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More than 7,000 news items!

[Climate Chaos]: from Climate Central, Sat Nov 12 2016:
Trump Wins US Presidency
The election of Donald Trump as the nation's next president spurred celebration in some quarters and dismay in others, including among those concerned about the steady warming of the planet.... Trump's comments on climate change have included calling it a hoax and warning that Environmental Protection Agency policies are costing the country jobs, though he has talked about the importance of maintaining clean air and water. He has suggested he will pull out of the landmark Paris agreement and scuttle the Clean Power Plan, as well as boost the domestic coal and oil industries. While the U.S. is only one country, it is a linchpin to the viability of international agreements and to moving the needle on limiting warming.

"Sticking it to the Man," in this case, results in "F***ing Humankind."
[Read more stories about: holyshit, bad policy, deniers, economic myopia, ecosystem interrelationships, sixth extinction, short-term thinking, rising sea level, fracking, coal issues]
[Add your own quips!
[Resource Depletion]: from National Geographic, Wed Aug 31 2016:
One of the World's Biggest Fisheries Is on the Verge of Collapse
Years ago Christopher Tubo caught a 660-pound blue marlin in the South China Sea. The fishing was good there, he says. Tuna fishermen would come home from a trip with dozens of the high-value fish as well as a good haul of other species.... Glancing over at his wife, Leah, and the other children, he says, "It's just chance, whether or not we can feed our families now."... Encompassing 1.4 million square miles (3.7 million square kilometers), the South China Sea is of critical economic, military, and environmental importance: $5.3 trillion in international trade plies its waters annually; in terms of biodiversity, it is thought of as the marine equivalent of the Amazon rain forest; and its fish provide food and jobs for millions in the 10 countries and territories that surround it. Of those, seven--China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia--have competing claims to the sea's waters and resources. So it's understandable why all eyes have been focused on the political and military wrangling. If war broke out over these claims, it would pit two superpowers, China and the United States--a longtime Philippine ally and guarantor of freedom of navigation in the Pacific Ocean--against each other.

I was told there were plenty of fish in the commons.
[Read more stories about: overfishing, tipping point, hunting to extinction, ecosystem interrelationships]
[Add your own quips!
[Climate Chaos]: from University of Exeter, via DesdemonaDespair, Wed Jul 13 2016:
Drought stalls tree growth and shuts down Amazon carbon sink
A recent drought completely shut down the Amazon Basin's carbon sink, by killing trees and slowing their growth, a ground-breaking study led by researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Leeds has found. Previous research has suggested that the Amazon - the most extensive tropical forest on Earth and one of the "green lungs" of the planet - may be gradually losing its capacity to take carbon from the atmosphere. This new study, the most extensive land-based study of the effect of drought on Amazonian rainforests to date, paints a more complex picture, with forests responding dynamically to an increasingly variable climate.... Co-author Professor Oliver Phillips, from the University of Leeds, said: "For more than 20 years the Amazon has been providing a tremendous service, taking up hundreds of millions more tonnes of carbon every year in tree growth than it loses through tree death. But both the 2005 and 2010 droughts eliminated those net gains."

Surely this was included in the modeling algorithms upon which the barely-sufficient Paris accords depend.
[Read more stories about: drought, rain forest depletion, carbon sinks, carbon sequestration, feedback loop, holyshit]
[Add your own quips!
[Biology Breach]: from, Mon Jun 13 2016:
Researchers predict average-sized 'dead zone' for Gulf of Mexico in 2016
A University of Michigan researcher and colleagues from several institutions are forecasting an average but still large "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico this year. The forecast calls for an oxygen-depleted, or hypoxic, region of 5,898 square miles, an area roughly the size of Connecticut and similar to the past several years. The forecast was released today by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, which sponsors the work. Farmland runoff containing fertilizers and livestock waste, much of it from as far away as the Corn Belt, is the main source of the nitrogen and phosphorus that cause the annual Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone, which is also known as a dead zone. The gulf contains diverse marine life, including nationally important commercial and recreational fisheries. Organisms unable to leave the low-oxygen dead zone become stressed and can die of suffocation.

That's like determining the average monthly Christmas presents, based on December.
[Read more stories about: dead zones, short-term thinking, toxic water, fertilizer runoff]
[Add your own quips!
[Climate Chaos]: from, Fri Jun 10 2016:
New study confirms water vapor as global warming amplifier
"The study is the first to confirm that human activities have increased water vapor in the upper troposphere," said Brian Soden, professor of atmospheric sciences at the UM Rosenstiel School and co-author of the study.... Using the set of climate model experiments, the researchers showed that rising water vapor in the upper troposphere cannot be explained by natural forces, such as volcanoes and changes in solar activity, but can be explained by increased greenhouse gases, such as CO2.... Climate models predict that as the climate warms from the burning of fossil fuels, the concentrations of water vapor will also increase in response to that warming. This moistening of the atmosphere, in turn, absorbs more heat and further raises the Earth's temperature.

