Summer could last 6 months long due to climate change (Washington Post)
Chinese researchers discover summers are getting increasingly longer and hotter. Furthermore, if humans don’t do anything to significantly reverse the effects of climate change, by 2100, summers will last 6 months. The study found that winters, springs, and falls have decreased over the past few decades, meaning the length of summer is constantly on the rise. Although the seasons have already shifted, there is still time for us to limit our carbon emissions and keep this change at bay.
Extreme flooding in Hawaii leads to mass evacuations (The Guardian)
Drastic rainfall hit Maui, Oahu, Kauaii, and parts of the Big Island this past week. A University of Hawaii study confirmed that, while the amount of average rainfall in Hawaii is on the decline, rainstorms like these are only increasing in frequency and intensity. The unprecedented flooding brought on by these rainstorms forced many Hawaiians out of their homes as the governor declared a state of emergency in the region.
While melting permafrost in Siberia opens up business opportunities, other effects of a climate change damage the country (Nikkei Asia)
A Russian tanker was able to cross Siberia’s Arctic Ocean in the middle of the winter for the first time ever. However, while Russia financially benefits from the melting Arctic ice in the short run, Vladimir Putin has also recognized drastic shifts to allow for such a voyage are unnatural and must be prevented. Massive craters (caused by methane blasts in the ground), “zombie fires,” and once-dormant pathogens (read about Siberia’s 2016 anthrax outbreak) unfreezing are all results Siberia’s thawing permafrost, and have each plagued the country drastically.
Carbon capturing seagrass in danger due to warming sea temperatures (BBC)
Posidonia oceanica, a valuable and powerful tool for capturing CO2, is becoming increasingly threatened by human activity and climate change. The plant’s ability to grow is slowed down by increasing water temperatures making its abilities less valuable when the world needs it most. Efforts to protect this plant are time consuming, and planting efforts wouldn’t show useful results for centuries. Read more to see what governments can do to encourage the protection of Posidonia.
The tropics are at risk of reaching wet-bulb temperatures (The New York Times)
A recent study urges reducing emissions enough to stay under the 1.5 degree Celsius warming limit set by the Paris agreement. Warming above that limit could lead to areas reaching extreme wet-bulb temperatures; temperatures not fit for human survival. Reducing warming is essential in stopping extreme weather events from taking over our climate. Although we don’t have enough research on the health or long term climate impacts of wet-bulb temperatures, in the tropics, the combination of high heat and humidity can affect people’s health and be possibly deadly. Tropical parts of the globe could even become inhabitable for certain populations.
UN study determines that methods of food production, processing and packaging accounts for over one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions (UN News)
International food systems increasingly utilizing greater amounts of energy, mirroring the demand of transport, retail, processing and packaging. A higher rate of food system emissions exist in the developing world, and about two-thirds of the emissions result from land use and agriculture. As the UN Food Systems Summit will meet later this year, discussion on the establishment of sustainable food systems will be necessary to reduce climate effects.
School climate strikers found political party, runs in the German local elections (The Guardian)
Klimaliste (Climate List) hopes to ensure that the promises of the Paris Climate Agreement are met and aims to win the support of Green party members and first-time voters. Organized less than six months ago, the party has gained around 450 members, a majority of which are activists and scientists, and two of the founders led the 2019 student climate strikes instigated by Greta Thunberg.
Roughly two-thirds of the planet’s tropical rainforests have been destroyed by humans (CNN)
CNN meteorologist Pegram Javaheri presented data on the climate control of tropical rainforests and their predicted disappearance. Tropical rainforests, which regulate global temperatures, cover three percent of Earth –housing over fifty percent of animal species– and the Amazon rainforest alone produces twenty percent of Earth’s oxygen. As well, twenty-five percent of Western medicines are extracted from rainforests. Humans have demolished roughly sixty-seven percent of all rainforests, and thirty percent are at risk of fires and future devastation.