The thin line of Earth's 60-mile high atmosphere, overheated by trillions of tons of excess human- generated greenhouse gases, and the setting sun are featured in this image photographed by the crew of the International Space Station while space shuttle Atlantis was docked with the station. https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_1529.html
Earth Near Tipping Point: North Pole Melting - Greenland Melting - Antarctica Melting - Polar Jet Stream destabilizing - Sea Levels Rising - Ocean Circulation failing - Oceans Warming – Fish Populations Collapsing – Coral Reefs Dying - Mass Extinctions – Insect Populations Disappearing - Increasing Frequency & Intensity of Extreme Weather Events - Food & Water Insecurity - War – Refugee Crises – Trump Administration National Highway Transportation Writing Off The Planet – U.S. Military, NASA, NOAA, IPCC, 15,000 Scientists, Nations of the World, Young People Calling for
Global Climate Mobilization
A Six-Part Series - Premieres Monday
April 1, 2019 at 9/8c on National Geographic Channel
In the face of all the dire news and forecasts on the planet’s life support systems spiraling out of control, humanity has been hard at work preparing to deal with this crisis. All the pieces needed to turn this earthship around, including the technology, the imagination, and vision of a better world for all, are coming together. We have an array of highly compatible, science-based plans to restore balance to earth’s climate and environment. Around the world people are calling for global climate mobilization. Our children are calling for it!
climate actions in mid-missouri
in april 2019
Climate Reality Speaker Gary Leabman
will speak about
Solutions to the Climate Crisis
Tuesday April 16 2019, 6:30 PM at:
410 Lafayette St.
Washington, MO 63090
Join Gary Leabman as he discusses the impact and solutions to climate change, and what you can do to make a difference
Earth Day Festival
Sunday April 28, 2019
Now for the rather sobering News
Scientists on climate and environmental fronts around the planet report that earth’s meteorological, hydrological, and ecological systems are spiraling out of control. The underlying cause is the buildup of trillions of tons greenhouse gases in earth’s slim, 60 mile high atmosphere.
Arctic's Strongest Sea Ice Breaks Up For The First Time On Record
The Barents Sea to the north of Scandinavia has warmed extremely rapidly – by 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) just since the year 2000. Changes in this region of the Arctic are so sudden and vast that it will soon be another stretch of the Atlantic, rather than a characteristically icy Arctic sea.
The Arctic is heading toward irreversible melting and ecosystem destruction, according to the annual Arctic Report Card released on Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Arctic is has lost 95 percent of its oldest, thickest sea ice, reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2018 Arctic Report Card. NOAA’s annual report released Dec. 11, 2018 find that the impacts of persistent Arctic warming continue to mount, driving broad change in the environmental system in both expected and unpredictable ways. https://www.arctic.noaa.gov/Report-Card
It could be disastrous for the native species that rely on sea-ice like polar bears but also for the world’s oceans which are impacted by Arctic sea ice melt. Without a blanket of ice over the Arctic, the ocean will get warmer as heat from the sun previously reflected away by the ice could be absorbed by the ocean. Walt Meier, a sea ice expert at the National Snow and Ice Data Center told the Washington Post, says, “In the Arctic Ocean, a difference of 2 degrees can be huge. If it goes from 31 Fahrenheit to 33 Fahrenheit, you’re going from ice skating to swimming. The Arctic is an early warning system for the climate.”
Sea ice volume has declined by 78 percent between 1979 and 2012. It’s this loss of volume that is a serious concern, Axel Schwieger, the head of Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System at the University of Washington told Chris Mooney of the Washington Post. Using Schweiger’s and the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System, shows the Arctic has lost trillions of tons of ice. Newly emerging threats are appearing, highlighting the level of uncertainty in the breadth of the environmental changes that may be coming.
The Arctic is in the throes of what sea-ice scientist Peter Wadhams called a “death spiral.” As the region’s once abundant ice melts, giving way to a less reflective surface, the Arctic heats up faster — now at a rate that is double the rest of the planet. It should be winter on the Arctic pole – the northern most point in the world – but the equivalent of heatwaves have passed over the region this season melting the sea ice volume to a record low in January, the United Nations meteorological agency said.
