Climate Change This Week: Megadroughts, Virtual Clean Power Plants, and More!

Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.


Saving BUB, Beautiful Unique Biodiversity, as in this Amazonian ant-mimic treehopper, is another reason to preserve carbon storing forests. Credit Andreas Kay at flickr

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon


A Key Preserver of Carbon Storage in Rainforests - are tapirs, which help disperse the seeds of the largest carbon-storing trees.

OO The Surprising Link Between The Tapirs Of Costa Rica And Climate Change - They disperse seeds of the largest trees that store the most carbon, suggest new studies. Protecting tapirs and other large seed-eating mammals is key to preserving carbon storage capability in rainforests.



OO The Alarming Number Of Fires In The Brazilian Amazon is an undeniable sign that predatory exploration in the Brazilian Amazon has not yet been properly tackled.


OO Humans Have Destroyed A Tenth Of Earth's Wilderness In 25 Years and there may be none left within a century if trends continue, says an authoritative new study.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.



@@ Obama On Climate Change: The Trends Are 'Terrifying'
More than health care, race or the economy, President Obama believes his efforts to slow global warming will be the most consequential legacy of his presidency.

As one historian recalled Obama saying in 2012, 'If we don't do anything on the climate issue, all bets are off.' So what has Obama done since then?

  • carved a climate agreement on reducing emissions with China;
  • had US lead negotiations resulting in the 2015 Paris climate agreement;
  • unaided by Congress, enacted the US Clean Power Plan to reduce pollution hazardous to health and climate.

On the world role of the US, Obama says, "if we're going to actually solve a problem, then our most important role is as a leader, vision setter and convener."


OO An Open Letter Regarding Climate Change From Concerned Members Of The U.S. National Academy Of Sciences - excerpts:

"Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy.
It is a physical reality."


Our fingerprints on climate are visible everywhere;
We are certain beyond a reasonable doubt
that human-caused climate change is
real, serious, and immediate,
and that


Credit AP photo, Jae C Hong

This problem poses significant risks:

  • to our ability to thrive and build a better future,
  • to national security,
  • to human health and food production,
  • and to the interconnected web of living systems.


Enjoy It While It Is Still Clean - activists are calling for a ban in the large southern bay of Australia, known as the Great Australian Bight. Coincidentally, it looks like some giant took a big bite out of the continent long ago... Source

OO Call To Halt Great Australian Bight Oil Drilling amid faulty equipment fears. The Oil rigs could use faulty equipment that US regulators say is very likely to cause a "catastrophic incident" like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


OO Pope Francis: Environmental Destruction A Sin, Causes Ecological Debt - that humanity has caused and should act against.

OO Catholic Bishops Org Director: G20 Still Promotes Climate Changing Growth -

"The G20 failed to set the right priorities," said Pirmin Spiegel, general director at the Catholic Bishops' Organization for Development Cooperation.

"While climate change is only one of 'Further Significant Global Challenges Affecting the World Economy', the biggest problem and  --  at the same time  -- the one-size-fits-all solution G20 offers to these challenges is growth.

They stick to the same old tools that have not been able to solve the climate crisis and global inequality."




OO Danger: Pacific Ocean's Response To Global Warming Could
Extend California Drought For CENTURIES
Warming forces have caused millennia of dryness in California's recent (6,000 to 1,000 BC) prehistory, and greenhouses gases could do the same, says a new study published in a major scientific journal.

The physical warming of the atmosphere from trapped sunlight , aka radiative forcing,"in the past appears to have had catastrophic effects in extending droughts," said the lead author, a distinguished geographer and ecologist.


Source NOAA

The Warm Blob Is Back and has never entirely gone away, in any case. Now a new study indicates that it - and our California drought - could be around for a long time: think centuries. Source NOAA

Correlating its own with all other prehistory California climate studies, the researchers showed that such heated periods also showed prolonged heating in Pacific Ocean surface temperatures.

Changes in ocean temperatures are linked to El Niño and La Niña conditions, which increase and decrease precipitation in California. History now shows us this link to precipitation can be a long term one.




