Climate Change Will Impact Health

People probably know that scientists have been studying climate change for years and looking at how a changing climate affects global temperatures and sea level rise, and that's important, but I think that most people don't know that there's hundreds of studies now connecting the dots between climate change and human health, and that's a big concern. Climate change is fueling more frequent—and more intense—and longer-lasting heat waves, and that heat is not just an inconvenience to people. It kills people. Some of the people who are most vulnerable to that extreme heat include children, and older adults, and households that are economically disadvantaged, and that's not just a few people; that amounts to many millions of people in the U.S. Another concern is air pollution. The warmer temperatures are, the higher the concentration of some really important air pollutants. Breathing ground-level ozone smog can irritate your eyes and your throat, and really damage your lungs and airways. There are other kinds of air pollutants that are also affected by climate change. Take the kind of pollens that can make allergy symptoms much, much worse, or even trigger an asthma attack. The longer our warm weather seasons, the more pollen is produced in the air.

So, it's like a double whammy for health: ozone smog, and pollen. There's another way, a third way, that climate change is affecting people's health, and that's insects and the illnesses that they can carry, like dengue fever, like West Nile virus, like Zika virus, that are carried by mosquitoes and Lyme disease that's carried by certain kinds of ticks. The thing is, people don't think often about how much those illnesses caused by climate change cost, and not just in human suffering and pain and illness, but in dollars and cents. It's big dollars. NRDC looked at just six of those kinds of events that have occurred very recently: a wildfire episode, a hurricane season, a flooding episode, a West Nile virus outbreak, and air pollution episode, a heat wave, and found that it costs over 14 billion dollars just to people's health. Those are costs that we don't think about and we need to.

I guess my hope as a scientist who studies climate change and health is not that people will get super bummed out listening to all of these effects, but that they'll be energized and demand preparedness and demand cleaner energy and demand building healthier and more secure communities for their children's future..

Environmental Econ: Crash Course Economics #22

Adriene: Welcome to Crash Course Economics. I’m Adriene Hill Jacob: And I’m Jacob Clifford. Economics is about choices, and how we use our scarce resources. It’s not just about producing and consuming, it can also be about conserving. Adriene: Maybe counterintuitively, economics has a lot to add to discussions of how we can balance our desire for prosperity and growth, with the need to protect our natural resources. Today we're going to look at environmental economics and think about how economics can help us keep our planet livable. [Theme Music] Pollution is going to happen, it’s a by-product of human existence and there is no way that we can get rid of it all. In fact, one of the ways we know about earliest the societies is by looking at their trash heap, something archaeologists call middens, because it sounds better than “dumps.” But the fact that humans produce all kinds of waste doesn’t mean that we have to embrace islands of trash floating in the oceans, a layer of smog over industrial cities, and toxic chemicals in our rivers. For sake of simplicity though, we’re going to focus on one type of pollution: carbon dioxide emissions. They’re one of the primary greenhouse gases.

These greenhouse gases basically blanket the earth and are causing climate change. CO2 levels are the highest they've been for millions years which is why environmentalists consider it a “planetary emergency.” There's a lot of effort going into how to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, how to make cities more resilient to climate change, but in the interest of time we’re going to focus on efforts to reduce the amount of new pollutants getting spewed into our atmosphere. Jacob: The economic solution is pretty simple. Step one, identify the sources of the most air pollution. Done. We know exactly what it is. It’s factories that burn fossil fuels for energy, industries that use oil and coal to produce things, and vehicles with internal combustion engines. Step two, decrease the supply of these technologies and products or decrease the demand for them. That’s it, it’s simple.

But, the implementation of these policies gets complicated. Let’s look at decreasing supply. As we mentioned in the last video, one of the biggest problems with having countries independently enforce environmental regulations is the Tragedy of the Commons. No one owns the atmosphere, so there is very little incentive for countries to keep it clean and switch to expensive green technologies if no one else is going to. It’s not like there is some global environmental police punishing countries for polluting. While a country like Trinidad and Tobago has a huge carbon output per capita, its small population means it’s only producing a small fraction of global CO2. The other option is to decrease the demand for fossil fuels, possibly by finding alternate green energy sources. But we’re already very reliant on fossil fuels, and markets have made the production of those fuels very cheap. So, any new type of energy will have a hard time beating the established system.

So we can either wait patiently for new technologies to develop and get cheaper, or we can speed up the process by manipulating markets with government subsidies, taxes, and regulations. Adriene: In the case of pollution, there are long-term side effects, like climate change, that consumers often don’t take into account when they buy products. Remember negative externalities? When the full cost of a product doesn’t line up with the costs that manufacturers or consumers pay? Pollution represents a market failure — a situation where markets fail to produce the amount that society wants. To address this, some economists argue that government intervention is not only justified, but essential. There are all kinds of different ways intervention can happen — all of them meant to encourage producers and consumers to choose to pollute less.

One solution is for the government to come out and set very specific rules about how much specific industries can pollute. Forget markets. You're gonna follow our pollution rules. Another way governments encourage people to pollute less is by providing price incentives. Those incentives can encourage individuals to make choices that are better for the environment. The government could add taxes to gasoline purchases, or, on the other hand, provide subsidies for people who drive electric cars. Governments can also create permit markets — basically setting a limit on how much firms can pollute, and allowing those firms to buy and sell pollution permits. You’ve probably heard these called “cap and trade”. Proponents of cap and trade argue that it can successfully limit emissions, without creating hard and fast rules that might hinder economic growth.

