Ten Degrees Above Average
June 11, 2016 6:54 PM   Subscribe

Alaska is Having Its Hottest Year Since Records Began - "After a spring that was a full ten degrees hotter than normal, the northern state is on track for the most sweltering year on record." (via)

  • Arctic Sea Ice Goes Far Beyond Record Low Extent for May (jpg) - "This year's hasty ice retreat has been fueled by incredibly mild temperatures across the Arctic during much of the winter and spring--a byproduct of El Niño atop longer-term warming from human-produced greenhouse gases. At Barrow, Alaska, every day since January 1 has been above average except for January 22, February 6, and a stretch from March 28 to April 3. Alaska's Climate Division 1, which covers the North Slope, is having its warmest year to date by far (see Figure 3), with the January-to-April average of 2.7°F beating the previous record (–1.4°F, from 2014) by an eye-popping 4.1°F. Another red-letter data point: snow cover disappeared from the open tundra at the NOAA Barrow Observatory on May 13. Assuming that no snow cover returns this spring--an increasingly good bet--this is the earliest melt-out date by far in 74 years of recordkeeping at the Barrow lab, beating out May 24, 2002. Conditions have also been exceptionally mild on the other side of the Arctic. The town of Longyearbyen in Svalbard, Norway--the northermost civilian community on the planet--has had only one below-average day in 2016 thus far ( see Figure 4).
  • Algal Blooms In Chile - "On the Chilean coast, fisheries have been knocked sideways by an outbreak of red tide – a toxic algal bloom that's wiping out fish stocks along 2000 km of the shore line. Millions of salmon and other fish, clams and other shellfish species have died, and Chilean livelihoods are endangered. But the widespread poisoning has been followed by a blame game – with the recent El Nino, pollution and fish farming all called into question."
  • Fast Storage of CO2 in Volcanic Rock - "Last year in Paris the world made commitments to rein in CO2 emissions, but there's precious little evidence from the past that we’re very good at that. CO2 levels are increasing all the time, and may now have permanently passed the iconic 400 parts per million in the atmosphere. If we don't reduce the amount of CO2 we create, one option, for the short-term at least – is to dispose of the combustion waste more carefully, like we have to with other waste products. It's called carbon capture and storage, or CCS. Catch the CO2 before it reaches the atmosphere and store it somewhere safe, in the rocks under our feet for example. This week saw the first results from an experiment called CarbFix, which started 5 years ago in Iceland and effectively turns the CO2 into chalk, far underground."
  • Solar Added More New Capacity Than Coal, Natural Gas and Nuclear Combined - "The U.S. solar industry will install 14.5 gigawatts of capacity in 2016, nearly doubling the 7.5 gigawatts in capacity installed in 2015... just in the first quarter of 2016, solar made up 64 percent of new electric generating capacity, which is more new capacity during this period than coal, natural gas and nuclear combined."
posted by kliuless (82 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
Great. That's just, great. Fuck.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:11 PM on June 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


They should just call it Global Melting.
posted by Catblack at 7:13 PM on June 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


The wunderground article about the record low Arctic ice is full of information, but that Figure 1 is a garbage chart. What exactly am I supposed to take away from all those squiggly lines? It's terribad. It's like something from the background and context section of an intradepartmental powerpoint presentation given by someone whose project hasn't generated any interpretable data yet.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:19 PM on June 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fairbanks didn't even hit -30F this year, which is just crazy.

