Catastrophe Chronicle

Catastrophe Chronicle
24 min read

“We are on the deathbed. Humanity cannot survive – the way it has been behaving with nature – for more than fifty years, sixty years, or, at the most, one hundred years, which is nothing. If the Third World War does not happen, then we will be committing a slow suicide. Within a hundred years, we will be gone. Not even a trace will be left.”1 Osho

See also: Osho, “Religion: The Crimes Against Nature and the Environment”

And: Priests & Politicians: The Mafia of the Soul

It is becoming increasingly clear that humanity just doesn’t have the consciousness to prevent the inexorable destruction of the only home it has.

Perhaps more fundamentally, this humanity – which is trashing out the land, the oceans, the atmosphere, and the space beyond the atmosphere – is simply being really trashy. We endlessly look outwards for solutions and almost no one is making it clear that unless we fix our trashiness, nothing can fundamentally change. Without this fundamental change in our trashy approach to the world around us, every “solution” we come up with will be deeply compromised by our trashiness!

While waiting for this obvious point to sink in, followed by a clear understanding of how to undo our trashiness, the OSHOTimes can only chronicle the inevitable resultant degeneration of Planet Earth, “and all who sail in her!”

Carbon Dioxide Levels in the Atmosphere

“Man-made carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect” – was published by the journal Nature in 1972.

Levels of the greenhouse gas have not been as high as today for 3-5m years, when the global temperature was 2-3C warmer and the sea level was 10-20 metres higher: The Guardian

The C02 clock is ticking here: Bloomberg Green Carbon Clock

Human Population

The population clock is ticking here: Worldometre

The Emissions Gap Report 2020

“The world is still heading for a catastrophic temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century – far beyond the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C.” – UN Environment

The Unfolding Story – 2023 – Updated Regularly: 

Read 2022 Edition HERE

March 21, 2023
First birds, now mammals: how H5N1 is killing thousands of sea lions in Peru
“Avian flu has decimated the marine creatures on the country’s Pacific coastline and scientists fear it could be jumping from mammal to mammal.” – The Guardian

March 20, 2023
UN science report carries stark climate warning
“That is because global emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases keep increasing, mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and intensive agriculture, when in fact they need to decline quickly.” – Bloomberg

March 20, 2023
Gut-Wrenching Climate Report Leaves Even More Fingers Pointing At Political Inaction
“It’s not just a government problem — but they are the most influential players in this game.” – HuffPost

March 18, 2023
From India to China, Asia’s ‘rice bowl’ is under threat due to groundwater woes
“Major rice producers need to shift to producing rice that is resilient to flooding and salinity, to cope with likely increase in frequency, intensity of floods and droughts. Each degree of global warming adds about 7 per cent moisture to the water cycle, leading to more extreme weather events, analysts have warned.” – The South China Morning Post

March 17, 2023
Mountain forests are being lost at an accelerating rate, putting biodiversity at risk
“More than 85% of the world’s bird, mammal, and amphibian species live in mountains, particularly in forest habitats, but researchers report that these forests are disappearing at an accelerating rate. Globally, we have lost 78.1 million hectares (7.1%) of mountain forest since 2000 — an area larger than the size of Texas. Much of the loss occurred in tropical biodiversity hotspots, putting increasing pressure on threatened species.” – ScienceDaily

March 16, 2023
US banks are sacrificing poor communities to the climate crisis
“It took decades to force banks to abandon racist redlining. We don’t have decades to avert catastrophic climate crisis.” – The Guardian

March 15, 2023
What if climate change meant not doom — but abundance?
“Look closely, and you can see that by measures other than goods and money, we are impoverished. Even the affluent live in a world where confidence in the future, and in the society and institutions around us, is fading — and where a sense of security, social connectedness, mental and physical health, and other measures of well-being are often dismal. This is the world we live in with fossil fuel — the burning of which makes us poorer in many ways.” – The Washington Post

March 15, 2023
Recovering tropical forests offset just one quarter of carbon emissions from new tropical deforestation and forest degradation
“A pioneering global study has found deforestation and forests lost or damaged due to human and environmental change, such as fire and logging, are fast outstripping current rates of forest regrowth.” – ScienceDaily

March 13, 2023
Switching to hydrogen fuel could prolong the methane problem
“Hydrogen is often heralded as the clean fuel of the future, but new research suggests that leaky hydrogen infrastructure could end up increasing atmospheric methane levels, which would cause decades-long climate consequences.” – ScienceDaily

