In 2017 we experienced another record warm winter with very little precipitation, frozen or otherwise, early into 2018. Spring came several weeks early to Innsbrook, although even that was difficult to mark as we never really had a winter. View this dynamic map at https://nyti.ms/2m36XjG to see just how early spring came to the rest of the US, including Missouri.
In 2018 we went from another mild winter, with little snow that our lakes and ground water needed, to summer-like temperatures in just a few weeks time, with another very short spring. Likewise, in the fall we went from summer to winter also in just a few weeks. Then we had one of the coldest and snowiest Novembers on record. Strange weather indeed.
For several years on a separate Phenology Log website page at https://ibknature.com/phenology-log/ we have recorded how shifts in our local weather are impacting the seasonal cycles of the flora and fauna we so much enjoy at Innsbrook. As example, those of you with property on an Innsbrook lake already know how dry seasons or flash floods adversely impact our recreational water level and water quality. Ticks come out earlier to attach themselves to our pets, or us. Storms seem to be more ferocious dumping much-needed rain all at one time that just erodes and runs off the landscape instead of soaking in. There are many other changes we have noted in the phenology log.
More recently we blogged about the sadness and distress we feel from President Trump’s administration’s attempts to defund research of climate change and remove hard-fought for protections of the environment. Executive orders have rolled back years of environmental progress in the clean power plan, carbon and methane emissions, coal mining, fuel efficiency standards, mining on federal lands, international treaties, protection of endangered species, and pipelines to carry dirty tar sand oil. We placed a few black bows on our trees as a simple act of bearing witness to these policies which we hope future generations can forgive us for.
But what do you think; do you believe what the vast majority of the world’s scientists do that man-made climate (and ocean) change is real and happening now? Take our poll and we will report the results back in future newsletters. If you don’t know or are undecided, read further on this page in our climate change chronicles.
Climate Change Chronicles
To help us bear witness we recently started collecting news and information about climate change from across the planet, Midwest and here at Innsbrook. Help us build our “Climate Change Chronicles” with your submissions to email@example.com.
- According to new research, the Australian Great Barrier Reef is under threat of collapsing due to warming oceans and recurring mass bleaching events.
- Temperatures in Alaska during March 2019 were as much as 20 degrees warmer than average for some locations. This year there is almost a complete absence of ice in the Bering Sea which had helped heat air coming over Alaska.
- Canada is said to be warming at twice the global rate as reported in an official Canadian government report, similar to what is happening to the Arctic. The grim reports heatwaves and extreme weather events will impact the economy, public health, and of course natural environment.
- Canada steps up to the challenge when it extended its carbon-pricing program to the entire country by placing a tax on fossil fuels. The U.S. continues to ignore the threat of climate change while other countries from around the world move ahead to protect future generations.
- In some rare good news, the global petrol giant Royal Dutch Shell has left an American oil industry trade group in dispute about the group’s denial of climate change.
- Scientists who report that CO2 levels in the atmosphere are now at 410 ppm and rising, say that the last time it was that high the world’s oceans were 20 meters higher several millions years ago.
- A few months after experiencing one of the greatest deadliest fire disasters in California’s history, destroying the towns of Paradise and Magalia, the nearby town of Chico has become one of the first American towns to declare a climate emergency that threatens their lives and well-being. The town has experienced a refugee crisis of its own as displaced residents of the disaster sought housing.
- A new study reports that glaciers are melting much faster than previously thought. They are now retreating 5 times faster than 50 years ago. Antarctica is reported to be losing ice at a rate 6 times as fast as 50 years ago. Temperatures there are some 3.5 degrees warmer on average than 70 years ago. If the huge glaciers of the continent melt it will raise ocean levels by several feet.
- Russian’s President Putin said he intends for Russia to build new ports and secure its claim to arctic oceans which are expected to be free of ice in future decades.
