Update for May 2017

Top news item

Record flooding hit Missouri and Arkansas after 10-15 inches of rain fell in a week.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/05/03/the-aerial-views-of-historic-missouri-and-arkansas-flooding-are-unreal

 

Half a million people were displaced by flooding in Sri Lanka.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/28/world/asia/sri-lanka-floods-mudslides.html

 

President Trump considered whether the U.S. should continue working with other nations to prevent these types of climate-related disasters (and in June decided not to).  Key elements of the Paris agreement are outlined here:

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35073297

 

 

Climate records and trends

The rate of sea level rise has tripled since 1990.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/05/22/scientists-say-the-rate-of-sea-level-rise-has-nearly-tripled-since-1990

 

 

Impacts on communities

At least 12,000 people in Monmouth County are almost certain to be affected by coastal flooding in the next 15 years.  Risks are even higher in Ocean County.  (interactive web site)

 

http://riskfinder.climatecentral.org/county/monmouth-county.nj.us?comparisonType=postal-code&forecastType=NOAA2017_int_p50&level=4&unit=ft

 

 

 

Public policy

The solar industry has become a top job creator in the U.S. economy.

 

http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/24/news/economy/solar-jobs-us-coal/index.html

 

The New York Times featured work by Citizens’ Climate Lobby to break the climate change gridlock in Washington.

 

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/opinion/cracking-washingtons-gridlock-to-save-the-planet.html

 

In an article titled “How to make a carbon tax insanely popular” the author states, “It's only when you offset the carbon tax with the per capita dividend that you get the result you want: The bottom two-thirds of households are made better off, the vast majority of households within each of those deciles is made better off, and the poorest households benefit by the greatest amounts.”

 

http://theweek.com/articles/696282/how-make-carbon-tax-insanely-popular

 

 

Scientific research

“For decades, Greenland primarily melted around the edges. Giant blocks of ice would break free from the coast and vanish into the ocean. Recently, however, Greenland has started melting from the middle. Pools of water are forming atop the ice sheet in the warmer months and then draining out to sea.  Scientists have now discovered the same thing is happening in Antarctica.”

 

https://nexusmedianews.com/antarcticas-meltwater-rivers-raise-concerns-about-the-fate-of-the-continent-a6fa14b7153

 

 

Business perspective

ExxonMobil shareholders voted to require the company to report on “the risks posed to its business by policies aimed at stemming climate change.”

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/business/energy-environment/exxon-shareholders-climate-change.html

 

 

What other countries are doing

China and India are on track to meet and exceed their Paris goals early.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/22/opinion/paris-agreement-climate-china-india.html

 

India cancelled plans for huge coal projects as the price of solar hit record lows.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/india-solar-power-electricity-cancels-coal-fired-power-stations-record-low-a7751916.html

 

 

Clean energy progress

Germany generated 85% of its electricity using clean energy technology for a period of time (a sunny, windy weekend).

 

https://www.ecowatch.com/germany-renewable-energy-record-2392212868.html

 

 

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/

 

Record floods struck Missouri and Arkansas, leaving 20 dead.

 

https://weather.com/news/news/severe-weather-tornadoes-flooding-storms-texas-missouri-arkansas-midwest

 

In Washington State, one resident said “In 25 years that I've lived here we NEVER had a storm with more that one or two cracks of lightning. It's been like a war zone for the last hour. No climate change? Right!”  (private communication)

 

In New Jersey, flash flooding followed torrential rains.

 

http://www.nj.com/weather/index.ssf/2017/05/flash_flood_warning_issued_in_nj_amid_heavy_downpo.html

 

Record flooding in Quebec.

 

http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/historic-flooding-in-quebec-probably-linked-to-climate-change-experts