Recommended Sources- Climate Change and Ecology News (my final Point Blue blog post)

On this 50th anniversary of the NASA Earth Rise photo (humanity’s first view of Earth from afar), I thank you for an incredible 20 years at the helm of Point Blue. This is my last official posting as CEO of Point Blue. To keep up on the latest climate change, ecology and related news, I’ve listed below my favorite online, free sources. Thank you for being part of my Point Blue news blog over the years, for everything you do to secure a healthy, just future for all life on our planet, and for your continued support to Point Blue!

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A Year of Climate Change Evidence: Notes from a Science Reporter’s Journal

2018 was filled with new evidence and warnings of the high risks and costs of climate change that could help tip the world toward climate action. The IPCC 1.5C report reinforces the urgent need to cut greenhouse gas emissions by roughly half in the next 12 years in order to move toward the treaty’s most ambitious goal, and to eliminate emissions by 2050. A sustainable environment must become a basic aspect of governance.

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Our Food, Our Farmers and the Planet

Solutions to global environmental problems will also not be realized without tackling the problems in agriculture. Agriculture is responsible for a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, 70 per cent of freshwater withdrawals, 70 per cent of biodiversity loss on land and 73 per cent of deforestation in the tropics. At the same time, the increased frequency of droughts and floods is a major obstacle to ending hunger and malnutrition.

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Scientists called for ‘unprecedented’ action. But the global climate talks aren’t built for that.

“You can’t negotiate with the laws of physics,” said Nasheed, who called the debate over how to acknowledge the report “madness.” “You can’t cut a deal with science.”

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Rapidly disintegrating Arctic sea ice leaves scientists ‘shocked’– means faster sea level rise, faster global warming, and more extreme weather

As NOAA reports, “Arctic air temperatures for the past five years (2014-18) have exceeded all previous records since 1900.” And one stunning result of this is that 95 percent of the oldest and thickest Arctic sea ice has disintegrated in just three decades.

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Sierra snowpack could drop significantly by end of century

Mountain snowpack is a critical source of water for California, and much of it comes in a very narrow window. “Our precipitation is really intermittent and extremes-driven,” Rhoades said. “We basically get 50 percent of our annual precipitation in five to 15 days, or one to two weeks. Our water demand is highest during the summer months when we don’t get a lot of precipitation, so we really rely on mountain snowpack as a stopgap for our water supply.”

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A day in the life of a UN climate conference observer– Ellie’s COP24 Blog Post #3

Professor Johan Rockstrom, renowned for identifying nine planetary boundaries. Humanity is already pushing past four of those boundaries into unknown territory (climate change, biodiversity loss, shifts in nutrient cycles [nitrogen and phosphorus] and land-use) with major debates on how far we’ve gone with two other boundaries: water-system change and chemical pollution. Rockstrom at COP24 called for a new framework of planetary stewardship that brings together the planetary boundaries ideas with our global commons — newly defined as “a resilient and stable planet.” He described this as “No Paris without Earth Resilience” and said we need to go beyond carbon for planetary stewardship. We need fresh water, biodiversity, and the ocean — fundamental tools essential to regulating our climate– along with a sustainable food system to secure a future for human society.

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Small and isolated habitat patches crucial to species survival — new study from Point Blue and partners

“…Small and isolated habitat areas are very important to the survival of many rare and endangered species. The environment is suffering a death by a thousand cuts. We need to re-think vegetation management regulations and policies that allow small patches of vegetation to be destroyed.”

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How will the winds of climate change affect migratory birds?

Under future climate scenarios, changing winds may make it harder for North American birds to migrate southward in the autumn, but make it easier for them to come back north in the spring.

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Must-Knows for UN COP24 Climate Negotiators: 10 New Insights in Climate Science 2018

Many impacts of human-induced climate change, from drought and heat waves to Antarctic ice melting, are coming earlier than expected. Extreme events, such as recent fires in North America and floods across Asia, can with increased certainty be linked to global warming. Halving global emissions over the next decade is technically achievable and would save the world billions of dollars, say scientists in a new statement to coincide with the UN annual climate talks in Katowice, Poland. Their warning comes as global emissions are projected to rise for a second consecutive year to a new historical high after three stable years.

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