OO U.S. Endures Its Hottest Summer Nights On Record

This past summer (June through August) saw the highest average minimum temperature on record., 60.8 F, placing fifth hottest among the 122 summers since records began in 1895 for the contiguous U.S., say recent NOAA analyses.

The average daily summer low in the contiguous 48 states has climbed about 1.4°F in the last century. That's double the increase of 0.7°F in the average daily summer high.

OO Long, Hot, Soggy Summer - No single extreme weather event can be proved to be due to human-induced climate change. But this summer's weather anomalies are entirely consistent with what scientists and computer models predict about a global warming world.

OO La Niña Fizzles, Making Record Warm Global Temperatures More Likely say forecasters.



Credit De Agostini at Getty Images

OO Open Water Nears North Pole As 2016 Melt Season End Nears a sign of the rapid pace of warming taking place there.

Unseasonably powerful storms have broken up the sea ice up there, which helps speed melting.

Related Headline:


Storm-whipped Ice Rubble At The North Pole shows how global warming is shattering our planetary thermal shield there. Source NASA via TERRA satellite

OO This Is What Near-Record-Low Arctic Sea Ice Looks Like - An exploded down pillow - not the unbroken ice of the good old days.

It's the "new normal" says NASA, and it's not a good one. As Arctic temperatures soar, ice cover is shrinking, thinning, and breaking up.




OO Soaring Ocean Temperature Is 'Greatest Hidden Challenge Of Our Generation - A new report warns that the 'truly staggering' rate of warming is changing the behavior of marine species, reducing fishing zones, and spreading disease.

OO Asian Typhoons Becoming More Intense - 50% more intense in the past 40 years due to warming seas, shows a new study.

Related Headline:

OO Landfalling Typhoons Have Become More Intense - causing far more destruction where they land in east and southeast Asia.

OO Climate Change Threatens Birds Migrating Along Great Lakes - prompting them to begin early, which can disrupt a delicate natural balance and put entire species at risk.


Endangered Valuable Insect Eaters - lizards expend energy both to find shade and to cool down, making their survival that more challenging in a global warming world. Credit Mark Eastburn at AP

OO Climate Change Far More Dangerous For Lizards Than Once Thought - a previous study estimated that 20% of these valuable insect eaters could be extinct by 2080, but new research indicates it could be far worse.


Bye-Bye Birdie? Many colorful Hawaiian honeycreepers are, like this Apapane, already rare due to habitat destruction, are facing extinction as a warming climate lets malaria-carrying mosquitoes into the only habitat they have left. Source

OO Endemic Hawaiian Birds Are About To Go Extinct
Because Of Climate Change
as mosquitoes threaten honeycreepers with disease -- and warming temperatures let the pests reach the birds' habitat, suggests a new study.




Slowing An Ocean, Changing the World as melting glaciers add fresh to salt water. Credit Mariusz Kluzniak at flickr

OO Danger: How Climate Change Could Jam The World's Ocean Circulation - Takeaways:

  • The Atlantic current is part of the global oceanic conveyor belt;
  • It shuttles warmth to Europe.
  • It has weakened up to 30% since 2004;
  • Further weakening could chill Europe dramatically,
  • As the recent past shows.



Not As Farfetched As It Looks - as global warming ultimately rises sea levels and slows oceanic currents, it could dramatically chill the North Atlantic, plausibly creating such a scene from the movie, "Day After Tomorrow", although not as quickly as it happens in the film. Source

When the Atlantic current slows, it has major impacts:

  • The entire Northern Hemisphere cools;
  • Indian and Asian monsoon areas dry up;
  • North Atlantic storms intensify;
  • Less ocean mixing results in less plankton and other life in the sea.





@@ VIDEO: Jerry Brown Signs Major Climate Bill:
'This is big, and I hope it sends a message across the country.'
- he held California out as a beacon for the nation on efforts to reduce climate change, signing into law recently a sweeping expansion of California's greenhouse gas emission standards.

OO California Becomes A Global Laboratory In Fight Against Climate Change - The state already has:

  • been ramping up solar power generation,
  • handing out subsidies for drivers to buy electric cars
  • prodding developers to create denser communities connected to mass transit.