March 12, 2023
Saudi Aramco’s $161bn profit is largest recorded by an oil and gas firm
“Amnesty International hits out at ‘shocking’ annual figure reaped through sale of fossil fuel…. The largely state-owned company’s profits rose by 46% year on year and it made more than the recent bumper results reported by Shell, BP, Exxon and Chevron combined.” – The Guardian

March 12, 2023
This Changes Everything
“’The broader intellectual world seems to wildly overestimate how long it will take A.I. systems to go from “large impact on the world” to ‘unrecognizably transformed world,”‘ Paul Christiano, a key member of OpenAI who left to found the Alignment Research Center, wrote last year. ‘This is more likely to be years than decades, and there’s a real chance that it’s months.’… In a 2022 survey, A.I. experts were asked, ‘What probability do you put on human inability to control future advanced A.I. systems causing human extinction or similarly permanent and severe disempowerment of the human species?’ The median reply was 10 percent. I find that hard to fathom, even though I have spoken to many who put that probability even higher. Would you work on a technology you thought had a 10 percent chance of wiping out humanity?… I cannot emphasize this enough: We do not understand these systems, and it’s not clear we even can.” – The New York Times

March 12, 2023
Scientists warn of ‘phosphogeddon’ as critical fertiliser shortages loom
“They fear our misuse of phosphorus could lead to deadly shortages of fertilisers that would disrupt global food production. At the same time, phosphate fertiliser washed from fields – together with sewage inputs into rivers, lakes and seas – is giving rise to widespread algal blooms and creating aquatic dead zones that threaten fish stocks. In addition, overuse of the element is increasing releases of methane across the planet, adding to global heating and the climate crisis caused by carbon emissions, researchers have warned. ‘We have reached a critical turning point,’ said Prof Phil Haygarth of Lancaster University.” – The Guardian

March 12, 2023
Moooove over: How single-celled yeasts are doing the work of 1,500-pound cows
Cowless dairy is here, with the potential to shake up the future of animal dairy and plant-based milks. The first course was a celery root soup lush with whole milk. The last was a spice cake topped with maple cream cheese frosting served with a side of ice cream. And then a latte with its fat cap of glossy foam. In all, a delicious lunch. Maybe a little heavy on the dairy. Only this dairy was different. It was not the product of a cow or soybean or nut. The main ingredient of this milk was made by microbes in a lab, turned into tasty and recognizable food, and then served to a hungry reporter…. And cattle, for beef or dairy, is said to be the No. 1 agricultural source of greenhouse gases worldwide. ” – The Washington Post

March 10, 2023
Record deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest shows challenge facing Lula
“Satellites show record destruction for the month of February as new government tries to undo damage wreaked under Bolsonaro.” – The Guardian

March 10, 2023
Air pollution ‘speeds up osteoporosis’ in postmenopausal women
“US study finds bone loss occurs twice as fast among women living in areas with higher air pollution.” – The Guardian

March 9, 2023
The Rockies Are Brimming With Snow. The Drought Will Persist Anyway
“Colorado River levels are still dangerously low and nothing short of policymaking will change that.” – Bloomberg

March 9, 2023
How climate change threatens Asia’s water tower
“Tibet is known as the ‘Water Tower of Asia,’ providing water to about 2 billion people and supporting critical ecosystems in High Mountain Asia and the Tibetan Plateau, where many of the largest Asian river systems originate. This region is also one of the areas most vulnerable to the compounding effects of climate change and human activities…. The rapid melting of glaciers and snowpack due to regional temperature increases has caused an unprecedented decline in water availability. This creates cascading impacts on water, food and energy security. MSU researchers also have found that the warming of the northern Atlantic and Indian oceans is exacerbating these issues, threatening water security in the region and interfering with the delicate balance of water in the atmosphere and its transport.” – ScienceDaily

March 9, 2023
Oceans littered with 171 trillion plastic pieces
“Plastic kills fish and sea animals and takes hundreds of years to break down into less harmful materials. The concentration of plastics in the oceans has increased from 16 trillion pieces in 2005, data suggests. It could nearly triple by 2040 if no action is taken, scientists warn.” – BBC

March 8, 2023
Peeling Back the Sediment Layers
“The scientists’ research revealed that from around 1851 to the early 20th century, the construction of a steelworks and an asbestos plant, along with modifications to the bay such as the construction of a causeway between an island and the mainland, caused the seagrass and much of the marine life that depended upon it to disappear. This included species whose DNA the scientists found buried in the sediment but is not held in any database, suggesting they are not known to science. It’s a classic example of habitat degradation, Romero says, where specialists die off, leaving only those species that are able to survive stressful conditions.” – Hakai Magazine

