tagged w/ pace
Western wildfires, record-setting temperatures, devastating floods, and other extreme weather made more extreme by global warming have welcomed us to summer 2012. Yesterday’s solstice — marked by 66 high scorching records across the Eastern Seaboard — should serve as yet another reminder that it’s time to seriously address the carbon pollution.
Here are the top five extreme weather disasters in the U.S. for June:
1. Colorado Wildfire Blazes: This month, wildfires in northern Colorado forced thousands of families to evacuate their homes. Fueled by 40-to-50-mph winds and dry brush left after a particularly hot spring, the flames have destroyed at least 181 homes with 2000 firefighters deployed.
2. Zoo Animals Drowned in Minnesota Floods: Heavy rain in Duluth, Minnesota flooded two-thirds of the Lake Superior Zoo, drowning at least 11 animals in the process. Sinkholes and mudslides ravaged the rest of Duluth, flooding homes and shutting down roads. The flood also swept up an 8-year-old boy who luckily survived with just a few cuts.
3. Flooding in the Florida Panhandle: Earlier this month, torrential rains damaged homes and forced evacuations in the Florida Panhandle. The downpour cut power in the Escambia County jail and sent more than 100 residents to spend the night in Red Cross shelters, with 40 homes flooded in the city of Gulf Breeze.
4. Summer 2012 Poised for Record Low Sea Ice: Satellite observations analyzed by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center show that this summer looks likely to bring unusually ice-free Arctic waters. The NSIDC predicts a low-ice year, the lack of white ice allowing more heat to be absorbed into the Arctic, an amplifying feedback that further accelerates warming and ice melt.
5. California Wildfire Prompts Evacuation: A San Diego County wildfire necessitated the evacuation of 150 homes. Over 500 firefighters were dispatched to attack the 907-acre blaze, which was fanned by strong gusts of wind and sent flames burning along the highway.
According to an NOAA analysis, the Northern Hemisphere land and ocean average surface temperature for last month was the all-time warmest May on record, at 0.85°C (1.53°F) above average. And as Amanda Staudt notes, it’s time for policymakers to start connecting the dots on carbon pollution. The recent influx of western wildfires — not to mention flooding, record heat, and the like — is extremely unlikely to occur under otherwise natural conditions.
Some states and insurance companies are beginning to recognize this, and regulators in California, Washington, and New York recently announced that insurance companies will be required to assess and disclose climate-related risks they face.
More at the link
I do this every few months to give perspective to the totality of what we face. I hope it gives some a clearer and total picture of just what is now happening due to anthropogenic climate change. And this is just a couple of months and just covers the US, and isn't even all of it. If I covered the entire globe I would need another whole thread. And again, not a peep about this from the "presidential" candidates who supposedly care about the people.
Just to add I also want to thank members posting these stories and tagging them in the Climate Extremes Group. We are the media on this it would seem.
Disclaimer: I no longer respond to anthropogenic climate change deniers nor their rehashed, unsourced, unlinked, crayon drawn propaganda from skeptic blogs and cherrypicking. I have been here for years posting articles, studies, comments and information on climate change/science that are available in many tags on the site.There is no need to continue to banter back and forth with these same people as I did for months here any longer since the only purpose is to continue this type of behavior to appease their own political and ideological biases. Thanks.Western wildfires, record-setting temperatures, devastating floods, and other extreme... more
“It would be immoral to leave these young people with a climate system spiraling out of control.”
by Dan Miller
NASA climate scientist James Hansen gave a talk at the TED conference in Long Beach, CA on February 29th where he laid out the case for taking urgent action to reduce greenhouse emissions.
Dr. Hansen’s talk began by describing his personal journey, originally studying Venus under Prof. James Van Allen and then working at NASA on an instrument to study Venus’ atmosphere. But after being asked to do some calculations of Earth’s greenhouse effect, Dr. Hansen resigned from the Venus mission to work full time studying Earth’s atmosphere “because a planet changing before our eyes is more interesting and important – its changes will affect all humanity.”
Dr. Hansen and some colleagues published a 1981 paper in Science Magazine that concluded that “observed warming of 0.4C in the prior century was consistent with the greenhouse effect of increasing CO2, — that Earth would likely warm in the 1980s, — and warming would exceed the noise level of random weather by the end of the century. We also said that the 21st century would see shifting climate zones, creation of drought prone regions in North America and Asia, erosion of ice sheets, rising sea levels, and opening of the fabled Northwest passage. All of these impacts have since either happened or are now well underway.”
Dr. Hansen went on to explain that, after speaking out for the need for an energy policy that would address climate change, the White House contacted NASA and Dr. Hansen was ordered to not speak to the media without permission. After informing the New York Times about the situation, the censorship was lifted and Dr. Hansen continued to speak out, justifying his actions with the first line of NASA’s Mission Statement’: “To understand and protect the home planet”. But there were consequences… the reference to the home planet was soon struck from NASA’s Mission Statement, never to return.
Dr. Hansen then went on to describe some of the recent science, including a detailed look at the Earth’s energy imbalance that was made possible by data from 3000 “Argo” floats that measure ocean temperature at different depths. Dr. Hansen said that the current imbalance of 0.6 watts/square meter (which does not include the energy already used to cause the current warming of 0.8°C) was equivalent to exploding 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs every day, 365 days per year.
Favorite denier myths such as “it’s the Sun” and “CO2 lags temperature” were addressed by Dr. Hansen and shown to be wrong or irrelevant. He also discussed how amplifying feedbacks in the past took small changes in temperature due to slight changes in the Earth’s orbit and either initiated or ended ice ages. He then said these same amplifying feedbacks will occur today if we do not stop the warming. ”The physics does not change.”
Besides the impacts that are already occurring, Dr. Hansen said that if we do not stop the warming, we should expect sea levels to rise this century by 1 to 5 meters (3 to 18 feet), extinction of 20 to 50% of species, and massive droughts later this century. He said that the recent Texas heat wave, Moscow’s heat wave the year before, and the 2003 heat wave in Europe we “exceptional” events that now occur 25 to 50 times more often than just 50 years ago. Therefore, he concluded, we can say with high confidence that these heat waves were “caused” by global warming.
More at the link“It would be immoral to leave these young people with a climate system spiraling... more
Current rate of acidification faster than at any time during the past 300 million years
The world’s oceans are acidifying at 10 times the rate measured during some previous major climate shifts, a change that doesn’t bode well for many familiar ocean species.
“What we’re doing today really stands out,” said researcher Bärbel Hönisch, referring to emissions of climate-altering greenhouse gases. Hönisch is lead author of a recent paper that compares the current episode of acidification with four other great extinction events.
“We know that life during past ocean acidification events was not wiped out. New species evolved to replace those that died off. But if industrial carbon emissions continue at the current pace, we may lose organisms we care about—coral reefs, oysters, salmon, said Hönisch, a paleoceanographer at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
Published in Science, the study is the first of its kind to survey the geologic record for evidence of ocean acidification over this vast time period.
The decisions we make over the next few decades could have significant implications on a geologic timescale,” said Richard Feely, an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It may take decades before ocean acidification’s effect on marine life shows itself, he explained. Until then, the past is a good way to foresee the future.
“These studies give you a sense of the timing involved in past ocean acidification events—they did not happen quickly,” he said.
The oceans act like a sponge to draw down excess carbon dioxide from the air; the gas reacts with seawater to form carbonic acid, which over time is neutralized by fossil carbonate shells on the seafloor. But if CO2 goes into the oceans too quickly, it can deplete the carbonate ions that corals, mollusks and some plankton need for reef and shell-building.
That is what is happening now. In a review of hundreds of paleoceanographic studies, a team of researchers from five countries found evidence for only one period in the last 300 million years when the oceans changed even remotely as fast as today: the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, about 56 million years ago.
Previous research showed that, within a span of about 5,000 years, a mysterious surge of carbon doubled atmospheric concentrations, pushed average global temperatures up by about 6 degrees celsius, and dramatically changed the ecological landscape.
Carbonate plankton shells littering the seafloor dissolved, leaving brown mud that was the telltale sign for paleoclimatologists who discovered the layer near Antarctica.
As many as half of all species of benthic foraminifers, a group of single-celled organisms that live at the ocean bottom, went extinct, suggesting that organisms higher in the food chain may have also disappeared, said study co-author Ellen Thomas, a paleoceanographer at Yale University who was on that pivotal Antarctic cruise.
