Surprising History of Climate Change Information

Image result for ostrich head in sand denying climate change

The July 20, 2018 edition of WNYC’s “On the Media” program( www.WNYC.org ) which discussed the history, psychology, and sociology of climate change was summarized by Alfred Friedland of the  CUNYPSC Environmental Justice Working Group. He covers the highlights, especially the information about how far back recognition of the problem goes:

It starts with a report to the Senate in the summer of 1988, saying 1988 so far is so much warmer than 1987 that barring a remarkable and improbable cooling, 1988 will be the warmest year on record . . . the greenhouse effect has been detected, and it is changing our climate now. The New York Times had a first-page headline about that report to the Senate in the summer of 1988 saying “global warming has begun, expert tells Senate.” Just below that, another story is entitled “drought raising food prices.” That’s because the country was under a month-long drought and heat wave that summer and officials estimate that between 5,000 and 10,000 people in the country died from the high temperatures. A news report of the time said “the summer of 1988 was a scorcher, but not a fluke–the 1980s have brought us the four hottest years in the last one hundred.”

A New York Times environmental reporter wrote a cover story for “Discover” magazine in October 1988 entitled “Endless Summer: Living with the Greenhouse Effect.” That writer has another article in this month’s “National Geographic” magazine.

Unlike certain kinds of pollution that have been mitigated, carbon dioxide just builds up cumulatively in the atmosphere. It may be sequestered in a tree for a hundred years, but it is eventually returned to the environment. In 1988 the concentration of carbon dioxide was 350 parts per million–350 molecules of carbon dioxide per million molecules of air. Now it’s up to 410 parts per million.

A CBS news report from 1980, when the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was only 339 parts per million, explained the heat-trapping characteristics of carbon dioxide. It said burning fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide in the air. It said coal is the worst culprit; oil and natural gas are somewhat less dangerous. The report also talked about how the melting of polar ice would lead to sea-level rise, and mentioned a number of cities that would be under water from heightened ocean levels. (This was back in 1980.)

I thought the most startling thing they said was that a “Popular Science” article in 1912 warned that we’re burning billions of tons of coal; it’s going to warm the climate; it’s going to cause changes that will endure for centuries [italics are mine]. 1912!

Later they talked about the psychology of imperviousness to change despite facts, and they also discussed some sociological implications. They also had a recording of NBC news anchor John Chancellor saying, in the hot summer of 1988, that energy is expensive, but look at this week’s cost of having a hotter planet. In the long run, he said, clean energy is cheaper. He said if we don’t do anything, this heat will only get worse. And they also mentioned that in 2011, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 391 parts per million.

There was more, but this is a précis of the parts I thought were most interesting and/or most surprising.

Posted in In the News

Exciting NYC greenroof bill to support

https://www.bkreader.com/2018/07/brooklyn-councilmember-introduces-bill-transform-nycs-concrete-jungle-oasis-green-rooftops/

By Andrea Leonhardt  July 18, 2018, 5:21 pm

The legislation requires new buildings cover available rooftop space with a green roof, solar panels or wind turbines to reduce the city’s carbon footprint

Councilmember Rafael Espinal

Councilmember Rafael Espinal (front) joined by Aziz Dehkan of People’s Climate March; Anastasia Plakias of Brooklyn Grange, Steven Peck of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (l-r). Photo credit: BK Reader

Today, City Councilmembers Rafael Espinal, Donovan Richards and Steve Levin introduced a package of legislation aimed at reducing the city’s carbon footprint and environmental pollution by expanding the number of green roofs across the city.

Espinal, who represents Brooklyn’s 37th District covering parts of Bushwick, Brownsville, Crown Heights, Cypress Hills, and East New York, gathered representatives from Brooklyn Grange, the People’s Climate March– New York, Stormwater Infrastructure MattersGreen Roofs for Healthy Cities and other environmental advocates on Vice Media’s rooftop in Williamsburg, where the building had already employed solar panels, ample green space and a lush garden.

