Tag Archives: Climate Change

‘Omen of the Future’: Off-The-Charts Hot Oceans Scare Scientists

After 2023 was the hottest year in human history, experts warn that 2024 “has strong potential to be another record-breaking year.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-27-2024 by Common Dreams

Coral bleaching. Photo: blamethepeople/flickr

While global policymakers continue to drag their feet on phasing out planet-heating fossil fuels, scientists around the world “are freaking out” about high ocean temperatures, as they told The New York Times in reporting published Tuesday.

A “super El Niño” has expectedly heated up the Pacific, but Times reporter David Gelles spoke with ocean experts from Miami to Cambridge to Sydney about record heat in the North Atlantic as well as conditions around the poles.

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Ticker Shows Climate Inaction Cost US Nearly $3,000 Per Second in 2023

“This exorbitant price tag, driven by an unparalleled number of weather and climate disasters, reinforces the urgent need for the Biden administration to use every tool at their disposal,” said one campaigner.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-23-2024 by Common Dreams

Road sign on U.S. Route 101 in Windsor warning of severe weather during the atmospheric rivers in January 2023. Photo: Sarah Stierch (CC BY 4.0)

After an unprecedented number of billion-dollar extreme weather disasters across the United States last year, advocacy groups on Friday released an updated “Cost of Inaction Ticker” estimating the price of not tackling the fossil fuel-driven climate emergency.

Launched by the Climate Action Campaign and other groups in 2022, the ticker is based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which found that 2023 was the hottest year on record and the 28 disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage collectively cost Americans at least $92.9 billion, or $2,945.84 per second.

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Record 50 Million Children Now Displaced as Wars, Climate Crisis Rage

“When children lose their homes, they lose almost everything: their access to healthcare, education, food, and safety,” one advocate said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 2-20-2024 by Common Dreams

Children in the area of Shangil Tobaya, Sudan. Photo: United Nations Photo/flickr/CC

The 10 biggest global crises—including Israel’s war on Gaza—forced more than 10 million children to flee their homes in 2023.

That figure likely puts the total number of displaced children at more than 50 million, a new record, Save the Children said in an analysis published Tuesday. The number of children displaced worldwide has also more than doubled from around 20.6 million in 2010. While the number of displaced people overall reached a record 114 million in October 2023, children are being pushed from their homes at an even faster rate than adults and face unique vulnerabilities.

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‘Alarming’: FERC Ignores Climate Impacts and Rubber-Stamps Texas Pipeline

“The world does not need more LNG, and FERC is out of step with the reality of the climate crisis and communities impacted by these projects,” one advocate said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 2-15-2024 by Common Dreams

Culberson County Hospital (left) and Van Horn Rural Health Clinic (right) are shown in Van Horn, Texas, where residents are concerned about the local health system’s ability to cope with a major pipeline explosion. (Photo: Texas.pics/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a controversial pipeline on Thursday despite opposition from local and Indigenous communities and without considering its climate impacts.

The commission limited its review of the Saguaro Connector Pipeline to a 1,000-foot stretch of the project on the Texas and Mexican border. If built, the pipeline could transport as many as 2.8 billion cubic feet of fracked gas per day to an export facility in Mexico, where it would be shipped to Asia and Latin America. The decision comes weeks after the Biden administration paused Department of Energy (DOE) approvals of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports while it updates its assessment criteria.

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‘Cliff-Like’ Collapse of Critical Current System More Likely Than Thought: Study

“The new study adds significantly to the rising concern about an AMOC collapse in the not-too-distant future,” said one scientist. “We will ignore this at our peril.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-10-2024 by Common Dreams

Human-driven planetary warming threatens to collapse a system of currents in the Atlantic Ocean that regulate and impact weather across the globe. Image: Felton Davis/flickr/CC

A study published Friday warned that a systemic collapse of the Atlantic Ocean currents driving warm water from the tropics toward Europe could be more likely than researchers previously estimated—an event that would send temperatures plummeting in much of the continent.

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which includes the Gulf Stream, could be headed for a relatively sudden shutdown that René Van Western, who led the Dutch study published in Science Advances, called “cliff-like.”

