pull up the moat!

castle

Climate change will lead to a “fortress world” in which the rich lock themselves away in gated communities and the poor must fend for themselves in shattered environments, unless governments act quickly to curb greenhouse gas emissions, according to the vice-president of the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC).

Mohan Munasinghe was giving a lecture at Cambridge University in which he presented a dystopic possible future world in which social problems are made much worse by the environmental consequences of rising greenhouse gas emissions.

The scenario, which he termed “barbarisation” was already beginning to happen, he said. “Fortress world is a situation where the rich live in enclaves, protected, and the poor live outside in unsustainable conditions.”

“If you see what is going on in some of the gated communities in some countries you do find that rich people live in those kind of protected environments. If you see the restrictions on international travel you see the beginnings of the fortress world syndrome even in entering and leaving countries,” he said.

The Guardian, 15/5/08

clouded thinking

Stephen Salter, professor of engineering design at the University Edinburgh, and Professor John Latham, from the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, have been using Salt Flares to test if it is possible to seed or even create Marine Stratocumulus Clouds.

The flares will spray up salt water into the clouds. When the particles rise into a cloud they redistribute the moisture, increasing its reflectivity. As a result the cloud bounces more sunlight back into space.

Approximately 300 flares will be released at sea level from a boat moored off the South African coast. Prof Latham added: “We’ve got the most massive global problem that we’ve ever had, so we’ve got to think big.”

The Telegraph, 19 Feb 2009

worse than we thought – atmospheric concentration of CO2!

jaw_droppingThe MIT Integrated Global System Model is used to make probabilistic projections of climate change from 1861 to 2100.

Since the model’s first projections were published in 2003 substantial improvements have been made to the model and improved estimates of the probability distributions of uncertain input parameters have become available.

The new projections are considerably warmer than the 2003 projections, e.g., the median surface warming in 2091 to 2100 is 5.1°C compared to 2.4°C in the earlier study.

Their median projection for the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide in 2095 is a jaw-dropping 866 ppm. ClimateProgress, 23 Feb 2009

bombshell report

bombshell_report

Amazon could shrink by 85% due to climate change, scientists say. Global warming will wreck attempts to save the Amazon rainforest, according to a devastating new study which predicts that one-third of its trees will be killed by even modest temperature rises.

Tim Lenton, a climate expert at the University of East Anglia, called the study, presented at a global warming conference in Copenhagen today , a “bombshell”.

He said: “When I was young I thought chopping down the trees would destroy the forest but now it seems that climate change will deliver the killer blow.”

The Guardian, 12 Mar 2009

all bad news

As floods once again hit parts of the UK, experts warn the incidence of gales and floods could increase over the next 50 years, when they predict temperatures will rise by up to two degrees centigrade. Experts even warn that malaria could return to large parts of the UK.

They say the climate change could cause an extra 5,000 deaths from skin cancer every year – and 2,000 from heatwaves. The report published on Friday, by the Expert Group on Climate Change on Health, predicts more intense summer heatwaves, and an increased risk of winter floods and severe gales.

BBC News, 9 Feb 2001

attack of the cannibalistic lobsters!

lobsterThe waters off the coast of Maine are overflowing with lobsters, which, according to Mother Jones, is actually a bad thing.

Two main factors are causing the lobster population to explode. First, rising sea temperatures brought on by global warming are encouraging the crustaceans to grow quicker and reproduce more often, says Noah Oppenheim, a marine biology graduate student at the University of Maine.

Second, Oppenheim tells Mother Jones, over-fishing has rid the ocean of the lobster’s natural enemies, which include cod, herring, and other fish.

The result is a lot of lobsters that have nothing eat — which is why, as footage taken by Oppenheim shows, they have resorted to cannibalism. The Week, 24 Jul 2013

worse than we thought – the measures of climate change!

Climate experts are increasingly worried though. More than 2000 will meet in Copenhagen this week for an emergency summit to emphasise that the shift is happening much faster than expected.

Hosted by the University of Copenhagen, the climate congress has two main goals – to update the science since the 2007 report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and to develop and promote policy solutions.

The key findings will be transformed in a new and improved report to lobby leaders in the run-up to a critical UN conference in December, when a new Kyoto-stye agreement is to be signed.

UNSW Climate Change Research Centre co-director Matthew England, one of the summit’s key backers, says it is likely to find that the raw measures of climate change – global average air temperature, global sea-level rise and amospheric carbon dioxide concentrations – are all happening at or above the worst-case IPCC scenario.

The Age (Australia), 9 Mar 2009 – screencopy held by this website

emotional maelstrom!

“How climate change makes me feel. I feel a maelstrom of emotions. I am exasperated. Exasperated no one is listening. I am frustrated. Frustrated we are not solving the problem. I am anxious.

Anxious that we start acting now. I am perplexed. Perplexed that the urgency is not appreciated. I am dumbfounded. Dumbfounded by our inaction. I am distressed. Distressed we are changing our planet.

I am upset. Upset for what our inaction will mean for all life. I am annoyed. Annoyed with the media’s portrayal of the science.

I am angry. Angry that vested interests bias the debate. I am infuriated. Infuriated we are destroying our planet. But most of all I am apprehensive. Apprehensive about our children’s future.”

