Uh-oh! More climate change news…

In the last 10 years, warming in the Arctic has outpaced projections so rapidly that scientists are now suggesting that the poles are warming four times faster than the rest of the globe. This has led to glacier melt and permafrost thaw levels that weren’t forecast to happen until 2050 or later. In Siberia and northern Canada, this abrupt thaw has created sunken landforms, known as thermokarst, where the oldest and deepest permafrost is exposed to the warm air for the first time in hundreds or even thousands of years.

As the global climate continues to warm, many questions remain about the periglacial environment. Among them: as water infiltration increases, will permafrost thaw more rapidly? And, if so, what long-frozen organisms might “wake up”?

Zombie viruses, walking mosquito mutants, the possibilities are endless…and the stuff of sci-fi “B Movies” for the next decade or so.

62 thoughts on “Uh-oh! More climate change news…

  1. All aboard says:

    “Why climate change is getting the attention of world’s wealthy investors : With trillions of dollars in economic activity expected in the years ahead, letting the politics of climate get in the way of investments is being seen by affluent investors as a mistake.” (11/19/20) https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/19/wealthy-investors-get-serious-about-climate-change-without-politics.html
    Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas): “The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms, greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge in mankind and greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much.” (Wall Street, 1987)

  2. Maddie says:

    Fantastic read!!! I loved this piece! Thank you for sharing such valuable information with your readers! To spread more awareness of the climate crisis, please feel free to check out my recent blog post! (:

  3. Koyaanisqatsi says:

    “Climate change involves direct consequences on the cycling of water through our environment. The warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, making intense rainstorms dump even more water than they used to. On the flip side, warmer air can suck even more moisture out of the ground through evaporation, worsening droughts. These things should obviously result in changes for streams. But the amount of water in streams varies wildly under normal conditions, and it can also be affected by more than just weather. Finding trends in that data has proven difficult.
    A new study led by Evan Dethier at Dartmouth College set out to group streams into physically meaningful categories, to see if consistent patterns emerge once apples are separated from oranges. That analysis does reveal some trends—both in extremes of high flow and low flow.”
    See “Spatially coherent regional changes in seasonal extreme streamflow events in the United States and Canada since 1950” https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/49/eaba5939

    In 2013, the Elephant Butte Reservoir in New Mexico reached its lowest level in 40 years (right)—just 3 percent of its storage capacity, compared with a nearly full reservoir in 1994 (left).


  4. Terminal investment says:

    “Justifiable pride can be taken in the incremental accomplishments of international climate change cooperation, but it is “unthinkable” to continue at the current pace. The global response to climate change is completely insufficient and leaves the world on a “road to hell”.
    That’s according to four former senior members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat, who have published an exclusive critical insider insight piece -today published in the peer-reviewed journal, Climate Policy.” https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-12/tfg-cpo121020.php
    “Beyond good intentions, to urgent action: Former UNFCCC leaders take stock of thirty years of international climate change negotiations” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14693062.2020.1860567
    Today, France, along with the UK and the UN, will host a meeting of world leaders in Paris to mark five years since the Paris Agreement was adopted. Leaders will discuss progress to meet the collective global goals of limiting temperature increase below 2°C and even 1.5°C, along with global net zero emissions in the second half of this century. The message to leaders from the UNFCCC quartet is that they need to do much more, and quickly, to achieve the goals of Paris.
    This paper takes a critical, and even “self-critical”, stock of what has been achieved since these international negotiations were launched on 21 December 1990.

  5. p/s says:

    “How climate change is disrupting ecosystems” https://ethz.ch/en/news-and-events/eth-news/news/2020/12/how-climate-change-is-disrupting-ecosystems.html
    “The world is getting warmer and warmer – and many organisms native to lower latitudes or elevations are moving higher.
    However, novel organisms moving into a new habitat could disturb the ecological balance which has been established over a long period. Plants and herbivores are characterized by long-​term co-​evolution, shaping both their geographic distribution and the characteristics that they display in their occupied sites.”

