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Scientist Says BC Heat Wave Caused Over 1 Billion Tidal Creatures to Cook to Death

A mussel bed on Vancouver Island. (Photo: Stephen Bentsen/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Andrea Germanos | Common Dreams

It’s “a frightening warning sign,” said one observer.

“Heartbreaking,” another commented.

“Can we now mobilize en masse to save all Earthly beings?” asked another.

Those were some of the responses to new reporting by the CBC on how last week’s extreme heatwave that gripped British Columbia may have led to the deaths of over one billion intertidal animals like mussels and starfish that inhabit the Salish Sea coastline.

Christopher Harley, a marine ecologist at the University of British Columbia, told the outlet about how he had noticed a foul odor from dead intertidal animals on rocks at Vancouver’s popular Kitsilano Beach as the city experienced record heat. Harley then set off with a team of researchers to gather data on nearby coastlines.

What the researchers noticed, CBC reported, were “endless rows of mussels with dead meat attached inside the shell, along with other dead creatures like sea stars and barnacles.”

They tracked temperatures too, recording 50°C (122°F) on rocky shoreline habitats, well above the high 30s (around 100°F) mussels can endure for short spurts. Harley likened a mussel on the rock enduring the scorching temperatures to “a toddler left in a car on a hot day”—stuck “at the mercy of the environment” until the tide returns. “And on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, during the heatwave, it just got so hot that the mussels, there was nothing they could do.”

The heatwave was deadly for humans too.

Lisa Lapointe, British Columbia’s chief coroner, announced Friday that from June 25 to July 1, the province’s death toll was 719—three times higher than normal—and said the heat was likely “a significant contributing factor to the increased number of deaths.” The heatwave was also blamed for dozens of deaths in the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington.

The recent heat wave’s deadly impact on shellfish was noted in the U.S. Pacific Northwest as well.

The Daily Mail reported last week on comments from the family-run Hama Hama Oyster company in Washington. “The epic heatwave is something no one has seen and then we had a low tide that was as far as it has been in 15 years and it happened mid-day,” the company said.

The clams “look like they had just been cooked like they were ready to eat,” the company told the outlet.

In a June 30 Instagram post sharing an image of heat-impact clams, the company had a clear message: “Please vote for politicians who are brave enough to address climate change.”


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Surviving Change: How Plants And Animals Are Evolving

desert climate
Image by naturfreund_pics from Pixabay

By Mayukh Saha | Truth Theory

Nations across the globe are waking up to the threat of climate change. Climate change is progressing faster each day, leading to higher temperatures and altered precipitation. In regions that are already very dry now, like deserts, the effects of climate change predict even lower precipitation levels. In order to survive under these new conditions, organisms must adapt very quickly. So what do the animals and plants do to ensure their survival?

A few ways in which animals are coping are by moving to cooler regions, adapting to the warmer environment, and some are even adapting and evolving as a whole species. Often when scientists put up global warming models, they ignore the adaptive capacity of life. A geneticist from the University of Melbourne, Australia, Ary Hoffmann explains that organisms are not static. If the earth and its climate are undergoing a change, why should we assume plants and animals won’t?

HOW ARE ORGANISMS SURVIVING CLIMATE CHANGE?

A 2011 review had already shown how hundreds of species are on the move. There was a median shift to higher altitudes of 36 feet (11 meters) per decade and a median shift to higher latitudes of about 10.5 miles (17 kilometers) per decade. And you don’t have to be a scientist to notice this. Be it gardeners or nature lovers, they all notice how more and more animals are reacting to the effects of climate change.

Nine-banded armadillos are moving from the south into regions of North Caroline. Trees are shifting to higher altitudes as are many animals. The endangered quino checkerspot butterfly was on the verge of extinction, but they shifted to higher altitudes.

Not just moving physically though. With Spring arriving almost 2 days earlier than it used to in the 1950s, plants and animals are changing their patterns too. Be it nesting of birds or flowering of plants, they all know how to adapt fast. A live experiment on corals proved just how fast living organisms are able to adapt.

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CORAL RESISTANCE

 

Marine ecologist Stephen Palumbi from Stanford University, California, tested the heat tolerance of some Acropora hyacinthus corals. The ones from cooler pools were put in a hot pool. After a year, their heat tolerance was measured. Previously Palumbi had found 55% of corals being stressed under such conditions. But when left for a year, only 32.5% showed signs of stress. The rest had miraculously adapted to the warmer environment!