And, governments can subsidize the development of a specific technology or industry—in an effort to make that technology more competitive with the alternatives. A country might help support the development of solar or wind energy. As of 2014, around 10% of the energy consumed in the United States came from renewable sources, which is pretty much in line with the global average. Current predictions are that by 2040 15% of the world energy consumption will come from renewable sources. But, alternative energy sources, for the most part, just aren’t cheap enough yet, so the majority of our energy is likely to continue to come from non-renewable sources, at least for now. Jacob: We don’t have the time to sit back and wait for new technologies to get cheaper, and there's no guarantee that the technologies that the government picks will be cost effective. Perhaps the solution is not to get rid of fossil fuels, but instead be more efficient with those fuels. But that has drawbacks, too. Some energy economists argue that the expected gains from energy saving technologies, are offset by something called the rebound effect. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble.

Adriene: Let’s say Hank uses a gallon of gas to drive to work everyday. Then, partially to help the planet but mostly to help his wallet, he buys a new fuel efficient car that only takes half a gallon of gas for the same commute. He saves money and there's less pollution. It is a win-win. But the rebound effect says that the benefits of energy efficiency might be reduced as people change their behavior. With the money he saves, Hank might start driving more than he normally would or he might go on a vacation in Hawaii. That leads to more consumption and possibly even more emissions. Also, if greater fuel-efficiency makes driving less expensive it might encourage more people to buy cars and increase the overall use of gasoline. And even if people didn't increase their driving, the new fuel efficiency could decrease the demand for gas, making fossil fuels cheaper and more readily available for other uses. The possibility of the rebound effect doesn’t mean we shouldn’t invest in energy saving technologies. It just means that we have to keep in mind how consumers will behave. It’s also the reason why it's important to have economists involved in the discussion of environmental policy.

The tools of economics can help analyze the incentives and figure out what might work best. Thanks Thought Bubble. Okay, so we’ve identified another problem. But before you get so angry that you kick over a barrel of oil and light it on fire, keep in mind that there is hope. Most countries are actively trying to address the problem of greenhouse gases. The international community has been trying for decades to work together to protect the environment with varying success. There are international treaties that commit countries to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. UN negotiations are underway to create a new climate change agreement — that could be adopted in December 2015. Private companies and governments are also funding research into green technology. In the U.S. the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allocated billions to fund renewable energy.

China is also vowing to clean things up, and, in fact, leads the world in renewable energy investment. So, now that most countries recognize there is a problem, the hope is that they’ll figure out a way, or more likely a lot of ways, to start addressing it. Environmental economists say that is not just governments and producers that need to change, it’s also consumers. Conserving and consuming more thoughtfully likely need to be a part of our daily lives if we want to protect the environment. But just bringing our reusable grocery bags to the store isn’t going to save the planet, even if it says it on the bag. Bigger and more costly interventions like improving insulation and changing thermostats might have more impact, but we need to recognize individual action alone isn’t going to be enough. Industries, governments, and individuals; we’re in this together. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you next week.

Crash Course Economics is made with the help of all these fine people. You can support Crash Course at Patreon, a voluntary subscription service where your support helps keep Crash Course free for everyone forever. And you get great rewards! Thanks for watching and DFTBA..

Trump Dismantles U.S. Climate Rules, Virtually Ensuring U.S. Will Break Paris Accord Promises

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday to dismantle a slew of climate rules established by President Obama. If carried out, the executive order will virtually guarantee that the United States will fail to meet its 2015 Paris Agreement pledge to reduce emissions in order to curb the effects of climate change. The executive order marks the first step to undo Obama’s Clean Power Plan to limit emissions and replace coal-fired power plants with new solar and wind farms. Trump signed the executive order at a ceremony at the Environmental Protection Agency while being surrounded by a group of coal miners, as well as EPA head Scott Pruitt, who himself denies the human impact on climate change. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Today I’m taking bold action to follow through on that promise. My administration is putting an end to the war on coal. Gonna have clean coal, really clean coal.

With today’s executive action, I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations. AMY GOODMAN: The executive order also ends President Obama’s 2013 Climate Action Plan, which outlined the federal government’s approach to curbing climate change. Trump never mentioned climate change or global warming during his remarks, even though 2016 was the warmest year on record, breaking the record set in 2015. He also only mentioned the EPA’s mission to protect the environment once. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We’re going to continue to expand energy production, and we will also create more jobs in infrastructure, trucking and manufacturing. This will allow the EPA to focus on its primary mission of protecting our air and protecting our water. Together, we are going to start a new energy revolution, one that celebrates American production on American soil.

AMY GOODMAN: For more, we’re joined by Jacqueline Patterson, director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, joining us from New Orleans. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Jacqueline. Talk about the effect of this executive order, its significance. JACQUELINE PATTERSON: Yes, it is so significant. Thanks for having me. So, there are so many far-reaching implications for this rule, if the actions go forward as presented. Certainly—certainly, fortunately, labor experts and market experts say that regardless of this rule, which seeks to release the restriction on leasing of federal lands for coal, they’re saying that it’s not necessarily going to bring back the coal industry. But if it did, the coal industry is so harmful not only to the communities that are host to coal-fired power plants, but also to the very workers whose jobs that President Trump purports to save, including the fact that 76,000 coal miners have died of black lung disease since 1968, while the industry has fought against the regulations to protect them from coal mine dust. So we have those implications. We have implications like the communities that are host to coal-fired power plants are choking down sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury, arsenic, lead, not to mention that coal is the number—coal-based energy production is the number one contributor to greenhouse—to carbon dioxide emissions, which is the number one greenhouse gas emission that drives climate change.

