Drylands will suffer if world reaches 2°C

By the end of the century, changes in evaporation rainfall patterns will extend drylands to 56% of the Earth’s surface

by Santosh Koirala

Climate News Network | April 25, 2017

Drylands Burkina Faso woman cart delivering firewood
The extension of subtropical drylands has implications for humans, plants and animals.
Image: Ollivier Girard for Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

In what may be good news only for cactus, termites and drought-resistant grasses, subtropical dry areas are going to expand over large parts of the Earth as the climate warms.

This will seriously reduce the amount of land that can be used to grow crops for human consumption and prevent many deeper-rooted shrubs and trees from growing at all.

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Pollution from Canada’s oil sands may be underreported

Volatile organic compounds emission rates from oil sands production were between 2 and 4.5 times the levels companies reported

by Bobby Magill

Climate Central |  April 24, 2017

A Suncor Energy oil sands plant near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Credit: Suncor/flickr

Canadian scientists have found that the standard way of tallying air and climate pollution from Alberta’s oil sands vastly understates pollution levels there — by as much as 4.5 times, according to a Canadian government study published Monday.

The study shows that air samples collected using aircraft may be a more accurate way to tally air and climate pollution from oil and gas production than using industry estimates.Read More »

 On April 29, We March for the Future

We’ll either save or doom the planet during the Trump administration. Don’t sit the Peoples Climate Mobilization out.

by Bill McKibben

 

It is hard to avoid hyperbole when you talk about global warming. It is, after all, the biggest thing humans have ever done, and by a very large margin. In the past year, we’ve decimated the Great Barrier Reef, which is the largest living structure on Earth. In the drought-stricken territories around the Sahara, we’ve helped kick off what The New York Times called “one of the biggest humanitarian disasters since World War II.” We’ve melted ice at the poles at a record pace, because our emissions trap extra heat from the sun that’s equivalent to 400,000 Hiroshima-size explosions a day. Which is why, just maybe, you should come to Washington, DC, on April 29 for a series of big climate protests that will mark the 100th day of Trumptime. Maybe the biggest thing ever is worth a day.Read More »

Climate Change Refugees

How a tiny Alaska town is leading the way on climate change

by Joe McCarthy

Global Citizen | 18 April, 2017

KIVALINA, Alaska — Dolly’s home is warm and spacious. Snow gear sits by the door. Illustrated Christianity posters are on the walls. A Mario game is being played on the TV. It could be any house in the throes of a Midwestern winter. Until, that is, Dolly serves maktaaq — small strips of frozen bowhead whale skin and blubber. Despite it being late at night, sunlight bounces off the walls. That’s because this is Kivalina, Alaska, some 70 miles above the Arctic Circle and 1,000 miles from Anchorage.Read More »

Should we resort to solar geoengineering to fight climate crisis?

A Journal of People report

Should we tinker with the environment? Scientists are investigating whether releasing tons of particulates into the atmosphere might be good for the planet. Not everyone thinks this is a good idea.

A report by Jon Gertner on April 18, 2017 in The New York Times Magazine said:

“For the past few years, the Harvard professor David Keith has been sketching this vision: Ten Gulfstream jets, outfitted with special engines that allow them to fly safely around the stratosphere at an altitude of 70,000 feet, take off from a runway near the Equator. Their cargo includes thousands of pounds of a chemical compound – liquid sulfur, let’s suppose – that can be sprayed as a gas from the aircraft. It is not a one-time event; the flights take place throughout the year, dispersing a load that amounts to 25,000 tons. If things go right, the gas converts to an aerosol of particles that remain aloft and scatter sunlight for two years. The payoff? A slowing of the earth’s warming – for as long as the Gulfstream flights continue.Read More »

February & March, 2017 were second-warmest March & February months on record

Climate crisis causes “river piracy” in Canada

A Journal of People report

March and February 2017 were the second warmest March and February in 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

News reports from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA, Global Climate Change) in March and April said:

March 2017 was 1.12 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean March temperature from 1951-1980. The two top March temperature anomalies have occurred during the past two years.

March 2016 was the hottest on record, at 1.27 degrees Celsius warmer than the March mean temperature. March 2017’s temperature was 0.15 degrees Celsius cooler than March 2016, but 0.2 degrees Celsius warmer than any previous March.Read More »

Permafrost thaw threatens flood of emissions

Global warming’s impact on permafrost will release huge amounts of methane and carbon dioxide as frozen soil of an area larger than India could be lost for every additional degree of global warming

by Alex Kirby

Climate News Network | 11 April, 2017

permafrost yukon

A pond created by melting permafrost in northern Yukon, Canada. Image: Keith Williams via Flickr

London – Permafrost, the layer of permanently frozen ground that lies just beneath the Earth’s surface in the polar regions, has been found to be more sensitive to the effects of global warming than climatology had recognised.

In a new study published in Nature Climate Change journal, scientists say they expect the warming to thaw about 20% more permafrost than previously thought, potentially releasing significant amounts of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the Earth’s atmosphere.

The study, conducted by climate change experts from the universities of Leeds and Exeter and the Met Office, all in the UK, and the universities of Stockholm and Oslo, suggests that nearly four million square kilometres of frozen soil – an area larger than India – could be lost for every additional degree of global warming the planet experiences.Read More »

Great Barrier Reef Faces ‘Terminal’ Stage in Climate Change Fight

by Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Common Dreams | 10 April, 2017

gbr.jpg

This year’s mass bleaching occurred even in the absence of an El Niño event. (Photo: Ryan McMinds/flickr/cc)

The Great Barrier Reef may be at a “terminal” point after being hit with unprecedented bleaching events in consecutive years, scientists warned Monday.

According to new aerial surveys conducted by the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, two-thirds of the reef have now been affected, up from one-third last year. This year’s mass bleaching occurred even in the absence of an El Niño event.Read More »

Tree trunks: source of methane in upland forests

University of Delaware | 31 March, 2017

Researchers have found that tree trunks are sources of methane in upland forests. Source: Internet

A new study from the University of Delaware is one of the first in the world to show that tree trunks in upland forests actually emit methane rather than store it, representing a new, previously unaccounted source of this powerful greenhouse gas (GHG).

Methane is about 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide, with some estimates as high as 33 times stronger due to its effects when it is in the atmosphere.

Because of methane’s global warming potential, identifying the sources and “sinks” or storehouses of this GHG is critical for measuring and understanding its implications across ecosystems.Read More »

A Tale of Two Cities facing Climate Crisis

A Journal of People report

Climate crisis is sparing no corner of the planet. Two US cities – Phoenix and Los Angeles – bear signs of the crisis and related developments. There are many things to learn about the crisis in these two cities.

A Los Angeles Times report on Phoenix said:

“This sprawling metropolis morphed in a matter of decades from a scorching desert outpost into one of the largest cities in the nation. Today, Phoenix is a horizon of asphalt, air conditioning and historic indifference to the pitfalls of putting 1.5 million people in a place that gets just 8 inches of rain a year and where the temperature routinely exceeds 100 degrees.Read More »