Showing posts from November, 2015

How Much Does Eating Meat Contribute To Global Warming?

How much does animal agriculture and eating meat contribute to global warming?

Vegetarians are using the threat of global warming to push their cause.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, livestock farming contributes more to global warming than total worldwide transportation. Nevertheless, this is still consistently ignored in the majority of discussions about climate.  It is true that the meat in our diet is contributing to global warming, but how alarmed should we be?  Are there going to be dire consequences if we don't all go vegetarian?

First, while it's true that livestock farming contributes more than transportation, transportation itself is a small part of the whole.  By far the greatest contribution is energy and heating.  For example, here in the United States it contributes only 6.2%:

So it's an exaggeration to claim, as some vegetarians do, that we have to avoid all meat in our diets. But it is true that an overall pl…

Bad News For The Planet

I've discussed the El Nino on numerous occasions, here, here, here, and here, among others.  It is what is called an anomaly because it is not directly related to global warming, that is, it's warming effects are on top of the secular trend caused by the increasing concentration of CO2 in the biosphere. El Nino has a partner, La Nina, which is a cool side of the ENSO.  Together they raise and lower the global temperature on top of the secular trend.  That would all be ok, but it turns out that El Nino and La Nina are being affected by the global warming.  They are heating up so El Nino is adding more heat each time, and the La Nina is cooling less.

The World Meteorological Organization has came out with a new report, described here, showing this happening:

2011-2015 “have been the warmest five-year period on record, with many extreme weather events – especially heatwaves – influenced by climate change.”2015 is set to be the hottest year on record by far, with the highest ocean …

GMO's Will Eliminate Malaria

Corporations, because of course they can, take advantage of the amazing new science of genetically modified organisms.  It may not be clear that what they're doing with GMO's will benefit humanity in the long run, because of course there's no necessary connection between the generation of wealth and doing well for the human race.

But that is no reason to forbid any research on GMO's because other people and other groups can and will produce advances with the potential to prevent human tragedy. And one such tragedy are the millions of people, mostly children, who die of malaria.

And this is why I'm opposed to labelling GMO food.  It's not that I think people should not know more about where their food comes from, but an unfortunate side effect of labelling will be a panic, an hysteria, created among people, that will shut down all research on GMO's. And that would be a tragedy far exceeding any occurring from corporate research.  And the failure of GMO resea…

$10,000 Reward To Disprove Global Warming

A physicist is offering $10,000 to anyone who can disprove "man-made global climate change".

A Physicist and author on global warming Dr. Christopher Keating has announced The $10,000 Global Warming Skeptic Challenge. Dr. Keating is putting up $10,000 of his own money to anyone who can disprove that man-made Global Warming is occurring.The $10,000 Global Warming Skeptic Challenge!1. I will award $10,000 of my own money to anyone that can prove, via the scientific method, that man-made global climate change is not occurring;
2. There is no entry fee;
3. You must be 18 years old or older to enter;
4. Entries do not have to be original, they only need to be first;
5. I am the final judge of all entries but will provide my comments on why any entry fails to prove the point.  Here are 86 submissions to the challenge with Dr. Keating's responses.

The challenge was reported on The College Fix:
Dr. Christopher Keating posted “The $10,000 Global Warming Skeptic Challenge!” on his bl…

Puget Sound Region’s Future Under Climate Change

The Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington has issued a report on the future impact of climate change on the Puget Sound Region.
Ten UW authors contributed to the report, which draws on published papers, agency studies and regional adaptation efforts now taking place. This first major update since 2005 includes new topics such as sediment transport and landslides, more details on salmon impacts, ocean acidification and flooding, and more specifics about how different parts of the region will change.Co-authors are Joe CasolaRonda StrauchBeth Curry,Brittany JonesHarriet MorganTania Busch IsaksenRobert NorheimLara Whitely BinderMeade Krosby and Amy Snover, all at the UW.
Projected changes include:Average air temperatures in Puget Sound will rise by between 2.9 and 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit by the 2050s, for the most optimistic scenario of future greenhouse gas emissionsOcean levels will rise by 4 to 56 inches by 2100, with the latest predictions offering more sp…

