What Species Will Become Extinct With Glacial Melts?

One of those sites from Mother Nature which remain with me is from the airline as it left Seattle.  It was a clear day–which is far from a certainty when wishing to view Mount Rainier.  For a long time I was able to look out of the window, and then look back again, and still see the power of that image.  I had the window seat as I knew James was exhausted and would fall asleep as soon as we took off.  (He did.) But I think folks can sleep ‘in the future’ so take in everything when able–and so those images of Rainier lingering off in the distance is a joyous one.

Which leads me to this link— a most powerful series of pics and maps that open with this link–it will be different from any other news story you click today. Click and learn.

As surely as they are melting elsewhere around the world, glaciers are disappearing in North America, too.

This great melting will affect ecosystems and the creatures within them, like the salmon that spawn in meltwater streams. This is on top of the effects on the water that billions of people drink, the crops they grow and the energy they need.

Glacier-fed ecosystems are delicately balanced, populated by species that have adapted to the unique conditions of the streams. As glaciers shrink and meltwater eventually declines, changes in water temperature, nutrient content and other characteristics will disrupt those natural communities.

“Lots of these ecosystems have evolved with the glaciers for thousands of years or maybe longer,” said Jon Riedel, a geologist with the National Park Service who has established glacier monitoring programs at Rainier and other parks.

“The Real Emergency” By Barry Blitt

Perfectly illustrated.

Climate Change And Baseball

Our changing climate appears to be impacting major league baseball.

This season 53 major league baseball games have been cancelled.  That makes it the 2nd most since Major League Baseball began tracking such things in 1986.

And since I have a soft spot for the Cubbies ( I am not in any shape, manner, or form a Brewers fan) it needs to be stated they and the Yankees are tied with nine games “scratched for bad weather–the most in more than a decade.”

Trump Wrong About Forest Fires

The lack of cogent thinking from Donald Trump showcased itself this week–and yes it is only Tuesday– when he decided to know something about forest fires.  

No one would mistake President Trump for an expert on climate change or water policy, but a tweet he issued late Sunday about California’s wildfires deserves some sort of award for most glaring misstatements about those two issues in the smallest number of words.

Trump blamed the fires on “bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized.” He complained that water needed for firefighting is being “diverted into the Pacific Ocean.”

What he overlooked, plainly, is the increasing agreement among experts that intensifying climate change has contributed to the intensity of the wildfire season. California’s woodlands have been getting drier and hotter. As my colleagues Rong-Gong Lin II and Javier Panzar reported over the weekend, “California has been getting hotter for some time, but July was in a league of its own.”

Let’s take Trump’s misconceptions in order. The likeliest explanation for his take on water is that he’s confused by the demands for more irrigation water he’s hearing from Republican officeholders in the Central Valley. They’re the people who grouse about water being “wasted” by being diverted to the ocean, rather than into their fields.

Their demands have nothing to do with the availability of water for firefighting. Fire agencies haven’t been complaining about a lack of water, especially water “diverted” to the Pacific. Major reservoirs are near the worst fire zones; the Carr fire is near Lake Shasta and Whiskeytown Lake and the Mendocino Complex fire is near Clear Lake. All are at or near their historical levels.

“There have been no issues getting water from them,” Scott McLean, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, told me.

Cal Fire, which is managing the wildfire battle, has deployed some 200 water tenders to the fire zone and is dispatching air tankers as flying conditions permit.

“The idea that there isn’t enough water is the craziest thing in the world,” says Peter Gleick, president emeritus of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland. “There’s absolutely no shortage.”

The availability of water isn’t necessarily a governing factor in fighting wildfires, which aren’t battled like tenement blazes in the urban center. The battle is dictated by topography, the construction of physical fire breaks, and the use of fire retardant dropped from airborne vessels.

What About Those Rising Seas?

A topic we need to contend with as climate change moves forward.

Retreating from the coasts, in concept or practice, is not popular. Why would people abandon their community, the thinking goes, unless no better alternatives remained? To emergency responders, retreat is a form of flood mitigation. To environmental advocates, it’s ecological restoration. To resilience planners, it’s adaptation to climate change. Everyone agrees, however, that retreat sounds like defeat.

Will Trump Administration Contradict Scientists On Climate Change?

Why does science scare some conservative Republicans?

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.

“Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans,” a draft of the report states. A copy of it was obtained by The New York Times.

The authors note that thousands of studies, conducted by tens of thousands of scientists, have documented climate changes on land and in the air. “Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change,” they wrote.

The report was completed this year and is a special science section of the National Climate Assessment, which is congressionally mandated every four years. The National Academy of Sciences has signed off on the draft report, and the authors are awaiting permission from the Trump administration to release it.

Watch Sea Ice Levels Melting Over The Decades

Here  is a fascinating way to watch the melting of sea ice which has been occurring at an accelerating pace in our planet’s arctic regions. This is a moving plot of the loss of sea ice since 1978–the period of satellite ice measurements. When the plot lines fall inside the plot of previous year’s sea ice melt, it’s a sign the ice melt is in uncharted territory and that sea ice levels are below any previously observed over the 39 year observational period.

I also found this interesting.  The Associated Press has reported on how sea ice loss reinforces the planetary warming.

These reports and information all comes amid news of greater concern about a ice berg which has just calved from Greenland than was the case with the large Antarctic iceberg which captured headlines just several weeks ago. The Greenland iceberg is more directly tied to planetary warming and it, and others like it, will have more impact on sea level increases for reasons that are explained in this Scientific American article.

I would like to say happy reading but the topic is troubling. But we must be aware of the changing climate and the consequences to our planet.

This Is What Trump Voters Have Done To Our Country, And The World

I am so embarrassed about about is happening to our nation.  And the under-educated who cast a ballot for Donald Trump are not even aware of what they have done!

President Donald Trump has announced the US will withdraw from the Paris climate deal, sparking intense reaction around the world. Here’s what you need to know:

Let us note that the timing of this process matters.   Though the idiot announced he will withdraw the United States from participation in the Paris climate accord he did say he would stick to the withdrawal process laid out in the Paris agreement, which President Barack Obama joined and most of the world has already ratified. That could take nearly four years to complete, meaning a final decision would be up to the American voters in the next presidential election.  By then–and I predict long before–the national blow back on Trump and those who supported him will usher in a very different era.

Trump’s reasoning: Trump argued that the climate accord was a bad deal for the US and will hurt job growth. This is not true; read this reporting.

Renegotiation: Trump said he’s interested in renegotiating a new plan, but if he can’t, “that’s fine.”

The cost: Scientists say any delay in US efforts to halt greenhouse gas emissions could cost everyone in the long term. The US is the second largest emitter, only behind China, which is staying in the deal.

The future: The vast majority of scientists agree that higher temperatures will cause rising seas, flooded coastal cities, mass extinction, drought, migration crises, deadlier heatwaves, crop failures and stronger storms.

And now, the response: