IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: All-time record high temp in Antarctica; Record low snowpack spells trouble for California summer; Biblical rain and flooding in Chile; Gulf Stream slowdown could spell trouble for Europe; PLUS: US unveils targets for big, upcoming UN climate treaty in Paris....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 72% of voters support US signing on to UN climate treaty; Ominous finding on ocean heat; College-educated Republicans less likely to accept science of climate change; "There are no jobs on a dead planet"; BP oil spill caused lasting damage; Shell to return to drilling in the Arctic... PLUS: Lobbyist fails his own pesticide challenge... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Record High, Accelerated Ice Melt in Antarctica:
- Possible New Continental Heat Record for Antarctica (Wunderground) [emphasis added]:
On March 24th Base Esperanza (under Argentinean administration) located near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula reported a temperature of 17.5°C (63.5°F). Although this is the warmest temperature ever measured since weather stations became established on the southern continent, it is complicated by what the very definition of ‘Antarctica’ is.
- Big Shelves Of Antarctic Ice Melting Faster Than Scientists Thought (WBUR):
Is this acceleration important? Yes, because the enormous mass of ice sitting on the Antarctic bedrock — "grounded ice" — is to a large extent held back from the ocean by those shrinking ice shelves. "They're stopping that grounded ice flowing off the continent into the oceans, just by being there," says Fricker. "So it's like a restraining force."
- Study shows acceleration in decline of Antarctic ice shelves (Reuters):
Satellite data from 1994 to 2012 reveals an accelerating decline in Antarctica's massive floating ice shelves, with some shrinking 18 percent, in a development that could hasten the rise in global sea levels, scientists say.
- Biblical Rain, Floods in Chile:
- VIDEO: Massive Flooding in Chile a Window to Warming World (Climate Crocks):
At least 10 people have been killed by catastrophic floods in northern regions of Chile after thunderstorms brought the equivalent of 7 years of rain in just 12 hours on March 26.
- The New Normal: Deluge (Live Science):
"We can talk about it in terms of changing odds, as many others have done... "The odds have increased for these kinds of extremes to occur ... We have a new normal. The environment in which all weather events occur is different than it used to be."
- Record Low Snowpack in CA Spells Trouble for Summer:
- California Snowpack Hits All-Time Low, 8 Percent Of Average (Climate Progress):
This year’s paltry snowpack is less than one-third of the previous smallest size on record, which was 25 percent of average — an amount that was reached both last year and in 1977.
- VIDEO: Snow-Starved Sierra Spell Trouble for Drought-Stricken California (NBC News):
“Without that snowpack, it’s really hard for the reservoirs and water supply to be available during the very dry part of the summer.”
- The California Drought of 2015: A preview (California Water Blog)
- Drought in California and Climate Change: They are linked (Science Blogs)
- Gulf Stream Slow Down Spells Trouble For Europe:
- AUDIO: Dr. Michael Mann on Melting Greenland Ice Slowing Down Ocean Circulation (Living On Earth, PRI) [emphasis added]:
[T]here's this potential that we could see a substantial decrease or even a complete shutdown of this mode of ocean circulation which is so important for delivering heat to the high latitudes, keeping the climate of Europe moderate....[If that] were to change abruptly, that could really spell trouble, for us, for other living things, so any abrupt change in climate could potentially be catastrophic.
- Critical ocean circulation in Atlantic appears to have slowed (Ars Technica):
If this index is a reliable indicator of AMOC strength in both the recent and more distant past, and if that slowdown really was due to something like Greenland meltwater rather than natural variability, this could suggest that climate models are underestimating future changes. That could mean larger than expected changes in coming decades.
- VIDEO: A Nasty Surprise in the Greenhouse. New Paper, New Video. (Climate Crocks)
- VIDEO: Mike Mann on the Ocean Conveyor (Climate Crocks)
- US Unveils Formal U.N. Climate Treaty Commitment:
- Climate deadline day: Which countries delivered Paris pledges? (RTCC)
- Obama submits 'ambitious' global warming plan (Mashable) [emphasis added]:
The U.S. formally submitted to the United Nations a commitment to reduce its climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. The commitment is aimed in part at spurring other countries to announce their plans ahead of a major round of international climate negotiations in Paris in December....Commitments from the U.S., Mexico, the E.U. and others now amount to nearly 60% of the world’s energy-related carbon emissions...Late last week, Mexico committed to peaking its greenhouse gas emissions by 2026, and reducing them thereafter.
- Obama Offers Major Blueprint on Climate Change (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
To bypass the Senate — which would have to ratify United States involvement in a foreign treaty — Mr. Kerry and other State Department officials are working closely with their foreign counterparts to ensure that the Paris deal does not legally qualify as a treaty.
