Climate Change ☀️
Increasing hurricane intensity around Bermuda linked to rising ocean temperatures
New research shows that hurricane maximum wind speeds in the subtropical Atlantic around Bermuda have more than doubled on average over the last 60 years due to rising ocean temperatures in the region.

Hurricanes intensify by extracting energy from the warm ocean surface via air-sea heat fluxes, so a warmer ocean can lead to more intense hurricanes.

Improving predictions of wind speeds from hurricanes will help determine the right level of response in advance of the storm and potentially limit the resulting damage in Bermuda.

Between 1955 and 2019 mean hurricane intensity near Bermuda, measured by the maximum wind speed, increased from 35 to 73mph -- equivalent to over 6mph per decade. At the same time sea surface and sub surface temperatures in the region increase by upto 1.1°C, providing the additional energy for hurricanes to intensify.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/02/210212111848.htm

Higher elevation birds sport thicker down
A new study examines feathers across 249 species of Himalayan songbirds, finding that birds at higher elevations have more of fluffy down than lower elevation birds. Finding such a clear pattern across many species underscores how important feathers are to birds' ability to adapt to their environments. Furthermore, finding that birds from colder environments tend to have more down may one day help predict which birds are vulnerable to climate change simply by studying feathers.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/02/210215092430.htm

Climate Activist Jailed in India as Government Clamps Down on Dissent
Before anyone outside her hometown knew her name, Disha Ravi spent four years raising awareness among young people in Bangalore about the effects of climate change.

Now the 21-year-old activist is jailed in New Delhi. The allegation: She distributed a “tool kit” in the form of a Google Doc containing talking points and contact information for influential groups to drum up support for farmers who have been protesting against the Indian government for months.

The document — which the police say she shared with Greta Thunberg, the 18-year-old Swedish climate activist — resembles the kind that grass-roots organizations around the world have used for years to campaign for their causes.

But Ms. Ravi, the police contend, was using it to “spread disaffection against the Indian State.”

The arrest, the latest in a series of broader crackdown on activists, has triggered anger and disbelief among opposition politicians, student groups and lawyers, who say the government is using its law enforcement agencies to increasingly stifle dissent, in line with a broader deterioration of free speech in India. Ms. Ravi’s arrest, they said, has raised the crackdown to a new level.


“There is a method to this madness,” said Manshi Asher, a researcher with the nonprofit group Environmental Justice, “and a pattern that is so clearly telling us that those asking critical questions would be silenced.”

Ms. Ravi is being held under a stringent sedition law that has been used to criminalize everything from leading rallies to posting political messages on social media. Although she has not been formally charged, she is to spend five days in police custody.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/15/world/asia/climate-activist-jailed-india.html

There’s an invisible climate threat seeping from grocery store freezers. Biden wants to change that.
New undercover survey suggests leaks of powerful planet-warming gases pervade many supermarket

Some of the climate impacts of a grocery store trip are obvious, like the fuel it takes to get there and the electricity that keeps its lights glowing, conveyor belts moving and scanners beeping. But then there are the invisible gases seeping out into the atmosphere when you reach for your ice cream of choice.

In nearly every supermarket in America, a network of pipes transports compressed refrigerants that keep perishable goods cold. Most of these chemicals are hydrofluorocarbons — greenhouse gases thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide — which often escape through cracks or systems that were not properly installed. Once they leak, they are destined to pollute the atmosphere.

... A new undercover investigation by an advocacy group suggests that some supermarkets are leaking climate-damaging refrigerants at an even higher rate than regulators have assumed. The industry estimates that every year supermarkets lose an average of 25 percent of their refrigerant charge — chemicals introduced in the 1990s to replace ones depleting the Earth’s ozone layer.


... “This is a systemwide, industry-wide problem,” said Avipsa Mahapatra, climate lead for the EIA, the advocacy group. “In reality, they could easily check for this.”

None of the companies contacted for this story provided a comment on the survey itself, but a few noted their commitment to curbing these pollutants.

... Commercial refrigeration, which includes grocery stores as well as restaurants and food processing, accounts for about 28 percent of all U.S. emissions of HFCs. Air conditioning for commercial buildings and homes represents between 40 and 60 percent of emissions, according to federal data.
Read the full article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/02/15/these-gases-your-grocerys-freezer-are-fueling-climate-change-biden-wants-fix-that/

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