So, those implications are significant. AMY GOODMAN: And can you talk about how, in particular, it will affect communities of color? JACQUELINE PATTERSON: Yeah, so, for example, African American—68 percent of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant. And we know that with the emissions, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, they’re known to have a link to exacerbating respiratory conditions such as asthma. We also know that African Americans—71 percent of African Americans live in counties in violation of air pollution standards. And we know that the African-American children are three to five times more likely to enter into the hospital from asthma attacks and two to three times more likely to die of asthma attacks. When we connect the dots in terms of exposure and in terms of the health conditions of African-American children and people, we start to see the ties in terms of the impact, the disproportionate impact, of the coal industry, in particular, on communities of color.

We know that African-American adults are more likely to die from lung disease, but far less likely to smoke. When we put out our report, "Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People," back in 2012, we went around, and we visited with communities that were host to coal-fired power plants. And we heard time and time again from folks who had—half the kids in their school were on inhalers. Half the people in their church were on respirators. I spoke to a fellow in Indiana whose wife had died of lung disease. They lived within seeing distance of a coal-fired power plant. She had never smoked a day in her life. I spoke to a woman whose father worked in a coal plant and who died of lung cancer, but had never smoked a day in his life. So we see these stories—we hear these stories, and we see the statistics. And the disproportionate exposure and the differential impact are clear.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to Earthjustice Policy Vice President Martin Hayden, who questioned whether President Trump’s executive order will have a significant effect on the coal industry. MARTIN HAYDEN: [We] are a net exporter of coal, by a long shot. So, producing more coal isn’t going to make us more energy independent. And the other piece of producing more coal—and you saw many of the coal company executives say this last night—that while it may raise coal production some, it’s not going to create many more jobs, because they are more automated today, that the—that the trend has been fewer and fewer jobs in the coal fields, irrespective of how much coal is mined, because they’re using more mechanized approaches and less people approaches. AMY GOODMAN: So, that issue, Jacqueline Patterson, of what the president keeps pushing, the issue of coal jobs? JACQUELINE PATTERSON: Yes, so—yes, so, as I was saying at the very beginning, both the labor industry and the market say that it’s not necessarily going to bring back coal.

I was saying what the implications would be if it did, in any way, increase—increase coal production—coal-based energy production in the United States. But then there’s the other side of the fact, that even if we’re exporting coal, and other countries are using coal, as we know, any use of coal burning to produce energy affects climate change overall. And we know that communities of color and low-income communities are more likely to feel the impacts from climate change. And so, whether it’s communities that have poor housing stock, communities that are underinsured, communities that are—whose homes are located in the floodplains, we see that these communities are disproportionately vulnerable to climate change and more likely to be impacted by climate change. We know that these communities are often the ones that are—don’t have access to healthy and nutritious foods.

They have food insecurity. And we know that shifts in agricultural yields is another impact of climate change and that—and that this might make food insecurity even greater in these communities. So the far-reaching implications of any type of increase in coal-based energy production are felt no matter where it happens, are felt globally, and particularly in vulnerable communities and vulnerable countries. AMY GOODMAN: We’ve been talking about coal plants, but let’s talk about coal-fired plants. Jacqueline, talk by your own growing up in Chicago. JACQUELINE PATTERSON: Yeah, so I grew up on the South Side of Chicago, where there were three coal-fired power plants within a 15-mile radius of where I lived, the Fisk and Crawford plants on the South Side of Chicago and the State Line plant on the northwest side of Indiana. So, unbeknownst to me, really, because, you know, these things are there, and you often just don’t know the impacts of these—of these facilities in your community, I was living in this toxic corridor. And fast-forward to today, when I was doing the work on the "Coal Blooded" report, I visited with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, PERRO and others in Chicago who were doing work on the Fisk and Crawford plants.

And they had done a partnership with the Harvard School of Public Health. And through the community-campus partnership, they found that 40 asthma deaths and a thousand hospitalizations were attributed to the Fisk and Crawford coal plants, which gave them what the—the fuel that they needed to be able to inform the community, which eventually resulted in the City Council passing an ordinance around clean air and Mayor Rahm Emanuel giving a ultimatum to either clean these coal plants up or shut them down, which eventually did happen. And so, again, I was growing up in harm’s way. My father—my father passed away a few years ago of lung disease. And his doctor specifically cited that it was due to environmental exposures. And now I wonder what the cumulative impact might have been of living on the South Side of Chicago in that toxic corridor with those three coal plants and other toxins in the air. AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Jacqueline Patterson, just the overall broader issue of cuts to the EPA and the whole direction the Trump administration is going? And, I mean, he signed this executive order at the Environmental Protection Agency, which he said he is going to slash by almost a third.

