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Current Global Warming Basics

Here is a summary of the basic impacts of global warming on our biosphere.  I present here the quick view.  More discussion at that site.

Atmospheric Temperatures

Here’s the global average temperature each month from January 1880 through January 2016, according to data from NASA:

The red dot marks the most recent value, January 2016. It’s the hottest yet.
Here is the secular trend:

I have discussed measuring the trend from 1998 to present here and here.  There can be no question atmospheric temperatures and rising.

NASA isn’t the only organization that tracks global temperature. There’s also the National Climate Data Center, the Hadley Centre/Climate Research Unit in the U.K., a modified form from the Univ. of York in the U.K., independent data from a team organized by researchers from Berkeley Univ. in California, and the Japan Meteorological Agency, just to name the best-known. It would be redundant to show you data from all these organizations, because they all tell the same story: l…

Hothouse Earth

I've posted before about feedback, global warming causing feedbacks that make it worse.  Also if the feedback causes global temperatures to exceed 2 degrees Celsius, that it would be catastrophic.  Some researchers now have research to support that.

Researchers believe we could soon cross a threshold leading to boiling hot temperatures and towering seas in the centuries to come.  Even if countries succeed in meeting their CO2 targets, we could still lurch on to this "irreversible pathway".

Their study shows it could happen if global temperatures rise by 2C.
"We are the ones in control right now, but once we go past 2 degrees, we see that the Earth system tips over from being a friend to a foe. We totally hand over our fate to an Earth system that starts rolling out of equilibrium."
Each year the Earth's forests, oceans and land soak up about 4.5 billion tonnes of carbon that would otherwise end up in our atmosphere adding to temperatures.   But as the world…

More on Sea Levels

I've postedmany times aboutsea levels.  Extreme weather is happening now but it will be sea levels rising that will convince people, and it right now, some serious problems are going to happen now even if we start now to do something about it.  Michael Segal interviewed climate scientist Ben Strauss: It is that power of the local that Ben Strauss wants to capture. He is CEO of the non-profit organization Climate Central, which has produced a remarkable collection of flood maps that have captivated me ever since I came across them shortly after Sandy. They let you dial in some amount of sea level or global temperature rise, and then view the effect on most any city in the world.
We are unavoidably headed for a 1.5C temperature and Ben Strauss describes what will be happening:
At 1.5 degrees of global temperature rise, which Strauss figures is all but inevitable, downtown Jersey City is a five-block-square island in the middle of a sea. New York City is mostly OK, but Boston and Ca…

Climate Change is Not a Cliff, It's a Minefield

The extreme heatwaves and wildfires wreaking havoc around the globe are “the face of climate change,” one of the world’s leading climate scientists has declared, with the impacts of global warming now “playing out in real time.

Extreme weather has struck across Europe, from the Arctic Circle to Greece, and across the world, from North America to Japan. “This is the face of climate change,” said Prof Michael Mann, at Penn State University, and one the world’s most eminent climate scientists. “We literally would not have seen these extremes in the absence of climate change.”

“The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle,” he told the Guardian. “We are seeing them play out in real time and what is happening this summer is a perfect example of that.”  [....]
The current heatwave has been caused by an extraordinary stalling of the jet stream wind, which usually funnels cool Atlantic weather over the continent. This has left hot, dry air in place for two months – far longer than usual. …

Oil Companies: let's have a carbon tax

I've written extensively about the carbon tax (or "fee", or "dividend") as the necessary solution to global warming.  There is support among Republicans, conservatives, Young Republicans, the IMF and the World Bank, even oil companies.   And, of course, Democrats, and everyone concerned about global warming.

A carbon tax is an economic method to constrain the effects of carbon dioxide.  It is simply not going to be possible to achieve what is needed by just talking to people. 

As reported in the New York Times, the oil companies have just now come out with a proposal,
Recently, the lobbyists and former Senators Trent Lott and John Breaux, backed by companies like Exxon Mobil and Shell, have been campaigning for a federal tax on carbon dioxide emissions. This would increase energy costs, but all revenue from the tax would be returned to the public. A family of four might receive a $2,000 check from the government every year. And we would all have an incentive t…

ocean acidification highest in last 14 million years

Ocean acidification to hit levels not seen in 14 million years

I've posted about ocean acidification a number of times.  Now there is new research showing that the current situation is very serious.  This is catastrophic for all sea life with carbonate shells, oysters, clams, shrimp, as well as the major source of food for much of sea life, krill.  At the Paleo-Eocene Thermal Maximum, oceans acidified because of green-house gases pouring into the biosphere, and which resulted in the largest loss of sea life in the history of the planet.  We are pouring carbon dioxide into the biosphere a ten times that rate as at that time. 

New research led by Cardiff University has shown that under a 'business-as-usual' scenario of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, ocean acidification is likely to hit unprecedented levels.

The rapid influx of CO2 in to the oceans is severely threatening marine life, with the shells of some animals already dissolving in the more acidic seawater.  In their new…

Global Heat Wave - climate change?

The global heat wave is due to a climate process, a weakened jet stream and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

It is important to distinguish a climate process from climate change which is a change in a climate process.  There was a previous experience with what is happening now in 1976.  It's occurrence is a climate process.  The current heat wave is greater than the one that occurred in 1976.  That's climate change.  Climate change is a climate process becoming more extreme.

For example, El Nino is a climate process.  The planet warms during an El Nino.  However, El Ninos are getting hotter,

El Ninos are getting hotter.  That's climate change.

Heat Records Beaten World Wide

Heat Records Falling Around the World in 2018

The first five months of 2018 were the fourth warmest in global records going back to 1880, according to NOAA. Along the way, a number of extreme heat events have occurred already this year. In recent weeks across the Northern Hemisphere, these records have included an impressive number of all-time highs (an all-time high is the warmest temperature reported on any date at a given location).  Setting an all-time high is no small accomplishment, especially for locations that have long periods of record (PORs). All-time highs are especially noteworthy when you consider that, on average, the planet is warming more during winter than during summer, and more at night than during the day. Urban heat islands are no doubt contributing somewhat to the heat records achieved in large urban areas, but the extreme heat of 2018 has also played out in remote rural areas without any urban heat islands. I wish some climate change denier would tell me at wha…