(To give you a sense of how wack this is, kids in school go out to recess as long as it's warmer than -20. One memorable January a couple of years ago, my elementary-school-aged kids didn't get to go out for recess for I think 3 weeks straight (so they were bouncing off the walls!!) and my recollection was that the high for a bunch of that was maaaybe -30.the lows were probably around -40 or so. And that's not an atypical winter experience).
posted by leahwrenn at 7:20 PM on June 11, 2016 [16 favorites]


So much for moving north to avoid the effects of climate change. Are the boreal forests going to be burning all summer?
posted by Bee'sWing at 7:21 PM on June 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Probably. They usually do.
posted by leahwrenn at 7:26 PM on June 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I’m an actual Alaskan. I’ve seen continuous warming since my earliest memories (and historical weather data for my city confirms that).
posted by D.C. at 7:32 PM on June 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


This seems bad.
posted by Automocar at 7:40 PM on June 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is fine.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:42 PM on June 11, 2016 [39 favorites]


I'm okay with the events that are unfolding currently.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:48 PM on June 11, 2016 [16 favorites]


The northern parts always see this sort of thing in climate change first. As leahwrenn said about it not even getting to -30 in Fairbanks. I was up there a few years ago in January and it was -47, coldest I've ever experienced.

The same thing happens here in Minnesota. You can notice it if you look for it. People up north talk about the advancement of the Maple trees. They displace the native pines. Maples die at I think -42 degrees, which used to happen every year in Minnesota without fail. Heck I think in 2014 the town of Embarass MN had 36 days of temps less than -30, many -40+. But that doesn't happen so much anymore. It was a definite anomaly.

And so the Maples push north, and the moose keep dying because their habitat goes away. The flowers in my garden that used to bloom around my daughters birthday in 2 weeks have already bloomed and gone completely as of today, and have done so for the last few years. Apple trees make blooms in April and get killed by frost in May and leave hardly any to be picked more years than not.

We see it here even in the Twin Cities. We're now getting invasions of the emerald ash borer. All our beautiful yellow ash trees in the fall will soon be gone. Luckily we had that cold cold winter of 2014, and some other good blasts of cold, but not cold enough. Several weeks of -20-25 makes for a challenging day, but it means nothing to actual invasive species. According to our awesome NPR weather guy you need it to be at least -35 to start to eradicate them. It just doesn't get that cold here anymore. It used to. But not anymore.
posted by sanka at 7:51 PM on June 11, 2016 [25 favorites]


I'm sure a carbon tax'll take care of it.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:53 PM on June 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Drill, baby, driblubblubblub
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:53 PM on June 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm okay with the events that are unfolding currently.

Harvard Scientist Engineers Bacterium That Inhales CO2, Produces Energy -- A 'Bionic Leaf'
posted by kliuless at 7:56 PM on June 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Harvard Scientist Engineers Bacterium That Inhales CO2, Produces Energy -- A 'Bionic Leaf'

"No, that's the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death."
posted by leotrotsky at 8:01 PM on June 11, 2016 [25 favorites]




My wife's mother lives in Thunder Bay (informally known as Tundra Bay, for now), where summers and winters have both gotten noticeably warmer since we got together waaaaay back in 2000.

I'm saving a lot of money, ostensibly for retirement, but sometimes I wonder if we should just fucking spend it all on fun stuff before shotguns and canned goods replace the dollar.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:18 PM on June 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


"People up north talk about the advancement of the Maple trees. They displace the native pines. Maples die at I think -42 degrees, which used to happen every year in Minnesota without fail. "

It wasn't cold enough this winter in Peoria for my apple trees to set fruit (apples need a certain number of hours below freezing in the winter in order to send the hormonal message to set fruit in the spring). One is a traditional English variety; the other dates from 1848 in Missouri, considerably south of here, so neither needs THAT much cold. Even my easygoing crabapple barely put on blossoms and has set virtually no fruit.

My dumbass spring bulbs now fairly reliably poke their shoots up in late January while we scream at them they're going to die from a late frost, but it just gets so warm so early now. Ten years ago they usually didn't poke up until February ... even then they were listed on the label as coming up in March in our area.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:36 PM on June 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


The adage sans dessert "Baked Alaska" seems apropo in a world of tinned food and dollar bill re-wad.
posted by clavdivs at 8:49 PM on June 11, 2016




I keep thinking we have hit a point where the changes are so obvious that it will force some action, but clearly we are not there yet.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:03 PM on June 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


Even though global warming is horrible, etc....

