Showing posts from 2018

Beer Supply Threatened by Global Warming

A new study says a warming globe will be bad news for barley, an essential ingredient in the world’s most popular alcoholic beverage.

A small international team of scientists considered what the effect of climate change would be for this crop in the next 80 years, and they are raising an alarm they hope will pierce the din of political posturing. They are predicting a beer shortage.  In a report in Nature Plants, researchers in China, Britain and the United States say that by the end of the century, drought and heat could hurt barley crops enough to cause intense pain to beer drinkers. Imagine a worst case of a 20 percent drop in supply in the United States, or a doubling of prices per bottle in Ireland. That’s no abstract end of civilization talk; that’s an empty display case at the Stop ’N Go.
It won't disappear entirely, just get a lot more expensive
With particularly bad droughts, for example, the price of a bottle of beer in Ireland might double. In the Czech Republic, it coul…

National Parks at Greatest Risk from Global Warming

Vanishing Joshua trees: climate change will ravage US national parks, study says

America’s national parks have warmed twice as fast as the US average and could see some of the worst effects of climate change, according to a new study. The study finds that temperatures in national parks could go up 3 to 9C by 2100, under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s worst-case scenario, which shows what could happen without policies to decrease greenhouse gas pollution. With lower emissions, temperatures could still exceed 2C (3.6F) for 58% of park land, compared to 22% of the US as a whole, according to the study. [....]
Alaska parks would see the most extreme heat increases, and the US Virgin Islands parks face 28% less rainfall by the end of the century. In Glacier Bay national park, the Muir Glacier melted 640 meters between 1948 and 2000. [....]
Gonzalez explained that parks at a higher elevation have a thinner atmosphere that warms faster. Higher temperatures are also melting s…

Hurricane Florence and Climate Change

One of the important effects of climate change is what is happening to the jet stream.  The warming Arctic Sea has dramatically affected the jet stream.  It has been twisting its way south, and one of the results is cold winters and the American Northeast.  Another impact is on hurricanes.

The dip in the jet stream is bringing cold air to the Northeast, but it also is creating an issue for hurricanes.  More hurricanes are being sent into the East Coast that would ordinarily swing up into the North Atlantic. 

The problem is a blocking high forcing the hurricanes into the East Coast.

Back in 2016 Francis published a study on the link between blocking highs and global warming. At the time, she told ThinkProgress: “Our new study does indeed add to the growing pile of evidence that amplified Arctic warming and sea-ice loss favor the formation of blocking high pressure features in the North Atlantic. These blocks can cause all sorts of trouble…” Figuring out all of the causes is tricky, Fra…

What People Need To Do About Global Warming

There are a lot of things people need to do to reduce their carbon footprint, for example buying an electric powered car.  However, there is something more important than that:  We have to do something not directly connected to one's carbon footprint, we have to vote. 
One reason we are in the situation we're in right now is that
A ‘jaw-dropping’ 15 million super-environmentalists don’t vote in the midterms

The most important environmental effort you’ve probably never heard of — the Environmental Voter Project (EVP) — doesn’t talk about the environment much, if ever.
But that’s because talking about the environment isn’t the solution to perhaps the biggest solvable problem the environmental movement has: a lack of voters. There are 10 to 15 million so-called “super-environmentalists” who are registered to vote in this country, but generally don’t.

If they voted more consistently, it could change U.S. politics, as candidates from both parties would need to work to win their vote.…

Global Temperatures Still Looking Bad

I posted in 2011,
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. Here I've re-analyzed the UAH data, updating to 2018. 

The Loess regression is more realistic than a linear regression.  Global warming deniers have pointed out the temperature "hiatus" in the 2000's and the Loess regression shows a leveling of the temperature over this years.  However, starting in 2009, the temperatures are rising again. 

The temperature spikes in 1998 and 2016 are El Nino events.  Consistent with global warming, the El Nino events are also increasing their effects.

