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.



Beer!!! Tell me it’s not True.

THINKPROGESS just recently ran an article called, “16 Of Your Favorite Things That Climate Change Is Totally Screwing Up“. The article is by Ryan Koronowski. The premise is that climate change is not some far off idea that is going to scorch the planet in the future but it is something that is affecting some of the things we enjoy now.

The very first thing it mentions is my beverage of choice–beer. Having spent lot’s of time as a postal employee in Chico, California, home of the famous Sierra Nevada Brewery, and now living in Mendocino, home to the North Coast Brewery, beer is a subject matter near and dear to me. Sorry to my underage readers. You have to be 21 years old to enjoy those links. Beer is an agriculture product. You need clean water, hops and barley. All of these ingredients are being affected by higher temperatures. The above article links to this story. Let’s all hope for the best.

“Football” follows beer on the list of 16 favorite things. I’m not a fan of football, I leave that to my sister, but did you know that, ” (High) Schools began to notice a trend: their players were dying more and more frequently due to heat stress, three times as frequently from 1994 to 2009.” Football fields are drying out in small towns in the south. Artificial grass is expensive  and hotter. Maybe it will be football that brings around the  southern climate deniers.

“Maple syrup” is next on the list followed by “hiking”. “Poison ivy…Yet because the itchy plant thrives on higher temperatures and increased carbon dioxide levels, avoiding the plant is only getting more difficult. The potency and spread of poison ivy has doubled since 1960, and researchers say that will double again should the planet reach 560 ppm of carbon dioxide (current readings recently broke 400ppm).”

“Coffee” I already have a post about coffee and climate change. “Arabica, the most-consumed coffee species, could go extinct in the wild in 70 years according to a study by London’s Royal Botanic Gardens last year.” I would like to recommend the Thanksgiving Coffee Company as my favorite coffee supplier. They support the small coffee growers and bird populations. They are headquartered here in Mendocino County.

“Chili peppers” and “sweaters” are next. Apparently you don’t want sheep on your football team. 


“Fishing” is a subject I’ve posted on. Fish are moving to cooler waters and if they can’t do that they die.

What can I say about “wine”. The amount of empty wine bottles in the trash bins where I live is a testament to it’s popularity. The wine industry here in California is so powerful that they successfully fought the recycling fee that most other beverage companies have to put on their bottles and cans. “…wine is particularly susceptible to a changing climate. Most crops find increasing heat waves, flooding, and droughts difficult to endure, but wine is special. Grapes are grown in specific fields for hundreds of years because that particular place is particularly good at producing a particular varietal of wine. When areas get warmer or drier, the grapes change, and then the wine’s taste and color changes.”

The “Panda” will have to change it’s diet. Let’s not forget about the Polar Bear while we’re at it.

Photograph: Ashley Cooper/Global Warming Images

“Tour de France” and “apple pie” come next. “Apples need a “winter chill” to bloom properly in the spring.”

“Surfing?” And then “peanut butter”. Peanuts are a fussy crop and climate change is not good for them. 

Last on the list is “fireworks”. “Last year, more than 100 communities across the U.S. cancelled Fourth of July firework displays due to fears that the pyrotechnics could spark wildfires in drought-riddled states.” I’ve posted on this earlier.



Has anyone heard about Coffee Rust? Just read a story about what’s happening to coffee plants in South America. 

“Coffee rust first occurred in Central America in the mid-1970s, but outbreaks didn’t reach industry-threatening levels. Now they have. After the latest flowering season, rust afflicts more than 50 percent of growing areas in a belt stretching from Guatemala through Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

“Regional production fell by 15 percent last year, putting nearly 400,000 people out of work, and that’s just a taste of what’s to come. The next harvest season begins in October, and according to the International Coffee Organization, crop losses could hit 50 percent.”

“There’s increasing evidence that climate change is part of the problem. You find coffee rust striking much farther up the valleys than it used to. There’s no other plausible explanation,” Baker said. “But what happened last year, and why it was so aggressive and widespread, we’re still a bit [perplexed]. And if we don’t really know what caused it, it’s going to be hard to predict.”

Once again climate change is hitting the little things that we enjoy. What’s next–wine and beer?