That said, I'm a tropical girl and do not get why so many people harp on me that I should want to go to Alaska when I start whining if the weather is 50 degrees ABOVE zero. But if it's warming up....
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:08 PM on June 11, 2016


When we hit the point where the changes are so obvious that it will force some action, it will be military action.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:21 PM on June 11, 2016 [35 favorites]


While I'm incredibly depressed about the rate of acceleration, I'm hopeful about some of the technical advances and the widespread expansion of solar. Thanks for adding those last two links about carbon sequestration and solar.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:54 PM on June 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


Is it just my imagination, or is this climate change trend accelerating? Really, it's not conjecture or debate about climate change now, every single day we are living it.
posted by WinstonJulia at 9:59 PM on June 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is it just my imagination, or is this climate change trend accelerating?

No, that's how exponential change works. You don't notice for a long, long time, and then you do, then it's undeniable, and then you're fucked. And by the time you notice, it's too late to stop it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:11 PM on June 11, 2016 [33 favorites]


The time to do something was in the 1970s, at this point it's the difference between whether the Earth will be uninhabitable below Nova Scotia, or turn into Venus.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:13 PM on June 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


At this point the only thing we can do to avoid catastrophic changes to climate is large scale geoengineering with whatever forms of carbon capture we can get going yesterday.

3°C is baked in already, even if we stop emitting carbon tomorrow. That will put much of Miami underwater, literally. As opposed to the figurative underwater we had a few years back.
posted by wierdo at 10:14 PM on June 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Whelp.
posted by notyou at 10:22 PM on June 11, 2016


This is unbearably depressing.
posted by teponaztli at 10:27 PM on June 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


/contemplates sci-fi/horror story about the search for life in the galaxy, looking out among the stars....only to miss the signs that intelligent life was actually right next door, but kicked off catastrophic global warming that resulted in all traces of civilization being hidden in thick clouds of superheated sulfuric acid
posted by Existential Dread at 10:27 PM on June 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


The time to do something was in the 1970s

The time to do it coincided with the time at which folks were elected into higher office (funded in no small part by think tanks and advocacy groups who shared this ideology) who were most determined to do nothing about it, followed by folks who were determined to roll back any progress that had already been made (by, for example, slashing funding to research that proved climate change because, they claimed, climate change was an "alternate reality"), followed by folks who were determined to deny that anything wrong was going on at all and that those who had proof that there was something wrong going on were themselves crackpots.

At some midpoint in that timeline was the summer of 1988, which was the hottest summer at that point on record.

That summer was 28 years ago.
posted by blucevalo at 10:28 PM on June 11, 2016 [10 favorites]


In 2007 my wife and I bought a house in Long Beach, Ca. Belmont Shore. A year later FEMA redid the flood maps and said we were in the highest risk flood zone (BShore used to be a marsh; it is low lying), and ever since, our FEMA flood insurance has gotten more pricey. (We're up to $4k a year, now, and no end in sight; please, let a buyer buy it this summer.)That's Global Climate Change for the privileged; pricey insurance. It will swamp us all, even we in nice, walkable beach neighborhoods.
posted by notyou at 10:36 PM on June 11, 2016


The trick is learning how to monetize this. Step one is a good URL. Say, warmr.com.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:39 PM on June 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Nothing makes you feel more powerless than realizing that nothing you do, no matter how hard you try, will give you or anyone you care about a way to escape the painful death of the entire planet. We can't even convince everyone to level off our carbon consumption, let alone somehow do the impossible and stop the process from continuing to compound on itself. Our oceans are already overfished, our forests continually disappearing. Educating yourself on the problem gives you the privilege of living with the question of "when," as in wondering when - not if - we'll bear witness to the deaths and displacement of millions of people worldwide as our cities flood and everything we find familiar in the environment fades away and dies.
posted by teponaztli at 10:46 PM on June 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


The time to do it coincided with the time at which folks were elected into higher office

It's ok to say Republicans, there's no need to obfuscate.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:51 PM on June 11, 2016 [21 favorites]


Okay. "Republicans." Now what?
posted by notyou at 11:11 PM on June 11, 2016


Now you go get a few other people, some torches and some pitchforks.
posted by dazed_one at 11:12 PM on June 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Seems like our society's already agreed with Nwabudike Morgan's Ethics of Greed:

Resources exist to be consumed. And consumed they will be, if not by this generation then by some future. By what right does this forgotten future seek to deny us our birthright? None I say! Let us take what is ours, chew and eat our fill.
posted by qcubed at 11:13 PM on June 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Okay. "Republicans." Now what?

