an annual estimate coordinated by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. In the Phoenix region, heat-related deaths among unhoused people nearly doubled between 2013 and 2021. In Salt Lake City last month, plunging temperatures claimed the lives of five unsheltered people in a week…. See also Soaked and Battered by Repeating Rainstorms, California Girds for More.

See articles from {2022}-{2021}-{2020}-{2013–2019}-{2006–2012}

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) –

Climate Change

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;

Fire and Smoke Map (

Climate Change cover