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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Drought, food insecurity and Climate Change

Residents of the Great Plains over the last year or so have experienced storms reminiscent of the 1930s Dust Bowl. Experts say the new storms have been brought on by a combination of historic drought, a dwindling Ogallala Aquifer underground water supply, climate change and government farm programs.
  • ...the Ogallala aquifer is drying up after years of drawing out more water than was replenished. The water may run out in 25 years or less in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and southwest Kansas, although in other areas it has 50 to 200 years left, according to the Geological Survey.
  • 60 percent of lower 48 states now in drought
  • Grain prices soar as drought impact deepens
  • The average annual temperature in Lubbock has increased by one full degree over the last decade, according to National Weather Service data, and the average amount of rainfall has fallen during summer months by about .50 inch over the decade
Storms on US Plains stir memories of the 'Dust Bowl'


Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Planetary catastrophe is inevitable without geoengineering to cool the Arctic
An assessment by AMEG Could the world be in imminent danger and nobody is telling?

The Arctic is in meltdown. Uniquely and fearlessly AMEG has studied key non-linear trends in the Earth-human System and reached the stunning conclusion that the planet stands at the edge of abrupt and catastrophic climate change as a result of an unprecedented rate of change in the Arctic. This contrasts sharply with the linear prognostications of the models on which governments rely. Unlike the conventional view that climate change will impact gradually over many decades, AMEG acknowledges the impact is now, therefore requiring action now to prevent the situation spiraling out of control.
Arctic Methane Emergency Group

Monday, December 24, 2012

Vicki Arroyo: Let's prepare for our new climate

Zeitgeist

Sunday, December 23, 2012

New research suggests that West Antarctica has warmed much more than scientists have thought over the last half century, an ominous finding given that the huge ice sheet there may be vulnerable to long-term collapse, with potentially drastic effects on sea level.
A paper released Sunday by the journal Nature Geoscience found that the temperature at a research station in the middle of West Antarctica has warmed by 4.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1958. That is roughly twice as much as scientists previously thought and three times the overall rate of global warming, making central West Antarctica one of the fastest-warming regions on earth.
“The surprises keep coming,” said Andrew J. Monaghan, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., who took part in the study. “When you see this type of warming, I think it’s alarming.”
...
Much of the warming discovered in the new paper happened in the 1980s, around the same time the planet was beginning to warm briskly. More recently, Dr. Bromwich said, the weather in West Antarctica seems to have become somewhat erratic. In the summer of 2005, the interior of West Antarctica warmed enough for the ice to undergo several days of surface melting.
Dr. Bromwich is worried that this could eventually become routine, perhaps accelerating the decay of the West Antarctic ice sheet, but the warming is not fast enough for that to happen right away. “We’re talking decades into the future, I think,” Dr. Bromwich said.

West Antarctica Warming Faster Than Thought, Study Finds

Every single prediction has underestimated the effects altering our atmosphere will have.

Be prepared to take care of yourselves and your family in the decades to come. The sheer magnitude of resouces that will need to be brought to bear to fix the atmosphere, and the changes in lifestyle it will require of all of us is mind boggling. There will be nothing left over to rescue us from simple disasters.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tipping Points in Earth Climate System (2012 Arctic Methane Special)




HT prokaryotes at Climate Progress

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Be Prepared

Climate: Arctic Thermostat Blows Up (audio)

It is happening so fast it's hard to fathom. Events will take place next year, or a decade from now, that will leave millions to fend for themselves for weeks (or more)... but they will happen.

Be prepared.

Monday, December 10, 2012

"Incredibly Disappointed": Civil Groups Decry Weak COP18 Deal amid Deadly Proof of Climate Change



If civilization survives, the history books will condemn such actions and lack of actions as crimes against humanity.

The real deal folks

An increasingly disruptive climate and a bankrupt nation could be the legacy we leave our children. According to projections presented to the U.S. Congress by Tufts University economist Frank Ackerman, inaction will cost our nation more than 1 percent of GDP by 2025 - more than $200 billion a year. And costs will skyrocket from there to an estimated $1.8 trillion a year by 2100.
 
