Hawaii’s governor, David Ige, declared an emergency in the US state after heavy rains brought floods, landslides and fear of dam failures, and authorities ordered the evacuation of several thousand people from communities threatened by rising waters.“
“The move came after a dam overflowed on the island of Maui, forcing evacuations and destroying homes, with the dam’s “unsatisfactory” condition leading to it being scheduled for removal this year, the land department has said.”
Mudslides that tore through a Southern California canyon on Wednesday, unleashed by heavy winter rains, trapped four people in their homes and badly damaged houses and cars in a community already scarred by December wildfires.“
“The torrent of mud marked the latest natural disaster to hit Silverado Canyon in Orange County…”
a changing climate is raising concerns about how the saguaro cactus will survive the 21st century in an environment that’s hot and getting hotter, dry and getting drier. “…
“In a climate wake-up call, drought and record-breaking heat in 2020 contributed to wildfires that killed thousands of saguaros.”
Plano forester [Texas] says last month’s record lows could produce ‘dieback’ on trees… trees that usually remain green all winter have turned brown.“
“Not surprisingly, the culprit is likely the record-breaking low temperatures brought on by the winter storms in February.”
142-year-old record broken by massive temperature turnaround in Minnesota… “
“The driving force behind the warm blast has been a pronounced northward bulge in the jet stream,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Mary Gilbert wrote.”
Yet another mild winter for the record books in the [Canadian] Maritimes… When looking at winters over the past decade, it’s pretty clear that our warming ocean temperatures are playing a role… “
“Warmer ocean water releases heat throughout the winter months, keeping coastal temperatures more mild.”
“Using preindustrial climate and pollution data, scientists are walking back the idea that the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation is a real meteorological entity.
“Instead, human activity is responsible for fluctuations in hurricane seasons, they argue.”
Forest fires that started two weeks ago have ravaged 12 of the 21 ranges of Odisha’s Simlipal Tiger Reserve, Asia’s second-largest biosphere, an official said…“
“The park is home to 1,076 species of plants, including 96 species of orchids. Forty two species of mammals, including the tiger, leopard and Asian elephant, have been spotted here…”
The global semiconductor shortage is set to worsen if the supply chain dries up at its source, and that appears to be happening quite literally in Taiwan…“
“Wafer production requires massive amounts of water, but reservoirs in Taiwan are critically low… the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, TSMC, has been asked to reduce its water use by 7 per cent.”
Thousands of families in Jayawijaya district, Papua province have been shifted to higher ground due to floodwaters submerging their homes, the Jayawijaya District Natural Disaster Mitigation Agency reported.“
“The agency is still calculating the material losses caused by the flooding, which followed incessant rains from late February to March 9, 2021…”
Experts say temperatures [in Australia] are forecast to soar during summer thanks to climate change, with hot summer days in Melbourne and Brisbane expected to regularly top 40C by 2060-2080, and up to 50C in Sydney.“
“Cities in particular will feel the brunt of increasing heatwaves thanks to a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect.”
At least seven people were injured and 15 more missing on Wednesday as forest fires ripped through Patagonia [Argentina], official sources said.“
“Some 200 people had to be evacuated and around 100 homes were damaged by fire in an area of forests and lakes popular with tourists close to the Andes mountain range.”
Floods, stranded cars and suspension of transport: a heavy downpour causes havoc in Guayaquil [Ecuador]… “
“The rains caused overflows in the sewers and drains, vehicular chaos and flooding in streets, homes and commercial premises.” [Video]
Cape Town braces itself for a month’s rain in a day… The first northwester of the year will unleash torrential rain on Cape Town, starting on Tuesday night and continuing throughout Wednesday.“
“…the farmland around Ceres expected to soak up more than 100mm [3.94 inches] of rain, according to yr.no.”
Locust outbreaks in the Horn of Africa are linked to the changing climate:“
“Since 2018, swarms of desert locusts have devoured vital crops and vegetation in the Horn of Africa, and scientists are drawing ominous links between this new reality, the warming climate and increasingly extreme weather.”
The warming of worldwide oceans from climate change means baby sharks are at risk of being born smaller and without the energy they need to survive, a group of scientists has found…“
“…warmer conditions sped up the sharks’ growing process, and that meant they hatched from eggs earlier and were born exhausted.”
Some algal blooms produce methane, thanks to cyanobacteria – methane is a potent greenhouse gas…“
“Because cyanobacteria blooms are expected to increase with global climate change, and methane is a potent greenhouse gas, the observation that cyanobacteria directly produce methane suggests that cyanobacteria blooms may be a previously unrecognized positive feedback loop on global climate change.”
“Is this the end of forests as we’ve known them?
“Trees lost to drought and wildfires are not returning. Climate change is taking a toll on the world’s forests – and radically changing the environment before our eyes… trees are dying without humans laying a hand on them, at least physically, and they are not resprouting.”
Antarctic Peninsula warming up due to heat in Tasman Sea… “
“The melting of the Earth’s ice cover intensified in the 20th century, with glaciers and sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic regions melting at alarming speeds. In fact, The Antarctic Peninsula… was found to be one of the most rapidly warming regions on the planet during the second half of the 20th century.”
