Climate Change This Week: Sobering Suicides, Battery Breakthrough, and More!

Climate Change This Week: Sobering Suicides, Battery Breakthrough, and More!
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Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.


Forests Protect The BUB: Bizarre, Useful and Beautiful biodiversity that sustains all of us, besides storing carbon -- and hooded Indian grasshoppers.Credit Kaushik GM at flickr

OO India Is Set To Spend Over $6 Billion On Restoring Their Forests

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon



Boreal Circle of Fire - a wildfire emitted many tons of climate-changing carbon emissions as it burned Fort McMurray, Canada, a city devoted to producing climate-changing fossil fuels that help warm and dry out boreal forests; both fires and fossil fuels up the chances for... more carbon-emitting wildfires. This wildfire is just the latest in a growing lineage of early northern wildfires, indicating climate change.

OO The Climate Context For The Fort McMurray Wildfire - Takeaways:

  1. warmer winters and springs are heating up the north;
  2. the fire season has increased 40% over the past 65 years;
  3. El Nino added to the heat and dryness this year.

  • large wildfires have doubled over that time;

  • boreal wildfires have spiked to levels not seen in 10,000 years;
  • wildfires emit many tons of climate changing carbon emissions;
  • boreal peat bogs store huge amounts of climate changing carbon - once burning they are very difficult to put out.
  • 2016-05-17-1463507491-2558920-wildfireMcmurrayalbertacanadamay2016SourceCBCReutersccr328.jpg

    Source CBC, Reuters

    OO Alberta, Canada: Entire City Of 88,000+ Flees Large Wildfire that was fuelled by soaring temperatures - nearly 90 F - and tinder-dry forest. The fire burned thousands of home in the oil sands city of Fort McMurray.

    Related Headline:

    OO 'It Was Raining Ash:' Wildfire Sparks Exodus - as it blew up a gas station, burned homes and downtown.

    "Headlights stretched for hundreds of kilometers through parched boreal forest as residents headed south," noted Daily Climate News Editor Doug Fischer


    As Global Temperatures Rise, So Do Wildfires as depicted in this watercolor that shows rising flames above a graph of rising global temperatures. Credit Jill Pelto

    OO Climate Change May Be Fueling Canada's Fire Season a new study says. Takeaways:

    • global warming is creating warmer winters and less spring snow;
    • warmer winters means earlier snowmelt, lengthening the dry season;
    • El Nino further added to a drier, milder winter this year;
    • Longer, drier seasons increase the chance of wildfires.



    Alberta Wildfire Burning Tons of Money -costing not just insurers, but oil consumers, many thousands of refugees, and the world, in terms of climate change. Credit Jerome Garot at EPA

    OO Canada Oil Prices Rise As Wildfire Knocks Out Production

    OO Alberta Wildfire Set To Be Canada's Costliest Natural Disaster - for insurers of all the structures destroyed.

    OO Canadian Wildfire Edges South, Leaves Thousands Stranded - and helping these new refugees will also cost the Canadian economy.

    When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.




    What Inspires Politicians to Take Action? Voters Credit Center for Climate Change Communication

    OO Creating Concern About Global Warming - indicates a new study, is tied to people's knowledge:

    • Understanding the causes of global warming helps people accept that it's man-made.
    • Recognizing that it is man-made creates concern within people.
  • Knowing that 97% of scientists recognize man-made global warming ups people's acceptance of it and policies to tackle it.
  • Less than 20% of Americans realize the scientific consensus is that high.


    OO Inspire Climate Action By Framing the Issue Collectively - as in "we're all in this together - now what are we going to do?" This is far more effective than thinking in terms of personal responsibility, says a new study. People are willing to donate up to 50% more towards climate action.

    BUT this might only work with people who are informed on climate change, like those polled in the study.



    @@ DRYING UP - The Middle East, north Africa, central Asia and south Asia will suffer the biggest economic hit from water scarcity as climate change takes hold, finds a new World Bank report.

