Climate Change ☀️
One Of Biden's Biggest Climate Change Challenges? The Oceans
Ocean scientists say the Biden Administration is taking office at a critical time. Sea levels are rising, fish are migrating away from where they're normally caught, and the water itself is becoming more acidic as it absorbs carbon dioxide that humans emit.

While the administration has appointed climate change advisors throughout the federal government, a key role remains unfilled: the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency that oversees everything from fisheries policy to marine sanctuaries.

Environmental advocates are hoping the oceans play a central role in Biden's climate agenda, including post-pandemic recovery plans. Restoring coastal marshes and mangroves creates jobs, as well as brings back crucial habitat for marine life and buffers coastal communities against rising seas and storm surges.

"The ocean is not just a victim," says Miriam Goldstein, director of ocean policy at the Center fo American Progress. "The ocean can also be a hero. The ocean can protect us from the climate change that's already underway."

... "The ocean needs a lot more protection," Leonard says. "We have a biodiversity crisis in the ocean and that's being driven by climate change and overexploitation. Process really matters with 30x30. This isn't just about fish. It's about people too. There are a lot of people and communities who can get hurt if establishing protected areas isn't done in a just and equitable way."


Traditionally, fishing groups have largely fought ocean conservation, since it can limit access to valuable fishing grounds. But some say the effects of climate change mean the conversations need to start now.
Read the full article: https://www.npr.org/2021/03/18/975782053/one-of-bidens-biggest-climate-change-challenges-the-oceans

How protecting the ocean can save species and stop climate change
New research says preserving more of the world’s waters would lead to healthier marine life, better fishing and increased carbon absorption

Humanity has no better friend on this planet than the ocean. It provides more than half the oxygen we need to breathe. It supplies food that helps sustain more than 3 billion people. It absorbs many of the pollutants we keep pumping into the atmosphere: carbon dioxide, ozone-depleting chemicals.

The ocean is the kind of unwaveringly supportive friend who tolerates our toxicity and shields us from the worst consequences of our actions. It’s the friend people have taken for granted for far too long. By overfishing and mining and drilling the seafloor, humans are risking not just the ocean’s health but our own.

But new research suggests that a strategic, globally coordinated effort to protect more of the world’s waters could not only bolster marine biodiversity but significantly increase the number of fish available for harvest and boost the amount of carbon taken up by the ocean, aiding the fight against climate change.

According to the United Nations, just 7.65 percent of the ocean is currently in a marine protected area, a designation that indicates some level of oversight of human activities. Yet many of those supposed protections are insufficient, Sala said: They still permit some commercial fishing or are weakly enforced. The portion of the ocean that is “strongly” protected is less than 3 percent.
Read the full article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2021/03/18/climate-change-oceans/

Effective interventions may prevent disease transmission in changing climate
Aedes aegypti are the primary vector for mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever. However, the effects of climate change-related weather anomalies on mosquito populations is not well understood. A new study suggests that early interventions may prevent disease transmission even as extreme climate events may increase the abundance of Ae. aegypti populations.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210318142513.htm

Melting glaciers contribute to Alaska earthquakes
Glaciers in Southeast Alaska have been melting since the end of the Little Ice Age, many of which are in close proximity to strike-slip faults. When these glaciers melt, the land begins to rise, and the faults they'd previously sutured become unclamped. In this study, scientists determine this process has influenced the timing and location of earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.0 or greater in the area during the past century.

In 1958, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake triggered a rockslide into Southeast Alaska's Lituya Bay, creating a tsunami that ran 1,700 feet up a mountainside before racing out to sea.

Researchers now think the region's widespread loss of glacier ice helped set the stage for the quake.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210318170319.htm

Biden administration revives EPA webpage on climate change deleted by Trump
The return of the website again marks the chasm between the two administrations when it comes to climate policy

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday relaunched a webpage dedicated to climate change that had gone dark under President Donald Trump, who frequently dismissed the scientific consensus that humans are warming the planet.

The restoration of the climate website comes four years after the Trump administration took down much of the EPA’s digital presence that explained global warming and why it is worth fighting.


To underscore the reversal, EPA Administrator Michael Regan, who was confirmed by the Senate last week, declared in a video message posted on the new website: “Combating climate change, it’s not optional, it’s essential at EPA.”

As the nation’s chief protector of clean air and water, the EPA is poised to play a central role in President Biden’s efforts to eliminate carbon pollution from the power sector by 2035 and the rest of the U.S. economy by 2050. Meeting those ambitious goals will almost certainly require a new suite of regulations from the EPA curbing greenhouse gas emissions from cars, power plants, landfills, factories and a host of other sources.

The new climate site, with English and Spanish versions, is sparsely populated and promises “more content to come.” But environmental advocacy groups are already praising its return for the early symbolic shift it represents in federal climate policy.
Read the full article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/03/18/epa-website-climate/

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