Climate Change ☀️
Lightning strikes will more than double in Arctic as climate warms
Scientists have detailed how Arctic lightning strikes stand to increase by about 100 percent over northern lands by the end of the century as the climate continues warming.

In 2019, the National Weather Service in Alaska reported spotting the first-known lightning strikes within 300 miles of the North Pole. Lightning strikes are almost unheard of above the Arctic Circle, but scientists led by researchers at the University of California, Irvine have published new research in the journal Nature Climate Change detailing how Arctic lightning strikes stand to increase by about 100 percent over northern lands by the end of the century as the climate continues warming.

... A lightning strike bump could open a Pandora's box of related troubles. Fires, Randerson explained, burn away short grasses, mosses, and shrubs that are important components of Arctic tundra ecosystems. Such plants cover much of the landscape, and one thing they do is keep the seeds of trees from taking root in the soil. After a fire burns away low-lying plants, however, seeds from trees can more easily grow on bare soil, allowing forests stands to expand north. Evergreen forests will replace what's typically a snow-covered landscape; snow's white hue reflects sunlight back out into space, but darker forests absorb solar energy, helping warm the region even further.

And there's more trouble: more fires mean more permafrost -- perennially frozen soil that defines much of the Arctic landscape -- will melt as the fires strip away protective insulative layers of moss and dead organic matter that keep soils cool. Permafrost stores a lot of organic carbon that, if melted out of the ice, will convert to greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane, which, when released, will drive even more warming.
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What The Cherry Blossom Bloom Can Tell Us About Climate Change
D.C.'s first cherry trees were a gift to the United States from Japan in 1912. In Kyoto, Japan, the cherry trees' peak bloom this year was the earliest on record in 1,200 years. This follows a pattern of earlier and earlier blooms since the 1800s. This year's blossoms in D.C. peaked several days ahead of the 30-year average, according to The Washington Post.

Scientists warn that the blooms are just one sign of the greater looming climate crisis; earlier blooms can mean warmer springtime temperatures.

Cherry trees need a full month of chilly weather below 41 degrees to properly blossom when it gets warmer, according to Naoko Abe, author of The Sakura Obsession. If they don't get that chilly weather, they blossom later because "they can't wake up properly," Abe says.

"The impact from climate change is indisputable, I think," Abe tells NPR's All Things Considered. "However, the decisive factors for the cherry blossoms is the winter temperature."

And while early blooms are caused by warm springs, delayed blooms could also be the result of warming winters — which is also troubling. Southern Japan has already seen some of these delayed blooms.

Abe tells NPR that if winter temperatures continue to rise, the delays may grow to the point where trees don't blossom at all.
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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