OO Renewables, Imports Replace Natural Gas In California Energy Mix - natural gas use went down 20% this summer.




OO The US Deployed 40+MW Of Energy Storage In Q2 2016
On Pace For Another Historic Year

OO EU Hits Energy Reduction Target Six Years Early - slashing its energy consumption and cutting greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to switching off about 400 power stations.

OO Global Coal Power Plans Fall In 2016, Led By China And India -driven by oversupply, and efforts to promote clean energy.


OO One New Wind Turbine Built Every Day Across Scotland with a current total of 3,400 onshore turbines - and growing.

OO Think Wind Power Is Cheap Now? Wait Until 2030 - onshore and offshore cost reductions will be significant, say surveyed experts.

OO Kenya To Install 23 Solar Mini-Grids To Power Its Remote North

Going Volcanic on Geothermal - Costa Rica extracts geothermal energy from several of its volcanoes, including Rincon de la Vieja, which forms part of the larger "Pacific Rim of Fire." Source

OO Costa Rica Has Gone 76 Straight Days Using 100% Renewable Electricity mostly hydropower and geothermal.

OO Morocco To Give 600 Mosques A Green Makeover by March 2019 in a national consciousness-raising initiative that aims to speed the country's journey to clean energy.




OO Blame Global Warming For Your Bad Attitude - Climate change is making us angry and may cause more assaults, murders, and even poor math grades for your kids. It also:

  • Raised the risk of conflict in Africa by 11% since 1980;
  • Causes heat that fuels hot tempers;
  • Slows economic growth by .25% annually.



  • Disrupts human reproduction ("Not tonight, honey -- I'm too hot!")
  • Raises post-storm infant mortality;

It also threatens plants and animals vital to our survival.


Seriously, It Will Get A Lot Worse - as turbulence on flights increase due to climate change. Always wear your seat belt. Source

OO Fasten Your Seat Belt - Turbulence Is On The Rise As climate change creates more extreme shifts in wind and pressure on flights; the number of injuries from inflight turbulence is also rising.

OO New Threat: Ice Avalanches From Melting Glaciers - as a recent catastrophic avalanche in Tibet showed, this could be an expanding threat to montane communities worldwide living downstream from melting glaciers.




OO Use Solar And Wind To Rid The U.S. Of Fossil Fuel says Columbia Business School economist Geoffrey Heal in a recent working paper, to meet an 80% reduction of 2005 levels by 2050.

His price tag, $1+ - 5+ Trillion, is too low, since it only accounts for the 30% of US emissions created when generating electricity, says Marc Jacobson, a Stanford University clean energy policy expert.

When Marc modifies the analysis to reduce a larger chunk of US emissions, its results encompass Jacobson's own central estimate: $14.6 Trillion.

Why is the answer so critical? Two Harvard economists extensively researched the possibility of a catastrophic climate finale to our civilization in 2015, and estimate a 10% chance of it happening now - and increasing over time.


Another Energy Storage Venue - is taking advantage of how much electric vehicles can store. Source NREL at

OO California Proposes No Fossil Fuels Backups For Demand Response there, and a far larger role for third parties, such as smart thermostats, electric vehicle energy sources, and more, says a new public utility commission plan.

OO California Nears Adoption Of Energy-Saving Rules For Computers and monitors, gadgets that make up 3% of home electric bills and 7%of commercial power costs in the state. Every little bit counts!


A Future Power Plant - smart thermostats can cut enough energy demand to replace aging plants with higher efficiency.

OO A 50,000-Home Virtual Power Plant planned by Nest could ultimately replace a utility in southern California, using smart thermostats that automatically power down to reduce peak loads when needed.


OO Tackling Food Waste As A Way To Save The Climate, Too -
Recycle Food
- the staggering amount of food that's wasted into livestock feed - is increasingly being seen as a tool in the U.S. effort against climate change.

OO Hybrid Solar And Wind Systems Attract Turbine Makers In India to provide a reliable and cost-effective power supply.


OO An Ocean Of Threats Must Be Tackled To Protect The World's 'Blue Economy', US undersecretary says. Takeaways:

  • 1 in 6 US jobs are connected to the marine environment;
  • Only a third of US oceans are protected.