Oh, right. Physics!
[Read more stories about: death spiral, global warming, airborne pollutants, carbon emissions, feedback loop, faster than expected]
[Add your own quips!
[Climate Chaos]: from, Tue May 10 2016:
Powerful visualization of global heat over the last 166 years

Our spiraling path
These last two decades' hunger
Must we eat ourselves?

[Read more stories about: climate impacts, arctic meltdown, global warming, ocean warming]
[Add your own quips!
[Species Collapse]: from NYTimes, via DesdemonaDespair, Thu Apr 14 2016:
The Looming 'Planetary Crisis': Mass Bleaching of the Coral Reefs
The damage off Kiritimati is part of a mass bleaching of coral reefs around the world, only the third on record and possibly the worst ever. Scientists believe that heat stress from multiple weather events including the latest, severe El Niņo, compounded by climate change, has threatened more than a third of Earth's coral reefs. Many may not recover. Coral reefs are the crucial incubators of the ocean's ecosystem, providing food and shelter to a quarter of all marine species, and they support fish stocks that feed more than one billion people. They are made up of millions of tiny animals, called polyps, that form symbiotic relationships with algae, which in turn capture sunlight and carbon dioxide to make sugars that feed the polyps. An estimated 30 million small-scale fishermen and women depend on reefs for their livelihoods, more than one million in the Philippines alone. In Indonesia, fish supported by the reefs provide the primary source of protein. "This is a huge, looming planetary crisis, and we are sticking our heads in the sand about it," said Justin Marshall, the director of CoralWatch at Australia's University of Queensland....

Surely we can devise a few million floating solar-powered water coolers to stabilize those reefs!
[Read more stories about: massive die-off, coral bleaching, climate impacts, ocean warming, tipping point, sixth extinction]
[Add your own quips!
[Climate Chaos]: from Cosmos Magazine, Tue Mar 29 2016:
Arctic sea ice hits a record low wintertime maximum
The Arctic Ocean ice cap peaked for the winter on 24 March at 14.52 million square kilometres - a record low and 20,000 square kilometres less than the previous record low maximum extent. The 13 smallest maximum extents on the satellite record have happened in the last 13 years. Record high temperatures were recorded in December, January and February around the world. In the Artic average air temperatures were up to 5.5 degrees C above average at the edges of the ice pack.

Talk about opportunities for improvement!!
[Read more stories about: global warming, arctic meltdown, holyshit, faster than expected, rising sea level]
[Add your own quips!
[Climate Chaos]: from New York Magazine, Wed Mar 23 2016:
New Paper Suggests Catastrophic Climate Shifts May Be Decades Away
Using computer models, evidence from ancient episodes of climate change, and modern observations, Hansen and his team arrived at one essential conclusion: The melting of the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets will set off a vicious cycle that dramatically accelerates the pace of climate change. The key concept here is ocean "stratification," a process by which cold, fresh meltwater rises to the ocean surface while warmer salt water is pushed beneath. (The Washington Post notes that an "anomalously cold 'blob' of ocean water" has been detected off the southern coast of Greenland.) That warmer salt water would eventually reach the base of the ice sheets, melting them from below, thus spurring more stratification, which would then spur more melting, which would then spur more stratification, which would spur more warming, until our grandchildren are all swallowed by the sea. But that's not all! Hansen's paper also projects that the influx of cold meltwater in the North Atlantic region, combined with warmer equatorial waters, would drive midlatitude cyclones so strong, the waves would be capable of thrusting gigantic boulders ashore.

All Systems Are Pointing. Any Solutions Are Prerequisites. Atlantic Seaboard Aquatically Plundered. Awkward Statements Acronyming Panic: A.S.A.P.!
[Read more stories about: faster than expected, carbon emissions, death spiral, arctic meltdown, low-energy future, rising sea level, ocean warming]
[Add your own quips!
[Climate Chaos]: from Globe & Mail (Canada), Wed Mar 16 2016:
Winter ice coverage in Arctic sea reaching record low, scientists warn
Scientists warn that the area covered by this winter's Arctic sea ice could turn out to be the lowest ever measured. The news comes on top of a long season of freakishly warm weather at the top of the planet, including above-freezing days at the North Pole and a months-long string of temperature records. "The winter, overall, has been extremely warm in the Arctic," said Ted Scambos, a glaciologist at the National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado.