Fight for getting people into office who aren't outright bought and paid for before they even run for office. The future of humanity is on the line.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:20 PM on June 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Winter is Going.
posted by OHenryPacey at 11:27 PM on June 11, 2016 [11 favorites]


Love in the Time of Climate Change: Grizzlies and Polar Bears Are Now Mating (WaPo)

(but see/see also Polar Bears International post re polar-grizzly hybrids, climate change, & polar bear conservation efforts)
posted by cdefgfeadgagfe at 12:20 AM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


the painful death of the entire planet.

It isn't really the planet that is dying. Earth will live on without us, just fine. It will find a new balance when we are gone, and the damages we've done will be repaired. We are killing ourselves. Probably along with some species of flora and fauna, but some other species will thrive on the climate change, and the debris.

And even though we are all complicit in this, driving cars, depending on A/C, eating food that is produced in unsustainable manners etc., some are more responsible than others. I really wonder at those world leaders and billionaires who ignore the knowledge and actively prevent the necessary changes from happening: do they not love their children and grandchildren?
I guess they imagine their privilige will protect them, but I'm betting it won't be that simple. The whole Randian fantasy that the rich and powerful can manage without society is a big lie — all the billions in the world can't buy them any comfort or safety if the basic structures of civilisation are gone.
posted by mumimor at 1:56 AM on June 12, 2016 [25 favorites]


Tokyo is also set to have its hottest summer on record. Which means, in layman's terms, stinking hot.
posted by oheso at 2:39 AM on June 12, 2016


dazed_one: "Now you go get a few other people, some torches and some pitchforks."

What's the carbon offset cost for a burnt Republican? Maybe leave the torches at home.
posted by chavenet at 3:42 AM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm hopeful about some of the technical advances and the widespread expansion of solar.

These are necessary, but without conservation they're not sufficient.

We simply need to learn to consume less, and that's a message that's getting far less airing.
posted by oheso at 5:05 AM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


The big difference in the amplitude of warming between the tropics and the poles is one of the best pieces of evidence to show to the clueless-but-not-clue-resistant that yes, this is a greenhouse effect going on.

CO2 slows down the process of radiating heat to outer space, causing more of it to accumulate. It will naturally accumulate where there's more capacity, i.e. areas that are colder.
posted by ocschwar at 5:41 AM on June 12, 2016


> all the billions in the world can't buy them any comfort or safety if the basic structures of civilisation are gone.

Oh really. Why do you think there's such a big investment being made to automate all the jobs and replace society with robots? Who needs people when you've got self-driving cars?
posted by I-Write-Essays at 6:23 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Okay. "Republicans." Now what?

Proper attribution of blame is important when time is running out, and there are still active climate change denialists, hell, not even denialist, but enthusiastic apocalyptic cultists who would "drill, drill, drill" while the world burns rather than admit Al Gore was right running for President and federal office in the largest economy in the world. If something is ever to be done, it won't be under a Republican administration or Congress. It's likely too late anyway, and there's no garuntee that voting against Republicans who literally bring snow into the Capitol building as proof that climate change is a liberal hoax will be enough, but it's about all the average person can do. Voting against anti-science death cultists is a small start, but it's a practical step.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:27 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mumimor, yes, I think they unironically envision a comic book future in which their privileged few descendants live a safe, protected life enclosed in and protected by technology from the elements, wildlife, and whatever fragments of humanity's hoi polloi are left. Not unlike the off shore islands that some libertarians fantasize about. The struggle of the present day then becomes to amass enough resources to insure that you/your ingroup get a place inside the lifeboat, which is enough of a rationale for many to abandon all ethics at all.
posted by jfwlucy at 6:55 AM on June 12, 2016