Vice's Rooftop in Brooklyn

Vice’s rooftop garden, a first look at what NYC’s green future could look like. Photo credit: BK Reader

The legislation requires new buildings cover all available rooftop spaces with a green roof, solar panels, small wind turbines, or a combination of all three, pushing New York City to join the global effort to cool down cities and reduce their carbon footprint.

“I am introducing a bill today to create more rooftop spaces like the one where we are [at] here today,” said Espinal. “TBy greening every single rooftop in New York City, we will make a strong commitment to doing our part to protect the planet.”

Vice rooftop garden in Williamsburg

Vice’s rooftop garden also provides produce that is used for the company’s cafeteria. Photo credit: BK Reader

A roof is considered “green” when it is partially or completely covered with plants on top of a waterproof membrane. Aside from the social-emotional benefits for New Yorkers having added green recreational space, science proves that the environmental benefits are plenty: reduced urban heat island effect by cooling down the surrounding atmosphere; decreased stormwater runoff and water pollution; and reduced air pollutants that cause or aggravate conditions like allergies and asthma.

Green roofs can also be used for urban farming to provide more healthy, locally grown foods and jobs. Additionally, the added insulation can lower cooling and heating bills; and the installation of solar panels or wind turbines generates alternative, sustainable energy, reducing the country’s dependency on fossil fuels.

Anastasia Plakias, founder of Brooklyn Grange

Anastasia Plakias. Photo credit: BK Reader

“When we install a green roof, we see immediate social, economic and environmental benefits that can truly transform a building,” said Anastasia Plakias, founder of Brooklyn Grange, a rooftop farm in Greenpoint. “From the nourishing food our farm grows for its local community, to the native plants providing habitat for pollinators and people alike… We want to witness the transformation of New York City to a more equitable, livable and resilient city.”

Several cities, including Toronto, San Francisco and Denver, have passed laws in recent years requiring buildings install green roofs. New York City may be next, if the bill passes the City Council. 

Posted in In the News

Call for env justice/racism legislation

Call for environmental justice legislation: Recent threats to environmental protection will have an
especially severe impact on people of color and low-income communities, who are disproportionately exposed to environmental health burdens – many of which have roots in intentionally discriminatory land use and housing policies, including residential segregation. PRRAC’s Law and Policy interns, Jennifer Bisgaier and Jennifer Pollan, have compiled a Research & Advocacy Guide that argues for an affirmative new vision of environmental justice protections, supported by an annotated bibliography of sources that  describe the scope of environmental racism, its link to housing segregation, and theinadequacy of current protections to keep all of us healthy and safe, regardless of race or income. Read “The Call for Environmental Justice Legislation” here.
Posted in Announcements Tagged with: ,

Saturday Jul 21 11 am youth-led Climate March

youth-led Climate March, “Zero Hour”, on Saturday, July 21 starting at 11-2 starting at Columbus Circle.  They are inviting adult allies like us to join and support them. The organizers are NYC public high school students.  Bring your students, kids, your grandkids and your whole family for this march for the future.

Here’s the facebook event

Posted in Uncategorized

wed july 18 11am support phase out coal

Join us at the hearing in Long Island City to support phasing out coal and replacing it with clean energy, not dirty fracked gas  or biomass — RSVP today!

Here are the hearing details:

WHAT: Power Plant Pollution Protection – Public Hearing, Long Island City
WHEN: Wednesday July 18, 11: 00 a.m. (Press Conference at 10:30 a.m – Meet at 10:15 at the Murray Playground – 45th Rd. & 21st St, Long Island City, NY 11101)
WHERE: DOT, 1 Hunters Point Plaza, 47-40 21st St, Rm 834,  Long Island City, NY (MAP)

Questions? Shay O’Reilly at shay.oreilly@sierraclub.org

RSVP for the hearing in Long Island City today to let us know you can attend!

Posted in Uncategorized

Reparations, Healthy Farming and Environmental Justice

Emeline Posner
May 11, 2018
In These Times
How a Chicago collective approaches a worker-owned farm through an intersectional and holistic lens that understands that our community’s issues can be addressed in part by sustainable farming and food justice educational programs.

