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Dying forests are the latest victims of climate change

By Reese Halter

Dying Amazon Forest

Earth's forests are breathtaking. In fact, trees are effectively the greatest carbon dioxide warehouses to have ever evolved on Earth. For every metric ton of wood created, 1.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide are absorbed and 1 metric ton of oxygen released.

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Autumn’s song shouldn’t include the leaf blower

REESE HALTER

 

leaf blower climate change environmentFall is a splendid time to celebrate trees. The sounds of leaves crunching underfoot or rustling along the footpath and earthy smells are reminiscent of childhood leaf forts.

 

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Climate Disruption: New Delhi's Trees Need A Helping Hand

DR Reese HalterThere are over 250 species of trees spread liberally throughout 579 square miles of metropolitan New Delhi and its breathtaking Delhi ridge or Lungs of Delhi. Soon the total number of trees will be revealed from a 2012 census. The magnificent hundred year old plus neems, vilaiti keekars, amaltas, jamuns, semuls, siris, ashoks, gulmohars and many others make the city attractive and more livable.

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Moose: Size Matters

by Dr Reese Halter

Weighing nearly one ton, moose are the second-largest land animal in the West exceeded only by the North American bison. They are remarkable creatures whose exquisite human-like features make them part forester and part poker player.

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Hurricanes: The New Normal

Hurricane Sandy NASA Satellite ImageThis has been one of the busiest seasons (2012) on record with 19 storms so far being named in 2012, 10 of which have become hurricanes including Hurricane Sandy. In 2010 and 2011, we also saw 19 storms, the record was set in 2005 with an astounding 27 storms. The weather is getting wilder so let's take a much closer look at hurricanes.

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Hold on folks… the times they are a-changin’

By Paul Beckwith

Paul BeckwithFrankenstorm Sandy is a scary beast. A hybridization between a tropical hurricane and a mid-latitude cyclone, her behavior is not natural at all. Moving northward off the east coast, Sandy is turning left toward land instead of right toward the sea. Sandy’s being blocked from moving north by a high pressure area of enormous magnitude, and being sucked west by a low pressure region of very exceptional (and highly unusual) strength. Thus the designation “Frankenstorm”.

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An Epic Bark Beetle Feeding Frenzy

Epic Bark BeetleOne of the most visible and unintended consequences of global warming are bark beetles. Drought beget beetles. The U.S. is experiencing its worst drought in more than 50 years. The first 9 months of 2012 have been the warmest of any year on record in the contiguous U.S. These warm temperatures are fueling the largest tree-killing, bark beetle epidemic ever recorded throughout western North America.

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Is death by lead worse than death by climate? No.

 

Is death by lead worse than death by climate? That depends on your perspective. If you are the person dying then death by climate most likely means death by starvation. Or by dehydration. Or by painful vomiting and diarrhea from drinking contaminated water. It seems to me that this slow, painful death by climate would be much worse than catching a lead projectile from afar most likely with little or no warning.

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Honeybee hive a perfect food service model

DR REESE HALTERRecently, students from University of South Florida’s Patel School of
Global Sustainability asked me what natural system could they examine and readily learn from. I replied, the honeybee hive.

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More posts by Nick Breeze

Interview by Nick Breeze with Dr Natalia Shakhova and Dr Igor Semiletov

A new scientific paper published in Nature Communication Journal demonstrates that the mechanisms of destabilisation of subsea permafrost, contrary to previous claims, provide new insights into increased emissions from the worlds largest deposits of methane, that exists in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS).

The subsea permafrost has for thousands of years acted as a seal, restricting the flow of gas through the water column to the atmosphere. This paper clearly shows that permafrost degradation and the occurrence of gas migration pathways are key factors in controlling the emissions.  

 

Comment: Watching our recent interview with Christiana Figueres, David Tattershall (Envisionation Limited) responded with considered concern with respect to her answer to the question on the reduction of emissions from the aviation industry.

Just to recap, here is the transcripted answer with Tattershall's response below:

 

The lady who ushered in the Paris Agreement now wants to ramp up the pace and ensure the world reaches peak emissions by 2020, leading to total decarbonisation by 2050. The whole campaign hinges on the a new report that cites 2020 as a critical milestone for stemming the effects of climate change.

Christiana Figueres is persuasive and influential but in light of recent world events that include the destabilisation of the EU as a political block, and the openly anti-climate action administration of President Trump, it is very clear that the world has changed since Paris.

READ THE COMMENT: Does Figueres interview give clues as to why we went backwards from Copenhagen to Paris?

 

Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP): 2017 Climate Change Seminar Series

Science, politics, knowledge management, innovation and markets all play a role in climate change action, but what is the role of the University of Cambridge as an ‘anchor institution’ for these? Bringing together speakers spanning the worlds of research and policy, this series of events will explore how the multifaceted aspects of climate change action can come together to help us make the right decisions for the long run.  

The window of opportunity is closing… but the price of failure is still too high!

The rate of ecological destruction is now so bad that the fate of our civilisation literally hangs in the balance. The loss of the Arctic polar ice cap, the melting from above and below of Antarctica, the culling and collapse of forests and dying oceans, failing ecosystems, our atmosphere burdened with hundreds of billions of tonnes of extra greenhouse gases, and still each week scientists report more broken links in the chains of interconnectedness that sustain each one of us, rich and poor, on this planet. Despite all this, the great human enterprise built on a foundation of carbon, rumbles on in search of new fixes.

 

Peter Wadhams has achieved many accolades and held positions such as Director of the Scott Polar Institute in Cambridge Uk, among a great many others. He has been on more than 50 research trips to the polar regions and, of special interest to those studying the demise of the Arctic ice cap, he has been under the ice on 6 submarine expeditions.