Showing posts from April, 2015

California, Evidence Of What's To Come

California is entering another year for drought, and possibly be beginning of a "Megadrought".  How they're dealing with this is a template for more reactions to global warming down the road.  First, there's denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.  We're now getting a mixture of denial, anger, and bargaining.  But what is most important to realize here, is that it's going to be different if your not rich.  The impact of global warming, if California is any evidence, is going to be greatest on the not rich, and the least on the rich.  As the truly dire consequences begin to occur, the rich will be more mobile, able to seek out places where the consequences are the least.  The not rich will suffer.  And naturally the not rich may not take to this kindly.  The rich will need to organize protection.  The natural end of all this will be well-defended enclaves surrounded by the not rich.

The Hunger Games portrayed something like this, and th…

Insurance Companies Starting To Get It

The one sector of the economy that really will be on the frontlines of global warming is insurance.  If they don't prepare they will be the first to go.  And we have evidence that they are beginning to get it.

A coalition of big insurance companies, consumer groups, and environmental advocates are urging the United States to overhaul its disaster policies in the face of increasingly extreme weather due to human-caused climate change.  According to a report released Tuesday by the SmarterSafer coalition, the U.S. needs to increase how much it spends on pre-disaster mitigation efforts and infrastructure protection. That way, it asserts, the U.S. can stop wasting so much money on cleaning up after a disaster happens. 
Any insurance company willing to offer thirty years of insurance on a house on a southern beach in Florida will find itself bankrupt before that thirty years are up. That probably goes for houses in the American Southwest as well.  The Megadrought will certainly mean a…

What Global Warming Denialism Looks Like

Skeptical Science and the University of Queensland have developed an online course examining global warming denialism.  For details go here.
We examine myths casting doubt on the reality of global warming. We explore the many human fingerprints on climate change. We look at the messages from past climate change and what climate models tell us about the future. And we look at how climate change is impacting every part of society and the environment. As we examine myths touching on all these parts of climate science, we shine the spotlight on the fallacies and techniques used to distort the science. 

Brain-eating Parasites

Soon our house and yard will fill up with insects and spiders.  We love the spiders because they kill and eat the insects.  The planet is warming, though, and we may soon see insect life we're not used to seeing.  For example, the aedes aegypti mosquito bringing us dengue fever and chikungunya.

But let us also not forget brain-eating parasites, which are expected to thrive as U.S. lakes heat up. That parasite — the amoeba, Naegleria fowleri — feasts on human brains like a tiny zombie. As one Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expert warned several years ago: “This is a heat-loving amoeba. As water temperatures go up, it does better. In future decades, as temperatures rise, we’d expect to see more cases.”

"Death Blow" to Global Warming?

An unrepentant right wing blog, The Daily Caller, reports

Scientists Say New Study Is A ‘Death Blow’ To Global Warming Hysteria

First, we observe that the headline is a gross exaggeration, from this very article:

A study by scientists at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Meteorology found that man-made aerosols had a much smaller cooling effect on the atmosphere during the 20th Century than was previously thought. Why is this big news? It means increases in carbon dioxide emissions likely cause less warming than most climate models suggest.

So in fact, all it might mean is less warming.  In spite of that the right wing press went crazy over this paper:

According to right-wing media, the study represents a "death blow to global warming hysteria." The reasoning behind the claim, which originated in a Cato Institute blog post, is that climate models rely on aerosols to offset much of the projected greenhouse gas effect from carbon dioxide. So if aerosols offset less warming than…

Heat Waves Coming

As I've pointed out in previous posts, here and here, we may be in for some hot days.  And it appears right now.

There is “a vast and growing body of research,” as Climate Central explained in February. “Humanity is about to experience a historically unprecedented spike in temperatures.”

This may come about from a confluence of climate events.  The warming of the Arctic weakened the "Polar Vortex" bringing severe cold to the Northeast U.S. last winter.  But for the summer it is affecting the jet stream, a consequence of which is likely to be a hot summer(pay wall).

Sweltering summertime heat waves are on the rise across the Northern Hemisphere because of atmospheric changes brought on by Arctic warming, new research shows. After examining 35 years of weather data, researchers spotted a decline in the strength of summer storms that carry cool, moist air across the northern continents. The sagging of these storms is the result of wind pattern changes induced by the rapidly w…