Record Global October Temperatures

It's hard for people living in the Northern Hemisphere to properly appreciate a record heat in the Southern Hemisphere, but nevertheless while it looks good for ski season to open by Thanksgiving here in the Pacific Northwest, the world as a whole is undergoing another record hot month:

Global Temperatures Continue To Surge In Record-Breaking October

This is partly due to the El Nino now sitting out in the Pacific, but El Nino's are themselves influenced by global warming so we can expect future El Nino's to continue to rise above the underlying trend in global temperatures.  And specifically, it appears that it will last through Spring bringing us record heat for March 2016.

The post cited here is authored by Joe Romm who has a new book out that I highly recommend for understanding what is happening to our planet.  Find a review here, and an opportunity to purchase the e-book or the paperback here.

Goodbye Miami, Goodbye New Orleans,

The authors of a newly published Science paper, Mouginot, et al., show that a Greenland ice shelf, Zacharia Isstrom, is melting at an accelerating rate due to ocean and atmospheric warming that just by itself will certainly raise sea levels by nearly two feet.  This will happen whether or not actions are taken to slow or stop global warming.

And it won't take long
The observations show that “the rates of early 21st-century [glacial] mass loss are without precedent on a global scale, at least for the time period observed and probably also for recorded history,” according to the study from the World Glacier Monitoring Service, based in Zurich. The study, published last week in the Journal of Galciology, looked at more than 5,000 measurements since 1850. The melting is speeding up. Glaciers are now losing mass twice as fast as they were in the period from 1901-1950, three times as fast as in the period from 1851-1900, and four times as fast as in the period from 1800-1850, the rese…

Global Warming Denial Propaganda

A recent paper by Swally, et al. was seized upon by global warming denier websites as proving that global warming was not happening.

MELTDOWN MYTH: Antarctic ice growing is just the first EVIDENCE global warming is NOT REALSo what is really happening?
 One thing that Zwally’s study does highlight is how difficult it is to nail what is happening in East Antarctica because the signal is small and contaminated by unwanted effects that are as large or even larger. Zwally et al get a different result from previous studies because they make a different set of assumptions. Those assumptions are, by their nature, subjective and difficult, without additional evidence, to corroborate. There are, however, other lines of evidence that suggest that Antarctica is unlikely to have been gaining mass in the last few decades. That would, for example, make closing the sea level budget a whole lot harder (that is, making the sum of the sinks and sources match the observed rate of sea level rise). One oth…

Young People Taking It To The Streets

The Millennial generation is beginning to organize.  Young people have the most at stake and the greatest need to bring our leaders to the table and make some decisions about their future.  The movement is just starting, but it will become big as more and more young people begin to realize what their future will be like if nothing is done.  
A Thousand Youth Take To The Streets Demanding Justice On Race, Climate And Immigration WASHINGTON - One year out from the presidential election, nearly a thousand youth from across the country took to the streets of Washington, D.C. to demand that candidates and elected officials adopt an agenda that delivers racial, immigration and climate justice. College students and young people from across the country assembled early Monday morning in Franklin Square where they held a rally with speakers from immigration rights, social justice, and climate movements. The speakers shared personal stories about the impacts of climate change, racial inequality a…

Denying Global Warming

The essential characteristic of those who deny global warming is that they seem to be unable to see a larger picture.  Instead they seize on one event or phenomenon which proxies for their entire argument against global warming.  I have touched on this in the past.  For example, a friend of a friend decided that the arctic ice was coming back, and that of course that one occurrence negated all global warming.  Besides the fact that the overwhelming evidence for global warming does not rest upon that one issue, he was also wrong.

Of course they don't have to be wrong about one piece of evidence and then be right about there not being any global warming.  For example, some will point out that there's an expanding glacier in the Mt. St. Helens, but claiming that means there isn't any global warming ignores the fact that most glaciers in the world are rapidly melting.

Global warming deniers are characterized by an inability to weigh all of the evidence.  They seize upon some…