NASA shocker: Last month was hottest July, and hottest month, on record

NASA shocker: Last month was hottest July, and hottest month, on record

SOURCE: Think Progress DATE: Aug 15, 2017 SNIP: July 2017 has narrowly topped July 2016 as the hottest July on record, according to a shocking analysis by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) released Tuesday. As a result, July 2017 is statistically tied with August 2016 (and July 2016) as the hottest month on record. What’s so surprising here is that records for warmest month or year almost invariably occur when the underlying human-caused global warming trend gets a temporary boost from an El Niño’s enhanced warming in the tropical Pacific. But whereas 2016 set its temperature records boosted by one of the strongest El Niño’s on record, 2017 is setting records in the absence of any El Niño at...
Thirty Years After the Montreal Protocol, Solving the Ozone Problem Remains Elusive

Thirty Years After the Montreal Protocol, Solving the Ozone Problem Remains Elusive

SOURCE: Yale e360 DATE: Aug 14, 2017 SNIP: Did the Montreal Protocol fix the ozone hole? It seemed so. With chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-eating chemicals banned, many scientists said it was only a matter of time before the ozone layer recharged, and the annual hole over Antarctica healed for good. But 30 years on, some atmospheric chemists are not so sure. The healing is proving painfully slow. And new discoveries about chemicals not covered by the protocol are raising fears that full recovery could be postponed into the 22nd century – or possibly even prevented altogether. …[I]n the past five years, evidence has emerged that potential ozone-eating compounds can reach the ozone layer much faster than previously thought. Under some weather conditions, just a few days may be enough. And that means a wide range of much more short-lived compounds threaten the ozone layer – chemicals not covered by the Montreal Protocol. These compounds are all around us. They are widely used as industrial solvents for tasks like degreasing and dry cleaning. And their releases into the atmosphere are increasing fast. … [Jonathan Shanklin of the British Antarctic Survey] says an important reason for the sluggish recovery of the ozone layer is global warming. As increased levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide trap more solar heat radiating from the Earth’s surface, less warmth reaches the stratosphere, which cools as a result. This trend has been evident for almost 40 years. A colder stratosphere improves conditions for ozone loss. Climate change “could delay the recovery of the ozone hole well into the second half of this century,”...
The year Trump was elected was so hot, it was one-in-a-million

The year Trump was elected was so hot, it was one-in-a-million

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: Aug 11, 2017 SNIP: 2014, 2015, and 2016 each broke the global temperature record. A new study led by climate scientist Michael Mann just published in Geophysical Research Letters used climate model simulations to examine the odds that these records would have been set in a world with and without human-caused global warming. In model simulations without a human climate influence, the authors concluded: There’s a one-in-a-million chance that 2014, 2015, and 2016 would each have been as hot as they were if only natural factors were at play. There’s a one-in-10,000 chance that 2014, 2015, and 2016 would all have been record-breaking hot years. There’s a less than 0.5% chance of three consecutive record-breaking years happening at any time since 2000. There’s a 0.1%–0.2% chance of 2016 being the hottest on record. To put those numbers in perspective, you have about a one-in-3,000 (0.03%) chance of being struck by lightning in your lifetime. You have about as much chance of being struck by lightning this year as 2014, 2015, and 2016 each being as hot as they were due solely to natural effects. That means denying human-caused global warming is like planning to be struck by lightning three years in a row. Perhaps a tinfoil hat will...
Migrating birds can’t keep up with an earlier spring in a changing climate

Migrating birds can’t keep up with an earlier spring in a changing climate

SOURCE: CarbonBrief DATE: Aug 8, 2017 SNIP: Migrating birds might not be able to fly home fast enough to meet shifts in springtime in Europe driven by climate change, new research suggests. Flying back too early or too late for spring is costly for birds. Their arrival must coincide with the emergence of food sources, such as caterpillars, in order to enable them to feed and successfully rear their young. Birds that overwinter in warmer climes, including willow warblers, tree pipits and barn swallows, will be unable to cut their migrations short as climate change causes spring to arrive earlier in many parts of Europe, researchers find. This new evidence suggests that birds are much less adaptable to climate change than previously hoped, another scientist tells Carbon...
Extreme weather seen killing 152,000 Europeans a year by 2100

Extreme weather seen killing 152,000 Europeans a year by 2100

SOURCE: Reuters, The Lancet Planetary Health DATE: Aug 4, 2017 SNIP: Europe’s death toll from weather disasters could rise 50-fold by the end of this century, with extreme heat alone killing more than 150,000 people a year by 2100 if nothing is done to curb the effects of climate change, scientists said on Friday. In a study in The Lancet Planetary Health journal, the scientists said their findings showed climate change placing a rapidly increasing burden on society, with two in three people in Europe likely to be affected if greenhouse gas emissions and extreme weather events are not controlled. The predictions, based on an assumption of no reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and no improvement in policies to reduce the impact of extreme climatic events, show European weather-related deaths rising from 3,000 a year between 1981 and 2010 to 152,000 a year between 2071 and...