Tag Archives: dry

It’s official: Climate change made Australia’s wildfire season more likely

Australia has always had nasty wildfires. In 2005, the Eyre Peninsula bushfire crisped a wide swath of South Australia’s wheat belt on a day now known as Black Tuesday. In 2009, the Black Saturday fires led to 173 fatalities in Victoria. But this season was different in terms of scale, if not lives lost. Extreme fires have charred nearly 55 million acres of land and killed at least 34 people. Climate change, many suspected, was to blame for the ferocity of the fires.

Now we have evidence. On Wednesday, researchers have confirmed that climate change made Australia’s unprecedented wildfire season of 2019 and 2020 more likely. How much more likely? About 30 percent — and that’s a conservative estimate, the scientists say. That’s pretty significant, but the most concerning conclusion of the study, published by World Weather Attribution (a group of international researchers specializing in climate change, disaster preparedness, and atmospheric sciences), is that conditions for future fire seasons will be even worse.

To get their results, which have not been peer-reviewed yet, the researchers compared conditions in 1900 (before greenhouse gas emissions from human activity started heating up the planet) to conditions during the peak burning period in December 2019 and January 2020 according to the Fire Weather Index — a tool that calculates fire risk in a particular area by assessing weather conditions in addition to other climatic factors like humidity and wind. The researchers did not look at non-weather factors like ignition sources. They found that the index values for the most recent fire season in southeastern Australia were super high, and calculated that those high numbers are 30 to 80 percent more likely to pop up now than they were before 1900.

That’s more or less in line with what climate modelers say is possible on a planet that has warmed 1 degree C above pre-industrial levels, as our planet has. “These observed trends over southeast Australia are broadly consistent with the projected impacts of climate change,” the authors write. And things will start getting really dire when the planet warms an additional degree or more, at which point fires like the ones Australia saw this season will be four to eight times more likely. As such, “it is crucial to prioritize adaptation and resilience measures to reduce the potential impacts of rising risks,” they say.

Curiously, the four models used by researchers to assess wildfire risk showed that the dry conditions across Australia that many blamed for the proliferation of wildfires in the 2018-2019 season weren’t caused by climate change. Climate change did, however, double the chances of heatwaves during that period.

Link – 

It’s official: Climate change made Australia’s wildfire season more likely

Posted in Accent, alo, FF, GE, LG, ONA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on It’s official: Climate change made Australia’s wildfire season more likely

Here’s why Australia is having a cataclysmic wildfire season

California isn’t the only place with wildfire woes this year. Weeks before the start of summer, southern Australia is ablaze with some of the most ferocious early-season wildfires the continent has ever seen. This week, a “catastrophic” fire warning was declared in the greater Sydney and Hunter Valley areas. Almost 4,000 square miles of land has gone up in flames, 150 homes have burned down, and at least three people have died.

On Sunday, the New South Wales Fire Service announced the fire threat on Monday would be “worse than originally forecast” — prompting New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian to declare a state of emergency for the next week.

In mid-October, the New South Wales fire service already saw signs of an unusually intense fire season. “It’s important to remember that this is no ordinary bush fire season and we can’t afford to have anyone think this is just another year,” said the fire service’s commissioner in a press release at the time.

This isn’t the first time the dry state has gone up in flames. In 2013, a similar state of emergency was declared when the Blue Mountains were ablaze. But this year is certainly worse than usual, and the reason has to do with climate change. Rising temperatures don’t create fire out of thin air, but they can make wildfires a whole lot worse.

Since 1910, Australia has warmed by a little more than 1 degree C. And crucially, rainfall between the summer months of April to October has decreased by 11 percent in the southeast portion of Australia since 1970. Between May and July — the winter season — rainfall has decreased by roughly 20 percent. Monday might be the first day in recorded history that nary a drop of rain fell anywhere on the Australian mainland — a development that had the weather nerds at the country’s Bureau of Meteorology scratching their heads, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Australia has had a nasty combination of very, very dry conditions and also very warm conditions across the last several months,” Dr. John Abatzoglou, associate professor of earth systems at the University of Idaho, told Grist. “It’s essentially primed a lot of the fuels there to basically be receptive to carrying fires.”

