Climate Change ☀️
Climate Change, Deforestation Threaten Monarch Butterfly Migration
The population of monarch butterflies that migrated to Mexico to ride out the cold winter months in the north fell 26% from a year earlier, according to a new report from the Mexican government and the Word Wildlife Fund.

Mexico's Commission for Natural Protected Areas said the butterflies' population occupied only 2.10 hectares in 2020, compared to 2.8 hectares a year earlier. And the monarch Biosphere Reserve in Michoacán, Mexico lost trees at a higher rate than it did in 2019.

A combination of logging, falling trees, and drought in the areas where the butterflies roost, as well as a reduction of milkweed in their breeding places, pose threats to the monarch's migration. But the damage wrought by climate change is the biggest factor.

During the spring and summer of 2020, wild weather in the southern United States killed milkweed blossoms--which female monarch butterflies lay their eggs upon. In turn, the development of butterfly eggs and larvae was also impacted, the report said.

Despite the report's findings, the butterfly isn't in danger of extinction, said Jorge Rickards, director general of WWF-Mexico.

However, the monarch's migratory process is at risk, he said, and the governments, the scientific community, and civil society of Mexico, the U.S. and Canada must work together to ensure the survival of the butterfly going forward.

... Colder, wetter winters can be lethal for monarchs while hotter, drier summers alter their habitats in the north.

The monarch is the only butterfly known to make a two-way migration like birds do, according to U.S. Forest Service. Monarchs can't survive the cold winters of northern climates, unlike other butterflies.

Monarchs can travel between 50-100 miles a day. It can take the insects up to two months to complete their journey to their winter sojourn.
Read the full article: https://www.npr.org/2021/02/26/971650046/climate-change-deforestation-threaten-monarch-butterfly-migration

Global Action Is ‘Very Far’ From What’s Needed to Avert Climate Chaos
The global scientific consensus is clear: Emissions of planet-warming gases must be cut by nearly half by 2030 if the world is to have a good shot at averting the worst climate catastrophes.

The global political response has been underwhelming so far.

New climate targets submitted by countries to the United Nations would reduce emissions by less than 1 percent, according to the latest tally, made public Friday by the world body.


The head of the United Nations climate agency, Patricia Espinosa, said the figures compiled by her office showed that “current levels of climate ambition are very far from putting us on a pathway that will meet our Paris Agreement goals.”

The figures offer a reality check on the many promises coming from world capitals and company boardrooms that leaders are taking climate change seriously.

The United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, called the report “a red alert.”

The tally was all the more damning because fewer than half of all countries submitted fresh targets to the United Nations. The Paris climate accord, designed to limit an increase in global temperatures, had urged them to do so by the end of 2020.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/26/climate/paris-agreement-emissions-targets.html

Biden is hiking the cost of carbon. It will change how the U.S. tackles global warming.
The administration plans to boost the figure it will use to assess the damage that greenhouse gas pollution inflicts on society to $51 per ton of carbon dioxide — a rate more than seven times higher than that used by former president Donald Trump’s administration. But the number, known as the “social cost of carbon,” could reach as high as $125 per ton once the administration conducts a more thorough analysis.

In a recent interview, Biden’s national climate adviser, Gina McCarthy, said the administration is setting an initial price to inform its policies “and then work more diligently about what the actual cost might be as we move forward, and get the information that we need to be able to do that.”
Read the full article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/02/26/biden-cost-climate-change/

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