2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #16

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Climate Hustle

Posted on 22 April 2017 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. Articles of signifigance as determined by the editor are highlighted in the Editor’s Picks‘ section.

Editor’s Picks

For the first time on record, human-caused climate change has rerouted an entire river 

Kaskawulsh Glacierin Kluane National Park in the Yukon

A stream flows through the toe of Kaskawulsh Glacier in Kluane National Park in the Yukon. In 2016, this channel allowed the glacier’s meltwater to drain in a different direction than normal, resulting in the Slims River water being rerouted to a different river system. (Dan Shugar)

A team of scientists on Monday documented what they’re describing as the first case of large-scale river reorganization as a result of human-caused climate change.

They found that in mid-2016, the retreat of a very large glacier in Canada’s Yukon territory led to the rerouting of its vast stream of meltwater from one river system to another — cutting down flow to the Yukon’s largest lake, and channeling freshwater to the Pacific Ocean south of Alaska, rather than to the Bering Sea.

The researchers dubbed the reorganization an act of “rapid river piracy,” saying that such events had often occurred in the Earth’s geologic past, but never before, to their knowledge, as a sudden present-day event. They also called it “geologically instantaneous.”

For the first time on record, human-caused climate change has rerouted an entire river by Chris Mooney, Energy & Environment, Washington Post, Apr 17, 2017

Climate change taking big bite out of alpine glaciers Austrian Mountain

“It’s almost time to say farewell to our glaciers,” Austrian mountain farmer Siggi Ellmauer said, looking at the craggy summits across the Pyhrn valley. After a tour of the nature camp he’s building for school kids, Ellmauer talks about how climate change is reshaping his world.

“As a child, I never would have thought they could vanish. Even 20 years ago there were still patches of ice up there on those north-facing slopes. I’ve watched, we’ve all watched the glaciers shrink here and across the country,” he said.

“When will they all be completely gone?”

Climate change taking big bite out of alpine glaciers by Bob Berwyn, Deutsche Welle (DW), Apr 17, 2017

The Unfolding Tragedy of Climate Change in Bangladesh

In some places, the impact of climate change is obvious. In others, scientists predict that climate change will occur based on elaborate computer models. In Bangladesh, it is already happening at a scale that involves unprecedented human tragedy. I witnessed this in December 2016, when I visited Bangladesh to give some talks at the University of Chittagong.

December 9, 2016.“How do they survive?” I kept wondering as I walked the alleys of Old Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, a country with a population of 164 million on a landmass the size of New York State. People seem to be everywhere in Dhaka, in a churning frenzy of rickshaws, CNGs (Compressed Natural Gas vehicles), taxis, buses, horse-drawn carriages and people—16 million and rapidly growing. The newest arrivals, mostly climate change refugees, end up in decrepit slums.

December 18, 2016. “What will the sea do next,” I thought when I visited the remote village of Premasia, Bangladesh, at the junction of the Sangu River and the Bay of Bengal, south of Chittagong. The schoolchildren greeted us with spontaneous joyfulness, full of hope, despite the visible aftermath of Cyclone Roanu, which struck in May 2016, washing away homes and permanently ruining croplands from salt deposits. Their three-story concrete school, raised on stilts, served as a cyclone shelter during the storm. Isolated palm trees, now surrounded by water and beach, are haunting reminders that here once stood someone’s home. Rising sea levels are turning land into sea bottom, driving some people farther inland. Others rebuild repeatedly, just as Sisyphus kept pushing the rock up the hill.

December 25, 2016. “Bare rock in the high Himalayas?” I gasped as my guide Phuri Kitar Sherpa pointed out Machapuchare, also known as Fish Tail, an immense obelisk of stone perched above Pokhara, Nepal, a jumping off spot for trekkers and alpinists. A third-generation Sherpa guide, Phuri told me he rarely used to see bare stone on this holy site, now off limits to climbing and never summited.  Climate change is responsible for a long-term decline in snowpack in the Himalayas, which exacerbates flooding in rivers that flow into Bangladesh. 

The Unfolding Tragedy of Climate Change in Bangladesh, Guest Blog by Robert Glennon, Scientific American, Apr 21, 2017

Sun Apr 16, 2017

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Tue Apr 18, 2017

Wed Apr 19, 2017

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