Update for June 2017

Top news item

Seventy-two percent of U.S. adults think America should take aggressive action on climate change.

 

http://thehill.com/homenews/news/336558-poll-most-want-aggressive-action-on-climate-change

 

In Congress, 23 Republicans and 23 Democrats are working together to find ways to address climate change.

 

https://citizensclimatelobby.org/climate-solutions-caucus/

 

The first members of the Climate Solutions Caucus were from South Florida, where tidal flooding is becoming more common.  Tidal flooding also occurs in New Jersey, especially in back-bay areas.

 

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2017/06/back-bay_flooding_increasing_problem_for_njs_coast.html

 

 

Climate records and trends

There were a record number of tidal floods in the U.S. last year.

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2017/06/16/rising-seas-spurred-record-number-high-tide-floods-us-last-year/102918538/

 

Time Magazine ran an article “Extreme Heat Waves Will Change How We Live. We’re Not Ready”

 

http://time.com/4830147/extreme-heat-climate-change

 

 

Impacts on communities

In Ocean County, hard hit by Sandy, a court ruled that the state could proceed with coastal protection over the objections of homeowners.  “The state says an unbroken, continuous dune line is essential for avoiding a repeat of the catastrophic damage Sandy caused to the area in 2012.”

 

http://www.app.com/story/news/local/ocean-county/sandy-recovery/2017/06/27/appeals-court-rules-against-homeowners-dune-case/424919001/

 

The New Jersey Pine Barrens area is losing forests to salt water intrusion as sea levels rise.

 

http://www.nj.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2017/06/new_jersey_ghost_forest_pine_barrens_climate_chang.html

 

Consumer Reports ran an article about “how climate change could affect your homeowners insurance … Homeowners pay for extreme weather: higher premiums, bigger deductibles, fewer coverage options.”

 

http://www.consumerreports.org/climate-change/how-climate-change-could-affect-your-homeowners-insurance-coverage

 

Lyme disease is on the increase in the U.S. partly because ticks survive through warmer winters.

 

https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2017/06/cases-of-lyme-disease-increasing-nationwide/

 

 

Public policy

Several new groups formed to support the Paris Climate Agreement in the wake of America’s decision to withdraw from it:

 

The US Climate Alliance represents 12 states (1/3 of the population).

 

We Are Still In represents 9 states, hundreds of cities, and thousands of businesses.

 

The Climate Mayors group includes 338 US mayors representing 65 million constituents.

 

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/6/30/15892040/blue-america-trump

 

Globally 7,400 mayors committed to greater local efforts to address climate change.

 

https://www.curbed.com/2017/6/1/15726376/paris-accord-climate-change-mayors-trump

 

40 countries have adopted a price on carbon.

 

https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/energy-and-environment/2017/6/15/15796202/map-carbon-pricing-across-the-globe

 

Harvard Business Review published the article “If You Think Fighting Climate Change Will Be Expensive, Calculate the Cost of Letting It Happen”

 

https://hbr.org/2017/06/if-you-think-fighting-climate-change-will-be-expensive-calculate-the-cost-of-letting-it-happen

 

 

Business perspective

Guidelines were finalized for companies to report on the financial risks of climate risk.

 

http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20170629/NEWS06/912314196/Climate-risk-disclosure-recommendations-released

 

ExxonMobil shareholders voted to require the company to report on how efforts to decarbonize the economy will affect its business.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/may/31/exxonmobil-climate-change-cost-shareholders

 

 

What other countries are doing

In Norway, 37% of all new cars sold are electric.

 

https://thinkprogress.org/norway-aims-to-end-sales-of-fuel-burning-car-by-2025-as-ev-market-soars-edeac854f1e

 

The 5 million people of Qinghai Province, China used 100% renewable electricity for 7 days.

 

https://www.sciencealert.com/a-chinese-province-just-ran-on-100-renewable-energy-for-7-days

 

“Renewable Energy Smashes U.K. Records, Supplying Over 50% of the Country’s Electricity”

 

https://futurism.com/renewable-energy-smashes-u-k-records-supplying-over-50-of-the-countrys-electricity/

 

 

Clean energy progress

The amount of clean energy added globally hit a record last year, as prices continue to drop.  “At the end of 2016, more than 24% of global electricity was produced by renewables, dominated by hydropower and with wind contributing 4.0% and solar 1.5%.”  The cost of wind and solar continues to drop.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/06/spectacular-drop-in-renewable-energy-costs-leads-to-record-global-boost

 

Large companies are locking in low rates on electricity with clean power purchase agreements.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-companies-renewables-analysis-idUSKBN19C0E0

 

Institutional investors are “eager to put money to work on renewable energy projects …”

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-energy-renewables-funds-idUSKBN19D2SA

 

 

Risk perspective and forecasts of future impacts

Experts clarified what needs to be accomplished, and in what time frame, to prevent catastrophic climate change.  They found that greenhouse gas emissions have to start decreasing quickly within 3 years, or risk irreversible damage.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/06/29/these-experts-say-we-have-until-2020-to-get-climate-change-under-control-and-theyre-the-optimists

 

 

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.

 

Reference that links extreme weather events to climate change: https://wwa.climatecentral.org/analyses/

 

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

 

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

 

Record June rainfalls and flooding in Mississippi.

 

http://www.wlox.com/story/35787836/record-breaking-june-highest-rainfall-in-over-100-years

 

June heat waves in Europe were attributed to climate change.

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40449234

 

Iran suffered from 129 degree heat.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/06/29/iran-city-soars-to-record-of-129-degrees-near-hottest-ever-reliably-measured-on-earth

 

“Historic Heat Wave Sweeps Asia, the Middle East and Europe”

 

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/historic-heat-wave-sweeps-asia-middle-east-and-europe

 

Wildfire season has become longer as the planet warms.  In June the U.S. had 20 major, active wildfires burning in Arizona, New Mexico, California, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah.

 

https://www.theweathernetwork.com/us/amp/news/brian-head-wildfire-fire-utah-colorado-smoke/83456

 

It became too hot for planes to fly safely in Phoenix.  Flights were cancelled.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/06/20/its-so-hot-in-phoenix-that-airplanes-cant-fly/

 

“Scientists stunned by Antarctic rainfall and a melt area bigger than Texas”

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/06/15/scientists-just-documented-a-massive-melt-event-on-the-surface-of-antarctica