Showing posts with label Climate Change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Climate Change. Show all posts

Monday, August 28, 2023

Canada burns - Canada’s relentless battle with record heat and devastating wildfires

Jamie Sandison - Canada's National Observer

My analysis of data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a staggering revelation — more than 150 monthly temperature records have been broken across Canada this year. Details here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Danielle Smith Rips Off the Mask

The Tyee

Alberta Premier,
Danielle Smith.
Her combative, gaslighting persona was put away for the election campaign. It was back this week. Details here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Climate change more than doubled the likelihood of extreme fire weather conditions in Eastern Canada

World Weather Attribution

During May and June 2023 Canada witnessed exceptionally extreme fire-weather conditions, leading to extensive wildfires that burned over 13 million hectares. Story here.

Extreme heat in Canada, US, Europe and China in July 2023 made much more likely by climate change


Following a record hot June, large areas of the US, Canada, Mexico, Southern Europe and China experienced extreme heat in July 2023, breaking many local high temperature records. Details here.

Please also read; 

Climate crisis made spate of Canada wildfires twice as likely, scientists find

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Friday, June 23, 2023

Increased risk of extreme rainfall due to warming

Journal: Nature

Climate warming is causing a decrease in snowfall and increase in rainfall at high altitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, and is predicted to increase the risk of extreme rainfall, suggests a study published in Nature

The intensity and frequency of extreme precipitation events is expected to increase as global warming continues to affect the planet. Of particular concern are extremes in rainfall, which often cause more damage than similar snowfall events due to their instantaneous runoff, increasing the risk of floods, which can cause infrastructure damage and landslides. Precisely how increases in global temperature will affect extreme rainfall events remains unclear. 

To assess how climate change might be driving a shift in precipitation patterns, Mohammed Ombadi and colleagues combined data from climate observations from between 1950 and 2019 with future projections, up to 2100, taken from Earth system models. Their results suggest that warming is causing an increase in rainfall extremes within regions of high elevation in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in regions usually dominated by snowfall. On average, the intensity of extreme rainfall events is estimated to increase by 15% per 1 °C of warming. These patterns are seen both in the historical observations and future projections. The estimated rate of increased rainfall in high altitudes is approximately double that of low altitudes, highlighting the increased vulnerability of mountainous regions to extreme precipitation.  

These results may guide infrastructure and mitigation strategies to avert the damage such rainfall events could cause, as well as making predictions of their occurrence more precise, the authors conclude. 

Thursday, May 18, 2023

United in Science: We are heading in the wrong direction

Geneva, 13 September 2022 (WMO) - Climate science is clear: we are heading in the wrong direction, according to a new multi-agency report coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which highlights the huge gap between aspirations and reality. DETAILS HERE.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Crab populations are crashing. Could losing their sense of smell be one of the important reasons why?

University of Toronto

Thayne Tuason took this shot at

Ocean Shores WA in 2020. He labelled it, "dungeness crab die off..."  and commented, "Some people might contend they were just "molting", but these crabs looked mostly dead to me and not just a bunch of empty shells as would have been the case if it was them naturally shedding their exoskeleton.

    A new U of T Scarborough study finds that climate change is causing a commercially significant marine crab to lose its sense of smell, which could partially explain why their populations are thinning.
Story here.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Record 2021 heat wave could become once-per-decade event

A study offers new insights into the record 2021 Western North America heat wave

Combined unusual weather systems, supercharged by climate change


The heat wave that hammered western North America in late June and early July 2021 was not just any midsummer event. Over nine days, from British Columbia through Washington and Oregon and beyond, it exceeded average regional temperatures for the period by 10 degrees C and, on single days in some locales, by an astounding 30 C. Among many new daily records, it set a new national benchmark for all of Canada, at 121.3 F in Lytton, British Columbia. The next day, the entire town burned down amid an uncontrollable wildfire—one of many sparked by the hot, dry weather. Across the region, at least 1,400 people died from heat-related causes. More here.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

North American boreal trees show a decline in the survival of saplings in response to warming or reduced rainfall.


