Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Drought (23)

U.S. Southwest: Megadrought lasting decades is 99% certain

EcoWatch / Dan Zukowski / 06 October 2016

colorado-riverA study released in Science Advances Wednesday finds strong evidence for severe, long-term droughts afflicting the American Southwest, driven by climate change. A megadrought lasting decades is 99 percent certain to hit the region this century, said scientists from Cornell University, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

“Historically, megadroughts were extremely rare phenomena occurring only once or twice per millennium,” the report states. “According to our analysis of modeled responses to increased GHGs, these events could become commonplace if climate change goes unabated.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

12 extreme weather events of the summer of 2016

Insurance Journal / Seth Borenstein / 23 September 2016

bad_weatherThe summer of 2016 has lurched from one extreme weather disaster to another at great cost in lives and damages. Here are just some of the worst and weirdest, according to insurance statistics and meteorologists:

  1. Flooding in China’s Yangtze Basin from May through August killed at least 475 people and caused $28 billion in losses.
  2. A drought in India that started earlier in the year and stretched through June caused about $5 billion in damage.
  3. Flooding in West Virginia and the mid-Atlantic in June killed 23 people and damaged more than 5,500 buildings.
  4. Typhoon Nepartak hit the Phillipines, Taiwan and China in July, killing 111 people and causing at least $1.5 billion in damage.
  5. Flooding in northeast China in July killed 289 people and caused about $5 billion in damage.
  6. Temperatures reached 129 degrees (54 degrees Celsius) in Kuwait and Iraq in July.
  7. [ more… ]

Wildlife, plants feeling the heat

Belleville Intelligencer / Luke Hendry / 12 August 2016

John SmolMore heat and less rainfall this summer are stressing plants, animals and people and could lead to less wildlife as the drought continues, authorities say.

Conditions since May have been unusually hot and dry in southern Ontario, the Montreal area, southern New Brunswick and southwestern Nova Scotia. A heat warning remained in effect here Friday.

Humans are feeling it, but plants and animals are also showing signs of stress.

Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips told The Intelligencer this week it’s clear Earth is getting warmer and that more abnormally-hot summers, though not necessarily consecutive ones, are on the way.

“It really has ramifications all through the ecosystem,” said Dr. John Smol, the Canada Research Chair in environmental change and a Queen’s University biology professor.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Drought-tolerant crops, resilient perennials and more

Mother Earth News / Gary Paul Nabhan / June/July 2014

Dry-Climate-GardeningIf we’ve learned anything as food growers in recent decades, it’s that climate change has placed not just one but many kinds of stress on our gardens and farms. “Global warming” does not adequately describe the “new normal,” given that many food sheds and farms have suffered from a variety of catastrophic floods, freezes, droughts, wildfires, heat waves, grasshopper infestations and crop diseases over the past few years.

The big, paradoxical question confronting many farmers and gardeners is: How do we adapt to and plan for uncertainty? While such a question may initially seem unanswerable, farmers from all parts of the world have responded over many centuries through better crop selection and strategies to mitigate the worst effects of sun and wind.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Megablazes tell us about the fiery future of climate change

Rolling Stone / Tim Dickinson / 15 September 2015

Pervasive drought and record temperatures have turned forests from Fresno to Fairbanks into tinderboxes. And it’s only getting worse

R S photoThis is the present, and the future, of climate change. Our overheated world is amplifying drought and making megafire commonplace. This is happening even in the soggy Pacific Northwest, which has been hard-hit by what’s been dubbed a “wet drought.” Despite near-normal precipitation, warm winter temperatures brought rain instead of snow to the region’s mountains. What little snow did hit the ground then melted early, leaving the Northwest dry — and ready to burn in the heat of summer.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Wildfire smoke: The health threat that won’t go away

NPR / Nancy Shute / 25 August 2015

N A smokeI stepped out my parents’ front door last Thursday, expecting a typically glorious summer day in southern Oregon. Instead, I was hit with acrid wood smoke that stung my eyes and throat. The air was thick with haze that obscured the mountains. I quickly retreated inside.

Health departments across the West are mobilizing to protect residents from smoke generated by dozens of fires that have sent smoke as far east as the Midwest.

“It’s really bad,” says Janice Nolan, assistant vice president for national policy at the American Lung Association. “I hadn’t seen ‘code maroon’ days, which is the most hazardous air quality, in years.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

Resilience is the ability of a system or community to withstand impacts from outside. An indicator is a good way of measuring that. Conventionally, the principal way of measuring a reducing carbon footprint is CO2 emissions. However, we firmly believe that cutting carbon while failing to build resilience is an insufficient response when you’re trying to address multiple shocks such as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis together.

— Transition U.S.
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Brockville Public Library
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