Showing posts from September, 2015

Environmentalists and Global Warming

A conservative site posted an article

California’s Drought: Not an Environmental Problem. An Environmentalist Problem.

The headline is misleading.  In fact it is both an environmental and environmentalist problem.
Even now, in the Sierra foothills, state officials empty reservoirs to protect “unimpeded” river flows to benefit small numbers of non-endangered hatchery fish. The California Coastal Commission, the powerful agency with control of development along the shoreline, is holding up a privately planned desalination plant over concerns about its impact on plankton. The environment-friendly commission want to force the developers to build a pumping system that destroys the economics of the plant. What we have is a conflict of interest, between humans and wildlife.  And environmentalists already know which side they're on, the wildlife, not people.

But this conflict of interest wouldn't exist if it weren't for global warming.  The California drought is being made worse b…

Everyone Except The Republicans Against Global Warming

The leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has brought international attention to the fight against global warming.   And the Chinese President when visiting the United States has declared that China, through a cap and trade system, is going to turn around its CO2 emissions by 2030.   Other countries have made similar statements in advance of the Paris Conference on climate change.

And President Obama has enlisted the EPA in reducing emissions, but the Republicans in Congress are doubling down on their denial of global warming.   The consequences are serious, but Republicans continue their obstinancy in the face of dire facts:

Tackle Climate Change Now or Risk 720 Million People Sliding Back Into Extreme Poverty Report Warns
An astonishing 720 million people around the world face falling back into extreme poverty unless we tackle climate change immediately, warns a new report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).Moreover, in this report world leaders agreed that these prob…

There Is No Pause In Global Warming

Global warming deniers have for some time been touting a "hiatus" or "pause" in global warming.  Here is the most upfront version of this claim.  I've presented my own analysis using loess regression to relax the linear assumption which shows a slight slowdown in the underlying trend in the middle 2000's, but reveals a renewal of the climbing trend in temperatures since 2009.  My analysis shows

So far we have an increase in .8 degrees Celsius from 1880.   Fitting a linear trend from the middle of 2009 to April 2015 the RSS data projects a decadal increase of .2726 degrees, and the UAH data .6347 degrees.  Thus by 2035, the RSS data suggests 1.34 Celsius global temperature, and the UAH a 2.07 Celsius. 
Two degrees Celsius is the threshold beyond which the circumstances are dire.  If nothing is done about the carbon dioxide (and methane) that we're pouring into the atmosphere, our planet will be in truly dire circumstances by 2050.

The claim of a pause in…

National Geographic's Years Of Living Dangerously

National Geographic's Emmy Award winning series on our global warming is entering its second season.  Most importantly, the second season will be about what each of us can do to help solve the problem of global warming.  Many well known people will be on the program, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Harrison Ford, Jessica Alba, America Ferrara, Arnold Schwarzenegger, among many others. I strongly urge people to check this program coming out on the National Geographic Channel or streamed on iTunes or Amazon.

As anyone who reads my posts knows, I'm very pessimistic.  But if there's anything that can be done about it, it'll have to start with individual people doing something.  This program is giving me some hope.

Republicans Are Sabotaging the International Climate Negotiations

Republicans are becoming the party of climate supervillains

As Politico recently reported in a news story that seems better suited for bad a Hollywood movie script, Republican Party leaders are actively trying to sabotage the critical international climate negotiations that will happen in Paris at the end of this year.
If nothing is done, and the Republicans seem to be trying as hard as they can to do make nothing happen, in about ten years climate events will overtake us and it will become clear that the Republican resistance to sensible ways to mitigate the harm of global warming such as the carbon tax will be seen to have been a very serious mistake.  
And in another ten years it will be viewed as a tragic failure for the human race.  All other of the most horrible events in history, the destruction of the Roman Empire, Worlds War One and Two, will fade into the background against the intransigence of the Republicans toward any action to halt the worst outcomes of global warming.  

As If We Didn't Have Enough To Worry About

We are experiencing some extreme weather, some indications of what might be happening, a rise temperatures, droughts, more fierce typhoons in the Pacific.  But that is not really preparing us for what could be happening, and very soon, over the next ten or twenty years.

Eastern United States and Europe are relatively warm for their latitude because of a stream of warm water from the Gulf that flows into the North Atlantic.  Two new research studies show that the melting Arctic might affect this flow, bringing it to a halt, and paradoxically bringing cold temperatures to Europe, really cold temperatures.  

a team of Texas scientists, sheds new light on how the Earth’s climate responded during a similar thaw from the planet’s geological past. About 12,000 years ago, rising temperatures at the end of the last ice age released huge volumes of cold freshwater, disrupting the ocean’s circulation systems and sending parts of the Northern Hemisphere back in to the freezer. Scientists refer to…

The Refugee Crisis Is A Dress Rehearsal For Climate-Fuelled Disaster

“The Syrian crisis is simply a dress rehearsal for an immense climate-fuelled disaster, which will begin to be felt within the next decade”
How Global Warming Helped Cause the Syrian War and create millions of refugees.
The bloody conflict in Syria —which enters its fifth year this month—has killed almost 200,000 people, created 3.2 million refugees, and given rise to the murderous extremist group known as the Islamic State. The roots of the civil war extend deep into Syria’s political and socioeconomic structures. But another cause turns out to be global warming.  When violence erupted in Syria during the Arab Spring in 2011, the country had been mired in a three-year drought—its worst in recorded history. Government agricultural policies had led to an overreliance on rain, so desperate farmers had to turn to well water—and they ended up sucking most of the country’s groundwater reserves dry. What happened next upended the country. “A lot of these farmers picked up their families, aba…

Ice Loss and Global Warming

The loss of ice worldwide is a strong indicator that something is wrong with our climate.   Any trend is has its ups and downs and global temperatures while clearly increasing contains enough complications to generate a lot of discussion.  But sea and land ice are very clear and the global warming deniers as a result avoid discussing their loss.  For example, Arctic sea ice is dramatically declining:

As a Congressman so famously pointed out, melting floating ice has no implications for sea level rise.  Though he fails to mention that the loss of sea ice is still disturbing evidence of something going wrong with our climate.

The loss of land ice on the other hand does have implications for anyone living near an ocean.

The total global ice mass lost from Greenland, Antarctica and Earth's glaciers and ice caps during the study period was about 4.3 trillion tons (1,000 cubic miles), adding about 0.5 inches (12 millimeters) to global sea level. That's enough ice to cover the Unite…