The recent report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) helps connect the dots between extreme weather events and climate change. The findings confirm what millions of us around the world are beginning to see with our own eyes: climate change isn’t a future problem – it’s happening here and now.
Here at 350.org, we think that starting to make the connection between extreme weather and climate change is crucial. Last week, we announced plans for a new global day of action called “Climate Impacts Day” for people from the flood zones of Pakistan to the drought stricken fields of Texas to come together and “Connect the Dots” between extreme weather and other impacts, climate change, and the root causes of the crisis.
The site also has a great climate infographic.
A beautiful piece of nature writing – reminds me of the style of Aldo Leopold.
More evidence that pesticides (and in particular neonicotinoids or neonics) are probably substantially contributing to the collapse in bee populations and colony collapse disorder (CCD), according to this article. Neonics are used to treat seeds, but as the plant grows they become systemic, spreading throughout its tissues, INCLUDING ITS POLLEN.
Researchers are now finding that neonics, within pollen, are able to penetrate deeply into hives, and haver also been found in the bodies of dead bees.
Can anyone say DDT?
Honeybee problem nearing a ‘critical point’ Anyone who’s been stung by a bee knows they can inflict an outsized pain for such tiny insects. It makes a strange kind of sense, then, that their demise would create an outsized problem for the food system by placing the more than 70 crops they pollinate — from almonds to apples to blueberries — in peril. Although news about Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has died down, commercial beekeepers have seen average population losses of about 30 percent each year since 2006, said Paul Towers, of the Pesticide Action Network. Towers was one of the organizers of a conference that brought together beekeepers and environmental groups this week to tackle the challenges facing the beekeeping industry and the agricultural economy by proxy.
As global warming triggers heavier rainfall and faster snowmelt in the Arctic, Inuit communities in Canada are reporting more cases of illness attributed to pathogens that have washed into surface water and groundwater, according to a new study.
“Scientists often talk about how if global temperature increases by 4 degrees Celsius [7°F], there will be catastrophic climate change effects, Ford said, “but where I work in the Arctic, we’ve already seen that 4-degree Celsius change.”
The findings corroborate past research that suggests indigenous people worldwide are being disproportionately affected by climate change. This is because many of them live in regions where the effects are felt first and most strongly, and they might come into closer contact with the natural environment on a daily basis. For example, some indigenous communities lack access to treated water because they are far from urban areas. “In the north, a lot of [Inuit] communities prefer to drink brook water instead of treated tap water. It’s just a preference,” explained study lead author Sherilee Harper, a Vanier Canada graduate scholar in epidemiology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. “Also, when they’re out on the land and hunting or fishing, they don’t have access to tap water, so they drink brook water.”
The research is part of the larger, multiyear Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change, (IHACC) project.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is being rabidly pursued by any number of mining companies and governments – especially here in Australia where we love digging things up and sending them overseas. Now a new report from the UK suggests that CSS could be viable in the future if long-term research is funded.
Capturing and burying the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from power stations is viable – but long-term government support will be needed, a report says. Specialists in technology and economics spent two years researching the issue for the UK Energy Research Council. The government recently announced a £1bn fund to help carbon capture and storage (CCS) develop; but the report says wider support is needed. CCS is widely seen as an important part of a low-carbon electricity system. “CCS is seen as the key to many scenarios of how to mitigate climate change, whether that’s the UK meeting its targets on cutting emissions or global targets that keep warming below 2C,” said the report’s lead author Dr Jim Watson, director of the energy research group at Sussex University. (Richard Black, Environment correspondent, BBC News 2012).
New research suggests that a relatively-modest sustained drop in annual rainfall may have doomed the Mayan civilisation to collapse. And with the possibility of climate change-induced drought of roughly the same proportions expected later this century, experts are worried about the related effects on food production, health and civil unrest.
The great monuments of the Classic Maya were swallowed by the jungle Continue reading the main story Related Stories Camera uncovers Mayan tomb secret Protecting Mexico’s buried treasures Mexico’s struggle to stem looting of historic sites Relatively mild drought conditions may have been enough to cause the collapse of the Classic Maya civilisation, which flourished until about AD950 in what is now southern Mexico and Guatemala.
Dr. Aaron Bernstein of Harvard University spoke about how climate change can damage your health, the focus of his talk at Northwestern University’s Climate Change Symposium. Rising temperatures and more heat waves due to climate change can cause heat stroke, heart attacks, dehydration and even increased incidences of violent crime and suicide, said Dr. Aaron Bernstein, associate director of Harvard University’s Center for Health and the Global Environment. Bernstein kicked off a day of provocative presentations at Northwestern University’s third annual Climate Change Symposium, held Thursday. He showed how seemingly small changes in average temperatures translate into much longer cycles of very hot days and record hot days – LISA BARBELLA MARCH 09, 2012.
While major infrastructure investment is required to have a meaningful impact on carbon emissions at the national level, we can all do our bit personally, according to this short video:
Top climate scientists such as Richard Alley and Joerg Schaefer share what they do to reduce their carbon footprints. Individual efforts count in the planet-sized challenge of human-influenced global warming, scientists stress. Some of their tips:
- Ride a bike
- Drive small cars
- Eat less meat
- Buy food locally
- Turn down the thermostat