Top Ten Climate Change Threats being ignored by your Television News

Since many mainstream media outlets in the US are burying the dramatic climate change stories from all around the world, either by not reporting them or by reporting incidents with no context, it is important for the progressive alternative press to keep this subject in the public eye.

1. Many observers believe climate change is behind the early start of the bushfire season in Australia’s New South Wales and its many conflagrations (there are 80 fires as I speak and hundreds of homes have been lost). This, at a time when the incoming conservative government plans to abolish the carbon tax and scale back government commitment to green energy.

Aljazeera International reports on the unprecedented threat of the fires to homes in New South Wales:

2. Rising temperatures and other effects of climate change are expected to take 10 percent off the Egyptian gross domestic product by 2050. Agriculture will be hurt, as will tourism. Egypt is also especially vulnerable to rising seas since the Nile Delta is barely above sea level.

3. A new scientific study says that climate change will have a major impact on the oceans over the next decades. It warns:”by the year 2100, about 98 percent of the oceans will be affected by acidification, warming temperatures, low oxygen or lack of biological productivity.”

4. North American forests will face an increased negative impact from insect infestations and disease as the world warms over the next century.

5. Lake Superior of the Great Lakes is warming faster than the other great lakes. Warming means that the Lakes have an ice cover less of the year. The ice sheets reflect more sunlight back into space, so their decline contributes further to warming. Fish species are also being displaced.

6. Climate change will provoke more droughts and changing rainfall patterns in coming years and likely will deprive a billion human beings of sufficient water, according to German scientists.

7. Climate change will cause more mercury to be concentrated in fish. Mercury is a nerve poison and causes madness in human beings along with other negative health effects Much of the mercury in our environment comes from burning coal or from using it in industrial processes and then dumping it in waterways.

8. Climate change threatens the agricultural productivity of Nigeria and 10 other West African countries. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) writes, “Maize, millet, rice, and sorghum are the major cereal crops in the region, yet yields from these crops are very low compared to the world average and even other regions in Africa. Impacts from a changing climate will challenge production systems already under pressure to produce more to feed a growing population. Existing farming systems, including crops and livestock, are adapted to today’s agro-ecosystems in the region, but climate change will alter those systems in uncertain ways, affecting livelihoods, especially those of poor farmers…”

9. Rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns will threaten an additional 50 million people in Asia with hunger over the next ten years. U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that crop yields could be off as much as ten percent in Asia in the coming ten years because of climate change.

10. In contrast, India is threatened with longer and fiercer summer-fall monsoons and thus with flooding and crop damage.

14 Responses

  1. I don’t deal much in the endless speculations of a people who refuse to face reality. I don’t care much for predictions of what MAY happen at some future date. It’s a nice, simple way to avoid. Words like may, perhaps, might, etc are the words of avoiders.

    What I SEE is massive bark beetle kill from Mexico to Alaska. Canada has the guts to state, on roadside signs, that the 30+ million acres of dead British Columbia pine are a consequence of climate change. Pacific Island people are trying to find a nation that will take them as they are being forced off their ancient island homes. India is building walls to keep out climate refugees from Bangladesh. I have watched Alaskan glaciers retreat for 30 yrs. I have watched the devastation of melting permafrost. I have talked with North Dakota farmers who have seen the growing season extended by 21 days but planting times dramatically impacted by an erratic climate. Daily I pull up the changing northern hemisphere jet stream which is changing the climate in the entire northern hemisphere. I live in northern Minnesota where bark beetle kill began some time ago. Lake Superior water is down 2.5 feet which is necessitating lighter freighter loads. Yearly temperatures in my area have warmed 4 degrees. The list is long and would fill pages.

    No maybe, someday in the distinct future, might, perhaps, predictions, etc. The word is NOW.

  2. Juan – so glad to see you doing this. Greetings from the UK.

    I thought you might not of heard of Russell Coope – few have, but he was first guy to discover the climate in the past had sometimes changed not in centuries but in decades.

    Rapid changes in the past suggest that our climate is easily upset.

    One of the first palaeoecologists about 50 years ago, Russell Coope Of Birmingham University (in the UK) studied ice age beetles. They turn out to be excellent temperature proxies. He showed that climatic shifts – recorded in changes in the beetle communities layer by layer in glacial and interglacial deposits – can happen much faster than had ever been realised. Glacial became interglacial within a few decades. I had the privilege of being in his palaeontology course at Bham University over 40 years ago – a great teacher.

    This is what he said at a ceremony to award him the Prestwich Medal of the Geological Society in 2005:

    “I happened, entirely by accident, to visit a Quaternary gravel pit in which were exposed the spectacular bones of mammoth, woolly rhinoceros and bison. Looking at their sediment matrix I was amazed to find enormous numbers of equally spectacular, if somewhat smaller, insect remains. I was hooked instantly! This was the start of a programme of research into Quaternary insect remains that led, quite unexpectedly, to the evolutionary, stratigraphical and palaeoclimatic insights that the President has so elegantly summarised. Particularly exciting to me was the fact that these insect fossils showed that Quaternary climates had changed abruptly. Thus, at times, fully glacial climates gave place to temperate interglacial conditions within the span of one human lifetime.”

