Tag Archives: Climate Science

No Planet B: Climate change deniers will be the death of us all

Greenhouse gas emissions worldwide are growing at an accelerating pace this year, researchers said Wednesday, putting the world on track to face some of the most severe consequences of global warming sooner than expected. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accelerate Like a ‘Speeding Freight Train’ in 2018:

Scientists described the quickening rate of carbon dioxide emissions in stark terms, comparing it to a “speeding freight train” and laying part of the blame on an unexpected surge in the appetite for oil as people around the world not only buy more cars but also drive them farther than in the past — more than offsetting any gains from the spread of electric vehicles.

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“We’ve seen oil use go up five years in a row,” said Rob Jackson, a professor of earth system science at Stanford and an author of one of two studies published Wednesday. “That’s really surprising.”

Worldwide, carbon emissions are expected to increase by 2.7 percent in 2018, according to the new research, which was published by the Global Carbon Project, a group of 100 scientists from more than 50 academic and research institutions and one of the few organizations to comprehensively examine global emissions numbers. Emissions rose 1.6 percent last year, the researchers said, ending a three-year plateau.

The new report comes as delegates from nearly 200 countries are meeting in Poland to debate their next steps under the Paris climate agreement. Many nations haven’t been meeting their self-imposed targets.

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Will politicians talk about climate change now?

The United Nations scientific panel on climate change issued a terrifying new warning on Monday that continued emissions of greenhouse gases from power plants and vehicles will bring dire and irreversible changes by 2040, years earlier than previously forecast. The cost will be measured in trillions of dollars and in sweeping societal and environmental damage, including mass die-off of coral reefs and animal species, flooded coastlines, intensified droughts, food shortages, mass migrations and deeper poverty.

President Trump’s uninformed climate skeptic response? Who drew it? Trump asks of dire climate report, appearing to mistrust 91 scientific experts:

Who drew it? The president wanted to know.

Ninety-one leading scientists from 40 countries who together examined more than 6,000 scientific studies. Specialists such as Katharine Mach, who studies new approaches to climate assessment at Stanford University; Tor Arve Benjaminsen, a human geographer at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences; and Raman Sukumar, an ecologist at the Indian Institute of Science.

They are among the members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to make recommendations to world leaders. Their report, issued Monday, warns of environmental catastrophe as early as 2040 and advises that the worst can be staved off only if civilization is transformed more profoundly than at any point in recorded history.

President Trump, in comments to reporters Tuesday on the South Lawn, seemed unaware of the IPCC, as the body is known, and expressed doubts about its determinations. The remarks put him at odds with most world leaders, as well as with scientific fact — a familiar position for the brash former businessman who has long ridiculed climate concerns.

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Donald Trump commits the U.S. to his anti-science climate change denial (Updated)

Last week the New York Times reported, Arctic’s Winter Sea Ice Drops to Its Lowest Recorded Level:

After a season that saw temperatures soar at the North Pole, the Arctic has less sea ice at winter’s end than ever before in nearly four decades of satellite measurements.

The extent of ice cover — a record low for the third straight year — is another indicator of the effects of global warming on the Arctic, a region that is among the hardest hit by climate change, scientists said.

“This is just another exclamation point on the overall loss of Arctic sea ice coverage that we’ve been seeing,” said Mark Serreze, the director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, a government-backed research agency in Boulder, Colo. “We’re heading for summers with no sea ice coverage at all.”

Dr. Serreze said that such a situation, which would leave nothing but open ocean in summer until fall freeze-up begins, could occur by 2030, although many scientists say it may not happen for a decade or two after that.

Less ice coverage also means that there is more dark ocean to absorb more of the sun’s energy, which leads to more warming and melting in a feedback loop called Arctic amplification.

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This can’t be good . . .

Chris Mooney, the environment and energy reporter for the Washington Post reports, ‘We’ve never seen anything like this’: Arctic sea ice hit a stunning new low in May:

The 2016 race downward in Arctic sea ice continued in May with a dramatic new record.

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The average area of sea ice atop the Arctic Ocean last month was just 12 million square kilometers (4.63 million square miles), according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). That beats the prior May record (from 2004) by more than half a million square kilometers, and is well over a million square kilometers, or 500,000 square miles, below the average for the month.

Another way to put it is this: The Arctic Ocean this May had more than three Californias less sea ice cover than it did during an average May between 1981 and 2010. And it broke the prior record low for May by a region larger than California, although not quite as large as Texas.

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New Study: climate change may lead to massive dieoff of Southwest forests

Arizona’s forest lands have been at risk for many years due to extended drought, bark beetle infestations, and wildfires. Arizona Forward produced a report in October, threats to forest health put arizona at risk – Arizona Forward (.pdf), from a forest management perspective.

Oddly enough, this report barely even mentioned climate change. When ecosystems are being altered by climate change, you’d think that this would merit at least a page of scientific discussion.

Chris Mooney at the Washington Post reports, Scientists say climate change could cause a ‘massive’ tree die-off in the U.S. Southwest:

WestForkBlackRiverIn a troubling new study just out in Nature Climate Change, a group of researchers says that a warming climate could trigger a “massive” dieoff of coniferous trees, such as junipers and piñon pines, in the U.S. southwest sometime this century.

The study is based on both global and regional simulations — which show “consistent predictions of widespread mortality,” the paper says — and also an experiment on three large tree plots in New Mexico. The work was led by Nate McDowell of the Los Alamos National Laboratory who conducted the research along with 18 other authors from a diverse group of universities and federal agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey.

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