Climate Change News is a Planet Change selection of the latest news on climate change, nature, our environment and the impacts of a changing planet. Here’s what we’ve found and are reading. Tell us what interesting news has hit your screens this week.
Video: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are beautiful, diverse, productive ecosystems. Many people love to marvel at these rainforests of the sea, but how much does the average person actually know about them? This prompted WRI and partners to release a major report last year on threats facing the world’s coral reefs. The Reefs at Risk Revisited report contains a wealth of information on the world’s reefs, including a lengthy answer to the question, “What is a coral reef?” The video highlights the importance and value of coral reefs; their unique biology; threats to these ecosystems; and what individuals can do to help save struggling corals. (WRI Insights)
5 Takeaways From NOAA’s New Study on Climate Change and Extreme Events
Many people are understandably perplexed at the U.S.’s recent extreme weather events like record heat waves, torrential downpours, droughts, and wildfires. A new report published by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other institutions may finally offer some insight into climate change’s connection to the damaging and costly extreme events that are on the rise. (WRI Insights)
Study: Gen Xers Waning Interest in Climate Change
A University of Michigan study that polled some 3,000 Gen Xers and found that in the last several years their overall interest in climate change has waned. Sociologist Jon Miller, the study’s author, sees this as a sign of victory for the climate disinformation campaign. ”I was optimistic because this group of people is more scientifically literate; they’ve grown up in an era of science and quantitative discussion, unlike their grandparents,” Miller says. But the complexity of climate science, the long time scale it takes to play out, and seeds of doubt sown on the nightly news have caused many Gen Xers to simply tune it out. (Mother Jones)
Low Water Levels on the Mississippi River a Major Threat to Commerce
Companies operating along the Mississippi River are seeing a drastic cut in business as severe drought lowers water levels and makes shipping increasingly difficult. The drought, which now covers more than 1,000 counties across the US, has dropped water levels 50 feet below last year’s levels in some places. Last winter’s lack of snow, the absence of any major tropical storms from the Gulf of Mexico, sweltering temperatures, and the lack of rain this spring and summer are to blame for the shallow water. (Climate Progress)
Climate Change First Responders: Native Americans
Native American tribes are teaming up with climate scientists to monitor environmental changes along the coast; changes that are disrupting indigenous ways of life that tribes say are key to their survival. Tribal leaders say their understanding of natural ecosystems such as long-term weather patterns or wildlife migrations can be just as important as CO2 measurements or satellite data. (Discovery News)
Stephanie Hedean is a Strategic Marketing and Communications Consultant and a Volunteer at The Nature Conservancy.
Image credits: Video Coral Reefs: Polyps in Peril courtesy of WRI, animated by Jim Toomey and narrated by Céline Cousteau and photo courtesy of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Cargo on the Mississippi) via Flickr Creative Commons license.
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