Though the tree species native to Australia are different from the ones seen in the United States, Abatzoglou said, “The recipe for fires in Australia very much mirrors what we see in some of the forests we have here in the western U.S.” The seasons may be backward in the Land Down Under, but the wildfires act the same.

Read this article – 

Here’s why Australia is having a cataclysmic wildfire season

Posted in Accent, alo, FF, G & F, GE, LG, ONA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Here’s why Australia is having a cataclysmic wildfire season

Why New Delhi’s air is always so toxic this time of year

India’s capital city of New Delhi has been making headlines this week for its abysmal air quality as the concentration of particulate matter reached above 400 micrograms per cubic meter, 20 times the levels deemed healthy by the World Health Organization and the worst the city has seen since 2016.

On October 31, the government declared a public health emergency, closing schools, banning construction and fireworks, and limiting private vehicle use to every other day for five days in an effort to protect the population and make a dent in the pollution. Flights have been delayed and hospitals inundated with patients suffering from coughs, dry eyes and throats, and other symptoms brought on or exacerbated by the toxic air.

On the ground, it looks like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie. Blanketing the streets is smog so dense you can’t see the length of a city block, and the sharp smell of smoke is detectable even through a mask, without which you’d be exposed to air that, over the course of a day, is equivalent to smoking a couple packs of cigarettes.

Unfortunately, this sort of air pollution is nothing new to the residents of Delhi, nor those of many other Indian cities. A study released earlier this year found that 22 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities are in India, and the fall and winter months are always especially toxic.

The stew of pollution choking New Delhi this time of year doesn’t have one single source. Massive clouds of smoke drift south from the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana, where farmers burn crop stubble from their fields after the harvest to trap nutrients in the soil. Fireworks set off in the streets by the city’s 2 million residents during the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, don’t help either. And then there are the usual suspects: car and industrial emissions.

But it’s not just human activity that’s to blame — local weather patterns don’t help the problem, either. Cold air settles into the low-lying city, bringing with it, and holding in, pollutants.

The government has been struggling for years — mostly without success — to curb air pollution. Crop burning and firecrackers are both illegal, but people mostly ignore these bans, as well as the efforts to replace the practices with greener alternatives.

Hopefully residents will be breathing easier soon — air quality has begun to improve significantly in the last couple days thanks to winds, the odd-even car scheme, and a reduction in crop burning in Haryana. But these are short-term fixes, and just as history tells us that this year’s emergency-level air pollution wasn’t a fluke, it also suggests that large-scale measures will need to be taken if the people of New Delhi hope to avoid future polluted falls and winters.

Excerpt from – 

Why New Delhi’s air is always so toxic this time of year

Posted in Accent, alo, FF, GE, LG, ONA, Ringer, Springer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why New Delhi’s air is always so toxic this time of year

The Surprising Recycling Mistake You’re Probably Making

Who else has been proudly removing the cap from plastic bottles before tossing then into the recycling bin? After all, caps and bottles are generally made of different?types of plastic. Making sure that they are not stuck together is helpful, isn’t it?

It used to be. In the past, recycling plants didn’t have an?effective?way to separate the two different plastics, so capped bottles would jam up the entire system.?Recycling programs actually did ask us to start taking the plastic caps off our bottles (so good job remembering!).

But now, with our modern recycling methods, it appears the opposite is true. That’s right?most of us should be leaving the plastic caps ON our bottles before recycling them!

Why You Should Leave Bottle Caps on for Recycling

Modern processing involves?crushing the two types of plastic into particles and separating them in a water bath. The cap material sinks, while the bottle particles float, making it easy to keep them apart. And we’re not just talking water bottles. You should be leaving the caps on laundry detergent, shampoos, lotions, condiments, et cetera.

It makes the caps significantly easier to deal with and keep track of.

In fact, if you remove the caps, you might as well just be just tossing them straight into the landfill. Their small size often leads to improper sorting at the recycling center?likely, they’ll bypass processing altogether and just get tossed into the trash heap.

Of course, this isn’t true for 100 percent of recycling centers. Check in with your local center to make sure they’re equipped with modern sorting machinery. They’ll?definitively instruct you on whether to leave your cap on or off.

Another?Common Recycling Mistake

Don’t crush your plastic bottles before recycling. What?! But aren’t we helping to save space? The answer is no, and by flattening your bottles, they?are easier to missort, particularly at single-stream recycling plants. It’s generally easier for the machines to handle them if they are intact.

