In the second chapter of my novel I developed a group of people, I called "alarmists", loosely based on the 19th Century Abolitionists, who take the battle for global warming to the oil industry. This is coming true.
Ken Ward, 61, a longtime environmental activist from New England, closed a shut-off valve on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline near Mount Vernon, Wash. Leonard Higgins, 66, a soft-spoken Unitarian and retired state-government employee from Corvallis, Ore., closed a shut-off valve on the Enbridge Express Pipeline near Coal Banks Landing, Mont. Emily Johnston, 51, an editor and a poet, and Annette Klapstein, 65, a retired attorney for the Puyallup tribe, traveled together from Seattle to Leonard, Minn., and turned the shut-off valves on a pair of pipelines owned by Enbridge. The five men and women said little about themselves, dwelling instead on what they saw as the existential threat of climate change and the inadequacy of available legal remedies. “I’m…
I've posted about the Arctic sea ice numerous times, here, and here, for example. One important reason I go back to that is because of the Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), at which time the planet, and the Arctic, underwent a similar experience to what we are now experiencing, at a time where greenhouse gases poured into the atmosphere and the oceans acidified producing the largest loss of sea life in our planet's history. We are pouring greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at a rate that is ten times what happened at the PETM. An indication of what is going on is the break up of part of the Arctic sea ice that wasn't expected to do so this soon.
What role did climate change play in this winter’s US freezes, heat, and drought?
This winter, the eastern USA was hit by frigid cold weather, although at the same time, the western states (and most of the rest of the world) were relatively toasty.
The jet stream plays a key role here. Jet streams are bands of fast-moving air currents about five to seven miles above Earth’s surface. The polar jet stream influences weather in North America, and in turn is influenced by changes in the Arctic due to human-caused global warming.
The Arctic is the fastest-warming part of the planet, in large part because sea ice is disappearing so rapidly. White ice is reflective, but dark oceans aren’t. When sea ice sitting on top of the ocean melts, the Arctic surface becomes less reflective, absorbing more sunlight, which in turn melts more ice in what’s known as a “positive feedback.” Because the colder Arctic is warming faster than the warmer area to its south (e.g. North America), the tempera…