Environmental Briefs

Chris Mooney, the Washington Post’s energy and environment reporter, has had several important reports in recent weeks that I have not had time to post about, so I will provide you with the links as “environmental briefs”:

Climate change poses a severe risk to global health, says new report: The Lancet Commission states bluntly that unchecked warming could be the worst health threat of the 21st century.

Study sees a ‘new normal’ for how climate change is affecting weather extremes: A new paper seeks to change our default assumptions when it comes to how weather events are affected by climate change.

The subtle — but very real — link between global warming and extreme weather events: We need a new language to talk about this connection. But that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it at all.

IceSheetWhy the Earth’s past has scientists so worried about sea level rise: Seas have been 20 feet higher during at least three separate eras in the last 3 million years.

Giant earthquakes are shaking Greenland — and scientists just figured out the disturbing reason why: Scientists have found a new side effect of the melting of Greenland’s vast, often mile-thick ice sheet.

Scientists finally have an explanation for why huge lakes atop Greenland are vanishing:
Water getting beneath the ice sheet destabilizes it — opening cracks that allow more water to rush below.

Alaska’s glaciers are now losing 75 billion tons of ice every year: The state is losing vast volumes of frozen ice, and contributing well above its glaciers’ overall size to rising seas.

Why you should be worried about declining snow cover across North America: From Alaska to California, snow cover was close to a record low this May.

Northern Hemisphere snow cover is near record lows. Here’s why that should worry you: How this year’s very low levels of remaining snow on the ground may have exacerbated raging wildfires across Alaska and Canada.

Over 300 wildfires are burning in Alaska right now. That’s an even bigger problem than it sounds: The alarming recent upswing in large Alaskan wildfires.

Alaska wildfires have burned over two million acres — and fire season still has a long way to go: Will 2 million acres burn by the end of June?

To truly grasp what we’re doing to the planet, you need to understand this gigantic measurement: The math that explains your planet.

In a major moment for climate policy, China, Brazil, and the U.S. all announce new commitments: The three major emitters collectively pushed the ball downfield considerably Tuesday, as the world moves towards a major Paris summit at the end of the year.

The world is off course to prevent two degrees C of warming, says energy agency: The International Energy Agency says the world needs to peak its energy related greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020.

The thousand year implications of a short term fossil fuel fix: We’re still waking up to the ultra long-term consequences of burning fossil fuels.

Federal scientists say there never was any global warming “pause”: Changes in the treatment of ocean and land temperature data have made the much-touted “hiatus” vanish, according to scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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