Saturday, August 5, 2017

Manitoba August - Temperatures 5 to 10F Cooler Than Average Next 2 Weeks

77 F. maximum temperature yesterday in St. Cloud.
82 F. average high on August 4.
84 F. high on August 4, 2016.
 
August 5, 1904: A Detroit Lakes woman is hit by lightning. It melts her hairpins and the steel in her corset, but does not kill her.



A Manitoba August? A Cool Bias The Next 2 Weeks

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it" wrote Russel Baker. Define "suffer". Too hot, too wet, too dry or too cool? Most years it's hard getting the weather ingredients just right.

After a warm bias into July there's every indication August will trend cooler than average. That may explain walking around in a sweatshirt and shorts this morning. Looking out 1-2 weeks wake-up temperatures will be in the 50s; even a few 40s up north. In August? Yep.

Once again weather systems are in the process of stalling and stagnating. A persistent swirl of cold low pressure will cycle of series of Canadian fronts into Minnesota into mid-August. The upside: no sticky, icky 70-degree dew points, less risk of (severe) thunderstorms.

Today should be the nicer, milder, drier day of the weekend with upper 70s and a need for sunscreen. A steep lapse rate (unusually cold air aloft) means a better chance of showers and T-storms Sunday. As a general rule highs reach the 70s to 80F , but models shows a warming trend the latter half of August.

A hot front for the fair? You 'betcha!



Flooding Rains Central USA. Models (including NOAA's 12 KM NAM above) show a series of training frontal boundaries capable of dropping over half a foot of water on pats of Missouri into Sunday. Flood watches are posted - flooding may be extensive. Meanwhile showery rains continue over New England and the Upper Midwest, with a generally dry weekend for most of the western USA. Source: Tropicaltidbits.com.


Plenty Wet. An atmospheric tug-of-war playing about between steamy heat over the Gulf Coast and comfortable Canadian air spilling south sets the stage for some 3-7" rains from Colorado's Front Range to Tulsa, Kansas City, Little Rock, Nashville and the Carolinas. Over 4" may soak eastern Pennsylvania and southern New England over the next 7 days, according to NOAA ensembles.


Fairly Comfortable. No more Octoberlike days shaping up - thank God for small  favors, but temperatures run 5-10F cooler than average into at least mid-August with nights cool and comfortable, readings in the mid-50s. Twin Cities ECMWF numbers: WeatherBell.


Heating Up Later In August. Much of America east of the Rockies will see a cool correction for the next 1-2 weeks, with the exception of the Deep South and southwestern USA. Models, including GFS (above) suggest warmth spilling east again by the third week of August - although not as hot as July was.

As the Northwest Boils, An Aversion to Air-Conditioners Wilts. People are proud of living without A/C. That may be changing as the climate continues to warm, according to The New York Times: "...So has interest in air-conditioning, an amenity that generations of people in the Pacific Northwest proudly shunned. The evolution in attitude extends north of Portland: In 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the federal government found that the prevalence of residential air-conditioning in the Seattle area had more than doubled over about 11 years. (About 89 percent of occupied housing units nationwide have at least some air-conditioning)..."


Northwest Heat Wave: Worst is Over, But It's Still Plenty Hot. CNN reports: "...Seattle also broke a daily record. The city reached 94 degrees Thursday, breaking the previous high of 90 from August 3, 1988. Some 9 million people in the Pacific Northwest remain under heat warnings and advisories. Smoke from wildfires has spread a haze over the region, making air quality dangerous for people with asthma or breathing problems. Oregon issued an air pollution advisory effective through Tuesday because of the heat and smoke from the fires. Commuting was expected to improve in Portland. The metro area's public transit system, TriMet, had service problems because of the heat and computer glitches caused by a system upgrade that went awry, CNN affiliate KATU reported..."