    It was some years before ice-core data showed the same results. I do think Coope needs to be better known – he died in 2011, aged 81.

    Currently we are carrying out an uncontrolled random experiment on our atmosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere. Unwise hardly touches it.

    PLease keep up the good work. Eugene, you are so right.

  3. Gee, I don’t know about all that science stuff….
    But, didn’t the first container ship just travel the “Northwest Passage”, that never existed before now, from Vancouver and Finland?
    Could that be considered evidence of climate change?

  4. Television News nearly completely ignores Arctic Methane levels as the real driver of Extinction rising. Max Methane anomalies soaring are rising exponentially from the looks of it and the stuff is rising into upper Stratosphere from the Arctic to increase a veil of extremely strong heat capture which will increasingly radiate heat down. This is ignored by TV and Big Media..

    Television News fails to identify bogus disproven claims that there is still room for more emissions when reverse is true..
    Television News fails to tell people how hard it is to remove greenhouse gas once released into sky or of hydroxyl decline..
    Cost of food rising is threat of war and is linked to fossil coal and oil use politically, and financially with a near complete separation of money from Real. Arable Land, Real estate, Earth, Living Earth.. It is possible still connect Real value to money.
    This would align human enterprise symbiotically to what keeps Earth systems whole and Earth in HZ. It would create framework; Symbiotic Relationship between mankind and earth. AOG may be capable of restoring stability to the HZ forward.

    Act of God is both writ of Law and Religious term. It may…
    The first is our duty to perform and to act Braver. The 2nd is what would be wished well.
    Control may be gained if we try with heart to restore Earth.

  5. The bigger concern from higher temps on lake Superior, and less ice, is the increased evaporation. The water level has been dropping. Also paradoxically, lake effect snows should grow because of more open water.

    Probably the biggest gotcha, is the increased variability in the weather. Counter intuitively, a robust pole to equator temperature difference leads to stronger circumpolar winds, which keep the cold bottled up in the polar region. Because of arctic amplification (pole warm much faster than tropics, because of the effects of less ice/snow), the circumpolar winds aren’t (on average) as strong, and the polar air can more easily breech the barrier. So we’ve had Europe getting hit with epic month long cold-snowy snaps the past couple of winters. As well as more blocking patterns, where the weather gets stuck in a pattern for weeks or longer. That means some area get little rain, others too much. Same with temperature, some areas get stuck in longlived cold snalps and other in longlived heatwaves. So the number of years that are bad for agriculture increases.

  6. In Australia, what a fuss there has been about the tweet by a Greens Member of Parliament that ‘Tony Abbott’s plan means more bushfires for Australia & more pics like this of Sydney’. His comment has been labelled disgusting and insensitive, and he was vilified by the Murdoch media, other media, and both major political parties for ‘politicising’ the fires.

  7. All the way back in 1965 a delegation of climate scientists reported to President Johnson that rising CO2 levels would increase the heat content in the atmosphere, leading to climate disruptions, with perhaps fifty years of lead time to deal with the problem. His politician’s response was “get back to me in forty nine years.”

    We are now in year forty eight. As the consequence of a massively funded disinformation campaign, we still have to fight our way through hordes of denialists and “skeptics” who squeal that global warming is novel (if not an outright fraud) and that the science too unsettled for action.

    Ironically the current evidence for climate disruption is strongest in those very states where the denialists have their strongholds. Cattlemen from Oklahoma vote to send goobers like Inhofe to the Senate, then wonder where all their water has gone.

  8. The average, thinking person, who is well aware of the causes of climate change, is so frustrated & at a loss of what to do about it. With the politicians in the pockets of big oil & coal companies, it doesn’t much matter for whom you vote, nothing happens to change things. We have known about climate warming for almost a century now & have been trying to fight the greed & corruption of our political system, to little avail. The media have not been truthful, mainly by omission, in their reporting. We have passed the tipping point.

  9. 1. The Southwest in the US is warming up & getting dryer. But that’s the result of the North east Pacific waters cooling down.
    Cooler pacific waters mean less water evaporation and less formation of clouds. The prevailing western winds blow those decreasing amount of clouds into the US’ south west. Fewer clouds mean 2 things. 1) less rain 2) fewer clouds block sun radiation. So, more sunshine/radiation reaches the soil/ground. and that dries the soil even more. No wonder the south west sees an increased amount of forest/bush fires.
    This is part of the socalled “Pacific Decadal Oscillation”. As a result of the PDO the pacific waters were warmer from about 1950 up to 2000. But now the PDO is in phase of cooling waters and will be for say the next 20(?), 30(?), …. years.
    2. The Atlantic at the same time is since say the mid 1990s flowing (much) faster. That means that the atlantic waters when they reach say New York have cooled down less than inprevious decades. The result is that storms will travel to a higher lattitude than before. Remember superstorm Sandy ??

    2. The Atlantic is flowing

  10. Most Americans don’t know where half of the places mentioned in your top 10 list are. So, it is hardly surprising that television news ignore these stories and just about everything else beyond the borders of the USA.

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