- This Is How The U.S. Plans To Tackle Climate Change In The Next Decade And Beyond (Climate Progress)
- US offer for climate treaty: Up to 28 percent emissions cut (AP) [emphasis added]:
In the works for years, the treaty is set to be finalized in Paris in December. If it's successful, it will mark the first time all nations — not just wealthier ones like the U.S. — will have agreed to do something about climate change.
- Russia Submits Climate Action Plan Ahead of Paris-2015 Universal Agreement (Sputnik News) [emphasis added]:
“Reducing GHG emissions by 25-30% from 1990 levels by 2030 will allow the Russian Federation to step on the path of low-carbon development compatible with the long-term objective of the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius."
- VIDEO: EPA's McCarthy - US and China Climate Deal Offers Hope For UN Climate Treaty: (Politico)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Poll Finds Strong Majority Of Americans Support An International Climate Agreement (Huffington Post):
A new poll finds an overwhelming majority of Americans support an international agreement to cut planet-warming emissions. The poll found 72 percent of likely 2016 voters said they support the United States signing on to an international agreement on climate change.
- As El Nino Emerges, Ominous Findings on Ocean Heat (Climate Crocks):
Scientists are also learning that the ocean has gained more heat, and at greater depth, than they had realized. That means the entire climate is even more out-of-whack than is evident today.
- Republicans With a College Degree Are Less Likely to Worry About Global Warming (National Journal) [emphasis added]:
"[P]artisanship rather than education is a main lens through which Americans view global warming and its effects."...The vast majority of scientists say that climate change is real, caused primarily by human activity and that the impacts of a warming planet, including hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes, are already being felt. That scientific consensus has not translated into political agreement over global warming, however, and a contentious partisan debate over climate change continues.
- Limiting climate change could have huge economic benefits, study finds (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
At a rise of 4C, the limits for human and environmental adaptation are likely to be exceeded in many parts of the world, a 2010 paper by the Society said. It envisaged around half of the world’s current agricultural land becoming unusable, sea level rises of up to two metres, and the extinction of about 40% of the world’s species, as droughts and wildfires ravaged the globe. “The ecosystem services upon which human livelihoods depend would not be preserved,” the study found....There are no jobs on a dead planet.”
- Lobbyist Fails His Own Pesticide Challenge On Camera (Crooks & Liars):
Here's a lesson for lobbyists: eating your words is a lot safer than drinking the poison you help sell.
- Republican Texas Bows to Berkeley in Backing Energy Finance Plan (Bloomberg):
The Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, lets property owners put the cost of energy upgrades on a property tax bill and pay it off over several years at a low interest rate. The repayment is their responsibility at no cost to other taxpayers and can be passed on if the property is sold.
- Sierra Nevada Pine Tree Die-Off Worsens as Beetles Thrive in Drought (Fresno Bee):
A massive die-off of pine trees in the southern Sierra Nevada caused by beetles attacking drought-stressed trees is turning forests brown and creating a fire tinderbox.
- How Brain-Damaging Mercury Puts Arctic Kids at Risk (National Geographic):
In the frozen far north, in Arctic Quebec, the Inuit have relied on the same nutritious foods culled from the oceans for centuries: beluga whale, fish, seal, and walrus. But some of these traditional foods have become so contaminated with brain-damaging mercury that the IQs of schoolchildren in remote Arctic villages are abnormally low.
- Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Caused Lasting Damage, Report Says (Sun-Sentinel):
Dolphins are dying in unusually high numbers. Sea turtle nests are declining. Tuna are developing abnormally. And pelicans and gulls are still suffering from the lasting effects of a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico five years ago, the National Wildlife Federation warned in a report released Monday.
- Shell Will Resume Drilling Off Alaska Coast: U.S. Arctic Envoy (Reuters):
Royal Dutch Shell will resume drilling off Alaska after suspending operations for two years in the wake of an accident, the special U.S. envoy to the Arctic said on Monday, but gave no details as to when.'
- Rate Of Climate Change To Soar By 2020s, With Arctic Warming 1°F Per Decade (Climate Progress):
New research from a major national lab projects that the rate of climate change, which has risen sharply in recent decades, will soar by the 2020s. This worrisome projection - which has implications for extreme weather, sea level rise, and permafrost melt - is consistent with several recent studies.
- Now's Your Chance to Help Save the Imperiled Monarch Butterfly-and Get Paid to Do So (Take Part) [emphasis added]:
Another threat, according to Grant, has been well-intentioned individuals who have planted a tropical form of milkweed, which competes with native varieties and is not beneficial to monarchs or other pollinators.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page
- Video Proof That Global Warming is a 'Hoax'!: NASA Temperature Data 1888-2011 (The BRAD BLOG):
- NASA climate change video: This is the U.S. in 2100 (NASA).