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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…

Are Climate Scientists in it for the Money?

With climate change, ad-hominem attacks on scientists are intended to shake public trust in the scientific evidence that underpin the whole issue. After all, who could be more villainous than the world’s climate scientists? Does one really think this group of bicycle-riding, organic-cotton-wearing PhDs might be pulling off a skillfully-coordinated global conspiracy, one involving 100 years of research from hundreds of scientists all over the world?

For climate change deniers their first line of argument is that climate scientists are in it for the money.
Such sentiments are reliable laugh lines at professional scientific conferences, but given how pervasive they are, they’re not funny at all. Nonetheless, they can spur some good questions. How do research grants work? Why won’t this myth die? And where’s the real financial lever in the climate change debate? This would be comical if it weren't about something so serious.  This facile argument is having consequences, delays in solv…

Global Warming is Worse Than Thought

I have posted before about how most of the heat from greenhouse gases is going into the oceans, and I've posted before about how global warming may be nonlinear and accelerating rather than linear as most forecasts are. 

A new study supports the nonlinear change in global warming. 

[A] study published Wednesday in the journal Nature suggests that oceans are warming far faster than the estimates laid out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the global organization for climate data. In October, the panel released a major report predicting that some of the worst effects of climate change, including coastal flooding, food shortages and a mass die-off of coral reefs, could come to pass as soon as 2040 if human greenhouse gas emissions continue at current levels. The I.P.C.C. report showed that scientists may have been underestimating the severity of the world’s present climate trajectory. The new ocean temperature estimates, if proven accurate, could be another indication t…

Young People's Lawsuit on Global Warming

I've posted before about this lawsuit,

The young plaintiffs have demanded, among other things, that the courts force the government to “implement an enforceable national remedial plan to phase out fossil fuel emissions” in an effort to “stabilize the climate system.” The courts could then supervise the government’s efforts. Young people have the most at stake.  If nothing done about climate change, their future could turn grim.  The lawsuit is proceeding. But Judge Ann Aiken, who is scheduled to preside over the trial on Monday, has been receptive to the plaintiffs’ theory of the case. “I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society,” she said in a November 2016 decision allowing the case to go forward.  Since then, the case has rumbled toward trial. In an earlier order in July, the Supreme Court denied a government request to intervene, but wrote that the breadth of the plaintiffs’ claims was “strik…

Beer Supply Threatened by Global Warming

A new study says a warming globe will be bad news for barley, an essential ingredient in the world’s most popular alcoholic beverage.

A small international team of scientists considered what the effect of climate change would be for this crop in the next 80 years, and they are raising an alarm they hope will pierce the din of political posturing. They are predicting a beer shortage.  In a report in Nature Plants, researchers in China, Britain and the United States say that by the end of the century, drought and heat could hurt barley crops enough to cause intense pain to beer drinkers. Imagine a worst case of a 20 percent drop in supply in the United States, or a doubling of prices per bottle in Ireland. That’s no abstract end of civilization talk; that’s an empty display case at the Stop ’N Go.
It won't disappear entirely, just get a lot more expensive
With particularly bad droughts, for example, the price of a bottle of beer in Ireland might double. In the Czech Republic, it coul…

National Parks at Greatest Risk from Global Warming

Vanishing Joshua trees: climate change will ravage US national parks, study says

America’s national parks have warmed twice as fast as the US average and could see some of the worst effects of climate change, according to a new study. The study finds that temperatures in national parks could go up 3 to 9C by 2100, under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s worst-case scenario, which shows what could happen without policies to decrease greenhouse gas pollution. With lower emissions, temperatures could still exceed 2C (3.6F) for 58% of park land, compared to 22% of the US as a whole, according to the study. [....]
Alaska parks would see the most extreme heat increases, and the US Virgin Islands parks face 28% less rainfall by the end of the century. In Glacier Bay national park, the Muir Glacier melted 640 meters between 1948 and 2000. [....]
Gonzalez explained that parks at a higher elevation have a thinner atmosphere that warms faster. Higher temperatures are also melting s…

Hurricane Florence and Climate Change

One of the important effects of climate change is what is happening to the jet stream.  The warming Arctic Sea has dramatically affected the jet stream.  It has been twisting its way south, and one of the results is cold winters and the American Northeast.  Another impact is on hurricanes.

The dip in the jet stream is bringing cold air to the Northeast, but it also is creating an issue for hurricanes.  More hurricanes are being sent into the East Coast that would ordinarily swing up into the North Atlantic. 

The problem is a blocking high forcing the hurricanes into the East Coast.

Back in 2016 Francis published a study on the link between blocking highs and global warming. At the time, she told ThinkProgress: “Our new study does indeed add to the growing pile of evidence that amplified Arctic warming and sea-ice loss favor the formation of blocking high pressure features in the North Atlantic. These blocks can cause all sorts of trouble…” Figuring out all of the causes is tricky, Fra…

What People Need To Do About Global Warming

There are a lot of things people need to do to reduce their carbon footprint, for example buying an electric powered car.  However, there is something more important than that:  We have to do something not directly connected to one's carbon footprint, we have to vote. 
One reason we are in the situation we're in right now is that
A ‘jaw-dropping’ 15 million super-environmentalists don’t vote in the midterms

The most important environmental effort you’ve probably never heard of — the Environmental Voter Project (EVP) — doesn’t talk about the environment much, if ever.
But that’s because talking about the environment isn’t the solution to perhaps the biggest solvable problem the environmental movement has: a lack of voters. There are 10 to 15 million so-called “super-environmentalists” who are registered to vote in this country, but generally don’t.

If they voted more consistently, it could change U.S. politics, as candidates from both parties would need to work to win their vote.…