An estimated 5 billion plastic bottle caps pollute the shores of California alone. It’s important that we all do our part to clean this mess up.?Recycling centers already are dumping tons of our plastic recyclables into landfills?ever since China stopped?processing our low quality recycling for us?it’s a massive issue. Don’t let your bottle caps be part of the problem. Keep them screwed.

Related on Care2:

How I Learned to Love My Body, As-Is?
How to Discover Your Core Values
6 Tasty Infused Water Recipes for When You’re Sick of Lemon Water

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.


The Surprising Recycling Mistake You’re Probably Making

Posted in alo, bigo, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Surprising Recycling Mistake You’re Probably Making

Delicious Zero Waste Snacks to Pack for Your Next Flight

Everyone knows the struggle that is airplane food. It’s expensive, tastes strange and usually comes wrapped beyond belief in plastic and tinfoil. Not good if you’re aiming for zero waste!

Fortunately, with a little bit of advanced planning you can avoid all the disappointment (both gastric and environmental), and save a lot of money in the process. Here are some of our favorite make-ahead airplane snacks that also happen to be totally zero waste. Enjoy!

Crispy roasted chickpeas

How to make them:

Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas, recycle the can
Toss in a generous amount of olive oil and sea salt
Lay out in a?single layer on a baking sheet
Roast for 30 minutes at 450 degrees until crispy

How to store them for your flight:

Store in an airtight container
Bring a hankie for oily fingers!

Cinnamon baked apple chips

How to make them:

Thinly slice two apples of your choice
Line a baking sheet with parchment
Place apples in a single layer and sprinkle with cinnamon
Bake for an hour at 200 degrees, flip and bake another hour
Remove from the oven, recycle the parchment paper

How to store them for your flight:

Store loosely in a TSA-approved quart silicon baggie
Place on top of other items to avoid crushing them

Garlic hummus with veggies

How to make them:

Mix 1 can chickpeas, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup tahini,?2T olive oil
Recycle the can
Blend in food processor until smooth, scraping the sides
Cream further with 2-3T of water
Season to taste with minced garlic, cumin and paprika
Slice veggies of choice and dip to your heart’s content!

How to store?it for your flight:

Store?hummus in a TSA-approved quart silicone baggie
Keep veggies in an airtight reusable container

Caprese sticks

How to make them:

Arrange cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and vegan cheese on wood skewers
Sprinkle with sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil

How to store them?for your flight:

Store in an airtight container
Bring a reusable hankie for messy fingers

Sesame pepper?popcorn

How to make them:

Pop 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels on the stove
Toss in 2T melted unsalted butter (or olive oil, if vegan)
Dust with?2T toasted sesame seeds, 1t sea salt and 1/2t pepper

How to store it for your flight:

Store in a rigid airtight container
Keep in a cool, dry place

Related Stories:

9 Secrets of Healthy Eaters
7 Essential Items for Zero Waste Travel
10 Ways to Start Living Zero Waste

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Original source:  

Delicious Zero Waste Snacks to Pack for Your Next Flight

Posted in alo, bigo, Everyone, FF, food processor, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, oven, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Delicious Zero Waste Snacks to Pack for Your Next Flight

We broke down what climate change will do, region by region

Subscribe to The Beacon

Look, at this point, even the most stubborn among us know that climate change is coming for our asses. We really don’t have much time until the climate plagues we’re already getting previews of — mega-wildfires, rising sea-levels, superstorm after superstorm — start increasing in frequency. The 4th National Climate Assessment says all that and much more is on its way.

Here’s the thing: Not all regions in the U.S. are going to experience climate change in the same way. Your backyard might suffer different climate consequences than my backyard. And, let’s be honest, we need to know what’s happening in our respective spaces so we can be prepared. I’m not saying it’s time to start prepping your bunker, but I would like to know if my family should consider moving to higher ground or stock up on maple syrup.

Luckily, that new report — which Trump tried to bury on Black Friday — breaks down climate change’s likely impacts on 10 specific regions. Unluckily, the chapters are super dense.

Silver lining: We at Grist divvied up the chapters and translated them into news you can actually use.


Ahh, the Northeast, home to beautiful autumn leaves, delicious maple syrup, and copious amounts of ticks bearing disease. What’s not to love? A lot, according to this report.