“Temperatures in the Arctic are quite remarkable and very alarming,” said David Carlson, Director of the World Climate Research Programme which is co-sponsored by the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Council for Science.
Sea ice extent was the lowest on the 38-year-old satellite record for the month of January, both at the Arctic and Antarctic, according to data cited WMO from both the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and Germany's Sea ice Portal operated by the Alfred-Wegener-Institut.
The Arctic sea ice extent averaged 13.38 million square kilometres in January, according to NSIDC. This is 260,000 square kilometers below the level in January 2016 – an area bigger than the size of the United Kingdom.
“The recovery period for Arctic sea ice is normally in the winter, when it gains both in volume and extent. The recovery this winter has been fragile, at best, and there were some days in January when temperatures were actually above melting point,” said Mr. Carlson. This will have serious implications for Arctic sea ice extent in summer as well as for the global climate system. What happens at the Poles does not stay at the Poles.”
A team of Scottish scientists has revealed how the Greenland ice sheet is melting - - even in winter.
The research has been carried out at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) who found massive warm waves are melting the ice from below.
The Greenland ice sheet contains almost 650,000 cubic miles of ice and is the planet's second largest ice sheet.
Climate change means it is also the second largest contributor to rising global sea levels.
Greenland's ice sheet is the planet's second largest. Only Anarctica is larger.
Another study published in the scientific journal Nature found that Greenland's ice sheets, which contain enough water to raise global sea levels by 23 feet -- have been melting at an "unprecedented" rate, 50% higher than pre-industrial levels and 33% above 20th-century levels.
Climate change is causing Greenland's massive ice sheets to melt much faster than previously thought, a new study has found, and it may be "too late" to do anything about it.
The findings could have dire implications for the planet's low lying islands and coastal cities. Eight of Earth's 10 largest cities in the world are near coasts, and 40% to 50% of the planet's population live in areas vulnerable to rising seas.
Michael Bevis, a professor of geodynamics at The Ohio State University and the lead author of a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analyzed GPS data from Greenland's coast. They found that in 2012, the rate of ice loss had accelerated to nearly four times what it was in 2003. The research found that humanity may have passed the point of no return when it comes to combating climate change.
"The only thing we can do is adapt and mitigate further global warming -- it's too late for there to be no effect," said Bevis. "This is going to cause additional sea level rise. We are watching the ice sheet hit a tipping point." CNN's Drew Kann contributed to this report.
Greenland Ice Is Melting Faster Than Previously Thought -
The polar jet stream is a river of wind that travels around the Northern hemisphere. Warming Arctic air makes less of a pressure difference to the south, so the jet stream is becoming slower and more erratic. In the United States, these changes are causing weather patterns to stall, perpetuating drought, heatwaves, and extensive wildfires across much of western North America, according to the NOAA report.
Nor’easters and severe cold
Jennifer Francis, a scientist who focuses on the Arctic at the Woods Hole Research Center likens the weakening jet stream to leaving the refrigerator door open. It allows frigid Arctic air to plunge southward, which according to the NOAA report, brought a “parade of destructive nor’easters along the eastern seaboard” in the winters of 2013-14 and 2017-18. Including the “bomb cyclone,” an intense blizzard along the East Coast in January 2018.
Arctic overheating brings all kind of severe weather, including the slower, more intense hurricanes we’ve seen of late. Harvey and Florence, which hovered over the coast for days and dumped trillions of gallons of water.
Drought, heatwaves, and wildfires
The Arctic has lost nearly 95 percent of its oldest ice. Coastal Arctic communities, including indigenous peoples, are losing their land as coastal ice melts. “The decline of coastal ice is exposing communities to increased storm surge, flooding, and loss of shoreline,” Donald Perovich, a professor of engineering at Dartmouth and a contributor to the report, said in a press conference. Melting Arctic ice is also disturbing Earth’s weather system, causing profound changes to weather beyond the North Pole, as explained by Judah Cohen, an MIT climatologist.
