Climate Change ☀️
Research: Antarctic micro-algae play a role in climate change
The melting of the glaciers changes the living conditions for the organisms living in the sea, which in turn affects the uptake of CO2 in the water, which in turn is less able to take up CO2 from the air, leading to more warming.

... The particles are not soluble in the seawater and remain in suspension, which allows less sunlight through the water reaching the microorganisms known as phytoplankton, making it more difficult to photosynthesise the CO2 into oxygen – the same process served by the trees in our parks and gardens.


... The organisms are an important food source for other marine creatures such as worms and shellfish, which eat them and then fix the CO2 in their own bodies. And fewer algae means less food higher up the food-chain.

In other words, about one-third of the CO2 which is emitted every year by the entire airline industry could be absorbed by cleaning mechanism provided by the flora and fauna of the polar seabed, but thanks to the melting of the glaciers, that mechanism is gradually disappearing.
Read the full article: https://www.brusselstimes.com/news/belgium-all-news/151980/research-antarctic-micro-algae-play-a-role-in-climate-change/

How Climate Change May Affect Your Health
No matter where you live or how high your socioeconomic status, climate change can endanger your health, both physical and mental, now and in the future.

Melting ice caps, warmer oceans, intense storms, heat waves, droughts, floods and wildfires — all these well-documented effects of climate change may seem too remote to many people to prompt them to adopt behaviors that can slow the warming of the planet. Unless your neighborhood was destroyed by a severe hurricane or raging wildfire, you might think such disasters happen only to other people.

... “While anyone’s health can be harmed by climate change, some people are at greatly increased risk, including young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, outdoor workers, and people with fewer resources,”
Drs. Hathaway and Maibach wrote in Current Environmental Health Reports.

... Infectious diseases carried by ticks, mosquitoes and other vectors also rise with a warming climate. Even small increases in temperature in temperate zones raise the potential for epidemics of Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, encephalitis and other tick-borne infections, as well as mosquito-borne West Nile disease, dengue fever and even malaria.

Climate change endangers the safety of foods and water supplies by fostering organisms that cause food poisoning and microbial contamination of drinking water. Extreme flooding and hurricanes can spawn epidemics of leptospirosis; just walking through floodwaters can increase the risk of this bacterial blood infection 15-fold.

These are just a smattering of the health risks linked to global warming. They are extensive and require both societal and individual efforts to minimize. Yes, society is changing, albeit slowly. The Biden administration has rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement. General Motors, the nation’s largest car manufacturer, announced it would dedicate itself to electric vehicles and other green energy initiatives, and Ford, Volkswagen and others are doing the same.

... Can you install solar panels where you live? If you can afford to, replace old energy-guzzling appliances with new efficient ones. And don’t waste electricity or water.

Now tackle transportation. Drive less and use people power more. Wherever possible, commute and run errands by cycling, walking or scootering, which can also directly enhance your health. Or take public transportation. If you must drive, consider getting an electric car, which can save fuel costs as well as protect the environment.

How about a dietary inventory, one that can enhance your health both directly and indirectly? Cutting back on or cutting out red meat to reduce greenhouse gases, relying instead on plant-based foods, is the perfect start to a healthier planet and its human inhabitants.

Reduce waste. Currently, Dr. Jackson said, 30 percent of our food is wasted. Buy only what you need and use it before it spoils. Support organizations like City Harvest, which distributes unsold food from stores and unused food from restaurants to those in need.

Reuse or recycle materials instead of throwing out everything you no longer want nor need.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/01/well/eat/climate-change-health.html

A new plan to solve climate change’s ‘double black diamond’ problem
Molecules of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases are pouring into the atmosphere and heating up the planet, and time is of the essence to turn off the tap. But though there are proven ways to cut the emissions out of much of modern life — namely, electrifying vehicles and buildings and powering them with renewables like wind and solar — the hard truth is that there’s still an uncomfortable number of 21st century pursuits that can’t easily be electrified.

Experts refer to shipping, flying, long-haul trucking, and manufacturing materials like steel and cement as “difficult to decarbonize.” Each of these industries has unique challenges, but across the board it’s not yet technologically or economically feasible for them to use cleaner sources of energy than fossil fuels. And clean energy isn’t the only hurdle. Making steel and cement also emits carbon dioxide as a byproduct of chemical reactions, called “process emissions.”

These five industries, plus chemicals and aluminum, are responsible for about 30 percent of global carbon emissions. But difficult to decarbonize is not impossible to decarbonize, and now a new initiative called the Mission Possible Partnership is bringing together the leading companies in each of these industries to put their heads together and figure it out.


... There’s a lot of room for progress, and government investments in research and development could help to accelerate solutions and bring their costs down. But some of these industries are harder to decarbonize than others, and experts expect there to be residual emissions from some, if not all, of them by 2050. One reason is that assets like steel plants have decades-long lifetimes, and so it will be hard to pivot the industry to cleaner facilities quickly. The Mission Possible Partnership asks each industry to game out how it will reduce its net emissions to zero by 2050, which means the roadmaps will likely include some use of methods to remove carbon dioxide directly from the air and permanently sequester it, in order to balance out any remaining climate pollution. But that’s a whole other technological and economic challenge — carbon dioxide removal, or CDR, methods are incredibly nascent, too.

“There aren’t enough quality ‘tons’ out there today for even a handful of companies,” said energy economist Danny Cullenward, referring to tons of carbon dioxide that could be credibly removed from the atmosphere using existing techniques. “Scaling more options is a huge need.” Cullenward is the policy director of Carbon Plan, a nonprofit that aims to improve transparency around carbon removal techniques.

At the same time, there are land, energy, and social justice constraints to the scale of carbon removal technologies the world can or should ultimately deploy. Without pushing hard-to-decarbonize industries to show how they plan to reduce their emissions now, decades could pass before any progress is made. They could all end up banking on using a lot more carbon removal, which may not even be feasible.
Read the full article: https://grist.org/energy/a-new-plan-to-solve-climate-changes-double-black-diamond-problem/

Climate change, periodic modification of Earth’s climate brought about as a result of changes in the atmosphere as well as interactions between the atmosphere and various other geologic, chemical, biological, and geographic factors within the Earth system.

Source: Climate change - Evidence for climate change | Britannica
Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.

Source: Climate Change | United Nations