Antarctica’s northern George VI Ice Shelf experienced record melting during the 2019-2020 summer season compared with 31 previous summers of dramatically lower melt, a University of Colorado Boulder-led study found. “
“The extreme melt coincided with record-setting stretches when local surface air temperatures were at or above the freezing point.”
The battle for the Arctic: Why global powers are vying for influence in the Faroe Islands. The US, Russia and China have all shown interest as Denmark re-establishes a radar station in the archipelago…“
“”Environmental changes in the Arctic are putting The Faroes more in the centre, and that has meant other countries, such as the US, China, and Russia, are giving us more attention,” Jenis av Rana, foreign minister of the Faroes Islands told The Telegraph.”
It’s snowing plastic in Siberia… Tomsk scientists are analysing vast quantities of miscroplastics in winter precipitation across a swathe of Russia…“
“Yulia Frank, a scientist at the Biological Institute of Tomsk State University, said: ‘People have been using plastic for over a century and a half. Synthetic polymers degrade poorly, and many countries have not yet come to collecting and disposing of this material.
“‘So more and more products of its decomposition – microplastics – are accumulating in the environment.”
You can read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with an ‘Economic’ thread.
If you found value in this content, please help me continue this work by becoming a patron of my work via patreon.com.
Dear Panopticon, I’m a historian of religions, a patreon, and I want to offer you a place for thinking together if you would like it.
One of the things I study is personhood across traditions, and especially personhood where the person (let’s call her Tamika) is understood by her community to be a medium who delivers messages to her community. This kind of personhood, where a “self” is displaced in order for the messages to be delivered, has a whole spectrum of names and degrees of selflessness. But in all cases, it is a precarious role both in terms of the demands it makes upon the self and in terms of the self’s support or lack of support from the community.
Most of the people who play this role in their communities did not ask for it and did not seek it out. Rather, they report that the role sought them and would not let them live in peace until they accepted the work being asked of them.
There are gender distinctions. Often men are considered to be prophets, maintaining their consciousness while delivering messages. Women predominate in this kind of role, and they are more precarious than men in that their messages are looked at with greater suspicion. If the women gain social power in their role delivering messages about the power at work in the creation, they are more likely to be judged as false, devalued as crazy, or even considered evil and in need of sacrifice or death, as with Joan of Arc.
My thought is this — in the modern west, the popular perception of religion and science is all pictured as happening as a distinction between brains. Some brains have belief and some brains have science, and each should stay in its lane. Scientists can have a belief lane within their science brain, and it needs to know its limits, deferring to science for the adjudication of truth.
As I read your posts, I sense the following: You are serving the function of a digital medium in a digital medium. The accumulated clicks of each report flow through these pages. You deliver to me a kind of experience of concentrated data about the power at work in the world. I assume you have to go to your “space” in which you persist and collect and collate and create the post, able to endure the cumulative message because a part of your personhood has figured out how to do this and keep going.
This model of personhood does not find very much support in the modern imagination of human personhood. We have ideas like a “self-possessed individual” more than we have models of a digital medium through which a message has demanded that it be told.
I wrote a book about this kind of personhood in which I contributed a model of agency with which to understand the power of a person who has messages that speak through them: “The Hammer and the Flute: Women, Power, and Spirit Possession” (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002). It won an award from the American Academy of Religion and my argument is used quite widely across cultural and media studies in addition to the comparative study of religion.
If you would like to consider whether any of the history of people who are “spoken through” more than they are speaking is useful for your resilience, or if you are interested in the question of agency–what kind of power do you experience in your role (beyond the normal dichotomies of agent/patient), I am pleased to hear about your thoughts and to bounce them around against the context of a feminist philosophy of personhood and Indigenous theorizations of relationality with the natural world.
I am working toward my next book. It’s a small book called The Spirit of Climate Change. I am wondering whether we might co-write a chapter if you thought any of these ideas are interesting and you’d consider reflecting on your role in the past and the future decade.
Thank you for giving me my dose of reality. I open your link from my email in the spirit of a bracing skinny dip into the reality that gives me the fortitude to fight better than I have yet fought, located as I am in the heart of the largest coal producing state in the U.S., home to white Nationalist christian climate science denial.
I also understand that what I do is off in left field for many people, and there’s no need for you to reply if it’s not your cup of tea or it’s not helpful in any way to your work.
Mary, thank you – what a fascinating and thoughtful comment. I have been on a spiritual journey of sorts over the past decade or so, wrestling with ego and, as you say, attempting to displace the self – in my day to day life; not just on this website. Let me quickly add that I am still very much a work in progress there! But I do feel that I am a conduit for this process of data-concentration rather than its source. The compulsion to assemble these threads is potent and feels as if it comes extrinsically.
Your new book sounds intriguing. I am loath to make promises I can’t keep, as I am always horribly time-constrained, but in principle I would be interested. There are some half-formed ideas around this that I have been wanting to articulate and perhaps contributing to your book might help me crystalize them. Let me ponder!