I'm not optimistic when even Boulder, Colorado, home of the most aggressively "eco" policies in the state, cannot get off their privileged arses long enough to ban, or even meaningfully regulate the use of woodburning fireplaces in any way shape or form. When you go out in February and can't breathe owing to a toxic fug of woodsmoke and can actually SEE the accumulated soot strata in snowbanks, well...

If you use a WBFP for cheap heat, you are part of the problem. Unless you've installed like, an industrial grade scrubber.
posted by lonefrontranger at 6:57 AM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


and yes, one of the first things we did when we remodeled our house was to tear out the wood stove that seems to come as a standard "perk" of every house, apartment and condo in this region.
posted by lonefrontranger at 6:59 AM on June 12, 2016


The time to do something was in the 1970s, at this point it's the difference between whether the Earth will be uninhabitable below Nova Scotia, or turn into Venus.

On that note I'd like to congratulate Greenpeace for their 45 years of fucking the Earth by fighting nuclear power. They really do define cutting off your nose to spite your planet.
posted by Talez at 7:09 AM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


There are little things, like wood burning fireplaces, and then there are the big, big things that aren't going to stop soon enough.

Cattle and pork production for meat, coal plants outcompeting nuclear plants because of short term costs (and here in the US to boot!), those five or seven gigantic container ships that all got a pass on efficiency regulations that somehow if memory serves contribute integer percentages of global emissions by themselves, Everyone-Must-Have-A-Car-To-Survive-In-This-Sprawling-Wasteland disorder for too many countries, and so on.

Green living might have cut in back in 1996. Maybe not even then. Green living would help now but in the way that a toddler with a toy bucket is helping while your house floods.
posted by Slackermagee at 7:13 AM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


Here's some public opinion data about what Alaskans think about climate change. Only 7.4% of Alaskans think climate change isn't real, but there is more disagreement about the cause of climate change, with 50.8% attributing climate changing to human activity and 38.0% attributing it to natural patterns. When asked what they thought the impact of climate change would be, 54.3% of Alaskans expected a serious impact now, 20.7% expected a serious impact in the future, 20.3% said there would be no serious impact, and 4.7% were not sure. For years, the "manufacture of doubt" has focused on denying the existence of climate change, but now that the rural citizens of "red" energy-producing states find the existence of climate change undeniable, the merchants of doubt are now focused on minimizing its effects or hiding any evidence of human causation for these climate changes.
posted by jonp72 at 7:29 AM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


Proper attribution of blame is important

If it's really necessary to decide which group of people deserves the most blame, I nominate the ~5 billion people who are not in such desperate poverty that their carbon dioxide emissions are negligible. Many of us don't even vote Republican.
posted by sfenders at 8:36 AM on June 12, 2016


Green living might have cut in back in 1996. Maybe not even then. Green living would help now but in the way that a toddler with a toy bucket is helping while your house floods.

I am not in any way a climate change expert, but we have to use climate change modeling and forecasts in the projects I work on, in order to see if proposed plans can handle expected future conditions and to look at potential rates of change. At least in this region, the predicted shifts in things like rainfall and snowpacks are large enough to, if the models are correct, have substantial impacts on everything from agriculture to urban flood management well within my lifetime. (From what I've read, other regions will be impacted on the same timeframe, such as the rising water levels in southern Florida, but I haven't looked at the models for those regions directly.)