More Climate Change
As the warming Arctic sloughs off more layers of ice, it threatens to release stored carbon into the atmosphere — thus contributing to global warming and making extreme weather even worse. This begins on a micro level: When the ground thaws, it activates microbes in the soil. “They start breathing out carbon dioxide or methane,” said Mark Serreze, the director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. “It’s a feedback loop because if you put more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, that warms up things further. Right now the question is, ‘OK, is when does that kick in?’”
The Arctic as we know it is slipping away, and there are still a lot of unknowns about what that means for all of us. “Exactly how the northern meltdown will ‘play ball’ with other changes and natural fluctuations in the system presents many questions that will keep scientists busy for years to come,” Francis wrote in the report, “but it’s becoming ice-crystal-clear that change in the far north will increasingly affect us all.”
Scientists predict that coastal cities will be hit the hardest by sea level rise, and the ensuing hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. In North America, the entire Atlantic seaboard would vanish, along with Florida and the Gulf Coast. In California, San Francisco’s hills would become a cluster of islands, and the Central Valley a giant bay. The Gulf of California would stretch north past the latitude of San Diego – which would be underwater.
Retreat Is Not An Option
The city of Del Mar, Calif., located about 20 miles north of downtown San Diego, has voted against a formal policy of "managed retreat" from rising seas.
More On Flooding U.S. Cities & Renewable Energy Jobs
Watch "Paris to Pittsburgh," a documentary film produced by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with RadicalMedia. The film premiered in December 2018 on the National Geographic Channel and is now online at:
A new report finds at least a third of the Himalayan ice cap will melt by the end of the century due to climate change, even if the world’s most ambitious environmental reforms are implemented. The report, released by the Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment earlier this month, is the culmination of half a decade’s work by over 200 scientists, with an additional 125 experts peer reviewing their work. It warns rising temperatures in the Himalayas could lead to mass population displacement, as well as catastrophic food and water insecurity. The glaciers are a vital water source for the 250 million people who live in the Hindu Kush Himalaya range, which spans from Afghanistan to Burma. More than 1.5 billion people depend on the rivers that flow from the Himalayan peaks. We speak with Dahr Jamail, independent journalist and Truthout staff reporter. He is the author of the new book “The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption.”
In 2017, the journal BioScience published a letter signed by more than 15,000 scientists from around the world that looks at the human response to climate change and other environmental challenges in the 25 years since another large group of scientists published the 1992 "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity."
The 1992 letter had warned about the need to move away from fossil fuels and cut greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet. The 2017 letter notes, among other trends, that 10 of the hottest years in 136 years of records have occured since 1998:
"Since 1992, with the exception of stabilizing the stratospheric ozone layer, humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in solving these environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse," the authors of the new letter write. "Especially troubling is the current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change due to rising GHGs (greenhouse gases) from burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and agricultural production—particularly from farming ruminants for meat consumption."
"There's not much time left to cut emissions and keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius, let alone 1.5 degrees," said Corinne Le Quéré, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, who led the emissions research, Global Carbon Budget, presented in Bonn. The aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times. For that to happen, studies have shown that emissions must peak within the next decade and then decline to net zero.
"This shows how totally urgent it is to decrease emissions as fast as we can," said Pieter Tans, an atmospheric scientist with NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory, whose research on monitoring and verification of emissions was also presented Monday.
Tans urged world leaders to forge ahead with emissions cuts, despite the Trump administration's efforts to roll back U.S. climate policies and promote fossil fuels. "Show the U.S. what you can do," he said, "as the rest of the world goes ahead and leaves the U.S. behind in the 19th century."
He explained his frustration: "I'm not just a scientist. I'm a citizen, and I'm worried about the direction we're going. I have kids and grandkids. I want them to have a good life, and things don't look good currently."
