"Heat Dome" Scorching United States

Major Heat Wave Scorching the Entire United States

From an Article of Climate Nexus, EcoWatch.com, July 22, 2016

A combination of high temperatures and humidity is scorching much of the U.S.—and even President Obama is warning everyone to stay safe.

A “heat dome”—a high pressure system in the mid atmosphere that pushes warmer air to the ground—has enveloped the central U.S. and is expected to reach other parts of the country over the weekend. The maximum heat index—a measure of how it actually feels when factoring in relative humidity—in areas such as St. Louis could reach 113 F while air temperatures in Washington, DC could reach 100 F.

While heat waves are a natural phenomenon, climate change plays a role amplifying the effect and making them more serious, Texas Tech University climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe said on a press call.

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OMG: 2016 on Track to be World’s Hottest Year on Record

From an Article of Climate Nexus, EcoWatch.com, July 22, 2016

The Earth is warming at a faster rate than expected and this year is on track to be the hottest year on record, according to a report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Arctic sea ice has also melted earlier and faster than usual, another indicator of climate change, says the organization. “Another month, another record. And another. And another. Decades-long trends of climate change are reaching new climaxes, fueled by the strong … El Niño,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said.

On Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also confirmed that June was the 14th consecutive month to break temperature records.

The report details these four areas of concern:

Temperatures

The average temperature in the first six months of 2016 was 1.3°C (2.4°F) warmer than the pre-industrial era in the late 19th century, according to NASA.

NOAA said the global land and ocean average temperature for January–June was 1.05°C (1.89°F) above the 20th century average, beating the previous record set in 2015 by 0.20°C (0.36°F).

Each month was record warm. Most of the world’s land and ocean surfaces had warmer to much-warmer-than-average conditions.

The El Niño event which developed in 2015 and was one of the most powerful on record contributed to the record temperatures in the first half of 2016. It dissipated in May.

WMO uses datasets from NOAA, NASA GISS, the UK’s Met Office and reanalysis data from the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) to calculate global temperature statistics for its annual state of the climate report.

Arctic Sea Ice

The heat has been especially pronounced in the Arctic, resulting in a very early onset of the annual melting of the Greenland ice sheet and Arctic sea ice. Snow cover in the northern hemisphere was exceptionally low. The ice extent as of 20 July was very close to the lowest ever for this date.

The extent of Arctic sea ice at the peak of the summer melt season now typically covers 40 percent less area than it did in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Arctic sea ice extent in September, the seasonal low point in the annual cycle, has been declining at a rate of 13.4 percent per decade.

Precipitation

Rainfall in June 2016 varied significantly around the world. It was notably drier than normal across the western and central contiguous USA, Spain, northern Colombia, northeastern Brazil, Chile, southern Argentina, and across parts of central Russia.

Wetter-than-normal precipitation was observed across northern Argentina, northern and central Europe, much of Australia, and across central and southern Asia.

From January to 4 July, China saw 21.2% above average precipitation. South China entered the flood season on 21 March, 16 days earlier than normal and more than 150 counties were record wet, according to the China Meteorological Administration. More than 300 rivers crossed the water level warning mark.

Coral Bleaching

Temperatures in the Coral Sea (including the Great Barrier Reef), and the Tasman Sea were highest on record for extended periods since late summer 2016, according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology.

These warm waters have also contributed to surface temperature warmth over Australia and unprecedented bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, according to Australia’s independent Climate Council.

There has already been widespread bleaching of reefs in many other parts of the world.

See also: www.FrackCheckWV.net

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Convincing Evidence for Climate Change at Walden Pond

by Duane Nichols on July 23, 2016

"Walden" by Thoreau (1854)

Planet Earth — Walden’s Climate Change 1852 to 2015

From an Article by Rachel Hartigan Shea, National Geographic Magazine, July 2016

“I am on the alert for the first signs of spring,” wrote Henry David Thoreau.  The author of the book Walden; Life in the Woods recorded first flowering times from 1852 to 1858 for more than 300 plant species in Concord, Massachusetts.  During his daily wanderings through the field and forest, he also noted when migrating birds returned, when leaves burst forth on trees, and when the ice melted on Walden Pond.

