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President Obama Bans Oil Drilling in Large Areas of Atlantic and Arctic Oceans

           

Hundreds of kayaktivists protest drilling in the Arctic and the Port of Seattle being used as a port for the Shell Oil drilling rig Polar Pioneer (Daniella Beccaria/seattlepi.com via Associated Press)

washingtonpost.com - by Darryl Fears and Juliet Eilperin - December 20, 2016

President Obama moved to solidify his environmental legacy Tuesday by withdrawing hundreds of millions of acres of federally owned land in the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean from new offshore oil and gas drilling.

Obama used a little-known law called the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to protect large portions of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas in the Arctic and a string of canyons in the Atlantic stretching from Massachusetts to Virginia. In addition to a five-year moratorium already in place in the Atlantic, removing the canyons from drilling puts much of the eastern seaboard off limits to oil exploration even if companies develop plans to operate around them.

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Arctic Heating Up at Twice as Fast as Rest of Globe

           

Arctic Sea Ice Disappearing

CLICK HERE - NOAA - Arctic Report Card: Update for 2016

cnn.com - by Mayra Cuevas and Max Blau - December 14, 2016

The Arctic is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world -- triggering a "massive decline in sea ice and snow," according to a new federal report.

On Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its 11th annual Arctic Report Card, which compiles data from 61 scientists in 11 countries.

"Rarely have we seen the Arctic show a clearer, stronger or more pronounced signal of persistent warming and its cascading effects on the environment than this year," Jeremy Mathis, director of NOAA's Arctic Research Program, said in a statement.

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CLICK HERE - NASA - Scientific Visualization Studio - Weekly Animation of Arctic Sea Ice Age with Graph of Ice Age By Area: 1984 - 2016

CLICK HERE - VIDEO - NASA - Older Arctic Sea Ice Disappearing

 

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Rift in Antarctica's Larsen C Ice Shelf

submitted by Albert Gomez

           

On Nov. 10, 2016, scientists on NASA's IceBridge mission photographed an oblique view of a massive rift in the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf. Icebridge, an airborne survey of polar ice, completed an eighth consecutive Antarctic deployment on Nov. 18.

nasa.gov - December 1, 2016 - Editor: Sarah Loff

Ice shelves are the floating parts of ice streams and glaciers, and they buttress the grounded ice behind them; when ice shelves collapse, the ice behind accelerates toward the ocean, where it then adds to sea level rise. Larsen C neighbors a smaller ice shelf that disintegrated in 2002 after developing a rift similar to the one now growing in Larsen C.

The IceBridge scientists measured the Larsen C fracture to be about 70 miles long, more than 300 feet wide and about a third of a mile deep. The crack completely cuts through the ice shelf but it does not go all the way across it – once it does, it will produce an iceberg roughly the size of the state of Delaware.

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Prepare for 'Surprise' as Global Warming Stokes Arctic Shifts - Scientists

           

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, in the midst of their ICESCAPE mission, retrieves supplies in the Arctic Ocean in this July 12, 2011 NASA handout photo. Kathryn Hansen/NASA via REUTERS/File Photo

"Ultimately, realising resilience in the Arctic will depend on empowering the people of the North to self-organise"

CLICK HERE - Stockholm Resilience Centre - Dealing with Arctic tipping points

CLICK HERE - Arctic Resilience Report

Thomson Reuters Foundation - by Megan Rowling - November 25, 2016

Unless the world stops burning fossil fuels that are fuelling global warming, irreversible changes in the Arctic could have disastrous effects for the people that live there and for the rest of the planet, researchers warned on Friday.

The Arctic's ecosystems are fundamentally threatened by climate change and other human activities, such as oil and gas extraction, they said in a report for the Arctic Council, an inter-governmental forum working to protect the region's environment.

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Climate Changing 'Too Fast' for Species

           

Tropical species are thought to be particularly vulnerable.  Thinkstock

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Rates of change in climatic niches in plant and animal populations are much slower than projected climate change

bbc.com - by Helen Briggs - November 23, 2016

Many species will not be able to adapt fast enough to survive climate change, say scientists.

