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Climate Change Updates: Melting; Heat Zones; Farmers Coming Around

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Haven’t done one of these in a bit, but climate change continues even amidst the Covid19 crisis:

New Satellite Maps Show Massive Ice Melt in Antarctica and Greenland: Two new satellite images remind us that Earth’s ice sheets are losing so much mass it’s becoming obvious from space. In the vivid new maps published as part of an April 30 study in the journal Science, researchers illustrated 16 years of ice loss in Greenland and Antarctica as seen by a laser-emitting NASA satellite. The images paint a picture of rapid melt around the coasts of both regions (shown in red and purple in the maps), far outweighing modest ice-mass gains (shown in light blue) farther inland.

Billions Could Live In “Extreme Heat Zones” By 2070: As the climate continues to warm over the next half-century, up to one-third of the world’s population is likely to live in areas that are considered unsuitably hot for humans, scientists said Monday. Currently fewer than 25 million people live in the world’s hottest areas, which are mostly in the Sahara region in Africa with mean annual temperatures above about 84 degrees Fahrenheit, or 29 Celsius.

Facts About Climate Change: Climate change is any long-term alteration in average weather patterns, either globally or regionally. As this broad definition suggests, climate change has occurred many times in Earth’s history, and for many reasons. The changes in global temperature and weather patterns seen today, however, are caused by human activity. And they’re happening much faster than the natural climate variations of the past.

Farmers Coming Around on Climate Change: Major farm and livestock groups held a press conference in February to project a united voice on an issue they’ve long avoided. The coalition leaders said they wanted to join the fight against climate change rather than remain cast as villains avoiding the responsibility. The approach was a sharp departure for an industry that less than a year earlier looked more like a victim as photos circulated of nearly 20 million acres so saturated and flooded that farmers, mostly in the Midwest, couldn’t get into their fields. The federal crop insurance program paid out more than $4 billion in claims.


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