Australia faces potentially disastrous consequences of climate change, inquiry told

Australia faces potentially disastrous consequences of climate change, inquiry told

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: Aug 10, 2017 SNIP: Military and climate experts, including a former chief of the defence force, have warned that Australia faces potential “disastrous consequences” from climate change, including “revolving” natural disasters and the forced migration of tens of millions of people across the region, overwhelming security forces and government. [Former defence force chief Adm Chris] Barrie said the security threat of climate change was comparable to that posed by nuclear war, and said the Australian continent would be most affected by changing climate. “We will suffer great effects from these changes, such as new weather patterns; droughts, sea-level rises and storm surges, because we have substantial urban infrastructure built on the coastal fringe; ravages of more intense and more frequent heatwaves and tropical revolving...
Climate change could be a lot worse for America than you thought

Climate change could be a lot worse for America than you thought

SOURCE: Think Progress DATE: Aug 10, 2017 SNIP: Climate change could be a lot worse for America than you thought. That’s one of the messages from deep inside the 600-page final draft of the Congressionally-mandated National Climate Assessment (NCA) that was leaked to the New York Times this week [NOTE: A previous draft of the report was also available online]. If America stays on its current emissions path—often referred to as business-as-usual, or for all intents and purposes, the path President Donald Trump seems determined to follow—the assessment identifies four extreme outcomes that could take a substantial toll on people across the country. Sea level rise of 1 foot per decade after 2050, and 2 feet per decade after 2100. Devastating drops in soil moisture across most of the country, including our breadbaskets. Weakening of the Atlantic Ocean’s circulation, which would speed up warming and sea level rise. What the report refers to as “Potential surprises: Compound extremes and tipping elements.” In essence, the study lays out the choice between manageable warming (if we embrace and then keep strengthening the Paris climate agreement) and unmanageable catastrophe (if we pursue Trump’s policies of undoing global and U.S. climate...
Government Report Finds Drastic Impact of Climate Change on U.S.

Government Report Finds Drastic Impact of Climate Change on U.S.

SOURCE: New York Times DATE: Aug 7, 2017 SNIP: The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration. The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. It directly contradicts claims by President Trump and members of his cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain and that the ability to predict the effects is limited. The report was completed this year and is part of the National Climate Assessment, which is congressionally mandated every four years. The National Academy of Sciences has signed off on the draft and is awaiting permission from the Trump administration to release it. One government scientist who worked on the report, and who spoke to The Times on the condition of anonymity, said he and others were concerned that it would be...
Climate change risk to Europe’s most dangerous pathogens revealed

Climate change risk to Europe’s most dangerous pathogens revealed

SOURCE: University of Liverpool DATE: Aug 2, 2017 SNIP: The impact of climate change on the emergence and spread of infectious diseases could be greater than previously thought, according to new research by the University’s Institute of Infection and Global Health. The study, published in Scientific Reports, is the first large-scale assessment of how climate affects bacterium, viruses or other microorganisms and parasites (pathogens) that can cause disease in humans or animals in Europe. Diseases spread by insects and ticks (vector-borne diseases) were found to be the most climate sensitive, followed by those transmitted in soil, water and food. The diseases with the largest number of different climate drivers were Vibrio cholerae (cause of cholera), Fasciola hepatica (cause of liver fluke), Bacillus anthracis (cause of anthrax) and Borrelia burgdorferi (cause of tickborne Lyme...
Shifting storms to bring extreme waves, damage to once placid areas

Shifting storms to bring extreme waves, damage to once placid areas

SOURCE: UNSW Sydney DATE: July 20, 2017 SNIP: The world’s most extensive study of a major storm front striking the coast has revealed a previously unrecognised danger from climate change: as storm patterns fluctuate, waterfront areas once thought safe are likely to be hammered and damaged as never before. “If you have waterfront property or infrastructure that has previously been sheltered from the impacts of extreme waves, this is worrying news” said Mitchell Harley, lead author and a senior research associate at UNSW’s Water Research Laboratory (WRL). “What this study confirms, is that simply by changing direction, storms can be many times more devastating. And that’s what we’re facing in many locations as the climate continues to change.” Ian Turner, director of WRL and a co-author, said sea level rise was no longer the only factor at play when preparing for the impact of climate change on waterfront areas. “Shifts in storm patterns and wave direction will also have major consequences because they distort and amplify the natural variability of coastal...