Posted on February 4, 2016 by Bob Berwyn
Rapidly warming ocean temperatures off the New England coast are affecting many marine species. Graphic courtesy NASA.
New vulnerability assessment to help guide fisheries management
Rapidly warming ocean temperatures off the coast of the Northeastern U.S. are likely to have a big impact on nearly all fish and other marine life in the region. Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration carefully surveyed 82 species in a recent study, trying to identify which are the most vulnerable to global warming.
“Our method identifies specific attributes that influence marine fish and invertebrate resilience to the effects of a warming ocean and characterizes risks posed to individual species,” said Jon Hare, a fisheries oceanographer at NOAA Fisheries’ Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) and lead author of the study. “This work will help us better account for the effects of warming waters on our fishery species in stock assessments and when developing fishery management measures.” Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, climate change, global warming, Marine biology, ocean acidification, ocean conservation | Tagged: climate change, fisheries, global warming, New England, NOAA, oceans | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 3, 2016 by Bob Berwyn
Global temperatures are rising inexorably. A state climate plan with teeth could ensure that Colorado is doing its part to meet the goals of the 2015 climate agreement reached at the COP21 talks in Paris.
Proposed House Bill 1004 would require state to set measurable targets and report progress annually to lawmakers
By Bob Berwyn
Colorado climate activists and their allies in the State Legislature want to add some teeth to a climate plan released last year by the Hickenlooper administration. The plan acknowledges the impacts and establishes a vague framework for addressing global warming in Colorado, but was criticized for lacking measurable targets.
2015 was by far the hottest year on record for the globe, breaking the record set in 2014. It was the third-warmest year on record for Colorado. The year also saw a modern record set for wildfires, as well as the most widespread bloom of toxin-producing algae ever recorded along the West Coast. In Colorado, scientists recently reported on finding extreme climate change impacts in the state’s alpine zone. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Colorado, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Colorado climate plan, Colorado HB 16-1004, colorado Legislature, Environment, global warming | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 3, 2016 by Bob Berwyn
How quickly will the West Antarctic Ice Sheet melt away under global warming? @bberwyn photo.
‘All signs suggest the ice from West Antarctica could disappear relatively quickly …’
An in-depth survey of Antarctica’s rugged Ellsworth Mountains suggests that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could melt quickly under the influence of global warming, potentially raising global sea level by three meters.
“It is possible that the ice sheet has passed the point of no return and, if so, the big question is how much will go and how much will sea levels rise,” said Professor John Woodward, of the University of Northumbria. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Antarctica, climate change, global warming, sea level rise, West Antarctic Ice Sheet | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 1, 2016 by Bob Berwyn
Some populations likely to blink out because of global warming
Climate change may push pikas out of some western national parks, but they are expected to survive in others, where global warming won’t hit quite so hard, scientists said in a new report.
The tiny mammals are common residents of the alpine zone in the West, but warmer and drier conditions will shrink their habitat in some regions in the coming decades. The study concluded that warmer temperatures in Rocky Mountain National Park will cause habitat suitability and connectivity to decline, making that population “highly vulnerable to extirpation.” Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Environment, global warming, national parks, pika, wildlife | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 30, 2016 by Bob Berwyn
Sea level is rising, and will continue to rise for centuries even if greenhouse gas emissions are stopped immediately, and low-lying areas like the Mississippi Delta are already feeling the effects. @bberwyn photo.
‘Functioning and intact forests, grasslands, wetlands and coral reefs represent our greatest protection against floods and storms’
Climate change adaptation is more than a slogan in many parts of the world, as communities work to protect themselves from the impacts of a warming world.
But a new study says planners must carefully think through their responses — some changes could leave people worse off in the future, according to scientists with CSIRO, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Queensland.
Their findings, published in Nature Climate Change, discusses how certain adaptation strategies may have a negative impact on nature which in turn will impact people in the long-term. Many climate adaptation strategies such as sea wall construction and new agricultural practices do more harm than good, the researchers concluded. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, climate and weather, climate change, extreme weather, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: climate change, climate change adaptation, Environment, global warming | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 26, 2016 by Bob Berwyn
Fossil fuel dinosaurs make last-ditch effort to keep polluting the nation’s air with dangerous greenhouse gases
Mercury from the Craig Station power plant in northwest Colorado pollutes lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park.
By Bob Berwyn
Texas, West Virginia, Colorado and 26 other states are going to the U.S. Supreme Court with a last-ditch effort to slow the Obama administration’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.
The states want the court to block implementation of the EPA Clean Power Plan, which they describe as “the most far reaching and burdensome rule EPA has ever forced onto the States.”
Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected the same request, leading to the appeal to the Supreme Court. The states say the plan will require a massive shift away from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy, and claim the changes will cost jobs and money. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, climate change, Environment, global warming | Tagged: clean power plan, EPA, global warming, greenhouse gases, U.S. Supreme Court | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 25, 2016 by Bob Berwyn
In just 15 years, renewable energy could power most of the U.S. @bberwyn photo.
Huge cuts in greenhouse emissions possible by 2030
Germany’s deliberate transition to renewable energy — the Energiewende — has made headlines around the world, but the U.S. also has the potential to make a big shift toward renewable energy.
Solar, wind and other weather-driven renewable resources could supply most of the nation’s electricity by 2030 and potentially cut greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by up to 78 percent, according to a new study by researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado. Continue reading
Filed under: climate change, energy, Environment, global warming, renewable energy | Tagged: CIRES, climate change, energy, greenhouse gas cuts, greenhouse gas emissions, High Voltage Direct Current transmission, HVDC grid, NOAA, Renewable | Leave a comment »