The Soul Fire team harvests greens from one of the beds at their farm in Grafton, N.Y., where they operate a CSA and several young farmer immersion programs for people of color., Capers Rumph / courtesy of Soul Fire Farm
On a small plot of land on the outskirts of Chicago, a farm collectively owned by gender-non-conforming immigrants will cultivate produce and a younger generation of food justice activists. That’s the vision that Viviana Moreno, Nadia Sol Ireri Unzueta Carrasco and Jazmín Martinez, organizers and farmers based in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, are working to turn into reality.
Catatumbo Collective, as the three call themselves, told Rural America In These Times in an email: “We’re approaching a worker-owned farm through an intersectional and holistic lens that understands that our community’s issues can be addressed in part by sustainable farming and food justice educational programs.”
Viviana, Ireri and Jazmín have known each other from years of organizing against deportations in Chicago and working in Little Village’s Semillas de Justicia community garden.
Of Venezuelan and Mexican heritage, the three incorporate their families’ experiences—with land stewardship and NAFTA-driven migration—and the history of campesinos’ and Indigenous peoples’ land struggles into their approach.
As they got more involved with Chicago’s urban agriculture movement, Ireri found few resources that provided the needed historical or cultural context. “History of the land, history of the exploitation and abuse of people working the land, and the history of resistance and resilience by Indigenous people and people of color,” Ireri says, was lacking.
They found a resource in Soul Fire Farm, a people-of-color-led farm and educational center based in Grafton, N.Y. Last summer, they all attended Soul Fire’s Black and Latinx Farmer Immersion, a program designed to impart ecologically-restorative farming techniques to people of color and to foster conversation about racism, and racial justice, in the food system.
At Soul Fire, co-founders Leah Penniman and Jonah Vitale-Wolff “gave us the space to come together, look at each other and realize [that] we are who we have been waiting for,” Viviana says. “Our individual stories and histories had already brought us together and Soul Fire solidified our commitment to land justice and reparations.”
Catatumbo is part of an international, decades-old movement for food sovereignty. Coined by international farmer coalition Via Campesina in 1996, “food sovereignty” is the idea that food production and distribution should be controlled by workers, not by powerful, profit-driven corporations. Now, organizations like Soul Fire, Catatumbo and other groups of farmers of color are building a racial justice aspect into that framework, and are looking to uplift Black, Brown, Indigenous, and immigrant farmers—those who have borne the brunt of labor exploitation, land theft and discriminatory agricultural policy—all the while advocating for ecological farming practices and racial healing.
At Soul Fire Farm, one of the food sovereignty movement’s several hubs, immersion programs have been supporting Black and Brown farmers across the United States and highlighting their history. Now, a younger generation of Soul Fire alums—like Catatumbo Collective—are putting themselves on the map.
The Catatumbo Collective and other program participants during the 2017 Black-Latinx Farmer Immersion Program at Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, N.Y.  (Image: Capers Rumph / courtesy of Soul Fire Farm)
Building Black and Brown farms through reparations 
After attending the Black and Latinx Farmer Immersion Program, Viviana, Ireri and Jazmín left with the confidence to commit to forming Catatumbo Collective. But while they were there, they started a conversation that would lead to the online reparations map that Soul Fire launched earlier this year.
“[Work toward reparations] has been happening for a couple of years, but as far as the official map that was just launched, that came out of Viviana’s work,” Penniman tells Rural America In These Times. “We were talking about … reparations gifts, and she just said, ‘We need to spread this and have more people-to-people solidarity.’ And so we made it happen!”
The map, which has attracted nearly 45,000 views to date, lists 44 farmers of color and their specific needs, which range from equipment and seeds to funding, land access and legal advice.
Soul Fire Farm’s interactive people-to-people reparations map. (Source: Google Maps)
At Perspektive Farms in rural Pennsylvania, a Black family of tree farmers are looking for funding to build a greenhouse. In New Jersey and in Alabama, organizers are looking for the funds to start an Indigenous farming collective and an Indigenous-led ecovillage, respectively. Outside a wildlife refuge on the island of Honolulu, the Four Women Radicals farm is looking for 5 acres of land to start a community farm dedicated to educating Black and Brown women on sustaining themselves.
As a tool for a grassroots movement, the map is specifically designed to facilitate people-to-people donations. The location of each farm and project is denoted by a pin. When viewers click on a pin, a sidebar pops up with information about that specific farmer’s vision and needs. It also provides the farmer’s contact information, so that the viewer can get in touch if they are interested in making a contribution.
Already, some of the tens of thousands of clicks have led to funding for several farmers’ projects. From one donor, Dallas Robinson received $7,000, which she’ll use toward the purchase of a tractor and the construction of a cool room for produce storage. With that gift, she’ll be on track to open her herb and mushroom farm, the Harriet Tubman Freedom Farm, in Red Oak, N.C. in early 2019.
Another reparations map victory came recently to Jahshana Olivierre, a community builder in Canarsie, N.Y., who received $2,800 through the reparations map—enough to fund an apothecary apprenticeship, which will help her build knowledge to start her own youth-led herbal apothecary and cooperative.
These reparations victories follow earlier gifts that originated from a different Soul Fire program, Uprooting Racism in the Food System Immersion. The program offers training for people who have positional privilege in the food system and want to learn how to avoid being complicit with white supremacy in their day-to-day work.