    OO Global Water Shortages To Deliver 'Severe Hit' To Economies,
    World Bank Warns
    likely spurring conflict and further migration by 2050, says a new study.

    Under business-as-usual water usage, shortages could cause a 14% decline in GDP in the Middle East, and declines in Africa, India, and China from both climate change and rising populations.

    Related Headline:

    OO Climate Change Is Really Going To Hurt Us Is Through Water


    @@ A Simple And Smart Way To Fix Climate Change given by Dan Miller in 2014 at a Ted talk suggests a way to profit as we tackle climate change, by finally charging those who sell and use fossil fuels - and distributing the revenues back to all of us!

    The strategy is sure to speed transition to clean renewable energy. What's not to like? Check it out!




    Now You See It... Now You Don't as corals start dissolving. Credit Chris Langdon at National Geographic

    OO Oceanic Acidification Is Dissolving the Biggest US Reef on the continent, says a new study.

    The northern part of the reef, nearest Miami, is eroding and dissolving faster than it can rebuild, likely due to increasing acidity, which prevents corals from obtaining the calcium needed to grow. Takeaways:

    • Coral reef dissolution is happening faster than predicted;
    • Unlike coral bleaching, acidification is constant, precluding a chance to repair.
    • Coral dissolution will speed up as acidification worsens.
  • Without coral reefs, many beachside hotels and coasts will be more vulnerable to flooding and storm damage.
  • Related Headline:

    OO Florida's Coral Reef Is Disintegrating




    Imagine All of Humanity Jumping Into The Sea, Every Day - And Not Getting Out - that's how much water is being added to the oceans daily by Greenland ice melting. Credit Christine Zeinino at Flickr

    OO Abrupt 6-Foot Sea Level Rise An Increasingly Reality
    By 2100
    - indicate a growing number of studies, as the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps melt; sea levels could rise far higher in the next century, flooding much of humanity.


    These sunken islands are a portent of things to come.
    - study author Simon Albert.

    OO Rising Pacific Ocean Swallows 5 Solomon Islands,
    Due to Climate Change
    , says a new study.



    OO As Seas Rise, So Will Toxic Ocean Pollution as thousands of coastal garbage dumps erode, then submerge in the UK... and worldwide.




    The Pacific Speeds Up Arctic Melting During Its Cool Decades Climate Phase - characterized by the ocean surface temperature patterns above. The good news? We arein a warm phase. The bad news? The Arctic experienced record breaking warmth this winter - that is, it could have been -- and will be -- far worse, if we don't act. Source Screen and Francis 2016

    OO How The Pacific Ocean Alters The Pace Of Arctic Warming is answered in part by new research. Takeaways:

    1. The Pacific switches between cold and warm decades-long climate phases (aka PDOs), related to ocean surface temperatures off the Americas., which are cooler during the cold phase, and vice versa.

  • The cold phase helps speed up melting of Arctic ice, as resulting winds push more warm air (from over open waters) north over the ice, further melting it. In contrast, the warm phase slows melting.
  • 2016-05-17-1463507742-402525-icemeltinginarcticoceanwikipediaccr240.jpg

    Dwindling Arctic Ice Wikipedia

  • The bad news? This winter's record Arctic warmth occurred during the warm phase, which began in 2013. And other factors, such as a strong El Nino weather event, also played a part.
  • But when we switch back to the cool phase, Arctic melting will probably speed up even further.
  • And the loss of Arctic ice further increases global warming as much more heat gets absorbed by the resulting larger expanses of darker, open waters.
  • <>


    Melting Away - the freezer that stores California's water, the Sierra snowpack. Source

    OO Western U.S. Snowpack Melting At Record Speed from Washington to Wyoming - so quickly, that flooding is possible in some areas.




