Robert Vinet

Insatiably Curious

Tag: Climate Change

Devastating toxic red tide algae bloom plagues Florida’s Gulf Coast

Associated Press:

The algae turns the water toxic for marine life, and in recent weeks beachgoers have been horrified to find turtles, large fish like goliath grouper and even manatees wash up dead. In late July, a 26-foot long (8-meter-long) whale shark washed ashore on Sanibel Island, which is known for its pristine beaches. In places like Longboat Key, more than 5 tons of dead fish have been removed from beaches. This week, nine dead dolphins were found in Sarasota County, and marine biologists are investigating whether the deaths are related to red tide.

The Florida Wildlife Research Institute says the number of dead and stranded sea turtles is nearly three times higher than average. More than 450 stranded and dead sea turtles have been recovered in four affected counties this year, and the institute estimates that 250 to 300 died from red tide poisoning.

More:

How climate change is making ‘red tide’ algal blooms even worse – Washington Post (paywall)

Florida Declares State Of Emergency As Red Tide Spreads – Huffington Post via Yahoo

Florida’s Gulf Coast Battles Deadly And Smelly Red Tide – NPR

Is Germany running out of beer bottles because of climate change?

NPR:

In Germany, beer consumption is up as temperatures remain unusually high. This is good and bad news for the beer industry.

While the breweries have more than enough beer to go around, they’re running out of bottles because customers are not returning their empties quickly enough.

Germans care about the environment about as much as their beer; that’s why the glass bottles are recycled. Customers pay a small deposit on each one, which they get back when they return it to a store.

It’s worst than expected: Half of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is already dead due to climate change

National Geographic:

Half of the Great Barrier Reef has been bleached to death since 2016. Mass coral bleaching, a global problem triggered by climate change, occurs when unnaturally hot ocean water destroys a reef’s colorful algae, leaving the coral to starve. The Great Barrier Reef illustrates how extensive the damage can be: Thirty percent of the coral perished in 2016, another 20 percent in 2017. The effect is akin to a forest after a devastating fire. Much of the marine ecosystem along the reef’s north coast has become barren and skeletal with little hope of recovery.

All-time heat records have been set all over the world

Washington Post (paywall):

Large areas of heat pressure or heat domes scattered around the hemisphere led to the sweltering temperatures. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports the heat is to blame for at least 54 deaths in southern Quebec, mostly in and near Montreal, which endured record high temperatures.

In Northern Siberia, along the coast of the Arctic Ocean – where weather observations are scarce – model analyses showed temperatures soaring 40 degrees above normal on July 5, to over 90 degrees. “It is absolutely incredible and really one of the most intense heat events I’ve ever seen for so far north,” wrote meteorologist Nick Humphrey, who offers more detail on this extraordinary high-latitude hot spell on his blog.

On Thursday, Africa likely witnessed its hottest temperature ever reliably measured. Ouargla, Algeria soared to 124.3 degrees (51.3 Celsius). If verified, it would surpass Africa’s previous highest reliable temperature measurement of 123.3 degrees (50.7 Celsius) set July 13, 1961, in Morocco.

Barack Obama on the world stage with Johannesburg speech

Former U.S. President Barack Obama warned that the world is sliding into a brutal and dangerous new era where autocrats are exploiting fear to subvert democracy.

Globe and Mail:

“Look around. Strongman politics are ascendant suddenly, whereby elections and some pretense of democracy are maintained but those in power seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning.”

Mr. Obama was cheered with standing ovations from about 15,000 people at a Johannesburg cricket stadium on Tuesday as he made his highest-profile public appearance since leaving office last year. The crowd greeted him by enthusiastically chanting “Yes, we can” – an echo of Mr. Obama’s famous election slogan.

More: The Atlantic, The Guardian

Sweden is on track to reach its green energy goals a decade early

Green Matters:

Sweden has always been ahead of the curve in terms of renewable energy. 57 percent of the country’s power was coming from sustainable sources as of 2015. Some of this is thanks to the land that’s available to create large wind projects and their top nuclear reactors continue to be phased out — although there’s a long process to get rid of them all.

Standing up for Canada, Facts Matter; Antarctic is melting; Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

Canada’s population has reached 37 million, according to new data released this morning by Statistics Canada. It took just two years and two months to add one million people, which stood at 37,067,011 as of April 1.

50 years ago today, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston bid farewell to his parents and began an incredible 312 day journey which cemented him in the history books as the winner of the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, making him the first person to sail solo, non-stop around the world.

NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity has survived 5,161 days longer than expected — but a massive storm threatens to end its mission

A new study looking at 25 years of data came to the conclusion that the Antarctic ice sheet is melting about three times faster than earlier thought. The Antarctic ice sheet covers about 24 million square kilometres and holds about 60 per cent of all fresh water on Earth. If it were to melt completely, it would raise sea levels by 58 metres.

Facts Matter: Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland addressing an audience that had just presented her an award in Washington, D.C. offered a rebuke of U.S. President’s tariffs plan, without saying his name, calling for truth, facts,  open trade, and rules-based order.

Chrystia Freeland’s speech:

A group of U.S. Republican senators is siding with Canada on tariffs (paywall)

The Stanford Prison Experiment, the most famous psychology study of all time, was a sham.

The State of New York sues U.S. President’s foundation, alleging ‘extensive’ lawbreaking. New York’s attorney general sued the U.S. President, three of his children and his ‘non-profit’ foundation. Barbara Underwood alleges “persistent illegal conduct” at the foundation, including support for the U.S. President’s 2016 presidential campaign. She asked the court to dissolve the non-profit, and impose bans on the U.S. President, his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, and his daughter Ivanka from holding leadership roles in New York charities. The suit states: The U.S. President “ran the Foundation according to his whim, rather than the law.” Money raised under the guise of helping veterans was being used to help elect the U.S. President to office.


June 14

1872: Labour unions are legalized in Canada.

1900: Hawaii becomes a United States territory.

1928: Che Guevara is born in Rosario, Argentina.

2017: A massive fire at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in London kills 72 people. It’s Britain’s deadliest fire on domestic premises since the Second World War.

Greenland Is Melting

Outside Magazine:

Filmmaker Jason van Bruggen and his team from Dot Dot Dash spent May in Greenland at the Swiss Camp Polar Research station with Dr. Konrad Steffen from Switzerland’s WSL research institute to investigate our changing climate. Dr. Steffen urges audiences to consider the role that they have to play in the solution. “I think that there is some kind of a myth where we need the scientists to solve this problem,” he says, “but it is the community, together with the scientists, that have to solve the problem.”

Peru’s glaciers slowly melting

Nicholas Casey, writing for The New York Times:

Mount Everest has the Sherpas. The Cordillera Blanca, a snowy mountain range in northern Peru, has the ayudantes de campo, or field helpers, in Spanish. They are the mountain men, mainly indigenous, who have watched a huge expanse of ice that was known to them for centuries shrink drastically in the space of one generation.

“Before, we saw our glaciers as beautiful, our mountain range covered in a white sheet that was stunning,” Mr. González said on a recent day at a small mountain-climber’s hostel near the base of an 18,000-foot peak. “But today, we don’t see that anymore on our glacier, which we’re losing more of every day. Instead of white, we are seeing stone.”

Denmark breaks own record with 43 percent of power generated from wind in 2017

Reuters

The level of electricity consumption supplied by wind power has set records in the Nordic country nine out of the last 10 years, reaching 43.4 percent last year and surpassing the previous 2015 record of 42 percent.

 

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