March 8, 2023
Australia’s massive wildfires shredded the ozone layer — now scientists know why
“Smoke from the catastrophic 2019–20 fires unleashed ozone-eating chlorine molecules into the stratosphere.” – Nature

March 8, 2023
Half of Britain and Ireland’s native plants have declined over 20 years – study
Agricultural practices and the climate crisis are the main drivers of decline in native plant species, scientists said, as they called for urgent action to tackle the loss…. Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said: ‘The decline of our beautiful native plants is heartbreaking and has consequences for us all. The loss of natural habitats due to modern farming methods over the last 70 years has been an unmitigated disaster for wildflowers and all the species that depend on them including insects, bats and birds.'” – The Guardian

March 8, 2023
There are 21,000 pieces of plastic in the ocean for each person on Earth
“And plastic pollution has been doubling every six years.” – The New York Times

March 7, 2023
The creeping threat of the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt
“Visible from space, an explosion of harmful seaweed now stretches like a sea monster across the ocean…. Fed by human activity such as intensive soya farming in the Congo, the Amazon and the Mississippi, which dumps nitrogen and phosphorus into the ocean, the sargassum explosion is by far the biggest seaweed bloom on the planet. The Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt, as it’s known, is visible from space, stretching like a sea monster across the ocean, with its nose in the Gulf of Mexico and its tail in the mouth of the Congo. ‘I think I’ve replaced my climate change anxiety with sargassum anxiety,’ says Patricia Estridge, CEO of Seaweed Generation, a UK startup working to make seaweed commercially viable.” – The Guardian

March 6, 2023
Revealed: 1,000 super-emitting methane leaks risk triggering climate tipping points
“…Mostly from oil and gas facilities. The worst single leak spewed the pollution at a rate equivalent to 67m running cars. Separate data also reveals 55 ‘methane bombs’ around the world – fossil fuel extraction sites where gas leaks alone from future production would release levels of methane equivalent to 30 years of all US greenhouse gas emissions. Methane emissions cause 25% of global heating today and there has been a ‘scary’ surge since 2007, according to scientists. This acceleration may be the biggest threat to keeping below 1.5C of global heating and seriously risks triggering catastrophic climate tipping points, researchers say.” – The Guardian

March 6. 2023
Global craze for collagen linked to Brazilian deforestation
“Investigation finds cases of the wellness product, hailed for its anti-ageing benefits, being derived from cattle raised on farms damaging tropical forest.” – The Guardian

March 4, 2023
‘Everyone should be concerned’: Antarctic sea ice reaches lowest levels ever recorded
“The fate of Antarctica – especially the ice on land – is important because the continent holds enough ice to raise sea levels by many metres if it was to melt.” – The Guardian

March 3, 2023
Sea level rise poses particular risk for Asian megacities
“Sea level rise this century may disproportionately affect certain Asian megacities…. The study identified several Asian megacities that may face especially significant risks by 2100, including Chennai, Kolkata, Yangon, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, and Manila.” – ScienceDaily

March 3, 2023
Too late to save environment, says Green Party co-founder
“Michael Benfield, who helped set up the new political movement in the 1970s, said he believed the ‘battle for the world’s environmental survival’ was ‘at this moment, lost.”… The scale of the solutions which he believed were necessary would be simply too unpalatable for any political party to propose, he argues. The focus now, he thought, would have to be on mitigation. ‘It doesn’t mean to say that we can’t perhaps do other things to put things right, but it’s a very dire situation that we have,’ Mr Benfield said.” – BBC

March 2, 2023
How to Keep the World From Running Out of Water
“The megadrought that’s plagued the US West for years has impacted everything from the food Americans eat to their electricity supply. And while extreme weather can sometimes trigger wet winters like this one, in California and the rest of the region, the long-term future remains a very dry one.” – Bloomberg

February 27, 2023
One is bad enough: climate change raises the threat of back-to-back hurricanes
“Driven by a combination of rising sea levels and climate change, destructive hurricanes and tropical storms could become far more likely to hit coastal areas in quick succession, researchers found. In some areas such double hits could occur as frequently as once every 3 years.” – ScienceDaily

February 27, 2023
Human-wildlife conflicts rising worldwide with climate change
“Scientists reveal that a warming world is increasing human-wildlife conflicts globally. They show that climate shifts can drive conflicts by altering animal habitats, the timing of events, wildlife behaviors and resource availability. It also showed that people are changing their behaviors and locations in response to climate change in ways that increase conflicts.” – ScienceDaily

