44 Global Warming News Articles
for March of 2016
Click on the links below to get the full story from its source
3-31-16 Climate predicts bird populations
Climate predicts bird populations
Populations of the most common bird species in Europe and the US are being altered by climate change, according to an international study. For the first time researchers showed climate to be having a similar, significant impact on bird populations in large, distant areas of the world. Their study used population-predicting models and three decades of field data, gathered by bird-watching volunteers.
3-31-16 The birds that are winning and losing thanks to climate change
The birds that are winning and losing thanks to climate change
It's good news for the orchard oriole and bad news for the brambling, as 30 years of data reveals which US and European species are changing with the climate. They may be separated by an ocean, but birds in the US and Europe are responding to climate change in a surprisingly similar way: winners are outperforming losers to a comparable degree. These findings were made by examining how the occurrence of some 145 species of European bird and 380 species from the US changed in relation to climate between 1980 and 2010. “This allowed us to decide whether each species had been advantaged or disadvantaged by climate change.”
3-31-16 Paris Climate Treaty: 'Significant step' as US and China agree to sign
Paris Climate Treaty: 'Significant step' as US and China agree to sign
The US and China have issued a joint statement confirming that both countries will sign the Paris Climate Agreement next month. Both say they will take all the "domestic steps" necessary to join the agreement as soon as possible. They are encouraging other countries to sign the document at UN headquarters in April. At least 55 countries representing 55% of emissions have to sign to bring it into force. This is the third joint statement in the past two years from the world's two biggest emitters on the question of climate change. Back in November 2014 the two leaders outlined their plans to limit carbon emissions, a move that inspired other nations to follow suit.
3-30-16 Unexpected Antarctic ice melt may trigger 2 metre sea level rise
Unexpected Antarctic ice melt may trigger 2 metre sea level rise
It seemed impossible, but a recent paper supports the belief that Antarctic ice will melt faster than we thought, triggering sea level rise that could devastate low-lying cities. A massive rise in sea level is coming, and it will trigger climate chaos around the world. That was the message from a controversial recent paper by climate scientist James Hansen. It was slated by many for assuming – rather than showing – that sea level could rise between 1 and 5 metres by 2100. But now, just a week after being formally published, it is being backed up by another study. “He was speculating on massive fresh water discharge to the ocean that I don’t think anybody thought was possible before,” says Rob DeConto of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “Now we’re publishing a paper that says these rates of fresh water input are possible.” DeConto’s findings suggest that even if countries meet the pledges made as part of the UN climate agreements in Paris last year, global sea level could still rise 1 metre by 2100. If emissions keep climbing it could go up more than 2 metres. North America would be especially hard hit, because gravitational effects mean that ice loss from Antarctica will lead to bigger local increases for the US East Coast.
3-30-16 'Drastic' Antarctic melt could double global sea-level rise
'Drastic' Antarctic melt could double global sea-level rise
Global sea levels could rise by more than double the current best estimate, according to a new analysis of climate change in Antarctica. The modelling assessment says that Antarctic melting alone could contribute more than a metre to sea level by the end of this century. By 2500, according to the study, the same source could cause levels across the world to rise by 13m. The authors say that rapid cuts in carbon emissions could limit this risk.
3-30-16 Common UK migrating birds are arriving earlier or leaving later
Common UK migrating birds are arriving earlier or leaving later
The new habits may be driven by climate change and seem to benefit the birds, some of which are increasing in numbers. SOME common migrating birds – including the blackcap, (pictured above) – are staying in the UK for two weeks or more longer than half a century ago. “We knew that birds were arriving earlier in spring, but this is the first study I know of in Europe that has also tracked when they leave in autumn,” says Stuart Newson of the British Trust for Ornithology. Newson has tapped into amateur observations of bird migrations collected over more than 50 years, starting with paper files in the 1960s and ending with 800,000 records from BirdTrack, an internet-based volunteer observation network, to study 14 common migrating birds. He found that 11 species arrive earlier and four leave later.
3-29-16 Climate change now bigger menace than forest loss for snowshoe hares
Climate change now bigger menace than forest loss for snowshoe hares
Shorter winters along southern edge of the hares’ range worse than habitat bashing. For Wisconsin’s snowshoe hares, climate change now ranks as an even bigger menace than the bulldozing, paving and other destructive things people have done to northern forests. Habitat loss as humans reshape landscapes has loomed for decades as the main conservation problem for a lot of wildlife. It’s still important, says climate change ecologist Benjamin Zuckerberg of the University of Wisconsin?Madison. But along the southern boundary of the snowshoe hares’ range, climate change bringing skimpy snow covers has surpassed direct habitat loss as a threat.