Read more here: Obama wants to understand climate change? Listen to us and Sandy, too


2012 Is The Hottest, Most Extreme Year In U.S. History


This is the real deal folks. If you live in a vulnerable area, you might want to consider stockpiling food and water and not count on FEMA or your county's equivalent to come save you.

Severe Weather Information and Brochures:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Why I started this blog?

I had an epiphany that the global economy can't handle climate change unless we really change our priorities, including the demand for growth. Since our economic system depends on growth we are going to have to develop brand new things that help our life support system instead of destroy it. The things we leave behind, like fossil fuels... well there are going to be some painful adjustments required of all of us, but it is truely do or die.

Now the main stream media is starting to get the picture:
If the United States has entered an era in which mega-storms, perhaps related to climate change, are becoming the “new normal,” it will create new spending pressures at a time when federal revenues every year are falling roughly $1 trillion short of outlays. If you factor in a growing population and development in coastal areas, then storm damage is likely to become even more expensive over time.
Catastrophic storms’ costs put cloud over federal budgets

Friday, November 2, 2012

What a difference a few days make...





But now we've got:
If Hurricane Sandy does nothing else, it should suggest that we need to commit more to disaster preparation and response. As with climate change, Romney has displayed an alarmingly cavalier attitude on weather emergencies. During one Republican primary debate last year, he was asked point-blank whether the functions of the Federal Emergency Management Agency ought to be turned back to the states. “Absolutely,” he replied. Let the states fend for themselves or, better yet, put the private sector in charge. Pay-as-you-go rooftop rescue service may appeal to plutocrats; when the flood waters are rising, ordinary folks welcome the National Guard. It’s possible Romney’s kill-FEMA remark was merely a pander to the Right, rather than a serious policy proposal. Still, the reconfirmed need for strong federal disaster capability—FEMA and Obama got glowing reviews from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Romney supporter—makes the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign-trail statement all the more reprehensible.
It's Global Warming, Stupid
Michael Bloomberg Endorses Obama, Citing Climate Change As Main Reason

And every news source is covering climate change since Sandy. Will it stick? I think so because it will take years for the East Coast rebuild.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rachel Maddow gets it perfect on Sandy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Note that Cuomo recognizes 100 year storms are occuring every couple of years. Katrina's lessons were learned and acted upon, otherwise this would have been a much more deadly storm.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Doubt




And here's PBS's Frontline 'Climate of Doubt'... I didn't think they didn't make it clear that climate change is an existential threat

Watch Climate of Doubt on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

GPS special: Powering America



I do not agree, but it is an honest and through look at where we are.
If we follow these recommendations, we're toast in my opinion.

Repost: Tipping Point Ahead

Wake Up, Freak Out - then Get a Grip from Leo Murray on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

This year, for the sixth time in 11 years, the world will consume more food than it produces, largely because of extreme weather in the US and other major food-exporting countries. Oxfam last week said that the price of key staples, including wheat and rice, may double in the next 20 years, threatening disastrous consequences for poor people who spend a large proportion of their income on food. In 2012, according to the FAO, food prices are already at close to record levels, having risen 1.4% in September following an increase of 6% in July. "We are entering a new era of rising food prices and spreading hunger. Food supplies are tightening everywhere and land is becoming the most sought-after commodity as the world shifts from an age of food abundance to one of scarcity," says [Lester] Brown. "The geopolitics of food is fast overshadowing the geopolitics of oil."
UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013 What do you think would happen if we had another global crisis now that the world's governments have adopted austerity?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Permafrost Projections

As a result of the thawing permafrost, the land switched from a carbon sink (net CO2 absorber) to a carbon source (net CO2 emitter) decades earlier than it would have otherwise – before 2100 for every DEP. The ocean kept absorbing carbon, but in some scenarios the carbon source of the land outweighed the carbon sink of the ocean. That is, even without human emissions, the land was emitting more CO2 than the ocean could soak up. Concentrations kept climbing indefinitely, even if human emissions suddenly dropped to zero. This is the part of the paper that made me want to hide under my desk.

Permafrost Projections
Read the whole post.

