Posts filed under ‘Climate’

How a warmer Arctic could intensify extreme weather

Is there a link between the vanishing Arctic sea ice and extreme weather?

Some prominent climate researchers think so. That’s because warming temperatures in the Arctic are altering the behavior of the polar jet stream, a high-altitude river of air that drives weather patterns across the globe. As the winds that propel the jet stream weaken, storms, droughts, and extreme heat and cold move over continents at slower rates, meaning bad weather can stick around for longer.

Eli Kintisch reports aboard the Norwegian research vessel Helmer Hanssen about how changing conditions at the top of the world could be impacting weather far away.

Read How a warmer Arctic could intensify extreme weather at Vox, by Eli Kintisch and Mallory Brangan.

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April 18, 2018 at 11:03 am Leave a comment

Solving Climate Change — The Opportunity for Business with Katharine Wilkinson

Project Drawdown is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming and reach the point in time when the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begins to decline on a year-to-year basis. Hear from Project Drawdown on how its team of PhDs developed the plan, based on existing solutions and technologies, and how businesses can act on these opportunities now to put carbon back where it belongs

April 11, 2018 at 9:46 am Leave a comment

Ottawa among 13 cities that could see 2 C increase in 2020s: report

Ottawa is among 13 cities worldwide that are projected to see temperature hikes that could exceed 2 C over the next decade or so, according to a new report.

Cities that could see the steepest temperature increases during the 2020s include Helsinki in Finland (2.5 C), Ottawa (2.3 C) and Trondheim in Norway (2.3 C), the study showed.

The new data provides “foundation knowledge” for cities at the forefront of efforts to rein in the effects of global warming, said Cynthia Rosenzweig, an editor of the report and a researcher with NASA.

Read Ottawa among 13 cities that could see 2 C increase in 2020s: report at CBC  News.

March 12, 2018 at 10:52 am Leave a comment

A eureka moment for the planet: we’re finally planting trees again

Illustration by Mitch Blunt

After centuries of bad stewardship, communities are at last starting to see the benefits of forests. China plans to plant forests the size of Ireland. Latin American countries have pledged to restore 20m hectares of degraded forest and African countries more than 100m hectares. India is to plant 13m hectares, and on a single day last year 1.5 million people planted 66m trees in Madhya Pradesh alone.

This enthusiasm for a greener world, expressed in trees, is inspiring and overdue. For 200 years forested countries barely knew what to do with their trees. They were treated as expendable and a waste of space. But in a great cultural shift, they have changed from being dark and fearsome places to semi-sacred and untouchable.

And why not? In this new ecological age, we have learned that trees have far more value than providing timber: they keep soils moist, prevent floods and provide shelter, store carbon, beautify landscapes, protect water sources, increase biodiversity, improve conservation and induce human wellbeing.

Read A eureka moment for the planet: we’re finally planting trees again by John Vidal at The Guardian.

February 14, 2018 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

World’s Oceans Last Year Hit Hottest Temperatures Ever Recorded… ‘By Far’

A new analysis conducted by Chinese researchers and published in a peer-reviewed journal on Friday found that 2017 was the hottest year on record for the world’s oceans, renewing concerns among those in the scientific community about the man-made climate crisis.

“The long-term warming trend driven by human activities continued unabated,” the researchers, Lijing Cheng and Jiang Zhu, wrote (pdf) in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences. “The high ocean temperatures in recent years have occurred as greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere have also risen, reaching record highs in 2017.”

While measuring atmospheric temperature changes provides insight into humankind’s impact on the planet—and recent reports show 2017 was the second-hottest year on record—”in terms of understanding how fast the Earth is warming, the key is the oceans,” because almost all the planet’s heat is stored in the seas, as John Abraham, a professor of thermal sciences, explains in a piece for the Guardian.

Read World’s Oceans Last Year Hit Hottest Temperatures Ever Recorded… ‘By Far’ by Jessica Corbett at Common Dreams.

Hat tip to Transition Brockville for this post!

January 31, 2018 at 12:30 pm Leave a comment

Climate change is the story you missed in 2017. And the media is to blame

Which story did you hear more about this year – how climate change makes disasters like hurricanes worse, or how Donald Trump threw paper towels at Puerto Ricans?

If you answered the latter, you have plenty of company. Academic Jennifer Good analyzed two weeks of hurricane coverage during the height of hurricane season on eight major TV networks, and found that about 60% of the stories included the word Trump, and only about 5% mentioned climate change.

Read Climate change is the story you missed in 2017. And the media is to blame by Lisa Hymas at The Guardian.

January 8, 2018 at 12:09 pm Leave a comment

How to Help My Daughter Face Climate Change With an Open Heart

Illustration by Enkhbayar Munkh-Erdene

In his new book Being the Change, climate scientist Peter Kalmus shows why, on the cusp of climate catastrophe, we are neither choiceless nor powerless.

What happens to a child’s psyche, I asked myself, as she gradually absorbs the knowledge that our planet is warming at a terrifying rate and to an unimaginably dangerous degree, then quietly observes the adults in her life, particularly those most responsible for caring for and protecting her, doing the very things that are causing the emergency? What happens as she observes the mundane spectrum of everyday life in the United States amid climate chaos: as dad pulls the car up to the pump, as mom comes home from the airport after a business trip, as the family sits down to another meat and factory farm-based dinner, iPhones at the ready and the thermostat cranked to 70?

READ: How to Help My Daughter Face Climate Change With an Open Heart by Chris Moore-Backman at Yes! Magazine.

December 11, 2017 at 11:53 am Leave a comment

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