Devastating rains in India match climate change forecasts

The monsoon rains upon which farmers in the southwestern state depend for their food and livelihoods dumped two-and-a-half times the normal amount of water across the state last week, according to Indian meteorologists. It is difficult to attribute any single extreme weather event—such as the Kerala flooding—to climate change, said Roxy Mathew Koll, a climate…

Three times more tree species in Amazonian wetlands than expected

Throughout the alluvial plains of Amazonia, there are immense forests that are flooded for almost half the year. These Amazonian wetlands encompass a wide array of types of vegetation in or near stream gullies, including blackwater (igapó) and whitewater (várzea) inundation forest, swamp (pântano), white sand savanna (campina), and mangrove (mangue) types. According to a…

Global life expectancy reduced by air pollution

Air pollution shortens human lives by more than a year, according to a new study from a team of leading environmental engineers and public health researchers. Better air quality could lead to a significant extension of lifespans around the world. This is the first time that data on air pollution and lifespan has been studied…

Emissions plan could lead to 1,400 premature deaths anually

The Environmental Protection Agency openly admits in its proposal for new emission guidelines that the plan could lead to up 1,400 more premature deaths a year. A 289-page EPA report released Tuesday provides details on the impact of the Trump administration’s Affordable Clean Energy rule, which would reverse Obama-era cuts to power plant carbon pollution….

Winners and losers from California drought

The Carrizo Plain National Monument is a little-known ecological hotspot in Southern California. Though small, it explodes in wildflowers each spring and is full of threatened or endangered species. A long-term study led by the University of Washington and the University of California, Berkeley tracked how hundreds of species in this valley fared during the…

Power plant plan increases the release of tons of CO2

Under the EPA’s new plan, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides that help form smog would be cut between one percent and two percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. Under Obama, the agency projected its policy would reduce those pollutants by 24 percent and 22 percent, respectively, by the end of the next decade. EPA…

Summer weather is stalling

“Giant airstreams encircle our globe in the upper troposphere – we call them planetary waves,” explains Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and co-author of the second paper. “Now evidence is mounting that humanity is messing with these enormous winds. Fueled by human-made greenhouse-gas emissions, global warming is…

Migrating Trees – Escaping Climate Change?

Trees, as a species, do move over time. They migrate in response to environmental challenges, especially climate change. Surprisingly, they don’t all go to the Poles, where it is cooler. As it turns out, more of them head west, where it is getting wetter. Sure, some species, such as evergreens, are heading to the Poles…

Sea level rise increases risk of more tsunamis 

The threat of rising sea levels to coastal cities and communities throughout the world is well known, but new findings show the likely increase of flooding farther inland from tsunamis following earthquakes. Think of the tsunami that devasted a portion of northern Japan after the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake, causing a nuclear plant to melt down…

Temperature extremes forecast through 2022

Using a new forecasting technique, scientists in a study published Tuesday predict that the rest of 2018 through 2022 may be warmer than expected around the world as human-caused global warming and natural factors combine to heat the planet. “The coming warm period is associated with an increased likelihood of intense to extreme temperatures,” the…