At this point I would be very surprised if personal lifestyle changes could have any significant impact even if lots more people got on board. My sense (and again, not as a climate change expert) is that the necessary steps are very large-scale -- regulatory, reconfiguring infrastructure and the built environment, changing energy and transportation systems, and so on -- which to be honest leaves me feeling kind of hopeless given the near-complete passivity by most governments.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:40 AM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


Back when there was a viable commercial salmon fishery, my dad was able to sock enough money away from operating a 40ft fishboat to buy a few rental properties. This was back in the early 90s when the City of North Vancouver was a depressed post-industrial burgh instead of a place the global elite parked their cash. This was also one of the periodic maxima of Vancouver's heroin problem. Some of the people who lived in these places were less than ideal tenants. In one particularly memorable instance, the tenants in a 90 year old house cut load bearing timbers out of the basement to burn for firewood. Burning your furniture is one thing, but I had no idea how someone could intentionally burn the house they lived in. How are we collectively that stupid?
posted by [expletive deleted] at 8:54 AM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's ok to say Republicans, there's no need to obfuscate.

I know it's comforting to lay all the blame on the outgroup, but 21 of the past 40 years have been under a Democratic president; 17 of the past 40 with control of both houses of Congress. If one focuses on tribal identity rather than the relevant issues, the party can slip by with all kinds of stuff counter to your interest that goes unnoticed or quickly forgotten.
posted by indubitable at 9:02 AM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


It's not a focus on tribal identity. It's paying attention to who is proposing policies that address climate change, and who is plugging their ears and trying to cover my eyes.
posted by Think_Long at 9:07 AM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Dip Flash: I keep thinking we have hit a point where the changes are so obvious that it will force some action, but clearly we are not there yet.

jonp72: now that the rural citizens of "red" energy-producing states find the existence of climate change undeniable, the merchants of doubt are now focused on minimizing its effects or hiding any evidence of human causation for these climate changes.

"The climate changed drastically in the past and we weren't even around, so it's that time again" and "the climate is too big for us to break change" are common responses I've heard. For some folks, we'll never "get there," to the point we as people need to change.

We simply need to learn to consume less, and that's a message that's getting far less airing.

Because we also constantly talk about changes in GDP, housing starts and sales records in terms of the health of economies. The message is that we need to keep making things to sell to ourselves, instead of building better things that last longer, and building them closer to home. Better distribution of wealth would help this a lot, but that's also not getting a lot of discussion.

How are we collectively that stupid?

When you're cold and poor and surrounded by wood, and your critical thinking is limited by drug use, the answer seems clear. As a story for the rest of humanity, you could say that just because your house hasn't collapsed on you doesn't mean you're OK to keep tearing apart your house.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:11 AM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Here in NC, we're working on addressing the issue...by making it impossible to build wind or solar farms.

You can build a toxic dump 200 feet from a housing development. Flood a lagoon with pig waste only 500 feet away.

Want to put in a farm of quiet nonpolluting solar panels? Have to stay one and a half MILES from any adjacent property line. And be completely concealed. Wind turbine? Same limits, plus you can't make more than a whisper of sound.

This is all sold as being urgently needed to protect us from the harms of renewable energy. Meanwhile the seas rise and the forests burn.

On preview I see complaints about "blaming the outgroup". Well, in NC that 'outgroup' controls the legislature, the governor's office, and the majority of the upper courts. They've gerrymandered to hell and back to ensure it stays that way. A lawsuit was needed to stop them from declaring that judges don't need to be elected anymore. This is not about "tribal identity", this about groups with starkly different views on what matters and who gets to say.
posted by bitmage at 9:16 AM on June 12, 2016 [17 favorites]


Music for our hot present-future:

The Postal Service - Sleeping In
Again last night I had that strange dream
Where everything was exactly how it seemed
Where concerns about the world getting warmer
The people thought they were just being rewarded
For treating others as they'd like to be treated
For obeying stop signs and curing diseases
For mailing letters with the address of the sender
Now we can swim any day in November
ANOHNI - 4 Degrees
I wanna see this world, I wanna see it boil
I wanna see this world, I wanna see it boil
It's only 4 degrees, it's only 4 degrees
It's only 4 degrees, it's only 4 degrees
Anohni - "My behavior is as a participant in this culture, and as someone who enjoys fossil fuels, comforts. So I'm not being ironic when I sing this; I'm actually singing the song of my body, as opposed to the song of my intention."

