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Global warming
Any hurricane this fall that hits the Atlantic coast from northern Florida to about Nova Scotia will be more severe than is usual for Atlantic hurricanes. Should global warming cause the Cold Wall, a chilly current that slips in just west of the Gulf Stream, to disappear, then such will be the norm.

Should this year's anomaly persist into the winter (and winter is approaching), then the nor'easter winter storms could be extremely dangerous.

Global warming is Russian Roulette with climate.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.

World needs to make near-revolutionary change to avoid imminent climate disaster. Is there hope?

video here:

Unless we immediately reduce the burning of coal and oil and gas that drive up global temperatures, a new UN report warns the world will suffer tremendous consequences as early as 2040. William Brangham talks with Rafe Pomerance of the Woods Hole Research Center and Gavin Schmidt from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Read the Full Transcript

Judy Woodruff:

As we reported earlier, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is a consortium of climate scientists, announced today that, if the world community doesn't reduce carbon emissions drastically, millions of people across the planet will suffer dire consequences.

But, as William Brangham reports, heeding that warning now is a daunting challenge.
William Brangham:

The U.N.'s latest report put together by over 90 authors and editors from over 40 countries is probably the starkest, most dire warning yet about the severity of climate change and the cost of inaction.

The report says that, unless the world immediately begins reducing the burning of coal and oil and gas that drive up global temperatures, the world will suffer tremendous consequences. By as early as 2040, just 22 years from now, the U.N. says global food supplies will be threatened by increasing droughts and heat waves.

Low-lying nations could be flooded by rising sea levels, potentially triggering huge flows of refugees. Fierce storms and wildfires will grow in intensity, costing billions in damages and lives lost.

To keep even more drastic impacts at bay, the U.N. report urges the governments of the world to cut their carbon emissions enough to limit global warming to just 1.5 degrees Celsius. That's about 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels. But that would take a near revolutionary change in how the industrialized world creates electricity, grows food and moves people and goods around.

The U.N. acknowledges that — quote — "There is no documented historic precedent for the changes needed to prevent even worse disasters from coming."

As I mentioned, today's report is to date one of the strongest calls to action.

And with me are two people who have spent their lives studying climate change and our responses to it.

Rafe Pomerance is a senior policy fellow at the Woods Hole Research Center and chairman of Arctic 21, a network of scientists working to draw attention to the effects of warming on the Arctic. And Gavin Schmidt is a climatologist and chief of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He's co-founder also of the climate science blog RealClimate.

Gentlemen, welcome to you both.
Rafe Pomerance:

Thank you.
William Brangham:

Gavin Schmidt, to you first.

This report from the U.N. is, to my reading, an incredibly stark warning. How do you read it?
Gavin Schmidt:

Basically, this report is telling us things that scientists have known for a long time, that climate change is already occurring, and it really doesn't take very much more for it to become a very, very serious issue, not just for coastal environments, but for agriculture, for the Arctic, for many, many different aspects of the planet.

And this report is saying, well, if we want to limit this, if we want it to not get out of control, we need to act very, very quickly in order to do that.

And the time for doing so is running out.
William Brangham:

Rafe Pomerance, you have spent decades acting as a bit of a Paul Revere, trying to get the country to recognize these threats.

And many of our viewers may know you from that very wonderful deep dive that The New York Times did about our dawning of our understanding of climate policy.

Looking at this report, do you think that this will finally be the thing that moves the needle?
Rafe Pomerance:

I think this report is really important.

The amount of attention it's gotten has been huge. It deserves it. I see each report that comes out as incremental, adding to the public understanding, building political will.

I don't think there's a report, a single report, that makes all the difference. So, yes, it's important. It adds the momentum. But, in and of itself, it's part of a sequence of events.
William Brangham:

Gavin Schmidt, let's just say that world leaders decide that they do want to try to keep warming somewhere near this 1.5 degrees Celsius mark. What — how serious, how severe do the emissions cuts have to be? What do we have to do?
Gavin Schmidt:

So, the challenge ahead of us, regardless of where — what temperature we're going to end up at, are that we need to reduce carbon emissions by about 70 percent just to keep carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere.
William Brangham:

Seventy percent?

