India and Bangladesh brace for Super Cyclone Amphan, strongest storm ever in Bay of Bengal

Super Cyclone Amphan became the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal on Monday night

#Amphan is expected to make landfall on Tuesday, May 20

•  Storm surge of up to 15 feet on anticipated landfall in West Bengal forecast Wednesday

In India and Bangladesh, millions of people are trapped in the path of an oncoming super cyclone that is expected to make landfall in under 36 hours. Read the rest

Brazil's Bolsonaro deploys military to Amazon region

Brazil's Trump, right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, formally authorized deployment of military forces in the Amazon rainforest region, purportedly to fight deforestation and fires. Surely the massive influx of armed troops to the region populated by indigenous people won't result in coronavirus infections and COVID-19 deaths. The decree was published in the government gazette today. Read the rest

Pollution maps of major cities before and during the coronavirus pandemic

Lockdowns have improved air quality in major cities around the world, per nitrogen dioxide measurements mapped here by Steven Bernard. Most cities, anyway.

Data source: ESA Sentinel 5

Data was processed by Descartes Labs showing average pollution levels from Mar 1 to Apr 5 2020, compared with the same period last year.

Data was brought into QGIS and styled and then further design work was done in Adobe Illustrator

You can read the full article hereon how Covid-19 has impacted climate change for good and bad

I wonder if these maps expose a lack of social distancing, continued work travel, etc., that could be correlated to hidden prevalence of the disease. For example, if little has changed in Teheran's and Moscow's NO₂ output, is that evidence that there's no lockdown and a lot more people are getting it (and dying of it) than they're admitting?

Another unusual pattern that differs from other cities: London, where the country/exurbs are markedly less polluted than usual but a small dense area in the center hasn't changed much at all.

I made a crude diffed version (below), showing the change in output for each city. Black means no improvement (bear in mind rural areas with little pollution to begin with), green means a little improvement, red means a lot of improvement

P.S. Had no idea what a choked hellhole Milan is. Read the rest

Greenland and Antarctica melting 6x faster than in 1990s: NASA

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena today reports new evidence of accelerating glacier melt in Antarctica.

“Observations from 11 satellite missions monitoring the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have revealed that the regions are losing ice six times faster than they were in the 1990s,” reads the NASA JPL announcement.

“If the current melting trend continues, the regions will be on track to match the "worst-case" scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of an extra 6.7 inches (17 centimeters) of sea level rise by 2100.”

The two regions have lost 6.4 trillion tons of ice in three decades; unabated, this rate of melting could cause flooding that affects hundreds of millions of people by 2100.

More from the news announcement:

The findings, published online March 12 in the journal Nature from an international team of 89 polar scientists from 50 organizations, are the most comprehensive assessment to date of the changing ice sheets. The Ice Sheet Mass Balance Intercomparison Exercise team combined 26 surveys to calculate changes in the mass of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets between 1992 and 2018.

The assessment was supported by NASA and the European Space Agency. The surveys used measurements from satellites including NASA's Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite and the joint NASA-German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment. Andrew Shepherd at the University of Leeds in England and Erik Ivins at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California led the study.

The team calculated that the two ice sheets together lost 81 billion tons per year in the 1990s, compared with 475 billion tons of ice per year in the 2010's - a sixfold increase.

Read the rest

"The current [insect] extinction crisis is deeply worrisome," say experts

Twenty-five experts have issued a warning about the potentially cataclysmic consequences of the rapidly shrinking insect population, reports The Guardian.

In a two-part article for Biological Conservation, the scientists wrote: “The current [insect] extinction crisis is deeply worrisome. Yet, what we know is only the tip of the iceberg.We know enough to act immediately. Solutions are now available – we must act upon them.”

From The Guardian:

The researchers said solutions were available and must be implemented immediately. These range from bigger nature reserves and a crackdown on harmful pesticides to individual action such as not mowing the lawn and leaving dead wood in gardens. They also said invertebrates must no longer be neglected by conservation efforts, which tend to focus on mammals and birds.

Photo by Neenu Vimalkumar on Unsplash Read the rest

Antarctica reaches 20º C (68º F), highest recorded temp ever on icy continent

Scientists say 20.75º C logged at Seymour Island is ‘incredible and abnormal’

Antarctica: Hottest temperature ever recorded, 65º F / 18.3º C

Antarctica's hottest temperature ever was recorded this past Thursday: 65 degrees Fahrenheit, or 18.3 degrees Celsius.

That is not good.

Not good at all. Read the rest

Congress to Google's Sundar Pichai: Deal with climate change disinfo on YouTube

Congress is urging Google to take long-overdue action to stamp out ‘dangerous climate misinformation’ on YouTube. Read the rest

Amazon threatened to fire two tech workers who spoke about climate and Amazon's business, then 357 more workers joined them

Last October, two Amazon employees -- Maren Costa (UX designer) and Jamie Kowalski (software engineer) spoke on the record to the Washington Post about their employer's complicity in the climate crisis, including the provision of cloud computing services to energy company in search of new sources of fossil fuels. Read the rest

Climate denial has destroyed the libertarian movement

Leading libertarian intellectuals are now disavowing the label (Tyler Cowan says he's now a "State Capacity Libertarian") thanks to the total failure of libertarianism to cope with climate change. Read the rest

The case for replacing air travel with high-speed sleeper trains

One of the best work trips I ever took was the overnight train from London King's Cross to Edinburgh: I had a comfortable berth, went from city centre to city centre, arrived rested and refreshed, and did not have to endure the indignities and discomforts of air travel. Read the rest

RIP wetlands and streams, Trump to end environmental protections

Say goodbye to America's wetlands and streams. Say hello to new rivers of pollution, and parking lots where cattails, frogs, and minnows once were. Read the rest

Giant pizza 103 meters (338 feet) long raised funds for Australia firefighters

? Yes, that's a 100-meter record-setting Margherita Pizza. A pizza with a purpose. Read the rest

Icy with a chance of falling iguanas, Florida's odd forecast reads

The iguanas are cold-blooded, you see.

China announces ban of single-use plastic bags and straws

Major cities in China will undertake a staged withdrawal of single-use plastics between now and 2022, with plastic cutlery and take-out containers going by the end of 2020; disposable plastics no longer offered in hotels by 2022; and postal outlets no longer providing plastic packaging/bags by the end of 2022. Read the rest

Greta Thunberg has a crisply articulated demand

I was a anti-nuclear arms proliferation activist from a very young age, 10 or 11, and took it seriously, nearly getting kicked out of school and organizing classmates to attend large demonstrations. I felt like I was tackling an existential risk to the human race and most of the living things on the planet Earth (30+ years later, I think I was right), and that the grownups around me were not taking this seriously, and that this was probably the most urgent thing for me to focus on as a result. Read the rest

Australia fires: Air-dropping veggies to feed wallabies [NEW VIDEO]

The massive scale and force of the ongoing bushfires in Australia is hard to comprehend. Read the rest

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