“While we’re all obsessed with DeflateGate, let’s keep in mind that’s there’s something about which you should give a fuck!” he continued. “Yes, like Tom Brady, the world is getting hotter and hotter, because we humans are pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”
But what you do about it? “You should vote for congressmen and senators that appreciate the threat of climate change and the rate at which the world is getting warmer, so that we can preserve the Earth for humankind for generations to come!”
In the storm debris littering a Washington State shoreline, Bonnie Wood saw something grisly: the mangled bodies of dozens of scraggly young seabirds.
Walking half a mile along the beach at Twin Harbors State Park on Wednesday, Wood spotted more than 130 carcasses of juvenile Cassin’s auklets—the blue-footed, palm-size victims of what is becoming one of the largest mass die-offs of seabirds ever recorded.
“It was so distressing,” recalled Wood, a volunteer who patrols Pacific Northwest beaches looking for dead or stranded birds. “They were just everywhere. Every ten yards we’d find another ten bodies of these sweet little things.”
Cassin’s auklets are tiny diving seabirds that look like puffballs. They feed on animal plankton and build their nests by burrowing in the dirt on offshore islands. Their total population, from the Baja Peninsula to Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, is estimated at somewhere between 1 million and 3.5 million.
There’s no “silver bullet” for addressing the nation’s energy needs, and early rave hopes about ethanol in gas are getting a questioning second look.
After several years of painstaking research, bioengineers at Yale and Harvard have developed a method to ensure organisms with engineered DNA could survive only in designated environments, and not in the wild. Their research was on the bacteria E. coli, but the scientists said the same basic steps could be applied to genetically modified crops, as well as to bacteria used to process dairy products, probiotics for health applications, and even the microorganisms sometimes used to clean up oil spills.
“Endowing safeguards now is important to allow the field [of biotechnology] to go forward,” said geneticist Farren Isaacs, a co-author of the Yale study.
To understand how the proposed solution works, let’s back up to a few basics of genetics. Everything about an organism—its color, how it reproduces or digests food, basically any trait you can think of—is encoded in its DNA, a long sequence of base molecules represented by the letters A, T, C, and G. Stretches of this code are called genes; the entire thing is a genome.
California’s drought crept in slowly, but it could end with a torrent of winter storms that stream across the Pacific, dumping much of the year’s rain and snow in a few fast-moving and potentially catastrophic downpours.
Powerful storms known as atmospheric rivers, ribbons of water vapor that extend for thousands of miles, pulling moisture from the tropics and delivering it to the West Coast, have broken 40% of California droughts since 1950, recent research shows.
“These atmospheric rivers — their absence or their presence — really determine whether California is in drought or not and whether floods are going to occur,” said F. Martin Ralph, a research meteorologist who directs the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.
The storms, which flow like massive rivers in the sky, can carry 15 times as much water as the Mississippi and deliver up to half of the state’s annual precipitation between December and February, scientists say. Though atmospheric rivers are unlikely to end California’s drought this year, if they bring enough rain to erase the state’s huge precipitation deficit, they could wreak havoc by unleashing floods and landslides.
MANILA — Pope Francis waded into the global debate on climate change and the environment on Sunday, saying in the text of a speech that man was destroying nature and betraying God’s calling to be stewards of creation.
Francis offered his thoughts about the environment and climate change for the second time in four days at a rally with young people at a Manila university on the last full day of a week-long Asian tour that has taken him to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
He did not read all of a speech prepared for delivery at the university, improvising after he was moved by the story of an abandoned girl. When he does this, the Vatican says the prepared text is official.
“As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our seas, we
betray that noble calling,” he said in the text.
Another line he read to the crowd noted that “this country, more than many others, is likely to be seriously affected by climate change”.
Of course the wingnuts at freep are reacting accordingly…
Regardless of your religious beliefs or non-beliefs, it’s a fact that this is the only world we get to live on. If we f*ck it up, it’s not like we can just move someplace else.
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
OSLO, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Climate change and high rates of extinctions of animals and plants are pushing the Earth into a danger zone for humanity, a scientific report card about mankind’s impact on nature said on Thursday.
An international team of 18 experts, expanding on a 2009 report about “planetary boundaries” for safe human use, also sounded the alarm about clearance of forests and pollution from nitrogen and phosphorus in fertilizers.
“I don’t think we’ve broken the planet but we are creating a much more difficult world,” Sarah Cornell, one of the authors at the Stockholm Resilience Center which led the project as a guide to human exploitation of the Earth, told Reuters.
“Four boundaries are assessed to have been crossed, placing humanity in a danger zone,” a statement said of the study in the journal Science, pointing to climate change, species loss, land-use change and fertilizer pollution.
Of a total of nine boundaries assessed, freshwater use, ocean acidification and ozone depletion were judged to be within safe limits. Others, including levels of airborne pollution, were yet to be properly assessed.
Pope Francis said Thursday he is convinced that global warming is “mostly” man-made and that he hopes his upcoming encyclical on the environment will encourage negotiators at a climate change meeting in Paris to make “courageous” decisions to protect God’s creation. Francis has spoken out frequently about the “culture of waste” that has imperiled the environment and he elaborated en route to the Philippines. While there, Francis will meet with survivors of the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan, which the government has said was an example of the extreme weather conditions that global warming has wrought. “I don’t know if it (human activity) is the only cause, but mostly, in great part, it is man who has slapped nature in the face,” he said. “We have in a sense taken over nature.”
A team of scientists, in a groundbreaking analysis of data from hundreds of sources, has concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them.
“We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event,” said Douglas J. McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an author of the new research, which was published on Thursday in the journal Science.
But there is still time to avert catastrophe, Dr. McCauley and his colleagues also found. Compared with the continents, the oceans are mostly intact, still wild enough to bounce back to ecological health.
“We’re lucky in many ways,” said Malin L. Pinsky, a marine biologist at Rutgers University and another author of the new report. “The impacts are accelerating, but they’re not so bad we can’t reverse them.”
The new Republican leaders in Congress have pledged to roll back the EPA’s proposed new regulations on coal-fired power plants - a key component of President Obama’s strategy to reduce global warming.
However, Republican voters are actually split in their views about climate change. A look at public opinion among Republicans over the past few years finds a more complex - and divided - Republican electorate.
For this study, we combined the results from six of our nationally-representative surveys over the past three years, which provided enough data for an in-depth analysis of the diversity of views about global warming within the Republican party.
We find that solid majorities of self-identified moderate and liberal Republicans - who comprise 30% of the party - think global warming is happening (62% and 68% respectively). By contrast, 38% of conservative Republicans think global warming is happening. At the extreme, Tea Party Republicans (17% of the party) are the most dismissive - only 29% think global warming is happening.