Monday, September 10, 2018

William Anderegg grew up camping and fishing in the forests of Colorado. But in the years since, fires have ripped through much of the land.
Anderegg: “One of the reasons I got into science is I realized that a huge amount of area that I had camped in as a kid, these forests were now dead. It looked like a moonscape.”
Now Anderegg is a professor at the University of Utah and studies the effects of climate change on forests.
He says rising temperatures mean less snow, earlier snow melt, and drier springs. When combined with hot, dry summers, these conditions can turn a forest into a tinderbox.
Anderegg: “What we see are longer fire seasons, longer individual fire durations, more big fires, and in some cases more intense fires that can burn hotter.”
A recent study found that over the past 30 years, the area burned in Western wildfires is almost two times larger than it would have been without the influence of climate change.

There is justice in the fact that major hurricane Florence is headed for North & South Carolina. They have voted for politicians, including Trump, who have blocked action on global warming, which is leading to warmer ocean water, more moisture in the air, and slower movements of weather patterns, which is leading to stronger hurricanes, and heavier rainfall.
Sept. 10, 2018
The Trump administration, taking its third major step this year to roll back federal efforts to fight climate change, is preparing to make it significantly easier for energy companies to release methane into the atmosphere.
Methane, which is among the most powerful greenhouse gases, routinely leaks from oil and gas wells, and energy companies have long said that the rules requiring them to test for emissions were costly and burdensome.
The Environmental Protection Agency, perhaps as soon as this week, plans to make public a proposal to weaken an Obama-era requirement that companies monitor and repair methane leaks, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times. In a related move, the Interior Department is also expected in coming days to release its final version of a draft rule, proposed in February, that essentially repeals a restriction on the intentional venting and “
Methane makes up only about nine percent of greenhouse gases, but it is around 25 times more effective than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the atmosphere. About one-third of methane pollution is estimated to come from oil and gas operations.
In addition, the E.P.A. proposal would let energy companies operating in states that have their own state-level methane standards follow those standards instead of the federal ones. That would include states such as Texas, where the pollution standards have been more lax than federal standards.
Aug. 30, 2018
Trump orders postal privatization plans kept secret until after midterm elections
Sept. 10, 2018
The top official on the White House economic advisory council said on Monday that President Trump’s claim that the quarterly change in the country’s gross domestic product has eclipsed the U.S. unemployment rate for “the first time in over 100 years” is false.
“I can tell you what is true,” Kevin Hassett, chairman of the council, told reporters during a press briefing. “What is true is that it is the highest in 10 years.”
“Trump is completely wrong about how rare this is,” the Washington Post’s Philip Bump wrote. “Out of the 282 full quarters since 1948, the rate of change in the GDP has topped the unemployment rate 64 times, or more than a quarter of the time. So 64 times in the past 70 years. Not quite the same as once in a century.”
Sept. 10, 2018
Hurricanes and tropical storms often have significant impact well inland.
In this case, Florence's rain could have disastrous consequences.
Repeated rounds of heavy rain have drenched – and flooded – parts of the East, particularly since mid- to late July. Particularly hard hit were areas around Hershey, Pennsylvania, and Ellicott City, Maryland, to name just a few.
According to a just-released report from NOAA, it was a record-wet summer – June through August – in Hatteras, North Carolina; Washington D.C. (Reagan and Dulles airports); Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; Williamsport, Pennsylvania; and Concord, New Hampshire.
Overall, it was also a record-wet summer in Pennsylvania in records dating to 1895, according to NOAA.

[Note that global warming is causing more moisture in the air, and also making weather systems more likely to move more slowly and stall.]
Sept. 10, 2018
With the potential for Florence's forward speed to slow and possibly stall, a current forecast of feet of rain would lead to catastrophic flash flooding and major river flooding in parts of the Carolinas, Virginia and possibly other neighboring states.
“Most of hurricane damage and loss of life occurs not on the coast, but from flooding as the result of heavy rain. And even though Hurricane Florence is a powerful storm, that will be the case here too,” AccuWeather President and Founder Dr. Joel N. Myers said.
“There could be devastating floods well in from the coast back in the hills and mountains of North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia,” Myers said.

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