February 24, 2023
Marine heatwaves decimate sea urchins, molluscs and more at Rottnest
“Researchers believe rising sea temperatures are to blame for the plummeting number of invertebrates such as molluscs and sea urchins at Rottnest Island off Western Australia, with some species having declined by up to 90 per cent between 2007 and 2021.” – ScienceDaily

February 24, 2023
New study reveals biodiversity loss drove ecological collapse after the ‘Great Dying’
“The history of life on Earth has been punctuated by several mass extinctions, the greatest of these being the Permian-Triassic extinction event, also known as the ‘Great Dying, which occurred 252 million years ago…. Researchers from the California Academy of Sciences, the China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), and the University of Bristol – revealed that biodiversity loss may be the harbinger of a more devastating ecological collapse, a concerning finding given that the rate of species loss today outpaces that during the ‘Great Dying.’… The event itself wiped out 95% of life on Earth, or about 19 out of every 20 species. Likely triggered by increased volcanic activity and a subsequent spike in atmospheric carbon dioxide, it caused climatic conditions similar to the human-driven environmental challenges seen today, namely global warming, ocean acidification, and marine deoxygenation.” – ScienceDaily

February 23, 2023
Recapturing excess heat could power most of Europe, say experts
“Preventing heat waste largely being ignored as solution to energy crisis, say environmental campaigners.” – The Guardian

February 22, 2023
Climate ‘spiral’ threatens land carbon stores
“The world’s forests are losing their ability to absorb carbon due to increasingly ‘unstable’ conditions caused by humans, a landmark study has found.” – ScienceDaily

February 20, 2023
XDI Gross Domestic Climate Risk
“XDI has released a first-pass analysis of ‘Gross Domestic Climate Risk,’ calculating the physical climate risk to the built environment in over 2,600 territories around the world…. 80% of the top 50 most at-risk states and provinces in 2050 are in China, the United States or India. Other countries with multiple provinces and states in the top 50 include Brazil, Pakistan and Indonesia. In Europe, high-ranking states encompass the cities of London, Milan, Venice, Antwerp, Hanover and Lille.” – XDI

February 20, 2023
Revealed: The key cities and regions most at risk from climate change in 2050
“Experts say ‘Asia has the most to lose’ from worsening extreme weather events. The most developed and globally significant Asian economic hubs such as Beijing, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Taiwan, and Mumbai are among the top 100 cities at risk of climate damage, an independent climate risk analysis company found. These key economic hubs faced the highest risk of damage from extreme weather and climate crisis, according to the report released on Monday by the Cross Dependency Initiative (XDI).” – Independent

February 20, 2023
Half of China’s GDP at risk of climate-related disaster by 2050, Sydney-based research firm XDI says
Chinese provinces occupy 26 of the top 50 spots on a global list of states and provinces most at risk of climate-related disaster by 2050. Nine Chinese jurisdictions, which account for more than half of China’s total economic output, top the list from climate researcher XDI” – South China  Morning Post

February 17, 2023
Feedback loops make climate action even more urgent, scientists say
“Researchers have identified 26 global warming accelerators known as amplifying feedback loops that the researchers say aren’t being properly included in climate models. They note that the findings add urgency to the need to respond to the climate crisis and provide a roadmap for policymakers aiming to avert the most severe consequences of a warming planet.” – ScienceDaily

February 16, 2023
World risks descending into a climate ‘doom loop’, warn thinktanks
“It said simply coping with the escalating impacts of the climate crisis could draw resources and focus away from the efforts to slash carbon emissions, making the situation even worse. The damage caused by global heating across the globe is increasingly clear, and recovering from climate disasters is already costing billions of dollars. Furthermore, these disasters can cause cascading problems including water, food and energy crises, as well as increased migration and conflict, all draining countries’ resources.” – The Guardian

February 16, 2023
Climate: Lessons from the latest global warming
“56 million years ago, the Earth experienced one of the largest and most rapid climate warming events in its history: the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which has similarities to current and future warming. This episode saw global temperatures rise by 5-8°C. It was marked by an increase in the seasonality of rainfalls, which led to the movement of large quantities of clay into the ocean, making it uninhabitable for certain living species. This scenario could be repeated today.” – ScienceDaily

February 15, 2023
Amazon mammals threatened by climate change
“From jaguars and ocelots to anteaters and capybara, most land-based mammals living in the Brazilian Amazon are threatened by climate change and the projected savannization of the region. That’s according to a study published in the journal Animal Conservation by the University of California, Davis.” – ScienceDaily

