global warming

The asteroid impact that ended the age of the dinosaurs also released so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that the planet warmed up by about 5 degrees Celsius — and the hot spell persisted for roughly 100,000 years.

That's according to a new study in the journal Science that offers a cautionary tale about how Earth's climate will react to the carbon dioxide that's being pumped into the atmosphere now by the burning of fossil fuels.

The oceans are getting warmer and fish are noticing. Many that live along U.S. coastlines are moving to cooler water. New research predicts that will continue, with potentially serious consequences for the fishing industry.

Danny Hwang / WLRN News

South Florida moms celebrated Mother’s Day by hosting a panel discussion about climate change resilience, calling it a "Mama Summit."

The moms, who represent a group called Moms Clean Air Force, told government officials they share a concern for a sustainable future.

Karina Castillo is the Florida Field Consultant for the group, a national community of over one million parents working to combat air pollution and climate change. She emphasized the importance of local community engagement against climate change.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Global warming is likely contributing to record-breaking heat in South Florida: 2015 and 2017 tied for the hottest year since regional record-keeping began in the 1800s, and temperatures in the early part of 2018 are setting records, too.

C
World Meteorological Organization

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit a new record in 2016. The concentration of the heat-trapping gas is higher than it’s been in at least 800,000 years, including all of human history.

That's the word from the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization.

The WMO says last year's CO2 spike was 50 percent greater than the average increase over the past decade, which Petteri Taalas, the organization’s secretary-general, says is very bad news.

Government of Dominica

Since Hurricane Maria crashed through the Caribbean last month, most of the attention has focused on Puerto Rico. But smaller nearby islands were even harder hit. Especially Dominica. It was the first to feel Maria’s Category 5, 160-mph winds. They demolished the country, leaving 27 dead, 50 still missing – and the population of 71,000 still with little access to food, water and power.

United Nations

Before he was president of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís was a professor at Florida International University. He had a homecoming on Friday when he spoke at FIU on topics like climate change and the future of Venezuelan democracy. 

Solís was a Fulbright professor at FIU at the turn of the century, researching Latin American issues. After addressing the U.N. general assembly this week, Solís came to talk at FIU’s Main Campus about those same concerns.

PR Newswire/AP

President Trump fulfilled one of his big campaign promises on Tuesday: He signed an executive order that directed the Environmental Protection Agency to roll back the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.

That plan was intended to cut harmful carbon emissions by replacing coal-fired power plants with renewable energy sources. Trump wants to repeal it as a step towards boosting the struggling coal industry.

But in Florida and across the country, it's doubtful the rollback will have much impact -- positive or negative, says University of Miami economist David Kelly.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

  Between air conditioning, lights and appliances, buildings consume a lot of energy. That high energy consumption requires high energy production --  from sources like coal and oil, which contribute to global warming and sea-level rise.

 

All of which threatens the future livability of Miami-Dade County. 

 

Logan Riely / Miami Herald

COMMENTARY 

 

Dr. Esper Kallas shared a prediction about Zika with me earlier this year. And I could have made big bucks betting that unfortunately he’d be right.

If you think it's been hot this year, you're right. The latest temperature numbers from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say the first six months of 2016 were the hottest on record around the planet.

Valters Boze/flickr

A climate change litmus test has been circulating around Tallahassee. The man behind the test wants to get lawmakers and other state leaders on the record about their feelings regarding climate change and the risk to Florida.

'Global bleaching event' threatens corals around the world

Oct 9, 2015
XL Catlin Seaview Survey

A quarter of the world’s marine species depend on coral reefs for habitat. A half-billion people rely on them for their livelihoods or sustenance.

Researchers say we’re now in the midst of the third global coral bleaching event in less than 20 years. And that by the time it’s all played out, the world may have lost another 5 percent of its corals, with a murky future ahead for the rest.

350.org/flickr

Disputing reports that state agencies are prohibited from using the words "climate change," top environmental official Jonathan Steverson repeatedly uttered the phrase during a confirmation hearing Wednesday.

Steverson, who was appointed in December by Gov. Rick Scott as secretary of Florida Department of Environmental Protection, told the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee his agency has no policy against "climate change."

Christine Zenino/flickr

Warmer temperatures are causing glaciers to melt in places like Antarctica and Greenland. What’s in those glaciers may have a significant effect on ecosystems downstream. Those massive chunks of ice harbor a lot of organic carbon – like soot and byproducts from fossil fuel combustion.

All water, from tap water to the oceans, is full of organic carbon in varying forms and concentrations.

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