Climate Change

David Koch escaped the climate hell he helped create

Brian Kahn writes: David Koch is dead. The billionaire died this week at age 79 of causes yet unknown. While he certainly enjoyed the fruits of his labors to deregulate U.S. industry and reduce taxes on the super-wealthy like himself, he will never have to experience the consequences of his biggest achievement: putting the entire planet on the brink of crisis in the service of enriching himself and a few

The Amazon is burning because the world eats so much meat

CNN reports: While the wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest may constitute an “international crisis,” they are hardly an accident. The vast majority of the fires have been set by loggers and ranchers to clear land for cattle. The practice is on the rise, encouraged by Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s populist pro-business president, who is backed by the country’s so-called “beef caucus.” While this may be business as usual for Brazil’s

Global leaders urged to divert Brazilian government from ‘suicide’ path as Amazonian rainforest burns

The Guardian reports: International pressure may be the only way to stop the Brazilian government from taking a “suicide” path in the Amazon, one of the country’s most respected scientists has said, as the world’s biggest rainforest continues to be ravaged by thousands of deliberate fires. The large number of conflagrations – set illegally to clear and prepare land for crops, cattle and property speculation – has prompted the state

Climate change may change the way ocean waves impact 50% of the world’s coastlines

By Mark Hemer, CSIRO; Ian Young, University of Melbourne; Joao Morim Nascimento, Griffith University, and Nobuhito Mori, Kyoto University The rise in sea levels is not the only way climate change will affect the coasts. Our research, published today in Nature Climate Change, found a warming planet will also alter ocean waves along more than 50% of the world’s coastlines. If the climate warms by more than 2℃ beyond pre-industrial

Fires in the Amazon, the planet at risk

Tierra Curry writes: In Brazil, the Amazon rainforest is now burning at a record rate. The greedy, short-sighted policies of Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro are jeopardizing indigenous peoples and countless plants and animals. Indeed, in the midst of a climate emergency, Bolsonaro’s policies to slash environmental protections and develop the Amazon for mining, ranching and farming jeopardize the future of life on Earth as we know it. North America

Brazil’s Amazon rainforest is burning at a record rate, research center says

CNN reports: Fires are raging at a record rate in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, and scientists warn that it could strike a devastating blow to the fight against climate change. The fires are burning at the highest rate since the country’s space research center, the National Institute for Space Research (known by the abbreviation INPE), began tracking them in 2013, the center said Tuesday. There have been 72,843 fires in Brazil

How improving tools make it easier to discern climate change’s impact on specific weather events

MIT Technology Review reports: A week after heat waves toppled records across Europe late last month, scientists were ready to declare that climate change almost certainly drove the deadly hot stretch. On August 2, while the same heat wave was turning Greenland’s ice sheets into slush, World Weather Attribution reported that decades of greenhouse-gas emissions had raised the odds of such extreme weather by a factor of as much as

Climate change advancing faster than scientists previously thought

Naomi Oreskes, Michael Oppenheimer, and Dale Jamieson write: Recently, the U.K. Met Office announced a revision to the Hadley Center historical analysis of sea surface temperatures (SST), suggesting that the oceans have warmed about 0.1 degree Celsius more than previously thought. The need for revision arises from the long-recognized problem that in the past sea surface temperatures were measured using a variety of error-prone methods such as using open buckets,

How the auto industry is challenging Trump’s effort to weaken pollution regulations

The New York Times reports: The White House, blindsided by a pact between California and four automakers to oppose President Trump’s auto emissions rollbacks, has mounted an effort to prevent any more companies from joining California. Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors were all summoned by a senior Trump adviser to a White House meeting last month where he pressed them to stand by the president’s own initiative, according to

U.S. scientist to file whistleblower complaint after agency halts his climate work

Reuters reports: A climate scientist for the Trump administration’s health protection agency who was ordered to drop work on climate issues will file a whistleblower complaint this week with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, his lawyers said on Wednesday. George Luber, who ran the climate and health program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is an expert on the health impacts of climate change including risks to

Amazon deforestation and Brazilian President Bolsonaro’s attack on science

Doug Boucher writes: Science is always a potential threat to authoritarian rulers, because it uncovers truths that contradict their lies. Recently we’ve seen a dramatic example of this conflict in Brazil, where the director of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) has been fired by the country’s new President, Jair Bolsonaro, for releasing data showing a substantial increase in Amazon deforestation. INPE has been providing the world with measurements

Huge wildfires in the Arctic and far North send a planetary warning

Smoke from wildfires in Siberia drifts east toward Canada and the U.S. on July 30, 2019. NASA By Nancy Fresco, University of Alaska Fairbanks The planet’s far North is burning. This summer, over 600 wildfires have consumed more than 2.4 million acres of forest across Alaska. Fires are also raging in northern Canada. In Siberia, choking smoke from 13 million acres – an area nearly the size of West Virginia

Tasty seaweed reduces cow methane emissions by 99% — and it could soon be a climate game-changer

Good News Network reports: A puffy pink seaweed that can stop cows from burping out methane is being primed for mass farming by Australian researchers. The particular seaweed species, called Asparagopsis, grows prolifically off the Queensland Coast, and was the only seaweed found to have the effect in a study five years ago led by CSIRO. Even a small amount of the seaweed in a cow’s diet was shown to

‘Kochland’ examines the Koch brothers’ early, crucial role in climate-change denial

Jane Mayer writes: If there is any lingering uncertainty that the Koch brothers are the primary sponsors of climate-change doubt in the United States, it ought to be put to rest by the publication of “Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America,” by the business reporter Christopher Leonard. This seven-hundred-and-four-page tome doesn’t break much new political ground, but it shows the extraordinary behind-the-scenes influence that

‘We’re literally watching the Greenland ice sheet disappear right before our very eyes’

  The Associated Press reports: The fields of rippling ice 500 feet below the NASA plane give way to the blue-green of water dotted with irregular chunks of bleached-white ice, some the size of battleships, some as tall as 15-story buildings. Like nearly every other glacier on Greenland, the massive Kangerlussuaq is melting. In fact, the giant frozen island has seen one of its biggest melts on record this year.

Dont burn trees to fight climate change — let them grow

Bill McKibben writes: Of all the solutions to climate change, ones that involve trees make people the happiest. Earlier this year, when a Swiss study announced that planting 1.2 trillion trees might cancel out a decade’s worth of carbon emissions, people swooned (at least on Twitter). And last month, when Ethiopian officials announced that twenty-three million of their citizens had planted three hundred and fifty million trees in a single