– Associate Professor Anthony J. Richardson Climate Change Ecologist The University of Queensland –

Is This How You Feel? Website – How scientists feel

solution to climate change – write more articles!

“I feel confident that we WILL reduce emissions to slow global warming to a pace to which we can (mostly) adapt.

Why am I so confident? Firstly, because in 2015, more than 1.5% of all articles in the New York Times mentioned “climate change”. This compares with 2% of articles that mentioned “terrorism” and 1.4% that mentioned “refugees”.

As in other countries, the media profile of “climate change” is now very strong – politicians and the public see reports about our changing climate almost daily. Secondly, in 2015 over 15,000 scholarly papers were published with the topic of “climate “change”, “greenhouse effect”, or “global warming” as the topic.

In 1988, the year the IPCC was established, only 68 scholarly articles published on these topics. With such strong and growing media and expert interest, how can we fail?”

– Neville Nicholls Professor Emeritus, School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment Monash University, Australia –

Is This How You Feel? Website – How scientists feel

invasion – brain eating amoeba!

A deadly “brain-eating” amoeba that lives in freshwater sources may be surviving in more northern areas of the United States thanks to climate change, health experts suggest.

The amoeba normally lives in warmer waters in the southern United States.

But since climate change is generally making summers hotter, the amoeba now seems to be in northern waters, said Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an infectious diseases specialist at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.

“Climate change may be playing a role,” he said.

Health Day, 24 Jul 2015

worse than we thought – too hot for coral!

“The oceans are becoming too hot for coral, and sooner than we expected…..The problem is, I was only accounting for a doubling of greenhouse gases, as opposed to the tripling or more under the current business-as-usual approach, and the models used for estimating future sea temperatures didn’t account for more frequent extreme El Niño.

And if so, then my original projections of when the oceans become too hot for coral reefs are too optimistic!…..I am compelled to question whether the negotiators headed for meeting in Paris in a month or so really appreciate the urgency.

Do they know that we need to pull the plug immediately on this crazy experiment? Given that the current pledges going into Paris are so woefully inadequate, it would seem not.”

– Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Director, Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland –

The Conversation, 9 Oct 2015

discovery – correlation and causation both start with the same letter!

“How far can it go? The last time the world was three degrees warmer than today – which is what we expect later this century – sea levels were 25m higher.

So that is what we can look forward to if we don’t act soon. None of the current climate and ice models predict this.

But I prefer the evidence from the Earth’s history and my own eyes. I think sea-level rise is going to be the big issue soon, more even than warming itself.” – Jim Hansen –

The Independent, 17 Feb 2006

worse than we thought – impact on birds!

Scientists are becoming increasingly concerned about the fate of the huge boreal forest that spans from Scandinavia to northern Canada. Unprecedented warming in the region is jeopardizing the future of a critical ecosystem that makes up nearly a third of the earth’s forest cover.

The boreal is also home to some 5 billion birds. Many species have shifted their ranges north.

“Climate change is having an impact much more quickly than we thought,” said Jeff Wells, a senior scientist with the International Boreal Campaign who focuses on birds. “Shifts that researchers thought would take place over 50 or a hundred years have taken place over a decade.”

Yale Environment 360, 12 Oct 2015

early opener

“We’re seeing the early signs of climate warming here,” said climatologist Dan Cayan of the Scripps Institution in San Diego, assessing California’s vulnerability. “We’re very worried about climate warming.”

“The warming attacks in different ways. Blossoms may open weeks too soon, before insects arrive to pollinate them, and fruit trees may produce weaker crops because there are fewer cool nights, which the trees need for recovering between harvests.”

ABCnews, 5 Aug 2006

magpies warbling and swooping earlier!

Are Australian magpies warbling and swooping earlier than ever before? Probably.

Is the invasive Asian house gecko making its way south from Darwin? Possibly.

Is Nemo, the clown fish, partying off the coast of Sydney all year round instead of returning to tropical waters in winter? Scientists think so.

More than 60,000 observations made by Australian citizen scientists are feeding answers to these questions and hundreds more into a database run by ClimateWatch, which is run by the Smithsonian Institution’s Earthwatch Institute.

Since 2009, 13,000 citizen scientists have registered to make observations on ClimateWatch’s app and website. Their records of 185 species of plants and animals are starting to flower and bear fruit, albeit unripened.

ClimateWatch’s program manager Linden Ashcroft said the species were chosen for their susceptibility to changes in rain and temperature. They may flower or start breeding earlier, change migrating patterns or move to different habitats to seek the right temperatures and conditions for their species. They are also common and easy to identify.

“People notice this stuff in their day-to-day life,” Dr Ashcroft said. “They think, ‘That tree flowered earlier’ or, ‘That bird I haven’t seen it before’, but now they are realising how important that information is,” she said.

The Age, 9 Aug 2014

here be monsters!

squid_sailing_shipWe often hear about all of the different creatures out there negatively affected by climate change and global warming.

However, there are actually some including the squid which seem to benefit from it. For example their bodies are able to process food easier when the water is warmer.

As a result the squid will grow to be larger than otherwise.