Shamelessly coped from Spike over at Climate Progress.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Arctic

Arctic heating, the paper shows, both slows the Rossby waves and makes them steeper and wider. Instead of moving on rapidly, the weather gets stuck. Regions to the south of the stalled meander wait for weeks or months for rain; regions to the north (or underneath it) wait for weeks or months for a break from the rain. Instead of a benign succession of sunshine and showers, we get droughts or floods. During the winter a slow, steep meander can connect us directly to the polar weather, dragging severe ice and snow far to the south of its usual range. This mechanism goes a long way towards explaining the shift to sustained – and therefore extreme – weather patterns around the northern hemisphere.
Read the whole thing here:
Along with the Arctic ice, the rich world's smugness will melt | George Monbiot
Scientists say Arctic sea ice is important because it keeps the polar region cold and helps moderate global climate — some have dubbed it “Earth’s air conditioner.” While the bright surface of Arctic sea ice reflects up to 80 percent of the sunlight back to space, the increasing amounts of open ocean there — which absorb about 90 percent of the sunlight striking the Arctic — have created a positive feedback effect, causing the ocean to heat up and contribute to increased sea ice melt
Read the whole thing here (comments too):
Arctic Sea Ice Reaches Lowest Extent Ever Measured, Reports National Snow and Ice Data Center

HT The Climate Show via Facebook

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Up with Chris Hayes

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Chris covers climate change regularly... and does a spectacular job in my opinion.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

James Howard Kunstler: It's Too Late for Solutions

Strong words

My first-pass answer is that we have a global economy that is adapted to historically normal climate — not just in terms of what is grown where, but in terms of where we locate our cities. In the long run, after a couple of centuries’ worth of urban development and infrastructure has been drowned by rising sea levels and/or made useless because previously habitable regions need to be abandoned, we might be able to reconstruct an equally productive economy; but in the long run … But Hansen et al make a stronger point: life as we know it evolved to fit the historical range of planetary temperatures. In the long run it might be able to adapt to a changed world — but now we’re talking millions of years. In the long run, we are all extinct.
Dicing With The Climate
Although extreme heat waves and record floods receive most public attention, we wonder if there is not also a more pervasive effect of warming that affects almost everyone. Natural ecosystems are adapted to the stable climate of the Holocene. Climate fluctuations are normal, but the rapid monotonic global trend of the past three decades, from an already warm level, is highly unusual. The fact that warmer winters have led to an epidemic of pine bark beetles and widespread destruction of forests in Canada and western United States is well known. However, as an anecdotal data piece suggesting the possibility of more widespread effects, consider that several tree species (birch, pin oak, ash, some maple varieties) on the eastern Pennsylvania property of one of us (JH) exhibit signs of stress. Arborists identify proximate causes (borers and other pests, fungus, etc.) in each case, but climate change, including longer summers with more extreme temperature and moisture anomalies, could be one underlying factor. The tree species in this region have existed for millennia; it is implausible that Native Americans had to water the birch trees to keep them alive, as is the case at present during summers with anomalously hot summers. Climate change of recent decades is also having effects on animals, birds and insects that are already noticeable (17, 27, 28). Although species migrate to stay within climate zones in which they can survive, continued climate shift at the rate of the past three decades is expected to take an enormous toll on planetary life. If global warming approaches 3°C by the end of the century, it is estimated that 21-52% of the species on Earth will be committed to extinction (3). Fortunately, scenarios are also possible in which such large warming is avoided by placing a rising price on carbon emissions that moves the world to a clean energy future fast enough to limit further global warming to several tenths of a degree Celsius (29). Such a scenario is needed if we are to preserve life as we know it.
Perceptions of Climate Change: The New Climate Dice


Strong words. Imminent danger.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Could climate change be wildfire cause?



Not only are we not prepared for fires like this, our infrastructure can't take the extreme weather, thus millions!! are without power in the midwest during an extreme heat wave! This is not a political issue. It is a human issue. We will either step up and fix it, or we will suffer.

