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Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News
Natural history news and information for animals, plants, and habitats.  See more at http://garryrogers.com.
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Irreversible damage from climate change seen in leaked UN paper

Irreversible damage from climate change seen in leaked UN paper | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
LONDON — Humans risk causing irreversible and widespread damage to the planet unless there's faster action to limit the fossil fuel emissions that cause climate change, according to a leaked draft United Nations report.
Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  Climate scientists such as James Hansen (http://wp.me/p26kDO-7c2) and biologists such as E.O. Wilson (http://wp.me/p26kDO-7ZO) believe we are in the midst of an emergency.  More than climate change, we are reducing habitat through construction, farming, and grazing; we are aiding the takeover by invasive species (http://wp.me/p26kDO-4we), we are eliminating fresh water supplies for wildlife, and we are polluting the land, air, and water.  Where is the emergency response?

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NOAA: Ocean Acidification Rises, Shells Shrink

NOAA: Ocean Acidification Rises, Shells Shrink | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

"The oceans act as a “carbon sink,” absorbing vast amounts of carbon dioxide. Acidification occurs when amounts of carbon dioxide are dissolved into seawater, where it forms carbolic acid.

Scientists say the oceans are now 30 percent more acidic than they were at the beginning of the industrial revolution about 250 years ago.

Among the sea species most vulnerable to acidification are shellfish, because a build-up of acid in waters prevents species developing their calcium shells. Alaska’s salmon stocks are also at risk as one of the main ingredients of a salmon diet are pteropods, small shell creatures."

Garry Rogers's insight:

Greenhouse gas (mainly CO2) buildup in the atmosphere has a spreading web of consequences. The tentacles of the web are spreading quickly, too quickly for species to adapt.  The human impact is more like a massive meteorite strike than the ice-age climate changes or the slower continental drift changes.  

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The White House posted a video linking the California wildfires to climate change. Here’s why.

The White House posted a video linking the California wildfires to climate change. Here’s why. | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
Wildfires are tangible. Carbon dioxide is not.
Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  Fire fighters know that climate controls fire occurrence.  Day to day variations and annual averages of temperature, humidity, wind, and fuel are principal ingredients in fire severity and spread.  As the normal gradient from arctic to tropics breaks down and the jet stream wanders and stalls, occasional high-fire-danger conditions can persist long enough for destructive fires to spread far beyond historical experience.

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Scientists discover vast methane plumes escaping from Arctic seafloor | EarthSky.org

Scientists discover vast methane plumes escaping from Arctic seafloor | EarthSky.org | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
"We are sniffing methane. We see the bubbles on video from the camera ... All analysis tells the signs. We are in a mega flare."
Garry Rogers's insight:

The significance of the mega flare is uncertain.  The research team is working on the issue, and we hope they feel the urgency the issue deserves.

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The Brink of Mass Extinction

The Brink of Mass Extinction | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

March through June 2014 were the hottest on record globally. While a single extreme weather event is not proof of anthropogenic climate disruption, the increasing intensity and frequency of these events are.

Garry Rogers's insight:

Excellent review of news on effects and responses to anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD).  Covers Earth, water, air, fire, and denial. 

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On Bill McKibben's 'Call to Arms' for the New York Climate Summit ...

On Bill McKibben's 'Call to Arms' for the New York Climate Summit ... | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

By Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project. from the Venezuela Social Pre-COP. peoples climate march2. Today's blog post is not addressing directly what is happening here in Venezuela at the SocialPreCOP, but something on the minds of many people here–the next step in the series of climate meetings/actions this year.  That is the upcoming climate march planned for New York City on September 21st, two days before UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s UN Climate Summit–a closed door session where the world’s “leaders” will discuss “ambitions” for the upcoming climate conference (COP20) in Lima, Peru. Part of the objective of the Venezuelan government at this SocialPreCOP meeting is to come away with a set of demands from people gathered here that they can take to this exclusive summit.


In his Rolling Stone piece, McKibben quotes a Princeton scientist who stated, “we are all sitting ducks.”  That is true.  However, the missing analysis in this assertion is identifying just exactly who is holding the shotgun. The inference is that it is climate change pointing its double barrels at us, but I disagree.


