Greylock Nation Almanac

Our Local Weather — May 22, 2022



A slightly different forecast for North Adams, Mass. from the National Weather Service.

TODAY — A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2pm. Some of the storms could produce small hail and gusty winds. Sunny and hot, with a high near 92. Light and variable wind becoming west 5 to 10 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
TONIGHT — Showers and thunderstorms likely before midnight, then a slight chance of showers between midnight and 1am. Some of the storms could produce small hail and gusty winds. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 52. West wind 6 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
MAÑANA — Partly sunny, with a high near 70. Northwest wind 7 to 10 mph.

Current Condition in Pittsfield, Mass.

Recent Weather and Climate News

Mandel releases public statement on fossil fuel investment plan, divestment organizers celebrate
April 13, 2022
by Julia Goldberg and Luke Chinman

[Williams] College plans to end all indirect investments tied to the fossil fuel industry by 2033, President Maud S. Mandel announced in an all-campus email on Friday, prompting celebration from divestment organizers and confusion from some other students. In October 2021, Mandel announced in a faculty meeting that the College has held no direct investments in fossil fuels since 2015 and would be eliminating the 4 percent of the endowment indirectly invested in the fossil fuel industry in the next several years, though she did not make a public statement announcing divestment at that time.

Read the entire story at The Williams Record


As Climate Fears Mount, Some in U.S. Are Deciding to Relocate
March 24, 2022
by Jon Hurdle

It’s indisputable that the world’s seas are under massive attack by excessive amounts of CO2 and way As wildfires worsen and sea levels rise, a small but growing number of Americans are choosing to move to places such as New England or the Appalachian Mountains that are seen as safe havens from climate change. Researchers say this phenomenon will intensify in the coming decades.

Read the entire story at Yale Environment 306


Ocean Heat Killing Spree
February 22, 2022
by Robert Hunziker

It’s indisputable that the world’s seas are under massive attack by excessive amounts of CO2 and way too much heat (oceans absorb 90% of the planet’s heat) because of global warming, killing marine life outright at a record clip; for example, a billion sea creatures killed by ocean heat off the British Columbia coast in the summer of 2021. The situation is even worse than that, as the world’s major fisheries of the Far North are threatened like never before, potentially, the crisis of all crises. (Search: Warnings from the Far North, December 27, 2021 and The Oceans are
Overheating, January 14, 2022)

Read the entire story at Pressenza


World leaders laud US return to climate fight under Biden
January 21, 2021
by Frank Jordans

World leaders breathed an audible sigh of relief that the United States under President Joe Biden is rejoining the global effort to curb climate change, a cause that his predecessor had shunned.

Read the entire story at the the AP


Climate change: US emissions in 2020 in biggest fall since WWII
January 12, 2021
by Matt McGrath

US greenhouse gas emissions tumbled below their 1990 level last year, because of Covid-19 shutdowns.

A preliminary assessment from research group Rhodium says that overall emissions were down over 10%, the largest fall since World War II.

Transport suffered the biggest decline, with emissions down almost 15% over 2019.

Read the entire story at the The BBC


Massachusetts city to post climate change warning stickers at gas stations
December 25, 2020
by Oliver Milman

Bright yellow stickers warn drivers burning of gasoline has ‘major consequences on human health and the environment’

Cambridge, Massachusetts, has become the first US city to mandate the placing of stickers on fuel pumps to warn drivers of the resulting dangers posed by the climate crisis.

The final design of the bright yellow stickers, shared with the Guardian, includes text that warns drivers the burning of gasoline, diesel and ethanol has “major consequences on human health and the environment including contributing to climate change”.

Read the entire story at the The Guardian


Why An ‘Operation Warp Speed’ Approach Is Needed For Climate Change
December 18, 2020
by Marshall Shepherd

Robert Gilford, a noted psychologist, told New York Times writer Beth Gardiner that humans have a tendency to underestimate or downplay problems perceived as creeping (versus immediate), complex, or lacking immediate solutions. Politicians can develop policies or legislation on 2, 4, or 6 year cycles for something like coronavirus that have political benefits for them. The benefits of actions taken on climate change may appear to be far off into the future or about things not relevant to their constituents immediately.

Read the entire story at the Forbes.


New Climate Maps Show a Transformed United States
September 15, 2020
by by Al Shaw, Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, and Jeremy W. Goldsmith, Special to ProPublica

According to new data from the Rhodium Group analyzed by ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine, warming temperatures and changing rainfall will drive agriculture and temperate climates northward, while sea level rise will consume coastlines and dangerous levels of humidity will swamp the Mississippi River valley.

Read the entire story at the ProPublica.


How Climate Change Is Ushering in a New Pandemic Era
December 07, 2020
by Jeff Goodell

A warming world is expanding the range of deadly diseases and risking an explosion of new zoonotic pathogens from the likes of bats, mosquitoes, and ticks

Read the entire story at the Rolling Stone


Climate Change Is Making Fall Leaves Change Color Sooner
November 30, 2020
by Philip James

We know that carbon dioxide is a major driver of climate change, so the more that can be taken out of the atmosphere by plants, the better. With the warmer climate leading to a longer growing season, some researchers have suggested that more carbon dioxide would be absorbed by trees and other plants than in previous times. But a new study has turned this theory on its head and could have profound effects on how we adapt to climate change.

Read the entire story at the EcoWatch


Climate change: Covid pandemic has little impact on rise in CO2
November 2, 2020
by Matt McGrath

The global response to the Covid-19 crisis has had little impact on the continued rise in atmospheric concentrations of CO2, says the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Read the entire story at the BBC


What Climate Change Does to the Human Body

An ENT physician sees the effects in her patients all the time

From Scientific American
August 29, 2020
by  Neelu Tummala

The climate crisis is thus leading to a disproportionate public health crisis—and worse, it is a threat multiplier. 

Read the entire story at Scientific American


Greenland’s melting ice raised global sea level by 2.2mm in two months

Analysis of satellite data reveals astounding loss of 600bn tons of ice last summer as Arctic experienced hottest year on record

From The Guardian
March 18, 2020
by Bill McKibben

Last year’s summer was so warm that it helped trigger the loss of 600bn tons of ice from Greenland – enough to raise global sea levels by 2.2mm in just two months, new research has found.

Read the entire story at The Guardian


The Coronavirus and the Climate Movement

From The New Yorker
March 18, 2020
by Bill McKibben

My daughter—full grown and accomplished, but still my daughter—asked me the other day, “Do you think we’re going to go on having crises like this my whole life?” Probably not quite like the coronavirus (pandemics are fairly unique among disasters, in that they attack the whole world at the same time), but I’ve long feared that the result of heating the Earth will be an ongoing, accelerating series of disasters, eventually overwhelming our ability to cope. The pace of those events has been increasing in recent years, and our ability to keep them at something like a manageable level depends, above all, on the speed with which we transition off of gas, oil, and coal.

Read the entire story at The New Yorker


Study: global banks ‘failing miserably’ on climate crisis by funneling trillions into fossil fuels

Analysis of 35 leading investment banks shows financing of more than $2.66tn for fossil fuel industries since the Paris agreement.

From The Guardian
March 18, 2020
by Patrick Greenfield and Kalyeena Makortoff.

The world’s largest investment banks have funnelled more than £2.2tn ($2.66tn) into fossil fuels since the Paris agreement, new figures show, prompting warnings they are failing to respond to the climate crisis.

The US bank JP Morgan Chase, whose economists warned that the climate crisis threatens the survival of humanity last month, has been the largest financier of fossil fuels in the four years since the agreement, providing over £220bn of financial services to extract oil, gas and coal.

Read the entire story at The Guardian


The Rich Are to Blame for the Climate Crisis, International Study Finds

From EcoWatch
March 17, 2020
by Jordan Davidson

A new international study has pinpointed an enormous chasm in the amount of resources the rich use versus the poor — both within their own countries and compared to an international population, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Energy..

Read the entire story at EcoWatch


The World Is ‘Way off Track’ in Dealing With Climate Crisis, Says UN Head

From EcoWatch
March 11, 2020
by Jordan Davidson

The United Nations released a sobering report Tuesday showing that the climate crisis is accelerating global hunger and wreaking havoc on land, sea and in the atmosphere, according to the UN’s State of the Climate report.

The report says that “the tell-tale physical signs of climate change” are everywhere, noting record breaking heat waves, wildfires and flooding. It warned that more is certain to come, as CBS News reported.

Read the entire story at EcoWatch


Women shouldering the burden of climate crisis need action, not speeches

From loss of livelihoods to domestic abuse, women bear the brunt of natural disasters. Without change, progress on gender equality will be undone.