This is going to be significant in their ability to survive overall out there against predators. The smaller a squid is the more likely it will be consumed. This can lead to more squid due to them becoming mature and having offspring before they become food for something else.
Squid World

worse than we thought – CO2 release from peat!

Climate change effect on release of CO2 from peat far greater than assumed.

Writing in Nature Geosciences (doi 10.1038 NGEO1323), Dr Nathalie Fenner and Professor Chris Freeman of Bangor University explain how the drought causes an increase in the rate of release of CO2 for possibly as long as a decade.

It was originally assumed that most of the CO2 was released from the dry peat. Now scientists realise that the release of CO2 continues, and may even increase, when the peat is re-wetted with the arrival of rain.

“As our global climate and rainfall patterns change, our peatlands may not have sufficient opportunity to recover between these drought-induced episodes of CO2 loss,” explains the paper’s lead author, Dr Nathalie Fenner.

Bangor News, 21/11/11

moonscape coral reefs!

Food supplies will run short, tourism will be hit and coastal communities affected as the world’s coral reefs gradually decline under climate change, scientists say.

The reefs already were dying at an increasing rate because of global warming and acidification of the oceans, said researchers meeting this week at the International Coral Research Symposium (ICRS) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Chair of the climate change session, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg (Ove Hoegh-Guldberg) of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Townsville, said there was evidence that all coral reefs were in trouble.

“This means we are likely to see more moonscape-like areas where reefs once used to be. This will be accompanied by a switch from the spectacularly colourful fish that people normally associate with reefs to much fewer and plainer ones. This will be accompanied by murkier, less productive waters as water quality suffers. Urgent action was needed to cap the use of oil, gas and coal contributing to global warming,” he said. “With no other solutions in front of us, then it would be foolhardy and unethical for us not to consider these urgent actions.”

The Age, 10 Jul 2008

worse than we thought – air pressure!

Climate predictions for many regions of the world may have to be rethought, following the discovery that global warming may have a bigger effect on air pressure than anyone thought.

Nathan Gillett at the University of East Anglia, UK, compared observed changes in air pressure in the northern hemisphere over the past 50 years with simulations from nine modern climate models.

The models only simulated around 10 per cent of the pressure changes actually observed. Even when Gillett factored in external influences such as ozone depletion, the changes were underestimated.

New Scientist, 24 Sep 2005

balanced, carefully considered scientific opinion

My frustration with these greedy, lying bastards is personal. Human-caused climate disruption is not a belief – it is one of the best-studied phenomena on Earth. Even a half-wit can understand this.

As any father would, anyone threatening my family will by on the receiving end of my ire and vengeance. This anger is the manifestation of my deep love for my daughter, and the sadness I feel in my core about how others are treating her future.

Mark my words, you plutocrats, denialists, fossil-fuel hacks and science charlatans – your time will come when you will be backed against the wall by the full wrath of billions who have suffered from your greed and stupidity, and I’ll be first in line to put you there.

– Professor Corey Bradshaw, Director of Ecological Modelling, The University of Adelaide –

Is This How You Feel? Website – How scientists feel

wind speed increase

………………………………….

A 240 yr run of the ECHAM4/OPYC3 coupled ocean-atmosphere model with transient greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing according to the IPCC IS92a scenario is examined with respect to simulated changes in boreal winter cyclone activity and 10 m wind speeds over Europe, the North Atlantic and Eastern North America. ..

Increases of mean wind speeds and of wind speed extremes are identified over Northern Europe and parts of the East Atlantic. The wind signal is due to an increase in wind speed variability and an intensification of the westerly mean current connected with an enhanced mean pressure gradient…

There are also strong wind speed increases over Hudson Bay and the Greenland Sea.

They are restricted to the planetary boundary layer and appear to be connected to the reduction in winter mean sea-ice cover, which leads to locally decreased static stability and‹over the Greenland Sea‹also to a reduction in surface roughness.

P.Knippertz and others, Inter-Research Climate Research, published in CR Vol 15, No 2, online publication date July 20 2000.

“we’ll all be rooned!”

The sixth largest insurance company has warned that damage to property due to global warming could bankrupt the world by 2065.

Dr. Andrew Dlugolecki, director of general insurance development at CGNU, a top five European life insurer and the United Kingdom’s largest insurance group, told delegates attending the international climate change summit in The Hague that the rate of damage caused by changing weather will exceed the world’s wealth.

Dlugolecki said that the current rate of growth of damage of 10 percent a year will exceed Gross Domestic Product by 2065. He added that the insurance industry was in danger of “running out of money,” to deal with the disasters. Some scientists believe extreme weather events will become more frequent as the world warms.

Dlugolecki proposes a more radical approach to climate change than is being discussed at COP 6. The concept, known as contraction and convergence, has long been promoted by the London based group the Global Commons Institute (GCI) which describes itself as an independent group of people whose aim is the protection of the “Global Commons.”

It fears the world may be driven beyond the threshold of psychic ecological stability by the relentless pursuit of economic growth.

Psychic Sentient Times, 26 Sep 2013

Make your vote count!

A world people’s referendum on climate change will be held in April 2011 for the earth’s peoples to decide how to address this global problem.

