Posts tagged climate change
“In 2012 the world crossed an ominous threshold. A reading of 400 parts per million [ppm] of atmospheric carbon dioxide was recorded by monitoring stations across the arctic. That is at least 50ppm higher than the maximum concentration during the last 12,000 years, a period that allowed us to develop agriculture and civilization.” At the Edge of the Roof: The Evolutionary Crisis of the Human Spirit
From Spiritual Ecology Edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
Quote from loc 574 on Kindle Edition
“On May 9, the daily mean concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since measurements began in 1958.”
I am saddened by what appears to be either a misprint [“during the last 12,000 years…”] or a misunderstanding of how CO2 and temperature varies profoundly [at least over the last million years] in an approximately 120k year cycle of around 90% massive glaciation and low average atmospheric temperature and a 10% is the interglacial period of approximately 12,000 years. Up until the present interglacial period, human population has had from very little to no effect on these cycles. These cycles have been authenticated by several research projects of which the Russian Vostok station in East Antarctica is arguably the most well known.
Also well documented and validated is the behaviour of the atmospheric temperature and CO2 ppm which varies with much the same pattern. Thus, we can observe from a graphical presentation that both temperature and CO2 rises sharply to a sharp peak and then almost as quickly plunge. Details may be found here: https://www.google.gr/search?q=vostok+core+samples&espv=210&es_sm=122&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=bPzLUtG1G
So my point here is that all recorded cycles reveal high CO2 content during the peak of the interglacial warm part of the cycle. CO2ppm will always be the highest during the peak of the interglacial part of the cycle.
What then is the point?
What I suggest IS the point, however, is that the graphs of various ice core drillings reveal that CO2 has never been this high in at least a 800,000 years. Average temperature have been this high or higher before but never CO2ppm.
It has been 3.6 million years since CO2 has been this high. http://www.skepticalscience.com/pliocene-snapshot.html
I don’t need to reiterate just why CO2 is a problem. Both common sense and overwhelming scientific research and scientist’s consensus point to anthropogenic factors involved here. Just what are they? The most well known factor is, of course, the human industrial infrastructure that burns such huge quantities of fossil fuels at a rate exceeding what Gaia can balance out and/or absorb. Thus the greenhouse effect is driving average global temperature up. I won’t repeat the well known details of what has been driving temperatures in the past. See: http://www.earthenspirituality.com/glogal-warming/
The Gaia Theory
There is another factor which is seldom cited. It seems to only come to mind when the obvious question is asked. I admit, the question appears to only be obvious to a few, myself included.
What has driven the temperature down sharply at the end of previous interglacial warming periods?
So much talk and media exposure is spent on what is causing the warming. However, we may be overdue for the temperature drop. The details of our present Holocene period reveal that the temperature did level off around two thousand years or so and began to drop. Painfully obvious is the fact that it is now rising.
Now let me be clear. As I mentioned above, all the cycles are different and our present one cannot be predicted to any extensive degree of accuracy. Not only do we not have historical details to compare with, but after all we are dealing with a living being and living organisms do not behave like a machine in preciseness. Why we expect this and how well funded climate change deniers capitalise on lack of preciseness is the subject for another paper at some other time.
Let me answer the question above. We have a lot of scientific evidence to support the analysis of what starts the warming for the rapid temperature increase and ensuing start of an interglacial period. Not much has been documented about how the tail end, the cooling is forced. Melankovitch cycles are a major part of it, but I suggest that they need augmentation. The juxtaposition of the planet’s angle to the sun’s radiation and the sun’s distance do decrease, but these factors don’t appear to be able in themselves decrease the CO2 content and thus decrease the greenhouse effect. So what does?
Trees. Yes, billions of trees, bushes and tall grass that slowly follow the melting glaciers northward in the northern hemisphere and southward in the southern hemisphere. This vegetation not only sucks up tons of CO2 but from transpiration helps form significant cloud cover whose overall effect is to increase the deflection of the sun’s radiation more than their addition to the greenhouse effect. Could we look back at the endings of previous interglacial periods, we would see these billions of trees and miles of long grass and savannah constantly pulling CO2 from the atmosphere; reducing the greenhouse effect adding to the decreased insolation and thereby causing a sudden tipping point for the temperature decline. The complete halt in forest harvesting and massive planting is simply the least expensive and most overall beneficial action that could be taken to mitigate the effects of the greenhouse effect. There are now sacred cows in India; there could be sacred trees worldwide.