“It’s really unusual that you lose more than 5 to 10 percent of species over less than 20,000 years,” Thomas said. “It’s usually on the order of a few percent over a million years.” During this time, scientists estimate, ocean pH—a measure of acidity–may have fallen as much as 0.45 units. (As pH falls, acidity rises.)
In the last hundred years, atmospheric CO2 has risen about 30 percent, to 393 parts per million, and ocean pH has fallen by 0.1 unit, to 8.1–an acidification rate at least 10 times faster than 56 million years ago, according to Hönisch.
In a recent study, scientists from Stony Brook University found that the larvae of bay scallops and hard clams grow best at pre-industrial pH levels, while their shells corrode at the levels projected for 2100. Off the U.S. Pacific Northwest, the death of oyster larvae has recently been linked to the upwelling of acidic water there.
In parts of the ocean acidified by underwater volcanoes venting carbon dioxide, scientists have seen alarming signs of what the oceans could be like by 2100. In a 2011 study of coral reefs off Papua New Guinea, scientists writing in the journal Nature Climate Change found that when pH dropped to 7.8, reef diversity declined by as much as 40 percent. Other studies have found that clownfish larvae raised in the lab lose their ability to sniff out predators and find their way home when pH drops below 7.8.
“It’s not a problem that can be quickly reversed,” said Christopher Langdon, a biological oceanographer at the University of Miami who co-authored the study on Papua New Guinea reefs. “Once a species goes extinct it’s gone forever. We’re playing a very dangerous game.”
More at the linkCurrent rate of acidification faster than at any time during the past 300 million... more
Man-made carbon emissions have acidified the world's oceans far beyond their natural levels, new research suggests.
In some regions, acidity levels rose faster in the last two centuries than it did in the previous 21,000 years, a study from the University of Hawaii has shown. Ocean acidity makes it harder for organisms such as molluscs and coral to construct the protective layers they need to survive.
Measuring changes in ocean acidity is difficult because it varies naturally between seasons, years and regions. Scientists looked at changes in the saturation level of aragonite, a form of calcium carbonate used to measure ocean acidification.
As seawater acidity rises, the saturation level of aragonite falls. Direct observations only date back 30 years, which is not long enough to reveal a meaningful trend. However the new research used simulations of ocean and climate conditions going back 21,000 years to the Last Glacial Maximum and forward in time to the end of the 21st century.
In several key coral reef regions aragonite saturation is already five times below its lowest pre-industrial range, according to the model. This translates to a decrease in overall calcification rates of corals and other shell-forming organisms of 15%, scientists at the university believe.
They fear calcification rates of some marine organisms could drop by more than 40% of their pre-industrial levels within the next 90 years.
Dr Tobias Friedrich, from the University of Hawaii, who led the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, said: 'Any significant drop below the minimum level of aragonite to which the organisms have been exposed to for thousands of years and have successfully adapted will very likely stress them and their associated ecosystems.
'In some regions, the man-made rate of change in ocean acidity since the industrial revolution is 100 times greater than the natural rate of change between the Last Glacial Maximum and pre-industrial times.'
He added: 'When Earth started to warm 17,000 years ago, terminating the last glacial period, atmospheric CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels rose from 190 parts per million (ppm) to 280 ppm over 6,000 years.
'Marine ecosystems had ample time to adjust. Now, for a similar rise in CO2 concentration to the present level of 392 ppm, the adjustment time is reduced to only 100 - 200 years.'
Co-author Professor Axel Timmermann, also from the University of Hawaii, said: 'Our results suggest that severe reductions are likely to occur in coral reef diversity, structural complexity and resilience by the middle of this century.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2090253/Oceans-acidified-200-years-did-previous-21-000-years-claims-new-climate-change-research.html#ixzz1kJIObunQMan-made carbon emissions have acidified the world's oceans far beyond their... more
I previously stated that I was going to recap 2011 regarding the extreme climate events we saw that have been the trend. I will say this is a much more daunting task than I had envisioned because without dispute, 2011 was the year climate change by our hand became indisputable. And even so, this was one of the underreported stories in 2011.