Air Conditioning is a Lifesaver. It Might Also be a Disaster. Are there more sustainable A story at Time.com explains the disconnect: "There’s hot and then there’s extreme hot. Hot is uncomfortable. Extreme hot pushes the limits of human survival. In late May, mercury readings soared to 128.3 degrees in Pakistan, a swelter that coincided with Ramadan, when millions of Pakistanis forgo water and food from sunrise to sunset. A month later, temperatures hit 129.2 degrees in Iran, likely the hottest temperature every reliably measured on Earth. Meanwhile, in Phoenix, Arizona, 118-degree temperatures grounded airplanes and triggered record-high power demand at several local utilities.Access to cool air, safe food, safe medicines is something most Americans and the fortunate across the world take for granted. But in parts of the world where hot spots are intensifying, and where the less well-off lack access to cooling, it can mean suffering and death..."

The All-Conquering Air Conditioner. With more perspective on how air conditioning perpetuates more air conditioning here's a clip from The New York Times: "...It's hard to imagine that, say, Birmingham would be a big center of health care industry, or that Atlanta would have the world's busiest airport, or that Jacksonville would be a center for insurance if people were sitting under ceiling fans in hot, humid offices," said Stan Cox, who coordinates agricultural research at the Land Institute in Salina, Kan., and wrote a 2012 book about our reliance on air-conditioning. Southern cities that boomed in the era of air-conditioning typically did not have the transit systems of older, Northeastern cities like New York and Boston. But even car commutes there have their own air-conditioned rationale: People are willing to cope with the traffic created by sprawl because their cars are air conditioned..."

Miami Just Had It's Hottest Month on Record. Here's an excerpt from Climate Central: "Summers in Miami are always hot and humid, but this summer has been one for the record books. July was the hottest month ever recorded for the city, with temperature archives going back to 1896, and capped off what has been the hottest year-to-date. Every day except July 31 saw a high temperature at or above 90°F (32°C), and nighttime low temperatures have also been exceptionally warm. Miami, like other cities in the U.S., has seen more such days over the past few decades, thanks in part to the rise in global temperatures fueled by ever-increasing levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere..."


Death Valley Just Experienced the Hottest Month Ever Recorded in the U.S. Capital Weather Gang explains: "...The average temperature in Death Valley last month was a stifling, suffocating 107.4 degrees. It was the hottest month ever recorded in the United States, and the second-hottest in the world — by just a fraction of a degree...Burt also noted that many cities in the West — and one in the Southeast — had their hottest month on record in July:
  • Salt Lake City: 85.3 degrees (previous was 84.1 degrees in July 2013)
  • Reno, Nev.: 80.5 degrees (tie with July 2014)
  • Tonopah, Nev.: 78.9 degrees (previous 78.6 degrees in July 1931)
  • Ely, Nev.: 71.8 degrees (previous 71.6 degrees in July 2003; however, an old and dubious report of 72.8 degrees in July 1908 is in the books)
  • Bishop, Calif.: 80.8 degrees (previous was 80.6 degrees in July 2005)
  • Miami: 85.7 degrees (previous 85.5 degrees in June 2010). This was anomalous for Florida. No other site in the state came close to breaking its record (i.e., West Palm Beach averaged just 84.3 degrees, almost a full 2 degrees short of its record 86.2 degrees set in July 2016).
The record-hot month in Death Valley adds to a growing group of locations to set all-time heat records this summer around the Northern Hemisphere..."

Tampa Bay's Coming Storm. The Tampa metro area is long overdue for a major hurricane, and when it strikes the damage toll may be greater than Katrina. Here's an excerpt from an eye-opening Washington Post story: "...Tampa Bay is mesmerizing, with 700 miles of shoreline and some of the finest white sand beaches in the nation. But analysts say the metropolitan area is the most vulnerable in the United States to flooding and damage if a major hurricane ever scores a direct hit. A Boston firm that analyzes potential catastrophic damage reported that the region would lose $175 billion in a storm the size of Hurricane Katrina. A World Bank study called Tampa Bay one of the 10 most at-risk areas on the globe. Yet the bay area — greater Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater — has barely begun to assess the rate of sea-level rise and address its effects. Its slow response to a major threat is a case study in how American cities reluctantly prepare for the worst, even though signs of impacts from climate change abound all around..."

The Gulf of Mexico's Dead Zone is the Biggest Ever Seen. Here's a clip from NPR: "...Most of the nitrogen and phosphorus that drives this problem comes from the Upper Midwest," Scavia says. "It's coming from agriculture." Farmers use those nutrients on fields as fertilizer. Rain washes them into nearby streams and rivers. And when they reach the Gulf of Mexico, those nutrients unleash blooms of algae, which then die and decompose. That is what uses up the oxygen in a thick layer of water at the bottom of the Gulf, in a band that follows the coastline. "Fish that can swim will move out of the way. Organisms that are living on the bottom, that the fish feed on, can't move, and they often die," says Scavia, who now is a professor of environment and sustainability at the University of Michigan. The record-breaking dead zone this year is the result of unusually heavy rains in the Midwest, which flushed a lot of nutrients into the Gulf..."

Map credit: "Every year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tasks scientists with measuring the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. This year's map, based on that data, shows a zone the collective size of New Jersey." Courtesy of NOAA.

We've Used Up The World's Resources for The Year, And It's Only August. Fast Company explains: "...Every year, the Global Footprint Network (GFN), a California research group, calculates how much “annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.” And each year the news gets gloomier. Because the world is using more and more resources relative to the planet’s ability to replenish itself, Earth Overshoot Day–the point at which global demand exceeds global supply–is earlier and earlier. Last year, the day fell on August 8. This year, it fell on August 2. Twenty years ago, it was still in October. In effect, the world needs 1.7 times its available annual resources to meet global demand–the definition of unsustainable. Developed countries are particularly out of whack. If everywhere lived like the United States, the world would require five whole Earths to sustain itself, GFN says. By contrast, India’s population uses far fewer resources, so if everywhere lived like India, we’d require only 0.6 Earths each year. The group blames carbon emissions from power generation and over-exploitation of forests and oceans, reducing the ability of both to renew themselves..."

Image credit: "If everywhere lived like the United States, the world would require five whole Earths to sustain itself." [Source Image: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center].

Want a Car That Goes Crazy-Fast? Go Electric. Here's an excerpt from The Wall Street Journal: "...If you are wondering how eco-weenie mobiles got so mega, the simple answer is bigger, badder batteries and the systems that manage, support and cool them. The average specific-energy and power density of lithium-ion batteries has been rising steadily for the past decade. As they do, they allow more energy to be put in the bottle (to go farther) and widen the bottle’s mouth so more energy comes out at once (to go faster). Indeed, it was inevitable, given the nature of the mechanisms, that battery-packing sports cars would eclipse their piston-powered forebears in performance, at least over short distances. By virtue of a comparatively lower center of gravity, EVs tend to corner flatter and harder without body roll. EVs also put torque to the ground more efficiently. Unlike conventional traction-control systems, an e-motor’s twist can be modulated hundreds of times a second, exploiting all available adhesion between tire and surface without spinning..."

Porsche Mission E concept car rendering courtesy of Porsche.

3 European Countries Say They're Done With Fossil-Fueled Cars. Can the Rest of the World Catch Up? Here's a snippet from The Washington Post: "European moves to mark the end of the road for diesel and gas-powered cars are putting pressure on carmakers — as well as the U.S. — to not get left behind in the shift towards electric vehicles, analysts said. The U.K. last month followed France in committing to end the sale of new gas and diesel cars from 2040. Britain set the deadline as part of a broader plan to achieve a zero-emissions vehicle fleet by 2050. The government will spend about $3.5 billion on plug-in charging infrastructure and other clean air initiatives. Earlier, France reported it was planning a “veritable revolution,” ending the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 and offering financial help to low-income citizens to make the transit to electric cars..."

Photo credit: "An electric car recharges at the University of Maryland at College Park." (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)


Gas-Powered Cars Sputter Toward Obsolescence. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at Bloomberg View: "Britain and France announced last month the death of the internal combustion engine, both scheduling it for 2040. Their ban on gas- and diesel-powered cars may only accelerate a process already well on its way, but it will help reduce the future effects of climate change and pollution now. The trend toward electric vehicles is coming from both government and industry. Norway and the Netherlands have also announced bans on gas-powered vehicles, scheduled for 2025. Meanwhile, Sweden’s Volvo Car Group has said all its motors will be electric by 2019. Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that 54 percent of new car sales in 2040 globally will be electric, with falling battery prices making the technology price competitive by 2030. This move away from old-fashioned engines (if it’s not too soon to use that term) will require a greater commitment to responsible energy..."

Photo credit: "In need of a fill-up." Photographer: Jonathan Nicholson.

Out of All Major Energy Sources Nuclear is the Safest? I did a double-take too; check out the story and reasoning/justification at Our World in Data: "...Although deaths from accidents and air pollution have been combined, it’s important to note that air-pollution related deaths are dominant. In the case of brown coal, coal, oil and gas, they account for greater than 99% of deaths, as well as 70% of nuclear-related deaths, and all biomass-related deaths. We can see that brown coal and coal rate the worst when it comes to energy-related fatalities. Coal-fired power plants are a key source of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, key precursors to ozone and particulate matter (PM) pollution, which can have an impact on human health, even at low concentrations. At the other end of the scale as the safest source of energy we have nuclear energy, resulting in 442 times fewer deaths relative to brown coal per unit of energy. Note that these figures also account for estimated cancer-related deaths as a result of radioactive exposure from nuclear energy production..."


Wasting America's Nuclear Opportunity. I would prefer to see a grid powered by mostly clean, renewable, sustainable energy sources, but until wind, solar, hydro and energy storage can reach scale we need carbon-emission-free nuclear sources to give us the energy we need, with fewer unpleasant side effects (without the polluting/warming). Yes, there are issues with safety, waste and nuclear proliferation, but it may be a matter of pick-your-poison. I don't see any way around this in the short term. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at TheHill: "...A recent Pew poll found that just 17 percentage points separate liberal Democrats from conservative Republicans in their support for expanding nuclear power — views that are even closer than those for wind power, often cited for its cross-party appeal. But despite nuclear power’s cross-partisan support, America’s nuclear capacity is shrinking. Five of our nation’s 60 existing nuclear power plants have closed in just the past four years. At four other plants, planned capacity uprates have been called off, which would have allowed the existing plants to produce more electricity. And an unprecedented ten more existing plants have announced firm plans to prematurely shut down in the near future..."

File image: Wolfgang Rattay, Reuters.


Will America's Epic Eclipse Impact our Electric Grid? The short answer: probably not. Here's an excerpt from Gizmodo: "For about three hours on August 21st, power grid operators across the United States will be confronted with a sudden drop in available electricity, owing to the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse in nearly a century. Power disruptions are not expected, but only because measures are being taken to make up for the sudden energy shortfall. Here’s the amount of solar power the US is expecting to lose and what grid operators are going to do about it. The last time Americans saw an eclipse like this was in 1918, and much has changed since then—especially how we get our energy. We’re in the midst of a green energy revolution, where more traditional sources like coal, gas, hydro, and nuclear are slowly being replaced by wind, solar, and geothermal..."

Image credit: Sam Woolley/Gizmodo.

Setting Expectations for August 21 Solar Eclipse. Vox has a good update, including the ability to plug in your zip to know what the eclipse will look like (weather permitting, of course): "On Monday August 21, a solar eclipse will cut across the entire United States. And wherever you are, you will be able to see it. Even though the “totality” — the area where the sun is completely blocked out by the moon — is only 70 miles wide, the whole country (even Alaska and Hawaii) will experience a partial eclipse. This is what you’ll see, and the time you’ll see it, in your zip code. We recommend punching in a few different ones to see how the eclipse experience will vary across the country..."
For Minneapolis zip code 55403: "If you want to see the total eclipse, you'll need to travel 317 miles SW."

Facebook Drowns Out Fake News with More Information. A story at Wall Street Journal explains: "...Starting Thursday, when Facebook’s U.S. users come across popular links—including made-up news articles—in their feeds, they may also see a cluster of other articles on the same topic. The “related articles” feature, which will roll out widely in the U.S. after months of testing, is part of the Facebook news feed team’s effort to limit the damage of false news without taking down those posts. In recent months, Facebook has launched features such as “related articles” that push users to think twice before sharing a story, but don’t prevent them from sharing and thus spreading false news. Facebook has also partnered with outside fact-checkers like Snopes.com, which Facebook recently started paying to label completely false stories as “disputed” from a Facebook-built database of possibly false news articles..."

First Human Embryo Editing Experiment in U.S. Corrects Gene for Heart Condition. In 10-20 years will people be lining up to create "designer babies"? The Washington Post reports: "Scientists have successfully edited the DNA of human embryos to erase a heritable heart condition that is known for causing sudden death in young competitive athletes, cracking open the doors to a controversial new era in medicine. This is the first time gene editing on human embryos has been conducted in the United States. Researchers said in interviews this week that they consider their work very basic. The embryos were allowed to grow for only a few days, and there was never any intention to implant them to create a pregnancy. But they also acknowledged that they will continue to move forward with the science, with the ultimate goal of being able to “correct” disease-causing genes in embryos that will develop into babies..."

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? Too gloom and doom? Overstating the case? I sure hope so. Here's an excerpt from a piece at The Atlantic: "...There’s not a single exception. All screen activities are linked to less happiness, and all nonscreen activities are linked to more happiness. Eighth-graders who spend 10 or more hours a week on social media are 56 percent more likely to say they’re unhappy than those who devote less time to social media. Admittedly, 10 hours a week is a lot. But those who spend six to nine hours a week on social media are still 47 percent more likely to say they are unhappy than those who use social media even less. The opposite is true of in-person interactions. Those who spend an above-average amount of time with their friends in person are 20 percent less likely to say they’re unhappy than those who hang out for a below-average amount of time. If you were going to give advice for a happy adolescence based on this survey, it would be straightforward: Put down the phone, turn off the laptop, and do something—anything—that does not involve a screen..." (Image credit: Jasu Hu).

Why Do Women Bully Each Other at Work? Is this real? Sorry to be so clueless, but another story at The Atlantic made me do a triple-take: "...In 2011, Kim Elsesser, a lecturer at UCLA, analyzed responses from more than 60,000 people and found that women—even those who were managers themselves—were more likely to want a male boss than a female one. The participants explained that female bosses are “emotional,” “catty,” or “bitchy.” (Men preferred male bosses too, but by a smaller margin than the female participants did.) In a smaller survey of 142 law-firm secretaries—nearly all of whom were women—not one said she or he preferred working for a female partner, and only 3 percent indicated that they liked reporting to a female associate. (Nearly half had no preference.) “I avoid working for women because [they are] such a pain in the ass!” one woman said. In yet another study, women who reported to a female boss had more symptoms of distress, such as trouble sleeping and headaches, than those who worked for a man..."

Image credit: Paul Sahre.

NASA is Hiring a "Planetary Protection Officer" To Guard Us Against Alien Life - and Vice Versa. Of course the reason aliens are seemingly uninterested in visiting Earth: they've watched our cable TV news programs and determined that there is no intelligent life here. Check out an excerpt from The Washington Post: "There's a vacancy at NASA, and it may have one of the greatest job titles ever conceived: planetary protection officer. It pays well, between $124,000 and $187,000 annually. You get to work with really smart people as part of the three- to five-year appointment but don't have to manage anyone. And your work could stave off an alien invasion of Earth or, more important, protect other planets from us. President Trump has expressed bullish enthusiasm for America's space program, signing an executive order last month resurrecting the National Space Council, on hiatus since the 1990s, and gleefully discussing the prospect of sending people to Mars..."

Would You Like Any Kale With Your Fries? I worked at McDonalds for a number of years - a generally good experience. But I'll still go with a doublecheeseburger please, hold the green stuff. Here's an excerpt from The Washington Post: "...Last month, McDonald’s expanded its SCR line with a few sriracha-slathered offerings (quarter-pound burger, fried chicken breast, grilled chicken breast) topped with tomato, white cheddar, crispy onions and a mix of baby kale and spinach. It is reportedly the first time McDonald’s has ever used kale on a burger, more or less breaking a promise extended in a self-congratulatory, anti-elitist commercial from 2015, which insisted you’d never see kale on a Big Mac..."

Photo credit: "The new Sriracha Mac sauce from McDonald’s can be applied to a quarter-pound burger (above), grilled chicken or fried chicken." (Tim Carman/The Washington Post).

A Cannabis Startup Is Trying to Buy an Entire Town in California. No, not fake news. Here's a clip from Quartz: "Nipton, California has all the makings of a stoner heaven. There’s a general store, a hotel, a campground, an endless supply of delicious water, and—for those late-night giggles—a Castle Butt Road. Perhaps that’s why American Green Inc., an eight-year-old self-described marijuana “seed-to-sale innovator,” decided to purchase the 80-acre town (population six) and turn it into “the country’s first energy-independent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination.” The company has signed a binding agreement for Nipton, and is currently in escrow; a spokesperson for American Green says there are only a few minor details left to work out. In a statement announcing the sale, president David Gwyther said cannabis legalization in the US “has the power to completely revitalize communities in the same way gold did during the 19th century...”

Photo credit: "Nipton stoner bonus: double rainbows." (Reuters/Gene Blevins)



TODAY: Partly sunny, warm - better day. Winds: SW 5-10. High: 78

SATURDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 60

SUNDAY: More clouds. Better chance of showers, T-storms. Winds: NE 3-8. High: 74

MONDAY: Lot's of sun, very pleasant. Winds: NE 5-10. Wake-up: 58. High: 78

TUESDAY: Fading sun, isolated T-shower. Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 59. High: 80

WEDNESDAY: Unsettled, showers linger. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 61. High: 76

THURSDAY: Patchy clouds, cooler than normal. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 60. High: 77

FRIDAY: Showers and T-storms arrive. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 62. High: 79


Climate Stories...


Symptoms of Rapid Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest. Earth Scientist Sarah Myhre reports at The Stranger: "Hot nights. Smokey air. Forest fires. Air conditioning. Overheated grumpy toddlers. Packed public beaches. These are the things that summers in the future have in store for us here in the Pacific Northwest. In the midst of oppressive air quality, forest fires in British Columbia, and heat–maybe some of the physical suffering that comes with climate change will feel more visceral. More real. One of the things that I get into contact with when I have experienced extreme weather events–such as heat waves, flooding, or tropical storms–is the immense capacity that humans have to suffer. And how climate, and the day-to-day manifestation of that climate as weather, is irrevocably tied to the health and safety of people. Likely in the Seattle weather and climate spaces (cough, cough, popular unnamed “weather” blog) we will see the ever-present argument around climate attribution–we can’t attribute this one weather event to climate change!..."

Heat Waves Creeping Toward a Deadly Heat-Humidity Threshold. It's not (just) the heat, it's the humidity and the resulting heat index, as explained by InsideClimate News: "If global warming continues on its current pace, heat waves in South Asia will begin to create conditions so hot and humid that humans cannot survive outdoors for long, a new study shows. The deadly heat would threaten millions of vulnerable people in some of the world's most densely populated regions in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh—low-lying river valleys that produce most of the region's food. About 1.5 billion people live in the crescent-shaped region identified as the highest-risk area in a new study by scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. The researchers combined global and detailed regional climate models to show where the most extreme conditions are expected by the end of this century..."

Why We Are Naively Optimistic About Climate Change. A post at NPR caught my eye: "...But if we could bring the cataclysmic clock a bit closer to us, what would be the timeframe that would make people start to care, hopefully fear, the horrendous oncoming destruction of our way of life? One million years? Too far out. One thousand years? Still, not really relevant. One hundred years? Okay, here it starts to get uncomfortable. Seventy years? Now we are within the lifetime of most people under 10 years old. So, if the world as we know it would cease to be in 70 years, people should start to take notice now. I have an 11-year-old and a 5-year-old. Barring unforeseen catastrophe, they will be around in 70 years. I would want their world to be better than mine, not worse. That should be the legacy of our generation. Unfortunately, we are failing, and those who deny it won't have to see the consequences of their choices. How comfortable..."

Activists Aim to Turn Sun Belt Into Front Line on Climate Change. Because as a general rule, the southern USA will be hit harder by rising seas, storm surge and debilitating heat indices than the northern USA. Here's a clip from The New York Times: "...But to Robert D. Bullard, a professor at Texas Southern University who some call the "father of environmental justice," the industrial revival that Mr. Trump has promised could come with some serious downsides for an already warming plaent. Professor Bullard is trying to bring that message to working class Americans like Mr. Guerra, and to environmental organizations that have, in his mind, been more focused on struggling animals than poor humands, who have been disproportionately harmed by increasing temperatures, worsening storms and rising sea levels..."

Photo credit: "Mr. Guerra at work. Seasonal temperatures in coastal southeast Texas are about 1.5 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than they were in the early part of the 20th century, the state climatologist said." Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times.

No, God Won't Take Care of Climate Change. Here's a clip from an Op-Ed at High Country News: "...I believe there is a strong religious argument to be made that we all have a responsibility to protect our planet. Caring for creation is emphasized in many religious texts, and in particular, by the Bible. Pope Francis wrote an entire encyclical on the subject — Laudato SI’, subtitled On Care for Our Common Home. In the case of my family’s religion, in the Book of Mormon as well as Doctrine and Covenants, God instructs his children to tread lightly upon the Earth, to be sure that we do not defile or pollute it, and to use the planet’s gifts sparingly and conscientiously..."

Photo credit: "The salt flats of the Alvord Desert in Oregon are near the Steens Mountains." Richard_Hicks/Flickr


Climate Change is Sapping Your Strength. Turns out carbon pollution may be robbing crops of protein and iron, according to Nexus Media: "We already know how prolonged drought, high heat and heavy rains prompted by climate change can wreak havoc on agriculture. But there is more disturbing news. If we do nothing, growing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide from emissions will seriously impair the nutritional value of wheat, rice and other staple crops, putting millions of people around the world in danger of protein deficiency, according to new research published in the journal in Environmental Health Perspectives. “These findings are surprising,” said Samuel S. Myers, senior research scientist in the department of environmental health at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who authored the study..."

File image: Pexels.

We're Underestimating How Many Diseases Are Likely To Be Sensitive to Climate. A story at Project Earth made me do a double-take: "The fear of climate change-driven, super-powered infectious diseases is real. As the recent viral (haha) New York magazine story on climate change doomsday scenarios articulated:
There are now, trapped in Arctic ice, diseases that have not circulated in the air for millions of years — in some cases, since before humans were around to encounter them. Which means our immune systems would have no idea how to fight back when those prehistoric plagues emerge from the ice.
Prehistoric plagues are worrisome enough, but what about your present day infectious diseases? What about Zika and Malaria? The prognosis is also grim: For every degree of temperature increase mosquitoes reproduce ten times faster. According to the World Bank, by mid-century around half the world’s population could be exposed to Malaria-carrying mosquitoes..."

File photo: USDA.

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