Update for August 2018

Top stories

Existential risk of climate change is underestimated.

https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/148cb0_a0d7c18a1bf64e698a9c8c8f18a42889.pdf

 

Great Barrier Reef headed for “massive death.”

https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2018/08/world/great-barrier-reef/

 

World’s largest penguin colony has collapsed.

https://vancouversun.com/news/world/the-worlds-largest-king-penguin-colony-has-collapsed-losing-nearly-90-per-cent-of-its-population/wcm/0f6fcff8-e568-414c-92ef-162e94a072d5

 

Arctic’s strongest sea ice breaks up for first time on record

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/21/arctics-strongest-sea-ice-breaks-up-for-first-time-on-record

 

 

New Jersey stories

Cars swept away by flash flood at dealership in Caldwell.

https://www.nj.com/passaic-county/index.ssf/2018/08/dealerships_cars_swept_away_like_bumper_boats_in_f.html

 

State of emergency declared in Monmouth and Ocean Counties after flooding.

https://www.app.com/story/weather/2018/08/14/nj-state-emergency-declared-after-flooding-nj/993346002/

 

Parkway lane closed by flooding in Wall.  Traffic also affected on routes 18, 33, 35, and 71.

https://patch.com/new-jersey/wall/flooding-closes-parkway-lane-wall

 

Taxpayers hit by $700 million in cleanup costs for 3,300 homes and businesses with repeated flooding (most have flooded 5 times or more).

https://www.nj.com/data/2018/07/these_nj_properties_flood_over_and_over_again_costing_taxpayers_like_you_millions.html

 

Woodbridge homeowner highlighted in Scientific American article about how some communities are retreating from rising seas.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/surrendering-to-rising-seas

 

New report highlights how New Jersey can benefit from offshore wind.

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/18/08/16/wind-power-is-it-a-huge-opportunity-for-new-jersey-and-how-soon-will-it-get-going/

 

New Brunswick approved an ordinance to move to 100% clean energy (see first item in minutes):

http://thecityofnewbrunswick.org/city-council/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2018/08/08-15-18.pdf

 

Hottest August ever recorded in New Jersey.

https://www.njtvonline.org/news/video/preliminary-numbers-show-august-was-hottest-ever-recorded-in-nj/

 

Report predicts tidal flooding will be costly for New Jersey.

https://www.njtvonline.org/news/video/report-predicts-high-cost-of-tidal-flooding-for-nj-coast/

 

Climate change affecting home values on Jersey Shore.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-23/climate-change-has-already-hit-home-prices-led-by-jersey-shore

 

Flooding victims at risk of fraud while rebuilding.

https://www.app.com/story/news/crime/2018/08/22/forum-helps-flood-victims-avoid-fraud/1052815002/

 

Hot, humid, rainy weather led to more mushroom growth and accidental poisonings.

https://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2018/08/why_is_there_a_spike_in_mushrooms_poisonings_in_ne.html

 

New Jersey considering electric buses for public transportation.

https://www.nj.com/traffic/index.ssf/2018/08/diesel_buses_smell_and_pollute_so_whats_delaying_e.html

 

How much hotter is it?  Interactive site shows you, for any city.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/30/climate/how-much-hotter-is-your-hometown.html

 

 

Impacts on communities

Globally, the poor and isolated have been most affected by this summer’s heat waves, as 30% of the world’s population is exposed to deadly heat for more than 20 days a year.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/aug/13/heat-next-big-inequality-issue-heatwaves-world

 

In the U.S. heat waves now kill more people than floods, hurricanes or other natural disasters.

https://amp.theguardian.com/cities/2018/aug/14/it-cant-get-much-hotter-can-it-how-heat-became-a-national-us-problem

 

Cities in the Southwest are maneuvering to remain livable.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/as-temperatures-keep-trending-up-heat-belt-cities-maneuver-to-stay-livable/2018/08/29/3c7ef2f2-ab15-11e8-a8d7-0f63ab8b1370_story.html

 

Slow recovery in Texas results in “Harvey Homeless.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/hurricane-harvey-aftermath-and-recovery

 

Sea level rise has eroded some coastal home values by 7% (article focuses on Charleston, SC).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/sea-level-rise-is-eroding-home-value-and-owners-might-not-even-know-it/2018/08/20/ff63fa8c-a0d5-11e8-93e3-24d1703d2a7a_story.html