3-29-16 Arctic winter sees sluggish sea-ice growth
Arctic winter sees sluggish sea-ice growth
Although the extent of winter Arctic sea-ice has been the smallest on record this year, it is unclear yet whether its volume will also mark a new low. This latter figure is the best measure of the state of the marine floes. The most up-to-date data from Europe's Cryosat spacecraft suggests sea-ice thickness is tracking close to a "minimum maximum" - but there may still be some growth left in the season. It will be April before a definitive statement on ice volume can be given.
3-29-16 How Russia is fortifying the Arctic
How Russia is fortifying the Arctic
The Arctic has traditionally been a low military priority for everyone. Its climate, particularly during the winter, makes it unfriendly to human life. The prevalence of ice and lack of dry land makes stationing forces there difficult. Military outposts are generally limited to arctic research, early warning, and meteorological stations. Generally speaking, it's not worth fighting over. Global warming is changing that. Rising temperatures are contributing to a decline in Arctic sea ice. Less ice means previously unreachable resources — particularly oil and natural gas — can now be accessed and a new ice-free Arctic shipping route servicing the northern hemisphere appears downright likely. Nobody is sure what riches lie under the freezing waters, but the U.S. Department of Energy estimates 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil — or 90 billion barrels — lies waiting under the Arctic. That's enough to keep the entirety of human civilization chugging along for 2.5 years. The DoE also estimates the Arctic holds 30 percent of the world's undiscovered natural gas.
3-29-16 Australia's Great Barrier Reef hit by 'worst' bleaching
Australia's Great Barrier Reef hit by 'worst' bleaching
Evidence that Australia's Great Barrier Reef is experiencing its worst coral bleaching on record has renewed calls for the UN to list it as "in-danger". The National Coral Bleaching Taskforce says 95% of reefs from Cairns to Papua New Guinea are now severely bleached. It says only four reefs out of 520 have no evidence of bleaching. Experts say it is too early to tell whether the corals will recover, but scientists "in the water" are already reporting up to 50% mortality of bleached corals. Climate change and the effects of El Nino are being blamed for the rise in sea temperatures that causes coral bleaching. "What we're seeing now is unequivocally to do with climate change."
3-28-16 Maximum size for Arctic sea ice hits a new low
Maximum size for Arctic sea ice hits a new low
The ice at the top of the world has set a new wintertime low for the second straight year, scientists at NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center announced March 28. On March 24, Arctic sea ice grew to its largest extent for the year, reaching only a paltry 14.52 million square kilometers, slightly less than the 14.54 million square kilometers observed last year. That’s 1.12 million square kilometers smaller than the 1981 to 2010 average, a size difference that’s bigger than California and Texas combined. The new low resulted largely from unusually warm temperatures in the region, which were as high as six degrees Celsius above average in the region stretching from the North Pole toward northern Greenland, the scientists reported. The disappearing Arctic sea ice can accelerate warming, allow isolated ecological communities to mix and spread pollution.
3-26-16 There's a frightening link between climate change and malnutrition
There's a frightening link between climate change and malnutrition
By 2050, nearly half a million adults worldwide could die from climate-change-induced malnutrition, according to new research from the University of Oxford and the International Food Policy Research Institute. Food scarcity may be a well-documented consequence of global warming, but nutritional scarcity is a much less understood repercussion. Escalating temperatures, destructive weather events, prolonged drought, and overpopulation are as much a public health threat as they are indicators of a planet in turmoil. In fewer than 40 years, the average person will have 3.2 percent less food available to her, and eat on average about four percent less fruits and vegetables, and 0.7 percent less red meat, according to the study. Such changes in diet will result in some 529,000 deaths — primarily in Southeast Asia and throughout the Western Pacific, in countries like China and India — the study found.
3-25-16 Rising seas threaten Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Rising seas threaten Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Climate change could drive sea levels high enough to force more than 13 million Americans in coastal areas to abandon their homes by 2100, a new study reveals—triple the number previously estimated. The most vulnerable state is Florida, especially in densely populated areas near Miami. Under a worst-case scenario that would see oceans swell almost 6 feet by century’s end, some 6 million of the Sunshine State’s residents could be displaced. Millions of people in other Southeastern states would also be forced to relocate, along with inhabitants of coastal areas of New Jersey, the Carolinas, and Virginia. Even if seas rise by only half as much as the most dire projections, nearly 5 million people will still become “climate refugees,” a mass exodus researchers compare to the 20th century’s Great Migration of African-Americans from the South. Previous studies examined the effects of climate change on current populations; researchers at the University of Georgia based these calculations for the future on projected population growth, as well as on sea level rise predictions from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Coastal communities are some of the most rapidly growing communities in the world,” lead author Matthew Hauer tells NewScientist.com. “Using current data, we’re underestimating what the future growth in coastal communities is likely to do in terms of placing people at risk.”
3-24-16 UN: 2015 record year for global renewables investment
UN: 2015 record year for global renewables investment
Global investment in renewable energy hit a record US$285.9bn (£202.3bn) in 2015, beating the previous high of $278.5bn set in 2011, a study shows. The 10th Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment also showed that investment in developing nations exceeded that in developed countries. In another first, more new renewables capacity than fossil-fuel generation came online during 2015. But it warned that much more had to be done to avoid dangerous climate change. (Webmaster's comment: Whoop-De-Do! In two years the investment went up only 1 percent! At that rate in 140 years it will have doubled. We'll all be fried by then!)
3-24-16 Investment in renewables was double that of coal and gas in 2015
Investment in renewables was double that of coal and gas in 2015
Last year a record $286 billion was invested in new electricity-generating capacity of renewables, twice as much as in coal and gas-fired power plants. A record amount of $286 billion was invested in renewables globally last year. In 2015, more than twice as much went into new capacity to generate electricity with renewables like solar and wind than into power stations burning fossil fuels, according to a study by the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management for the UN Environment Programme. Over the past decade, cheaper solar panels and wind turbines have cut the cost of renewable electricity – in some places by up to 80 per cent. Now, green energy is often no more expensive than fossil fuels.
3-23-16 The nuclear industry: a small revolution
The nuclear industry: a small revolution
Nuclear reactors may be about to shrink before our eyes. After decades of building giant reactors in domes big enough to swallow a cathedral, nuclear engineers are thinking small. They believe part of the solution to the energy crisis will come from factory-built mini-reactors, just 23m (75ft) long, delivered to the site on the back of a lorry. Fans of small modular reactors (SMRs) say they will avoid the problems of delay and cost over-run that has beset traditional reactors. Most importantly, they say, "mini-nukes" as small as a tenth the size of a conventional reactor would be much easier to finance.
3-23-16 Pilot plant to turn CO2 into house parts and paving stones
Pilot plant to turn CO2 into house parts and paving stones
What to do with carbon dioxide extracted from air? One initiative is aimed at locking it up in rock, making useful building materials in the process. Taking carbon out of the atmosphere will be crucial if we are to slow the progress of climate change. As technologies to capture carbon improve, some are already thinking about what we will do with all that CO2. Storage in geological formations underground is one option. Better yet, what if we could make useful stuff out of it, such as biofuels, plastics or building materials? Several initiatives to explore such ideas are under way. Canadian company Carbon Engineering is combining captured CO2 with hydrogen gas to generate synthetic gasoline at its pilot plant north of Vancouver. And Newlight Technologies, based near Los Angeles, California, is using the greenhouse gas methane to manufacture plastic products such as mobile-phone cases and chairs. Another project, starting this week, will research ways to turn CO2 into common building materials.
3-22-16 On board London's giant floating solar farm
On board London's giant floating solar farm
How London's giant floating solar farm was put together. With 23,000 panels covering an area the size of eight football pitches, Europe's biggest floating solar farm has begun generating power for the very first time. It is located on a reservoir south west of London, and can produce power equivalent to the demand from 1,800 homes. (Webmaster's comment: Whoop-De-Do! Only 1.425 BILLION homes to go!)
3-21-16 Weather records broken as world faces alarming levels of change
Weather records broken as world faces alarming levels of change
The lowest extent of Arctic winter sea ice and highest ocean temperatures were among many records broken last year around the world. Last year broke weather records left, right and centre, according to a new statement by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on the status of global climate in 2015. This included the highest level of ocean warming on record and the most extensive melting of winter sea ice in the Arctic. A billion people in South Asia also suffered an unprecedented killer heat wave. “The alarming rate of change we are now witnessing in our climate as a result of greenhouse gas emissions is unprecedented in modern records,” said Petteri Taalas, secretary-general at the WMO. The WMO says that new temperature records are already being set this year, with average global air temperatures in January and February the highest for those months on record. “The startlingly high temperatures so far in 2016 have sent shockwaves around the climate-science community,” said David Carlson, head of the WMO’s World Climate Research Programme. (Webmaster's comment: We're cooking! The pot is beginning to boil!)
