Friday, April 09, 2021

Loose Feathers #796

Blue-winged Teal / Photo by Jim Hudgins/USFWS

Birds and birding news

Science and nature blogging

Biodiversity and conservation

Climate change and environmental politics

  • The Mauna Loa Observatory recorded carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at more than 420 parts per million for the first time ever. The new record means that the Earth is halfway to doubling pre-industrial carbon levels, which would cause a global temperature rise between 2.3 and 4.5°C.
  • Politicians have largely avoided the subject of how to manage the retreat from the coastlines made necessary by sea level rise, and some places are still developing vulnerable coastal real estate. 
  • Because the national monument designation was stripped from most of Bears Ears early in the Trump administration, the site has had a boom in visitation without the resources to manage it.
  • Hurricane Zeta nearly wrecked Transocean Deepwater Asgard, a drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, which would have caused a spill larger than the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
  • Japan has set a more ambitious goal under the Paris treaty of a 40% cut in carbon emissions by 2030 and being carbon neutral by 2050.
  • One third of Antarctica's ice shelves could collapse if there is 4°C of warming.
  • Beach Sweeps coordinated by Clean Ocean Action have been finding lots of discarded PPE in addition to the trash that they normally collect. Plastic makes up 72% of trash collected during cleanups.