Although it is hoped that some states will cooperate, the participation of governments will not be essential to the referendum, as civil society organizations are to plan it according to their own lights and the traditions and customs of each local area.

This was one of the final resolutions Thursday at the close of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, held in the central Bolivian city of Cochabamba.

Cochabamba Moots World Referendum On Climate Change, By Franz Chávez – Countercurrentsorg 23 Apr 2010

while you still can, peel me a …

Devastating weather has lead to an extreme drop in global wine production. According to the International Organization of Vine and Wine, wine production has fallen by 5 percent in comparison to 2015. From South Africa to France, crops are damaged.

Many believe that global warming is the cause of this wild weather that directly affects wine-production. The biggest contributing factor to global warming comes from the use of man-made machinery that emits Carbon Dioxide.

The world’s largest wine-producing nations have recently been taking some pretty big losses. Based on Forbes.com, France’s wine production has dropped by 12 percent while Portugal’s dropped by 20 percent.

Fortunately, not all major wine-producing countries dipped. The United States’ production rose by 2 percent, while New Zealand and Australia also saw a gain of 5 percent. Wine production in 2016 is estimated at about about 6.84 billion gallons of wine, which sounds like a lot.

But, if this wild weather continues, the wine industry may be doomed. So, drink up while you can.

Circa, 27 Oct 2016

thanks to ddh

worse than we thought – temperatures!

While the world’s leaders continue their negotiations in Paris, attempting to iron out a deal that will limit greenhouse gas emissions and keep temperatures from rising to potentially dangerous levels, a newly-published study indicates that things may be worse than we imagined.

In fact, as Professor Roy Thompson from the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences explained in the latest edition of the journal Earth and Environmental Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, his research found that unless more is done to counteract climate change, land surface temperatures could rise by an average of nearly 8 degrees Celsius by 2100.

RedOrbit, 10 Dec 2015

European snails leave others in the shade!

snailAmong the most solid examples of actual evolution in response to climate change is a shift in the proportion of European larger banded snails (Cepaea nemoralis) with light colored shells.

Shell color is genetic, and the genes responsible are known. It has been shown that, in a given environment, snails with light colored shells have a lower body temperature than those with dark colored shells.

And light colored shells are becoming more prevalent over time in the Netherlands, even in wooded, shady environments where you might expect dark shells to dominate.

National Geographic, 6 May 2014

epidemic!

Climate change is the latest threat to the world’s growing HIV epidemic, say Australian experts who warn of the “grim” outlook in the fight against the infectious disease.

A leading professor of health and human rights, Daniel Tarantola, has cautioned that global warming will indirectly make citizens of developing countries even more vulnerable to death and severe ill health from HIV/AIDS.

The Age (Australia), 29/4/08

temperature not rising

As unlikely as this may sound, we have lucked out in recent years when it comes to global warming. The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that.

And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace. The slowdown is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists.

New York Times, 10 Jun 2013
………………………………….

not with a whimper but a ….

earth_explode
Consequences of global warming are far more serious than previously imagined. The REAL danger for our entire civilization comes not from slow climate changes, but from overheating of the planetary interior.

This article examines the possibility of overheating and the ”meltdown” of the solid planetary core due to the atmospheric pollution trapping progressively more solar heat (the so-called greenhouse effect) and reducing the cooling rate of the planetary interior.

The most serious consequence of such a ”meltdown” could be centrifugal segregation of unstable isotopes in the molten part of the spinning planetary core.

Such segregation can ”enrich” the nuclear fuel in the core to the point of creating conditions for a chain reaction and a gigantic atomic explosion. Will Earth become another ”asteroid belt” in the Solar system?

NUJournalofDiscovery,Vol3,May2001,NUjournal.net(c)NaturalUni,Chalko:’CanEarthexplode..?’-page1of9

eco-anxiety defined!

“My anxiety attacks began two summers ago. They were mild at first, a low-level unease. But over a period of months they grew steadily worse, morphing into full-fledged fits of panic. I was a wreck.

The sight of an idling car, heat-trapping carbon dioxide spewing from its tailpipe, would send me into an hours-long panic, complete with shaking, the sweats, and staring off into space while others conversed around me.

The same thing happened on overly warm days, like those 60-degree ones here in the Big Apple last January. The culprit, I realized, was all the reporting I’d been doing on global warming—that, and the emotional impact of becoming a first-time parent.

I had come down with a severe case of eco-anxiety—a chronic fear of the environmental future.”

mother nature network, 8 Apr 2009

worse than we thought – methane holes!

New research shows the Arctic is warming faster than previously believed. Russian scientists have found about 700 “methane holes” in the Arctic shelf.

The scale of emissions shows that the permafrost has degraded severely, and researchers think the thawing is irreversible. Because of the increasing permafrost thawing in West Siberia, the bigger thermokarst lakes could soon break up into numerous smaller ones.

“This could lead to a tenfold increase of greenhouse gases and dissolved organic carbon emissions into rivers and the Arctic,” said Sergei Kirpotin, head of TSU’s BioKlimLand research center.

Russia Beyond The Headlines, 11 Sep 2015

the loblolly pine breaks ranks!

Higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, predicted to adversely affect the environment and humans, may help one species in time of need: the loblolly pine.

In an experiment where carbon dioxide levels were elevated to those predicted for 2050, one and a half times today’s levels, scientists found that these trees were able to withstand ice storms much better than those growing under current carbon dioxide levels.

“Before the storm, I was absolutely certain the pines would be more susceptible to ice damage under elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide,” said study participant Ram Oren, an ecology professor at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences.

“My impressions were absolutely wrong. Instead of increasing the sensitivity to ice-storm damage, carbon dioxide decreased the sensitivity.”

Live Science, 18 Aug 2006

a fish without a shell

fish_shell
Greenhouse gases are turning the oceans acidic decades earlier than predicted with potentially catastrophic consequences for marine life, scientists have warned. The acid in sea water is powerful enough to dissolve the shells of sea creatures, they said.

An American team has found evidence that an acidic “tipping point” has been reached on the continental shelf along the west coast of North America.

This is potentially very bad news, said Paul Halloran, of Oxford University, an expert in the field. “The impact on tourism and fisheries may have huge economic consequences.”

The Telegraph (UK), 23 May 2008

worse than we thought – health of the oceans!

In the starkest warning yet of the threat to ocean health, the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) said: “This [acidification] is unprecedented in the Earth’s known history. We are entering an unknown territory of marine ecosystem change, and exposing organisms to intolerable evolutionary pressure. The next mass extinction may have already begun.”

Alex Rogers, professor of biology at Oxford University, said: “The health of the ocean is spiralling downwards far more rapidly than we had thought. We are seeing greater change, happening faster, and the effects are more imminent than previously anticipated. The situation should be of the gravest concern to everyone since everyone will be affected by changes in the ability of the ocean to support life on Earth.”

The Guardian, 3 Oct 2013

last chance!

James Hansen told Congress on Monday that the world has long passed the “dangerous level” for greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and needs to get back to 1988 levels.

He said Earth’s atmosphere can only stay this loaded with man-made carbon dioxide for a couple more decades without changes such as mass extinction, ecosystem collapse and dramatic sea level rises.

We’re toast if we don’t get on a very different path, Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute of Space Sciences who is sometimes called the godfather of global warming science, told The Associated Press. “This is the last chance.”

USA Today, 23 Jun 2008

Why didn’t we figure this out before?

Weatherwatch: Did warm weather cause the Titanic disaster?

But in fact the catastrophe may have been set in motion by a warm, wet year over Greenland in 1908, resulting in greater snow accumulation.

Writing in the journal Weather, Grant Bigg and David Wilton of Sheffield University explain how the snow soaked through cracks in the ice sheet, encouraging excess iceberg calving over the following few years.

Soberingly, global warming has increased iceberg hazard greatly in recent decades, making years like 1912 more the norm than the exception.

The Guardian, 28 Apr 2014

the end is nearly nigh!

sandwich_board_2Engineer and science writer David Auerbach is warning that several scientists have predicted the world as we know it will cease to be soon after the turn of the next century.

Mr Auerbach claims our civilisation could face the same fate of the inhabitants of Easter Island, who became extinct after ploughing through all the resources of their small natural habitat.

He says one of the biggest threats facing mankind is the growing problem of global warming and there is no way emission reductions will be enough to save us from our trend towards doom. At this point, lowering emissions is just half the story – the easy half.

The harder half will be an aggressive effort to find the technologies needed to reverse the climate apocalypse that has already begun.

Even if temperatures rise by less then 2C over the next 95 years, sea levels would rise by more than 1m, potentially displacing millions of people, Mr Auerbach added, but he believes the agreed targets cannot active that anyway.

If they do not come down at all an expected 5C rise would lead to famine, drought and extinction, he fears.

Express (UK), 24 Jun 2015

worse than we thought – climate change!

Since an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas pollution was signed in Kyoto, in 1997, the level of CO2 in the air has increased 6.5 per cent.

From 1997 to 2008, world CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels have increased 31 per cent; U.S. emissions of this greenhouse gas rose 3.7 per cent. Since the 1997 international accord to fight global warming, climate change has worsened and accelerated — beyond some of the grimmest of warnings made back then.

“The latest science is telling us we are in more trouble than we thought,” said Janos Pasztor, climate adviser to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The Hindu, 23 Nov 2009

power beef

A Japanese study showed that producing a kilogram of beef leads to the emission of greenhouse gases with a global warming potential equivalent to 36.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2).

It also releases fertilising compounds equivalent to 340 grams of sulphur dioxide and 59 grams of phosphate, and consumes 169 megajoules of energy (Animal Science Journal, DOI: 10.1111/j.1740-0929.2007.00457.x).

In other words, a kilogram of beef is responsible for the equivalent of the amount of CO2 emitted by the average European car every 250 kilometres, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days.

Time for change, 23 Sep 2008

no more dogs chasing cars!

The German upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, passed a resolution calling for a ban on internal combustion engines by 2030.

No, this doesn’t mean someone is going to come to your driveway under the cover of night and take your car away. The cross-party resolution wants the EU Commission in Brussels to implement a ban that would make sure that only zero-emission vehicles were being sold by 2030.