Always free, always fresh.

Ask your climate scientist if Grist is right for you. See our privacy policy

Our region is looking at “the largest temperature increase in the contiguous United States” — 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by the time 2035 rolls around. We’re going to be slammed with the highest rates of sea-level rise in the whole damn country, and we’re going to have the highest rate of ocean warming. Urban centers are particularly at risk (remember Superstorm Sandy?). And if you’re a fan of snuggling up beside the fire in your Connecticut mansion (or whatever), be warned that winters are projected to warm in our region three times faster than summers. That means delayed ski seasons and less time to tap maple trees.

Things are gonna be rough on us humans, but dragonflies and damselflies — two insects literally no one ever thinks about, but that flourish in healthy ecosystems — are pretty much doomed. The report says their habitat could decline by as much as 99 percent by 2080.

Sea-level rise, flooding, and extreme weather poses a mental health threat to Northeasterners. Impacted coastal communities can expect things like “anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.” But it’s not all bad: The assessment portends more intense (read: Instagram-able) fall foliage and more forest growth.

Zoya Teirstein


If, like me, you love your filthy, dirty South, you’ll be pleased to hear that summer thunderstorms, skeeters, ticks, and hot, muggy weather aren’t going anywhere! (Actually, don’t be pleased. This is serious.)

Southerners are accustomed to warm days followed by warm nights, but as the heat continues to turn up, those nights just might be our downfall. Urban and rural areas alike can expect to sweat through up to 100 additional warm nights per year by the end of this century. Hot, sticky nights make it harder for us to recover from the heat of the day. This is especially bad in parts of many Southeastern cities, where residents suffer from the “heat island effect.”

“I think it’s really important to look at the heat-related impacts on labor productivity,” says chapter author Kirstin Dow, a social environmental geographer at the University of South Carolina. Under one scenario, the Southeast could see losses of 570 million labor hours, amounting to about $47 billion per year — one-third of the nation’s total loss. What’s more, Dow says, “Those changes are going to take place in counties where there’s already chronic poverty.”

Warming waters will also push the infamous lionfish closer to the Atlantic Coast. In addition to being invasive, this freaky-looking fish is venomous, and swimmers and divers can expect more encounters (and stings) as the climate brings them closer to our beaches.

Claire Elise Thompson


For someone who doesn’t like donning heavy clothing during the winter, the Caribbean has the perfect weather: year-round warm days with ocean breezes. Climate change, according to the report, means we can’t have nice things.

In the near future, the Caribbean will experience longer dry seasons and shorter, but wetter rainy seasons. To make matters worse: During those arid periods, freshwater supplies will be lacking for islanders. And since islands (by definition) aren’t attached to any other land masses, “you can’t just pipe in water,” says Adam Terando, USGS Research Ecologist and chapter author.

The report confirmed something island-dwellers know all too well: Climate change is not coming to the Caribbean — it’s already there. And it’ll only get worse. Disastrous storms the likes of Hurricane Maria — which took the lives of nearly 3,000 Puerto Ricans — are expected to become more common in a warming world.

Another striking result: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are projected to lose 3.6 percent and 4.6 percent of total coastal land area, respectively, posing a threat to critical infrastructure near its shores. The tourism industry will have to grapple with the disappearance of its beaches. Even notable cultural sites aren’t safe: Encroaching seas threaten El Morro — a hulking fortress that sits majestically on the coast of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“Our island is trying to limit its emissions — but we’re not big emitters,” lead chapter author Ernesto L. Diaz, a coastal management expert at Puerto Rico’s Dept. of Natural and Environmental Resources, tells Grist.

Paola Rosa-Aquino


What’s in store for the Midwest? Oh hello there, crop diseases and pests! Hold onto your corn husks, because maize yields will be down 5 to 25 percent across the region by midcentury, mostly due to hot temps. And soybean hauls will decline more than 25 percent in the southern Midwest.

Beyond wilting crops, extreme heat puts lives at risk. The Midwest may see the biggest increase in temperature-related deaths compared to other regions, putting everyone from farmworkers to city-dwellers at risk. In one particularly bad climate change scenario, late-21st-century Chicago could end up seeing 60 days per year above 100 degrees F — similar to present-day Las Vegas or Phoenix.