- Climate activists continue to protest around the world. This time in London protesters where they occupied landmarks and blocked public transportation to demand the government declare a climate emergency. Over a thousand have been arrested. Some English businesses are listening. A governor with the Bank of England warned that the financial sector including banks and insurance markets face an existential threat from climate change.
- Researchers in urban development and climate adaptation in the U.S. have started looking at where the best locations might be in the U.S. to avoid the consequences of climate change. The upper Midwest is one such location cited.
- The Spring tornado season has begun in earnest. As in recent years most of the tornadoes are now occurring in the southeast states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia more so that the traditional tornado alley states of Kansas and Oklahoma. Scientists are studying what has changed to cause this move.
- The Greenland ice sheet is said to be falling apart according to a Journal of the National Academy of Sciences. If these glaciers melt it is said that they will raise the world’s oceans by many feet.
- Researchers at Stanford University are predicting that climate change will impact poor nations far more than the richer ones. The reason is that most are already located in equatorial regions which are expected to experience more severe weather that lowers crop yields with catastrophic effects to local economies.
- The first tornado ever recorded in Nepal is reported to have occurred in a storm that killed over two dozen with injuries to over 1000.
- Over the next century, North America should expect to see more migrants and refugees from Central America due to climate change where temperatures have already reason some 2 degrees F over recent decades.
- Despite the job that forests perform in capturing CO2, the planet is estimated to have lost over 30 million acres of tropical forests in the last year alone. Some forests worldwide have been lost to cutting by humans, but others are lost due to warmer weather, drier summer, drought, and invasive insects on the move all due to a changing climate.
- A brutal winter is coming to an end in the U.S. where unseasonable cold weather in the Midwest meets up with warmer moist air in the south to create over three dozen tornadoes over one weekend which devastated whole towns and killed dozens of Americans. In more extreme weather events, record wind gusts for February in the Northeast blow past historic records like a 171 mph reading atop Mount Washington.
- A new study in the journal Nature Climate Change reports that the world’s oceans have absorbed more than 90 percent of the heat trapped by greenhouse gasses since the mid-century. Heat waves in the oceans are thought to be occurring 34% more frequently and lasting 17% longer. Foundational species of aquatic life are being threatened which may cause the collapse of entire ecosystems.
- In an apocalyptic new book “The Uninhabitable Earth” the author David Wallace-Wells tells Americans it is time to panic. In a NYT editorial He warns that we are pass the point where small individual measures at reducing our carbon footprint can save us from a future of dramatic change to our planet, economies, security, health, and humanity. The world is on track for temperatures to rise nearly 4 degrees by the end of this century. Cataclysmic events will likely follow from disruption of food production, mass human migration, ecosystems devastated, oceans dying off, famine, water wars, permafrost melting, coastal flooding, and the list goes on and. He advises that only huge new policy changes at national and global levels will save us. Is anyone listening?
- Organizers of an around-the-world sailing race held every four years are confronting the reality that the weather in Southern Oceans has become so severe in recent years they may be forced to all off the event. This year’s race saw numerous sailboat demastings and other emergencies due to storms in the southern hemisphere.
- One of the lowest-pressure storms, now called a bomb cyclone whips near-hurricane strength winds across the upper Midwest in the second week of the month. Winds of up to 100 mph topple trees, trucks, and buildings from Colorado eastward.
- In more extreme weather, this winter is heading to be the wettest on record for the continental U.S. Massive flooding is expected this spring across the Missouri and Mississippi river basins as heavier than usual snow packs begin to thaw.
- Across the world hundreds of thousands of students take a strike day from school and demonstrate to plead with their governments to start taking more action to protect their futures and that of the planet. The U.N. head Antonio Guterres states the obvious that the generation in power now has simply failed to deal with climate change and the consequences which are becoming more dire and irreversible the longer we wait.
- University of California Researchers have found dozens of species of marine life have been migrating northward due to warming pacific coastal waters. Water temp in northern california has increased by some 3-7 degrees F in recent years.