The Arctic had the same sort of Wimpter that we had!
[Read more stories about: arctic meltdown, global warming, albedo effect, faster than expected]
[Add your own quips!
[Climate Chaos]: from PhysOrg, Mon Mar 14 2016:
Degrading ice wedges reshape Arctic permafrost and landscape
The wedges, which can be the size of a house, gradually formed over hundreds or even thousands of years as water seeped into permafrost cracks. On the ground surface, they form polygon shapes roughly 15-30 meters wide--a defining characteristic of northern landscapes.... Ice wedge degradation has been observed before in individual locations, but this is the first study to determine that rapid melting has become widespread throughout the Arctic. "Here we're combining observations from people working in the field across the Arctic--Russia, Canada and Alaska--where we're seeing the same ice wedge melting phenomenon," said Liljedahl, the lead author of the study.... "It's really the tipping point for the hydrology," Liljedahl said. "Suddenly you're draining the landscape and creating more runoff, even if the amount of precipitation remains the same. Instead of being absorbed by the tundra, the snowmelt water will run off into lakes and larger rivers. It really is a dramatic hydrologic change across the tundra landscape."

Wouldn't you expect a wedge to have a tipping point?
[Read more stories about: tipping point, arctic meltdown, permafrost meltdown, death spiral, faster than expected]
[Add your own quips!
[Climate Chaos]: from ClimateCentral, Fri Mar 11 2016:
CO2 in the atmosphere rose more in 2015 than scientists have ever seen in a single year
... "Carbon dioxide levels are increasing faster than they have in hundreds of thousands of years," Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network, said in a statement. The rate of increase in carbon dioxide concentrations is 200 times faster than the previous extreme jump between 11,000 and 17,000 years ago, when levels rose 80 ppm over about 6,000 years.... Michael Mann, an atmospheric science professor and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, who is unaffiliated with NOAA, said the carbon dioxide milestone shouldn't be over-interpreted. "This spike is almost certainly due in substantial part to the ongoing El Niņo event, which is a fleeting effect that increases carbon dioxide concentrations temporarily," Mann said. "Carbon dioxide concentrations are a lagging indicator, and they don't accurately reflect recent trends in the more important variable -- our actual carbon emissions."

CO2 is the gift that keeps on giving, for a thousand years.
[Read more stories about: carbon emissions, faster than expected, feedback loop]
[Add your own quips!
[Recovery]: from The Conversation, Sun Mar 6 2016:
The best way to protect us from climate change? Save our ecosystems
... Data have now confirmed that salt marshes would have significantly reduced the impact of those surges, and stabilised the shoreline against further insult, at far less cost than engineered coastal defences. With this data in hand, discussions are now beginning around how to restore the Louisiana salt marshes to insulate against future extreme weather events. ...

Like we need protection from Climate Chaos.
[Read more stories about: bioremediation, corporate farming, smart policy]
[Add your own quips!
[Climate Chaos]: from Washington Post, Tue Feb 23 2016:
Seas are now rising faster than they have in 2,800 years, scientists say
"We can say with 95 percent probability that the 20th-century rise was faster than any of the previous 27 centuries," said Bob Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University who led the research with nine colleagues from several U.S. and global universities.... The new research also forecasts that no matter how much carbon dioxide we emit, 21st-century sea level rise will still greatly outstrip what was seen in the 1900s. Nonetheless, choices made today could have a big impact. For a low emissions scenario, it finds that seas might only rise between 24 and 61 centimeters. In contrast, for a high emissions scenario -- one that the recent Paris climate accord pledged the world to avert -- they could rise as much as 52 to 131 centimeters, or, at the very high end, 4.29 feet.

What's a few feet, between friends?
[Read more stories about: rising sea level, wetlands, holyshit]
[Add your own quips!
[Resource Depletion]: from Science Advances, via CommonDreams, Sat Feb 13 2016:
4 Billion People at Risk as 'Water Table Dropping All Over the World'
Freshwater scarcity is increasingly perceived as a global systemic risk. Previous global water scarcity assessments, measuring water scarcity annually, have underestimated experienced water scarcity by failing to capture the seasonal fluctuations in water consumption and availability. We assess blue water scarcity globally at a high spatial resolution on a monthly basis. We find that two-thirds of the global population (4.0 billion people) live under conditions of severe water scarcity at least 1 month of the year. Nearly half of those people live in India and China. Half a billion people in the world face severe water scarcity all year round. Putting caps to water consumption by river basin, increasing water-use efficiencies, and better sharing of the limited freshwater resources will be key in reducing the threat posed by water scarcity on biodiversity and human welfare.

