Tag Archives: climate change

Donald Trump commits the U.S. to his anti-science climate change denial (Updated)

Last week the New York Times reported, Arctic’s Winter Sea Ice Drops to Its Lowest Recorded Level:

After a season that saw temperatures soar at the North Pole, the Arctic has less sea ice at winter’s end than ever before in nearly four decades of satellite measurements.

The extent of ice cover — a record low for the third straight year — is another indicator of the effects of global warming on the Arctic, a region that is among the hardest hit by climate change, scientists said.

“This is just another exclamation point on the overall loss of Arctic sea ice coverage that we’ve been seeing,” said Mark Serreze, the director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, a government-backed research agency in Boulder, Colo. “We’re heading for summers with no sea ice coverage at all.”

Dr. Serreze said that such a situation, which would leave nothing but open ocean in summer until fall freeze-up begins, could occur by 2030, although many scientists say it may not happen for a decade or two after that.

Less ice coverage also means that there is more dark ocean to absorb more of the sun’s energy, which leads to more warming and melting in a feedback loop called Arctic amplification.

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#LD9 Debate Reveals Clear Choices Between Dem & GOP Candidates

Rep. Randy Friese, Pamela Powers Hannley and Ana Henderson

LD9 candidates for House: Rep. Randy Friese, Pamela Powers Hannley and Ana Henderson

Rep. Randy Friese, Pamela Powers Hannley (me), and Ana Henderson– the three candidates for the two Legislative District 9 seats in the Arizona House– faced off on Friday night in front of a packed house for the LD9 Clean Elections Debate.

This was the first event– and perhaps the only event– in which voters got to hear all three candidates. Friese and I were the only LD9 candidates who appeared at the Pima County Interfaith Council Candidate Forum, the candidate forum sponsored by the UA pre-law candidate forum, the Arizona Daily Star candidate interview and Pride on Parade— besides all of the joint events with Matt Kopec during the primary. (OK, so Pride wasn’t a candidate forum, but many candidates turned out to show their support for the LGBTQ community and celebrate diversity.)

So– even though this is the first time that most of us got to hear Henderson talk, we learned a lot about her views. Climate change, reproductive choice, homelessness, corporate tax cuts, minimum wage, public banking, gun violence, and, of course, education– the three of us fielded a wide variety of questions from the audience last night. (I’ll link the full video when it is available on the Clean Elections YouTube channel.)

Here’s we learned about Ana Henderson at the debate.

She’s against raising the minimum wage. (She said it’s bad for business, and government shouldn’t be meddling in business– except to dole out more corporate welfare. In a town with a 25% poverty rate, too many workers are just scraping by in the gig economy. They can’t buy the goods businesses are selling if they have no expendable income.)

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This can’t be good . . .

Chris Mooney, the environment and energy reporter for the Washington Post reports, ‘We’ve never seen anything like this’: Arctic sea ice hit a stunning new low in May:

The 2016 race downward in Arctic sea ice continued in May with a dramatic new record.

Sciencechart_1024-1024x542

The average area of sea ice atop the Arctic Ocean last month was just 12 million square kilometers (4.63 million square miles), according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). That beats the prior May record (from 2004) by more than half a million square kilometers, and is well over a million square kilometers, or 500,000 square miles, below the average for the month.

Another way to put it is this: The Arctic Ocean this May had more than three Californias less sea ice cover than it did during an average May between 1981 and 2010. And it broke the prior record low for May by a region larger than California, although not quite as large as Texas.

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Earth Transformed free lecture series at University of Arizona

scilecture

“Climate change and its impacts are no longer merely abstract projections for the future. Instead, they are on-going and growing challenges for both humans and many of the natural systems upon which we depend. Globally, changes in the oceans, ice sheets and atmosphere provide clear fingerprints of the human causes, but also important lessons for society to learn as we seek solutions. Even more than when the UA Science Lecture Series originally turned to climate change a decade ago, the Southwest is dealing with a looming water crisis, unprecedented severe wildfire risk, emerging human health concerns and much more. Scholars and the public alike need to brainstorm and work to ensure a resilient and vibrant future for the Southwest and the planet.”

All 6 “Earth Transformed”  free lectures will be at UA Centennial Hall at 7 p.m., 1020 E. University Blvd. Tucson.

JANUARY 25

Joellen Russell
University of Arizona

Ocean’s Role in Climate:
Heat and Carbon Uptake in the Anthropocene

FEBRUARY 1

David Battisti
University of Washington

Climate Change
and Global Food Security

FEBRUARY 8

Russell Monson
University of Arizona

Ecosystem Resilience:
Navigating Our Tenuous Connection to Nature

FEBRUARY 22

Kacey Ernst
University of Arizona

Climate Change and Human Health:
Impacts and Pathways to Resilience

FEBRUARY 29

Kimberly Ogden
University of Arizona

Carbon Sequestration:
Can We Afford It?

MARCH 7

Jonathan Overpeck
University of Arizona

The Changing Earth:
It’s Not Just a New Normal

Information about each lecture here: http://uascience.org/#lectures

New Study: climate change may lead to massive dieoff of Southwest forests

Arizona’s forest lands have been at risk for many years due to extended drought, bark beetle infestations, and wildfires. Arizona Forward produced a report in October, threats to forest health put arizona at risk – Arizona Forward (.pdf), from a forest management perspective.

Oddly enough, this report barely even mentioned climate change. When ecosystems are being altered by climate change, you’d think that this would merit at least a page of scientific discussion.

Chris Mooney at the Washington Post reports, Scientists say climate change could cause a ‘massive’ tree die-off in the U.S. Southwest:

WestForkBlackRiverIn a troubling new study just out in Nature Climate Change, a group of researchers says that a warming climate could trigger a “massive” dieoff of coniferous trees, such as junipers and piñon pines, in the U.S. southwest sometime this century.

The study is based on both global and regional simulations — which show “consistent predictions of widespread mortality,” the paper says — and also an experiment on three large tree plots in New Mexico. The work was led by Nate McDowell of the Los Alamos National Laboratory who conducted the research along with 18 other authors from a diverse group of universities and federal agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Landmark Paris climate change agreement

ParisThe COP 21: UN climate change conference in Paris accomplished what all the naysayers said would never happen: 196 countries had to come to a unanimous agreement in order to reach an agreement, and they did. 196 countries approve historic climate agreement:

Negotiators from 196 countries approved a landmark climate accord on Saturday that seeks to dramatically reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases blamed for a dangerous warming of the planet.

The agreement, adopted after 13 days of intense bargaining in a Paris suburb, puts the world’s nations on a course that could fundamentally change the way energy is produced and consumed, gradually reducing reliance on fossil fuels in favor of cleaner forms of energy.

[Read the text of the draft climate agreement here.]

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