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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…

Sea Level Is Accelerating

Satellite data confirm what computer models have warned for years: Oceans are rising faster as the planet warms, and coastal communities face increasing flood risk.

Even cities that already know they're at risk may not be able to prepare fast enough without additional investments in disaster relief and resilience. That includes Tampa, where his university is based. The city has been listed as one of the 10 cities globally most vulnerable to sea level rise. If the rates of adaptation and mitigation don't keep pace, damage from storm surges and extreme rains is likely to increase. Some scientists also warn that a rapid disintegration of Antarctica's ice sheets could push sea level up much faster and higher, by as much as 4 to 10 feet by 2100. The last time Earth was as warm as it is now was about 125,000 years ago, and we know sea level was 6 meters higher than it is today, Nerem said. "The big question is, now long will it take to get there."Combined with analyses …

Alaska Crushes Record For Hottest December

Alaska crushes record for hottest December as Arctic sea ice hits record low
In its hottest December ever recorded, Alaska was a stunning 15.7°F above the 20th century average. And the year ended with Arctic sea ice hitting an all-time record low.

While the East Coast had a cool December and New Year’s week, Alaska baked. Last Tuesday, Anchorage hit 48°F, warmer than southern cities from Atlanta and Jacksonville to Houston and New Orleans. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported this week that Alaska averaged 19.4°F for the month, topping the previous record (1985) by a whopping 2.1°F. “That’s really quite astonishing,” said Rick Thoman, the National Weather Service’s climate sciences and services manager for the Alaska region. As he explained to the Anchorage Daily News, “Usually you’re breaking those by a tenth of a degree or two-tenths of a degree.” The Arctic as a whole was so warm in December that Arctic sea ice set a new end-of-year record low, as both…

Environmental Disasters On The Increase

2017’s costly climate change-fueled disasters are the ‘new normal,’ warns major reinsurer
As global warming advances, serious environmental disasters are going to increase.  I warned about this two years ago. 

“We have a new normal,” Munich Re’s Ernst Rauch told Reuters. Rauch, who runs the group tracking climate change risks, pointed out that “2017 was not an outlier” in having more than $100 billion in insured losses (see chart below). “We must have on our radar the trend of new magnitudes,” Rauch said.2017 was a record-breaking year: Climate-related disasters cost the U.S. $300 billion
For the past year, average temperatures for the contiguous United States have been 2.6°F warmer than the 20th century average — an especially noteworthy distinction because 2017 did not have an El NiƱo episode, which usually gives a temporary boost to global temperatures. This is now the third consecutive year that temperatures across the United States have been above average. Five states — Arizona, …

The Arctic Will Never Be Frozen Again

This Should Freak Everyone Out: The Arctic Will Never Be Frozen Again

Using 1,500 years of natural records compiled from lake sediments, ice cores, and tree rings as context, the NOAA report says the Arctic is changing at a rate far beyond what’s occurred in the region for millennia.Now in its 12th year, the Arctic Report Card, released today at the annual American Geophysical Union fall meeting in New Orleans, is a peer-reviewed report that brings together the work of 85 scientists from 12 nations.Warmer air temperature. Average annual air temperature over land was the second highest after 2016 in the observational record, with a temperature 2.9 degrees Fahrenheit (1.6 Celsius) above the average for 1981 to 2010.  

Declining sea ice. This year’s maximum winter sea ice area, measured each March, was the lowest ever observed, while this year’s minimum area, measured each September, was eighth-lowest on record. Sea ice is also getting thinner each year, with year-old ice comprising 79 per…

Coastal Property Values

Research shows that seacoast property is being devalued.  Our government may be denying global warming, but not people who have to put up real money.

Homes exposed to sea level rise (SLR) sell at a 7% discount relative to observably equivalent unexposed properties equidistant from the beach. This discount has grown over time and is driven by sophisticated buyers and communities worried about global warming. Consistent with causal identification of long horizon SLR costs, (1) we find no relation between SLR exposure and rental rates, (2) despite decreased remodeling among exposed homeowners, current SLR discounts are not caused by differential investment, (3) results hold controlling for flooded properties and views. Overall, we provide the first evidence on the price of SLR risk and its determinants. These findings contribute to the mixed literature on how investors price long-run risky cash flows and have implications for optimal climate change policy. 
This is happening in Florida as …

Central and Northeast U.S. Deep Freeze

Donald Trump is taking the opportunity of the extreme cold weather in the Northeast and Central U.S. to claim it is proof against global warming.  Such a claim is disingenuous.  Due to vagaries in the jet stream, the extreme Arctic weather has moved to Canada and the U.S.  The result is that the Arctic is far warmer than usual. 

WMAZ-Macon Meteorologist Matt Daniel summed it up this way,
The comment I dislike the most is when people talk about cold weather and people type "So much for global warming..." Not really a joke to me. Also, it proves someone doesn't have the understanding of the definition of weather vs climate. You'll see people type that a lot in the next week or two on professional meteorologists' social media pages.Now having said that, our weather is governed by a series of undulations or wave patterns. The "valleys" (troughs) in those waves allow cold, dense air to ooze into the U.S. The "hills" (ridges) in the waves are typicall…

My Grandchildren, Grandnephews and Grandnieces, The Millennials

I hope they realize that they have a far greater responsibility for their and our planet's future than I did when I was their age.  When I was their age we worried about the A-bomb and later the Population Bomb.  But neither of those bombs went off because my generation did something about it

 But they're confronted by things a lot more serious.  Thirty years from now there'll be 9.7 billion people on the planet, a much more serious problem than the population bomb that the green revolution prevented.  Do we know what is going to solve the problem of 9.7 billion people when my grandchildren are in their forties?  We don't. 

And what about global warming?  Rising sea levels inundating coastal cities.  Extreme weather battering Asia and Eastern U.S., droughts in the midwest and southwest. Millions of climate refugees migrating north.  There is no one dealing with these issues right now. 

I'll be gone soon (I'm 75), but they'll have to deal with problems far…