From The Guardian
March 13, 2020
by Patricia Scotland

While climate change threatens livelihoods and security around the world, it is women who are bearing the brunt. Women predominate in the workforces of many sectors that are most vulnerable to climate change such as agriculture, livestock and fishing.

Read the entire story at The Guardian


The climate crisis is disrupting life for millions, a report finds

What we’ll have to endure as the climate crisis gets worse

From CNN.com
March 10, 2020
by Hannah Levy and Brandon Miller, CNN

After declining for most of the last decade, hunger is once again on the rise around the world, and climate change is a primary cause. Over 820 million people suffered from hunger in 2018, the greatest number since 2010 according to findings from a new World Meteorological Organization report released today.

Read the entire story at CNN.com


The young conservatives who believe Greta Thunberg and want to bring Republicans with them

From CNN.com
March 6, 2020
by Bill Weir

Something was different at CPAC 2020.Sure, Fox News and the NRA were in their regular spots between booths full of “deplorable” hammocks, Donald Trump nutcrackers and a life-size statue of the President, made of nails and posed as Superman.

Read the entire story at CNN.com


Where do the 2020 Democratic candidates stand on the climate crisis?

In California – which hosts its primary on Tuesday – voters are all too familiar with the toll of environmental disasters

From The Guardian
February 29, 2020
by Susie Cagle

With the California Democratic primary taking place on Super Tuesday this presidential season, the most populous, delegate-rich state in the US will have more influence than ever over choosing the party’s nominee. That influence will reflect the particular priorities of California Democratic primary voters, who in a December poll named the climate crisis as their highest priority for the next president.

Read the entire story at The Guardian


Brazil Is Cracking Down on Climate Migrants While Worsening the Climate Crisis

From Gizmodo
February 26, 2020
by Niko Vorobyov

In another dry spell in 1915, 100,000 people died and another 250,000 were forced to leave their homes. Yet another series of devastating droughts hit the area in the 1950s, triggering a mass exodus. Others followed in the 1970s and early 1980s. Droughts and flooding made it harder for farmers to earn a living, so they moved south to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The dry conditions were often aggravated by greedy local elites, who skimmed off federal relief funds and built water reservoirs on private land, as well as a lack of readiness by the nordestinos themselves.

Read the entire story at Gizmodo


Climate Change is Pushing Giant Ocean Currents Poleward

A new study identifies fundamental changes in ocean circulation, with potentially dire effects on food supplies, sea level and weather in densely populated areas.

From Inside Climate News
February 25, 2020
by Bob Berwyn

The world’s major wind-driven ocean currents are moving toward the poles at a rate of about a mile every two years, potentially depriving important coastal fishing waters of important nutrients and raising the risk of sea level rise, extreme storms and heatwaves for some adjacent land areas.

Read the entire story Inside Climate News


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says it was ‘horrifying’ the debate didn’t have any climate change questions. Bernie Sanders agrees.

From The Week
February 25, 2020
by Catherine Garcia

“Not a single climate change question,” she tweeted. “Horrifying.” One of the participants, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), agreed, responding, “A disgrace.”

Read the entire story The Week


10 Musicians Taking on the Climate Crisis

From EcoWatch
February 23, 2020
by The Climate Reality Project

Be it Nina Simone and James Brown for civil rights, Joni Mitchell and Marvin Gaye for the environment, or Jackson Browne and Buffalo Springfield for nuclear disarmament, musicians have long helped push social movements into the limelight.

Today, when it comes to the climate movement, that reality is no different.

Across generations and genres, musicians worldwide increasingly recognize the threat of climate change and are expressing themselves as they know best: through their music.

Read the entire story at EcoWatch


The U.S. power grid desperately needs upgrades to handle climate change

From Science News
February 12, 2020
by Maria Temming

More than half of major U.S. power outages from 2000 to 2016 were caused by natural hazards like hurricanes, heat waves and wildfires, according to research reported July 2018 in Reliability Engineering & System Safety. Climate change is making such extreme weather more likely and more intense (SN Online: 12/10/19). The aging U.S. power grid is not expected to hold up well to the coming climate stresses: “Americans will likely experience longer and more frequent power interruptions,” the American Society of Civil Engineers predicted in a 2017 report.