The recent increase in temperatures is alarming.  In 2011 the analysis was showing an increase to 2.07 degrees Celsius by 2035.  The current Loess analysis suggest…

Biggest Hits on my Global Warming Blog


Sinking Property Values As Sea Level Rises

I've broached the topic of sea levels many times.  This is because I believe the rising sea level is going to get the most attention as our biosphere warms. The first indication will be what happens to ocean front property values.  It will be like being in a pot of cool water being brought to a boil, it's hard to tell how bad it's getting.
By comparing properties that are virtually the same but for their exposure to the seas, researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Pennsylvania State University found that vulnerable homes sold for 6.6 percent less than unexposed homes. The most vulnerable properties — those that stand to be flooded after seas rise by just one foot ­— were selling at a 14.7 percent discount, according to the study, which is set to be published in the Journal of Financial Economics.  The temperature is slowing increasing, and Charleston, South Carolina is starting to feel it.
Elizabeth Boineau’s 1939 Colonial sits a block and a half from the…

Arctic Sea Ice

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.

The Arctic sea ice now appears to be at a tipping point. The oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up, opening waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen, even in summer.  This phenomenon – which has never been recorded before – has occurred twice this year due to warm winds and a climate…

Hothouse Earth

I've posted before about feedback, global warming causing feedbacks that make it worse.  Also if the feedback causes global temperatures to exceed 2 degrees Celsius, that it would be catastrophic.  Some researchers now have research to support that.

Researchers believe we could soon cross a threshold leading to boiling hot temperatures and towering seas in the centuries to come.  Even if countries succeed in meeting their CO2 targets, we could still lurch on to this "irreversible pathway".

Their study shows it could happen if global temperatures rise by 2C.
"We are the ones in control right now, but once we go past 2 degrees, we see that the Earth system tips over from being a friend to a foe. We totally hand over our fate to an Earth system that starts rolling out of equilibrium."
Each year the Earth's forests, oceans and land soak up about 4.5 billion tonnes of carbon that would otherwise end up in our atmosphere adding to temperatures.   But as the world…

More on Sea Levels

I've postedmany times aboutsea levels.  Extreme weather is happening now but it will be sea levels rising that will convince people, and it right now, some serious problems are going to happen now even if we start now to do something about it.  Michael Segal interviewed climate scientist Ben Strauss: It is that power of the local that Ben Strauss wants to capture. He is CEO of the non-profit organization Climate Central, which has produced a remarkable collection of flood maps that have captivated me ever since I came across them shortly after Sandy. They let you dial in some amount of sea level or global temperature rise, and then view the effect on most any city in the world.
We are unavoidably headed for a 1.5C temperature and Ben Strauss describes what will be happening:
At 1.5 degrees of global temperature rise, which Strauss figures is all but inevitable, downtown Jersey City is a five-block-square island in the middle of a sea. New York City is mostly OK, but Boston and Ca…

Climate Change is Not a Cliff, It's a Minefield

The extreme heatwaves and wildfires wreaking havoc around the globe are “the face of climate change,” one of the world’s leading climate scientists has declared, with the impacts of global warming now “playing out in real time.

Extreme weather has struck across Europe, from the Arctic Circle to Greece, and across the world, from North America to Japan. “This is the face of climate change,” said Prof Michael Mann, at Penn State University, and one the world’s most eminent climate scientists. “We literally would not have seen these extremes in the absence of climate change.”

“The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle,” he told the Guardian. “We are seeing them play out in real time and what is happening this summer is a perfect example of that.”  [....]
The current heatwave has been caused by an extraordinary stalling of the jet stream wind, which usually funnels cool Atlantic weather over the continent. This has left hot, dry air in place for two months – far longer than usual. …

Oil Companies: let's have a carbon tax

I've written extensively about the carbon tax (or "fee", or "dividend") as the necessary solution to global warming.  There is support among Republicans, conservatives, Young Republicans, the IMF and the World Bank, even oil companies.   And, of course, Democrats, and everyone concerned about global warming.

A carbon tax is an economic method to constrain the effects of carbon dioxide.  It is simply not going to be possible to achieve what is needed by just talking to people. 