C'mon. Drought is just a market opportunity!
[Read more stories about: drought, aquifers depletion, water issues, water issues, holyshit]
[Add your own quips!
[Resource Depletion]: from PhysOrg, Fri Jan 29 2016:
Landscape pattern analysis reveals global loss of interior forest
Between 2000 and 2012, the world lost more forest area than it gained, according to U.S. Forest Service researchers and partners who estimated a global net loss of 1.71 million square kilometers of forest--an area about two and a half times the size of Texas. Furthermore, when researchers analyzed patterns of remaining forest, they found a global loss of interior forest--core areas that, when intact, maintain critical habitat and ecological functions.... Their analysis revealed a net loss of 3.76 million square kilometers of interior forest area, or about ten percent of interior forest--more than twice the global net loss of forest area. The rate at which interior forest area was lost was more than three times the rate of global forest area loss. All forest biomes experienced a net loss of interior forest area during the study period. Across the globe, temperate coniferous forests experienced the largest percentage of loss, tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests lost the most area of interior forest, and boreal forests and taiga lost interior forest at the highest rate.

There are so many trees in heaven....
[Read more stories about: forests, rain forest depletion, deforestation]
[Add your own quips!
[Recovery]: from IEEE Spectrum, Wed Jan 27 2016:
NOAA Model Finds Renewable Energy Could be Deployed in the U.S. Without Storage
The majority of the United States's electricity needs could be met with renewable energy by 2030--without new advances in energy storage or cost increases. That's the finding of a new study conducted by researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The key will be having sufficient transmission lines spanning the contiguous U.S., so that energy can be deployed from where it's generated to the places where its needed. Reporting their results today in Nature Climate Change, the researchers found that a combination of solar and wind energy, plus high-voltage direct current transmission lines that travel across the country, would reduce the electric sector's carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80 percent compared to 1990 levels.

Alas, only rational humans will listen to the fruitless bleatings of scientists and engineers.
[Read more stories about: alternative energy, efficiency increase, smart policy, sustainability]
[Add your own quips!
[Climate Chaos]: from Desmog Canada, Sun Jan 24 2016:
"The Blob" Disrupts What We Think We Know About Climate Change, Oceans Scientist Says
When the abnormally warm patch of water first appeared in 2013, fascinated scientists watched disrupted weather patterns, from drought in California to almost snowless winters in Alaska and record cold winters in the northeast. The anomalously warm water, with temperatures three degrees Centigrade above normal, was nicknamed The Blob by U.S climatologist Nick Bond. It stretched over one million square kilometres of the Gulf of Alaska -- more than the surface area of B.C. and Alberta combined -- stretching down 100-metres into the ocean. And, over the next two years that patch of water radically affected marine life from herring to whales. Without the welling-up of cold, nutrient-rich water, there was a dearth of krill, zooplankton and copepods that feed herring, salmon and other species. "The fish out there are malnourished, the whole ecosystem is malnourished," said Richard Dewey, associate director for science with Ocean Networks Canada, speaking at Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney on Thursday.... It could be an indication of what climate change will look like, with large-scale shifts in weather patterns, said Dewey, pointing out that The Blob was not anticipated by climatologists because it did not fit into existing climate models. "Climate change may look like a whole new model we haven't seen before," Dewey said.

It might be time for Godzilla to smash industrial civilization.
[Read more stories about: koyaanisqatsi, carbon sinks, climate impacts, jellyfish, ocean warming, tipping point]
[Add your own quips!
[Species Collapse]: from, Fri Jan 22 2016:
Evolutionary clock ticks for snowshoe hares facing climate change
Snowshoe hares that camouflage themselves by changing their coats from brown in summer to white in winter face serious threats from climate change, and it's uncertain whether hare populations will be able to adapt in time, according to a North Carolina State University study. Based on field research with radio-collared snowshoe hares in Montana, mismatched snowshoe hares suffer a 7 percent drop in their weekly survival rate when snow comes late or leaves early and white hares stand out to predators like "light bulbs" against their snowless backgrounds.... Camouflage mismatch has the potential to impact at least 14 species worldwide that change coat colors seasonally, Mills says. His team of researchers is expanding the coat color research to other species globally, including mountain hares, white-tailed jackrabbits, weasels and arctic foxes.