  6. Heads up says:

    “Imminent sudden stratospheric warming to occur, bringing increased risk of snow over coming weeks” https://phys.org/news/2021-01-imminent-sudden-stratospheric-weeks.html
    “The polar vortex is splitting in two, which may lead to weeks of wild winter weather
    A sudden stratospheric warming event has pushed the polar vortex off the North Pole, sending Arctic air on the move” https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2021/01/05/polar-vortex-split-cold-snow/ “This unusually strong event may have profound influences on the weather in the United States and Europe, possibly increasing the potential for paralyzing snowstorms and punishing blasts of Arctic air, with the odds of the most severe cold outbreaks highest in Northern Europe. The United States is slightly more of a winter wild card for now, experts say, with individual winter storms tough to predict beyond a few days in advance.”

  7. Cassandra says:

    “Ice Is Disappearing Across the Planet at Record Rate” https://scitechdaily.com/ice-is-disappearing-across-the-planet-at-record-rate/
    “The figures have been published today (Monday, January 25, 2021) by a research team which is the first to carry out a survey of global ice loss using satellite data.
    The team, led by the University of Leeds, found that the rate of ice loss from the Earth has increased markedly within the past three decades, from 0.8 trillion tons per year in the 1990s to 1.3 trillion tons per year by 2017.
    Ice melt across the globe raises sea levels, increases the risk of flooding to coastal communities, and threatens to wipe out natural habitats which wildlife depend on.
    The findings of the research team, which includes the University of Edinburgh, University College London and data science specialists Earthwave, are published in European Geosciences Union’s journal The Cryosphere.
    The research, funded by UK Natural Environment Research Council, shows that overall, there has been a 65 % increase in the rate of ice loss over the 23-year survey. This has been mainly driven by steep rises in losses from the polar ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland.”
    See also: “Earth’s ice imbalance” (The Cryosphere 1/25/21) https://tc.copernicus.org/articles/15/233/2021/

  8. Treehugger says:

    New research from West Virginia University biologists shows that trees around the world are consuming more carbon dioxide than previously reported, making forests even more important in regulating the Earth’s atmosphere and forever shift how we think about climate change. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-02/wvu-wbu020821.php
    “Global tree intrinsic water use efficiency is enhanced by increased atmospheric CO2 and modulated by climate and plant functional types” (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) https://www.pnas.org/content/118/7/e2014286118

  9. Kleiner Hai says:

    “Climate crisis pushing great white sharks into new waters” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/09/climate-crisis-pushing-great-white-sharks-into-new-waters See also https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-82424-9
    “Climate crisis: record ocean heat in 2020 supercharged extreme weather : Scientists say temperatures likely to be increasing faster than at any time in past 2,000 years” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/13/climate-crisis-record-ocean-heat-in-2020-supercharged-extreme-weather
    “Heatwaves sweeping oceans ‘like wildfires’, scientists reveal : Extreme temperatures destroy kelp, seagrass and corals – with alarming impacts for humanity” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/04/heatwaves-sweeping-oceans-like-wildfires-scientists-reveal

  10. Forging Ahead says:

    The United States has warned inaction by world powers on climate change is tantamount to a “mutual suicide pact” after countries such as China, India, and Russia expressed scepticism on the global security threat it posed.
    John Kerry, the US special presidential envoy for climate, told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that the Pentagon has described the climate crisis as “a threat multiplier”.

      • Usual suspect says:

        Climate warming is lifting the lid off the Arctic Ocean https://cage.uit.no/2021/04/13/snow-chaos-in-europe-caused-by-melting-sea-ice-in-the-arctic/
        “What we’re finding is that sea-ice is effectively a lid on the ocean. And with its long-term reduction across the Arctic, we’re seeing increasing amounts of moisture enter the atmosphere during winter, which directly impacts our weather further south, causing extreme heavy snowfalls. It might seem counter-intuitive, but nature is complex and what happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic.” says Dr. Hanna Bailey at the University of Oulu, Finland.
        When analyzing the long-term trends from 1979 onwards, researchers found that for every square meter of winter sea-ice lost from the Barents Sea, there was a corresponding 70 kg increase in the evaporation, moisture, and snow falling over Europe.
        Their findings indicate that within the next 60 years, a predicted ice-free Barents Sea will likely become a significant source of increased winter precipitation – be it rain or snow – for Europe.