Two Black- and Brown-led farms in central New York, Harmony Farm, in Goshen, N.Y., and Wild Seed Community Farm, in Millerton, N.Y., were created through gifts of land and funding by alums of the Uprooting Racism program.
“There’s an awakening consciousness that reparations are necessary and aren’t seen as some fringe unreasonable demand, but really an essential part of racial healing,” says Penniman.
Institutional reparations—such as the 1999 Pigford v. Glickmanclass action discrimination suit that won $1.25 billion for Black farmers denied loans and assistance by the USDA—are necessary, Penniman says. But she points out that the average payout was $50,000 per farmer, “which is not enough to get a good tractor, let alone get your land back.”
According to a paper in the Southern Rural Sociology journal, as of 2002 Black-owned or -operated farms numbered less than 20,000 and tending a total of 2 million acres—a decrease from the 1920 peak of 926,000 farms on 16 million acres.
“We absolutely do need to continue to litigate, and to do that policy work, but we don’t have to wait for that to enact reparations,” Penniman says. “We can actually start right away with these people-to-people transfers, of wealth that was stolen, to the people from whom it was stolen.”
Getting farmers of color on the map 
Catatumbo Collective’s primary goal for the map was to help facilitate these transfers of wealth. But, incidentally, the map may also help towards building up an online database of farmers of color, who have long been underrepresented by demographic surveys.
While government-led surveys are likely to underrepresent small-scale and Black and Brown-operated farms, independent surveys are no more likely to have accurate counts, as Nathan Rosenberg and Clay H. East recently argued in the New Food Economy.
For example, the Washington Post and other outlets share uplifting stories of how the youngest cohort of farmers is defined by its dedication to sustainable techniques and its diversity—but they draw on a National Young Farmer Coalition survey that skews toward “highly educated, ex-urban, first-time farmers,” a group that is unrepresentative of the full spread of farmers under 35.
The Soul Fire Farm team show visitors around a hoophouse at the start of the growing season. (Image: Capers Rumph / courtesy of Soul Fire Farm)
USDA census data, on the other hand, tells a different story: namely, that the youngest generation (35 and under) of farmers is slightly more white (94 percent) and male (90 percent) than older generations, and more likely to practice conventional, industrialized agriculture.
In reality, the number of young farmers of color is likely higher than the current USDA estimate, though by how much is unclear.
One reason for this discrepancy in narrative is that the USDA has long failed to account for small-scale farms in its census. (As of 2002, Black farmers were likely to operate less than 50 acres of farmland, far below the national average of 440.) Although the USDA has been working to improve its methodology since 1997, its counts are likely still too low, given how small farms are decreasing in number at the same time as “very small farms and gardens are increasing. By their very nature, very small farms and gardens, whether in rural or urban areas, are difficult to track from year to year.
Independent and grassroots maps like Soul Fire’s reparations map will not serve as a replacement for more comprehensive surveys, but farmers like Penniman and the Catatumbo members see it as a step in the right direction. In the meantime, it serves the more important function of helping people of color and allies locate, and support Black and Brown farms.
 “We do need a directory of POC-run farms and health centers. This map may or may not be the thing, but it has been a long time call-out that we have needed in our movement,” Penniman says, adding a shout-out to Tasha Bowens, who published a book called the Color of Food, which maps out farm projects run by people of color. “But I do think that we need a curated space, a vetted space, that says these are the farms that are legit run by people of color that legit exist, and this is what they offer.”
In the meantime, the map’s creators are hoping to expand the breadth of the map, which currently skews heavily toward the Northeast, where they’ve built their network. “That is not where most of the Black farmers are,” says Penniman, “They’re in the South, and in the West. But I am really excited for it to grow. This project is just one humble and small piece of that overall movement for Black land sovereignty.”
Catatumbo’s beacon for food justice
The Catatumbo River, from which the agricultural collective pulls its name, flows from Colombia down into Venezuela. For around two-thirds of the year, and for as many as 10 hours a night, lightning storms linger over the mouth of the Catatumbo River, where it empties into Lake Maracaibo. The sharp bursts of lightning that the storms generate are so bright that they have functioned as a “natural lighthouse” for generations of sailors.
It’s a striking name for the farm collective that the three Chicagoans envision building, both in the interest of cultivating ecologically and teaching younger members of their communities to do the same. But it won’t be built overnight: Catatumbo hasn’t yet received reparations. To start, they need assistance finding a plot of land, a truck and guidance on how to form a business as residents of mixed documentation status. Through the map that they helped to create, they’ve received numerous messages and offers of assistance, but most of those offers have not materialized. None of them denies that it’s a long road forward to their peri-urban farm, but it’s one they’re committed to following.
In the meantime, the voices behind Catatumbo are helping to shape the conversation around urban agriculture and food justice in Chicago. At a February 2018 Chicago food policy summit, a breakout session on Black and Latinx agricultural history, which Viviana helped to lead, pulled half the summit’s attendees. And until they fund their farm, you can find Viviana, Jazmín and Ireri in Chicago, organizing, teaching, and using the gardens they do have to grow and to impart their knowledge about stewardship to others.
 A Soul Fire Farm team poses for a picture in the field. (Image: Capers Rumph / courtesy of Soul Fire Farm)
Emeline Posner is a summer 2017 Rural America In These Times editorial intern.
Posted in In the News