This is with the acquiescence of the head of the EPA—right?—the former Oklahoma attorney general, Scott Pruitt, who sued the EPA 14 times before he’s now become its head. JACQUELINE PATTERSON: Mm-hmm, yes. And unfortunately, not only—if it was just slashed off of the EPA budget in general, that would be bad enough. But the fact that it’s targeted slashing of environment justice programs, that are meant to protect communities like Mossville, Louisiana, which is in this petrochemical corridor, which is a cancer cluster, which has already these existing impacts for their community, communities like Uniontown, Alabama, which, again, has multiple assaults in terms of its environmental exposures, the communities across the nation that are, again, disproportionately communities of color, disproportionately indigenous communities and low-income communities, communities in Appalachia, who are suffering under the impacts of mountaintop removal and so forth and so on.

And so, the Environmental Protection Agency, as we—as per its name, it is there to ensure that we have the monitoring and the enforcement of safeguards for our health and well-being. So I shudder to think what the impacts will be if that agency does not serve that function. AMY GOODMAN: Jacqueline Patterson, I want to thank you for being with us, director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, speaking to us from New Orleans. This is Democracy Now! When we come back, the House votes on internet privacy. Stay with us..

What Ever Happened To Acid Rain?

I've finally figured it out. Prince must've been singing about ACID RAIN that was BLUE. Because carbonic acid turns litmus paper red… Blue plus red equals purple. If you know what I'm singing about up here. C'mon, raise your hand. Hello pH-balanced friends, Trace here for DNews. If you were to compare environmental issues to fashion trends—and I mean why wouldn’t you—then acid rain would be the equivalent of bell-bottom jeans. People started talking about it in the 60’s, then it slowly infiltrated media and pop culture, and by the mid-1970s’ seemingly everyone had an opinion on it, but since then, where did it go? To understand acid rain you have to understand "pH" levels. pH means "power of hydrogen," essentially it measure the kind of hydrogen in a solution. It's not super important to understand how it works, but it ranges from zero to 14 with zero (battery acid) being the most acidic and 14 (lye) being super alkaline (or basic): 7 is neutral — water is 7, milk is 6, sea water is 9… A change in even one number is a big deal, because pH is measured logarithmically, one number represents a 10-fold change! Okay, so, acid rain is bad, you guys.

Like really bad. It toxifies lakes and streams, destroys forests and threatens entire plant populations. Acid rain is even harmful to urban environments, where it eats away at limestone and marble buildings. All because its pH is crazy. I say crazy, because normal rain is acidic, just a little bit. As rain falls from they sky, it picks up carbon dioxide in the air, creating carbonic acid. This gives natural rain a pH of about 6, just slightly on the acid side — similar to urine or saliva. Regular rain becomes acid rain when it picks up not only carbon dioxide, but sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, which contain much stronger acids. These make their way into our atmosphere when we burn fossil fuels to make energy. Once natural rain picks up this acid, its pH can drop as low as 3. That means that rain that goes from pH 6 to pH 3 — it’s 1000 times more acidic!.

Threes are things like citrus, kimchee, or soda! The effects of acid rain entirely depend on where it lands. For instance if it falls on limestone-rich soil, it doesn’t have much of an effect because limestone is naturally alkaline; it has a pH above 7. So mixing acidity with a lower pH just neutralizes it. In fact, to protect cultivated areas from acid rain damage, limestone can be added to soil as a sort-of pH-balancing fertilizer. Though that's pretty much out of the question for huge tracts of land in the wilderness. When acid rain falls on neutral or acidic soil, or on vegetation, that’s when things get bad. Living things have a hard time in acidic environments because the acid basically kills their growth enzymes — fish can't swim in orange juice! What’s more, hydrogen ions in the acid rain replace nutrients in the soil like calcium and magnesium, which are vital for plant growth. This is why we preserve things in vinegar, rather than water because the acid in the vinegar prevents pickles, or kimchi for all you foodies, from growing mold. Keep in mind that we’re talking about ecosystems, so everything is connected. Once acid rain infiltrates soil, it flows into streams and lakes, killing marine life.

Even water-dwelling animals that can live in acidic environments, like frogs, still end up dying, because the acid kills their food sources. This sort of environmental damage stems as far back as the industrial revolution; however the public didn’t really catch wind of it until the 1970’s, after it had already caused massive damage — and that's why you heard about it. Why you don't anymore, is because in the early 1990’s the US government passed a series of regulations that dramatically reduced sulfur dioxide emissions, and acid rain sorta fell off the radar. At least in the U.S…. Acid rain is still an issue in China and Russia, two countries with lots of factories and few environmental regulations. China is particularly bad, as it’s coal contains higher-than-normal-levels of sulfur. Even parts of eastern Europe, Canada and the United States still have rainwater that’s just too acidic.

And even though our rain will likely never return to a 1960’s level of acidity, the effects of this environmental disaster will exist for decades. No domain extension will help you tell your story like a DOT COM or DOT NET domain name. And because you watch DNews, you can get 15% off Domain Dot Com’s names and web hosting by using the code DNews when you check out. So acid rain is still a problem, but what about the hole in the ozone layer? What ever happened to that? You can find out in this video here. Should we do a whole video about pH? That's kinda cool right? Do you have science questions? Tell us in the comments, make sure subscribe so you get the answers and thanks for tuning in to DNews..