Some 160 years later, Richard Primack, a biologist at Boston University, is using Thoreau’s handwritten data to track how the climate has changed in this historically significant corner of New England. In 2004 Primack and his students began scouring Concord for first flowerings.  “We didn’t know where to look,” says Primack, until they learned Thoreau’s trick of seeking early blooms in areas of human disturbance.  The 19th-century thinker found his quarry along railroad tracks; Primack and his crew had luck near Walden’s parking lot.

The data on first flowering show that three wildflower species are blooming later while 29 species are blooming earlier.  Thoreau’s data are from 1852 to 1858 while the Boston University observations cover 2004 to 2015. Among Thoreau’s blooms were the pitcher plant, bluet, sheep laurel and pink lady’s slipper.

Primack’s ongoing study confirms that a warming climate – Concord is up 5 Fahrenheit degrees – is hastening the signs of spring.  Walden’s ice breaks up and many plants bloom at least two weeks earlier than in Thoreau’s day, while leaves emerge on trees 18 days earlier. Only the migrating birds return roughly the same time.

How will this confluence of change alter the local ecosystem? To know that, Thoreau noted, one would have to “anticipate … Nature herself!”

See also:

1. http://www.frackcheckwv.net/2013/03/08/new-phenology-study-documents-climate-trends/

2. http://www.frackcheckwv.net/2013/08/22/what-insects-can-tell-us-about-climate-change/

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Opportunities for West Virginia within the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

July 22, 2016

Expanding Economic Opportunities for WV under the Clean Power Plan News Report from Ken Ward, Jr., Charleston Gazette Mail, July 21, 2016 There’s a new report out from Downstream Strategies and the WVU College of Law’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development that takes a look at the opportunities that the Clean Power Plan could create [...]

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Study of Toxic Compounds from Marcellus Drilling at WVU

July 21, 2016

WVU researchers discover nearby Marcellus shale process safer than others From an Article by Sunshine Wiles, WAJR News, July 20, 2016 Morgantown, WV — WVU researchers have studied waste from two hydraulic fracturing wells near Morgantown. The findings were shared Wednesday at the Appalachian Basin Technology Workshop in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. “When you drill a Marcellus [...]

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Anti-Fracking Groups to March at DNC, Given New Asthma Links

July 20, 2016

Bolstered by New Proof of Asthma Link, Anti-Fracking Groups Plan March at DNC From an Article by Nika Knight, Common Dreams, July 19, 2016 Summary — Our country’s leaders ‘must take a hard look at the data, acknowledge the harms of drilling and fracking, and stop it before other people become ill’ Researchers from Johns [...]

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The Fracking Industry Should Not Hide Health Information from the Public

July 19, 2016

What Makes Public Disclosure Effective? From an Article by Miron Avidan, Dror Etzion and Joel Gehman, Huffington Post, July 1, 2016 Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) is a technology employed in the production of oil and gas from unconventional shale formations. Over the last decade, tens of thousands of fracking wells have been drilled worldwide. Fracking often [...]

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One Book the Fracking Industry Doesn’t Want You to Read

July 18, 2016

ISSUES: Fossil Fuels, Renewable Energy & the Environment From an Article by Wenonah Hauter, EcoWatch.com, June 7, 2016 My new book, Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment will be released this week and I want to tell you why I wrote it. In the 1990s, I worked on a project [...]

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Fossil Fuels are Impacting our Global Life

July 17, 2016

Hooked! The Unyielding Grip of Fossil Fuels on Global Life From an Article by Michael Klare, Common Dream (TomDispatch), July 14, 2016 Here’s the good news: wind power, solar power, and other renewable forms of energy are expanding far more quickly than anyone expected, ensuring that these systems will provide an ever-increasing share of our [...]

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Massive Fracking Explosion in New Mexico, 36 Oil Storage Tanks Catch Fire

July 16, 2016

Fracking Leaks, Vents, Flares, Fires and Explosions Continue Across United States From an Article by Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch.com, July13, 2016 This week—as thousands of Americans urge awareness to the destruction caused by oil bomb trains—an oil field in San Juan County, New Mexico erupted in flames Monday night, highlighting the continued and increasing dangers of [...]

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Plastics & Microplastic Particles from Marcellus Shale Resources

July 15, 2016

Plastics & Microplastic Particles from Marcellus Shale Resources Article by S. Tom Bond, Retired Chemistry Professor & Resident Farmer, Lewis County, WV   The unnatural world of today’s humans, discussed in my last article, involves use of starting materials which are degraded so they can not be reused.  These include both inorganic and organic materials.  [...]

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