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Current Global Warming Basics

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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…

An Amazing Discovery

There's no question our climate change situation is becoming desperate.  The most accurate models predict 5 degrees Celsius at the end of this century if we do nothing.  That's end of civilization. 

But now we have something happening, just the kind of thing that we need to avert the worst.  It exactly the kind of thing we need to happen. 

The discovery means that nanoscale generators have the potential to harvest power for electrical devices based on nanoscale movement and vibration: an engine, traffic on a roadway—even a heartbeat. It could lead to technology with applications in everything from sensors used to monitor the physical strength of structures such as bridges or pipelines, the performance of engines or wearable electronic devices. Liu said the applications are limited only by imagination. We won't even need wind or solar power.  Electricity will be everywhere.  And everything will be running on electricity.  No fossil fuels. 

We need this as soon as possible.

Florida's Nightmare Scenario

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Climate change poses ‘nightmare scenario’ for Florida coast, Bloomberg warns

American's trillion-dollar coastal property bubble could burst "before the sea consumes a single house".When Cason first started worrying about sea-level rise, he asked his staff to count not just how much coastline the city had (47 miles) or value of the property along that coast ($3.5 billion). He also told them to find out how many boats dock inland from the bridges that span the city’s canals (302). What matters, he guessed, will be the first time a mast fails to clear the bottom of one of those bridges because the water level had risen too far.
“These boats are going to be the canary in the mine,” said Cason, who became mayor in 2011 after retiring from the U.S. foreign service. “When the boats can’t go out, the property values go down.”If property values start to fall, Cason said, banks could stop writing 30-year mortgages for coastal homes, shrinking the pool of able buyers and sending pri…

Heat Wave Hits Greenland

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Monster heat wave reaches Greenland, bringing rain and melting its ice sheet NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland mission warns the ice sheet is more at risk to global warming than we knew. 

It's been unusually warm in the United States in recent days, with records being set across the country.  But it's been scorching in Greenland, with temperatures as much as 54° above normal, which means above freezing in many places. And this comes on the heels of new research from NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland mission, which finds that the enormous ice sheet is far more unstable than we realized.  That's bad news because the Greenland ice sheet contains enough land-locked ice to raise sea levels by over 20 feet.
We've had warnings before that Greenland is past the tipping point.  And the news of a heat wave over Greenland this November is not good news. 



Sea Level: it's worse than you know

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Rapid collapse of Antarctic glaciers could flood coastal cities by the end of this century. 

A wholesale collapse of Pine Island and Thwaites would set off a catastrophe. Giant icebergs would stream away from Antarctica like a parade of frozen soldiers. All over the world, high tides would creep higher, slowly burying every shoreline on the planet, flooding coastal cities and creating hundreds of millions of climate refugees.  All this could play out in a mere 20 to 50 years — much too quickly for humanity to adapt. “With marine ice cliff instability, sea-level rise for the next century is potentially much larger than we thought it might be five or 10 years ago,” Poinar says.
A lot of this newfound concern is driven by the research of two climatologists: Rob DeConto at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and David Pollard at Penn State University. A study they published last year was the first to incorporate the latest understanding of marine ice-cliff instability into a continent…

Rising Sea Levels Will Vary Across The Planet

The climate talks in Bonn aren't going that well.
After declaring that “climate change is an issue determining our destiny as mankind,” Ms. Merkel acknowledged that Germany was likely to miss the goals it had set itself for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 because of its continued reliance on coal power. While vowing to grapple with the issue, she said that phasing out coal use would require “tough discussions” with German policymakers in the weeks ahead.The goal has been no more than a two degrees Celsius increase in atmospheric temperature.  But that goal may be unattainable.
To stay below 2 degrees Celsius of warming, global emissions would likely have to peak in the next few years and then be cut by half every decade all the way down to zero by midcentury.But that's not likely to happen


The scale of that transition is staggering. Virtually every coal plant around the world would need to be phased out or outfitted with carbon capture technology within decades. Electri…

Get Used To It

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Kiss The Good Times Goodbye.I
It saddens me to say it, but we are approaching the end of the automotive era. The auto industry is on an accelerating change curve. For hundreds of years, the horse was the prime mover of humans and for the past 120 years it has been the automobile.  At the end of of the last century, people were congregating in cities and they could not accommodate the piles of horse excrement in the streets.  And automobiles came into existence and rescued the cities from horses.  That was bad for stables and manufacturers of  horse carriages, but good for the next century.

Well we are at another critical juncture, the end of the gasoline powered automobiles.  Get used to it.

New Record CO2 Concentration in Atmosphere

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Greenhouse gas concentrations surge to new record

Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surged at a record-breaking speed in 2016 to the highest level in 800 000 years, according to the World Meteorological Organization's Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. The abrupt changes in the atmosphere witnessed in the past 70 years are without precedent.  Globally averaged concentrations of CO2 reached 403.3 parts per million in 2016, up from 400.00 ppm in 2015 because of a combination of human activities and a strong El NiƱo event. Concentrations of CO2 are now 145% of pre-industrial (before 1750) levels, according to the Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. [....]
The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was 3-5 million years ago, the temperature was 2-3°C warmer and sea level was 10-20 meters higher than now. And we are nowhere near slowing it down.  So 2-3°C and 10-20 meters higher sea level is basically the minimum we can expect.