By Robert A. Vella

Two important updates on climate change today, let’s get right to them.

From:  Arctic sea ice melt to exacerbate California droughts: study

Melting Arctic sea ice could render sun-soaked California vulnerable to a recurrence of the severe drought suffered in recent years as it is likely to cause high pressure systems that push away rain-bearing storms, a study released on Tuesday said.

As temperatures rise, the Arctic Ocean is expected to become ice-free within two or three decades, resulting in more of the sun’s heat being stored in the Arctic Ocean, leading to atmospheric circulation changes and cloud formations in the tropical Pacific that move north.

That will lead to the building of high pressure system known as an atmospheric ridge in the northern Pacific off California’s coast, steering storms north into Alaska and Canada, the study said.

From:  U.N. environment chief warns “we’re facing an ocean Armageddon”

UNITED NATIONS — In Nairobi, Kenya, a U.N. environmental summit opened Monday. The goal: to restore a healthy ocean. The U.N. Environment Assembly (UNEA) began with 7,000 delegates from around the world and 100 ministers, making it the highest level decision-making body on the environment.

It is important to note that resolutions passed during the U.N. Environment Assembly are non-binding to member states, but there is a push to move toward a legal treaty banning plastic waste from entering the sea, in effect, a “zero tolerance” policy.

U.N. Environment Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Erik Solheim, told CBS News that he is hoping that the Nairobi summit will be a turning point, “We’re facing an ocean Armageddon: Every year, we’re dumping at least 8 million tons of plastics into our oceans.”

Solheim said, “At the current rate, we’ll end up with more plastic in the oceans than fish by the middle of the century, and ultimately that comes back to our own food chain.”

“We need to understand that if we kill our oceans, we also kill ourselves.”

5 thoughts on “Climate update: Arctic melt to worsen California droughts, dire U.N. warning on the oceans

  1. Thanks for the climate change update, Robert. After the drought comes the firestorms.

    From the window of my Home Office, I can see the thick and growing smoke from yet another fire raging in Ventura County (Southern California), this time much closer to Los Angeles. This morning, my son who works in the area under threat had to return home as the 405 Freeway was closed to Northbound traffic.

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