- Japan reports that a changing weather patterns is threatening winter tourism who come to see the giant snow monster forests of norther Japan. In Alaska, a lack of snowfall and warming temperatures has caused changes to the annual Iditarod dog race where they now have to bring in snow along some sections of the race. Montana has just experienced the coldest spell on record with temperatures running 20-30 degrees below normal for weeks at a time. Dozens of sites broke monthly low temp records.
- Studies are circulating around NYC to make the island of Manhattan more climate proof by expanding it to build a huge seawall to protect it from rising sea levels and worsening Atlantic storms. The cost is estimated to be over $10B.
News reports about a new study in the Journal Science has found that seafood stocks are declining as the world’s oceans continue to warm. It is said by some that the oceans absorb over 90% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gasses.
- In a rare bit of good news, a federal judge has blocked new oil and gas drilling leases in Wyoming because the BLM did not consider the harm from emissions that contribute to green house gasses and climate change.
- Devastation, despair, and death strikes Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Madagascar from one of the largest and longest-duration cyclones, Cyclone Idai, to ever hit Africa. Over 1,000 are estimated to have died with several million refugees in need of assistance due to largely to flooding that created an inland ocean. Another example of the world’s poorest people feeling the impact of a changing climate with more extreme weather events.
- Back in the US the upper Midwest states of Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri along the Missouri River basin experience the worst flooding in modern history from unusually heavy rains over frozen snow packs from a bomb cyclone type weather event. Levees have been breached, vehicles abandoned, entire towns flooded, farms ruined, roads closed, families evacuated, livestock drowned, and states of emergencies declared. Damage and costs are expected to exceed one billion dollars. NOAA issues a warning that this year’s spring flooding could be the worse seen in recent years.
- The U.S. Air Force is seeking of $5B to rebuild and repair two bases heavily damaged by natural disasters. One of them was in the direct path of Hurricane Michael last year that intensified so quickly over warmer than average gulf waters it took everyone by surprise.
- A Federal Reserve Bank researcher published a paper encouraging the nation’s bank to prepare for the financial cost and shocks to the economy of climate change due to massive losses experienced by the public and private sectors.
Global energy related emissions for 2018 are still be finalized but are expected to reach an all-time high of 33 billion tons of carbon dioxide. This is a growth rate of 1.7%, the fastest since 2013. While the rate is small, it is alarming as we should be decreasing carbon emissions not increasing them. Many scientists warn we are careening off an irrecoverable cliff and we have less than 10 years to reverse the trend.
- A United Nations agency, the World Meteorological Organization, reported that during 2018 some 62 million people around the world were impacted by weather-related disasters. The U.N. Secretariat General warned that climate change is a security and health issue for the world.
- A new study on tropical diseases predicts that climate change will put billions of more at risk of mosquito-borne diseases in the next 50 years.
- Sadly, as public protest builds, some state government legislatures are cracking down on protesters of pipelines and new oil fields.
- At the beginning of the month the U.S. experiences the coldest temperatures in decades as the polar vortex pulls Arctic temperatures southward. Actual temperatures in the upper Midwest range from to 10-30 below with wind chills of 40-60 below. Over a dozen have died as a direct result of the frigid cold.
- Yet only a few days later the temperatures swing the other over 80 degrees in some locations from well below zero into the 60’s. It seems there is no normal normal. Weather watchers say they don’t ever recall as big a swing in such a short time. The deep freeze followed by rapid thawing creates new calamity with broken water mains, damaged roads, and flooding. Extreme weather events are reported on the rise all across the planet.
- While North America freezes Australia and New Zealand report record-breaking heat with some temperatures reaching over 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Ocean scientists are busy studying how changes to the Atlantic Ocean’s water circulation, called a conveyor belt, will influence the climate in North America and Europe. The mixing of the water disperses the heat of the southern Atlantic into northern waters. In the process it pushes carbon dioxide into deeper depths. What will happen as the Arctic or Greenland ice melts pouring cooler water into the northern Atlantic, all the while southern Atlantic waters are warming up.