Did climate change ’cause’ the Colorado wildfires?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Colorado Burns

Climate change consequences, both dry conditions and the trees killed by the bark beetle because winters aren't cold enough to kill them off.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Peak Everything

A renowned Australian research scientist says a study from researchers at MIT claiming the world could suffer from a "global economic collapse" and "precipitous population decline" if people continue to consume the world's resources at the current pace is still on track, nearly 40 years after it was first produced.
Next Great Depression? MIT study predicting ‘global economic collapse’ by 2030 still on track


I wonder if this is what is making most of the Republicans in this country (US) crazy. The Free Market isn't free. Mother Nature has been subsidizing it since the beginning. She's worn out, and in the next few decades civilization is going to pay the price

Monday, May 21, 2012

Climate Change

Yale Environment 360: Methane Sources Found Bubbling Up from Melting Ice Caps

U.S. scientists report that they have discovered new sources of methane percolating up from underground reservoirs as glaciers, ice caps, and permafrost melt in the Arctic. University of Alaska researchers, conducting aerial and ground surveys, said they have discovered 150,000 methane seeps in Alaska alone near the margins of retreating glaciers or thawing permafrost. In Greenland, the seeps tended to be concentrated around the margins of ice caps that have been retreating for the past 150 years, the scientists said. Katey M. Walter Anthony, lead author of the study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, said that these seeps in the earth’s frozen zones, or cryosphere, are not currently a major source of methane emissions. But, she added, “As the cryosphere degrades further, it could be a really big source.” Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and scientists worldwide are concerned that rapid warming of the Arctic could trigger a methane “time bomb” as thawing permafrost, vegetation, and land ice result in the release of huge quantities of methane.
e360 digest via Facebook

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sensate has passed away

Sensate passed away unexpectedly Monday May 14th. RIP.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Game Over for the Climate

GLOBAL warming isn’t a prediction. It is happening. That is why I was so troubled to read a recent interview with President Obama in Rolling Stone in which he said that Canada would exploit the oil in its vast tar sands reserves “regardless of what we do.”
If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate.
*...*
The science of the situation is clear — it’s time for the politics to follow. This is a plan that can unify conservatives and liberals, environmentalists and business. Every major national science academy in the world has reported that global warming is real, caused mostly by humans, and requires urgent action. The cost of acting goes far higher the longer we wait — we can’t wait any longer to avoid the worst and be judged immoral by coming generations.


Strong words from a man I believe.

HT Climate Progress

Monday, April 9, 2012

"We are insulting the environment faster than we are understanding it"- Steve Schneider

Sustainable development, it is called. For more than 20 years it has been thought of as a great idea whose time has come. So why is so much of what is happening on every continent still clearly so unsustainable? "In a sense ... reality has overtaken our cognitive capacity," Mr Steiner says. "I mean the reality of it has overtaken our capacity to understand it, to understand quite what we are causing and unleashing, almost ... I think we have not even begun to understand how serious are the underlying trends that we have brought to bear on the sustainability of this planet.

"A classic illustration is the ... luxury of this continued debate about scientific uncertainty with climate change. If even 10 per cent of what the IPCC [the UN's Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change] said were to come true, it should actually make us sit up and say immediately, 'change course!'."

But we don't say that, Mr Steiner believes, because "there is an accelerating set of trends, from the atmosphere to the biosphere, to our ability to feed ourselves in a world which will soon have nine billion people, that gives us a sense of what will happen in the next 20, 30, 50 years, that we have simply not yet begun to appreciate".

He can see the trends, quite clearly, because it is his job to, and he talks about them vividly: agriculture which is no longer "a management of that one metre of arable land on which we depend for virtually everything that grows" but a process which "very often has become a mining operation"; oceans which have been overexploited to the point where "two-thirds or more of the fish stocks are either at maximum offtake or actually depleting"; carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere "to the point where we are actually fundamentally changing the climate prospects of our planet".

Achim Steiner: 'We haven't even begun to understand the damage we are bringing to bear on the sustainability of our planet'




Since this planet's environment is our life support system... I would think that climate change would be on all our minds all the time.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Chris Hayes does it again

finally a reporter who will cover climate change. I record both Saturday and Sunday shows and am always surprised I watch the whole thing!


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, March 30, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Extreme Weather & Climate Change



As this accelerates, how do you think we're going to pay for it?

More

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Planet Under Pressure

Scientific estimates differ but the world's temperature looks set to rise by six degrees Celsius by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are allowed to rise uncontrollably.

As emissions grow, scientists say the world is close to reaching thresholds beyond which the effects on the global climate will be irreversible, such as the melting of polar ice sheets and loss of rainforests.