As reported in the New York Times, the oil companies have just now come out with a proposal,
Recently, the lobbyists and former Senators Trent Lott and John Breaux, backed by companies like Exxon Mobil and Shell, have been campaigning for a federal tax on carbon dioxide emissions. This would increase energy costs, but all revenue from the tax would be returned to the public. A family of four might receive a $2,000 check from the government every year. And we would all have an incentive t…

ocean acidification highest in last 14 million years

Ocean acidification to hit levels not seen in 14 million years

I've posted about ocean acidification a number of times.  Now there is new research showing that the current situation is very serious.  This is catastrophic for all sea life with carbonate shells, oysters, clams, shrimp, as well as the major source of food for much of sea life, krill.  At the Paleo-Eocene Thermal Maximum, oceans acidified because of green-house gases pouring into the biosphere, and which resulted in the largest loss of sea life in the history of the planet.  We are pouring carbon dioxide into the biosphere a ten times that rate as at that time. 

New research led by Cardiff University has shown that under a 'business-as-usual' scenario of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, ocean acidification is likely to hit unprecedented levels.

The rapid influx of CO2 in to the oceans is severely threatening marine life, with the shells of some animals already dissolving in the more acidic seawater.  In their new…

Global Heat Wave - climate change?

The global heat wave is due to a climate process, a weakened jet stream and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

It is important to distinguish a climate process from climate change which is a change in a climate process.  There was a previous experience with what is happening now in 1976.  It's occurrence is a climate process.  The current heat wave is greater than the one that occurred in 1976.  That's climate change.  Climate change is a climate process becoming more extreme.

For example, El Nino is a climate process.  The planet warms during an El Nino.  However, El Ninos are getting hotter,

El Ninos are getting hotter.  That's climate change.

Heat Records Beaten World Wide

Heat Records Falling Around the World in 2018

The first five months of 2018 were the fourth warmest in global records going back to 1880, according to NOAA. Along the way, a number of extreme heat events have occurred already this year. In recent weeks across the Northern Hemisphere, these records have included an impressive number of all-time highs (an all-time high is the warmest temperature reported on any date at a given location).  Setting an all-time high is no small accomplishment, especially for locations that have long periods of record (PORs). All-time highs are especially noteworthy when you consider that, on average, the planet is warming more during winter than during summer, and more at night than during the day. Urban heat islands are no doubt contributing somewhat to the heat records achieved in large urban areas, but the extreme heat of 2018 has also played out in remote rural areas without any urban heat islands. I wish some climate change denier would tell me at wha…

Why We Got It So Wrong On GMO's

That's the subtitle of a new book, Seeds of Science, by Mark Lynas, a former anti-GMO activist for Greenpeace, who is now an advocate for the safe use of GM technology.  This is a point I've been making for some time.  I am of course a strong environmentalist but I've long believed that we need GM methods in order to have any hope of feeding the 8 billion people that will be on this planet by 2050.

Lynas' book has just been reviewed in the latest issue of Science (behind paywall).  The review explains how his views have completely turned around about GMO's.
Most major global scientific organizations have firmly stated that science backs the efficacy and safety of genetic engineering.  Yet in the minds of many, consuming food with a GM organism (GMO) - free label is a must. So what went wrong?  Lynas argues that applying GM technology first to herbicide-resistant crops was a mistake that aligned the chemical manufacturing industry--which was already regarded with sk…

Hansen's 1988 Predictions For Temperatures Is Accurate

It is common for those denying global warming to cite the failure of forecasting.  Well, such a declaration was premature.  In 2013 it looked like the temperatures were leveling off.  However, that didn't happen.  The deniers were wrong.  We have here the forecasts made by Dr. James E. Hansen in 1988, 30 years ago, and the observed temperatures up to 2018.

Hansen was invited to testify before the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on June 23, 1988.[75] Hansen testified that "Global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and observed warming...It is already happening now"[52] and "The greenhouse effect has been detected and it is changing our climate now...We already reached the point where the greenhouse effect is important."[76] Hansen said that NASA was 99% confident that the warming was caused by the accumulation of greenhou…

The Carbon Dividend

I've postedextensively about the carbon tax, or fee, and now dividend.  As I've tried to emphasize, this is the best, and possibly only way for our planet to survive.  It is an economic solution.  You can tell people not to use gasoline in their cars, or not to eat beef, but no one is going to pay attention until the true value of using gasoline or eating beef is imposed on them.  
As I've posted, conservative groups like the Cato Institute, and bipartisan groups like the World Bank, partisan groups like the Young Republicans, and even oil companies, have come out for a carbon tax.