        Re: ‘Beast from the East’ (Anticyclone Hartmut) see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_British_Isles_cold_wave

  11. Cassandra says:

    World Bank Climate Change Portal : Explore By Country, Region or Watershed https://climateknowledgeportal.worldbank.org/country/iraq/climate-data-projections
    ‘There’s no rain’: Climate change threatens Iraq’s Bedouins https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/4/28/no-rain-iraqs-bedouin-tribes-affected-by-climate-change.
    Studies suggest that temperatures in Iraq will increase two to seven times faster compared to the global rise, while the United Nations projects that temperatures in Iraq will climb by two degrees and that rainfall will decline by nine percent in the coming three decades.
    See World Bank projection for Iraq https://climateknowledgeportal.worldbank.org/country/iraq/climate-data-projections

  12. Gweilo Joe says:

    The National Climate Center (NCC) of China has just completed a report that gives an authoritative assessment of China’s climate in 2020. It provides a summary of China’s climate as well as the major weather and climate events that took place throughout the year. This is the third consecutive year that the NCC has published an annual national climate statement in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Letters (AOSL). http://aosl.iapjournals.ac.cn/EN/news/news133.shtml
    Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Letters “State of China’s Climate in 2020” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1674283421000209?via%3Dihub

  13. New Norm says:

    On Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a set of data it terms the “US Climate Normals.” Updated once a decade, the figures contained in the report are based on the past 30 years of weather records, and they provide a sense of what the typical weather is on a given day of the year in each of the US’s states and territories.
    As you might imagine given the recent global temperature records, these figures show widespread warming compared to the normals of even a decade ago. They also reveal that while much of the US is getting wetter with the changing climate, California and the Southwest are in the midst of a dramatic drying trend.
    NOAA Delivers New U.S. Climate Normals https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/news/noaa-delivers-new-us-climate-normals Member states of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) are required to calculate their country’s normals at ten-year intervals. Countries follow recommendations by the WMO, which provides a framework for international cooperation among meteorologists, climatologists, and hydrologists.

  14. Boiling frog says:

    CBS This Morning [May 28, 2021] https://www.cbs.com/shows/cbs_this_morning/video/UK0rOzbwoKAsYKSmuIp_iVsjqh4XI5ga/world-meteorological-organization-temperatures-could-hit-key-climate-threshold-in-next-5-years/

    UN News [May 26, 2021]: “Odds are increasing that the annual average global temperature will rise beyond 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in at least one of the next five years, the UN weather agency warns in a new report issued on Thursday.
    The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said there was a 40% chance of the watershed global warming mark being met during the time frame, and these odds are increasing with time.” https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/05/1092842
    According to the WMO the chance of temporarily reaching 1.5°C has roughly doubled compared to last year’s predictions.

  15. 気持ち悪い says:

    “Rescuers search for survivors in landslide-hit Japan town” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/4/rescuers-search-for-survivors-in-landslide-hit-japan-town
    “Atami, about 90km (55 miles) southwest of Tokyo, saw rainfall of 313mm [12.3228 inches] in just 48 hours to Saturday – higher than the average monthly total for July of 242.5mm, according to public broadcaster NHK.
    Much of Japan is currently in its annual rainy season, which lasts several weeks and often causes floods and landslides.
    Scientists say climate change is intensifying the phenomenon because a warmer atmosphere holds more water, resulting in more intense rainfall.
    Further downpours are forecast in the coming days across Japan’s main island.”