Gavin Schmidt:

… reduce it even more, even more to keep the temperature constant.

And, basically, these temperature targets, 1.5, 2, 2.53, they depend — what's going to happen depends on how long it takes us to get to that point. So, these are very, very large shifts in how we produce energy, how we transport ourselves, how we grow our food. And it can't be done overnight.

There's a lot of inertia in the system, not just in the — in the physical system, but also in the economy, in innovation, in systems that need to evolve fast in order to get us down to those levels.
William Brangham:

Rafe, let's just say world leaders do come to you. I know you have been knocking on their doors for decades. And they say, we have seen the light, we want to enact these changes. What kinds of things — what are the top things you would like them to address?
Rafe Pomerance:

Well, first, just let me say the prerequisite is political will. For a world leader to ask the question, they have to have the desire to do that.

And, unfortunately, this moment in the United States is one of our worst. Our leader says that this problem is a hoax. So he's taking us out of the negotiations, et cetera.

Given your assumption that world leaders want to step up, there are four areas they have to work in. Number one is R&D, research and development, innovation. We need cheap substitutes. We can do that. We're spending some money, but we — this ought to be a much higher priority on the national scene.

We have an agency that is supposed to come up with radical solutions, changes. It's funded at $200 million, $300 million a year. The Pentagon's agency that does the same thing for the military has had $5 billion. So this has to be a much bigger priority.

Number two, we need to control the other greenhouse gases, like methane, nitrous oxide. And where we can, which is mostly carbon and the energy system, we ought to be pricing it. The tax is the most efficient mechanism we have. It needs not only to exist in the United States. It has to exist globally.

We can do that if we lead. Without the United States, nothing happens. The U.S. Congress is the most important body, I still maintain, in the world on this. And the reason is, they won't act. And if they won't act, our negotiators can't move.

Now, number three is decarbonization. We know how to do that through biological systems, like growing forests, improving soil management and so on. That takes some carbon out. Then there's a whole series of technologies that have been proposed to remove carbon. They're in the early stages. You have to lower the costs, lower the environmental impact.

But that's another part of the R&D. And, finally, which this report excludes, is solar radiation management. I call it the Pinatubo strategy. It's where you put particles in the stratosphere to reflect sunlight. It's kind of a…

William Brangham:

Pretty dramatic geoengineering.
Rafe Pomerance:

The geo — dramatic geoengineering.

But we have to understand whether there's a tool there. We have no research program right now. We can't tell anybody what the risks are, what — how clear the benefits are. We just know that works in the natural world.
William Brangham:

Gavin Schmidt, you hear Rafe is talking about a lot of possible solutions, but also rightly signaling that there really hasn't been the political will thus far to do this.

Do you have any reason to hope that we will change course?
Gavin Schmidt:

There's a lot of political will elsewhere in the world and at the local and federal — and state levels even here in the U.S.

I find myself talking to people who are involved in local and regional and national, but perhaps not federal level, efforts that are — that are really bearing fruit. And so I think that this notion that everything was — rests on Congress to fix, I think they have a role to play.

But there's a lot of movement going on elsewhere in the world, in Europe, in China, in Japan. There's a lot of new things moving along there. So I'm not totally in despair. But the key thing to remember from this report is that it's clear that the best time to have reduced emissions was 25 years ago.

But the second best time to reduce emissions is right now.
William Brangham:

Do you have that optimism? Are you in despair yet?
Rafe Pomerance:

Well, that's not where I go, despair. It may be warranted, but I don't go there.
William Brangham:

I just ask this as someone who has been pushing this rock up the hill for so long.
Rafe Pomerance:

I understand. Right.

Well, what we're seeing now is — which we didn't see 40 years ago — is, we're seeing climate change impacts in the rear-view mirror. In other words, everything was sort of projected back there. It was in the — it was coming, but we didn't really see — it wasn't visible.

