CLIMATE CHANGE ROUND UP FOR THE WEEK ENDING: JANUARY 12 2019
Since the 1980s, increasingly frequent and intense heatwaveshave contributed to more deaths than any other extreme weather event. The fingerprints of extreme events and climate change are widespread in the natural world, where populations are showing stress responses.
A common fingerprint of a warmer world is a range shift, where the distribution of a species moves to higher altitudes or migrates toward the poles. A review of several hundred studies found an average shift of 17km poleward, and 11 metres upslope, every decade. However, if temperature changes are too intense or lead species to geographic dead ends, local extinctions occur in the heat.
IF YOU WANT A CHUCKLE, check out the amusing story of how a $2,000 cat door installed in a West Vancouver home can help fight climate change (embedded in the $3 million home it belongs to). To be fair, the article has some good information on passive houses, or net-zero homes, but you might find yourself jaded by the time you get to the part where the 11-foot windows are described. (Shipped from Europe, they were.) Carbon footprint applies to the whole product and the processes involved in building it, no?
A good conversation starter nonetheless. Climate change requires action, and energy efficient homes are a good start. They need not cost millions, though; financially feasible ones already exist, including here in Kamloops, so the conversation will only get better from here on.
Canada’s scientists conclude that human-induced climate change had a strong impact on forest fires in British Columbia
A record 1.2 million ha burned in British Columbia, Canada’s extreme wildfire season of 2017. Key factors in this unprecedented event were the extreme warm and dry conditions that prevailed at the time, which are also reflected in extreme fire weather and behavior metrics. To quantify the influence of human‐induced climate change on this event, we compare the likelihood of the risk factors affecting the extreme fire season to an estimate of what the likelihood might have been without the human component. We find that human‐induced climate change contributed greatly to the probability of the observed extreme warm temperatures, high wildfire risk, and large burned areas.