The Great Lakes represent 20 percent of freshwater on the world’s surface, but lately, they’re looking … not so fresh. Climate change and pollution from farms are leading to toxic algae blooms and literally starving the water of oxygen.

But hey, there’s a silver lining. Midwesterners (myself included) have developed a bad habit of leaving their homeland for other parts of the country. That trend may reverse. “The Midwest may actually experience migration into the region because of climate change,” Maria Carmen Lemos, a Midwest chapter author and professor at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability, said in a statement. So while you may have to reconsider your ice-fishing plans, Midwesterners, it could be a whole lot worse.

Kate Yoder

Northern Great Plains

The Northern Great Plains is far from any ocean. Water melts off mountain snowpack, slowly trickles down glaciers, and pools up in basins. The largely arid region is dominated by thirsty industries like agriculture, energy extraction, and tourism. There’s a byzantine system of century-old water rights and competing interests.

Or as my dad, a Montana cattle rancher, puts it: “Whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting.”

Residents might want to steel themselves with a little bourbon as climate change will escalate those water woes, according to the report. Winters will end earlier and snow could decline as much as 25 to 40 percent in the mountainous regions.

It’s not just some far-off problem for cross-country skiers and thirsty critters. The authors point to the behavior of the mountain pine beetle as one example of a climate-influenced tweak that’s had devastating impact. Warmer winters and less precipitation have enabled the bugs to kill off huge swaths of forest in the region.

Lest you think what happens in the Dakotas stays in the Dakotas: While only 1.5 percent of the U.S. population lives in this region, it contributes nearly 13 percent of the country’s agricultural market value.

It’s culturally critical, too: The area is home to 27 federally recognized tribes that are already experiencing climate threats such as a lack of access to safe water and declining fisheries.

Darby Minow Smith

Southern Great Plains

The Southern Great Plains flips between heat waves, tornadoes, drought, ice storms, hurricanes, and hail. The weather is “dramatic and consequential” according to the report. It’s “a terrible place to be a hot tar roofer,” according to me, a former Kansas roofer. In a warmed world, none of this improves. Well, maybe the ice storms.

The region will continue to have longer and hotter summers, meaning more drought. Portions of the already shrinking Ogallala Aquifer, which is critical to a huge western swath of the region, could be completely depleted within 25 years, according to the report.

Texas’ Gulf Coast will face sea-level rise, stronger hurricanes, and an expanded range of tropical, mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and Zika. It’ll also experience more intense floods. Many of the region’s dams and levees are in need of repair and aren’t equipped for the inundations.

One of the chapter’s lead authors, Bill Bartush, a conservation coordinator with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, tells Grist that how landowners handle the extremes of water management will be key to climate adaptation. Given the region’s high rates of private land ownership, it’s essential to get them on board.

In weirder news, the region’s Southern Flounder population is declining because the fish’s sex is determined by water temperature. Warmer winters mean more males. It’s like a terrible reboot of Three Men and a Baby, but with more flounder and no baby.

Daniel Penner


The Pacific Northwest has more rain in its winter forecast. That might not sound unusual for a region known for its wet weather, but more winter rain — as opposed to snow — could impact the region’s water supply and entire way of life.

Most of the Northwest relies on melting mountain snow for water during the summer. Climate change will replace more of that snow with rain, which flows downstream right away rather than being stored on mountainsides until the temperatures warm. Less snowmelt during hot summers could damage salmon habitat, dry out farms, harm the region’s outdoor industry, and increase wildfire risk.

“It’s like our tap is on all the time,” said Heidi Roop, a research scientist at the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group, which helped author the chapter.

The report forecasts a lot of change in the Northwest, including flooding and landslides. But rainy winters? That’s one thing that’s not going away anytime soon.

Jesse Nichols


“I am large. I contain multitudes,” Walt Whitman said of himself. But he could have very well said it of the Southwest, where stretches of desert give way to soaring, snow-capped mountains. Yet this might not be the case for long. Climate change threatens all of this beautiful ecological diversity, as well as the 60 million people who call this area home, including 182 tribal nations.

The hottest and driest corner of the country is already suffering from heat waves, droughts, and increased wildfires. As a result, the Southwest, to put it bluntly, is running out of water. With water at already record low levels and a population that continues to grow, the region is working on a recipe for water scarcity.