The lies of Global Warming

– Begins now 3×1, hier in Brazil TV. I am Luiz Carlos Azedo and today we will discuss the global warming. Our guest is the physicist and meteorologist Luiz Carlos Molion who questions the theories – let’s say, hegemonic in our days – related with this subject. Participate in this interview the journalist Zilda Ferreira, author of the Blog EDUCOM, which deals with environmental education and the journalist Efraim Neto, moderator of the Brazilian network of environmental journalism. <<The Earth, poetically identified as the Blue Planet, located in the Galaxy Via Lactia, orbits in the solar system and is distinguished by its unique atmosphere. Here, in millions of years life has evolved creating a complex system favorable for the existence of thousands of plant and animal species dependent on a food chain. The human being – extractivist – takes its sustenance from the land and the sea.

To enable the agriculture and industry uses various types of energy, obtained mostly from fossil fuels that generate tens of pollutants. On entering the second decade of the new millennium, the greatest challenge of humanity – that is to produce and develop without altering the atmosphere – presents itself as an emergency agenda for all nations. At the recent climate conference in Copenhagen, it became clear that rich countries, emerging or poor need to speak the same language, if they wish truly – in the medium term – contain the aggressions to the global environment.>> – We will start our interview with a question from a viewer. – Why do you say that there is no global warming? – I contend that there is no global warming because it already occurred in the past periods in which they were warmer than now. For example: If we get to the period of the years 800 to 1200 a.C -called Medieval Warm Period – Temperatures were higher than now and at that time the man not released carbon; not emitted carbon into the atmosphere. The Vikings came from Scandinavia and colonized the northern regions of Canada and southern Greenland and are now frozen regions.

So you can see that, that period was warmer than now. Between 1925 and 1946, there was also a very significant warming, which corresponds to approximately 70% of all this warming that – the people say – occurred in the last 150 years. At that time there was an increase of 0.4 degrees Celsius – between 1925 and 1946 – and that very probably due to increased solar activity in the first half of the twentieth century and the fact that in this period practically not occured any large volcanic eruption, so the atmosphere was clean – transparent – and entered more solar radiation and then increased the temperature. Notice! In 1946, after the second World War, the man threw to the atmosphere less than 10% of the carbon that launches today, so it is very difficult to say that the warming between 1925 and 1946 was due to human action. Later – after the war – that, in fact, there was an increase in industrialization, was emitted more carbon, but what happened? A global cooling between 1947 and 1976 and now this latest.

– Dr. Molion, you were commenting on the case of the Vikings, there is a french historian named Pierre Chani who was an expert of studies on European expansion and he said the Vikings not only conquered America because there was a period – immediately after their arrival, in that Arctic region – of cooling of the earth and there is a stream of scientists who defends a thesis against prevailing opinion – which says that there is a global warming – and say that we are on the verge – if we can use this expression – of a new global cooling. Is it? – Perfect. This period, which lasted more or less until 1250 a.C, was followed by what was called the Little Ice Age, which lasted from 1350 until 1920. I mean, very recent. – You assign to this cooling the barbarian invasions, because they have turned to the continent, because of cooling. – It was just the opposite, ie, the cold period leads to frustrations harvest and hunger. You have paintings made at that time showing that the river Thames was frozen.

Paintings from 1630 – 1650 show that fairs were made ​​over the frozen river. So, if I look at history, I would say this: that in the last million years the Earth has gone through nine ice ages. Each ice age lasts for a hundred thousand years. So nine times a hundred thousand gives nine hundred thousand. In one million, 90% of the time, the weather is colder than now. These ice ages are interrupted by warmer periods called interglacial. That we are living, Luiz Carlos, began about 15 thousand years ago and all of human history is summarized in the last ten thousand years. So we are in a period, as you said, on the eve of a new ice age. In fact we can be within a new ice age, since this our interglacial is already with 15 thousand years, according to paleoclimatic studies. So, there is a variability So, there is a variation upon that very slow fall that will take one hundred thousand years, practically, to get to 8 -10 degrees below what is today. On top of that there is a ripple of half a degree up, half a degree down. If we have that, as I said from 1925 to 1946, had a ripple down, a cooling from 1947 to 1976 – which was very bad for Brazil and around the world under the economic point of view – and now we had a small increase from 1977 to 1998 The “cue ball” now is the cooling.

– Is there a disparity of measuring instruments among the various periods? – Certainly, certainly. No doubt. – Would be the diagnosis today more accurate than before? – The biggest problem is not that, because when you put those long series, 100 -150 years, from cities like Paris, Vienna, Berlin… these cities were growing and if the thermometer was stuck in the same place, at the same meteorological station it would suffer the effects of urbanization. What is this effect of urbanization? Rains. If the area is vegetated, there is infiltration of water. The water evaporates and cools the surface. When the city then becomes urbanized, the asphalt and concrete causes the runoff of the water, that there will fall. So, today the cities do not have water to evaporate and the same heat of the Sun causes higher urban temperatures than its surroundings. São Paulo, for example, on the order of 3 degrees. There are studies here in Rio de Janeiro that show as well – depending on the region – the order of 3 – 4 degrees.

