Climate Change Is Happening Faster Than Expected, and It’s More Extreme


New research suggests human-caused emissions will lead to bigger impacts on heat and extreme weather, and sooner than the IPCC warned just three years ago.


DEC 26, 2017



“Uncertainty is not our friend here,” said Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann. “We are seeing increases in extreme weather events that go well beyond what has been predicted or projected in the past. We’re learning that there are factors we were not previously aware of that may be magnifying the impacts of human-caused climate change.” Among those are “subtle mechanisms involving the behavior of the jet stream that may be involved in explaining the dramatic increase we’ve seen in floods, droughts, heat waves and wildfires,” he said. (Atmospheric scientist Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research)


Sky:  We actually have several elephants in the room.


(1)       Diminishing Strength of the Atlantic Current


“The Gulf Stream that helps to keep Britain from freezing over in winter is slowing down faster now than at any time in the past millennium according to a study suggesting that major changes are taking place to the ocean currents of the North Atlantic.”


(2)       Melting Methane Hydrates (Contained in Permafrost)


“Currently, permafrost covers about nearly 5.8 million square miles, and scientists found as much as 2.5 million square miles of that could thaw—about twice the area of Alaska, California and Texas combined—in a 2 degree Celsius scenario. Thawing would be more limited if warming can be held to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but could still affect 1.8 million square miles.”


“Permafrost, which covers 15 million km2 of the land surface, is one of the components of the Earth system that is most sensitive to warming.  Loss of permafrost would radically change high-latitude hydrology and biogeochemical cycling, and could therefore provide very significant feedbacks on climate change.”



“After so many years spent determining where gas hydrates are breaking down and measuring methane flux at the sea-air interface, we suggest that conclusive evidence for release of hydrate-related methane to the atmosphere is lacking.”


Gas Hydrate Breakdown Unlikely to Cause Massive Greenhouse Gas Release


If you check out funding for this research you’ll get a better handle on who decides what is “conclusive evidence”


Here is the answer!!


17 Apr 2014 – The world is addicted to hydrocarbons, and it’s easy to see why – cheap, plentiful and easy to mine, they represent an abundant energy source to fuel industrial development the world over. … In other words, there is more energy in methane hydrates than in all the world’s oil, coal and gas put together.



(3)       Ocean Acidification


“Many marine organisms that produce calcium carbonate shells or skeletons are negatively impacted by increasing CO2 levels and decreasing pH in seawater. For example, increasing ocean acidification has been shown to significantly reduce the ability of reef-building corals to produce their skeletons.”


“Many organisms that form the basis for the marine food chain are going to be affected by ocean acidification.  It turns out that changing the pH of the ocean is not the only impact from this phenomenon.  There is another, equally impactful side effect.  When carbon dioxide (CO2) mixes with water molecule (H2O) it forms carbonic acid (H2CO3) that then breaks down easily into hydrogen ions (H+) and bicarbonate (HCO3-), those available hydrogen ions bond with other carbonate ions to form more bicarbonate.  The problem here is that marine organisms possessing shells (many mollusks, crustaceans, corals, coralline algae, foramaniferans) need available carbonate ions to form the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) that comprises their shells.  In essence, ocean acidification is robbing these organisms of their necessary building blocks.”


(4)       Desertification


“Overgrazing is the major cause of desertification worldwide. Other factors that cause desertification include urbanization, climate change, over drafting of groundwater, deforestation, natural disasters and tillage practices in agriculture that place soils more vulnerable to wind.”

Sky:  As more and more forests are chopped down there will be fewer rain clouds thus less and less rainfall in arid climates.



One could go on and on.  For example:  Health issues including the spread of communicable diseases caused by bacteria immune to antibiotics and food shortages that spark violence leading to war. Remember that the Russian intelligentsia did not start the Russian Revolution.  It started in Petrograd when the dock workers’ wives couldn’t buy bread!!  Surely these are enough examples to make my point.


Sky:  Why isn’t more being done about this obvious race to destruction and misery?


“The fossil fuel industry has spent many millions of dollars on confusing the public about climate change.

…Ideology: the other half of an ‘unholy alliance’


However, to focus solely on industry’s role in climate science denial misses half the picture. The other significant player is political ideology. At an individual level, numerous surveys have found that political ideology is the biggest predictor of climate science denial.


People who fear the solutions to climate change, such as increased regulation of industry, are more likely to deny that there is a problem in the first place – what psychologists call “motivated disbelief”.


Consequently, groups promoting political ideology that opposes market regulation have been prolific sources of misinformation about climate change. This productivity has been enabled by the many millions of dollars flowing from the fossil fuel industry. Naomi Oreskes, co-author of ‘Merchants of Doubt’, refers to this partnership between vested interests and ideological groups as an “unholy alliance’”.



Sky:  Hopeless for the individual?  Certainly not.  A group of individuals can wield the most powerful weapon against economic tyranny ever discovered; purchasing power!  So start today voting for the future you want with your pocketbook.  There has never been a greater need for us to “Be the change you want to see.” Mahatma Gandhi