Climate Change This Week: Frying February, Minimizing Methane, and More!

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


When Forests Go, So Do These and many other baby animals. Source fluffyfeet at pinterest

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon


From Carbon Sink to Source - as climate-fueled droughts and wildfires kill forests, they emit carbon. Credit Ramos Keith USFWS wiki commons

OO Climate Changing Faster Than US Forests Can Adapt - climate change consequences now threaten almost all forests of the continental U.S., and much of Canada, shows new research.

When we threaten forests, we threaten ourselves.



OO Past Vision Of Future Calamity:
Alexander von Homboldt
- (1769-1859), one of the greatest investigative scientists, climbed the world's highest mountains and volcanoes known, and slogged through forests, deserts and jungles, collecting mountains of observations on soil and air, plants and animals.

His ultimate takeaway? Earth is a balance of plants, animals and elements that fed the perpetuity of life.


Alexander von Humboldt Painted by Joseph Karl Stieler

Industrialization, he warned, would ruin the air and upset nature's balance. His predictions were dire, and accurate. He tied environmental exploitation to social exploitation. Conversely, he tied freedom and individual enterprise to sustainable stewardship of Earth.

Related Headline:

OO David M. Gates, Ecologist, Dies At 94;
Sounded Early Alarm On Environmental Perils
including the global threats of fossil fuels, fertilizers and pesticides.

The curse of speaking out on environmental perils is that you look like a fool if you turn out to be wrong, and the world suffers if you turn out to be right. -Peter Dykstra, EHN



Our Atmosphere, the Only One We Have Source ISS/NASA

OO Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels Show A Startling Increase - spiking more from February 2015 to February 2016 than ever recorded, says a NASA scientist. The resulting CO2 concentration of 404 parts per million for February is the highest seen yet.

Related Headlines:

OO Earth Saw 'Explosive' Annual Growth In Carbon Dioxide In 2015 - significant, because it demonstrates the continued increase of global warming pollutants in the atmosphere. Men may talk in Paris, but Nature keeps acting, said Voltaire.

OO Highest Ever Annual Rise In Carbon Dioxide Levels Recorded - Another climate record is broken as CO2 levels go up by 3.76 parts per million in just a year, breaching 404 parts per million.





Not Just Our Fuels But Our Farms emit climate changing gases - as in potent methane from cow farts. Okay, stop laughing. This is definitely not funny.

OO Emissions Now Far Outweigh The Amount Of CO2 Earth Can Absorb - a new study finds.

It indicates that the warming effect from methane and nitrous oxide emitted from human activities on land outweighs the cooling effect from the carbon dioxide it absorbs from the atmosphere. This turns the land from a sink to now a source of climate changing emissions.

Thus, even emissions from green plants are now contributing to global warming, beyond human caused emissions.

Related Headlines:


The Real Threat Behind The Shogun - is the climate changing methane being released by the cultivation of the rice, which forms this giant piece of crop art. Source

OO "Hidden" Sources of Climate Changing Emissions:
Agriculture and Waste Disposal
- global animal agriculture, rice cultivation, and waste disposal help create more emissions than Earth's land can now absorb, says a new study.




The "New Coal" - although natural gas burns cleaner than coal, so much of it - the highly potent climate changing methane - escapes via leaking wells and distribution systems that its climate change impact on the planet is just as bad. Source NOAA, US Navy et al data at

OO The Mystery Of The Global Methane Rise: Asian Agriculture Or US Fracking? A new study says it's the growth of farming in China and India needed for rising populations.

But other scientists believe the US natural gas boom is to blame:

Mining gas releases substantial, often vastly underestimated leaks of methane, a far more potent climate changing gas than CO2.

World methane levels started rising in 2007, when the US natural gas boom began.

Related Headline:

OO UK: Fracking To Prompt Sharp Rise In Greenhouse Gas Emissions



Biofuels Dirty Secret - is that their farms replace important carbon absorbing forests and grasslands, as a palm oil farm has done above. Source:

OO EU Green Transport Target
'May Have Increased Greenhouse Gas Emissions'
by burning biofuels that emit more such emissions over their production cycle than diesel oil, says a new analysis.

Soy and palm oil biodiesel oils emit two to over three times as much, respectively, than regular diesel, when the crops' effects on land use are considered.

Europe's aim of sourcing 10% of its transport fuel to "renewables" by 2020 -- mostly biodiesel -- will foster crop cultivation on 17 million acres of forests and grasslands, the study says.




OO US, Canada Will Cut Methane Emissions By 40-45%
-- And More
- Presidents Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau announced their governments would:

  • cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40-45% below 2012 levels by 2025;
  • reduce potent climate changing HFC emissions;
  • begin discussing new regulations with industry;
  • promote North American carbon markets.
  • take steps to protect the Arctic.

Methane, an important contributor to global warming, is the main component of natural gas.

  • A change of Canadian leadership sparked this dramatic confluence of climate leadership.
  • The news was welcomed by environmentalists, and criticized by fossil fuel interests.
The news was also covered by the
, and the

Related Headline:

OO Obama Seeks Tighter Rules On Methane Emissions From Oil, Gas Drillers



@@ Hot Enough Yet? And remember, 2015 was hotter than 2014, the last year shown above. NASA



OO Dangerous Global Warming Will Happen Sooner Than Thought -
2C Rise By 2030
- ie, a 4F rise by 2030, says a new study. A global tracker monitoring energy use per person points to 2C warming by 2030,based on new modelling using long-term average projections on economic growth, population growth and energy use per person.

The report emphasizes the need to transition to clean renewables - but not the equally urgent need to bring populations to sustainable levels.



The New Winter Wonderland - surf's up! Source

OO Here's What Climate Change Has Done
To The Season Formerly Known As Winter

  • a green Christmas across eastern US;
  • tornadoes raked Texas and the Southeast;
  • the second warmest winter in Alaska recorded.

The weird US warmth exemplifies worldwide record winter heat.



Anomalies (departures from average) in surface temperature worldwide for February 2016, in degrees Centigrade, as analyzed by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Image credit: NASA/GISS.

OO NASA Confirms February 2016's Shocking Global Warming
Temperature Record
at 1.35 degrees Celsius above the long-term average--and more than 0.2 degrees Celsius warmer than the previously most unusually warm month ever measured: January 2016.

Related Headline:

OO February Smashes Earth's All-Time Global Heat Record by a Jaw-Dropping Margin


  • the new February record beat the old one by nearly 1 F, an extraordinary margin;
  • much of that unusual heat was in the Arctic.
severe impacts resulted:
  • at least 3 less developed nations suffered extreme weather disasters in February 2016 that cost 4% of their GNP (roughly like the US having 5 simultaneous Hurricane Katrinas...);
  • 9 nations had their most expensive national weather disasters ever in 2015.

Carbon dioxide, the main climate changing gas, had its biggest yearly jump in worldwide levels in 2015


OO Likely Becomes More Definite: Some Extreme Weather
Now Reliably Linked To Climate Change
- such as heat waves, says a new study.

The report was widely covered, with Carbon Brief also taking an in-depth look at the topic.



@@ Argentina: Part of Perito Moreno Glacier Collapses - video. Known as the "White Giant",the 18 km long river of ice is one of Argentina's biggest attractions.




Wet Reality - expect more intense storms like this. Credit Shannon Dizmang at Flickr

OO Thunderstorms Pound U.S. South After Days Of Rain adding more rain to flooded rivers.


OO Global Warming Already Driving Increases In Rainfall Extremes and snowfall, too,
across most of the globe, even in arid regions. This will continue as the world warms, a new study warns.

Related Headlines:

OO Deluges Increasing In World's Wettest And Driest Regions says a new study.
Extreme downpours are increasing and global warming will raise the risks of bigger cloudbursts for the rest of the century.

OO Warming Brings Increasing Flood Risk And Heavier Rain


OO Flood Damage Costs Will Rise Faster Than Sea Levels - rise exponentially faster, says a new study: it aims to give coastal cities a way to prepare for them.



@@ El Nino Just Getting Started

Related Headline:


Imagine This In Brown And White - as corals are bleached, fish flee, and brown scum, left ungrazed, takes over...

OO Great Barrier Reef:
Severe Coral Bleaching Worsens In Most Pristine Parts



A photographic overview of melting ice, flooding water - from 2008:

@@ Gary Braasch* & Stephen Schneider On Global Warming

*A noted environmental and climate change photographic journalist, Gary recently died while continuing this mission, snorkeling on the threatened Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

"How many fires in the west, intense hurricanes, melting Arctics and disappearing glaciers does it take before people decide 'maybe something really is going on'?" asked Steven Schneider. (1945-2010)




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 Clean Energy Is Win-Win For The US - and scientists have worked out how the U.S. could save as many as 300,000 lives by 2030, and get a tenfold return on its investments at the same time.

