33 posts tagged with ClimateChange by stbalbach.
Displaying 1 through 33 of 33.
In the 21st century, it almost goes without saying the past year was the hottest year on record. But it's worth mentioning 2014 was the hottest ever recorded, according to NASA and NOAA who independently confirmed. Drum roll: it was the 38th consecutive year of above-average temperatures. 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have occurred since 2000. Nobody born since 1976 has experienced a colder-than-average year on Earth. The coldest spot on Earth during 2014 (on average) was the eastern half of the United States. The hottest on average was most of Europe. British wine growers rejoice. [more inside]
Three visualizations of CO2 emissions: Here’s a cool way to visualize carbon emissions. New York's carbon emissions - in real time. NASA found a way to visualize the most important process behind global warming.
Disruption is a 52-minute film by 350.0rg as a promotion for the upcoming People's Climate March billed as the largest climate protest march in history, on September 21. Major cities include New York, Paris, Berlin, and Rio de Janeiro though there are over 1000 others. The march is calling for immediate action on the climate and is directed at the U.N. Climate Summit in New York City on September 23.(via)
Years of Living Dangerously is a star-studded 9-part investigative documentary on the real impacts of global warming around the world. The first episode will air on April 13, but it is now freely available online (first link, 1-hour). Series backers and producers include James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Globe says it's "a lavish, gripping production focused on the real effect of climate change in real people’s lives around the world."
Melting Point Greenland has some sublime hi-def video of, well, Greenland melting. The summer 2012 melt was unprecedented, it alone rose global sea-levels by 1mm. The scientist-run blog Greenland Melting is following. Why Greenland's melting could be the biggest climate disaster of all.
It's so hot in Australia they've added a new color to the weather map, a Tasmania-sized deep purple blob 50 degrees or more (123 F). In the USA 2012 was the hottest year ever recorded, smashing through previous records by a healthy margin. 2012 was also the second-worst on a measure called the Climate Extremes Index, surpassed only by 1998. Globally, 2012 is expected to be ranked as the eighth-warmest year on record, with that announcement coming later in the month. "Climate change has had a role in this,” said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at NOAA.
October 2012 is the 332nd consecutive month with an above-average temperature. If you were born in or after April 1985, if you are right now 27 years old or younger, you have never lived through a month that was colder than average. State of the Climate: Global Analysis October 2012 (NOAA). While $50 billion Sandy has had the spotlight, the biggest natural disaster of 2012 (in the US) has been the Great Drought still ongoing which is expected to cut America's GDP by 0.5 to 1% for the year. The death toll from the heat waves that accompanied this year's drought will exceed that of Sandy. This Sunday and Monday, Ken Burns premiers his new documentary "The Dust Bowl", on PBS. (via)
A new study in which researchers have compared the last 10 years of actual climate data with the world's most sophisticated climate simulations and found the models predicting the most extreme global warming have been the most accurate in predicting the actual climate over the last 10 years. That means if those models continue to hold true, the world could be in for a devastating worst case of 4 to 6 degrees C by 2100. There are scientists who lay out the logic why human civilization could not survive. "If you have got a population of 9 billion by 2050 and you hit 4 degrees, 5 degrees or 6 degrees, you might have half a billion people surviving." (Previously; via)
Mexico passes ambitious climate change law to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent below 2000 levels by 2020, and 50 percent below 2000 levels by 2050. The law also stipulates that 35 percent of Mexico's electricity should come from renewable sources by the year 2024. It joins the United Kingdom in having legally binding emissions goals aimed at stemming the effects of climate change.
Although the past 12 years have seen the warmest 10 years on record, temperatures have remained fairly steady, even while CO2 emissions grew by nearly a third. Temperatures should have been increasing during this period, rather 1998 was tied with 2010 for hottest on record. Now a study suggests why (pdf): sulfur emissions from Asian coal plants (China mostly) are so high they mimic the effects of a volcano which can cause short term cooling by reflecting light back into space. Insidiously, the long-term warming caused by CO2 (coal) has been masked by short-term cooling of sulfur (coal).
When a TV meteorologist says "temperatures will be ten degrees above normal", the word "normal" has a specific meaning. Every 10 years NOAA re-calculates the "normal" temps for the USA based on the prior 30-year averages. The new normals have just been released, based on the 30 year period 1980-2010. Hotter is the new normal. With hotter weather comes more extreme weather. Extreme Weather and Climate Change, 3-part series from Scientific America .. and map of extreme weather events 1995-present.
Snowpack in the northern Rocky Mountains has declined over the past 30 years more than at any other time in a least 1,000 years (30-year decline is old news, 1000 year perspective is new). Snowmelt from the Rockies provide water for at least 70 million people. Snow is also melting weeks earlier in the American West. Some consequences of earlier snowmelt (of less snow) are drier forests, more wildfires and less water for people in a West heating up and drying out.
We've discussed the "once in a century" Amazon Drought of 2005-06. Five years later and we are seeing another once in a century drought in the Amazon. How serious are the effects of these droughts for global climate? The science appears to be mixed. Helping monitor is the newly released Google Earth 6.0, which can track individual trees within a section of the Amazonian forest, and 80 million other trees in 7 cities around the world (video).