February 15, 2023
Warming seas are carving into glacier that could trigger sea level rise
“New research provides a startling look at how warmer oceans, driven by climate change, are gouging the West Antarctic’s Thwaites Glacier.” – The Washington Post

February 15, 2023
Rising seas risk climate migration on ‘biblical scale,’ says U.N. chief
“The number of people forcibly displaced by war, food insecurity and changing climate conditions including severe drought already topped 100 million in 2022, according to the U.N. refugee agency, which is working toward a legal framework for climate refugees amid expectations their numbers will rise exponentially in coming years. The U.N. head has been battling to keep climate change at the top of the global agenda during a time of geopolitical upheaval. Last year, he warned the world was “sleepwalking to climate catastrophe,” as the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine undermined already lackluster efforts to meet global and national climate commitments.” – Washington Post

February 14, 2023
Floating ice around Antarctica just hit a record low
“At the top of Earth, Arctic sea ice is a main player in a crucial feedback that determines how much, and how rapidly, the Earth warms. Every time an area of ice melts and gets swapped out for an area of ocean, the Arctic absorbs more solar heat (because bright ice reflects much more radiation than dark ocean does). This unleashes a feedback in which warming shrinks sea ice, which enhances warming — one that is already afoot.” – The Washington Post

February 14, 2023
Upsurge in rocket launches could impact the ozone layer
“‘The current impact of rocket launches on the ozone layer is estimated to be small but has the potential to grow as companies and nations scale up their space programmes,’ Associate Professor in Environmental Physics Dr Laura Revell says. ‘Ozone recovery has been a global success story. We want to ensure that future rocket launches continue that sustainable recovery.'” – ScienceDaily

February 13, 2023
‘It’s inequality that kills’: Naomi Klein on the future of climate justice
“What is climate justice? I always think about climate justice as multitasking. We live in a time of multiple overlapping crises: we have a health emergency; we have a housing emergency; we have an inequality emergency; we have a racial injustice emergency; and we have a climate emergency, so we’re not going to get anywhere if we try to address them one at a time. We need responses that are truly intersectional. So how about as we decarbonise and create a less polluted world, we also build a much fairer society on multiple fronts?” – The Guardian

February 10, 2023
US coastal communities underestimate the danger posed by rising seas
“More than half of US coastal communities are underestimating the rise in sea levels that global warming might cause in their regions, according to a study.” – Nature

February 9, 2023
‘Monster profits’ for energy giants reveal a self-destructive fossil fuel resurgence
“Last year’s combined $200bn profit for the ‘big five’ oil and gas companies brings little hope of driving down emissions.” – The Guardian

February 8, 2023
How India is battling deadly rain storms as climate change bites
“South Asian weather is becoming increasingly difficult to forecast as monsoons grow more erratic — and global warming is raising the risks posed by violent rain storms…. ‘South Asia is like a poster child for climate change,’ says Koll. ‘Even as a climate scientist, I cannot imagine the impacts that South Asia would see. We are not prepared for the events that we already have.’” – Nature

February 8, 2023
Half the wetlands in Europe lost in past 300 years, researchers calculate
“Half the wetlands in Europe, continental US and China have been destroyed in the past 300 years, with some areas – including the UK, Ireland and Germany – losing more than 75%, new research shows. Globally, an area the size of India has disappeared…. Wetlands are important for biodiversity: up to 40% of the planet’s species live and breed in them. They also purify water, protect against flooding and improve the physical wellbeing of people in urban areas…. ‘Wetlands are actually the superheroes of the natural world and can provide us with the ultimate nature-based solutions to tackle climate breakdown and its effects. We must do everything we can to not just halt this 20% loss but actually reverse it, and increase our wetland areas as a matter of urgency’” said Dr Christian Dunn, from Bangor University and chair of the British Ecological Society Welsh Policy Group, who was not involved in the research.” – The Guardian

February 8, 2023
He Paid $1 Million For Destroying Wetlands. Now He’s Fighting Clean Water Rules In Congress.
“More than 200 Republican members of Congress introduced legislation last week to strike down a Biden administration rule restoring long-standing federal protections for hundreds of thousands of streams and wetlands across the country — safeguards that the Trump administration dismantled in 2020. Among the co-sponsors of the House resolution is Rep. John Duarte (R-Calif.), who in 2017 paid $1.1 million in fines for illegally plowing 22 acres of federally protected streams and wetlands on his farm.” – HuffPost

February 7, 2023
The Worst Corporate Scandal in History
“After Exxon’s very capable scientists discovered that the company’s core product would cause a global catastrophe, what did the company’s executives do? Did they transition the company away from fossil fuels and toward more sustainable energy products? Did they alert the public to the dangers of burning coal and oil? Nope. They lied.” – Medium