We are sitting ducks alright, but the ones threatening our existence are the ones on Wall Street and its equivalents, buying policies that maintain business as usual. Like Chad Holliday, the Chair of Bank of America (who co-Chairs the UN’s absurdly named Sustainable Energy for All initiative), the Koch Brothers, Chase Manhattan Bank, and on and on.  A smorgasbord of power elite.

My hope is that some folks coming for the march will be inspired by the powerful accomplishments of the movements that came before and will form affinity groups to take their outrage and their demands directly to the source. Directly to the ones holding the shotguns. Making their business as usual impossible.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. pointed out, “The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be… The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.”

Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  Good common sense recommendations, but I have to think about Occupy whose impact on Wall Street has been that of a moth beating its wings on a window.

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Hot Arctic Water, High Pressure Domes Pushing Sea Ice Toward New Record Lows

Hot Arctic Water, High Pressure Domes Pushing Sea Ice Toward New Record Lows | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

It doesn't take much to shove Arctic sea ice toward new record low values these days. Human caused climate change has made it easy for all kinds of weather systems to bully the ice.


In the case of the past seven days, three moderate strength high pressure cells churned away over the central Arctic, bringing with them clear skies, air temperatures in the range of average for 1979-2000 above the 70 North Latitude line, and a clockwise circulation favoring sea ice compaction and warm water upwelling at the ice edge.

The highs measured in the range of 1020 to 1025 hPa barometric pressure. Moderate-strength weather conditions that during a typical year of the last century would have been almost completely non-noteworthy. Today, instead, we have sea ice extent testing new record lows in the Japanese Space Agency’s monitor.

Garry Rogers's insight:

On the chart, the red line for 2014 intersects the 2011 & 2012 as it reaches July. Will it fall below them as the year progresses?

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Climate change: historians will look back and ask 'why didn't they act?'

Climate change: historians will look back and ask 'why didn't they act?' | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
Harvard historian Naomi Oreskes talks about her new book, which imagines that current inertia in the face of climate change will puzzle academics for centuries to come
Garry Rogers's insight:

Academics will be working on the explanation for centuries, but I doubt that the basic human weaknesses that lead to such a catastrophe will be a mystery to them. 


The same title could be applied to other subjects:  Extinction:  'why didn't they act?

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Thomas Piketty, climate change and discounting our future

Thomas Piketty, climate change and discounting our future | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

"French economist Thomas Piketty and his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century are a global publishing phenomenon. But while Piketty’s writing on wealth inequality has been widely debated, far fewer people know that he has some useful things to say about climate change and public capital."

Garry Rogers's insight:

This is a sad example of the type of professional economist debates that have given economics such a poor reputation.  The debate here is not about the immediate emergency need to stop the irreversible extinction of Earth's species; it is about when the monetary costs of climate change will be paid.

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Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret--a Review of a Terrific Video

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret--a Review of a Terrific Video | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

"The movie goes far beyond the obvious impacts of livestock production such as overgrazing of rangelands, and talks about everything from water pollution (from manure) to energy use in the production of meat to the mistreatment of meat producing animals by humans. Overall it makes a very cogent and articulate argument against meat/dairy consumption.

"They even take on Alan Savory, advocate of more livestock production as a means of reducing global warming, pointing out that methane production from domestic animals is one of the largest contributors to warming climate, and vastly exceeds any ability of grazed grassland ecosystems to absorb more carbon.

"The video is full of facts illustrated with great graphs like how many more gallons of water or the amount of land required in the production of a hamburger vs. a veggie burger that will make it easy to understand why livestock are one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity and ecosystems.


Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  The Earth could get along just fine without us.  If anyone can think of an ecosystem function that requires our presence, I would like to hear about it.  Circumstantial and fossil evidence indicates that even when human numbers were small, the fires, animal drives, and plant preferences had harmful effects.  Ecosystem resilience absorbed early human impacts, but now with more than seven billion of us, the impacts are simply overwhelming earth ecosystems. Livestock?  Earth could tolerate a few domestic beasts, but not the billions we have now.  Watch the video.

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Exquisite oil paintings reflect on climate change consequences

Exquisite oil paintings reflect on climate change consequences | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
In this thought-provoking collection of paintings, Canadian artist Eric Vanasse poses important questions about the fate of our planet and the humans and animals that call it home. (Wow, what a strong message & reality check!
Garry Rogers's insight:

The arts clarify tough issues with elegance and brevity.

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With No Relief in Sight, Extreme to Exceptional Drought Now Covers Over 80 Percent of California

With No Relief in Sight, Extreme to Exceptional Drought Now Covers Over 80 Percent of California | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
It's no longer a question of 100% drought coverage for the stricken state of California. That barrier was crossed months ago. Today, it's how severe that drought coverage has become. And in a state...
Garry Rogers's insight:

Excellent article.

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Patricia Randolph's Madravenspeak: Doomsday climate scenario no longer far-fetched

Patricia Randolph's Madravenspeak: Doomsday climate scenario no longer far-fetched | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
MADRAVENSPEAK “Consider this. What if all life on earth could go extinct because of man-made climate change?” — “Last Hours” documentary There is little, these days, that brings state power in line...
Garry Rogers's insight:

The "Urgent Care prescription" at the end is worth reading and discussing.

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Invasive Palm Threatens Java Rhino To Extinction

Invasive Palm Threatens Java Rhino To Extinction | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
The last of Indonesia’s critically endangered Javan rhinoceroses have survived poachers, rapid deforestation and life in the shadow of one of the archipelago’s most active volcanoes. But an invasive plant is now posing a new threat to the world’s rarest species of rhino.

Once the most common of the Asian rhinoceroses, the Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) started its decline at least 3,000 years ago with the growth of human populations and increased hunting pressures. With its horn fetching $30,000 on the black market, poaching is considered the driver of much of its decline in modern times.

"As few as 58 Javan rhinos exist in the world today, and the species is quite possibly the rarest large mammal on earth. All are found in one small population in Ujung Kulon — a sprawling 1,200-square-kilometer (463-square-mile) national park on the westernmost tip of West Java and the island of Panaitan. In addition the rhinos, the park is home to dozens of other mammals, more than 270 species of birds and 57 rare plant species.

"But a single species of plant is threatening the park’s fragile ecosystem.

“The issue in Ujung Kulon is not deforestation — but an invasive species called the arenga palm,” said Elisabeth Purastuti, WWF’s Ujung Kulon leader.

"Once covered in old-growth forest, the cataclysmic eruption of nearby Krakatoa in 1883 wiped out much of Ujung Kulon’s primary forest cover, creating a patchy network of secondary forest where the rhino thrived."

...

Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  Conservation biologists have been saying that construction (total habitat elimination) and invasive species are the greatest threat to Earth ecosystems.  Though we now must place climate change in the number two spot, invasive species continue to be one of humanity's greatest destructive achievements.  Read more:

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Canada Is Warming At Double The Global Average

Canada Is Warming At Double The Global Average | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
Canada has been warming at roughly double the global average over the last six decades, setting the stage for dramatic changes to the economy, environment and our very way of life. But government and business have been slow to react and Canada still has no national plan to address climate change.


"As Prime Minister Stephen Harper said recently: "No matter what they say, no country is going to take actions that are going to deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country. We are just a little more frank about that."


"It's not that we don't seek to deal with climate change, but we seek to deal with it in a way that will protect and enhance our ability to create jobs and growth, not destroy jobs and growth."

Garry Rogers's insight:

Squandering Earth ecosystems for jobs and growth is smash and grab burglary on a grand scale.

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Conservationists split over 'biodiversity offsetting' plans

Conservationists split over 'biodiversity offsetting' plans | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
First global conference on market system of conservation hears of conflicting experiences in Australia and the US Conservationists around the world are split over whether to let developers destroy green space in return for paying cash to restore...
Garry Rogers's insight:

Restoration is far more expensive than once thought.  Restoring native soil microorganisms, preventing invasive species, and preventing fire are a few of the problems that can persist for decades.

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