- The warming oceans have been cited in a new study as the cause of a massive die off in Starfish. Warmer waters are believed to make the starfish more susceptible to disease. A reduction of starfish triggers changes throughout the ocean ecosystems.
- Back on land Glaciers continue to retreat. Impoverished rural communities around the world that depend on glacier-fed lakes and reservoirs are being threatened. A changing climate is expected to melt most Himalayan Glaciers by 2100, threatening the drinking water and food sources of future generations.
- More industry think-tanks and economists are starting to think about the true cost of climate change and the impact on the economy. A government-funded study suggests that the cost of climate change could be a 10% hit on GDP.
- Dozens of hungry polar bears have invaded a Russian arctic town that has declared an emergency. It is thought that the loss of Arctic ice has moved bears off their traditional territories and hunting grounds.
- President Trump says not a word about the threat of climate change to the country in his State of the Union Address postponed due to the recent government shutdown. Instead, he claims immigrants coming across the border is a national emergency that we must build a wall to keep out. If only he would think of a warming climate as the threat we must prepare for.
- Thankfully, some newly elected Democrat Congressional representatives are socializing a “Green New Deal” to rid ourselves of dependency on the burning of fossil fuels which create greenhouse gasses while creating jobs to help American prepare for then head off more climate change. Predictably, the Republican Party which use to be about protecting America from all threats declares it an unrealistic socialist’s wish list.
- Much of Australia has been in a state of emergency for weeks this summer after devastating floods and heat that have become a new climate norm. Scientists say that warmer atmospheres are to blame since they hold more moisture as well as warmer oceans which power storms from offshore.
- It’s official, the last five years are reported to have been the five warmest on record with 2018 ending as the 4th hottest since 1880 records started. The global temp was 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit above average temperatures in the past century before we started pumping greenhouse gasses into the air. That’s only an average, as some areas like the Arctic are over 4 degrees above averages from the past century.
- A new study in the journal Nature predicts that the effects of global warming will substantially change the weather of much of the US. New York will feel more like Arkansas. Minnesota will be like Kansas. And the southwest more like Baja California.
- In what at first appears as good news, President Trump is reported to be preparing an advisory panel to examine the impact of climate change on national security. Then we find out the panel will include an adviser who believes that man-made climate change is not real, global warming would be good even if it was happening, and have criticized efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
- President Trump’s appointment of Andrew Wheeler to become head of the EPA is confirmed by the Senate in another sad day for the environment. Wheeler has been supporting changes begun by his disgraced predecessor Scott Pruitt which attempt to roll back decades of hard-fought environmental protections and remove the words “climate change” from EPA websites. Wheeler was a former coal-industry lobbyist who in his new role he has proposed making new coal-fired power plants easier to approve.
- The Trump administration has ended negotiations with California in its attempt to roll back Obama’s regulations that reduced greenhouse emissions from vehicles.
- In rare good news, many states – mostly those with Democrat governors and state legislatures – are taking leadership positions in confronting climate change while the federal government is negligent MIA. They are promising to support the Paris Climate Agreement and move their economies to carbon neutral through new forms of energy production, conservation, and regulation, and innovative carbon pricing and trading.
- A news article on research in the journal Science says that 2018 will likely be the warmest year for the planet’s oceans and that oceans are heating up 40 percent faster on average than previous climate change panels estimated only a few years ago. Oceans are said to absorb over 90% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere by humans. Warming oceans are expected to bring higher sea levels, more floods, powerful hurricanes, heavier rainfalls over land, and the die off of coral reefs which threatens the fisheries of the sea.