Now we see that it's happened. I will give you two examples. Most of the coral reefs in the world now are dead because the ocean has warmed sufficiently to bleach them.

Secondly, the Arctic is unraveling. That will begin to emerge as a major source of emissions if we don't halt the warming. Then it gets more out of control.

So future generations face huge challenges. We are in this. We have to manage it over the long run. The sooner we get at it, the better.
William Brangham:

All right, Rafe Pomerance, Gavin Schmidt, thank you both very much.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
The issue now is whether Trump's supreme court can block all efforts even at the state and local level, as well as his congress being unwilling to act.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
(10-09-2018, 01:29 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: The issue now is whether Trump's supreme court can block all efforts even at the state and local level, as well as his congress being unwilling to act.

Unfortunately, this is a Millennial problem the Millennials refuse to address.  That they can't fathom the world climate being noticeably different in their lifetimes is bizarre, because they will feel they full brunt of bad policy here.  They need to be engaged; they can't wait on others to do it for them. As long as they ignore the problem, no one else will be able to make progress.  They are the key.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
(10-09-2018, 01:29 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: The issue now is whether Trump's supreme court can block all efforts even at the state and local level, as well as his congress being unwilling to act.

With Trump it is all about power... and he would use power to quash all discussion of global warming except to deny it.

Profit is the only virtue in Trump's world after his bloated ego.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.

(Allusions to Murder on the Orient Express)

You are on a train. There has been a murder on the train. There are seven suspects. One is an heiress, another a known crook. There’s a former circus strongman, a mystery woman who won’t leave her room, and a retired admiral of the French navy. One of them, you are fairly certain, is Meryl Streep preparing to play some role that requires a hefty accent. The other suspect is, of course, you.

The train is heading northeast at 62 miles per hour as it winds its way through the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains with the Arges River flowing rapidly alongside. One mile ahead of you, the bridge is out. Who committed the murder? Who cares. Because if you don’t all get on the brakes right now, everyone—the innocent along with the guilty—are going to be dead in less than one minute.

The missing bridge is climate change. The murder is … anything else.

It has been frustratingly difficult to convince the public, even the progressive public, of the threat represented by climate change. Maybe this will help. It’s Tuesday’s editorial from the Charleston  Gazette-Mail of West Virginia, right in the heart of Trump Digs Coal country.

When today’s kindergartners are in their 20s, they may find a devastated world wracked by horrible hurricanes, droughts, floods, wildfires, tornadoes and other tragedies made worse by global warming. Coastal cities may be abandoned, sunken wrecks. Poverty and misery may result.

That’s the latest forecast from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a U.S. assembly of the world’s top scientists. Their new report is the ugliest yet. It predicts that humanity will suffer $54 trillion in damages by 2040 if the average global temperature rises a mere 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels.

By now, most scientists agree that Planet Earth has entered the Anthropocene Epoch, the era when the biosphere — the surface region where life is possible — is permanently altered by human actions. Logging, agriculture and urban construction are factors, but global warming from fossil fuels is the worst cause. Their fumes form a “greenhouse” layer in the sky, trapping heat on the surface below.

Burning of fossil fuels must be reduced drastically, replaced by renewable energy, the report insists. “There is no way to mitigate climate change without getting rid of coal,” says one of the authors, Drew Shindell of Duke University.

Penn State scientist Michael Mann said Hurricane Michael “should be a wake-up call — as should have Katrina, Irene, Sandy, Harvey, Irma, Florence. In each of these storms we can see the impact of climate change: Warmer seas mean more energy to intensify these storms, more wind damage, bigger storm surge and more coastal flooding.”

How long can science-denying politicos keep pretending that global warming isn’t hurting America? For a long time it may have been human nature to dally about the issue. Projections were in a future that seemed distant. Warnings came in the necessarily honest words of science — projections and probabilities, rather than certainties. But that excuse is evaporating, too.

Two decades? When today’s children are young adults. When today’s adults are hoping to retire. That is a very human time scale, and the warnings are getting more certain every day.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.

