Have You Seen These Stories?

This is just a collection of stories that I haven’t seen make the news.

Meet The First Pacific Island Town To Relocate Thanks To Climate Change

Under threat from rising sea levels and tsunamis, the authorities of a provincial capital in the Solomon Islands have decided to relocate from a small island in the first such case in the Pacific islands. 

The world’s first official climate refugees land in New Zealand

Among other cataclysmic upheavals, climate change is expected to produce waves of refugees seeking asylum from their flooded, baked, or otherwise uninhabitable countries of origin. It’s already happening, but for the first time New Zealand officials have accepted a refugee application by a family from Tuvalu that cites global warming as the reason they can’t return to their sinking Pacific island nation.

An entire island nation is preparing to evacuate to Fiji before they sink into the Pacific

The Church of England just sold a chunk of forest-covered land on the Fijian island Vanau Levu for $8.8 million to the government of the Pacific island nation of Kiribati. For the moment, Kiribati plans to use its 20-square-kilometer (7.7-square-mile) plot for agriculture and fish farming. But the investment is really a fallback for its 103,000 residents—a place to live if they must leave their home island.

Sort of a theme that I’ve written about before.

The Asian tiger mosquito is an invasive species that has been carrying disease to the US. CDC

The painful, mosquito-borne chikungunya virus has reached the US

A virus called chikungunya, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, has been an epidemic in the Caribbean in recent months. And this week, officials reported the first cases of people getting it on US soil.

And just in time!
Scientists have taken the first steps to developing a vaccine for chikungunya — an emerging mosquito-borne virus that has infected more than a half million people in the Western Hemisphere this year. About 600 Americans have brought the virus to 43 states. 
The Mysterious Fungus Infecting the American Southwest
For reasons still unclear, rates of valley fever are rising nationwide. Between 1998 and 2011, documented cases across the country increased steadily by about 15 percent annually, from just 2,000 infections in 1998 to more than 22,000 in 2011. In areas where the fungus is widespread, like Kern County, it’s statistically more probable to develop valley fever than hepatitis or chickenpox.  

This frame grab made Wednesday, July 16 shows the 200-foot wide crater discovered in the Yamal Peninsula.

Siberian Holes Could Be ‘Visible Effect’ of Global Warming, Experts Say

While staring down into the abyss of these craters is a scary thought, the release of large quantities of greenhouse gases from melting permafrost is existentially daunting. A studyfrom earlier this year found that melting permafrost soil, which typically remains frozen all year, is thawing and decomposing at an accelerating rate. This is releasing more methane into the atmosphere, causing the greenhouse effect to increase global temperatures and creating a positive feedback loop in which more permafrost melts.

Bottled water comes from the most drought-ridden places in the country

Bottled-water drinkers, we have a problem: There’s a good chance that your water comes from California, a state experiencing the third driest year on record.

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 11, 2014 — Coffee drinkers beware: Surprise ingredients that are neither sweet nor flavorful may be hiding in your coffee, and growing coffee shortages may increase the chance of having these fillers in your cup of joe in the future. The good news is that a highly accurate test is in the works to quickly find coffee containing unwanted fillers before the beverage reaches stores and restaurants.
In 2012, a study from the U.K.’s Royal Botanic Gardens and the Environment stated that 70 percent of the world’s coffee supply might disappear by 2080 because of conditions caused by climate change. But shortages due to more immediate issues already are occurring. The coffee-rich country of Brazil typically produces 55 million bags of coffee each year. But according to some reports, the projected amount for 2014 will likely only reach 45 million bags after this January’s extensive drought. That’s about 42 billion fewer cups of coffee for this year. 

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank lit a seven-storey-high sign in the middle of Manhattan on Thursday that counts the total amount of greenhouse gases trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The bank said it was the world’s first sign to show real-time measurement of the gases blamed for global warming and hoped it would spark more public debate on how to reduce emissions.

The giant carbon counter developed by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hangs outside Madison Square Garden.

The sign said the current quantity of carbon dioxide in the planet’s atmosphere is 3.64 trillion tonnes, the highest level in 800,000 years, and is increasing by 800 tonnes a second.



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