A ban on internal combustion engines is expected to have an impact on the direction of the auto industry, since Germany does have the fourth largest automaking industry in the world.

“If the Paris agreement to curb climate-warming emissions is to be taken seriously, no new combustion engine cars should be allowed on roads after 2030,” said Greens party lawmaker Oliver Krischer to Der Spiegel.

Futurism, 10 Oct 2016

thanks to ddh

worse than we thought – average temperatures!

thermometerPredictions by international scientists that global warming will lead to a sharper rise in temperatures than previously thought made sobering reading yesterday.

The warning came in a major report on climate change published yesterday that suggests average temperatures could rise more than expected – by as much as 6.4C by 2100, unless greenhouse gas emissions are reined in.

The report, from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has upgraded its 2001 estimate that temperatures would rise by at most 5.8C, because at the time the feedback mechanisms were either unknown or poorly understood.

The Guardian, 3 Feb 2007

Arctic Sea ice – 2022

Prof Flannery said the clearest example of the IPCC’s conservatism was its prediction the Arctic ice cap could disappear in summers by 2100.

“The actual trajectory we’ve seen in the Arctic over the last two years, if you follow that, that implies that the the Arctic ice cap will be gone in the next five to 15 years. This is an ice cap that’s been around for the last three million years,”” he said.

“Those predictions tell you a little bit about the conservatism of the IPCC, how rapidly the science is moving and how rapidly events in the real world are moving, far in advance I think of even the most sombre warnings by scientists working in this area.”

Sydney Morning Herald, Temperature predictions conservative: Flannery, 2 Feb 2007

A dim theory

In the early 21st century, it’s become clear that air pollution can significantly reduce the amount of sunlight reaching Earth. Evidence of the previously unknown phenomenon of Global Dimming, one that scientists believe could dramatically alter global temperatures.

Climate scientists have discovered a phenomenon that threatens to disrupt our world. It may already have contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands through drought and famine. Unchecked, it will strike again.

The good news is that there is a cure. The bad news is that the cure may be worse than the disease.

If scientists are right, then we may be about to unleash a climate catastrophe on our planet the like of which it hasn’t experienced in its 4 billion years. These stark choices and about the dawning realization that all our predictions about the world’s climate may be wrong.

GeoEngineering Watch, 10 Jun 2013

BYO rock or tree bark!

Eco-anxiety is real, according to some psychologists, and it can really stress you out.

As one eco-anxious reporter described it, “The sight of an idling car, heat-trapping carbon dioxide spewing from the tailpipe, would send me into an hours-long panic, complete with shaking, the sweats, and staring off into space while others conversed around me”

We can’t even escape at the movies. In his 2006 Oscar-winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” Vice President Al Gore warned us that we might be a mere decade away from a global environmental disaster.

It was really time to be afraid — very afraid. Therapists who treat eco-anxiety say their patients report a number of general anxiety symptoms, including loss of appetite, irritability, panic attacks, insomnia, nightmares, unexplained weakness and actual physical pain.

Some people say they cry uncontrollably at the thought of the polar ice caps melting or of yet another species facing extinction. So what do you do if you are suffering from eco-anxiety? Some people see an eco-therapist.

According to the International Community for Ecopsychology, there are almost 150 ecopsychology practitioners around the world [source: Ecopsychology]. More colleges and universities, like Naropa University in Boulder, Colo., and Prescott College in Tucson, Ariz., have started offering ecopsychology as a major, so the number of trained eco-therapists is likely to grow.

Eco-therapists charge up to $250 an hour to diagnose the cause of your worries and offer solutions.

Some eco-therapists advise their patients to get outside and feel closer to nature, while others recommend that patients bring nature closer to them by carrying around a rock or piece of tree bark.

Stephanie Watson, “How Eco-anxiety Works” 15 October 2008. HowStuffWorks.com.

worse than we thought – sea level!

underwater_furnitureBINDSCHADLER: Yeah, I think there’s sort of an unspoken consensus in my community that if you want to look at the very largest number in the IPCC report, they said 58 centimeters, so almost two feet by the end of the century. That’s way low, and it’s going to be well over a meter. We may see a meter by the middle of the century.

e360: Oh my gosh.

interview with a leading glaciologist, Richard Bindschadler – A Change In The Wind, 16 Feb 2009

truly catastrophic!

UN predictions of a rise in global temperatures would be a disaster for all life on earth, resulting in widespread extinction of many species, Australian of the Year Tim Flannery says.

The respected scientist said the UN’s prediction of a three degree Celsius temperature rise was conservative and in fact could be double that figure resulting in “truly catastrophic” conditions for all life on earth.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases its report in Paris tonight, with its strongest warning yet that human activities are causing global warming that may bring more drought, heatwaves and rising seas.

Professor Flannery said the UN climate report’s predictions on the consequences of global warming are “middle of the road” but will still provide a useful benchmark for the world to tackle climate change.

Sydney Morning Herald, 2 Feb 2007

see also – just plain scary

worse than we thought – carbon storage in forests!

