(Illustration found here).
Even as the days churn onward, climate change is a most-persistent bitch and will only get way-worse if no heavy-duty steps are taken, and the way the situation is building — even beyond racism and political insurrection in the US, toxic social media is compounding the problem of challenging global warmimg: ‘“One of the biggest challenges now facing humanity is our inability to tell fact from fiction. This is undermining democracies, which in turn is limiting our ability to make long-term decisions needed to save the planet.”‘
Reportedly, yesterday was the first day of spring and the immediate future is way-bright, as in drought — according to NOAA’s U.S. Spring Outlook released last Thursday, a giant chunk of America, from the Pacific Coast to the Great Plains and upper Midwest (already in a drought mode) will be dry, a whiplash from last year:
Drier conditions in the Southwest U.S. associated with La Niña and the failed 2020 summer monsoon have been contributing factors to the development and intensification of what represents the most significant U.S. spring drought since 2013, which will impact approximately 74 million people.
“The Southwest U.S., which is already experiencing widespread severe to exceptional drought, will remain the hardest hit region in the U.S., and water supply will continue to be a concern this spring in these drought-affected areas,” said Mary Erickson, deputy director of the National Weather Service.
“This is a major change from recent years where millions were impacted by severe flooding. Nonetheless, NOAA’s forecasts and outlooks will continue to serve as a resource for emergency managers and community decision-makers as they navigate all potential extreme seasonal weather and water events.”
In the long run, if conditions don’t change, we be fucked. As this heats continues to build, the four seasons will shift into weirdness, with about a month’s worth of winter at this century’s end — via the Guardian yesterday:
Our summers are already about 20-percent longer than they used to be, and if the climate crisis continues unabated then northern hemisphere summers could cover nearly half of the year by 2100, making them more than twice as long as they were in the 1950s.
And unlike their counterparts of the 1950s, future summers will be more extreme, with heatwaves and wildfires more likely.
Researchers used historical climate data to measure how much the seasons have changed already. They defined summer as the onset of temperatures in the hottest 25-percent for that time period and winter as the onset of the coldest 25-percent of temperatures.
Their results, published in Geophysical Research Letters, show that the average northern hemisphere summer has grown from 78 to 95 days between 1952 and 2011, while winter has shrunk from 76 to 73 days.
Spring and autumn have contracted too.
Using climate change models, they were able to show that even bigger changes are to come, with northern hemisphere summers lasting an average of 166 days by 2100, squeezing out all the other seasons and shrinking winter to just 31 days.
The Mediterranean region and the Tibetan plateau are projected to experience the greatest changes, but far-reaching impacts on agriculture, human health and the environment will be felt everywhere.
Even with the gloom, this was a happy note in the dark:
Our climate change site is building back better! Check back regularly as we update and add more info, resources, and tips to our new-and-improved web area. https://t.co/xRj2e6Zw5s
— U.S. EPA (@EPA) March 18, 2021
Details via Grist on Friday:
The Environmental Protection Agency’s webpage about climate change reawakened from a four-year slumber on Thursday morning.
Turn to the page now and you’ll see: “EPA is restoring the science in addressing the climate crisis.”
In April 2017, the Trump administration took down the agency’s extensive trove of resources on climate change, saying the site was removing “outdated language” to “reflect the EPA’s priorities” under its new leadership.
That leader was Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s first EPA chief, whose tenure was ridden with scandals over his ritzy spending habits and coziness with industry lobbyists.
The website’s removal was a part of a larger trend: The use of the term “climate change” on the websites of federal environmental agencies went down by 38-percent over the course of the Trump era.
“Sorry, but this web page is not available for viewing right now,” the EPA’s climate change site said for years — until this week.
The Biden administration’s EPA didn’t just resurrect the Obama-era version. It added language that reflects the growing sense of urgency around our overheating planet, naming the “climate crisis” as a “priority.”
It includes links to President Joe Biden’s executive orders on rejoining the Paris climate agreement and other measures to tackle the crisis.
The website currently links to resources on climate research, clean energy programs, information for kids, and it says it will be adding more soon.
Statement from EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan posted on Thursday: ‘“Climate facts are back on EPA’s website where they should be … Considering the urgency of this crisis, it’s critical that Americans have access to information and resources so that we can all play a role in protecting our environment, our health, and vulnerable communities. Trustworthy, science-based information is at the foundation of strong, achievable solutions.”‘
Another bright note from Friday — the White House announced the appointment of Jane Lubchenco, a well-known marine scientist at Oregon State University and former head of the NOAA, to a high-level position coordinating climate and environmental issues within its Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
Lubchenco says she’s happy working with Joe: ‘“I frankly relish the opportunity to represent a president who values the science,” she said, noting that for Biden, complex issues such as climate change are ultimately about people on the ground. “I really like that he always brings policy back to people. … It’s very grounded in what’s real.”‘
Meanwhile, back to our regular scheduled programing: “You can’t teach stupid.”
And so it goes…
(Illustration from the UN’s International Children’s Painting Competition, and found here).