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Extreme Weather

The battle against Big Energy's rush to ruin our planet

One plume of oil from BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon well blowout produced a slick 22 miles long and a mile wide. Photograph: Ted Jackson/Times Picayune/AP

Image: One plume of oil from BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon well blowout produced a slick 22 miles long and a mile wide. Photograph: Ted Jackson/Times Picayune/AP

guardian.co.uk - October 31st, 2012 - Daryl Hannah

Extreme killer superstorms, historic drought, vanishing sea ice, an increase in ocean acidity by 30%, the hottest decade on record and mega forest fires have increasingly become our new reality.

"That's all happened when you raise the temperature of the earth one degree," says author Bill McKibben, "[t]he temperature will go up four degrees, maybe five, unless we get off coal and gas and oil very quickly." Additional temperature rises could compromise our safety and cause incalculable damage from a large number of billion-dollar disasters in coming years – if we don't address our emissions, insist upon an appropriate climate policy and curtail the rogue fossil fuel industry.

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Sandy forces climate change on US election despite fossil fuel lobby

Currie Wagner looks over the debris from his grandmother Betty Wagner's house, destroyed by Sandy, in New Jersey. Photograph: Julio Cortez/AP

Image: Currie Wagner looks over the debris from his grandmother Betty Wagner's house, destroyed by Sandy, in New Jersey. Photograph: Julio Cortez/AP

guardian.co.uk - October 31st, 2012 - Bill McKibben

Here's a sentence I wish I hadn't written – it rolled out of my Macbook in May, part of an article for Rolling Stone that quickly went viral:

    "Say something so big finally happens (a giant hurricane swamps Manhattan, a megadrought wipes out Midwest agriculture) that even the political power of the industry is inadequate to restrain legislators, who manage to regulate carbon."

I wish I hadn't written it because the first half gives me entirely undeserved credit for prescience: I had no idea both would, in fact, happen in the next six months.

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It's Global Warming, Stupid

Hurricane Sandy churns off the coast of Florida as a line of clouds associated with a powerful cold front approaches the U.S. East Coast on Oct. 26, 2012

image: Hurricane Sandy churns off the coast of Florida as a line of clouds associated with a powerful cold front approaches the U.S. East Coast on Oct. 26, 2012

businessweek.com - November 1st, 2012 - Paul M. Barrett

Men and women in white lab coats tell us—and they’re right—that many factors contribute to each severe weather episode. Climate deniers exploit scientific complexity to avoid any discussion at all.

Clarity, however, is not beyond reach. Hurricane Sandy demands it: At least 40 U.S. deaths.

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Video - International Space Station View of Hurricane Sandy

nasa.gov

A camera aboard the International Space Station captured this view of Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 26, 2012.

(VIDEO SOURCE AT NASA.GOV)

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The Great Barrier Reef Has Lost Half of its Coral in the Last 27 Years

Barnards after cyclone Larry. Image: AIMS Long-term Monitoring Team.

Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
October 2, 2012

Can we save the Reef by controlling crown of thorns starfish?

(ABSTRACT AND LINK TO STUDY - BELOW)

The Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral cover in the last 27 years. The loss was due to storm damage (48%), crown of thorns starfish (42%), and bleaching (10%) according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today by researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) in Townsville and the University of Wollongong.

"We can't stop the storms but, perhaps we can stop the starfish. If we can, then the Reef will have more opportunity to adapt to the challenges of rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification", says John Gunn, CEO of AIMS.

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Extreme Weather Means Extreme Food Prices Worldwide, Aid Agency Warns

      

Somali girls line up to receive a hot meal in Mogadishu last year after the worst drought in the Horn of Africa in decades, compounded by war, put millions in danger of starvation.  Roberto Schmmidt/AFP/Getty Images

npr.org - by Elizabeth Shogren - September 6, 2012

Reducing greenhouse gases and saving the polar bears tend to dominate discussions on climate change. But to the booming world population, one climate change issue may be even more pressing – hunger.

A new report by a leading international relief agency warns that climate change will increase the risk of large spikes in global food prices in the future, and lead to more hungry people in the world.

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Oxfam report - Extreme Weather, Extreme Prices
http://www.oxfamamerica.org/publications/extreme-weather-extreme-prices

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Why 2013 will be a year of crisis

Prediction: 2013 will be a year of serious global crisis. That crisis is predictable, and in fact has already begun. It will inescapably confront the next president of the United States. Yet this emerging crisis got not a mention at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Image: Rotting corn was damaged by severe drought on a farm near Bruceville, Indiana.

submitted by Samuel Bendett

cnn.com - September 3rd, 2012 - David Frum

Prediction: 2013 will be a year of serious global crisis. That crisis is predictable, and in fact has already begun. It will inescapably confront the next president of the United States. Yet this emerging crisis got not a mention at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

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Climate change the cause of summer's extreme weather, Congress told

guardian.co.uk - Suzanne Goldenburg - August 1st, 2012

Drought, wildfires, hurricanes and heatwaves are becoming normal in America because of climate change, Congress was told on Wednesday in the first hearing on climate science in more than two years.

In a predictably contentious hearing, the Senate's environment and public works committee heard from a lead scientist for the UN's climate body, the IPCC, on the growing evidence linking extreme weather and climate change.

"It is critical to understand that the link between climate change and the kinds of extremes that lead to disaster is clear," Christopher Field, a lead author of the IPCC report and director of global ecology at the Carnegie Institute for Science, said in testimony.

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Russia: Warnings Did Not Reach People Before Flood

submitted by Samuel Bendett

      

A priest conducts a funeral ceremony, while acquaintances of Pyotr Ostapenko, 35, a flood victim, stand nearby, at the central cemetery in Krymsk in theKrasnodar region, southern Russia, July 9, 2012. Russia began a day of mourning on Monday for the 171 people killed in floods that drove thousands from their homes, with the causes of the disaster posing hard questions for the authorities, including President Vladimir Putin.
Photo By EDUARD KORNIYENKO/REUTERS

yahoo.com - Associated Press - by Nataliya Vasilyeva and Sergey Ponomarev - July 9, 2012

KRYMSK, Russia (AP) — Authorities failed to properly warn residents in the Black Sea region of floods that killed at least 171 people and left others scrambling for safety, Russia's emergencies minister acknowledged Monday, adding to public outrage fueled by widespread mistrust of the government.

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Australians Told Sweeping Economic, Societal Changes Needed to Cope with Severe Weather

submitted by Samuel Bendett

Homeland Security News Wire - April 27, 2012

The Australian government’s Productivity Commission has just released its much-anticipated report, titled Barriers to Effective Climate Change Adaptation (a 305 page .PDF report). The report calls for sweeping changes across the Australian economy, including ditching property taxes which discourage people from moving out of areas prone to extreme weather events.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the commission, accepting that some degree of climate change is now inevitable, says that Australia will need to adapt. This means removing obstacles in the areas of taxation, local government, disaster relief, planning and building rules, and emergency management.

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