This is part 1 and covers not even barely the first three months nor all of the places where we saw these events occur. I will be continuing this in part 2 and perhaps even a part 3, with other different features to present the information.
I believe it is imperative that we understand the connection between our actions and the effects they are now having on the world we live in, our only home and the world community we share it with.
Thanks to those who supported the Climate Extremes Group in 2011. We will be here to continue providing information on this in the coming year with the hope that we will see the consciousness and perspective necessary to address this in the time we have left to do so.
This is about the survival of humanity! Our agriculture especially is being hard hit by this and food prices reflect that.
Part 2 coming soon.I previously stated that I was going to recap 2011 regarding the extreme climate... more
La nuova applicazione permette di ascoltare i programmi e la musica di Ecoradio direttamente dal dispositivo Apple su cui viene scaricata. Il progetto Ecoradio nasce nel 2004 con il fine di realizzare un network dedicato ai valori universali dell’ambiente, della pace, della qualità del vivere, dei diritti umani e civili interconnessi a quelli di tutti gli esseri viventi.La nuova applicazione permette di ascoltare i programmi e la musica di Ecoradio... more
It's way past time to cut through all of the propaganda spewed forth incessantly by the same interests that care nothing for this planet or your future. It's the only way to have one now. We are running out of time.
We will not solve this crisis until we all resolve to be a part of the solution.
Will you participate in Reality?
I am going to try to put together a movie of my own that connects these dots and post it in as many places as I can.
I am going to be relentless in letting the US government know that as citizens we will not allow them to continue to betray our trust and the environmental stability that affects all of the other facets of our lives.
I am going to continue filming my own user created content program "Biorhythms" for the Current site under Earth Care, and on it I will continue to present news of the environment we do not see reported on MSM with a focus on humanity, environment and the meaning of the events taking place now.
I will also continue to pledge to live my own life by walking lightly upon this Earth and fighting to hold those who deliberately destroy it and the indigenous peoples of this world who inhabit those places accountable and to bring them to justice.
It's time to raise our voices in truth and Reality.
Ah, those irreconcilable differences just keep dogging Peter Frampton. The 6-time platinum selling artist, whose album “Frampton Comes Alive” was the top selling album of 1976, filed papers on June 24, 2011 to divorce his wife of 15 years, Christina Elfers.Ah, those irreconcilable differences just keep dogging Peter Frampton. The 6-time... more
Pace University was shot and killed by the Police in Westchester on Sunday morning. Pace University sources have also stated that they are in contact with the Police and they will ensure neutral investigation of the case.Pace University was shot and killed by the Police in Westchester on Sunday morning.... more
2 years ago
by Sarah Laskow, Media Consortium blogger
Image courtest of Flickr user Thomas Hawk, via Creative Commons LicenseThis summer, Americans are cranking up their air conditioning. At the same time, Senators are letting climate legislation cool its heels in Washington. Ultimately, both of these summer trends are contributing to climate change. Air conditioning dumps greenhouse gases into the environment, and without climate legislation that caps the country’s carbon emissions, America’s share of global carbon levels will only continue to grow.
But if it’s hard for individuals to give up air conditioning on some of the hottest days in decades, it’s even harder for the country to give up fossil fuels altogether. Just yesterday, BP finally capped the well that has been spewing oil into the Gulf—it took the company almost three months. Yet even in Louisiana, the state hardest hit by the BP oil spill, workers are supporting the oil industry and pushing back against the Obama administration’s temporary moratorium on deepwater drilling.
How can the country give up the controlled climate it has become accustomed to? We depend on fossil fuels to keep us cool and to keep our economy pumping. In both cases, the answer is not to go cold turkey, but to come up with an innovative solution.
Brrr, it’s cold in here!
Americans are as addicted to A/C as they are to oil. “Just since the mid-1990s, as the U.S. population was growing by less than 15 percent, consumption of electricity to cool the residential, retail and automotive sectors doubled,” writes Stan Cox at AlterNet. That cool breeze creates greenhouse gas pollution—the equivalent of 400 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.
Cox talks to several admirable people who live without air conditioning. They offer advice like consuming pitchers of ice water, opening your windows at strategic times, and canny use of fans.
At Care2, however, GinaMarie Cheeseman rebels. “My response to the…premise that we just have to learn to live without air conditioning is a definite, ‘Hell, no!’” she writes. Her solution? Not to give up a modern technology that improves many days, but to turn to an atmosphere-friendly product—a new-fangled A/C unit called DEVap, which is “50 to 90 percent more energy efficient than traditional air conditions,” she reports.
Highway to ‘Hell, no!’
Across the country, the response to an offshore drilling moratorium has echoed Cheeseman: “Hell, no!” After a federal judge (with a financial interest in the oil industry, of course) shut down the initial ban, the administration came back this week with a new version that “is based more on specific safety concerns and less on the simple depth of the well,” as Public News Service reports.
In The Nation, Mark Hertsgaard talked to Louisianans who disapproved of the ban altogether.
“When a airplane crashes, do you ground every plane in the country? No. You find out what caused the problem and fix it. You don’t punish the entire industry,” one fisherman told him. Hertsgaard came away with a surprising conclusion:
“It may be shocking to read in The Nation, but a blanket moratorium on new deepwater drilling may not be the best policy to pursue in the wake of the BP disaster. No state in the union is more addicted to oil than Louisiana; the oil and gas industry is responsible for roughly 25 percent of the state’s economic activity. If you abruptly cut off a hardened heroin addict, you can kill him; there is a reason physicians prescribe methadone rather than cold turkey.”
At GritTV, Hertsgaard and I discussed the problem of how to move forward, if a ban on oil drilling won’t fly. The country needs to adopt new solutions—like Cheeseman’s A/C unit—before throwing out the old. Hertsgaard learned, for instance, that Louisiana has the strongest program for solar energy in the country.
“Louisiana has by far the strongest solar tax credit—50% off of your solar installation,” Hertsgaard said. “And if you add onto that the 30% credit that Obama administration passed earlier in his presidency, Louisiana homeowners can go solar for 80% off.”
Why doesn’t every state have such a strong solar program, though? Even a disaster like the BP oil spill could not budge federal leaders to move the country towards a safer, cleaner energy future via strong policies. The version of energy legislation that now looks most likely to come to a vote in the Senate drops a carbon cap altogether. It could require renewable electricity standards which mandate that a certain amount of electricity production comes from renewable energy sources, but many states already have similar, if not better standards.
One way to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels is to improve the energy efficiency of homes and businesses. There are huge gains to be made here. Better efficiency across the economy could reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2030, according to the Center for American Progress. The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans encouraged homeowners to build houses that met federal efficiency standards. But a decision last week by the Federal Housing Finance Agency essentially killed this type of assistance.
“Cities can continue to offer PACE, but then Fannie and Freddie must impose stricter lending standards on all local borrowers—even those who never intend to take out PACE loans,” Alyssa Katz explains at The American Prospect. “In effect, the new guidelines force mayors and city councils to choose between promoting energy efficiency and improving the health of their already battered real-estate markets.”
Two cities that were using the loans—San Francisco and Boulder—have stopped issuing them, Katz reports. Yesterday, Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) did introduced the PACE Assessment Protection Act of 2010, which requires the FHFA to support PACE, but there’s no guarantee that legislation will pass through Congress, Grist reports.
Policy trumps innovation
That chilling effect is exactly the opposite of the sort of policies the country needs from Washington. As Christian Parenti writes in The Nation, fancy devices (like Cheeseman’s DEVap) cannot fix the climate crisis on their own:
“An overemphasis on breakthrough inventions can obscure the fact that most of the energy technologies we need already exist. You know what they are: wind farms, concentrated solar power plants, geothermal and tidal power, all feeding an efficient smart grid that, in turn, powers electric vehicles and radically more energy-efficient buildings.”
“According to clean-tech experts, innovation is now less important than rapid large-scale implementation,” Parenti explains. “In other words, developing a clean-energy economy is not about new gadgets but rather about new policies.”
It would be nice if those new policies pushed the country to decrease energy use, instead of mimicking programs states already have in place, or worse, undoing good work that’s going forward on the local level.
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the environment by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Mulch for a complete list of articles on environmental issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, health care and immigration issues, check out The Audit, The Pulse, and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.by Sarah Laskow, Media Consortium blogger
Image courtest of Flickr user Thomas... more