So, the effect that is known as Urban Heat Island interferes in the temperature. The same thermometer, even if it is calibrated will show higher temperatures. There is no way to eliminate this effect of urbanization on the measure. There is no way to eliminate. They say that if you select a basket of thermometers around the world that is located in the big cities, what will happen is the trend these thermometers show an ever increasing temperature. But when you use satellites covering the whole globe, including oceanic regions, it is shown that in the last 20 years a slight decrease occurred. Excluding the peak of El Niño, in 1997 – 1998, as El Niños tend to warm the atmosphere… – But does it not come back now, this year? – But this is pretty weak and must die now in February, maximum in March and will not affect, the contrary, it must turn to the cold La Niña. So, when you look at the data taken by satellites..

. – So will be the next year a cold year? – Yes, with cold winters. This is the trend, frosts in the south and southeast, cold temperatures and for us here, relatively drier during the dry season, ie, in the period from April to October, drier than the normal. – Professor, our scientific validation with respect to climate studies are based on numerical models… – That is it. – …and our system of climate research has evaluated and provided to society certain results. How do you evaluate this? – Well, Efraim. The models are nothing more than computer programs. Some are very sophisticated coming to have thousand lines, one million rows. These models attempt to reproduce the physical processes occurring in the atmosphere, but the atmosphere of the Earth depends on externs physical processes, eg, variation in solar activity, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis or earthquakes influence the heat distribution of oceans and also depends on the oceanic processes, for instance, that are treated very badly in these models, particularly with regard to the transport of heat. A climate model, for example, can not reproduce an El Niño. It can not reproduce this variation It can not reproduce this decadal variation of the Pacific lasting 25-30, where the Pacific warms in the tropics and then turns and cools.

The Pacific occupies 35% of the land surface and the atmosphere is heated from below. So, when the Pacific temperature changes, changes the atmosphere and changes the climate. These models make projections, Efraim, upon hypothetical scenarios that will never happen and the models in itself are disabled. So, for example, if I were to believe in this model, I would like to see this model predicting “the past”. Because of the past I already have data, is not it? And they did it, but the error was very large. The current models can not reproduce past climate. So, I have no guarantee that they will predict future climates, ie, model results are useless and do not lend themselves to planning. – Since the 70s, you have been showing the importance of the oceans in relation to climate, this from a global point of view. Since we are talking about climate change from a general point of view, what is the importance of having more advanced studies in relation to the oceans, since it seems to me that this has been of little relevance in relation to the data applied by the IPCC (Intergovermental of Climate Change)? – You are absolutely right, Efraim.

There is a tendency to leave the oceans outside of this climate control, when in reality they are extremely important to control the weather. We are talking about a planet that is 71% covered of water with an average depth of 3,800 meters, ie, this body of water is a huge heat reservoir that softens the climate change, so that the changes are not so big. The differences remained around more or less half degree up, half degree down thanks to the oceans. Recently we – the scientific community – developed a system of buoys – are more than 3,200 buoys – that are special. They dive up to 2,000 meters deep moving with the sea current for 9 and a half days, after they inflate, through a bladder that they have, and start to rise by measuring temperature and salinity. Arrives at the surface and transmits this data to the satellite. So, this system was completed in 2002 and the analysis of the datas from these buoys shows that the heat content of the oceans is declining.

This means that the global oceans are cooling and this cooling will lead to global cooling, not a warming. So, we have two very important factors: The sun, which has a cycle of 90 years and is now going into decline and will be so until the year 2032 and the oceans, which these buoys indicate that is cooling. These two phenomena that are fundamental; two basic controllers of the climate of the Earth will lead to a global cooling for the next 20 years, which is much worse than a warming..

The Crazy Plan to Capture and Store CO2 Under the Ocean

CO2 is created by every living thing on the planet, but also by burning fossil fuels, which is causing global warming… So, what if we just trapped it all under the ocean? That'd work, right? Howdy oxygenators, Trace here for DNews. Every breath you take, you'll be exhaling CO2. In fact, each exhale contains 100 times more CO2 than was inhaled, totalling about 2 lbs of CO2 per day, per person. Carbon Dioxide is odorless, colorless, highly toxic; and apparently tastes "pungent" and acidic. Because Earth is a relatively closed system, so carbon never leaves. It gets burned and then trapped and then breathed and reused all over the planet again and again. Most of us probably connect CO2 with breathing. While we only release pounds per day, industry releases tons, and if we don't capture it, the CO2 will continue to exacerbate the greenhouse effect.

In 2014 we were projected to release 37 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the air, which is more than the planet can absorb. This is getting serious. So, scientists are working on ways to filter and trap this ubiquitous gas. In the 1930s, researchers figured out if you bubble air through a solution of a derivative of ammonia called amine, the CO2 will be plucked out, "scrubbing" the air clean. We've since developed a bunch of other ways to capture it, but in 2014 MIT developed a super-efficient process using electrochemistry — electricity plus chemistry — it's awesome. The researchers used amines to pick up CO2, just like in the 1930s, but they added a modern twist. When you bubble polluted air through an amine solution those guys naturally want to cling to CO2. They love it. But then, electricity throws copper ions into the mix.

If you're an amine, copper ions are way more enticing than CO2, so they drop the toxic gas like a bad habit and pick up the copper. At that point the lonely CO2 floats out of the system! Yay! Afterward, the copper is pulled away from the amines who have to run through that process again and again. I sort of feel bad for the hard-workin' little guys, you know? But back to the CO2. So now that we've filtered it, then what? Well, because industry faces such strict penalties for releasing CO2 into the atmosphere, they've created Carbon Capture and Storage technologies. Essentially, most companies take the filtered CO2, cool it until the gas becomes a liquid, and then transport it somewhere for storage. There are two major ways to do this, one is straightforward, and one just seems crazy. The straightforward one is called geologic carbon sequestration. In the States, the US Geological Survey has identified 36 regions around the country where the CO2 could be injected into porous areas of rock between 3,000 and 15,000 feet underground (914-4600M).