- In a USA Today news story on climate change American scientists who study the ice in Antarctica report that it is melting six times faster than it did just 40 years ago. The melting is directly related to the burning of fossil fuels which is releasing greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. If this melt alone continues it is projected to raise ocean levels by meters in the coming centuries. This follows news from last year when it was reported that the Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming areas on the planet where average temperatures have risen by five degrees Fahrenheit over the past 75 years.
- America’s carbon dioxide emissions are projected to have risen, not fallen, in 2018 by an alarming 3.4% according to this climate change news article.
- According to the University of Missouri Extension Center climatologists, the past year of 2018 offered more weird weather across the state. There’s a good reason many felt there was no spring last year as April was the second coldest on record, and the following month was the hottest May on record. A lack of rainfall with high heat created drought conditions across much of Missouri’s farmland in 2018. Missouri experienced some of the largest multiple-season rainfall deficits of all the nation causing severe subsoil moisture shortages. The fall of last year felt as short as spring when November became the 4th coldest on record with many single digit low temperature records set, and one of the snowiest fall months in decades.
- This St. Louis Post-Dispatch article shared data from the National Weather Service to summarize what was normal and not so normal weather of the past year in St. Louis. As example, St. Louis recorded its second-most daily high temperatures at or above 80 degrees. The region also experienced an unusual number of seesaw extremes.
- The year ends with the cost of natural disasters around the world this past year exceeding $150 billion due to hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, typhoons, floods, heat waves, tsunamis and earthquakes. Obviously, climate change cannot be assigned blame for these disasters, or even many of them. However, several were made worse by climate change such as drought-fueled wildfires in California and hurricanes over warmer-than-normal-waters that explode into Category 5 beasts.
- Atmospheric research scientists are warning that the Northern Hemisphere may experience extreme winter weather as the new year starts. How could we be having global warming and climate change many ask? The polar vortex is predicted by many weather models to become unstable due in part to warming Arctic below it and in the stratosphere in which the vortex resides. A cascade of chain reactions is predicted that moves the jet stream further south, weakening its function as a wall, thus sending colder air spilling into northern latitudes.
- In Europe representatives from over 200 countries have gathered as part of the 2015 Paris climate accord to find ways to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C above preindustrial levels to avoid a disastrous tipping point in the planet’s climate. The United Nations Secretary General warns attendees that they must act boldly to avoid catastrophic climate-created disruptions, famine, refugees, and disorder. The U.S. is singled out as a nation that is experiencing the impact and cost of climate change but whose political leadership refuses to listen to the warning of so many scientists as well as increasing numbers of economists, political, and religious leaders. The Summit ends with the US one of only four countries out of 200 that refuse to endorse a climate report. We sadly now join the likes of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Russia.
- In a NOAA report, scientists are reporting melting in the Arctic in spots where it has never been seen before and is contributing to a rapid unraveling of the region. This year will be the second warmest year on record for the Arctic and the region is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. For the last two years the Bering sea has seen record low winter ice. A warming Arctic is also said to be disturbing and weakening the jet stream allowing unusual weather events in the US and rest of the Norther Hemisphere. A warming arctic can trigger colder air to actually travel further south, due to a weakened jet stream and thus create colder winters spells even in a time of a warming planet.
- The melting of Greenland’s ice sheet is reported to be accelerating and if it continues it alone may raise ocean levels by a foot by 2050. The melting has been triggered by warmer weather patterns above Greenland. Given current trends, Arctic temperatures are expected to rise by 4 degrees Celsius by 2050.
- The EPA announces its intent to roll back regulations to make it easier to build new coal plants by easing restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions. The same day researchers announce that global carbon emissions are accelerating, not lowering, and are expected to increase by nearly 3% this year alone.
- The United Nations reports that most industrial countries, including the US, are not doing enough to reduce their carbon emissions which are contributing to climate change, and that more drastic action will be needed in the future because of a failure to act now when we still have time.
