2018 Is Shaping Up to Be the Fourth-Hottest Year. Yet We’re Still Not Prepared for Global Warming.

It’s hot. But it may not be the new normal yet. Temperatures are still rising.

This summer of fire and swelter looks a lot like the future that scientists have been warning about in the era of climate change, and it’s revealing in real time how unprepared much of the world remains for life on a hotter planet.

The disruptions to everyday life have been far-reaching and devastating. In California, firefighters are racing to control what has become the largest fire in state history. Harvests of staple grains like wheat and corn are expected to dip this year, in some cases sharply, in countries as different as Sweden and El Salvador. In Europe, nuclear power plants have had to shut down because the river water that cools the reactors was too warm. Heat waves on four continents have brought electricity grids crashing.

And dozens of heat-related deaths in Japan this summer offered a foretaste of what researchers warn could be big increases in mortality from extreme heat. A study last month in the journal PLOS Medicineprojected a fivefold rise for the United States by 2080. The outlook for less wealthy countries is worse; for the Philippines, researchers forecast 12 times more deaths.

Globally, this is shaping up to be the fourth-hottest year on record. The only years hotter were the three previous ones. That string of records is part of an accelerating climb in temperatures since the start of the industrial age that scientists say is clear evidence of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

You can read the full story here: https://goo.gl/cQZtHn


In a Warming West, the Rio Grande Is Drying Up

Even in a good year, much of the Rio Grande is diverted for irrigation. But it’s only August, and the river is already turning to sand.

The Rio Grande is a classic “feast or famine” river, with a dry year or two typically followed by a couple of wet years that allow for recovery. If warming temperatures brought on by greenhouse gas emissions make wet years less wet and dry years even drier, as scientists anticipate, year-to-year recovery will become more difficult.

“The effect of long-term warming is to make it harder to count on snowmelt runoff in wet times,” said David S. Gutzler, a climate scientist at the University of New Mexico. “And it makes the dry times much harder than they used to be.”

study last year of the Colorado River, which provides water to 40 million people and is far bigger than the Rio Grande, found that flows from 2000 to 2014 were nearly 20 percent below the 20th century average, with about a third of the reduction attributable to human-caused warming. The study suggested that if climate change continued unabated, human-induced warming could eventually reduce Colorado flows by at least an additional one-third this century.

You can read the full story here: https://goo.gl/Bgnn5z


Starbucks to Stop Using Disposable Plastic Straws by 2020

Starbucks will stop using disposable plastic straws by 2020, eliminating more than one billion straws a year, the retailer announced on Monday.

Instead, Starbucks, which has more than 28,000 stores worldwide, will use recyclable, strawless lids on most of its iced drinks. The Frappuccino is the one exception: It will have a straw made from either paper or compostable plastic.

In the United States alone, an estimated more than 500 million disposable plastic straws are used every day, according to Eco-Cycle, a nonprofit recycling organization. Although plastic straws are made from polypropylene, a recyclable plastic, most recyclers won’t accept them.

You can read the full story here: https://goo.gl/EbdWYQ

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When Did Talking About the Weather Become Political?

Even trusting your local weather announcer is political these days.

Take the battle in Congress over the renewal of a grant to help television meteorologists incorporate climate change into their weather reporting. Four Republican senators have called for an investigation, calling it indoctrination. Democrats last week moved to protect the funding, which is administered through the National Science Foundation.

Scientists who work with meteorologists on climate change dispute the accusations. Edward Maibach, director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University, whose research center helps distribute the grants, noted that climate change is established science and that most Americans acknowledge that.

We think it’s pathetic and sad that we have 4 Republican Senators who are so opposed to the proven science behind climate change that they trying to effectively censor meteorologists on TV. Wake up, people!

You can read the full story here: https://goo.gl/AswFQL

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Global Warming in South Asia: 800 Million at Risk

Climate change could sharply diminish living conditions for up to 800 million people in South Asia, a region that is already home to some of the world’s poorest and hungriest people, if nothing is done to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, the World Bank warned Thursday in an ominous new study.

The study looked at all six countries of South Asia, where average annual temperatures are rising steadily and rainfall patterns are already changing. It concentrated on changes in day-to-day weather, rather than sudden-onset natural disasters, and identified “hot spots” where the deterioration is expected to be most severe.

