Take an amusing quiz to learn about unexpected effects of Climate Change. After each multiple choice question, you see if you were right (and the right answer if you weren't).

Think you know the off effects of Global Climate change?

As you can see I got one wrong for every two correct answers.

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Hurricanes - oh my!

"...the 2016 hurricane season is not scheduled to officially begin until June 1."

But we have Pauli in the pacific and Alex in the Atlantic.

Pali becomes earliest hurricane on record in Central Pacific

Alex strengthens into a hurricane, a rarity for winter in the Atlantic

Incidentally ... December was a tad warmer than normal, like 1.42°C above the preindustrial global average.

A Terrifying Jump in Global Temperatures — December of 2015 at 1.4 ...

Alex Now An Unprecedented January Atlantic Hurricane — Joins Pali i...

... it’s also forming in an odd location and in an odd manner.

Alex also still appears to be strengthening.

The rarity of this particular event in the context of other concurrent events cannot be overstated.

... it’s pretty clear that the world we’re living in now is one that has been dramatically altered by an incessant and growing rate of fossil fuel burning... [order of last quote changed]

Did that man say -76 degrees below zero? That is a temperature better suited in Fairbanks. 

I don't remember the exact number, just that a wave in the jet stream brought Arctic air so the air was very very cold above the water. Apparently it's not just how warm the ocean is but the gradient between the water and air temperature which drives a storm.

You were right, Joan.

It is very unusual to have a hurricane over waters that are near 20 degrees Celsius, but the upper-tropospheric temperatures are estimated to be around -60 degrees Celsius, which is significantly colder than the tropical mean.

-60 degree Celsius = -76 degree Fahrenheit

NASA sees formation of unusual North Atlantic Hurricane Alex

16 - 14 but there were a lot of USA-related questions.

Dementia from Climate Change!!?  Who could have guessed? We knew that warmer water increased toxic cyanobacteria blooms. Now there's evidence that toxin causes dementia.

Exposure to algae toxin increases the risk of Alzheimer’s-like illn...

A paper published today suggests chronic exposure to an environmental toxin may increase the risk of neurodegenerative illness.

Neurodegenerative disease is an umbrella term which includes Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease (MND).

This is the first time researchers have been able to produce Alzheimer’s-like protein deposits in an animal model with an environmental toxin.

BMAA was first suspected as a neurotoxin when it was linked to the Alzheimer’s-like illness in Guam, which at its peak killed 25% of the men of one village.

... BMAA was similar in structure to another amino acid that humans use when they make proteins. So similar in fact, that we showed it could be mistakenly inserted into the protein chain when they were synthesised, rendering them toxic and subsequently killing cells.

... the findings of today’s study ... implicate a widely distributed toxin in a growing and formidable human health problem: dementia. BMAA is made by blue-green algae (more accurately known as cyanobacteria).

Blooms commonly occur where nutrients are high, such as in areas where agricultural run-off occurs, and can be identified by their bright green colour and putrid smell.


The problem is these blooms are increasing in size and frequency as global temperatures rise.

... BMAA can be absorbed into the proteins of grain crops if they’re irrigated with contaminated water.

We also know that BMAA concentrates in seafood, such as mussels, pink shrimp, prawns and lobsters, when they grow in waters where blooms flourish.

Studies show that people who live by lakes subject to frequent algal blooms have an increased risk of contracting MND. The risk is even higher if you live downwind, suggesting a role for inhalation as a route for toxicity.

... we simply don’t know how much BMAA is present in the environment because food and water is not routinely screened. Methods are available, but they’re expensive and require a high level of skill to conduct accurately. This makes them impractical to implement on a commercial level.

Also, blue-green algae does not always make BMAA – ideal conditions include precise concentrations of nutrients and warm temperatures.

One of the many unknowns as we approach climate change. With chaos comes confusion and uncertainty, the environment opportunistic and manipulators like to exploit! 

I hope everyone has read Chaos: Making a new Science, by James Gleick.

 

Is your home vulnerable to Zika as it spreads? When we were warned that climate change would spread new mosquito-borne diseases, nobody imagined a horrifying microcephaly epidemic. Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica already recommended women delay pregnancies. WHO says Zika will spread to all American countries excepting Canada and Chile. As the world warms the range of Zika-transmitting mosquitoes will expand.

We need to face up to the fact that pushing the limits of the planet’s ecology has become dangerous in novel ways.        Bill McKibben

The Zika virus foreshadows our dystopian climate future

image source

As Zika virus spreads, El Salvador asks women not to get pregnant u...

I’ve spent much of my life chronicling the ongoing tragedies stemming from global warming: the floods and droughts and storms, the failed harvests and forced migrations. But no single item on the list seems any more horrible than the emerging news from South America about the newly prominent Zika disease.

Spread by mosquitoes whose range inexorably expands as the climate warms,...

The World Health Organization says at least 20 countries or territories in the region, including Barbados and Bolivia, Guadeloupe and Guatemala, Puerto Rico and Panama, have registered transmission of the virus.

Zika is spread by two types of Aedes mosquitoes,...

Besides the Zika virus, the mosquitoes transmit dengue, chikungunya and yellow fevers.

Aedes aegypti can carry Zika. Here's it's expected range.

And here's the predicted distribution of Aedes albopictus, another vector.

image source

I'm not happy that my state sits in both ranges. Experts think Zika will be found spreading in Florida and Texas by Spring or Summer.

Aedes aegypti's range will need modification in the map above. They've already established a population in DC. They're adapting to overwinter!!!

Researchers have reported the discovery of a major population of the mosquito species Aedes aegypti, the species capable of carrying tropical diseases such as Zika virus, dengue fever and chikungunya, in a Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington, D.C. To add insult to injury, the team identified genetic evidence that these mosquitoes have overwintered for at least the past four years, meaning they are adapting for persistence in a northern climate well out of their normal range.[emphasis mine]

Mosquitoes capable of carrying Zika virus found in Washington, D. C.

Locust Plagues from Climate Change -aagh!

Argentine farmers and agricultural authorities are dealing with the worst locust plague in more than half a century...

Agricultural authorities pointed to a United Nations report in November 2015, as well as a similar warning from local experts, which linked climate change to locust plagues.

The U.N.-commissioned report focused on Africa — though the same principles in theory apply to Argentina — such as the influence of El Nino and the shifts in weather caused by climate change. “Extreme weather events, including torrential downpours, have the potential to trigger a massive surge in locust numbers,” wrote Keith Cressman, a senior forecasting officer for the report. [emphasis mine]

I searched reference books and Google looking for treatment and prevention of locusts and find the best and virtually only effective and efficient treatment is highly toxic chemicals. The natural way to get a semblance of control is and has been seagulls.

The Rains of Climate Change, Voracious Locust Swarms Wreck Crops in...

It's Russia's turn for a climate-change-enhanced locust plague. During May and Early June an early locust swarm devoured 10% of Russia's corn crop.

The swarm is part of an annual arrival of the insects from North Africa. But this year, warmer than normal weather conditions — enhanced by the hot air dredged up ahead of the rainy trough to the north — are thought to have spurred breeding, swelled the size of the swarm, and aided in its early arrival.

... the swarm this year has likely only just gotten started — meaning that with most of summer ahead, there’s a risk that the swarm will continue to expand for weeks or even months.

Human forced climate change both has the increased potential to set off extreme rainfall events and to extend the period of time during which swarming insects like locusts can move and breed. Heat creeping northward also expands the range of locust swarms even as extreme heat, drought, and heavy rainfall events can increase insects tendency to gather into large groups rather than forage individually.

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