One model lets you see what can happen with global warming by 2050. No, it is not Giselle Bundchen.

Winters and summers will both be warmer. If you are familiar with the Koeppen climate classification, you probably recognize Detroit just on the snowy side of the line between climates with warm-to-hot summers and snowy winters (Dfa, the infamous fire-and-ice climate of the Corn and Wheat Belts) and climates with warm-to-hot summers and rainy winters (Cfa, as in the lower Ohio Valley and southeasternn Pennsylvania down to central Florida  and Texas). Detroit is also barely south of the line dividing the tame summers of northern Michigan and the sultry summers of the fire-and-ice climate that it has.

The typical summer high will go from 82.4 F to 87.3 F, which means that you will need air conditioning from late May to early September instead of relying upon open windows and fans. The typical January low will go from 22.3 F (which allows snow to remain on the ground for several weeks) to 27.6 F (which allows any clear, sunny day in winter to be warm enough to melt snow away). Detroit will go from having a Dfa climate to a Cfa climate.

Hate the heat in Wichita, Kansas? 91.6 F as a summer high normal now in Wichita is awful, but 96.8 F is where summer highs are headed. That's roughly how it is in Dallas. Winters will be milder, going from 23.9 F to 28.1 F, but that won;t take one out of Tronado Alley -- or, more precisely, take the tornadoes out of Tornado Alley.

Places Rated Almanac related the climatic conditions of many places in America, and the worst places based on climate were typically high-latitude locations (Alaska) and high mountains (Yellowstone National Park, Mount Washington, New Hampshire) for brutal cold, or hot deserts (Yuma as a small city, Phoenix as a big city, and Death Valley for the worst of all) for brutal heat. For places not in hot deserts, high altitudes, or Alaska, Waterloo, Iowa was the worst for a combination of polar winters, steamy summers, and severe winter storms. Winters will moderate a bit, with the January lows going from 12.8 F to 18.0 F -- but summers already warmer than those in Detroit will get even hotter, with July highs going from 83.3 F to 88.0 F. Waterloo will still be in Tornado Alley -- and tornado season will be longer and might return in the autumn.

OK -- Phoenix. Winters will be more spring-like or autumn-like as January lows go from 42.7 F to 45.9 F, which sounds almost delightful. But summer heat gets more intense. It goes from 104.7 F to 109.2 F for daily highs. No, those are not positions on your FM radio. For a not-so-dry heat, Saint Petersburg will make you wish you were in the city after which it is named. Summer heat goes from July highs of 90.4 F to 94.1 F -- which means that interior seating in a car left outside might make starting a car terribly unpleasant. Winter temperatures as winter lows (54.1 F to 58.0 F) suggest a frost-free tropical climate as in Miami. Hurricanes will be bigger and more frequent.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.

Rapidly melting sea ice in Greenland has presented an unusual hazard for research teams retrieving their oceanographic moorings and weather station equipment.

A photo, taken by Steffen Olsen from the Centre for Ocean and Ice at the Danish Meteorological Institute on 13 June, showed sled dogs wading through water ankle-deep on top of a melting ice sheet in the country’s north-west. In the startling image, it seems as though the dogs are walking on water.

[Image: 1920.jpg?width=1020&quality=85&auto=form...9a2625e474]

The photo, taken in the Inglefield Bredning fjord, depicted water on top of what Olsen said was an ice sheet 1.2 metres thick.
His colleague at the institute, Rasmus Tonboe, tweeted that the “rapid melt and sea ice with low permeability and few cracks leaves the melt water on top”.

Graphic on the early melting of Greenland snows:

[Image: 994.jpg?width=620&quality=85&auto=format...ec5b14c9e2]

More at The Guardian.

Comment: the Greenland ice cap is out of equilibrium with climatic conditions since the Lower Dryas ending about 11500 years b2K*. Were it to disappear, it would not form anew until the conditions typical of the start of an Ice Age, with resulting changes in weather patterns at least as far as the American Great Plains. 

*before the year 2000 AD.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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