One more example of how we’ve understimated climate change: New Scientist is reporting that researchers in Australia have found that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has wrongly estimated the carbon storage potential of pristine temperate forests.

According to this data, intact forests store 60% more carbon than plantation forests. Brendan Mackey of the Australian National University] and colleagues used remote sensing and direct sampling to study eucalyptus trees at 240 sites across a 14.5-million hectare swathe of natural forest in south-east Australia.

Plugging the data into a computer, the team calculated that trees in areas untouched by logging store on average 640 tonnes of carbon per hectare, compared with an IPCC estimate for temperate forest of 217 tonnes.

Treehugger, 5 Aug 2008

swings & roundabouts

New Zealand could lose its unenviable reputation as the skin-cancer centre of the world thanks to climate change. However, there may be cause for celebration, with some scientists believing that by the second half of this century the rate will be falling.

Scientists think that climate change will speed up a recovery of the ozone layer over much of the world and block out more of the damaging UV rays.

National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research scientist Greg Bodeker said the peak in the skin-cancer rate was expected about 2040. Beyond that, increased ozone concentrations were likely to take New Zealand and the rate back to where it was in the 1950s or 60s.

“It’s a good story, absolutely. We are already seeing ozone recovery over New Zealand,” Bodeker said.

Stuff.co.nz, 1/12/08

2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad!

With concern over global warming rising nearly as quickly as petrol prices, Australians are turning to motorcycles and scooters in record numbers. Most new riders are citing cost — of petrol, parking and insurance — as reasons for turning to a bike.

But others are turning to two-wheeled alternatives out of concern over carbon.

Stevie Murray of Kensington will go for his learner’s permit next week. He said he decided to buy a scooter for environmental reasons.

“I just felt a bit guilty driving around the inner city in a car, so it was that environmental reason which initially led me to consider a scooter,” he said.

The Age, 30 Nov 2006

No TV’s for you!

One useful approach on low-carbon development from a developing country perspective is put forth by Professor Jiahua Pan, executive director of the research centre for sustainable development at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and member of the Global Climate Network.

The notion is that while this path also seeks to minimize GHG emissions, “no restriction should be placed on development goals that are directed to enhance the welfare of the poor at large. Development goals are not compromised for reasons of emissions control”.

But, luxurious or wasteful emissions (viewed as those that do not meet basic human needs such as shelter or food) should be discouraged.

Low Carbon Development Path for Asia and the Pacific, December, 2010, UN report, p16

…not for all the tea in ….

China’s long-term food security and social stability may be threatened unless the world’s largest grain producer invests more to fight the effects of drought, McKinsey & Co. said in a report Nov. 24.

The country’s corn harvest, the world’s second-largest, plunged by 13 percent to a four-year low this year because of drought, a survey of farmers by Geneva-based SGS SA for Bloomberg showed.

The crops affected would include wheat, corn and rice, Zheng Guoguang, head of the China Meteorological Administration, said in an article published on the agency’s Web site Tuesday.

“By 2050, with extreme conditions, South Asia’s grain output could be cut by 30 percent and with the level of global grain stores falling sharply, it would increase the difficulty of boosting imports,” Zheng said. “Trying to make up the difference of lower output by relying on imports doesn’t look very optimistic.”

China Post, 3 Dec 2009

Going, going ….

The entire ice mass of Greenland will disappear from the world map if temperatures rise by as little as 2C, with severe consequences for the rest of the world, a panel of scientists told Congress Tuesday.

Sometime in the next decade we may pass that tipping point which would put us warmer than temperatures that Greenland can survive, Richard Alley, a geosciences professor at Pennsylvania State University, told a briefing in Congress, adding that a rise in the range of 2C to 7C would mean the obliteration of Greenland’s ice sheet.

The fall-out would be felt thousands of miles away from the Arctic, unleashing a global sea level rise of 23ft (7 metres), Alley warned. Low-lying cities such as New Orleans would vanish.

“What is going on in the Arctic now is the biggest and fastest thing that nature has ever done,” he said.

CounterCurrents.org, 11 Aug 2010

see also – just plain scary

don’t let the grass grow under your feet!

Global warming could rapidly threaten grasses, including wild relatives of staple foods such as wheat and rice that provide half of all the calories consumed by humans.

A new study looking ahead to 2070 found that climate change was occurring thousands of times faster than the ability of wild grasses to adapt. While the research cannot predict what might happen to world food supplies as a result, the authors warn of “troubling implications”.

“We show that past rates of climatic niche change in grasses are much slower than rates of future projected climate change, suggesting that extinctions might occur in many species and/or local populations,” wrote the researchers, led by John Wiens, from the University of Arizona in the US.

“This has several troubling implications, for both global biodiversity and human welfare.”

New Scientist, 28 September 2016

thanks to ddh

waiting with bated ……

Don’t panic, but researchers have discovered that oxygen is (very) slowly draining out of Earth’s atmosphere, and right now, they’re not sure why.

By analysing air bubbles trapped inside ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica, a team from Princeton University has found oxygen levels have dropped by 0.7 percent in the last 800,000 years, and figuring out why could be crucial to predicting our planet’s future.