In January 2019, the Pentagon sent a report to Congress describing extreme weather and climate risks to dozens of critical military installations. The nation's intelligence community warned in its annual assessment of worldwide threats that climate change and other kinds of environmental degradation pose risks to global stability because they are "likely to fuel competition for resources, economic distress, and social discontent through 2019 and beyond."
The Worldwide Threat Assessment prepared by the Director of National Intelligence adds to a swelling chorus of scientific and national security voices in pointing out the ways climate change fuels widespread insecurity and erodes America's ability to respond to it.
"Climate hazards such as extreme weather, higher temperatures, droughts, floods, wildfires, storms, sea level rise, soil degradation, and acidifying oceans are intensifying, threatening infrastructure, health, and water and food security," said the report, which represents the consensus view among top intelligence officials. "Irreversible damage to ecosystems and habitats will undermine the economic benefits they provide, worsened by air, soil, water, and marine pollution."
In Contrast with the U.S. President
The formal threat assessment is the latest federal survey of climate change to clash with President Trump's adamant denial of the established consensus. In late November, the administration issued the Fourth National Climate Assessment, based on the work of 300 scientists and 13 federal agencies, which concluded that climate change threatened human life, ecosystems and the American economy. Trump dismissed the report, saying he did not believe its central findings.
Trump has pushed the message of climate denial through federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, mainly by working to halt rules and research to address climate change. But so far, the White House has not reined in the national security community when its leaders have acknowledged climate change or its agencies have explored its implications.
Further, members of Congress from both parties have provided the Pentagon, at least, with cover, instructing it to analyze the threats climate change poses to American military readiness.
About 30 Yale students and community residents, representing a variety of social action organizations, occupied the university’s investments office Monday to demand Yale divest its investments in fossil fuel companies and Puerto Rico’s debt.
The students said their demands are driven by the impact of fossil fuel use on climate change, and the impacts of climate change, such as more powerful storms, including hurricanes, and wildfires in the western U.S. “We’re gathering together peacefully in a way that reflects the world we want to create," said Rachel Calnek-Sugin, an organizer of the group Fossil Free Yale.
The activists want Yale to divest its Puerto Rico debt holdings because they say the debt holders are demanding repayment before the island can rebuild from Hurricane Maria.
Yale spokeswoman Karen Peart said the university has evaluated its investments and believes them to be ethical. “Regarding the protests, our students are engaged and passionate, and freedom of expression is central to their education,” Peart said. “Peaceful demonstrations about various issues are going to be part of that from time to time.”
Fifteen were later cited by Yale police for trespassing, the university said.
New York City will invest a half-billion dollars to protect Manhattan from sea level rise due to climate change. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the plan Thursday, which would allocate funds to four projects aimed at protecting Manhattan’s southern tip, home to Wall Street and the city’s Financial District. The funding is a small fraction of the $10 billion Mayor de Blasio says is needed to keep flooding from storm surges and rising seas at bay in the coming years.
'UNPRECEDENTED' U.S. FLOOD SEASON WILL IMPERIL MILLIONS, EXPERTS WARN
Two-thirds of the lower 48 states will have a heightened risk until May, NOAA forecast says, after severe flooding in the Midwest.
This story was originally published by The Guardian
The severe flooding in the Midwest is set to only be a prelude to “unprecedented” levels of flooding across the U.S. in the coming months that will imperil 200 million people, federal-government scientists have warned.
Nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states will have a heightened risk of flooding until May, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecast.
Communities living near the Mississippi River, which has received rain and snow levels up to 200 percent above normal, the lower Ohio River basin, the Tennessee River basin, and the Great Lakes are at the greatest risk, NOAA said on Thursday. Vast swaths of the rest of the country may also get mild or moderate flooding, including most of the eastern U.S. and parts of California and Nevada.
“The extensive flooding we’ve seen in the past two weeks will continue through May and become more dire and may be exacerbated in the coming weeks as the water flows downstream,” said Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. “This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for flooding in their communities.” ...
Unprecedented U.S. Flood Season Will Imperil Millions