People’s Climate march 6/29 newsletter

The Peoples Climate Movement Newsletter

June 29th, 2018

*Have you pledged to Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice on September 8th?

Pledge now!

Share this new VOTE for Climate, Jobs, and Justice poster, designed by world-renowned printmaker Amos Kennedy, on your FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

You can find all of our posters—formatted for print and social media, and some available in Spanish and Chinese—here.

 

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STATEMENT OF SUPPORT

Since 2014, the Peoples Climate Movement has made the argument that to change everything, it takes everyone. Now more than ever that message rings true. This week we’ve seen another supreme court justice step down, opening the door to a super conservative Trump-majority that could threaten the most basic of our civil liberties for decades. We’ve seen SCOTUS deal a dangerous blow to the labor movement; a decision that will deeply impact working people’s ability to organize effectively across the country. We’ve seen a xenophobic executive order become a law banning global citizens from entering the country because of the majority religion of the country from which they hail. And we’ve seen thousands of migrating families – mothers, fathers, and children – denied due process, detained, and their family unit torn apart. What these attacks have in common, in part, is an agenda that increases the power of the 1%, that transforms good government into a system that only serves wealthy business interests, and keeps us divided.

But they’ve failed. We aren’t divided. As democracy comes under attack and repressive and right wing movements in the US and around the world are emboldened, we are building a movement that is strong enough to change the balance of power and protect our rights.