- While much of North America, including Missouri, experiences severe winter weather so early in the fall, down under Australia is experiencing record drought, heat, and wildfires in one part of the country and record torrential rainfall and flooding elsewhere.
- The St. Louis region experiences more strange weather with a tornado warning and blizzard warning all on the same day.
- The fourth congressional-mandated National Climate Assessment Report was released this week by the Trump administration on the Black Friday of our nation’s Thanksgiving holiday break. It warns that our country is already and will continue to face increasing climate-related catastrophes that will have grave impact on our public health, safety, environment, infrastructure, economy, agriculture, national security, and marginalized low-income communities. The report, prepared by over 13 federal departments and agencies, states that “the evidence of human-caused climate change is overwhelming and continues to strengthen, that the impacts of climate change are intensifying across the country and that climate-related threats to American’s physical, social, and economic wellbeing are rising.” The President responds by rejecting the findings of his own experts.
- Devastating record fires in California kill many dozens, destroy thousands of homes, and displace tens of thousands. At one time over 1,000 people are reported missing. The wildfires were fed by much drier than usual vegetation this year due to a combination of warmer temperatures and reduced rainfall along the west coast.
- Innsbrook receives over 9 inches of wet snow, the most in over 25 years to occur this early in November. Does all this winter weather so early mean man-made climate change is a hoax? Check out this Inside Climate News article on how a warming arctic can change the jet stream to actually cause colder winters in North America.
- Another species suffers due to overfishing in ocean habitats that are more fragile due to warmer temperatures and pollution. The population of New England shrimp is so low that fishing for it has now been banned.
- Missouri experiences freaky fall weather this year with record low temperatures and early snowfalls for mid November. The fall was very short as it has gone from summer heat to winter snows in just a few weeks time. This follows a short spring earlier in the year where we went from winter to summer also in a few weeks time.
- Climate scientists at Princeton University reported that the planet’s oceans are retaining 60% more heat that expected as the Earth warms. Faster warming means the oceans will expand and sea levels rise faster, coral reefs will die off, ice sheets will melt, weather patterns will change, and hurricanes/typhoons become more massive. The health of our oceans are ever so important as a carbon sink as they are thought to absorb more than 25% of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by humans.
- The World Wildlife Fund issued a report saying that there has been a decline of over 50% in global wildlife populations in the past 40 years, due mostly to human activity such as habitat loss and climate change. As an example, our environmental impact on the planet’s ecosystems has been so extensive that the majority of seabirds are estimated to have absorbed plastics in their stomachs.
- The strongest pacific storm, a “super” typhoon, in 80 years strikes and devastates the US territory of Mariana Islands.
- The Nature Conservancy reports that in the past 30 years nearly half of the world’s coral reefs have died and the rest are in danger of being lost by 2100. Warming oceans and more powerful storms due to climate change are a key reason cited for their decline.
- A lawsuit from the New York Attorney General claims that Exxon Mobil had engaged in a long-term fraudulent scheme to deceive investors, analysts, and the public by claiming climate change was not real, all while internally keeping a second set of books and plans which acknowledged that it was likely happening.
- The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine issued a report urging that the federal government begin researching and planning for how to take carbon out of the atmosphere, saying that we were running out of time to stop new carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere.
- The NWS predicts that another winter is expected to be warmer than normal, a lot like the last few which have been warm with little snowfall in Missouri. The biggest factor in the forecast is an El Nino created by warmer Pacific Ocean water temperatures.
- The strongest hurricane in decades strikes the Florida Gulf Coast. It surprised even the experts by how quickly it intensified over warm gulf waters into a near Category 5 storm. Climate change models predict that as oceans warm, hurricanes will become more powerful in both wind velocity and rainfall moisture. And indeed, Florida gulf waters are running nearly 5 degrees warmer than the historic average. How tragic that people lost their lives and homes in southeastern states whose governments restrict the use of the words climate change or planning for the consequences.