By Douglas Fischer
The Daily Climate
The largest, most-consistent money fueling the climate denial movement are a number of well-funded conservative foundations built with so-called “dark money,” or concealed donations, according to an analysis released Friday afternoon.
The study, by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert Brulle, is the first academic effort to probe the organizational underpinnings and funding behind the climate denial movement.
It found that the amount of money flowing through third-party, pass-through foundations like Donors Trust and Donors Capital, whose funding cannot be traced, has risen dramatically over the past five years.
In all, 140 foundations funneled $558 million to almost 100 climate denial organizations from 2003 to 2010.
Meanwhile the traceable cash flow from more traditional sources, such as Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, has disappeared.
The study was published Friday in the journal Climatic Change.
July 25, 2014
Groups who sell their services to companies who wish to sow doubt
“The Heartland Institute has become more visible, and the George Marshall Institute a bit less, but the overall picture continues: these groups continue to dismiss or disparage the science, attack scientists, and sow doubt.
They continue to try to block action by confusing us about the facts. And the arguments, the tactics, and the overall strategy has remained the same. And, they’ve been extremely successful. CO2 has reached 400 ppm, meaningful action is still not in sight, and people who really understand the science—understand what is at stake—are getting very worried.”
By Cheryl Katz
The Daily Climate
“What’s more, Iceland’s glaciers have advanced and retreated several times in the 11 centuries that A Climate at Your Doorstep story.
humans have lived there, leading many to see the current retreat as part of a temporary, natural cycle.
“The glaciers have always been going up and down,” said Hallgrimsson, who noted that early settlers faced considerably less ice than do residents today. “It looks like we are getting a period similar to around 900 (A.D.)”
‘Of course nobody knows.’”
“It looks like we are getting a period similar to around 900 (A.D.)”
I’ve read a lot of statements similar to the one above. I find them sad because they reveal a serious misunderstanding of how it is to be a planet like Earth and have varieties of weather and climates. For one thing, the main drivers for climate change are known as the Milankovitch Cycles.
It is the coincidence of how these three cycles affect insolation [The incident radiant energy emitted by the sun which reaches a unit area over a period of time] that has the greatest effect on climate. Since the exact duration of these cycles is not constant, throughout the past and in the future, the coincident value of the three never repeat. Thus the resultant climate at any particular place on the planet will never exactly repeat. Not only that, but the last major extinction of life on earth was some 65 million years ago. For around 2.6 million years now we have had a cyclical glaciation/warming environment. Conditions prior to each positive and negative temperature swing were similar in that two are sometimes all three of the cycles favoured a change.
Anthropogenic air, sea and land pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and the massive destruction of forests have never preceded a cyclic swing within this period. My meaning is that we have no precedents to help us understand just how a swing to a cooler environment and subsequent negative temperature swing might come about. No-one other than [An Exceptionally Long Interglacial ahead? A. Berger and M. F. Loutre] appears willing to make a statement about the analysis of the present state of the cycles, greenhouse gasses and temperature as to what the chances are for a downward trend in temperature. My unprofessional analysis comes up with a notion that the Earth shall skip a complete glacial/interglacial cycle. How Earth will cope with the continued rise of greenhouse gasses and temperature leaves me frightened.
Perfluorotributylamine is an unregulated, long-living industrial chemical that breaks all records for potential climate impacts
“PFTBA is just one example of an industrial chemical that is produced but there are no policies that control its production, use or emission,” Hong said. “It is not being regulated by any type of climate policy.”
Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent
theguardian.com, Tuesday 10 December 2013 16.17 GMT
We need to be told just why and how this has escaped the news and investigation before.
Thanks for killing the planet, boomers!
The world as we know it is ending, and the indifference by Americans, politicians and mainstream press is maddening
“Elsewhere, apathy runs rampant. According to an oft-cited research paper by Anthony Leiserowitz,
a Gallup poll recently found that “the environment” was the 16th most important issue to Americans today. Even more troubling, among environmental issues, global warming ranked 12 out of 13 — just lower than “urban sprawl.” This apathy exists in spite of poll numbers that show a vast majority of Americans believe in man-made climate change and the requisite dangers that it poses. According to Leiserowitz, since the year 2000 polls have consistently shown that 60-70 percent of people in the U.S. ‘believe that global warming is real and already underway (74 percent), believe that there is a scientific consensus on the reality of climate change (61 percent), and already view climate change as a somewhat to very serious problem (76 percent).’”