PCM believes our struggling allies are more than progressive partners working towards a common goal, they are more than lists of folks disproportionately impacted by the ravages of climate change; they are our brothers and our sisters, our mothers and our fathers. They are all of us. We are all of them. Today we rise with detained immigrants and those fleeing places vulnerable to climate disasters. We rise with our working brothers and sisters, fighting with us side by side for a clean and renewable energy economy that guarantees family-sustaining jobs and the right to unionize. We rise with these men, women, and children for Climate, Jobs, and Justice. We do it today, we’ll do it on September 8th, we’ll do it on November 6th, and in the weeks, months, and years to come. We will change everything, because we are everyone.

P.S. This Saturday, people across the country are taking action to stand with immigrant families and against Trump’s cruel “zero tolerance” policy. Find an action near you here.

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ACTION UPDATES

Take Action Now

→ Find a Climate Event near you. Just enter a zip/postal code and find September 8th Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice events happening all over the world. If you will be hosting a #ClimateJobsJustice action, make sure to add it to the map so others can join you!

Dress for Climate, Jobs and Justice!

Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice shirts are now available. Purchase yours today here

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MOVEMENT UPDATES

Planning a Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice Action? Check out this Guide!

SAVE THE DATE: PCM’s National Partner & Participant Call, July 12th @ 7 PM ET

Join PCM partners on July 12th to learn more about Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice September 8th actions happening across the country, and how you can get involved. RSVP Here.

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PCM PARTNER UPDATES

Join The People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street for the First Arts Meeting for the New York Rise For Climate Action

Introducing the 2018 RAY Fellowship Program Conservation Conversation Series!

These Conversations will occur as hour-long webinars via Zoom and registration is required. Please find the dates, times, and titles of the upcoming webinars below, along with links to register. Info can be found on RAY social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @rayconservation) as well as on the RAY website.

  • Conservation Conversation with Derek Segars – Thu, Jun 28 @ 1pm ET / 10am PT

Register here Title: Policy and the Environment: A Glimpse into Minority Representation in Environmental Policy

  • Conservation Conversation with Camilo McConnell – Mon, Jul 2 @ 1pm ET/ 10am PT

Register here Title: Intersectional Approach to Green Stormwater Infrastructure Implementation

  • Conservation Conversation with Gustavo Figueroa – Fri, Jul 6 @ 1pm ET / 10am PT

Register here Title: An Innovative Approach to Conservation and Coastal Resiliency


Zero Hour Youth Climate March July, 21st 2018

Join #ThisIsZeroHour  on July 21st, 2018, to rally for statewide, national, and global climate justice! In Washington D.C., youth will march on the National Mall for the demands that are to be delivered to leaders during The Youth Climate Lobby Day. Voices and stories of youth on the frontlines of the climate crisis will be highlighted. Youth will flood the streets as a demonstration of power and show how to act on climate change. To join: RSVP here!

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PCM is Hiring

We are currently hiring for several positions. Please consider applying and spread the word!

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Find out more about the Peoples Climate Movement, take the pledge, or join an action.

Connect With Us On Social Media:

Posted in Events

Divestment Action Thursday June 28 5:15 pm Fulton Street Brooklyn

PLEASE HELP PUSH NYS COMPTROLLER DINAPOLI ON DIVESTMENT
Divest NY and our partners are picketing NY State Comptroller DiNapoli at his fundraising rally!!!
Let’s protest his resistance to divesting the $6 billion presently invested in fossil fuel stocks in the NYS public pension fund.  Let’s let him know that we want divestment now!
Please join us!!

When: Thursday, June 28th, 5:15-6:30pm

Where: Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, 1368 Fulton Street, Brooklyn 11216
Bring a sign or banner if you can, but mostly, bring yourself and your friends!
RSVP on the 350NYC Facebook event page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1001867226657390/?ti=as

Posted in Events

Antarctic Ice Sheet Melt Speeding Up

 

Antarctica’s ice sheet is melting 3 times faster than before

A new study suggests a section of glaciers in Antarctica is melting faster than expected.

