Pole to pole and across the world’s oceans and mountains, climate change impacts are adding up
By Bob Berwyn
Of greatest interest here in the West is a new University of Utah study that projects a dramatic upward shift of the snowline in the Rockies and coastal ranges in California, Oregon and Washington. Less spring snowpack at lower elevations has huge effects on we manage our water, and could also result in more early season wildfires: Unabated Global Warming Threatens West’s Snowpack, Water Supply.
In mid-May I wrote about the latest update to NOAA’s annual greenhouse gas index, which showed that atmospheric CO2 concentration showed its biggest annual increase on record in the past year. The index also showed a surge in Methane, an etremely potent heat-trapping pollutant: Far From Turning a Corner, Global CO2 Emissions Still Accelerating.
A new scientific study from Alaska shows that global warming will quickly increase the risk of wildfires across northern latitudes, in boreal forests and tundra, where the impacts could include large-scale landscape change and increased Greenhouse gas emissions: Global Warming to Spur More Fires in Alaska, in Turn Causing More Warming.
In research from Antarctica, scientists said they have new clues as to why Antarctic sea is expanding, even as the rest of the planet’s cryosphere dwindles: Why Is Antarctica’s Sea Ice Growing While the Arctic Melts? Scientists Have an Answer.
Together with Zahra Hirji, I reported on the global spread of coral bleaching and reef die-offs, and the worst may still be ahead: As Coral Bleaching Goes Global, Scientists Fear Worst Is Yet to Come
And finally, scientists tracked the record July 2015 meltdown on the northern Greenland Ice Sheet, linking it to shifts in the jet stream that may driven by the meltdown of Arctic sea ice. It’s a frightening vicious circle of climate change impacts with far-reaching consequences for the rest of the world: Wobbly Jet Stream Is Sending the Melting Arctic into ‘Uncharted Territory’.