Climate change

From an article, “Resisting Climate Reality” by Bill McKibben in the New York Review of Books. This prsentation of climate change may be argued with, but the vast majority of climate change scientists agree with the picture painted by McKibben. It is usually the case that spokespeople for the climate change deniers are usually funded in some form by oil/coal industries or their paid shrlls. Don’t take me or climate change scientists at face value. Check out the backgrounds of those who deny cllimate change.For information on climate change deniers check out this LSW post

Researchers present, in a global warming edition of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, evidence of a possible rise of 4 degrees C. globally by 2060. If an increase of one degree has produced the incidents cited here, ond can wonder what a rise of 4 degrees will lead to.

  • 2010 warmest year on record, with nineteen nations registering all-time high temperature records
  • The already rapid melt of the Greenland ice sheet accelerated, in some areas the melt season last 50 days longer than average>
  • Record heat in Russia triggered wide fires and drought, causing the Kremlin to suspend grain exports
  • Because warm air holds more water moisture than cold (today’s atmosphere contains 4% more moisture than 40 years ago), the possibility of greater downpours increases – the 2010 Pakistani floods, and in 2011 mega-floods in Queensland and Victoria in Australia, the Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and South Africa.Oscillations in Pacific Ocean temperatures drive some of the flooding incidents but it is the combination of these oscillatons with the increased moisture in the atmosphere resulting from global warming that leads to what Jeff Masters calls an increased chance of unprecedented floods.
  • These changes are taking place with a temperature increase of less than one degree Celsius. Researchers say that without drastic action the temperature increase will reach 4 degrees and CO2 ppm will increase from today’s 390 to 550 by century’s end.

Climate change deniers like to say that global warming results in more economic benefits than it will cost, using such arguments as, increased warmth will result in lower heating expenses and fewer cold related health problems which ignores the increase in violent weather event such as winter blizzards, intensified heat waves, tornadoes, hurricanes etc.

Acknowledging that such results as growing desserts or ocean rise will force people to move, climate change deniers nonetheless claim that the effects of these climate refugees will be mitigated by integration into the new country. McKibben notes that the Indians are building a containment wall along their border with Bangladesh and replies to an argument that Russian agriculture will benefit from rising temperatures that the heat wave and fires of summer 2010 turn that notion into mush.

Climate deniers often neglect huge and irreversible changes that are resulting from global warming. Three years of rapid Artic ice melt has put Artic ice into a death spirla from which it will not recover and the Amazon has suffered its second 100 year drought in the last 5 years, with dying trees releasing a flood of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

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A simple presentation of the mechanics of climate change is forthcoming.

As an introduction, we can look at a Paul Krugman article.

A few quotes should suffice to set the table (and tempt you to read the article):

“Every piece of valid evidence — long-term temperature averages that smooth out year-to-year fluctuations, Arctic sea ice volume, melting of glaciers, the ratio of record highs to record lows — points to a continuing, and quite possibly accelerating, rise in global temperatures.”

As for so-called climate research scandals:

“What you may not have heard, because it has received much less publicity, is that every one of these supposed scandals was eventually unmasked as a fraud concocted by opponents of climate action, then bought into by many in the news media. You don’t believe such things can happen? Think Shirley Sherrod.”

Regarding the spposed economic impact of climate legislation:

” All serious estimates suggest that we could phase in limits on greenhouse gas emissions with at most a small impact on the economy’s growth rate.”

To which I would add that a country which embarks on genuine efforts (not carbon trading or cap and trade, which would not limit CO2 emissions) to reduce CO2 emissions would modernize its infrastructure, make its industries more efficient and would in the long run end up economically ahead of the game.

The rest of the article concentrates on the corrosive effect of money exerts on the political process which is responsible for the legislative lack of effort to save ourselves from major climate change.

It is instructive to remember that climate on earth is a complex system of variables and feedback loops that operate today within a small range of temperatures and if temperature on earth move beyond that range, we may not survive.

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Dec. 1, 2010 – “Global Climate Change – COP 16 Meeting in Cancun”.

Jan. 2011 Theft of carbon credits.

Feb. 2012 Possible climate warming effects of natural gas. Studies indicate that natural gas extraction may result in substantial amounts of methane, which contributes much more to global warming than similar amounts of carbon dioxide. fracking in particular may result in large emissions of methane.