(Anohni, previously)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:30 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Smash Mouth - All Star
It's a cool place and they say it gets colder
You're bundled up now, wait 'til you get older
But the meteor men beg to differ
Judging by the hole in the satellite picture

The ice we skate is getting pretty thin
The water's getting warm, so you might as well swim
My world's on fire, how about yours
That's the way I like it and I never get bored
posted by Small Dollar at 9:59 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


We need to follow Norway's lead and set a target date for the end of sales of new combustion engine vehicles. At the same time we need to put a tax on oil, natural gas and coal and use those funds to pay for build outs of solar and storage arrays.
posted by humanfont at 10:05 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Having an EPA-certified wood stove means I burn less oil and heat a smaller part of the house. The oil burner keeps the whole house at 45, the wood stove keeps the living room a toasty 65. The electric blanket pre-heats the bed. See also, air conditioning.
posted by theora55 at 10:12 AM on June 12, 2016


The water is warm
But it’s sending me shivers

A baby is born
Crying out for attention
The memories fade
Like looking through a fogged mirror
Decision to decisions are made
And not bought
But I thought this wouldn't hurt a lot
I guess not



Ice Age coming, Ice Age coming
Let me hear both sides, let me hear both sides, let me hear both

Ice Age coming, Ice Age coming
Throw it on the fire, throw it on the fire, throw it on the
We're not scaremongering
This is really happening, happening
We're not scaremongering
This is really happening, happening
Mobiles skwerking, mobiles chirping
Take the money and run, take the money and run
Take the money!
posted by [expletive deleted] at 10:31 AM on June 12, 2016


this winter, temperatures in southwest michigan did not drop below 0 degrees

last summer, temperatures in the same did not rise above 100 degrees

the temperatures in southwest michigan are absolutely fucked up
posted by rebent at 11:09 AM on June 12, 2016


It isn't really the planet that is dying. Earth will live on without us, just fine. It will find a new balance when we are gone, and the damages we've done will be repaired. We are killing ourselves. Probably along with some species of flora and fauna, but some other species will thrive on the climate change, and the debris.

I don't know, I always bristle at statements like this. I mean, yes, it's true, the Earth will find a new way to adapt, but we're giving it an awful lot to adapt to. We're witnessing the start of another major extinction event, and this one is being caused by humanity. We're changing the fundamental chemistry of the oceans, we're changing the makeup of our atmosphere. It's not just some species of flora and fauna that stand to die, it's a huge, huge number of them. The death of the California redwoods is sad, and the flooding of Miami will be a tragedy, but this is all just the beginning. The planet is more than just a bunch of rock around a molten core. The Earth, taken together as a collection of species, stands to lose far more than we do, and it's not reassuring to know that the planet may eventually host a whole new range of species in 50 million years. That's a long time to heal after coal power and highways.
posted by teponaztli at 11:49 AM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


hey, it's all worth it so 3 or 4 generations of first worlders could have SUVs and suburban homes with chemical-laden ornamental vegetation
posted by entropicamericana at 12:23 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


teponaztli, I agree with you: we have already broken something precious and irreplaceable and we are harming the planet more every day. I didn't mean to be flippant about it.

But I do wonder why these very self-occupied people who don't care about polar bears aren't even able to think of the consequences of their actions for their own families. And I agree with jfwlucy that they probably unironically envision a comic book future in which their privileged few descendants live a safe, protected life enclosed in and protected by technology from the elements, wildlife, and whatever fragments of humanity's hoi polloi are left. Which is so incredibly stupid, I don't know where to begin.
posted by mumimor at 5:00 PM on June 12, 2016


To join the "I remember when..." crew, I live in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. This whole region is dotted with lakes created by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). You may remember the creation of these lakes as dramatized in the films Deliverance and O Brother Where Art Thou.

