Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Climate Change: Wine and Rain Forests

Hmmm... it has been awhile. Blogger has a new, Word-like interface. Let me take this for a spin.

Extreme weather that is believed to have been the result of climate change is being blamed an increase of deaths in Sweden:
In the end they found that the number of periods of extremely high temperatures increased significantly over the period 1980-2009. Not only that, this temperature increase contributed to 300 more deaths during these heat waves than would have been the case without climate change. The scientists also calculated that in Sweden as a whole, this would mean about 1,500 more deaths due to climate change over the past 30 years.
The US EIA has some good news for us about 2012: Carbon emissions dropped to an 18-year low. US residents reduced their energy usage, something that was helped along by a warm winter. However, the "reliance on renewable energy declined."

Hopefully we can continue to reduce our emissions and cut away on pollution and the issues that are associated with it. Canada has linked heavy air pollution with cancer spikes:
Scientists have discovered that levels of contaminants higher than in some of the world's most polluted cities have been found downwind of Canada's largest oil, gas and tar sands processing zone in a rural area where men suffer elevated rates of cancers linked to such chemicals.
Climate change has been impacting the Amazonia for quite some time and it is now looking like we could see a huge dieback that could release a lot of carbon dioxide into the air. The study is sure to attract attention, especially since it is quite a bit different than the forcasts made by the IPCC:
The new results are in stark contrast to forecasts made by climate models used by the IPCC. Even under future scenarios in which atmospheric greenhouse gases rise dramatically, the models project the dry season in the southern Amazon to be only a few to 10 days longer by the end of the century, and therefore the risk of climate change-induced rainforest dieback should be relatively low.
 Unlike The Empire Strikes Back, I shall end this on a high note. Climate change is boosting wine production in Vermont:
While no one wants to promote climate change, a group of Vermont winemakers can thank the state's rising temperatures for an economic boost. They have been able to add warmer-weather varieties, like pinot noir, to their selection.

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