Global warming skeptic Bjørn Lomborg changes position, saying global warming is "undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today" and "a challenge humanity must confront." He says in a new book forthcoming this year that governments should levy a tax on carbon and spend billions annually on research for new technologies. I suppose it's hard to ignore when 10 of 10 key indicators show the world is warming, and Lomberg is not the first prominent skeptic to change position. [more inside]
James Lovelock, 90, says we're too stupid to prevent climate change. "I don't think we're yet evolved to the point where we're clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change." One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is "modern democracy", he added in an extended interview. "I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while." He thinks only a catastrophic event would now persuade humanity to take the threat of climate change seriously enough, such as the collapse of a giant glacier in Antarctica.
Do you want to personally verify climate science? You can, with open source data and algorithms. OpenTemp.org: An Open Analysis of the Historical Temperature Record. Clear Climate Code: Python reimplementation of GISTEMP, the NASA GISS surface temperature analysis. EDGCM: a research-grade Global Climate Model (GCM) with a user-friendly interface that can be run on a desktop computer.
A "Dow Jones Index for Climate Change". The IGBP Climate-Change Index distills complex climate change factors into a single number, like how the Dow Jones distills the markets to a single number, and visually graphs it over time.
The Other Global Warming. Waste heat (second law of thermodynamics) over the next 300 years could add 3 degrees of warming.
MIT has completed the most comprehensive computer climate model to date to project how much warming will occur in the 21st century. The biggest unknown is not nature, but human actions to address the problem. To illustrate the results of 400 simulations they use a roulette wheel display - which wheel is spun and where the ball stops no one knows. [more inside]
Arctic Melt update: Scientists now have unambiguous evidence that the theorized phenomenon known as "polar amplification" has in fact been occurring for the past 5 years. It was not expected to be seen for at least another 10 or 15 years. "We're in a vicious positive feedback loop." [more inside]
Melting Greenland glacier water forms a "slow wave" that stays in the Atlantic for at least 50 years before reaching the Pacific, according to a new study. The water piles up in the Atlantic. "It is often assumed that sea levels will rise instantaneously, but that is unlikely, given what we know about ocean dynamics." Fifty years after the meltwater is released from Greenland, sea-level rise could be 30 times greater around Greenland and down the eastern side of North America, including the Gulf of Mexico, than in the Pacific Ocean. Sea-level rises in Europe are around six times that of the Pacific, but only a fifth as great as on the opposite shore of the Atlantic.
Abrupt climate change is popularly thought of in the movies. But new Greenland ice core findings show two huge Northern Hemisphere temperature spikes occured prior to the close of the last ice age some 11,500 years ago, with a 22-degree-Fahrenheit spike in just 50 years. These followed a massive "reorganization" of atmospheric circulation taking just one or two years. "We know such events are in Earth's future, but we don't know when .. we are speeding blindly down a narrow road, hoping there are no curves ahead." [more inside]
Earth2100.tv is a project by ABC (video preview) to solicit ideas from the public and experts about the dangers facing world in the next 100 years. "The world’s brightest minds agree that the “perfect storm” of population growth, resource depletion and climate change could converge with catastrophic results. We need you to bring this story to life."
Sucking CO2 out of the air has long been a holy grail for solving global warming; Richard Branson has promised $25m to anyone who succeeds. Of course it's already been done, but the amount of energy required doesn't make it net carbon positive. Now a team in Arizona, led by Klaus Lacknet under the company of Global Research Technologies, says it has made a significant breakthrough that massively reduces the amount of energy required - the "project has reached the stage where it is quite clear we can do it." The planned prototype, which will be finished in two years, will cost $200,000 USD, be smaller than a shipping container and be capable of eliminating around 1 ton of CO2. Even if it works many hurdles remain but it portends a cooler future for air-capture technology.
Why bother? "That really is the big question facing us as individuals hoping to do something about climate change," by Michael Pollan.
The historically significant* "4th IPCC report on global warming" was published in full last weekend to wide publicity. Part 1 "The Science". Part 2 "The Impacts" and Part 3 "The Solutions" - each about a 1000 page 6 pound brick, but summaries make it accessible. Beyond its gloomy dire warnings and calls for immediate action, observed global measurements of CO2 levels are already worse than the worse case scenarios and some say the report is overly conservative and already outdated. However there is a surprising idea for "solving" climate change (TED) that may be inevitable.
CARMA, released today, is a map/database that shows the carbon emissions of more than 50,000 power plants and 4,000 power companies in every country on Earth, showing not only the worst but the best. Find out how much CO2 comes from electricity plants in a particular city, county, congressional district, company, town, ZIP code, or an individual plant.
A record number of floods, droughts and storms around the world has been characterized as a climate change "mega disaster" by a senior UN official, a measure based on 13 emergency "flash" appeals (PDF, map) issued so far this year (pic gallery) - three more than in 2005 which held the previous record. Sir John has expressed frustration at how little media attention in the west is being devoted to what he terms a global "creeping climatic catastrophe".
The Catholic Church is traditionally not seen as a progressive institution, but when it comes to global warming, Vatican City is aiming to become the worlds first fully carbon-neutral state, and the Pope is expected to use his first address to the United Nations next April to deliver a powerful warning over climate change in a move to adopt protection of the environment as a "moral" cause for the Catholic Church and its billion-strong following.
HighWater Line is a public art installation in New York City that will be a 70-mile chalk line marking the boundary of a 10-foot sea level rise. More pictures under Timeline.
The warm water ocean currents of the Gulf Stream are why London rarely gets snow yet Boston is fridged despite London being as far north as Montreal, Canada. New weather modeling research from Columbia University may turn this long-held belief on its head; London can thank the Rocky Mountains for its mild winters. Good news for the rest of Europe too in case the Gulf Stream stops due to Arctic melting.