Old-timers around here remember the lakes freezing during the winter. Not every lake in every year, but some years they were solid enough to drive a car on. I've never seen more than a rime of ice around the shore of a backwater inlet.

There is a 150-year-old apple orchard directly up the mountain from my back yard that no longer produces fruit. The farm stand there still sells tomatoes and melons and the best okra in the Lower 48 but no local apples anymore.
posted by workerant at 7:43 PM on June 12, 2016


teponaztli, I agree with you: we have already broken something precious and irreplaceable and we are harming the planet more every day. I didn't mean to be flippant about it.

Naw, the planet will be just fine.

We on the other hand: we are so, so fucked.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:54 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Earth, taken together as a collection of species, stands to lose far more than we do, and it's not reassuring to know that the planet may eventually host a whole new range of species in 50 million years. That's a long time to heal after coal power and highways.

Maybe I'm over-optimistic ("optimistic", rather), but my understanding is that any kind of significant human die-back is going to fix the problem in a couple of hundred years, not 50 million.
posted by Sebmojo at 8:33 PM on June 12, 2016


In the NdGT version of Cosmos they mentioned the Siberian Traps event in which continuous volcanic activity may have ignited coal beds which burned for a million years and led to the Permian–Triassic extinction event, which according to Wikipedia took 10 million years as an outside estimate for the biosphere to recover from. If I'm recalling correctly they were saying that this would have been much more coal burning than human civilization has done, along with unusual volcanic activity changing the atmosphere too.
posted by XMLicious at 10:43 PM on June 12, 2016


via @ramez... also btw...
Desalination Breakthrough: Saving the Sea from Salt - "A chemist finds a way to cut supersalty discharge and CO2 as the Middle East relies ever more on seawater desalination."
posted by kliuless at 2:34 AM on June 13, 2016


The wunderground article about the record low Arctic ice is full of information, but that Figure 1 is a garbage chart.

I think this is partly the result of having every group of data and every study shouted down by partisan wankers. "Show us the data!" "Arctic ice isn't melting, it's growing!!" So people have resorted to putting as much data as they can on this particular chart. It not only illustrates what's going in the Arctic, but the surrounding discussion.
posted by sneebler at 6:56 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Isn't the elephant in the room overpopulation? And the other elephant the energy consumption of the (us) first-worlders? And the third that media portrays first world consumption as the desired 'norm?'

None needs to be an absolute, never going to change situation. But for the fact that a certain group keep putting their own very short-term desires in front of the survival of the species - sounds so ridiculous.

Yet there it is, we've gotten ourselves into this pickle by making the wrong choices for the last 75 years or so. Like others, I have a hard time keeping the despair this inspires from eating me alive. I have practice, though, having lived through the imminent nuclear annihilation that was coming any day now, back in the 80's. The difference, of course, being that that catastrophe was a potential one, contingent on political and personal whims evolving over a very tight time line. Whereas the current situation is like a boulder rolling down a hill, heading to crush us, and it's had almost a century to build up enough steam that we can not stop it.
posted by From Bklyn at 8:01 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think this comment from Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam is pretty on the ball.

Even if we completely halt carbon emissions tomorrow, we have just crashed the front end of the train. The rest of the train is going to keep crashing for thousands of years, as the carbon soaks its way into the deep ocean, melts glaciers, and potentially shuts down global deep water ocean currents.
posted by asok at 8:31 AM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


A luxury cruise ship is traveling through the northwest passage from Seward Alaska to New York:

On Aug. 16, the ship, full of creature comforts, will set out to travel through one of the world's harshest sea routes — the icy and isolated waters of the Northwest Passage through the Arctic Ocean. It will wind through narrow waters in far northern Canada as it sails for the first time from Seward to New York City — a 32-day voyage geared toward affluent world travelers.

For only $22,000/person for the third class seats!
posted by leahwrenn at 10:05 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


A luxury cruise ship traveling through icy waters? The icebergs haven't completely melted, right?

Not reaching for any schadenfreude here, honest. I'm just sayin'.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:54 AM on June 13, 2016




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