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    Page Updated: Nov.. 27, 2020


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    Climate Change: Leaves Fall Sooner
    and Store Less Carbon
    GHG Emitter
    November 27,, 2020

    Every autumn, the leaves on the trees first change their colors before eventually falling off, creating a colorful seasonal display. But even this spectacular setting is now being affected by climate change, the authors of a new study report. The higher temperatures appear to be delaying autumn and making the trees drop their leaves earlier and store less carbon.

    Autumn is also known as “fall” because, well, it’s the season when leaves fall down. All around us leaves are turning yellow and looking a bit dry and crusty. So when a stiff breeze comes along, those leaves seem to “fall” off. It sounds reasonable and simple but there’s actually much more to it.

    When the days get shorter and colder, it triggers a hormone in trees, sending a chemical message for the leaves to leave. Once they get it, small cells appear at the place where the leaf stem meets the branch. Within a few days or weeks, leaves develop a line of cells that push the leaf away bit by bit.

    Some trees lose their leaves every year. These trees are called deciduous trees, and they lose their leaves in response to seasonal changes in temperature, sunlight, and humidity. Deciduous trees mostly cover places where winter gets cold and snowy. When it’s very cold, the water in the tree can freeze and the leaves stop working.

    New Delhi's Poisonous Air - a
    Crisis of its Own Making
    Novermber 25, 2020

    Thousands of families who live near a smouldering waste landfill in a northern corner of India’s capital have boarded up their doors and windows because they say the air outside is so toxic that they would be coughing all day.

    New Delhi has the worst air of any capital on the planet, according to IQ AirVisual, a Swiss-based group that gathers air quality data globally.

    Jahangirpuri is one of its most polluted parts, choking daily in the murky mix of smoke from burning rubbish, exhaust fumes from trucks coming in and out a large depot and dust rising from unmetalled roads.

    “We’re dying a slow death. But we can’t think of going anywhere else because our work is here,” said daily wage worker Naresh Yadav, a 33-year-old migrant worker from poverty stricken Bihar state.

    This month, as winds dropped leaving pollutants trapped in the air, the levels of PM2.5, tiny particulate matter that is sucked deep into the lungs, have averaged 390 in Jahangirpuri - six times more than the amount deemed safe by the World Health Organisation.

    Delhi has blamed farmers burning crop stubble in the neighbouring states for its sickly air, and the federal capital’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said this week it was worsening the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

    Time Runs Out for a U.S.-
    Canada Oil Pipeline
    --NY Times
    Climate Change
    November 17, 2020

    In an unusual move, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, citing environmental concerns, is shutting down an underwater pipeline that carries oil to refineries in her state and Canada.

    Pipeline operations normally fall under federal jurisdiction. Governor Whitmer, a Democrat, is acting under the state’s public trust doctrine, which requires state authorities to protect the Great Lakes. The pipeline in question, known as Line 5, has been in operation since the 1950s.

    The decision, announced on Friday, requires the pipeline operator Enbridge to cease operations on a specific section of Line 5 by May 2021, but it will have the effect of curtailing the entire pipeline, which runs between Superior, Wis., and Sarnia, Ontario. “Enbridge has routinely refused to take action to protect our Great Lakes and the millions of Americans who depend on them for clean drinking water and good jobs,” Governor Whitmer said in a statement.

    Under the terms of an agreement with the state, Enbridge is required to maintain a multilayered coating on the pipeline to protect it from corrosion and to ensure that the pipeline has physical supports that are no more than 75 feet apart. The Michigan authorities found that the company had violated those terms and also failed to adequately protect the pipeline from damage from boat anchors.

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    'Sleeping Giant' Arctic Methane
    Deposits Starting to Release
    --The Guardian
     Environmental Inhjustive
    October 27, 2020

    Scientists have found evidence that frozen methane deposits in the Arctic Ocean – known as the “sleeping giants of the carbon cycle” – have started to be released over a large area of the continental slope off the East Siberian coast, the Guardian can reveal.

    High levels of the potent greenhouse gas have been detected down to a depth of 350 metres in the Laptev Sea near Russia, prompting concern among researchers that a new climate feedback loop may have been triggered that could accelerate the pace of global heating.

    The slope sediments in the Arctic contain a huge quantity of frozen methane and other gases – known as hydrates. Methane has a warming effect 80 times stronger than carbon dioxide over 20 years. The United States Geological Survey has previously listed Arctic hydrate destabilisation as one of four most serious scenarios for abrupt climate change.

    The international team onboard the Russian research ship R/V Akademik Keldysh said most of the bubbles were currently dissolving in the water but methane levels at the surface were four to eight times what would normally be expected and this was venting into the atmosphere.

    “At this moment, there is unlikely to be any major impact on global warming, but the point is that this process has now been triggered. This East Siberian slope methane hydrate system has been perturbed and the process will be ongoing,” said the Swedish scientist Örjan Gustafsson, of Stockholm University, in a satellite call from the vessel.