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Alarming Acceleration of Arctic Warming Detected Case Focus: Arctic Melt videos: C.Christo & M.Wilkinson
Updated with new links, 2/18
E.O.Wilson: "The world is full of amateurs: gifted amateurs, devoted amateurs... Anybody can pick up information in interesting places, find new species or rediscover what was thought to be a vanished species, or some new biological fact about a species already known, and can provide that right into The Encyclopedia of Life."
NYTimes' David Pogue interview with E.O.Wilson: transcript
Dramatic new videos of methane release and a meltwater 'moulin' in Case Focus: "Arctic Melt"
Jungle Reforestation The latest film from the "Report From the Forest" series, on the jungle reforestation work of Julio Arce, Professor Ethnobotany, University of Iquitos, Peru; with a focus on medicinals and other human-ally species. Watch the video here.
Case Focus: The Shipibo People
Ecoversity is a non-profit educational center which explores and demonstrates concepts of sustainable living, ecological design, and responsibility for the wise stewardship of the Earth.
Established in 1999 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Ecoversity focusses on practices and solutions designed to regenerate the Earth and revitalize the human spirit.
Global Warming/Weirding Well Underway
Last winter's blizzards and icy blasts, along with the failure of the Copenhagen Conference, seemed to put climate change at the bottom of everyone's worry list and give climate-change deniers the upper hand. And as the North began to heat up in late spring, we were pre-occupied with the oil disaster in the Gulf. But as the graphic to the left shows, while the extreme Arctic Oscillation last winter caused some very cold air masses over much of North America, Northwest Europe, and Central Asia, on a global scale, the heating was continuing apace.
All in all, the first 6 months of 2010 were the warmest on record, and June was the warmest on record. Then July broke those records, in fact broke high temperature records in 17 countries.
Much of north America and Eurasia baked in triple digits, forest fires swept 27 regions of Russia, and Moscow was shrouded in smoke. By August we had headlines like "Heat Wave of 2010 in Eurasia Has Toppled Historic Records" and "Russia Heat Wave Statistics Staggers the Imagination". Russian President Medvedev: "What's happening with the planet's climate right now needs to be a wake-up call to all of us, meaning all heads of state, all heads of social organizations, in order to take a more energetic approach to countering the global changes to the climate."
By the end of July, Pakistan had hit highs of 128°, but the worst was the rainbomb that hit that country's watershed, dropping some 16" of rain in 48 hours, killing thousands, and destroying thousands of homes and farms downstream. As of August 11th, 20% of Pakistan's total land area was underwater.
In early August, 700 people per day were dying in Moscow from the heat and smoke, Russia was suspending grain exports, and a huge chunk of Greenland's Petermann Glacier broke off, ten square miles and 600 feet deep, in a "very unusual event" said scientists.
But we are again reminded that a better term for global warming is 'global weirding'; just as we in much of the North experienced some extreme cold last winter, countries in South America, below the equator, got hit in July with an antarctic blast that froze the continent up to Bolivia, where millions of creatures were killed by the cold.
There was also the puzzling collapse of the earth's upper atmosphere, and the appearance of mysterious glowing clouds in the night skies.
NOAA has just released it's State of The Climate 2009:
"Global average surface and lower-troposphere temperatures during the last three decades have been progressively warmer than all earlier decades, and the 2000s (2000-09) was the warmest decade in the instrumental record . . .
Global integrals of upper-ocean heat content for the last several years have reached values consistently higher than for all prior times in the record . . .
Extreme warmth was experienced across large areas of South America, southern Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Australia had its second warmest year on record. India experienced its warmest year on record; Alaska had its second warmest July on record, behind 2004; and New Zealand had its warmest August since records began 155 years ago. Severe cold snaps were reported in the UK, China, and the Russian Federation. Drought affected large parts of southern North America, the Caribbean, South America, and Asia. China suffered its worst drought in five decades. India had a record dry June associated with the reduced monsoon. Heavy rainfall and floods impacted Canada, the United States, the Amazonia and southern South America, many countries along the east and west coasts of Africa, and the UK. The U.S. experienced its wettest October in 115 years and Turkey received its heaviest rainfall over a 48-hr period in 80 years."
(remember: this was through 2009, and does not include this year's extremes- download report PDF)
So maybe now we can get back to worrying about climate change. By mid September we'll have the latest figures on the shrinking Arctic sea-ice, usually the seasonal climax of warming worries. We'll only have a few months before the blizzards and cold spells induce seasonal amnesia again...
Read more climate-change related extreme weather indicators in the Links and Resources area.
Storms of My Grandchildren The truth about the coming climate catastrophe and our last chance to save humanity James Hansen, dean of US climate scientists, first warned the world of the danger of radical climate change due to CO2 emissions a generation ago; he considers himself a scientist and 'not a communicator' and hoped that his research would be enough to motivate necessary policy changes. A few years ago he decided he had to do more, and he has been speaking out ever since. "Storms of My Grandchildren" is his first book, and as the title implies, represents his effort to set the record straight in a comprehensive way on the question of human-caused climate change, and deliver a blunt warning to us about our future on Earth.
Hansen's Bottom line: "I've come to conclude that if we burn all reserves of oil, gas and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty."
Read the complete review Video: Hansen talks about "Storms of My Grandchildren" 'Storms' website / 'Storms' at Amazon
The Green Patriarch:
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
The name "Green Patriarch' is hardly sufficient to describe this amazing man, who, while still in the grip of the tidal forces of human history unleashed by the collapse of the Roman Empire, is one of the few who really grasps the significance of the current moment for the future of humanity and Creation. His quiet and persevering influence has been great, up there with Al Gore, maybe more so. This is a powerful film on a true spiritual leader working behind the scenes to change the way humanity relates to Earth and Nature. (watch The Green Patriarch) May 7. Bartholomew has written a commentary on the Gulf oil disaster at the HuffingtonPost.
Amaranth, 'Pigweed', and Monsanto Amaranth seeds have a protein content of about 16%, more than other widely consumed cereals like conventional wheat, rice or maize, according to a book on the topic by the US National Research Council. Amaranth's protein digestibility score is an impressive 90 percent, much higher than problematic foods such as soy, milk and wheat. Amaranth seeds contain 5 percent to 9 percent high-quality oil, again, much higher than the common grains. Found in the amaranth oil are tocotrienols- a relatively rare and very beneficial form of vitamin E- and squalene, another rare compound reported to have anti-cancer properties. (read case focus: Amaranth, Pigweed, and Monsanto)
Bioneers Conference Oct 15-18 The annual Bioneers conference is held this weekend in San Rafael, CA. More presenter information and webcasting links at Bioneers.org.
We will be posting reports from our correspondent at the conference on this page.
KSFR: Diego Mulligan Interviews
- Mar 24 2009: Diego interviews Andrew Fikiforuk, author of Tar Sands, and Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zone, with Ecoversity's Jeff Harbour accompanying. (download mp3)
-Interview with Ecoversity's Jeff Harbour and Willem Malten, 12/30/08 (mp3)
-Interview with Alphonz Viszolay 12/16/08 (mp3)
"The Genius in All of Us" Author David Shenk at the Commonwealth Club takes us beyond 'nature v. nurture'. (video)
2010 Year of Biodiversity
UN General Secretary Ban-Ki Moon announces The Year of Biodiversity 2010.