“The analyses reveal that hot spots tend to be more disadvantaged districts, even before the effects of changes in average weather are felt,” the report concluded. “Hot spots are characterized by low household consumption, poor road connectivity, limited access to markets, and other development challenges.”

You can read the full story here: https://goo.gl/YwZYxX.

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Debunking the claim 'they' changed 'global warming' to 'climate change' because warming stopped

“They” changed the term “global warming” to “climate change” because the planet is not warming is an oft-repeated talking point of those, such as President Trump, who cast doubt on the reality of rising temperatures.

This claim is demonstrably incorrect, never mind that it’s unclear who “they” are.

The gradual change in preferred terminology from “global warming” to “climate change” among scientists and politicians began about a decade ago because that’s what their institutions called for. It also happened to be the preference of the George W. Bush White House. Temperatures never stopped rising.

#globalwarming #climatechange

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One study says a giant wave of plastic garbage could flood the U.S.

A tidal wave of plastic trash will flood the world over the next decade, a new study says, and warnings are already blaring like sirens in the United States.

In the wake of China’s decision to stop importing nearly half of the world’s scrap starting Jan. 1, particularly from the wealthiest nations, waste management operations across the country are struggling to process heavy volumes of paper and plastic that they can no longer unload on the Chinese. States such as Massachusetts and Oregon are lifting restrictions against pouring recyclable material into landfills to grant the operations relief.

If Europe and the rest of the world struggle like the United States, according to the study by researchers at the University of Georgia released Wednesday, an estimated 111 million metric tons of plastic waste will pile up by 2030.

That’s a lot of plastic, people! Not good. Not good at all but we can’t keep our heads in the sand about this issue! You can read the full story here: https://goo.gl/1Z5SHh

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Ireland Moves to Divest From Fossil Fuels!! Yay Ireland!!

Yay Ireland! You go, Girl! A bill passed in the lower house of Parliament was a victory for the global divestment movement!

Ireland moved to pull its public funds out of fossil fuels, a development that marks the most significant advance to date for a divestment campaign pushed by environmentalists worldwide!

The lower house of Parliament passed a bill that requires the country’s sovereign fund, valued at 8.9 billion euros, or about $10.4 billion, to move out of fossil fuels “as soon as practicable.”

An aide to Thomas Pringle, the member of Parliament who proposed the measure, said that when the bill becomes law, Ireland will become the first country to formally pledge to divest from fossil fuels. Let’s all buy a Guinness and raise a glass to Ireland!

Read the full story here: https://goo.gl/Zriyo8

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Spoiler Alert! In the Arctic, the "Old" Ice Is Disappearing!!

In the Arctic Ocean, some ice stays frozen year-round, lasting for many years before melting. But this winter, the region hit a record low for ice older than five years.

This, along with a near-record low for sea ice over all, supports predictions that by midcentury there will be no more ice in the Arctic Ocean in summer.

“First-year ice grows through winter and then to up to a maximum, which is usually around in March,” said Mark A. Tschudi, a research associate at the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “As summer onsets, the ice starts to melt back.”

Some of the new ice melts each summer, but some of it lingers to grow thicker over the following winter, forming second-year ice. The next summer, some of that second-year ice survives, then grows even thicker and more resilient the next winter, creating what is known as multiyear ice. Some ice used to last more than a decade.

Back in 1984 approximately 25% of the Arctic’s ice was older than 5 years when March rolled around. Fast-forward to 2018 (only 34 years later), and less than 5% of the Arctic’s ice is older than 5 years come March. That’s an 80% drop in 35 years! Scary news, folks. Go see the Arctic before it’s gone forever…and wear a One World Bracelet on your trip and send us a pic!


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California Is Ready for a Fight Over Tailpipe Emissions. Here’s Why.

California and a coalition of 16 other states and the District of Columbia sued the Trump administration over its plan to roll back greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars, trucks and S.U.V.s.

The move comes days after reports that the Environmental Protection Agency and Transportation Department plan to dramatically weaken federal auto emissions rules. California, which holds a waiver under the Clean Air Act that allows it to set its own standards for vehicle exhaust pollution, has pledged to stick with stricter Obama-era targets.

The problem for California is that they need to lower vehicle emissions if it wants to achieve its ambitious climate change goals. The Trump Administration are making that effort at the state level twice as hard.

Read about the full story here: https://goo.gl/QsfM31

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