Climate Change ☀️
Banning the sale of fossil-fuel cars benefits the climate when replaced by electric cars
If a ban were introduced on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, and they were replaced by electric cars, the result would be a great reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. That is the finding of new research, looking at emissions from the entire life cycle - from manufacture of electric cars and batteries, to electricity used for operation. However, the total effect of a phasing out of fossil-fuelled cars will not be felt until the middle of the century -- and how the batteries are manufactured will affect the extent of the benefit.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210527084300.htm

Some forams could thrive with climate change, metabolism study finds
With the expansion of oxygen-depleted waters in the oceans due to climate change, some species of foraminifera (forams, a type of protist or single-celled eukaryote) that thrive in those conditions could be big winners, biologically speaking.

A new paper that examines two foram species found that they demonstrated great metabolic versatility to flourish in hypoxic and anoxic sediments where there is little or no dissolved oxygen, inferring that the forams' contribution to the marine ecosystem will increase with the expansion of oxygen-depleted habitats.

In addition, the paper found that the multiple metabolic strategies that these forams exhibit to adapt to low and no oxygen conditions are changing the classical view about the evolution and diversity of eukaryotes. That classical view hypothesizes that the rise of oxygen in Earth's system led to the acquisition of oxygen-respiring mitochondria, the part of a cell that generates most of the chemical energy that powers a cell's biochemical reactions. The forams in the study represent "typical" mitochondrial-bearing eukaryotes. However, these two forams respire nitrate and produce energy in the absence of oxygen, with one colonizing an anoxic environment, often with high levels of hydrogen sulfide, a chemical compound typically toxic to eukaryotes.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210527112431.htm

E.P.A. to Modify Trump-Era Limits on States’ Ability to Oppose Energy Projects
The Biden administration on Thursday said it planned to revise a Trump-era rule that limited the ability of states and tribes to veto pipelines and other energy projects that could pollute their local waterways.

The Trump administration finalized the rule last June, saying that curbs on state authority were necessary because too many states had been using clean water laws to block pipelines, coal terminals and other fossil-fuel projects from going forward. Since then, 20 states and several tribes have challenged the rule in court, contending that the constraints could hamper their ability to safeguard their rivers and drinking water.

But under the Biden administration, the Environmental Protection Agency is now saying that it will move to bolster state authority. “We have serious water challenges to address as a nation and, as E.P.A. administrator, I will not hesitate to correct decisions that weakened the authority of states and tribes to protect their waters,” Michael S. Regan, who took over as head of the agency in March, said on Thursday.

Oil and gas industry groups, which had praised the earlier Trump-era rule, said they were wary of major changes.

... The rule was part of a broader move by the Trump administration to speed up permitting and promote new fossil-fuel development.


The rule in question involves Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act, which for half a century has given states and tribes the right to review and certify federal permits for industrial facilities and other projects that could discharge pollution into major local waterways. Without that certification, the federal government cannot grant the permit.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/27/climate/epa-clean-water-act.html

Flying and Climate: Airlines Under Pressure to Cut Emissions
The worst of the pandemic may be over for airlines, but the industry faces another looming crisis: an accounting over its contribution to climate change.

The industry is under increasing pressure to do something to reduce and eventually eliminate emissions from travel, but it won’t be easy. Some solutions, like hydrogen fuel cells, are promising, but it’s unclear when they will be available, if ever. That leaves companies with few options: They can make tweaks to squeeze out efficiencies, wait for technology to improve or invest today to help make viable options for the future.

“It’s a big crisis, it’s a pressing crisis — a lot needs to be done soon,” said Jagoda Egeland, an aviation policy expert at the International Transport Forum, a unit of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. “It’s a hard-to-abate sector. It will always emit some carbon.”

Experts say commercial air travel accounts for about 3 to 4 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. And while planes become more efficient with each new model, growing demand for flights is outpacing those advancements. The United Nations expects airplane emissions of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, to triple by 2050. Researchers at the International Council on Clean Transportation say emissions may grow even faster.


Before the pandemic, a “flying shame” movement, which aims to discourage air travel in favor of greener options like rail, was gaining ground globally thanks to Greta Thunberg, a Swedish climate activist. There were early signs that it may have reduced air travel in Germany and Sweden. Now French lawmakers are considering a ban on short flights that can be replaced by train travel.

Investors are pushing businesses to disclose more about their efforts to lobby lawmakers on climate issues, too. And some large corporations, whose employees crisscross the globe and fill plush business class seats, are reviewing travel budgets to reduce expenses and emissions.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/28/business/energy-environment/airlines-climate-planes-emissions.html

On National Heat Awareness Day, a Call to Fight Climate’s Biggest Killer
Heat Kills. But It Doesn’t Have to. This is how communities can protect their most vulnerable residents from the world’s deadliest climate impact.

You probably didn't know that today is National Heat Awareness Day. You're not alone: Extreme heat doesn't get nearly enough attention, though it is the deadliest climate impact. In fact, heat has killed more people in the last 10 years, on average, than any other weather phenomenon. Because of climate change, that toll is likely to grow – unless we take action. Fortunately, there's a lot we can do to keep our cool in a rapidly warming world.

It's hot, and getting hotter. Global temperatures have risen by two degrees Fahrenheit since the pre-industrial era; by the middle of this century, the mercury could rise beyond what our bodies can endure. Well before then, there is a growing risk from heat waves, which have increased in intensity, frequency and duration since the 1950s.

Extreme heat affects our health in ways both obvious and subtle. It can kill directly, by raising a person's core body temperature (heat stroke), and indirectly, by exacerbating chronic conditions such as heart disease, respiratory illness and diabetes. New evidence suggests that extreme heat contributes to poor pregnancy outcomes, including low birth weight and stillbirth.


But the toll of extreme heat does not affect all people equally: Black and brown communities are among the hardest hit. The rate of heat-related deaths for Black Americans is 150% to 200% greater than for white Americans. Latinos in the U.S. are also more vulnerable, as they are more likely to live in Sunbelt states and to work in industries, such as agriculture and construction, that put them at higher risk.

And low-income neighborhoods are hotter than their more affluent counterparts, which have less heat-retaining concrete and more cooling trees. These risks are compounding: In many American cities, low-income neighborhoods with more residents of color can be 5 to 20 degrees hotter than wealthier, whiter parts of the same city.

While every community is different, here are some strategies that have proven effective.
  • Assess the problem, engage the people.
  • Make home cooling affordable.
  • Protect outdoor workers.
  • Expand access to green space.
  • Treat heat like other hazards.
  • Support a just transition to 100% clean energy.
Read the full article: https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2021-05-28/on-national-heat-awareness-day-a-call-to-fight-climates-biggest-killer

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