September 2020 Is Hottest Ever Recorded, Here Comes La Niña

September 2020 Is Hottest Ever Recorded, Here Comes La Niña

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced yesterday that September 2020 was the hottest ever recorded and that they now fully expect that 2020 will be one of the three hottest years on record. 

Why This Matters:  Every month for the last 429, global temperatures have been “at least nominally” above the 20th-century average — so it’s not just Septembers that are warm.

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Climate Change Driving A Spike in Natural Disasters in the 21st Century

Climate Change Driving A Spike in Natural Disasters in the 21st Century

According to a new report from the United Nations, in the last twenty years, there have been 7,348 natural disasters and that represents a dramatic increase over the twenty years prior.

Why This Matters:  According to the UN  report’s authors, unless leaders in business and government take action, the world will become an “uninhabitable hell for millions of people.”

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Amazon Nearing Tipping Point, Could Switch from Rainforest to Savannah

Amazon Nearing Tipping Point, Could Switch from Rainforest to Savannah

by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer  A new study published in Nature Communications, found that the Amazon rainforest is nearing the tipping point of switching from rainforest to savannah much faster than previously thought. New forecasts show that the Amazon may not have enough rain to sustain itself by 2021.  Logging, wildfires, and drought have […]

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Mexican Protests Over Water Treaty With U.S. Turn Violent

Mexican Protests Over Water Treaty With U.S. Turn Violent

The Guardian reports that farmers in the Chihuahua region of Mexico are violently protesting their government’s exports of water to the U.S. in the midst of a major drought there.  The protests have been going on for months — they even took over the La Boquilla dam — and the government responded by calling in their national guard to quell them.

Why this Matters: The climate crisis has been worsening droughts in both Mexico and the US, causing water to become an increasingly contested resource.

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Aridification Spreading in North America a New Study Finds

Aridification Spreading in North America a New Study Finds

As we expand our understanding of climate change, scientists have begun to focus on the growing role warming temperatures are playing as a potent driver of greater aridity–which is different than drought. As NOAA describes it, drought is “a period of abnormally dry weather sufficiently long enough to cause a serious hydrological imbalance”. Aridity is […]

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Despite COVID Worries, Climate Still A Top Concern For 66% of Americans

Despite COVID Worries, Climate Still A Top Concern For 66% of Americans

A new, nationwide public opinion survey conducted by Yale from April 7–17 found that a record-tying 73% of Americans think global warming is happening and only 10% deny it, but most believe it is happening to others and not to them. 

Why This Matters:  The pollsters expected they would find that because the public is so concerned about the pandemic that they would not have the ability to maintain their concern about climate change — a theory that social scientists call the “finite pool of worry.”  But that was not the case.

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