3-21-16 Rate of carbon emissions put in context
Rate of carbon emissions put in context
We are now putting carbon into the atmosphere at a rate unprecedented since at least the age of the dinosaurs, scientists say. The researchers have examined ocean sediments laid down during the so-called Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum - a dramatic warming event some 56 million years ago. They find the amount of CO2 going into the air at its onset was four billion tonnes a year at most. Today's figure is 10 times as big.
3-21-16 Wine quality subject to climate change
Wine quality subject to climate change
By tracking the timing of French and Swiss grape harvests from 1600 through 2007, scientists have discovered that the link between high temperatures and drought conditions — a combination crucial for fine wine production — has broken down since 1980.
3-19-16 February 2016’s temperature spike is yet another record
February 2016’s temperature spike is yet another record
“Parts of North America and Eurasia saw temperatures more than 4 °C above the February average.“ February 2016 was 1.35 °C warmer than the 1951 to 1980 average for the month – the biggest monthly temperature anomaly in NASA’s record, which goes back to 1880, according to figures released by the agency. CO2 levels reached record levels of 404.02 parts per million in February, according to preliminary records from Mauna Loa, Hawaii. Global average CO2 levels rose by a record 3.09 ppm in 2015, smashing the previous record annual rise of 2.82 ppm, in 1998.
3-18-16 How solar power could help solve SA's energy crisis
How solar power could help solve SA's energy crisis
n South Africa, the government hopes solar power could be the answer to the country's energy crisis. Over the past year, the country has struggled to meet its energy demands. Rolling blackouts and power cuts have caused huge headaches for business and hit productivity across the economy. Jason Boswell has been to Kimberley in South Africa's Northern Cape to check out one of Africa's biggest solar farms which could offer a solution.
3-18-16 Temperature Records for 4 Straight Months
Temperature Records for 4 Straight Months
Another temperature record has been broken—and by a huge amount. February 2016 was the hottest February on the planet on record, averaging 1.35 degrees Celsius more than the historical average. November, December, and January all also broke historical temperature records. (Webmaster's comment: We've on our way. And there's no going back anymore. We blew it!)
3-18-16 El Niño’s devastating global impact
El Niño’s devastating global impact
The current El Niño—one of the most formidable in recorded history—has wreaked climatic disaster, and researchers predict the chaos will rage on for at least several more months. El Niño is a periodic warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean that combines with atmospheric effects to alter global weather patterns. In the U.S., El Niño is being felt most powerfully along the West Coast, where drought-stricken Southern California recently experienced heavy thunderstorms, hail, and strong winds, which triggered floods, coastal erosion, power outages, and car accidents. Meanwhile, up to 60 inches of snow have blanketed parts of Northern California, and heavy rains have yielded a rare “super bloom” in Death Valley, adorning one of the hottest and driest places on Earth with a lush carpet of wildflowers. In coming months, forecasters say, the South, West, and much of the East will be wetter than normal, while Northern states should register unusually warm temperatures. Around the world, meanwhile, El Niño has caused drought in Africa and flooding in South America, obliterated crops in both continents, and left nearly 100 million people with food and water shortages. This “Godzilla” El Niño remains “immense,” NASA climatologist Bill Patzert tells CBSNews.com. “It’s had a powerful impact over the past six months—the fingerprint of El Niño is on all these events.”
3-17-16 Energy-related CO2 emissions held steady despite economic growth
Energy-related CO2 emissions held steady despite economic growth
The decoupling of energy related carbon dioxide emissions from economic growth for the second year running hints that peak emissions might not be too far away. They seemed inseparable. But the once-rigid link between rises in global economic activity and carbon dioxide emissions may have been broken. The International Energy Agency has reported that CO2 emissions from energy activities such as power generation and transport have remained unchanged for the second year running – even as the global economy grew. Annual CO2 emissions in 2015 are still where they were in 2013, at just over 32 billion tonnes, even though global economic activity has grown by 6.5 per cent. (Webmaster's comment: But the increase in atmospheric CO2; increased faster last year than in recorded history. That's the complete story. See Charts.)