Sky: I must read up on how Sociologists and Eco-Psychologists account for why there is such a lot of apathy around climate change. I’ll continue this later.
Study to focus on Arctic after Greenland Sea found to have warmed 10 times faster than global ocean
By Phoebe McDonald
Updated Sat 2 Nov 2013, 4:57pm AEDT
“Scientists have revealed plans to examine temperature changes in the Arctic Ocean after a long-term study found the Greenland Sea is warming 10 times faster than the global ocean.”
Sky: There are some troublesome by the by statements here that deserve special attention. Some 10 years or so ago, there was a report that the flow of the Atlantic Current at its northern edge was decreasing: Let me see if I can find the reference. Here we are:
01 December 2005
“The Atlantic Ocean overturning current that maintains Europe’s moderate climate has slowed by 30 per cent according to scientists from the National Oceanography Centre at the University of Southampton in research published today in Nature (Thursday, 1 December 2005).”
Then there was a retraction that not enough data had been collected. Then there was an article about how many monitors had been strung along a horizontal line across the Atlantic to measure the flow. Then nothing. No reports. Nothing. Now, in this article I read:
“Until the early 1980s, the central Greenland Sea has been mixed from the top to the bottom by winter cooling at the surface making waters dense enough to reach to sea floor,” she said.
“This transfer of cold water from the top to the bottom has not occurred in the last 30 years.
“After the ’80s it seems that winter heat losses – how much heat is lost from the ocean to the atmosphere – has decreased.
“The waters at the surface are lighter during the wintertime than before. They don’t reach the necessary density to reach the bottom of the Greenland Sea.”
In the past, the Thermohaline Circulation Conveyor [Atlantic Current] was driven by the sinking of the cooled down, saltier [heavier] water having been mixed with the cooler water from the higher latitudes. This drove the circulation current as we all know keeping winter temperatures several degrees warmer in Europe, especially the British Isles. It has always seemed common sense to me that as the arctic ice melts, a greater and greater volume of cold water will push this overturning further and further south.
“She says if current trends continue the density, temperature and salinity levels of deep water in the Greenland Sea will reach the same levels of those in the Arctic Ocean.
“The Greenland Sea is getting lighter … It will reach the same density of the waters that are coming in,” she said.
“When they reach the same density we don’t know what will happen.”
Well, I think she has a good idea. This means the end of the conveyor effect at that latitude. Remember, It is only in recent times that the vast accumulation of ice of the Arctic Ocean has melted. Before that time, there was not nearly the volume of colder water mixing with southern currents at that latitude.
I would like to see a report from all the meters strung out to measure current flow across the northern Atlantic. If the Greenland see continues to warm and the warm saltier waters from the south are not cooled sufficiently to make them sink, then the conveyor will end. Period. How fast is unknown.
Naomi Klein: Why Science Is Telling All of Us to Revolt and Change Our Lives Before We Destroy the Planet
“But there are many people who are well aware of the revolutionary nature of climate science. It’s why some of the governments that decided to chuck their climate commitments in favour of digging up more carbon have had to find ever more thuggish ways to silence and intimidate their nations’ scientists. In Britain, this strategy is becoming more overt, with Ian Boyd, the chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, writing recently that scientists should avoid “’suggesting that policies are either right or wrong” and should express their views “by working with embedded advisers (such as myself), and by being the voice of reason, rather than dissent, in the public arena’”.
Naomi Klein, the author of “The Shock Doctrine” and “No Logo”, is working on a book and a film about the revolutionary power of climate change.
I was shocked by the quote above taken from a statement by Ian Boyd at DEFRA concerning his advice that scientists should not criticise (“’suggesting that policies are either right or wrong”) government policy. When I Googled “UK government criticism”, I found dozens of people and organisations from all walks of life offering criticism. Why not scientists? They are specialists and I suggest that many if not most are extremely well qualified. Are all climate scientists working for the government now?
