Showing posts from October, 2014

The Dire Consequences of Global Warming

Scientists are now saying that we are on the path to six degrees Celsius of global warming.  This is catastrophic. 

Such a rise – which would be much higher nearer the poles – would have cataclysmic and irreversible consequences for the Earth, making large parts of the planet uninhabitable and threatening the basis of human civilization.
"It would cause a mass extinction of almost all life and probably reduce humanity to a few struggling groups of embattled survivors clinging to life near the poles."
"As the ice-caps melt, hundreds of millions will also be forced to move inland due to rapidly-rising seas. As world food supplies crash, the higher mid-latitude and sub-polar regions would become fiercely-contested refuges.

This is what we are bequeathing to our descendants, and it may be too late to do anything about it.  Let us hope they are wrong, but then clearly if anything can be done about it, it has to be done right now.   

Dramatic Increase In Arctic Temperature

New findings show a dramatic increase in atmospheric temperature in the Arctic.  What is happening in the Arctic has been my interest for some time, ever since I read about the PETM, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.  This occurs at the boundary of the Paleocene and Eocene, and was initially known as a time of the greatest loss of sea life in the history of our planet.  Later it became clear that a very large amount of methane flowed into the atmosphere, possibly from the release of methane hydrates in the sea floor.  The result was acidification of the oceans killing off most carbonate sea life and sea life dependent on them.

Another consequence was a dramatic increase in atmospheric temperature.  The PETM is a case study for what is now happening now.  We are putting many times more CO2 into the atmosphere than what had happened then, and so, if we do nothing, the result will be something far worse.   Sea levels rose more than 100 feet, and global temperatures increased 9 degree…

Islam, Christianity, New Atheism in the Aftermath of Global Warming

Currently religion and non-religion are hot topics.  The boundaries of left and right have dissolved on this issue.  There are some on the political left unsparingly attacking Islam while others call for religious tolerance.  The political right are not divided on this issue, some calling for the complete destruction of Islam, which is filled with some irony since many on the right who are Christian share certain values with Islam, for example, the subjugation of women to men and the denial of evolution.
Identification with a religion is decreasing among young people.  So we have a mix of prevailing movements in religion.  But what I'd like to describe here is what we might expect as the social order deteriorates under global warming.  It's really happening even now in some parts of the world, Syria, South Sudan, Libya.  Millions of people are in forced migration from wars and deprivation.  Every day hundreds from North Africa trying to get to Europe, and hundreds more trying…

It's Worse Than We Thought, Update

I've warned that global warming is worse than they say.  Evidence for this has been found, and reported on here and here.
A major new study finds that “scientists may have hugely underestimated the extent of global warming because temperature readings from southern hemisphere seas were inaccurate.” In short, as New Scientist puts it, “it’s worse than we thought.” and
global warming's effect on upper ocean temperatures between 1970 and 2004 has been underestimated by 24 to 58 percent Most of the focus on global warming has been on atmospheric temperatures but the oceans are heating as well.  And now we find that the warming of the oceans has been underestimated.

It is worse then we thought, and even less is being done about it.

Averting Global Warming Good For The Economy

Paul Krugman confirmsmy argument that preventing global warming can be good for the economy. It is tragic that the few people that own at oil and coal companies can keep us from the certain dire consequences of global warming, social disorder, mass starvation, migration of entire populations of countries northward.

Arctic Sea Ice Decline

I've already discussed the issue of a secular trend inside of independent variation in the context of the ENSO (La Nina, El Nino) effects on atmospheric temperature.  I pointed out there that many people don't seem to be able to follow the difference between the secular trend and the variation around it caused by events that have little or nothing to do with the trend itself.   This confusion causes some people to swing around on global warming as the local independent variation goes up and down. has produced a great diagram that illustrates this problem.  Here the secular trend describing the Arctic sea ice is negative, i.e., downward.  People who aren't able to distinguish the random motion around the trend from the trend itself, and who are predisposed against global warming, seize upon the return of sea ice even though the secular trend is clearly downward.  Every time it goes up they get excited.  When it goes down their attention wanders elsewh…