  16. Cassandra says:

    Sixty years of climate change warnings: the signs that were missed (and ignored) https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/jul/05/sixty-years-of-climate-change-warnings-the-signs-that-were-missed-and-ignored
    The effects of ‘weird weather’ were already being felt in the 1960s, but scientists linking fossil fuels with climate change were dismissed as prophets of doom
    (NYT Feb 2, 1977) “Problems From Climate Changes Foreseen in a 1974 C.I.A. Report” https://www.nytimes.com/1977/02/02/archives/problems-from-climate-changes-foreseen-in-a-1974-cia-report.html

    • Ecocide says:

      “Thousands of scientists have repeated calls for urgent action to tackle the climate emergency, warning that several tipping points are now imminent.
      The researchers, part of a group of more than 14,000 scientists who have signed on to an initiative declaring a worldwide climate emergency, said in an article published in the journal BioScience on Wednesday that governments had consistently failed to address “the overexploitation of the Earth”, which they described as the root cause of the crisis.” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/28/thousands-of-scientists-declare-worldwide-climate-emergency

  17. Mike says:

    The worst flooding in decades to affect Germany and parts of Belgium has killed at least 120 people as search and rescue efforts for hundreds of missing continue, officials said.
    Late Thursday, authorities said about 1,300 people were still unaccounted for in Germany but cautioned that disrupted roads and telephone service could account for the high figure.
    Meanwhile, German officials were quick to say that a warming climate is at least partially to blame for the catastrophic flooding. https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2021/07/16/1016796637/germany-belgium-flooding-deaths-climate-change
    “Climate change has arrived in Germany”: What’s fueling the floods https://edition.cnn.com/europe/live-news/deadly-flooding-in-europe-07-16-21/h_c5453cbc2c551565b3daab48b314fbef

  18. Forget it, Jake says:

    Great Salt Lake is shrinking fast. Scientists demand action before it becomes a toxic dustbin https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/17/us/great-salt-lake-drought-dying/index.html
    “…Owens Lake, a mostly dry lake east of the California’s Sequoia National Forest, was diverted to the Los Angeles Aqueduct almost a century ago, Kevin Perry, chairman of the department of atmospheric sciences at the University of Utah noted. Though some water is returning to the lake, its dry bed is the largest source of PM-10 pollution — large, inhalable dust particles — in the nation. Great Salt Lake is much larger than Owens Lake, and whereas the population around Owens Lake is about 40,000, there are more than 2 million people living around Great Salt Lake, Perry points out.
    “This lake could become one of the larger dust emission sources in North America as well,” he said. “Right now, the lake bed is protected by a fragile crust, and if that crust is disturbed or erodes over time, then this lake could start to emit a lot more (dust).”

  19. Cassandra says:

    How climate change transformed the world’s highest ski resort into a ghost town https://www.accuweather.com/en/winter-weather/climate-change-bolivia-chacaltaya-glacier-ski-resort/981773
    Bolivian scientists began studying the Chacaltaya glacier in the 1990s. Over the years, the level of snow on the 17,785-foot ski resort dwindled. They predicted the glacier would only survive through 2015 due to climate change, the BBC reported.
    But the scientists overestimated. In 2009, the glacier, which was estimated to be 18,000 years old, was gone. A study by the Stockholm Environment Institute suggested that the region’s temperature increased by half a degree centigrade from 1926 to 2006. https://www.sei.org/
    During the dry season, La Paz draws almost a third of its water from reservoirs fed by glacial meltwater.
    But with Bolivia’s glaciers shrinking, water supplies have become scarce.
    In La Paz, water rationing has become a fact of daily life as in many districts, pipelines and reservoirs have been dry for more than a month.
    Residents have to queue for many hours to receive their ration of water, siphoned into pots, pans, plastic bags and washing-up bowls. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-38235094
    Water supply for La Paz, third largest city in Bolivia – with population approaching 2 million https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Paz#Water_supply

  20. p/s says:

    Officials are preparing for the likelihood that California’s record breaking drought will come for its renewable energy stores. The West Coast state, which has been weathering wildfires, 126-year rainfall lows, and a historic heat dome, announced on Friday that it is preparing for a Butte County reservoir that supplies hydropower to dry up later this summer.
    This means that the Edward Hyatt power plant, located 75 miles north of Sacramento, is likely to shut down temporarily for the first time since opening in 1967, E&E News reported Friday.
    The plant’s shutdown represents a new, terrifying development in the feedback loop between climate change and grid resilience: Rising temperatures demand increased reliance on air conditioning and other cooling mechanisms, the energy use for which further contributes to climate change, and so on. In some parts of the country, like Texas, local electrical grids have proven unprepared to handle this strain. But the loss of hydropower, a renewable energy source, in response to extreme weather events like drought, is cause for concern. https://www.vice.com/en/article/93yz73/extreme-drought-could-shut-down-a-hydroelectric-power-plant-in-california

  21. Update says:

    Climate change: Researchers begin discussions on vital report https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-57944015
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is preparing the most comprehensive assessment on the state of global heating since 2013.
    Over the next two weeks, the scientists will go through their findings line by line with representatives of 195 governments.
    Experts say the report will be a “wake-up call” to governments.
    It is expected that the short, 40-page Summary for Policymakers will play an important role in guiding global leaders who will come to Glasgow in November to deal with critical climate questions.

  22. Tipping point says:

    “Climate crisis: Scientists spot warning signs of Gulf Stream collapse
    A shutdown would have devastating global impacts and must not be allowed to happen, researchers say” https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/05/climate-crisis-scientists-spot-warning-signs-of-gulf-stream-collapse
    “A critical ocean system may be heading for collapse due to climate change, study finds
    ‘The consequences of a collapse would likely be far-reaching’ https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/08/05/change-ocean-collapse-atlantic-meridional/
    “In recent years, scientists have warned about a weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which transports warm, salty water from the tropics to northern Europe and then sends colder water back south along the ocean floor. Researchers who study ancient climate change have also uncovered evidence that the AMOC can turn off abruptly, causing wild temperature swings and other dramatic shifts in global weather systems.”
    See also National Geographic https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/why-ocean-current-critical-to-world-weather-losing-steam-arctic

  23. ¡Qué quilombo! says:

    “Snaking its way through thousands of miles of South American rainforest and pampas and past sprawling soybean and corn farms, the Parana River is the main thoroughfare for Argentine commerce. Some 80% of the country’s crop exports flow through its muddy waters en route to the Atlantic Ocean.
    So when the river’s levels fell to the lowest since the 1940s — the result of years of scorching drought that scientists attribute to climate change — it deepened the strains on an economy that was already struggling to recover from its pandemic collapse.” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-08-06/the-argentine-river-that-carries-soybeans-to-world-is-drying-up
    The setbacks to Argentine exports have global implications. The nation is a powerhouse of oilseed and grain production, the world’s No. 1 shipper of soybean meal for feeding livestock and soybean oil for cooking and biofuels. It’s the third biggest exporter of corn.
    See also “Waterways Are Drying Up in Key South American Crop-Shipping Hubs” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-27/waterways-are-drying-up-in-key-south-american-crop-shipping-hubs

  24. Update says:

    Failure to act now on climate change will result in “catastrophic” consequences for the world, the leader of the United Nation’s next climate talks has warned.
    “I don’t think there’s any other word for it,” Alok Sharma, the British minister in charge of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), told British newspaper The Observer, warning that the annual talks, which will take place in Glasgow, Scotland in November, would be among the last chances to limit global heating and save lives.
    “This is going to be the starkest warning yet that human behavior is alarmingly accelerating global warming and this is why COP26 has to be the moment we get this right. We can’t afford to wait two years, five years, 10 years — this is the moment,” he said. https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/08/world/climate-warning-alok-sharma-cop26-ipcc-intl/index.html

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