extreme weather and climate change

huffingtonpost.com
Alabama's 'Worst Drought In Memory' Is About To Get Even Worse
With 98 percent of the state affected, Alabama's abysmal water management planning is under intense scrutiny.

When we think “drought,” we think California, or just a couple of years ago, Texas, or the American Southwest generally. We don’t think, “Alabama.” Until this story popped up on my screen, I wasn’t aware of a drought in Alabama.

Excerpt from the Huffington Post story:

Alabama is in the midst of the worst drought in at least a decade, though anecdotally, many say it’s the most severe in modern memory. More than 98 percent of the state is now suffering drought conditions, with parts of the northeast and east-central Alabama enduring “exceptional drought” ― the worst possible kind. Rivers and streams have run dry, wildlife have perished, and raging wildfires have consumed more than 12,000 acres of land statewide.

Forecasters said this week that the drought is showing no signs of abating. Alabama will likely experience not a wet, but a drier than usual winter this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The agency said the drought is expected to persist through Jan. 31, bringing worsening conditions to areas already in the grips of a crisis. It’s anticipated that drought will consume the entire state by year’s end.

With climate change promising to bring more frequent and intense droughts and wildfires in the coming decades, local activists and water management experts say the ongoing drought is a foreshadowing of “scary” things to come.

The current emergency has also cast a harsh spotlight on the state’s abject failure to prepare for times of drought crisis, they say.

Alabama has been dubbed “America’s Amazon.” It has the most navigable water channels in the country and boasts the most freshwater biodiversity. So dead and dying rivers and streams can spell disaster for ecosystems, as well as local communities living near water bodies and industries relying on these water channels for survival.

Drought also severely threatens the health of wildlife populations, including threatened species. Other than being one of America’s most biodiverse states, Alabama is also home to the third-largest number of endangered species in the country, including aquatic creatures like fish, freshwater mussels and crayfish.

The climate and the current weather pattern is creating the drought. But the state’s government isn’t helping the situation:

February 2, 2017 - Blue-headed Quail-dove (Starnoenas cyanocephala)

Endemic to Cuba, these doves were once common, but are now found only in a few areas of the country. Foraging mostly in leaf litter, they eat seeds, berries, and small arthropods. They spend much of their time in pairs and only fly rarely to escape from predators or call from a low perch. Territorial during the breeding season, they defend an area around their nests, which are built on tree trunks near the ground from loose twigs and fresh leaves. Males mostly incubate the eggs during the day and females usually incubate them at night. They are classified as Endangered by the IUCN due to hunting and habitat destruction. Introduced predators, extreme weather, and climate change may be additional threats to their population.

rollingstone.com
The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here
The worst predicted impacts of climate change are starting to happen — and much faster than climate scientists expected

It is important that you understand the seriousness of this situation.  Though there is extensive coverage in print and online media, climate change gets less press than celebrity diet secrets and rap feuds.  Write to your senators and congressmen.  Sign petitions.  Organize and take part in demonstrations.  Activism is important.  

We are not going to save everything.  The world is going to change.  People are dying and will continue to die.  Property will be destroyed, possibly whole cities.  Some species will go extinct. We need to act now, and pressure our elected officials to pass serious legislation to mitigate climate change.  We don’t have to lose everything.

Sharing and liking tumblr posts isn’t enough. You must do more.

usatoday.com
Alex, first January hurricane since 1938, forms in Atlantic
Alex is only the third hurricane ever recorded in January in the Atlantic Ocean.

Alex became the first hurricane to form in the Atlantic Ocean in January in nearly 80 years Thursday morning, the National Hurricane Center said. A hurricane warning was in effect for the Azores as the storm headed north-northeast at 20 mph toward the island chain with winds of 85 mph. The storm is forecast to bring hurricane conditions to the central Azores by early Friday.

“Extreme electric storm”, taken in Johannesburg, South Africa by Alexius van der Westhuizen, is one of the winning photos of the World Meteorological Organization’s photo contest.