Now a new group that includes conservatives is coming out for a "carbon dividend"

Proponents of a market-oriented plan to fight climate change by taxing greenhouse gas emissions and giving the revenue to American taxpayers are starting a campaign to run advertisements as early as this fall and introduce legislation in Congress as early as next year.  The plan’s supporters have formed …

People Denying Global Warming Will In Time Be Held Accountable

Climate Change Denial Should Be A Crime

In the wake of Harvey, it's time to treat science denial as gross negligence--and hold those who do the denying accountable. In August 2016, months after Houston had been hit by the second of two back-to-back “hundred year floods,” Mike Talbott, then the head of Houston’s flood control district, told The Texas Tribune and ProPublica that he still had no plans to study climate change or its potential impacts on the county — Harris, the third-largest in the nation — that he was charged with protecting. Talbott criticized scientists for being “anti-development,” and not only ignored but denigrated studies — even those conducted by his own department, one of which he called “absurd” — that suggested development was worsening flooding, or that urged him to leave prairies intact to absorb floodwaters. When the Tribune told Talbott that a host of scientific experts had said the contrary, his reply was blunt.  “You need to find some better experts,”…


I've been posting for four years about global warming, about the risks, the consequences, about what we should expect to happen.  But there is one thing, in my opinion, more important than all other issues, refugees. 

People fleeing droughts, famine, social disorder is only going to get worse as global warming advances.  I urge everyone to support UNHCR.  In my opinion there is no more important issue.  I urge everyone to look more closely into this.  Imagine your having to flee from very difficult circumstances into countries that are resisting your migration.  There are millions of families in very desperate situations and UNHCR is in many cases the only help they have.

People Skeptical Of Global Warming Please Read This

What I learned, and why you should drop your objections about global warming

Since we are not climate scientists, I argued, we don’t have the expert knowledge necessary to evaluate which side of the debate is right. Therefore, we should defer to the majority for the purpose of choosing public policy.  This argument didn’t seem to change any minds. One man even argued it was completely irrelevant. “Science isn’t a democracy!” he said. Well, he’s right! It’s not a democracy at all! That’s why your opinion on the cause of global warming doesn’t matter. I’m not saying that contrarian climatologists are wrong because they are in the minority — I’m saying you need staggering arrogance to insist that over 90% of climatologists are wrong when you aren’t even a scientist, let alone a climatologist.
As I read more on the topic, I learned that the vast majority of climatologists agree: greenhouse gases are the main cause of global warming, not changes in the sun. It’s scary that I could be misled…

Carbon Dioxide Not So Good For Agriculture

Plants consume carbon dioxide and intuitively we feel that it's concentration in the atmosphere should have a positive effect on them.  However, research now shows that rice grown in higher levels of carbon dioxide has lower amounts of several important nutrients.

When scientists want to figure out how climate change might disrupt the world’s food supplies, they often explore how rising temperatures could shift growing seasons or how more frequent droughts could damage harvests. In recent years, though, researchers have begun to realize that the extra carbon dioxide that humanity is pumping into the atmosphere isn’t just warming the planet, it’s also making some of our most important crops less nritious by changing their chemical makeup and diluting vitamins and minerals.  Now, a new study has found that rice exposed to elevated levels of carbon dioxide contains lower amounts of several important nutrients.

The potential health consequences are large, given that there are already b…

Global Warming Descends On Alaska

I've posted many times about the dangers Florida, New Orleans, and Houston have to look forward to because of climate change.  Despite being in conservative states they have been forced to confront the issue, Floridaespecially as I'veposted.  Another Republican State is being forced to confront climate change, Alaska.  They are between a rock and a hard place.  While the impact of climate change in Alaska is making itself felt,

Alaska is already seeing the dramatic effects of global warming firsthand, making the issue difficult for local politicians to avoid. The solid permafrost that sits beneath many roads, buildings and pipelines is starting to thaw, destabilizing the infrastructure above. At least 31 coastal towns and cities may need to relocate, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, as protective sea ice vanishes and fierce waves erode Alaska’s shores. “The change has been so real and so widespread that it’s become impossible to ignore,” Byron Mallott, the state’s…