climate change | WCAI

climate change

 When people feel threatened, they’re more receptive to politicians who espouse xenophobic rhetoric.
Trybex/Shutterstock.com

By Joshua Conrad Jackson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Michele Gelfand, University of Maryland

Two trends have defined the past decade and both have been on display at this year’s session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Eve Zuckoff

After studying the frozen parts of Earth for the last three years, scientists with the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have issued a major warning. 

In a new report, the scientists say they underestimated the rate at which the climate is changing.

Addressing the Issue of Climate Justice

Sep 23, 2019

Climate change is real, it’s human-caused, and it will affect everyone. But the impacts will vary from place to place and person to person. And, already, there are major disparities in climate impacts. Women are disproportionately impacted, as are those with limited financial resources.

The four Catholic bishops of Massachusetts co-signed a letter calling for immediate and wide-ranging action against climate change.

The leaders are urging parishioners, businesses, and schools to take what they call "meaningful steps to protect the environment” and “take better care of our common home” by curbing the impact of toxic pollution and climate change.

An Opportunity To Reduce Carbon: Plug Gas Leaks

Sep 15, 2019
rperlin83, https://tinyurl.com/y2fafqgh

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas--many times more powerful than carbon dioxide. It is also the main ingredient in the natural gas that we use for heating and cooking.

EPA officials have known for some time that leaks from natural gas pipelines and other infrastructure are a major source of methane emissions.

Christina Koch, NASA

Hurricanes that stall are becoming more common. They can dump more rain than a faster-moving hurricane and often follow a less predictable path.

Dorian is just the latest example. One study found that over the past 70 years Atlantic hurricanes have gotten more likely to stall.

Woods Hole Research Center/IPAM-Amazonia

Scientists from the Woods Hole Research Center and IPAM-Amazonia say the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by fires burning in the Amazon rainforest could hasten the effects of climate change. 

New estimates suggest the fires have produced as much as 140 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. That’s the equivalent to the annual emissions from about 30 million cars.  

 

Since Bruno Gallinelli bought his Surf Drive home two years ago, he says he’s invested over $2 million renovating the property.  As coastal erosion and flooding increasingly batter the area, the Town of Falmouth is developing resiliency plans to that coul
Eve Zuckoff

Heading east on Surf Drive in Falmouth, a postcard-ready vista unfolds: a mile-and-a-half-long stretch of sandy beach with narrow dunes, osprey nests, the Shining Sea Bike Path, and the landmark town bathhouse that’s survived every hurricane since 1930.

Frank Paul, University of Zurich

How an issue is portrayed in the media can have a huge effect on how it is perceived by the public. When it comes to climate change, a lot of attention has been dedicated to how much the issue is covered. And whether that coverage is scientifically accurate.

How Arctic Researchers Hold On To Hope

Aug 19, 2019
NASA/Kathryn Hansen

There’s record low Arctic sea ice. There’s record melting of Greenland’s glaciers. There’s unprecedented permafrost melting. And more than a million acres has been burned by wildfires in Alaska.

Each of these stories has garnered headlines this summer, but they have tended to be presented as separate events. In actuality, they are all part of the broader phenomenon of extreme Arctic warming, and they are intimately linked to each other.

Tired runners cool off during a training session for Sunday's 47th Falmouth Road Race. As temperatures and humidty rise as a result of climate change, managing the heat is increasingly part of training.
Eve Zuckoff

 

“March, march, march, march!”

 

On a hot August night in Falmouth, fitness coach Anne Curi Preisig leads a group of women through a workout in her backyard. 

Even after 7 p.m., it’s still 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

D. Gordon E. Robertson / Wiki Commons / bit.ly/1kvyKWi

 

The Trump administration announced plans on Monday to roll back some protections laid out in the Endangered Species Act. The changes include reversals on habitat protections, and removing some safeguards for species that are considered “threatened,” the status below endangered.

Solving the world’s climate problems will require many kinds of brain power.
UC Irvine School of Humanities / CC BY-ND

Steven D. Allison, University of California, Irvine and Tyrus Miller, University of California, Irvine

Large wildfires in the Arctic and intense heat waves in Europe are just the latest evidence that climate change is becoming the defining event of our time. Unlike other periods that came and went, such as the 1960s or the dot-com boom, an era of unchecked climate change will lead to complex and irreversible changes in Earth’s life support systems.

