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Climate Hustle

2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #17

Posted on 29 April 2017 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. Articles of signifigance as determined by the editor are highlighted in the Editor's Picks' section.

Editor's Picks

Tens of thousands marched for science. Now what?

March for Scince Poster 

Just hours after the Washington March for Science dispersed, organizers sent an email to demonstrators with the subject line, “What's next?”

“Our movement is just starting,” the message read. It went on to urge marchers to take part in a “week of action,” a set of coordinated activities that range from signing an environmental voting pledge to participating in a citizen science project. They will provide postcards for participants to send to their political leaders and a calendar of events recommended by the march's partner groups.

The march website was also overhauled Saturday night to include a new page on the organization's vision for the future. The details are not fully fleshed out (and the page still included a few typos Sunday afternoon), but organizers say they aim to build a new science advocacy network and establish programs to better engage the public with science.

“We intend to symbolically keep marching,” said national co-chair Valerie Aquino. “I would love for the March for Science to continue growing into a global movement.”

That goal will require a sea change in how scientists think about outreach. But after the success of the march, which turned out tens of thousands of demonstrators in more than 600 cities, organizers think it could happen.

Tens of thousands marched for science. Now what? by Sarah Kaplan, Speaking of Science, Washington Post, Apr 23, 2107 


China, India Become Climate Leaders as West Falters

Climate Policy & Action Map

Less than two years after world leaders signed off on a historic United Nations climate treaty in Paris in late 2015, and following three years of record-setting heat worldwide, climate policies are advancing in developing countries but stalling or regressing in richer ones.

In the Western hemisphere, where centuries of polluting fossil fuel use have created comfortable lifestyles, the fight against warming has faltered largely due to the rise of far-right political groups and nationalist movements. As numerous rich countries have foundered, India and China have emerged as global leaders in tackling global warming.

Nowhere is backtracking more apparent than in the U.S., where President Trump is moving swiftly to dismantle environmental protections and reverse President Obama’s push for domestic and global solutions to global warming.

The U.S. isn’t alone in its regression. European lawmakers are balking at far-reaching measures to tackle climate change. Australian climate policy is in tatters. International efforts to slow deforestation in tropical countries are failing.

China, India Become Climate Leaders as West Falters by John Upton, Climate Central, Apr 24, 2017 


Global Temp Anomalies April1970-March2017 Berkeley Earth.jpg April 1970 through March 2017 temperature trend from Berkeley Earth.

With the first quarter of 2017 now past, the year is shaping up to be one of climate extremes: high temperatures, low sea ice, and coral bleaching. 

Global surface temperatures continue to increase in-line with climate model predictions, and the world has now experienced an increased global temperature of about 0.8 degrees C (1.5 degrees F) since 1970. Temperatures for the first three months of the year were actually warmer than the 2016 average, and there is a reasonable chance that 2017 for a fourth consecutive year will be the warmest on record.

Global sea ice extent is near historic lows in the Arctic and Antarctic, and Arctic sea ice volume has also been decreasing as it ages and thins, with less new ice to replace it. The Great Barrier Reef experienced an unprecedented second consecutive year of coral bleaching, the only major coral bleaching on record to have occurred other than in an El Niño year.

Worrisome first quarter of 2017 climate trends by Zeke Hausfather, Yale Climate Connections, Apr 27, 2017


An Ice-Free Summer in the Arctic Ocean Would Be Deadly for the Northern Hemisphere

Arctic sea ice near the coast of Greenland in September of 2015 at the peak of the melt season. (Photo: Bob Berwyn) 

Arctic sea ice near the coast of Greenland in September of 2015 at the peak of the melt season. (Photo: Bob Berwyn)

Climate scientists don’t like to get pinned down on making date-specific projections about the effects of global warming. But after months of watching Arctic sea ice languish at a record low, the big question has surfaced once again: When will we see the Arctic’s first ice-free summer?

According to University of Exeter climate researcher James Screen, the latest modeling suggests that, unless heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions stop soon, an ice-free Arctic summer will happen as soon as 2046.

“That’s our best estimate, give or take 20 years,” Screen said during an April 24th press conference at the European Geosciences Union conference in Vienna. The ice decline is clearly linked with rising global temperatures, and the chances that the Arctic will be ice-free increase dramatically when the average global temperature rises between 1.7 and 2.1 degrees Celsius, Screen said. 

An Ice-Free Summer in the Arctic Ocean Would Be Deadly for the Northern Hemisphere by Bob Berwyn, Pacific Standard, Apr 28, 2017 


The kids suing Donald Trump are marching to the White House

Kids suing Trump at DC Metro station 

"The state of the planet is unraveling all around us because of our addiction to fossil fuels," Xiuhtezcatl Martinez said at the steps of the US Supreme Court this week. "For the last several decades, we have been neglecting the fact that this is the only planet that we have and that the main stakeholders in this issue (of climate change) are the younger generation. Not only are the youth going to be inheriting every problem that we see in the world today — after our politicians have been long gone — but our voices have been neglected from the conversation.
"Our politicians are no longer representing our voices."
So, what's a voiceless kid to do?
How about sue President Donald Trump and his administration — and then march to the White House?

The kids suing Donald Trump are marching to the White House by John Sutter, CNN, Apr 29, 2017 


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