2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37

Story of the Week... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS...  Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review...

Story of the Week...

Humans exploiting and destroying nature on unprecedented scale – report

Animal populations have plunged an average of 68% since 1970, as humanity pushes the planet’s life support systems to the edge 

Soybean Harvest in Campo Verde, Brazil

Mass soybean harvesting in Campo Verde, Brazil. Intensive agricultures has contributed to the collapse of some animal populations. Photograph: Alffoto/WWF

Wildlife populations are in freefall around the world, driven by human overconsumption, population growth and intensive agriculture, according to a major new assessment of the abundance of life on Earth.

On average, global populations of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles plunged by 68% between 1970 and 2016, according to the WWF and Zoological Society of London (ZSL)’s biennial Living Planet Report 2020. Two years ago, the figure stood at 60%.

The research is one of the most comprehensive assessments of global biodiversity available and was complied by 134 experts from around the world. It found that from the rainforests of central America to the Pacific Ocean, nature is being exploited and destroyed by humans on a scale never previously recorded.

The analysis tracked global data on 20,811 populations of 4,392 vertebrate species. Those monitored include high-profile threatened animals such as pandas and polar bears as well as lesser known amphibians and fish. The figures, the latest available, showed that in all regions of the world, vertebrate wildlife populations are collapsing, falling on average by more than two-thirds since 1970.

Click here to acess the entire article originally published on the The Guardian website.

Humans exploiting and destroying nature on unprecedented scale – report by Patrick Greenfield, Environment, Guardian, Sep 9, 2020

La Niña Update...

La Nina develops during peak hurricane season

Typical La Nina Winter Pattern

La Nina climate pattern has developed and is likely to persist through the winter, according to an advisory issued today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

La Nina  — translated from Spanish as “little girl”— is a natural ocean-atmospheric phenomenon marked by cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator, the opposite of El Nino (“little boy”) which features warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in that region.

“La Nina can contribute to an increase in Atlantic hurricane activity by weakening the wind shear over the Caribbean Sea and tropical Atlantic Basin, which enables storms to develop and intensify,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “The potential for La Nina development was factored into our updated Atlantic hurricane season outlook issued in August.” 

For the months ahead, scientists say there is a 75% chance that La Nina will be in place from December 2020 through February 2021. 

La Nina develops during peak hurricane season, NOAA News, Sep 10, 2020

Toon of the Week...

2020 Toon 37

Hat tip to the Stop Climate Science Denial Facebook page.

Quote of the Week...

Mojave Desert fire in August destroyed the heart of a beloved Joshua tree forest

Charred Cima Dome Joshua tree forest

J.T. Sohr, fire engine captain in the Mojave National Preserve, walks in the charred Cima Dome Joshua tree forest. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The first day of California’s lightning siege, thunderstorms rolled across the Mojave National Preserve, slicing the afternoon sky with dry strikes.

Smoke rose from the top of Cima Dome, marking the start of a wildfire that would ravage the heart of one of the world’s largest Joshua tree forests.

A drive down Cima Road that only weeks ago was a trip through a magical landscape is now a tour of the world’s biggest Joshua tree graveyard.

Most of the charred trees are still standing. In the evening light, their leaves, bleached with scorch, take on an eerie beauty. But they are doomed, and the 43,273 acres of the Dome fire are forever transformed.

“That stand with that many big trees was developing for thousands of years,” said Todd Esque, a U.S. Geological Survey research ecologist who has studied the forest. “We won’t replace that.” 

Mojave Desert fire in August destroyed the heart of a beloved Joshua tree forest by Bettina Boxall, Environment, Los Angeles Times, Sep 12, 2020

Coming Soon on SkS...

Poster of the Week...

2020 Poster 36

SkS Week in Review...

Posted by John Hartz on Sunday, 13 September, 2020

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