The theme of the contest – ““Hotter, drier, wetter. Face the Future” – was chosen to illustrate the reality of climate change. As a result of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, land and sea surface temperatures are rising. The frequency and intensity of extreme events like heatwaves and heavy rainfall is increasing. Without urgent action to cut carbon dioxide emissions, this trend will accelerate.

Donald Trump mocked "global warming" over the weekend because it was freezing in NYC

It was 72° in NYC today. 

Trump is using his willful ignorance regarding climate science and climate change, which includes extreme weather patterns, to attract the idiot vote, AKA Republican base.

we've caused hurricane matthew

late October hurricanes at this intensity are very rare, but since we’ve increased CO2 levels in the ocean and caused a pretty severe sea level rise, events like these will become more common. climate change results in extreme weather phenomena, so if you think this is an isolated incident, you’re wrong. we need to stop pissing off nature because it can, will, and should destroy us.

RICO for climate deniers

*At the rate things are going, these wicked old men might be glad to be in a nice safe white-collar prison instead of a climate-crisis refugee camp.



The following is the text of a letter written by a number of scientists asking for a federal investigation of climate science denial under the RICO statute.

Letter to President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, and OSTP Director Holdren

September 1, 2015

Dear President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, and OSTP Director Holdren,

As you know, an overwhelming majority of climate scientists are convinced about the potentially serious adverse effects of human-induced climate change on human health, agriculture, and biodiversity. We applaud your efforts to regulate emissions and the other steps you are taking. Nonetheless, as climate scientists we are exceedingly concerned that America’s response to climate change – indeed, the world’s response to climate change – is insufficient. The risks posed by climate change, including increasing extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and increasing ocean acidity – and potential strategies for addressing them – are detailed in the Third National Climate Assessment (2014), Climate Change Impacts in the United States. The stability of the Earth’s climate over the past ten thousand years contributed to the growth of agriculture and therefore, a thriving human civilization. We are now at high risk of seriously destabilizing the Earth’s climate and irreparably harming people around the world, especially the world’s poorest people.

We appreciate that you are making aggressive and imaginative use of the limited tools available to you in the face of a recalcitrant Congress. One additional tool – recently proposed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse – is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change. The actions of these organizations have been extensively documented in peerreviewed academic research (Brulle, 2013) and in recent books including: Doubt is their Product (Michaels, 2008), Climate Cover-Up (Hoggan & Littlemore, 2009), Merchants of Doubt (Oreskes & Conway, 2010), The Climate War (Pooley, 2010), and in The Climate Deception Dossiers (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2015). We strongly endorse Senator Whitehouse’s call for a RICO investigation.

The methods of these organizations are quite similar to those used earlier by the tobacco industry. A RICO investigation (1999 to 2006) played an important role in stopping the tobacco industry from continuing to deceive the American people about the dangers of smoking. If corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters are guilty of the misdeeds that have been documented in books and journal articles, it is imperative that these misdeeds be stopped as soon as possible so that America and the world can get on with the critically important business of finding effective ways to restabilize the Earth’s climate, before even more lasting damage is done.

Sincerely,

Jagadish Shukla, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Edward Maibach, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Paul Dirmeyer, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Barry Klinger, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Paul Schopf, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
(continued on page 2)
Letter to President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, and OSTP Director Holdren
David Straus, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Edward Sarachik, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Michael Wallace, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Alan Robock, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Eugenia Kalnay, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
William Lau, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
T.N. Krishnamurti, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Vasu Misra, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Ben Kirtman, University of Miami, Miami, FL
Robert Dickinson, University of Texas, Austin, TX
Michela Biasutti, Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY
Mark Cane, Columbia University, New York, NY
Lisa Goddard, Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY
Alan Betts, Atmospheric Research, Pittsford, VT

youtube.com
Texas Flood Survivor Follows Senator Cruz To New Hampshire Primaries

KXAN, a local Austin news channel, reported on Renee Boschert’s story as she traveled to New Hampshire to confront Ted Cruz directly on his climate change denial. Renee lost her home in the devastating floods last May in Wimberely, TX, which were fueled by the effects of climate change on extreme precipitation. However, Ted Cruz continues to deny climate change, claiming that the scientists, not the politicians, are the ones with a “political agenda.”