 

Used car buyers need to watch out for cars damaged by flooding.

https://www.consumerreports.org/buying-a-car/beware-the-flood-of-flood-cars/

 

Florida’s red tide has been made worse by several different effects of climate change: warmer air and water, higher sea level resulting in more shallow areas, and extreme rainfall causing an increase of agricultural run-off.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2018/08/14/how-climate-change-is-making-red-tide-algal-blooms-even-worse

 

 

Public opinion

The melting Arctic, with temperatures 45 degrees above normal: does anybody care?

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/arctic-ice-melting-716647/

 

World is “waking up” to climate change.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/17/world-waking-up-to-reality-climate-change-hothouse-earth-author

 

 

Public policy

World is not yet on track to “park the planet at a stable temperature.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/06/domino-effect-of-climate-events-could-push-earth-into-a-hothouse-state

 

Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule was proposed as replacement for Clean Power Plan.  Experts say the proposal “would mean years of delay in curbing one of the world’s most dire problems — the greenhouse gas pollution that causes climate change.”

 

To comment on the new rule, go to:

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-08/documents/ace_overview_0.pdf

 

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/21/trump-issues-rollback-of-obamas-biggest-climate-rule-790226

 

Trump Administration proposed rolling back auto fuel efficiency and pollution goals.

 

To comment, go to:

https://www.epa.gov/regulations-emissions-vehicles-and-engines/safer-affordable-fuel-efficient-safe-vehicles-proposed

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/02/climate/trump-auto-emissions-california.html

 

Big Oil asked government to protect its facilities from climate change.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/texas-protect-oil-facilities-from-climate-change-coastal-spine/

 

Shell Oil is encouraging lawmakers to support a price on carbon.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/shell-oil-quietly-urges-lawmakers-to-support-carbon-tax/

 

Oregon’s Supreme Court handed a major victory to Portland in its effort to restrict fossil fuel infrastructure.

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2018-08-07/portlands-efforts-to-crack-down-on-fossil-fuels-just-won-big/

 

 

Climate records and trends

Earth is now the hottest it has been in 120,000 years.

https://mashable.com/2018/08/27/earth-warmest-temperatures-climate-change

 

Worst monsoon in decades kills 300 in India.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/people-plucked-rooftops-indian-floods-kill-more-300-n901671

 

Scorching Summer in Europe Signals Long-Term Climate Changes.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/04/world/europe/europe-heat-wave.html

 

Mendocino fire the largest in California history.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-california-wildfires-danger-level-20180806-story.html

 

Hottest rainfall ever recorded, 119 degrees. 

https://www.newsweek.com/worlds-hottest-rain-fell-california-setting-new-record-1057622

 

 

Business perspective

In Miami, real estate values are shifting based on elevation above sea level.

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2018/08/29/climate-gentrification-is-changing-miami-real-estate-values.html

 

HSBC, one of the world’s largest banks, warned that companies and governments are not adequately prepared for climate change (also that we are using earth’s resources faster than they can be replenished).

https://www.businessinsider.com/hsbc-warns-earth-is-running-out-of-resources-for-life-2018-8

 

 

What other countries are doing

India pushing for clean air.

https://about.bnef.com/blog/gombar-indias-war-dirty-air-boosts-hope-global-emissions/

 

 

Clean Energy Progress

Super-sized solar farms sprouting up all over the world.

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/amp/ncna901666

 

 

Examples of the kind of disruption caused by climate change

Extreme heat, droughts, and extreme rain are effects of climate change that are especially disruptive.  Below are examples of the types of disruption climate change is already causing.  In other words, climate change is causing more of these events to occur.

 

Extreme rainfall caused flooding in:

·      Afghanistan

·      Algeria

·      Canada

·      Colombia

·      France

·      Grenada

·      India

·      Italy

·      Laos

·      Myanmar

·      Niger

·      Nigeria

·      Philippines

·      Sudan

·      Taiwan

·      Thailand

·      Turkey

·      USA

·      Venezuela

·      Vietnam

 

Reference for tracking flooding: http://floodlist.com/

 

Reference for tracking impacts: http://www.climatesignals.org