"This is the critical decade. If we don't get the curves turned around this decade we will cross those lines," said Will Steffen, executive director of the Australian National University's climate change institute, speaking at a conference in London.


Global warming close to becoming irreversible-scientists


Planet Under Pressure 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spread Reckoning: U.S. Suburbs Face Twin Perils of Climate Change and Peak Oil [Excerpt]

The warmer climate works in tandem with a wetter one. Merriam and much of the northern and eastern parts of Kansas have become a lot wetter, especially in the winter. The Midwest is experiencing heavier storms more often than it did in the past. Those storms can cause serious damage and cost communities some serious money. That's not all, though. Higher temperatures and more frequent downpours affect metro areas and their residents in a number of ways.

When you combine warm water and flash flooding, you get a risk of water-borne disease. That's because many harmful microorganisms favor higher temperatures. If floods overwhelm water-treatment facilities, those organisms can find their way into the pipes, out of the tap, and into your glass. This isn't something that happens only in underdeveloped countries or other places we can write off as "not like home." The sanitation infrastructure of American metro areas is impressive, but it's not infallible. Many parts of the Midwest have experienced increased precipitation from more numerous large storms. This isn't only a Kansas problem. In 1993, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, suffered an outbreak of gastrointestinal disease caused by the bacteria Cryptosporidium. This bacteria doesn't merely give you a tummy ache. Instead, it leads to a week or more of diarrhea, cramps, vomiting, and fever. Fifty-four people died. Just before the illness struck, the region had received its heaviest rainfall in fifty years.

Since 1993, researchers have found that heavy rainfalls are associated with higher levels of potentially dangerous bacteria. This has been measured in drinking water and in recreational waters. It's also turned up in floodwater. In 2008, when major flooding inundated Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, raw sewage came right out of the Cedar Rapids water-treatment plant and into the flood. Those contaminated waters sloshed into people's houses, and when the water finally receded, it left behind buildings full of muck and mold. The people tasked with cleanup duties suffered from what they called "flood crud," weeks of fatigue, cough, and other respiratory symptoms.

Speaking of breathing problems, warmer springs that bloom earlier in the year have also led to longer allergy seasons, and scientists say that the higher CO2 concentrations found in traffic-heavy cities and metros are causing plants to have higher pollen counts. This means that people who weren't affected by allergies thirty or forty years ago might be sniffling and stuffy today, and Merriam residents who have always had allergies now have to deal with them for longer periods of the year.

Air pollution is another big problem. In the heat of a hot and sunny day, tailpipe emissions from cars turn into lung-damaging, heart-straining smog. In any metro area, including Merriam, the more relatively hot days you have, the greater the risks of smog-associated asthma and heart attacks. Kansas City, Kansas, and Overland Park—two cities near Merriam—spent more than $13 million on asthma treatment in 2001. The more risk there is of smog-related lung damage, the higher those costs will rise.

During the next thirty years or so, a warmer, wetter Merriam might be, in some ways, a more comfortable place to live—the last few decades have brought longer growing seasons for plants and winter temperatures that are more reliably pleasant. Yet Merriam is also becoming a more expensive place to live and a place where the individual risk of illness and property damage is going up—and up and up. The more greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere, the higher the global average temperature will eventually climb. As that happens, Merriam and places like it all around the United States will be exposed to risks that are greater and more numerous.
Some people talk about thresholds for climate change—how many years we have left to act, how much CO2 we can afford to release, how high of a global average temperature we can accept before all hell breaks loose. I'm not sure that's really a great way to think about it, though. Our climate is already changing. The risks are already being realized, and every emissions reduction goalpost ever set is somewhat arbitrary. There's not a magic number that can save us. Instead, we should really just be trying to limit the continuation of climate change as much and as fast as possible.

If that isn't enough to worry about, metros such as Merriam are also likely to be hard hit when oil production peaks and higher gasoline prices follow.

There's an increasingly large collection of research telling us it probably isn't a good idea to rely solely on fossil fuels. Why? Because those fuels are finite. There's only so much of them to go around—although it is still open to debate exactly how finite the supplies of oil, coal, and natural gas are.

The following is an excerpt from Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us (John Wiley & Sons, 2012), by Maggie Koerth-Baker.