Posts tagged science.
themultifariousbibliophile asked: How much is fracking affecting fresh water supplies?
I have to defer to the EPA on this. See:
- EPA: Hydraulic Fracturing (main site)
- EPA: Impact on fresh water supplies
- EPA: Study on impacts of HF on water supplies
In the meantime, be wary of the anti-fracking propaganda. The real action is with the new head of the DOI, Sally Jewell. Jewell (who was celebrated by enviros) is aggressively seeking to expand fracking and oil drilling on public, park, and conservation lands. She is an Obama pick, and former CEO of REI. She used to frack wells and is, in my view, one of the most dangerous leaders in the current administration.
The pine bark beetle has killed “hundreds of millions of trees.” There are upsides in using the wood, I suppose.
Images of the Black Forest fire near Colorado Springs show how devastating a wildfire can be. Why are more homes being built in these kinds of areas?
What a great exploration of how our communities are built. Click through and press “listen” if you can. The answers are surprising, especially if you’re new to urban planning, disaster management, and land use development.
In his 1992 book “Earth in the Balance,” Gore compared talk of adapting to climate change to laziness that would distract from necessary efforts.
But in his 2013 book “The Future,” Gore writes bluntly: “I was wrong.” He talks about how coping with rising seas and temperatures is just as important as trying to prevent global warming by cutting emissions.
Like Gore, governmental officials across the globe aren’t saying everyone should just give up on efforts to reduce pollution. They’re saying that as they work on curbing carbon, they also have to deal with a reality that’s already here.“Climate talks shift from CO2 to adaptation” - NYTimes.
Hundreds of heat related deaths since May.
Recent extreme temperatures that are commonly followed by floods can largely be attributed to climatic warming.
In 2010, the May temperature in Mohenjo-daro, a semi-ruined city in Sindh province, reached 53.5C (128F), the fourth highest temperature ever recorded in the world and the highest ever in Asia.
More than 800,000 New York City residents will live in flood zones by the 2050s, according to warnings issued by the Bloomberg administration, which hopes to encourage better preparation for climate change.
Other states are hiding this data from the public (glaring at you, North Carolina).
Changes in the Arctic will affect ecosystems, communities, and industrial infrastructure
The Arctic is in the spotlight like never before. Scientists and environmentalists watch it as a bellwether of global climate change, while nations and corporations seek to exploit the region’s oil, gas and mineral reserves, and new shipping routes. Yet most discussions of the Arctic fail to consider how changes in climate, ecosystems, economics, and society interact.
The Arctic Resilience Report (ARR), led by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)and the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), set out to fill that gap. What it found is that the combination of multiple, dramatic changes is pushing social-ecological systems to their limits.
Be prepared for surprises
“The Arctic is changing so fast and in so many interacting ways that it affects the very fabric of ecosystems and societies,” says Annika E. Nilsson, senior research fellow at SEI and scientific coordinator of the first phase of the ARR.
“We have to be prepared for surprises, and we need to increase the capacity to adapt and to grapple with conflicting priorities.”
“When people talk about global change, they often assume that it will happen fairly steadily, and that people and ecosystems will be able to make step-by-step adjustments over time, but we document a growing body of research that shows this is far from always the case,” says Sarah Cornell, lead author of the ARR’s thresholds analysis and coordinator of the Planetary Boundaries research initiative at SRC.
Learn more about the Arctic Resilience Report and download the Interim Report from the Arctic Council website.
Every major oil and gas company (even Iran’s NIOC) acknowledges climate change. Here’s ExxonMobil’s climate page (use google to find others).
Rising greenhouse gas emissions pose significant risks to society and ecosystems.
Remember this during your next nice chat with a denier.
The Obama administration on Friday will propose lifting most of the remaining federal protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, a move that would end four decades of recovery efforts but has been criticized by some scientists as premature.
Under the administration’s plan, federal protections would remain only for a fledgling population of Mexican gray wolves in the desert Southwest. The proposal will be subject to a public comment period and a final decision made within a year.
Note this is in addition to previous efforts by Obama that allowed hunting of wolves for the first time in decades. Over 1,600 have been killed. See my wolf tag for additional background.
exlegelibertas asked: I read another article this morning about hive disruption syndrome and about bee-dieoffs in general. The article framed the issue in a wider context of a 'sixth extinction.' As a layman I'm generally sold on these theories, despite their grim outlook. Assuming (as I do) that they're probably the result of anthropogenic climate change, what do you think the proper adaptation methods will be, considering the necessity of honeybees in pollinating most crops around the world?
Great question and I did a little research for you (learned a lot, so thanks!).
The so-called “sixth extinction” theory has been around for a while. I’d avoid reading about it, since it’s all doom. Still, adaptation strategies for bees and other pollinators are only now being taken seriously.
Keep in mind that environmentalism is ‘stewardship’ - it requires long-term thinking, far beyond your life-time. Solutions take time and decades of research and testing. So, managing impacts are part of a long transition…
Most adaptation strategies and responses are part of bigger plans that deal with ecosystems and agriculture, so they’re more likely to be a chapter in larger documents. Here a few resources:
- Fish and Wildlife and NOAA are working together on “Wildlife Adaptation Strategy” project. Really fun project and lots of people are involved. For bees/pollinators, see page 69, Section 630.
- This background paper “POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON CROP POLLINATION” by FAO is possibly the best out there on the topic. Note solutions are immature as it’s a new field. But, it’s a must read on adaptation and pollinators.
- If you can get past Elsevier, do check out this article that describes ag alternatives to bees: “Farming with alternative pollinators —An overlooked win-win-strategy for climate change adaptation.
- Find this.
- NASA (yes, NASA) has HoneyBeeNet, a project on climate change impacts on honeybees and ag. Excellent overview of the issue, but short on strategies. Well worth a skim (and fun to see the connection between NASA science, climate, and bees!).
Hope that helps!
majam asked: Hi! First, an incredible blog that I keep reading and being amazed over. A source of inspiration and a glimmer of hope. I'm writing to ask if you have any advice on material or sources on textile / fashion industry. I'm interested on environmental impact at different stages of LCA. Any tips are much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Hiya and wowww, thanks a whole bunch! LCA isn’t really my thing, but maybe check out http://ecodesk.com/sustainability/ecodesk, anything by CERES, and possibly several of the IISD listservs. If you’re into adaptation at all, you absolutely have to subscribe Climate L. Thanks again! m
Residents fear Lake Macquarie City Council’s controversial actions on the risks of sea level rise will wipe more than $1 billion off the value of properties.But some believe the loss could be worse, with homes worthless because they cannot be sold. Some say their properties already won’t sell and insurance premiums are skyrocketing – problems they blame on the council’s sea level rise measures.
But the council says changes in property values are a result of the global financial crisis, housing supply and interest rates, not council predictions of sea or lake level rise.
In a statement the council also said sea and lake level predictions in 2050 or 2100 played no role in the calculation of insurance premiums.
However, Marks Point resident Barbara Davis, who is leading an action group on the matter, said the council was ‘‘destroying people’s lives’’.
The council had placed notations relating to flood and sea level rise on section149 property certificates of about 10,000 properties, and residents say the move has devalued many properties.
Edited by Dr. Ian Davis and Gabrielle Iglesias, and reviewed by Dr. Ian Burton, it promotes the adoption of a risk management approach to climate-sensitive decision-making and serves as a reference to integrate disaster risk management with climate change adaptation.
The handbook is part of the Disaster Risk Management Practitioner’s Handbook Series, available for download at www.adpc.net.