Two things are at play here: firstly the genetic evolution that allows life to persist. And secondly, phenotypic plasticity, which implies there was not genetic change yet living organisms could adapt and evolve with their environment in a short period of time.

SNAILS, SALMONS, AND OTHERS

European large banded snails with light color shells have become more prevalent in the Netherlands. Even in dark and wooded places where one expects darker shells, the light ones are now dominating. And since genes are responsible for shell color, this another correlation between evolution in animals, global warming, and climate change.

Alaskan Pink salmon are migrating from the Auke Creek where the water is heating up by about 0.03 degrees each year. And in Finland, tawny owls used to be light gray to camouflage with the snow. With declining levels of snow since the 1970s, brown tawnies are becoming more common.

Genetic modification in plants to survive climate change also includes the changing colors of petals.  A research team led by Professor Katja Tielbörger from the Institute of Evolution and Ecology found how plants can modify their genes over a short time period to survive drought conditions. With a 12 years-long experiment, they manipulated the precipitation levels of plant communities. Plants used to humid conditions quickly adapted with earlier flowing time and put resources to produce seeds. But other processes like water efficiency and seed dormancy remained the same. This indicates some processes could be too slow for organisms to make the final cut.

But these isolated cases might seem hopeful for now, at best, they serve as grace periods. If human consumption continues the way it has, even these fast-adapting organisms might not stand a chance.

Are we ready to make the changes we need to make? Only reducing carbon emissions is not the answer. These plants and animals need our protection and care to ensure their survival. Climate change is creating ripples everywhere, are we prepared yet?




Arctic Hits 100.4°F—Hottest Temperature on Record

A graphic shows record heat in the Arctic Circle on Saturday, June 20, 2020. (Image: Screengrab\@ScottDuncanWX)

By Jake Johnson | Common Dreams

A small Siberian town north of the Arctic Circle reached 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday, a figure that—if verified—would be the highest temperature reading in the region since record-keeping began in 1885.

“This scares me, I have to say,” environmentalist and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben tweeted in response to news of the record-breaking reading in Verkhoyansk, where the average high temperature in June is 68°F.

“Siberian town tops 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest temperature ever recorded north of the Arctic Circle. This scares me, I have to say.”—Bill McKibben, 350.org

Washington Post climate reporter Andrew Freedman noted Sunday that if the reading is confirmed, it “would be the northernmost 100-degree reading ever observed, and the highest temperature on record in the Arctic, a region that is warming at more than twice the rate of the rest of the globe.”

“On Sunday, the same location recorded a high temperature of 95.3 degrees (35.2 Celsius), showing the Saturday reading was not an anomaly,” the newspaper reported. “While some questions remain about the accuracy of the Verkhoyansk temperature measurement, data from a Saturday weather balloon launch at that location supports the 100-degree reading. Temperatures in the lower atmosphere, at about 5,000 feet, also were unusually warm at 70 degrees (21 Celsius), a sign of extreme heat at the surface.”

The World Meteorological Organization said Sunday that is “preliminarily accepting the observation as a new extreme” as it conducts a more thorough review of the Verkhoyansk reading.

“100°F about 70 miles north of the Arctic Circle today in Siberia. That’s a first in all of recorded history,” tweeted meteorologist Eric Holthaus. “We are in a climate emergency.”

The reading comes as Siberia is in the midst of a prolonged heatwave that has alarmed climate scientists and activists.

“Been watching the Siberian heatwave for months and it’s beyond terrifying—already suffering what was expected in 2100 in a worst-case scenario,” said climate activist and conservationist Charlie Gardner.

As the Guardian reported last week, “the freak temperatures [in Siberia] have been linked to wildfires, a huge oil spill, and a plague of tree-eating moths.”

“Russian towns in the Arctic Circle have recorded extraordinary temperatures, with Nizhnyaya Pesha hitting 30°C on 9 June and Khatanga, which usually has daytime temperatures of around 0°C at this time of year, hitting 25°C on 22 May. The previous record was 12°C.”

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Lindzen, Author Of IPCC Climate Change Report (Chapter 7), Shares His Thoughts On Global Warming

 

Lindzen in 2009 exploring Climate Change
By Arjun Walia | Collective Evolution

Physical Climate Processes and Feedbacks,” Chapter 7 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Third Assessment Report on climate change.

We have reached a dangerous state of scientific tyranny. People are ridiculed and even vilified for questioning the prevailing narratives about the nature of our world, but this counters the true meaning of science. At its core, science is about questioning what we think we know.

