Category Archives: environmental refugees

NASA: Ice sheet decline at both poles increasing

An international team of experts supported by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) has combined data from multiple satellites and aircraft to produce the most comprehensive and accurate assessment to date of ice sheet losses in Greenland and Antarctica and their contributions to sea level rise.

In a landmark study published Thursday in the journal Science, 47 researchers from 26 laboratories report the combined rate of melting for the ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica has increased during the last 20 years. Together, these ice sheets are losing more than three times as much ice each year (equivalent to sea level rise of 0.04 inches or 0.95 millimeters) as they were in the 1990s (equivalent to 0.01 inches or 0.27 millimeters). About two-thirds of the loss is coming from Greenland, with the rest from Antarctica.

To me, these findings spell big trouble, especially for folks living on that once-beautiful oceanfront spread. Think: Miami, Fla., Virginia Beach, Va., Wilmington, Del., Portland, Maine, and many, many other places in North America alone. You can read all of NASA’s release.

The folly of building on a barrier island (and taxpayers foot the bill!)

This feature-length look at Dauphin Island, the barrier strip off the Gulf coast of Alabama take a nice hard look at what is surely the folly of building on a place that nature wants to move – all the time. And climate change and sea-level rise are only making the whole thing even more disastrous (hurricanes notwithstanding).

Global disaster? Climate change not on today’s media agenda

According to the National Climatic Data Center, July 211 to June 2012 was the hottest 12-month stretch on human record. But even as the devastation resulting from humanity’s ongoing alteration of the Earth’s atmosphere became more and more obvious, coverage of the 2012 presidential election campaign seemed completely impervious to the effects of climate change,”the media watchdog organization FAIR reported. You can read about FAIR’s findings right here. The conservation impact of what we humans are doing to our fish and wildlife heritage by burning fossil fuels goes well beyond the crisis faced by one or two species.

Appeals court upholds EPA ‘endangerment’ finding on climate

In a victory for advocates of EPA action to reduce global warming pollution, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has just announced that EPA acted properly in assessing the risks of climate change and has taken appropriate action under its authority.  The decision is a blow to petitioners, various states and industry groups, who are challenging pollution standards the EPA is promulgating to rein in global warming. Industry was arguing EPA was improperly construing the Clean Air Act and that it was acting arbitrarily.

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Group of 8 affirms climate change efforts

Wow. This will finally, finally end the madness of burning fossil fuels forever and ever. Wanna bet? Sure, sure you say. And you are likely on the mark. The Group of 8 certainly got some positive PR-type news coverage, but that’s about it. You can read about it all here and get a look at the Group of 8 leaders hamming it up for camera people.

Changing the chemistry of Earth’s oceans

That’s right, buckaroos. And guess who’s responsible: We are, of course. Just as our burning of fossil fuels, like coal, is heating up our planet (the only one we’ve got, sports fans), so is it changing the chemistry of our oceans. The result: Acidification. This editorial from the NY Times explains why we should stop burning rocks like coal and liquids like petroleum. But, of course, we won;’t because knuckleheads wield too much power over our former Democratic government. I won’t name the names here, but people who identify themselves as conservationists or environmentalists or even plain old “naturalist” know the names.

Study: Fauna/flora moving away from climate change much faster

The findings of the study highlighted in this media report are hardly surprising to those of us who are paying attention (not to include Senator James Inhofe). So, what are we going to do about it? In any case, the changes are happening right now. This isn’t something that only generations to come will worry about. Wake up, America.