“Lake Mead, which provides drinking water to Las Vegas and water for agriculture in the region, has fallen to its lowest level since the filling of the reservoir in 1936 and lost 60 percent of its volume,” coordinating chapter author Patrick Gonzalez, a climate scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, tells Grist.

In the coming years, temperatures in this region will soar. Droughts, including megadroughts lasting 10 years, will become commonplace. Agriculture will take a steep hit, causing food insecurity. Expect those lovely desert sunsets to take on an unsettling pink, as the snow-capped mountains grow bald.

Greta Moran


In Alaska, water is life, life is shellfish, shellfish is power. But, alas, climate change is about to do a number on the state’s marine life, food webs, and species distributions. According to the climate assessment, ocean acidification is expected to disrupt “corals, crustaceans, crabs, mollusks,” as well as “Tanner and red king crab and pink salmon.” Lots of indigenous peoples rely on that variety of marine life.

The largest state in the country is already ground zero for climate change. Thawing permafrost means structures are literally sinking into the ground all over the state.

What does a temperature increase really mean? Well, under the worst-case scenario, the coldest nights of the year are projected to warm 12 DEGREES F by midcentury.

I know I said water, either frozen or liquid, is the name of the game in Alaska, but the report says the state should expect more wildfires in the future, too. Under a high-temperature-increase scenario, as much as 120 million acres could burn between 2006 and 2100. That’s an area larger than California.

Oh yeah, and the report says there’s going to be an increase in “venomous insects.” Cheers.

Zoya Teirstein

Hawaii and the Pacific Islands

This region houses 1.9 million people, 20 indigenous languages, countless endemic (one-of-a-kind) flora and fauna species, and the freaking Mariana Trench (the world’s deepest point).

Pacific island communities can expect to grapple with the usual climate change suspects: rising sea levels, weird rainfall patterns, drought, flooding, and extreme temperatures. But all those things have unique implications for supplies of island drinking water. In short, like those who live in the Caribbean, these communities’ ability to survive depends on protecting their fresh water.

Extremes in the weather patterns El Niño and La Niña could double in the 21st century, compared to the previous one. El Ninos bring drought, which means Pacific communities have to desalinate water to make up for dwindling rainfall. But rising sea levels contaminate groundwater supplies and aquifers, which basically means Pacific Islanders have it coming from all sides.

Wait, there’s more. Too much freshwater is bad, too. Under a higher-warming scenario, rainfall in Hawaii could increase by 30 percent in wet areas by the end of the century. Think that’s good for dry areas? Think again! Projections suggest rainfall decreases of up to 60 percent in those. So more rain where rain isn’t needed and less rain where it’s dry. Great.

To end things on a sad note — because why the hell not — the National Climate Assessment states that “nesting seabirds, turtles and seals, and coastal plants” are going to be whacked by climate change. 🙁

Zoya Teirstein

See original article here – 

We broke down what climate change will do, region by region

Posted in alo, Anchor, Everyone, FF, GE, LAI, LG, Northeastern, ONA, The Atlantic, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on We broke down what climate change will do, region by region

What is Vermicomposting?

Vermicomposting is a composting?method?that uses earthworms to supercharge the process of organic waste conversion. Earthworms feed on organic waste material (vegetable scraps, egg shells, strawberry tops) and, through their digestive process, turn it into granular excrement castings called vermicompost.

Which?worm varieties are ideal for vermicomposting?

There are nearly 3,600 types of earthworms. They fall into two categories: burrowing and non-burrowing. Among these types, the most ideal for compost making is Eisenia foetida,?also known as red wiggler worms.?You can find them at many nursery suppliers or online.

What types of material can go into?a?vermicomposter?

In general,?worms can process just about any type of?organic, biodegradable material, from kitchen scraps and coffee grounds to dry carbon-based materials like straw and leaves to poultry litter, dairy wastes and a lot more.

How quickly do worms convert organic material?

The average earthworm can eat and excrete half its body weight in organic material per day. As the worm population grows and multiplies, this capability only increases. To create an efficient vermicomposting system, you’ll want to start with one pound of worms. One pound of worms can consume up to 3.5 pounds of food waste per week!

How can vermicompost be used?