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Antarctic Tipping Point That Occurred 8,000 Years Ago ‘Could Happen Again’

“We now have direct evidence that this ice sheet suffered rapid ice loss in the past,” said a Cambridge researcher.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-9-2024 by Common Dreams

Marguerite Bay is on the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula. (Photo: British Antarctic Survey)

As European Union scientists confirmed that last month continued a worrying trend of historically high temperatures, U.K. researchers released a study Thursday warning how fossil fuel-driven global heating could lead to catastrophic and rapid ice loss in Antarctica not seen for thousands of years.

The study, published by researchers at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the University of Cambridge in Nature Geoscience, relies on an ice core from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet that is over 2,100 feet long.

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Bombings Kill Dozens in Pakistan on Eve of Contentious Elections

As Pakistanis prepare to head to the polls with the country’s most popular politician behind bars on dubious charges, human rights groups sounded the alarm on a wide range of election-related repression.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-7-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: YouTube

Dozens of Pakistanis were killed Wednesday in two bombings targeting political offices on the eve of highly contentious parliamentary elections from which the country’s most popular leader—who is jailed on what critics say are politically motivated charges—is banned.

The blasts both occurred in the southwestern province of Balochistan, homeland of the nomadic Baloch people, who also inhabit a large swath of southeastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. Government officials said the first bombing, which targeted independent candidate Asfandyar Khan’s office in the Pashin district, killed 18 people. A second blast approximately 80 miles away then killed at least 12 people at the Qilla Saifullah office of the Sunni fundamentalist Jamiat Ulema Islam party, which has close ties to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

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Youth Fight Back as Biden DOJ Seeks to Derail Historic Climate Case

“These youth have been politically targeted and persecuted, for over eight years, as the enormous power and machine of the Department of Justice singles them out among tens of thousands of other plaintiffs.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-2-2024 by Common Dreams

The 21 youth plaintiffs in the constitutional climate case Juliana v. United States pose for a photo in New York City. (Photo: Our Children’s Trust)

As the Biden administration seeks to derail a historic youth-led climate lawsuit against the U.S. government, plaintiffs in the suit—some of them now in their mid-to-late 20s—on Thursday moved to block the Department of Justice from further delaying the case.

Plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States filed a challenge to the Biden administration’s bid for a stay in the case, calling the Justice Department’s latest petition for a writ of mandamus “nothing short of shocking.”

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Air Pollution From Canadian Tar Sands Up to 6,300% Worse Than Industry Reports

“In quantifying the astonishing and largely unreported levels,” said a Greenpeace campaigner, “these scientists have validated what downwind Indigenous communities have been saying for decades.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-26-2024 by Common Dreams

Tar sands extraction in northern Alberta. Photo: The Co-op Group/flickr/CC

Aircraft measurements of pollutants over the Athabasca tar sands in Alberta, Canada show levels exceeding industry reports by 1,900% to more than 6,300%, scientists revealed Thursday, underscoring the need for humanity to rapidly phase out fossil fuels.

While the Canadian government requires air quality monitoring around oil sands operations, industry figures focus on certain compounds. For this research, published Thursday in the journal Science, experts from Yale University and Environment and Climate Change Canada, a department of the Canadian government, accounted for a wider range of emissions.

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Iconic 100-Year-Old Fishing Shacks Washed Into Sea as Maine High Tide Breaks All-Time Record

“Mother nature isn’t messing around.”

By Jon Queally. Published 1-13-2024 by Common Dreams

Iconic fishing shacks at Willard Beach in South Portland, Maine were washed into the sea Saturday as the high tide broke an all-time record. (Photo: Shyler Lewis)

From New York City to the coast of Maine, record-breaking high tides in part fueled by the climate crisis brought destruction to the U.S. northeast on Saturday with roads flooded, infrastructure destroyed, and historic buildings washed out to sea—a horrifying preview of what scientists say will become all the more frequent if humanity continues its refusal to end the era of fossil fuels.

In downtown Portland, Maine the areas along the harbor and waterfront piers were inundated with unprecedented flooding. The city’s vibrant Old Port was underwater in many places with extensive damage to buildings, businesses, and infrastructure.

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