3-17-16 Why Obama’s Supreme Court nomination is good for the climate
Why Obama’s Supreme Court nomination is good for the climate
President Barack Obama has nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the US Supreme Court. His record suggests it could be positive for environmental campaigners. His record on environmental issues could be good news for supporters of the Clean Power Plan, the proposed rules of the Environmental Protection Agency for greenhouse gas emissions, which were put on hold last month.
3-16-16 Record warming is terrifying but long-term trend is even worse
Record warming is terrifying but long-term trend is even worse
Temperature and CO2 are at record levels, but don't let that distract from the bigger picture of long-term climate change. 2016 is likely to be another record-breaker as surface temperatures are now shooting up at rates never before recorded. Last week came the news that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are rising at the fastest rates ever recorded – and bear in mind that our records go back 800,000 years, thanks to ice cores. “If CO2 levels continue to rise, claims of progress in limiting warming must be taken with a pinch of salt.“
3-15-16 Climate change deal: 'Zero carbon' laws promised by government
Climate change deal: 'Zero carbon' laws promised by government
Climate laws will be tightened to cut carbon emissions effectively to zero, the government has said. Under current law, emissions must be cut by 80% by 2050 - but ministers have said this does not go far enough. Following the climate deal in Paris, it is clear the UK must not increase CO2 at all because the warming threat is so severe, they added. No details of the law change have been given - and critics said the UK was failing to meet even current targets.
3-14-16 February 2016’s temperature spike is yet another record
February 2016’s temperature spike is yet another record
Last month, temperatures overshot the February average by a new record margin, beating one set only the previous month - and it's not just down to El Niño.
3-14-16 Sea-level rise may displace 13 million people in the US by 2100
Sea-level rise may displace 13 million people in the US by 2100
Estimates that take into account growth in coastal populations suggest rising seas may affect three times as many people in the US as thought before.
3-11-16 CO2 data is 'wake-up call' for Paris climate deal
CO2 data is 'wake-up call' for Paris climate deal
Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere grew more in past 12 months than at any time in the past 56 years. Measurements at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii went up by more than three parts per million(ppm) in 2015. Scientists say the spike is due to a combination of human activities and the El Niño weather pattern. They argue that the data increases the pressure on global leaders to sign and ratify the Paris Climate Agreement. Mauna Loa is the world's oldest continuous atmospheric measurement station, with records dating back to the later 1950s. It is regarded as the most important site in the global monitoring network, recording the see-saw, rise and fall of carbon in the atmosphere over a year. Plants and trees tend to absorb more CO2 during the spring and lose it as autumn approaches and leaves die off.
3-9-16 Many of world’s lakes are vanishing and some may be gone forever
Many of world’s lakes are vanishing and some may be gone forever
A combination of climate change and irrigation is causing troubled waters as lakes warm, shrink and even vanish – threatening the ecosystems they support. THE world’s lakes are being hung out to dry. In December, Bolivia’s second largest lake, Lake Poopó, became a salt pan, and its largest – Lake Titicaca – is heading towards trouble. Many lakes in other parts of the world also seem to be warming, shrinking and even disappearing as a consequence of unsustainable water use and climate change. This could affect water availability and the livelihoods of millions of people, as well as ecosystems. Lake Poopó vanished due to the withdrawal of water for irrigation, silting up of the river that feeds it and climate change. “Considering the size of the lake – 2700 square kilometres – this is astounding, with slim prospects of recovery,” says Dirk Hoffmann at the Bolivia Mountain Institute. “This event should serve as a real warning.”
3-9-16 Blockchain-based microgrid gives power to consumers in New York
Blockchain-based microgrid gives power to consumers in New York
A new project in New York City is letting residents buy and sell renewable energy to each other, bypassing central authority. SOMETHING odd is happening on President Street in Brooklyn. While solar panels on the roofs of terraced houses soak up the sun, a pair of computers connected to the panels quietly crunch numbers. First, they count how many electrons are being generated. Then, they write that number to a blockchain. Welcome to the future of energy exchange. This project, run by a start-up called Transactive Grid, is the first version of a new kind of energy market. Operated by consumers, it will change the way we generate and use electricity. Transactive Grid aims to enable people to trade renewable energy with their neighbours. To deal in energy at the moment, you must go through a central company like Duke Energy in the US or National Grid in the UK, or one of their resellers.
