CATCH THE BUZZ – Climate Change Cachets

European researchers say global warming is promoting the invasion of the honey bee pest small hive beetle (SHB).

The study by Wageningen University in Netherlands, the University of Bern, Switzerland and the Center for Environmental Research, Germany. found that under the current climate, the results show many areas globally not yet uninvaded by SHB are suitable, suggesting a considerable invasion risk.

“Future scenarios of global warming project a vehement increase in climatic suitability for SHB and corresponding potential for invasion, especially in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, thereby creating demand for enhanced and adapted mitigation and management,” the researchers say in the study published in Global Change Biology.

“Our analysis shows, for the first time, effects of global warming on a honey bee pest and will help areas at risk to prepare adequately.

“This is a clear case for global warming promoting biological invasion of a pest species with severe potential to harm important pollinator species globally.”


Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore says his predictions from 2006 about climate change over the next 10 years have come true –and part of the damage is irreversible.

“Some changes, unfortunately, have already been locked in place,” Gore said in an ABC News interview. “Sea level increases are going to continue no matter what we do now. But, we can prevent much larger sea level increases – much more rapid increases in temperatures. The heat wave was in Europe. Now, it’s in the Arctic, and we’re seeing huge melting of the ice there.

“So, the warnings of the scientists 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, unfortunately, were accurate. Climate change is getting worse faster than we are mobilizing to solve it.”


While torrential downpours and flash flooding don’t evoke images of drought or water insecurity, those polar opposites make sense in the erratic world of a warming climate, West Virginia University says.

Nicolas Zegre, director of the Mountain Hydrology Laboratory, says such instability could undermine the availability of food and water in West Virginia, further challenging an already economically struggling state.

Zegre projects the following trends could occur by the end of the 21st century – up to a 10° F jump in average temperature; increased evaporation along mountain ridges; more frequent droughts; a rise in extreme events such as heat waves, tornadoes, flooding.

The 10° F spike in temperature is a worst-case scenario, expected if the  carbon emissions released into the environment continue at the current rate or increases. If reducing emissions becomes a global priority, Zegre expects average temps to jump 5° F.


Giant agribusiness Cargill, saying it’s committed to reducing greenhouse gas emission, releases a collection of sustainability reports across four key businesses – aqua nutrition; cocoa and chocolate; ocean transportation; and premix and nutrition.

The reports provide insight into how Cargill addresses the impacts of climate change and delivers sustainable solutions that are transparent, innovative and collaborative.

“Our work in sustainability focuses on reducing the environmental and social impact throughout our global operations,” says Ruth Kimmelshue, Cargill’s chief sustainability officer.


High-tide flooding is the term the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration uses to describe shoreline flooding, not the result of a storm or other weather event.

“Sea-level rise flooding is what it is,” says oceanographer Billy Sweet. “It’s front and center.”

As the warming climate melts glaciers and polar ice, sea levels are rising at rates experts are having a hard time predicting. Tides are running generally higher, and high-tide flooding is increasing.

U.S. high-tide flooding is mostly on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The Atlantic and Gulf have shallow, wide coastal plains, so as sea level rises, the water can run up more easily and onto the shoreline.


A University of Kansas study finds the way media frame climate change coverage can be predicted by several national factors, but none tend to frame it as an immediate problem requiring national policies.

Hong Vu, assistant professor of journalism, says while richer countries tend to frame climate change coverage as a political issue, poorer countries more often seer it as an issue the world at large needs to address.

The most consistent predictor of how the issue was framed is a nation’s gross domestic product per capita.

“We showed that the issue is more politicized in richer countries,” Vu says.

When climate change was framed as an economic issue, it was in countries that had the most severe climates and those that have experienced the most adverse consequences of climate change and natural disasters, loss of life and property, and economic effects.


Arctic sea ice could disappear through September each summer if average global temperatures increase by as little as 2° C, a study by the University of Cincinnati finds.

“Most likely, September Arctic sea ice will effectively disappear between approximately 2° and 2.5° of global warming,” the study said. “Yet limiting the warming to 2° (as proposed under the Paris agreement) may not be sufficient to prevent an ice-free Arctic Ocean.”

The less summer sea ice the Arctic has, the longer it takes for the Arctic Ocean to ice back over for the polar winter. This could spell bad news for wildlife such as seals and polar bears that rely on sea ice to raise pups and hunt them, respectively.


Invasive insects and pathogens have wreaked havoc on ash, elm, and chestnut trees, wiping some of them almost completely from American forests. A Purdue University study shows the carbon storage lost to the pests each year is the same as the carbon emitted by five million vehicles.

Prof. Songlin Fei says the trees killed each year by the 15 most invasive pests contain six million tons of carbon.

“Not all of those dead trees immediately become carbon sources, but they are being taken away from the live biomass, which functions as carbon sink,” Fei says. “Part of the dead biomass will eventually get into the atmosphere.”


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says July, 2019 was the hottest month on record, with global temperatures averaging 62.13°F – 1.71° above the 20th century average.

This July bested July 2016 for the hottest month by .05°.

Records date to 1880.

Areas with the most notable departures from normal July temperatures were Alaska, central Europe, northern and southwestern parts of Asia, and parts of Africa and Australia.

Nine of the 10 hottest Julys have occurred since 2005, and the last five have been the hottest Julys ever.

This July was the 415th consecutive month with above-average global temperatures.


New Zealand is bolstering its support for the Pacific region’s response to climate change.

New Zealand is giving NZ$150 million (US$96.5 million) to a Pacific program to bolster climate change support in the region.

“Whenever I meet with those who live on Pacific Islands, climate change is top of their agenda,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

The program includes infrastructure such as water tanks, better tools and training to manage droughts, floods and coastal inundation; Climate hazard mapping and risk planning; customized climate information that will support sectors such as agriculture, tourism, health and infrastructure; and improving access to international climate finance through technical assistance.

“Pacific people have made it clear they want to stay where they are and defend their homes and livelihoods against climate change, and we will support them in this,” Ardern says.


By: Alan Harman