NOAA says 2018 was 4th warmest year on record, in an undeniable global warming trend

2018 was the fourth warmest year ever recorded on planet Earth, NOAA reported today. Read the rest

Manhattan-sized hole opens up under Antarctic glacier

A massive cavity so large you could fit New York City inside of it has opened up under Thwaites glacier in Antarctica. Scientists say if it collapses, as it's likely to do within the next 50 to 100 years, it could cause a catastrophic rise in sea levels capable of flood coastal cities around the world. Read the rest

Trump picks former oil lobbyist David Bernhardt to run U.S. Interior Department

They're just gonna drill everything they can while Trump's in power, aren't they. Read the rest

1,500 private jets coming to Davos

Even though jet travel is a major contributor to global warming, the pluto-kakisto-klepto-cracy coming to the World Economic Forum in Davos will arrive in an estimated 1,500 private jets. One of the topics that the 0.001% will be discussing at the Swiss Ski resort is global warming.

From Inquisitr:

In general, private jet travel to the event has increased by about 11 percent year over year, according to the Air Charter Service (ACS), which charters aircraft for cargo and private use.

“There appears to be a trend towards larger aircraft, with expensive heavy jets the aircraft of choice,” said Andy Christie, private jets director at the ACS. “Gulfstream GVs and Global Expresses [were] both used more than 100 times each last year.”

Image: Tyler Olson/Shutterstock Read the rest

Pantone chose this 'life-affirming' shade as 2019's Color of the Year

In 2019, we'll move out of Ultra Violet and into Living Coral, according to the Pantone Color Institute. Their color experts have determined that their Color of the Year will be the "vibrant, yet mellow" PANTONE 16-1546.

Here's what they have to say about this "life-affirming" shade:

In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.

Representing the fusion of modern life, PANTONE Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.

How do they come to pick their Color of Year? Well, they write that "the selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis" and that their color experts "comb the world looking for new color influences."

Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely color, but the cynic in me is screaming, "But climate change is bleaching the coral reefs!"

(After I wrote this up, I found this searing Slate article that agrees with me, "Pantone might as well have named it 'The Rare Coral That Has Not Yet Been Bleached, as It Inevitably Someday Will in This Increasingly Toxic Toilet Bowl We Call Earth.'")

images via Pantone

(It's Nice That) Read the rest

California Fires: Why doesn't cable news cover them as much as East Coast hurricanes?

It's not your imagination. The big cable news networks like CNN, MSNBC, and Fox pay way more attention to hurricanes and extreme weather on the east coast than they do to major firestorms in California, like the recent Camp and Woolsey fires. But why? Read the rest

California Fires: 83% of Santa Monica Mountains federal parkland burned by Woolsey Fire

In addition to destroying hundreds of homes and claiming human lives, the Woolsey Fire that began last Thursday burned 83% of federal park land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, per Cal Fire. Read the rest

I’m suing the U.S. government for causing the climate change crisis #YouthVGov

My name is Kelsey Juliana and I’m suing the United States government for causing and accelerating the climate change crisis. I’m 22 years old and I’ve been a climate advocate for more than half of my life. Read the rest

Extreme weather has caused Japan cherry blossoms to bloom in fall, when it's supposed to be in the spring

People flock to Japan in the spring in hopes of catching the cherry blossom season, which, in full bloom, lasts only about a week. This usually happens in April (although a bit earlier or later depending on the region and climate of the year). But never has there been a widespread cherry blossom season in the fall – until now.

Most likely because of Japan's recent two typhoons followed by warm weather, people have spotted cherry blossoms from "Kyushu, in western Japan, to Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands," according to Smithsonian.

Hiroyuki Wada of the Flower Association of Japan tells NHK that the Yoshino cherry tree, which puts on a particularly lovely display of blossoms, buds in the summer, but hormones in the trees’ leaves stop the buds from opening until spring. This year, however, typhoons whipped the leaves from the cherry blossom trees, or otherwise exposed the trees to salt that caused their leaves to wither. The lack of hormones to keep the buds in check, coupled with warm temperatures that followed the storms, prompted the buds to blossom.

“This has happened in the past,” Wada tells NHK, “but I don’t remember seeing anything on this scale.”

Over the last 150 years, the season for cherry blossoms has been slowly moving its start time to an earlier date. "In Kyoto in 1850, for instance, the average bloom date was April 17. Today, the average date is around April 6." Unless, that is, it's an autumn blossom we're talking about. Read the rest

Slaves - including children - make the bricks for Cambodia's housing bubble

Two bedroom apartments in Phnom Penh start at $260,000 -- equivalent to 2,000 years' worth of average annual wages for Cambodia's workers. Read the rest

Climate change will make beer much more expensive

Over the next century, higher temperatures and an increased number of droughts will hit the global barley supply, pushing beer prices way up. University of East Anglia economist Dabo Guan and his colleagues developed multiple scenarios based on several climate and economic models. Nature:

The researchers then simulated the effect of these droughts and heat waves on barley production by using software to model crop growth and yield on the basis of weather and other variables.

They found that, globally, this extreme weather would reduce barley yield by between 3% and 17%. Some countries fared better than others: tropical areas such as Central and South America were hit badly, but crop yields actually increased in certain temperate areas, including northern China and the United States. Some areas of those countries saw yield increases of up to 90% — but this was not enough to offset the global decrease.

Finally, Guan and his colleagues fed these changes in barley yield into an existing economic model that can account for changes in supply and demand in the global market. This enabled them to look at how reduced barley production would affect pricing and consumption of beer in countries, as well as trade between nations.

In the worst-case scenario, the reduced barley supply worldwide would result in a 16% decrease in global beer consumption in the years of extreme-weather events. Prices would, on average, double...

One goal of the research, Guan says, was to make tangible how "climate change will impact people’s lifestyle... Read the rest

Interactive sea level viewer shows what will happen to America's beaches

Gone, obviously. Tom Scocca:

Using our advanced technology, it is possible to look up the beaches in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sea Level Rise Viewer, and to imagine what will happen if we visit them, or try to visit them, in the future—when the sea levels have risen three feet, or six feet, or more, if you want. You can use your pocket phone-computer to watch them move ahead through time below.

Read the rest

Climate change is AWOL in America's political debates

There is no political issue more pressing than the official inaction on climate change. With time running out to avert hundreds of millions of deaths and global migration, food, disease, and water chaos, with 73% of US voters believing in climate change (albeit with a mere 57% believing it is caused by humans), every one of our political debates should be centered on climate change. Read the rest

IPCC climate report is most urgent yet

The UN's International Panel on Climate Change is an interdisciplinary expert body comprised of leading scientists who study climate change; they issue periodic reports summarizing the best peer-reviewed science on climate change and making recommendations as to what must be done to avert the most catastrophic outcomes; their latest report is the gravest yet, where even the most optimistic projections of the panel predict disruption and hardship for tens of millions of people, within our lifetimes. Read the rest

Hurricane Florence in 3D, as seen by NASA's MISR onboard the Terra satellite

Get your red-blue 3D glasses out. NASA today shares a stunning stereo anaglyph 3-D image of Hurricane Florence, captured from the MISR instrument flying on-board the Terra satellite, which carries nine cameras that observe Earth at different angles. Read the rest

Watch this coagulant make dirty water drinkable

PolyGlu is used by aid workers to force impurities in water to settle at the bottom of a container, making the water safer for drinking in areas where water is scarce or polluted. Read the rest

Watch a massive haboob engulf southern Arizona towns

Jesse Watson captured this perfectly-timed footage of a massive dust cloud roiling across the Arizona desert at sunset. Read the rest

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