OO These Old-School Companies Are Going Big With Solar And Wind - a who's who of the corporate world is turning to renewables, notably wind, as they make massive new deals.

OO Patagonia To Help Fund Residential Solar Installations working with four other companies to create a $35 million fund to finance placing solar panels on more than 1,500 residential rooftops over eight states.


OO JP Morgan Won't Back New Coal Mines To Combat Climate Change and will end support for new coal-fired power plants in "high income" countries. 'Bout time, JP!

OO Oil And Natural Gas Drilling Rigs Hit 70-Year US Low

OO Coal Power Plant Retirements Surge Amid Changing Energy Industry



OO Shareholder Climate Resolutions Reach New High

OO Is The Wind Industry Still A Safe Bet For Investors? It sure looks like it for investors who seek long-term low-risk investments.


OO China Could Peak Carbon Emissions Well Before 2030 say experts.

OO China's Emissions May Have Already Peaked
Says Economist Lord Nicholas Stern

OO China Sets Cap on Energy Consumption for First Time aiming to keep energy consumption within 5 billion tons of standard coal equivalent by 2020, marking the first time the world's second-biggest economy has set such a target.

Related Headline:

OO China Unveils Vision Of Greener Future In Its Five-Year Plan to accelerate its shift away from heavy, coal-hungry industry, towards a greener future, involving a big switch towards renewable energy and increasing consumption of produce domestically.




Clear Sky, Cool Night - Now Can We Cool the Day? Credit Alan Dyer at

OO The Sky May Hold the Secret to Efficient Air Conditioning - which currently consumes nearly 15% of a building's energy load. Why not send the heat directly into space?

Everything emits heat, but heat within a particular range of frequencies doesn't get trapped in the surrounding air - it escapes directly into the very cold upper atmosphere and outer space.

The idea? Cover a building's surface with something that absorbs the sunlight and emits escaping heat into those cold upper reaches. The emitting surface can actually cool below ambient temperatures via this process, known as radiative cooling.

SkyCool company has developed a prototype device that does just that.


Colder Than You Think - SkyCool company's radiative cooler prototypes cool below their surrounding air temperature.

Ultimately such devices might reduce buildings' energy consumption up to 50% and make refrigeration also far more efficient. Right now, it's just the gleam in entrepreneurs' eyes.



OO This Will Blow You Away:
650+-Foot Long Blades On Giant Wind Turbines
- longer than 2 football fields, the blades would be on windmills higher than the Empire State Building, and generate 2500% more electricity than today's turbines, many of which have blades about a third that long.

OO Pretty Soon, Your Car Might Run On Poop - we might run out of oil, but we'll never run out of poop.

OO MIT Researchers Turn Waste Gas Into Liquid Fuel - Turning the emissions of power stations, steel mills and garbage dumps into liquid fuels has been demonstrated by MIT researchers using engineered microbes.



Tracking Trees, and Carbon, From Outer Space - GEDI, a NASA Earth-observing system set to go on the International Space Station in 2018, will enable the government to understand the architecture of forests, as this 3-D rendering depicts.

By fully analyzing the structure of forests, researchers will be able to more accurately measure the amount of carbon they store. NASA

OO Assessing Forest Carbon Storage:
Seeing The Trees In 3-D,
A 'Game Changer' For Forest Policy
- in 2018, America's space agency is going to send a laser into outer space to assess the world's trees.

OO These Farmers Slash And Burn Forests,
But In A Good Way
- clearing small patches, growing a crop, then letting the forest regrow.



Credit Felix Clay for the Guardian

OO The Smart Plug Socket That Saves You Money And Time --
By Switching Off Appliances Remotely
- the affordable, simple-to-use remote smart plug sockets help you save energy and cash.




Credit Michael Lukovich

OO Oil And Gas Industry Pumped $100+ Million Into Republican Campaigns In 2015 as fossil fuel millionaires flexed their financial muscle.

OO GOP Candidates Remain Climate Wimps - skirting questions on it at the last debate.

Rubio said: "Sure, the climate is changing. [...] There was never a time when the climate was not changing." Uh-huh.


