Washington state could face new floods brought on by “atmospheric rivers” (The Guardian)
Western and north-central Washington received flood watch warnings, as atmospheric rivers threaten flood damage and extreme weather once again this month.
“Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow bands of water vapor in the atmosphere that extend from the tropics to higher latitudes, acting like a pipe in the sky. These columns of vapor, typically between 250 and 375 miles wide, move with the weather and can transport up to 15 times the volume of the Mississippi River,” according to The Guardian.
Forecasters predict that an atmospheric river could raise up to three inches of rain in regions affected by the flooding.
The 26th UN Climate Conference (Cop26) establishes set of goals (UN News)
The UN Climate Communications Lead at the Department of Global Communications Martina Donlon states that there are three COP26 agreements that she believes are the most effective, including emphasis on deals on methane, coal and forests.
Additionally, Donlon explained the doubling of financial support.
“Although this will not provide all of the funding needed by poorer countries, the fact that developed countries agreed to double their collective funds for adaptation is a major improvement,” Donlon said.
Also, Donlon underscores the pacts’ goal to phase down coal.
Incoming German Chancellor to make Germany climate neutral by 2045 (BBC)
Following Germany’s federal elections, Angela Merkel is being replaced as German Chancellor by Olaf Scholz. Scholz’s rise to power is through a three-way coalition deal between the Greens, the FDP, and the SPD. This coalition has plans to transition Germany to a green economy and increase climate protection. The three parties also aim to phase out coal by 2030 and greatly increase the use of renewable energy. The coalition deal’s broader goal, named “Daring more progress”, is to make Germany climate neutral by 2045 and to be in line with the EU’s target to phase out combustion engine cars by 2035.
Anti-Black Friday Movement rooted in environmental concerns (CBS News)
Last Friday, Black Friday, climate activities in Europe targeted 13 different amazon depots protesting “overconsumption at the expense of the natural world”. Furthermore, Amazon workers were set to march from Bezos’s house to Howard Schultz’s , Starbucks executive, home on Black Friday as a part of a Global Day of Protest. Part of this march was to call out union-busting from both corporations. The anti-black Friday movement started around 20 years ago; the movement is said to encourage a more circular economy and discourage materialism and overconsumption. A study suggested that 400 thousand tons of carbon would be produced from the waste created from Black Friday sales alone, excluding the huge amount of waste produced from that day.
Here is a list of companies boycotting Black Friday.
National Museum of American History vulnerable to flooding (NY Times)
The Natural Museum of American History in Washington DC, home to over 2 million artifacts, is threatened by climate change as the building is vulnerable to flooding. The basements of the Smithsonian buildings are particularly vulnerable as thunderstorms grow increasingly heavy. Smithsonian officials have proposed building “flood gates and other defenses” in order to protect the nation’s treasured artifacts, but has yet to receive funding from Congress in order to support these efforts.
Pattern changes in Albatrosses as climate grows warmer (BBC)
After observing 15,500 breeding pairs in the Falkland Islands over 15 years, data suggests that albatrosses, known to be some of the world’s most loyal creatures, are mating outside of their usual couples. Typically “Just 1% of albatrosses separate after choosing their life partner,” but since temperatures have gotten warmer over the years about 8% of albatross couples have split up. While there’s no guarantee, the study shows that “environmentally-driven divorce may be an overlooked consequence" of climate change.”
Nigeria pledges to stick to annual carbon budgets to reach net zero (Climate Home News)
The nation, a major oil producer, will establish a national council to oversee the execution of this commitment. Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari signed the pledge into a law which calls for annual and five-year carbon budgets and the reduction of emissions. Supporters of the bill have been trying to get it passed for over ten years, and finally, after announcing a 2060 net zero target at the Cop26 conference did Buhari pass this bill.
Morocco accused of “greenwashing occupation” of the Western Sahara (Climate Home News)
The Polisario Front, a group which claims to represent the “colonized” inhabitants of the Western Sahara, has developed an unofficial national climate plan, detailing the effects of climate change in the region and criticizing Morocco, which annexed the Western Sahara in 1975, for their use of the area’s resources. In a speech to attendees of the Cop26, European representative for the Polisario Front, Oubi Bachir said: “Morocco is trying to greenwash its occupation of our land by using those noble and clean mechanisms and tools to try and advance its position on Western Sahara.”
Read the Polisario Front’s plan here.