CLIMATE CHANGE ROUND UP FOR THE WEEK ENDING: FEBRUARY 16, 2019

CLIMATE CHANGE ROUND UP FOR THE WEEK ENDING: FEBRUARY 16, 2019

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Why Trump can take credit for his opponents’ Green New Deal

 

U.S. president has handed the Democrats carte blanche on the issue of our time.

 

U.S. backsliding on climate under the administration of President Donald Trump may have dealt his Democratic Party opponents an ace card.

 

While the Democrats’ Green New Deal is championed by its left-leaning younger members, notably the dynamic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Trump’s climate-skeptical stance has ceded the field on an issue that has a much wider potential appeal.

 

And according to centre-right Canadian supporters of climate action, the popularity of environmentalism as an issue owned by the Democratic U.S. left is in many ways a creation of Trump himself.

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Climate change makes summer weather stormier yet more stagnant

 

Study finds rising temperatures feed more energy to thunderstorms, less to general circulation.

 

Climate change is shifting the energy in the atmosphere that fuels summertime weather, which may lead to stronger thunderstorms and more stagnant conditions for mid-latitude regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including North America, Europe, and Asia, a new MIT study finds.

Scientists report that rising global temperatures, particularly in the Arctic, are redistributing the energy in the atmosphere: More energy is available to fuel thunderstorms and other local, convective processes, while less energy is going toward summertime extratropical cyclones — larger, milder weather systems that circulate across thousands of kilometers. These systems are normally associated with winds and fronts that generate rain.

 

“Extratropical cyclones ventilate air and air pollution, so with weaker extratropical cyclones in the summer, you’re looking at the potential for more poor air-quality days in urban areas,” says study author Charles Gertler, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS). “Moving beyond air quality in cities, you have the potential for more destructive thunderstorms and more stagnant days with perhaps longer-lasting heat waves.”

 

Gertler and his co-author, Associate Professor Paul O’Gorman of EAPS, are publishing their results this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Think different, act more

 

Environmental policy advocate suggests new paths to combat climate change The threat of climate change is dire, but Hal Harvey sees a path forward.

 

In “Getting to Zero on Climate Change,” a stirring presentation recently at the Harvard University Center for the Environment, Harvey, the CEO of Energy Innovation Policy and Technology in San Francisco, stressed both the urgency of the problem and specific steps that could, he said, make the difference between accelerating toward destruction or innovating toward prosperity.

 

Citing “a massive problem with horrifying dimensions,” Harvey, the co-author of “Designing Climate Solutions: A Policy Guide for Low-Carbon Energy,” said that today, “extremes have become the norm.” From drought and wildfires to unprecedented floods and cold snaps, he detailed the effects we have already begun to experience. More terrifying is how close we are to climate tipping points, such as the thawing of the tundra — what used to be known as “permafrost” ­— which would release massive amounts of methane and carbon.

 

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