Credit Mike Luckovich

OO Over Half of Ted Cruz's Super PAC Money Comes From Fossil Fuel Sources

OO How The Refineries Came To Own Our Air Pollution Regulators -"Regulatory capture" is the term for what happens when an agency overseeing an industry begins to see things the industry's way - as in, most recently, the South Coast Air Quality Management District board and the refinery industry.

OO Canadian Companies Supporting Fight Against US Climate Plan -many large companies are financing legal action and lobbying against it, putting the public and their investors at risk.


OO During the Most Important Year for Climate News, TV Coverage Fell - even though
2015 was a banner year for climate news - think several record hot months and year, the papal climate encyclical, and more - climate change was largely absent from U.S. broadcast news.

Climate coverage fell in 2015.





OO Clinton Would Limit Fracking; Sanders Just Says No

OO US Fed Scientist Urges Next-Generation Solar:
'We Have No Choice'
if we want to meet our energy needs, and do so with the urgency dictated by climate change, said scientist Seth Darling.
"If we really want to scale up solar super fast, which we've got to do -- the market's growing already by something like 30% a year, massive growth, but that's nowhere near enough -- it's got to grow much faster to solve this problem in the time frame dictated by climate disruption," he said.


Angry Adolescents Act by filing suit against government inaction and big fossil fuel companies. Source

OO 21 Kids Are Suing President Obama Over Climate Inaction - accusing the government of infringing on "the fundamental right of citizens to be free from government actions that harm life, liberty, and property" by "approving and promoting fossil fuel development."

Related Headline:

OO Youngsters Press Global Warming Lawsuit - Hundreds of demonstrators held a rainy day rally in support of plaintiffs against both the federal government and groups representing the largest energy companies in the world.



Saving a City as Dhrubajyoti Ghosh works to save Kolkata's flood defense, its wetlands.

OO An Indian City's Flood Defense: Wetlands -
And One Man's Struggle To Save Them
- Kolkata's wetlands are its free sewage works, a fertile aquatic garden and, most importantly, a flood defence - but they're under threat from developers. One environmentalist leads the resistance.

OO Fossil Fuels Are 'Probably Dead,' Says Canadian Pacific Railway CEO
"I'm not maybe as green as I should be, but I happen to think the climate is changing [and] they're not going to fool me anymore," Hunter Harrison told a J.P. Morgan transportation conference.




Water, or Speed? The drought has Californians shifting their spending priorities.

OO CA: Build More Reservoirs, Not High Speed Rail --
Proposed Ballot Measure Sparks Debate


Soon A Memory in Sub-Saharan Africa? Besides bananas, maize and beans are also threatened by climate change there. Source pinterest

OO Time Short To Protect Africa's Food Supply From Climate Change - say researchers: without helping farmers, it will become impossible to grow some staple food crops in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, with maize, beans and bananas most at risk.

OO Brazil: Global Warming Prompts Farmers To Plant Fewer Crops a new study says.

OO Mosquitoes' Rapid Spread Poses Threat Beyond Zika - to a growing number of continent-jumping diseases carried by mosquitoes threatening swathes of humanity, warn experts.



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

@@ How Parents Can Help Prevent Teen Pregnancy

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 US Solar Utilities Expanded nearly 800% Over the Political Landscape
In Last 8 Years
- only 12 US Congressional districts had solar utilities in 2008; now 88 of them do - and many of them are Republican.

OO Rhode Island: Company to Launch a First-of-Its-Kind Solar Marketplace - allowing consumers to shop online for solar power and receive a state incentive for improving energy efficiency at the same time.

OO Regulation, Not Technology, Will Determine The Future Of Rooftop Solar -
By 2020, solar could either be as cheap as grid electricity in nearly all 50 states--or in almost none at all.


OO Whole Foods To Install Rooftop Solar At 100 Stores


Several countries--the Netherlands, France, the United States--are testing ways to pave roads with solar panels. Their efforts have plenty of skeptics.

OO Will We Soon Be Riding On Solar Roads?
The Idea Gains Traction

OO Solar Farms To Create Natural Habitats For Threatened British Species such as turtle doves and skylarks, which could benefit from a proje launched to create natural habitats at solar farm sites.

OO Spanish Parliament Rallies Against Punitive 'Sun Tax'


Check it out here, right now!




Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Mar 20, 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 southwestern US and the waters surrounding the US are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures: El Nino driven rains have made an inadequate effect on the California drought, as the drought monitor shows.

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 flower full of snails I photographed one spring in Chile. 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.