By SETH BORENSTEIN  http://www.rocketminer.com/news/antarctica-s-ice-sheet-is-melting-times-faster-than-before/article_6768d649-ccfe-5337-8fb6-178def7081b2.html

WASHINGTON —

The melting of Antarctica is accelerating at an alarming rate, with about 3 trillion tons of ice disappearing since 1992, an international team of ice experts said in a new study.

In the last quarter century, the southern-most continent’s ice sheet – a key indicator of climate change – melted into enough water to cover Texas to a depth of nearly 13 feet (4 meters), scientists calculated. All that water made global oceans rise about three-tenths of an inch (7.6 millimeters).

From 1992 to 2011, Antarctica lost nearly 84 billion tons of ice a year (76 billion metric tons). From 2012 to 2017, the melt rate increased to more than 241 billion tons a year (219 billion metric tons), according to the study Wednesday in the journal Nature .

“I think we should be worried. That doesn’t mean we should be desperate,” said University of California Irvine’s Isabella Velicogna, one of 88 co-authors. “Things are happening. They are happening faster than we expected.”

Part of West Antarctica, where most of the melting occurred, “is in a state of collapse,” said co-author Ian Joughin of the University of Washington.

The study is the second of assessments planned every several years by a team of scientists working with NASA and the European Space Agency. Their mission is to produce the most comprehensive look at what’s happening to the world’s vulnerable ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland.

Outside experts praised the work as authoritative.

Unlike single-measurement studies, this team looks at ice loss in 24 different ways using 10 to 15 satellites, as well as ground and air measurements and computer simulations, said lead author Andrew Shepherd of the University of Leeds in England.

It’s possible that Antarctica alone can add about half a foot (16 centimeters) to sea level rise by the end of the century, Shepherd said. Seas also rise from melting land glaciers elsewhere, Greenland’s dwindling ice sheet and the fact that warmer water expands.

“Under natural conditions we don’t expect the ice sheet to lose ice at all,” Shepherd said. “There are no other plausible signals to be driving this other than climate change.”

Shepherd cautioned that this is not a formal study that determines human fingerprints on climate events.

Forces “that are driving these changes are not going to get any better in a warming climate,” said University of Colorado ice scientist Waleed Abdalati, a former NASA chief scientist who wasn’t part of the study team.

In Antarctica, it’s mostly warmer water causing the melt. The water nibbles at the floating edges of ice sheets from below. Warming of the southern ocean is connected to shifting winds, which are connected to global warming from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas, Shepherd said.

More than 70 percent of the recent melt is in West Antarctica.

The latest figures show East Antarctica is losing relatively little ice a year – about 31 tons (28 metric tons) – since 2012. It was gaining ice before 2012.

So far scientists are not comfortable saying the trend in East Antarctica will continue. It is likely natural variability, not climate change, and East Antarctica is probably going to be stable for a couple decades, said study co-author Joughin.

Another study in Nature on Wednesday found that East Antarctic ice sheet didn’t retreat significantly 2 million to 5 million years ago when heat-trapping carbon dioxide levels were similar to what they are now.

Twila Moon, a research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center who wasn’t part of the studies, said “ice-speaking, the situation is dire.”

 

Posted in In the News

Mon June 18 5:30 picket Cuomo on fossil fuels at the Plaza

Picket Cuomo – Off Fossil Fuels!

 

Monday, June 18

5:30 – 7:00 pm

 

The Plaza Hotel

768 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan

Governor Cuomo is holding a fundraiser in Manhattan — and we’ll be there, urging him to move New York off fossil fuels.

The fundraiser’s theme is the “Best of Broadway,” but we’ll be singing a different tune, demanding that Cuomo halt oil & gas projects and shift to 100 percent renewable energy.

We’ll be calling on Cuomo to walk the talk and be a true climate leader by stopping all fossil fuel pipelines, power plants, and other infrastructure and transitioning to renewable energy now!

Co-sponsoring organizations include: New York Communities for Change, Rise and Resist, Sane Energy Project, Food & Water Watch, 350Brooklyn, 350NYC, NY Renews, New York Energy Democracy Alliance, Mothers Out Front – NYC, Fossil Free – NYC, United for Action, Peoples Climate Movement – New York, Fossil Free

Posted in Uncategorized

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