CLIMATE CHANGE ROUND UP FOR THE WEEK ENDING: January 05 2019
Could this year be a tipping point — for better or for worse?
2018 has been full of ominous climate news.
Record extreme weather across the country connected to our warming climate. An October report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change PCC said we have just 12 years to cut carbon emissions in half to avoid catastrophic climate change. A December study found carbon emissions surging in the wrong direction. New research shows the planet is in the midst of an extinction crisis.
In the eleventh hour of the outgoing Congress’ term, the Senate confirmed one of President Trump’s nominees that could have a profound impact on the future of our planet.
Kelvin Droegemeier, a meteorologist and former University of Oklahoma professor, was confirmed to be director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy on Wednesday– a role commonly referred to as “science adviser” and the top scientific office in the country.
The position has sat vacant since Trump’s presidency began nearly two years ago.
Gol-e-Zard Cave lies in the shadow of Mount Damavand, which at more than 5,000 metres dominates the landscape of northern Iran. In this cave, stalagmites and stalactites are growing slowly over millennia and preserve in them clues about past climate events. Changes in stalagmite chemistry from this cave have now linked the collapse of the Akkadian Empire to climate changes more than 4,000 years ago.
Akkadia was the world’s first empire. It was established in Mesopotamia around 4,300 years ago after its ruler, Sargon of Akkad, united a series of independent city states. Akkadian influence spanned along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers from what is now southern Iraq, through to Syria and Turkey. The north-south extent of the empire meant that it covered regions with different climates, ranging from fertile lands in the north which were highly dependent on rainfall (one of Asia’s “bread baskets”), to the irrigation-fed alluvial plains to the south.