Climate News: Texas Drought Kills Millions of Shade Trees; More US Water Shortages With Warming; More

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It's all about the effects of climate change in todays news summary. We're in for tough times, no doubt about it.

5.6 Million Urban Shade Trees Killed in Texas
The effects of the driest year on record for Texas are still being tabulated, with the latest info being this figure above, representing 10% of the state's urban forests and is in addition to the 500 million trees killed by drought as reported in December. Reuters says it'll cost the state $560 million to remove the dead trees and lead to a $280 million increase in utility bills due to lost cooling from the shade trees.

Summer Temps Now Indeed More Intense in US
New research in Climatic Change, relayed by Science Daily:

By using results obtained from climate models for 1995-2024; they found that summer temperatures that were extreme during 1950-1979 occur more often in the later time period. This supports the conclusion that extreme summertime temperatures are already occurring more frequently in parts of the lower 48 states. A second statistical analysis showed that this increase also is very unlikely to be due to chance weather variations alone, such as El Ninos or La Ninas. Finally, the team evaluated model results for 2035-2064 (representing the middle of this century) and found that extreme summertime temperatures that were rare during 1950-1979 are projected to occur in most summers throughout the 48-state region in the mid-century period. For the mid-century, summertime mean temperatures that historically occurred only 5 percent of the time are projected to occur at least 70 percent to the time everywhere in the 48 state region.

Is Arctic Melting Starting Two Months Ahead of Schedule
Via ThinkProgress (emphasis is in the original):

This winter was looking more or less like previous years, until about a month ago. A flip in atmospheric patterns that brought very late winter conditions to Europe, also had an effect on the fringes of the ice pack on the Atlantic side of the Arctic. Large swathes of sea water in the Barents and Kara Seas that ought to have been completely frozen over, opened up and total Arctic ice growth came to a practical standstill on various graphs...Novaya Zemlya, the large Russian island that divides the Barents and Kara seas, is completely ice-free. The same almost goes for Svalbard, the archipelago in the top left. I think it’s safe to safe that this is unprecedented ever since satellites started monitoring Arctic sea ice in 1979.

Water Shortages Increase for US Counties by 2050 Due to Climate Change
New research in the Journal of Environmental Science & Technology shows "more than 1 in 3 counties in the United States could have a 'high' or 'extreme' risk of water shortages due to climate change by the middle of the 21st century...7 in 10 of the more than 3,100 US counties could face 'some' risk of shortages of fresh water for drinking, farming, and other uses." Read more.

Tags: Global Climate Change | Global Warming Effects

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