RENewsletter | October 3, 2010

 

The Free environmental newsletter from RochesterEnvironment.com

gOur Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change.h

[9/26/2010 – 10/03/2010]

 

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Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet. -- Carl Sagan

 

Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Environmental Site of the Month | Take Action |

 

 

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Opening Salvo:  gChange Rochesterfs environment 10/10/10h

 

Climate Change is going to possibly change our Rochester, NY-area environment in all sorts of ways.  I donft mean possible in the sense that one thinks when buying a lottery ticket.  Itfs possible you might win a zillion dollars when you buy a lottery ticket for a buck at your local convenience store, but donft count on it. I mean possible Climate Changes scenarios in our area in the sense that a meteorologist means when she says a Force Four hurricane is coming to town tomorrow and you might want to act on that.  Herefs a litany of the possible changes I am writing about:

 

·         Our Water supply may be at risk: NRDC: Climate Change, Water, and Risk gCurrent Water Demands Are Not Sustainable | Climate change will have a significant impact on the sustainability of water supplies in the coming decades.h  (7/16/2010)

·         West Nile Virus in our area could increase  Changing climate increases West Nile threat in U.S. — The Daily Climate gThe higher temperatures, humidity and rainfall associated with climate change have led to increased outbreaks of West Nile Virus infections across the United States in recent years, according to a study published this week.h  (March 2009)

·         Climate Change could impact every aspect of public health.  Scientists Quantify Global Warming's Threat to Public Health: Scientific American gFrom heat stress to sewage overflows, climate change promises to bring extreme weather that will challenge the ill-prepared U.S. public health infrastructure | Extreme weather induced by climate change has dire public health consequences, as heat waves threaten the vulnerable, storm runoff overwhelms city sewage systems and hotter summer days bake more pollution into asthma-inducing smog, scientists say.h  (July 12, 2010)

·         The Great Lakes are changing: Lake Superior, a Huge Natural Climate Change Gauge, Is Running a Fever - NYTimes.com gThe Great Lakes are feeling the heat from climate change. As the world's largest freshwater system warms, it is poised to systematically alter life for local wildlife and the tribes that depend on it, according to regional experts. And the warming could also provide a glimpse of what is happening on a more global level, they say. eThe Great Lakes in a lot of ways have always been a canary in the coal mine,f Cameron Davis, the senior adviser to the U.S. EPA on the Great Lakes, said last week. eNot just for the region or this country, but for the rest of the world.f"  (July 19, 2010)

·         Our Agriculture will Change:  U.S. agriculture could be disrupted by climate change | Nation | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News. gClimate change is expected to disrupt agriculture in the U.S. Midwest, with high carbon dioxide promoting crop growth but stronger storms, drought, floods and migrating yields dampening yields. Overall, there are signs that crops will be stressed, and that weeds and insects will change their range. The Midwest climate has already become wetter and warmer, said Gene Takle, an atmospheric scientist at Iowa State University. That could mean a longer crop-growing season and savings on air conditioning, but it doesn't necessarily guarantee higher crop yields.h  (July 15, 2010)

·         Our forests will change: U.S. Forest Service - Climate Change Emphasis Area "The Forest Service has several inter-related programs to help forests, grasslands and humans mitigate and adapt to global climate change.h Especially interesting is Adapting Forests to Climate Change - Forest Disturbance Processes - Northern Research Station - USDA Forest Service "In the Northeast and Midwest, temperature records show that the length of the growing season is increasing, and that rapid freezing events are more common in the early spring. "

·         Climate Change could change fish growth in the Great Lakes:  SPECIAL REPORT: Researchers study impact of climate change on local fish | WSBT - News, Weather, Sports South Bend | Local News gSince April, Purdue researchers have been catching fish in their larval stage along the Michigan shoreline to better understand the potential impacts climate change could have on their developmental processes.h (July 8, 2010)

·         Changes to our manmade infrastructure:  Climate change could affect marine infrastructure - CTV News gThe federal government [Canada] is trying to come up with ways to protect millions of dollars worth of vulnerable infrastructure and coastline, years after it was urged to adapt to the effects of climate change. Ottawa has solicited a study on how some of the 1,000 small craft harbours that are critical to the fishing industry could be affected by rising sea levels, storm surges and a loss of shorefast ice -- all linked to climate change.h  June 13, 2010

·         More Heat Stress for Humans:  Warmer planet to stress humans: study › News in Science (ABC Science) gA large number of healthy people won't handle the heat if temperatures continue to increase into next century, predict researchers. The study, which appears today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also suggests heat could affect more land mass than rising sea levels. The human body maintains a constant core temperature of 37‹C by giving off excess heat through the skin. But, if the 'web-bulb' temperature of the air reaches 35‹C, this heat dissipation stops causing the body to retain heat, resulting in heat stress.h (May 4, 2010)

·         The Spread of new Pathogens:  The Spread of New Diseases and the Climate Connection by Sonia Shah: Yale Environment 360 gAs humans increasingly encroach on forested lands and as temperatures rise, the transmission of disease from animals and insects to people is growing. Now a new field, known as gconservation medicine,h is exploring how ecosystem disturbance and changing interactions between wildlife and humans can lead to the spread of new pathogens.h (March 17, 2010)

·         Bird Species Threatened  2010 Report: Climate Change — News Release gSecretary Salazar Releases New gState of the Birdsh Report Showing Climate Change Threatens Hundreds of Species Austin, TX–Climate change threatens to further imperil hundreds of species of migratory birds, already under stress from habitat loss, invasive species and other environmental threats, a new report released today by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar concludes.   The State of the Birds: 2010 Report on Climate Change, follows a comprehensive report released a year ago showing that that nearly a third of the nation's 800 bird species are endangered, threatened or in significant decline.h (March 11, 2010)

·         Invasive species move from the southern area into our area Invasive Plants Move North gFall foliage is the veritable trademark of the Northeast. Families flock from around the world to take in the natural splendor. Imagine autumn in New England without its distinctive palette - choked out by a dense labyrinth of invasive vines. This nightmare may become a reality in the near future if current climate trends continue, increasing the threat of invasive plant species to the Northeast Region.h (February 18, 2010)  Northeast Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

·         Our Air Quality could change: Extreme heat and declining air quality are likely to pose increasing problems for human health, especially in urban areas]. Agricultural production, including dairy, fruit, and maple syrup, are likely to be adversely affected as favorable climates shift. Severe flooding due to sea-level rise and heavy downpours is likely to occur more frequently. The projected reduction in snow cover will adversely affect winter recreation and the industries that rely upon it. The center of lobster fisheries is projected to continue its northward shift and the cod fishery on Georges Bank is likely to be diminished.h  Northeast in United States Global Change Research Program

·          Our weather will get whacky: Odd-ball Winter Weather: Global Warmingfs Wake-Up Call for the Northern United States National Wildlife Federation 2010 "Global warming is having a seemingly peculiar effect on winter weather in the northern United States. Winter is becoming milder and shorter on average; spring arrives 10 to 14 days earlier than it did just 20 years ago. But most snowbelt areas are still experiencing extremely heavy snowstorms. Some places are even expected to have more heavy snowfall events as storm tracks shift northward and as reduced ice cover on the Great Lakes increases lake-effect snowfalls. Even as global warming slowly changes the character of winter, we will still experience significant year-to-year variability in snowfall and temperature because many different factors are at play. "

·          Increase numbers of sewer overflows:  "The report [Fourteenth Biennial Report ] says many wastewater systems could experience an increased number of sewer overflows as a result of climate change and that additional mitigation efforts may be needed. --from More effort needed to control sewer overflow :: Local News :: Post-Tribune gA large amount of stimulus funding should be spent on improving infrastructure to avoid millions of gallons of sewage overflowing into the Great Lakes, a new report says.h (September 29, 09)

·         Drop in Great Lakes Water Levels: Study projects steep Great Lakes water level drop if greenhouse gases remain unchecked | Great Lakes Echo gGreat Lakes water levels could drop by up to two feet by the turn of the century as temperatures rise, according to a recent series of reports released by the Union of Concerned Scientists.h (September 30, 09)

All this doesnft mean itfs hopeless.  Donft become numb with indifference.  It means our failure to address this planetary issue in the past will insure that a certain amount of change will occur.  Wefll have to adapt to that

 

But we can stop more damage from becoming inevitable. We need to demonstrate to our community that we can stop more environmental damage if we act now. 

 

Ellen Page says it better: YouTube - Actress Ellen Page for 350.org's Global Work Party on 10/10/10  For the Rochester, NY area, this site 350 Day at the Farmers Market! | 350.org is an attempt to get everyone to come to the 10/10/10 campaign in our area.  Sign Up for 350 Day at the Brighton Farmers' Market.  Sign up on Facebook to connect with 350 Day at the Brighton Farmers' Market. 

 

 

FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com  (Click on my email for feedback)

 

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NewsLinksEnvironmental NewsLinks – [Highlights of major environmental stories concerning our area from the past week]

 

 

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UpdatesDaily Updates – [Connecting the dots on Rochesterfs environment. Find out whatfs going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care? Clicking on -DISCUSSION – will take you to my blog gEnvironmental Thoughts, NY, where you can add your comments.]

 

 

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EventsRochester Environmental Events Calendar – [The most complete listing of all environmental events around the Rochester, New York area.]  If you donft see your event, or know of a local environmental event, please send me the info: FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com with (EV event) in the subject line.

 

October 2010

 

 

November 2010

 

 

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ActionTake Action - Often, I receive request to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local developments, and environmental items needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world. Ifll keep Actions posted until their due date.  

 

 

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AwardEnvironmental Site of the Month Award – [On the last Sunday of each month, we present an environmental award for the Rochester-area environmental web site or blog that best promotes the need to protect and offers solutions for our area's environmental issues.]