Climate Letter #1100

Deep drought conditions are again being reported in California.  “The weekly report released by the U.S. Drought Monitor….shows 44 percent of the state is now considered to be in a moderate drought. It’s a dramatic jump from just last week, when the figure was 13 percent.”  Furthermore, the snowpack is currently less than one-third of normal for this date.
–South Africa’s water crisis has similarities, extending well beyond the city of Cape Town.
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Membership in the Paris Agreement, and compliance with its terms, are destined to have an important influence on trade relations.  This is especially true for the European Union, which already requires a chapter on sustainability in any trade agreement.  Current US policies may be pleasing to some major corporations but for others there is a potential downside that we may soon be hearing more about.
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WIRED magazine has an updated guide to climate change.  This is designed for persons who are relatively new to the subject  and would benefit from a quick overview that includes some basic fundamentals plus references to what is being done about it by various parties that have taken a serious interest.
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Climate history:  A new study provides evidence for claims that a comet strike caused the Younger Dryas cooling episode 12,800 years ago.  This has been a controversial theory for a number of years, and any new evidence will generate interest since the event in question was of an extreme nature and has never earned a completely satisfying explanation.  The post has links to the two-part study with more information but unfortunately no open access.
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More climate history, this time with humans included:  The evolution of human ancestors took a major step forward during the Pliocene era, more than three million years ago, when CO2 levels were about the same as where they are now and the climate was warmer.  Researchers of that era tell about some of the things they are learning (Earth Institute, Columbia University).
Carl
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