Photo Courtesy: Sue Natali

Extreme heat in Europe and the continental U.S. has made headlines this summer. What you may not have heard about is what’s been going on in Alaska: 90 degree temps in the arctic, wildfires and rare lightning storms, and the ground literally collapsing due to the melting of permafrost.

Inconspicuous Consumption Still Has A Cost

Jul 29, 2019
Tatiana Schlossberg looked into the environmental footprint of several sectors of the fashion industry.
Emily Orpin, https://tinyurl.com/yxp7kry9

We've all heard of conspicuous consumption -- big fancy houses, big fancy cars, designer clothes, and luxurious vacations. That kind of lifestyle comes with a big price tag and a big carbon footprint. But here's the thing. We are all consumers. And the food we buy and the clothes we wear have environmental impacts that we often underestimate or ignore altogether.

Entanglement in fishing gear is the suspected cause of death for some of the eight North Atlantic right whales found dead in recent weeks.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada / Fisheries and Oceans Canada

 

 

At the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, Christy Hudak, a researcher in the Right Whale Ecology Program, leaned over a microscope looking at a water sample, counting and categorizing different kinds of plankton.  

“Right whales love specific type of plankton, which are called copepods. They are more of a tiny  crustacean plankton—think of crabs, or shrimp,” Hudak said. 

Eve Zuckoff

In the last month, eight North Atlantic right whales have been found dead in Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence, including two members of the critically endangered species this past week.  

 

Canadian authorities say work to determine these new whales' cause of death is ongoing.

Whatever the cause of these latest deaths, researchers worry collisions with ships are increasingly to blame.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

A new report predicts coastal communities in the Northeast will be hit harder by high tide flooding than any other region in the country.  

Like Politics, All Sea-Level Rise Is Local

Jul 7, 2019
Brewster, Mass., is experiencing sea level rise, and with it, erosion.
muffinman71xx, https://tinyurl.com/y4obju7q

Much of what we hear about rising sea levels consists of long-range projections hundreds of years in the future -- projections that mostly consider the impact of melting ice.

But this global perspective won't tell you what will happen at any particular location. And it turns out, all sea level rise is local.

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet launching from the USS Theodore Roosevelt on full afterburner.
U.S. Navy/Wikimedia

By Neta C. Crawford, Boston University

Republished from TheConversation.com

Scientists and security analysts have warned for more than a decade that global warming is a potential national security concern.

May brought record tornado activity, with more than 300 tornadoes in the second half of the month.
TheAustinMan / TheAustinMan [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Record rainfall in California. Record flooding in the mid-West. Record tornado activity in the central and southeastern U.S. And, while federal forecasters are calling for a near-normal level of hurricane activity this summer, the first named storm formed almost two weeks before the official start of hurricane season. In fact, extreme and record-setting weather seems to be the norm this year.

The majority of Americans - across party lines - support more funding for renewable energy research and tax incentives for solar panel purchases.
Vera Kratochvil / CCO 1.0 Public Domain

A new CNN poll finds that climate change is the most prevalent issue on the minds of Democratic voters. Eighty two percent of survey respondents told CNN that they think it is very important that the Democratic for president support taking aggressive action to slow the effects of climate change. Not even universal healthcare garnered a “very important” rating from that many prospective voters.

And, sure enough, some would-be Democratic nominees are making climate change a signature issue. Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren have all outlined plans.

Phragmites, an invasive species, line this marsh at Sachuest Point in Middletown, Rhode island.
Tom Sturm/USFWS / Public Domain

By Judith Weis, Professor Emerita of Biological Sciences, Rutgers University Newark

byrev/Pixabay

The Green New Deal has ignited a theatrical debate in Congress, from posters of a velociraptor-riding President Reagan on the Senate floor to press briefings of hamburger-eating leg

Climate Change A Factor In Historic Midwest Floods

Mar 24, 2019
The Missouri River near Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.
Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Nebraska is facing more than one billion dollars in damage due to historic and devastating flooding this past week. The storm that set things into motion was powerful –a so-called bomb cyclone. But the amount of rain it delivered doesn’t account for the flooding on its own.

Pages