Last month, deep in a 500-page environmental impact statement, the Trump administration made a startling assumption: On its current course, the planet will warm a disastrous seven degrees by the end of this century.
A rise of seven degrees Fahrenheit, or about four degrees Celsius, compared with preindustrial levels would be catastrophic, according to scientists. Many coral reefs would dissolve in increasingly acidic oceans. Parts of Manhattan and Miami would be underwater without costly coastal defenses. Extreme heat waves would routinely smother large parts of the globe.
But the administration did not offer this dire forecast, premised on the idea that the world will fail to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, as part of an argument to combat climate change. Just the opposite: The analysis assumes the planet’s fate is already sealed.
Katey Walter Anthony has studied some 300 lakes across the tundras of the Arctic. But sitting on the mucky shore of her latest discovery, the Arctic expert said she’d never seen a lake like this one.
Set against the austere peaks of the Western Brooks Range, the lake, about 20 football fields in size, looked as if it were boiling. Its waters hissed, bubbled and popped as a powerful greenhouse gas escaped from the lake bed. Some bubbles grew as big as grapefruits, visibly lifting the water’s surface several inches and carrying up bits of mud from below.
This was methane.
New research finds that a vast area of Antarctica retreated when Earth’s temperatures weren’t much warmer than they are now.
By Dan Drollette Jr,
Now that we’ve gotten through Hurricane Florence, Americans should be completely up to speed when it comes to dealing with disasters that have been amplified by anthropogenic climate change, right?
Not so fast.
Judging from the various news stories in the past year—since Hurricane Irma devastated the Caribbean and the Florida Keys—the United States seems to be stuck in a rut, responding to climate disaster with all five of the chronological stages of grief—simultaneously. These stages are often labeled with the acronym DABDA, meaning denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, and memorably summed up in this episode of The Simpsons.
Substitute the word “amnesia” for “anger,” and the parallels are striking.
New York Times
Jim Dwyer, a New York Times reporter, and Josh Haner, a Times photographer, traveled to a Scottish archipelago in the North Atlantic to see how people are trying to save thousands of ancient structures.
In 2012, North Carolina legislators passed a billthat barred policymakers and developers from using up-to-date climate science to plan for rising sea levels on the state’s coast. Now Hurricane Florence threatens to cause a devastating storm surge that could put thousands of lives in danger and costthe state billions of dollars worth of damage.
The hurricane, which is expected to make landfall on Friday, is shaping up to be one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast. Residents of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and mainland coasts have already been ordered to evacuate. President Donald Trumpdeclareda state of emergency in both North and South Carolina, and a Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator saidthat the Category 4 hurricane will likely cause “massive damage to our country.”
New York Times
HAMMONASSET BEACH STATE PARK, Conn. — The newly hatched saltmarsh sparrows are helpless, all but featherless, with reddish skin, barely visible in the evening light.
Mosquitoes buzz as Samantha Apgar holds aside a tangle of marsh grass, or salt hay, to show me the hidden nest. It’s the size of half a baseball, tucked in under a tangle of grass. The incoming tide is rising over the soles of our boots and the hatchlings won’t stay dry long.
Ms. Apgar, a graduate student at the University of Connecticut, is working with Christopher Elphick, an ornithologist there, to record what happens when high tides flood the nests of marsh birds. She has automatic video cameras and is also collaborating with videographers from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, one of whom has his camera trained on this nest and had recorded the hatching of these babies a couple of hours before.
She warns me that the outlook for these fragile hatchlings is grim. If they last through the night, they still have five days of increasingly high tides ahead of them until the new moon. “I don’t think they’re going to make it,” Ms. Apgar says.