- A new report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that much sooner than originally expected, now by 2040, the globe will be suffering severe consequences of a warming atmosphere and oceans. With the temperatures projected to rise by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit from preindustrial values a die off of the world’s coral reefs will occur along with more wildfires, flooding, food shortages, harm to wildlife, deaths from heat waves and disease, and migrating human populations all are expected. The report calls on the nations of the world to quickly decarbonize their economies, primarily by getting rid of coal. The good news is that is possible, if only we had the political courage for the benefit of our children and grandchildren. The economic cost for not taking action are projected to exceed $50 trillion, in addition to the impact on human health.
- Environmental educator, author, and founder of 350.org Bill McKibben pens a national Op-Ed where he details how common it has become that he and others in the environmental movement receive death threats.
- A new study reviews last year’s record number of major Atlantic hurricanes, six in all, and claims that warmer ocean waters were partially to blame. Waters averaged .7 degrees warmer than normal for 2017. Not only are waters getting warmer, but warmer water is going down deeper into the world’s oceans. NOAA climate models and researchers predict this trend will continue with perhaps as many of 5-8 major hurricanes annually by the turn of the century.
- In Missouri this month we experienced several weeks with near record high temperatures following last year that also saw record highs this same month. The number of days with highs over 90 degrees hit a record this year in St. Louis, over 50 compared to a historical average closer to 30 days. The count of hot days has grown by some 40% since 1968!
- The drought over much of Missouri, especially the northern half, this past summer has severely hurt crop production levels and hurt farmers. As the plains and land of the Midwest have become dryer, climate scientists have found that tornadic activity is moving further east across the Mississippi River.
- Massively wide and wet Hurricane Florence stalls out over the Carolinas and dumps feet of rain in many locations with loss of life, property, and wildlife. Climate change scientists have warned us that a warming atmosphere with warmer oceans will create a new generation of hurricanes that hold more moisture and move slower, exactly what Florence did.
- The Trump administration rolls back existing regulations on the emissions of green house gases, this time methane released from the production of oil and gas.
- The New York Times dedicates a complete magazine issue to the history of climate change titled “Thirty years ago we could have saved the planet”.
- Over 2 million acres of forests are burning at one time in the western USA this summer, due largely to drought conditions, to make this year one of the worst on record. The total burn in 2018’s extra-long fire season is expected to exceed 8 million acres at the cost of $2B.
- Temperatures in some parts of Europe reach 105-110 record highs in heat waves that are becoming more frequent. Severe droughts are being experienced in central Europe.
- The White House announces plans to scrap planned fuel-efficiency improvement standards and replace the nation’s clean power plan enacted under Obama.
- EPA Chief Scott Pruitt resigns after numerous scandals including the use of a special phone booth installed in his office where it was reported he could have private conversations with the polluting industries the EPA was supposed to be regulating.
- Temperatures in northern and southern European cities reach all time record highs. Towns as far north as the Arctic Circle report temps in the 90s. Droughts plaque pastoral areas as livestock herds and agricultural areas suffer across the European continent and Ireland.
- It felt like we enjoyed one month of mild Spring after the Winter and before Summer heat came early to Innsbrook.
- A draft report from the U.S. Global Change Research Program references 13 federal agencies that conclude the U.S, is already feeling the negative impact of climate change, in contrast to President Trump which has called climate change a hoax.
- The EPA is reported to have wanted a debate about climate change, but President Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly killed the effort.
- The western part of Greenland’s ice sheet is found to be melting at its fastest rage in at least 450 years. If the ice sheet melted completely, oceans would rise some 20 feet flooding coastal areas and cities around the world.
- Despite nearly universal agreement that carbon dioxide emissions must be slowed, it was reported by the International Energy Agency that they increased by about 1.5% in 2017. A sliver of good news is that the US reduced its emissions in 2017 due to increase use of natural gas that replaces coal and more renewables such as wind and solar. The bad news is that China, which now manufactures so much of what we consume in the US, saw its emissions rise by nearly 2%. It seems we may have just outsourced our pollution to the developing world.
