Sally Ann Ranney
“It always seems
until it is done.”
– Nelson Mandela
Earth Day 2021 Activities
How 1.5 Degrees Became the Key to Climate Progress
Bill McKibben discusses the ice crisis with Sally Ranney in an article in the New Yorker. April 21, 2021
You’ve taken on the task of helping defend the Arctic ice sheet. What do the rest of us need to know about its importance?
Most people don’t know that what happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic. Why? Because the ice shield covering the Arctic Ocean is actually the centerpiece of an indispensable planetary cooling system, which is maintained by the albedo effect—the reflection of the sun’s heat and radiation back into space. When sea ice retreats, heat is absorbed by the dark ocean, warming water and air temperatures, melting more ice, and on it goes. This is affecting the very stability of global climate regulators. The jet stream, for example, has become wobbly, allowing the polar vortex to dip its killer cold as far south as Texas in February of this year. Severe droughts, fires, and floods—as far-flung as California and northern Africa—and the accelerated Siberian permafrost thaw and methane releases are suspected to be linked to Arctic sea-ice loss. The point is, the Arctic is climate-change ground zero, and Earth’s supra-systems are interconnected and interdependent. We are making this urgent situation more visible and actionable—taking it to the top of the global agenda and to the streets. Think about this: one metric ton of CO2 melts thirty-two square feet (three square metres) of ice.
Read the entire article here.
Need to Know
Climate Change Will Reshape Russia
When U.S. policymakers ponder Russia’s trajectory, they tend to focus on the leadership and longevity of President Vladimir Putin and the nature of his regime, on the Kremlin’s growing authoritarian tendencies at home and the poisoning of opposition figures, on Russia’s nuclear arsenal and cyber capabilities, or on Russia’s projection of power abroad, from election interference to military interventions in Ukraine and Syria. Rarely does climate change make the shortlist. Yet it is climate change, as much as any one politician or set of policies, that will exert the strongest force on Russia’s strategic future, reshaping its politics, economy, and society for decades to come.
Russia is warming 2.5 times faster than the rest of the world. In 2020, regions across Russia have experienced the hottest temperatures on record, contributing to forest fires that burned through acreage the size of Greece and emitted one-third more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than in 2019 (Russian forests account for one-fifth of the world’s total). Flash floods in Siberia destroyed entire villages and displaced thousands of residents. Snow coverage was at a record low in 2020, and Arctic sea ice coverage shrank to its second-lowest extent in over 40 years.
Center for Strategic & International Studies
Cyrus Newlin | January 13, 2021
How the G20 Can Bring the Global Commons Back to the Table
In November, Group of 20 (G20) leaders met virtually for their annual Leaders’ Summit. With countries under the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences, many have been advocating for a multilateral response that integrates the global commons, such as climate change, biodiversity, and ocean, across the multilateral diplomacy landscape to allow countries to “recover better.” Ambitious action in these domains can facilitate economic growth and protect public health.
The outcome of the Summit, the G20 Leaders’ Declaration, delivers mixed results in this regard. It describes conserving biodiversity, preserving oceans, and tackling climate change as “among the most pressing challenges of our time.” It pledges support to the upcoming multilateral meetings in Kunming, China, and Glasgow, UK, and contains a pledge by the signatories of the Paris Agreement on climate change to commit to its full implementation. It also makes reference to calls for countries to update their Paris Agreement pledges, provide climate finance, and communicate long-term strategies for reducing emissions. However, the declaration stops short of calling on countries to align their COVID-19 recoveries with development trajectories that are compatible with addressing these major global commons challenges.
IISD | Rishikesh Ram Bhandary, Mari Luomi, and Jennifer Allan | December 9, 2020
Photo: William Bossen
Tiny Atlantic island takes giant leap towards protecting world's oceans
UK overseas territory Tristan da Cunha’s new marine protected area will be fourth largest sanctuary of its kind.
A community of 250 people on one of the most remote inhabited islands on Earth has made a significant contribution to marine wildlife conservation by banning bottom-trawling fishing, deep-sea mining and other harmful activities from its waters.
The government of Tristan da Cunha, a volcanic archipelago in the south Atlantic and part of the UK’s overseas territories, has announced that almost 700,000 sq km of its waters will become a marine protected area (MPA), the fourth largest such sanctuary in the world.
In doing so, the community will safeguard the area’s wealth of wildlife, including sevengill sharks, the globally threatened yellow-nosed albatross and Atlantic petrel, rockhopper penguins and other birds that live there, and help the UK government achieve its target of protecting 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.
The Guardian | Karen McVeigh | November 13, 2020
Learn More About Sally Ranney
Climate Change Solution Strategist
Wildlife & Biodiversity Activist