3-8-16 Highest ever annual rise in carbon dioxide levels recorded
Highest ever annual rise in carbon dioxide levels recorded
Another climate record is broken as CO2 levels in Mauna Loa, Hawaii, go up by 3.76 parts per million in just a year, breaching 404 parts per million (See Charts). It is not just temperature records that are falling. The average carbon dioxide level recorded at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, during February 2016 was 404.02 parts per million – 3.76 ppm higher than the average for February 2015, according to preliminary figures. That is the biggest ever increase over a 12-month period. The previous 12-month record at Mauna Loa was 3.70 ppm, from September 1997 to September 1998. A new record has also been set for the biggest rise over a calendar year. Global average CO2 levels (which differ slightly from the figures for Mauna Loa only) rose by 3.09 ppm in 2015. The previous record was a rise of 2.82 ppm, in 1998. The record figures are due to the continued growth in emissions from human activity along with the ongoing El Niño phenomenon, which causes CO2 levels to shoot up because it causes in an increase in wildfires in places such as Indonesia. (Webmaster's comment: It's like I've said, and scientists have said, we've really done nothing yet to significantly reduce the amount of CO2 we are releasing into the atmosphere. People are going to pay with their lives for our lack for foresight, our refusal to take serious action to stop global warming!)
3-7-16 China unveils vision of greener future in its five-year plan
China unveils vision of greener future in its five-year plan
New five-year plan will see China make a move away from coal-hungry heavy industry and towards a greener, sleeker modern economy. China’s era of dark, satanic mills, churning out “stuff” for the rest of the world, is coming to a close. Instead, the world’s second largest economy wants to accelerate its shift away from heavy, coal-hungry industry, towards a greener future. This will involve a big switch towards renewable energy and increasing consumption of produce domestically. That’s the main message from the Chinese government’s draft 13th five-year plan, unveiled in Beijing on 5 March and expected to be adopted this week. The “new normal” will involve a shift to moderate rather than dramatic economic growth, based more on consumption than exports. Figures released last week by the Chinese government showed that it still relies on coal for 64 per cent of its total energy consumption, but this is steadily falling, dropping by 3.7 per cent last year compared with 2014. At the same time its installation of solar and wind energy is soaring by record levels, rising 74 and 34 per cent respectively last year compared with the previous year. (Webmaster's comment: The United States cann't begin to match these numbers.)
3-7-16 Climate deadline looms for African food crops
Climate deadline looms for African food crops
Researchers have produced a timescale of how projected climate change is set to alter the face of agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change is widely projected to have a significant adverse impact on food security if no adaptation measures are taken, they explain. In their study, the team provides timings of the "transformations" needed to help minimise these impacts.
3-4-16 Oceans rising faster than ever
Oceans rising faster than ever
Sea levels are climbing more rapidly than they have in almost 3,000 years, largely as a consequence of greenhouse gas emissions related to human activities, a new study shows. Researchers used statistical models to reconstruct sea levels for the past 2,800 years. “We can say with 95 percent probability that the 20th-century rise was faster than any of the previous 27 centuries,” says study leader Bob Kopp of Rutgers University. Global temperatures have jumped 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century, and climatologists say that the warming has melted polar ice caps enough to cause an overall sea level rise of 5.5 inches—more along the U.S. East Coast. That increase has already led to frequent coastal flooding in Florida, Virginia, and other states. The prognosis is not encouraging. As glaciers melt and ocean waters expand, sea levels will keep on rising faster; if emissions continue unabated, researchers calculate that sea levels could rise as much as 4 feet by 2100, forcing the abandonment of many coastal communities. But even if action is taken that leads to significantly lower emissions, the conservative estimate is that sea levels will swell by 2 feet. “We can definitely be confident that sea level rise is going to continue to accelerate if there’s further warming,” researcher Stefan Rahmsdorf tells The New York Times, “which inevitably there will be.”
3-4-16 Many of world’s lakes are vanishing and some may be gone forever
Many of world’s lakes are vanishing and some may be gone forever
A combination of climate change and irrigation is causing troubled waters as lakes warm, shrink and even vanish – threatening the ecosystems they support. Bolivia’s second largest lake has vanished into thin air. In December, Lake Poopó became a dry salt pan and its largest lake – Lake Titicaca – is heading towards trouble, too. Recent research and new data suggest that lakes in other parts of the world may also be on their way out. The combination of silting up and irrigation withdrawal from the Desaguadero River, which feeds Poopó, together with climate change and the extra warmth from current El Niño, were enough to finish this lake off. It’s not just Andean lakes that are in trouble. Evidence from around the world suggests that lakes are warming, shrinking or disappearing, with huge impacts on ecosystems.