February 7, 2023
Huge chunk of plants, animals in U.S. at risk of extinction
“A leading conservation research group found that 40% of animals and 34% of plants in the United States are at risk of extinction, while 41% of ecosystems are facing collapse…. NatureServe, which analyzes data from its network of over 1,000 scientists across the United States and Canada, said the report was its most comprehensive yet, synthesizing five decades’ worth of its own information on the health of animals, plants and ecosystems.” – Reuters

February 7, 2023
Glacial flooding threatens millions globally
Fifteen million people around the world are at risk from flooding caused by glacial lakes, with just four countries — India, Pakistan, China and Peru — accounting for more than half of those exposed.” – ScienceDaily

February 7, 2023
BP scales back climate goals as profits more than double to £23bn
B”P has scaled back its climate ambitions as it announced that annual profits more than doubled to $28bn (£23bn) in 2022 after a sharp increase in gas prices linked to the Ukraine war boosted its earnings.” – The Guardian

February 7, 2023
Devastating cost of future coastal flooding for many developing nations predicted in new study
“New global modelling predicts the devastating socioeconomic impacts of future extreme coastal flooding for developing nations caused by climate change, with Asia, West Africa and Egypt facing severe costs in the coming decades…. Without adaptation measures, the modelling predicted the number of people affected by extreme coastal flooding could increase from 34 million people per year in 2015 to 246 million people by 2100. The expected annual global cost of extreme coastal flooding damage could increase from 0.3 per cent of global GDP in 2015 to 2.9 per cent by 2100.” – ScienceDaily

February 6, 2023
Antibiotic use in farming set to soar despite drug-resistance fears
“The use of antibiotics in animal farming — a major contributor to antimicrobial resistance — is expected to grow by 8% between 2020 and 2030 despite ongoing efforts to curtail their use, according to an analysis1.” – Nature

February 4, 2023
Clue to rising sea levels lies in DNA of 4m-year-old octopus, scientists say
“Deep in the DNA of an Antarctic octopus, scientists may have uncovered a major clue about the future fate of the continent’s ice sheet – raising fears global heating could soon set off runaway melting…. The ice sheet holds enough water to raise sea levels by 3 to 4 metres with fears that global heating could soon push it towards runaway melting that would lock-in rising sea levels over centuries.” – The Guardian

February 1, 2023
1.5-degree goal not plausible: Social change more important than physical tipping points
“What has been achieved to date is insufficient.” – ScienceDaily

February 1, 2023
Soil tainted by air pollution expels carbon
New research suggests nitrogen released by gas-powered machines causes dry soil to let go of carbon and release it back into the atmosphere, where it can contribute to climate change. ‘Air pollution generated by fossil fuel combustion has an impact on many things, including human health by causing asthma,’ Homyak said. ‘It can also impact the amount of carbon these dryland systems can store for us. For many reasons, we have to get a handle on air pollution.'” – ScienceDaily

February 1, 2023
Climate change may cut US forest inventory by a fifth this century
“A study found that under more severe climate warming scenarios, the inventory of trees used for timber in the continental United States could decline by as much as 23% by 2100. The largest inventory losses would occur in two of the leading timber regions in the U.S., which are both in the South.” – ScienceDaily

January 31, 2023
Over 4% of summer mortality in European cities is attributable to urban heat islands
“One third of these deaths could be prevented by reaching a tree cover of 30%, according to a modelling study. The study results, obtained with data from 93 European cities, highlight the substantial benefits of planting more trees in cities to attenuate the impact of climate change.” – ScienceDaily

January 31. 2023
Hydrogen fuel from the ocean? Scientists say they’ve found a way to do it
“Existing technologies need high-purity water to create hydrogen, so the researchers looked to ‘an almost infinite resource.’… Hydrogen is regarded as the ultimate, non-polluting fuel and energy-storage medium of the future…. But using vast amounts of fresh water to produce hydrogen could worsen water shortages so they looked to the ocean, which has nearly 97 per cent of the Earth’s water and is ‘an almost infinite resource.'” – SCMP

