Archive for Climate Change

New GAO Report on Climate Change

This report – Information on Potential Economic Effects Could Help Guide Federal Efforts to Reduce Fiscal Exposure – estimates that weather-related damages over the past decade have cost the country $350 billion. And that does not include the recent spate of fires and hurricanes. According to the highlights page “The federal government has not undertaken strategic government-wide planning to manage climate risks by using information on the potential economic effects of climate change to identify significant risks and craft appropriate federal responses.” The full report laments both the lack of nation-wide information on climate risks as well as the depressing fact that despite its recommendations over the years, no movement was made by the government to undertake its recommendations. Numerous references make this report a valuable read on how the government has NOT devised any strategies to deal with data-gathering on climate risk and its impact on developing response mechanisms. This despite the fact the climate change has been a high risk topic for the GAO for some time now. Please view these hundreds of reports and testimonies generated by the GAO on climate change.

 

 

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Interviews With Hurricane Sandy Witnesses from New Jersey

As we remember Hurricane Sandy, having recourse to these interviews of those who were there will readily reinforce the memories we all have of that day and the days that followed.

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New Report on Sea Level Rise

With the recent emphasis on sea level rise, this seems as good a time as any to direct you to this summary of a conference held by the National Academy of Engineering – Responding to the Threat of Sea Level Rise. This is a short, accessible summary of the proceedings.

 

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Climate Change Is Already Affecting Us

The Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) states that “Evidence for a changing climate abound, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans. Thousands of studies by tens of thousands of scientists around the world have documented changes….Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities…are primarily responsible for recent observed climate changes.”(11) Past, present and future impacts on the United States and the world are found on pp.13-14.

This version of the document is its third draft; the fifth draft, fundamentally unchanged from its predecessor, is at the White House, waiting approval for release. A review of this report was undertaken by the National Academies of Sciences that found “The Committee agrees that the draft CSSR is largely accurate and generally represents the breadth of available literature pertaining to the state of the science at the time of writing, with the exception of some specific topic areas detailed in this report.”(5) The CSSR is part of the fourth iteration of the National Climate Assessment, a Congressionally mandated review of climate due out every four years, the next to be delivered in late 2018.

In a related development, The Guardian has just published a series of emails detailing how the term “weather extremes” is to be used rather than “climate change” within parts of the Department of Agriculture. Other euphemisms are also indicated. This follows a similar pattern at the EPA.

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National Academies Press “America’s Climate Choices” Series

“Produced at the request of Congress, the America’s Climate Choices series of reports provides authoritative analyses to inform and guide responses to climate change across the nation.  The reports were produced by committees of experts convened by the National Research Council….” There are four volumes in the series along with an overview volume. For additional climate science reports/documents by this esteemed publisher, please visit this site

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More Species Threatened By Climate Change Than First Thought

According to this article from Nature Climate Change, “Our results suggest that populations of large numbers of threatened species are likely to be already affected by climate change, and that conservation managers, planners and policy makers must take this into account in efforts to safeguard the future of biodiversity.” The percentage of endangered species facing imminent eradication is much higher than first postulated. More efforts need to be expended in the here and now, rather than in future speculation.

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What Is New Jersey Doing About Drought?

For those who do not know, northern and central New Jersey are now under a drought warning, the first issued in 15 years. We remember the last time a drought warning was declared – you needed permission to refill your swimming pool and a placard had to be prominently displayed verifying that you indeed had the go-ahead to do so. Lawn-watering was curtailed and car-washing was forbidden, among other steps. So you would think the state would have mobilized around a water plan to address this dire situation. Come on, this is Jersey. The last time the master state plan for water was updated was in 1996! And the population of the state has increased by over 500,000 just since 2000. NJ Spotlight has a good report on the situation; a recent report/presentation by the state climatologist is online.

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