Read the entire story at Science News

Fires and floods: maps of Europe predict scale of climate catastrophe

From The Guardian
February 10, 2020
by Jennifer Rankin in Brussels

Without urgent action, rising sea levels by end of century could leave cities under water

series of detailed maps have laid bare the scale of possible forest fires, floods, droughts and deluges that Europe could face by the end of the century without urgent action to adapt to and confront global heating.

Read the entire article at The Guardian


Media on Climate Crisis: Don’t Organize, Mourn

From Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
January 30, 2020
by Neil Demause

The year 2019 was, by all accounts, the year of climate awareness. To an unprecedented degree, in the three decades since scientists first warned of the imminent dangers of rising carbon emissions and the resulting global warming, we were transfixed by record-setting heat waves, wildfires in California and Australia, and, of course, Greta Thunberg’s sailboat visit to the US, capped off by her selection as Time‘s Person of the Year (12/23–30/19).

Read the entire story at FAIR

Mass. Senate Plans To Release Comprehensive Climate Change Bill

From WBUR
January 30, 2020
by Bruce Gellerman

Leaders in the state Senate are set to release details Thursday of a long-awaited, comprehensive climate change bill.

Senate President Karen Spilka announced the bill with a social media video that was short on specifics, but credited the activism of young people for urging politicians “to take bold action on climate change right here in Massachusetts.”

Read the entire story at WBUR

Over 55 Climate Scientists Call BS on Joe Biden’s Claim No Scientists Support Bernie Sanders’ Climate Plan

From Gizmodo
January 28, 2020
by Tom McKay

Over 55 scientists have signed an open letter rebuking Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden’s claim that the climate plan rival contender Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders supports, the Green New Deal, isn’t supported by anyone in the scientific field.

Read the entire story at Gizmodo

There Is No Climate Slowdown: Earth’s Oceans Are Heating Up Faster Than Previously Reported

The ocean is heating up faster than previously thought, according to new research out this week, and that might help explain the recent spate of historic hurricanes and decline in a number of marine species.
Read the entire story at Forbes.


From Forbes
Dec 28, 2018

Climate Change Is Already Helping To Drive Up Homelessness

We already can reasonably expect that climate change will increase gentrification in the future, as people with money who get pushed by rising seas on the coasts seek replacement housing further inland.

But climate change is already causing housing problems. It helps increase homelessness.

Read the entire story at Forbes.


From Scientific American
June 6, 2018

A Wyoming Reservation Shows the New Face of Drought

A climate-driven warping of the water cycle is forcing a re-think of water management practices

The traditional measure of drought has been an absence of rainfall. Much later, [Mike] Hobbins stumbled across a way to measure the early stages of droughts by calculating what he calls the “evaporative demand,” or the “growing thirst of the atmosphere.” He found a set of weather data, spanning 38 years, giving him the basic creators of dryness: the wind, air temperature, humidity and incoming solar radiation. That allowed him to identify developing droughts on weather maps without needing to know local soil moisture conditions.
Read the entire story at Scientific American.


From the journal Science

Trump White House quietly cancels NASA research verifying greenhouse gas cuts

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The adage is especially relevant for climate-warming greenhouse gases, which are crucial to manage—and challenging to measure. In recent years, though, satellite and aircraft instruments have begun monitoring carbon dioxide and methane remotely, and NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10-million-a-year research line, has helped stitch together observations of sources and sinks into high-resolution models of the planet’s flows of carbon. Now, President Donald Trump’s administration has quietly killed the CMS, Science has learned.
Read the entire story at Science.


Freshwater feedback loops accelerating Antarctic glacial melt

In a study released April 18 in the journal, Science Advances, “Freshening by glacial meltwater enhances melting of ice shelves and reduces formation of Antarctic Bottom Water,” climate scientists Alessandro Silvano et al. reveal that the melting of Antarctic glaciers is creating a feedback loop that is driving ice loss faster, much faster, than originally thought possible.

Our results suggest that increased glacial meltwater input in a warming climate will both reduce Antarctic Bottom Water formation and trigger increased mass loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet, with consequences for the global overturning circulation and sea level rise.

A good summation of the issue can be found at Common Dreams. In 2016, former NASA climate scientist James Hansen, on the potential for such feedback loops, noted “These feedbacks raise questions about how soon we will pass points of no return in which we lock in consequences that cannot be reversed on any time scale that people care about. Consequences include sea level rise of several meters, which we estimate could occur this century or at latest next century if fossil fuel emissions continue at a high level. That would mean loss of all coastal cities, most of the world’s large cities and all their history.”

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