January 29, 2023
Death in the marshes: environmental calamity hits Iraq’s unique wetlands
‘The ruin of nearly 3,000 sq km (1,000 sq miles) of this unique ecosystem is a small example of the unprecedented environmental disaster unfolding in Iraq. Rivers and lakes that had spawned farming communities since the dawn of civilisation are drying up, the country’s water reserves reduced by half, while the Iraqi ministry of water resources estimates that one-quarter of Iraq’s fresh water will be lost in the next decade…. From the impact of global heating to Turkey’s reduction of the water volume flowing through the Tigris and Euphrates, Iran’s diversion of tributary rivers such as the Karun, and the discharge of raw sewage and oil industry chemicals into Shatt al-Arab. ‘Even the upstream provinces are taking Basra’s share of fresh water because of the expansion of their population.’ The high salinity in the water flowing naturally through the irrigation canals is now causing the palm trees to die.” – The Guardian

January 27, 2023
UK substantially underestimates its methane emissions from oil and gas production — and many other countries probably do too
“Researchers conclude that as much as five times more methane is being leaked from oil and gas production than reported. Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide, contributing about 1 degree Fahrenheit of present-day global warming relative to pre-industrial times.”– ScienceDaily

January 27, 2023
Burning Trees in the Amazon Melts Snow in the Himalayas
“Scientists have found that the Earth’s largest rainforest and its so-called third pole are connected by atmospheric currents that carry heat and rain across the planet.” – Bloomberg

January 24, 2023
Bird flu outbreak in mink sparks concern about spread in people
“A variant of H5N1 influenza that can spread between mammals could pose an increased risk to people and wild animals.” – Nature

January 24, 2023
Doomsday Clock hits 90 seconds to midnight, its most dire prediction ever
“The world is 90 seconds away from ‘midnight,’ according to the Doomsday Clock, the closest it has ever been to the symbolic hour of apocalypse. The people who run the clock say that’s largely a reflection of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — including of the potential use of nuclear weapons and because the conflict is encouraging continued dependence on fossil fuels in Europe. For the first time, the announcement of the clock’s movement toward catastrophe was released in Russian and Ukrainian as well as English, something Rachel Bronson, CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said the organization hopes brings the dire forecast ‘the attention it deserves.’” – The Washington Post

January 23, 2023
Can elephants save the planet?
“Researchers report that elephants play a key role in creating forests which store more atmospheric carbon and maintaining the biodiversity of forests in Africa. If the already critically endangered elephants become extinct, rainforest of central and west Africa, the second largest rainforest on earth, would lose between six and nine percent of their ability to capture atmospheric carbon, amplifying planetary warming.” – ScienceDaily

January 20, 2023
When scientists tagged a curious seal, he led them to signs of a potential climate disaster
“That would have the potential to unleash over 15 feet of sea level rise, remaking every coastline in the world.” – The Washington Post

January 18, 2023
Global warming reaches central Greenland
“At high elevations of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the years 2001 to 2011 were 1.5 °C warmer than in the 20th century and represent the warmest decade in the last thousand years.” – ScienceDaily

January 17, 2023
Climate change likely to uproot more Amazon trees
“Tropical forests are crucial for sucking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But they’re also subject to intense storms that can cause ‘windthrow’ — the uprooting or breaking of trees. A new study finds that more extreme thunderstorms from climate change will likely cause a greater number of large windthrow events in the Amazon, which could impact the rainforest’s ability to serve as a carbon sink.” – ScienceDaily

January 17, 2023
How dark money groups led Ohio to redefine gas as ‘green energy’
“But Ohio’s new law is anything but homegrown, according to documents reviewed by The Washington Post. The Empowerment Alliance, a dark money group with ties to the gas industry, helped Ohio lawmakers push the narrative that the fuel is clean, the documents show…. ‘
What the emails reveal is just how closely Ohio lawmakers coordinated with a natural gas industry group on the new law that misleadingly defines methane gas as green energy, as the first step of a plan to introduce similar legislation in multiple states,’ said Dave Anderson, policy and communications manager for the Energy and Policy Institute.” – The Washington Post

January 17, 2023
Banks still investing heavily in fossil fuels despite net zero pledges – study
“Financial institutions signed up to GFANZ initiative accused of acting as ‘climate arsonists.’” – The Guardian

January 16, 2023
Climate conundrum: Study finds ants aren’t altering behavior in rising temperatures
“A new study finds that ants are not adjusting their behavior in response to warming temperatures, persisting in sub-optimal microhabitats even when optimal ones were present. The finding suggests ants may not be able to adjust their behavior in response to warming ecosystems.” – ScienceDaily

