The National Weather Service, the Environmental Protection Administration, scientists, elected officials and citizen activists have been warning for years that global warming would eventually translate into an epic disaster for the city of Houston. “It’s only a matter of when, not if,” they have been saying. Tragically, the “when” is now upon the people of Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city.
In what reporters at the Weather Channel said Sunday morning is the worst flood disaster in U.S. history, two feet of rain had fallen on Houston since Hurricane Harvey came on shore along the Texas Gulf Coast on Friday night, with another two feet of rain forecast for Houston by Wednesday. The weather services in Europe, whose models are often more accurate than the ones in the U.S., are indicating as much as a foot more than that.Read More »
Growing concerns about climate change and other environmental trends have set off the next round of old Malthusian diagnoses and solutions.
As a case in point, ecological economist William E. Rees recently wrote in the Canadian alternative magazine The Tyee (“Staving Off the Coming Global Collapse” July 17, 2017):
The “competitive displacement” of other species is an inevitable byproduct of continuous growth on a finite planet. The expansion of humans and their artifacts necessarily means the contraction of everything else. (Politicians’ protests notwithstanding, there is a fundamental contradiction between population/economic growth and protecting the “environment.”)
High and rapidly rising suicide rate in India have been linked to crop damage due to increasing temperature trends over the last 30 years, finds a new study.
One fifth of the world’s suicides happen in India, typically at more than 130,000 deaths a year. With more than half of the country’s population employed in agriculture, crop failures due to increasing temperatures have been suspected to be behind the increasing trend in suicides in the past three decades. Nearly all parts of India are experiencing rising temperatures due to climate change.Read More »
James Hansen, former NASA scientist as well as the “grandfather of global warming,” asserts in a recently published paper: Preventing catastrophic climate change requires far more drastic policy shifts than any government has taken so far.
His latest report, produced with a team of 14 co-authors whose expertise ranges from paleoclimatology to carbon cycles, was tested by three different peer reviewers before being published by the European Geosciences Union.
Nations must aim for negative emissions, said the study report published in the journal Earth System Dynamics.Read More »
Peering beyond scientific reticence.
It is, I promise, worse than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. And yet the swelling seas — and the cities they will drown — have so dominated the picture of global warming, and so overwhelmed our capacity for climate panic, that they have occluded our perception of other threats, many much closer at hand. Rising oceans are bad, in fact very bad; but fleeing the coastline will not be enough.
Indeed, absent a significant adjustment to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.
Winter days where temperatures peak above 14 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 10 degrees Celsius) are considered as Arctic winter warming event. Arctic winter warming events are a normal part of the climate over the ice-covered Arctic Ocean, but these were not as frequent as now and were not lasting longer.
An international team that includes NASA scientists finds Arctic winter warming events are becoming more frequent and lasting longer than they did three decades ago.
At the same time, a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York finds June 2017 was the fourth warmest June in 137 years of modern record-keeping.Read More »
Through all known human history justice and equality have been the most relevant issues. However now that issues of irreversible ecological threats which pose a survival crisis to human beings as well as other forms of life have emerged , some deeply concerned persons tend to give more importance to such fast emerging issues. These issues include climate change as well as other related issues.
However this does not mean that the importance of justice related issues has diminished ; rather what needs to be emphasized and explored is that issues like climate changes should be understood within a framework of justice so that the two most important issues should be closely linked to each other.Read More »
On his 75th birthday, one of the world’s greatest scientists, Prof. Stephen Hawking told BBC News that U.S President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement could lead to a point where climate change is ‘irreversible’.
Expressing great concern for the future of the human species, Prof. Hawking told BBC:
“We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible. Trump’s action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulphuric acid.”Read More »
Overheated cities face climate crisis costs at least twice as big as the rest of the world because of the ‘urban heat island’ effect, finds a new research.
The study (Journal Reference: Francisco Estrada, W. J. Wouter Botzen, Richard S. J. Tol. A global economic assessment of city policies to reduce climate change impacts. Nature Climate Change, 2017; DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE3301, University of Sussex. “‘Heat island’ effect could double climate change costs for world’s cities.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 May 2017. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170529133714.htm). by an international team of economists of all the world’s major cities is the first to quantify the potentially devastating combined impact of global and local climate crisis on urban economies.
The urban heat island occurs when natural surfaces, such as vegetation and water, are replaced by heat-trapping concrete and asphalt, and is exacerbated by heat from cars, air conditioners and so on. This effect is expected to add a further two degrees to global warming estimates for the most populated cities by 2050.Read More »