Update for February 2017

Top news item

Flowers bloomed in the middle of winter.  Across the country, record high temperatures felt like a taste of summer in the middle of winter.  Washington, D.C. had its hottest February ever and buds formed on the cherry trees.  New Jersey set records that were 30 degrees above normal.  Temperatures were 50 degrees above normal in the Arctic.  Oklahoma set a new record of 99 degrees!


http://www.nj.com/weather/index.ssf/2017/02/a_springlike_february_day_breaks_temperature_recor.html

 


Climate records and trends

Arctic and Antarctic sea ice were at record lows.


http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ 


Permafrost melted in Canada, releasing methane, which is a greenhouse gas.

 

https://phys.org/news/2017-02-climate-driven-permafrost.html

 

The Canadian glaciers are melting 10 times faster than they were just 10 years ago, and contributing to sea level rise.

 

http://climatenewsnetwork.net/canadas-glacial-ice-loss-sea-level/

 

 

Impacts on communities

“If it seems like you’re reading about devastating floods, droughts, and storms way more often than you used to, it’s because these extreme events are actually happening more frequently.”  (Popular Science)

 

http://www.popsci.com/more-extreme-weather-today-and-climate-change-is-reason-why 

 

Climate change is creating more frequent extreme weather, which can cause “post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, the abuse of alcohol and drugs, and more.”

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/despair-mental-health-trauma-cost-unchecked-climate-change/

 

 

Public opinion

In Monmouth County, more than 70% of adults agree with all of these statements:

 

·      Global warming is happening

·      Global warming will harm future generations

·      CO2 should be regulated as a pollutant

 

The numbers are almost the same at the state level, and within District 4 (where the first statement gets 68% support and the others are over 70%).

 

http://climatecommunication.yale.edu/visualizations-data/ycom-us-2016/

 

 

Public policy

Republican Representative Darrell Issa has joined the Climate Solutions Caucus, bringing membership to 26 (with equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats).

 

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN16905I

 

Former Republican cabinet members George P. Shultz and James A. Baker III pitched a revenue-neutral fee-and-dividend proposal to put a price on carbon.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/07/politics/republicans-climate-change/

 

 

What other countries are doing

China’s coal use continued to fall.

 

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/chinas-coal-consumption-falls-3rd-year-row-45795242

 

China doubled its solar capacity in 2016.

 

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN15J0G7

 

 The city of Beijing announced plans to cut coal use 30% this year.

 

http://news.trust.org/item/20170206001726-iiui5

 

 

Clean energy progress

Electric vehicle sales in the U.S. were up almost 40% from 2015 to 2016.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2017/02/05/u-s-electric-vehicle-sales-soared-in-2016/#2b5caa2a217f

 

Texas has harnessed the wind to become a leading producer of clean energy.

 

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2017/0127/Why-a-red-state-is-the-No.-1-wind-energy-producer-in-America

 

 

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

 

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

 

After years of drought, California is now getting hammered by extreme rainfall.

 

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-ln-levees-20170221-story.html

 

Syndney flooded after extreme rainfall

 

http://www.thebigwobble.org/2017/02/nearly-half-of-one-months-rainfall-in.html

 

Communities in Somalia are facing food shortages caused by drought.

 

http://www.voanews.com/a/somalia-faces-unprecedented-drought/3732497.html

 

School was closed in Monmouth Beach when streets flooded.

 

http://themonmouthjournal.com/making-the-best-of-a-day-off-from-school-p6859-1.htm