- The NYT reports on satellite data showing that melting ice sheets are speeding up the rise in sea levels. Sea levels could be 2 feet higher by the end of this century.
- The year of 2017 ends and will soon be reported to be the second warmest on record for surface temperatures, right after last year, 2016 which was the record. It is the third warmest for overall global temperatures. The six warmest years on record have all occurred since 2010.
- Over the Thanksgiving holiday we experienced record highs at Innsbrook.
- Carbon emissions from fossil fuels are expected to set a record this year increasing by 2% from last year.
- The National Climate Assessment report affirms that climate change is real and being driven almost entirely by human actions and warns that sea levels could rise by as much as 8 feet by 2100.
- The EPA scraps the Clean Power Plan that was to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. Pruitt says the war on coal is over.
- Fall weather and the turning of leaves seems stalled out with more record heat in the Midwest, including Innsbrook,
- A 10th storm in the Atlantic becomes a hurricane, the first time in a hundred years.
- California burns from a weather bomb of hurricane force winds and dry land.
- The EPA blocks its scientists from talking about climate change.
- New research suggests that ocean levels could rise much higher and faster than originally thought.
- The Alaskan arctic tundra and permafrost is reported to be thawing at an alarming rate. It threatens to release vast new amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, accelerating climate change past a tipping point of no return. A buildup of methane under the thawing Russian tundra exploded creating a hole in the ground that looked like a meteor strike.
- Harvard Researchers have released a report that show Exxon Mobil intentionally misled the public and its own shareholders on the risks of climate change. Exxon had conducted its own climate research for decades acknowledging man-made climate change due to the burning of fossil fuels was real. However, publicly, Exxon funded research and published advertorials which challenged the science of climate change.
- Th US experiences two massive hurricanes. One of them is the most severe hurricane to ever traverse the Atlantic outside of the Caribbean. They strike Houston and Florida, leaving widespread devastation behind. Houston has now suffered through three 500-year floods in the last three years. The lack of zoning and sprawl into wetlands of Texas made a natural disaster a man-made one. The poor and elderly are hit the hardest, paying the price for climate change, typically living and working in the most vulnerable locations.
- Climate scientists agree that hurricanes are becoming more frequent, stronger and wetter because of climate change. Warmer oceans produce more energy to feed hurricanes. Warmer atmospheric temperatures hold more moisture. It’s said to be pretty basic science. Meanwhile, the Trump administration and other climate deniers revoke Obama rules that required infrastructure investments consider the effects of climate change.
- President Trump removes the US from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and becomes an outcast to the 200 who are participating.
- The first day of Spring feels more like summer with a high of 86 degrees.
- First leaf budding across the Midwest, and most notably Missouri, are 2-3 weeks early than their 30-year average.
- The National Park Service says the Washington Cherry Trees that line the Tidal Basin will peak in mid-March this year, some three weeks earlier than historic averages.
- The month closes with it being the second warmest February in the U.S.
- A record dry winter with only 1 inch of snow reported so far this winter.
- Daffodils are blooming 3 weeks early due to the warm February
- Record temperatures in Australia, as high as 113 degrees F, that were expected to occur only once every 500 years are now projected to occur 10 times as often.
- Worms and flies have appeared for the first time in January at Innsbrook that we ever recall seeing them.
- 2016 was reported to be the third year in a row to set a record for highest global average surface temperature. Nine of the top 10 years for extreme rain events in the US occurred in the last 10 years.
- In 2016 Greenhouse gases increased more quickly than they have in nearly 3 decades of reporting. Between 1990 and 2016 global emissions were up nearly 40%.
- 2016 is reported by the U.S. NOAA as being the hottest year on record. During the year there were record number of extreme weather events from droughts to flash flooding. Global sea levels continued to rise and glaciers shrank.