How bad is Antarctic ice loss? Let scientists count the ways. In December, researchers reported that West Antarctica, one of the world’s most unstable ice sheets, is collapsing faster than anyone had predicted and contributing to rapid sea level rise. Earlier this month, the same was found to be true of Totten Glacier in East Antarctica.
This week, glaciologists report the massive floating ice shelves that form a fringe along the continent’s coastline are also deteriorating. For hundreds of thousands of years, these shelves have served as doorstops for the entire Antarctic ice sheet system, holding back millions of cubic miles of glaciers from surging toward the sea. And now they’re losing heft faster than they can be replenished.
In a study published in the March 27 issue of the journal Science, researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego found that Antarctic ice shelves have been losing volume at an increasing pace in the past 18 years.
Finally we have clarity, we have honesty as the masks drop and Mitch McConnell makes it clear that he, and his fellow Republicans, are fighting for the dirtiest industry on the planet. No more climate denial, it’s all pro coal now as the gloves come off in the final battles of the fossil fuels industries. Mitch has stepped up to bat for an industry that kills 30,000 - 50,000 people around the world every year.
The Supreme court has already ruled that the EPA has the power to regulate carbon emissions - I think Mitch is grasping for thin reeds here.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has begun an aggressive campaign to block President Obama’s climate change agenda in statehouses and courtrooms across the country, arenas far beyond Mr. McConnell’s official reach and authority.
The campaign of Mr. McConnell, the Senate majority leader, is aimed at stopping a set of Environmental Protection Agency regulations requiring states to reduce carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants, the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Once enacted, the rules could shutter hundreds of coal-fired plants in what Mr. Obama has promoted as a transformation of the nation’s energy economy away from fossil fuels and toward sources like wind and solar power. Mr. McConnell, whose home state is one of the nation’s largest coal producers, has vowed to fight the rules.
RENO (CBS/AP) — A ski resort south of Lake Tahoe has suspended its winter operations due to a lack of snow and could end up closing the rest of the season for the earliest time in about 40 years.
This is some really great news, let’s hope that this trend continues.
Global emissions were unchanged last year, the first time that’s happened amid economic growth in four decades, according to the International Energy Agency.
Carbon-dioxide emissions, which scientists say are responsible for climate change, were stable at 32.3 billion metric tons, even as the global economy advanced 3 percent, the Paris-based agency said Friday in a statement on its website, citing preliminary estimates. China, the world’s biggest emitter, generated more of its electricity from renewable sources including hydropower, solar and wind and less from coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, it said.
The preliminary data suggests efforts to slow climate change may be more effective than expected, the IEA said. United Nations envoys are holding a series of meetings through the end of this year to try to seal a global deal limiting greenhouse gases in the period after 2020 in a bid to prevent emissions from rising to a level scientists say will lead to irreversible climate change.
The challenges to the construction industry are immense - how do you waterproof the lower floors of a high rise hotel? What do you do for transport as some areas of Florida’s coastline evolve into a city more like Venice than South Beach?
Once again, viewers of these videos are ahead of the rest of the world in understanding climate issues.
Rick Scott, the Climate denying Governor of Florida, also denies that his administration had a policy of not allowing the words “climate change”, “global warming” or “sea level rise” to be used by State employees. Nevertheless, former state employees are sticking by that claim.
I included that tidbit in my own video on sea level rise a few months before it became a top news item.
Hope y’all will support this effort by subscribing to the Yale Climate Forum channel.
Given the historic low temperatures and snowfalls that pummeled the eastern U.S. this winter, it might be easy to overlook how devastating California’s winter was as well.
As our “wet” season draws to a close, it is clear that the paltry rain and snowfall have done almost nothing to alleviate epic drought conditions. January was the driest in California since record-keeping began in 1895. Groundwater and snowpack levels are at all-time lows. We’re not just up a creek without a paddle in California, we’re losing the creek too.
Data from NASA satellites show that the total amount of water stored in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins — that is, all of the snow, river and reservoir water, water in soils and groundwater combined — was 34 million acre-feet below normal in 2014. That loss is nearly 1.5 times the capacity of Lake Mead, America’s largest reservoir.
Be sure to view the slideshow at the link below. Scary and beautiful images.
