Changing ocean currents are driving extreme winter weather

A pair of researchers studied the Atlantic portion of this worldwide conveyor belt called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC, and found that winter weather in the United States critically depends on this conveyor belt-like system. As the AMOC slows because of climate change, the U.S. will experience more extreme cold winter weather.

The study, published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment was led by Jianjun Yin, an associate professor in the University of Arizona Department of Geosciences and co-authored by Ming Zhao, a physical scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.

AMOC works like this: Warm water travels north in the upper Atlantic Ocean and releases heat into the atmosphere at high latitudes. As the water cools, it becomes denser, which causes it to sink into the deep ocean where it flows back south.

— source University of Arizona | Oct 20, 2021

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Over 530 Arrested in Historic Indigenous-Led Climate Protests in D.C.

This week over 530 climate activists were arrested during Indigenous-led civil disobedience actions in Washington, D.C., calling on President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency and stop approving fossil fuel projects. Indigenous leaders have issued a series of demands, including the abolition of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, whose offices they occupied on Thursday for the first time since the 1970s. The protests come just weeks before the start of the critical U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, which President Biden and senior Cabinet members are expected to attend. “We’re not going anywhere,” says Siqiñiq Maupin, with Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic, who traveled from Alaska to D.C. and was among those arrested during the BIA occupation. “We do not have time for negotiations, for compromises. We need to take this serious and take action now.”

The BIA was created to erase Indigenous people. It has always been against us. And today, or yesterday, and every day, we demand that it be abolished. We do not need a blood quantum to say how Indigenous we are or to qualify that. We know our Indigenous ways to protect this land, this Earth, this water. And we understand that the Earth is unbalanced. And we do not have time for negotiations, for compromises. We need to take this serious and take action now.

— source | Oct 15, 2021

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Large-Scale Ocean Circulation

Ferris Wheels are large amusement-park rides that carry us high up to provide an unrivaled view of the surroundings. They do no useful work, and are typically driven by one or more electric motors at the base. Around and around they go in a steady, ceaseless motion. Although typical Ferris Wheels do no useful work, Ferris Wheels could be repurposed as follows.

High on a cliff is a remote resort with no road access. Although people periodically ascend to or descend from the remote resort by other means, a steady stream of heat, fresh water, and food must be continuously supplied to the remote resort. A Ferris Wheel is mounted at the base of the cliff near a geothermal vent that provides a constant source of hot air. Nearby springs provide a supply of fresh water. Food is shipped in from a nearby town.

The gondolas of the Ferris Wheel have envelopes attached above them. As the gondolas pass over the geothermal vent, hot air rises, filling the envelope and pulling the gondolas

— source | 27 Sep 2021

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Climate crisis leaving ‘millions at risk of trafficking and slavery’

Researchers from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Anti-Slavery International found that drought in northern Ghana had led young men and women to migrate to major cities. Many women begin working as porters and are at risk of trafficking, sexual exploitation and debt bondage – a form of modern slavery in which workers are trapped in work and exploited to pay off a huge debt. In the Sundarbans, on the border between India and Bangladesh, severe cyclones have caused flooding in the delta, reducing the land available for farming. Extreme weather events contribute to environmental destruction, forcing people to leave their homes and leaving them vulnerable to trafficking, exploitation and slavery.

— source | 20 Sep 2021

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Facebook Allows 99% of Climate Disinformation to Go Unchecked

A new analysis released Thursday by the environmental group Friends of the Earth shows that Facebook is continuing to allow thoroughly debunked climate lies to run rampant on its platform, despite the tech giant’s frequent public pledges to combat disinformation. To demonstrate the extent of Facebook’s failure, Friends of the Earth conducted a case study of posts related to the widespread power outages in Texas that followed a devastating winter storm in February. The group found that Facebook appended fact-check labels to just 0.9% of interactions with high-performing posts spreading the false narrative that wind energy—not the state’s overwhelming reliance on fossil fuels—was to blame for the Texas power outages. That claim was quickly seized upon by Texas Republicans and right-wing media outlets, which used their Facebook pages to perpetuate the lie.

— source | Sep 16, 2021

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We Can’t Rely on Private Sector for Necessary Climate Action

The new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate assessment report, released on August 9, has finally stated in the most absolute terms that anthropogenic emissions are the cause behind global warming, and that we have no time left in the effort to keep temperature from crossing the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold. If we fail to take immediate action, we can easily exceed 2 degrees Celsius by the middle of the century.

Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that while the IPCC report underscores the point that the planet is warming faster than expected, it does not directly mention fossil fuels and puts emphasis on carbon removal as a necessary means to tame global warming even though such technologies are still in their infancy.

In this exclusive interview for Truthout, Noam Chomsky, one of the world’s greatest scholars and leading activists, and Robert Pollin, a world-leading progressive economist,

— source | Aug 16, 2021

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Climate Change Is the Symptom, Capitalism Is the Problem

Too often climate change is reduced to quantification of greenhouse glasses or melting ice caps. These indicators of climate change are important to verify the existence of the problem, but they are less constructive in helping us understand where the problem of climate change comes from. Understanding the source of climate change means moving beyond the source of GHGs and looking into the power relations that drive capitalist growth.

We know climate change because we have a science to understand it. Many people are familiar with the standard natural science narratives, narratives that are divorced from society. Fewer people are familiar with the social science explanations of climate change, even fewer still incorporate notions of power into the explanation. The first step to understanding climate change is understanding how power operates in the history of capitalist civilization.

Most climate change scholarship treats society as a black box or explains the problem as one of homogenous humanity. Take for example the idea of the Anthropocene where humanity is treated as something of a plague, entirely disconnected from nature. In this line of thought, humanity itself is the problem. But this line of thinking ignores histories of

— source | Samantha Fox | Sep 15, 2021

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More than half of young people think ‘humanity is doomed’

Now kids are also facing the prospect of living with rising temperatures, ferocious floods, and an unstable climate for the rest of their lives. The largest study of its kind shows that the environmental crisis is causing widespread psychological distress for young people across the globe. In a paper released Tuesday, researchers from the United States, United Kingdom, and Finland found that 45 percent of teens and young adults say climate anxiety is affecting their daily lives and ability to function. It’s the first study to suggest that young people’s emotional distress is strongly linked to their governments’ failure to respond. The study, under peer review in the journal Lancet Planetary Health, surveyed 10,000 people between the ages of 16 to 25 in February and March this year.

— source | Sep 14, 2021

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Hurricane Ida Slams Native Communities in Louisiana

Hurricane Ida, one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the United States, roared ashore Sunday in southern Louisiana in an area dominated by the oil industry that’s also home to many Native communities. The storm brought a seven-foot storm surge, 150-mile-per-hour winds and up to two feet of rain to parts of the Gulf Coast. It was so powerful, it completely knocked out power to a million people, including the entire city of New Orleans, and reversed the flow of the Mississippi River. The Category 4 storm hit on the same day Hurricane Katrina devastated the area 16 years ago. It’s been blamed for at least one death, and more are expected.

A system of dikes and levees that protects the New Orleans region from rising waters is reportedly holding, for now, much of it built since Katrina. But still, it is underfunded, and officials say they could be overwhelmed by a forecasted 20 inches of rain.

Louisiana’s Gulf Coast is a major oil and gas hub, with 17 oil refineries, two liquefied natural gas export terminals, a nuclear power plant and many Superfund sites. Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, the oilfield service hub for almost all of the Gulf of Mexico and not far from the city of Houma.

— source | Aug 30, 2021

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