Hare today, gone tomorrow.
[Read more stories about: ecosystem interrelationships, climate impacts, sixth extinction]
[Add your own quips!
[Climate Chaos]: from The Guardian, Thu Jan 14 2016:
Climate change disaster is biggest threat to global economy in 2016, say experts
A catastrophe caused by climate change is seen as the biggest potential threat to the global economy in 2016, according to a survey of 750 experts conducted by the World Economic Forum. The annual assessment of risks conducted by the WEF before its annual meeting in Davos on 20-23 January showed that global warming had catapulted its way to the top of the list of concerns. A failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation was seen as likely to have a bigger impact than the spread of weapons of mass destruction, water crises, mass involuntary migration and a severe energy price shock - the first time in the 11 years of the Global Risks report that the environment has been in first place.

How did my bad hair day not even make the list?
[Read more stories about: climate impacts]
[Add your own quips!
[Climate Chaos]: from Australia ABC News, Wed Jan 13 2016:
Baby fish may get lost in silent oceans as carbon dioxide rises
Future oceans will be much quieter places, making it harder for young marine animals that navigate using sound to find their way back home, new research has found. Under acidification levels predicted for the end of the century, fish larvae will cease to respond to the auditory cues that present-day species use to orient themselves, scientists reported in the journal Biology Letters.

We'll never find Nemo now.
[Read more stories about: carbon emissions, ocean acidification]
[Add your own quips!
[Recovery]: from Detroit Free Press, Mon Jan 11 2016:
State Police to deliver water door-to-door in Flint
Michigan State Police troopers and other state officials will start a door-to-door sweep of Flint on Tuesday to hand out bottled water and water filters... Flint's drinking ...
[Recovery]: from InsideClimate News, Sun Jan 10 2016:
Vermont Governor Urges State to Divest from Coal, Exxon
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said on Thursday his state should take action against climate change this year by divesting public pension funds from coal and from oil giant ...
[Species Collapse]: from Mother Jones, Fri Jan 8 2016:
The EPA Finally Admitted That the World's Most Popular Pesticide Kills Bees--20 Years Too Late
For more than a decade, the Environmental Protection Agency has been under pressure from environmentalists and beekeepers to reconsider its approval of a class of insecticides ...
[Climate Chaos]: from The Guardian, Thu Jan 7 2016:
December 2015 was the wettest month ever recorded in UK
December was the wettest month ever recorded in the UK, with almost double the rain falling than average, according to data released by the Met Office on Tuesday. Last ...
[Climate Chaos]: from Washington Post, Thu Jan 7 2016:
U.S. wildfires just set an amazing and troubling new record
Last year's wildfire season set a record with more than 10 million acres burned. That's more land than Maryland, the District and Delaware combined.... Lawmakers base their ...
[Climate Chaos]: from Washington Post, Tue Jan 5 2016:
What scientists just discovered in Greenland could be making sea-level rise even worse
Rising global temperatures may be affecting the Greenland ice sheet -- and its contribution to sea-level rise -- in more serious ways that scientists imagined, a new study ...
[Recovery]: from The Guardian, Tue Jan 5 2016:
French MPs vote to force supermarkets to give away unsold food
French MPs have voted unanimously to force supermarkets to give away unsold food that has reached its sell-by date. Shops will also be banned from destroying food products, ...
[Biology Breach]: from E&E Publishing, Tue Jan 5 2016:
Okla. shaking jumped 50 percent in 2015
The number of earthquakes in Oklahoma rose 50 percent last year, easily surpassing the record number that hit the state in 2014. Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) data show ...
[Biology Breach]: from Wisconsin State Journal, Tue Jan 5 2016:
Pipeline company sues county over moot insurance requirement
A Canadian oil pipeline company that is building a tar sands oil pumping station in northeastern Dane County sued the county on Monday over the continued inclusion of permit ...

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Random Sample PANIQuestion:
What do scientists now have unambiguous evidence of?
a) Nothing is better than sliced bread.
b) Warming in the Arctic is accelerating.
c) Paris Hilton is an android.
d) Blondes really do have more fun.
e) The chicken and the egg are simultaneous.

Answer: Warming in the Arctic is accelerating.

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The ApocaDocs try to make fun of the horror of environmental collapse by locating a handful of news items every day, and giving each a punchline. The stories are categorized into five main topics: Species Collapse (ecosystem interrelationships, invasive species, the sixth extinction, pesticide effects, and more); Resource Depletion (peak oil, peak phosphorus, overfishing, topsoil loss, aquifer declines, and more); Biology Breach (toxic runoff, radiation, GMOs, pharmwater, contamination, and idle destruction); Climate Chaos (global warming, weather extremes, ocean warming, and more); and Infectious Disease (pandemics, viruses, antibiotic resistance). To avoid deep depression, we also include stories of Recovery (alternative energy, innovations, species restoration, better policies, social change, and the like). For more information, see About The ApocaDocs.
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