Environment

Banks Fund Climate Change & Biodiversity Loss

Major banks may be slowly backing away from financing some fossil fuel infrastructure, but they fund a wide range of projects that contribute to climate change and biodiversity loss.  While banks claim to be embracing sustainability this does not square with many of the projects they finance. According to the Bankrolling Extinction report produced by portfolio.earth banks are funding crimes against nature.  In 2019 alone the world's largest investment banks provided $2.6 trillion worth of ecosystem destroying financing that has been linked to biodiversity loss and mass extinctions. Fifty top investment banks are named in the report including big American banks.  While...

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Climate Change is Fueling Deadly Extreme Weather and Costly Climate Disasters

There were a record number of extreme weather events and climate related disasters in 2020.  An ever warming planet has increased both the intensity and the frequency of these events. The data shows that such events are becoming more intense and more frequent. They are also growing ever more deadly and causing increasing financial losses amounting to trillions of dollars. Last year these events were compounded by COVID-19. According to a new report, last more than 50 million people were hit simultaneously by climate-related disasters and the pandemic.     In 2020 there were many extreme weather events and climate disasters that...

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Summary of Positive Biodiversity Stories

Buried under apocalyptic headlines, there were a host of positive biodiversity stories in 2020. Progress in habitat protection and species reintroductions suggest that we are seeing efforts to combat biodiversity loss. Last year scientists discovered dozens of animals that were thought to be extinct as well as hundreds of new species ranging from large mammals to tiny amphibians. These discoveries help us to understand that this planet is teaming with more life than we know.. Local initiatives are taking place all around the world. One of the most well known is the Trillion Trees Initiative. This global initiative has garnered support from...

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Long Term Warming Trends Tell Us What We Need to Know

It's official, despite cooling from a La Niña event, 2020 has tied 2016 as the warmest year on record, ending the warmest decade on record. These findings were released by Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) on January 8, 2021.   In 2020 we saw the hottest temperature ever reliably recorded. Death Valley California saw temperature readings of 54.4 C (129.92 F) on August 17, 2020. Last year's heat contributed to unprecedented  extreme weather including a  record setting Atlantic storm season and pervasive wildfires. As explained by Penn State University professor  Michael Mann, this year's heat is "way out of balance".  This warming...

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Climate Change and the Record Breaking 2020 Atlantic Storm Season

This year's Atlantic hurricane season was the worst on record and it marks the fifth straight year with above-average storm activity. Each year there are an average of around 12 storms in the Atlantic, in 2020 there was a record breaking 31. This includes 13 hurricanes (twice the normal number) with six of them rated as Category 3 or higher (also twice the normal average). There is little doubt among climate scientists that warmer ocean temperatures are at least partly responsible for the growing number of intense storms. The storm season is starting earlier and generating more rapidly intensifying hurricanes....

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The Unprecedented Wildfires in 2020 are Connected to Climate Change

The intense wildfires that raged across the Western U.S., South America, and Australia in 2020 are being attributed to climate change. What makes these fires unprecedented is their size and duration.  There is growing evidence that these increasingly intense fires could eradicate some species of floral and fauna.  Across the American west, fire seasons are now 78 days longer than they were in the 1970s.  According to the National Interagency Fire Center as of the beginning of December, there have been 52,934 wildfires in the U.S. that have burned 14,905 square miles this year making 2020 the second-largest area burned...

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Ominous Trend Revealed in Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data

Greenhouse gas ( GHG) emissions are warming the globe and driving climate change. The impacts of these GHGs are not some future concern they are being felt here and now.  We need to look no further than the steady stream of record breaking warming. Last month was the warmest November on record, and 2020 is expected to be one of the hottest years on record. Month after month, year after year, and decade after decade we are setting new temperature records that are exacerbating  wildfires, droughts and storms. According to a 2019 study there is currently more CO2 in the...

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COVID-19 and Other Crises Reviewed in a Year Over Year Assessment of GHG Emissions

There have been at least three times that we have seen reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic is also expected to cause a decrement in emissions. The virus has caused a 17 percent reduction in atmospheric carbon emissions during parts of this year and may decrease CO2 emissions by 4.2-7.5 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. These estimates from the United Nations' World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) are yet to be confirmed but they corroborate earlier data that shows the COVID-19 pandemic has driven down GHG emissions. This was initially observed in China as the...

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Dire Scientific Warnings from the Study of Fossilized Shells

A slew of recent studies corroborate the scientific consensus on climate change. It is both a current day reality and a serious threat to life on Earth. In recent decades we have witnessed a sharp increases in the number of floods, storms, heat waves, droughts, hurricanes and wildfires. This is corroborated by the daily news which shows wildfires in the West and storms in the East. Thus far in 2020 we have seen 25 named storms in the Atlantic, making this only the second time that the the World Meteorological Organization has run out of human for storms in the...

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