January 14, 2023
A Deal to Help South Africa Is a Breakthrough for the World
“South Africa generates 80 percent of its electricity by burning coal, more than any other industrialized nation. Some 200,000 people are directly employed by the coal mines, coal transports and coal-fired power plants that dot the flatlands east of Johannesburg, but the prosperity of the rest of the nation also rests on a foundation of black rock. Now, the South African government, with the help of the United States and European nations, is embarking on an audacious plan to quit coal without undermining economic growth. If it works, the proposed transition to solar and wind power could fuel faster growth and create a template for coal-dependent nations to confront climate change. This is a significant opportunity, and it deserves support and attention.” – The New York Times

January 12, 2023
How climate change will make atmospheric rivers even worse
“Atmospheric rivers are projected to become wetter, larger and more damaging as temperatures rise.” – The Washington Post

January 12, 2023
Exxon Mobil’s Climate Predictions ‘Astonishingly’ Accurate Since 1970s: Study
“Exxon Mobil’s scientists were remarkably accurate in their predictions about global warming, even as the company made public statements that contradicted its own scientists’ conclusions, a new study says.” – HuffPost

January 11, 2023
Oceans surged to another record-high temperature in 2022
“The amount of excess heat buried in the planet’s oceans, a strong marker of climate change, reached a record high in 2022, reflecting more stored heat energy than in any year since reliable measurements were available in the late 1950s, a group of scientists reported Wednesday.” – The Washington Post

January 10, 2023
The Last 8 Years Were the Hottest on Record
NASA’s analysis ranked 2022 as tied with 2015 for fifth warmest, while NOAA had last year as the sixth warmest. ‘But ranks only tell you part of the story,’ said Russell Vose, a NOAA scientist. What’s more important, he said, is that the past eight years are the warmest ever. ‘They really do stand apart,’ he said. Each of the past four decades has been warmer than one that preceded it, Dr. Vose added. Overall, the world is now 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.1 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter than it was in the second half of the 19th century, when emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels became widespread.” – The New York Times

January 10 2023
Videos, Photos and Maps of the Damage From the California Storms

“Scenes of the destruction played out across the state.” – The New York Times

January 9, 2023
One billion days lost: How COVID-19 is hurting the US workforce
“COVID-19 may no longer be a pandemic, but the disease likely reduced the availability of the US workforce by as much as 2.6 percent in 2022—a burden on productivity that could last for years.” – MvKinsey

January 6, 2023
The world’s torrid future is etched in the crippled kidneys of Nepali workers
“One-third of transplant patients at a center near Kathmandu have been young men who worked abroad in extreme heat.” – The Washington Post

January 5, 2023
Half of Earth’s glaciers could melt even if key warming goal is met, study says
“New research suggests that even at 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming above preindustrial levels, the Earth will lose nearly half of its glaciers.” – The Washington Post

January 4, 2023
Has the Amazon Reached Its ‘Tipping Point’?
“The lungs of the earth are exhaling greenhouse gases. But her discovery was actually much more alarming than that. Because burning trees release a high proportion of carbon monoxide, she could separate these emissions from the total. And in the southeastern Amazon, air samples still showed net emissions, suggesting that the ecosystem itself could be releasing more carbon than it absorbed, thanks in part to decomposing plant matter — or in Gatti’s words, “effectively dying more than growing.” The first time I spoke to Gatti, she repurposed a lyric by the Brazilian crooner Jorge Ben Jor. How could this be happening, she asked, in a ‘tropical country, blessed by God/and beautiful by nature’”? – The New York Times

January 4, 2023
Climate change could cause ‘disaster’ in the world’s oceans
“Researchers have concluded that the Southern Meridional Overturning Circulation could completely shut down by 2300, causing disaster to the marine ecosystem on a large portion of the planet.” – ScienceDaily

January 4, 2023
How climate change impacts the Indian Ocean dipole, leading to severe droughts and floods
“A phenomenon that can lead to sometimes deadly weather-related events like megadroughts in East Africa and severe flooding in Indonesia.” – ScienceDaily

January 4, 2023
Cyclone researchers: Warming climate means more and stronger Atlantic tropical storms
“Tropical cyclone researchers report a warming climate could increase the number of tropical cyclones and their intensity in the North Atlantic, potentially creating more and stronger hurricanes.” – ScienceDaily

January 3, 2023
These are trends shaping the future of food
“Our ability to feed a growing global population is under threat, according to a new report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The future of food and agriculture: Drivers and triggers for transformation, released in December 2022, warns that without broader changes on a socioeconomic and environmental level, we will not be able to build and maintain sustainable agrifood systems. ‘Many of the SDGs (UN Sustainable Development Goals) are not on track and will only be achieved if agrifood systems are transformed properly to withstand ongoing global adversity that undermines food security and nutrition due to growing structural inequalities and also regional inequalities,’ FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said at a launch event.”

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