Topic: climate change
Written by Alan Buis
Pasadena, CA – An area of the Amazon rainforest twice the size of California continues to suffer from the effects of a megadrought that began in 2005, finds a new NASA-led study.
These results, together with observed recurrences of droughts every few years and associated damage to the forests in southern and western Amazonia in the past decade, suggest these rainforests may be showing the first signs of potential large-scale degradation due to climate change.
Written by Alan Buis and Whitney Clavin
Pasadena, CA – NASA and British Antarctic Survey scientists have reported the first direct evidence that marked changes to Antarctic sea ice drift caused by changing winds are responsible for observed increases in Antarctic sea ice cover in the past two decades.
The results help explain why, unlike the dramatic sea ice losses being reported in the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice cover has increased under the effects of climate change.
Written by Alan Buis
Pasadena, CA – A new NASA-funded study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, finds climate model projections that show a greater rise in global temperature are likely to prove more accurate than those showing a lesser rise.
The findings, published today in the journal Science, could provide a breakthrough in the longstanding quest to narrow the range of global warming expected in coming decades and beyond.
Written by Alan Buis
Pasadena, CA – By 2100, global climate change will modify plant communities covering almost half of Earth’s land surface and will drive the conversion of nearly 40 percent of land-based ecosystems from one major ecological community type – such as forest, grassland or tundra – toward another, according to a new NASA and university computer modeling study.
Researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA, investigated how Earth’s plant life is likely to react over the next three centuries as Earth’s climate changes in response to rising levels of human-produced greenhouse gases. Study results are published in the journal Climatic Change.
Dreaming the future can create the future. We stand at the threshold of a singular opportunity in the human experiment: To re-imagine how to live on Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other and future generations. It’s a revolution from the heart of nature — and the human heart. Then again, in the immortal words of Yogi Berra, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” We also stand at the brink of worldwide ecological and civilizational collapse. We face a reckoning from the treacherous breach in our relationship with nature. «Read the rest of this article»
New presidential transition report charts first steps to advance climate change policy in difficult economy. Clean Air-Cool Planet unveils 25 early-action items to implement in first 150 days.
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The ongoing economic crisis, volatile energy prices, and the rapid increase in global CO2 levels will force critical choices on climate action by the new President in the early days of the next administration, according to a report released today by Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP), an independent organization dedicated to finding and promoting solutions to global warming.
“The next president can lead America and the world in addressing climate change if he links our effort to reduce emissions to the revitalization of our economy and the creation of a more secure energy future.” ~~ Rafe Pomerance, CA-CP’s president.
To advance a new strategy, the report recommends 25 early steps through which the incoming President can establish clear priorities for his administration, build a consensus for legislation in Congress, and inspire the public and private sector to action to reduce the threat of climate change. «Read the rest of this article»
Clean Air — Cool Planet, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding and promoting solutions to global warming, has offered recommendations on climate change action for President-Elect Obama’s consideration.
Clean Air — Cool Action notes that as president, Barack Obama “will have the opportunity and responsibility of establishing American leadership on climate change with a robust new strategy.” The organization cited the scale and complexity of the climate issue as unprecedented and one that will require a renewed focus on the interconnection between the economy, national security and the environment. This report outlines 25 early-action recommendations through which the new administration can lay the foundations for success in addressing climate change at both the domestic and international levels.” «Read the rest of this article»
Cautionary words on climate from a May 1 statement by George Woodwell, the founder and Director Emeritus of The Woods Hole Research Center.
I explore below paths that might, if followed, lead out of the chaos of an open-ended climatic disruption. Unfortunately the issues are complicated, the time for action is now late, and effective action is growing more difficult daily. Effective action is possible, however….
The changes in climate are far more serious than they may appear…. These changes, the warming of the higher latitudes, the destruction of forests, the accelerated decay of organic matter in forests and tundra soils, the melting of permafrost, the change from a reflective frozen white to black open water in the Arctic Ocean, and the warming of the surface water of the oceans all point to an acceleration of the warming trend. These are “positive feedbacks” which dominate as the earth warms and accelerate the disruption. Despite their importance, they have not been included in appraisals that suggest that a two degree average change in the temperature of the earth might be acceptable. The fact is that the feedbacks will almost certainly take the disruption beyond human control well before the temperature rise is two degrees C. Stopping at 2 degrees will not be possible. «Read the rest of this article»
Corn Ethanol is becoming the Iraq war of energy policy. A policy based on lies, that initially won supporters political advantage, is highly destructive to the US, and ultimately destructive to its supporters when the costly truth becomes widely known.
In 2007, 115 US plants produced 7 billion gallons of Corn Ethanol – the energy equivalent of 132 million barrels of oil using about 15% of corn production. While this sounds large, it is tiny in the context of the US economy. This is equal to only 1.6% of the energy from from oil in 2007 used in the US. But the situation is worse than this because it takes 1 unit of fossil fuel to produce 1.3 units of corn ethanol. The net energy produced was only 0.5% of the energy from from oil – while consuming 15% of the US corn crop!
Vast sums of taxpayer and consumer dollars are funding an ineffective solution to the real problems of global warming and energy independence. While the country does not sufficiently fund what can be real solutions. «Read the rest of this article»
Unlike 1999, tornadoes spared Clarksville this time, but ripped through Tennessee and neighboring states on February 5th. In Madison, WI, where my sister lives, it snowed one foot in less than 24 hours. They’ve had over six feet of snow so far this season, so severe that she and others were told to leave work because snow came down so fast that the plows weren’t going out until it stopped. When it comes to climate change, we have our heads in the sand.
The cold and snow is also a symptom of global warming: more heat causes the air to hold more water vapor and more heat dries out some areas — then dumps snow/rain on others. The weird result is both floods and droughts — and snowstorms. The United States hasn’t yet recovered from Katrina, but the United States and the rest of the world will have many ‘Katrina-like’ storms if we don’t make huge changes now. I keep writing my senators and congress to pass sweeping legislation to lower carbon emissions (Kyoto). I wrote them recently to make investments in clean energy and ‘green’ rebates instead of the across-the-board tax cuts. «Read the rest of this article»
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