“A central lesson of science is that to understand complex issues (or even simple ones), we must try to free our minds of dogma and to guarantee the freedom to publish, to contradict, and to experiment. Arguments from authority are unacceptable.”

Today, many scientific assumptions have transformed into scientific dogmas. In almost every field of science, from the study of consciousness, to modern day medicine, to food and drugs, controversy and corruption exist. As many whistleblowers have revealed, big corporations have a monopoly on science and control what gets published and enters the public domain.

Dr. Diane Harper,  for example, one of a mere handful of experts on the human papillomavirus (HPV) and one of the leading researchers in biomedical science, has pointed to this fact a number of times, specifically with regards to Gardasil, the HPV vaccine. She has spent her life studying vaccines; she was the principle investigator of both HPV vaccines — Gardasil manufactured by Merck, and Cervarix manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. In multiple interviews she’s stated how the vaccine was approved and fast-tracked before all of the science had been completed.

You can check out this FDA document to verify that for yourself, as it’s no secret. Here’s another interesting publication you can check out published in the Journal of Medical Ethics about its fast-tracking. We’ve also written about Gardasil/HPV extensively, so you can find out more here.

Investigations have also discovered that the FDA manipulates science press, and multiple whistleblowers have brought this to light. Take Dr. Richard Horton, the Editor in Chief of one of the largest peer-reviewed medical journals in the world. He says, “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.” (source)

It can be truly overwhelming to see just how many of these scientists, who have such distinguished positions and backgrounds, are making statements like these. There are countless examples to choose from.

As with medical science, climate science is fraught with corruption. Questioning climate science is just as scary for some people as questioning vaccine science. This is because the mainstream ridicules people who ask questions. They do this through clever marketing, constantly pushing the idea that vaccines save lives and carry no risks, which entirely contradicts the science that continues to emerge showing otherwise.

When there are so many scientists with distinguished backgrounds, who come directly from the fields in question, making statements that are completely ridiculed by mainstream media, we should be taking notice. Why aren’t any of these scientists given a voice in corporate media? And why does corporate media make people feel stupid and even scared to look into or even contemplate what they have to say?

In the interview below, Richard Lindzen mentions the monopolization of science, arguing that science has become a tool to push forth political, economic, and financial agendas.

Lindzen is one of the world’s top experts in the field and lead author of “Physical Climate Processes and Feedbacks,” Chapter 7 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Third Assessment Report on climate change. He is a  dynamical meteorologist with interests in the broad topics of climate, planetary waves, monsoon meteorology, planetary atmospheres, and hydrodynamic instability. His research involves studies of the role of the tropics in mid-latitude weather and global heat transport, the moisture budget and its role in global change, the origins of ice ages, seasonal effects in atmospheric transport, stratospheric waves, and the observational determination of climate sensitivity. He has made major contributions to the development of the current theory for the Hadley Circulation, and pioneered the study of how ozone photochemistry, radiative transfer, and dynamics interact with each other. He is also the Emeritus Sloan Professor of Meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In many of his lectures, he has pointed out how policymakers were heavily involved with the IPCC and their publications.

You can learn more about him and view his publications and CV here.

It’s great how he mentions Eisenhower’s warning, which was referring to the military industrial complex and the potential for the rise of misplaced power, which unfortunately is our reality today. JFK also spoke about this hidden hand:

It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. (source)

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Pruitt Evades Climate Change Discussion During Record-Breaking Storm

via EcoWatch

By Climate Nexus | EcoWatch

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt called discussion of climate change during Hurricane Irma “misplaced” in a Thursday interview with CNN.

“To use time and effort to address [climate change] at this point is very, very insensitive to the people in Florida,” Pruitt said when asked about climate change during his phone interview.

Reuters reported that Pruitt “declined to say” during a brief interview on Irma preparations whether he accepts the analysis of multiple climate scientists that the hurricane was strengthened by warming temperatures. Pruitt’s remarks come as Irma churns towards Florida, breaking multiple meteorological records.

Irma is joined in the Atlantic by Hurricanes Katia and Jose, marking the first time since 2010 that three hurricanes have occupied the Atlantic Basin simultaneously.

“I have an urgent question for President Donald Trump and his fellow climate change deniers: how many natural disasters will it take for you to listen to the world’s most prestigious scientists?” wrote Andrés Oppenheimer in the Miami Herald.

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