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The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week for Climate Change News

A pile of studies this week underscored the growing consequences of climate change.

Shutterstock / Montree Hanlue

A pile of scientific studies landed this week that underscored the growing dangers of climate change, as well as the mounting consequences already detectable today.

  • In the journal Nature Communications, researchers using a new model at the University of Cambridge found that: “The massive ice sheet covering most of Greenland is more sensitive to climate change than earlier estimates have suggested, which would accelerate the rising sea levels that threaten coastal communities worldwide.”
  • A team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Carnegie Institute of Science said the calcium carbonate in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has declined by around 40 percent in the last 35 years, as rising carbon dioxide levels turn the oceans more acidic. Why fret about that? “The entire coral ecosystem could collapse and eventually be reduced to piles of rubble. The collapse of this habitat would ultimately lead to the loss of its magnificent and highly diverse flora and fauna.”
  • Scientists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science found that the heat waves and drought that hit Australia in 2013, the continent’s hottest year on record, were “virtually impossible without the influence of human-caused global warming.”
  • Meanwhile, Stanford researchers published findings in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society concluding that the historic drought plaguing California towns and farmlands is also “very likely” tied to anthropogenic climate change. “This isn’t a projection of 100 years in the future,” climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh said in a statement. “This is an event that is more extreme than any in the observed record, and our research suggests that global warming is playing a role right now.”

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