Because of the Thanksgiving holiday there will be no Weekly Roundup next week. The next one will come out Dec. 4.
- Rachael Willis, in Huffington Post Green, has some interesting ideas about how we, the public, can act on climate change.
- A paper published in the journal Science Advances has revealed that the biodiversity of the communities on the ocean floor near Antarctica is being altered by the increased meltwater runoff, which carries a high load of silt and clay that falls to the ocean floor.
- If you were following the news last week you know that Secretary of State John Kerry generated a tempest by stating that the Paris climate agreement was “definitively not going to be a treaty.” Simon Evans of Carbon Brief explains why the legal form of the agreement matters. Meanwhile, following the ISIS terror attack, the Paris Climate Summit will proceed as planned, although rallies, concerts, and other ancillary activities will be banned.
- Last March a research study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences asserted that there was a link between climate change and the Syrian civil war, but that idea didn’t get a lot of attention outside of the climate change community. However, when Bernie Sanders claimed in the second Democratic debate last Saturday night that climate change was the biggest national security threat facing the U.S., his comments were subsequently called “daffy” by Peggy Noonan, a former Reagan speech writer, on Face the Nation. Joe Romm gives his take on the issue at Climate Progress. David Roberts at VOX looks at the language used to describe the impacts of climate change. Megan Rowling of Thomas Reuters Foundation explains how economic development and stronger government can reduce a country’s vulnerability to climate change.
- The World Meteorological Organization warned on Monday that the current El Nino is expected to strengthen further, causing severe impacts throughout the tropics and subtropical zones. As a result, the World Food Programme expects many in Central America and east and southern Africa to need food aid. A spokesman for the World Health Organization said “The world is much better prepared for this year’s El Nino, but the socio-economic shocks will still be profound.”
- In the on-going saga between NOAA and House investigators over the erasure of the “pause”, scientists and top officials from NOAA have agreed to start interviews similar to depositions this week.
- Both NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency have declared October to be the hottest October in the temperature record. In addition, according to NOAA it is almost certain that 2015 will be the hottest year on record by a considerable amount. Chris Mooney at The Washington Post analyzes how this impacts the argument over the “pause”.
- Many countries depend on snowpack to store water and release it slowly during the summer as the snow melts. However, changing precipitation patterns resulting from climate change are causing more rain and less snow. This results in too much water part of the time and too little when it is needed.
- Even though Florida has abundant sunshine, it only ranks 13th in solar installations. The reason is the same as the reason that solar energy is not as abundant here in Virginia as it could be; poor regulations. Read how Floridians are working to change that.
- U.K. Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has stated that all U.K. coal fired power plants will be closed by 2025, to be replaced with natural gas-fired and nuclear plants. The plan is being criticized by both coal and renewables advocates, as well as by David Carrington at The Guardian.
- A new paper from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication presents the five “best practice” insights from psychological science to improve public engagement with climate change. This is an open access article so you can read the entire article if you wish. However, you can get the important points by looking at Table 1, which you must click on to see.
- A new study, just published in Nature, examines the future contributions to sea level rise from Antarctic glaciers and concludes that they are less than projections from some other recent papers that I have included in the Weekly Roundup. In an unusual move, one of the authors discusses the paper in a newspaper, The Guardian. One thing to recognize is that disagreement among scientific studies is common, particularly in a field that has received relatively little study. More studies and knowledgeable discussion will ultimately lead to a better understanding. That is how science works.
- A new study by the consulting firm ICF International has found that a large-scale shift to renewable sources of electricity would result in a net gain of 2 million jobs by 2050 and result in an additional $300 to $650 in disposable income per household.
- The Christian Science Monitor is providing comprehensive coverage of the Paris Climate Summit. You can subscribe here.
- Joe Romm, founder of the blog ClimateProgress.org, has a new book entitled Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know. It is part of the Oxford University Press “What Everyone Needs to Know” series and is written in a Q & A format.
These news items have been compiled by Les Grady, member and former chair of the CAAV steering committee. He is a licensed professional engineer (retired) who taught environmental engineering at Purdue and Clemson Universities and engaged in private practice with CH2M Hill, the world’s largest environmental engineering consulting firm. Since his retirement in 2003 he has devoted much of his time to the study of climate science and the question of global warming and makes himself available to speak to groups about this subject. More here.