Since 2012, California has been in the midst of a record-setting drought, with extremely warm and dry conditions characterizing the last three years in that state. A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concludes that warming caused by humans is responsible for the conditions that have led to this California drought.
This study, published by scientists affiliated with the Department of Environmental Earth System Science and the Woods Institute for Environment at Stanford University, used historical statewide data for observed temperature, precipitation, and drought in California. The investigators used the Palmer Hydrological Drought Index (PHDI) and the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), collected by the National Climatic Data Center, as measures of the severity of wet/dry anomalies. They also used global climate model simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) to compare historical predictions for anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic historical climates.
The authors performed their analysis using an approach called bootstrapping. Bootstrapping techniques allow statisticians to utilize the same sample repeatedly to improve their estimates of specific effects. In this analysis, bootstrapping was used to compare the climate data with measures of populations from different time periods to allow for analysis of how changes in population are associated with different climate conditions.
This analysis found that the statewide warming in California occurs in climate models that include both natural and human factors, but not in simulations that only include natural factors. It’s a difference with a very high (0.001) level of statistical significance.
In their discussion and conclusions, the investigators state that their results strongly suggest that anthropogenic (human-caused) warming has increased the probability of co-occurring temperature and precipitation conditions that have historically led to California’s droughts. They also state that continued global warming is likely to lead to situations where every future dry period, whether it’s seasonal, annual, or multiannual, will be accompanied by historically warm conditions.
“We were told not to use the terms ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming’ or ‘sustainability,’” said Christopher Byrd, an attorney with the DEP’s Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee from 2008 to 2013. “That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel.”
Kristina Trotta, another former DEP employee who worked in Miami, said her supervisor told her not to use the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in a 2014 staff meeting. “We were told that we were not allowed to discuss anything that was not a true fact,” she said.
This unwritten policy went into effect after Gov. Rick Scott took office in 2011 and appointed Herschel Vinyard Jr. as the DEP’s director, according to former DEP employees. Gov. Scott, who won a second term in November, has repeatedly said he is not convinced that climate change is caused by human activity, despite scientific evidence to the contrary.
Signs of Global Warming:
So for the ceremonial start of the Iditorad race in Anchorage they had to haul in snow. The real start of the race will be two days later up in Fairbanks - even there the start had to be moved since the planned startline on the Chena river isn’t feasible due to open leads in the ice.
With the real race two days and some 360 miles away, 78 mushers and more than a thousand howling, tail-wagging sled dogs will parade through Anchorage on Saturday morning at the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
It was shaping up as a wet, sloppy day with light rain, temperatures in the upper 30s and slushy trail conditions on the Iditarod route through the city. Much of the snow was hauled in, and not just for bare downtown streets. City trails had been packed in recent days, but by Saturday morning the snow was wearing thin in many places.
Mushers will start in two-minute increments beginning at 10 a.m. and will travel 11 miles over streets and trails, with hundreds of fans cheering them along.
Last weekend, former Chinese state media newscaster Chai Jing released a powerful documentary film about China’s enormous pollution problems. By midweek, it had been viewed online more than 15 million times, and that number escalated as it continued to go viral.
Now, it has disappeared.
Viral smog documentary Under the Dome, which has been viewed by hundreds of millions of Chinese over the past week and launched environmental issues to the forefront as the nation’s top decision-making bodies meet in Beijing, has know apparently been deleted from major Chinese video streaming sites.
Versions of the film on Youku, Sohu, QQ and Tudou have all been removed over the past few hours in what appears to be a nationwide crackdown on the investigate feature by former CCTV news anchor Chai Jing.
Despite initially being pushed by domestic media, lauded by the nation’s new environment minister and openly shared and discussed on social network platforms, censors have increasingly been deleting comments online that blame the central government for the state of the environment.
This latest development may point to either an internal struggle within Party leadership or perhaps cold feet on the part of the government after having greenlit the project, failing to expect the depth of public feeling on the issue and the momentum the film would gain.
More at online.thatsmags.com
You can view the film, which Chai funded herself, with English subtitles, on YouTube, though.
Led by a Chinese 12th grader linghein.me and an expat @tianyuf, an international team provided the English subtitles and had uploaded them to YouTube by Friday. They hope to provide subtitles in other languages in the future.