Vermicompost contains a much higher percentage of both macro and micronutrients than standard garden compost. As such, it enhances plant growth, suppresses disease in plants, increases microbial activity in the soil, and improves water retention and aeration.

If you’re able to extract vermicompost tea ? the liquid produced during the composting process ? you?can apply it directly to foliage on your plants. This can help suppress plant disease. Cool, right!?

Related Stories:

How and Why to Make Compost Tea
80 Items You Can Compost
The Best Composting Option for City Dwellers

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

View original article: 

What is Vermicomposting?

Posted in alo, ATTRA, bigo, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, organic, Oster, PUR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on What is Vermicomposting?

President Trump, these are the real reasons California is on fire

President Trump has finally weighed in on the California wildfires that began last month. But it wasn’t to express condolences for the victims or to praise the incredible bravery of firefighters — it was to try to score political points.

And he did so by badly twisting the science of how wildfires work. In a now-deleted tweet from Sunday, Trump blamed “bad environmental laws” for “diverting” water into the Pacific Ocean. On Monday evening, Trump reposted essentially the same tweet:

And he doubled down on this flawed argument.

According to the Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiltzik, Trump’s tweets on wildfires and water “deserve some sort of award for most glaring misstatements about those two issues in the smallest number of words.” I’d have to agree.

In Trump’s muddled mind, there’d be “plenty of water” if California rivers were exploited to the point they were completely dry at the end of the line — like the Colorado River now is.

The conservative agriculture community in the state’s Central Valley yields a substantial clue to where this weird idea came from. In the minds of some farmers there, allowing even a drop for endangered fish habitat means the government is stealing their water.

Beyond cutting down forests as a fire management strategy (you can’t have fires if you don’t have trees!), Trump seems to argue for airdropping huge quantities of water from reservoirs onto fires.

Given that Trump drinks bottled water with both hands, he should know this fundamental fact better than most: Water is heavy. And it takes a lot of effort to lift it into the sky and drop it on wildfires.

California’s reservoirs are actually near long-term average levels right now. The state’s firefighting resources are vastly overmatched, and help is pouring in from across the country and around the world. There’s even a newly converted Boeing 747 that’s been airdropping flame suppressant.

And still, a tiny bit of rain would do incredibly more good than any amount of water that could be diverted from the state’s lakes and reservoirs by firefighters. A barely measurable sprinkle over the amount of territory that’s currently on fire in California is about 6,000,000 gallons of water — about what the 747 fire bomber could carry in 300 loads, a month’s worth of round-the-clock operations. It’s not water availability in reservoirs that limits the ability to fight these fires — it’s logistics.

The massive Mendocino Complex, which could soon be the largest wildfire incident in California history, is burning right next to Clear Lake, the largest natural lake in the state. Firefighters are using water from the lake as fast as they can to help fight the fire. The fire is just 33 percent contained. So no, Mr. President, the fact that water exists in the state does not mean that it’s very useful to combat a fire like this.

Letting rivers run their natural course is not what causes massive wildfires. It’s year after year of hot and dry weather that causes wildfires. And, it just so happens, there’s something we’re doing that’s making weather hotter and drier.

Decades of misguided fire suppression policy and booming urban development in forested areas have contributed to this boom, but the main reason for the surge is climate change. (Even California’s chief firefighter agrees.) For the president to deny the central role of climate change in what’s happening is not only foolish, it’s dangerous.

July was the hottest month in history for many parts of California, and burnable vegetation is off the charts. Longer, hotter dry seasons, combined with timber die-offs due to drought and temperature-related insect infestation, have turned the state into a tinderbox ready to explode.

After the state’s worst drought in millennia, the very wet winter of 2016-17 created loads of grasses and shrub growth — perfect kindling for wildfire now that the drought has returned. Temperatures this week have surged, particularly at nighttime, fanning the flames further and giving firefighters little time to recover. Smoke from the wildfires is detectable across half the United States, creating a public health nightmare that’s trapping people indoors.

This is already one of the worst years for wildfires in U.S. history, in a decades-long streak of increasingly really bad wildfire seasons. Four of the 10 most destructive fires in California history have occurred in the past 10 months. Together, these four megafires have burned nearly 10,000 structures. That’s a mid-sized American city’s worth of homes, gone.