And hopefully, there it will stay. The second CRAZY one, is similar, but it's oceanic carbon sequestration. In liquid form, CO2 is denser than water. So theoretically, if we just, pumped it under the ocean, the water above it would hold it down there like a weighted blanket. A 2013 study in Geophysical Research Letters looked at the viability of pumping liquid CO2 to the bottom of the ocean, and determined it would form a lake of liquid carbon dioxide. Yep. A lake. The high-pressure, cold world of the deep sea would hold it in stasis for perhaps 1,000 years. I know what you're thinking, and yes, both of the ideas have their dangers. For example in geologic sequestration the pressure of the rock above should keep the CO2 liquid and it should stay there. Should. But if the CO2 finds its way out of the rock… global disaster. In the undersea example, the implications are also dangerous. CO2 is toxic, remember, so it could drastically increase ocean acidity, and deep sea life might not survive. Plus, if it DID leak out… global catastrophe again. Look, there's no real, permanent solution to CO2 problems except maybe venting it into space somehow… or simply stopping the release of so much carbon.

Pollution doesn't just hurt the planet, it can also hurt YOU. Check out how in this video! And if you're down to listen to my weird voice, come subscribe to my podcast! On each episode we take 45 minutes to dig into a topic all the way to the brass tacks. Here's a taste Every time we talk about this stuff, I just want to never use fossil fuels again. What about you? Ever feel guilty about your carbon footprint? Tell me about it….

Local Study Pinpoints Hotter Temperatures From Global Warming, Right Down to the Neighborhood

Brian Rooney: Thousands of environmental activists marched in Washington and Los Angeles Sunday in a call for action on climate change and global warming. Activist: What we hope to do is to draw attention to the fact that we have to stop relying on fossil fuels to govern the entire world economy. And we need to start cutting back on the amount of carbon that we put in the atmosphere. Rooney: Last year was the warmest on record in the United States, according to National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration, NOAA. In 2012, the country as a whole was 3.2 degrees above normal and one degree above the previous record set in 1998. It was also a year of extremes, hurricanes and floods, another sign of disturbances and weather caused by global warming. Activist: It's a long-term solution not a short-term one.

It's for the longevity of the entire planet. Rooney: You expect you'll be living with it all your life? Activist: Oh yeah! Sure! Rooney: The term "global warming" makes the problem sound like it is happening somewhere else. So scientists at UCLA recently published a study that brings it home. Alex Hall/UCLA Professor: Nobody really cares how warm the globe is. People care about how warm it is in their environment. So one of the goals of the study was to bring this information down to the neighborhood scale and provide data that they could use. Rooney: UCLA professor Alex Hall says that, in a way, global warming is local warming, and you're going to feel it here in Southern California. He estimates that temperatures around Los Angeles will rise an average four to five degrees by the middle of the century.

He says he can actually pinpoint what local temperatures will be and where. Santa Monica for instance: up just shy of four degrees. Here in Pasadena: up just over four degrees. Out in the desert, Palmdale and Lancaster: almost five degrees warmer than it is now. But the biggest rise in temperature will be up in the mountains of Big Bear and Wrightwood. Because of snow loss, almost five degrees warmer than it is now. The loss of snow has more impact than you might expect Hall: At high elevations especially, we do see enhanced warming mainly due to this process of snow retreating and leading to more absorption of sunshine at the surface. Rooney: And it’s not just higher temperatures. It is more days of the hottest weather. Hall projects that depending on where you are, the number of days when the thermometer goes over 95 will increase two to four times. Downtown Los Angeles: up from 1.

4 days a year to 4.6. Eagle Rock: up from two to six. Sylmar: 6.8 days to 25 days. And Porter Ranch: from 8 days to 30 days. Both those towns nearly four times the number of days over 95 degrees. Hall: People really experience the effects of warming temperatures, not so much through the change in the average temperatures, but more through the changes in the number of the extremely hot days. Those are the days that people feel the most impacted by an overall warming. Rooney: So the voice of environmentalists might one day bring long term change, but for the near future, they are going to be marching in hotter weather..

How Worried Should We Be About Climate Change?

The United Nations recently held their climate summit in New York City. A few days ahead of the event, more than 300,000 people joined a peaceful march in Manhattan to call attention to the issue of climate change. Secretary Of State John Kerry recently argued that the problem of climate change should be addressed with the same immediacy as Ebola or ISIS. So, putting politics aside, how serious is this issue? Well, there’s an incredible amount of statistical evidence that illustrates the severity of climate change. But instead of getting mired down in talk about ice caps and polar bear populations, let’s just discuss what the UN Climate Summit is really about: air pollution. The UN is meeting in hopes of signing a deal that could cut down on carbon emissions worldwide.