3-3-16 Oregon becomes the first US state to vote to go coal free
Oregon becomes the first US state to vote to go coal free
New law to go coal-free by 2035 means Oregon will shut down its coal power plant, stop importing coal-generated electricity, and rely more on renewable sources. The US state of Oregon has become the first to vote for a complete ban on coal-generated power. By 2035, at the latest, the state’s utility companies must ensure none of the electricity they provide comes from coal. And, by 2040, at least half of the state’s energy must come from renewable resources, under the Clean Energy and Coal Transition Act, voted into law by the country’s legislature yesterday. In addition, utilities will be obliged to support integrating renewable energy into the grid and help speed up the installation of charging stations for electric vehicles. Oregon has only one coal-fired power station, which is already due to shut down in 2020. But it imports one-third of its electricity from coal-fired plants in states of Montana, Utah and Wyoming.
3-2-16 Will biggest danger from global warming be the change in diets?
Will biggest danger from global warming be the change in diets?
A report claims that eating less fruit and vegetables could have the biggest health impact of climate change in the short term. Here’s the lowdown. Global warming will make it harder for people to eat more fruit and vegetables, leading to 500,000 deaths in 2050 that would otherwise have been avoided, according to a modelling study. That means the biggest health impact of climate change in the short term could result from its effect on how much fruit and vegetables we eat, rather than from heat waves, starvation or the spread of tropical diseases. (Webmaster's comment: From birth our bodies adapt to maximize benefit from the local foods. Given time our genetics change to also maximize future generation's benefit. Changing the food types available in just a few years could be a serious problem.)
3-2-16 Global warming looks different in different U.S. states
Global warming looks different in different U.S. states
Climate change has affected different regions differently. See the effects on specific states and regions. have you experienced any unusual weather? Maybe you've been seeing mild winters without much snow? Or perhaps spring is coming earlier than it used to?Climate change has affected different regions differently. To prove that point, Climate Central has created a handy-dandy graphic that breaks down these effects by state. Check it out: As Climate Central points out: If you look at all four seasons across all of the Lower 48 states — for a grand total of 192 state-season combinations — there are only three instances of cooling. The Dakotas and Iowa are cooling ever so slightly in summer.
3-2-16 Blockchain-based microgrid gives power to consumers in New York
Blockchain-based microgrid gives power to consumers in New York
A new project in New York City is letting residents buy and sell renewable energy to each other, bypassing central authority. While solar panels on the roofs of terraced houses soak up sun, a pair of computers connected to the panels quietly crunch numbers. First, they count how many electrons are being generated. Then, they write that number to a blockchain. Welcome to the future of energy exchange. This project, run by a startup called Transactive Grid, is the first version of a new kind of energy market, operated by consumers, which will change the way we generate and consume electricity. Transactive Grid aims to enable people to buy and sell renewable energy to their neighbours. To deal in energy at the moment, you have to go through a central company like Duke Energy in the US or National Grid in the UK, or one of their resellers.
3-1-16 China set to surpass its climate targets as renewables soar
China set to surpass its climate targets as renewables soar
Wind and solar energy surged in China in 2015 to record levels, helping the country to pivot away from coal, which still provides two-thirds of its power. China is surging ahead in switching to renewables and away from coal in what its officials say will allow it to surpass its carbon emissions targets. The country’s solar and wind energy capacity soared last year by 74 and 34 per cent respectively compared with 2014, according to figures issued by China’s National Bureau of Statistics yesterday. Meanwhile, its consumption of coal – the dirtiest of the fossil fuels – dropped by 3.7 per cent, with imports down by a substantial 30 per cent. The figures back up claims last month in Hong Kong by Xie Zhenhua, China’s lead negotiator at at the UN climate talks in Paris last December, that the country will “far surpass” its 2020 target to reduce carbon emissions per unit of national wealth (GDP) by 40 to 45 per cent from 2005 levels. (Webmaster's comment: The Chinese take the lead again in providing a better world to live in. The United States is still focused on making sure the rich energy executives get richer.)