“by being the voice of reason, rather than dissent, in the public arena.“
Thesaurus.com reveals that the word reason is a noun meaning mental analysis or explanation for an action. Therefore when a scientist comments on a climate event, it may well be an explanation for an action and thus perfectly reasonable. Without reference to a dictionary or the Thesaurus, I submit that dissent means to disagree. Quite obviously, disagreeing with an explanation and using reasonable arguments are neither synonyms nor antonyms. During a discussion, one can always offer reasonable dissenting opinions.
9 August 2013
Deadly floods hit central US with Missouri worst affected
“A family declined evacuation orders as a creek overtopped its banks in downtown Newburg, Missouri, on 7 August 2013”
Please, can we learn? We just cannot afford unlimited energy growth. This is one of the results. And it can only get worse as the CO2 climbs. We are looking at major, disastrous desertification throughout the US southwest. The grass dies, forest fires destroy the forests which means that they cannot expire water into the air, overgrazing is forced as ranchers attempt to maintain their living. The few rainstorms are gushes that carry the topsoil into the rivers and on to the coasts which then become stagnant.
And folks, who pays? Yes, you pay through higher taxes and higher prices whilst businesses attempt to hold on to their profits and the good life. It doesn’t add up and can’t add up.
UNCHARTED WATERS | A JOURNAL SENTINEL SPECIAL REPORT
Does Lake Michigan’s record low mark beginning of new era for Great Lakes?
Despite above-average precipitation, lake has seen below-average water levels for 14 years running. Less ice cover and more dark open water may explain why.
By Dan Egan of the Journal Sentinel staff
“Last year was indeed extremely dry. But the past 14 years, on average, have been wetter than usual for Lakes Michigan and Huron, which are actually one body of water connected at the Straits of Mackinac.
Even so, the lakes remain about a foot and a half below their average for this time of year.
So where did all the water go? This is not a story about climate change. It is a story about climate changed.”
“He eventually determined it’s not just warm summer weather driving the increase in water temperatures — it’s also what’s happening in winter. The air-temperature increase, however slight, has been enough to dramatically reduce Superior’s average ice cover.
And without a bright white cap to bounce solar radiation back into the sky, the lake begins to soak up heat in early spring. That jump-start on the annual warming process has a profound effect on peak surface water temperatures during the summer.”
“Paul Roebber, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee meteorologist and associate dean of its School of Freshwater Sciences, points to a weather buoy in the middle of southern Lake Michigan that shows a 3.4 degree increase in average summer surface water temperatures since 1997.
One day last summer, the thermometer at the mid-lake buoy 43 miles southeast of Milwaukee recorded a Caribbean-like 80 degrees. It was only the beginning of July. ‘There has been a change in air temperatures. It’s not dramatic, but it’s just enough to not produce the ice coverage we used to have,’ explained Roebber. ‘And that makes all the difference in a system like this.’”
Sky: Climate change skeptics are making heavy weather out of a slowing surface temperature change but the global warming is occurring in the lakes and oceans. It is not diminishing. I’m afraid there is just no good news anywhere and no indication of serious efforts to recover from the inevitable effect of increasing greenhouse gases. The Earth has no legal protection, no rights whatsoever.
This is my Darkest Day
Defeatism? Pessimism? Or a fair judgement and assessment of reality- the world as it is for those who make the decisions that affect us all. Part of being positive is the policy of knowing your enemy, studying the tactics and procedures that destroy that which you love and then feeling into a way to counter those policies.
Title: The U.S. will become energy independent by 2035 — but at what cost?
Annalee Newitz,Editor io9 blog
The International Energy Agency has released a report in which it’s predicting that the U.S. will become the world’s largest producer of oil by 2020 — surpassing even Saudi Arabia. The IEA report also predicts that the U.S. will be a net exporter of oil by 2030 and nearly self-sufficient in energy by 2035. This dramatic and unexpected change in fortune can be primarily attributed to the relatively new practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — an industrial process that’s not without its critics.
