Daily Archives: December 24, 2015

One quarter of Alaska permafrost could melt by 2100 – US Geological Survey | US news | The Guardian

Study raises concerns over accelerating climate change as the icy mass under state’s surface releases carbon into atmosphere

The USGS has warned of a ‘gradual and prolonged’ release of greenhouse gases due to thawing permafrost. Photograph: Steven Kazlowski/Science Faction/Corbis

Oliver Milman December 2015 13.23 EST

Up to a quarter of the permafrost that lies underneath the surface of Alaska could melt by the end of the century, spewing long-held carbon into the atmosphere and helping accelerate climate change, US government scientists have predicted.

The US Geological Survey used satellite and on-ground data to estimate that 38% of mainland Alaska has permafrost, a band of soil, rock or sediment that is frozen underground for at least two consecutive years. In Fairbanks, Alaska, the soil has been frozen for several thousand years at just 30 to 40cm underground, with only the upper level of soil thawing every summer before freezing again in winter.

But this icy mass is now under threat from warming temperatures. Under scenarios calculated by USGS, 16% to 24% of Alaska’s permafrost will disappear by the end of the century under varying climate change outcomes. The declines are expected to be sharper in the heavily forested central areas of Alaska, rather than the state’s north.

“Increasing air temperatures have led to widespread thawing and degradation of permafrost, which in turn has affected ecosystems, socioeconomics, and the carbon cycle of high latitudes,” the USGS study states. “Taken together, these results have obvious implications for potential remobilization of frozen soil carbon pools under warmer temperatures.”

The melting of the permafrost would release carbon stored for many years underground, causing the sort of “feedback loop” that has concerned climate scientists: as warming temperatures melt ice in the Arctic region, carbon and methane that has been locked away for thousands of years is being released, thereby fueling more warming and melting.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Advertisements

Take Note: Organic Valley Exec Lewis Goldstein On Why You Should Eat Organic | WPSU

How is organic food changing the landscape of food production? We talk with the vice president of brand marketing for Organic Valley, Lewis Goldstein, about his unique company and why they think everyone should know what’s in their food.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice
Food-Matters

Top 6 Climate Change Problems


Suspicious0bservers

Published on Mar 12, 2015

www.Suspicious0bservers.org
www.ObservatoryProject.com

Citations: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/to…

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Countries Promise To Save The Planet With Climate Agreement


The Point with Ana Kasparian

Published on Dec 18, 2015

Almost 200 countries have agreed to a goal of reaching net zero emissions and transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy in an effort to limit temperature changes. Nearly every country has submitted a plan to help with climate change.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Earthrise – In Your Backyard


Al Jazeera English

Published on Dec 18, 2015

Climate change is no mystery. We know what we have to do to limit emissions and we know we need to change our behaviour and yet we fail to take the kind of action necessary. Why? In this earthrise film we delve into the complex psychology of human behaviour around climate change and how we can turn apathy into action.

Regular earthrise presenter Gelareh Darabi travels back to her roots in British Columbia, Canada, where she meets Robert Gifford, an environmental psychologist. Professor Gifford has written extensively about the relationship between the human brain, psychology and climate change. “We are still very much focused on survival and the ‘now’,” he says. “We get comfortable in our lifestyles and interpret any sign of uncertainty as sufficient reason not to act.” But there is a ray of hope in his research. “Humans display an unwavering attachment to their place of dwelling,” he adds.

Melina Laboucan Massimo is a prominent activist who comes from the Laboucan Cree nation tribe in Canada. Their community’s backyard is the famous Alberta tar sands; the size of Greece, it is the largest industrial project on earth. Massimo has been actively fighting exploitation of the tar sands for nearly a decade and her motivation is her close connection to her ancestral land.

Gelareh also travels to Shanghai, China, where she meets renegade advertising guru Handsome Wong. As a new father, he is eager to encourage public debate over China’s devastating pollution problem which claims the lives of 4,000 people a day. Wong’s work caught global attention when he projected images of crying babies on to the smog produced by nearby industrial chimneys. He explains that while environmental protests in China can be dangerous for the activists involved, advertising is a clever and effective way to get important messages out and encourage climate action.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Africa Investigates – Kenya: Lighting Up


Al Jazeera English

Published on Dec 24, 2015

We investigate Big Tobacco’s disturbing attempts to increase the sale of cigarettes in Kenya.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Deadly Storms Scatter Damage Across South


Associated Press

Published on Dec 24, 2015

Crews in several southeastern states are searching for survivors and cleaning up after a series of tornadoes and powerful storms. Fatalities are reported in Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee. (Dec. 24)

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice