U.S. to Release Damning Climate Report as Trump Ignores Science
The U.S. government will release a major climate report on Friday afternoon that could be very inconvenient for President Trump, who seems as clueless as ever about the global phenomenon and continues to push coal and other planet-warming fossil fuels.
But environmentalists, climate experts and others have pointed out that the critical warning from 13 federal agencies will be softened by the country's post-Thanksgiving haze and Black Friday shopping rush.
"It's an absolute disgrace to bury the truth about climate impacts in a year that saw hundreds of Americans die during devastating climate-fueled megafires, hurricanes, floods, and algal blooms," National Wildlife Federation president and CEO Collin O'Mara said in a press release.
"Releasing the National Climate Assessment on Black Friday," he continued, "won't obscure the fact that authorities are still identifying bodies in California's unprecedented megafires, Florida is still dealing with toxic algae outbreaks fueled by warmer water, and Americans are still picking up the pieces from Hurricanes Florence and Michael and Typhoon Yutu that were worsened by climate change."
The US government's big new National Climate Assessment will be released on... the day after Thanksgiving? Hmmm.… https://t.co/CsSnU3xws6— Chris Hayes (@Chris Hayes)1542833325.0
Volume II of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4)—a congressionally mandated report by the U.S. Global Change Research Program—will warn about the threat that climate change poses to the economy, Reuters reported.
The assessment, titled "Impacts, Risks and Adaptation in the United States," lays out climate change-related impacts, risks and adaptation, and will help decision-makers better identify risks that could be avoided or reduced, according to the report's authors.
The report was compiled by representatives of 13 federal departments and agencies that research global change and its impacts on society.
CNN reported that the assessment was initially expected to drop in December:
"It's unclear why the date was moved up. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the Friday afternoon release on Wednesday—the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday.
"Among journalists and public relations experts, releasing information on Friday afternoon—not to mention Black Friday—or around a holiday is widely seen as a way to cushion the impact of critical news. The idea is that fewer people pay attention to news releases on the weekend, and by Monday, the news is old.
The new analysis builds on
Volume 1 of the study, which found that the contiguous United States warmed by at least 1.8°F from 1901–2016 and that annual average temperatures could rise by about 2.5°F over the next few decades.
It is "extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century .... there is no convincing alternative explanation," that report said.
Meanwhile, Trump has once again confused the weather with global warming. "Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS - Whatever happened to Global Warming?" he tweeted Wednesday.
Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS - Whatever happened to Global Warming?— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1542846189.0
Yes, Mr. President, it's very cold right now on the East Coast, but it's unusually warm just about everywhere else on the globe.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations (NOAA)—which Trump has targeted with significant budget cuts—also reported this week that October 2018 was the second hottest October on record and the fourth hottest year to date for the globe.
The next seven days are expected to reach near-record lows in the Northeast US. At the same time, they will be quit… https://t.co/5WJUKZBubt— Zeke Hausfather (@Zeke Hausfather)1542602800.0
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Naomi Larsson
For centuries, the delicate silver dove has been a symbol of love and fidelity.
Biodiversity and Habitat Loss<p>Their near extinction is a symbol of the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/global-biodiversity-outlook-targets-extinction-summit-new-york-pledge/a-54932895" target="_blank">biodiversity crisis</a> in the UK, largely driven by habitat destruction. Britain is now one of the countries with the most <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/future-of-UK-nature#:~:text=The%20UK%20is%20one%20of,than%20half%20are%20in%20decline" target="_blank">depleted nature</a> in the world according to the World Wildlife Fund. Half its plant and animal species are in decline and more than <a href="https://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/let-nature-sing-wales/#:~:text=a%20natural%20tragedy.-,Over%2040%20million%20birds%20have%20vanished%20from%20UK%20skies%20in,unaware%20of%20the%20impending%20danger" target="_blank">40 million birds</a> have vanished in just half a century.</p><p>"[Turtle doves] are the canary in the [coal] mine because there are all these other species before it and after it," said Tree. "It's an umbrella for all the other species that are heading that way."</p><p>Turtle doves migrate south through Europe to sub-Saharan Africa between July and September, ending up in dry woodland and farmland areas of countries like Mali and Senegal for winter. </p><p>Droughts in West Africa and the Sahel region are believed to have contributed to the fall in turtle dove species recorded in northern Europe, with low rainfall reducing supplies of the seeds and insects the birds rely on for energy for the long journey home.</p>
Conservation and Farming<p><a href="https://www.operationturtledove.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Operation Turtle Dove,</a> a partnership project of charities including the Essex Wildlife trust, works with landowners and farmers to actively build turtle dove habitat.</p><p>Outten works with <a href="https://www.ebws.org.uk/birdsites/blue-house-farm-ewt-north-fambridge" target="_blank">Blue House Farm</a>, a 660-acre nature reserve in the UK county of Essex, where they have replicated weedy fallow plots. </p><p>"We work on it every year to make sure it's in the condition it needs to be with plants such as clovers and black medic," Outten said. "These plants are native to the landscape and produce the seed the birds feed on." </p><p>The birds eat a wide range of seeds from various plants that would have been abundant 50 or 100 years ago, added Guy Anderson, program manager for species recovery with The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). </p><p>"But it's simply true that with the gradual process of <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/farming-without-pesticides-how-can-we-make-agriculture-greener/a-52216796" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">intensifying our agricultural production</a>, the availability of those seeds has dropped and dropped," said Anderson.</p><p>Part of the project includes supplementary feeding — providing sources of food in the form of seed or grain. Under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme in England, farmers can receive financial support to create a turtle dove habitat. </p><p>Though they haven't recorded an increase in doves across the sites in the four years of working on the project, Outten said they are seeing improvements in how landowners and farmers manage habitat for the birds. </p>
A Turtle Dove Haven<p>The 3,500-acre Knepp Estate in West Sussex is another project taking a different approach and one of the few places where turtle dove numbers are increasing.</p><p>Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell converted their intensively farmed land into a rewilding project almost 20 years ago. They have let the land return to nature.</p><p>Just one year after they'd finished <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/uks-most-talented-architects-are-not-human/a-35952128" target="_blank">rewilding</a> the southern part of their property, they heard turtle doves for the first time. It's now a breeding hotspot for the birds with an estimated 19 pairs. Knepp is also home to <a href="https://www.rewildingbritain.org.uk/rewilding/rewilding-projects/knepp-estate" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2% of the UK's population</a> of nightingales. </p><p>Tree is critical of supplementary feeding schemes that, in her view, are short term. She questions the chances of turtle doves getting to feed on scattered seeds before other mammals eat them first.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
Green groups applauded Sen. Jeff Merkley on Wednesday for introducing a pioneering pair of bills that aim to "protect the long-term health and well-being of the American people and their economy from the catastrophic effects of climate chaos" by preventing banks and international financial institutions from financing fossil fuels.