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
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:
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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.
Scientists say 20.75º C logged at Seymour Island is ‘incredible and abnormal’
A huge collection of flora and fauna illustrations have just entered the public domain. Hyperalleric writes:
Had he lived in our time, Thoreau would’ve been thrilled to know that the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), the world’s largest open-access digital archive dedicated to the natural world, is now offering more than 150,000 high-resolution illustrations for copyright-free download.
These public domain images belong to an archive of more than 55 million pages of literature about earth’s species of flora and fauna. They include animal sketches, historical diagrams, botanical studies, and scientific research collected from hundreds of thousands of journals and libraries across the world. Some of the illustrations date back to the 15th century.
The library sees the sharing of these documents as part of combating the climate crisis:
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“To document Earth’s species and understand the complexities of swiftly-changing ecosystems in the midst of a major extinction crisis and widespread climate change, researchers need something that no single library can provide — access to the world’s collective knowledge about biodiversity,” the library says on its website.
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 is urging Google to take long-overdue action to stamp out ‘dangerous climate misinformation’ on YouTube. Read the rest
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.
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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
? Yes, that's a 100-meter record-setting Margherita Pizza. A pizza with a purpose. Read the rest
The iguanas are cold-blooded, you see.
The massive scale and force of the ongoing bushfires in Australia is hard to comprehend. Read the rest
“To the world leaders and those in power, I would like to say that you have not seen anything yet. You have not seen the last of us, we can assure you that. And that is the message that we will bring to the World Economic Forum in Davos next week.”
In the Swiss city of Lausanne on Friday, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and was joined by an estimated 10,000 others for a protest march, before many of them travel to Davos for next week's annual gathering of political and business elites. Their goal: Draw attention to the urgent need for world leaders to fight our worsening climate crisis. Read the rest
Environmental writer Emma Marris (author of Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World) offers a five-step process in the New York Times for confronting the climate crisis without being overwhelmed by hopelessness.
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Eric Holthaus is a meteorologist who has grown weary of the inadequacy of scientific discourse as a means of conveying the urgency of the climate crisis; instead, he's written an inspiring future history in which he traces the year-by-year steps that lead to a just climate transition: "a vision of what it could look and feel like if we finally, radically, collectively act to build a world we want to live in."
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104º F/40.9º C average across country
Well, there it is at last, the silver lining to climate change. Turns out it's so hot in Australia, you can totally roast a delicious hunk of meat on top of your car. Read the rest