As far as ecosystems on Earth are concerned, the drop is only a trivial one, but it can still tell us more about the secrets of what makes a planet habitable – useful information to have if we’re ever going to live on Mars

….Another possible cause is long-term climate change – over the last few million years, we’ve seen a slight overall drop in global temperatures, even though Earth has been rapidly heating up over the past half a century.

Science Alert, 23 Sep 2016

thanks to ddh

climate change turns fish into lemmings!

Continued exposure to carbon dioxide seriously compromises the safety of small reef fish, with research showing they lose their survival instincts and become vulnerable to predators as seawater becomes more acidic.

The study by Australian and American scientists, conducted in naturally occurring carbon dioxide seeps in Papua New Guinea’s Milne Bay, found an acidic environment made reef fish become attracted to the smell of their predators.

Results showed that more than 90 per cent of the time, fish in these waters swam into areas where predators were. Fish studied in non-acidified water consistently avoided areas with predators.

The work by scientists from the institute, James Cook University and the Georgia Institute of Technology is in the journal Nature Climate Change on Monday.

Sydney Morning Herald, 14 Apr 2014

worse than we thought – potency of heroin!

Greater concentrations of carbon dioxide in a warming world may have a drastic effect on the potency of opium poppies, according to a new study.

While this increase might mean more morphine available for legal pharmaceutical uses, the painkiller is also the main ingredient in heroin.

The speed of the biological changes affecting plants’ alkaloid levels suggests that the climate may have a greater impact on plant life than computer models had generally predicted, Ziska says Lewis Ziska of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Crop Systems and Global Change Laboratory.

The net result, according to Ziska, is that climate change’s impacts on plants are likely to be chaotic and difficult to predict. For example, he says, “wheat may make more seeds, but we may have stronger poison ivy and poppies.”

Science Line, 3 Aug 2009

Call to action!

Considering that climate change represents a real threat to the existence of humanity, of living beings and our Mother Earth as we know it today,

Confident that the peoples of the world, guided by the principles of solidarity, justice and respect for life, will be able to save humanity and Mother Earth,

and Celebrating the International Day of Mother Earth,

The Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia calls on the peoples of the world, social movements and Mother Earth’s defenders, and invites scientists, academics, lawyers and governments that want to work with their citizens to the Peoples’ World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth’s Rights to be held from 20th to 22nd April 2010 in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Evo Morales Ayma, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Bolivia, January 5th, 2010 – CounterCurrents.org

worse than we thought – the absorptive capacity of the planet!

GEORGE NEGUS: You originally said that unless we invest in something like 1% of global GDP per annum fighting climate change it could ultimately cost us up to 20% of global GDP. Now in your new work you are calling for an investment of 2%. Does that mean the situation is worsening?

LORD NICHOLAS STERN: I raised the number because I think, looking back, the targets that were proposed in the Stern Review were not ambitious enough, given the kinds of risk which we’re now seeing. The risks are actually still worse than we saw in the Stern Review because greenhouse gases are growing faster than we assumed, the absorptive capacity of the planet – particular the oceans – to absorb greenhouse gases is less than we thought, and some of the effects – for example, Greenland ice melting – are coming through faster than we thought.

interview SBS, 15 Nov 2009

It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

“It is predicted there will be more and more incidents of severe clear-air turbulence, which typically comes out of the blue with no warning, occurring in the near future as climate change takes its effect in the stratosphere,” Dr Paul Williams, a Royal Society research fellow at Reading University, said last week.

“There has already been a steady rise in incidents of severe turbulence affecting flights over the past few decades. Globally, turbulence causes dozens of fatalities a year on small private planes and hundreds of injuries to passengers in big jets. And as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere keep on rising, so will the numbers of incidents.”

The Guardian, 11 Sep 2016

worse than we thought – carbon dioxide concentrations!

Research news about climate change and its expected effects has, if anything, become more alarming since the 2001 IPCC report which projected possible temperature increases by 2100 of up to 5.8 degrees Celcius (IPCC 2001).

For example, two different studies from the UK Hadley Centre have suggested that increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere may lead to higher temperature rises than those reported in IPCC’s work (Clarke 2003; Murphy et al 2004).

In addition, there are concerns that the effects of climate change are beginning to be seen before scientists had expected, and even that positive feedbacks in the climate system, which could accelerate global warming are starting to be detected (Vidal 2004).

CARBON RATIONING AND PERSONAL ENERGY USE, Tina Fawcet, Fawcett, T. 2004 Carbon rationing and personal energy use. Energy and Environment. 15(6) pp 1067-1083

news stories about climate change to be not only bad news but “worse than we thought”

Save the Buckeye!

Environmentalists said Friday that climate change might push the growing range of Ohio’s iconic buckeye tree out of the state, leaving it for archrival Michigan.

Save The Buckeye, a coalition of environmental activists and outdoor enthusiasts, has a billboard in Columbus warning about the fate of the buckeye tree, and backers plan to hold rallies during football tailgating events.

People had thought of global warming as something far away, affecting polar bears, said Tom Bullock, an advocate for the Pew Environment Group in Ohio.

“If we don’t get started now we will reduce the opportunity to reduce global warming and curb its worst effects.”

Fox News, 15 Sep 2008