    Rockfish Hit Rocky Times - prized by fishermen and fish lovers alike, many species of rockfish are now threatened by lack of oxygen. Source

    OO Global Warming Is Starving West Coast Waters, And Marine Life,
    Of Oxygen
    - overfished rockfish populations now face suffocation as warming surface waters increasingly prevent enough oxygen penetrating deep into their habitat.

    Other marine life that support the oceanic food chain are affected, too.

    Areas naturally lower in oxygen are feeling the effects sooner worldwide.

    OO Ocean's Oxygen Starts Running Low - as surface waters warm and prevent oxygen from mixing deeper, making it hard for fish to breathe in addition to exacerbating global warming and ocean acidification.

    Related Headline:

    OO Global Warming Could Deplete The Oceans' Oxygen -
    With Severe Consequences
    indicates a new study.




    OO Republican States Benefiting Most From Shift to Wind and Solar Energy - despite
    opposing the President 's efforts to curtail climate-warming carbon emissions, such states as Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, are often benefiting most from the nation's accelerating shift to renewable energy.

    Republican-dominated North Carolina trails only California in new solar farms, thanks largely to pro-renewables polices enacted years ago under a Democratic legislature.

    Related Headline:

    OO Republican States Are Leading America In New Renewable Energy Projects with wind turbines and solar panels accounting for more than two-thirds of all new electric generation capacity added to the nation's grid in 2015.


    OO Republican Attitudes on Climate Change Thaw


    Spreading Like a Cold - Only Hotter!Source Shutterstock

    OO Solar Power Is Contagious - fully one third of the customers for the largest US Solar rootop installer were referred by a friend or neighbor. If you install solar photovoltaic panels on your roof, that increases the odds that your neighbors will install their own panels.

    Rooftop solar is expanding rapidly in the US-- by some estimates, a new system goes up every four minutes.


    OO China's Total Wind Power Capacity to Triple by 2030

    OO Chile Considers Tapping Pacific Wave Power - a new study shows it has 164 MW of potential wave power lapping its coasts; harnessing just 10% of it would surpass Chile's current electric capacity.


    OO US: Solar Surges As Coal Collapses -Solar capacity is surging; by the end of 2016, there will be twice as much solar as there was in 2014.

    Meanwhile, recent coal plants closings bring tally of closed (or closing) coal generation to 100 gigawatts' worth since 2010, says the Sierra Club, which has focused on limiting and now reducing coal use since 2002.



    OO U.S. Coal Production Falling Off a Cliff as a majority of the country's major coal companies have filed for bankruptcy over the past year, bringing.coal production to a 30-year low.


    OO The Global Coal Trade Doubled From 2002 To 2012 as a coal-fuelled boom took hold in Asia. Now it seems to have stalled, or even gone into reverse. Several maps tell the story.



    OO Plans For Coal-Fired Power In Asia Are 'Disaster For Planet'
    Warns World Bank
    - China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam account for three-quarters of new coal stations planned for the next five years. If all go ahead, it would leave the world unable to avoid 2C of warming, says a World Bank official.

    Related Headline:

    OO Countries Eyeing Coal Plants Must Reassess Energy Strategy says the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency, because such facilities may not be a viable investment.



    @@ Kimmel Pooh-poohs Pompous Palin's Denial:
    "What if I decide to deny the existence of yogurt?"
    Or of gravity? Ultimately, K notes, "Either you believe in science, or you don't."


    And for even more nonsense...


    'I'm not a big believer in man-made climate change.' says Don The Denier of man-made global warming. Credit: modified piece by Nate Beeler at the Columbus Dispatch

    OO Donald Trump's Election Would Derail Paris Climate Deal,
    Warns Its Architect-
    Former French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said, "If a climate change denier was to be elected, it would threaten dramatically global action against climate disruption."

    More Trumpery...

    OO Coal Industry Group Backs Trump - one dinosaur backs another.



    OO Colorado Court Strikes Down Local Communities' Freedom to Ban Fracking

    OO Fund Investors Ignoring Climate Risks Rose Last Year Despite BOE Warning - that is, from the Bank of England, which warned about the potential for "huge" losses from a sudden shift in regulation designed to curb global warming and fossil fuels.

    Almost half of the world's top 500 investors are failing to act on climate change risk and management. Oh-oh.




    If You Don't Vote For Climate Action, You Can Forget The Rest - in a climate-changing world of famine, drought, rising seas, giant storms and heat waves, there will be no security in jobs, health, wealth, or national safety. There will be chaos ensuing from increasing crises and disasters. Vote.

    OO Global Warming Policies We Set Today Will Determine The Next 10,000 Years - of global warming, a new study shows -- and whether our civilization survives or not: history shows that harmful climate change has destroyed civilizations before.

    This time, it could be worldwide. Let's keep "The Hunger Games" in the realm of fiction.





    OO Obama: Taking On Climate Change Is Key To Public Health beyond being an economic imperative and a national security priority.


    Catchin' Rays Down Under, Mate! The Greens want millions of households to install renewable energy storage units, saying battery storage could "revolutionise" Australia's energy system. Source

    OO Australia: Green Lawmakers Want Solar Energy Storage For 1+ Million Homes - noting it could revolutionize Australia's energy system.

    How to fund the 5-year, nearly $3 billion incentive program? Scrap fossil fuel subsidies.

    The Aussie Green Clean Goal: 90% of Australia runs on renewables by 2030.



    Harvesting a Windy Treasure on the Emerald Isle Source

    OO Ireland: New Minister Says Wind Energy Part Of Climate-Change Solution




    A Drought Refugee: A Face of Climate Change, fueled by our need for fossil fuels.
    Credit Matilde Gattoni at instagram

    OO Climate Change Is Corroding Our Values, Says Naomi Klein - The need for fossil fuels is destroying regions and communities, causing war and famine worldwide in the process, argues the activist and author.

    OO Scientists Critiquing Media Climate Reports - at the new website Climate Feedback, where a coterie of climate scientists critique news reports and opinion columns.


    OO Environmental Groups Sue EPA,
    Seek Stricter Rules Over Fracking Waste Linked To Earthquakes

    OO Australia: 66 Charged At Newcastle Anti-Coal Climate Change Protest




    One of Many Who Gave Up Hope and he left behind a famished family. Source

    OO India: Hundreds Commit Suicide As Drought Dries Up Their Survival
    - after 2-3 successive drought years:
    • Water taps have run dry;
    • Public panic and protests have erupted;
    • Reservoirs are now guarded;
  • 100,000+ Drought refugees have fled dried farms
  • Dried out soil can't absorb water, or recharge groundwater well.
  • This is just the tip of the iceberg: in 2014 alone, 5,500 Indian farmers committed suicide, as their farms failed.



    Dramatic Drop in Polar Bears: Possibly Only 25,000 Left Worldwide say experts.
    Credit Kerstin Langenberger at Facebook

    OO In Alaska, Climate Change Is Now A Daily Reality - for remote villages:

    early ice melt means getting supplies is far more precarious;
    dwindling, desperate polar bears forage in garbage, threaten people;
    new animals are turning up ... like grasshoppers, which can be plant pests.




    It's All in the Gel - Mya Le Thai shows off the gel she created that vastly improves battery life. Credit University of California Irvine

    OO HUGE New Battery Storage Breakthrough - discovered by a graduate woman scientist, Mya Le Thai. This is BIG because:

    1. There's serious demand for longer-lasting batteries.
    2. Better battery storage can advance many technologies, from iphones to electric cars
    3. Increasing battery life is no easy feat.
  • The breakthrough? Using an affordable gel rather than liquid solution, with gold nanowires.
  • This increased the battery lifetime 4000% -- ie, 40x that of a typical battery.
  • 2014-05-16-moneybagsgreenmrviaforcechangecomcctw92.jpg

    Save Money - Don't Even Search For Fossil Fuels the world can't use, says a new study.

    OO Oil Giants Are Worth More by Drilling Less, Analysts Say in a low carbon world. Shell, BP, and 5 othermajors could increase their market value by $100+ billion if they invest in line with a 2C warming limit, says a new study, by avoiding costly exploration for fuels the world cannot use.

    Related Headline:

    OO Oil Giants Should Ditch High-Cost Projects, Thinktank Says


    Collecting Precious Water Credit Rajanish Kakade at Associated Press

    OO Women's Wisdom Crucial To Beating Climate Change, researchers say, especially in developing effective policies to reduce disaster risks and tackle climate change in developing countries.

    OO The Time Has Come To Turn Up The Heat
    On Those Who Are Wrecking Planet Earth
    says climate activist Bill McKibben. Conferences go only so far; peaceful civil disobedience is still needed to push national leaders into adequate action fast enough to avoid increasingly serious climate disasters.

    Related Headline:

    OO Exxon Scrambles To Contain Climate Crusade - a green campaign to make the company pay for climate change is besieging the oil industry and its conservative allies.




    Michael Bloomberg: Cities Are Focal Points of Climate Action

    OO We've Been Mayors Of New York, Paris And Rio:
    We Know Climate Action Starts With Cities
    but they need the national power and support to act, argue Michael Bloomberg , Anne Hidalgo and Edurado Paes.




    Over Half of 2015 Bankruptcies Are From Fossil Fuels Source

    OO U.S. Oil Industry Bankruptcy Wave Surges
    The rout in crude prices is snowballing into one of the biggest avalanches in the history of corporate America, with 59 oil and gas companies now bankrupt after this week's filings for creditor protection by Midstates Petroleum and Ultra Petroleum.

    OO US Fracking Causing Global Surge
    In Dangerous Climate-Changing Gas, Ethane
    - which helps extend the lifetime in the atmosphere of the very potent climate changing gas, methane, a study finds.



    If we do not grow sustainably,
    Our children will die inhumanely.

    @@ The Cost of Unintended Pregnancy: Too Young

    Teen childbearing cost US taxpayers $9+ Billion in 2010
    And the costs of raising a child usually ensures decades, if not a life, of poverty for its mother.
    - US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


    Help prevent unintended pregnancies in your community:
    publicize where women can access affordable contraception.


    They can go here to find locations:


    And there are many more actions you can do, right here.




    OO New Record Set for World's Cheapest Solar -
    Now Undercutting Coal

    Solar power set another record-low price as renewable energy United Arab Emirates developers promised project costs that undercut even coal-fired generators.

    They bid as little as 2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour to develop 800 megawatts of solar-power projects there - 15% lower than the previous record set in Mexico last month.

    OO Australia: Government and Energy Retailers Back Community Solar-Plus-Storage Projects


    Check it out here, right now!




    Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, May 17, 2016

    How unusual has the weather been? No one event is "caused" by climate change, but global warming, which is predicted to increase unusual, extreme weather, is having a daily effect on weather, worldwide.

    Looking above at recent temperature anomalies, much of North America (indeed, most of Canada, where a huge wildfire rages) and the waters surrounding it and the US, are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures: despite El Nino driven precipitation, California remains in drought, and its "water freezer", the snowpack in the Sierras, is melting away rapidly.

    Much of the areas surrounding the North Pole are experiencing much warmer than normal temperatures - not good news for our Arctic thermal shield of ice. Hotter than usual temperatures continue to dominate human habitats.



    There is, of course, much more news on the consequences and solutions to climate change. To get it, check out this annotated resource list I've compiled, "Climate Change News Resources," at here. For more information on the science of climate change, its consequences and solutions you can view my annotated list of online information resources here.

    To help you understand just what science does and does NOT do, check this out!

    Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by this everlasting wild flower I photographed one spring in South Africa. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future. If you'd like to join the increasing numbers of people who want to TELL Congress that they will vote for clean energy candidates you can do so here. It's our way of letting Congress know there's a strong clean energy voting bloc out there. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.


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