A study of more than 50 plants and animals suggests their ability to adapt to changes in rainfall and temperature will be vastly outpaced by future climate change.

Amphibians, reptiles and plants are particularly vulnerable, according to US researchers.

And tropical species are at higher risk than those in temperate zones.

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Oil demand won't peak before 2040, despite Paris deal: IEA

An employee holds a gas pump at a petrol station in Sao Paulo, Brazil, November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo

Image: An employee holds a gas pump at a petrol station in Sao Paulo, Brazil, November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo

reuters.com - November 16th 2016 - Amanda Cooper

The International Energy Agency expects global oil consumption to peak no sooner than 2040, leaving its long-term forecasts for supply and demand unchanged despite the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement entering into force.

The Paris accord to cut harmful emissions seeks to wean the world economy off fossil fuels in the second half of the century in an effort to limit the rise in average world temperatures to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times.

But while demand for oil to power passenger cars, for example, may drop, other sectors may offset this fall.

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Honoring climate change agreements will save millions of lives

KEVIN FRAYER/GETTY IMAGES Smoke billows from the stacks of coal-fired electricity plants as a woman wears a mask while walking in a neighborhood in Shanxi, China.

Image: KEVIN FRAYER/GETTY IMAGES Smoke billows from the stacks of coal-fired electricity plants as a woman wears a mask while walking in a neighborhood in Shanxi, China.

statnews.com - November 14th 2016 - David J Hunter and Francesca Dominici

If an infectious disease was killing 7 million people a year, it would be ludicrous to work to allay its impact decades from now rather than taking immediate action against it. Yet that is exactly how we are approaching the causes of climate change, which are both immediate and long-term killers.

This week’s “airpocalypse” in New Delhi shows just how urgently action is needed to prevent the air pollution that is not only damaging our planet and human health in the long term but killing millions of people around the world in the present.

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The battle to stop Trump hijacking the climate agenda

irinnews.org - November 14th 2016 - Lou del Bello

After the shock win in the US presidential election of climate change denialist Donald Trump, what was expected to be an uneventful round of UN talks in Marrakesh has suddenly taken on far greater importance.

Behind closed doors, diplomats are scrambling to anticipate Trump’s next move. What was billed as a technical conference on the procedural issues of implementing the Paris Agreement – which came into force just this month – is now being cast as a desperate attempt to safeguard global action.

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COP 22 - MARRAKECH: Dozens of Heads of State and Government to Attend UN Climate Conference

           

COP22 President and Morocco’s Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar (left) with COP 21 President and France’s environment Minister in charge of climate-related international relations Ségolène Royal at the opening of COP 22 in Marrakesh, Morocco. Photo: UNFCCC

un.org

13 November 2016 – Ten days after the entry into force of the landmark Paris Agreement, dozens of heads of State and Government are expected on Tuesday at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 22), which started in Marrakech, Morocco, on 7 November 2016.

Before the Conference wraps up on 18 November, State Parties hope to define the rules for the accord and to lay out a viable plan for providing at least $100 billion a year to developing countries to support climate action.

Adopted by 196 States Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) last December, the Paris Agreement, so-named after the French capital where it was approved, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It entered into force in record time on 4 November 2016.

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Human Impact Has Pushed Earth Into the Anthropocene, Scientists Say

New study provides one of the strongest cases yet that the planet has entered a new geological epoch

           

Fishermen float onboard a boat amid mostly plastic rubbish in Manila Bay, the Philippines. Humans have introduced 300m metric tonnes of plastic to the environment every year. Photograph: Erik de Castro/Reuters

CLICK HERE - The Anthropocene is functionally and stratigraphically distinct from the Holocene

theguardian.com - by Adam Vaughab - January 7, 2016

There is now compelling evidence to show that humanity’s impact on the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and wildlife has pushed the world into a new geological epoch, according to a group of scientists.

The question of whether humans’ combined environmental impact has tipped the planet into an “Anthropocene” – ending the current Holocene which began around 12,000 years ago – will be put to the geological body that formally approves such time divisions later this year.

The new study provides one of the strongest cases yet that from the amount of concrete mankind uses in building to the amount of plastic rubbish dumped in the oceans, Earth has entered a new geological epoch.

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