Four separate papers exploring how forests and tree species respond to global changes — such as rising temperatures — are published in Nature this week. The studies highlight some of the challenges forests in North America and the Amazon may face in response to climate change.

Temperate deciduous tree with a dendrometer band, of the type used in the study, in the ForestGEO plot at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA.
Credit: Kristina J. Anderson-Teixeira

A study of nine North American boreal tree species, including maples, firs, spruces and pines, shows a decline for all species in the survival of saplings in response to warming or reduced rainfall. In a five-year open-air field experiment, Peter Reich and colleagues found that fir, spruce and pine species abundant in southern boreal forests had the largest reductions in growth and survival due to changes in climate. 

Temperate deciduous tree with a dendrometer band, of the type used in the study, in the ForestGEO plot at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA.Credit: Kristina J. Anderson-Teixeira

However, the species that experienced lower rates of mortality and were more likely to experience growth in response to warming, such as maples, are rarer in southern boreal forests and are unlikely to expand their distribution in this region fast enough to compensate for regeneration failure of the current dominant species.

 An otherwise barren, unnamed valley in the west-central Brooks Range of Alaska, USA, supports a population of boreal white spruce that likely provides the seeds carried many kilometers away by winter wind to germinate in Arctic tundra. Credit: Roman Dial

In another paper, Roman Dial and colleagues describe the northward migration of a North American population of white spruce (Picea glauca) into the Arctic tundra, unoccupied by this species for millennia, at a rate of more than 4 km per decade. The authors found that increasing temperatures together with winter winds, deeper snowpack and increased soil nutrient availability have supported this treeline advance. They argue that increasing Arctic tree cover could lead to a decrease in the habitat available for migratory species and a redistribution of carbon stores.

Two white spruce trees, each probably under 30 years old, overlook a remote tundra valley in northwest Alaska, USA. Recent climate warming, winter winds, and an increasing deep snowpack are facilitating the colonization of Arctic tundra by this boreal species. The trekking pole is one meter long. Credit: Roman Dial

Kristina Anderson-Teixeira and colleagues paired dendrometer band measurements with 207 tree-ring chronologies from 108 forests across temperate deciduous forests of eastern North America. They found that warmer spring temperatures advance the timing of stem growth but have little effect on total annual stem growth. The authors suggest that barring rapid acclimation of these forests to warming conditions, they are unlikely to sequester increasing amounts of carbon as temperatures rise.

In this picture at the Ely site (one of two of the experiment) we see one of the ambient plot in the foreground and some heated plots in the background.  All plants are in the process of fall senescence with slowly developing differentiation in plant senescence between ambient (and the research plots surrounding vegetation) and warmed plots due to the effect warming has on plant phenology.

Finally, Hellen Fernanda Viana Cunha and colleagues show that limitations in the availability of phosphorous directly impact the productivity of the Amazon forest by restricting its responses to CO2 fertilization. This may potentially affect forest resilience to climate change.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Takin’ it to the bank

The National Observer

Trouble’s brewing for RBC. Canada’s climate movement is converging on the bank as its common target for pressure campaigns. Details here.


How Ethical are Ethical Funds? "Conscientious" investments & the tar sands connection.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Unsettling currents: Warm water flowing beneath Antarctica’s ’Doomsday Glacier'

Science Daily

The calving front of Thwaites Ice Shelf looking at the ice below the water's surface as seen from the NASA DC-8 on Oct. 16, 2012. 

Data from underneath Thwaites Glacier, also known as the Doomsday Glacier. Story here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Greener northern landscapes under climate change no help to endangered caribou

Proceedings of the Royal Society

The Woodland Caribou. Photo by Steve Forrest.

Globally, climate change and habitat loss are increasing “global greening.” While these changes benefit some species, animals such as woodland caribou may suffer in a greener world. We studied links between habitat alteration (e.g. forest cutting), primary productivity, moose, wolves and caribou across part of the Canadian Boreal forest. By studying all these components simultaneously, we found that habitat alteration led to more productivity, which in turn produced more moose and wolves, and precipitated caribou declines. Species like caribou, which are adapted to low productivity environments, however, are not expected to do well in a greener world.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Someday, even wet forests could burn due to climate change


A wet "sclerophyll" mixed forest. Might even it be vulnerable in a warming world? 
Photo by Hagasfagas.

Millions of years ago, fire swept across the planet, fuelled by an oxygen-rich atmosphere in which even wet forests burned, according to new research by CU Boulder scientists. Story here.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Global carbon emissions decline during COVID-19

NATURE RESEARCH - Climate sciences: 
Empty streets are the order of the day now that Covid-19
has forced lockdowns in many places.

Daily global CO2 emissions fell by 17% by early April 2020, compared to mean 2019 levels, as a result of governments’ policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19, suggests a paper in Nature Climate Change

Policies implemented by governments to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have had a significant impact on energy demand globally. With much of the world’s population confined to their homes and international borders closed, consumption and transportation rates have fallen. However, the lack of real-time global emissions data has made it difficult to quantify the impacts.

Corinne Le Quéré and colleagues reviewed a combination of energy, activity and policy data available up to end of April 2020 to estimate the changes in daily CO2 emissions compared to 2019. Changes in CO2 emissions were estimated across six economic sectors — power, surface transport, industry, public buildings and commerce, residential and aviation — under different confinement scenarios. The authors found that total CO2 emissions decreased by 17% by early April 2020 relative to 2019, and that average daily emissions decreased by 26% per country. Emissions from surface transport and aviation fell by 36% and 60%, respectively. Surface transport, power and industry accounted for 86% of the total decline in emissions.
The authors also estimated the impact of this decline on total emissions for 2020. They suggest that if pre-crisis activity levels return by mid-June, there might be a 4% total average decline by the end of year. If some restrictions remain until the end of 2020, average total emissions may decline by 7%.


Thursday, March 5, 2020

The hand of man shows through once again in a major weather catastrophe.

 by Larry Powell
The Green Wattle Creek bushfire moves toward the Southern Highlands township of 
Yanderra, Australia as police evacuate. Dec. 2019.
Photo by Helitak 430.

A new study finds, manmade climate change did, indeed, worsen the bushfires which ravaged much of southeastern Australia late last year and early this year. An international team of seventeen scientists has just concluded, the probability of conditions developing like the ones which kindled the catastrophic blazes “has increased by at least 30% since 1900 as a result of anthropogenic climate change.” 
And that figure could be much higher considering that extreme heat, one of the main factors behind this increase, is underestimated in the models used. The heating of the planet, largely due to human extraction and burning of fossil fuels, has, for some time been shown to be the main factor behind the development of storms that are more intense and frequent than before.

Looking to the future, the study predicts, if the temperature rises 2 ºC over 1900 levels, the kind of fire risk which existed during the recent bushfires "will be at least four times more likely." 

Last year was both the hottest and driest in Australia since records began around 1900. Not only were the fires more frequent and intense, they started earlier than usual. They claimed the lives of more than a billion wild animals, thousands of livestock and 34 humans. Almost six thousand buildings were destroyed. And the smoke - which produced air quality hazards some 20 times beyond what were considered levels safe for humans - lingered for months over much of the country.

To quote from the report, "It is well-established that wildfire smoke exposure is associated with respiratory morbidity. Additionally, fine particulate matter in smoke may act as a triggering factor for acute coronary events (such as heart attack-related deaths) as found for previous fires in southeast Australia. Increased bushfire-related risks in a warming climate have significant implications for the health sector."

The research was done by the scientific group, “World Weather Attribution” (WWA). It's a relatively new, international effort to analyze and communicate the possible influences of climate change on extreme weather events.

Diesel vehicles in oil sands operations contribute to regional pollution

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