Humans are greatly stressing oceans via:

  • Warming from global warming;
  • Ocean acidification from rising CO2 levels;
  • Dead zones from agricultural runoff;
  • Pollution from plastics, industrial activities, and more;
  • Overfishing;
  • Destruction of habitats by humans.


Credit Rick Loomis at the Los Angeles Times

Solutions involve:

  • Tackling illegal fishing;
  • Developing sustainable fishing policies;
  • Creating more efficient fertilization methods;
  • Developing truly biodegradable plastics;

Oh, yes - and tackle climate change.

OO It's Too Late To Save Glaciers, But Pieces Are Being Saved in an Antarctic vault by concerned scientists to retain some of their important paleoclimate data. Such data help scientists predict how climate change will affect our planet.


Creating Green Gold when the real stuff is gone, this old Aussie mine will be used to create a solar storage facility, by pumping water to be stored in the higher crater until needed to create power. Source

OO Australia: An Old Gold Mine Will Be Converted
Into A Large Solar Storage System
- to be integrated with a large, 50 MW solar power farm, a world first.

A pair of high and low craters will be used to create a PHES, a pumped hydroelectric energy storage system*, the most affordable and popular industrial scale system used worldwide today to store solar and wind energy until needed.

*Energy pumps water to the high crater; water drives turbines to generate electricity when it is released into the low crater.

OO How New York Grocery Stores Plan To Use Ice Batteries - storing energy to make ice during off-peak hours at night, saving money as it shifts peak load for stressed utilities - and using more efficient salt water ice tanks to keep things cool.




Black Death, Not Gold poisons a community water supply from a recent oil spill in the Peruvian Amazon. Credit Barbara Fraser at

OO Negotiations And Protests Ongoing In Wake Of Oil Spills
In Peruvian Amazon

OO Shell Begins Production At World's Deepest Underwater Oilfield Almost 2 Miles beneath the sea surface in the Gulf of Mexico. What could possibly go wrong ... again?

OO Australia's "Fair Share" Of Global Carbon Budget To Be Exhausted In Six Years if the more-ambitious global warming goals agreed to at the paris climate summit is to be met, says a respected european think-tank.


Credit Prakash Singh At Getting Images

OO India: The Hidden Cost Of Death Is In The Air as the latest work bank report reveals that the cost of combating air pollution is much less than the economic loss due to loss of workdays.



OO Conservative Media Bias Is Inflating American Climate Denial And Polarization shows a new study which finds political polarization on climate change is growing in the US.

OO US Companies Tout Climate Policies, Fund Climate Skeptics shows a review of public records.

OO Why Is USA Today Willingly Confusing Its Readers About Climate Change? Presenting both sides of thought on an issue is valid, but not when one side includes factual inaccuracies.

OO Temperatures Rise, And We're Cooked - One of Donald Trump's 100 wackiest ideas is that climate change is a hoax fabricated by China to harm America.

OO Big U.S. Networks Ignore Epic Native Protest For Months, but coverage is finally picking up.



OO 15 House Races Where Green Issues Are Prominent




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.



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

@@ Myth vs Truth: The Huge Value of Contraception is an incisive, heartfelt recognition of the value of contraception by Sarah Brown, CEO, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

Unintended Pregnancy Costs US Taxpayers:

Unintended Pregnancies Cost US Taxypayers Nearly $11 Billion Yearly
-the Guttmacher Institute

Teen Childbearing Alone 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 America Has Seen 11 Consecutive Quarters With 1+ Gigawatt Of Solar PV Installed

OO $300 Million For Solar-Plus-Storage Financing Becomes Available Loans and leases will be available in 17 states.

OO India Wants To Build 10 Gigawatts Of Pumped Hydro Storage To Support Solar as PV capacity soars.


Check it out here, right now!




Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Sep 21, 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 the US and the waters surrounding it are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures: the eastern Pacific warm spot continues and so does the drought in California. A new study shows how this drought could continue - for centuries, based on recent prehistory.

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 wild flower I photographed one spring. 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.