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Entries in climate change (7)


Greenland Is Melting Away

Fascinating article in the N.Y. Times about a group of scientists collecting data on the rate at which the Greenland ice sheet, one of the biggest and fasting-melting blocks of ice on Earth, will drive up sea levels in the coming decades. Really well written and super interesting; the drone footage is spectacular. [NOTE: Image by Josh Harner, NY Times].


Turning Off the Pump

Interesting piece in yesterday's New York Times about the link between deforestation and drought. Especially tropical deforestation. A mature tree in Amazonian rainforest transpires about 1,000 liters of water a day; the entire Amazonian Basin sends up about 20 billion tons of water a day into the atmostphere. The atmosphere over Amazonia carries more water than the Amazon River – which itself contains about one fifth of all the freshwater on the planet.

According to the article:

"One way forests may move water is known as biotic pumping. As water transpires into the atmosphere above the forest, the theory holds, it creates a low-pressure system that sucks in air surrounding it, eventually and continually pumping moisture inland from the ocean.Cutting down forests degrades these low-pressure systems, essentially turning off the pump. Large-scale deforestation is thus believed to be a major contributor to the extreme drought in Brazil".


"Forest represent a kind of ecological infrastructure that helps maintain comfortable living conditions on the plante, whether by taking up and holding carbon dioxide, cleaning water through their roots, preventing floods by stabilizing soil – or, in this case, regulating climate". 

Lots of reasons to stop cutting down tropical forests. And, really, how many soybeans and hamburger patties do we need?  


Billboard Hacker II

Another Billboard Hacker (see What Have I Done To...) mural has gone up in New Rochelle. I really like everything about this public art project. [NOTE: The mural is on Centre Street between Huguenot and Main. Can't miss it].


What Have I Done Today To...

Saw this walking home from the train station yesterday after work. Corner of Centre and Huguenot.  Says (on the left) "What Have I Done Today..." (and on the right, after it is finished) "...To End Climate Change". Relevant question.  Go here for more information about this wonderful mural. [NOTE: And so, what have you done?]


Our Current Situation As A Species

The four books listed in the right sidebar under "Amazon Associate" are insightful analyses of our current situation as a species. I am a huge fan of all four of these books, and view them as foundational in my own process of trying to figure out how best to respond to what comes next. I have previously posted on each of the authors (see Gary Snyder at 83, Earth Consciousness, Zen and the Art of Planetary Crisis, The Dream of the Earth, Distant Neighbors, and Happy Birthday, Wendell Berry), and what I would like to do now is to offer a brief selection from each book, each day, for the next four days. Like food for thought. Or tapas. And, of course, if you would actually like to purchase any of these seminal works, the links in the right sidebar work really well for this (thx).  

[NOTE: True-color image shown above from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is a combination of data from two satellites. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument abourd NASA's Terra satellite collected the land-surface data over 16 days, while NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) produced a snapshot of the Earth's clouds. Just so you know.].


Isle de Jean Charles

Beautiful video from The New York Times about how a little town on the Louisiana coast confronts a future threatened by sinking shorelines and rising seas. Touching. Strikes me as more about the "sense of place" of these folks than climate change, but you decide.   


Iceberg Calving

This incredible video is from James Balog's new documentary, Chasing Ice. It shows almost two cubic miles of ice crashing off the Ilulissat glacier in Greenland - the largest iceberg calving ever filmed. Like watching Manhattan break apart in front of your eyes. Please watch this. This is real. This is scary. And it's happening whether we "believe" in global climate change or not. Have a nice weekend.