Just to be clear, we are talking about cars and our dependence on oil, but we’re also talking about things like coal power. Climate change is a pressing issue now because there are nations, chief among them China, that are actively pumping carbon into the environment on an enormous scale. According to the Global Carbon Project, China alone accounts for 28% of the world’s total carbon emissions. And they increased their emissions last year by 4.2%, which increased global emissions worldwide, by 2.3%. In other words, year over year – the situation is getting worse, not better. The ultimate goal of this meeting is to establish a plan to reduce these emissions. And one way to do that – is switching away from coal and fossil fuels, to cleaner forms of energy; a switch that some economists and ecologists now argue could also help developing countries, like China, save money in the long run.

They also argue that it would benefit not just the environment, but also the health of the people in those nations. The argument against committing to cleaner energy is that it requires an enormous initial investment and could potentially slow down economic progress. The problem is that the very nations that need economic progress most, are also the nations that emit the most carbon. It’s a catch-22, and a large part of why an agreement still hasn’t been reached. To find out more about what’s going on in China, check out our video on the conflict between China and the Tibetan Independence movement. Or watch our other video on How Powerful China really is. Remember we upload new videos five days a week, so please subscribe..

Climate Change Is Causing Fewer Male Births!

We have a pretty good idea of how climate change will affect the world, but what about the people in it? How will it affect us? Hey guys, Tara here for Dnews – and we’ve been talking a lot lately about climate change, and how it’ll affect the world around us. Like everything, though, there are unexpected consequences – and according to a new study, one of the consequences of climate change, is fewer males being born. It sounds crazy, but this has actually been happening over in Japan. Researchers from the M&K Health Institute have been examining how extreme weather events have affected sex ratios of infants in Japan. Specifically, they looked at temperature fluctuations brought on by global warming, and compared them to national data on births and fetal deaths between 1968 and 2012. Fetal deaths being any miscarriage that occurs after 12 weeks of gestation.

And what they found, is that male fetuses are considerably more vulnerable to extreme weather, which has led to a decrease in the amount of male births. In 2010, Japan experienced their hottest summer since 1898, when records began. During that summer, researchers noted an increase in the number of miscarriages, and nine months later, they noticed a decrease in the ratio of male to female babies born in the country. Meaning the majority of those miscarriages were male. But it’s not just the heat that causes this. The following year, in 2011, Japan also experienced a particularly brutal winter. And sure enough, that winter saw an increase in miscarriages, and a subsequent decrease in male births, 9 months later. Researchers say this doesn’t necessarily mean that climate change is completely to blame – but it does highlight the fact that male fetuses in particular, are extremely sensitive to external stress factors. Earthquakes, pollution, and even famine – have all been linked to increased miscarriages, and a decline in the number of male births.

What’s especially damning about this study, though, is the exact timing of events. It pretty clearly indicates that temperature is at least partially responsible – and unfortunately, no one’s been able to explain why this is such a male-specific problem. What do you guys think? Any plausible theories you wanna throw out there? If so, just leave em in the comments below – otherwise, thank you guys for watching!.

Why cities should plant more trees

Search Google Earth for China and you’ll see this. But an unedited satellite photo might look more like this. That gray smudge is air pollution and it’s coming from Chinese cars, factories, and power plants. But it’s not only here. In cities around the world, air pollution is a big problem. A majority of humans now live in cities and that number is only going to rise, which means more cars, more factories, and more power plants. As officials explore options for fighting air pollution, there is one tool that is often overlooked: trees. Cities are centers of industry, but the resulting pollution is filling our lungs and making us sick. One major culprit is particulate matter: airborne particles of dust, soot and smoke that are released when we burn fossil fuels or kicked up during construction and farming.

When we inhale them, they can cause asthma and they can also enter our bloodstream to cause strokes and even death. Experts estimate that outdoor air pollution kills over three million people a year and as cities grow, leaders are funding creative—and often expensive—solutions for the problem. In London, the mayor spent over a million pounds spraying city streets with an adhesive that was supposed to glue pollutants to the road. and in the Netherlands, designers have created a giant air purifier they call “The Smog Free Tower”, which is cool, but there is another, simpler solution… A new report from The Nature Conservancy shows that planting trees can be a cost-effective way to improve public health, which they do in two ways: First, a tree removes particulate matter when polluted air blows through its branches.

The particulate matter settles on the leaves and when it rains the dust is washed down the gutter so we don’t inhale it. Second, trees cool temperatures by providing shade and releasing water through photosynthesis, which cools summer temperatures by about two to four degrees fahrenheit. But there is a catch! Trees can only clean and cool the air within a close radius: about one hundred feet, so city officials need to be careful where they plant. Officials can maximize pollution reduction by planting trees where population density and air pollution overlap. The Nature Conservancy report uses data from Washington D.C. to create a map showing where planting trees will have the highest return on investment. And some trees work better than others: trees with larger, stickier leaves, like maples and elms are more effective, but they also need to be considered within the larger ecosystem.

Compared to DC, many cities around the world have even more to gain from planting trees: this map shows where return on investment is highest for reducing particulate matter. With proper targeting, planting trees can be just as cost-effective as other strategies like converting public transportation to use less diesel fuel. But there is one major limiting factor: water access. What might work in Boston, will be less feasible in a city like Doha, Qatar, where water is a scarce resource. And on top of that, many mayors don’t yet think of trees as a public health resource. Trees might not look like giant air filters, but that’s exactly what they are, and the sooner we start thinking of them that way, the sooner the air we breathe might be cooler and cleaner in cities around the world..