So far this year, about three times more land area has burned than normal. The deserted Yosemite National Park is indefinitely closed due to the Ferguson Fire, the largest wildfire ever recorded in the Sierra National Forest.

And wildfires are going to get much, much worse in the years to come if we don’t radically reduce fossil fuel emissions. Instead, Trump’s anti-environmental policy moves, like stopping California from having stricter standards on automobiles, will worsen climate change. Trump’s proposed 2019 budget eliminates federal funding for wildfire research.

When Trump was elected, I said that the effects of his climate denial would linger for hundreds of years. That fear now seems to be coming true.

Read article here:  

President Trump, these are the real reasons California is on fire

Posted in alo, Anchor, Anker, FF, GE, LG, ONA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on President Trump, these are the real reasons California is on fire

The West is burning, and it’s barely July

Just in case you’ve been living in an (air-conditioned) underground cave, summer is in full swing.

The heat is breaking temperature records coast-to-coast, drought covers half of the country, and — sure enough — wildfires are already enveloping the West. More than 30 large fires are burning in 12 states right now.

In Utah, dozens of homes have been destroyed and hundreds more are threatened from a largely out-of-control blaze in the eastern part of the state. In Colorado, some of the largest fires in state history have already drawn comparisons to the nightmare fire seasons of 1988 and 2002.

And then there’s California, where the “County fire” began on Saturday near Sacramento and quickly spread out of control, threatening hundreds of homes and growing at a rate of 1,000 football fields an hour. It’s the latest megafire in a state still recovering from the most damaging wildfire season in history.

Wildfires across California have burned more than twice the five-year average so far this year, as of July 1. The County fire alone has burned 70,000 acres — twice the size of San Francisco and more than every other fire in the state this year combined. Over the weekend, smoke and ash from the fire drifted over the Bay Area, reminding residents of last year’s horrific blazes and partially blocking out the sun.

Large fires are on the rise for many complex reasons, but rising temperatures are a chief culprit. Hotter temperatures dry out the atmosphere, lengthen the wildfire season, and allow invasive insects to expand their range, killing trees in their path.

Wildfire politics plays a big role, too. With more people living in harm’s way and the costs of fire suppression spiraling up, it’s difficult to ignore the fact that the vast majority of wildfires are human-caused. Authorities in California, Colorado, Utah, Texas and other states have banned Fourth of July fireworks this week for fear of starting more of them.

When you put together current drought conditions, the staggering number of dead and dying trees, and the growing prospect of an El Niño, the risk of large fires will remain “above normal” along the West Coast until at least September.

Originally from – 

The West is burning, and it’s barely July

Posted in alo, ALPHA, Anchor, Casio, FF, GE, LG, ONA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The West is burning, and it’s barely July

This natural gas plant could be a big breakthrough

Yesterday, the startup Net Power switched on its 50-megawatt power plant, proving it could burn natural gas without releasing greenhouse gases. If this technology works at scale, it could be the flexible, emissions-free lynchpin the world needs to reverse climate change.

That’s a big “if” of course. After the engineering challenge comes the market challenge: We could make a laundry list of promising energy sources that launch to great excitement, then struggle for years to compete against the incumbent technologies (see cellulosic ethanol).

Net Power captures the carbon dioxide given off as gas burns. That’s the same thing done by carbon capture and sequestration plants already in existence. But the crucial difference here is that carbon capture and sequestration usually uses a lot of energy (and money) to separate the carbon molecules out of all the other gases and particles in a plant’s exhaust.

Net Power uses an elegant trick to simplify the process (David Roberts explains the basics here) so that its exhaust is nearly pure carbon dioxide, which it can capture in its entirety. And the company says it can do all that while operating more cheaply than the best existing gas plants.

The next step? The company is in the process of developing a 300-megawatt plant, which would start providing electricity by 2021 at the earliest.

As the United States has built solar panels and wind turbines, natural gas has expanded even more. The fuel’s ability to cheaply ramp up and down with fluctuations in electric supply and demand have made it an apt partner for renewable energy. If it could do that without adding insulation to the Earth’s heat-trapping jacket, it would provide us a much-needed reprieve.

Original source – 

This natural gas plant could be a big breakthrough

Posted in alo, ALPHA, Anchor, FF, GE, LAI, ONA, PUR, solar, solar panels, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on This natural gas plant could be a big breakthrough