According to the report, by 2015, U.S. oil production is expected to rise to 10 million barrels per day and increase to 11.1 million barrels per day by 2020. And as the LA Times notes, this will put the U.S. in some serious company as it overtakes second-place Russia and front-runner Saudi Arabia:
“By around 2020, the United States is projected to become the largest
global oil producer (overtaking Saudi Arabia until the mid-2020s) and starts to see the
impact of new fuel-efficiency measures in transport. The result is a continued fall in US oil
imports, to the extent that North America becomes a net oil exporter around 2030. This
accelerates the switch in direction of international oil trade towards Asia, putting a focus
on the security of the strategic routes that bring Middle East oil to Asian markets. The
United States, which currently imports around 20% of its total energy needs, becomes all
but self-sufficient in net terms – a dramatic reversal of the trend seen in most other energy importing
“Most oil consumers are used to the effects of worldwide fluctuations in price (reducing its oil imports will not insulate the United States from developments in international markets), but consumers can expect to see growing linkages in other areas.
A current example is how low-priced natural gas is reducing coal use in the
United States, freeing up coal for export to Europe (where, in turn, it has displaced higher priced
gas). At its lowest level in 2012, natural gas in the United States traded at around
one-fifth of import prices in Europe and one-eighth of those in Japan.
Sky: Note that natural gas usage does not diminish or reduce the use of coal overall, just shift its location adding the cost of transportation. So, this is not an either/or but a both/and. Whilst energy spokespersons and government officials are trying to justify energy exploration and production as necessary for our economic survival, actually, this only masks the true raison d’etre which is profits through exports. So we pollute our atmosphere and water, deplete our natural resources, especially precious water which will inevitably cause widespread poverty and deprivation – all to line the pockets of the few – call them the 1% perhaps. Now, be assured that the “we” is not only Americans but the UK as well. It has already started with recent activity - “Tim Yeo, has since revised his personal opinion, however, and now argues shale gas is a “game changer” that could “transform the UK’s energy independence”. Interest in hydraulic fracking comes just as imports of gas to the UK have surpassed domestic production for the first time since the 1960s.* Emily Gosden (29 March 2012). “UK gas imports outstrip production for first time since 1967″. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 March 2012. Let there be no doubts, as The US goes, the UK will go, especially under the present administration. We now have precious food, maise, used to feed cars and trucks leaving the sickening CO and carbon particulates and soon we will have our precious fresh water poisoned in the process of forcing natural gas to the surface so we can expand our pollution, poisonous fumes and greenhouse gasses.
I’m reminded of an article I read in the early 1950s. The writer explained how all the gadgets [time savers] would free up time and people would then develop their interests in the arts, literature and improve their minds. Ha Ha. What happened was that the gadgets freed women from the, backbreaking and tedious household jobs. That’s nothing but good. But few used their extra time for literary and artistic pursuits – they simply got a paying job and left the children to the baby sitter. Companies used the labour-saving machines to lay off employees and increase profits. Our western society has a gadget for everything now but we suffer more mental illness, heart disease, stress and work longer hours than we did 50 years ago.
Just today the UK police arrested 18 protesters in the village of Balcombe, West Sussex, where Cuadrilla is poised to start test drilling. Police were reported to say ‘arrests were made to “ensure public safety”’ I’m afraid that it will take far more than 80 anti-fracking campaigners to make a significant impact on policy.
Going forward, price relationships between regional gas markets are set to strengthen as liquefied natural gas trade becomes more flexible and contract terms evolve, meaning that changes in one part
of the world are more quickly felt elsewhere. Within individual countries and regions,
competitive power markets are creating stronger links between gas and coal markets, while
these markets also need to adapt to the increasing role of renewables and, in some cases,
to the reduced role of nuclear power. Policy makers looking for simultaneous progress
towards energy security, economic and environmental objectives are facing increasingly
complex – and sometimes contradictory – choices.”
“As noted, however, the burgeoning oil boom will likely come at a price. It’s thought, for example, that the new influx of oil will de-motivate efforts to develop sustainable forms of energy.
The report warned that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will continue to escalate. Sky: Remember the coal will still be burned but by another country. The new gas will be burned but by another country.
Critics warn that the industrial practice — in which long, horizontal channels are drilled deep underground to draw oil trapped in rocks by applying high pressure — could result in contaminated water supplies, risks to air quality, the release of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, and surface contamination from spills and throwback. There are even concerns that fracking may cause earthquakes.”
Sky: As I said, this is not good news. How will our industrialists be willing to curtail growth and profits when that is the only way to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions?